Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash is one of my favorite foods to eat in the wintertime, and this is a quick and simple recipe to make at home. 

I find myself constantly disappointed when ordering this at restaurants. Either they add too much, cream or butter and the flavor of the butternut squash is lost. Thats the whole point right, to taste the main ingredient?

Thats what this recipe does, using a just a few fresh ingredients, and creating a flavorful and addicting soup. Feel free to add a little ginger to the dish if you're feeling a little sick, this antibacterial addition will add a hint of spice. 



Serves 3-4 people

Ingredients: 

  • 1 large butternut squash (peeled and cut into chunks)
  • 6 thin carrots 
  • 1 small yellow onion (diced)
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. grass-fed butter or olive oil
  • 32 oz container of vegetable broth 
  • 2 cups water (if needed) 

Instructions: 

1. Melt the butter on low heat in a saucepan. Add in the onion and cumin. Cook for about 5 minutes until onion is translucent. 

2. Add in butternut squash, carrots, and vegetable broth.

3. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low heat with lid on top for about 30 minutes until vegetables are fully cooked. 

4. Blend together soup with a hand blender. If the soup needs more liquid add more water to the mixture. Season with salt and pepper according to taste. 

 



Dragon Fruit Smoothie

I've been making smoothies without bananas or dates lately to decrease my sugar and carb intake especially earlier in the morning. Using coconut meat or avocados instead of bananas emphasizes on eating more healthy fats, which are still filling and low-glycemic. 

Avoiding sweet and high carb foods in the morning will help decrease sugar cravings throughout the day. This smoothie does contain fruit but not a lot of high carb fruits and the dragon fruit packets are unsweetened. 

The best part about this smoothie is that it's naturally bright pink! Dragon fruit is naturally bright fuschia pink. It's also filled with iron, fiber, and magnesium, which should be incorporated into our daily diet. 

The cocao powder makes this smoothie taste like a chocolate milkshake, for all you chocolate lovers out there. Hope you enjoy it!



Ingredients:

2 packets of Pitaya Plus

1/2 cup fresh blueberries

1/2 cup mango

1/2 cup almond or coconut milk

1 Tbsp. Cocao powder

1/2 Tbsp. Maca powder


Instructions:

1. Blend together all ingredients until smooth. Add more almond milk if it needs to be less thick. Enjoy! 

Mango Turmeric Smoothie Bowl

You may be seeing a lot of turmeric infused items on the menu. It's become a super popular ingredient to use lately. Why? Because of its anti-inflammatory properties. This spice has been used for centuries, but it seems like in the US we are just catching on. 

I have been taking turmeric supplements every morning, to help relieve joint pains,  reduce puffiness after waking up, and help my digestive system work properly throughout the day. I take this first thing when I wake up in the morning on an empty stomach so my body absorbs the nutrients quicker. 

You can also add this spice to savory curries, sweet smoothies or smoothie bowls, homemade breads, and it would be great if added to homemade granolas or trail mixes. A little of this goes a long way. 

Turmeric is extremely rich in antioxidants which help to protect your body's cells and keep them intact, and stimulates your bodies antioxidant enzymes. A lot of studies and research has been done testing the effects of turmeric on patients dealing with depression, cancer and alzheimer's, and they've shown significant improvement and even the ability to ward off these diseases. Powerful stuff! 

All the more reason to take turmeric daily and add it to everything! Hope you enjoy this recipe, let me know what you think in the comments below! 



Makes 1 smoothie bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of  Shine Organics Elevate
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 1/2 cup frozen peaches
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. maca powder (optional)

Toppings

  • Pistachios
  • Strawberries
  • Banana
  • Blood orange
  • Coconut flakes
  • Kiwi

Instructions:

1. Blend together all of the smoothie ingredients until smooth. 

2. Pour the smoothie mixture into a bowl and add on your favorite toppings! Enjoy!


Tropical Smoothie

I usually make the same few smoothies at home, made with berries and cocao powder, but when I received my colorful box of Natalie's hand crafted juices I was immediately inspired to create something different!

I went with using their mango orange juice, because those are two of my favorite juices put together, so you can't really go wrong. 

Just because I don't live in a tropical paradise (which one day I hope to) doesn't mean I can't treat myself to the fruits that grow there. This smoothie celebrates all of those fresh, tart, and sweet flavors. Filled with coconut, banana, pineapple, mango, and fresh orange juice. 

Making something as simple as a smoothie can just bring you back to that time you were at the beach, and hey, if you're lucky enough to be living on a beach take this smoothie with you! 



Ingredients:



Instructions: 

1. Blend all of the ingredients together until mixture is smooth. 

2. Pour smoothie mixture into glass and top off with a few coconut chips. Enjoy! 



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



Beauty Food Brunch

I had such a fun time hosting my first event, and Beauty Food Brunch with fellow health coach and foodie Maria Marlowe. This event gave people a real idea of what our food tastes like. Not only does it photograph well, and do we think about using ingredients that support optimal healthy, but we emphasize on making healthy food taste good!

It seemed that translated well because every plate was licked clean!


Heres a little recap of our menu with the recipes, so that you can make these at home yourself. 


Smoothie Trio made with Maria Marlowe's delicious Gold & Glow superfood smoothie blends.

Complexion Perfection 

Ingredients: 

  •  1 cup hemp milk

  • 2 bananas (fresh or frozen)

  • 2 tbs. Complexion Perfection powder

Instructions: 
1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Sip & savor. 

Ingredients in Complexion Perfection:  Organic Goji Berry Powder, Organic Maqui Berry Powder, Organic Camu Camu Berry Powder, Organic Hemp Seeds, Organic Turmeric, Organic Ginger, Organic Mangosteen.


Enlightened Energy

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups hemp milk

  • 2 bananas (fresh or frozen)

  • 2 tbs. Enlightened Energy powder

Instructions: 
1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Sip & savor. 

Ingredients in Enlightened Energy: Organic Hemp Seed, Organic Maca, Organic Oats, Organic Cinnamon, Organic Ginger.


Clean Green

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups hemp milk

  • 1 banana (fresh or frozen)

  • 1/2 avocado

  • 2 tbs. glowing CLEAN GREEN powder

Instructions: 
1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Sip & savor. 

Ingredients in CLEAN GREEN: Organic Hemp Seed, Organic Coconut, Organic Chlorella, Organic Spirulina, Organic Wheatgrass, Organic Turmeric, Organic Ginger. 


Garden Vegetable Frittata

Recipe:

Makes 12 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 large red onion, sliced into long strips
  • 4-5 cups button mushroom caps, sliced
  • 10 cups of baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced in half
  • coconut oil or olive oil
  • 12 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Saute vegetables one at a time: Start with the onion. Heat a pan, add just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan, then saute onions on medium low for about 5-7 minutes, until soft and translucent, not browned. Remove to a paper towel lined bowl to absorb any excess oil.
  3. Repeat with mushrooms (about 5-7 minutes, until soft). Be sure to drain them well, as they release a lot of excess moisture, and then add to paper towel lined bowl.
  4. Repeat with baby spinach and olives together, until greens are wilted, about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Add all vegetables to a 3 quart glass baking dish, lightly greased it with coconut oil.
  6. Beat 12 eggs together in a bowl. Stir in salt and black pepper. Pour into the baking dish. Then top with parsley.
  7. Bake for approximately 30-35 minutes, until puffed and set in the middle. Remove it from the oven before it starts to get golden brown, as that tends to signify the middle is overcooked and will become a little spongy-tasting.
  8. Cut into squares to serve.

Makes 5-6 servings

Ingredients:

For the roasted chickpea croutons:

  • 1 (15-oz) can chickpeas (or 1.5 cups cooked)
  • 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional) 

For the dressing (makes 3/4-1 cup):

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 small garlic clove (you can add another if you like it super potent)
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce (I use Wizard's gluten-free brand)
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt and pepper, or to taste

For the nut and seed parmesan cheese (makes 1/2 cup):

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1 tablespoon raw sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons hulled hemp seeds
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • fine grain sea salt, to taste

For the lettuce:

  • 1 small/medium bunch Lacinato kale, destemmed (5 cups chopped)
  • 2 small heads romaine lettuce (10 cups chopped)

Directions:

  1. Soak cashews in a bowl of water overnight, or for at least a few hours. Drain and rinse.
  2. Roast chickpea croutons: Preheat oven to 400F. Drain and rinse chickpeas. Place chickpeas in a tea towel and rub dry (it's ok if some skins fall off). Place onto large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle on oil and roll around to coat. Sprinkle on the garlic powder and salt and toss to coat. You can add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper if you like it spicy. Roast for 20 minutes at 400F, then gently roll the chickpeas around in the baking sheet, then roast for another 10-15 minutes, until lightly golden. They will firm up as they cool.
  3. Prepare the dressing: Add the cashews and all other dressing ingredients (except salt) into a high speed blender, and blend on high until the dressing is super smooth. You can add a splash of water if necessary to get it blending. Add salt to taste and adjust other seasonings, if desired. Set aside.
  4. Prepare the Parmesan cheese: Add cashews into a mini food processor and process until finely chopped. Now add in the rest of the ingredients and pulse until the mixture is combined. Salt to taste.
  5. Prepare the lettuce: De-stem the kale and then finely chop the leaves. Wash and dry in a salad spinner. Place into extra large bowl. Chop up the romaine into bite-sized pieces. Rinse and then spin dry. Place into bowl along with kale. You should have roughly 5 cups chopped kale and 10 cups chopped romaine.
  6. Assemble: Add dressing onto lettuce and toss until fully coated. Now sprinkle on the roasted chickpeas and the Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Red Velvet Pancakes with Whipped Coconut Cream and Seasonal Berries

Serves 4

Ingredients: 

Pancakes

Coconut Whipped Cream:

  • 4 Tbsp creamy thick coconut milk (from can) 
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 400f. Peel two small beets and chop each one into 4 or 6 pieces. Place the chopped beetroot in a baking dish, together with a couple of tablespoons of cold water. Cover the dish with a lid or foil and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until they are cooked through. Check the beetroot a couple of times, adding more water so that they don't dry out. Or you can just use beets pre-cooked in a can.
  2. Meanwhile measure out the other ingredients. Mash banana and mix together the maple syrup and vanilla extract.
  3. Once the beetroot are cooked through, transfer them to a blender. Add the milk and blitz until the beets are completely blended with the milk and you have a puree consistency. Add this puree to the banana mixture and whisk until combined. 
  4. Finally, add the gluten-free pancake flour. Mix with a hand whisk until you have a classic pancake batter consistency.
  5. Melt some butter or coconut oil in a frying pan over a low heat. Add some of the batter (the amount will depend on how thick or thin you want your pancakes to be) and cook for 2-3 minutes either side for thick pancakes.
  6. To make the drizzle simply mix together the coconut milk cream, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. You can either drizzle this on top of the pancakes and top off with seasonal berries. Enjoy!