Make This: BBQ Chicken Sausage Pizza with Cauliflower “Crust” {Gluten & Dairy Free}

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The Boy & I have been trying to severely cut back and/or eliminate both gluten and dairy from our diets. While gluten is something I’ve learned to eliminate over the years (due to personal digestion issues and bloating), I occasionally indulge in a tasty snack or fresh-baked slice of bread made with real ingredients. I know my limits, and I’ve pretty much learned to live without it. I guess I’m lucky because I’ve never really had a sweet tooth so fresh bread is really my only temptation.

However, dairy is a completely different beast. You see, I love cheese. Nothing beats a slice of fresh mozzarella, hard cheese paired with fruit, or local feta from the farmer’s market. That being said, this past year I’ve also come to the conclusion that my love for cheese may have some sort of connection  to my skin issues. So I’ve been trying to cut back as much as I can to experiment. Again, this is just my own personal experiment and I’m not saying everyone should give up dairy for clear skin. After all, we are all different and what works for one may not work for another (see: bio-individuality).

I’m … Read More!

Be Green: St Patty’s Festivities Plus Buckwheat Veggie Pasta with Pesto & Chicken Sausage

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Good afternoon ladies! Hope you all had an amazing weekend, and a happy & green St. Patty’s Day. I spent the weekend catching up with old friends, eating good food, wining, and roaming the packed streets in South Boston. (I even got to catch some of the parade this year!)

[Ladies’ night apps: green grapes, herbed goat cheese, When Pigs Fly sourdough]

[The Boy & I]                                                             [best friends]

While I didn’t get around to Green Eggs ‘n’ Ham or dying our milk green (boo to artificial coloring), I did make a delicious green pesto pasta the other night that I’ve been dying to share with you ladies. Even better, it’s both gluten and dairy-free!

Buckwheat Veggie Pasta with Pesto & Chicken Sausage (Dairy & Gluten-free)

Makes 4 large servings

  • 8 oz. bag of buckwheat pasta
  • 2 links all-natural chicken sausage, sliced into thin circles (We used garlic-flavored)
  • 1 c. frozen green peas
  • Half a bag frozen spinach
  • 2 c. frozen broccoli
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 TB cold-pressed coconut oil (for cooking)
  • salt, pepper & seaweed gomasio to taste

For pesto:

  • About 2 c. fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 c. chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
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Wild Mushroom & Sweet Potato Coconut Soup (Dairy & Gluten Free)

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I have an over-the-top crush on soup. From thick stews and chowders to broth-based and bisques, soups make my heart melt.

There’s noting like coming home to a hot bowl of soup in the winter, especially when it’s homemade. It brings me back to childhood when I’d rush into the house from the bus stop to the heavenly aroma of parsley, dill and colorful vegetables. This meant my mom’s homemade Chicken Noodle Soup was about to be served!

Unfortunately, most soups and stews found at the store or restaurant are loaded with cream, sugar, sodium and other additives to enhance the flavor. But for me, the natural ingredients in soup create enough flavor as they are.

Last week, I was itching for a hearty bowl of soup, but not necessarily the heavy ingredients that come with it. Therefore, I browsed through some recipes for a little inspiration and decided to create my own thai-style coconut mushroom soup with sweet potatoes. If you know me, I’m not a huge fan of recipes because I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen and playing with flavors! (I apologize in advance for my rookie recipe-writing skills since I rarely go by the exact tablespoon, cup … Read More!

Christmas in Boston + a Red, White & Green Salad

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It’s officially Christmas season in Boston. Faneuil Hall is decked out with their giant Christmas tree, streets are filled with holiday cheer and all the malls are dressed up for the holidays. Besides the fact that it’s in the high 50s today, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

This is always my favorite time of the year, mostly because of spending time with family and loved ones. After all, that’s what Christmas is all about to me: love & cheer. Of course, I enjoy watching Fox Family’s 25 Days of Christmas and playing holiday tunes, but it’s that feeling that really gets me.

In honor of the holidays, I whipped up this delicious Red, White & Green Salad for lunch the other day.

In the mix:

  • baby kale
  • red pepper
  • cucumber
  • green onions
  • feta cheese
  • sun-dried tomatoes
  • pumpkin seeds
  • olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • salt & pepper

Happy December! What’s your favorite thing about the holiday season? P.S. This is the last week to sign up for my Healthy Holiday Crash Course! Read More!

On My Plate This Week

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Good afternoon friends! It’s mighty cold in Boston today if I do say so myself. I hate to admit it, but I think it’s time to break out the winter hats and gloves. (I can’t believe I’m saying that.)

Exciting news on the home-front today. Remember when I told you about my boyfriend’s trip to the Living Foods Institute in Atlanta, GA? Well, I’m going down to visit him and his mother for a spontaneous trip this weekend! I’m going to be able to experience the center, try some delicious raw & living dishes, volunteer a bit and join for a big celebratory feast on Sunday night. It feels good to make an in-the-moment decision, which I know is a good one.

Anyway, here’s a little recap of what I’ve been eating lately:

[Sauteed kale with sweet potato, cumin, turmeric, dried shiitake mushroom powder & sea salt with a fried egg on top]

Speaking of shiitake mushrooms, my grandmother gave me a bunch of dried shiitakes that my grandpa grew last week. I LOVE shiitakes for their nutritional boost and medicinal benefits. I decided to grind them up in my extra dry Vitamix blender to add into smoothies, salads, … Read More!

Quinoa Pasta with Lazy Girl’s “Pesto”

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I first fell in love with pesto when I studied abroad in Italy one summer during college. Nothing compares to the delicious blend of basil, walnuts, garlic and freshly shaved parmesan cheese. While I love pesto, I don’t cook with it as much as I’d like to because a.) I’m not a huge fan of store-bought varieties and b.) making your own can be quite a mess. (Side note: I will most likely be making my own more now that I own a Vitamix!)

For those of you who enjoy pesto, but aren’t in the mood to battle with your food processor, this recipe is for you. Instead of making a pesto sauce, I combined all the ingredients into my pasta dish to create the same flavors in half the time. Oh, and it’s gluten free friendly!

Quinoa Pasta with Lazy Girl’s Pesto

Makes two servings

  • 1 to 1 1/2 c. quinoa pasta (you can substitute brown rice pasta if you’d like)
  • 2 cloves garlic (I use more because I’m a huge fan of garlic)
  • 1. c frozen broccoli
  • 1 c. frozen spinach
  • 2 TB coconut oil
  • 1/4 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 TB walnuts, chopped
  • approximately 1 TB
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Some Women Splurge On $400 Shoes, I Bought a Vitamix…

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Every woman has something that they can justify spending their money on. For some it’s new shoes, a watch or even a car, but for me it’s anything to do with my health. That’s why I dropped $450 + on a Vitamix last weekend at the Natural Living Health Expo in Sturbridge, MA.

Normally, I’d think it would be crazy to spend over $400 on a blender, but you see the Vitamix 5200 is no ordinary blender. Rather, I consider it an investment for my health.

You see, I have been a lover of green smoothies and juices for a while now, and no machine could do the trick. I’d sacrifice nutritious skin and fiber that would get eaten up by my juicer, or have to use 1,000 carrots just to create a cup of liquid. Not to mention the number of times I’d press blend and nothing would happen. I was losing hope.

Then entered the Vitamix. I had been dreaming of owning this machine for some time now, but I just didn’t think it was in my budget. However, it took just two minutes watching the live demo at the health expo, and I was sold. The super-friendly … Read More!

Leafy Greens, Goat Cheese & Walnut Salad

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I whipped this recipe up for lunch this afternoon when I was in a rush to catch a train. It’s such a delightful combination, providing cooling effects with summer vegetables like leafy greens, tomato and cucumber with a savory touch from the walnuts and soft, goat cheese. A summer classic.

Goat Cheese Summer Salad

  • 1 c. leafy greens like spinach, arugula and kale
  • 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 TB apple cider vinegar
  • juice of 1/4 lemon, fresh
  • 1 small roma tomato, sliced
  • 1/4 c. cucumber, chopped
  • 1/8 c. walnuts, chopped
  • 1 oz goat cheese

Mix vegetables together, and then add in lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and olive oil for dressing. Top with salt and pepper to taste.… Read More!

The Last of the Cleanse: Day 4 Recap

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Yesterday on The Cleanse was definitely the best for the both of us: lots of energy, good moods and pizzazz. However, I’m not going to lie that yesterday was also the day cravings starting kicking in. Pizza! Coffee! Cheese! Bread! More cheese! Fortunately, I held tight, drank more water, ate more cleansing foods and all was good.

Some people say, “I could never do a cleanse!” “You can’t eat anything!” ” I would die!”

My recommendation? While it can be difficult because your body isn’t used to eating this way, try to think of the things you can eat. Like super creamy, decadent avocados, greens that give you energy and life, fresh juicy fruit, high quality olive oil, endless herbs, and delicious homemade soups. When you think of the things you can do, then it doesn’t seem that bad now does it?

What we ate:

Breakfast: Super Lean Green Berry Breakfast Smoothie

Snack: Handful raw cashwes

Lunch: Mixed greens, collards, spinach, tomato, avocado, cucumber, hummus, olive oil, balsamic, and lemon juice

Snack: 1/2 banana + carrots and hummus

Dinner: Vegetarian Split Pea Soup from Whole Foods + mixed sauteed veggies including yellow squash, zucchini, broccoli rabe and collards

– – … Read More!

Lemony Chicken + Refreshing Summer Tabouli

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Seeing as though it’s mid July (the peak of summer), I’ve been advising my clients to cool down in all aspects of life, be it food, wellness or work. One of my favorite ways to cool down is by eating cooling, refreshing seasonal foods like watermelon, citrus, cucumbers, and herbs.

Last night, I decided to add a little Mediterranean flare to the dinner table by making a platter of Mediterranean-inspired eats. After all, I find that a diet rich in refreshing dishes with whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats fill me up most. I decided to go with a healthy trio: homemade tabouli + sauteed chicken + pita & hummus, a combo my sister and I can both agree was pure genius.

Refreshing Summer Tabouli

{makes 4-6 servings}

  • 1 1/2 c. water
  • 1 c. bulgar wheat
  • 1 medium organic cucumber, chopped
  • 1 c. fresh parsley
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1/2 c. full fat feta, crumbled
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • fresh mint for garnish (optional)

1. Boil water and pour over bulgar wheat. Stir and then let sit covered for 20 minutes.

2. Drain the bulgar wheat of excess water and … Read More!

 
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