Spaghetti Squash with Fresh Herbs

Spaghetti Squash edit white_650x400_title

There are a lot of great gluten-free pasta options out there, but have you considered using a veggie as a pasta alternative? This recipe substitutes calorie-dense pasta with a healthy and nutritious vegetable that will ultimately leave you with a light, fresh, and happy feeling. Plus, it’s fun to make!

Spaghetti Squash with Fresh Herbs
Servings
2
Servings
2
Spaghetti Squash with Fresh Herbs
Servings
2
Servings
2
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375°.
  2. Pierce the squash in several places with a fork. Microwave whole squash on high for 10 minutes.
  3. Place whole squash on glass baking sheet and roast for 1 hour or until tender.
  4. Let cool for 5 – 10 minutes, cut in half lengthwise and scrape the insides with a fork to remove the long strands of flesh. Transfer to a bowl.
  5. In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and sauté for 1 minute. Turn off heat and add spaghetti squash, basil, oregano and salt. Gently combine ingredients.
  6. Divide between two bowls and top with pine nuts and cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
Share this Recipe

Healthy Chocolate Truffles

Cherry Almond Truffle four on plate

If you want to have a sweet chocolaty treat without the guilt, try these healthy chocolate truffles. Not only are they gluten- and dairy-free, they are packed with nutrient-rich superfoods.

By using Medjool dates, I’ve cut the amount of chocolate in half but kept all the flavor. In fact the moisture from the dates makes the truffles rich and gooey. And the addition of other superfoods like coconut, dried cherries, almonds, walnuts and pecans gives you reason to feel good about this special treat.

Food Processor

Although there is an endless combination of super foods you can use, my favorite recipe is for my dark chocolate cherry almond truffles. A close second are my dark chocolate coconut truffles.

Chocolate Coconut Balls Close2

I love chocolate but I often feel guilty when I allow myself to indulge. The ingredient in these decadent truffles are good for you and make me feel good about a little indulgence!

Almond Cherry Truffles-Coconut Truffles edit

Healthy Chocolate Truffles
Servings
20-24
Servings
20-24
Healthy Chocolate Truffles
Servings
20-24
Servings
20-24
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a mini food processor pulse 1 tablespoon sliced almonds. Remove from food processor and set aside. In the food processor (no need to clean it) combine chocolate, dates, remaining 1 tablespoon sliced almonds, cherries and sea salt. Pulse until thoroughly combined.
  2. Roll mixture into 20 - 24 equal size balls.
  3. Transfer reserved almonds to a plate and roll each truffle over almonds until nicely coated.
  4. Enjoy!
Share this Recipe

Apricot Almond Oatmeal

Apricot Almond Oatmeal

A warm bowl of antioxidant-rich oatmeal is the perfect way to start your morning. Oats have been shown to not only help lower cholesterol but they are also a great source of fiber.

This specific recipe, with pure unsweetened apricot preserves, chobani yogurt and sliced almonds is rich, creamy and packed with protein. A drizzle of honey gives it just the right amount of sweetness that the whole family will love it!

Apricot Almond Oatmeal
Servings
2
Servings
2
Apricot Almond Oatmeal
Servings
2
Servings
2
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Cook oats according to package directions.
  2. Divide cooked oats evenly between two bowls.
  3. Top with yogurt, preserves, almonds and honey.
Share this Recipe

4 Leafy Greens Worth Trying!

Fresh chard.

These four leafy greens are loaded with healthy benefits. Challenge yourself to try all four in the next week. I’ve provided you with some great-tasting recipes to get you started.

Swiss Chard

Not only is Swiss chard beautiful (I used it on the cover of my new cookbook), but it is packed with vitamin A and C. Swiss Chard is often sautéed but I also find it great for juicing. Looking for other healthy ways to incorporate Swiss chard into your diet? Check out my recipe for this Swiss chard Power Salad

Kale

Kale has become today’s most talked about leafy green for good reason. It’s loaded with vitamin A, C, K and B6. It’s also rich in folate, potassium and calcium. Kale is extremely versatile and can be used in everything from soups and stews to salads and omelets. Try making your own kale chips for a savory and healthy low calorie snack.

Spinach

This leafy green isn’t just for Popeye! Raw or cooked, spinach is rich in vitamin A and C. Use it as a healthy pizza topping or add it to soups, pasta sauce or smoothies. Try my Chicken and Wild Rice Soup recipe or my Shiitake Mushroom and Spinach Soup recipe. Both are loaded with nutrient-rich spinach.

Collards

Collard greens are a great source of calcium and are rich in vitamin A, C and K. I love this Sautéed Collard Greens with Raisins recipe I found from Martha Stewart Living. Looking for another great way to incorporate collard greens into your diet? Take your favorite lettuce wrap recipe, and try swapping out the lettuce leaves for nutrient-packed collard greens.

Shiitake Mushroom and Spinach Soup

Cutting back on or giving up wheat doesn’t mean you need to give up noodles in your soup. This Shiitake Mushroom and Spinach Soup recipe uses rice noodles to make this soup a filling and satisfying meal.

Two Bowls 2 crop

Ingredients

I always love using spinach in my soup recipes. Not only does it taste great but spinach has been called one of the world’s healthiest foods and is rich in vitamin K, vitamin A, folate, niacin, zinc and calcium to name just a few.

Peanut Oil

I don’t use peanut oil very often but it gives a rich and lightly nutty flavor to the recipe.

In Pot In Progress

Although I used vegetable broth, you can also use miso.

In Pot

Make sure your noodles are al dente and rinsed with cold water before you set them aside. Once you bring them back to the pot, only let cook for an additional minute or two just so they are warmed through.

Two Bowls

Although many of my soup recipes taste just as good the next day—some even taste better—this recipe is best served immediately as the rice noodle can become too soft if left overnight.

Shiitake Mushroom and Spinach Soup
Servings
4
Servings
4
Shiitake Mushroom and Spinach Soup
Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, prepare the rice noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan heat the peanut oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and ginger and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Add vegetable broth and bring to a gentle simmer.
  4. Add mushrooms and spinach and bring back to a simmer. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add reserved noodles and bring back to a simmer.
  6. Remove from heat and serve immediately. Add sea salt to taste.
Share this Recipe

Kale Chips

Some people crave crunchy/salty foods while others crave sweets. I definitely crave the latter more often. Give me dark chocolate, cookies, cake or ice cream and I have a hard time stopping myself from eating the entire box, bag or container.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t crave savory snacks on occasion and when I do, these kale chips are the perfect healthy alternative to curb my craving for something crunchy and salty.

Kale Bunch Edit

I like using curly leaf kale as I think it makes for a crunchier chip—not to mention it’s visually pleasing.

Kale Fresh_Edit

Remember to dry the kale thoroughly before tossing in the olive oil. A salad spinner is great for this but paper towels can also do the job.

Kale Chip on Tray 2

 

This 3-step kale chip recipe is quick and easy and makes the perfect mid-day snack.

Kale Chips

 

Kale Chips
Servings
4
Servings
4
Kale Chips
Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Wash and dry the kale.
  3. Remove the rib and cut into bite-size pieces.
  4. Toss kale in olive oil and place on a baking/cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Sprinkle with sea salt and bake for approximately 10-15 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Check the kale often to ensure the leaves don’t burn. Remove from oven, let cool and enjoy!
Share this Recipe

Kale and Maple-Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette

073430_SweetPotatoKaleSalad_Crop

Earlier today, someone asked me what is my favorite recipe from my new book, The Healthy You Diet. This should be a question I’m able to answer without hesitation but I wasn’t.

Every time I developed a new recipe for my book, I would always say, “This just might be my new favorite recipe!” It became somewhat of a joke in our office.

The truth is, I only put recipes that I love in my new book so it’s hard for me to pick a favorite. There is however times where I prefer one recipe to another just because I’m craving a certain flavor at that time. Right now I’ve been on a sweet potato kick so I thought I’d share ONE OF MY FAVORITE recipes, my Kale and Maple-Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette.

If you’re looking for a filling salad that burst with flavor, this Kale and Maple-Roasted Sweet Potato salad is simply perfect. The sweet potatoes and the dates curb my craving for something sweet and the pumpkin seeds give just the right amount of crunch and texture to satisfy me.

I know many people who claim they don’t like kale but I believe they’ve just never had it in the right recipe. Since Kale can be tough and bitter, there is a little trick to make it more tender and enjoyable: simply massage the leaves with a little olive oil or salad dressing for 30 seconds to 1 minute. This will soften them and have them ready to enjoy. You’ll be amazed at this difference this makes.

IMG_3206

I cook sweet potatoes often but roasting them with a little maple syrup, olive oil and lemon makes this recipe special.

IMG_3183

Roasting the sweet potatoes is so simple and makes the entire house smell wonderful.

IMG_3186

You can use raw pumpkin seeds but I think toasting them really brings out their flavor. A simple two minutes in a skillet over medium heat is all it takes to turn them golden brown and give them that extra burst of nutty flavor.

IMG_3209

The finish product is vibrant and irresistible. This is definitely “one of my favorite” recipes! I hope you enjoy it!

IMG_3217

Kale and Maple-Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette
Servings
4
Servings
4
Kale and Maple-Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette
Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, oil, lemon juice, and salt. Add the sweet potatoes and toss to coat with the maple syrup mixture. Spread the potatoes on the baking sheet and roast, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, toast the pumpkin seeds for 2 minutes, or until they turn golden and begin to pop. Shake the pan often during toasting to make sure they don't burn. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the kale with the vinaigrette. With clean hands, massage the dressing into the kale for 1 minute.
  4. Divide the kale among 4 serving plates and top with the reserved sweet potatoes, reserved pumpkin seeds, and dates.
Share this Recipe

 

Dark Chocolate Coconut Dusted Truffles

Chocolate Coconut Balls Close2
My kids were invited to a holiday cookie exchange party. Although they want to decorate 2 dozen sugar cookies with the quintessential red and green icing and holiday sprinkles, I thought I’d also bring a batch of dark chocolate coconut dusted truffles as they are always a big hit with both the kids and the adults.

This specific recipe is wheat-, gluten- and dairy-free (and raw)!

Depending on how many cookies you plan to make, you can use a full size food processor or a mini food processor. I made just a dozen balls so I used my mini.

How something so simple—just three ingredients and no cooking—can taste so good is a pretty surprising.

chocolate cononut balls super super close copy

I promise these will be a huge hit at your next party!

Dark Chocolate Coconut Dusted Truffles
Servings
12
Servings
12
Dark Chocolate Coconut Dusted Truffles
Servings
12
Servings
12
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, combine dates and dark chocolate and pulse until combined and clumping together.
  2. Roll into 12 equal size balls.
  3. Place shredded coconut into a small to medium bowl and roll balls around in coconut until lightly coated.
  4. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving.
Share this Recipe

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Anytime I can make a big pot of soup and have it for a couple days, I’m thrilled. Quick and simple dishes are what work best for me these days and this Chicken and Wild Rice Soup is just that.

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup 1 Edit

Although you can substitute white or brown rice in the recipe, the wild rice give the soup a rustic and nutty flavor that really sets it apart from other chicken and rice soups.

1 cup wild riceAlthough the stars of this soup are the chicken and the rice, I love that this recipe is also packed with fresh vegetables like celery, tomatoes, onion, carrots and spinach.

Chicken and wild rice soup ingredients

By using a store bought rotisserie chicken I save loads of time and can still make a protein packed meal.

Most soups feel more like a starter than a main meal but this one definitely makes a hearty main course.

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup spoons edit

If you like this Chicken and Wild Rice soup recipe, you should also check out the Chicken Meatball Noodle soup in my new cookbook, The Healthy You Diet. I’m not sure if it was the meatballs or just the overall flavor of the soup, but it quickly became one of my husbands all time favorites.

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Servings
6
Servings
6
Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Servings
6
Servings
6
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Cook rice according to package directions and set aside.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes or until onions begin to turn translucent. Add broth, carrots, celery, tomatoes, and thyme and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper, reserved rice, chicken, and spinach and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes or until chicken is warmed through.
  3. Remove thyme sprigs. Top with parsley and serve.
  4. Note: The soup is dairy-free but if you’re not concerned with it being so, you can add some fresh grated Parmesan to the top before serving.
Share this Recipe

Triple Chocolate Brownies

I know it’s late afternoon but I just found out that it’s National Brownie Day. As a self-proclaimed chocoholic, you think I would know about this special day. I’m actually embarrassed that I didn’t have a clue. Honestly, I didn’t even know the day existed. Going forward, I will always remember that December 8th is brownie day!

073430_brownies_21

To celebrate, I thought I would share the wheat-, gluten- and dairy-free triple chocolate brownie recipe from my new cookbook, The Healthy You Diet. The cookbook includes more than 100 delicious recipes for clean eating. The book comes out December 23rd but you can pre-order or find out more here: http://amzn.to/X2ns2Q

HYD_Final Cover_Approved

Now back to the brownies…these brownies get their triple chocolaty goodness from unsweetened cocoa, dark chocolate chips and unsweetened chocolate. They are moist, rich and chewy but they’re also much healthier than your average brownie so you can indulge without the guilt.

Here’s a peak at the Healthy You Diet brownie recipe photo in the making. It was so fun to see all the recipes come to life. Not to mention that the whole team got to sample almost every recipe. All the recipes were a big hit, but the healthy desserts, including these triple chocolate brownies, didn’t last more than a few seconds after we got the perfect photo.

Brownie Photo shoot

Make these brownies for the holidays and everyone will thank you.

Enjoy!

Triple Chocolate Brownies
Servings
12
Servings
12
Triple Chocolate Brownies
Servings
12
Servings
12
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of an 8" × 8" baking pan with parchment paper and lightly oil the sides of the pan.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flax meal and water, stir well, and set aside for 10 minutes to thicken.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the coconut flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda. Whisk until well mixed.
  4. In a small saucepan over low heat, heat the oil, 1 cup of the chocolate chips, and the chopped chocolate, stirring constantly, until the chocolate melts. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the honey and vanilla. Add the reserved flax mixture and whisk to mix thoroughly. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour the batter into the pan and sprinkle with the remaining 1⁄4 cup chocolate chips. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center of the brownies comes out slightly sticky. Cool in the pan on a rack for at least 15 minutes before cutting.
Share this Recipe