Cauliflower Alfredo

The problem with so many creamy fattening foods is that they are so darn delicious. You can go to the store and buy many “light” alternatives, but while these options may be lower in calories, they are often sky high in chemical additives and strange ingredients you can’t pronounce.
So what’s a health and taste conscious person to do? Experiment and make your own recipes of course!
I’ve been using cauliflower a TON lately as a swap for things from rice to oats to mashed potatoes. One night while I was making a cauliflower mash I noticed the creamy texture you can get from pureeing cauliflower and thought, wow this could make an awesome sauce!
This recipe is super simple and you can adjust it to your own tastes with additional seasonings like cayenne, or a more buttery flavor with a tablespoon of butter or olive oil. With a vegan option and 2 ginormous servings for 60 calories, it’s an all around win.

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Serves heaping ½ cup servings or 4 heaping ¼ cup servings

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups raw cauliflower florets (160g)
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2-4 tablespoons grated parmesan or nutritional yeast (to desired cheesy taste)
1 cup unsweetened cashew milk
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Directions:
Place all ingredients into a medium pot and bring to a boil. Cover the mixture and let it simmer for around 15 minutes until cauliflower is completely soft.
Using a blender or food processor, blend the mixture until smooth.

Serve on top of pasta, zucchini noodles, veggies, or just about anything! Maybe not ice cream though…

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Tomato Veggie Sauce

Whenever I go on vacation I do my best to use whatever I have left in my fridge as to not waste. Some things I will freeze, bake, or dry to preserve them for longer, or I will get creative and make some recipes!
I decided to use up my extra veggies to make an onion tomato sauce that I tossed with zucchini noodles for dinner the night and then I places what I had left of the sauce in the feezer to use for a later time. This is the recipe I created with what I had on hand but feel free to improvise with whatever you have!

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Ingredients:
2 garlic cloves, minced
⅓ large white onion
1 ½ cups grape tomates
3 large celery stalks
⅓ cup parsley
1 cup vegetable stock
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
¼ teaspoon each chili powder, black pepper and dried oregano
⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

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Directions:
Spray a medium to large sized pot with olive oil and saute the garlic with the onion until translucent. Add in the grape tomatoes and celery stalks and cook while occasionally stirring until celery is softened and tomatoes are blistered.
Add in 1 cup of vegetable stock and bring mixture to boil.
Add in parsley and cover pot and reduce flame to a simmer.
Let sauce cook for 25-30 minutes.
Remove lid and either using an immersion or regular blender, blend sauce until it is smooth.
Use as a dip, sauce for pasta or veggies and more!

Low Fat Pesto

Pesto is amazing, but that stuff can be shockingly high in fat and calories. On average, a mere ¼ cup is 230 calories and 21g of fat. This recipe makes a great pesto that is only 14 calories and less than 1 gram of fat per tablespoon, making it only 55 calories and 3.7g of fat for a ¼ cup!
Feel free to play with the quantities below to create a consistency and flavor of your liking. Feel free to add in a tablespoon or two of olive oil and sub the cashews for pine nuts for a more traditional tasting pesto!

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Ingredients:
½ cup vegetable broth
2 garlic cloves
1 cup fresh basil
⅓ cup grated parmesan
2 tablespoons cashews

Directions:
Place everything into a blender or food processor and blend until desired consistency is reached.
Add more or less broth depending on how thick/thin you would like your pesto.

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Buffed Up Pumpkin Butter

With Fall in full swing, there is no time like the present to fully embrace pumpkin flavored everything. I chose to revisit my original Buffed Up Almond Butter and make a version that is more seasonally appropriate.
This could not be simpler to make and is packed with protein, 0 added sugar, low carb, and reasonably low in fat is well (and what is there is good fats coming from nuts!)
You can really use any nuts, peanuts were just what I had on hand. For protein powder, I used vanilla, but nowadays there are so many options like cinnamon or even pumpkin spice that a variety would taste delicious.
So ditch the sugary and nutrition-less pumpkin options from stores and try this one out for size.
Warning: Not only white girls will dig this pumpkin flavored treat.

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Ingredients:
¼ cup peanuts (raw or roasted)
⅓ cup pumpkin puree
1 scoop protein powder of choice
½ teaspoon cinnamon/pumpkin spice
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Stevia or sweetener of choice to taste
Pinch of salt

Directions:
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor until desired consistency is reached. I chose to leave mine a bit chunky for some extra texture.

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Creamy Kale & Zucchini Pasta/Dip

Sometimes my best recipes come out purely out of an effort to use up the contents of my fridge. I was in the mood for something quick and healthy, yet comforting and delicious all at the same time.
I had some veggies I wanted to use up before leaving for the weekend so I just began roasting and blending and the result was super tasty (all the while I got to feel like a mad scientist in the kitchen)!

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This recipe creates a great stand alone dip for veggies or crackers, but combined with some gluten free pasta, it makes a creamy and nutritious sauce. I chose to serve mine topped with smoked salmon for extra protein and a salty bite. It is perfect for a filling and simple Sunday night dinner or for any night of the week.

Ingredients:

1 large zucchini
½ of a small onion
2 small cloves of garlic
3 cups kaleDSCN4539
⅓ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
Olive oil (spray)
Salt and pepper to taste

Pasta of choice- I chose TJ’s Organic Brown Rice & Quinoa Fusilli Pasta
Optional: smoked salmon

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400F. Slice zucchini into ¼ inch strips and cut your half onion into chunks.
Peel the cloves of garlic.
Grease a baking sheet with olive oil. Place zucchini and onion onto the baking sheet and either spray or drizzle additional olive oil. At this time you may also place the garlic on the baking sheet for a roasted garlic flavor.
Place baking sheet into the oven for 15-20 minutes until veggies are lightly browned.
Meanwhile, steam 3 cups of kale.
Place kale, Greek yogurt, zucchini, onion and either roasted (or not roasted) garlic cloves in the blender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Blend until fairly smooth but leaving some small vegetable chunks.

To make the pasta dish, simply use your pasta of choice and prepare according to package instructions. Once finished, reserve about ¼ cup of pasta water.
Strain pasta and pour into a large bowl. Add in your desired amount of sauce and slowly pour in pasta water while stirring until desired consistency is achieved.
Optionally, top with smoked salmon.

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Great served with my vegan garlic cauli mash!

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Buffed Up Cinnamon Vanilla Almond Butter

Sometimes I think I’m an evil little genius. Then I realize I’m actually making something that’s good for me, so I’m actually not so evil at all!
I’ll let myself keep the “little genius” title though because that makes me reminisce to Baby Geniuses, and I thoroughly enjoy that comparison.

Okay so back to the good stuff.
Nut butters are great and can be a good source of protein but what if you could have one that has Doubledouble the protein for even fewer calories plus extra fiber!
You said whaaat???
Yes, you heard me right. And it is amazingly smooth and incredibly delicious without the addition of sugar or salt.
I apologize in advance for your desire to eat the entire darn thing.

Dipping pretzel in nut butterMakes 1 cup of Nut Butter

Ingredients:
1 cup raw almonds
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 serving vanilla protein powder of choice (My top picks are organic Tera’s Whey or Vega One for a vegan option)
~20 drops of stevia or sweetener to taste
Optional: ½ teaspoon butter extract (which is actually vegan)

Blended up nut butter

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F.
Place 1 cup almonds evenly on a baking sheet and place into the heated oven. Roast for ~15 minutes, stirring them around halfway through.
Once almonds have cooled, place all ingredients except for the whey protein into a blender or food processor. You’ll probably have to stop and scrape the sides a few times to get the entire mixture fully smooth.
Finally, add the protein powder and blend again until fully incorporated.

Enjoy with anything you would use normal nut butter for!

Pretzel on nut butter

Green Marinara Sauce

Green marinara with pretzels

This one is less of a recipe, more of a throw a bunch of stuff in a blender and eat kind of thing. I However, I’ve had numerous people try it and want to know how I make it so… here it is! This green marinara is a quick and delicious sauce for pasta, vegetables (especially zoodles), salad dressing alternative and even a veggie/cracker dip.

While it tastes great, it also looks like green gloop which means people think it’s gross so there’s more for you to eat! In addition, basil and parsley are natural proven detoxifiers which makes this a perfect easy recipe for Sunday- if ya know what I mean.

Makes a little over 1 cup of sauce

Ingredients:
½ cup your favorite store-bought marinara with ingredients you can pronounce
1 cup basil
2/3 cup parsley
1 roughly chopped small clove of garlic
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Dash of cayenne
Squirt of lemon juice

Optional:
1-2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon hemp protein powder
Pinch of sweetener

Directions:
Place everything into a blender/food processor and blend until smooth. That’s it!

Green Marinara Ingredients

As stated, you can add nutritional yeast or even parmesan for some cheese-y flavor and/or hemp protein for an extra protein boost. Feel free to adjust the spices to your own liking and add in some hot sauce for marinara with a kick or some sweetener for a sweeter sauce.

Green marinara on zoodles