Green Chili Chicken

April 29, 2016
Green Chili Chicken

The secret ingredient in this chili is cauliflower – and you would never know it was there!!  A member of the cruciferous family, cauliflower adds fiber, vitamins, minerals, and also helps to give it some “body.”  Cauliflower is rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, and sulfur – which supports the liver.  But the real star of this dish is the tomatillos and poblano chili peppers – they are so delicious!!  My whole family loves this one pot dinner!  You could also make it in a slow cooker – but it would take longer.

Serves 6-8 people.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound – 1.5 pounds of chicken thighs or breasts (can be bone-in or not)
  • 1/2 of a medium sized cauliflower
  • 1 quart of free range chicken broth (can be homemade, I use low sodium if using boxed) 
  • 10-12 tomatillos
  • 3-4 poblano peppers
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • dried oregano – about 1 tsp.
  • Optional – Trader Joes 21 Spice Blend
  • 1 can of small white beans, drained (like great northern)omit if you want a “Paleo” meal
  • salt & pepper to taste

Optional Toppings:

  • Sour cream
  • Finely chopped jalapeno
  • Grated cheese

Directions:

Note: If you don’t have time for steps 1-5 and want a quicker and easier version – you could replace steps 1-5 with a jar of green tomatillo salsa – I like the Hatch chili kind at Trader Joes.

  1. Heat oven to about 400 degrees.
  2. Remove the papery skin from the tomatillos
  3. Coat tomatillos and poblanos in oil (I use avocado oil)
  4. Put on a sheet pan in pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes – turning with tongs about halfway through. They should be roasted and slightly charred.
  5. Put the poblanos in a bowl and cover with saran wrap or a lid for about 10 mins.  Then peel off the skins, and chop.
  6. Put the cauliflower into a food processor and pulse it until it is “riced.”
  7. Sprinkle the chicken with salt & pepper (and any other seasoning you like – I like to sprinkle it with Trader Joes 21 Spice Blend)
  8. Put a large heavy bottomed saucepan on the stove and warm up about 1-2  tablespoons of avocado oil (or coconut oil).
  9. When oil is heated, put in the chicken thighs or breasts and sauté over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes, to brown the outside – remove and put on a plate while you cook the onions.
  10. Add more oil if needed first – then put the onions in the pan and sauté over medium heat until translucent, about 3-5 mins.
  11. Add back the chicken, and the broth, the cauliflower “rice”, tomatillos, chopped poblanos, oregano, a teaspoon of salt, and any other seasonings you like (I sprinkle a little 21 Spice blend usually) – bring to a boil and then once boiling, drop down to a simmer.
  12. Simmer for about 30 minutes (stirring occasionally – and smashing the tomatillos on the side of the pot to break them up).
  13. Take the chicken out (check to see if it is done through) and let cool enough so you can shred it with a fork (remove bones and skin at this time – if you used skin on, bone in).
  14. Put the drained beans in (if using) and bring back to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook another 5 minutes.  If you have a hand blender – you can put it in for a few seconds – this will help to thicken it up, but is not absolutely needed.
  15. Add back the shredded chicken, simmer a few more minutes – taste and adjust salt and any seasonings.
  16. Put into bowls and serve with desired toppings.
  17. Save leftovers in fridge up to 3 days.

Recipe developed by Sara Vance. All rights reserved.

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Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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Quick Cinnamon Vanilla Cashew Milk

April 12, 2016
Cinnamon Cashew Milk

 

I am not one to drink a glass of milk for a snack – unless it is cashew milk! For some reason – I just love a nice cold glass of cashew milk.  If I add a little cinnamon and vanilla to it – it is a serious treat! You could also add a teaspoon or two of raw cacao powder to make this a Mexican Chocolate Milk.  This milk is great in coffee, and also quite filling and satisfying due to the healthy fats and protein. The cinnamon supports healthy blood sugar levels too.

And best of all – this recipe whips up in about 3 mins too!  Why buy store-bought milk (many of which contain the questionable ingredient carrageenan) when you can make it at home in 3 mins?

Quick Cinnamon Vanilla Cashew Milk:

makes one 8 oz. glass of milk (store any leftover in refrigerator for up to 2 days)

  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 rounded teaspoons of raw cashew butter (available at most health food stores)
  • 1/3 – 1/2 scoop of vanilla protein powder (I like Warrior Blend Vanilla).
  • pinch of Himalayan salt to taste (omit if using salted nut butter)
  • vanilla extract – to taste (I like about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • cinnamon – to taste (I prefer Ceylon cinnamon – and used about 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 2-4 ice cubes (to make milk cold)

Put everything except the ice into the blender and blend well to combine.  Add in the desired amount of ice cubes – blend again – and pour into a glass.  Add a sprinkle of cinnamon on top if desired.  You could also omit the vanilla and cinnamon if you needed a plain/savory milk for recipes.

Want to make cashew milk using the nut (not nut butter), and find out how to increase the calcium and fiber content?  Click to learn more about The Best Alternative Milk!!

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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Detoxifying Dill Soup

March 31, 2016
Detoxifying Dill Soup

I love using fresh herbs – they really brighten up and transform a salad or soup.  As far as herbs go, dill is right up there with basil and mint at the top of my list!

This dill soup is very refreshing, and easy to make – it literally whips together in about 3 minutes! And besides the broth – this is totally raw!

Dill is a wonderful herb – and can be helpful to relieve headaches, which can occasionally happen when detoxing, it is a natural anti-fungal, and has even been found to have anti-cancer properties (learn more about dill in this article from Dr. Mercola).

Ingredients:

  • 1 big handful (about a cup) of organic baby spinach (could also use chard, kale, etc)
  • 1 cup of organic chicken bone broth (or vegetable broth for vegan) – use homemade or store bought
  • the flesh of 1/2 a ripe avocado
  • juice from 1/2 of a lemon
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 clove of garlic (optional)
  • small handful of fresh dill (or about 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • Himalayan or celtic salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Warm up the broth on the stove for a couple minutes.
  2. Put the broth, garlic & greens, avocado, lemon, dill & celery the Vitamix and blend to combine.
  3. Taste & adjust salt. Add any other seasoning you desire (sometimes I add some Trader Joes 21 Spice blend).
  4. Pour into bowls – sprinkle on some alleppo peppers if you want to give it a little kick!
  5. Serve & enjoy!

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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Golden Milk Ginger, Turmeric & Mushroom Tea

March 14, 2016
ginger and turmeric golden milk
Categories: Recipes, Uncategorized

This is an update to my golden milk tea recipe from 2012 – because of the 2015 studies on ginger and cancer prevention, I have decided to add ginger, and  also optionally adaptogenic reishi mushrooms too!

Golden Milk Tea is typically made from tumeric, it is a rich and creamy beverage that is wonderful for before bedtime, and some may also find it to be a nice coffee substitute.  I have added a few more superfoods to make this the ultimate Golden Milk tea!

  • Turmeric*:  A rich history in Ayurvedic medicine, tumeric it is one of the most revered roots.  Tumeric is an incredibly powerful anti-inflammatory & anti-oxidant herb – which is how it earned it’s nickname “Nature’s Advil.”  Tumeric has been shown to detoxify the liver, assist in the removal of mucus, lower cholesterol, help to manage weight, treat IBS, provide iron, and and is a wonderful herbal remedy for the treatment of stiff, sore, arthritic, or inflamed joints. Studies suggest it could be useful in preventing cancers, heart disease, type 2 diabetes. It is also a digestive tonic, antiseptic, antiparasitic, astringent, pain reliever, blood purifier, wound healer, kidney-stone dissolver, eczema treatment, and more.
  • Ginger:  Ginger is a wonderful anti-inflammatory, it is soothing to the digestion, helpful is resolving nausea, and is thermogenic (warming and metabolism boosting).  A recent study found that ginger was 10,000 times more potent than chemotherapy against cancer!
  • Reishi: Mushrooms are wonderful adaptogenic foods – and reishi are particularly beneficial for managing stress and balancing mood – they are known as “the mushroom of immortality”  because it has been shown to support a healthy immune system, anti-aging, and supports the prevention of many conditions including allergies, asthma, dementia, diabetes, and more.  Helpful in When exposed to UV light, mushrooms are also an excellent source of Vitamin D (which is not commonly found in foods).
  • Manuka honey:  A very unique type of honey – manuka has incredible anti-bacterial properties – even shown in studies to be effective against MRSA.
  • Coconut Oil:  A powerful anti-bacterial and anti-viral, it is useful in detoxifiying the body.  Research shows that coconut oil can have preventative effects for Alzheimers symptoms (and can even reverse some).  The fat helps with the absorption of the curcumin, which is the active ingredient in turmeric.

The Ultimate Golden Milk Ginger and Turmeric Tea

Golden Milk Paste (this makes enough for about 4 cups of golden milk tea). this can be made ahead of time, store in refrigerator.Golden Milk Paste

  • 2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla powder (or extract if you can’t get vanilla powder)

Ingredients to make 1 cup of golden milk tea:

  • 1 tsp. of golden milk paste (see above – add more if you like a stronger taste)
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of coconut milk/cream (I use the full fat coconut milk from a can – scoop out the coconut cream on top and stir together with all but about 1/2 cup of the coconut water from the can – this will create a thick and rich coconut cream – I keep it in the refrigerator, it is also great in coffee.  I use the rest of the coconut water from the can for a smoothie). Use more coconut milk and less water if you want your tea thicker/creamier.
  • 1 tsp. virgin coconut oil (or more if you prefer).
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. of manuka honey (optional – the coconut milk already gives it a nice sweetness, so you may not need any sweetener.  Or you could use stevia, monk fruit, raw honey, coconut nectar or another  natural sweetener)
  • 1 tsp of mushroom powder (such as this brand from Mushroom Matrix) – optional
  • a little fresh cracked pepper – helps with the absorption of the curcumin (turmeric), and also adds a little zip!

Directions

Make the paste:

Place the 1/2 cup water, turmeric and ginger in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer, stirring for about 3-5 minutes until most of the water evaporates, and it is like a paste.  Add in the vanilla powder after about 2 minutes of simmering (if using vanilla extract – put it in when you put in the turmeric and ginger).  Store the paste in the refrigerator in a glass container up to 4 days.

Make the tea:

The Ultimate Golden Milk TeaAdd 1 rounded teaspoonful (more if you like a stronger flavor) of the golden milk paste to 3/4 cup of hot water, stir in the rest of the ingredients.  Make sure to let it cool a bit before sipping (esp due to the hot oil). Optional – top with a little freshly cracked pepper (a couple turns on the pepper mill), or sprinkle a little cinnamon or cardamom on top.  Enjoy!

As with all herbs and supplements, please consult your doctor if you are on medication before taking this tea. Herbs can very powerful and may interfere with and interact with medications!

*Contraindications: Turmeric should not be used by people with gallstones or bile obstruction. Although turmeric is often used by pregnant women, it is important to consult with a doctor before doing so as turmeric can be a uterine stimulant.


 

Resources/References:

  • http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=78
  • http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/turmeric
  • http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=72
  • http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/ginger-10000x-stronger-chemo-taxol-cancer-research-model-1
  • http://www.reishi.com/what-is-reishi.htm
  • http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2013/2/how-reishi-combats-aging/Page-01
  • http://www.benefits-of-honey.com/manuka-honey.html
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdIWStwNtgM

 

 

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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Probiotic Dill Quinoa Power Bowl!

March 9, 2016
Probiotic Power Quinoa Bowl
Categories: Recipes, Uncategorized

One of my favorite lunches is a salad with quinoa in it – I have dozens of combinations and call them “Quinoa Power Bowls” – because they will power you through the afternoon!

Just recently, I got the idea to put fermented veggies into my power bowls – and they are an amazing addition!  I am very excited to share this delicious recipe with you!

Fermented foods provide probiotics – which are good bacteria that support digestion, mood, immunity, a healthy weight, and more.  Learn more:

Dill Quinoa Power Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup of cooked quinoa (I usually make a double or triple batch – and store leftovers in fridge up to 3 days)
  • 1/2 cup of raw sauerkraut (I like Farmhouse Culture‘s Garlic Dill Pickle Kraut, or Wildbrine‘s Dill & Garlic Sauerkraut, or you could make your own) – I also add a Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 10.05.43 AMScreen Shot 2016-03-09 at 10.07.41 AMteaspoon or two of the liquid brine too.
  • 1/2 cup of baby spinach or arugula – chopped
  • thinly sliced cucumbers (I like to use a mandoline), about 1/2 a small cucumber
  • 5-6 grape tomatoes – cut in half
  • thinly sliced red pepper  (I like to use a mandoline), about 1/4 of a pepper
  • chopped fresh dill  (as much as you like)
  • chopped fresh parsley  (as much as you like)
  • half an avocado – cut into chunks
  • juice from half a lemon
  • sliced pitted green olives (about 4- 5)
  • a drizzle of olive oil or avocado oil
  • Himalayan or Celtic salt – to taste
  • optional – Alleppo peppers to taste (gives it a little spice)

Directions – Put the ingredients into a bowl, add the lemon juice, oil, salt, and other seasonings – toss to combine. Sometimes I will make extra for lunch the next day.

Taste and adjust. Enjoy!

Note – the measurements are just suggestions – put as much or as little of each component as you like!  

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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Zippy & Refreshing Ginger Lemonade

March 9, 2016
Ginger Lemonade

Do you like ginger?  Ginger root is warming and calming to the digestive tract. It can help to reduce gas and indigestion, and can even help to relieve nausea and motion sickness. It has potent anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties, potentially even offering relief to arthritis and asthma sufferers.

GingerResearch published on September, 2015 found a compound in ginger to be 10,000x more potent than chemo against cancer cells, read more here.

I have been literally obsessed with ginger lately – it is featured in my Green Lemonade recipe, and it is the star of this fresh Ginger Lemonade – a wonderful way to include ginger in your life!

Ginger Lemonade Ingredients:

  • 1 piece of ginger root (about 3 inches long – more if you like more ginger flavor)
  • 3-5 lemons
  • 2.5 cups of filtered or alkaline water
  • a pinch (up to 1/8 tsp) of Himalayan or Celtic salt (brings out the sweetness and flavors, adds minerals and sodium – an important electrolyte).
  • Your choice of natural sweetener

Directions:peeling ginger

  1. Peel the ginger root (I use the end of a spoon to remove the peel), then grate or thinly slice it.
  2. Add the ginger to the water on the stove, bring it to a boil, then turn off the heat and cover it with a lid.
  3. Allow the ginger to steep for about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Strain the liquid through the grated or sliced ginger out (reserve to make ginger and cucumber water – see below).
  5. Squeeze your lemons into the ginger liquid.
  6. Add a pinch (up to 1/8th a teaspoon) of Himalayan salt (Don’t skip this – it brings out the sweetness and flavors, you will need less sweetener if you use the salt!).
  7. Add your favorite natural sweetener to taste – and stir to combine. Suggestions: stevia, monk fruit, raw honey, coconut sugar, organic cane sugar* or rapadura sugar – or a blend of the above).  Try 1/4 teaspoon of stevia, and 1-2 teaspoons of raw honey – taste and adjust. Start with less sweetener – you can always add more as needed (make sure you added the salt – you will need less sweetener).
  8. Pour over ice.  This is fairly concentrated – so feel free to add a little additional water if you like, or you could also add a little sparkling water if you want this to be fizzy!  This also can make a delicious cocktail. 
  9. Enjoy!!

*avoid sugar made with sugar beets – as that is typically GMO.

 

Ginger Cucumber ‘Spa’ Water:

This water supports hydration, digestion and is anti-flammatory.

Ingredients:

  • Ginger cucumber mint water2 quarts of filtered or alkaline water
  • the ginger leftover from the above recipe (thinly sliced ginger is a little prettier and less messy than the grated for the water)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Celtic or pink Himalayan salt
  • 1 small cucumber – sliced
  • optional – a few sprigs of fresh mint – really makes it fragrant and fresh!

Put all of the ingredients into a large jar – allow the flavors to come together for a couple hours.  Strain as you pour into a glass.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

 

Learn more about Ginger:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=72

 

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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Sara’s Green Lemonade

March 8, 2016
Sara's Green Lemonade

There is nothing more refreshing and energizing in my mind than a freshly pressed detoxifying green juice!!

This green lemonade recipe is my go-to favorite juice – it features alkalizing lemons & greens, warming & soothing ginger, a little sweetness and detoxifying malic acid from the granny smith apples, heavy metals-detoxifying parsley, and the celery adds organic sodium – a very important electrolyte for proper hydration and muscle/nerve support.

Metabolism-Boosting Green Lemonade

Ingredients (makes about 24 oz. of juice):

  • 1-2 organic granny smith apples
  • Peeled ginger (I like mine to have a strong ginger flavor – so to use about a 3 inch piece)
  • 1-2 organic lemons (most of peel removed – including some of the peel adds in vitamin C and a stronger lemon flavor)
  • 6-7 organic kale leaves
  • 1 organic romaine heart
  • a small bunch of organic parsley
  • 1 small organic cucumber
  • 2-3 celery stalks
  • 1 teaspoon of avocado oil, or 2 teaspoons of chia seeds (stir in and allow to soak)*

Directions: Put everything (except the avocado oil/chia seeds) into the juicer.* Pour desired amount into a glass, save the rest in a glass jar in refrigerator up to 1 day. Stir in the avocado oil (or if using chia seeds – stir and allow them to soak 3-5 minutes before drinking).  *If you don’t have a juicer – use your blender and strain out the pulp if you like!

*Why add the chia seeds or avocado oil to this drink?
Many of the vitamins in a green drink are fat soluble, so in order for them to be properly absorbed, there needs to be a carrier – a fat source. The fat also helps to keep the blood sugar stable, which is important for a healthy metabolism. You could also have this juice with a handful of almonds, half an avocado, or you could take your fish oil supplement too!

Read more: The Key Ingredient Your Green Juice is Missing.

**Note: when making juice – I highly recommend using only organic ingredients – because each 8 oz. serving can contain 2 pounds of produce – and conventional fruits and vegetables can be treated with pesticides (especially important for the Dirty Dozen and anything that you do not remove the peel).  Also – make sure to rinse (or peel) your ingredients before juicing. **

Sara Vance Juicing

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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Mini Banana Muffins (Grain Free)

February 12, 2016
Mini Banana Muffins (Grain Free)

These “better for you” banana muffins are easy to make and instead of being full of white flour, they use ground flax seed*, which is rich in ALA omega 3s.  They are high in protein due to the eggs and nut butter, and have way less sugar than most muffins.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup of nut butter (I used cashew butter – found at Trader Joes)
  • 2 and 1/2 ripe bananas
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt (add a little more if using unsalted nut butter)
  • 1 cup ground flax
  • 1 TBS. virgin coconut oil (soft or melted – plus more to grease muffin tin – if not using muffin papers)

Optional additions (fold these in later after mixing together the above):

  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (I like Enjoy Life brand)
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts work great, so do pecans)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Mix together the ingredients in a blender, food processor, or using a mixer.
  3. Gently fold in your chocolate chips and/or nuts – or you can just press them into the top after pouring the batter to the muffin tin.
  4. Grease mini muffin tin, or line with muffin papers.
  5. Fill batter almost to the top. Top with additional mini chocolate chips if desired.
  6. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 17 minutes.

Omega 3 fats are delicate.  Make sure to buy cold pressed ground flax and store it in your refrigerator to prevent oxidation. 

Note – if you are used to super sweet muffins – these might not taste sweet enough at first – but once you get used to eating less sugar – these will taste plenty sweet enough!  It takes time to adjust your taste buds to enjoying less sweet foods.

 

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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Chicken Pot Pie

January 17, 2016
Chicken Pot Pie

My kids love comfort food like chicken pot pie, and after seeing a friend post a delicious looking recipe online – I decided that I was going to try to make a grain-free version (you could also make this totally dairy free too)!

To me, food should not only taste delicious – but it should be good for us too.  It is possible for food to be both delicious and nutritious!  It just sometimes take a little tinkering.  I love to take traditional recipes and UPGRADE them to make them better for our health & metabolism.  This recipe has been upgraded by adding a whole head of cauliflower (additional vitamins, minerals and fiber).  Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, which is shown to support a healthy liver, and potentially can be helpful in the prevention of cancer.  This has also been upgraded by taking out the usual white flour in the crust – and replacing it with a grain and gluten free version.  And since many people do not tolerate dairy nowadays – this can also be made 100% dairy free too.  Eating foods that we are intolerant to can lead to weight gain, inflammation (pain), and a long list of chronic symptoms.

I looked online for some recipes, and found this one from The Paleo Mom.  I loved her idea of using a cauliflower sauce – I have used cauliflower for alfredo sauces, and I add cauliflower to many of my recipes to thicken them and add nutrition – in my mind, cauliflower is an essential ingredient in the dairy free chef’s kitchen!!   I made a few adjustments to her recipe along the way, so here is my version of Chicken Pot Pie:

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 1 quart of chicken stock (low sodium free range if using boxed)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 egg yolk (optional – reserve the egg white for glazing crust)
  • 2 teaspoons grass fed butter (or ghee) – omit or use coconut oil if wanting 100% dairy free
  • Himalayan salt to taste (start with 1/2 teaspoon)

Sauce Directions:

  1. Put the cauliflower florets, garlic, salt, and stock in a saucepan on the stove, bring to a boil – then reduce to simmer and cook for about 15 mins (until cauliflower is fork-tender), add in the butter (or ghee), let melt.
  2. Allow to cool for about 10 mins.
  3. Put it all into a blender and blend until smooth.  Taste – add more salt if needed.
  4. Temper the egg yolk (add a spoonful of the cauliflower sauce to it, stir, do it again 2-3 more times, and then add the yolk to the broth in the blender – blend again to combine).
  5. Set aside.

Filling Ingredients:

  • a whole roasted chicken – (pull meat off the bone and shred or chop – makes about 3 cups)
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 celery sticks
  • 1 small rutabega
  • 1 small parsnip
  • 1 onion
  • Himalayan salt to taste (I sprinkle on as I add each veggie into the pan – but you can season at the end if you prefer)
  • I also used Trader Joes 21 spice blend to taste
  • optional – 1/2 cup frozen petite peas (I forgot them – so we had them on the side)
  • 3 Tablespoons of ghee or coconut oil (I used a combination of ghee and coconut oil)

Crust Ingredients:  

  • Chebe* bread box mix (buy here)
  • 1/4 cup milk of your choice (can use almond, rice, raw dairy if tolerated, or you can also use water)Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 9.11.02 AM
  • 2 Tablespoons oil (I used avocado oil)
  • 2 eggs (plus 1 additional egg white for glazing)

*For some reason – I could not get the crust from The Paleo Mom’s recipe to work – I think it needs some butter or something to get it to come together.  So thankfully – I had a Chebe bread mix box handy – which is a grain free bread made with tapioca (they make great buns, breadsticks, and pizza crusts).  So I made that (follow directions on the box – I made mine without the cheese, you can use any kind of non-dairy milk you like, water, or raw dairy if you tolerate it).

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Chop the onion, and dice all the other vegetables (except peas) – the vegetables should all be roughly about the same sized dice – I like mine fairly small.
  3. In a very large sauce pan – warm up the ghee or coconut oil (I used a combination of the two)
  4. Add the chopped onion to the pan, cook on medium heat for about 2-3 minutes (until translucent).Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 9.12.33 AM
  5. Add in the diced rutabaga and parsnips, sprinkle lightly with salt, cook about 5-7 minutes
  6. Add in the carrots, celery, sprinkle lightly with salt, also add in your Trader Joes 21 Spice blend, cook another 5 minutes
  7. If using, add in the peas, cook about 1-2 minutes more.
  8. All veggies should be fork tender – but still al dente.  Taste to make sure you have enough salt and seasonings. Adjust.
  9. Pour in the sauce, add in the chicken and cook a couple minutes more – and then pour into greased glass cookware (I greased two 9X9 square pyrex dishes with coconut oil).  This can all be done up to 12 ours in advance – store in refrigerator before cooking.  Allow to warm on counter for about 20 mins before cooking if you did it ahead of time.
  10. Make your Chebe bread according to package directions (I left out the cheese – it is not needed).
  11. Roll it out as thin as possible on parchment, cut it into strips.
  12. Lay the crust strips on top, in a criss cross fashion, lightly brush the crust with the egg whites (this makes them more golden brown), and then put into a 375 degree oven for about 40-45 minutes (the filling should be bubbling, and the crust golden brown)

Serve & enjoy!  Save extra in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

 

 

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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Buckwheat Crepes

January 6, 2016
Sara's Buckwheat Crepes

Can crepes change your life? These crepes are so easy, delicious, and versatile. So yes – I think these crepes just might! 

I can whip them up in a few minutes, and then I have some on hand to use as a wrap, they make a nice after school snack for the kids, and are great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

Commonly thought of as a grass/grain, buckwheat is actually a fruit seed which is related to rhubarb, and is gluten free.

The nutritional benefits of buckwheat include: manganese, magnesium, copper, B6, pantothenic acid, niacin, folate, thiamin, choline, D-chiro inositol, which can support healthy blood sugar, and bioflavinoids which supports healthy blood vessels.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 2 eggs (organic, free range)
  • 1 cup milk (your choice – almond, coconut, raw cow or goats milk)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbs. butter (melted)

Directions:

  1. Mix together the wet ingredients and salt, then stir in the flour, and then add the melted butter.
  2. Warm up your crepe pan on medium-high heat.
  3. Then drop the pan temperature to just above medium, and using a 1/3 cup measuring cup – Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 6.22.38 PMscoop up the batter and pour it into the pan. Immediately – start to swirl the batter around the pan to coat the pan and get the crepe to reach the edges and be as thin as possible.
  4. Cook on one side for about 2 minutes, or until golden brown.
  5. Flip over and cook another 2 minutes more (approx.)  If adding warm toppings, add them right after flipping the first side over. Fold over and serve!

 

Topping ideas:

  • Smoked salmon with goat cheese  herbs
  • Ham, cheese, spinach and mustard
  • Banana slices with almond butter or NuttZo.
  • Butter and cinnamon with a sprinkle of coconut sugar.
  • Spinach, thinly sliced zucchini, sauteed mushrooms and onions, and pesto sauce.
  • Chicken, sauteed spinach and a garlic sauce.

 

This recipe is one of the many recipes in The Metabolism Summit Cookbook – one of the free gifts you get when you purchase The Metabolism Summit package!!  Join me Feb 1-8th for this free event.  Register here!!

MET16_banner_attend_600x150

 

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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