Cooked Greens and Chicken Salad

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Okay, I’ll start by saying this salad is DELICIOUS.  However, even if this didn’t taste as great as it does, I would still force myself to eat it, because it is SO incredibly good for me!  This is jam-packed with folate, which is great for anyone with the MTHFR gene mutation (which is surprisingly common!  I have it, and it is estimated that about 50+% of the population has it!).  Yeah, yeah, yeah, so it’s good for that, but it doesn’t end there!

I’ve been looking for ways to incorporate dandelion greens into my meals, because they are SO good for you!  They have a bitter taste, so it can be hard to find meals that they go well with, but they lend themselves perfectly to this dish!  The following pin links to a site that lists some great health benefits of these greens, and you will see why it is a good idea to incorporate these guys when possible!

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Some of their health benefits are as follows.

  • high in calcium and iron
  • antioxidant packed
  • reduce risk of cancer, MS, cataracts, and strokes
  • high in minerals
  • extremely detoxifying and cleansing for the liver

And that just touches the surface!  Between the cleansing properties of dandelion greens and the chelating properties of the cilantro, this is a great salad for cleansing your system!

So, I really don’t need to tout this salad anymore, because once you try it, the taste will be enough for you to want to keep trying it!  the fact that it is SO good for you is just the icing on the cake!

COOKED GREENS AND CHICKEN SALAD

Ingredients: makes 3 servings

  • 1 lb. chicken breast
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, divided
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 3/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 cups chopped dandelion greens
  • 3 cups chopped kale (rough stems removed)
  • 6 cups baby spinach
  • plain greek yogurt for serving, optional

Directions

1.) Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the chicken, and cook for 40 minutes.

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2.) Remove the chicken from the pot and cut into bite size pieces.  Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes.  Add the chicken, cilantro, and 1/6 of a teaspoon of garlic powder.  Sprinkle with sea salt and cook until the chicken is slightly browned (about 5-7 minutes).  Place the chicken on a plate and set aside.

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3.) In the frying pan you just used, place the kale and dandelion greens over medium heat.  Add 1/6 tsp. of garlic powder and sprinkle with sea salt.  Cook until completely wilted. Add to the plate with the chicken.

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4.) Once again, using the same pan, add the spinach to the pan and heat over medium heat.  Add 1/6 tsp. of garlic powder and sprinkle with sea salt.  Cook until the spinach is slightly wilted.

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5.) Split the spinach up among three plates.  Top with the chicken mixture, kale and dandelion greens that you set aside.

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If desired, you can top this with some plain greek yogurt or sprinkle with a bit of lemon juice, but it’s great on it’s own too.  This makes for a super easy meal, and as I explained, it is SOOOOO good for you!  Enjoy! 🙂

Chocolate Coconut Almond Filled Tart

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Seriously?!? Look at that deliciousness!  If chocolate is one of your weaknesses like it is mine, then I am here to be the bearer of good news! Dark chocolate is actually quite good for you (in moderation, of course)!!!  Check out the health benefits that a little bit of dark chocolate has on this pin I found on Pinterest!

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Awesome! I’ll take it! Now, it’s important to add that the darker the chocolate, the healthier it is. Unfortunately, milk chocolate and chocolates containing minimal amounts of true dark chocolate are so sugar-laden that any health benefits are overshadowed by the unhealthy parts of it. Thus, always go for as dark of a chocolate as you can handle in order to enjoy the health benefits of chocolate.

Okay, now for some more good news – this recipe!!!  I had a tea date with a friend of mine recently, and I wanted to bring some goodies for us to munch on. I opted for my apple cinnamon raisin oatmeal bites and this chocolate coconut and almond butter filled tart! They were both a huge hit!

This tart is a lot like a huge almond butter cup, but with yummy nummy flavors of coconut added in. What’s great about it is that as long as you stick to dark chocolate and you don’t overdo it, all of the ingredients in this thing have some amazing health benefits…you wouldn’t know it by tasting it though, so we’ll keep that our little secret! Oh, and added bonus – it’s SO easy to make!

CHOCOLATE COCONUT ALMOND FILLED TART

Ingredients:

Filling:

  • 1/2-3/4 cup almond butter
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut flour
  • 1 Tbsp. raw honey
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • a couple pinches of sea salt

Bottom and Top Layer:

  • 3 cups dark chocolate chips, divided
  • 5 tsp. coconut oil, divided

Directions:

1.) Line a 6-7 inch tart pan with a removable bottom with parchment paper. I actually cut a circle that fit the bottom of my tart pan. This will keep the chocolate from oozing through the cracks of the removable bottom.

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2.) In a small sauce pan, heat 1 cup of the chocolate chips and 2 tsp. of the coconut oil over low heat. Stir continuously until completely melted and smooth. Pour the chocolate chocolate mixture into the bottom of the lined tart pan, and tap on the counter to spread out evenly to the edges of the tart pan. Place the tart pan in the refridgerator.

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3.) Place all of the ingredients for filling in a mixing bowl, and stir to combine. Use your hands to make sure that everything is combined completely. Shape the dough into large circle patty that will fit in the bottom of your tart pan with a little room to spare around the edges. Take the tart pan out of the fridge, and place the patty on top of the chocolate bottom. Place the pan back in the refrigerator.

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4.) Melt the remaining 2 cups of dark chocolate and the remaining 3 tsp. of coconut oil in a small sauce pan over low heat. Stir continuously until completely smooth. take the tart pan out of the refrigerator, and pour the chocolate mixture over the top, making sure to get it in the edges between the filling and the pan.

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5.) Place the tart back in the refrigerator, and allow to harden for a minimum of 1 hour. When you are ready to serve it, take it out of the fridge, and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes. Push on the removable bottom to remove the tart from the pan, peel off the parchment paper on the bottom, and transfer to a plate. Use a sharp knife to cut into pieces.

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YUMMY! Enjoy! 🙂

 

Simple Carrot Cake Oatmeal

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Aren’t carrots the best!  I love how they can lend themselves to both sweet and savory dishes.  Any vegetable that can serve as a fruit in this way is awesome in my book!  Not only that, but check out all of the health benefits, vitamins, and minerals carrots provide!

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The news just keeps getting better, because I’m going to share a super yummy, and SUPER simple, healthy recipe for preparing oatmeal in such a way that it tastes a lot like a delicious carrot cake, but with only healthy ingredients!

I used a full cup of shredded carrots in this recipe (for one serving), giving it an extremely carroty taste.  If you want that to be brought down a bit, feel free to use just 1/4 – 1/2 cup of shredded carrots.

Another nice thing about this recipe is that it’s really simple to make!  It’s basically the same process as just making regular oatmeal, so you can get a nice healthy and tasty twist on regular oatmeal without any extra effort!

SIMPLE AND HEALTHY CARROT CAKE OATMEAL

Ingredients (makes one serving):

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned gluten free oats
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp. alcohol free vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1-2 tsp. raw honey or a pinch of stevia
  • chopped pecans for topping (optional)

Directions:

1.) Add the carrots, almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and honey (or stevia) to a small sauce pan.  Bring to a boil.  Add the oats and cook for 5-10 minutes depending on soft you like your oats.

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2.) Transfer to a bowl, top with pecans (if desired), and serve.

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Delicious!  Enjoy! 🙂

Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Hashbrowns

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Oh boy!  The other day, I was snooping around on Pinterest, looking for ideas for breakfast the next day, and I came across the following pin:

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Well, that looked delicious!  As anyone that follows my blog knows, I don’t do gluten or regular potatoes, so I went to work to make the recipe gluten-free and to use the ingredients I had on hand (which weren’t many) to make a similar patty that satisfied my criteria.  The result is a gluten-free, delicious, and healthy baked sweet potato and cauliflower baked hash brown  that made for a perfect breakfast the next morning.

Now, as I said, I was lacking in ingredients that I had on hand, so this is a very basic recipe, but you could easily add various things to it to jazz it up a bit, like onion, fresh herbs, different cheeses, ground turkey, etc.  However, it’s delicious as is, so if you’re looking for something really basic that tastes amazing, you can certainly leave it as is!

CAULIFLOWER AND SWEET POTATO BAKED HASHBROWNS

Ingredients (makes about 14-18 patties, depending on how large you make them):

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 Tbsp. almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic granules
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 oz. soft goat cheese (optional)

Directions:

1.) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Place the sweet potato and cauliflower in a large pot of water.  Bring to a boil, and simmer until very soft and tender (about 10 minutes).

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2.) Drain the sweet potato and cauliflower completely, and place in a large mixing bowl.  Use a potato masher to mash up as you would mashed potatoes.

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3.) Add the garlic granules, almond flour, eggs, sea salt, and goat cheese.  Stir to combine completely.

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4.) Use a large spoon to spoon the mixture onto the prepared baking sheets in the shape of patties.  Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes at 400 degrees.

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5.) Allow to cool for a minute or two on the pan, then transfer to a plate and serve!

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YUM!  Enjoy! 🙂

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower Soup

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This soup…

  • healthy…check
  • filling…check
  • gluten free…check
  • filled with nutrition…check
  • delicious…check, check, check

The other day, I was craving both roasted vegetables and soup, so I decided to combine the two.  This stuff is GREAT!  The taste of roasted veggies in a yummy creamy soup!  I settled on using brussels sprouts and cauliflower (because it is what I had in the fridge), and these two veggies are packed with nutrition.  Check out these pins listing the health benefits of these two cruciferous vegetables:

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I just love looking up the health benefits of various ingredients in the recipes I make.  It makes me feel so good about putting it in my body!  Let’s get to the recipe!

ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS AND CAULIFLOWER SOUP

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 lb. brussels sprouts, washed and halved
  • 1.5 tsp. organic butter
  • 3/4 cup chopped shallots
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt

Directions:

1.) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place the prepared brussels sprouts and cauliflower on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Roast on the bottom shelf of the oven for 25 minutes.

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2.) In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low/medium heat.  Add the shallots and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.  Add the broth and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.  Set aside 1 cup of the roasted veggies, and add the rest to the pot.  Simmer for about 2-3 minutes.

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3.) Transfer the soup to a food processor (you may have to do this in batches).  Add the salt, then process on high until the soup is smooth.

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4.) Transfer the soup to bowls and top with the veggies you set aside before serving.

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Easy peasy, and super yummy!  Enjoy! 🙂

Apple Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bites

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My new love interests are these yummy no bake apple cinnamon raisin oatmeal bites!  Holy cow, these things are YUMMY!  They remind me of an oatmeal cookie, but SUPER good for you!  All of the ingredients have various health benefits, but let’s focus on the fresh apple in these guys!

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Look at all those health benefits, and that’s just one of the great ingredients in these yummies!  It’s a really good thing that these are good for you, because believe me, you will not be able to eat just one…or two…or a whole batch. 🙂

APPLE CINNAMON RAISIN OATMEAL BITES

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups gluten free old fashioned oats
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp. almond butter
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 1 tsp. alcohol free vanilla
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 large apple, shredded and squeezed in a dish towel to get out as much moisture as possible
  • 1/3 cup raisins

Directions

1.) In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats and cinnamon.

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2.) In a small sauce pan, combine the almond butter, honey, vanilla, and sea salt over low heat.  Stir until smoothly combined (no globs of almond butter)

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3.) Add the almond butter mixture to the oat mixture, and stir to combine completely (don’t be afraid to use your hands on this to make sure it is mixed together completely).

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4.) Add the apple and raisins.  Stir to combine completely.  Use your hands to create bite size balls.  Let sit in the fridge for at least 1/2 an hour to set.

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SO YUMMY!

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7Enjoy! 🙂

Slow Cooker Italian Chicken and Rutabaga

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Get ready for the easiest dinner recipe ever!  Don’t worry, it’s super tasty and good for you too!  There’s just a few easy steps when it comes to making this dish, and the slow cooker does the rest for you.  It’s awesome!

It’s also just got two main ingredients, which makes it really easy on digestion.  One of those ingredients is rutabaga, one of my absolute favorite veggies – with good reason!

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Every time I go grocery shopping and get rutabagas, the person checking me out always has to ask what type of vegetable it is and how I use it.  Personally, I think the rutabaga deserves so much more recognition!  With all of these obvious nutritional and health benefits, I think it should be included in everyone’s diet to some extent.  Also, if you’re ever looking for a substitute for potatoes, rutabagas are it!  They cook practically identically to potatoes, and their texture is extremely similar.  They are a bit sweeter in taste than potatoes, but I haven’t found a single recipe that they don’t taste delicious in!

Alright, let’s get to it!

SLOW COOKER ITALIAN CHICKEN AND RUTABAGA

Ingredients:

  • 1.25 lbs. boneless and skinless chicken breast
  • 3 medium sized rutabaga, peeled and chopped into 1 inch-pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning blend
  • 1 tsp. garlic granules
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1.) Place the chicken breast and prepared rutabaga in a large mixing bowl.  Drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle with the Italian seasoning and garlic granules.  Stir and toss to coat completely.  Transfer to the bed of a slow cooker.

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2.) Cook on low for 4-6 hours until the chicken is cooked through and the rutabaga is fork tender.  Transfer to plates and season with sea salt and pepper.

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Told you it was ridiculously easy!  Enjoy! 🙂