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Roasted Red Peppers with Ricotta, Tomatoes & Olives

I saw this delicious roasted red pepper recipe from Epicurious the other day. Lets just say I couldn’t resist making it right away. So it found my way to my Sunday table this past week. It did not disappoint! I left out the anchovies because I wasn’t sure if my kids would frown upon it if they knew it was in there.  I’m sure it just melts into the dish and would probably go unnoticed adding another layer of in-depth flavor.  

This is definitely going to be on my Easter table this year! It was soooo good! Let me know if you give it a try.  I copied the recipe directly from Epicurious so you can enjoy it.  Bon Appetit! 

Roasted Red Peppers with Cherry Tomatoes & Ricotta

Author Epicurious

Ingredients

  • 4 red bell peppers halved, seeds and ribs removed
  • 6 oil-packed anchovy fillets finely chopped (I left it out)
  • 4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 1 cup basil leaves divided
  • Kosher salt freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved (I used mixed color)
  • 1/3 cup fresh ricotta (I used about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup pitted small black and/or green olives
  • Flaky sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place bell peppers, skin side down, in a shallow baking dish and top with anchovies and garlic. Tear 1/4 cup basil leaves over top, season with kosher salt and black pepper, and drizzle with 2 Tbsp. oil. Bake until peppers are tender but still hold their shape and are slightly charred around edges, 35–45 minutes. Let cool.

  2. Meanwhile, blend remaining 3/4 cup basil and remaining 1/3 cup oil in a blender until smooth; season basil oil with kosher salt and black pepper.

  3. Arrange bell peppers on a platter. Top with tomatoes, ricotta, olives, and more basil, then drizzle with basil oil and season with sea salt and black pepper.

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Delicious Moist Almond Flour Brownies

I was testing out a new healthy paleo brownie recipe that totally was a disappointment for my Valentine’s Day treat!  Luckily, I baked my tried and true delicious moist almond flour brownie recipe featured here along side it!  

When a recipe says “This brownie recipe is the answer to every baked good and chocolate craving you’ve ever had…” you hope you found a winner that is both delicious and healthy! It honestly tasted nothing like that description nor was it close to even being a tad sweet. I used monk fruit which was suggested since I didn’t have the other sweetener (JJ Virgin’s sprinkles) which may be the difference. I honestly never tasted monk fruit so I didn’t know what to expect. I’m not even fond of using replacement sugars unless it’s something like honey, coconut sugar or dates.  All these other sweeteners on the market I’m just not sure how “healthy” they claim to be. And, I don’t want to see in 5 or 10 years that they might be the worst thing we might be consuming! I don’t like stevia either.  To me, it tastes like a “fake” sweetener and has that aftertaste so I don’t use it. I just rather have the real thing and have it as a treat once in a while. Unfortunately, the healthy paleo brownie was a total fail in flavor and I was sorry I drove to three different stores to find the monk fruit sweetener!

Thank goodness my tried and true almond flour brownie recipe came to the rescue. I suppose my intuition was at play here! 🙂 I’ve been making this recipe for years and love it especially since I’m gluten free. It does have real sugar and it does have real grass-fed butter which I’m fine with. I’m not crazy and manic when it comes to things like that even though I try my best not to include sugar on a regular basis. A treat is a treat and should not be consumed like you would be eating a salad!

My clients and their kids love this recipe too. I can say with a clear conscious that this recipe is delicious and you should give it a try. You won’t miss the flour or even know it’s missing because it’s still moist, rich, chocolatey and delicious! I hope you try this yummy almond flour brownie recipe! And, if you do, please let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Delicious Moist Almond Flour Brownies

Gluten Free Rich Moist Brownies

Course Dessert
Servings 10

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup fine almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder aluminum free
  • 3/4 cup organic sugar
  • 3 lrg eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup grass-fed butter Kerrygold
  • 3/4 cup ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare an 8x8x2 ceramic baking dish with parchment or non-stick foil for easy removal.  Hang it over the sides so you can just lift it out.  For the parchment, butter the dish first so it sticks.

  2. Melt chocolate and grass-fed butter in the microwave in a glass measuring cup for approximately 30 seconds, stir and continue until melted. Whisk together and set aside.

  3. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients such as almond flour, cocoa powder, pink salt and baking powder.

  4. Meanwhile, beat together eggs, sugar and vanilla for approximately 2 minutes and light in color.

  5. Slowly pour the melted chocolate and butter mixture into the wet ingredients while still beating the mixture until all incorporated.

  6. Pour the all the wet into the dry ingredients while beating until completely mixed and incorporated.

  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes.  I usually pull mine at 25 (put a knife in the middle it should be pretty clean not wet but still moist).  Cool and cut into squares.  

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Winter Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad

This shaved winter brussel sprout salad is delicious and light!  I’ve made it a few different times over the last few weeks for my clients.  It’s always a welcome addition in the winter.  Although not completely necessary to make the dish with a mandoline, it makes it so much easier to get the thin shreds you want.  You can also use a food processor shredding blade or a sharp chefs knife will work as well but may take you just a bit longer.  These are the times when you wish you had one!

I purchased mine on Amazon – Swissmar Borner V Power Mandoline and have had it for many years and use it often.  It works great because it’s a very sharp blade!  You have to be careful for ones that are not as sharp because that could be dangerous for slipping.  And on the other hand you have to be careful because whatever you are cutting you don’t want to go all the way down to your fingers or you will slice them.

Try this delicious salad as a light lunch or as a side with your dinner.  It’s delicious and comes together so quickly.  It also holds up in the fridge for a few days too so it’s an added bonus!

Winter Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad

Delicious raw winter salad!

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Stacey DiVerde

Ingredients

For the Salad:

  • 2 packages raw brussel sprouts shaved
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup shaved parmesan (or buy pre-shaved) BelGioioso Parmesan Shaved Cheese, 5 Oz

For the Dressing

  • 3 ea lemons freshly squeezed
  • 3-4 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp grated garlic
  • 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/2-1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

Instructions for salad:

  1. Shave the brussel sprouts with a mandolin being careful of your fingers in a large bowl.

  2. Add cranberries, slivered almonds and shaved parmesan.

Instructions for Dressing:

  1. In a glass jar or bowl, squeeze lemons, add rest of ingredients and shake the jar or whisk to emulsify and toss well into the salad. Adjust seasoning to your taste. 

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Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

This little chia seed is packed with high fiber, protein and omega 3 fatty acids! The raspberries are an extra boost in fiber and one of the highest amount of fiber in berries!

I’ve been hooked on this since I started making this a few months ago.  I eat it several times a week.  It’s a great breakfast because all you need to do is open your fridge – and – wah la – it’s ready!  It also keeps you satisfied for a long period and it makes you feel like you are eating something luxurious due to how creamy it is! It doesn’t seem like it is healthy! 

Chia seeds benefits include promoting healthy skin, reducing signs of aging, supporting the heart and digestive system, building stronger bones and muscles, and more. 

One cup of chia seed pudding has 16.9 grams of fiber, 8 grams of protein (not including the cashew milk that it’s made with) and 14.8 grams of healthy fat!! This one cup is literally half of your recommended fiber intake for the day and we know how hard it is to get a lot of fiber in your diet. It’s a win win for weight loss as well as lowering your risk for heart disease and diabetes!! Fiber slows the rate the sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream! 

It’s loaded with ALL 8 essential amino acids, a host of trace minerals and micronutrients ~  manganese, phosphorus, calcium, zinc, copper & potassium!  It has the highest amount of omega 3 of any plant source. And while the best source for omega 3s is oily fish due to EPA and DHEA – a recent study found (Appalachian State University) that when female subjects tested took 25 grams of milled chia seeds over a 7 week period their EPA plasma increased not just ALA. This is awesome for vegans and vegetarians that need to get their omega 3s from plant sources. I always put chia in my smoothies but I just love the pudding!!

Fiber is a very important part of our diet especially for weight loss and something that is often overlooked. This one is packed with all the essentials – fiber, protein & fat and a little carbohydrates.

You can find chia seeds at your local supermarket or health food store.  However, if you have a local Costco by you they sell a huge bag of organic chia seeds for under $7.00. Can’t beat it!

Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup 8 tbs - chia seeds
  • 2 cups cashew milk (I love Elmhurst Milked Cashews - so good!)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 6-8 raspberries

Instructions

  1. Put ingredients in a container with cover and mix together thoroughly with a whisk. It's not completely necessary but I find it comes out better if you stir it half way or after an hour or so of settling.  Sometimes I will just shake the glass container!

  2. Let it sit in the fridge overnight (or at least several hours) and place a handful of raspberries on top when serving. Enjoy!!

Recipe Notes

You can also make this with coconut milk if you are allergic to nuts.  Use half canned coconut milk and half carton (mixed well before other ingredients are put in)

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Anti-inflammatory Golden Milk

Achy joints may need extra attention especially in the winter when you may not be moving as much! Do you know that stagnation is not good for achy joints? You need to keep moving if you want to help your joints. I know that sounds counter-intuitive but they need movement to keep them healthy. You just want to make sure you are doing the right exercises. For example if you suffer with bad knees or hip issues, jogging would not be good. You get the picture!

This drink is so comforting – perfect for winter! It’s soothing and immune boosting! Drinking it before bed actually helps you have a more restful sleep while boosting your immunity while you sleep.

The secret spice actually is the curcumin in the turmeric that has numerous health benefits. Curcumin has been extensively studied. It has shown benefits to support digestion as well as alleviate inflammation in your digestion system. Boosts immunity, reduces inflammation due to osteoarthritis to name a few and has numerous studies in reduction in many types of cancer.

Too many benefits not to include this in your diet several times a week! If you aren’t allergic to tree nuts, I find it’s most delicious using cashew milk (regular dairy is inflammatory so I wouldn’t use that). I used cashew milk but it’s commonly made with other non-dairy milk such as almond or coconut or any combo of them both.  

If you can find fresh turmeric it really comes out so delicious vs. dried turmeric in your spice aisle – although that is good too but fresh just has a different flavor.  You can find fresh turmeric at your local supermarket (my stop & shop carries it), Whole Foods, or health food store should also have it if they sell produce.   Here’s a picture so you know what you are looking for:

Anti-Inflammatory Golden Milk

Servings 1
Author Stacey DiVerde

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cashew milk my favorite is Elmhurst Brand (so creamy)
  • 2 tsp grated fresh turmeric or 1 tsp dried turmeric (fresh is best)
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger or 1” sliced
  • Pinch black pepper freshly cracked
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp organic raw coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 tsp raw honey optional

Instructions

  1. Heat in a saucepan, over medium heat until hot but not boiling.

  2. Stir and let steep for about 5 minutes. 

  3. Strain through a fine mesh sieve over a mug. 

  4. Serve with an additional sprinkling of black pepper (helps with absorption) and an extra sprinkle of cinnamon.

Recipe Notes

You can find fresh turmeric at your local supermarket (my stop & shop carries it), Whole Foods, or health food store should also have it if they sell produce.  

 

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Pumpkin Paleo Waffles

Lets just say I’m not big on waffles.  But, I am loving these pumpkin paleo waffles especially since they are gluten free and you’d never know it.

Yup that’s me! Not even the kind that you would get wrapped around an ice cream cone. I really never got into what was so special about waffles even before I was gluten free.  I guess it’s because I rarely ate that kind of stuff when I was a kid probably because my mom didn’t buy or make them.  This waffle maker was given to me at my bridal shower 26 years ago – hence the hearts ;).  The recipe would be even better if I had a belgium waffle maker but this did the trick for now.

A few weeks ago one of my personal chef clients requested chicken and waffles for the kids!  Ever since then I’ve been kind of craving waffles plus my kids prefer waffles over pancakes. Happens a lot when I cook for my clients.  When Sunday rolled around, this was exactly what we had two weeks in a row!  

Enjoy!  Let me know if you try them and what you think!

Pumpkin Paleo Waffles

Delicious light and fluffy paleo pumpkin waffles.

Servings 6
Author Stacey DiVerde

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup organic pumpkin puree
  • 4 ea eggs
  • 2 tbs avocado oil
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened almond milk (can use vanilla almond milk)
  • 2 tbs organic maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour + 1 tbs
  • 1/2 cup arrow root flour + 1 tbs
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour + 1 tbs
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Heat your waffle maker as you are putting together the recipe.

  2. Blend all the wet ingredients (pumpkin puree, almond milk, eggs, vanilla, avocado oil). 

  3. In a separate bowl combine all the dry ingredients. 

  4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients while whisking either by hand or with a powered hand blender until it is completely combined.  It will thicken a bit as it sits.

  5. Spray your waffle iron with oil so it doesn't stick.  Pour the waffle mixture in the middle of your iron.  I can't tell you exactly how much because every iron is different.  Mine makes 4 waffles at a time.  Mine also beeps when it's ready although I prefer to check it a little before I know it might beep otherwise mine gets a bit too dark.  You want to cook them until they are golden and crisp.

  6.   Serve with maple syrup and grass-fed butter if you choose.

 

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Chick Pea Curry with Kale & Basmati Rice

This is the perfect warm and comforting dairy-free vegetarian/vegan dish for a cold NY night!  

I don’t eat rice very often because I have a very slow metabolism and well rice just doesn’t do well when you have a slow metabolism!  Lots of my clients have either a love or a hate relationship with curry but I encourage you to try it.  I didn’t love them years ago but I do now!  They are very comforting and grounding especially in the winter months they are perfect because we need to incorporate more warming foods! Both the inflammatory spices of ginger and turmeric in this dish help with inflammation and are good for your gut as well!

Let me know in the comments if you try the recipe what you think!!  I would love to hear your results!  The recipe is super easy and comes together so quickly – my kind of recipe!  It’s easily a mid-week meal!

Chick Pea Curry with Kale

Dairy-free Chick Pea Curry with Kale & Basmati Rice

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Stacey DiVerde

Ingredients

  • 3 cans organic chick peas drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cans coconut milk organic native forest brand
  • 2 cups vegetable stock I like natures promise (1/2 box)
  • 2 tbsp madras curry
  • 1 1/2 tsp grated ginger heaping
  • 1 dash garam masala optional (it's not completely necessary)
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 3 ea plum tomatoes seeded and diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste heaping
  • 1 bunch kale large bunch - stemmed and chopped
  • 4-5 ea carrots sliced
  • 1 med onion small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt or to taste
  • evoo for cooking
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice (dry to cook)
  • crushed hot pepper upon serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prepare basmati rice according to package directions and cook for approximately 18 minutes on low.  Set aside when done.  

  2. Meanwhile, saute onion in extra virgin olive oil in a wide braising type pan or dutch oven.  Add carrots, ginger and garlic and continue heating for just a few minutes more.

  3. Add coconut milk and vegetable stock, diced tomatoes, stir in tomato paste.  Add curry and rest of spices.

  4. Add rinsed chick peas. Add the chopped kale and bring to simmer. Reduce and adjust spices according to taste.  Sprinkle with crushed hot pepper for extra spice when serving.

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Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Sauteed Spinach & Shitake Bacon

Coconut bacon seems to be very popular these days and my next post may be just that but I think more with a breakfast type food.  I actually bought the coconut I needed because that was my intention when I went to the store.  I’m so intrigued that you can turn coconut into bacon and I needed to taste it!  Now that I think of it I don’t know why I would think “why wouldn’t that be the norm” you can turn coconut into almost anything these days without it truly tasting like a coconut ~ aka coconut aminos, coconut vinegar (my favorite and actually has more benefits than apple cider vinegar).  Neither of these taste like coconut and are good for you!!

So lets get to the yummy shiitake bacon – that’s what I’ve created here.  It truly does taste like bacon and has a similar texture as well.  It was the perfect topping to my spaghetti squash with spinach & tomato – it made the recipe so much more flavorful.  The best part is it took no time to make.   You can make it in like 5-10 minutes which is less than what real bacon takes.

Here’s the recipe for this delicious meal!

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Sautéed Spinach & Shiitake Bacon

Delicious vegetarian dish adding the extra flavor of shiitake bacon!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 1 person
Author Stacey DiVerde

Ingredients

  • 1 ea spaghetti squash
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes cherubs
  • 1/4 ea large viladia onion sliced
  • 1-2 ea garlic cloves grated
  • extra virgin olive oil for drizzling or as needed
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt

Shitake Mushroom Bacon

  • 1 5oz sliced shiitake mushroom package
  • 4 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika heaping
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt fine grated
  • 1/2 tsp Hickory liquid smoke (found in spice section)

Instructions

Roasting the Squash

  1. Preheat oven to 385. Slice you squash in half lengthwise. Scoop of the seeds/middle with an ice cream scooper for easy removal. Drizzle Extra Virgin Oil over the flesh. Roast squash flesh side down for approximately 30 minutes or until the skin is soft when pressed.  

Shitake Bacon

  1. While the spaghetti squash is roasting, Mix the avocado oil, smoked paprika, liquid smoke and salt together in a bowl. Large enough to toss the mushrooms in (I used a 1/2 aluminum tray).

    Spread out on a large rimmed baking sheet that is lined with parchment or a non-stick foil. Roast on 385 degree preheated oven (convection if you have or bake is fine) - top rack. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until starting to crisp being careful not to burn. Cool on the baking sheet. 

Putting it all together:

  1. While the spaghetti squash and mushrooms are roasting. Sauté the onion and tomatoes in a little extra virgin olive oil on the stovetop in a non-stick pan over med-high heat. Add the garlic last and saute for just a little longer. 

  2. When the squash is cooled to touch, take a fork and scrape one half of the squash into the pan. Add spinach and stir until wilted. Add Himilayan pink salt to taste.

  3. Transfer the squash mixture to a bowl and top with the shiitake mushrooms and serve. 

 

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Delicious Paleo Pancakes

These paleo pancakes are the perfect breakfast for any day.  They come together in just about 10 minutes.  They are dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free.  They are very light both when you eat them as well as you don’t feel drained and heavy after as you may feel eating regular pancakes.

#paleopancakes

Paleo Pancakes

Paleo Breakfast Pancakes - a delicious breakfast that is for both paleo lovers and non-paleo lovers. It comes together in just about 10 minutes and is gluten free as well as dairy free.

Course Breakfast
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 3
Author Stacey DiVerde

Ingredients

  • 2 bananas
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour (or a bit less)
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of Himalayan Sea Salt fine grain
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • splash almond or coconut milk
  • coconut oil (for cooking)

Berry Sauce

  • 1 cup Frozen organic mixed berries
  • splash coconut water (or more to your desired consistency)
  • drizzle maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Chunk the banana in a bowl, add eggs, vanilla and mash with a fork or I used a potato masher. It's okay if they are lumpy. Add the rest of ingredients and continue to mix until incorporated and mixed together.

  2. Over medium heat add coconut oil to a non-stick pan and ladle about a 1/2 cup in pan. May need to help it along to spread it out with a silicone spatula. As you can see they are not perfectly round shaped but taste yummy!

Berry Sauce

  1. For the berry sauce just heat the berry ingredients in a sauce pan until reduced a bit and the berries are broken up and has come together until the desired consistency.

 

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Roasted Dandelion Root Latte

Roasted Dandelion Root is the perfect restorative tonic to support your liver and help get it in optimal functioning shape. The liver is so taxed from our everyday environment, household cleaning chemicals, poor diet, etc. Not only does the liver detoxify it also helps convert T4 (inactive thyroid hormone) to T3 (active thyroid hormone). If your thyroid is sluggish it’s something to consider cleaning up the function of your liver besides just looking at your thyroid for optimal functioning.  

Roasted Dandelion is bitter which is what the liver loves to help clean it up – bitter foods/herbs! Other plants/herbs that are bitter and helps support liver function are the dandelion greens itself, asparagus, arugula, kale, cilantro, parsley, milk thistle, to name a few.  Adding these foods to your diet will help support your liver.  

In this latte, I’ve used the dandelion root itself and turned it into a powder to make the latte.   Using roots keeps it fresher for long term storage vs. buying the powder.   You can also make dandelion tea by steeping the root.  It is actually a good replacement for coffee as well.  You can purchase dandelion root tea right at your local grocery store.  The roots and other herbs I buy from a reputable supplier such as Mountain Rose Herbs.

I hope you enjoy this healthy and detoxifying latte!!  

Let me know in the comments if you give it a try!

Roasted Dandelion Root Latte

Great detox tonic for your liver!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 1

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp Organic Roasted Dandelion Root Powder
  • 1/2 cup full-fat organic coconut milk such as Native Forest Brand
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • dash of cinnamon sprinkle on top after blended

Instructions

  1. In your high speed blender (or regular blend) add ingredients and blend it all up until frothy.  Enjoy.  

Recipe Notes

I like to buy roasted dandelion root in its whole form and make powder in a high speed blender (you can use a spice grinder or nutribullet to do this as well) instead of purchasing it in powder form for optimal effectiveness as well as freshness.  Unless you plan on using the powder within a short time.