Power Strawberry Pumpkin Pudding – Serves 2+

I seriously love all things pumpkin.  You can tell the moment you step into my home – pumpkin scents everywhere.  Now that it is almost fall there are some gourmands here and there…  Imagine, it’s only September which means there is still time for me to up my game even more.  Look out friends.

Pumpkin.  What do you know?  Well for starters: 1) High in fiber which helps with satiety and blood glucose control, 2) High in antioxidants as well as vitamin-A and vitamin-C which supports retinal function, hair, skin, and nail growth/support, and 3) High in water content thus if you’re slacking with fluids this will help.  This awesome beta carotene/orange goodness is full of flavor which can be enhanced by spices such as cinnamon, cumin, and of course, pumpkin pie spice.  This recipe is a wholesome way to get all your nutrients in while on the run and has been a breakfast lifesaver!

Ingredients:fullsizerender

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin; canned
  • 2 frozen bananas; softened
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp almond butter; smooth (unsalted)
  • 2 tbsp dry oats
  • 1 1/2 scoops vanilla protein powder of choice
  • 4 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2-1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 6 medium-large strawberries; fresh and chopped

Methodology:

  1. Combine all ingredients sans strawberries and mix/mash well until a homogenous mixture is formed.  Divide pumpkin mixture among two mason jars or similar containers.
  2. Top with chopped strawberries and seal with a cover.
  3. Refrigerate overnight or 2-3 hours prior to consumption.
  4. Grab a spoon and get moving!

 

xxx – Sarah

Italian Herb Pizza Frittata – Serves 10+

Italian?  Yes.  Herbs?  Yes.  Pizza?  Kinda of…  Minus the bread and cheese.  Frittata?  Yes.  Should you make this?  Absolutely.

Are you looking to change up your breakfast routine?  Well, this is a hearty change that will leave your mouth watering for more.  This is also good for those of you like myself who love the ‘Reverse Diet’ aka breakfast for dinner which is what I do at least 150 days a year.  This recipe is loaded with antioxidants, protein, and slow digesting carbohydrates that will fuel your goals.

I previously mentioned utilizing the bulk section at local grocery spots can help you to select, try, and obtain fresh spices at a lower cost and control your portion to ensure freshness.  I recently loaded up on fennel seeds hence its addition to this recipe and it is fabulous.  Fennel is sweet due to its composition of anise which has a similar taste to licorice.  If you are trying to boost your fiber intake – try fennel.  In addition to its fiber content fennel also has antioxidant, mineral, and vitamin properties.

Ingredients:

  • 10 whole eggs
  • 1/4 cup fresh or canned/drained yellow corn
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 8-10 cherry tomatoes; quartered/slivered
  • 1 cup raw kale; chopped
  • 2 ounces prosciutto; chopped/ripped into various sizes
  • 2 tbsp fresh sage; minced
  • 1 sprig rosemary; minced
  • 1 tbsp parsley; chopped
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • OPTIONAL: 1/2 tsp sea salt

Methodology:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. On a stovetop heat up a frying pan over medium-high heat to toast the corn, fennel seeds, and black pepper.  Toast for 5-8 minutes until fragrant and/or slightly browned then remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients and the corn from step one.
  4. Oil a circular pan and pour in the egg mixture from step two.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a knife can be inserted in the center and removed without residue.
  6. Set the pan aside, inhale, allow to cool, slice, and serve.

 

xxx – Sarah

Thyme Spiced Lamb Chops & Vinegar Loaded Brussels – Serves 2

As a kid my mother used to make lamb chops once a month and it was a favorite amongst us kids!  I was feeling ultra nostalgic today…  Must have been my recent visit to New York that led to the cravings and water works.  Hmm.

Lamb is a great source of protein and a great way to change up your oral intake.  Lamb can be grilled, roasted, pan fried, and much more.  I love to roast lamb in a makeshift tinfoil dish since it means no mess, no fuss.  This is a simple and quick dish that will leave your dinner guests wanting more – I swear.  Also, cooking with parchment paper on baking pans/sheets is another great way to save time (and your manicure).

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Thyme Spiced Lamb Chops 

Ingredients:

  • 4 lamb chops (about 1#)
  • A mix of the following spices to coat the chops on both sides:
    • French thyme (about 1.5 tbsp)
    • Paprika (about 1.5 tbsp)
    • Black pepper (about 1 tbsp)
  • OPTIONAL: on one side of the chops add a pinch or two of coarse sea salt

Methodology:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix the spices evenly together and cover the chops.
  3. Create a makeshift tinfoil pan with at least two layers of foil on the bottom then add the chops.
  4. Roast the chops in the oven for 15-18 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, drain out the juices, discard the tinfoil, and plate.
  6. If you’re looking for a game changer then pair with my ‘Vinegar Loaded Brussels’ – absolute heaven.

Vinegar Loaded Brussels

Ingredients:

  • 1/2# Brussels sprouts; halved/quartered
  • Vinegar mixture:
    • 1 tbsp black pepper
    • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
    • 1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
    • 1/4 cup olive oil

Methodology:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients for the vinegar mixture.
  3. Add the Brussels sprouts and toss well.
  4. Layer on a baking pan one sheet of parchment paper then spread the Brussels evenly on the paper.  Some of the vinegar mixture may left in the bowl and that’s okay!
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes depending on crispiness desired… I love a little bit of crispy and ‘not so crispy’ so I opted for 23 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and pair with a protein of choice – I highly recommend my ‘Thyme Spiced Lamb Chops.’
  7. Bon appétit!

 

xxx – Sarah

 

Flanken Style Peppered Ribs – Serves 3+

Long live BBQ season…  Then again, I live in Texas now.  BBQ is life.  I was recently abroad in China and Thailand eating my way through the towns.  Now that was heaven.  Since I’ve been home all I’ve craved is BBQ.  I wanted ribs last night so I made it happen.  In my opinion good ribs need a perfect rub and/or sauce.  The ribs were made sans sauce since many contain an insane amount of sugar and frankly a good rub can be more than enough.  All I have to say post-creation is that these ribs were mouthwatering and I really didn’t want to share.

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Flanken style ribs.  From its name you can derive that they are from the back of the cow aka the flank.  These ribs are awesome, I’ll tell you why:  1) Ultra meaty and well-marbled, 2) Cut across bone meaning the bone pieces are oval, 3) Best when slow cooked to release the bone marrow, collagen, and fat, and 4) Usually cut thin.  Lastly these ribs are half the price of the much loved ‘short ribs.’

Fun fact  ::  If you don’t already know, most grocery spots have bulk sections, utilize this.   Rather than spending $4.00-10.00 on bottled spices – package your own in sealable bags, get the exact amount you need, and spend a fraction of the cost!  Spices are usually best for 6 months to a year therefore don’t be wasteful with a bottle that won’t be finished.

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds flanken style ribs (thin cut with 3-4 oval shaped bones per strip)
  • 2 tbsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp. vanilla pepper
  • 1 tbsp. sea salt
  • 2 tbsp. brown mustard seeds
  • 1-1.5 tbsp. paprika

Methodology:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine all spices to create the rub.
  3. Create tinfoil bowl out of at least 2 sheets of tinfoil.
  4. Cover the ribs with the spice mixture.FullSizeRender_6
  5. Place the ribs atop the tinfoil then cover with a single sheet creating a tinfoil boat.
  6. Place tinfoil covered ribs in the middle of the oven directly on the oven grid
    with a cooking sheet below in case juices fall out. 
  7. Cook for 2.5 hours then remove from heat and drain out the juices (goodbye fat/liquid love).
  8. Cut into the ribs into pieces with either 1 or 2 bones and serve with your favorite sides.
  9. Time to get messy! 

 

xxx – Sarah

PS – Have some hand wipes nearby… 

 

Triple Bean Turkey Chili – Serves 6

Despite no longer living on the East Coast I’m still cold…  Texas is having quite the cold front this year and only feeds into my desire for hearty dishes.  When in doubt, chili can just warm anyone up, I promise.

This variation to chili is protein dense due to its content of three different beans (kidney, black, and chickpea) as well as lean ground turkey.  The dish is also antioxidant rich due to its ingredients such as peppers. 

Jalapeño peppers can be green or red in color and are a great source of vitamin-c.  These small peppers contain capsaicin aka ‘heat’ which stimulates endorphins/natural stress fighters.  Studies have begun to prove jalapeños may assist with appetite reduction and metabolism of fat.  

Bell peppers are also a great source of vitamin-c and beta carotene.  Bell peppers that are red in color are harvested longer and have the sweetest taste as well as the greatest nutrient content of the other colors (green, yellow, and orange).  Just like jalapeños these peppers are low in calories.

Ingredients:

  • 1.25# lean ground turkey
  • 1 medium yellow onion; diced
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans; strained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas; strained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) red kidney beans; strained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, minced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 medium jalapeño; minced
  • 1 large red bell pepper; diced
  • 1 cup beef or chicken broth (I used beef for extra flavor)
  • 2-3 shakes of the following spices: Tumeric, Cumin, Garlic Powder, Paprika, and Curry Powder
  • EVOO as needed for heating the stockpot
  • To Taste/Optional: 2-3 shakes of sea salt or regular salt

Methodology:

  1. In a large stockpot, drizzle EVOO under medium-high heat then add the yellow onions.  Sauté for 5 minutes or until slightly browned.
  2. Add the ground turkey and sauté for 5 minutes.
  3. Shake as needed with the following spices: turmeric, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, and curry powder (I did about 2 shakes of each).  Toss in both types of peppers.  Cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add all three types of beans, cilantro, tomato paste, and beef broth – mix well.  Allow the combination to simmer under medium heat for 20 minutes.
  5. OPTIONAL:  Taste before serving and if needed add salt – absolutely not necessary for myself but some are quite the ‘salt-holics.’
  6. Remove from heat and garnish as needed with cilantro.
  7. Voila!

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DISCLAIMER :: Don’t forget to wash your hands after handling jalapeños – no one needs their eyes to water or for their skin to burn!

 

xxx – Sarah

Quinoa and Asparagus Hush Puppy Cakes – Makes a Dozen

Bread, buns, and cakes stress me out sometimes.  I try to find gluten-free options in the store that are appealing but lately none stand out.  I’m in the mood for texture/grittiness but without the wheat.  Rather than buying overpriced gluten-free options I opted to make my own…  These cakes are pretty darn good if I may say so.

I am heading out of town this weekend and wanted to use everything in my pantry/refrigerator… Successfully did just that.  The recipe calls for quinoa which is a fantastic gluten-free grain.  It is a great protein source for vegetarians and vegans since it is a complete protein – contains all of the nine essential amino acids!  Had a taste tester who said these were like a healthy but yummy version of hush puppies hence the name!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked (utilized the Organic Tricolor Quinoa from Trader Joe’s – so delish)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup aged parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 cup asparagus, minced
  • 2 tbsp garlic, crushed or minced (when in a bind I opt for ready-to-use garlic products which are a staple in my refrigerator – I love the Roasted Minced Garlic from Spice World)
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt or ‘to taste’ (I did about 3 full grinds of my salt – equivalent to 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper; ground
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper; flakes

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Methodology:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, olive oil, eggs, asparagus, garlic, and flour, stir well.
  2. Add the necessary spices (S&P) then stir well or mix with your hands.
  3. Under medium-high heat drizzle olive oil in a large saucepan then using your hands create Ping-Pong shaped balls and place on the pan.  Keep a space between each ball then flatten with a spatula.
  4. Allow to heat each side for 3-4 minutes until slightly browned then finish with a 30 second-1 minute sear on each side.
  5. Set to the site on a cool plate or wire rack.
  6. These cakes are absolutely heavenly when added to a salad, topped with meat, or topped with cooked veggies.
  7. Enjoy!

 

xxx – Sarah

To cook quinoa:  Combine 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water bring to a boil atop stove then reduce to a simmer and cover.  I usually allow it to sit out on the stove top covered for 2-3 hours then start utilizing it by itself or in other recipes such as this one.