nutrition

5-Day Meal Plan

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I recently asked a few clients how they REALLY felt about meal planning and I got a lot of eye rolls and head shakes so I'm assuming it might not be up your alley, either.  Which is totally fine.  I love meal planning, but I'm also obsessed with planning in general.  In fact, I even have a master's degree in Instruction and Curriculum (which is basically mapping out, organizing and planning information for educational purposes).  

So I wanted to share a 5-day meal plan with you using some of my favorite foodie bloggers and clean eating chefs from around the web - I will also vet these recipes so that they are 1. whole foods based 2. gluten-free 3. dairy-free or mostly dairy-free 4. soy-free 5. delicious and not overly complicated.  If I have a suggestion for how to make a recipe healthier, I will also include that, too! 

1. Italian Butter Bean Bake  

Time saving tip:  Buy the pesto sauce pre-made. 

2. Baked Sweet Potato Dinner(s)

Pro tip:  Make enough to eat for breakfast or lunch the following day. 

3. Seven Vegetable Minestrone Soup

Pro tip: Cut way back on the Asiago cheese (by at least half) and substitute the regular pasta with a gluten free grain - I'll be using buckwheat (which is gluten-free) to amp up the nutritional density of this dish. 

4. Noodle Free Pad Thai

Pro tip: To add extra protein to this dish, I'll be serving this with grilled chicken.

5. Cauliflower Crust Pizza 

Time saving tip:  Make the cauliflower "flour" the night before or earlier in the day.  Also, check out your grocery because places like Trader Joe's carry a plain pre-made cauliflower/corn flour pizza crust in their freezer section.  

Leave me a comment and let me know which recipes you liked so I can post more like them! 

Homemade Chicken Stock

Homemade Chicken Stock

I roast a chicken every week for my family and I reserve the carcass to make a savory, nourishing stock that can be used immediately or preserved for months to come.  Enjoy!

Red Kuri Squash Pie w/ Savory Crust

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Red Kuri Squash Pie w/ Savory Crust

The beautiful red kuri.

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The red kuri purée mixed with the coconut cream.

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The completed pie before baking.

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An absolutely delicious way to eat your squash!

I recently had a squash roasting party in my house and I knew right away that the red kuri had more in its future than just a weeknight side dish.  This squash is so vibrant and meaty - perfect for a pie.  Roasting a squash is not hard.  As you can see, I cut mine in half, seed them and place them on parchment paper on a baking sheet.  I add a bit of water to each pan to help in the steaming process and then I put them in the oven for an hour at 350 degrees.  When finally cooled, I scoop the insides into a food processor where I add water and blend until a thick, but smooth consistency forms.  Set aside or store in the refrigerator until you are ready to make the pie filling.

Directions for Savory Pie Crust:

2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose organic flour

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon coconut palm sugar

1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 egg, slightly beaten

1/3 cup ice cold water

  1. In a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, pulse together the flour, salt, and sugar. Add in the butter, and pulse a few times until the mixture is crumbly and resembles coarse meal. Combine the egg and water in a container (remove all ice pieces). While the processor is running, pour the water/egg mixture in and pulse until mixture just comes together.
  2. Pour mixture out onto a floured board and knead a few times to bring all the ingredients together.  Roll dough out so that it’s about ¼ inch thick or so that the circumference is about two inches larger than your pie dish and place in pie dish, pinching edges together at the top.  Pierce the dough at the bottom of the dish a few times with fork to let steam escape.

Tip: Dough can be rolled out immediately, or it can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Directions for filling:

2 cups of red kuri squash purée (or pumpkin)

1 can of coconut cream

2 eggs

½ cup Lakanto sweetener (or sugar)

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

½ tsp. Himalayan salt

  1. Whisk ingredients together and pour into prepared pie crust.

Bake in oven at 325 degrees for at least one hour or until middle is set (a fork or toothpick should come out clean).  Allow the pie to cool completely before cutting as the pie will continue to set as it cools.  Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

Getting creative with your veggies?  I'd love to hear about it!

Until next time, Be Well.

Spicy Salsa Verde

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Tomatillos are such a fun plant.  They are easy to grow, easy to pick, fun to husk, beautiful to look at and they make a great salsa.  We picked a good share at the farm Saturday morning and made fresh salsa verde that afternoon.

Here is a picture of them on the plant and after being husked:

tomatillo Collage

 

I couldn't find the recipe I used last year to make salsa verde so I threw something basic together with food I had on hand.  

Ingredient List

Roughly 4 cups tomatillos

2 jalapeños 

4 cloves of garlic (unpeeled)

1 large onion (quartered and unpeeled)

Roughly 1/2 cup cilantro

Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper (to taste)

Directions

1. Husk and rinse tomatillos and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet along with the jalapeños, unpeeled garlic cloves and unpeeled onion.  Place the baking sheet on the top rack of your oven and broil on high (about 500 degrees) for about 15 minutes.  Turn sheet and flip ingredients once through the broiling cycle so that everything is cooked and charred evenly. 

Here is a before and after picture.  You can see some seeds in the second shot because the tomatillos will burst and sizzle under the heat.  As you can see, you don't want to char them heavily.  Just enough to give them a roasted flavor.

before and after Collage

 

2. After the items on the baking sheet have cooled, peel the garlic, onion and jalapeños and place them along with all the tomatillos into a food processor.  You do not have to do anything to the tomatillos.  Just place them in your processor as is.  If you have never roasted a jalapeño, the darkened skin should just peel off.  You may have to work a little at the rest of the skin that was not directly charred, but try to get as much off as you can.

cilantro Collage

Add the cilantro, a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper to the food processor as well.

3.  Blend!  Add more olive oil as necessary to gain the consistency you desire.  *A note of caution here!  In my humble opinion of all things spicy, this definitely has a kick.  It's tasty, but if you don't want something that hot then just add one jalapeño (and make sure you remove ALL the seeds).  However, if you're a crazy person and think I'm a total wimp for barely handling two jalapeños, then I dare you to add some crushed chili pepper flakes to the mix!

There you go!

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We enjoyed this yummy garden creation with some organic tortilla chips, tomatoes and avocados.  It made for a spicy, light and delicious Saturday night!  Enjoy!

Until next time, Be Well.

Walk with me.

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For years, close friends and family have been urging me to start a blog on my musings of wellness, from what it looks like, tastes like and sounds like to what it feels like.  And I'm telling you, it feels good!  So here I will be giving my opinion on clean eating, non-toxic products, sustainable organizations, nutrition and supplements, healthy alternatives for kiddos in play and food, gardening, canning, homemade items...the list goes on.  My brain seriously never stops thinking about living a cleaner, healthier lifestyle.  So my hope is that through my research and dedication to this lifestyle it may in some small way benefit you, too.  So take my hand and walk with me on this fun little journey called "Be Well".