Monday, November 23, 2015

Herb-Roasted Turkey

Serves: 12 servings, 3 oz. each w/plenty of leftovers
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cooking Time: 3.5 hours

This method produces all the good looks and moist flavor you dream of in a Thanksgiving turkey. Make sure you show this beauty off at the table before you carve it. Garnish your serving platter with fresh herb sprigs and citrus wedges.


1 10-12-pound Turkey
1/4 cup Fresh Herbs, plus 20 whole sprigs, such as thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano and/or marjoram, divided
2 Tbsp. Canola Oil
1 Tbsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Freshly Ground Pepper
Aromatics, onion, apple, lemon and/or orange, cut into 2-inch pieces (1 1/2 cups)
3 Cups Water, plus more as needed


1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 475°F.

2. Remove giblets and neck from turkey cavities and reserve for making gravy. Place the turkey, breast-side up, on a rack in a large roasting pan; pat dry with paper towels. Mix minced herbs, oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the herb mixture all over the turkey, under the skin and onto the breast meat. Place aromatics and 10 of the herb sprigs in the cavity. Tuck the wing tips under the turkey. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Add 3 cups water and the remaining 10 herb sprigs to the pan.

3. Roast the turkey until the skin is golden brown, 45 minutes. Remove the turkey from the oven. If using a remote digital thermometer, insert it into the deepest part of the thigh, close to the joint. Cover the breast with a double layer of foil, cutting as necessary to conform to the breast. Reduce oven temperature to 350° and continue roasting for 11/4 to 13/4 hours more. If the pan dries out, tilt the turkey to let juices run out of the cavity into the pan and add 1 cup water. The turkey is done when the thermometer (or an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh without touching bone) registers 165°F.

4.Transfer the turkey to a serving platter and cover with foil. Let the turkey rest for 20 minutes. Remove string and carve.

Roasted Acorn Squash

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: 55 min.

                    Nonstick Spray
2                  Med. Acorn Squash, halved, seeded
1/2 Tsp.       Sea Salt (or Himalayan Salt)
1/2 Tsp.       Ground Black Pepper
4 Tsp.          Unsalted Organic Grass-fed Butter
4 Tsp.          Pure Maple Syrup
1 Tsp.          Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp.       Ground Nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 350*F
2. Coat large baking sheet with spray.
    Place squash, cut side down, or baking sheet
3. Bake for 30 to 35 min., or until tender crisp
4. Turn cut side up. Season with salt and pepper.
    Dot each half with 1 tsp. butter; drizzle with 1 tsp. maple syrup
5. Bake for 15 to 20 additional minutes, or until tender

Sweet Potato Sides

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 20 min.

4       Med. Sweet Potatoes cut into 1-inch pieces
1        Large Onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
4        Tsp. Olive Oil
1/2    Tsp. Sea Salt (or Himalayan Salt)
1/2    Tsp. Ground Black Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450*F
2. Place sweet potatoes and onion (if desired) on baking sheet
3. Drizzle with oil; toss gently to coat evenly.
    Spread sweet potato mixture out in a single layer.
4. Bake, stirring halfway, for 18 to 22 minutes, or until tender
5. Season with salt and pepper, serve immediately

Suggested Additions:
* chopped fresh rosemary and fresh garlic
* chopped fresh flat leaf (Italian) parsley and crushed red pepper
* ground chili powder and chopped fresh garlic
* dried thyme and marjoram leaves

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Cucumber Hummus Roll-Ups

Serves: 2 (4 roll-ups each)
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: None


1                Large Cucumber
1/4 Cup     Store-bought Hummus
1/4 Cup     Roasted Red Bell Peppers, thinly sliced



1. Use a vegetable peeler to peel off long, thin slices of cucumber
2. Spread Hummus evenly on each cucumber slice
3. Top evenly with roasted pepper slices
4. Pick up one end of the cucumber slice and roll cucumber loosely around the filling. End with the seam on bottom and secure with a toothpick

(substitute for roasted red bell peppers)

* Chopped fresh red bell peppers
* Sun-dried tomatoes
* Capers
* Fresh chopped herbs
* Sliced green onions

Chicken Stuffed Bell Peppers

Prep Time: 20 min.
Cooking Time: 54 min.


4                 Medium Bell Peppers (any color), cut in half, seeds removed
2 Tsp.         Olive Oil
1                 Medium Onion, chopped
2 Cloves     Garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 lb.      Raw Chicken Breast, boneless skinless; chopped into 3/4-inch pcs or shredded
1 Tsp.         Ground Chili Powder
1 Tsp.         Ground Cumin
1/4 Tsp.      Sea Salt (or Himalayan Salt)
1/4 Tsp.      Ground Black Pepper
1 Cup         Low-Sodium Healthy or Homemade Tomato Sauce
2 Cups        Cooked Quinoa
1 Cup         Canned Black Beans, drained, rinsed
1 Cup         Frozen Corn Kernels
5 Tbsp.      Chopped Fresh Cilantro, reserve some for garnish
1 Tbsp.      Fresh Lime Juice
1 Cup        Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese

                  Hot Pepper Sauce (to taste; optional)


1. Preheat Oven to 375*F
2. Place bell peppers, skin side down, in large baking dish, set aside
3. Heat oil in large non-stick skillet over medium heat
4. add onion; cook, stirring frequently for 4-5 minutes or until onion is translucent
5. Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently for 1 minute
6. Add chicken, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper; cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink
7. Add tomato sauce, quinoa, beans, corn, cilantro, and lime juice. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally for 3-5 minutes or until heated through
8. Add heaping 1/2 cup of chicken mixture to each pepper half; cover lightly with foil
9. Bake for 35 minutes, or until peppers are tender; remove foil
10. Top each pepper evenly with cheese. Bake for 3 minutes or until cheese is melted
11. Serve sprinkled with cilantro and hot sauce (if desired)

Healthy French Toast

Serves: 2
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: 6 min.


2                 Large Eggs
2 Tbsp.       Unsweetened Almond Milk
2 Tsp.         Pure Maple Syrup (or raw honey)
1/2 Tsp.      Ground Cinnamon
2 Slices      Low-Sodium Sprouted Whole Grain Bread
1 Tsp.         Extra-Virgin Organic Coconut Oil
1 Cup         Fresh Sliced Strawberries


1. Combine eggs, almond milk, 1 tsp. maple syrup, and cinnamon in a shallow pan; whisk to blend
2. Soak each slice of bread mixture for 5 minutes, turning halfway
3. Heat oil in medium non-stick skillet over medium heat
4. Add bread; cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown
5. Top each slice evenly with fresh strawberries or blueberries and remaining 1 tsp. maple syrup
6. Serve immediately

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

DIY: Taco Seasoning


1 tablespoon chili powder (toasted and ground dried chilies)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
2 teaspoons cumin (toasted and ground)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt (I actually don't add any at all, and it still tastes great!)
1 teaspoon pepper

1. Mix everything.
2. Add to 1 lb. of lean hamburger meat along with 1/4 cup of water and simmer for 5 minutes

DIY: Ranch Dressing Mix

Yield: About 1 cup
Prep Time: 10 minutes

Love all those recipes that call for a packet of Hidden Valley ranch seasoning mix, but wish you could eliminate the packaged food? Now you can!


1 cup dried buttermilk powder
2 tablespoons dried parsley, divided
2 teaspoons dried dill, divided
2½ teaspoons garlic powder
2¼ teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper


1. Place the buttermilk, 1 tablespoon of the parsley, 1 teaspoon of the dried dill, garlic powder, onion powder, dried minced onion, salt, sugar, black pepper, paprika and cayenne in a food processor or blender. Process until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed, about 15 seconds. Transfer the mixture to an airtight container or glass jar, add in the remaining 1 tablespoon dried parsley and 1 teaspoon dried dill and whisk to combine.

2. Store the mixture in the refrigerator for up to 3 months, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Note: 3 tablespoons of this mix is equivalent to a 1-ounce packet of ranch seasoning mix.

To Make Sour Cream Veggie Dip: Stir 3 tablespoons of the homemade mix into 2 cups of sour cream (or Greek yogurt).

To Make Ranch Dressing: Whisk together 3 tablespoons of the homemade mix with 1 cup of mayonnaise and 1 cup of buttermilk until smooth. You could use more or less buttermilk depending on how you like the consistency of your dressing. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

(Recipe adapted from Simply Scratch)

Taco Soup

Clean Eating at it's Finest! 

1 lb extra lean ground turkey, grass-fed beef, or ground chicken breast
1 onion, chopped
1 pkg ranch dressing mix (make your own)
1 pkg taco seasoning mix (make your own)
1 can (16 oz) pinto beans, drained
1 can (16 oz) kidney beans, drained
1 can (16 oz) whole kernel corn
1 can (8 oz) rotel-style tomatoes
1 can (8 oz) diced tomatoes

1. Brown meat & onions, drain
2. Mix ranch & taco seasonings into meat
3. Add the rest of the ingredients into mixture (you may also need to add a little bit of water)
Simmer for at least 1 hour (we let ours simmer in the crock pot but you could also cook in a large pan)

Crockpot Honey Mustard Chicken

YIELD: 4 Servings
PREP: 5 mins
COOK: 4 hrs 0 min
READY IN: 4 hrs 5 mins


4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup whole grain mustard
2-3 Tbsp soy sauce low sodium, non-GMO certified preferred
1 Tbsp honey
1 cup chicken stock homemade or low sodium preferred
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
salt & pepper to taste


1. Put all ingredients into crock pot, and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
2. Shred chicken to serve.

(Slow Cooker) Sweet Potato, Chicken, and Quinoa Soup

A deliciously easy and incredibly healthy broth-based chicken, quinoa, and
sweet potato soup made in the crockpot.


1 and 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup quinoa
2 large sweet potatoes (1 pound or ~3-1/2 cups)
1 can (15.25 ounces) black beans
1 can (14.5 ounces) petite diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 packet (1.25 ounces) chili seasoning mix
5 cups chicken broth*
Optional: fresh parsley


1. Spray the slow cooker with nonstick spray. Remove the fat from the chicken breasts and put them
    into the slow cooker along with the rinsed quinoa.
2. Remove the skins and chop the sweet potatoes into cubes adding them into the slow cooker.
3. Drain and rinse the black beans and add those in. Add in the undrained petite diced tomatoes,
    minced garlic, chili seasoning mix, and chicken broth.
4. Place on high for 3-5 hours (It took 4 hours on high for my crockpot.)
5. Using two forks, shred the chicken and stir all the ingredients together.
6. Add salt and pepper and if desired fresh parsley.
7. Serve immediately.