Dairy Free

Honey and Soy Glazed Turbot with Garlic Greens

Soy and Honey Glazed Turbot with Garlic Greens Soy and Honey Glazed Turbot with Garlic Greens

Life moves pretty fast with three kids, and it’s been a while since my last post.  Since I’ve taken on full-time stay-at-home parenting, I’ve been busy to say the least: diapering, rocking, potty-training, potty-training cleaning, pre-school transporting, and yes, cooking.  I’m always cooking.  I’ve come to really, really appreciate easy recipes like this Soy and Honey Glazed Turbot.

Now that I’m not spending so much time writing and developing meal plans, I’m free to actually use my old ones.  People would frequently ask me if I followed my meal plan and my answer was always, unfortunately not.  The reality was that I was always testing new recipes and figuring out what would be on the next week’s menu.

But now I am liberated!  (Sad as it is to not be writing new plans!)  Now I pick a meal plan, give the shopping list to my husband on the weekend, when he takes our 4 year old out on errands, and follow the plans that I took so much time to produce for others in the past.  I am happy to report that they’re pretty darn nice to have around.  Fantastic, actually, not to pat my own back or anything.

Over the past few years I’ve written literally hundreds of recipes.  Some were really great, but I only made once or twice (others were not so good, but I didn’t use those in my plans!).  So in using my old meal plans I’m rediscovering some of those recipes.  This Soy and Honey Glazed Turbot is [...]

Braised Red Cabbage with Apples

Braised Red Cabbage with Apples Braised Red Cabbage with Apples

If you’re looking for a new vegetable dish to try  tonight I highly recommend this Braised Red Cabbage with Apples.  Here is why:

  • It’s super easy, taking only about 10 minutes to throw together
  • It’s pretty hard to screw up
  • It tastes kind of like a candied version of a vegetable, making it easy to palate for non-veggie lovers, and a treat for veggie regulars
  • The health benefits are through the roof, yo
  • It pairs really well with mashed sweet potatoes, which are also super easy, and just about any protein you want to throw together

While “cabbage” has a pretty boring and bland reputation (one that may or may not be justified depending on the dish), red cabbage is its sexy cousin.  Not only is it glamorous in color, but it cooks down to be wonderfully sweet when paired with apples, and its health benefits are sky high.

What health benefits, you ask?  Well, pretty much any vegetable in the cabbage family has anti-cancer properties thanks to its sulfur-based glucosinolates.  From whfoods.org; glucosinolates “are cabbage’s trump card with regard to “anti-cancer” benefits. The glucosinolates found in cabbage can be converted into isothiocyanate compounds that are cancer preventive for a variety of different cancers, including bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer.”

But red cabbage is also especially high in antioxidants thanks to its deep red, actually purple, color.  Here’s another little snippet from whfoods.org:

“A recent study showed that a 100 gram (about 3 ounces) serving of raw red cabbage delivers 196.5 milligrams of polyphenols, of which 28.3 milligrams are anthocyanins. Green [...]

  • Kale, Strawberry and Avocado Salad
    Permalink Kale, Strawberry and Avocado Salad Gallery

    Kale Salad with Avocados, Strawberries and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Kale Salad with Avocados, Strawberries and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Kale, Strawberry and Avocado Salad Kale, Strawberry and Avocado Salad

Looking for a fresh take on your old kale salad?  This tasty dish has the best elements of Spring: sweet strawberries and creamy avocado paired with crispy red onions and savory pistachios.  If you haven’t tried a massaged kale salad, this is a good excuse to give it a whirl.  Massaging the kale with a little salt and olive oil – just for a few minutes – improves the flavor and wilts the kale slightly so that it’s tender.

Strawberries and balsamic vinegar enjoy each other immensely, so I thought I’d use a nice balsamic vinaigrette, which also has the nice benefit or mellowing out the onions so that they’re also sweet and crisp.  If you’ve been buying your salad dressing from the store you might be amazed at how simple and fast this dressing is – it literally takes about 30 seconds to whisk together!

Thanks to generous amounts of avocado and pistachios, this salad is substantial and filling enough to serve as a light main dish at lunch or dinner.  It also makes a lovely side dish to a little roasted or grilled fish.  Get more great recipes in my new cookbook here.  And definitely come on over and like us on Facebook!

Enjoy and Eat Happy!

Kale Salad with Avocados, Strawberries and Balsamic Vinaigrette
From Eat Happy Meal Plan
Total Prep Time: 15 minutes
Active Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients
2 ripe avocados, pits removed and cut into ¾ inch cubes
2 cups fresh strawberries, stems removed and quartered
½ red onion, thinly sliced
½ cup [...]

Warm Lentil Salad with Kale and Portobello Mushrooms

Lentil Salad with Kale and Mushrooms Lentil Salad with Kale and Mushrooms

This lentil salad right here is a bowl full of health.  Lentils are off the chart on a number of awesome nutrients, including molybdenum, folate, copper, phosphorus and iron. (Sometimes I seriously wonder how something so boring looking can be so incredibly full of good stuff.)  Throwing in the kale and portobello mushrooms makes this salad a pretty epic dish of vitamins and minerals galore.  Need a pick-me-up?  Put down the 5-hour energy and make this for dinner.

Not that that’s the only reason to eat it.  The secret to this dish being super delicious is the tangy Dijon and apple cider vinegar vinaigrette.  There is something about this vinaigrette and lentils that is just harmonious.  There’s this tangy-savory dance going on.  I frequently make this dish with a little bacon, but this vegan version using mushrooms is just as good – and it’s all because of the vinaigrette.

These are regular old el cheapo green lentils, which actually look quite brown.  Other lentils are more beautiful and some, like red lentils, cook faster.  But in general I enjoy green lentils just fine, especially in a salad like this.

For the full fabulous week of meals, and a convenient shopping list and planner that’ll help you save time, sign up for the Eat Happy Meal Plan here.

Recipe:  Warm Lentil and Kale Salad with Portobello Mushrooms
From Eat Happy Meal Plan
Total Prep Time: 45 minutes
Active Time: 15 minutes
Serves:  4

 Ingredients
1 ½ cup lentils*
1 small onion, minced
1 [...]

  • Strawberry Rhubarb Spring Salad with Hazelnuts and Poached Chicken
    Permalink Strawberry Rhubarb Spring Salad with Hazelnuts and Poached ChickenGallery

    Strawberry Rhubarb Spring Salad with Hazelnuts and Poached Chicken

Strawberry Rhubarb Spring Salad with Hazelnuts and Poached Chicken

Strawberry Rhubarb Spring Salad with Hazelnuts and Poached Chicken Strawberry Rhubarb Spring Salad with Hazelnuts and Poached Chicken

Spring brings out my obsession with all things Strawberry Rhubarb.  Strawberry rhubarb pie was my favorite growing up (ok, one of my favorites, I mean apple and pumpkin are favorites too.. but definitely my favorite spring pie!), but anyways these days – although I still love pie – I also look to get my fix of the beautiful combo in other food applications.

This past week I was thinking of a nice light salad.  A little sweet, a little tart and citrusy, but still filling enough to make it a meal.  What I ended up with is a convenient little dish, in which strawberries and rhubarb marinate together in citrus juices for a bit (while you’re poaching some lovely chicken), creating a sauce that works as a dressing for your salad greens.  The orange and lime juices soften the raw rhubarb and the honey adds just enough sweetness to make the rhubarb delightfully tart.  It’s also lovely with a little goat cheese, although that’s certainly optional.

(A note: eating raw rhubarb is cool – it’s the leaves that are toxic – they’re typically not even attached when sold, but just be sure not to eat them).

Strawberry Rhubarb Compote Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

And if you’ve never poached chicken do not fear.  You’re literally boiling it in water so it’s about as basic and fast as it comes – you can make it fancy by adding a little wine or vinegar, [...]

Roasted Pork Tenderloin and Pineapple with Barbecue Glaze

Roasted Pork Tenderloin and Pineapple with Barbecue Glaze Roasted Pork Tenderloin and Pineapple with Barbecue Glaze

I just made this Roasted Pork Tenderloin and Pineapple with Barbecue Glaze last week, and I already want to make it again.  It went quickly in my house – I think my husband took care of the leftovers before I had a chance to.

I post a lot of vegetarian and vegan recipes on this blog, which I love, but I do eat meat a couple of times a week in small quantities.  I tried being vegetarian once and I just felt…deficient.  So I’ve accepted that this is what I need for now and I buy naturally-fed meat from ethically-raised animals from our local farmer’s market and feel pretty good about it.  As a health coach I find it’s important to honor what your body needs.  The reality is that we evolved eating animals and on an intuitive physical level many of us may just need it to thrive.  Traditional Chinese Medicine recognizes the importance of meat in building strength and vitality.  True story: at my first appointment with an acupuncturist the doctor said, “I don’t have to worry about you becoming a vegetarian, do I?” (I did make the vegetarian attempt not too long after that, with short-lived and totally unsuccessful results).

Many of us in the holistic nutrition world may feel pressure to be vegetarian, or vegan, and as I said it is important to listen to your body.   Some thrive on a vegetarian diet and I’ve seen others actually become more ill after becoming vegetarian!  That said, most Americans will benefit [...]

Red Lentil and Coconut Milk Soup

Red Lentil and Coconut Milk Soup

To be completely honest this Red Lentil and Coconut Milk Soup surprised me.  I expected it to be tasty, and I knew it would be satisfying thanks to the coconut milk, but I was surprised at how subtly fragrant and delicious all of the flavors combined to be.

The flavors are mildly of curry, but not a kind of curry that beats you over the head or fills your house.  The cumin and coriander are savory, and yet the ginger and coconut milk provide a light fragrance and sweetness as well.  If you’re not a lentil lover red lentils might be just the thing for you – in this soup they practically dissolve, and in the end you’d hardly guess they’re there, as they combine with the coconut milk to provide an overall thick and creamy texture that is lovely.  Sauteed garbanzo beans make the soup hearty enough for a meal and add an extra layer of umami and texture.  The jalapeno provides a nice counter to the sweetness of the coconut milk.  Overall the soup has such a well-rounded yet subtle flavor profile that I just loved.

The kiddos gave it their endorsement as well, captured without words in this lovely portrait.  They think you should give it a try!Red Lentil and Coconut Milk Soup Love

Red Lentil and Coconut Milk Soup
From Eat Happy Meal Plan
Adapted from Coconut Red-Lentil Curry, Gourmet 2006
Total Prep Time: 45 minutes
Active Time: 20 minutes
Serves:  4 with [...]

  • Roasted Squash Salad with Two Beans and Tahini Lemon Dressing
    Permalink Roasted Squash Salad with Two Beans and Tahini Lemon DressingGallery

    Roasted Squash Salad with Two Beans and Lemon Tahini Dressing

Roasted Squash Salad with Two Beans and Lemon Tahini Dressing

Roasted Squash Salad with Two Beans and Tahini Lemon Dressing Roasted Squash Salad with Two Beans and Tahini Lemon Dressing

Beautiful, delicious and simple.  There really isn’t anything not to love about this dish.  But my favorite thing about, besides the taste, it is how efficient the preparation is.

When I’m in a rush, and I usually am, I try to think of recipes that consolidate prep steps.  In this “salad” (I only call it a salad because it is tossed with a dressing – there’s no lettuce in it), you can roast the squash, garbanzo beans, and green beans all at the same time.

Then, while they’re getting tasty in the oven, you have plenty of time to whip up the super quick and simple dressing.  You’ll even have time to clean up the kitchen, play with the kiddos, throw in some laundry, or do whatever you need to do.

When the roasting is done, plop everything in a large bowl and toss with the dressing.  Dinner is served.

Honestly, most of the work is in peeling and chopping the squash.  For that you’ll want a good knife – this is my favorite – and peeler.  And if you’re not sure how to do it watch this video first.  Or, if you’re not into all that, some handy already-prepared squash from your grocery store.  It’s worth it, cause then you get to eat this:

Roasted butternut squash Roasted butternut squash on parchment paper

Roasted butternut squash

The recipe has the option to serve over brown [...]

Salmon and Black Bean Burgers with Cumin and Lime Dressing

Salmon and Black Bean Burgers with Cumin and Lime Dressing Salmon and Black Bean Burgers with Cumin and Lime Dressing

Getting a last-minute, super-nourishing and complete dinner out of pantry staples isn’t necessarily easy.

In my house the need for this kind of meal typically arises at the end of the week.  In a way it’s a good problem to have, because it means that my left-overs from earlier in the week have been eaten.  That always makes me happy.

On the other hand, by the end of the week I’m pretty sick of cooking.  I just want something easy, low effort, low mess.  But still substantial and nourishing.  After all, I’m trying to grow a couple of healthy kids here.  They need high-quality protein, omega-3 fats like DHA and EPA, and an array of vitamins, minerals, and micro-nutrients.  So I’ll suck it up and cook, but I want it to be under a 30 min effort.

Enter the canned goods: black beans and salmon – both excellent pantry staples.  While I usually make my beans from dried, I keep a few containers of canned or tetra-packed beans for last-minute recipes like this.

For the salmon, I like Alaskan sockeye salmon, which is wild and contains the highest levels of those beneficial omega-3 fats.  If you can handle it with the bones, it’s actually better for you – the bones add great calcium and they’re soft enough to easily mash up.

Now I’ve made black beans burgers, and I’ve made salmon burgers.  This time I thought, why not mix it up a little and make them together, along with some mutually beneficial seasonings like cumin, [...]

Curried Quinoa Salad with Raisins and Chickpeas

Curried Quinoa Salad with Raisins and Chickpeas Curried Quinoa Salad with Raisins and Chickpeas

Curried Quinoa Salad with Raisins and Chickpeas

Cooler temperatures call for more warming foods.  But I don’t always want the heaviness of meat and potatoes (sometimes yes, but not always!).  This curried quinoa salad provides the warmth and savoriness of curry paired with the sweetness of plump raisins and meatiness of golden chickpeas.

I came up with this recipe when I didn’t particularly feel like cooking dinner.  But I still had to feed the family, so I wanted something quick and easy – ideally a one-dish meal.  This came together in under 30 minutes and was pulled primarily from pantry staples like dried quinoa, canned chickpeas, and raisins.  Although fresh spinach will be tastiest you can also use frozen in a pinch – simply saute it in with the onions and chickpeas to thaw it.  Like many grain salads this will keep well for days and is a great leftover for lunches.

Curried Quinoa with Raisins and Chickpeas
Total Prep Time: 30 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
Serves:  4

Ingredients
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
1 ¾ cups water or chicken or vegetable stock
1/3 cup raisins
1 small onion minced
2 teaspoons minced garlic from about 2 cloves
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 large carrot cut into small dice
1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas from ½ cup dried or 1 can
1 tablespoon curry powder
4 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Directions

  1. Bring the water or stock to a boil, add [...]