Squash season might be my favorite food season! And delicata squash is my favorite of all. Yes, even better than acorn and spaghetti and butternut and pumpkin. Haven’t heard of it? I hadn’t either until last year. You’ll see them with the other squashes in the grocery store and they look more like decorative gourds than anything edible. They are named “delicata” for their delicate skin- so thin you can eat it.
Delicata squashes are narrow and yellow with green stripes (and sometimes orange too) on the rind. Select one that is firm and heavy for its size. Avoid ones that are more light green- they are not ripe. Even the ripe ones I have purchased have lasted a few weeks in my pantry before I cook them.
Besides tasting so yummy, my favorite thing about this particular squash is how easy it is to prepare and cook. This is my recipe for the perfect roasted squash – the slightly sweet bites will melt in your mouth, with a perfect crisp to the skin.
- 2 delicata squash
- drizzle of oil (I recommend olive, coconut or avocado)
- salt & pepper
- Pre-heat your oven to 420 degrees.
- Wash the squash since you will be eating the skin.
- Cut the squash in half length-wise. If you have trouble cutting it, pop in the microwave for 20 seconds to soften.
- Scrape out the seeds and stringy stuff (is there a term for that?) from the inside of your halves.
- Cut horizontally into 1/2 – 1 inch slices.
- Arrange on a roasting pan, drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper and toss. Split apart so each has its own spot on the pan.
- Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes (depends on the thickness of your slices), taking out halfway to toss so pieces get equal time to brown on the bottom of the pan. It’s perfect when both sides are a light roasted brown.
Today I’m sharing an easy recipe that’s perfect as a Thanksgiving side!
Craving mashed potatoes but trying to stay low-carb? I’ve got a seriously great alternative for you… mashed parsnips and turnips. If you are like me and can’t stomach the typical replacement, cauliflower (cruciferous veggies don’t agree with me), this is another option to try.
- 1 pound organic parsnips
- 1 pound organic turnips
- 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
- pinch of pepper
- pinch of garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons grass-fed butter
- 3 tablespoons full-fat coconut milk or heavy cream
- Peel the parsnips and turnips and roughly chop into 1-2 inch pieces (for faster boiling & easy blending).
- Put in a pot of water and bring to a boil.
- Boil for around 15 minutes or until tender (stab with a fork).
- Pour into a colander to drain the water and then put the veggies in a large food processor.
- Add the other ingredients (butter should melt quickly with the hot veggies) and blend until smooth, stopping to stir for better blending as needed.
I was shocked at how well this matches the texture of mashed potatoes. Since they are root vegetables, it has a very similar mild, starchy flavor to satisfy those cravings; it is just slightly sweeter. I hope you enjoy this super easy recipe!
On #mealprepmondays, I try to always make breakfast for my daughter and I for the week so it makes mornings easier. This quiche, made with hash browns instead of pie crust, makes for a healthier version that’s still super yummy and filling.
As with ALL my recipes, this takes very little time to prepare and is really easy to make. There is a lot of room to create in this recipe- using different meats and veggies based on what you like best or what is on sale that week. My go-to is bacon & spinach but I’m always trying something new.
- 3 tablespoons of butter (or coconut oil)
- 2 cups organic frozen hash browns (I use half a package of the Alexia brand)
- I’ve also used frozen sweet potato fries for this if you want to avoid white potatoes.
- 6 large soy-free pastured eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetables
- I typically use what is leftover from dinner the night before- asparagus, bell pepper, frozen spinach have all worked great.
- 1/2 cup cooked breakfast meat
- I like to mix this up depending on what’s on sale/what I’m feeling. I rotate between bacon (look for organic + sugar-free), ham and breakfast sausage.
- TIP: If cooking bacon, make less of a mess and use of an already heated oven by oven-baking it instead of frying.
- 2 tablespoons coconut milk (or heavy whipping cream)
- 1/2 cup grated raw cheddar cheese
- Sea salt & pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Put the butter in your quiche dish (I use this one, but a standard pie dish would work just fine too) and place in the oven to melt. TIP: to make it easier to put in/take out of the oven, I put my dish on top of a cookie sheet.
- Put frozen hash browns in dish and spread around to evenly distribute and mix in butter. Season with salt and pepper.
- Put dish with hash browns into the oven until slightly browned- typically around 20 minutes.
- Whisk the eggs with milk and salt & pepper. Add the veggies and meat and cheese and stir.
- When potatoes are brown and crispy, take out of the oven and add the egg mixture.
- Put dish back in the oven and cook until the eggs are puffed and set- around 20 minutes.
I’d love to hear your favorite combinations of meat & veggies to put in this! Enjoy!
Sharing another #mealprepmonday recipe for breakfast! This recipe makes two loaf pans, so I’ll keep them in the fridge to last the week. Even though this bread is free of grains or refined sugar, my toddler still loves it and I think you will too.
- 2 cups almond flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (just cinnamon works too if that’s all you have)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil (or avocado oil)
- 3/4 cup honey (or maple syrup)
- 5 eggs
- 3 cups shredded zucchini (not packed & no need to peel first) – this is typically 2 medium sized zucchini for me
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Mix the eggs.
- Add the eggs, oil and honey to the bowl and mix with spoon until combined.
- Cut the ends off the zucchini and shred using either an electric vegetable shredder, food processor or manually with a large cheese grater.
- Add the zucchini and mix until combined.
- Pour equally divided between 2 greased loaf pans.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
On Mondays, I meal prep. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see my #mealprepmonday stories where I share what I make for breakfast and lunch throughout the week. This salmon salad is my go-to for lunches because it’s simple to prepare, inexpensive, healthy, filling and easy to package individually to grab each morning.
Tuna salad was one of my favorite lunches my mom made for us growing up. I know that not everyone finds it appetizing, but it’s a comfort food for me. I make the same recipe now, but use canned salmon instead of tuna. Why? 1- I think it tastes better… it is not as dry as tuna and is less fishy. 2- it’s healthier. Tuna can have very high mercury content, so I try to avoid it now. Plus, salmon is truly one of the most nutritious things you can eat- it is full of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, magnesium, and calcium. It’s also full of protein, helping to keep me from craving snacks throughout the day.
This recipe should only take 15 minutes to prepare and makes enough for 3 servings.
- 2 6-oz cans of wild-caught salmon
- 2 soy-free pastured organic eggs
- 2 tablespoons mayo made with avocado oil (Primal Kitchen is my favorite brand)
- 1 tablespoon organic sweet relish
- dash of salt & pepper
- Hard boil the eggs.
- Drain the salmon and put in a bowl with mayo, relish and salt & pepper.
- Once eggs are boiled, peel and then use an egg slicer to dice.
- Add eggs to the bowl of other ingredients and mix. Add more mayo/relish to taste, depending on dryness of salmon.
Serve on top of salad greens or on your favorite sandwich bread or crackers.
P.S. I’m able to buy most of these ingredients at Thrive Market – check out their selection of discounted healthy groceries here. Read this blog post to see other items I purchase on their site to keep my all-organic grocery spending low.
Homemade marinara has always intimidated me. While it’s so easy to buy pre-made sauce at the store, if you look at the ingredients list, the jars are often full of sugar and preservatives. When we took a cooking class in Italy a few years ago, I discovered that making my own sauce is not nearly as difficult or time-consuming as I thought it would be.
This is not the recipe we learned how to make in Tuscany, but a variation I created one day while trying to use up some extra veggies I had in the fridge. This version gives the opportunity to add more flavor and some sweetness by using vegetables in the sauce. Since it all ends up pureed, this is an easy way to serve your unsuspecting kids more veggies. I love that it makes an easy, all-in-one-dish meal.
- two 16-oz cans of organic tomato sauce
- 1 organic zucchini
- 1 organic red bell pepper (seeds & core removed)
- 2-3 organic carrots (peeled)
- 1/2 yellow onion (peeled)
- 6 cloves of garlic (peeled)
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 tablespoons sea salt
- 1-2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
- 5-6 leaves of fresh basil
- Roughly chop the veggies, onion and garlic.
- Add the veggies to a deep pot with the olive oil and cook over medium-low temperature until soft. This usually takes around 15 minutes; the smaller your veggie pieces, the faster they will soften.
- Add the tomato sauce.
- Use an immersion blender to puree the veggies into the sauce.
- Add the salt and crushed red pepper to taste and let simmer on low until you are ready to serve.
- When you remove from heat, add some chopped fresh basil.
- Serve over pasta or spaghetti squash with fresh mozzarella or Parmesan cheese.
To add some protein, make it a ragu / bolognese by adding cooked Italian sausage to the sauce. I also love to add in even more veggies at this point by mixing in some chopped kale or spinach that I have sauteed with shallots.
This delicious dinner takes under 30 minutes to prepare and is perfect for a weeknight meal. The tender steak with a sweet Asian sauce and crisp snow peas will be a crowd pleaser – both my husband and my 6 month old liked it!
A healthful adaptation of the Pioneer Woman’s Beef with Snow Peas recipe.
- 1/2 cup organic coconut aminos (say no to soy sauce with this perfect alternative!)
- 1 tablespoon ground organic ginger
- 2 tablespoons grass-fed beef bone broth
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Optional: you may add a tablespoon of non-GMO cornstarch or arrowroot powder to thicken your sauce, but since I was serving over rice, I didn’t feel I needed it.
- 1 1/2 pounds grass-fed flap steak, sliced thin against the grain (can also use flank steak)
- 3 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
- Couple handfuls of fresh organic snap peas, trimmed
- 5 scallions, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
Combine the coconut aminos, ginger, bone broth, coconut sugar and crushed red pepper in a bowl. Put the sliced steak in a bowl and pour 1/3 of that liquid over the beef, saving the rest in the bowl. Toss the beef and let sit for a few minutes while you prepare the snap peas.
Put the oil in a large skillet and heat over high heat. Add the snap peas for half a minute to get them bright green, then remove them to a separate plate.
Next, add half the steak to the skillet. Spread it out and let brown for a minute. Add half the scallions, turn the meat over and cook another half minute to brown that side. Remove to a separate plate.
Let the skillet get hot again, then add the rest of the meat and brown both sides again. Once you flip the beef pieces to brown the second side, add all the ingredients back in – the reserved sauce, the previously cooked meat and snap peas. Stir for a few seconds, then remove from the heat.
Serve by itself or over jasmine rice or quinoa!