Cheesy Vegetable Torte

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A vegetable cake?  Kind of!  Wow, so I came across the following pin on Pinterest the other day:

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It got me to thinking about what I wanted to make for dinner, and how I could include something from each color in one meal.  I went in the fridge and realized that I had all of the colors in the vegetables sweet potato, rutabaga, cauliflower, red onion, spinach and arugula, and garlic.  Then, I looked in the cupboard and saw my spring form pan that I usually use to make yummy healthy desserts like ice cream cakes.  I figured why not make a vegetable cake, or torte?

The recipe is really simple…it’s basically just layering vegetables of your choice with cheese as a way of holding it all together.  i used the vegetables that I listed earlier, but you can use any veggies you want, making sure that the top and bottom layers are some sort of sturdy veggie like sweet potato, rutabaga, or turnips.  i will say that the veggies I used created a perfect blend of flavors, in my  humble opinion though!

I used a 9 inch spring form pan, so you may need to adjust the amounts of each ingredient based on the size of your spring form pan.  Let’s take a look at the recipe!

CHEESY VEGETABLE TORTE

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potato, peeled and cut into thin slices
  • 1 rutabaga, peeled and cut into thin slices
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small head of cauliflower cut into small florets
  • 4-5 cups mixed spinach and arugula
  • 2-3 cups shredded cheese of your choice (I used a hard goat’s milk cheese)
  • 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • olive oil spray
  • garlic granules

Directions:

1.) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  In a large frying pan, heat 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic cloves and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add the cauliflower and cook for an additional 10 minutes, until the cauliflower starts to become tender.  Add the spinach and arugula and cook until completely wilted.  Remove from heat and set aside.

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2.) Spray your spring form pan with olive oil.  Place the following layers in the prepared pan: a layer of sweet potato slices on the bottom, sprinkle on some cheese and a pinch of garlic granules, half of the cauliflower mixture, sprinkle with some cheese and a pinch of garlic granules again, a layer of the rutabaga slices, cheese and a pinch of garlic granules, the rest of the cauliflower mixture, cheese and a pinch of garlic granules, top with a layer of sweet potato slices.  Sprinkle with cheese on top.

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3.) Place the spring form pan on a baking sheet to catch any dripping.  Cover with foil and bake in the oven at 425 degrees for 25 minutes.  Take out and remove the foil, then put back in the oven and bake for another 25-30 minutes at 425 degrees until the top is lightly browned.

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4.) Allow to set in the pan for 30 minutes at least.  Remove the spring form.

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Beautiful, isn’t it?  Use a sharp knife to cut into slices and transfer to plates to serve.

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Believe me, it’s just as tasty as it is beautiful!  Enjoy! 🙂

Chicken and Broccoli

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Oh my goodness, this chicken and broccoli dish is SO yummy!  This is one of my hubby’s favorites that I make!  With broccoli and chicken being its main ingredients, it’s super healthy for you, and it’s really easy to make even though it tastes like you slaved away for hours making it (don’t worry, it will be our little secret!).

The sauce for this dish is made from ginger, garlic, arrowroot, and coconut aminos.  Coconut aminos tastes exactly like soy sauce, but it is somewhat healthier for you.

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The above pin links to a site that explains some of the benefits of coconut aminos vs. soy sauce.  Some of those are as follows:

  • Coconut aminos are soy-free, so if you have a soy sensitivity, this is an excellent alternative
  • Coconut aminos are non-GMO certified, whereas some soy sauces contain GMOs
  • Soy is subject to cross-contamination of gluten.  There is no possibility of this with coconut aminos, so if you’re gluten free, this should be your go to replacement for soy sauce
  • Coconut aminos have approximately 73% less sodium than soy sauce
  • Soy sauce contains phytoestrogens which can lead to estrogen dominance in women causing various diseases.  Coconut aminos contains no phytoestrogens, so it is safe for women, men, and children
  • Soy is high in goitrogens, which are thyroid inhibitors that inhibit the thyroid from utilizing iodine properly.  Coconut aminos are free of goitrogens

Of course, if you buy 100% organic, non-GMO soy sauce, you avoid a lot of the bads that can be in soy sauce, but with coconut aminos, you don’t have to worry about it at all.  Not only that, but coconut aminos seriously taste amazing!

Okay, now that we’re up to speed about coconut aminos, let’s get to this recipe!

CHICKEN AND BROCCOLI

Ingredients (make 4-6 servings)

Sauce:

  • 1 cup coconut aminos
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp. sardine juice (water from a sardine tin)
  • 1 Tbsp. arrowroot powder

Chicken and Broccoli

  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 3/4 red onion, chopped
  • 1.5 lbs. boneless and skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
  • 5-6 cups of broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 green onions, sliced (dark green parts discarded)
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

1.) In a small bowl, mix together the coconut aminos, garlic cloves, ginger, and sardine juice.  Set aside while you cook the chicken and broccoli.

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2.) In a large frying pan, heat the coconut oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, and sauté until soft.  Add in the chicken and cook until the chicken is completely cooked through and a bit browned.  Transfer the onion and chicken mixture to a bowl.

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3.) Place the same pan you just emptied the chicken and onion out of back over medium heat, and add the broccoli and 1/4 cup of water to the pan.  Cover and steam for 3-4 minutes, then remove the cover and let the water cook off.  Transfer the broccoli to the same bowl the onion and chicken is in.

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4.) Place the same pan back over medium-low heat.  Add the prepared sauce to the pan and slowly heat the sauce.  Very slowly, add in the arrowroot powder, and stir.  The sauce will thicken up considerably.

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5.) Add the broccoli, chicken, and onion mixture back to the pan, and stir to coat with the sauce.

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6.) Transfer to bowls or plates.  Season with sea salt and pepper, to taste.  Top with the green onions and serve.

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Get ready to have your mouth full of deliciousness, and your body full of nutrition!  Enjoy! 🙂

 

Sautéed Chicken and Cabbage

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Okay, so this is a SUPER simple dinner to make, but guys, oh my gosh, is it ever delicious!  It is a HUGE hit every time I make for dinner (for me included, because not only does it taste delicious, it’s SO easy to make!).

This dish makes for an awesome meal.  The cabbage, along with the other veggies tucked in there, provide a ton of healthy nutrients and benefits.

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On top of that, the chicken in there provides a perfect pack of protein that makes this a super complete meal that leaves you feeling satisfied and your belly happy.

Let’s take a look at the recipe!

SAUTEED CABBAGE AND CHICKEN

Ingredients: (makes 2-4 servings)

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. boneless and skinless chicken breast cut into very small pieces
  • 1 small cabbage, chopped into very short thin strips (as if you were making coleslaw)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped or pureed
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock (or you can use water)
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • optional toppings (fresh parsley or a dollop of plain greek yogurt)

Directions

1.) In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the chicken and sauté for 7-10 minutes until cooked through.

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2.) Add the cabbage and paprika to the frying pan.  Stir to combine and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes.

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3.) Add the tomato, carrots, bay leaves, and chicken stock to the frying pan.  Cover and cook for 25-30 minutes until the stock is completely absorbed, and no liquid is remaining.

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4.) Transfer to a plate and season with salt and pepper to serve.  If desired, top with a dollop of plain greek yogurt and fresh parsley.

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Wait until you sink your teeth into this stuff!  SO tasty and good for you!  Enjoy! 🙂

Pressure Cooker Chicken and Veggies

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Would you believe me if I told you that I cooked dinner in 3.5 minutes tonight?  Guys, it’s true!!!  I recently bought a stovetop pressure cooker, and tonight was my first experience at giving it a try.  I’m not going to lie…it was a bit terrifying, and once I put it on the heat to create the pressure, I may have went and hid behind a living room chair in fear that the pot would somehow explode, but we made it through injury-free, and the result was a delicious and QUICK dinner! I think that this is the start of a lifelong friendship between me and my pressure cooker!

Pressure cooking can be a bit intimidating at first, but once you do it once, you’ll see that it’s actually quite easy!  I found the following pin on Pinterest that links to a site that has a very thorough list of cooking times for various types of food.

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Before I got started, I had so many questions…can I cook the meat and veggies together?  Do I have to do one type of food, then clean the cooker and do another type of food?  Is the noise of the steam releasing going to hurt my ears? Will the food taste good?  Will all the water evaporate and the pot explode? Is Harvard going to call me offering me an honorary PhD when I figure out how to use this thing? Are people all over the world going to want to be me?…you know, normal questions that people have about pressure cookers before they’ve used them. 😉

Anyway, the answers are yes, no, no, YES, no, doubtful, and definitely no…in that order.

I started with something basic – chicken and veggies, and wow you guys – this chicken came out so tender and juicy, and the veggies were cooked to perfection! I just used brussels sprouts, carrots, and onion.  Again, the cooking time was only 3.5 minutes, and I probably would have done better with just 2.5 – 3 minutes because my veggies and chicken were chopped, but I was scared that the chicken wouldn’t be cooked through if I went with the recommended time.

Okay, enough touting the pressure cooker – let’s get to the recipe and instructions.  I should quickly mention that my pressure cooker is a stovetop model, not an electric model, so keep that in mind while going over the recipe!

PRESSURE COOKER CHICKEN AND VEGGIES

Ingredients: 2 servings

  • 1/2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 3/4 lb. brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 20 baby carrots, sliced in halves
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup water
  • sea salt, for seasoning

Directions:

1.) Heat the olive oil in the bed of the pressure cooker over medium heat.  Add the onion, and cook for about 2 minutes.  Add the rest of the ingredients, except the sea salt.

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2.) Place the pressure cooker lid on the pressure cooker and lock into place.  Increase the stove heat to high.  Allow the pressure regulator to begin to gently rock back and forth/rattle.  When it begins to do this, set the timer for 3 minutes, and let the food cook for these 3 minutes. At the end of the 3 minutes, carefully place the pressure cooker under running cold water until the pressure indicator drops and there is no pressure left in the cooker.

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3.) Once you are sure there is no pressure left in the cooker, carefully remove the pressure cooker top, and observe the miracle of your food being cooked in a flash! Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken and veggies to a bowl or plate. Season with sea salt, and serve.

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You can discard the leftover liquid, but even better, save it and use it as a soup broth, or even just drink it at another time – lots of good minerals in that water! I’m going to use mine in a soup I am making tomorrow night.

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Seriously can’t believe how easy this was!  So delicious!  Enjoy! 🙂

 

Healthy Creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup

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Broccoli cheese soup always reminds me of when I was a kid!  My mom makes the best broccoli and cheese soup.  I was craving it the other day, so I went onto Pinterest, and I found the following recipe for it.

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This looked so good, so I decided to make some adjustments and turn this into a nice healthy recipe for broccoli cheese soup.  I’m so glad I did, because the result was amazing, and eating it is like eating comfort food!

CREAMY BROCCOLI CHEESE SOUP

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups chopped red onion
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1-16oz. package of frozen broccoli, rinsed
  • 1.5 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 3 cups chicken broth (or veggie broth)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 3 cups shredded cheese of your choice (I used medium cheddar)
  • 2 tsp. arrowroot powder

Directions

1.) Heat the olive oil in a large pot.  Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes.

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2.) Add the broccoli, garlic powder, thyme, sea salt, and chicken broth.  Bring to a boil, and boil for 10-15 minutes.

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3.) While the broccoli is boiling, shred your cheese and sprinkle it with the arrowroot powder.  Mix to coat the cheese.  Set aside.

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4.) Reduce heat to medium (a low simmer), and use a potato masher to mash the broccoli to your liking.  I left some pieces in tact, but mashed up most of it.

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5.) Add the almond milk and the cheese.  Cook for 12 minutes, stirring frequently.

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6.) Transfer to a bowl and season with sea salt to taste.  Top with some shredded cheese if desired.

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So creamy and yummy!  Enjoy! 🙂

Cauliflower Rice Broccoli and Chicken Casserole

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So, I was looking around Pinterest to find a good dinner recipe, and I came across the following pin for a chicken, broccoli, and rice casserole.

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Man, this looks good!  However, it’s got ingredients that I don’t eat, so I gave it a major overhaul, to make it gluten free and super good for you!  I didn’t stop there!  I could have simply replaced the rice with brown rice, but I took it a step further and replaced the rice with cauliflower rice, making this casserole veggie-full and grain-free.  Ya know what?  It turned out great!  This dish will definitely be making future appearances on our dinner table!  Let’s get to the recipe!

CAULIFLOWER RICE BROCCOLI AND CHICKEN CASSEROLE

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs of boneless and skinless chicken breast
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive oil, divided
  • 1 large cauliflower head
  • 2 large heads of broccoli
  • 2 tsp. sea salt, divided
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 3 cups shredded goats milk mozzarella cheese, divided

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  In a 9 x 13 baking dish, cut the chicken breast in half, horizontally, coat with 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and season with 1/2 tsp. of sea salt (and pepper, if desired – I’m not a fan of pepper, but it would probably lend itself well to this dish).  Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, then take out to cool for 10 minutes.

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2. While the chicken is cooking and cooling, wash the cauliflower and cut into florets.  Add the florets to a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower has a rice like consistency.  Place the cauliflower rice in a large mixing bowl.

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3. Wash the broccoli and chop into very small florets.  Add the florets to the mixing bowl, stir to combine.  Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and 2 cups of shredded cheese to the bowl.  Stir to combine.

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4. Once the chicken has cooled a bit, leave it in the 9 x 13 casserole dish, and cut into bite size pieces.  Add the mixture in the mixing bowl to the casserole dish and stir to combine.

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5. Top with the remaining cup of cheese.  Bake in the oven for 50 minutes at 400 degrees.

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6. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool for 10 minutes.  Use a spatula to transfer servings to a plate.

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BOOM!  So yummy and so good for you!  You’ve got to give this stuff a try!  Enjoy! 🙂

Sweet Potato, Broccoli, and Chicken Bake

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Ready for a super duper healthy dinner that tastes amazing and is REALLY filling?  Yeah, I thought so!  This easy-to-make dinner is good in so many ways.  For starters, it’s delicious, and let’s face it, that’s the most important thing!  Secondly, the nutrition – oh my gosh, this stuff is good for you!  The two veggies in this dish provide all of the following health benefits shown in these pins.

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All those benefits and all that nutrition, and that’s only from two of the ingredients in this thing!  The chicken provides a great punch of protein, and every other ingredient in this dish is super good for you as well!

If you’re not sold already, then let me give you one more reason to try this stuff – it’s SO easy to make!  Just a little bit of chopping and then waiting while the oven does all the work and you’re good to go!  Let’s get to it!

SWEET POTATO, BROCCOLI, AND CHICKEN BAKE

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 large red onion, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic granules
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  •  Soft crumbled goat cheese for topping (optional)

Directions

1.) Preheat the oven to 390 degrees.

2.) Add the broccoli florets, sweet potato, onion, raisins, walnuts, olive oil, Italian seasoning, garlic granules, salt and pepper to a large bowl.  Toss to coat.

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3.) Drizzle the bottom of a large casserole dish with olive oil.  Place the chicken in the bottom of the dish and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.  Top with the vegetable mixture.

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4.) Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake in the oven at 390 degrees for 35 minutes.  Remove from the oven and take off the foil.

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5.) Place back in the oven, uncovered, for 15-20 more minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the sweet potatoes are soft.

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6.) Transfer to a plate to serve.  If desired, top with crumbled soft goat cheese.

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SO yummy, healthy, filling, and easy!  This may be the perfect dinner!  Enjoy! 🙂