Avocado Toast

Photos by: Valorie Darling

Photos by: Valorie Darling

I mean honestly, who doesn’t love avocado toast? It seems to have quite the life of it’s own the past few years, and I’m here for it! I found the best avocados at my local farmers market the other day and naturally the thing that pops into my mind is to throw it on some toast. I’m kind of obsessed with toast, I know it may not be the healthiest option but I can go through a whole loaf in about 3 days. Oops

This is almost like a 2 for 1. You get your avo toast and then you get a little salad on top. I also snagged these gorgeous heirloom tomatoes so it made sense to throw them on top of this toast and oh man was it amazing! It’s so fresh and delicious, I’m pretty sure you’ll love it too!

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Ingredients:

  • 3 pieces gluten free toast (I use Udi’s)

  • 1 large avocado

  • squeeze of lemon

  • half a lime

  • handful of heirloom tomatoes

  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes

  • pinch salt x3

  • pinch pepper x3

  • 1/2 garlic clove, if you like it spicy (optional)

  • balsamic glaze to drizzle (optional)

While preparing ingredients, place bread in the toaster, I like to double toast it for that extra crispiness. Split avocado and remove inside with a spoon, place in a large bowl. Squeeze lime into bowl, add red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Set aside, in another bowl, slice tomatoes length wise and add to bowl, grate garlic into tomatoes (using a microplane makes this really easy), squeeze lemon, add salt and pepper. It’s important to season every layer of this so you’re really getting a punch of flavor in each bite.

Top each piece of toast with avo mixture, then top with tomato mixture. I like to add a little drizzle of balsamic glaze, I used regular but flavored ones would be great also! Top with salt and pepper once more (maldon salt is amazing on this, but I was fresh out) add a drizzle of balsamic glaze and enjoy! It’s the perfect little snack, appetizer, breakfast, late night snack, or just a good excuse to use of some fresh avocados.

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Overnight Chocolate Protein Oats

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Like I said, I’m super into breakfast these days, I’m even more into make ahead breakfasts with minimal clean up. I love sweets, and I usually like to have a little something sweet with breakfast whether that be honey on toast, fruit or some chocolate in my oats!

These are so simple to make, you place all the ingredients in a jar the night before, shake and wake up to the creamiest, most flavorful overnight oats on the planet. Okay, maybe there are some better ones out there, but I highly doubt it, and I know they’re not as healthy as these bad boys!

These oats are packed with antioxidants and superfoods so you don’t have to feel guilty having chocolate for breakfast, and that’s a win in my book!

Make these and top them with anything you like, I love a nice tart fruit. You really can’t beat the flavor or texture of these bad boys, you’ll feel like you’re having dessert for breakfast!


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Ingredients:

  • ½ GF Oats

  • 1 scoop organic Plant Fusion Chocolate protein powder

  • splash of vanilla

  • 1 tsp maple syrup

  • 1 tbsp maca powder

  • 1 tbsp raw cocoa powder (makes it taste like chocolate mousse)

  • 1-2 tbsp chia seeds (1 makes it more like a pudding, 2 is firmer oats similar to museli)

  • ½-1 cup coconut milk (any non-dairy milk works well in this recipe)

Place all ingredients in a mason jar.  Fill remainder of jar with unsweetened coconut milk, shake and place in fridge.  Top with your favorite berries or granola, add chopped nuts and a drizzle of honey or maple, or grab a spoon and dig in.

 If you like dessert for breakfast than this one is for you!  It should maybe be called pudding instead of oats.  It’s just real good and chalk full of good things for you!  This recipe was born because I was sick of protein shakes in the morning but still wanted to find a way to get that protein in first thing.  I happened to have all of these ingredients in my cabinet years ago and it turned out it makes one delicious concoction.  If you’re feeling like you want a little added sweetness or serving it for brunch and want to really wow people top it with my maple coconut whipped cream.  I mean that stuff is really just good on anything!!

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Chicken Sausage Egg "Muffins"

Photos By: Valorie Darling

Photos By: Valorie Darling

I’m not sure I’ve ever been more excited to be home, in my kitchen, with the option to COOK my own food! I love, love, love traveling, but after 2 weeks on the road, tons of great meals out and some not so great meals out, I am more ready than ever for some home cooked food!

I usually can’t stand doing dishes, but even that doesn’t seem so bad to me right now. It’s amazing how much easier it is to feel healthier when you’re making your own meals at home. Even when I eat out, I’m not always 100% sure what exactly is in the food I’m eating.

Anywho, I’ll get on it with it! Right now I’m really loving breakfast, like a lot! Since arriving home and finally getting to the grocery store (ok, that’s a lie I used the best invention ever, Instacart) I couldn’t wait to whip up a homemade breakfast!

These egg muffins, or a variation of these are my go-to for a quick, healthy breakfast or snack that I always make extra of so I can have a quick snack or on the go breakfast throughout the week. They keep brilliantly in the fridge, and are easily reheated in the microwave with a damp paper towel. The best thing about these, there are no rules! Throw in whatever you have in your fridge or whatever is in season. I’ll throw in leftover cooked veggies from the night before or I make them Tex-Mex and add some green chilis and black beans. You really can’t go wrong. Hope you love these as much as I do!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 pkg chicken breakfast sausage (I love the ones in the butcher section of whole foods, I love all the flavor options)

  • 8 eggs

  • ½ yellow onion

  • 1 green onion

  • 2 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 tsp pepper

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes

  • 1 tbsp Italian herbs

  • ½ cup cheddar (optional)

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Chop yellow onion and set aside.  Heat large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and onion, sautee until translucent, about 3 minutes, add breakfast sausage and use spatula to break up into smaller pieces.

While sausage is cooking.  Chop green onion, including the white part and set aside.  In a large bowl (one with a pour spout is ideal), crack and mix eggs, add garlic, pepper, salt, red pepper flakes and Italian herbs.  Once your sausage has come to room temperature, transfer sausage to egg bowl, add cheese if using, mix all ingredients to combine.  Spray a muffin tin with non- stick spray (I like coconut or avocado oil) and evenly divide mixture amongst 12 cups.  If you’re using cheese, sprinkle on top and place in oven.

Check eggs after 15 minutes.  Depending on how done you like your eggs they will be ready, if you like your eggs on the firmer side, cook for 18-22 minutes. 

 I like to top mine with avocado and siracha!

Store extras in a zip lock bag in your fridge for up to 5 days.  These are a great make a head breakfast and can be reheated easily by placing a paper towel around it and re-heating in increments of 15 on the “reheat” setting.

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All Natural Mojito Popsicles

Photo By: Valorie Darling

Photo By: Valorie Darling

It's summer, which means it's hot!!  How about these little babies for you or your kids or to take to a 4th of July celebration to cool everyone off.  I use the same base for these as my Red, White & Blue mojito and then add a creamy finish at the end with coconut milk.  And how cute are these little rocket pop molds?!  Hope you love these as much as I do, I can't keep them in my house longer than a day.


Strawberry base:

  • 1/2 pint strawberries (washed and hulled)
  • 1/2 lime
  • 10 mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp honey

Place all ingredients in the blender.  Blend until smooth.  Strain through a mesh sieve and set aside.

Coconut base:

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tsp  vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp honey

Place in blender and combine all ingredients.  

Fill molds half way with strawberry puree and set in freezer until set (about 2 hours).  Gently pull out popsicle (I run them under warm water to loosen them first), ladle in coconut mixture and place back in the freezer to let set.  It's that simple! 


Photo By: Valorie Darling

Photo By: Valorie Darling

Lately I have been CRAVING anything cold!  Seriously, I'm finding myself at Pressed Juicery getting their freezes and pineapple mint juice WAY too often!  This is a healthy, naturally sweetened way to save myself money and a trip to the mall for my cravings.   Oh and I love that it's a healthy snack I don't have to feel guilty running back to the freezer for.  These also make a great addition to cocktails!  Enjoy!

Photo By: Valorie Darling

Photo By: Valorie Darling

Leafy Green Grain Bowl

Photos by: Valorie Darling

Photos by: Valorie Darling

Bowl

  • 3 stalks kale
  • handful arugula 
  • 2 dates, pitted
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup rotisserie chicken, skin removed and shredded (I used an organic one from Whole Foods)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice (I used organic frozen brown rice from Vons)
  • Shaved parmesan, optional

Remove stalk from kale and chop.  Combine kale and arugula into a bowl and top with brown rice.  Add chicken, chopped dates, pine nuts and salt and pepper.  Top with go-to lemon dressing.

 

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Dressing

  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1-2 tsp grade A maple syrup (2 makes it slightly sweet, 1 cuts the acid)
  • 1 tbsp Dijon
  • Pinch Salt
  • Pinch Pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
  • ¼ Cup Olive oil, adjust to preferred consistency and flavor (I like it extra tangy so I start with less oil and add more from there.

Add all ingredients to a jar and shake.  If you want a little extra tang, chop or grate one garlic clove into mixture.  That is my fave to add over my paleo tuna salad or basically anything!


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This is such a simple bowl, yet so delicious and highly addicting.  It only takes about 10 minutes to make, including making the dressing.  I love throwing this together after a long day, it's easy, protein packed and fresh!  Pack this for lunch or make it for a quick weeknight supper!

Portobello Egg Scramble with Pesto

Photos by Valorie Darling

Photos by Valorie Darling

Mushroom Cap

  • 1 portobello cap
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper

Eggs

  • 3 organic eggs
  • 1/2 tbsp pesto, plus more for garnish (I used Cibo Naturals from Whole Foods)
  • 3 basil leaves
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flake
  • goat cheese, optional
  • handful of spinach

Toppings

  • 1 piece turkey bacon 
  • 1/2 avocado

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Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Remove center from mushroom and place gill side up.  Drizzle olive oil over mushroom, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Bake for 20-25 mins.

While mushroom cap is baking, place turkey bacon in a pan and cook until crispy.  Chop basil leaves, combine all ingredients for eggs, except spinach, and whisk with a fork to combine.  In a small skillet over medium heat add a drizzle of olive oil and sauté spinach until wilted, add egg mixture to pan and cook over low heat until eggs are set, I like a soft scramble, about 3 minutes.

Assembly:

Slice avocado, layer avocado on top of mushroom cap.  Add eggs, cut turkey bacon in half and place on top of eggs, or crumble.  Top with basil leaves and a drizzle of pesto.


This is seriously a incredible.  It's perfect for a Saturday morning breakfast or when you're trying to impress friends and family with brunch.  I basically took all the things I like in my eggs or on top and deconstructed it a little bit.  You get your own little serving but it is a complete breakfast, and it's mighty pretty to look at if I do say so myself.  Hope you love it as much as I do!

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3 Ingredient Strawberry Pops

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  • 1 container ripe strawberries, washed & hulled
  • 2-3 Tbsp raw honey (depending on sweetness)
  • 1 can coconut milk (including the cream from the top of the can)

Place all ingredients in a high powered blender.  Pulse until combined and small chunks of strawberry remain.  Add coconut chips if you like a little extra texture.  Spoon into popsicle molds and freeze until solid.  Makes 6-8 popsicles depending on size of molds.  Enjoy!

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I know, 3 ingredients hardly seems like a recipe, but that is the beauty of fresh, sweet produce!  I was inspired after a trip to my locals Farmer's Market and the brightest sweetest strawberries I've ever tasted.  I bought way too many, and wasn't in the mood for anything that required heating the kitchen up and viola, these bad boys were born.  I'm really on a popsicle kick with this current heatwave, so stay tuned for more, but in the meantime, it doesn't get a whole lot better than these bad boys.  They're naturally sweetened, creamy and oh so fresh!  

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Whole Foods Kale Superfood Salad w/ Spicy Chili Dressing

Photo by: Valorie Darling

Photo by: Valorie Darling

Salad

  • ½ cup cabbage (I used a mix of green and purple)
  • 6 large kale leaves (stems removed)
  • ½ avocado
  • ½ grapefruit (cut in half and then sections removed, reserve juice)
  • 1 tbsp chopped almonds
  • 2 Medjool dates, chopped (pitted)
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper
  • grated parmesan, optional

Slice cabbage, chop kale in very small bite size pieces, place in bowl and set aside.  Slice avocado and then slice again the opposite way creating a dice.  Chop almonds and dates.  Slice grapefruit and remove each section.  Once all of this is done I like to arrange the salad so I can see all the ingredients on top (hey we eat with our eyes first).  Then, if using parm, add that and top with dressing, I lot to spoon it over top and serve it with extra on the side.

This salad goes great with any protein you prefer and is also delicious with a grain like quinoa or buckwheat.


Photo by: Valorie Darling

Photo by: Valorie Darling

Dressing

  • 2 tbsp chili paste (I use Sambal)
  • juice of half the grapefruit 
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper
  • ¼ cup light olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard, optional (use this if you prefer  creamier dressing)

Combine all ingredients in a shaker.  Shake until thoroughly combined.  Enjoy!


Photo by: Valorie Darling

Photo by: Valorie Darling

Photo by: Valorie Darling

Photo by: Valorie Darling

I literally cannot get enough of this salad.   I had something similar to it a few years ago at one of my favorite healthy restaurants.  I loved it, but had a feeling with a few tweaks I could make it even better, and I did, A LOT better.

I crave this salad so much in the summer, it is so fresh but really packs a flavorful punch!

The dressing is very light, and it is not creamy unless you add the Dijon.  If you prefer your kale a little on the softer side, add the dressing directly to the kale and massage it (yes literally massage it with your hands) and then add toppings to the kale and serve with extra dressing on the side.

Double Green Shake

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  • 1 frozen banana (cut into pieces)
  • 5 ice cubes
  • 6 kale leaves (be sure to remove stalk)
  • 1 cup (handful) spinach
  • 1 scoop organic plant fusion plain protein powder (I prefer the natural flavor)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp raw cashews
  • 3 dates pitted
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (any non-dairy milk works great here)

Add coconut milk to blender first, then add banana, ice cubes, dates, protein powder and remaining ingredients (trust me, this is the best order to get that creamy texture from your blender).  Once all ingredients are in the blender, let her rip.   Adjust milk to reach desired consistency.  If making this as a bowl, cut the milk in half.  Top your bowl with your favorite fruits, nut butters, granola, chia seeds, honey, maple, etc.  If using this as a smoothie bowl, omit the almond butter and use it on top as a drizzle.  Enjoy!


Have you ever tried avocados in your smoothies?  If you haven't, now is the time, it makes them sooo creamy and decadent you honestly feel like you're having a sweet treat rather than a protein smoothie!  This bad boy is seriously so good, hence why I call it a shake, it literally tastes like a milkshake!  It's loaded with anti-inflammatory ingredients and lots of protein!

I love this shake when I have an early morning or have to eat breakfast on the go, or after a workout when I simply can't decide what I'm in the mood for and don't feel like cooking.

Adjust the ingredients to suit you, would love to know any additions you made and love!

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Jalepeño Infused Watermelon Margaritas

Photos: By Valorie Darling

Photos: By Valorie Darling

  • 2 Jalepeños, sliced
  • 1 Bottle of tequila (I used Patron)
  • ½ Cup watermelon, juiced & strained
  • 1 Lime, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp agave
  • salt, for rim

Slice 2 jalepeños and add to tequila (I place in a mason jar).  Store in a cool area, but can be kept at room temp, allow to sit for at least 24 hours, I prefer 72 hours to get the desired heat level.  If juicing your own watermelon, slice melon in half, scoop out all the insides and place in blender (depending on size of melon you may need to do this in multiple batches).  Blend until smooth.  Use a small sieve and strain watermelon juice in order to catch any seeds or chunks that may not have been thoroughly blended.

Once tequila is ready, combine 1 shot of tequila, ½ cup of watermelon juice, juice of one lime, 1 tbsp agave in a martini shaker, add add and shake.  Rim glass with pulp of lime and dip in salt.  Pour margarita in and enjoy.

To make these margs extra spicy, muddle jalepenos in shaker before adding other ingredients.

I love margaritas, what I don’t love are the calories and extra junk that goes into most margs.  So, I created this bad boy because I love them extra spicy and as healthy as possible.  Make them individually or a large pitcher, trust me, they won’t go to waste!


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Simple fresh ingredients are really the star here!  If you're in a rush, buy a bottle of cold pressed watermelon juice and pre cut watermelon to spice up the rim of the glass.  Just because you're making a homemade cocktail doesn't mean it needs to be difficult.

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Red White & Blue Cocktails to spice up your 4th

Photos By: Valorie Darling

Photos By: Valorie Darling

I mean let's be honest, a 4th BBQ usually entails a cocktail or two, so why not make it a festive one?  These bad boys are red, white and blue thanks to the fruit and the fruit purees.  I even made a popsicle to toss in there.  I mean what could be better on a hot day then a refreshing, and healthy popsicle?  

Red, White & Blue Mojito

  • 1.5 oz rum (one shot, I used Bacardi)
  • 10 mint leaves
  • 1 lime (cut in half, slice one side)
  • 1 pint strawberries (fresh or frozen work here)
  • 1tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp agave
  • 1 can club soda or lime sparkling water

Hull strawberries and place in a blender.  Squeeze half the lime and add half the mint leaves and the honey.  Blend until smooth.  Strain through a fine mesh sieve (this is optional but I like to get any seeds or chunks out). 

~At this point I placed some of the puree in star molds to create the cute little ice cubes.  

Place 3 tbsp strawberry puree in glass, add 5 mint leaves and two slices of lime.  Muddle in glass, then add shot of rum.  Top off with club soda or lime sparkling water.   Add a few strawberry star ice cubes, blueberries and enjoy!

~My other ice star ice cubes are simply lime sparkling water with pomegranate seeds

Photos By: Valorie Darling

Photos By: Valorie Darling

Rotisserie Chicken with Whisky BBQ Sauce

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Keeping with the theme of store-bought and entertaining, this just might be my most favorite "hack."  Follow the recipe for Whisky BBQ Sauce, set aside.  Purchase (yes, that's right, why do all the work when the grocery store makes an amazing one?!).  Remove skin from whole chicken, cut into pieces and begin to "pick" the chicken.  This is the glamorous (or not so glamorous) word for pulled chicken.  The beauty of this recipe is, you don't have to slow cook chicken for hours or wait for it to be ready in the crock pot, simply pick the chicken and follow the directions below.  You'll have insanely good pulled chicken in no time.  Top a bun with this and then add pickles and slaw, you won't be sorry!  Happy 4th and Summer food to you all!


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  • 1 whole rotisserie chicken (I prefer organic and found mine at Whole Foods)
  • 1 cup Homeade Whisky BBQ sauce
  • 1 cup chicken stock, or water

Once chicken is pulled, place in a large skillet.  Turn heat to medium low and add 2 cup BBQ sauce.   Bring to a gentle simmer and place lid on top.  Allow sauce to bubble and heat the chicken.  Once done, top on your favorite gluten free buns I used Udi's because I simply can't get enough of their products!


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Hope your 4th of July was/is relaxing and that you have a little less pressure on you now to make everything!  I promise people won't notice, and you'll keep your sanity!

Pamela's Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing - Perfect for your 4th of July Celebrations!!

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Let’s be honest, hosting a gathering is A LOT of work!  I love nothing more than hosting friends and family and cooking for them, but I have little hacks to make my life easier!  These hacks come in the form of a little help from my friends at the grocery store!  This recipe is the epitome of getting a little help!

I used a package of Pamela’s sugar cookie mix (which I found at Whole Foods), and OMG!!!! I’m not sure I’ll ever make my own sugar cookies again!  These things were simply amazing!!  If I use something store bought, I like to go homemade with a component of it.  For this I did homemade icing!  Now I know my decorative icing skills are lacking, but it was my first time trying these.  You could absolutely add less coconut milk in order to have a thicker icing.  I also used vegetable dyes from Whole Foods in order to achieve these colors.

I picked this up at my local Whole Foods

I picked this up at my local Whole Foods

Pamela's Sugar Cookie Mix

  • 1 package Pamela’s Sugar Cookie Mix (Whole Foods)
  • 1 stick of unsalted grass fed butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg

Follow package instructions.  Once dough is prepared, place in the fridge for 30 mins.  Transfer to a cool clean surface and roll out dough.  Use a star cutter and an offset spatula to cut cookies.  After baking transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


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Royal Icing

  • 1 Cup Confectioners Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 tbsp full fat coconut milk (add more or less depending on desired consistency)
  • Sanding sugar, to top
  • 4 drops food coloring

Place confectioners Sugar in a bowl.  Add vanilla, then slowly add milk.  It doesn't look like there's much, but a little goes a long way!  Once cookies are cooled, dip them in icing and place on a rack with a pan underneath in order to catch the drips.  I topped these with some sanding sugar.  Honestly, these are the best sugar cookies I’ve ever had, and I hardly had to do any work!

~ You can sift your sugar in order to make sure there are no lumps.  Again, I know my icing game needs some SERIOUS help!  If you've got some tips, please send them my way!


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Homemade Whisky BBQ Sauce

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Sticking with the tradition of homemade and store bought, I made this BBQ sauce and bought a rotisserie chicken.  You can use this in the crock pot, add it to store bought, make chicken wings out of it or use it to top any protein!

I mean I just had to make a great BBQ sauce for the 4th of July!  I knew I didn't have it in me to make an entire spread but again, I love to put my spin on things, and BBQ sauce is one of my favorite ways to do it!  This one offers a nice kick, but is easily tweaked if you want to tone down the spice.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 2 jalepeno peppers, diced (remove veins if you don't like it spicy)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups organic ketchup
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3-6 chiles in adobo, plus sauce they are packed in 
  • 1/4 cup whisky (I used Bulleit)
  • 1 tsp GF soy sauce
  • 1 cup chicken stock (more for thinning sauce if you like it thinner)
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

In a large skillet over medium heat, place olive oil, chopped onion and jalepeno in pan, sautee until translucent.  Add garlic and sautee another two minutes.  Once softened, add dry mustard, paprika, red pepper flakes, garlic powder and pepper, sautee for another minute and remainder of ingredients, ketchup through chicken stock.  Reduce heat and cover.  Simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.

Taste and adjust seasonings.  Simmer another 15 minutes.  Let cool completely and place in blender, I prefer a smooth textured sauce, if you like it a little chunky, keep it as is.  Pulse until smooth, add more chicken stock by the 1/4 cup if sauce is too thick.  Place in a jar and store in the fridge for up to a week.  Stay tuned for my 4th of July chicken sliders.


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Ginger Turmeric Quick Pickles

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  • 1 medium English cucumber (or 4 small ones), rinsed
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ½ inch ginger, sliced
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp red pepper flake
  • 1 tsp paprika (sweet or smoked works great)
  • ½  serrano pepper, sliced
  • ½ jalepeño pepper, sliced
  • 2 cups seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt

Rinse and slice cucumber into quarter inch rounds.  Place in clean mason jar.  In a pot over medium heat combine the vinegar, water, honey and salt.  Bring to a low boil and simmer until everything is combined, roughly 2-3 minutes.

Add garlic gloves, ginger, peppercorns, turmeric, pepper flakes, paprika, and serrano and jalapeño peppers to canning jar.  Once stove ingredients are combined, pour over cucumbers.  Put the lid on and shake several times so ingredients combine and distribute.  Place on counter until pickles come to room temperature.  Once room temp, place in fridge for 48 hours.  After 48 hours these bad boys are ready!!


I mean I love anything with a tangy vinegar taste.  Most of my dressings are vinegar heavy and I add a balsamic glaze to more things than not.  I mean it really is just the perfect finish to so many things!  So, when making quick pickles, I’m always anxiously awaiting the 48 hour period to when they’re officially done!  These bad boys have an extra anti-inflammatory kick from the turmeric and a tangy zing from the garlic, ginger and seasoned vinegar.  You can really add anything you have on hand to these, I’m not sure I’ve made them the same way twice. 

Keep these in the fridge to munch on or add them to sandwiches, salads, or rice bowls for a little acidic punch.  Let me know what you add or subtract and how they turn out.  Hope you love these as much as I do!

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Maca Cashew Energy Balls

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  • 3 cups raw cashews
  • 3 tbsp maca powder
  • Dash of sea salt
  • ¼ cup agave
  • goji berries (optional)

Place cashews in a food processor, add in goji berries now if using (can also be done in a blender, be sure to pulse or you’ll end up with cashew butter, super delicious, but that’s another recipe ;).  Pulse until desired consistency. About 1 minute.  You want small enough pieces that you can easily form these into bite size balls.  Add maca powder and sea salt pulse 3-5 times to incorporate.  Next slowly add the agave through the pour spout on food processer, slowly incorporate until the mixture sticks together and looks like a dough.

Next, form mixture into balls, this can get real sticky, gloves are definitely helpful.  Once formed, transfer to airtight container and store in the fridge.  These are equally delicious cold or room temp.


I had a crazy addiction to something similar to these at my gym, I  used to spend $4 per “cookie” on these back in the day.  I figured I either pick up a second job to support my habit or there has to be a way to make these and save myself $4 every time I left the gym.  I looked up the ingredients, made them at home, tweaked them, now they’re even better!  They’re oddly addicting and satisfying and completely curb that sweet craving.  If you’re feeling real fancy (or tired) add 1 tbsp of matcha powder when you add the maca, it’s beyond and tints them a nice pretty green!

Cinnamon Almond Super Food Smoothie

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  • 1 frozen banana- chopped into pieces
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp raw cocoa nibs
  • 1 tbsp maca
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup coconut milk (can use any dairy free milk)
  • 3 dates
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • handful of ice cubes
  • 1 scoop of plant protein (optional)

Place all ingredients in blender, blend on low and gradually increase speed until you no longer hear the blender chopping.  Blend until smooth, top with cocoa nibs and mint.  If using this as a base for a smoothie bowl, reduce milk by half.


SERVING

Something about this smoothie is so comforting and delicious!  It’s fresh yet hearty enough for for a meal replacement.  In the summer leave as is, or add some ginger and nutmeg in the fall.  I love the topping on this because you get the freshness of the mint when you take a sip and the slightly sweet crunchiness of the cocoa nibs, I’m a texture girl so I have to have something crunchy on there!  Let me know what you think or how you customize this one for you!

Raspberry Chia Jam

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  • 1 carton raspberries
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chia seeds

4 Ingredients, I know, hardly sounds like a recipe, but this is so darn good every single time and it’s ready in about 5 minutes plus the time it takes to cool.  

In a small sauce pan add your raspberries and mash them (I use a potato masher but a fork works just as well).  Mash to your desired consistency, I like a few bigger chunks in there.  Add your lemon juice and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Once the mixture starts to boil, add in your tablespoon of honey.  Let mixture boil for 1:30.  Add chia seeds and boil for another 30 seconds.  Remove from heat and let cool.  Can be stored in the fridge in an air tight container for up to a week.  You can use this recipe as a guideline for any fruit.  Enjoy!


Serving

I love putting this on toast or an English muffin or on top of my almond butter on toast or an English muffin.  If I’m really going for it I’ll put this on top of some homemade Nutella on top of toast.  The possibilities are endless and it’s just a simple, fast, healthier version of your favorite jam. 

Garbage Bowl Quinoa Salad

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Garbage Bowl Quinoa Salad (GF, can be DF)

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken stock (or veggie)
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • ½ purple onion
  • ¼ cup dried tart cherries
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  • Arugula or Kale (Arugula should be added immediately before serving)
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained
  • ½ cup sheep’s milk feta

Place quinoa in a dry pan over medium heat and toast for 1 minute (adds a nutty flavor). Then cook according to package instructions using chicken stock or veggie as the liquid for added flavor (make sure you read the package as some quinoas need to be rinsed before cooking). Once done allow quinoa to completely cool or place in the fridge to speed up the process.

Chop carrots into bite size pieces, slice red onion into thin half-moons, if you use feta, pat dry with paper towel and dice into small bite size chunks. Add cooled quinoa to a large bowl, add in carrots, red onion, tart cherries, slivered almonds, garbanzo beans, feta, if using kale, chop and add that in also (arugala is great also, just add to each individual bowl as it will wilt and not hold up well if you have left-overs).  Mix to combine all ingredients, add salt and pepper to taste and then dress with Go-to lemon vinaigrette. Cover and place in fridge for 20-30 minutes to allow flavors to marry.  If you are using arugula, mix in directly before plating, no need to add extra vinaigrette.  Sometimes I like to top thi1s with a balsamic drizzle to add a little extra something, something.

Soooo, full disclosure, this used to be made with farro, which I’ll be honest, had a slight edge over this salad.  Since going gluten free, I had to change it to a gluten free grain (womp, womp) but the quinoa is a very close second (buckwheat ain’t bad either).  If you’re not gluten free, make both and please let me know which you prefer.  

As the name indicates, go crazy, add whatever you have and enjoy. It’s such a great way to use up whatever produce you may have or any leftover nuts you’re not quite sure what to do with, well here is your chance. This paired with coconut yogurt spiced chicken (recipe coming soon) is my husband’s absolute favorite dish I make.  


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Dressing

Go-to Lemon Vinaigrette

  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1-2 tsp grade A maple syrup (2 makes it slightly sweet, 1 cuts the acid)
  • 1 tbsp Dijon
  • Pinch Salt
  • Pinch Pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
  • ¼ Cup Olive oil, adjust to preferred consistency and flavor (I like it extra tangy so I start with less oil and add more from there.

Add all ingredients to a jar and shake.  If you want a little extra tang, chop or grate one garlic clove into mixture.  That is my fave to add over my paleo tuna salad or basically anything!