Turkey, Pumpkin, Fall Vegetable And White Bean Chili

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This turkey chili is one of those recipes that you can make over and over again during the fall and winter months. It’s hearty, warming and quite delicious! I play around with different ingredients and spices but this is the basic recipe. The key is to add lots of warming spices to the mix and make it as spicy as you want. I don’t eat beef or lamb so often use ground turkey as a substitute in recipes and I like its lighter flavor. If you are on a low-carb diet, this will be a full meal for you or you can add quinoa or brown rice as a side. To make it into a vegetarian or vegan recipe, simply omit the the turkey and replace with extra portabella mushrooms or cubes of butternut squash. It’s also a great recipe for a slow cooker. I prefer to brown the turkey first, then mix with the rest of the ingredients in the slow cooker and leave on low heat for 8 hours. This recipe serves about 4-6 people and it keep really well in the fridge to be heated up as a quick dinner during the week.

Ingredients

1 pack organic ground turkey
1 medium onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, mashed
1 small pack cremini or white mushrooms
1/2 bunch kale, cut into thin ribbons
1 red pepper, diced
1 large can whole plum tomatoes
1 small can navy or pinto beans
1/2 can organic pumpkin puree

Spices:
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne powder (to taste/optional)

Method:

  1. Heat a large skillet or large saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the ground turkey and stir occasionally. Cook until brown.
  2. Add the onion, pepper, mushrooms and spices. Stir under softened.
  3. Add the canned tomatoes, pumpkin, kale and garlic.
  4. Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes on low heat until everything is cooked through and the flavors have developed. Add more spices (chili powder or cayenne) to taste.
  5. Serve alone in a bowl or with a side of quinoa or brown rice.
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Coconut Lime Quinoa

IMG_2569It feels as if I’ve been hibernating during this long cold winter. Eating lots of soup and stews. Heavier comfort foods. So with the arrival of a few crocuses in my front garden and a huge magnolia tree by my neighbor’s house, I can officially come out of hibernation and enjoy the spring sunshine and cheerier spring foods. I always tell my clients to use March and April to transition from the richer, heartier winter foods to lighter salads, soups and raw foods and this is a perfect recipe for that.

This coconut lime quinoa side dish is zesty and bright and reminds me of the warm tropical flavors of the Caribbean. It’s just as easy to make as regular quinoa and the lime really stands out in this recipe. I like to make a big batch and store in my fridge for 3-4 days. Eat with roasted chicken or vegetables for a delicious spring supper!

Ingredients:

1 cup of quinoa
2 cups (1 can) coconut milk
Zest and juice of 1 lime

Method:

  1. Rinse quinoa with water in a sieve.
  2. Add quinoa and coconut milk to a small saucepan and simmer, covered, for about 12 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked.
  3. Stir in the lime zest and juice at the end.

 

What I Learned From My 10-Day Cleanse

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One of my detox breakfasts: oatmeal with frozen berries, pumpkin and chia seeds with a swirl of almond milk

I completed my Fresh Start 10-Day Cleanse at the beginning of this year with a group of clients and it was the perfect timing for me – after a non-stop party and holiday season with definitely too much sugar, carbs and alcohol. I love working with clients to do a gentle seasonal detox at the beginning of the year as it can shake up your diet, hit the reset button and help you lose a few pounds and feel more energetic and ready to tackle anything at the beginning of a New Year.

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Two Ingredient Pancakes

IMG_5355My kids love pancakes and they beg me to make them most mornings of the week – even though I generally end up making oatmeal and smoothies and reserve pancake eating to the weekends. I try to make whole grain or buckwheat pancakes for them with bananas or other fruit but I recently found this super easy recipe that gets its natural sweetness from just a few bananas.

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Spaghetti Squash Lasagne Boats

Lasagne Boats

We had a wonderful week in North Carolina for Thanksgiving and we fortunate to be able to stay in a beautiful lake house in Lake Norman (thanks, Allison and family!) which had a huge and fantastic chef’s kitchen. I absolutely love cooking for crowds so I was in my element all week long.

The night before Thanksgiving, I decided to try out this recipe. Many members of the family are on a low-carb diet and I always like to try something new. When I saw this recipe in Cooking Light magazine, I knew I had to try it. I have a bit of a thing for spaghetti squash right now! This is a low carb and low fat meal.

I love how everything is piled into the spaghetti squash “boats” so that you can exercise some portion control (although you may be tempted to steal a bit from your neighbor’s plate during the meal) and you can serve it with a light side salad. It does take some prep work but it can easily be prepared for the family as a weeknight meal. You can make them vegetarian by simply omitting the ground turkey and replacing with some portabello mushrooms or eggplant for extra texture. Here’s my take on the recipe. I’ll definitely be making this again this month!

Ingredients:

  • 2 small to medium spaghetti squash (one half for each person)
  • 1 pack lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms – preferably baby bella
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or basil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. (You can prepare the squash in advance if you’d like) Cut each squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds.
  3. Place squash halves, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes. Scrape inside of squash with a fork to remove spaghetti-like strands.
  4. Wrap strands on a clean dish towel and squeeze until barely moist. This is a necessary step or the spaghetti squash boats will be really watery. Place spaghetti squash halves (or “boats”) onto a baking sheet.
  5. Heat a large skillet/frying pan over medium-high heat. Make the spinach-mushroom topping. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft. Add the spinach and cook briefly (1 minute) until it wilts.
  6. In a medium bowl, combine the spinach and mushrooms with the spaghetti squash strands, ricotta cheese, salt and pepper, and half of mozzarella cheese.
  7. Make the tomato sauce: add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Add the turkey and cook until browned. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds.  Add the can of tomatoes and oregano and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  8. Increase oven temperature to 425°.
  9. Spoon tomato-turkey sauce evenly into the bottom of each squash half. Top evenly with squash-spinach-mushroom mixture. Sprinkle evenly with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake at 425° for 20 minutes.
  10. To brown the tops of the squash, broil/grill squash for 1-2 minutes under a high broiler/grill.

 

Pumpkin Protein Powerballs

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It’s that time of the year and pumpkins are everywhere. I have really grown to love pumpkins since I’ve been living in the USA and now proudly make pumpkin soups, smoothies and my famous pumpkin cheesecake for Thanksgiving every year.

For a healthy snack, these pumpkin protein powerballs are a big hit in my house. They have been with me everywhere recently from the playground to coffee dates with my friends. They aren’t too sweet and have just the right amount of pumpkin flavor in them. Plus they have added protein making them a great snack after a run or workout when you need an energy boost. These powerballs are dairy free and gluten free and are perfect if you are trying to eat clean or detox. My kids love them for an after school snack when they get a bit grumpy and “hangry.”

The ingredients are simple: pumpkin puree, protein powder, chia seeds, oats and spices. They are simple to make and you can have a batch stored in your fridge all week for impromptu nibbling.

Tip: you can even make these into a tasty breakfast too by mashing everything into a small container. Try half for a delicious filling breakfast which is a super start to your day!

Ingredients

1 cup organic pumpkin puree
1 cup organic rolled oats
4 scoops chocolate or vanilla protein powder (I love Shaklee’s protein powder)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon chia seeds

Method

  • Mix everything together in a large bowl.
  • Form into small balls and place onto a plate.
  • Chill in the fridge for at least an hour.

Decadent Chocolate Smoothie For Your Valentine

Chocolate smoothieIt’s that time of the year again when all the shops are full of red and pink candy and boxes of chocolate. Valentine’s Day can be a real problem if you’re trying to stay healthy and stick to your New Year’s Resolutions. I’m here to tell you that you can have chocolate and stay healthy too! This is a decadent chocolate smoothie for your valentine which would be a perfect accompaniment to my strawberry heart gluten free breakfast pancakes. It contains raw cacao, chocolate protein and maca known for increasing libido and fertility. Raw cacao is full of antioxidants and great for heart health and it adds a really delicious deep chocolately flavor to this smoothie too. Make this smoothie and everyone will fall in love with you!

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