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!




Tuscan Kale Chopped Salad

Kalen' it with this Chopped salad.

Tuscan Kale Chopped Salad - Low Carb, Gluten-Free, Healthy Recipes - www.letsregale.com

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.

Mission Smoothie Bowl

One of my favorite time of the year is right about now, when the Summer is transitioning into Fall and the farmers markets are abundant in Mission Figs. Black Mission figs are small figs with pink flesh and a deep purple skin that appears black when dried. They have a rich, sweet flavor and a gummy texture. I can’t seem to get enough of them. The other day, I decided to make a smoothie bowl with them. The combination was delicious.

You’ll love that this bowl has He Shou Wu, a great Chinese medicine herb great for hair growth and a rejuvenation tonic. Although the mechanisms are not completely understood, substances with a marked harmonizing effect on the endocrine system (hormone-producing glands) and high zinc content tend to have beneficial effects on hair growth and restoration.

mission smoothie bowl

Mission Smoothie Bowl

Makes 1 serving


What You Need

What You’ll Need To Know

Smoothie Base

1 handful baby spinach

1/2 small avocado*

1/4 cup blueberries*

1/4 cup cucumber*

1/2 banana*

1 mission fig*

1 tbsp coconut flakes, unsweetened

1 tbsp cashew butter

1 tbs He Shou Wu

1/2 cup water

4-5 ice cubes

Toppings:

1 tbsp coconut flakes, unsweetened

1 tbsp gr8nola cacao granola

1 mission fig


In a high-speed blender add all smoothie-base ingredients, and blend for 60-90 seconds or until smooth.

Pour in a bowl or weck jar and top with coconut flakes, gr8nola cacao granola, and 1 fresh mission fig slicked up.


*Notes: Freeze ingredients before hand and skip adding ice for a much more smooth consistency.

Potato Gnocchi (Gluten-Free + Egg-Free)

Italia! With its sprawling wine country, charming towns like San Pietro, fashion-forward cities like Milan and Rome, and magnetism coursing from each small village to picture-worthy piazza, the country is absolutely spectacular.

And, that's not even talking about the food just yet, because that in its own right is a different topic. I've convinced myself that I was probably Italian in a past life.  

Years back at a Sunset Magazine festival, I got the opportunity to meet and watch a cooking demo from Bravo!'s Top Chef contestant, Fabio Viviani.

The demo? Potato Gnocchi. Since then, I've recreated this recipe a few times, but since I have a gluten intolerance, it can be a challenge and even more so now that I learned about my egg intolerance. 

The other day I decided to take a stab at this recipe, subbing out items. The result? Great tasting gnocchi and you wouldn't have thought twice if it was gluten-free or not.

For best results, select starchy potatoes, like russets or Idaho. Several batches of gnocchi may be prepared at one time and frozen. Doubling the recipe, however, makes it hard to work with the dough. So it's a good idea to make two or more batches of dough individually instead of doubling the recipe.

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Potato Gnocchi 

(Gluten-Free + Egg-Free)

Serves: 4

What You'll Need

1 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1 tbsp arrowroot flour
1 cup grated parmesan
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black crushed pepper
2 lbs cold, skinless Idaho or Russet Potatoes

What You'll Need To Know

  1. In a stand-up mixer with paddle attachment mix flour with 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese, 1 tsp of grated nutmeg, 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of black crushed pepper, mix for few minutes till all the ingredients are combined.

  2. Add in the mixer 2 lbs of cold, cooked skin off, grounded or smashed Idaho or Russet potatoes till the dough is firm and not dry anymore.

  3. If too wet add a bit of flour until it won't stick to your finger anymore, you’ll need to be able to roll, cut, and cook the gnocchi without them being hard or falling apart as you roll them.

  4. Cook them in hot boiling water till they float and serve immediately. Enjoy.

 

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!


 Pepita Avocado-Lime Sauce

It was several years ago when I found myself first enjoying a fully raw, plant-based meal at Café Gratitude in San Francisco, a plant-based restaurant specializing in gourmet cuisines that later closed in 2011. You can still find CG all over Southern California or in your home through their cookbook, I Am Grateful: Recipes and Lifestyle of Cafe Gratitude.

I remember taking the first bite of a Sundried Tomato Pizza with an olive tapenade and cashew cream sauce. I was blown away at the flavors and how satisfying this all plant-based meal was. And, so began my love affair with this soul-satisfying lifestyle. Yes, of course, I had eaten vegetables in my life – but not like this. This was on another level. The warmth of a bite of flavor-packed forkfuls, layered with a comforting richness, did it for me. This Pepita Avocado-Lime Sauce salad dressing sauce is incredible and takes me back to that first experience.

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Pepita Avocado-Lime Sauce

(Gluten-Free, Vegan, Paleo, Keto)

What You'll Need

1/2 medium avocado
2 cloves of garlic
2 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil*
1/4 cup pepitas pumpkin seeds (I used this brand)
1 tsp cumin
1 lime, peeled and diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 cup water
1 tsp White Truffled Sea Salt (I used this brand)**

What You'll Need To Know

Place all ingredients into a food processor or high-speed blender, and pulse until smooth (about 30-45 seconds).

This dressing will be thick and can be used as a dip. Add more water for a runnier consistency (another 1/4 cup).

Keep in an airtight container for at least a week, but 3 to 4 days is best.

* I recommend using California olive oil for it's bright and green with a rich, buttery mouthfeel.

** Optional. You can also use plan sea salt. 

Salmon with Cilantro Cauli-Rice & Avocado Salsa

Salmon with Cilantro Cauli-rice and an Avocado Salsa using an avocado from Imperfect Produce. SO GOOD!

I recently came across Imperfect Produce after they reached out asking if I'd love to try a box. It was delivered to my door with the most delicious produce.

Imperfect Produce's mission is to prevent food waste by delivering the "ugly" fruits and veggies that don't fit grocery store cosmetic standards (but are equally fresh and delicious) to your home for 30-50% less than the grocery stores. Their business model results in a conscientious, convenient and cost-efficient way to enjoy as much farm fresh produce as your household needs as often as you'd like.  Read more about the company here.  


Salmon with Cilantro Cauli-Rice & Avocado Salsa
Salmon with Cilantro Cauli-Rice & Avocado Salsa
Salmon with Cilantro Cauli-Rice & Avocado Salsa
Salmon with Cilantro Cauli-Rice & Avocado Salsa
Salmon with Cilantro Cauli-Rice & Avocado Salsa
Salmon with Cilantro Cauli-Rice & Avocado Salsa

Salmon with Cilantro Cauli-Rice & Avocado Salsa

Gluten-Free, Paleo, Whole30

Recipe makes 4 servings

What You'll Need

FOR THE AVOCADO SALSA
1 small-medium avocado, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 tbsp Secret Aardvark hot sauce (or 1 jalapeno, finely diced)
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
Juice from 1 lemon
Himalayan salt, to taste. 

FOR THE CILANTRO CAULIRICE 
1 small-medium head of cauliflower, cut in quarters
1 tbsp cilantro, chopped  
Himalayan salt, to taste 

FOR THE SALMON 
1 tbsp coconut oil
4 4-6oz salmon filets
Himalayan salt, to taste
 

What You'll Need To Know

FOR THE AVOCADO SALSA: In a bowl mix together 1 avocado, diced, 1/4 cup red onion, diced 1 tbsp Secret Aardvark hot sauce (or 1 jalapeno, finely diced), 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped, juice from 1 lemon, Himalayan salt to taste. 

FOR THE CILANTRO CAULIRICE:  In a food processor, add one small-medium head of cauliflower, cut in quarters and pulse 4-5 times until you reach a rice consistency. Roughly 3-4 cups riced. Heat 1/2 tbsp coconut oil in a skillet over med heat. Add the caulirice and cook for 4 minutes. Add in 1 tbsp chopped cilantro and Himalayan salt to taste and cook for 1 more min. Remove from heat. 

FOR THE SALMON: Heat 1 tbsp coconut oil in a heavy bottom skillet over medium-high heat, add salmon filets, seasoned with the Himalayan salt (to taste), and cook until deeply golden brown to slightly blackened before flipping and repeating for the other side. 

Alternatively, you can bake in the oven at 350F for 12 minutes and finish off on the stove top. On stories, I added lemon slices to mine, baked and finished off on the stove top. 

When ready to plate, add 1 cup cilantro caulirice, salmon and top with avocado salsa!

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Lavender Hibiscus Oak Old Fashion Oats

How do you like your oats? Do you like it with cream and brown sugar? How about raisins and walnuts? Even if you don’t normally eat or care for oats, I have a feeling you will like this one…

Old fashion oats with cashew milk, lavender hibiscus oak bitters from Crude Bitters, maple syrup, topped with blueberries, coconut shavings and Skout Backcountry pumpkin seeds 👌🏻 It was one of those types of mornings, where I needed something nostalgic but with a twist.  

It doesn’t get any easier than this. Here’s what you’ll need to know: Cook old fashion oats in cashew milk (or milk of choice) with a dash of real salt, 1 tbsp coconut shavings, 1 tsp maple syrup, a few dashes of bitters. Top with blueberries, 1 tbsp coconut shavings, 1/2 tbsp Skout Backcountry pumpkin seeds

Just keep in mind that bitters have an alcohol content, so you should only include them if you are cooking oats. Add them at the beginning of the cooking process to ensure that the alcohol cooks off and use a light touch. 

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Lavender Hibiscus Oak Old Fashion Oats

Recipe makes 1-2 servings.

What You'll Need

Oats
1 cup Rolled Oats (I used this brand)
2 cups cashew milk (or milk of choice)
1/4 tsp real salt
3 dashes of Lavender Hibiscus Oak Crude Bitters  
1 tbsp coconut shavings
1 tsp maple syrup (or to taste) 

Toppings
1/4 cup blueberries
1 tbsp coconut shavings
1 tbsp Skout Backcountry pumpkin seeds. 

What You'll Need To Know

Bring cashew milk and salt to a boil on a low to medium heat.

Add old-fashioned rolled oats, coconut shavings, maple syrup, and bitters, reduce heat, and cook 10-20 minutes (depending on the consistency you desire). 
Stir occasionally. 

Cover and remove from heat and let stand a few minutes and top with blueberries, pumpkin seeds, and coconut shavings. 


How do you enjoy your oats?

Share your comments here!

Italian Herbed Cashews

Cashews are my one of my favorite nuts. I get tired of almonds and pistachios, but cashews….yum! 

Creamy.
Crunchy.
I love these guys.

Plain, in nut milk, cashew yogurt, or salad or smoothie toppers. They are so good.

Roasting your cashews and creating different flavor combos is really simple and easy to do. One of my favorite combos is coconut oil, Italian herbs, and sea salt flakes. 

I love eating them while they’re still slightly warm, just a little above room temperature. And, they are as good cooled. 

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Italian Herbed Cashews

(Gluten-Free, Paleo, Whole30)

Recipe makes 8 servings.

What You'll Need To Know

Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a non-stick baking sheet.

In a bowl or reusable bag, mix together cashews and coconut oil until cashews are well coated. Season with spices and sea salt.

Transfer seasoned nuts to baking sheet and roast for 12 minutes, moving nuts around and roast for 3-5 more minutes. Nuts should be a golden brown.

Once done, let nuts cool before enjoying!

What You'll Need

2 cups raw cashews
1/2 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
Sea salt flakes (I used this brand)

 

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.

More Life Smoothie Bowl Garden

Drake says More Life. I say more smoothie bowls, 'cause they give me more life.

If we’ve learned anything from our Instagram feeds, it's that smoothie bowls are one of the biggest breakfast Summer trends out there. Packed with leafy greens, tropical fruit, or creamy avocado, these bowls are filling, nutrient-packed, and down-right delicious.

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What You'll Need

Smoothie Base
1 handful frozen spinach, organic
1/4 cup microgreens
1/4 avocado, frozen
3/4 cup homemade cashew milk
1 tsp maca
1/2 lime, without peel
1/2 cup coconut meat
1 scoop Vital Proteins collagen peptides
2 dates, pitted

Toppings
Edible flowers
1 tsp Coconut flakes
1/2 tsp Bee pollen

What You'll Need To Know

Add all smoothie base ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend for 45-60 seconds, or until smooth.

Pour in a bowl and top with coconut flakes, bee pollen and flowers.

Purple Cauliflower Mint Salad

This Purple Cauliflower Mint Salad is so good! You can make this salad as a main or enjoy it as a side. The flavors are absolutely delicious and a fresh for a weekday dinner or lunch side. And, although this recipe calls for garbanzo beans, you can easily swap them out for raw cashews to make it Whole30-approved.

PURPLE CAULIRICE MINT SALAD
Purple Cauliflower Mint Salad
Purple Cauliflower Mint Salad
Purple Cauliflower Mint Salad
Purple Cauliflower Mint Salad

Purple Cauliflower Mint Salad

(Gluten-Free, Plant-Based, Paleo, Whole30)

What You'll Need

1 purple cauliflower head, riced
1/8 cup mint fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 can garbanzo beans, drained*
1 cup rainbow micro greens
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 tbsp coconut aminos
1/4 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
1/2 tsp sea salt

* Omit for Whole30 and substitute with raw, soaked cashews

What You'll Need To Know

In a food processor, add in cauliflower and pulse until cauliflower resembles rice.

Transfer to a bowl and add in ingredients and mix. 

Plate as a main or enjoy as a side!

Recipe makes 6 servings.

 

Butternut Squash Peanut Stew (Gluten-Free)

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Butternut Squash Peanut Stew
Butternut Squash Peanut Stew

BUTTERNUT SQUASH PEANUT STEW
 

What You’ll Need

1 butternut squash, cubed
1 leak
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch fresh ginger, grated
1 medium sweet potato, cubed
1 medium onion, diced
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
6 oz can tomato paste
1/2 cup natural style chunky peanut butter
6 cups vegetable or bone broth
1 cup coconut milk
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp sea salt

Garnish
Microgreens
gr8nola
Dried cranberries
Dried coconut flakes, unsweetened
Sunflower seeds
Pumpkin seeds
Green onion tops
 

What You’ll Need To Know

Heat coconut oil in a stockpot over a medium heat.

Add and sauté the ginger and garlic for 1-2 minutes, or until the garlic becomes soft and fragrant.

Add diced onion and leeks, and continue to sauté. Add in butternut squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes and continue to sauté a few minutes more, until the onion and leek is soft and the sweet potato takes on a darker, slightly translucent appearance. Season with cumin, sea salt, and red pepper flakes.

Add the tomato paste, coconut milk and peanut butter, and stir until everything is evenly mixed. Add the broth and stir to dissolve the thick tomato paste-peanut butter mixture. Place a lid on the pot and turn the heat up to high.

Once the soup reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and allow it to simmer without a lid for about 15 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are very soft.

Once soft, pour half of the soup in a high-speed blender and blend for 30-60 seconds. Return back to pot and mix together.

Serve the stew hot and garnish with microgreens, green onion tops, gr8nola, dried cranberries, dried coconut flakes, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds.

Recipe makes 6-8 servings.

 

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.

Cashew Butter Protein Bites

Woah! These Cashew Butter Protein Bites are SO good! They pack a lot of fiber, protein, and healthy fats into these delicious no-bake Cashew Butter Protein Bites. Take along a few of these protein balls when you need a quick snack, and you’ll be surprised by how well these snacks stop hunger and boost energy levels. Plus, the healthy fats also make these no-bake protein bites filling. 

IMG_5332.JPG

What You'll Need

1-16 oz jar cashew butter
2 scoops MRM veggie elite protein (vanilla)
3/4 cups gluten free oat bran
3/4 cups almond meal
1/4 coconut shavings
1/8 cup chia seeds
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp maca
2 tbsp cacao nibs

What You’ll Need To Know

Combine everything in a bowl and mix together folding in the mixture until everything is mixed really well. 

Form mixture into 1" bite-size balls and roll in extra coconut shavings.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

I will note, these do get a little messy, so dust your hands with coconut flour or starch while forming the bites. 

Recipe makes 17-18

Want to try MRM? Use promo-code 'valerie' for 40% off your order on MRM products.

Jackfruit "Pulled Pork" Tacos

Jackfruit "Pulled Pork" Tacos Plant-based vegan

I know what you're thinking...

WTF is Jackfruit?

If you’ve never heard of jackfruit before, don't worry, you're not totally out of the loop with this exotic fruit. This starchy member of the fig family is a staple in Southeast Asian and Brazillian cuisine and has become more popular especially with plant-based cooking. You can easily find Jackfruit in canned form, in pouches in the refrigerated section of the grocery store and om Thrive Market, or the actual fresh fruit at Asian supermarkets. 

Jackfruit is packed with potassium, fiber, and anti-inflammatory benefits; it’s not only a nutritional powerhouse but when cooked and shredded, it's a pulled pork texture and flavor doppelgänger. How great is that? 

The first time I had Jackfruit was over a decade ago when my mom found this larger than life fruit in China town in San Francisco. The fruit was so fragrant and sweet, very reminiscent to juicy fruit gum. Years later, I've enjoyed it raw and in its cooked form at Prasad, a vegan, entirely gluten-free cafe here in Portland. 

This Jackfruit "Pulled Pork" Tacos recipe is inspired by the "pulled-pork" wrap I've enjoyed at Prasad.

Jackfruit "Pulled Pork" Tacos
Jackfruit "Pulled Pork" Tacos
This Jackfruit "Pulled Pork" Tacos recipe is inspired by the "pulled-pork" wrap I've enjoyed at Prasad.
Jackfruit "Pulled Pork" Tacos
Jackfruit "Pulled Pork" Tacos
Jackfruit "Pulled Pork" Tacos

What You'll Need

Brine: 3-4 cups water, 1/8 cup sea salt

20 oz Jackfruit
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 purple onion, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 cups water

Toppings:
1 avocado
1 cup microgreens
1 watermelon radish, sliced
6 almond flour tortillas (I used this brand)
lime, optional

What You'll Need To Know

In a small bowl, mix chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper. Store in an airtight container.

Brine Jackfruit for 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry. If using canned Jackfruit, make sure to used brined not in syrup. Drain as well and pat dry.

Heat coconut oil in a skillet over a medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 4-5 minutes.

Add the shredded jackfruit, 3/4 cups water, apple cider vinegar, and spice mix and mix together. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.

Stir, reduce heat to low and continue to cook for about 15-20 minutes or more, until the sauce is absorbed. 

Prep the toppings and heat tortillas on a skillet. Add jackfruit. microgreens, watermelon radish, and avocado.  

Recipe makes 6 tacos.

 

Side Notes: If you are using fresh Jackfruit, check out this YouTube video on how to pick the right Jackfruit, how to cut, etc.

Raw Cashew Protein Bars

https://kurejuicebar.com/

I love a good protein bar, but here is my issue: High-protein bars can come with huge price tags, at times as high as $4 per bar. And, unbelievable is the ingredient list on many of the bars: hydrolyzed gelatin, glycerin, soy protein isolate, high fructose corn syrup, fractionated palm kernel oil, and artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors, and preservatives. Gross! Your body is a temple, and you shouldn't add that crap to your body

These Raw Cashew Protein Bars are a take on Kure Juice's Kure Bars that you can make for yourself right at home. They are loaded with so many good-for-you ingredients and taste absolutely amazing!


What You'll Need

1 cup flax meal
1 cup oats  
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup cashew butter, unsweetened (I used Whole Foods 365 brand)
1/4 cup coconut shavings, unsweetened
4 scoops Vital Proteins collagen peptides  
1/8 cup cacao nibs
1/4 cup grade a maple syrup* 
1 tbsp organic ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp maca (I used this brand)
3/4 cup almond milk, unsweetened 

*You can also use 6 soaked and pitted Medjool dates in place of the maple syrup

What You'll Need To Know

Add all dry ingredients to a food processor and process for 2 minutes. 

Add in wet ingredients (maple syrup, almond milk, cashew butter) and process for 2 more minutes.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and flatten out the mix. I used a cake pan  
2'' H x 13'' W x 9'' D 

Refrigerate for 1-1.5 hours and let it set before cutting into squares.

Store in an air tight container and refrigerate. These hold up for about a week in the refrigerator and about a month in the freezer (thaw out for a few minutes before eating!) 

Makes 24 servings!  

 

Blue Majik Almond Milk / Homemade Almond Milk

blue majik almond milk

If you follow health food trends, you might have noticed that in the last year or so, Blue Majik is popping up in just about everything. This magical-sounding ingredient has made its way into cold-pressed juices, protein powders, smoothies, nut mylks and even lattes that I'm sure flood your Instagram feed. And, it's made its way into my account and blog as well!

When mixed into drinks, the effect is a little like a blue raspberry slushie, but the nutritional structure of Blue Majik couldn't be more different from the sugar-laden frozen treat.

SO WHAT EXACTLY IS BLUE MAJIK?

It's a blue-green algae that's derived from Spirulina, Blue Majik is a proprietary extract of the blue-green algae Arthrospira platensis. 

On the superfoods ranking list, Blue Majik powder would rank pretty high. Just like green spirulina, Blue Majik is praised for being nutrient dense. It's packed with vitamins like especially B12, iron, calcium, enzymes, minerals, and antioxidants. 

It gets its bright blue hue from C-phycocyanin, a type of storage protein rich in amino acids. C-phycocyanin is also what puts the blue in Blue Majik and so much of the value in the popular ingredient. Studies show C-phycocyanin to be rich in antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties, and it may promote brain health.

Given that it's essentially an algae, you can imagine that on its own, it's not that tasty. But when mixed into smoothies or nut mylks, it's easy to mask the unsavory flavor. 

One way that I'm enjoying it is in homemade almond milk! Here's a recipe you'll love!

Blue Majik Almond Milk
Blue Majik Almond Milk
Blue Majik Almond Milk
Blue Majik Almond Milk

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

1 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight
7 cups water, filtered
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp vanilla bean
1 scoop Blue Majik (I used this brand)
4 pitted Medjool dates or stevia, to taste

Nut Mylk bag (I used Ellie's Best brand*)

 

* Use promo code 'Valeriea' and get 10% off your order!

WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO KNOW

Soak the almonds overnight or up to 2 days. Drain and rinse the almonds. Combine the almonds and water in a blender. Blend at the highest speed for 2 minutes. 

Strain the almonds using a nut mylk bag. Press all the almond milk from the almond meal. 

Sweeten to taste with dates or stevia, if desired.  

Add to blender almond milk, cardamom, vanilla, and cinnamon and blend for two minutes. 

Refrigerate almond milk. It will stay fresh in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.

 

Looking for some more Blue Majik recipes? You can find more here!

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Follow @ValerieFidan on Instagram for the latest bits + bites!

Raw Gluten-Free Cinnamon Donut Hole

Raw Cinnamon Donut Holes_-6.jpg

Treat yo self to some donut holes!

Who doesn't love donuts? I know I do, that's for sure!

Ever since I discovered I had a gluten intolerance in 2009 (and most recently an egg intolerance), donut life hasn't been the same. The gluten-free versions of the oh-so-loved fried confectionery aren't exactly the most decadent. And, that goes for 99.9% of gluten-free dessert food. I've come to terms with it, and I'm totally cool with it.

Luckily, with a bit of inspiration from Lee From America and Shut The Yam Up, I created these RAW GLUTEN-FREE CINNAMON DONUT HOLES! These donut holes definitely cure the craving for those fried, gluten-laden sweet treats, and are way better for you.

But, just because they're packed with so many good-for-you, wholesome ingredients, it doesn't mean eat'em all! 

These are still a treat. Eat in moderation!


Raw Cinnamon Donut Holes_glutenfree_vegan
Raw Cinnamon Donut Holes_glutenfree_vegan
Raw Cinnamon Donut Holes_glutenfree_vegan
Raw Cinnamon Donut Holes_glutenfree_vegan

What You'll Need

4 dates, pitted*
3/4 cup raw unsweetened shredded coconut + 1/4 cup for rolling
1/2 cup super fine almond flour (I used this brand)
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 scoop collagen peptides (I used this brand)
2 tsp maca powder (I used this brand)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp vanilla bean powder
Pink Himalayan salt, to taste
4-5 drops stevia (I used this brand)

What You'll Need To Know

In a food processor add the ingredients and process together creating a dough-like consistency. 

Roll into 1" size balls (I used a tablespoon spoon to scoop out) and roll in 1/4 cup shredded coconut.

Place on parchment or wax paper and place in the refrigerator until the dough sets. (Roughly 30-60 minutes)

* soaked dates ahead of time to soften up. They will blend a lot better!

Recipe makes roughly 9 balls.
 

Follow @ValerieFidan on Instagram for the latest bits + bites!.