Artful and creative combinations!

artful and creative cooking

Green Bean and Carrots French fries

( This is an additive) Place Green beans and carrots in a large bowel. Add Olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste! Toss to make sure they are lightly coated. Add any other spice that you enjoy! Such as mint, cayenne pepper for a kick, garlic or rosemary.  Layer beans onto a flat pan. Pre-heat oven to 375 F and roast them for about 30-45 minutes, until they are shriveled look.

Sweet potatoes French fries

This is similar to traditional French fries without the trans-fat and with added phytonutrients and fiber.

 2 medium sweet potatoes
 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
 salt and pepper to taste
 optional: add paprika, cayenne pepper and a pinch of cinnamon to taste!

Preheat oven to 450 F. Cover flat pan with parchment paper. Half the sweet potatoes lengthwise and sick 5-6 spears of sweet potato (long and tick strips). Place them on the pan and toss olive oil and your favorite herbs and spices. Spread them with one layer. It is important that they have space around them and are not piled on each other. Bake for 15 minutes and turn them with tongs and spatula. Bake for another 5-10 minutes until lightly browned. Add salt and pepper to taste. Roast your veggies ( you can use cauliflower, Carrots, Brussels Sprouts or any veggies)

Cut the veggies into bite-size pieces. If using Brussel sprouts, cut in half or quarters, and then blanch first in boiling water, this will help to keep the bright green color while roasting.  Drizzle vegetables with olive oil, add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. You may add any other herbs that inspire you, get creative with turmeric, cayenne pepper, onion powder or garlic!

Preheat oven to 375 F degrees and roast vegetables for about 30-40 minutes. The browner they turn the more caramelization, and thus the sweeter the taste. Keep an eye to prevent burning! Serve immediately!

Fun Frittata

Because you can add any vegetables you like to it.  Over low heat, sauté your choice of vegetables, my favorite is spinach, kale with mushrooms, and peppers but any combination would work! Green peppers, zucchini, onions, asparagus: anything goes! Add two or three eggs and mix it up.  Spice it up with chia seeds for the crunch and omega 3, the sun-dried tomatoes and fresh dill. Add salt and pepper to taste! Cover and cook eggs on low heat for about 3-5 minutes. Turn off heat and keep covered to continue for additional 5 minutes.  Changeable energy-rich smoothie!

Changeable because you can add any vegetables, fruits and spices you choose!  Energy-rich because we will add some good fat & superfood to boost your brain! (if you are diabetic choose fruits with lower glycemic index)

 select any fruits you enjoy ( I like berries, try frozen ones; cheaper and available any time of the year)
 select any vegetables you enjoy ( I like kale, chard, mint, celery, cilantro, and spinach- Get Creative) use 2 serving of vegetables for each serving of the fruit to control the amount of sugar you eat!
 Add ¾ cup of water or almond milk.
 Add 1 tbsp of almond/ any nut butter
 Add 1tsp of coconut oil/ or one small avocado
 Tbsp. of collagen
 Add nutritional enhancers ( cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract or ginger)
 Add a splash of chia seeds/ ground flax seeds to enhance the anti-inflammatory property of your energy-rich smoothie!

Superfood pudding

 ¼ cup of chia seeds
 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds
 1/4 cup of dried cranberries
 1/4 cup chopped almonds/walnuts
 1 ½ cups of almonds or coconut milk
 ¼ goji berries
 1 tbsp. of collagen

Mix in any other flavor for fun, some suggestions include cocoa powder, instant coffee, vanilla extract, cinnamon, or any other extracts you like!  You can also stir the chia seeds into milk using fork to get them fully coated with the liquid,
cover and refrigerate overnight and voila…delicious healthy pudding! You can try it for breakfast with berries as well!

Almond didn’t realize there was kale in this shake! This sweet smoothie is sure to please even the pickiest of eater!

 1 small frozen banana sliced
 ¾ cup of kale ( stems removed)
 ¾ cup of almond milk
 1/8 tsp. each of cinnamon, nutmeg and ground ginger
 add a drop of vanilla extract to taste
 1 scoop of protein powder
 1 scoop of collagen blend with ice and enjoy! Or add ½ cup of unsweetened iced coffee for some caffeine boost

Savory Spinach cupcakes

A fun way to get your serving of protein and phytonutrients all in one! Makes about 12 cupcakes

 1 package, 12 oz of fresh spinach ( can also use frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed well)
 4 large eggs
 2 minced cloves of garlic ( you can add any other fresh herbs you enjoy)
 salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
 ¼ cup shredded romano or parmesan cheese
 ½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese or low fat cottage cheese

Preheat oven to 400 F. In a food processor, chop the spinach and place in a separate bowl.  Add the rest of the ingredient and mix by hand until they are all combined. Then, spoon mixture into a cupcake tin using approximately one large scoop per cupcake ( spra the cupcake tin or paper slightly with a high smoke point olive oil to prevent sticking). Bake for approximately 20 minutes. Before it is done, sprinkle a little extra parmesan or romano over top and allow to brown for an extra moment under the broiler!

Tip: make these in mini cupcake tin which will give you 24 for when you have guests over! Watch the cooking time, you may only need 10-15 minutes if making the tiny mini version.

Cilantro, fresh bean, and avocado salad

High in fiber, phytonutrients, healthy fats, protein, anti-inflammatory herbs, and spices, with a low glycemic index and under $2.00 per serving.

 2 cloves of garlic
 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
 1 tbsp of extra olive oil
 1 tsp of cumin
 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
 ½ teaspoon salt
 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
 1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
 ¼ cup minced red onions ( optional) and finely diced
 ¼ cup cilantro-chopped
 1 medium avocado, diced

In a large bowl, combine the garlic, lime juice, oil, cumin, crushed red peppers, and salt. Add the black beans, chickpeas, tomatoes, onions, and cilantro; mix well and gently mix the avocados.

Southwestern Medley Salad

High in fiber, phytonutrients, healthy fats, protein and anti-inflammatory herbs and spices, and has a low glycemic index!

 15-ounce can black beans, no salt added, rinsed and drained
 1 cup cooked quinoa (according to package directions)
 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
 1 cup chopped fresh mango
 ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
 ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
 juice of 1 medium lime or lemon
 1 ½ tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
 2 garlic cloves
 1 tsp chili powder
 ¼ tsp ground turmeric

Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and turmeric in a large bowl. Add beans, quinoa, bell pepper, mango, onion, cilantro, and jalapeno, mix well.

Kale, quinoa and avocado salad

High in fiber, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, and protein!

 1 bunch kale, washed and de-stemmed (use lacinato kale, sometimes called dinosaur kale or Tuscan kale)
 1 cup cooked quinoa ( prepare your quinoa using chicken, or vegetable broth instead of just water to enhance flavor and nutrients)
 2 avocados- diced
 Juice of 2 oranges ( lemon works well too, but added sweetness of orange gives it nice taste)
 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
 salt to taste
 add diced tomatoes and cucumbers

De-rib the kale: remove the tough stems of the kale by running down the center of the leaves with your hand or fold the kale along the rib and run a sharp knife down the side.  Stack the de-ribbed kale leaves and chop them into small bites or for a fancier presentation, chiffonade the kale by stacking the leaves, rolling them tightly, and then slicing them perpendicularly to the roll to create long, thin strips.  Tenderize the kale: this step brings out the sweetness in the kale and minimizes bitterness.  Place the cut kale into a bowl and add the oil, salt, and citrus. Knead and squeeze (massage) the kale with your hands using a sterile glove or very clean hands. Add the other ingredients, mix and enjoy!

Almond crusted baked “fried” chicken

This is a delicious alternative to fried chicken but trust me… you will not miss the fried!
 2 boneless-skinless chicken breasts
 salt and pepper to taste
 pinch of cayenne
 ¼ cup unsalted almonds
 4 tsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 F, season chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and cayenne. (Can substitute other spices like cumin in place of the cayenne). Place on aluminum foil or parchment paper lined sheet pan. In a food processor or blender make a coarse paste of the almonds, garlic, and oil. Top each chicken breast with half mixture pressing down slightly to adhere. Roast for 15-18 minutes until cooked through.  Cut chicken into strips for healthy chicken fingers for the kids!

Almond crusted baked “fried” fish
 1 lb white fish fillers- about 4 medium sized fillers
 ½ cup almond meal
 ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated.
 Salt, peppers, garlic powder (add any additional spices you like)
 2 eggs whites

In a shallow bowl beat egg whites, and salt, pepper, grated parmesan cheese, and garlic powder. Place almonds in another shallow bowl. Dip filet in egg mixture, then coats with almonds. Place on aluminum foil or parchment paper lined sheet pan. Bake at 450 F for 10-15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.  Enjoy!

Sauteed Red Cabbage

This is healthy, low calorie, rich in phytonutrients and anti-inflammatory compounds!

 1 medium head of red cabbage, shredded
 1 medium red onion, chopped
 1 tsp olive oil
 2-3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
 salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
 optional: ½ to 1tsp caraway seeds and 1 apple cubed.

On a stovetop over medium heat, sauté the olive oil and onions until the onions turn a golden brown. Lower the heat, and then add the cabbage to soften over the heat, stirring periodically to prevent burning. Allow cooking for approximately 15-20 minutes until cabbage is soft. If adding apple, allow the dish to cook a few minutes longer until apple is softened.

Salmon veggie scramble

Another dietary staple in my household. This is a quick, easy meal that everyone enjoys!

 1 tsp olive oil
 2-3 large eggs
 1 small red onion, diced
 ½ cup mushrooms, chopped
 ½ cup fresh spinach, chopped
 1 medium tomato, chopped
 ½ can wild salmon

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Whisk eggs in small bowl and set aside. Add onions and mushrooms to the skillet and sauté until soft. Add the eggs and stir gently with a spatula for 2-3 minutes. Add spinach, tomato, and salmon and heat for another 2-3 minutes.  Season with any spices you enjoy.