Avocados seem to be all the rave the last few years and for good reason.  They are a nutrient-dense stone fruit.  Most fruits are primarily carbohydrates while avocados are rich in healthy fats – particularly monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), which promote heart health and basic body functions.  Avocados are known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties in the body.  

They contain a variety of essential nutrients, minerals and important phytonutrients.  They also contain more potassium than a banana.  One third of an avocado (5o g) has:

  • fiber – 3 g
  • folate/folic acid – 45 mcg
  • iron – .3 mg
  • magnesium – 15 mg
  • potassium – 250 mg
  • niacin (vit b3) – 1 mg
  • riboflavin (vit b2) – .1 mg
  • pantothentic acid (vit b5) – .7 mg
  • pyridoxine (vit b6) – .1 mg
  • thiamin (vit b1) – .04 mg
  • vitamin e – 1 mg
  • vitamin c – 4 mg
  • vitamin k – 11 mcg 
  • calcium – 10 mg
  • copper – 10 mg
  • phosphorous – 20 mg
  • zinc – .3 mg

Here’s another way to add this healthy fat into your diet. Surprisingly, the avocado doesn’t oxidize/brown when heated and it comes together in no time.  

Baked Avocado Fries w/Sriracha Lime Mayo
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 avocado
  2. 1 1/2 cups Aleia's Panko GF bread crumbs
  3. Himalayan pink salt
  4. fresh cracked pepper
  5. 1 tsp garlic powder
  6. avocado oil (for drizzling)
  7. 1 lime
  8. SRIRACHA LIME MAYO
  9. 1/4 cup mayo
  10. 1 tsp sriracha (or more according to your taste)
  11. 1 smidgen of finely fresh grated garlic
  12. zest of 1 lime
  13. juice from 1/2 of lime
Instructions
  1. Directions for mayo: Mix together and serve with avocado fries.
  2. Directions for Avocado Fries: Preheat oven to 450 F (convection if you have). Line a baking sheet with parchment or non-stick foil. Set aside.
  3. Score the entire avocado lengthwise around the pit with a large chef knife. Turn with two hands to separate. Remove pit by hacking the pit with the knife and turn, it should come right out. Scoop avocado with a large rounded spoon to keep in tact. Slice avocados lengthwise. I find it easier to scoop first rather than slice in it's shell for the fries.
  4. Mix together the breadcrumbs with the pink salt, pepper & garlic powder in a wide bowl. Coat thoroughly with the panko gf crumbs all over avocado slice. Line on the baking sheet without touching.
  5. Drizzle with avocado oil lightly.
  6. Bake for approximately 10 minutes (depending on oven might need more) on top rack until lightly browned. Turn and continue baking until lightly browned on the other side.
  7. Cool for about ten minutes. Squeeze lime over fries before serving (if desired) and serve with sriracha lime mayo. Enjoy!
Stacey DiVerde https://staceydiverde.com/

I love this bean soup especially in the winter when you need something to warm your soul!  It comes together in no time once the beans are prepped overnight.   I often make this mid-week after cooking all day for a client!   I love to add kombu (sea vegetable) because it helps the beans to be more digestible.  It also is an excellence source of iodine which is essential for thyroid health.  If you have a sluggish thyroid, adding seaweed to your diet can help nourish your thyroid.   It’s also loaded with nutritional goodies!  It also tastes good believe it or not using a mixture of beef stock, chicken and vegetable stock.  It gives it depth of flavor but I kept it strictly vegetarian/vegan in the recipe using vegetable stock.  Please let me know in the comments below if you try it and how you liked it!

 

16 Bean Soup w/Kale & Quinoa
Delicious Gluten Free 16 Bean Soup
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Ingredients
  1. The beans need to be soaked, so plan on this and soak them overnight for best results.
  2. 1 bag of dry 16 beans (soaked overnight)
  3. 1 onion, chopped
  4. 6 carrots, sliced
  5. 3 celery stalks, sliced
  6. 1-2 garlic cloves (grated)
  7. 1 bunch organic kale (stems removed and chopped)
  8. 1/4 cup of dry sherry (real sherry not the one in the supermarket)
  9. 2 tsp hot madras curry powder
  10. 1 28 oz can of petite diced tomatoes (Redpack)
  11. 1 Strip of Kombu (Whole Foods or health food store - optional)
  12. 1-2 containers of vegetable stock (prefer saffron road or nature’s promise)
  13. 1 3” piece parmesan rind (leftover if you have)
  14. Himalayan pink salt (to taste)
  15. 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  16. 3 cups of cooked quinoa
  17. Crushed Red Hot Pepper (to taste, at the table)
Instructions
  1. Rinse beans.  Soak beans in enough water to cover beans about 3-4 inches over beans overnight.  When you are ready to make the soup, drain and rinse the beans.
  2. Sauté chopped onion, celery, carrots in extra virgin olive oil for a few minutes.  Add grated garlic.  Add beans, vegetable stock (add enough to cover the beans initially, may need more later if it gets totally absorbed), can of tomatoes, kombu and parmesan rind (if you have left over).
  3. Bring to a boil, add curry powder, sherry and simmer for approximately 20 minutes.  Add chopped kale.  Season to your taste with Himalayan pink salt.  Continue to cook until beans are done.  Approximately another 10 minutes. Take out the piece of Kombu before serving.
  4. Prepare the quinoa separately, according to package directions.  Add quinoa in a bowl and ladle in soup, sprinkle with crushed hot pepper.  Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Note: adding Kombu (dry sea vegetable) to this soup would be an excellent source of iodine which is essential for thyroid health - it generally has no flavor and can be taken out after its done.  Kombu has the ability to render beans more digestible and less gas-producing.
Stacey DiVerde https://staceydiverde.com/

This is just about the time when I’m starting to crave some delicious clean eating grilled chicken! Especially after all the indulgences of holidays!  January is known as diet month ~ but this is anything but “diet” food.  Try not to associate food with the stigma of dieting.  When you do that is when you start craving foods that you know aren’t good for you.  Eat well and eat clean and you’ll never have to “diet.”  This chicken is not only clean but flavorful and light!  We enjoyed this last night along with some grilled asparagus and a big green salad.  It was cold and rainy last night but I was still fired up the grill.  Of course, you can use a grill pan for the stove top if you don’t want to venture out in the cold.   I usually grill year round if the grill isn’t covered in 3 feet of snow!  It’s a favorite grilled chicken amongst my clients as well. Try it and let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.   

Stacey's Marinated Clean Grilled Chicken
Serves 4
Marinated Clean Eating Grilled Chicken
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 2.25 lbs Boneless Organic Chicken Breasts (trimmed/cleaned and sliced about 1/2" thick)
Marinade for Chicken
  1. 1/2 cup Fresh Basil - chopped
  2. 1 tbs Country Dijon Mustard
  3. 4 cloves Garlic - finely grated
  4. 2 tbs Raw Honey - optional
  5. 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  6. 3 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  7. 1/2 tsp Himilayan Pink Salt
Bruschetta
  1. 2 cups Grape Tomatoes (quartered or chopped)
  2. 1/4 tsp Garlic - finely grated (microplane works great)
  3. 6 leaves Fresh Basil (chopped)
  4. 1/2 tsp Oregano
  5. 1/8 tsp Himilayan Pink Salt
  6. 3 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  7. 2 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
Instructions
  1. Mix the ingredients for the marinade. Marinate the chicken for about a 1/2 hour making sure all the chicken has been coated.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the the bruschetta and let it sit in a separate bowl until ready to serve.
  3. Preheat your grill on high. Place chicken on grill over high heat and lower just a bit. Grill chicken approximately 2 minutes each side (depending on the thickness) - not turning until it's ready to turn which prevents sticking to the grill. You can 1/4 turn the chicken mid way (on the second side) if you like the criss-cross grill marks.
  4. Let sit for approximately 10 minutes before serving. Top with bruschetta.
Notes
  1. The key to having a juicy grilled chicken is not overcooking it. You can tell when it's ready when the chicken still has a little tenderness but firm when touched but not jiggly or rubbery. Not turning it over and over also prevents the juices from escaping so be patient. Start with a nice clean grill as well as oiling it a little. Chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165.
Stacey DiVerde https://staceydiverde.com/

With the cold weather in full swing, this is the perfect time to make this luscious warming to your soul soup! It comes together in no time so it’s perfect for a healthy mid-week meal too. It’s full of delicious healthy fats and helps keep you satiated which is great for in-between meals to sip in a mug. It’s super creamy (with no dairy added) especially when using a Vitamix. But not necessary, I also make this at my clients’ homes that do not have a Vitamix and a regular blender works fine!

For a longest time, I didn’t like curry or at least I thought I didn’t like it. I think it was because I rarely made recipes with it or ate it out. Turns out I really love it so don’t be afraid to try it because it really does make the soup yummy. It’s one of the reasons I don’t call this soup “Curried Butternut Squash” soup for all the clients that think they don’t like curry but love this soup. It may not be an “authentic” Thai recipe by any means but it it’s my version of this delicious soup!

Thai Butternut Squash Soup
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 large butternut squash (about 3 lbs) (skinned and cut into chunks), look for large long neck
  2. 1 large onion, chopped
  3. 1 clove garlic (crushed)
  4. 2 pears (seeded/skinned & cut in chunks)
  5. 1 container of organic vegetable broth - 32 oz (I prefer Saffron Road or Natures Promise brand)
  6. 1 can of unsweetened Native Organic Coconut milk (mix it before using) - 13.5 oz
  7. 1 tbs madras curry powder (more or less depending on your taste)
  8. Himalayan Pink salt to taste
  9. 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
For the Spiced Pepitas
  1. 1/2 cup of pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
  2. Cayenne pepper
  3. Smoked Paprika
Instructions
  1. Heat EVOO or coconut oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, butternut squash, pears, garlic and about 3/4 of the container of vegetable broth to the pot. Bring to a boil and simmer until soft.
  2. Transfer ingredients to a high speed blender (or regular one is fine) in batches if necessary. Add pinch of pink salt, a little coconut milk as well as the curry a little at a time to your specific taste. You may use up to the full can of coconut milk for the full batch depending on size of your butternut squash and taste as well as adding more broth if necessary - for me I like to use about 3/4 of the can. Continue each batch until done and transfer to a ball jar. Or, plate it in your favorite bowl and sprinkle w/the spiced pepitas and enjoy! I love to store soups in glass ball jars in the fridge. They look enticing and keeps it in full view looking pretty in your fridge! I use the 2 quart one when I make this soup.
Spiced Pepitas
  1. Toss the seeds with a sprinkle of cayenne and smoked paprika and heat in a 400 degree oven (works great in a toaster oven if you have) spread out on a small cookie sheet until lightly toasted, about 1-2 minutes.
Stacey DiVerde https://staceydiverde.com/