Healthy Priorities

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What A Fun Evening!

Thank you to everyone who came for the special Healthy Priorities event on Thursday evening when we screened the movie, Hungry For Change.  It was great to see everyone, and especially fun to welcome some new faces.  Extra special thanks to Jean and Jim Benham for hosting us in their beautiful home.  I know…just a bit different than crowding around my little kitchen!

For more information about the movie, be sure to visit their website at www.hungryforchange.tv.  They have great information, as well as products such as the video you watched the other night, book, cookbook, etc.

If you would like to be included on my email list for future get-togethers, or if you have any suggestions for topics you’d like to learn about, please just send me an email at jamie@healthypriorities-charlotte.com.  We hope to see you all again soon, and yes….. the recipes I used for our snacks are coming next!

Squash!

What a fun Healthy Priorities get-together!  I’m so glad everyone could come and learn a bit more about the amazingly versatile squash.  Here are the recipes I used:

Black Bean and Butternut Squash Tacos – click here

Spaghetti Squash Casserole – Click here

White Bean, Kale and Roasted Veggie Soup – click here

Paleo Pumpkin Bars – click here

Pickled Red Onion and Jalapeno – click here (it is included with the fish taco recipes, so just scroll down and you’ll find it).

 

Stuffed Acorn Squash

from Paleo Comfort Foods by Julie & Charles Mayfield

2 acorn squash

1 tbls. olive or coconut oil

1 onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 red pepper, chopped

1 lb. ground turkey or turkey sausage

2 tbls. chili powder

3 tsp. cumin

1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped

Preheat oven to 400º.  Cut squash in half lengthwise, removing the seeds and pulp.  Place facedown in a baking pan with about 1/4” of water.  Bake for 30-45 minutes until squash is soft.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add in oil, and when hot stir in onions and garlic.  Cook until onions are translucent, being careful not to burn garlic.  Stir in peppers and cook for 3-4 minutes longer.

Add in turkey and spices and brown until turkey is cooked through.  Stain off any excess liquid from the turkey and stir in tomatoes, heating through.  Place squash face up and fill with turkey mixture and serve.

Notes:  Serve with your favorite salsa or dairy-free cheese on top.  I also took the leftover turkey mixture and served it with some leftover spaghetti squash and it was great!

Zucchini Pizza Boats

I’ve seen lots of recipes for these, but I took my inspiration from Paleo Indulgences by Tammy Credicott

Preheat oven to 400º.  Clean the zucchini, then split in half lengthwise and scoop out part of the center and seeds to make a shallow well.  Place the zucchini on a baking sheet lined with parchment with the hollow-out side up.

Fill the hollowed-out center with pizza sauce, your favorite marinara sauce or bruschetta  topping and then start layering all your favorite pizza toppings.  I used turkey sausage and mushroom and I’ve also made some using turkey canadian bacon and caramelized onions.  (Just make sure that the toppings, like sausage, are already cooked).  Top with your favorite dairy-free cheese (I used Daiya).

Bake about 20-30 minutes or until toppings and sauce are bubbling and zucchini is soft.

 

Turkey Clafouti

Although this has an unusual name, it’s very much like a crustless quiche and is another great basic dish that can be used with countless different ingredients.  For years I have made a Plum Clafouti which is one of my all-time favorite deserts, but I had never seen it used with savory ingredients.

I originally saw this recipe on one of my favorite blog sites, Mark’s Daily Apple. Click over to Mark’s site to see the full explanation, and to see the original recipe which is a Chicken Curry Clafouti.  Since I’m not a curry fan, I decided to go in a different direction.  You could easily use this recipe with chicken, salmon, sausage, etc. but I am always looking for another way to use turkey, so tried this with some leftover turkey breast I had in the freezer.  I used a spice mixture that was specifically for turkey, used mostly for Thanksgiving dinners, I’m sure.  It made the house smell heavenly!  Give this a try using your favorite combinations and let me know what you come up with!

A few quick notes: I had come challenges with the clafouti getting brown too quickly, so make sure you keep a very close eye on it and start checking it at 25-30 minutes (recipe calls for a 45 minute cooking time).  I also think next time I’ll try reducing the oven temperature from 400° to 350° so it doesn’t brown as quickly but still cooks through.

Muffins!

Any of  you who have been attending the Healthy Priority get-togethers, or have just been hanging around with me lately, know that I’ve been really excited about making grain-free/sugar-free (and therefore low carb) baked goods that are really tasty.  Now, I am sure that people who are used to eating those small cakes that pass for muffins at your local grocery would be used to way more fat, sugar, and carbs.  But for the rest of us who try very hard to feed our bodies foods that help and not hurt, having these muffins are a real treat!

These two have been the favorite recipes so far.  Both come from Elana Amsterdam’s fabulous cookbook called The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook.  It’s been mentioned on this site lots of time because it has become somewhat of the gold standard for baking with almond flour.  If you are interested in healthy, grain-free and low-carb baking, go buy her book!

Both of these recipes have been used and changed a number of times already.  These are the basic recipes, but try experimenting to make them your own.  One change is that I sometimes have used melted butter instead of the grapeseed oil just for a bit of richness.  I’ve used dried cranberries instead of blueberries in the Banana Blueberry recipe, and I’ve only tried the Cinnamon Apple Muffins using unsweetened apple butter in place of the agave nectar in the original recipe.  I might try applesauce next time, and maybe add some raisins?  You get the idea – be creative!  If you guys come up with some good variations, let me know in the comment section below so we can all share!  And don’t forget – these muffins taste fabulous with a spread of nut butter on them.  My favorite right now?  Homemade Macadamia Nut Butter.  Yum!

BANANA BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

  • 3 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tbls. grapeseed oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups (4-5) mashed very ripe bananas
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 350°.  Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.  In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, and baking soda.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the grapeseed oil and eggs.  Stir the wet ingredients into the almond flour mixture until thoroughly combined.  Stir the bananas into the batter, then fold in the blueberries.  Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the muffin tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.  Let the muffins cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then serve.

CINNAMON APPLE MUFFINS

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar (I used unsweetened apple butter)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbls. vanilla
  • 2 medium apples – peeled, cored, and diced into 1/4″ cubes

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Line 10-12 muffin cups with paper liners.  In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, baking soda, arrowroot powder, and cinnamon.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the grapeseed oil, agave nectar, egg, and vanilla extract.  Stir the wet ingredients into the almond flour mixture until thoroughly combined, then fold in the apples.  Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the muffin tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.  Let the muffins cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then serve.