- 2 yams or red sweet potatoes
- 1 zucchini (optional)
- 1 lb of ground beef (grass-fed) or ground turkey
- 2 TBSP Tomato Paste
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Add 1 – 2 tsp of your favorite fresh herbs – Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano
- 2 Eggs
- 1/8 tsp salt
- Pinch Ground Pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet or rectangular pan with aluminum foil.
- Peel the sweet potatoes, cut into large chunks and cook in a steamer or boiling water. Check that they are soft and well cooked using a fork (should take about 15 minutes). Drain water and mash potatoes.
- Grate the zucchini on the medium fine teeth of a cheese grater.
- Mix together all the ingredients until well blended, and make into balls (about 16).
- Cook the meatballs on your lined cookie sheet for 18-20 minutes. Serve over pasta or spaghetti squash with fresh marinara sauce.
*Note: These meatballs freeze very well. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and space out the meatballs without touching. Put them in the freezer for about 2 hours until they harden. Then put all the meatballs in a freezer-safe container and take them out one at a time when you need them.
Makes 16 meat balls, calories vary depending on type and leanness of meat
As the holidays wind down and the cold months of winter are spread before me, I love the excuse for delicious comfort food at the end of a busy, cold day. This soup is particulary delicious after a day on the slopes, with a cold nose and tired achy muscles.
- 1 large (3 lb) butternut squash
- 1 large apple, skinned and chopped (Honeycrisp is particularly delcious)
- 1 large orange sweet potato (or yam)
- 1 sweet onion, chopped
- 2 TBSP Coconut Oil (or Olive Oil)
- 1 – 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp Tobasco sauce
- 4 cups of Chicken broth (or vegetable stock for vegetarian)
- 14 oz can of Light Coconut Milk (or low fat 2% evaporated milk)
- Put butternut squash in the microwave for 2 minutes. Take it out, cut off the stem, and then cut it half at the waist of the squash. Put the flat edge of the squash down on the cutting board, and slowly cut down to skin the squash. Cube the squash into squares and set aside.
- Peel sweet potato and chop into cubes. Steam squash and sweet potato in a basket until it’s soft (20-30 minutes). Set aside.
- Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add chopped onions, apples, curry, pepper and salt, sautéing over medium heat for 15 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes.
- Add squash, sweet potato, Tobasco, and chicken broth to the onion base. Bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until it is smooth.
- Add the coconut milk to the soup, return to simmer, and the soup is ready to serve. This recipe freezes very well for spur of the moment soup on a cold winter day.
Makes 8 cups, 140 calories per cup.
As the cool spring sunshine gives way to a warmer summer blaze, the really good tomatoes are returning to us. The gritty, hard tomatoes in the winter are hardly satisfying, but those sweet juicy summertime tomatoes are just delicious! This is one of my favorite summer recipes, bringing the delicious open-faced caprese sandwich to a veggie-loving palate, offering a grilled eggplant disk in lieu of a crusty bread.
- 1 Eggplant, cut in discs, 1/4″ thick
- 2 Beefsteak Tomatoes, cut into discs
- 4 oz Soft Mozzarella
- Fresh Basil leaves
- Olive Oil
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly Ground Pepper
- Balsamic Vinegar, drizzled
- 1-2 Tomatoes (chopped to 1 cup)
- 1/2 cup Fresh Basil Leaves
- 1/4 cup Pine Nuts
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 1 Lime, juiced
1. Combine all the pesto ingredients and puree in a blender until smooth.
2. Heat olive oil on grill (or in a flat bottom pan on the stove top.
3. Fry eggplant on both sides in the olive oil. Season with salt.
4. Spread pesto on the eggplant, then top with tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil.
5. Top eggplant stacks with freshly ground pepper and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
My Texas-bred Uncle Ron has this incredible recipe for Jalapeno Cheese Grits, an ultimate comfort food. My version captures the same delicious cheesy texture with lots of vegetables and without all the extra cream and butter. This recipe is one of my favorite plan ahead meals, particularly as a filling, easy breakfast for early mornings before work. It also works well as a side dish for dinner, doing double duty as the starch and vegetable. I have experimented with all sorts of vegetables (including spinach, mushrooms and asparagus). All of the variations have been delicious, though I am particularly fond of the zucchini bell pepper combo that I have laid out here because it provides some great color contrast to the yellow polenta.
- 2 medium zucchini, grated (a large tooth cheese grater works well)
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 sweet (or yellow) onion, finely chopped
- 4 cups of boiling hot water
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup polenta (dry corn grits)
- 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Chop the vegetables and lay them out in a 13 x 9 oven safe casserole or glass dish.
3. Add boiling water to polenta and sea salt. Mix together well, then pour over vegetables.
4. Bake in oven for 40 minutes.
5. Take casserole out of the oven and add the sharp cheddar cheese. Mix well and return to the oven for 20 more minutes.
6. Remove casserole from oven and let it cool at least 10 minutes before serving. If you are making this for later, I scoop out the warm polenta and put into individual microwave safe dishes so that it is easier to grab and go during the week
Recipe makes four hearty servings, 240 calories per serving.
Whenever I am craving a cheesy indulgence that I can eat with my fingers and top with creamy guacamole and chunky salsa, nachos would be the obvious choice! Enter in Mini Bell Pepper Nachos: they are super quick and easy to prepare and you are indulging in all your cravings while essentially just eating veggies and a little cheese. Yes!
- 8 – 10 Mini Bell Peppers
- 1/2 cup of Cowboy Caviar (black beans, corn, and mini red peppers)
- 1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese
- Sour Cream
- Fresh Cilantro
- Cut off the stem of the mini peppers, then cut them in half longwise
- Stuff each of the open peppers with Cowboy Caviar (shredded chicken or pork also works well)
- Microwave the stuffed peppers for 2 minutes
- Sprinkle the peppers with sharp cheddar cheese and return to the microwave for 1 – 2 more minutes (until cheese is melted)
- Let the nachos cool for a couple minutes, and then add your favorite toppings
Recipe makes one serving, 260 Calories (without optional toppings)