Fall Cornucopia Gnocchi

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I don’t have to be gluten-free for health reasons, but I do promote a lot of non-wheat recipes because of how processed those foods are.  This recipe may not be gluten-free, but my love for comforting gnocchi deserves a little attention during my favorite season of the year.  You can substitute with a gluten-free ravioli.   This is one of my favorite meals for a crisp fall night and it’s just as colorful as the trees!

1 medium butternut squash – peeled, gutted, sliced into cubes and baked until soft

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 zucchini, peeled into ribbons

2 shallots, diced

1 yellow squash, sliced

handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

Marinara Sauce of your choice (no added sugar or corn syrup)

Olive Oil

Nutmeg, Cinnamon & Sage

handful of walnuts

1 Package of Gnocchi (cook according to directions)

Sautee shallots and seasonings in oil on medium heat until soft.  Add squashes, tomatoes and bell pepper.  Cook until lightly browned.  Turn down heat.  Add gnocchi and sauce.  Toss together for 3 minutes.

Also delicious without sauce and just tossed with olive oil.  Garnish with a fresh sage leaf and crumbled walnut and serve with a Riesling.

Delicious add-ons: goat cheese, bacon…

Almond-Coconut Thai Chicken

Hands down my absolute favorite recipe.  Given to me a good friend in Nevada (Thanks Chelsea) as a peanut thai recipe, I’ve changed a few ingredients to clean it up.

serves 2

1 can of lite coconut milk

1 TBSP almond butter

1/2 red onion – sliced

1 sliced zucchini

2 chicken breasts

1 TBSP olive oil

1/4 c. chopped cilantro

1-2 sliced Serrano peppers (depending on your spice level)

1 TBSP lime juice

 

Sautee onions and chicken breasts in olive oil & lime until lightly browned.  Add coconut milk, almond butter, cilantro, zuccini and peppers.  Simmer for 15 minutes until almond butter is fully blended.  Serve over brown rice, brown rice noodles, quinoa noodles, or cauliflower ‘rice’.  Garnish with cilantro, almond slices and lime wedge.

Delicious with shrimp, too!

 

Hot-Cold Mexican Burger

There is nothing like sinking your teeth into a good burger on one of the last days of summer. Here is my healthy go-to with a kick when hankering for a burger:

 

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Organic grass-fed beef patties (sub veggie burger or turkey burger)

Sliced Serrano peppers (if you like spicy)

Sliced yellow bell peppers

Shaved onions

Sliced & chilled avocado

Cold salsa!

Cilantro to garnish

Big-leaf lettuce

Grill beef to preferred level (I love medium rare).

Sautee Serranos, bell peppers, and onions in olive oil until golden.

Place burger patty in one leaf of lettuce, top with veggies, add sliced avocado, salsa and cilantro.  Wrap lettuce around everything and dig in!

I love the hot-cold contrast of the ingredients.

Cauliflower Craziness!

ImageI grew up on potatoes – tater tots, hashbrowns, baked and twice-baked; but especially mashed, smothered in butter!  I have tried mashed cauliflower and it is delicious, but sometimes a little ‘liquid-y’ and flavorless.  Here are a few ideas to spice it up:

1 head of cauliflower – boiled until soft & drained completely (!)

#1: Combine cauliflower, dash of salt, 2 TBSP garlic, 2 TBSP of olive oil or butter in a food processor until fluffy

#2: Combine cauliflower, chives, Tsp lemon juice, and olive oil or butter in food processor

#3: Combine cauliflower & oil or butter in food processor.  Top with Parmesan cheese, pine nuts and fresh chopped basil.

#4: Combine cauliflower, oil or butter, 2 TBSP garlic hummus, 1 Tsp rosemary and sage in food processor.  Top with lemon garlic grilled chicken and charred onions.

 

Other delicious ingredients:

-low-fat ricotta

-greek yogurt

-lime-cilantro

-peas (Excellent in Shepard’s Pie!)

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-shaved almonds & nutmeg

-curry powder, turmeric, paprika

 

 

Snack Week: Sweet Potato Chips

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Eventually I just can’t take another almond as a quick grab and eat snack.  Homemade sweet potato chips are just as easily stored in a plastic bag and a handful is a great source of fiber and vitamins!

1 Sweet Potato – thinly sliced (use a grater)

2 TBSP olive oil

Paprika

Cayenne Pepper (if you like spicy)

Rosemary

Chopped Garlic

Sea Salt

Preheat oven to 400-degrees.  Toss all ingredients together on 2 baking sheets and spread out to a single layer.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping over halfway through.

Store in an air tight container for 2 days.

Snack Week: avocado

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Avocados are the best go to for in-a-hurry snacks.  One of the cheapest options for grabbing something to go when you are on the road and simplest to prepare.

Three avocado ideas – for all recipes cut avocado in half lengthwise and remove seed.

#1  Pour salsa into the bowl of the avocado where the seed used to be. Place the other half back on top and wrap with foil.  Keep refrigerate until the day you need that 911 snack.

#2 Place a big scoop of lime-cilantro quinoa in the avocado ‘bowl’ on each half.  Press together and wrap with foil.  Voila – done!

#3 Fill with red pepper hummus, squeeze lime juice and drizzle Sriracha over each half for a simple on-the-go snack.

Bonus! #4 Slice each half lengthwise (just the inside, not the skin).  In between the folds, place thin slices of brie, drizzle with balsamic vinegar.  Crush up a nut-cracker and sprinkle crumbs on top.

Which one is your favorite?

Snack Week: Smoked Salmon!

I love smoked salmon!  I mean I can eat an entire package of that salty, smoky, luxurious flavored fish all by itself as a snack…or a meal.  I’m always thinking of new ways to incorporate my favorite fish into meals – salmon should fear me!  I love wrapping shrimp in smoked salmon at baking it with a little truffle oil, lemon, dill, and capers.  I can’t turn down a simple rolled slice of smoked salmon filled with capers and lemon-garlic hummus.

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Here is one of my fav to-go snacks with, of course, that heavenly smoked fish:

Grill asparagus until lightly charred.  Remove from heat.  Wrap each spear with one slice of smoked salmon.  Here are some filling ideas:

Flavor Explosion #1: Sprinkle with dill and drizzle of lemon juice.

#2: Sprinkle chopped cilantro and a dollop of salsa on the inside of the salmon before wrapping.  Drizzle of lime juice.

#3: Line inside of salmon slice with lemon & garlic hummus and capers, then wrap asparagus.

#4: Drizzle soy sauce and Sriracha on inside of salmon.  Delicious with nut-cracker crumbs, too!

#5: Salmon stuffed with goat cheese, sprig of thyme and dash of rosemary, drizzle of honey.

Refrigerate. Grab a few spears on the run for a perfect, healthy midday snack.

 

Don’t like salmon? Shame on…just kidding, I won’t judge.  Try prosciutto, salami, bacon, thinly sliced grilled chicken!