Yoga and Yum

Nourish Your Self From the Inside Out

Category: Muladhara Chakra

Sardine and Avocado Salad

Lots of protein and healthful fats to keep you sated throughout the day!

Lots of protein and healthful fats to keep you sated throughout the day!

Ingredients:

1 avocado, cut in half and pitted
2 cans sardines (packed in water in a BPA-free can!), drained
2 tbs. mayo of your choice
1 celery stick, de-stringed and finely chopped
2 tbs. fresh chopped flat parsley
1 tsp. chopped capers
Salt and pepper to taste
1-2 cups greens of your choice (mixed, spinach, baby kale…)

Method:

Plate 1-2 beds of greens (depending on if you’re sharing your lunch or not).

Scoop the flesh, in its entirety, of the avocado halves onto each plate, pit side facing up to create a little bowl (optional step to scoop the flesh out).

Mix the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl until well-combined.

Scoop equal parts of the sardine salad into your two avo bowls.

Garnish with any remaining flat parsley and enjoy!

Advertisements

Creamy Paleo Chicken Casserole

It's casserole time! Enjoy this creamy, dairy free meal during the chilly weather months!

It’s casserole season! Enjoy this creamy, dairy free meal during the chilly weather months. It even makes great leftovers.

Inspired by PaleOMG

Ingredients:

1.5-2lbs chicken thighs, excess fat removed
1 medium heads of broccoli, chopped into florets
1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
1 cup of mushrooms, sliced
½-1 yellow onion, diced
*optional: 1 garlic clove minced
1 cup vegetable broth
1 (14oz.) can of coconut milk
2 tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. smoked paprika
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbs. olive oil (or other fat)
2 tbs. ghee or coconut oil

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place the cauliflower and broccoli florets in a 9×12 glass/pyrex baking dish. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Bake broccoli and cauliflower for 15-20 minutes while prepping other ingredients.

While the florets are cooking, place a large skillet over high heat.

Once skillet is very hot, add the ghee and chicken.

Salt and pepper the chicken while it cooks.

Cook each side for 4-5 minutes, until both sides are lightly browned.

Once chicken is ALMOST cooked through, remove it from the pan and place into the baking dish with the florets that have come out of the oven.

Put the pan over a medium heat and add the garlic and onions. Cook until translucent.

Add the mushrooms and cook for a few minutes more.

Add the coconut milk and vegetable broth, as well as the other seasonings, and mix well.

Once it is all thoroughly combined, pour directly onto the chicken, broccoli, and cauliflower dish.

Add a bit more salt and pepper.

Mix it all together until well-combined and bake for 20-ish minutes, until the chicken skin is crispy and the liquid is bubbling.

Allow to cool to help the sauce thicken.

Enjoy!

Jazzed Up Rice Pudding

This rice pudding recipe uses other types of dried fruit and nuts for an even tastier take on the comfort food classic.

This rice pudding recipe uses other types of dried fruit and nuts for an even tastier take on the comfort food classic.

Ingredients:

1/4 chopped dried fruit: figs, dates, prunes, apricots, raisins, etc.
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1 1/2 cups whole raw milk (you can use coconut milk if you’re not into dairy)
3 eggs
1/4 cup maple syrup (or less if you’re like me and think that every dessert is over sweetened)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Pinch nutmeg
Pinch sea salt
Ghee for greasing the pan

Method:

Preheat the oven to 375° F.

Grease an 8X8 pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together all the ingredients and pour into the pan.

Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 40-50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool. (If you can wait that long!)

Pour milk over each serving if desired. Refrigerate leftovers.

Jazzed Up Rice Pudding

Benefits:

It’s delicious soul food…Need I say more? If so, see below:

Brown Rice: When properly prepared, brown rice is an excellent source of manganese, and provides a good amount of selenium, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, and niacin (vitamin B3) in the diet. It’s also super high in fiber (which in combo with selenium packs a one-two punch for colon health). See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Organic Eggs: (Preferably pasture-fed) Eggs are a good source of low-cost high-quality protein. They provide over 6 grams of protein (13% of the daily value for protein) each, and are a good source of choline, a key component of many fat-containing structures in cell membranes, which is particularly important for brain function and health. Eggs are also a rich source of tryptophan and selenium. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Local Raw Milk: This is a VERY touchy subject. So I will leave it to the professionals. See here if you’re interested in learning more about raw milk. Otherwise, good organic milk is a fine alternative.

Pecans: Pecans contain a plethora of vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, a variety of B vitamins and zinc. One ounce of pecans provides 10 percent of the recommended Daily Value for fiber. Pecans are also a source of monounsaturated or “good” fat and protein. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

 

Pan Fried Tilapia and “Instant” Slaw

Need dinner, pronto? I made this in 20 minutes, start to finish. You can too!

Need dinner, pronto? I made this in 20 minutes, start to finish. You can too!

Ingredients:

Fish:
2 good-sized fresh wild tilapia filets
2 tablespoons almond or coconut flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Ghee for frying

Tartar Sauce:
4 tablespoons mayo
Juice of 1/4 lemon
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon capers
Teeny pinch cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

Slaw:
1/4 of a small to medium head green cabbage
1/2 an apple
Teeny splash apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1/4 lemon
3 tablespoons mayo or Greek yogurt (or 1/2 and half)
Teen sprinkle of organic sugar or sweeter of choice
1 drop doTERRA lemon essential oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Fish:
Rinse tilapia fillets in cold water and pat dry with paper towels.

Season both sides of each fillet with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with a little almond flour.

Heat the ghee in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook the tilapia until the fish flakes easily with a fork (about 4 minutes per side.)

Top with tartar sauce and serve with a lemon wedge.

Tartar Sauce:
Make this ahead.

Combine all ingredients. When fish is ready, place a little dollop on each fillet.

Slaw:
While fish is cooking (if you are capable of multi-tasking…if not, make this first and let it sit while fish is cooking), finely slice cabbage into 1/8-inch shreds and place in a large mixing bowl.

Core the 1/2 apple and slice in 1/8 slices.

Combine the vinegar, lemon juice, salt, sweetener, and mayo in a large measuring cup. Whisk until smooth.

Add to the prepped vegetables and mix well.

Serve alongside the fish, or cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Benefits:

Apples:  My, what balanced phytonutrients you have, oh beloved apple. Apples contain a wide array of polyphenols which help regulate our blood sugar. They’re also a great source of Vitamin C and other antioxidants, and fiber. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cabbage: Cabbage is a powerful cancer fighter and lowerer (new word?) of cholesterol. It contains massive amounts of Vitamin A and is a good source of Vitamin C. While purple cabbage is more nutrient dense than the lighter green varieties (due to their added phytonutrients), all varieties are nutritional powerhouses. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Lemon: Lemons are vitamin C powerhouses. Great for immunity, vitamin C can also be helpful for preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Lemon Essential Oil: Lemon oil has many properties including antidepressant, antifungal, antiviral, antiseptic, and antioxidant. It is refreshing and invigorating, had can be used to help lower blood pressure, improve memory, ease sore throats and anxiety, help dissolve cellulite, boost energy, calm digestive problems, cleanse the lymphatic system cleansing, and promote a sense of well-being. It is also miraculous for removing grease, gum, oil, and unwanted marks and spots. See here to learn more about doTERRA essential oils.

Tilapia: This is a low calorie, low fat fish with a mild flavor. Try to find wild-caught, if possible. If not, then at least try to get farm raised tilapia from a country with strict policies on quality control (such as the U.S.). See here for more health information and nutritional info.

Zucchini Fritters

Got zucchini and then some? This special little dish is perfect way to use up that extra squash on a lazy Saturday morning.

Got zucchini and then some? This special little dish is perfect way to use up that extra squash on a lazy Saturday morning.

This recipe was inspired by Slim Palate.

Ingredients:

2 medium zucchini
2 green onions thinly sliced
¼ cup almond flour
¼ cup fresh grated parmigiana reggiano (packed firmly)
2 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste (freshly ground, please)
1 drop doTERRA lemon essential oil
Ghee for frying

For topping:
Applesauce, Greek Yogurt, chives, or some combo thereof!

Method:

Grate zucchini with a medium sized grater into a bowl.

Place shredded zucchini in a clean dishtowel and squeeze to get as much liquid out of it as possible.

Place back in bowl with beaten eggs, thinly sliced green onions, almond flour, parmigiana reggiano, essential oil, and fresh ground salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.

Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee over medium heat and wait for that pan to get hot (but not to the smoking point).

Add spoonfuls of mixture to the hot pan and fry until golden brown on each side (2-3 minutes-ish per side).

Place fritters on platter lined with paper towels to soak up extra ghee, then serve each with Greek yogurt, applesauce, and extra green onions on the side.

Benefits:

Organic Eggs: (Preferably pasture-fed) Eggs are a good source of low-cost high-quality protein. They provide over 6 grams of protein (13% of the daily value for protein) each, and are a good source of choline, a key component of many fat-containing structures in cell membranes, which is particularly important for brain function and health. Eggs are also a rich source of tryptophan and selenium. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt is a thicker, creamier version of “regular” yogurt that boasts high protein, healthy bacteria which support healthy gut flora, and is a good source of calcium. It’s a versatile addition to your diet and can replace higher fat dairy products. See here for more about the nutritional info and health benefits of yogurt.

Lemon Essential Oil: Lemon oil has many properties including antidepressant, antifungal, antiviral, antiseptic, and antioxidant. It is refreshing and invigorating, had can be used to help lower blood pressure, improve memory, ease sore throats and anxiety, help dissolve cellulite, boost energy, calm digestive problems, cleanse the lymphatic system cleansing, and promote a sense of well-being. It is also miraculous for removing grease, gum, oil, and unwanted marks and spots. See here to learn more about doTERRA essential oils.

Zucchini: Excellent source of manganese and vitamin C, and is a good source of vitamin A. Summer squash also retains its nutrients when eaten raw, lightly steamed, and/or frozen. And make sure to eat the seeds! Summer squash seeds contain omega 3 fatty acids which are helpful in the prevention of inflammation. The seeds are also thought to contain anti-microbial properties and are still used in some parts of the world to treat intestinal parasites. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Chilled Avo and Cucumber Soup

Try this soup for a cool, creamy, savory treat.

Try this soup for a cool, creamy, savory treat.

I love this recipe because it’s so easy and delicious. If you want a quick snack or addition to a meal that’s high in protein and healthy fats, but is also soothing to the digestion (thank you cucumber!), then give this a try. If you’re not a fan of dairy, then just double the avo and omit the yogurt.

Bon appetít!

Ingredients:

1 English cucumber, peeled and diced ( *optional: 1/4 cup reserved for garnish)
1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and diced (*optional: 1/4 cup reserved for garnish)
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, plus sprigs for garnish
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup cold water or broth
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 drop doTERRA lemon essential oil
*Optional: 1 scallion, white and pale-green parts only, coarsely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
*Optional: 1 jalapeno, seeded and coarsely chopped

Method:

Puree ingredients in a blender.

Divide soup and reserved cucumber and avocado among 4 bowls.

Cover with parchment paper and allow to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Garnish with cilantro sprigs if desired.

Benefits:

Avocado: Avocado is an excellent source of healthy fats, fiber, folate, vitamins K, C, and B, and potassium. It also contains a wide spectrum of inflammation-fighting nutrients. Avocado also helps increase our intake of two key carotenoid antioxidants—lycopene and beta-carotene—when eaten with romaine lettuce, spinach, and carrots. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cilantro: Cilantro is a powerful cleansing agent which helps remove heavy metals and other toxins from the body. It’s also beneficial for the digestive tract due to its production of digestive enzymes, acids, and juices. Its essential oils stimulate peristalsis, relieve gas, and aid with digestion. Cilantro also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, and helps to increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind), and reduces LDL cholesterol (the bad kind. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Cucumber: Cucumbers contain three types of phytonutrients which provide with valuable antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits. They are also very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium and are a good source of Vitamin A, C, and K, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt is a thicker, creamier version of “regular” yogurt that boasts high protein, healthy bacteria which support healthy gut flora, and is a good source of calcium. It’s a versatile addition to your diet and can replace higher fat dairy products. See here for more about the nutritional info and health benefits of yogurt.

Lemon Essential Oil: Lemon oil has many properties including anticancer, antidepressant, antifungal, antiviral, antiseptic, and antioxidant. It is refreshing and invigorating, had can be used to help lower blood pressure, improve memory, ease sore throats and anxiety, help dissolve cellulite, boost energy, calm digestive problems, cleanse the lymphatic system cleansing, and promote a sense of well-being. It is also miraculous for removing grease, gum, oil, and unwanted marks and spots. See here to learn more about doTERRA essential oils.

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTERRA because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTERRA Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per batch. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting snack!

Click here to learn more about doTERRA Essential Oils.

Meatloaf Patties and Whipped Yams

Is isn't your average "meat-n-taters." This flavor bomb contains lots of protein packs a nutrient punch!

Including a serving or two of sweet vegetables each day can help keep cravings for “sweets” at bay.

Ever notice that when you try to avoid certain foods, then that’s all you seem to crave? (Chocolate, booze, cheese, gluten…ring a bell?) There’s another, usually more effective, way of eliminating foods from our diets that don’t serve us well. It’s called “crowding out,”and it means to include all kinds of other delicious foods in your daily diet, so there’s very little room (or even craving) of those other foods that you’re looking to avoid.

In an effort to stop craving sweets late at night, I’ve been experimenting with including a few sweet vegetables in my diet. It seems to be working. So, instead of drinking green juice all day, then binging on chocolate late at night (not that that’s ever happened….), it’s worth including even just a serving or two of sweet vegetables, such as squash, sweet potatoes, and carrots into your daily diet. You might notice that come chocolate thirty in the evening, you are perfectly satiated and would rather drink a cup of tea instead. Voilá! Chocolate crisis averted.

This meal is very hearty. It’s a nice combination of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates, to keep you feeling fuller longer. To boot, it’s a delicious combo. Feel free to get creative with the meat add-ins. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Meat Patties:
1 pound organic (if possible) grassfed ground buffalo or beef
1 egg
1 tablespoon almond flour
Big pinch garlic salt
1-2 big pinches sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 medium carrot, shredded
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 handful shelled pistachios
1 small handful golden raisins
1 teaspoon dried oregano or thyme
1 tablespoon dried or fresh flat parsley
1 small pinch cayenne pepper
1-2 tablespoons organic Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon ghee or coconut oil for pan sauteing
Fresh chopped herbs to garnish (optional)

Method:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place all ingredients, except the ghee or coconut oil, into a bowl and mix until well combined.

Make into single-serving patties.

Heat an oven-proof saute pan over medium-high heat.

Sear each side of the patties until browned (a couple minutes each side), then place the pan in the oven until juices run clear (about 5 more minutes).

You can cut a patty in half to check for done-ness. Cook until it’s no longer pink in the center. (But try not to overcook, otherwise you will end up with expensive hockey pucks for dinner.)

Whipped Yams: (You can make these ahead and reheat so they’re ready when you’re meat is done.)
2 medium to large yams, peeled and chopped into 1″ hunks
1-2 carrots, peeled (optional) and chopped into 1″ hunks
2 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Method:
Place a steamer basket in a medium saucepan and fill to the pan with water until it reaches the bottom of the steamer basket.

Place your veggies in the steamer basket, and steam on medium-high heat until they’re tender (about 12-15 minutes).

Drain the water from the saucepan and place the still warm veggies in a food processor or blender (or a bowl to mash with a hand-masher) with some ghee or coconut oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Blend or mash your carrots and taters until creamy.

Return them to your saucepan and heat through until your meat is ready to eat.

Serve the meat patty atop your whipped taters and garnish with fresh herbs (like basil!)

Benefits:

Buffalo: Grass fed buffalo is an excellent source of lean protein, riboflavin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium. It’s also high in Omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin E. See here for more nutritional info.

Carrot: Carrots are well known for their rich supply of the antioxidant nutrient, beta-carotene, which is GREAT for our eye health. However, these root vegetables are also a great source of a variety of antioxidants and other health-supporting nutrients such as vitamins A, C, K. Studies have shown their effectiveness in the prevention of colon cancer, and their benefits to our cardiovascular health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Celery: Celery is jam-packed with vitamins K and C, beta-carotene, and manganese. But also contains phytonutrients that are shown to have anti-inflammatory benefits and protect the digestive tract. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Yams: A great source of Vitamin B-6, potassium (a mineral that helps to control blood pressure), and manganese. According to Chinese herbal medicine, yams also support kidney function and the female endocrine system. The yam’s composition of complex carbohydrates and fiber make them a great food for maintaining steady blood sugar while helping you feel fuller for longer. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Warm Pickled Beet Salad with Goat Feta

Cleanse your blood and please your palate with this tasty pickled beet salad!

Cleanse your blood and please your palate with this tasty pickled beet salad!

This recipe was inspired by A Thought For Food.

February marks the last bit of winter. In Ayurveda it is “kapha” season, which means that our digestion and our bodies might feel sluggish. It’s an important time to start to boost our metabolism of fat in preparation for spring cleansing. So in order to assist our gall bladders and livers rev up their fat-busting super powers, we should favor natural cleansers such as vinegar, lemons, beets, kale, and beans.

Beware of too much dairy this time of year, as it can keep our systems slow and sludgy. If you’re going to partake, then try to include goat dairy, as it is generally easier on the digestion than most cow dairy.

In terms of seasonal eats, there’s not much growing outside in February, so it’s nice to have stocked up on some canned or pickled items (I just learned how to make pickled beets in November…Thanks Tamlin!). And folks who are fortunate enough to have a greenhouse or cold frame might have some greens growing. So thus was born this warm pickled beet salad with arugula and goat feta. Feel free to add whatever kinds of herbs to your vinaigrette that sound tasty. I personally liked the basil/mint combo, but get creative and enjoy!

Tamlin and me, having a domestic goddess day in our frilly aprons. She taught me how to can beets. So fun!

Tamlin and me, having a domestic goddess day in our frilly aprons. She taught me how to can beets. So fun!

Ingredients:

1 Pint jar of pickled beets (or you can just roast or boil 4 beets that have been trimmed, peeled, and sliced into rounds)
1/4 Cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons ghee
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 Clove garlic, minced
1/2 Teaspoon ground allspice
Salt and pepper
1/2 Drop doTERRA basil essential oil
1/4 Cup chopped mint, or 2 tablespoons dried mint
1/4 Cup chopped basil, or 2 tablespoons dried basil
1 Small red onion, thinly sliced into rounds
4-6 Cups arugula (you can use spinach or watercress in its place too…)
1 Cup goat feta cheese, crumbled

Method:

Drain the pickled beets. (If using fresh beets, roast or boil them to your liking, skin, and slice them into rounds, and allow them to cool a bit.)

In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, vinegar, garlic, allspice, salt and pepper to taste, the mint, the basil. Then dip a toothpick in the doTERRA basil oil and stir it into the mixture.

Heat a medium saute pan over medium heat, add the ghee, and the onions. Allow the onions to brown, then add the pickled beets. Saute them together for a few minutes until sufficiently warmed. Add a bit of the dressing mixture into the pan to coat the beets and onions.

Toss the arugula in remaining dressing. Put it into serving bowls (2 for a meal-sized salad, 4 for an app-sized salad), then adorn each bowl with a bit of the beet onion mixture.

Crumble some goat feta atop each one. Serve and enjoy!

Benefits:

Arugula: Arugula is a rich source of folate, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and B-complexes (such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, which are essential for optimum cellular enzymatic and metabolic functions). This is a low-cal lettuce leaf that packs a nutritional wallop, so don’t be afraid to ask for a second helping! See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Basil: Basil contains flavanoids called orientin and vicenin, which protect us at a cellular level. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Basil is also high in vitamin K, so is great for our blood health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Basil Essential Oil: Basil has powerful anti-infectious, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antioxidant, and antiviral properties. It can be used to boost alertness and concentration, ease anxiety, nervous depression, headaches, mental fatigue, and insomnia. See here to learn more about doTerra essential oils.

Beet: A great source of phytonutrients called betalains, which provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. They are also an excellent source of folate, which is a crucial nutrient especially for those who are (or are looking to get) pregnant. They are also very high in manganese and fiber. These root veggies contain nutrient compounds that help protect against heart disease, birth defects and certain cancers, especially colon cancer. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information (raw) (cooked).

Ghee: A favorite among Ayurvedic practitioners, said to help cure ailments from tight muscles to memory loss. Ghee is essentially clarified butter that has been separated from the milk solids and saturated fats. I highly recommend replacing your regular butter with this. Read up on the health benefits and nutritional information.

Peppermint: Peppermint is a good source of vitamins C and A, as well as manganese and copper. It is also great for the digestion and has antimicrobial properties. See here for more health benefits.

Apple Cinnamon Paleo Pancakes

These pancakes are the perfect Sunday morning treat.

These pancakes are the perfect Sunday morning treat.

My husband and I have officially dubbed Sunday as “Pancake Day,” because of these filling and delightful pancakes. They’re very hearty and will keep your tank full for whatever Sunday shenanigans you have planned. This recipe made enough for two hungry hippos, but you could certainly double the batch if you’re hosting brunch. Try them topped with berries for sweetness or a fried egg if you’re looking for an extra hit of protein. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup homemade apple sauce (or organic, no sugar added)
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup almond meal
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, or to taste
1-2 drops doTERRA cinnamon essential oil
coconut oil for cooking oil
*optional: 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup

Method:

Whisk together apple sauce, eggs, (optional maple syrup) cinnamon oil, and vanilla extract together in a bowl until smooth.

Combine coconut flour, baking soda, salt, almond meal, nutmeg, and ginger together in a separate bowl.

Stir the applesauce mixture and flour mixture together in the bigger bowl until well combined.

Allow batter to sit for a few minutes.

Heat a dab of coconut oil in a skillet over low heat. Pour palm-sized circles of batter into the hot oil. Cook until lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes per side. (You’ll know when it’s safe to flip them, as they won’t be jiggly in the center when you wiggle the pan).

Serve with more applesauce, ghee, and if you have it, pure maple syrup.

Benefits:

Almonds: Almonds are a Supernut. High in monounsaturated fats (associated with reduced risk of heart disease), almonds contain high amounts of vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. They are also high in protein, which makes them an ideal snack. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Apples:  My, what balanced phytonutrients you have, oh beloved apple. Apples contain a wide array of polyphenols which help regulate our blood sugar. They’re also a great source of Vitamin C and other antioxidants, and fiber. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cinnamon Oil: Cinnamon essential oil helps to boost metabolism and digestive health. It is also a powerful antioxidant, helps support immunity, enhance circulation, strengthen libido and elevate mood. See here to learn more about doTERRA essential oils.

Eggs: (Preferably pasture-fed and/or organic) Eggs are a good source of low-cost high-quality protein. They provide over 6 grams of protein (13% of the daily value for protein) each, and are a good source of choline, a key component of many fat-containing structures in cell membranes, which is particularly important for brain function and health. Eggs are also a rich source of tryptophan and selenium. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Ginger: Ginger is very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress such as gas, bloating, motion sickness, and morning sickness. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Nutmeg: Nutmeg has been used in traditional medicines as an anti-fungal, anti-depressant, aphrodisiac, digestive aid. It is also a good source of copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc, and magnesium, and B-complex vitamins including Vitamin C, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, and Vitamin A. In small doses it’s great, but don’t overdo it! This powerful spice can be toxic if consumed in large amounts. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Black Bean and Squash Chile

Have a Halloween party coming up? Use pumpkin in this recipe for a festive holiday meal.

Have a Halloween party coming up? Use pumpkin in this recipe for a festive holiday meal.

Whoever invented the “slow cooker” is my new best pal. Who knew that it was so easy to cook beautiful, homemade meals with very little preparation? I recently discovered the crockpot that had been hiding at the back of our kitchen cupboard. Could it really be so simple as tossing a whole mess of ingredients in the crockpot, turn it on, come back a few hours later to a beautiful dinner? Pretty much.

On days when you don’t have a lot of time to cook, let a slow cooker do the work for you. When you ladle yourself a bowl of hot, yummy goodness, you might wonder why it has taken you so long to clear the cobwebs off this handy kitchen tool. Bon appétit!

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium sweet yellow pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2-3 cups cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
1-2 cups cooked winter squash, cubed (pumpkin is orange and delicious, but kabocha or butternut would be yummy too!)
3 stewed, or really ripe, tomatoes, chopped
1-2 cups veggie or chicken broth
2 teaspoons chili powder (Chimayo chile from New Mexico is best in my opinion)
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
*Optional: cubed avocado, thinly sliced green onions, chopped cilantro
*Optional: 1 cup ground or cubed turkey, ground buffalo, or chorizo
*Optional 2 drops doTERRA oregano essential oil

Method:

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.

Add onion and pepper, and cook and stir until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.

Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker; stir in the remaining ingredients, except for the essential oil.

Cook, covered, on low 4-5 hours.

If desired, add 1-2 drops doTERRA oregano essential oil to the whole batch before serving.

Garnish with avocado, cilantro, and/or green onions.

Benefits:

Black Beans: These magical legumes are touted for their abundant protein and fiber content, but are also packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients such as folate, tryptophan, and manganese. Great for gut, heart, and overall health. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Bell Peppers: NOTE! Bell peppers, a member of the nightshade family, are not for everyone. They are on the “dirty dozen” list of pesticide laden produce (when not organic), and have been known to cause inflammation in some people. HOWEVER, they have lots of health benefits too: Sweet bell peppers are high in vitamins C and A, and contain other antioxidants. Don’t cook over high heat or they loose some of their nutritional wallop. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cilantro: Cilantro is a powerful cleansing agent which helps remove heavy metals and other toxins from the body. It’s also beneficial for the digestive tract due to its production of digestive enzymes, acids, and juices. Its essential oils stimulate peristalsis, relieve gas, and aid with digestion. Cilantro also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, and helps to increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind), and reduces LDL cholesterol (the bad kind. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Oregano Essential Oil: Oregano is a powerful antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-parasitic oil. It battles common intestinal, skin and lung infections, while fending off colds and flu. It is also a general nerve tonic. Be BEWARE! A dab will do ya. See here to learn more about doTERRA essential oils.

Pumpkin: This tasty winter squash is packed vitamins A and C, magnesium and potassium, as well as dietary fiber. It’s also contains high amounts of carotenoids, the little nutrients which help to neutralize free-radicals within the body, and is low in calories. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTERRA because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTERRA Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per dish. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting snack!

Click here to learn more about doTERRA Essential Oils.

Add some chorizo, turkey, or buffalo for an added boost of protein and flavor.

Add some chorizo, turkey, or buffalo for an added boost of protein and flavor.