Zucchini Noodles

Check out my favorite new kitchen tool, the Spiralizer!

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This gadget set me back $34.99 on amazon.com, but it’s well worth it for the sweet potato curly fries and zucchini noodles I can make with it!

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Ingredients:
2 zucchini or summer squash, julienne’d or spiralized
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced

1. Sprinkle the zucchini spirals or shreds with salt and toss to coat evenly. Allow to rest in a colander for 15-20 mins to get excess moisture out. Soak up the moisture with paper towels and squeeze gently.

2. Heat olive oil in a pan and sauté the garlic briefly. Add the zucchini shreds and sauté for about 2 minutes.

3. Serve with your favorite sauce or sprinkle with toasted almond meal!

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I brought these to a potluck at work today and am happy to say they reheat well!

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Rainbow cauliflower crust pizza

I bought purple cauliflower at the farmer’s market!

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Purple cauliflower is naturally purple from the unusually high concentration of an antioxidant pigment called anthocyanin in its flesh. This antioxidant is also found in red cabbage. Purple cauliflower has a milder, sweeter taste than regular white cauliflower.

I enjoyed it roasted in olive oil and garlic with broccoli (425 degrees, 30 minutes)

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There were a lot of leftovers, so I made a rainbow pizza!

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Ingredients:
1/2 – 1 head of purple cauliflower
1 egg
1/3 c mozzarella cheese, shredded
Garlic, salt, pepper, Italian seasonings
Pizza toppings of choice

1. Steam the cauliflower florets until tender. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Purée the florets in a food processor or mash with a potato masher.

3. Allow the mash to cool, then squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Add egg, cheese, and seasonings.

4. Spread the mash on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until golden and firm, about 15-20 mins.

5. Top the crust with sauce, cheese, sliced tomatoes, basil, and any other things you like. Broil for 5 mins or until the cheese is bubbly and golden.

Enjoy!! It’s very important to squeeze out lots of the cauliflower moisture before forming the crust, otherwise the pizza will be mushy. You can make this recipe with white cauliflower too!

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Braised African Kale with Bacon

This recipe was inspired by the 2 lb bag of baby kale I was slowly using up for smoothies over the past week. Despite putting a big handful in my smoothie every morning, I had barely made a dent and the package says you should use all the kale within 2-3 days of opening… I didn’t know how anyone could eat that much kale… Until today.

Here is my creation! It’s a cross between traditional braised kale and exotic African kale stew. I threw in bacon for good measure, too.

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Ingredients:
1 large onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs olive oil
1.5 lbs kale (yes, that’s a ridiculously large amount, but it cooks down)
2 cans diced tomatoes (28 oz total)
For spiciness: 1 tbs sambal olek (chili paste) or 2 tsp red pepper flakes or 1 jalepeno, diced
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 c PB2 powdered peanut butter or 1/4 c natural peanut butter
1 c chicken stock
Stevia or sugar to taste
6-8 slices bacom, cooked and chopped (optional, but recommended)

1. Sauté onion in a large stockpot with 2 tbs olive oil. Once translucent, add garlic. Sauté 2 mins more. Add ground ginger, chicken stock, peanut butter, and spicy seasoning of choice. Stir.

2. Add the kale, chopped bacon, and diced tomatoes. Stir until kale is wilted. Cover the stockpot and reduce to a simmer for approx 20 minutes or until the kale is no longer bitter. Add sweetener of choice until the flavor is adjusted to your preference.

Serve as a main course or side dish!
1/3 of the recipe (with bacon and PB2) contains 400 calories, 17 grams protein, and serves well as a hearty lunch! This recipe is a must-try! The flavor is amazingly rich, savory, spicy, and slightly sweet.

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Shepherd’s pie – tasty, easy, healthy

A few weeks ago one of my coworkers made a brilliant shepherd’s pie with cauliflower mash. I decided to make my own shortcut version:

Ingredients:
1 lb ground lamb, turkey, chicken, or beef
2 cups frozen diced vegetables
1 tbs olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp thyme
Salt & pepper to taste
1 head cauliflower
1/2 c shredded white cheddar
1 egg
1-2 tbs butter (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Break the head of cauliflower into florets and stream in a steamer basket until tender (approx 10 mins).

2. Make the meat filling by sautéing onion in the olive oil. Add garlic. Once fragrant, add the ground meat. Once browned, add the frozen veggies, tomato paste, and seasonings. Spread the mixture in a large casserole dish or a series of small ones.

2. Purée the cauliflower and egg in a food processor or blender. Add salt, pepper, and butter (if desired). Top the meat in the casserole dish with this cauliflower mash. Sprinkle cheese on top.

3. Bake for about 20 minutes and broil for a few mins longer at the very end. Serve with sliced chives on top.

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Yum! This recipe is husband approved.

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Thyme Roasted Carrots

I bought a bag of baby carrots intending to snack on them at work during the sugar detox, but I just don’t like raw vegetables very much. Almost 3 weeks later, I decided I should really do something to eat those carrots up. Roasting vegetables transforms their flavor from raw to rich and caramelized. My favorite seasoning to use with carrots is fresh thyme- try this out!

Ingredients:
1 bag of baby carrots, or several large carrots cut into “fries”
1-2 tbs olive oil
Fresh thyme
Salt
Pepper
Garlic

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the carrots with olive oil and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 mins.

2. After 10 mins, mix the carrots around and season with the thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper. Continue to bake another 10-15 mins or until tender and golden.

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Serve these hot as a side dish or cold as a snack.

Tomato Basil Pesto Spaghetti Squash with BACON

I almost ate a whole spaghetti squash myself tonight! This dish is SO good.

The fastest way to cook spaghetti squash is to cut it in half lengthwise and place it cut side down in a shallow dish of water in the microwave. With the turntable off, it should take about 15 mins to cook the squash. You’ll know it’s done when the shell gives a little when poked with a fork.

While the squash is in the microwave, place bacon in a single layer on an aluminum lined baking sheet. Cook all the bacon in the package so you have extra for other purposes. Place the bacon in a cold oven, then set to 400 degrees. Your bacon will be done in about 15 mins as well.

While the squash is cooking and the bacon is baking, sauté one small chopped onion in 2 tsp olive oil. Once golden, add 1 tsp minced garlic and 2 cups of grape tomatoes, halved. Continue to simmer on low until the squash is done.

Scrape the squash out of its shell using a fork. Don’t burn yourself! Toss the strands in with the tomatoes, onions, and garlic. Stir in a few tablespoons of your favorite pesto sauce. I like Trader Joe’s basil pesto. Combine well.

When the bacon is done, drain on paper towels and cut into bite sized pieces. Serve the dish with bacon on top!

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Colby didn’t get any spaghetti squash tonight because I’m saving some for tomorrow’s lunch (or tonight’s midnight snack). I don’t know what I’ll do when we have kids! I’m always reluctant to share my healthy food with anyone. Colby still got a variation of this dish. His variation consisted of buckwheat mixed with bacon and pesto sauce. Fortunately, he loved the buckwheat version and doesn’t know what he’s missing out on ;)

Broccoli “Mac & Cheese”

It’s funny how a little pressure can make you come up with some really creative ideas. I had to make lunch for work in a hurry today and found the bag of broccoli slaw going bad in my crisper.

I’ve also been abusing cheese on the sugar detox, so I immediately knew what flavor combination I’d be going for ;)

This “pasta” is like a cross between broccoli cheese soup and Mac & Cheese… So good (for you)!

1. Sauté broccoli slaw in a bit of melted butter.

2. Add a splash of milk and simmer until broccoli softens.

3. Mix in a big handful of shredded sharp cheddar cheese and stir to melt.

4. Season with paprika, red pepper, and a bit of garlic salt.

Serve with leftover chicken or whatever else you can find! Easy!

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Amazing Grain Free Eggplant Parmesan

I’ve been craving Italian food all week! Driving home from work, I knew I wanted to use the eggplant in my fridge for some eggplant parm, but wasn’t sure if it could be done on a sugar detox. I was also STARVING so I didn’t want to wait long for it to be ready.

I stopped at the grocery store with fingers crossed to find a no sugar spaghetti sauce. Yes!! Two varieties were on sale. I picked the less expensive one:

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Next, I google searched “fast eggplant parmesan,” “paleo breading,” and “healthy eggplant parmesan” to create my own custom variation. Here’s how it goes:

Ingredients:
1 eggplant
1 egg
1 bag shredded mozzarella
Salt shaker
1/4 c almond meal
1/4 c ground flax seeds
1 jar no-sugar added spaghetti sauce (or make your own)
Olive oil or coconut oil spray

1. Preheat oven to 425. In the meantime, slice eggplant into 3/4″ thick circles. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.

2. Prepare the egg wash by beating one egg in a bowl. Prepare the “breading” by combining ground flax and almond meal in a separate bowl.

3. Pat the eggplant slices dry with paper towels, dip both sides in egg wash, then dredge in the “breading.” Place the coated slices on a baking sheet lined with lightly greased aluminum foil. Spray the breaded slices with an olive oil or coconut oil sprayer (Trader Joe’s has it!)

4. Bake the slices for 5 mins per side or until golden and tender. (Since I was starving at this point, I fried the remaining egg with an extra egg white to snack on while waiting. No waste! Protein snack!)

5. Fill a large casserole dish with 1/2 the jar of sauce, place the eggplant slices in, top with mozzarella, more sauce, remaining eggplant slices, more sauce, and more cheese.

6. Bake for a few mins more until cheese is melted and sauce is heated through. Broil for a few mins longer for a golden, bubbly cheese topping.

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This eggplant parm was unbelievably good! You won’t notice that it’s not fried and that the “breading” is grain free. Get ready to crave this every night :)

Red Wine Vinaigrette

I don’t always like salads, but with this dressing I could see myself eating them everyday.

Combine:
1 part red wine vinegar
3 parts extra light olive oil
A dash of Lowry’s garlic salt with parsley
A dash of onion powder
A dash of oregano

Serve over mixed greens, tomato, cucumber, avocado, and red onion with feta. Thanks, Kelly, for making this for us in Utah this weekend! It’s the tastiest sugar detox friendly dressing I’ve had so far!

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