Saucy, Saucy, You Know You Are a Cute Little Gut Pleaser: Spicy Almond Butter, Collard, Kale and Sweet Potato Sauce with Sweet Potato Noodles

Whenever I want to give to someone or the world in some way, I usually provide homemade food. A while back, a friend could not eat solid food due to a car accident and was tired of the liquids she was forced to eat. I wanted to provide her with something nourishing, filling and interesting. I created a version of a ground nut stew from West Africa – a stew of tomatoes, sweet potatoes, hearty greens, and peanuts. A surprising combination of foods and flavors that work well together. Rather than leave it chunky as a stew, I blended it into a drinkable soup. It was rich, tasty, and filling. I was dreaming about this stew the other night and wanted to recreate it with almond butter. The stew is typically served over rice with chicken. I decided to serve it as a sauce with sweet potato noodles and broccoli along with sesame seeds, almonds, and sunflower seeds for texture a bit of protein.  This dish is nourishing, full of texture and depth and satisfying hot or cold with or without the broccoli.

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Rice rice baby: Winter squash stuffed with brown rice, asparagus, zucchini, sunflower seed, pine nut risotto

I am days away from beginning a cleanse to control my asthma and allergies as well as boost my digestion. And it has been cold and rainy. Perhaps that is why I have been craving creamy and grain based food.  My counter top was full of winter squash – kabocha, acorn, butternut – and it made me think about a creamy squash risotto. However, I often find that the squash is lost and not as flavorful in a risotto. And squashes are great to stuff. So I decided to stuff kabocha and acorn squash with a flavorful sprouted brown rice risotto made with zucchini, asparagus, sunflower seeds and pine nuts. Creamy but full of texture. Flavorful. Nutritious. Satisfying.

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Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat: Flourless sugarless pumpkin almond cookies sweetened with dates

September through November  marks the craziest months for us – yes in terms of work, but really in terms of birthday parties. Every weekend for about 8-10 weekends we are booked – sometimes doubly and triply booked – for birthday parties. Now my daughter is obsessed with cake and cookies and ice cream and wants them all the time everytime. I can’t control what other people serve, but I can teach her that that healthier more nutritious versions can be enjoyable as well. So continuing on with the pumpkin fest, I made flourless pumpkin almond butter cookies make with pumpkin and pumpkin spice and sweetened with dates.  
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Great balls of pumpkin: Flourless fresh pumpkin, flax, macademia nut, coconut, and date, spiced energy bites

I need little snacks to munch on when I leave the house or finish working out – something quick, just a few bites and that will sustain me. I often grab a few nuts and a piece of fruit, but sometime I just want something else. So I decided to stock my counter top, fridge and freezer with some small bites that will carry me through the day – so anticipate several posts based on some form of a quick bite. This recipe uses fresh pumpkin, ground flax, macadamia nuts, spices and an optional protein powder covered in pistachios, sunflower seeds  or coconut to make little cold energy bites. The perfect on the go food.

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Paradise by the oven light: Gluten-free, dairy-free, legume-free, grain-free meatless “meatloaf” and potato-less “mashed potato”

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Meatloaf. I didn’t grow up eating meatloaf; Meat eating involved hamburgers, chicken tikka masala, tandoori chicken, Thanksgiving turkey, bacon and on occasion, a rack of lamb (when I was invited to Easter dinner at the house of my catholic school friend.) During this Whole30-like program I am participating in with members of my box, people have been posting pictures of meatloaf they have made. I was intrigued: meatloaf was a great way to make multiple meals – for a classic American dinner with potatoes and veg or in a sandwich. So I looked up what the essential components to a meatloaf entail. They are: ground meat, binders and flavorings.

Well as a vegetarian, two out of three ain’t bad.

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