This weather is getting me down. Instead of looking like Spring, it is feeling like those windy, snowy days of January. Cold weather always gets me in the mood for soup. But I must confess, this recipe was meant for a total different direction, and soup wasn’t one of them. This bisque might take the cake as in my most delicious, fast and easy category for soups. Some of you may criticize the canned ingredients. But these companies products are canned in BPA free cans!
I should add that I am a meal planner. One day a week is designated to prepping so meals are easy and fast throughout the week. One way I do this is by creating a large amount of protein such as chicken or ground beef. Today, I made 2 pounds of grass-fed beef with onions. I refrigerated half for later and added a pound of mushrooms to the other half in the pan. The recipe calls for a lot of garlic. I’ve discovered that if you are trying to get away from the coconut flavor, add more garlic.
When I think of spring soups, I always think borscht. If you are unfamiliar, it is a soup of Ukrainian origin with the main ingredients beets. It is lovely to serve in the spring when we are craving a little bit lighter veggies. Although the classic version is delicious, I decided to revamp it and give it an Indian twist with coconut milk and spices. It is perfect for transitioning from winter to spring as it is warming while still substantial, yet light and packed with nutrients from all the veggies. It would be perfect for those rainy spring days when it is still a bit chilly served with a salad for dinner. Add a bit of cooked tofu or seitan for an even more substantial main dish.
In the winter months, we often rely on cooked vegetables. But now that spring will soon be arriving, it is time to think about eating more raw fresh vegetables. Although beets are often cooked, sometimes we do not think to serve them raw. In reality, they are wonderful when sliced thin in salads! This way they retain the nutrients and provide a nice crunch, plus, they have a wonderful sweet flavor. In the recipe I am sharing with you, I combined them in a salad with sweet carrots, crunchy sunflower seeds and a tangy vinaigrette in a fresh salad fit for spring. Once the veggies start to grow again in Minnesota and the local beets and carrots are available, this salad will be even more delicious!
I often get asked by customers, or people looking to be dairy free, ‘what are good cheese substitutes’? Although there seem to be a lot of them out there, opinions vary on what is the best. One of my favorites actually is not purchased in a package, it is a super easy home made recipe, Macadamia ricotta cheese. Although you can buy non-dairy ricotta, it tends to be made from soy, and often times people are looking to avoid it. This home made version however, contains only 3 ingredients and tastes like ricotta plus has the light fluffy texture. It can be used on top of salads, as a spread paired with jam or served with fruit and can also be used in pasta like lasagna.
Sugar is a foreign object in my kitchen along with its counterparts, processed foods. We try to avoid grains and dairy to uphold a paleo lifestyle. My kids love sweets, and I don’t want to deprive them of its yummy satisfaction. When I was growing up, chocolate pudding was a standard reward for eating all the good stuff. But what if the pudding could be good stuff too? This recipe is a great way to get some omega-3 fatty acids and potassium. Some of the ingredients are optional. I add them to get a little more healthy nutrients in my kids. It really is pudding undercover. My son begs me for it. Who says healthy can’t taste good? Enjoy!
When I was a kid, I used to think that salad dressing all came in a jar or bottle. Boy was I wrong. Once I started cooking and prepping food for myself in college, I discovered that homemade dressing is so much better and you can tailor it to your own tastes. I made a lot of vinaigrettes, but another favorite of mine is nut and seed butter based dressing. Peanut butter for Thai, almond butter for a smooth nutty slightly sweet dressing, and tahini for middle eastern salads and dishes. One that I have been making quite often lately is a lemon tahini dressing. It is silky and flavorful, and it pairs well with middle eastern ingredients like sun dried tomatoes and red bell peppers. It is wonderful with baby kale, or even for making a quick sauce for a noodle salad with chickpeas. I keep a jar in the fridge for quick dinners.
We all crave something salty, crunchy and sweet sometimes. But why not get some nutrients and healthy oils with it while you are at it instead of going for the bag of potato chips or cookies? I recently made some Spicy Coconut Chili Kale. I recently shared a recipe for Chili Kale Chips, but thought I would share another since I have been getting a lot of questions at Fresh and Natural Foods on how to make kale chips. Plus, these are not like any kale chips I have ever tasted. They are coconut based, so slightly sweet with heart healthy fats; they have a kick from the chilies, and they are quite satisfying. If you enjoy Thai food, then you will love these with flavor similar to Thai red curry.
Non GMO soy is said to have heart healthy benefits, and one of my favorite ways to enjoy it is tempeh. It is less processed than many soy products, and it can be a great alternative to meat as it is substantial. Although it can be made many ways, it is wonderful when crisped up and served in a delicious sauce. Sweet and sour, BBQ or miso glazed are delicious options, but I decided to share with you the miso glazed. If you have not tried miso, this is a good place to start. Miso makes a delicious flavorful sauce for Asian dishes. Here, I serve it with portabello mushrooms and sauteed kale, and it makes a hearty meal when served alongside rice or even as is. If you are wanting to try going meatless a few days a week, give this quick and easy dish a try!
In the winter, it is nice to have a bowl of something warm to sit down to after coming in from the cold. Which is where soup often comes in. On weekdays especially, I love coming home to find dinner already made, and so making soups in large batches during the weekend is a nice option. A lot of soups freeze well and can be stored in individual portions for a quick meal later. Which is why I am sharing a hearty winter soup with you today. My White Bean and Kale soup can be a substantial meal when served with a salad or hearty bread for dipping, and it freezes exceptionally!
Looking for a healthy app that is not the average run of the mill? This app is not only paleo-friendly, it is heart friendly. These gluten-free, dairy-free little devils pack a whole lot of omega-3 fatty acids. The cayenne pepper added to the guacamole holds this recipe to its deviled (devil usually associated with heat, get it?) name but really they are just heavenly.