Zucchini Noodles Spinach Salad with Baked Salmon

If you’ve been following along for some time, you know I’m all about fewer ingredients with loads of flavor and nutrients. Having local, fresh ingredients like those found within this Zucchini Noodles Spinach Salad with Baked Salmon makes it super easy to make a flavorful meal without the fuss.

I totally believe that physical and mental health starts with the foods you pick and add to your plate. Picking local, fresh ingredients is one of the best ways to approach this is by using food as medicine. Your food will be much more flavorful and packed with optimal nutrition.

Ready to dig in?

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Zucchini Noodles Spinach Salad with Baked Salmon

Gluten-Free, Low Carb, Keto-Friendly

Recipe Makes 1 Serving

What You’ll Need

1 Small-Medium Zucchini (150g), spiralized

1/2 Small Avocado (50g)

10 Sprigs Fresh Italian Parsley, chopped

3 mini sweet peppers (85g), diced

2 cups Baby Spinach (55g)

Juice from 1/2 a lime

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 Salmon Fillet (5 oz)

1/2 tbsp coconut oil

Mineral salt, to taste

Crushed red chili flakes, to taste

What You’ll Need To Know

Pre heat oven to 425F. Coat salmon with 1/2 tbsp coconut oil and sprinkle salt and red chili flakes. Bake for 15 minutes.

Using a spiralizer, spiral zucchini into “noodles” and add to a medium-large mixing bowl. Add in sweet peppers, parsley, spinach, salt, olive oil and lime juice. Mix together and plate in a bowl.

Once the salmon is ready, let it cool for 5 minutes before placing it on top of the salad.

Slice up avocado, fan it out and top it on the salad.

Enjoy!

Keto Macros:

45.2g Fat / 10.5 g Net Carbs / 44.7 g Protein

Salmon-Spinach Avocado Bun Burger

Salmon-Spinach Avocado Bun Burger?

Yes!

Get ready to boost your metabolism and burn calories with this low-carb, keto avocado bun burger.

Okay, I get it… this isn’t exactly a “burger” but what a creative way to make a keto-friendly meal? This recipe is loaded with healthy fatty acids, omega-3, protein and greens. It’s everything you need to set the tone for the rest of the day or simply keep you satiated!

I’m all for adding more avocados to my diet because they make everything taste better. From avocado roses to stuffed avocado boats; there is nothing this versatile that this fruit can’t do. So, when I heard that avocados are creating a fuss in the burger scene, I had to try the latest and greatest Instagram food sensation: the avo-bun! I first hear of such a thing on a trip to Milan. This isn’t the first time I’ve created avocado bun burger like this, but this version has quickly become a fave!

This high-fat, low-carb recipe swaps the classic gluten, carb loaded burger bun with two halves of an avocado, resulting in a ketogenic food lovers’ dream. Then to top it all off, smoked salmon, ribbons of zucchini, and spinach are added.

 
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Salmon-Spinach Avocado Bun Burger

Keto, Low-Carb, High Protein

Recipe Serves 1


What You’ll Need

1 Avocado

4 oz Smoked Salmon

1 handful of spinach

1/2 lime, squeezed

zucchini, thinly sliced length wise

mineral salt

red chili flakes

1 tsp of olive oil

What You’ll Need To Know

To start, slice the avocados in half width-wise. Remove the pit and scoop the avocado out of its skin.

In a mixing bowl add in zucchini, spinach, olive oil, salt (to taste), lime juice, and red chili flakes and mix together.

Begin building your burger by adding a bit of spinach in the hallow area of the bottom burger, add in the smoked salmon, zucchini ribbons, spinach and top bun.

Finish with a dollop of a sprinkle of red chili flakes.

Zucchini Pappardelle

If you’re in need of some light, flavorful food that will both fuel your body and warm your soul during the Summer months, look no further than this delicious Zucchini Pappardelle recipe!

I LOVE zucchini squash noodles and this zucchini pappardelle was a fun way to prepare them. The way they soak up the flavors of the lemon, chili and garlic, and the way that they can be twisted with a fork into mouthfuls makes them a great substitute for pasta dishes.

This this is also super easy to make, and pairing it with a side of baked Salmon or chicken makes it a perfect meal!

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Zucchini Pappardelle

Gluten-Free, Keto, Paleo

Serves 4


What You’ll Need

4 Zucchini / Summer Squash (1 per person)

1 garlic clove

1/2 cup fresh Parsley

2 tbsp EVOO

2 tbsp Sunflower oil

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

1/2 teaspoon chili flakes

1/2 lemon

1/2 cup fresh, shaved Parmesan

What You’ll Need To Know

Using a spiralizer, use the blade for wide ribbons and spiralize zucchini.

Heat a medium to large skillet over medium heat, and pour in sunflower oil.

Spear the clove of garlic sideways on the end of a fork. Sprinkle in the chili flakes on top of the oil and wait 30 seconds. Use the garlic clove to spread the chili around.

Add half of the zucchini ribbons and sauté or a about a minute or two. Add in the 2nd half and cook for another minute or two, moving around the zucchini with the fork with the garlic. Add in the fresh parsley, mixing it all together, and let is sit for two minutes.

Add salt, pepper, squeeze half the lemon, and add in the EVOO and mix together.

Plate and serve with shaved Parmesan and enjoy!




Spinach Lime Matcha Smoothie

my go-to green smoothie

I love making smoothies and smoothie bowls.

Both are a great way to sneak in lots of veggies and good-for-you ingredients. The combinations are endless, and I like to top it off with in things like coconut flakes, bee pollen, cashew butter, and berries right before I dig in.

The great part about smoothies is that you don’t need a recipe to make a deliciously healthy one. There’s only 5 things you really need to remember:

1. GREENS Start with fresh, organic greens like spinach, steamed kale, microgreens. Zucchini and cauliflower are also nice add-ins for extra fiber.

2. LIQUID BASE Choose a healthy liquid base — almond mylk, cashew mylk & coconut water are some of my faves.

3. FRUIT Add a variety of fruit — A good ratio is 2:1 – fruits to greens. Blueberries, pineapple, mango, strawberries all add a nice touch and blend well.

4. HEALTHY FATS Add some healthy fats like flax seeds, coconut oil, hemp seeds, or avocado.

5. SUPERFOODS Boost it with superfoods and mix-ins like collagen powder, maca powder, spirulina, bee pollen, green tea, or lucuma powder.

my go to green smoothie - matcha avocado smoothie

If you've been following me on Instagram for a while, you know what my go-to green smoothie is! I make it all the time, and absolutely love that it is a chock full of goodness!

I recently made a change to my go-to smoothie and have been adding Purslane to it. If you are wondering what Purslane is, it's weed filled with plenty of nutrients. This vegetable has extremely high levels of omega-3 fatty acids for a land vegetable, as well as significant amounts of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, B-family vitamins, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, calcium, and copper. The betalain pigments (powerful antioxidant compounds) and carotenoids round out this veritable treasure trove of nutrients and beneficial organic compounds. 

my go-to green smoothie

Spinach Lime Matcha Smoothie

My Go-To Green Smoothie

Recipe makes 1 big 32oz cup or 2 smaller bowls.


What You'll Need

1 handful frozen spinach
1 small handful of microgreens
1 small handful of Purslane, carrot or celery greens
1/4 avocado
1/2 cup homemade cashew milk
1 tsp matcha powder
1/2 lime, peeled
1/4 cup coconut meat
1 scoop collagen peptides
stevia, to taste or 2 pitted Medjool dates 

Toppings: 
Coconut flakes
bee pollen
1 tbsp gr8nola granola

What You'll Need

In a VitaMix or high-speed blender add all ingredients and blend for 45-60 seconds.

Pour in a tall glass or bowl and top with toppings.

 

 

Strawberry Field Chia Pudding with Marine Collagen

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Let's be real, we all want to look and feel younger and have youthful skin, indefinitely. A while back, I had contacted my Naturopath to learn more how to get a better glow to my skin, and help with the aging process and found out that the answer: Collagen + Vitamin C.

I’ve talked before about collagen being part of my daily wellness routine and how to sneak more of it into your diet. But here’s the quick rundown. Collagen is a naturally occurring protein and an essential building block for the body, especially for healthy skin, hair, and nails, making up approximately 30% of our bodies’ protein. Think of it as an amino acid chain that strengthens the body, especially our skin, bones, joints, and muscles.

Unfortunately, collagen diminishes with age and is likely impacted by today’s diet and environmental influences. That’s why I’m such a proponent of supplementing with collagen peptides, which are a bioavailable form of collagen. And when it's combined with vitamin C, it helps reverses the harmful effects of UV exposure on the skin by neutralizing free radicals.

Interestingly though, vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of collagen. Taking a collagen supplement, without vitamin C, won't have the same impact. So I searched for the best collagen on the market and have been a fan-girl of Nordic Naturals Marine Collagen.. especially this strawberry flavor!

You’ll love that it is non-GMO-certified—no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. It’s also made from 4200mg bioactive collagen peptides from sustainable, wild-caught Arctic cod. The best part is that it's blended with natural vitamin C to aid our body’s normal formation and provide antioxidant support.

Aside from the Nordic Naturals Marine Collagen Strawberry flavor being a great addition to smoothies, chia puddings, and warm nut milks, it's a company you can stand behind proudly! For 23 years, they've sourced fish from the cleanest waters to create a fantastic line of marine-based supplements.

I always find it a bit difficult to find a collagen that doesn’t have an fishy or animal aftertaste to it, until I discovered Nordic Naturals! It is virtually flavorless, with the exception of the light, and refreshing strawberry scent and taste. They recommend mixing in 2 teaspoons of marine collagen powder with 5 oz. warm or cold liquids once daily.

One of the ways I've been enjoying this refreshing and nourishing Nordic Naturals Marine Collagen is with this Strawberry Fields Chia Pudding. All of the ingredients are good-for-your-skin! The fresh strawberries and goji berries help boost the already natural strawberry flavor of the marine collagen, and satisfies all your sweet cravings all with a health boost of collagen peptides. With just 8 simple ingredients you’re sure to make this healthy breakfast or treat again and again as part of your wellness routine.

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Strawberry Field Chia Pudding with Marine Collagen

Recipe makes 1-2 servings.


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What You'll Need

3 tbsp chia seeds

8 oz cashew milk

2 medium strawberries

1 tbsp goji berries

1 tbsp coconut flakes

2-3 drop stevia (or 1 tbsp honey)

1 tbsp Nordic Naturals Marine Collagen (Strawberry)

1 tbsp hemp seeds

What You'll Need

In a high-speed blender, add in 8 oz cashew milk, 2 medium strawberries, 1 tbsp goji berries, 2-3 drop stevia (or 1 tbsp honey), 1 tbsp Nordic Naturals Marine Collagen (Strawberry). Blend for about 60-90 seconds.

In a mason jar, add in chia seeds, hemp seeds, and coconut flakes. Pour mixture, stir and let it sit for about 2 hours.

Optional: Top with bee pollen, coconut flakes, and a sliced strawberry.







Thank you to Nordic Naturals for sponsoring this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

 

Tuscan Kale Chopped Salad

Kalen' it with this Chopped salad.

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Sheets of hand-torn pasta woven through luscious bolognese and the perfection of a scoop of nutella gelato dripping down your chin as you sit on the Spanish Steps contemplating runaway to this moment. This is my Italy.

I've been lucky enough to have travelled quite a bit. And yet, I know that it is barely scratching the surface. The yearning and the itch to travel, got me searching for flights, daydreaming of frolicking the cobblestone streets of some charming Italian town. Then it got me thinking about a salad I once enjoyed in the Tuscan countryside. This Tuscan Kale Chopped Salad is an ode to it.

Italian cooking is all about using the best, freshest and local ingredients. The blend of that philosophy, ingredients sourced locally here in the Pacific Northwest and the basil vinaigrette tie it all together.

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Tuscan Kale Chopped Salad

Makes 2 servings

What You’ll Need

Salad

4-5 Tuscan kale leaves, washed and chopped

1 Medium Zucchini, spiralized

1 cup Brussel sprouts, sliced and steamed

1/4 cup kalamata olives

1/4 cup sundried tomatoes

2 tbsp pumpkin seeds (I used this brand - Skout Backcountry)

1/2 cup italian salami (I used Olympia Provisions Cacciatore)

1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano

Basil Lemon Vinaigrette

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

3 garlic clove

1/2 shallot

6 large basil leaves, very finely diced

Freshly ground salt and black pepper, to taste

Tools

Spiralizer

What You’ll Need To Know

Basil Lemon Vinaigrette

Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend for 15 seconds bowl and add to a mason jar or air tight container If using a mason jar, you can simply put the lid on and shake the jar until well combined.

This dressing will stay good in an airtight container or mason jar for up to 1 week.

Salad

Steam brussel sprouts.

Spiralize zucchini with a spiralizer into noodles and slice into 3” and add to a bowl along with the rest of the salad ingredients.

Add in 4 tbsp of the Basil Lemon Vinaigrette and toss together.

Plate, garnish with Parmigiano Reggiano and enjoy!


Avocado Quesadilla (Keto-Friendly Recipe)

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I'll be very honest, I was stumped at what to call this recipe.

Tortilla-free quesadilla?

Keto-dilla?

Low Carb Dilla?

Tortilla or not, quesadillas are the perfect quick hot lunch at home – and they make great appetizers, too!

According to Wikipedia, a quesadilla is: A quesadilla is a flour or corn tortilla filled with a savory mixture containing cheese, other ingredients, and/or vegetables, then folded in half to form a half-moon shape. It is usually cooked on a griddle – although I use a frying pan – until the tortillas are crispy but not burnt.

There is no denying that they are darn delicious. A perfect, quick and easy meal to grab-n-go. Growing up in a Mexican household, quesadilla's were something that popped up throughout the week... filled with cheese, potatoes, beans, or avocado and queso cotija. The combinations were endless.

So, the other day while I was thinking of what to make for lunch, I had a craving for one. More specifically the ooey-gooey cheese in a slightly greasy flour tortilla. After searching Pinterest for a gluten-free version, no luck. But, I did come across plenty of low-crab versions. Which lead me to this. It was inspired by Officially Gluten-Free's Keto Chicken Quesadilla recipe. In my lacking of parchment paper, and pure laziness of making my way a few blocks down to the grocery store, I opted for a non-stick. I know, not the best. I improvised with what I had, and the ingredients in my fridge. The result? Pure deliciousness.

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Avocado Quesadilla (Keto-Friendly Recipe)

Recipe Makes 2 Servings


What You'll Need

½ Cup Mozzarella Cheese

½ Cups Cheddar Cheese

1 tbs Taco Seasoning (see recipe below)

1 small avocado, sliced

Ranch or sour cream (I used this brand)

Optional: hot sauce for dipping

What You'll Need To Know

In a bowl, mix together the two cheeses.

On a stovetop, heat a non-stick frying pan on medium heat. Sprinkle in 1/2 cup of cheese mixture evenly into a circle, season with Taco Seasoning, and let it cook for about 4-5 minutes. The cheese should be crispy on the bottom and melted on top.

Add in the Just Mayo Ranch, Ranch, or sour cream on one side and top with avocado. With a spatula, fold over the other half, press it firmly and plate.

If desired, garnish with chopped fresh cilantro.


Taco Seasoning

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What You'll Need

1 tsp chili powder

¼ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp onion powder

¼ tsp dried oregano

½ tsp paprika

1½ tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp red pepper flake

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

What You'll Need To Know

Mix together in a mixing bowl, and store in an airtight container.



Sunflower Pesto Zoodles

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It’s only in recent years that I jumped aboard the whole zucchini noodles (aka zoodles) thing. It’s not that I couldn’t wrap my head around it, or had any aversion to zucchini, because, goodness, I very rarely meet a food group I don’t like – I simply was too lazy to get a spiralizer.

If you find yourself in that same boat, this dish may just turn things around for you. The delicate taste of zucchini, smothered in a sunflower seed pesto — a sauce of fresh basil, sunflower seeds, garlic, olive oil, and Parmesan. The outcome: a plate of balance and brightness, crunch and savory sweet goodness. It’s worth every bite.

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Sunflower Pesto Zoodles

Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Keto

Recipe makes 4 servings


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What You’ll Need

Pesto

3/4 cup olive oil

2 cups fresh Basil

1/4 c cup roasted whole sunflower seeds

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

3 garlic cloves

sea salt and pepper to taste

Zoodles

4 Zucchin, spiralized

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup chopped onion

Garnish

Pepper flakes

Sunflower Seeds

Fresh Basil

Tools

Spiralizer

What You’ll Need To Know

Pesto: In a food processor, pulse the sunflower seeds and garlic clove until all are ground well. Add basil, Parmesan and olive oil and pulse together until well incorporated, but don't over mix. Taste for seasoning. Add additional olive oil if needed.

Zoodles: Wash, rinse, and spiralize the zucchini into a large bowl. In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the zucchini noodles and sauté until tender, 3 to 4 minutes more.

Add the pesto and toss until the noodles are well coated.

Serve warm, garnished with fresh basil, sunflower seeds, and red-pepper flakes, to taste.

Zucchini Noodles with Roasted Veggies, Spring Greens and Jade Rice

Ahh mid week and battling procrastination as I'm currently dreaming of these tasty bowls my friend and health coach, Gennett Kaplan and I enjoyed last week. There’s nothing like making a homemade meal enjoyed with great company! 😌

One of our favorite things about the changing seasons is, naturally, all the new food we get to sink our teeth into. And as it gets to be more and more lighter outside, the demand on our tummies for light and fresh dishes is only growing stronger. So today I’m sharing with you a fabulous and healthy recipe, Zucchini Noodles with Roasted Veggies, Spring Greens and Jade Rice. Nutritious food that also leaves us full and satisfied? We can spoon up to that any day.

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Zucchini Noodles with Roasted Veggies, Spring Greens and Jade Rice

Recipe Makes 4 Servings

Gluten-Free, Plant Based, Vegan

What You’ll Need

Rice

1 ½ cups of water

1 cup jade rice 

a pinch of sea salt

Roasted Veggies

1 medium Sweet Potato, washed, pealed and cubed

1 cup mushrooms, sliced

1 cup pearl onions

1/2 tbsp smoked paprika

1 tbsp dried oregano

1/2 tbsp cumin

1/2 tbsp sea salt

1 tbsp olive oil

Salad

4 cups mixed greens (spinach, baby kale, arugula, baby chard, parsley)

1/2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp hemp seeds

1 radish, thinly sliced

a pinch of sea salt

1 avocado, sliced

Zoodles

1 zucchini, spiralized

1/4 tbsp olive oil

1/4 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp hemp seeds

a pinch of sea salt


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What You’ll Need To Know

Rice: Combine 1 ½ cups of water, 1 cup rice and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Roasted Veggies: Pre-heat oven to 400F. In a medium mixing bowl, add washed, peeled and cubed sweet potatoes, sliced onions, pearl onions, smoked paprika, dried oregano, cumin, sea salt, olive oil and mix together, coating the vegetables evenly. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.

Salad: In a medium mixing bowl, combine greens, olive oil, hemp seeds, sea salt, apple cider vinegar, and radish. Plate salad evenly amongst four plates.

Zoodles: In a the mixing used for the salad toss together spiralized zucchini, olive oil. apple cider vinegar, hemp seeds and a pinch of sea salt and add to plate.

Once veggies are roasted and the jade rice is ready, arrange on each plate. Top each plate with 1/4 sliced avocado. Serve and enjoy!

Kale Salad and Plant Based Nuggets

Kale Salad and Plant Based Nuggets

Have you tried air frying yet? I’m a bit late to the whole air frying party, but air fryers work by circulating hot air to make your food nicely crispy. In short, they give you deep-fried food, with none of the deep frying. Win-win, right? For most things, you only need a minimal amount of oil to get the same results as deep fat frying. Better still, some dishes can be made in an air fryer with no oil at all – like this vegan Kale Salad and "Chicken" Nuggets made from soy-free tempeh.

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Curried Garbanzo & Spinach Buddha Bowl

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They say that the best way to experience a culture is through food and sharing a meal with locals. I have found this to be tested and true, and undoubtedly why everyone was fascinated and drawn to the late Anthony Bourdain. When you share a meal with others, you learn so much about culture. This is why, when I travel, I make it point to dive deep in through cooking classes. The more intimate the better. You learn so much about someone a and the intricacies of that culture.

It deems like India was long ago, but as I made this Curried Garbanzo with Spinach “Buddha Bowl” it took me back to my cooking class in Udaipur inside the home of Shahi. At the beginning of class, Shashi sat us down and told us her life story. Belonging to the Brahmin class of the Indian caste system, Shashi had no way to support herself and her two young boys following the death of her husband. Brahmin's aren't allowed to perform certain work, such as clothes washing and cleaning, leaving Shashi, who didn't speak any English, with few choices. Her son's friends convinced her that her cooking was so good she ought to teach classes.

Shashi now speaks fluent English and her cooking school is the #1 rated thing to do on TripAdvisor in Udaipur. The 5-hour course tantalized our senses with exotic smells and tastes... a feast of great proportions!

This dish was inspired from the recipes I learned at Shasi’s. It makes for a fiber-rich, meatless, and low-sodium delicious meal with rice.

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Curried Garbanzo with Spinach Buddha Bowl

Gluten-Free, Plant-Based, Vegan,

Recipe Makes 4 Servings

What You’ll Need

2 teaspoons olive oil

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp chopped ginger

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tbsp chopped turmeric

1 tbsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

2 bay leaves

2 pureed tomatoes

1 pound baby spinach,

Mineral salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

2 cups cooked garbanzo beans

2 cups steamed white rice, for serving

What You’ll Need To Know

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a skillet over a medium heat and add in garlic, ginger, turmeric and bay leaf until fragrant.

Add onion and cook until softened, 5-6 minutes.

Add in tomatoes, chili powder, coriander, cumin and cook about 1 minute. Add garbanzo beans and 1/2 cup water.

Season with salt and pepper and simmer until tomatoes are broken down and sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes. Fold in spinach.

Serve over steamed white rice.

Sun-dried Tomato & Prosciutto Savory Oats

 

It’s National Oatmeal Day! And, one of my favorite ways to enjoy oats is by making it them into savory oats.

Have you tried savory oats? They are so good! The combination of bone broth, coconut milk and oats make for one tasty start to the day. The sun-dried tomatoes give this dish an umami taste, that is tied together with the prosciutto. I used Prosciutto di daniele, but it is totally optional. This kind of prosciutto is darker in color and sweeter in flavor than prosciutto di parma and compliments this dish very nicely.

 

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Sun-dried Tomato & Prosciutto Savory Oats

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

 

What You’ll Need

Sun-dried Tomato & Prosciutto Savory Oats

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1/2 cup bone broth (I used this brand)

1/8 tsp ground cumin

1/8 tsp dried oregano

San Francisco Salt Co lemon rosemary sea salt, to taste

1 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes

2 roasted garlic cloves

1/3 cup Oat Bran

1 tbs coconut oil

3 sliced mushrooms

Toppings:

Sun-dried tomatoes

Roasted garlic

Capers

Mushrooms

1/4 slices avocado

Green onion, sliced

Prosciutto di daniele.

What You’ll Need To Know

In a high speed blender add in 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk, 1/2 cup bone broth, 1/8 tsp cumin, oregano, lemon rosemary sea salt, 1 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, 2 roasted garlic cloves and blend for about 30 sec.

Over med heat add savory milk mix to a sauce pan and 1/3 cups oat bran and cook for about 3-4 min, staring occasionally.

While this is cooking, in a skillet heat up 1 tbs coconut oil and sautée 3 sliced mushrooms for abut 2-3 min.

Pour oats in a bowl and garnish with sun-dried tomatoes, roasted garlic, capers, mushrooms, 1/4 slices avocado, green onion, and prosciutto di daniele.

 

Zoodles in Avocado-Parsley Sauce

It was several years ago when I found spiralizing forkfuls of what was an unlikely pasta alternative, shortly after discovering that the gluten version would be my arch nemesis. Zucchini as noodles?

What the...?! 

I not only like but love zucchini but as a noddle?

Even for me, this was really tough to wrap my head around. Now looking back at this very first moment of spiralizing zucchini, taking that first bite, and as my eyes widened, I couldn't believe how brilliant the idea of zoodles was. So began my love affair with this soul-satisfying dish.

Inspired by the foodie fixations of Anthony Bourdain, travel has always been a constant in my life, and even more so as an adult. With all of my travel, food is the main theme and source around where I go, and the experiences I have. This recipe was inspired by a dish I once had in Italy. Clearly, that dish was nowhere as healthy as this, and I'm sure it didn't involve nutritional yeast, avocado, and raw zucchini. But, for the sake of searching for a gluten-free, keto-friendly alternative, this dish is reminiscent of my travels. Truth be told, I think you’ll find this dish to be as satisfying as it is transportive. Like a passport on a plate.

Zoodles in Avocado-Parsley Sauce Keto friend recipe Plant-based

Zoodles in Avocado-Parsley Sauce

Gluten-Free, Keto-Friendly, Plant-Based

Recipe Makes 2 Servings

What You'll Need

Zoodles:

  • 1 Medium to Large Zucchini
  • 2 tbsp pine nutes
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved

Sauce:

  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 Hass avocado
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar 
  • 1/4 tsp Pink Himalayan Salt 
  • 1/4 cup Parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp yellow mustard seed, ground
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

What You'll Need

    1. In a high-speed blender or food processor add all sauce ingredients, except the parsley, and blend on the lowest setting until smooth.
    2. While the sauce is being blended, zoodle one zucchini and slice cherry tomatoes.
    3. In a large mixing bowl, add zoodles, tomatoes, parsley and sauce and mix together.
    4. Plate and top with pine nuts.

     

    Garbanzo Bean Burger

    There a few meals I have that I title as "life-changing" and this one was one of them. Sounds dramatic, doesn’t?

    A life-changing burger.

    And, not just any kind of burger but a plant-based burger. Trust me, never in my life would I think of describing a burger as life-changing, but it’s happening. I am calling a burger “life-changing.” And it’s happening with a recipe.

    It’s gluten and grain free, fully plant-based, nutty, flavorful, and delicious, and solves those Summer dietary conundrums that often have you feeling deprived of anything that remotely resembles crave-able guilty pleasures of Summer fare. Now, you can have that burger, and om-nom-nom your way to happiness. Problem solved, and life changed. See, I told ya so.

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    What You'll Need

    1/2 cup onion, minced
    1 shallot, minced
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1.5 cups garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
    2 tbsp avocado oil + more for cooking shallot/burgers
    1.5 tsp cumin
    1 tsp ancho chili powder
    1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    3 tbsp hemp seeds
    3 tbsp sunflower seeds
    1 lime, juiced
    1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
    1/4 tsp sea salt
    1/4 tsp pepper
    1 avocado
    Little gem lettuce leaves
    green chilis (optional)
    Plant-based mayo (optional, i used Just Mayo brand)

    What You'll Need To Know

    Preheat oven to 359F.

    In a medium to large skillet, heat oil and add in onion, shallots, and garlic, sauteeing until soft and translucent. Once ready, transfer to a large mixing bowl and add in garbanzo beans. Using a fork or pastry cutter, mash and mix together. 

    Add in cumin, ancho chili powder,  cayenne, salt, pepper, lime juice, hemp seeds and sunflower seeds. Mix together until you have a moldable dough consistency. 

    Mold out into 4 even patties. 

    Heat skillet to medium heat and add oil. Add two patties and cook for 4 minutes on each side. Remove and add to oven for 15 minutes for extra crispiness. Serve on your favorite bun or lettuce wrap and top with mayo, green chilies, and avocado!


    The Best Vegan Plant Based Mac n' Cheese

    This has got to be the best Vegan/Plant-Based Mac n' Cheese.

    I’m always trying to re-create a dairy-free mac n' cheese and I feel like I finally nailed down a solid good recipe. I'm particularly excited to use basil and Oregon White Spring Truffles from my Portland Farmer's Market haul today. Fun Fact: I'm obsessed with truffles. And, not the chocolate kind. One of my dreams is to go truffle hunting in Alba, Italy.

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    What You'll Need

    1 cup nutritional yeast
    1/2 cup oat milk
    1 tsp cumin
    1 tsp yellow mustard seed powder
    1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    Juice of 1/2 lemon
    1/4 tsp Pink Himalayan salt
    1/4 tsp pepper
    1/2 tsp basil, finely chopped
    1 tbsp olive oil
    2 cups quinoa elbow noodles (I used this band)

    Optional: Oregon White Spring Truffles Shavings or White Truffle Sea Salt for a mind-blowing boost of flavor and depth. 🤯

    What You'll Need To Know

    Cook quinoa noodles as directed.

    While the water is boiling the noodles are cooking, add to a high-speed blender all ingredients, except basil and blend for 30-60 seconds.

    After the noodles have cooked, drain and pour "cheese" all over and mixed together.

    Serve and enjoy!


    Burmese Chicken Mint Stuffed Bell Peppers

    Sometimes we have moments where we miss the comforts of home, the familiar faces, the places we used to frequent, and the places that we didn’t frequent nearly as much. For me, I have moments where I miss the romantic side of San Francisco and all of its amazing places like Burma Superstar. Last month, while I was at Powells Books, I came across Burma Superstar's cookbook, Burma Superstar: Addictive Recipes from the Crossroads of Southeast Asia and immediately knew I had to buy it. I’ve been having fun these last few days browsing through the pages, wanderlusting over Burma, and drooling over all of the amazing recipes and images.

    Today, I decided to re-create their chicken and mint minced meat dish. It is very similar to Thai laap. Loads of mint and cilantro give this minced chicken dish vibrancy. It was a very simple dish to create and was ready in no time. Enjoy it with rice or as a lettuce wrap, this dish will not disappoint! Because i've been making this recipe on repeat, I decided to tweak a few things here and there, and stuff it all into a bell pepper. The resupt? Amazing!

    First time making this recipe I used a jalapeno

    First time making this recipe I used a jalapeno

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    Burmese Chicken Mint Stuffed Bell Peppers

    (Keto-Friendly, Gluten Free, Egg Free)


    What You'll Need

    Mint-Chicken Mix

    1 pound ground chicken or turkey
    1⁄2 teaspoon cumin seeds
    1⁄2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
    2 tablespoons sambal oelek
    1 tablespoon coconut aminos
    1 teaspoon fish sauce
    2 tablespoons coconut oil
    6 to 8 small garlic cloves
    1 teaspoon minced garlic
    1 teaspoon minced ginger
    1-2 Thai chiles, sliced
    1⁄4 cup chopped cilantro, plus extra sprigs for garnish
    1⁄4 cup chopped mint
    1 teaspoon sesame seed oil

    4 Red or Orange Bell Peppers, halved
    3/4 cup cooked quinoa
    1 avocado

     

    What You'll Need To Know

    In a dry wok or skillet, toast the cumin seeds and mustard seeds until the cumin is fragrant and the mustard seeds start to pop, no more than 30 seconds. Transfer to a mortar with a pestle or a coffee grinder used for grinding spices and pulverize into a coarse powder.

    In a small bowl, mix together the sambal, coconut, fish sauce, and sesame seed oil. 

    In a wok or large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Tilt the wok so the oil pools to one side and add the garlic cloves. (This helps the garlic cloves stay submerged in oil so they fry more evenly.) Fry until light golden and softened, about 1 minute. Use a slotted spoon to remove the garlic cloves. Leave the oil in the wok.

    Heat the wok over high heat. When the oil is hot (but not smoking), add the minced garlic and ginger. Stir-fry for a few seconds and add the chicken. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir-fry the chicken briefly, then press the meat against the sides of the wok to increase the surface area and decrease how much the chicken steams. (If using a skillet, spread the chicken evenly across its base.) After a minute, give the wok a stir so the chicken doesn’t stick together. Repeat this step until the chicken is light brown in places and pale in others, about 3 minutes depending on the wok and the burner strength.

    Stir in the mustard-cumin blend, sambal mixture, fried garlic cloves, and jalapeño. Stir constantly, until the liquid just lightly coats the meat. Mix in the chopped cilantro and mint. Serve with cilantro sprigs and lime wedges.

    When ready to plate, in a bowl transfer the chicken mix and mix in 1 cup cooked quinoa.

    Scoop and stuff each beller pepper halves and top with avocado slices.  

    Poke Bowls

     ....About the other night. This happened. The start of something beautiful... poke bowls!

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    If there is one thing I love and can eat in repeat, it’s poke bowls. And as much as I love Quickfish, my local poke spot, I needed a way to fuel my obsession without breaking the bank.

    They are pretty darn easy to make one yourself at home. No matter the style of poke bowl you’re aiming for, they all follow the same basic steps. So let me break it down for you:

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    1. The Base

    Start by choosing a base for your bowl. Traditionally this is a layer of rice. However, you may choose soba noodles or leafy greens if you prefer. Japanese sushi rice is the best option for rice regarding quality. However, you may opt for coconut jasmine rice, medicine rice, a brown rice, or cauli-rice as a substitute.

    2. Protein

    Next comes the meat, which should be cut lengthwise working against the grain into 1/2" strips. Then cut across the strips into 1/2" cubes. Usually, the meat will be ahi tuna, fluke, hamachi, salmon or shrimp. For vegetarian poke bowls, tofu is the most popular choice.

    3. Sauce

    If you’re using a fattier and firmer fish, the dressing can be packed full of rich flavor. For more delicate fish, opt for dressing the fish more simply. Ponzu, shoyu (soy sauce), yuzu, coconut aminos, gochujang and spicy black bean paste, all work well as a starting base to which you can add your unique flavor combinations.

    4. The Rest

    Creating a good blend of texture, depth and balance means adding a few extra ingredients to the bowl. This can be anything from fresh fruits and vegetables like avocado, shiitake mushrooms, radish and bean sprouts, nuts, seeds or spices. 

    Turmeric Chicken with Zoodles

    You're going to love this Turmeric Chicken recipe! It's an excellent source of lean meat for the week. The lightness of white meat turkey mixed with a combination of ground chicken and turmeric creates a tasty and healthy meat dish.

    Turmeric's warm flavor, along with its numerous benefits -- it's an anti-inflammatory and can boost norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin in your body. -- makes this dish all the more nutritious and comforting. Plus, the addition of bone broth will add a boost of collagen and help boost your immune system.

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    Turmeric Chicken with Zoodles

    (GLUTEN-FREE, PALEO, WHOLE30)

    Makes 4 servings.


    What You'll Need

    1 tbsp coconut oil
    1/2 cup onion, minced
    1 lb ground chicken
    1/2 cup chicken broth
    2 tbsp herbs de Provence
    1/2 tsp Smoked sea salt
    1/4 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
    1 tbsp turmeric (I used MRM brand*)
    1/4 tsp cumin
    1/4 tsp coriander
    1 tsp garlic powder
    1 cup shiitake mushrooms, cut in halves
    2 tbsp coconut aminos
    4 medium zucchini, zoodled
    4 tbsp Pine nuts

     

    * MRM brand use promo code 'valerie' for 40% off your MRM order!

    What You'll Need To Know

    1. Heat coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat and sauté onions until fragrant and translucent. Add in chicken. Break the chicken into chunks with a wooden spoon or metal spatula.

    2. Add 1/4 cup bone broth, shiitake, turmeric, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and coconut aminos. 

    3. Continue to break up the turkey into small pieces as you stir all ingredients together. Cook for 4 minutes. 

    4. Add remaining 1/4 cup bone broth, and cook for another 4 minutes.

    5. Allow to cool. Plate zoodles and top with Turmeric Chicken mixture and garnish with 1 tbsp pine nuts for each plate.

    1. Cox KH1, Pipingas A1, Scholey AB2. Investigation of the effects of solid lipid curcumin on cognition and mood in a healthy older population. J Psychopharmacol. 2015 May;29(5):642-51. doi: 10.1177/0269881114552744. Epub 2014 Oct 2.

    Pan Seared Salmon Mango Salad

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    I'm craving summer, can ya' tell? The combination of salmon and fresh mango hits the spot! Not only is this fish incredibly healthy, salmon is versatile and delicious. Salmon is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, aka "brain food." It's also packed with vitamin D which is crucial for maintaining your overall health. One 3.5 oz serving of salmon can provide you with a day's worth of vitamin D. Amazing, right? Salmon can also help you sleep since it's an excellent source of tryptophan, an all-natural sedative.

    And the nutritional benefits of mangoes are equally beneficial for optimal health. They are high in energy, low in fat, and are an excellent source of calcium and vitamins essential for good health.

    A 7oz serving of ripe mango (the equivalent of less than one mango) provides you with up to 3x your recommended daily intake of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. And, we all know that Vitamin C is paramount in protecting the body from infection. It also aids in the formation of collagen, a protein that gives structure to your bones, cartilage, muscle and blood vessels. Think of collagen as food for your skin, hair, and nails!

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    Pan Seared Salmon Mango Salad

    (PALEO, GLUTEN FREE, WHOLE30)

    What You'll Need

    4 cups baby spring mix
    1/4 red onion, sliced
    1/2 mango, peeled or sliced in a mandoline
    4 - 3.5 oz salmon (I used Fish Fixe)
    2-3 tbsp grapeseed or sunflower oil, for searing
    Herbs de Provence seasoning
    Sea salt, to taste
    Black sesame
    1 lime, sliced
    1 avocado
    Mango-Coconut Sauce:
    1/4 cup diced fresh mango
    2 tbsp coconut aminos
    3 tbsp yuzu (Japanese lime) juice
    1 teaspoon sesame oil
    2 tbsp coconut water
    sesame seeds

    What You'll Need To Know

    Mango-Coconut Sauce:
    1. In a high speed blender, blend ingredients for about 30-60 seconds, until it is smooth. Pour in a bowl and ddd in sesame seeds and mix together.

    Pan Seared Salmon:
    1. Remove excess moisture from salmon by pressing it between a couple of paper towels.

    2. Season salmon with sea salt, Herbs de Provence seasoning, and black pepper.

    3. Preheat a thin layer of oil in a stainless steel, cast iron, or carbon steel skillet over medium-high heat until it starts to shimmer. (This is the most important step.) Just before adding the fish, lower the heat under the pan to medium-low. Add the fish, and press gently but firmly on the back of it with a flexible slotted fish spatula for about 10 seconds to help it retain its shape. Cook for about

    4. 6 minutes and flip and cook for 1 minute. Remove the salmon from pan so it does not over cook.

    Salad:
    1. In a large mixing bowl add greens, red onion, mango, and toss with mango-coconut sauce (to taste) and mix well. Plate, and top with salmon and sliced avocado.

    2. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds.


    Spaghetti Squash with Grilled Chicken Cacciatore

    Spaghetti Squash with Grilled Chicken Cacciatore  gluten free paleo whole30 pcos food

    Ready for some better-for-you Spaghetti?

    I LOVE making spaghetti squash for a comforting meal that fits perfectly into a gluten-free, paleo, Whole30 and PCOS food meal plan! I'm sharing with you one of my favorite recipes that is a simple, an easy way to enjoy nature's pasta: spaghetti squash.

    If you've never tried this gratifying dish, you're in for a real treat! The texture and taste is so close to real pasta, the difference is hardly noticeable. And with all the nutrients and benefits like vitamin A and fiber, you may even like it better.  

    Spaghetti squash is a light yellow colored oblong gourd that, when baked, becomes stringy on the inside. This allows you to make it into a pasta-like dish. It’s a pretty amazing and healthy alternative for all of my fellow pasta lovers out there. 

    Spaghetti Squash with Grilled Chicken Cacciatore

    Spaghetti Squash with Grilled Chicken Cacciatore

    4-6 servings

    What You'll Need

    3 tbsp nutritional yeast
    1 tbsp coconut oil
    1 orange bell pepper, chopped
    1 red bell pepper, chopped
    1 large onion, diced
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
    2 tablespoons capers
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/4 cup fresh basil (torn)
    14 ounces crushed tomatoes (canned)
    1 spaghetti squash
    sea salt, to taste
    black pepper, to taste
    crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
    pine nuts, to taste
    4 4-5 oz grilled chicken breast

    What You'll Need To Know

    Spaghetti Squash: Preheat oven to 375F. Cut the squash in half, long ways. Use a spoon to take out the seeds and discard. Place both halves of the squash in a baking pan and bake for 45 minutes. Flip the halves over and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove the squash from the oven and allow to cool.  With a fork, peel the insides of the squash away from the outer shell. It should come off in long pieces that resemble spaghetti noodles. 

    Chicken: Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat and lightly brush with olive oil. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grill chicken breast until charred on both sides, about 8 minutes total. (Alterinicatly, an oven baked chicken, will work wonderfully!) Let it sit and slice into cubes/stripes.

    Sauce: In a skillet, heat oil on medium. Add garlic and onion and cook until fragrant and onion become translucent. Next, add in bell peppers, cremini mushrooms, capers, dried oregano, basil, crushed tomatoes, sea salt, pepper and crushed peppers, and cook for 7 minutes.

    Remove from heat and add in spaghetti squash and chicken and mix well. Season with pepper and basil and garnish with pine nuts.

    TIP: Don't have 4-6 mouths to feed? This recipe is great for meal prep! Save the rest in air tight containers for lunch and dinner during the week. 

     

    What's your favorite way to enjoy spaghetti squash?

    Let me know in the comments on Instagram!

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    Valerie Fidan

    Valerie is a San Francisco native who gave up the comforts of home to travel the world continuously. Now based in Portland, OR, Valerie is a Social Media Marketing Consultant, helping solo entrepreneurs and small business owners DIY their social media by teaching them the in’s and out’s of SMM. She enjoys health hacking recipes, a good cocktail, yoga, hikes, live shows, puns & dad jokes.