Sunday, June 15, 2014

Butternut Squash and Avocado Towers! GF, V, SCD, BED & Paleo!

Hey Happy Tummies!

How was everyone's weekend?

It's going to be a great week here in NY. Lots of auditions. Lots of fun things planned with friends!

Tonight for dinner, I made a tasty treat...Butternut Squash and Avocado Stacks w/ Sauteed Cabbage!

Wow...this was so. good!

I am a firm believer that avocado makes everything better:) And that includes butternut squash!

This beautiful dish is Gluten Free, Vegan, Specific Carb Diet and Body Ecology Diet friendly, and Paleo!

Here's what you need: (Serves one)

1/2 small butternut squash, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1 avocado, mashed
1/4 cabbage, chopped

1/2 tsp dried basil, divided
1/2 tsp dried oregano, divided
salt, pepper, EVOO

Carefully peel your butternut squash. I find the easiest way to do that is to slice off the top and the base. Then, cut it in half (like the equator) where the skinny part meets the larger bottom with the seeds. Then, stand it up on the flat surface you just created, and carefully peel the skin with a sharp knife.

Then, cut 1/4 inch rounds. Next, in your largest non-stick skillet, place 2 tsps EVOO. Place your butternut squash in a single layer and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp of your dried herbs. Also sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let them cook, untouched for 6 minutes per side, until golden brown and caramelized.

Meanwhile, chop your cabbage, and mash your avocado with salt.

When your butternut squash is finished cooking, remove from the pan and set aside. Place another tsp EVOO into the pan, and add your cabbage to the pan, along with the remaining dried herbs. Saute the cabbage until it begins to wilt -- about 3 minutes.

To plate, alternate between butternut squash rounds, 2 Tbsp mashed avocado, and a small bit of cabbage. Serve over a bed of baby greens, if desired.

This was really delicious. Avocado and butternut squash are not ingredients that I typically think of going together -- especially when you throw cabbage into the mix! But let me tell you, they play together beautifully!

The butternut squash is super sweet, since it's been caramelized. It's chewy and a little sticky. It is complemented by the creamy and buttery avocado, and accented by the savory and crunchy cabbage!

The oregano and basil give this dish a wonderful warmth and herby note that heightens the savory elements of the dish.

And it's truly beautiful -- the orange and green jump off the plate! It looks like a regal dish with the height of the tower and the golden brown caramelization of the butternut squash.

I dare you to try it! :D

Until next time!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Roasted Beets & Cauliflower w/ a Spicy Butternut Cream! GF, V, SCD & Paleo!

Hey Happy Tummies!

How's everyone doing? It's Thurrrsdaaaay! And you know what that's almost the weekend! :D

I don't know about you, but it has been a great week! Aside from the fact that it is mid June and 60 DEGREES, New York is beautiful right now...albeit cold.

Earlier this week, I went to an awesome concert with my friends. It was super fun...the band was R5. They play amazing music -- check 'em out!

So given the chilly weather (yes, you read that's downright frigid in NYC right now!), I decided to make a warm and cozy dinner. And it. was. fabulous.

During the summer, when it's super hot and humid out, I have a rule that I don't turn the oven on:) But since the heat is not an issue, bring on the roasted veggies!

So what did I make? I made Roasted Beets & Cauliflower w/ a Spicy Butternut Squash Cream! And there are 2 ways to serve it!

And it's Gluten Free, Vegan, Specific Carb Diet friendly and Paleo!

Here's what you need: (Serves 1)

1 beet, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1/3 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
3/4 cup butternut squash, steamed
1/2 sweet bell pepper (red or orange), chopped
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
baby spinach, chopped (garnish)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Scrub and dry your beets, and slice into 1/4 inch rounds. On a tin-foil-lined, olive-oil-sprayed baking sheet, place your beet rounds and cauliflower florets in a single layer. Spritz with olive oil and bake for 40 minutes, flipping once, halfway through.

Meanwhile, steam your butternut squash, either by using a steamer basket, or microwaving it in a Pyrex measuring cup with 1 inch of water, covered, for about 8 minutes.  (I did the later)

While it's cooking, sauté your bell pepper in a large non-stick pan in 1 tsp EVOO, salt, pepper, and spices. Let it cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat, until it begins to soften. When your butternut squash has finished steaming, add it to the skillet with the bell pepper. Let them cook together for about 5 more minutes.

Then, transfer to your food processor, and process until smooth. You'll have to scrape the sides several times. It helps to do this when the veggie mixture is still hot and steaming (be careful!) because the steam helps to create a creamy texture.

When your beets and cauliflower come out of the oven, sprinkle with sea salt.

From here, you have two options: You can plate it as a large dish over the cream sauce, OR, you can create little bite sized Beet Blooms. These would be perfect for an appetizer or tapas!

Large Plate:
Take your roasted beets and slice them into match sticks. Place a bed of the butternut squash cream on the plate, and artfully mound the beets and cauliflower on top. Garnish with chopped spinach.

Beet Blooms:
Leave the beets as whole rounds. Top each round with 1-2 Tbsp of the butternut squash cream. Top that with a cauliflower floret and garnish with chopped spinach.

What a delicious meal! This combination of flavors is not one that traditionally goes together. But my goodness, is it ever tasty!

First of all, roasted veggies are SO. GOOD. Especially beets and cauliflower. The beets' inherent sweetness is intensified, and they become chewy and wonderfully caramelized. The cauliflower also becomes caramelized and deliciously golden brown! YUM!

And then the butternut squash cream is terrific. Butternut squash and bell peppers have a lot of natural sweetness to them. So when you add the cumin and chili powder, it complements that sweet note beautifully! It is the perfect accent to the beet's earthy sweetness and the savory cauliflower.

The textures are wonderful too. The beets are chewy, the butternut squash is rich and creamy, and the cauliflower is perfectly crunchy and has a nice bite to it.

Finally, it is a stunning dish. The deep purple of the beets bounce off the plate against the burnt orange butternut cream sauce, white cauliflower and bright green spinach. And the Beet Blooms are so cute! They look like little dainty flowers! A great party food:) (Just watch out for purple fingers! -- a knife & fork food for sure!)

A "ten" if I've ever seen one!

Are you going to any fun concerts this summer?

Until next time!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Brussels Sprouts Italiano! GF, V, SCD, BED, & Paleo!

Hey Happy Tummies!

How's everyone's week going?

It's FRIDAY!! What a week, what. a. week!

Can I just say...I am flabbergasted that it is already JUNE! I mean...seriously?! We're almost officially in the summer season. Spring in NYC has been pretty crazy...I mean, I was still wearing a heavy winter coat just last weekend! Seriously! It's been unseasonably COLD! I'm so excited to finallyyyy be able to whip out the shorts and sundresses! :)

It's pretty clear: I love food. But there's one food in particular that holds a special place in my heart:) haha....and that, it the Brussels sprout!

Yep, the humble Brussels sprout is probably my favorite food...well, besides butternut squash...and a sweet Honeycrisp apple...and dried mangos...and gosh, I could go on forever...haha

But for real, I love Brussels sprouts. SO, tonight, I decided to make a delicious recipe starring those little nuggets.

I made Brussels Sprouts Italiano!

SO. GOOD. And it's Gluten Free, Vegan, Specific Carb Diet and Body Ecology Diet friendly, and Paleo!

Here's what you need: (Serves 1)

12 brussels spouts, halved
4 mushrooms, sliced (BED use shittake)
handful grape tomatoes (BED use red peppers)
1/2 onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
fresh basil, chopped

In a large, nonstick skillet, sauté your Brussels sprouts over medium heat for 7 minutes per side, in 2 tsps EVOO, salt, pepper, and half of the dried basil and oregano. Do this by placing them cut side-down, and then let them sit and brown for about 7 minutes. Then, flip, and let sit for another 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a separate nonstick skillet, brown your mushrooms, using the same technique for 4 minutes per side, in 1 tsp EVOO. Then, add your onions, and an additional tsp EVOO, salt, pepper, and the other half of your herbs, and let them soften for about 3 minutes before adding in the tomatoes and garlic. Let those cook for another 3 minutes.

Finally, combine the onion and mushroom mixture with the Brussels sprouts and toss together. Before serving, stir in the chopped basil.

There's nothing better than Brussels sprouts and homey Italian flavors. It's seriously the best combination ever. The fresh basil complements the bright tomatoes and earthy mushrooms. And the oregano and basil give it nice, hearty warmth.

And the textures are fabulous. The Brussels sprouts are nice and perfectly crunchy. They've softened just the right amount where they've still got a nice bite, but are a tiny bit soft on the inside. And they've caramelized wonderfully, giving them a delicate sweet note. The onions have also caramelized, and become almost slurpy. Finally, the little cherry tomatoes explode in your mouth, giving you a surprise *brust* of sweetness.

This meal is Italian at its finest. It really elevates the Brussels sprout to "superstar" status!

What's your favorite food?!

Until Next Time!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Primavera Pesto Plate! GF, V, SCD, BED & Paleo!

Hey guys!

Happy Monday!

How's everyone doing?!

So I have a confession to make...I'm sitting here watching The Bachelorette!! :D Eek! It's my guilty pleasure. I know, it's such TV trash, but I just can't stay away!

Well. Tonight, I made a delicious, delicious meal! Today was sunny and 80 degrees -- a picture perfect spring day!

Sooo I decided to use that as inspiration for dinner! What did I make? A wonderful Primavera Pesto with Roasted Cauliflower and Zucchini Ribbons!

And it was soooo good:)

It's Gluten Free, Vegan, Specific Carb Diet and Body Ecology Diet friendly, and Paleo!

Here's what you need: (Serves 1 with leftovers)


3 Tbsp pine nuts
1 garlic clove
1 cup (packed) fresh basil
1 cup broccoli, steamed
1 Tbsp EVOO
Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 zucchini -- cut into ribbons (use a spiralizer, vegetable peeler, or knife)
1/3 head of cauliflower, broken into florets

chopped fresh basil (garnish)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

After you break your cauliflower into florets, place them in a single on a tin foil-lined, olive oil-sprayed cooking sheet. Spritz with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake for 35 minutes, flipping once half way through.

Meanwhile, steam your broccoli. I used frozen broccoli and just microwaved it for 4 1/2 minutes, but you could also place it in a traditional steamer. Then, place everything into the food processor and blitz until you get a smooth and creamy sauce. You'll need to scrape the sides several times to help out the machine.

When your cauliflower comes out of the oven, immediately place it in a medium sized bowl, and toss your florets and zucchini ribbons with the pesto cream sauce. Serve with chopped basil as a garnish.

Goodness gracious! How delicious was this meal!

First of all, it just looked delicious. It was spring on a plate! Beautifully green and artfully messy! And the smell of the fresh basil perfuming the kitchen is just wonderful. It just fills the room and brings springtime right into the house!

The best part was the cauliflower. Cauliflower is another one of those veggies that gets a bad wrap, and that's because I don't think people have had it prepared properly. I mean, let's face it...when you boil the life out of something, it's not exactly the "belle of the ball." But when you roast it, let me tell you...magic happens in the oven! It becomes caramelized and crunchy, and golden brown and AMAZING! That, coated in the rich and creamy pesto sauce is just mouth watering-ly fabulous :)

And can we just talk about the pesto! It's so bright and fresh and VEGAN! Most pesto uses parmesan cheese, but this one doesn't! I bump up the pine nuts and use lemon to give it that *zing!* Pesto is one of my favorite things to make.'s a terrific thing to make for company because it is SO FREAKING EASY....I mean, if you can turn on the food processor, you can make pesto!  And your guests will think you're the gourmet hostess with the mostess:) haha

And a wonderful thing happens with the zucchini ribbons. I'll be honest...cold, raw zucchini ribbons can be a bit lackluster. But when the heat from the cauliflower florets mixes with the ribbons, they soften and become "twirly" and slurpy - almost like pasta! back to the Bachelorette:) What's your favorite TV show?

Until next time!