Sweet Potato Meatballs

Meatballs

INGREDIENTS

  • 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

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet or rectangular pan with aluminum foil.
  2. 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.
  3. Grate the zucchini on the medium fine teeth of a cheese grater.
  4. Mix together all the ingredients until well blended, and make into balls (about 16).
  5. 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

Banana Pancakes

For a summer breakfast treat, play Jack Johnson’s Banana Pancakes and whip up these very simple, paleo-friendly pancakes. They are adorably small and snack-able, but satisfying and delicious.

Banana Pancakes

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • Dash Nutmeg
  • 2 tsp Coconut oil (for the fry pan)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Mash the ripe bananas
  2. Add the eggs and spices to the banana mash mix well
  3. Add  1 tsp of coconut oil to a skillet and heat up to medium-high heat (cast iron works well for even heat distribution)
  4. Drop dollar size amounts of batter on the pan. When the pancakes are slightly dry on the edges and bubbly in the middle, they are ready to flip.
  5. Add more oil as needed between batches of pancakes
  6. Serve with fresh peaches, berries, or almond butter and maple syrup

Makes 24 dollar pancakes, 23 calories each
(Fat 0.9g, Carb 2.4g, Protein 0.9g)

Curry Butternut Squash Bisque

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.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 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)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. 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.IMG_5472
  2. Peel sweet potato and chop into cubes. Steam squash and sweet potato in a basket until it’s soft (20-30 minutes). Set aside.IMG_5473
  3. 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.
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  4. Add squash, sweet potato, Tobasco, and chicken broth to the onion base. Bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until it is smooth. IMG_5481
  6. 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.IMG_5482

Makes 8 cups, 140 calories per cup.

Pumpkin Pie Custard

Autumn is one of my favorite times of year. The air feels crisp and clean, apples taste sweeter, and my favorite winter squash abounds: Pumpkin! How can you not love a vegetable that makes the most delicious desserts? I use every possible opportunity to incorporate pumpkins into my fall recipes, but pumpkin pie custard has to be my favorite. I eat it for breakfast or as a sweet treat after lunch or dinner. Best of all, it is filling and satisfying but without all the extra sugar and processed flour in pumpkin pie.

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 x 15 oz cans of Fresh Pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup Raw Honey
  • 1 tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (1-1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp cloves)
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 14 oz can of Light Coconut Milk (or low fat 2% evaporated milk)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 425° F.
  2. Lightly grease glass bakeware with butter (one 13″ x 8″ dish, or several smaller dishes)
  3. Mix together pumpkin, honey and spices (KitchenAid mixer will work well!). Add the eggs. Last, pour in the coconut milk.
  4. Pour the liquid into your greased dishes. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 40 – 60 minutes (depending on the size of your pan). The custard will be done when you can shake it and the middle does not jiggle (or insert a butter knife in the middle and see if it comes out clean).
  6. Let the pumpkin cool completely (overnight is ideal) and serve cold, either as breakfast or a dessert.

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Makes 12 servings, 100 calories per serving.

OPTIONAL Alternative Serving Ideas:

  • Top custard with nonfat vanilla greek yogurt as a creamy topping.
  • Serve custard with a plate of ginger snap cookies for a sweet dip at parties.

Egg White and Sweet Potato Casserole

Casserole (3)

Finding the time and motivation to prepare a healthy breakfast every day is rather challenging, so I have become a huge fan of making frittatas and casseroles that will last for several days in a row. That way, I can reheat my delicious, veggie-rich and protein breakfast in just a couple minutes. This recipe almost functions as a quiche, as the sweet potato lined dish almost functions like a crust. As always, subbing other veggies for the zucchini definitely works.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 medium 5″ sweet potatoes (orange and/or white flesh)Casserole (1)
  • 1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 medium zucchini, shredded
  • 1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped
  • seasoning to taste (sea salt, fresh ground pepper, fresh rosemary)
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup almond milk

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes and then slice them into very thin discs. Set aside 12 discs for the top, then layer the bottom of a glass casserole dish with the sweet potatoes.
  3. Pile the grated zucchini, cheese, chopped onions and seasonings.
  4. Add the leftover 12 discs of orange sweet potatoes on the top of the casserole.
  5. Whisk together the egg whites and almond milk and pour over the vegetables.
  6. Bake for 60 – 75 minutes. The casserole is done when it doesn’t jiggle.

Casserole (2)

Makes 4 servings, 130 calories per serving.

Cheesy Vegetable Polenta

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.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 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

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Chop the vegetables and lay them out in a 13 x 9 oven safe casserole or glass dish.

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3.  Add boiling water to polenta and sea salt.  Mix together well, then pour over vegetables.

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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

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Recipe makes four hearty servings, 240 calories per serving.

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is one of my all-time favorite desserts! Not only does it magically combine the wonders of chocolate and peanut butter, but it is full of protein and raw ingredients so it doesn’t give me that sugar crash that follows most desserts. If you leave out the eggs and baking soda, it also makes an excellent cookie dough to just have on hand in the fridge. You can also microwave a spoonful of cookie dough for 30-45 seconds, and it will develop the texture of a warm cookie fresh out of the oven; add a scoop of ice cream and you have a quick and easy dessert ready to go!

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz peanut butter (all natural, creamy, salted)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pizza stone in oven to preheat.
  2. Combine all ingredients until creamy and smooth.
  3. Place small spoonfuls on preheated pizza stone (should make 40 cookies)
  4. Cook for 11 minutes
  5. Let cool five minutes on pizza stone before moving cookies to a cooling rack.

Yields 30 cookies, 140 calories each.