about 3 pounds sweet potatoes
1/4 cup whole milk or cream
2 TBSPs butter
2 TBSPs pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp pure salt
sprinkle of cinnamon (to taste)
- Bake the potatoes as you would if you were making baked potatoes (wash, prick with fork, and bake for 45 – 60 minutes at 400 degrees).
- When done, remove from oven and let cool off enough to handle.
- Meanwhile, add the remaining ingredients to a bowl large enough to eventually hold the potatoes.
- Peel off and discard the potato skin (simply pull it off with your fingers – it will be a little “baggy” after the potatoes have cooled so this will be easy).
- Add sweet potato flesh to the bowl holding the remaining ingredients and mash with a potato masher until well combined.
Serves 4 to 6.
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Wishing everyone a sunny and rejuvenating spring — A time of new beginnings.
1 lb chorizo, casing removed (optional)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
1 large clove garlic, minced or crushed
1 TBSP coconut oil (not necessary to add oil if you’re using a meat product)
2 TBSP tamari
2 cups uncooked rice (cooked and then cooled if possible)
2 cans (14 ounces each) pineapple chunks
1/4 cup (about 2 oz) raisins
4 eggs, scrambled in a separate pan (can omit if including meat)
- Cook rice ahead of time (if possible) and let cool to room temp (or can refrigerate).
- In large saute pan (5 qt works well) on medium heat, saute the chorizo until cooked through (simply crumble the chorizo with the edge of a wooden spoon to break apart as sauteing).
- Remove meat from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- In the same pan, saute the onions and peppers until lightly browned (use coconut oil if you have not used a meat product).
- Add the crushed garlic and cook a few minutes longer.
- Add the tamari, cooked rice, pineapple (with all its juice), raisins, and cooked meat if using.
- Mix thoroughly and cook for 6-8 mins or until all ingredients are heated throughout.
- If including egg…In a separate pan, scramble the egg, roughly chop, and add to rice mixture.
~ Chorizo is a delicious, spicy sausage. It’s most typically made of pork, but one of my local farms offers goat chorizo which is what I use.
~ We absolutely love this dish. It’s been in regular rotation for quite a while now. The chorizo adds a really nice kick which is a good contrast from the sweet pineapple & raisins.
~ You can easily substitute a high quality (nitrate-free) bacon for the chorizo. The dish will lose it’s spiciness, but for many, the flavor of bacon makes up for it enough =)
~ You can use freshly cooked (hot) rice if you need to. Sometimes that’s the way it works out for me if I forget to start it ahead of time. The reason cold or room temp rice works better is because it’s not as starchy/sticky after it’s cooled. But you won’t ruin the meal if using hot rice.
~ I use either egg or meat (depending on what I have on hand), but you can include both if you’d like. The dish will be more kid friendly using bacon and/or egg (unless your kids like spicy in which case the chorizo will hit the spot quite nicely!).
~ I’ve been on a chorizo kick the past year so will post more recipes on ways to use it moving forward…
~ If eating vegan (which as a nutritionist, I don’t recommend), omit both the meat and egg and substitute a suitable protein.
1 chicken cut into parts (legs, thighs, breasts, wings)
chicken-herb-rub to coat chicken (or simply use salt & pepper)
3 tablespoons butter, ghee, or coconut oil
1 large bell pepper (any color), chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
1 (28-ounce) package diced tomatoes with juice
3/4 cup chicken broth (increase to 1 & 1/4 cups if omitting wine)
1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives (or 3 tablespoons drained capers)
1 & 1/2 tsps dried oregano
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves, divided
- Sprinkle the chicken with chicken herb rub (or salt & pepper) to coat.
- In a large saute pan, heat the butter or oil at medium high.
- Cook the chicken parts until just browned — about 5 minutes per side (if all the chicken does not fit in your pan, cook in 2 batches).
- Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Add the bell pepper, onion, and garlic to the same pan and saute over medium heat until the vegetables are tender — about 5 minutes.
- Add the wine (if using) and simmer until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes with their juice, broth, olives (or capers), oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, and about half of the basil leaves.
- Return chicken parts to the pan and mix with sauce to coat.
- Bring sauce to a simmer and continue simmering (covered) over medium-low heat until the chicken is cooked through — 20 to 30 minutes.
- Transfer the chicken to individual plates or a large platter.
- If necessary, boil the sauce until it thickens slightly — about 3 minutes.
- Spoon sauce over the chicken, garnish with the remaining basil leaves and serve.
~ Technically, you can use any 8 pieces of chicken you have. In other words, it can be legs and thighs only or any combination of parts — depending on what you have on hand.
~ Always a crowd pleaser.
6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped or broken in pieces
4 TBSP butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 TBSP strong coffee (brewed) —OR— 4 tsps light rum or brandy
4 large eggs, separated
2 TBSP natural sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
- Melt chocolate in a double boiler (or simulated double boiler – see below).
- Whisk butter into melted chocolate, 1 TBSP at a time.
- Stir in salt, vanilla and coffee (or rum/brandy) until completely incorporated.
- Whisk in yolks one at a time, making sure that each is fully incorporated before adding the next.
- Set chocolate mixture aside.
- Stir egg whites in a clean mixing bowl set over saucepan of hot water until slightly warm — 1 to 2 mins.
- Remove bowl from saucepan and beat with electric mixer set at medium speed until soft peaks form.
- Raise mixer speed to high and slowly add sugar, again, beating to soft peaks.
- Whisk a quarter of the beaten whites into chocolate mixture to lighten it, then gently fold in remaining whites.
- Whip cream to soft peaks and gently fold into mousse.
- Spoon portions of mousse into six to eight individual serving dishes or goblets; cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (and up to 24 hours).
- Serve with additional whipped cream if desired.
~ You don’t necessarily need an “official” double boiler to make this (personally, I don’t have one). You just need a small pot of boiling water on the bottom, and a larger pot that will sit securely on top (in which you would place the chocolate). Of course, since the pots are not “locked” together the way a real double boiler would be, please be careful that the pot on top doesn’t tip.
~ After 24 hours of refrigeration, the flavor and texture will begin to deteriorate, so it’s best to consume within that time period.
~ Personally, I’m not a big chocolate fan, so can really take or leave desserts like this, but I had never tried to make mousse before and wanted to give it a go. The kids (of course) really liked it =)
~ Use a gluten free vanilla extract if necessary to keep this recipe gluten free.
~ Adapted from “The Best Recipe” cookbook.
Beaten egg whites:
4 TBSP chili powder
2 TBSP ground cumin
4 tsps black pepper
3 tsps pure salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
- Combine all ingredients and store in a sealed container.
~ This is a great mix to keep on hand. Simply saute ground beef with a few teaspoons of this seasoning mix, and lay out a spread of shredded cheese, lettuce, diced tomato, guacamole, salsa, sour cream, rice if you’d like, and you’re ready for a mexican feast with very little fuss!
~ Why not just keep those pre-made spice mixes on hand instead? Compare the ingredients for your answer…..
I prefer to take a few minutes to mix together my own high quality spices and keep that on hand for convenience — minus all the crud.
2 TBSP coconut oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
8 New Mexican green chiles cut in half lengthwise, stems / seeds removed and discarded
8 oz Monterey Jack cheese, cut into strips
High quality tortilla chips, crushed (I used blue chips this time)
enough freshly grated cheddar cheese to cover top of casserole (2 – 3 oz)
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp pure salt
- Roast the peppers, let cool for a few minutes, and peel off their skin.
- Saute the onion and garlic in the oil until soft and lightly browned, about 5 – 7 minutes.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- Lay the chiles side by side in a coconut oil greased 9 x 13 inch casserole dish and lay the sliced Monterey Jack over the peppers.
- Sprinkle with crushed tortilla chips and then the cheddar cheese.
- Beat the eggs with milk and salt.
- Add onion mixture to the eggs and carefully pour over the chiles.
- Bake, uncovered for 35 minutes at 350 (or until casserole is lightly browned).
- Remove from oven and let cool for 5 – 10 minutes before serving.
~ This modified method of preparing chiles rellenos is easier than the traditional method (where you would stuff and batter/fry each pepper individually), but equally delicious.
~ If you can’t get New Mexican green chilies, substitute 6 large poblanos (as I did this time – see photos) or 12 Italian long hot peppers.
~ If your family doesn’t like spicy, simply substitute mild peppers such as bell. It won’t quite be chiles rellenos anymore, but it will still be yummy!
~ For photo instructions on how to roast peppers, click HERE.
~ Of course, a little salsa, sour cream, and/or guac on the side is a nice compliment to this dish, as is the cilantro-lime-rice I posted last week.
~ You can add ground beef to this casserole as well if you’d like. Simply saute it with seasoning and layer it over the peppers.
~ Adapted from “Chile Pepper”. I have changed the recipe substantially. An important side note: The method in the book (which I followed the first time I made this) suggests roasting the peppers whole, then slitting and deseeding afterward. I must say… What an unnecessary nightmare! I’ve always seeded my bell peppers before roasting, and I will continue roasting my poblanos the same way. The second time I made this, it took a fraction of the time to seed the peppers and there was a lot less huffing and puffing =)
1. Layer the roasted/peeled peppers in your baking dish.
2. Layer the sliced Monterey Jack cheese.
3. Layer the crushed tortilla chips (I used blue chips this time).
4. Sprinkle a layer of shredded cheddar over the top.
5. Beat the eggs with milk and salt, and stir in the cooked onion/garlic mixture.
6. Evenly distribute the egg/onion mixture over the casserole and bake.
7. Remove from oven and let rest 5 – 10 minutes before serving.
For this demonstration, I’m using poblano peppers for my chiles rellenos casserole, but of course, this method can be used with any type of pepper.
1. Preheat your broiler to high.
2. Cut your peppers in half and remove the stems, seeds and pith (white parts).
3. Place the pepper halves skin side up on a parchment covered cookie sheet.
4. Roast peppers until they’re quite charred — roughly 5 – 10 minutes (be sure the oven rack is close to the top of the oven — directly under the broiler — and check the peppers frequently after the 5 minute mark).
5. Remove tray from oven, turn peppers, return tray to oven and roast for about 5 minutes longer.
6. Remove tray from oven and set aside to cool.
7. Once peppers are cool enough to handle, simply peel off the skin with your fingers (once cooled, the skin will become baggy and this will be easy to do).
1 cup dry rice
1 & 1/2 cups water
1 TBSP butter
1/2 tsp pure salt
1/4 – 1/2 cup (to taste) chopped cilantro
2 TBSPs fresh lime juice
1 tsp lime zest
- Add rice, water, butter and salt to a small pot, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook (according to package directions).
- Mix cilantro, lime juice and lime zest into cooked rice until well combined.
~ If eating dairy free, simply use coconut oil instead of butter.
~ Season with additional salt at the table if needed.
~ This rice is great as a side dish, particularly to anything mexican and/or spicy — and it’s very simple to prepare, especially if you do what I do and keep a few kitchen staples on hand in the freezer: Every now and then, I’ll buy a big bag of organic limes and/or lemons, zest them all — storing the zest in an empty spice jar in the freezer. After zesting, I’ll juice the limes (or lemons) and transfer to my covered ice-cube trays (which hold roughly 1 TBSP per cube). When I need a tablespoon or 2 of lime or lemon juice, I just pop out a few cubes. Likewise, if I need some zest, I just open up the freezer & grab my jar. For more details on these tips and other suggestions for keeping things easier and more organized in the kitchen, see my older post on kitchen tips, tools & gadgets.
2 TBSP coconut oil, melted
2 TBSP Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 tsps dried rosemary
1 tsp pure salt
2 tsps black pepper
8 lamb loin or rib chops
- Blend first six ingredients (AKA mustard-rosemary-garlic-paste) in a small food processor.
- Generously rub paste into chops (both sides) and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Broil under broiler for 5 mins on each side or pan fry stove top for a similar time period.
~ I tend to do this stove top and after cooking, cover the pan and let sit for an additional five minutes to be sure the chops are cooked through.
~ Mustard, rosemary, garlic paste adapted from The Grassfed Gourmet.