Apple Pear Crisp

Pears and apples cook beautifully melt together in this recipe. The crisp is gluten and grain free, simply made with walnuts, pecans, and almond flour. Yay for a healthy dessert recipe during the holidays!

It’s important to eat fewer grains or none at all because they tend to be hard for your body to digest. You may even notice breakouts on your forehead when you eat foods that your body can’t digest. Another sign of improper digestion is feeling bloated or constipated. By avoiding grains altogether you avoid all the discomfort that may come along with them.

The trick with crisps is cooking the fruit covered in aluminum foil for 30 minutes before adding the crisp on top. This way, the fruit has softened already and then when you add the crisp on top it's able to bake and brown on top. The crisp on top is so delicious; I have a hard time not eating just that!

Desserts made with fruits and no added sugars are a perfect way to suffice sugar cravings without giving into unhealthier options. Baking the pears and apples allow for their natural sugars to come through, and they will taste slightly sweeter than when eaten raw.  I added cherries into the mix because I love the tartness in flavor it adds to this dish, but you could also use cranberries if you can’t find cherries in the grocery store.

If you’re in search for an easy recipe to make for a dinner party or get together this holiday season, this is the perfect option. It also doesn’t hurt that no one will feel guilty after indulging in this!

This crisp should be eaten fresh out of the oven, and served with vegan vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. The best part about this recipe is how delicious your house will smell!


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Serves about 8 people

 

Ingredients:

Fruit Base:

  • 5 red Bartlett pears (peeled)
  • 4 Rome apples or apples of preference (peeled)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cherries or cranberries
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut nectar or maple syrup
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons cinnamon
  • Juice of ½ lemon

 

Crisp:

  • 1 ½ cups pecans (roughly chopped)
  • 1 ½ cups walnuts (roughly chopped)
  • ¼ cup coconut nectar or maple syrup
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 4 Tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 4 Tablespoons coconut sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F and lightly coat your cooing dish with coconut oil.

2. Peel the skin off your apples and pears and then cut into small chunks.

3. Take the pits out of your cherries and cut them in half.

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4. Mix the apples, pears, cherries, lemon juice and coconut nectar in a bowl.

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5. Pour your mixture into the your cooking dish and cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes.

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6. While fruit is baking, begin to make the crumble. Mix together the pecans, walnuts, coconut nectar, coconut flakes, almond meal, melted coconut oil, cinnamon, coconut sugar, and salt.

7. Remove fruit from the oven and mix before adding crumble to the top.

8. Pour crumble mixture on top of the fruit in an even layer and bake for about 45 minutes or until the top of the crisp is golden.

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Lentil and Kale Tacos with Pico de Gallo

Do you ever come home from work and just feel like giving up on the whole cooking process? Believe me I feel you on this...sometimes cooking and doing dishes are the LAST thing you want to do after a long day. However, this recipe is simple enough to make with only a few ingredients that you can easily whip up in 30 minutes. I PROMISE! 

The lentils provide a nice 'meaty' texture, the kale add a good amount of greens to the dish and the Pico de Gallo add TONS of flavor. The best part about making the pico yourself, is you can make a lot and let it marinate in the fridge, it tastes better each day...

Now, If you really want to master Mexican cooking, you can even make your own tortillas. I do this from time to time, and make a big batch to keep in the freezer. Here's a simple corn tortilla recipe you can use. The texture of freshly made tortillas is the best! Store bought ones will never do a traditional corn tortilla justice. 

I cooked these tacos with a group of people at a workshop I hosted this past weekend and not only did we have a lot of fun making them, they also received raving reviews. It's all about flavor! So I hope this recipe inspires you to make a new kind of taco, because who doesn't like a good taco?! Am I right?!  Also, I highly recommend snacking on some freshly made guacamole and chips while making these. Enjoy :) 

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Makes 8 tacos

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked green lentils
  • 1 1/2 cups dinasour kale, esteemed and thinly sliced 
  • 1 Tablespoon avocado oil 
  • 1 yellow onion , sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 3 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Pico de Gallo:

  • 2 ripe tomatos, deseeded
  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 inch piece of jalapeño (optional)
  • 2-3 limes, juiced

For the tacos:

  • 8 soft corn tortillas 
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • lime wedges

Instructions:

Pico De Gallo:

  1. De-seed your tomatoes by scooping out all the liquid seedy bits and discarding. Then, dice your tomatoes. 
  2. Then dice your onion and jalepeno and roughly chop the cilantro. 
  3. Mix together all of the ingredients in a bowl and squeeze the juice of 2-3 limes into mixture. I like my pico with a lot of lime, so you can add more lime juice according to taste. 

Lentil and Kale Tacos:

  1. Heat the avocado oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add in the onions and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes until the onions have softened and are beginning to brown.
  2. Add the cooked lentils, kale, broth, maple syrup, lime juice and all the spices to the pot and cover. Reduce heat and let it simmer until the kale softens a bit, and about 1/2 of the liquid is absorbed. About 5 minutes.
  3. If your mixture is a little wet then allow to cook uncovered for a bit longer, and if it needs more liquid you can add more broth to your mixture. 

To assemble the tacos:

  1. Warm your soft tortilla shells underneath your oven's broiler for about 1-2 minutes on each side, until lightly crisp and brown. When warmed, add a scoop of the lentil and kale mixture, and top with your Pico de Gallo and an avocado slice, a couple red onion slices, some cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice. ENJOY!

Vegan Cinnamon Spiced Horchata

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I updated this traditional Mexican drink by making it dairy-free, but it's still full of flavor and nutrients! When you begin to try new recipes out, you'll realize that you can upgrade a lot of other recipes you used to make, by taking out inflammatory ingredients such as dairy, flour, and sugar. This recipe is the perfect example!

The soaked rice blended together with water and almond milk provide a silky smooth texture, and the dates add a natural sweetness. Cinnamon is one of my favorite spices to use especially during the holiday season, it just has that warming effect on your soul. This drink is a great alcohol free option to offer your guests during the holidays and if you want to add alcohol to half of your batch, feel free to add some rum to the mix.

I remember when I first started transitioning my diet, I would make classic dishes I loved and craved but would use healthier substitutes. For example, I would make pancakes and oatmeal using GF oats, almond milk, flaxseed eggs, and maple syrup instead of eggs, milk, and flour. The flavor was still there, but the inflammatory ingredients were gone! I began to have more energy, was able to work out harder, think more clearly, and was getting sick a lot less! The better and better I felt, the more motivated I became and I just kept searching for healthy restaurants and recipes, because when you have a variety of options available, you won't be missing anything. I promise you! You'll only be excited about trying all these new things!

So I hope you enjoy testing this recipe out and please let me know what you think in the comments below! 


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Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup basmati rice
  • 6 cups water, divided
  • 1 cup unsweetened plain 
  • 8-9 pitted medjool dates 
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cinnamon stick 

Instructions

  1. Soak the rice in 2 cups of hot water for at least 2 hours. The rice should be soft and easily break in half. Drain and add to a blender.
  2. Add 4 cups water, almond milk, dates, vanilla, and the cinnamon stick, top with lid and cover with a towel to ensure it doesn't splash. Blend for about 5 minutes until the mixture is extremely smooth and there aren't any large pieces of dates or cinnamon. 
  3. Taste your horchata to see if it needs more dates for sweetness or if its too sweet you can add more almond milk. 
  4. In two batches, pour the mixture over a bowl or pitcher covered with ca cheesecloth or a nut milk bag. This will sift out all of the pulp and make your horchata nice and smooth. 
  5. Strain the mixture until only pulp remains in the cloth, squeezing to get every last drop out. Set nut milk bag aside with pulp aside. 
  6. Next, whisk together the mixture and pour into a mason jar and keep in your fridge for up to 3 days. Serve your horchata over ice with a cinnamon stick for garnish and enjoy!

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Huevos Rancheros

This recipe is part of Dig Inn's Wellness Series. Dig Inn is a farm-to-counter restaurant serving up real, good food here in NYC with a focus on seasonal, vegetable-friendly cooking.



Avocado, eggs, beans, homemade tortillas, the whole shebang! I don’t mess around when it comes to Mexican food. It’s one of my favorite things to make, because there’s so many spices, flavors, natural and fresh ingredients to use!

I’ve never made tortillas before, but now that I know how easy they are to make, I have no excuse ever to buy store-bought ones again. You can also add different flavors to your homemade tortillas like, spices, cheese, or lime juice like I did.

The tortillas came out soft and warm and made the perfect base to the huevos rancheros.

You know how sometimes you go out for brunch and think to yourself  “I could have made these eggs better at home, and saved a ton of money.” Well these are one of those recipes you’ll want to use over the weekend, and treat yourself and even some friends too. 

Seriously though, because I’m such a foodie, I compare almost everything I eat when I’m out to what I make at home, and if its something I don’t normally cook and its out of this world, than I’m happy. However, if I’m overpaying for a dish that’s mediocre I ‘m not a happy camper, and I just give up on trying new places for a while.

Anyways I assure you won’t be left disappointed after tasting this recipe! Its simple, flavorful, filled with protein, and the perfect brunch or breakfast option.  You can impress your friends with your handmade tortillas skills (I assure you, they will be very impressed).

This recipe highlights good quality eggs, so what kind of eggs should you be buying? I know it can get overwhelming and confusing when buying eggs in the grocery store. “Do I buy white, or brown? Pasture raised? What the heck does that mean? Organic…” Believe me we all are confused. Let me break it down for you a little bit.

The eggshell being white or brown doesn’t really matter as much as the eggs being organic. Buying organic is important because this means the chickens were fed non-GMO food and therefore you won’t be consuming anything tainted by GMO’s.

Another great thing to know is that "free range" and "cage free" are terms not regulated in the US, which means anyone can label any egg "free range" no matter how the chickens were raised. The best way to determine how the hens are raised is to purchase your eggs from a farmer whose farm you can visit to see for yourself.  Pasture-raised eggs are the best kind of eggs to buy because this means the chickens were raised on a farm.

Hope this advice helps you out, and enjoy this recipe!



Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

Corn Tortillas:

  • 1 ¾ cups Masa Harina
  • 1 1/8 cups
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • juice of ½ lime

Spicy Black beans:

  • ½ Tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 can organic black beans
  • ¼ tsp. chili powder
  • ¼ tsp. cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 lime, halved
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Huevos Rancheros:

  • 4 eggs, sunny side up
  • 4 Tbsp. salsa Fresca
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • Micro greens for garnish (optional)


Instructions:

To make tortillas:

  1.  In a medium bowl, mix together masa harina and hot water until thoroughly combined, then mix in lime juice and salt. Turn dough onto a clean surface and knead until pliable and smooth. If dough is too sticky, add more masa harina; if it begins to dry out, sprinkle with water. Cover dough tightly with plastic wrap and allow to stand for 30 minutes.
  2. Divide dough into 15 equal-size balls. Using a tortilla press, or in your hands, press each ball of dough flat.
  3.  Immediately place tortilla in preheated pan and allow to cook for approximately 30 seconds on medium-high heat until browned and slightly puffy. Turn tortilla over to brown on second side for approximately 30 seconds more, and then transfer to a plate. Repeat process with each ball of dough. Keep tortillas covered with a towel to stay warm and moist until ready to serve.


To make spicy beans:

  1. Heat skillet with olive oil and add in the diced onion. Cook for 3 minutes until translucent.
  2. Add in the beans and spices, if the mixture is a bit dry add a splash of water. Cover with lid and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3.  Mash ½ the bean mixture in a bowl and mix together. 


Assembly:

  1. Place handmade tortillas on the plate.
  2. Layer with the bean mixture, sliced avocado, and then one egg sunny side up.
  3. Top it off with the salsa fresca and garnish with the micro greens



Sweet and Savory Crostini's

This recipe is part of Dig Inn's Wellness Series. Dig Inn is a farm-to-counter restaurant serving up real, good food here in NYC with a focus on seasonal, vegetable-friendly cooking.



Here is my sweet and savory crostini recipe! These can be made for breakfast, a quick snack, or even as appetizers.

The best part about crostini’s are how versatile they are. You can combine so many different toppings together.

I wanted to celebrate seasonal ingredients, like Heirloom tomato’s and figs. You can buy these locally grown foods now in grocery stores, so take advantage of it while you can!

When you buy local seasonal products, you’re not only supporting local farmers and businesses, but you’re also eating food that is fresh and hasn’t been shipped. You also receive more nutrients from locally grown foods, because of them being picked when they have ripened on the branch. It’s really a win-win situation.

The savory mashed avocado, heirloom tomato, and tahini recipe is creamy and refreshing, and the tahini adds a nice nutty flavor. I mean who doesn’t love mashed avocado?!

The sweet almond butter, fig, and honey recipe is the perfect combination! If you love figs like me, you won’t be able to stop eating these. This has a hint of sweetness, and the texture of the fig on top of the gooey almond butter melts in your mouth. 



Savory Crostini Ingredients: 

  • Six 1/4 inch thick pieces of baguette
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 small lemon juiced
  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. Tahini
  • Salt and pepper 

Instructions:

1. To make crostini: Slice baguette in to 1/4 inch thick pieces and brush olive oil on top of both sides. Place in 350'F oven for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown on each side. 

2. Meanwhile, mash avocado with juice of 1/2 of a lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. 

3. Assemble by spreading a good amount of the mashed avocado on top of the crostini, thinly sliced heirloom tomato, and a drizzle of the tahini of top. 

4. Enjoy!



Sweet Crostini Ingredients: 

  • Six 1/4 inch thick pieces of baguette
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3-4 fresh figs
  • Almond butter 
  • 3 Tbsp. Raw Organic honey


Instructions:

1. To make crostini: Slice baguette in to 1/4 inch thick pieces and brush olive oil on top of both sides. Place in 350'F oven for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown on each side. 

2. To assemble: spread almond butter on top of crostini, sliced fig, and drizzle honey on top. 

3. Eat, and enjoy!