Mango|Strawberry|Banana Smoothie+

Many people point out that smoothies are high in sugar. Which is true, but there’s more to the story 📖 Fruit contains natural sugars and is also full of vitamins, antioxidants, fiber. Smoothies are an easy way to get a few servings of fruit in. This smoothie includes 3 fruits, almond milk, ice, and some crunchy toppings all blended together.

Frozen fruit 🍓— in this recipe, I used all fresh fruit, but (!) it’s a great idea to keep some frozen fruit on hand. It won’t spoil or go moldy on you mid-week, which is always a bummer when that happens esp with berries. I usually keep bags of the following stored in my freezer for quick additions to smoothies: organic blueberries, strawberries, mango chunks (Trader joes carries a good selection)

Recipe & Ingredients:

  • Mango

  • Strawberries

  • Banana

  • 1+ cup almond milk

  • 1 Tbsp or more chia seeds

  • 1 Tbsp or more cacao nibs

  • 1 Tbsp of more hemp seeds

  • ice.

    Blend together. Add more ice or milk as needed.

Finished product - garnished with cacao nibs and hemp seeds

Finished product - garnished with cacao nibs and hemp seeds

Simple and bright ingredients!

Simple and bright ingredients!

Cacao nibs + hemp seeds + chia seeds

Cacao nibs + hemp seeds + chia seeds

Almond Flour Choc Chip Cookies

These cookies are exceptional. Though I didn’t create the recipe, I did successfully make a batch of cookies without burning them to a crisp! This is success in my book :)

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My weekend meal prep consisted of making these cookies and I don’t regret it. These cookies are an excellent mid-day treat with a cup of tea.

Recently, a client asked me if I ever just splurge. I’m often talking with people about healthy recipes and taking photos of vegetables, so the question makes sense! My answer to her was not an easy yes/no response. If I want something, I generally eat it after a brief check-in/pause: Does the chocolate cupcake with pink icing and rainbow sprinkles look delicious? Yes. How will I feel an hour after eating it? Totally gross from excess sugar and gluten. If I can avoid the feeling of being unwell later, that’s generally my goal.

These cookies are grain free and gluten free and all the things. Made with almond flour, maple syrup and coconut oil, they’re soft and a bit chewy. Because they’re not full of sugar and refined flour, they’re enjoyably sweet without the sugar crash after.

Our society moves quickly, and I think we get caught up in a momentum to move from one thing to the next. Think about how we eat on the go - in between tasks and meetings etc. Do we even process that we’re eating? How can we expect that our body is processing and absorbing nutrients appropriately if we’re already onto the next thing in our minds? Do I enjoy dessert? Yes, 100%. I just try to build in an extra moment of space so that it’s mindful and not impulsive.

The original recipe is linked here.

In the version above, I added a extra coconut oil (for flavor and texture) and a splash more of vanilla extract for flavor. Additional add-ins to consider: cinnamon, nutmeg, cacao nibs.

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Stuffed sweet potatoes can be used as a nutritious and affordable main dish - or as a side. Or as a snack :)

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Ingredients:

  • Quinoa

  • Red lentils

  • Sweet potatoes

  • 1/2 onion

  • Olive oil

  • Salt and pepper

  • Smoked paprika

  • Nutritional yeast - 1/2 cup

  • Garnish: Chives, Hemp seeds (or walnuts), Arugula

Weeknight meal hack: Pop the sweet potatoes in the oven the night before you plan to use them. Depending on size, sweet potatoes take ~45 mins to bake fully in the oven. If that feels too long for a weeknight, I recommend cooking a few at the beginning of the week, store in the refrigerator + use throughout the week in recipes like this one.

What to do:

  • Cook the sweet potatoes in the oven (350 for 45 minutes - until soft on the inside)

  • In a separate pot, cook the quinoa (1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of water ~ 15 mins)

  • Separately, cook up the red lentils (3 cups of water to 1 cup of lentils ~15-18 mins)

Chop the onion and then sauté in olive oil. Careful not to burn the onions, stir regularly and sprinkle with salt, pepper, smoked paprika. Once the quinoa has cooked, fold the quinoa in to the onion mixture. Add the lentils and keep stirring to combine. Add a generous amount of nutritional yeast and keep stirring. Add a tiny bit of water if it helps to combine all the ingredients.

Sweet potatoes - Cut those in half (lengthwise) and remove some of the filling with a spoon. Be careful not to remove all of the filling as it helps to strengthen the skin so that we have a sturdy boundary and can add the filling. Save the sweet potato filling in a bowl.

Smash the sweet potato with a fork. Add the sautéd quinoa/lentil filling to the bowl and use a spoon to combine into a paste. Using a spoon, fill the sweet potato boats with heaping spoonfuls.

What I love about this:

  • You don’t have to follow an exact set of measurements to produce something delicious. I intentionally didn’t include specific measurements here, because it’s up to you! Using the basic ingredients listed above and some herbs/spices and a bit of salt will yield something delicious and satisfying. It’s entirely plant-based, so you don’t have to worry about undercooking something and getting sick.

  • Nutrient density - the quinoa + lentils + hemp seeds (or walnuts if you can’t find hemp seeds) are high in protein and help to make this a complete meal. The sweet potatoes and onions bring their own nutrients to the table — like a surplus of vitamin A, potassium and other vitamins (C and B-6).

  • The “garnish” in this recipe is more than that - the hemp seeds are a great source of healthy fats and protein. The arugula packs in extra vitamins (like A, C, and K) and adds a peppery flavor to contrast the sweet/savory combo of the rest of the dish.

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Cauliflower Herbed "Rice"

Herbed cauliflower rice is a cozy staple over here in these chilly winter months. Make a batch of this as a base and use as you would with real rice. Top with other veggies, sauces, and protein sources for a complete meal.

Cauliflower Herbed Rice, Phot:

Cauliflower Herbed Rice, Phot:

Ingredients:

  • Cauliflower - 1 head, raw

  • Olive oil

  • 1 onion

  • Herbs and spices: rosemary, oregano, sage, etc.

To make: Cut cauliflower head into smaller sections. In a few batches, add to a food processor or blender and pulse until you get the desired consistency. If you don’t have a food processor, you could cut the cauliflower by hand into the smallest pieces. (It takes forever, but I have done it a few times when I didn’t have a powerful food processor).

Dice onion, sauté in a skillet with oil and a dash of salt and pepper. When onions are cooked down a bit (5-8 mins), start adding the cauliflower “rice” and stir regularly. Cauliflower should soften in 3-5 mins. Sprinkle with herbs (herbs de Provence mixture or similar — rosemary, marjoram, oregano, sage, thyme) and mix well.

Nutrients galore: Cauliflower rice is a gluten free version of something like couscous - same consistency. It’s an excellent source of potassium, vitamin B-6 & Vitamin C. Magnesium and calcium too!