Brussels-Sprouts

I never thought I would like Brussels sprouts…now I can’t get enough of them! This recipe is so simple, but the ingredients really shine! You can add minced garlic, garlic powder, lemon juice, or other spices if you want to change them up a bit.

Ingredients:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare the Brussels sprouts by washing them, cutting of the tough brown ends, removing any brown yellow outer leaves, and cutting them in half. Mix the halved Brussels sprouts in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 30-35 minutes, until crisp on the outside. Shake the pan 2-3 times while cooking to brown the sprouts evenly. Sprinkle with more salt (if desired), and serve hot. Enjoy!

Tip: If you want to add fresh minced garlic, do so about 10 minutes before the sprouts are finished cooking.

Advertisements

Gluten-Free Spicy Meatloaf

This meatloaf is so, so tasty! It may seem weird to add fish sauce, but trust me it gives it the perfect little boost! The leftovers make delicious meatloaf sandwiches (on gluten-free bread, of course)!

Ingredients:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sauté onions, carrots, and celery in oil for five minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking until veggies are soft. Mix in chili flakes, thyme, and salt. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and combine with bread crumbs. Using your hands, mix ground meat, sautéed vegetables, soaked bread crumbs, and fish sauce. Place mixture into an oiled, glass loaf pan or non-stick loaf pan. Bake for about 1½ hours. Cover the top of the meatloaf with organic ketchup for the last 15 minutes of baking. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from The Whole Journey.

brown-rice-tortilla-chips

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love chips! This recipe is my answer to my need for a healthy alternative to those big-name brands that are packed with chemicals and additives that shouldn’t even be allowed to be ingested. These brown rice tortilla chips are crunchy, delicious and versatile! You can add any spice combo that you would like to mix it up.

Ingredients:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Using a pizza cutter, cut the round tortillas into triangles just as you would cut a pizza. Place the triangles in a single layer on a baking tray and brush both sides of each chip with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

Bake in the oven until crunchy, checking frequently to make sure they do not burn.

Serve with fresh guacamole or pico de gallo. Enjoy!

fusilli

Ingredients:

Boil water and cook brown rice pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta and return to pot (turn stove off).

Place oil and garlic in a large saucepan over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add in tomatoes, salt, dried oregano, dried basil, and crushed red pepper flakes and let simmer for 5 minutes. Add handfuls of spinach to the pan, stir and allow to wilt before adding more. Add more extra virgin olive oil as needed to create enough sauce to coat all veggies, as well as the pasta. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed/desired.

Pour the cherry tomato and spinach sauce over pasta. Mix gently combine the pasta and sauce. Serve topped with fresh basil and cheese or nutritional yeast flakes. Enjoy!

This goes great with my Gluten-Free Sun-Dried Tomato Turkey Meatballs!

heaven-is-for-real

Have you ever wondered why it can be so difficult to maintain a sense of faith and a belief in a higher power as an adult? It always seems that children don’t have this problem. They can believe in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and God without ever having seen them with their own eyes (characters at the mall don’t count!).

As adults, most of us tend to rely on information that we can validate. We need proof, evidence, something tangible to make us feel that something is real. What happens between childhood and adulthood that makes us so jaded and skeptical?

I want to make sure that everyone reading this does not feel like I am preaching to them. I am not here to make anyone uncomfortable, and I am definitely not trying to convince anyone to feel or believe what I do. I am simply trying to share my journey to finding my spiritual side. I am open and accepting of all people and all beliefs. We all have our own paths, and I promise that no judgements or discrimination will ever be found on this page. 

After my little boy passed away at only 13 months of age, I began to feel more connected to my spirituality than I ever have before. I was raised Catholic, but never truly felt a connection to my religion until now. I thought I would be angry at God after Bubba died, but much to my surprise the opposite happened. This fresh connection to my spirituality and God is what is driving me to be the best person I can be. I am determined to be the best possible version of myself while I am here on earth, so that I can one day hold my baby again in Heaven.

Recently, my best friend’s mom was kind enough to give me the book, Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo. It is the story of a 4-year old boy’s journey to Heaven and back after he came close to dying from complications from a burst appendix. In the book, Colton shares incredible details about Heaven and the people he met there (some of whom he had never met or even knew about). He describes his experience with a sense of belief and certainty that only a child can have. He makes you want to believe the way he believes: without questions…just acceptance.

This book is a quick, easy read. While it may not make you an insta-believer, it will make you wonder if Colton’s account of Heaven is giving you a glimpse of what we have to look forward to after we pass away. I already know that I have a sweet angel waiting for me when it is my time to leave this earth. That knowledge alone makes me certain that there is a beautiful place waiting for us; a place more beautiful than we can even imagine. What could possibly be more beautiful than my sweet Bubba with angel wings?

Are you ready to challenge yourself to go beyond what you can see and experience hope on a spiritual level? Open yourself up to a child’s sense of belief and read this book.

SONY DSC

This soup is so easy and so yummy, even my picky daughter loves it! It makes a wonderful lunch or comforting dinner on a cold evening. Helpful tip: double the recipe and freeze half for later. I will never make chicken noodle soup again after eating this gem of a recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 32-ounce container organic low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1-2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded OR rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk with leaves, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 tsp cumin (add more to taste, if desired)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dash of cayenne

Combine broth, garlic, and veggies and cook over medium heat until veggies are soft. Add quinoa, chicken, parsley cumin, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Stir and heat through; add more salt/cumin/pepper if needed to deepen the flavor of the soup. Enjoy!

This recipe was adapted from Christa Orecchio’s Easy Quinoa Veggie Soup. You can find her at The Whole Journey.

Vinegar Health Drink

ACV

This vinegar health drink is a life-changer. Literally. We drink it at least once a day, but we aim for 2-3 times when we can remember. I am not usually particular about brands, except when it comes to apple cider vinegar. Bragg Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar is by far the only brand to use. It is raw, and it also contains “the mother” which is naturally-occuring strand-like enzymes of connected protein molecules. Raw organic ACV is anti-inflammatory, reduces bloating and heartburn, regulates blood sugar levels, lowers bad cholesterol, is rich in minerals, and protects against cancer. This drink also eliminated the symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome in my grandma after drinking it only ONCE (she now drinks it every evening before bed)! Have I convinced you to try it yet?!? I should warn you, this is not necessarily a drink that you will drink because you like the taste (it is vinegar, after all). However, the health benefits make it totally worth it!

Ingredients:

Stir water, vinegar, and honey together until honey has dissolved. Drink with a straw to avoid unnecessary acid on your teeth. and if the taste bothers you, add a little more honey and remind yourself that you are doing something great for your health!

Two Ingredient Dessert!

almond-butter-date

I often find myself wanting something sweet after dinner, but since we are in the middle of the 4-Week Clean Eating Cleanse (and can’t have sugar) my choices of easy desserts are limited. So here is my solution! It doesn’t involve any whipping, mixing, or baking; just sweet instant gratification!

Ingredients:

  • Dates, pitted
  • Almond butter

Slice each date in half and remove the pits. Spread with almond butter and enjoy! If you’re feeling fancy, sprinkle a little cinnamon on top…you won’t regret it!

sweet potatoes

This is my Grandma Rice’s recipe for sweet potatoes. It is simple and delicious. Remember, don’t be afraid to use good healthy fats, like butter and ghee! Our brains and bodies need them to function!

Ingredients:

  • 3 sweet potatoes (use Japanese sweet potatoes if you can find them), washed and cut into rounds
  • 2-4 tbsp unsalted grass-fed butter (KerryGold is my favorite) or Ghee
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds

Melt butter or ghee in a pan. Add potatoes and sesame seeds and toss to coat with butter/ghee. Add more butter or ghee as you cook, if needed, to keep potatoes nicely coated. Cook for 30-40 minutes depending on the thickness of your potatoes. Serve and enjoy!

Spiced Chicken Breasts

chicken

These are my absolute favorite chicken breasts to make. I use the extra breasts to put on a salad the next day for lunch.

Ingredients:

  • 6 chicken breasts
  • 4 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Trim chicken breasts and pound lightly with a meat hammer. Mix the spices and garlic with oil and brush onto the chicken. Marinate chicken breasts in the refrigerator for several hours for deeper flavor, or cook right away if you are in a hurry. Brush a skillet with olive oil and allow it to heat up. Place chicken in the skillet and cook over medium-high flame, 2-3 at a time for about 7 minutes per side. Serve and enjoy!

This is a salad we eat frequently throughout the week. It is chock full of healthy goodness! The broccoli sprouts have up to 50 times more cancer fighting benefits than broccoli alone. The seed combination gives you a big dose of vitamins and minerals.

Ingredients:

  • Organic mixed greens
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Chopped red bell pepper
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Broccoli sprouts
  • 2 tbsp raw sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp raw pepitas
  • 2 tbsp raw sunflower seeds

Place seeds into a small pan on the stove to lightly toast. In a bowl, combine mixed greens, cucumber, red bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, and broccoli sprouts. Top with toasted seeds and your dressing of choice. Enjoy!

This recipe is from Christa Orecchio, founder of The Whole Journey. She is one of my main resources about healthy eating and healthy living. Check out her website and programs for more information!

Ingredients:

Whisk together all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Transfer to a salad dressing container and store in the refrigerator.