Fall Cobb Salad

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If you are like me and still have lots of apples in your fridge from your early fall apple picking days out in various farms and don’t quite know what to do with them anymore, then this recipe is for you. This Fall Cobb salad is a delicious healthy lunch and crowd pleaser to be shared with friends and loved ones and serves as a lighter meal in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. It makes a really impressive centerpiece and you don’t need to add anything more (except perhaps, some fresh bread and crisp white wine). You can play around and add different seasonal ingredients such as pear, apple, roast butternut squash, crunchy romaine lettuce or different nuts or seeds – whatever you might have in your pantry. The poppy seed dressing is tangy and creamy and adds a little pop to the taste of the salad. And any salad with bacon is a winner in my book!

Fall Cobb Salad

Serves 4

1 romaine lettuce, chopped
2 eggs, boiled and chopped
4 rashers bacon, cooked and sliced
1 chicken breast, sautéed until brown then cut into strips
10 cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 apple (of your choice), diced
1 pear, diced
1/2 cup walnut or pecan halves
1/3 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
Optional extras: roasted cubed butternut squash, cubed avocado, , slices of roast portabello mushrooms, roasted sunflower seeds, pomegranate seeds

Poppy Seed Dressing
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup milk (almond or dairy)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons of maple syrup (to taste)
1 pinch sea salt
black pepper

  1. Place chopped romaine in a large salad bowl.
  2. Arrange other ingredients in rows: bacon, tomatoes, pear, apple, chicken, eggs.
  3. Make poppy seed dressing in a glass jar and give it a good shake
  4. Pour the dressing lightly over the whole salad.
  5. Serve right away.
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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.

Quick And Easy Vegetable Stock

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Thanks so much to Doug from The Kitchen Professor my guest blogger today for some great tips about how to make your own vegetable stock. This tastes so much better than anything you can buy in the store!

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I don’t know about you…

But I always seem to be out of vegetable stock whenever I need it.

There are some big advantages to making your own vegetable stock:
1. You won’t feel silly when you don’t have it and need it.
2. You can control the amount of salt, i.e. sodium, in your meal.
3. It is much cheaper to make your own stock than to buy it premade.

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Stuffed Acorn Squash With Wild Rice and Pomegranates

This fall, I’m officially in love with squash of all kinds. I love roasted rainbow slices of delicata squash, butternut squash soup and of course my old favorite acorn squash. Squash is such a versatile and easy fall vegetable and there is no reason to be intimated. In fact, you don’t need to peel squash at all when roasting. Just cut it in half, drizzle over some olive oil, add a pinch of salt and pepper and roast until soft. Roasting squash is kind of a miraculous event – you can’t even imagine that something so hard could turn into something so sweet and caramelized in the oven.

Even though I’m not vegetarian and look forward to my Thanksgiving turkey every year, I have many vegetarian friends and clients and they are always looking for an extra special dish for the holidays rather than being left with all the vegetable side dishes. Personally, I’m moving away from eating meat with every meal to having meat once in a while for a little extra flavor so this roasted acorn squash would be perfect for anyone – vegetarian or carnivore come Thanksgiving or Christmas Day. You can experiment your own spice mixture and add some holiday pizzazz with some cranberries or pomegranates too. Of course, you could add in a little ground pork or turkey into the stuffing mix but I think this is perfect just as it is.

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Cranberries and Pomegranates (serves 2 or 1 hungry vegetarian)

1 medium acorn squash halved lengthwise and seeds removed
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
4 scallions, finely chopped
8 cremini mushrooms, sliced thinly
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 tablespoon thyme
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 cup mix of cooked wild rice and brown rice – preferably cooked in vegetable or chicken stock instead of water
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper – to taste
1 tablespoon cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds

Method:

  1. Heat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and place cut side up on a roasting tray. Drizzle over a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until just a little soft for about 30 minutes.
  3. Saute the onion, scallions, mushrooms and celery in the butter. Stir occasionally and cook on low heat until the onion is translucent and the vegetables are soft for about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the thyme and add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Stir in the rice, chopped walnuts and cranberries.
  6. Remove the squash from the oven and add the rice filling to each half.
  7. Lower the oven temperature to 350°F.
  8. Place squash back in the oven and roast for a further 25 minutes until the squash is completely tender.
  9. Remove from oven and sprinkle the fresh parsley and pomegranate seeds over the top. Serve warm.

 

 

Summery Zucchini Pasta With Mediterranean Tomato Sauce

It’s the middle of the summer, and zucchini* is cropping up everywhere. If you grow your own vegetables, you probably have a glut of them right now and are sick of making zucchini muffins or are struggling with what to do with all of them. Ever since I heard about a wonderful contraption called a spiralizer that could turn a simple zucchini into some wonderful spaghetti, I was hooked. It’s such an easy thing to do and you don’t miss the taste of regular pasta at all. If you are on a low-carb or gluten free diet, this is an absolutely delicious way to be able to eat your favorite pasta dishes without the guilt.

The zucchini pasta is robust enough to hold its place in the pasta bowl with any sauce but the flavor isn’t strong at all so won’t overwhelm any dish you make. In fact, it’s a perfect dish for summer with that light and tender flavor. What’s more – if you have fussy kids who don’t like green vegetables, try making this with them. My kids are not huge vegetable fans but when we bring out the spiralizer, they will eat the raw zucchini spaghetti right as we are making it.

All you need is 2-3 medium zucchini for a meal for 2 people. Place it in the spiralizer with the correct blade attachment and make your spaghetti. It’s so easy, even my 3 year can do it (with a bit of adult supervision). Then, I like to blanch the spaghetti in slightly salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes. That’s it!

This is the type of sauce I love to pair it with, but of course you can add any type of sauce to your zucchini pasta.

Mediterranean Tomato Sauce for Zucchini Pasta

3-4 large heirloom tomatoes or 20 cherry tomatoes, chopped in small pieces
2 shallots, finely chopped
10 cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 black olives, finely chopped
Handful of fresh basil, torn into small pieces
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper

(optional: splash of white wine)

Method:

  1. In a large skillet or frying pan, heat up the olive oil on low heat and add the shallots. Stir until translucent: about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic and olives and cook until the tomatoes are mushy, about 10 minutes. Season with sea salt and black pepper. (Add a splash of white wine now if you want to).
  3. Add the fresh basil, stir and serve immediately with the zucchini pasta.

* zucchini = courgettes for my British readers!

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Cauliflower Fried RiceDo you love Chinese food but are looking for a healthier option? I often include cauliflower rice as a detox recipe in one of my seasonal detox programs but decided recently to make the dish a little extra special by adding lots of extra ingredients and making it a healthier version of Chinese fried rice. This is a low-carb dish and is much more nutritious than fried white rice. It becomes a full meal and you can be as creative as you want by adding in different vegetables that you find in your fridge!

1 medium cauliflower, divided into small florets
1/2 head of broccoli, cut up into small pieces
2 carrots, diced into small pieces
2 medium shallots or 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
1 egg (preferably free range and organic)
Soy sauce (preferably Tamari or gluten free)
Olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper

Other vegetables that would taste delicious: scallions, kale, mushrooms, red or green peppers.

Method:

  1. Prepare your cauliflower by cutting it up into small florets and one small batch at a time, blending it in a food processor until it resembles rice. You may have to stop in the middle of blending and stir it a bit in order to release any florets that become stuck in the food processor.
  2. In a large frying pan or skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil then add the shallots or onion, carrots and broccoli. Cook on low heat for 2-3 minutes until the onions are translucent.
  3. Add in all of the cauliflower rice. Mix everything together and add a few splashes of water so that the rice doesn’t burn or stick on the pan. At this point, I like to cover the pan so it steams. Let it cook for a further 8-10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Break an egg into the pan and stir quickly until it is cooked.
  5. Serve the rice with sea salt, black pepper and soy sauce to taste.

A Beautiful Mother’s Day Brunch Frittata

Vegetable Frittata

Vegetable Frittata in four stages: sautéing the vegetables, covering with eggy mixture, cooking until brown on the top and serving with a spring salad.

We’re celebrating Mother’s Day this weekend in the U.S. and I always think a delicious and healthy brunch is the best way to relax, spend time with your family and celebrate mamas everywhere. I love frittatas and serving them as a brunch dish is perfect: they are filling, nutritious and you can add in all sorts of extra special ingredients for a special occasion. Using seasonal ingredients like asparagus and leeks makes this frittata perfect for springtime too. I like to use lots of different colored vegetables to make the whole frittata look like a big bouquet of flowers! This frittata goes perfectly with my massaged kale salad and a delicious glass of champagne or a mimosa. Happy Mother’s Day!

Note to mamas: please do not make this on Mother’s Day. You should have a lie-in and get someone else to make this for you!

Vegetable Frittata (serves 4 for brunch)

1 red pepper, diced
4 asparagus spears, chopped into small pieces
1/2 bunch broccoli rabe or broccolini
1 red or white onion, diced
1/3 cup chopped scallions
1 medium leek, washed thoroughly and cut into thin slices
Goat’s cheese – about 1/3 cup
6 free range eggs
Olive oil
Salt and black pepper
1-2 teaspoons herbes de provence

  • 
In a large skillet, heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil.
  • Add all the chopped vegetables and sauté, stirring occasionally until they are soft. Season with salt and pepper.
  • In a bowl, whisk the eggs and season with salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables. Cook for 3-4 minutes until bubbles appear. Add small pieces of the goat’s cheese to the top of the frittata.
  • Meanwhile, heat up your broiler or grill in your oven.
  • Transfer frittata to a broiler and broil for 7-10 minutes until the top of the frittata is golden brown. Remove from oven and slice into quarters.

This frittata is part of my clean eating and detox program. If you are looking to lose weight, feel healthy and lighter for spring and summer, contact me today to sign up for the next detox group!