Southwestern Chopped Salad

Today, I hosted my son’s grade 3 class at my home to have them make a few recipes.  This was one of those recipes because it is relatively easy to put together and very tasty.  I wanted them to have taste explosions from the freshness of all the ingredients mixed together.  They enjoyed the smell of the limes and cilantro and some of them had never tasted avocadoes.  It was a pleasure to watch them put this together and have most of the class enjoy it. It is the perfect summer salad and goes especially great with a bbq. A friend of mine got this recipe from facebook… https://www.facebook.com/ChangeYourHealthForLife
swsaladingredientsSW salad dressing
Southwestern Chopped Salad

Ingredients:

  • Large head of Romaine 15 oz.
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large orange bell pepper
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups corn (fresh or frozen, thawed)
  • 5 green onions
  • Optional: avocado


{Dressing}:

  • 1 cup loosely packed cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime), more to taste
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

{Directions}:

  1. Making the dressing: puree all ingredients in a food processor/blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  2. Making the salad: Finely chop romaine, bell pepper, tomatoes, and green onions.Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.Toss with desired dressing.

Gluten Free Pizza (grain-free)

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This is one of the best pizza crusts I’ve ever had, period.  My sister found it on pinterest and it was such an easy recipe I decided to try it.  With only 7 ingredients, it can be made relatively quickly.  You can find the original recipe on this site.  She did a fantastic job creating this recipe and I just couldn’t wait to share it with all of you.

Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup ghee, grass-fed butter or extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups tapioca flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the fat of choice, water, and salt and bring to a boil.
  3. Remove from heat and then stir in the garlic and tapioca flour. Combine it well. (The consistency of this mixture gets a little gooey and you may feel like you’ve done something wrong, you haven’t).  Set this mixture aside and let cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Next add the eggs, combine them well and then add the coconut flour.  Knead the dough until it comes together nicely.
  5. Place the dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. You can spread it out thinly making sure there are no gaps in the crust.
  6. Now place it in the oven for approximately 35 minutes.

Toppings:

  • tomato sauce- spread a thin, even layer over the entire cooked crust
  • 6-8 slices of bacon (preferably a nitrite free brand), cook them in your frying pan until desired crispiness is achieved.
  • 1/2 large onion (we chopped it up and caramelized it in the bacon grease).
  • 2-3 peppers chopped into thin pieces (whatever colours you have in your fridge will work great).  We added them in to the bacon grease along with the onion and just cooked them for a few minutes until they were a little soft.
  • 2 cups of shredded goat cheese mozzarella (I get mine at Sobeys).  Spread this on top of all the ingredients.
  • The original directions say to place the oven on broil and leave the pizza in for about 8 minutes.  I was afraid to burn the ingredients so took it out sooner around 4 minutes.  Watch it closely so as not to burn the ingredients but you can be the judge of what you want it to look like.
  • Enjoy!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium sauce pan, combine the fat of choice, water and salt and bring to a boil.

Ground Turkey Wrap

turkey wrapground turkey pizza

 

 

 

 

I took the boys skating this afternoon after music class so we arrived here from skating at 6:30 pm.  Luckily I had pre-made the ground turkey and all we needed to do was put a scoop of it in the lettuce wrap and add some guacomole to the top.  We had pre-made some orange beets this morning as well and put those on the side for a quick and very nutritious meal for us.  I have used this same recipe previously for ground turkey to be used on our rice tortilla crusts for our ‘pizza night’, it was a hit.  We then used the leftover ground turkey in the morning mixed in with some scrambled eggs.

I found the ground turkey recipe on Dr. Mark Hyman’s blog.  He is an integrative medicine doctor who shares a similar phiolosophy to ours on how the body heals.  Like us, he is a big fan of reducing/removing sugar from our diets to help reduce inflammation in the body.  He also focuses a lot on replenishing the body with its essential nutrients to make the body sufficient (vitamin D, omega 3, and probiotics).  When people remove toxicities from their diet and eat more ‘real’ food, a state of wellness begins to return in their body.  He held a healthy recipe contest on his blog and the winner was a ground turkey wrap.  Jason made some modifications to it and here it is:

Serves: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium size carrots, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoon fresh ginger root, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • few dashes cayenne pepper (adjust to your taste)
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt (we used Herbamare)
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Bragg’s seasoning (a few shakes until desired taste)
  • 1 pound of ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons chicken or vegetable broth *optional
  • romaine lettuce leaves, rinsed (if making into wrap)
  • 1/4 avocado, mashed with a fork

Preparation:

  1. In a medium sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and carrots and sauté until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, ginger, cinnamon, coriander, turmeric, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Sauté over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add the ground turkey, breaking it up into pieces. Cook ground turkey until browned, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of chicken or vegetable broth (optional) and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low and add fresh minced parsley. Remove cooked turkey mixture from heat.
  6. Spread a layer of mashed avocado onto romaine lettuce leaf. Add turkey mixture and roll.

Notes:

* The broth is optional. Using homemade broth can aid digestion and add another layer of incredible flavor.

Planning healthy meals for your vibrant family

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Being the main cook (and Cindy being the main baker) I thought it may be helpful to send along some of the meals we ate in the last week or so.  Some may not have recipes but the intent here is to offer some guidance on how to create a week of healthy eating.  Here are some of our ideas from last week’s meals:

  1. One of our strategies typically involves pre-planning a meal or 2 a few days in advance.  When we buy our healthy protein we tend to buy a decent amount and some good variety (grass fed beef stew, roasts, and ground beef, free range organic whole chicken, thighs and ground turkey).   We buy a lot of these frozen and therefore need to think a few days ahead to decide what we will thaw.  We then choose our meals and veggies around the meats we have thawing.
  2. We plan for bigger meals to last 2 days.  Some good examples of 2 day meals are a beef stew, turkey or beef chili,  beef roast, and a whole roasted chicken.   We occasionally freeze bigger meals as a one meal portion so we can enjoy them later rather than get bored of eating the same thing several days in a row.  For example, on Saturday night we enjoyed turkey that we thawed from Christmas and steamed some brocoli to go with it and it was easy and great.  The seasoning we typically use for brocoli is butter/ghee, Bragg’s and onion powder.  On a side note, we found some organic brocoli at Costco last week.
  3.  We have found some Indian spice mixes and bottled products that do not seem to have any preservatives or things we cannot pronounce so we have tried a few with the chicken thighs that we get and it has turned out great.  Peas and cauliflower are a nice compliment to Indian dishes.  butter chicken
  4. We will also use a Greek style recipe for chicken thighs or whole roasted chicken which is super easy–lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and oregano.
  5. For breakfasts this week we did eggs once or twice, coconut flour blueberry pancakes, and oatmeal (not Paleo but my kids love it).  We almost always have a green smoothie which consists of water or unsweetened almond/coconut milk, Greens First (a great tasting greens product we have at the clinic) and sometimes a little whey protein powder.  We also have been putting spinach or kale into a vitamix smoothie with blueberries and vanilla whey and the kids love that as well.  The last time I was at Costco I tried an unflavored whey protein that has no artificial sweeteners and is made from cows without the use of antibiotics or growth hormone. Davidsmoothieface
  6. David takes a lunch every day and most of the days it is a small serving of our previous night’s dinner in a thermos with a piece of fruit and some veggies.
  7. We also ate out a few times in the last week or so.  When eating out, we just substitute bread or rice for more vegetables or extra salad.  This may not seem appealing at first but when your meal arrives full of fresh goodness, it will taste better and help you feel better too!  We were at Pete’s Frootique yesterday and Cindy had a 3 egg omelete with a side of brocoli instead of toast, I had a salad with chicken and the boys had some sushi (and some of my salad).  We were also at a Greek restaurant last week and I ordered a 1/2 chicken for the boys to share, haddock for me (no breading) and Cindy had a greek salad with chicken.  Delicious and easy!  We certainly hope this is helpful…

greek saladomelette

Paleo Meatloaf

MeatloafThis morning before heading to work at noon, Jason made us some meatloaf and delicious paleo blueberry muffins.  He got our middle son Alex involved in the process by having him crack the eggs and use the slap chopper to chop the garlic.  He doubled the recipe so we could freeze one, brilliant idea since you’re already making the mess in the kitchen.  So, tonight we got to taste this amazing recipe he got from PaleOMG.com I literally copied and pasted the recipe below and changed a few minor things that Jason tweaked.  The boys had played outside and were starving when they came in.  Alex was proud to have taken part in the process of making it and was that much more excited to eat.  She suggests serving it up with guacomole.  I’m glad we did this since it made it that much more delicious.  We get to have a few leftovers, not a lot but this is also going in David’s thermos for his lunch tomorrow…one less lunch to make:)

Paleo Southwest Meatloaf
Ingredients
  • 1.5 lbs ground beef
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • ¾ cup almond flour (we grind sliced almonds from Costco in the food processor)
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 teaspoons of Bragg’s All purpose liquid seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fat (I used olive oil)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Heat a large skillet under medium-high heat, add fat and minced garlic to the oil. Once the garlic has become fragrant, add your green pepper, red pepper, and onions.
  3. Cook until onions are translucent then remove from heat.
  4. Add your meat, egg, almond flour, spices, hot sauce, and cooked veggies to a large bowl. Mix together.
  5. Place meat mixture in one bread loaf pan (at least it’s useful for something) and pat down.
  6. Cook for 30-35 minutes.
  7. Top with guac!! Consume

Kale Salad

Kale Salad

Friends of ours who eat incredibly healthy were telling me this is one of their favorite health foods.  I have been hesitant to try it for the simple fact that kale on its own tastes very ‘green’ to me.  I certainly love the fact that it is the healthiest green we can put in our bodies but was never really fond of its taste.  After trying this recipe, this is now my all-time favorite salad.  My boys loved it too.  The original recipe is called the Weekend Glow Kale Salad from the www.ohsheglows.com food blog and for the health benefits you receive, I certainly hope you and your family give it a try!

Weekend Glow Kale Salad

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 large head of kale (about 4-6 cups)
  • 1 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2-3/4 cup chopped carrot (2 small carrots)
  • 1 English cucumber (2 cups chopped halves)
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 & 1/4 cup chopped grape tomatoes (or other variety)
  • 1/2 cup mixed raisins and Goji berries
  • 1/4 cup hemp seed
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • Your desired fresh or dried herbs

Directions:

1. Chop vegetables and mix in a large mixing bowl. Reserve hemp seed and walnuts for sprinkling on top.

2. Make your Lightened Up tahini-Lemon Dressing in a food processor and process until smooth.

3. Tear the leaves off of the kale and rip into bite-sized pieces. Wash and dry kale leaves.

4. Mix the vegetables, kale leaves, and full batch of dressing (3/4-1 cup) in large bowl until thoroughly combined.

5. Place in fridge to ‘marinate’ for 10-15 minutes. Serves 4. Keeps in fridge in a sealed container for 1 day.

Dressing: 1 batch of Lightened Up Tahini-Lemon Dressing

(also from the www.ohsheglows.com blog)

Yield: Just under 1 cup of dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Tahini
  • 2 garlic cloves**
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional yeast or a bit more, to taste
  • 2-4 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
  • 1 tsp kosher salt + freshly ground black pepper, or to taste (Herbamare is great as well)
  • 3 tbsp water, or as needed

**If you find garlic difficult to digest, you can reduce this amount and simply substitute with a few scoops of hummus that already has some garlic in it.  This will make the dressing a little more creamy.  You can then add a little more olive oil to get the desired dressing thickness.

Directions:

1. In a food processor (I use my Magic Bullet), add all ingredients and process until smooth. Makes just under 1 cup.

Curried Chicken Salad with Raisins

My neighbour sent me this recipe after her little boy’s birthday party.  I ate several of the lettuce wraps she had prepared with this curried chicken salad and loved them.  In a pinch when I’m looking for a quick healthy protein snack, I will cut up some cucumber and dip it into this type of salad or the egg salad.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Ingredients-

Mayo –

  • 1 cup of olive oil-based mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp of yellow curry powder (more or less, to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup

*Any extra mayo can be used for dipping sauce for sweet potato fries or as a spread for bread-free burgers, etc

Chicken salad –

  1. Cut up 1 cooked chicken into bite-sized cubes.
  2. Place cubed chicken into mixing bowl.  Spoon in mayo and mix by hand until mixture reaches preferred consistency or moistness.
  3. Throw in a handful or two of raisins and mix through.
  4. Spoon into preferred bread or bread substitute (lettuce, wraps, etc) and enjoy!

*Making this salad the night before can often make it taste better the next day.

Egg Salad

I have been trying to get Jason to give me his step by step instructions for his tasty egg salad for a while now.  It’s always a little different as he is so great at putting a little bit of this and that to make it delicious.  Every time his mom visits us, I’m reminded how the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree as she is the same way, no measurements needed, just great skills for the right amount of spices.  He did his best to measure it for me tonight so here it is.  I will be putting these in the grain-free sandwich bread for lunch tomorrow.

Ingredients:

  • 12 eggs (hard-boiled)
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • a little less than 1/4 cup mustard
  • a little more than a 1/4 cup of mayonnaise (we use olive-oil mayonnaise)
  • 3 tbsp relish
  • 1 tbsp Bragg’s soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder or minced chives (2-3 tbsp)
  • pepper to taste

Directions:

In a medium-sized bowl, use fork to mash up the eggs.  Combine all the ingredients together and mix well.

 

 

 

 

Asian Meatballs (turkey or beef) with Lime Sesame Dipping Sauce

Jason made these with ground turkey last week and with grass-fed beef this week, both were equally tasty. He found the recipe on www.skinnytaste.com and modified it slightly for our own dietary preferences. Can be served with side salad or whatever steamed veggies you like for a great paleo meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/4 lbs ground turkey (or grass-fed beef)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Bragg’s soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

Dipping Sauce

  • 4 tbsp Bragg’s soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped scallion

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 500°F.
  2. Mix ground turkey (or ground beef) egg, salt, scallions, ginger, cilantro, 1 tbsp soy sauce, and 2 tsp oil and mix with your hands until combined well. Shape 1/4 cup meat mixture into a ball and transfer to a baking dish. Repeat with remaining mixture. Bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  3. For the dipping sauce mix together lime juice, water, soy sauce, and remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in a bowl. Add scallions.
  4. Transfer meatballs to a serving dish. Stir sauce, then drizzle meatballs with 1 tablespoon of sauce.
  5. Serve meatballs with remaining sauce, about 1 tbsp per person. Chances are you won’t use all the dipping sauce.

Makes 12 meatballs.

Pizza (gluten-free)

On the weekends, we enjoy having a pizza night with the kids.  We usually try to get a gluten-free crust (Big Life in Halifax has a great one which is what I thought I bought, I accidentally bought one of their wheat crusts).  Jason was already underway with the preparations so we used our brown rice tortillas instead, such a great find!

Instructions:

  1. We purchased ours in the organic section at the grocery store, usually they’re in the freezer.  We keep ours in the freezer until they’re ready to be used.  Take out as many as you need and place them on the oven rack once it has warmed to 400F.  Keep them in until they are light brown and slightly crispy, Jason said it was about 5 minutes.
  2. Add about a tablespoon of coconut or olive oil to your frying pan and sautee 1 onion and 1 1/2 bell peppers.  Choose a tomato sauce, preferably one that doesn’t have sugar added.  Tomato sauce was one of the items on the list of 8 foods that had more sugar than a Twinkie along with yogurt etc…choose wisely.
  3. Remove the brown rice crusts from the oven when they are ready and with the back of a spoon, spread them with tomato sauce.  Add the sauteed vegetables and a meat you enjoy.  We have used nitrate-free lunch meat and other meats like chicken sausage from Blue Barn Farms, pepperoni from Meadowbrook Farms, whatever you enjoy.  Just slice it into little pieces and add it to each crust.
  4. This is the one day that we may also eat a little cheese (1-2x/month).  We usually get a brand that is raw (unpasteurized).  That way, it is a little easier to digest.  You can always get a grated cheese called Daiya (from tapioca) that tastes good and melts like cheese.  The unpasteurized brands, if they have them can usually be found in the organic section at the grocery store.  Cow’s from PEI also sells a brand that is at Pete’s Frootique that is unpasteurized as well.  Grate whichever cheese you choose and add it to the top of each mini pizza.
  5. Place the pizzas on a cookie sheet (with parchment paper underneath to avoid a mess) and keep them in the oven at 400F until the cheese has melted.  Watch them closely.  Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes.  Cut up into slices and you will have a very tasty meal.  Jason often cuts up pieces of cilantro to add to the top of them.

Meats

We always do our best to purchase meats that are grass-fed and free-range chickens/turkeys.  Local sources for most people include the farmer’s market in your town.  In Halifax, Nature’s Cove on the Bedford Hwy has meats from Blue Barn Farms.  You can also go to Blue Barn Farms and purchase your meat directly from them on Hammonds Plains Road.  Mariposa in Tantallon has meats from McNeill Farms which we thoroughly enjoy.