Garlic Balsamic Mushrooms

One of my favorite items at the Whole Foods salad bar is the balsamic mushrooms. The simple flavor combo gave me the inspiration to make my own super quick mushroom side dish. What’s great about this recipe is it only takes minutes to make but has rich flavor without all the added oil.

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Ingredients:
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ tablespoon Vegetable broth/water
1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Directions:
Spray a pan with coconut or olive oil and place minced garlic in the pan. Stir around for a minute to lightly sauté the garlic.
Add in the sliced mushrooms.
Stir the mushrooms around frequently and add in your veggie broth/water so mushrooms begin to sizzle. Allow mushrooms to cook for an additional minute and then drizzle on the balsamic vinegar along with the onion powder and black pepper. Mix around mushrooms thoroughly so they are evenly coated by the balsamic vinegar.
Once mushrooms achieve a browned color with golden edges, they are complete.

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5 Minute Tofu Cabbage Roll-Ups

This recipe is another one of my more idea recipes than an actual step by step one. I end up making these a lot actually either for a snack or dinner when I am in a pinch. I generally go for the spicy route but you can use whatever seasonings you desire. Get creative with your marinade or make it easy for yourself and use a store bought sauce such as teriyaki or BBQ. I also like to place my filling in cabbage leaves but feel free to use taco shells or wraps!

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Ingredients:
Tofu
Marinade: I used 1 tablespoon siracha, ¼ teaspoon each of chili powder, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder, ½ tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste with salt and pepper to taste
Cabbage leaves
Salsa/pico de gallo/vinegar based slaw
Optional: additional vegetables, seeds or herbs for topping

Directions:
Mix together marinade ingredients into a bowl. Once fully whisked, crumble tofu into the bowl with the marinade. Toss to coat and let sit for at least 10 minutes in the fridge. For added crispiness, you can add almond flour or an other flour of choice into the mixture for a more “breaded” texture.
Spray a sauté pan with coconut oil and once heated, place marinated tofu into the pan. Using a wooden spoon, continuously mix around the tofu so it does not stick to the pan. You want the tofu to brown and become crispy.
Once complete, remove tofu from pan and place desired amount in lettuce cups. Top with sauce and veggies of choice.

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Served with salmon wrapped asparagus and garlic toast topped with bruschetta

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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Spiced Cauliflower Tomato Soup

Soup is the best thing in the cold months. Even out here in California, temperatures are dropping and I love warming up a nice cup of soup when I come home.
To really get full though, I like thick or chunky soups and this recipe certainly does not disappoint.
This soup is super tasty, ultra thick and under 60 calories per cup. Oh it’s vegan, gluten free (duh) and 3.5 grams of fiber!

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Makes 5 1 cup Servings

Ingredients:
1 large white onion
3 cloves garlic
4 cups cauliflower
1 small hot chili pepper
3 cups organic vegetable broth (add more for thinner soup)
¾ -1 cup diced no salt added tomatoes
½ teaspoon each oregano, thyme and black pepper
¼ teaspoon cumin
Salt to taste

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Directions:
Cut onion into smaller pieces and mince garlic cloves.
Spray the bottom of a large pot with olive oil over medium heat. Place onions and garlic in the pot. Stir occasionally until onions soften.
Cut chili pepper and place it into pot along with cauliflower. I used frozen cauliflower but fresh works well too.
Stir around until cauliflower softens (around 5 minutes).
Add in vegetable broth and tomatoes, stir, and turn up heat and wait until soup comes to a boil.
Once at a boil, turn flame down to a simmer, cover pot, and let cook for 25-30 minutes.
After the 25-30 minutes are up, add in spices. Taste mixture to see if you would like to adjust your spices.
Using an immersion blender or a regular blender, blend the entire soup and then you’re done!
Note- this freezes well so feel free to keep out what you will eat within a few days and freeze the rest in an airtight container!

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Pumpkin Cream of NO Wheat

I am allergic to gluten which means no wheat for me, but that doesn’t mean I don’t crave the taste of delicious warm cereal. One night when I was making cauliflower rice I thought, why not use cauliflower to make my own hot cream of (no) wheat?!
This turned out better than I imagined- the key is to make sure every last cauliflower florette is riced because big chunks of cauli aren’t particularly appetizing in this dish. Oh, and the whole large serving is a mere 60 calories.
This is the perfect breakfast or snack that you can totally customize with your own spices, toppings and add ins! For some added protein swirl in some pea protein (vegan) or greek yogurt. For added nutrition and flavor top with seeds, nuts and fruit- seriously endless possibilities. My favorite breakfast combo is vanilla pea protein, chia seeds, hemp seeds, raspberries and a drizzle of raw honey- yumm.

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Serves 1

Ingredients:
1 heaping cup of small cauliflower florets
½ cup milk of choice (I used cashew)
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon ground flaxseed
¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice.
Splash of vanilla extract
Sweetener of choice
2-4 tablespoons pure pumpkin puree

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Directions:
Place cauliflower in blender or food processor and blend until consistent rice texture is achieved. Place riced cauliflower in a small saucepan with all other ingredients except pumpkin puree under medium heat.

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Stir mixture in saucepan fairly frequently as cauliflower cooks and mixture thickens.
Continue to stir as it comes to a boil.
Keep occasionally mixing until water is absorbed and desired consistency is achieved (4-8 minutes).
Turn flame off and add in pumpkin puree and stir to combine.
Can be enjoyed hot or cold!

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Berry Protein Smoothie

Smoothies are popular for a reason. They’re quick to make, easy to consume, and can be full of nutrients. Unfortunately, too often when you buy a smoothie on the go, they are laden with sugar and other questionable ingredients. You’re best bet then is to make your own! Not only will you know what is actually going into your drink, but you’ll also save money and it is so darn easy.
This is my basic smoothie drink when I am on the go and want a fruity drink with a kick of protein. My boyfriend asks me to make this very smoothie practically every day so it’s certainly only for everyone to enjoy.

Ingredients:
1 heaping cup of frozen mixed berries
cup plain greek yogurt
½ – 1 cup milk of choice
Splash of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon maple syrup (could also use stevia, honey, agave, etc.)

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Directions:
Place all ingredients into a blender and blend!
Add more or less milk to achieve desired thickness.

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Sweet Spiced Kabocha Squash

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Nothing says winter veggie to me more than squash. A great source of vitamins A & C, carotenoids, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties and a slew of other benefits, squash is a hearty vegetable that can be prepared in a variety of ways.
My favorite squash of them all is kabocha. Not to be confused with kombucha the fizzy probiotic drink, kabocha or japanese pumpkin is both lower in calories and carbohydrates, yet sweeter than other squash varieties.

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Serves 4 Sides

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or ½ teaspoon cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon each ground ginger and nutmeg)
1 medium kabocha squash

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Directions:
Preheat the oven to 425.
Cut kabocha squash in half and scoop out seeds and guts. Slice squash into pieces around 1 inch thick.
Cover a sheet pan with tinfoil (or alternatively with coconut oil spray) and spread out slices of squash onto one even layer.
In a small bowl combine the oil, sugar, and spices.
Drizzle/brush the mixture evenly on top of the squash pieces.
Bake for 30 minutes.

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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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