Roasted Squash Salad and Kale Pesto

Roasted Squash Salad and Kale Pesto

Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Salad with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by loved ones and laughter! Here’s an easy winter-inspired salad recipe if you’re already thinking about what to make for the next holiday. Ingredients: 1 large butternut squash 2 apples 1 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 tsp. nutmeg 1/2 cup maple syrup 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 3 Tbs. fresh squeezed lemon juice 3 Tbs. grainy Dijon mustard Sea salt Fresh black pepper 8-10 cups of mixed salad greens and spinach 2-3 cups radicchio, chopped 1 cup hazelnuts, toasted 1/2 cup dried cranberries Directions: 1) Preheat oven to 400 2) Roast the squash and apples: Peel and cube the butternut squash. Cube the apple. Combine everything in a bowl and mix with 1/4 cup each of olive oil and maple syrup, 1 tsp. of cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on baking sheets and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until squash is tender. Finish off with 3 minutes under the broiler to brown. Once finished, remove from heat and let cool. Turn the oven temperature to 375. 3) Make the dressing: Combine 3/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup maple syrup and the cider vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and fresh pepper in a container with a lid. Shake vigorously. This is much more than you’ll need for the salad, but the dressing lasts sealed in the fridge for up to two weeks. 4) Toast the hazelnuts: Spread on a baking sheet and bake for around 8 minutes,...
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Apple Bites & Sweet Potato Pancakes

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Apple Bites & Sweet Potato Pancakes

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Apple Bites This recipe, unlike most of the others, took me about four tries to perfect. I bet you can guess how many muffins I ate in the process… not a proud moment. However, since I’m training for the Marin Triathlon on Sunday (!), I’ve been a bottomless pit and the other day I really needed something to control the baked carb craving. Plus, Claudine and I are putting together our winter menu for the next 10 Day Health Challenge eBook, so it was a win-win! I tell my clients (both grown-ups and kids) that true health means living in balance, listening to our bodies, and enjoying our food. I love food- all types- and when the cravings or emotional eating threaten to take over, there are ways to deal with it that won’t ruin your appetite, digestion or waistline. This recipe is a great example. I could have gone out and bought frozen yogurt, but instead, I made mini muffins with no refined flour and using a natural sweetener. It did the trick. Bottom line, enjoy yourself, be good to your body, and don’t be afraid to satisfy cravings with the lesser of two- or many- evils. “If you think wellness is expensive then try illness.” Ingredients: (Makes about 12 muffins) 1 cup pumpkin puree 1/4 cup apple sauce 1/4 cup honey 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted) 2 eggs 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla 1 cup almond flour 1 cup oats 2 tsp. cinnamon 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice 1 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. baking soda 1/4 tsp. sea salt 1 apple, grated or chopped finely...
Yogurt Masala Chicken and Green Salad with Lemony Almonds

Yogurt Masala Chicken and Green Salad with Lemony Almonds

This week I give you two foolproof family dinner recipes that are healthy, easy, and bound to please. How do I know this? Because they were part of the 18grains Cooking Party I threw several weeks ago: the twelve moms that attended were impressed, and so were their families. Yogurt Marinated Masala Chicken A few recipe notes: *You can use chicken breasts or thighs, though I prefer thighs. Due to the yogurt and the ginger in the marinade (both of which have enzymes that help tenderize the meat and break down proteins), even a chicken breast will come out moist with this recipe. But, sometimes chicken breasts just don’t cut it. Thighs are much juicier, tastier, and, well, fattier- but there ain’t nothing wrong with some good quality fat in your diet! Besides, dark meat contains more minerals than white meat, I’m told. *Mmmm spices: Some nutritionists feel heavy spices are too stimulating and should be used sparingly, while others feel that they add flavor and nutrients and help digestion by stimulating saliva production. I say, anything that makes fresh ingredients taste good (and man, this flavor combo will knock your socks off)- use it! *If you don’t have a food processor, finely mince the cilantro, garlic, onion, and ginger and combine with remaining ingredients. Also, you can make extra marinade and freeze it for another quick dinner. Ingredients: 6-8 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs 1 cup plain whole Greek yogurt ½ cup packed cilantro ½ cup chopped onion ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 2 garlic cloves 2 tsp. fresh lime juice 2 tsp. garam masala ½ tsp. ground...
A FULL Mediterranean Menu

A FULL Mediterranean Menu

Fall starts next week, so we needed one last hurrah. Last weekend 18grains hosted its first ever {Grown-Up} Cooking Party! Working with adults is not so different than working with kids, except that there was wine involved and different topics of conversation. Thanks to our lovely host for offering her beautiful Corte Madera home and for the 12 moms who participated! While working together to prep and cook this three-course meal, we managed to tackle some important topics. Budget-friendly grocery shopping. How does one not spend $200 per week on grocery bills while still feeding organic veggies, grass-fed beef, and free-range eggs to a family of four? It’s possible, trust me, it just takes a bit more planning and strategizing. SUGAR- and it’s demise. Most of us have a sweet tooth, and if we cut sugar out completely, bad things happen. We covered lots of different kinds of sugars and talked about the best ones to use for the occasional treat. Sucanat was the best sugar for our sparkling lemonade and we used honey in the roasted fig dessert. How to cook beans so they don’t, um, give you gas. I talked about the value of soaking grains and legumes and how to cook beans with kombu seaweed. What’s the deal with GMOs for real? (Too much to write here) Then the topics got off track… like, “did you hear the NPR show on the cause of hangovers“.. So yes, you missed out! But don’t worry, I’m giving you all the recipes, which you will find at the bottom. Although the recipes are full of sophisticated flavors and spices,...
Two ways to use arugula

Two ways to use arugula

Fresh Corn Salad with Arugula I’m hooked on raw corn. Even though the BBQ is going as we speak, the crunchy, juicy kernels are at the peak of their season, so they pop with flavor and color just as they are. This salad is a crowd pleaser; a little spicy, a variety of textures, and super fresh. Summer is upon us. Ingredients: 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 1 Tbs. raw honey 1/4 tsp. sea salt 1/4 tsp. pepper 3 ears of corn 1 red or yellow pepper, diced 1/2 cucumber, diced 1 ripe tomato, diced 3 green onions, minced (white and green parts) 1 jalapeño, de-seeded and minced 1/3 cup fresh minced herbs: parsley, basil, and/or cilantro 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts Directions: 1) Prepare the dressing: combine oil, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper in a small jar or other container with a tight-fitting lid- shake vigorously until everything is incorporated. 2) Shuck the corn and carefully cut off the kernels with a sharp knife (be careful or they will shoot all over your kitchen!). 3) Combine corn and remaining ingredients in a large bowl, toss generously with dressing (but save remainder of dressing for future salads). 4) Serve immediately over a bed of arugula *Note- this salad holds together well, so if you choose to serve it later, just add the dressing and pine nuts right before plating. Arugula & Basil Pesto I whipped out my food processor, pulled my wilting bags of arugula and basil from the fridge, and voilà!- ate this ultra-nutritious pesto all week long. It’s great as a...
Summer Fruit Salad and Cashew Whipped Cream

Summer Fruit Salad and Cashew Whipped Cream

It’s Sunday night, so I’ll make it short and sweet. DirectionFive, the non-profit culinary and nutrition program for kids, made its appearance again at Marin Mart Farmers Market in Larkspur this Saturday to celebrate the inception of summer. Although the kiddos will eat anything if they’re the ones who make it, this recipe was an especially big hit. Cashew cream is just as deeply satisfying as regular whip cream, plus it has more heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and antioxidants. This recipe is so easy- four ingredients!- and can be used in many applications. Both sweet and savory, cashew cream is a staple for a vegan diet and can be used in desserts, as filling for ravioli, and as a dairy substitute for cream-based soups (minus the sweetener). Fruit Salad: 4 ripe peaches, nectarines, and/or plumes, pitted and cut into bite-size pieces 1 cup of fresh strawberries, blueberries, and/or blackberries (slice the strawberries) 4-6 basil leaves, torn Use any other seasonal fruit you wish… Cashew Cream: 1 cup of raw, unsalted cashews, soaked between 2-6 hours 1 tsp. of pure vanilla extract 1 Tbs. of raw honey 1/2 cup of room temperature water Put all the cashew cream ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Spoon on top of mixed fruit salad and serve immediately. Cashew cream will last in the fridge for about a week if stored in an airtight...
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