Spinach Artichoke Dip

spinach-artichoke-dipSo, I am totally not a sports person, but I know many people are and therefore, many people may be looking for Super Bowl recipes (to be honest, I didn’t even know what teams were playing until I asked my husband this week). This recipe fits the bill and is a great appetizer any other time too. But, for all you folks going to Super Bowl parties or hosting one yourself, make this dip recipe to share! It is incredible and a healthified version of the classic.

You’ll first need to make a batch of almond “cream cheese,” which is super easy, but does involve soaking the almonds overnight (unless you buy sprouted almonds, then you can just skip to soaking them in boiling water to remove the skins). I have made this almond cream cheese other times too and it is so good, even on its own.

Even though this dip is a healthy twist on the original, it’s still hard to stop going back for more! It’s pretty much been my lunch (along with some added protein) everyday since making it. That’s okay, right?

Cheers and enjoy!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 batch homemade almond cream cheese (visit HERE for recipe)
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 13.5 oz can quartered artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
  • 1.5 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk (I like and used this brand)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 5 oz clamshell fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • Optional: 3 Tbsp fresh raw Parmesan, if tolerated (can also replace with nutritional yeast to yield a cheesy flavor)

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté a few minutes, until softened. Then, add the chopped artichoke hearts and sauté about five minutes more.
  2. Turn the heat to medium-low and add the fresh lemon juice, coconut milk, almond cream cheese, paprika, cayenne, nutmeg, sea salt and black pepper. Stir well and let cook down a few minutes.
  3. Then, add in the chopped spinach and stir well. Let cook down a couple minutes or until softened and wilted a bit. Lastly, turn heat to low and mix in Parmesan, if using (or nutritional yeast, if using). Taste and add more sea salt and black pepper, if desired.
  4. Serve warm with vegetable slices, plantain chips, or good-quality sweet potato chips (this brand is my favorite). You can even find good-quality regular potato chips made with avocado, olive or coconut oil, which are also good options if you eat and tolerate white potatoes.

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Zesty Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Cauliflower “Rice”

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Happy New Year! I hope all of you had wonderful holidays, got to spend time with loved ones, and enjoyed good food…and maybe drinks too! Jesse and I had a lovely time back in Michigan and as usual, the time flew by much too fast. There were many holiday festivities while we were home and even a little birthday celebration for Jesse (his 36th birthday was NYE – also the day we flew back to Portland). We’re grateful for the time we had, and feel fortunate we were able to be there for and with our families.

Meanwhile, I have an intention to invest more time in my blog this year, even if it’s only a little bit more. I enjoy having this space to share and miss doing so on a more regular basis. Last year was challenging in many ways and stepping back was necessary for me. Some challenges still continue, but things are evolving. Coming back around, I think blogging will be quite nurturing and I look forward to it.

Anyway, onto this side dish. It’s a bit zesty, a little spicy, and a lot flavorful! Pair it with chicken, fish, eggs, or even meatballs for a complete meal. I think it’s even tasty cold, but with the frigid temps we’ve been having (in the 20s, which is so cold for Portland), I’ll stick to eating it warm for now. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 large white sweet potatoes, peeled & chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced into thin half moons
  • 16 oz coarsely riced cauliflower (I used a fresh riced pack from New Seasons)
  • 1-2 Tbsp avocado oil (I used this brand)
  • 1.5 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Fresh ground lemon pepper seasoning, to taste (I used this one)
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. On a large baking sheet, mix together sweet potato pieces, onion, garlic, all the spices, and 1 Tbsp of the avocado oil. Place in preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  2. Remove the pan from the oven and add the cauliflower rice. If needed and/or desired,  add up to 1 Tbsp more avocado oil and additional sea salt and black pepper. Mix well and place pan back in oven for 20-30 minutes, stirring midway through.

 

Sweet and Sour Cabbage

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I am a huge cabbage lover and most often eat it with roasts, in meat and veggie sautés or in the form of sauerkraut. It wasn’t until my visit home this past January that I remembered how much I love sweet and sour cabbage too.  My mom made it as a side for dinner one night and since then, I’ve made a variation of it a couple times on my own. It’s also really tasty with sliced apple in the mix, which is how my mom made hers.

This side dish was actually part of our Easter dinner this past Sunday and tasted so delicious with ham. I seriously think I could eat this stuff every day!

Please know, if it’s a little too sour for you, add more honey. I personally prefer more sourness versus sweetness, but that’s just me. Adjust accordingly to your taste.

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Ingredients:

  • 2-3 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (I like this brand)
  • Splash of chicken bone broth, preferably homemade
  • 2-3 Tbsp raw honey
  • 3/4 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 small-to-medium head red cabbage (about 2 lb.), thinly sliced

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a large pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Then, add the onion and sauté until golden brown.
  2. Next, add the apple cider vinegar, chicken bone broth, raw honey, caraway seeds, sea salt and pepper. Stir well.
  3. Add the cabbage and stir to coat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover with a lid. Allow to cook for 40 minutes or until cabbage is very tender.

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Summer Broccoli Slaw Salad

Summer Broccoli Slaw Salad

Well, summer is officially here! Jesse and I enjoyed the summer solstice by taking a nice stroll up to the Mississippi area and finding an outdoor patio to enjoy a couple happy hour cocktails. Once we walked back home, it was time to start dinner. I didn’t want to fuss with much and already decided prior we would have chicken breast and garlic scapes, but wanted a refreshing side salad to go with it. Luckily, I almost always have a bag of broccoli slaw in my fridge. Seriously, I love this stuff and its versatility. It works well for hot dishes or cold, and is one of my favorites in a veggie and meat sauté.

Normally, I think salads like this taste better the next day, but Jesse and I both liked it better the day I made it, after letting it marinate for about 20 minutes. It still tasted good the next day, but was a bit more mustardy tasting from the Dijon. It was more subtle on the day I made it and I guess we both liked it better that way.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of granulated garlic
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 oz bag broccoli slaw
  • 1/2 large or 1 small avocado, sliced
  • 2-3 chopped green onions, optional

Summer Broccoli Slaw Salad close-up

Directions:

  1. Pour the broccoli slaw in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate small mixing bowl or dressing shaker, combine all the remaining ingredients, except the avocado and green onion. Mix well with a whisk or shake well if using a dressing shaker. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  3. Pour dressing over the broccoli slaw and stir well. Add the avocado slices and chopped green onions, if using. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator 15-20 minutes. Serve with something grilled!

Yields: 4-5 side dish servings

Baked Italian Cauliflower

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Whether you’re looking for a new vegetable side dish recipe or not, you’ve got to try this cauliflower! It is so flavorful and tastes absolutely wonderful with baked chicken. The almond flour and seasoning mixture acts as Italian “breadcrumbs,” and turns brown and slightly crispy in the oven, with the help of some glorious melted gold (aka grass-fed butter). It makes the house smell like an Italian feast and will literally make your mouth water. I think it would also taste delightful dipped in some Marinara sauce with Italian meatballs. Really, there are many possibilities.

Enjoy!

Inspired by this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • ~1/4 cup chicken or beef bone broth, preferably homemade
  • 4-5 Tbsp grass-fed butter or ghee
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1.5 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 Tbsp granulated garlic

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place cauliflower florets in a 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan. Pour the broth on top.
  2. Melt the butter in a small bowl and add the sea salt and black pepper. In a separate bowl, mix together the almond flour, oregano, parsley and granulated garlic (or garlic powder).
  3. Sprinkle the almond flour mixture evenly over the cauliflower florets. Then, evenly drizzle the melted butter on top.
  4. Cover with a lid (if your pan has an oven-proof one that fits) or aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes and then remove cover/foil and bake for another 25-30 minutes more.

Yields: ~5 side servings

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Fluffy Lemon Cauliflower Rice

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I know I’ve been dragging my feet a bit with my recipes lately, but I finally have a good one for you! I don’t like sharing half ass recipes that I try to whip together just because I need a post and I’ve vowed not to do that. I’ve also learned that some of my best recipes come on their own accord — naturally and unforced. It’s in these situations when I tend to feel most creative and things come together. On the other hand, when I try too hard to think of a recipe to make and share, it just doesn’t happen (most of the time). I think that’s been part of my problem lately. That, and I’ve been resorting to really simple and basic meals lately, some of which I’ve already shared.

Anyway, this lemon cauliflower rice is incredibly refreshing and pairs nicely with chicken or mild fish. I didn’t have any fresh herbs on hand, but a garnish of fresh thyme, parsley or rosemary would be delicious with the lemony flavor of the rice. We ate our rice with sauteed kale and chicken breasts seasoned with sea salt and a generous amount of black pepper. It was divine!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon zest
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1.5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (make sure it’s pure!)

Directions:

  1. Place raw cauliflower florets in the food processor and pulse until riced. If need be, do this in two batches, depending on the size of your food processor.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add the riced cauliflower and stir. Next, add the sea salt and continue to cook for about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once cauliflower rice is heated through and maybe browned slightly, remove from heat and stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. If need be, add more sea salt to taste.
  4. Serve warm with protein of choice (see recommendations above).

Yields: 4-5 side dish servings

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Holiday Mashed Parsnips

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Oh my gosh…these parsnips! Holy moly, I am not exaggerating when I say that the flavor practically blew me away! Words cannot express how delicious these are — you just have to taste them to truly understand. They are creamy, buttery, savory and slightly sweet. In a nutshell, they taste like the holidays and would be a perfect side dish for Thanksgiving dinner. I’ve already decided these will make an appearance at our Thanksgiving this year…maybe even Christmas dinner too. Whatever you do though, do not omit the shallot, as it really is the icing on the cake. That, and really good broth — homemade if possible.

Go forth and enjoy. Happy Tuesday!

Ingredients:

  • 3 large parsnips, peeled and chopped (about 1 lb worth)
  • 1 Tbsp pasture-raised duck fat or other high-quality fat of choice
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 shallot bulb, thinly sliced (make sure the shallot has 3-4 cloves)
  • 3 Tbsp grass-fed butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup chicken or beef bone broth, plus more if needed
  • Chopped fresh chives for garnish, optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chopped parsnips on a large pan and drizzle on the duck fat. Stir and season to taste with sea salt. Roast in oven for 30-35 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  2. Meanwhile, melt 1 Tbsp of the butter in a small skillet. Add the sliced shallots and saute over medium heat until soft and slightly caramelized, about 5 minutes or so. Remove from heat and pour into the food processor container.
  3. Once parsnips are done, add to the food processor with the shallots. Pour in the broth, remaining 2 Tbsp of butter and pepper to taste. Add more sea salt to taste, if desired. Process until smooth and fluffy, scraping down the sides with a spatula as needed. If need be, add more broth to reach desired consistency.
  4. Garnish with fresh chives, if using and serve.

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