Cinnamon Pumpkin Pancakes

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It is Sunday. I have the day off – a rare occasion because I run a meal delivery company and the weekend is a busy time! But I am thankful for my team who can handle everything in my absence.  So, I  felt like something special for breakfast on this glorious day off. And so were born these pancakes! They are so easy and basic, you don’t need anything special or 2 hours to complete them. Serve them with ghee and a little bit of maple syrup for a dose of pancake heaven. This makes about 6 small pancakes. I ate them all myself! Ooopsie….. #twoformenoneforyou

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Cinnamon Pumpkin Pancakes
 
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Gluten free, grain free, paleo friendly pumpkin pancakes for a special Sunday breakfast or brunch. Serve with ghee and maple syrup. Kid friendly!
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 6 pancakes
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tbl coconut flour
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • Ghee, topping
  • Maple syrup, topping
Instructions
  1. Whisk pumpkin puree in a small bowl so it’s smooth.
  2. Add eggs and whisk to combine.
  3. Add in remaining ingredients.
  4. The sweetener is optional as a topping - I’m all for keeping any type of added sweetener as low as possible, so use your discretion.

 

Zucchini Bread

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It takes me forever to get recipes posted! But I finally have this zucchini bread I’ve been playing around with all summer. I want to change out the almond flour for a nut free version but I haven’t quite gotten that far yet. It’s easy to over consume almond flour when you’re doing gluten free or paleo style baking, so I want to caution everyone to be mindful of that. The thing is, almond flour behaves so well in baking, so it’s the easiest go-to option. But I feel like we all need to branch out and try some other flours. I used some  Otto’s cassava flour as well in this recipe, and I think I’d like to try and convert this recipe mainly over to this flour. We’ll see….

But anyway, here you go! Zucchini Bread! 

 

 

Zucchini Bread
 
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A gluten free, grain free and low sugar version of zucchini bread to make for a healthy treat.
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 ¼ cup blanched almond flour
  • 2 Tbl cassava flour
  • 2 ¼ tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature, beaten

  • 1 ½ Tbl honey
  • 2 Tbl coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 ¾ cup shredded, unpeeled zucchini, squeezed of excess liquid
Instructions
  1. Place the eggs (while still in shell) in a bowl of warm water so they are not cold when you mix them into batter
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  3. Use a whisk to combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl – the whisk helps evenly distribute the ingredients.
  4. Mash banana in a medium mixing bowl, then add egg and beat together well with a whisk. Add zucchini to combine.
  5. Sprinkle dry ingredients into wet ingredients a little bit at a time while whisking to avoid clumps. Once batter becomes thick, switch to a rubber spatula for mixing.
  6. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate the pan front to back for even baking.
  8. Bake until bread is puffed and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 - 25 more minutes.

 

One Pan Chicken Vegetable Dinner

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I am all about one pan dinners – simplicity in the evening is where it’s at (especially ’cause there’s less to clean up). So, before we get going with the recipe here I have a couple notes about the chicken. I’m very passionate about buying sustainably raised meat, and chicken is no exception. Chickens belong on grass, free to roam and peck the ground (and nibble on bugs). Growing up on a farm in Maine, we had chickens and they were like our lawn mowers – we moved them around in their mobile home and they kept the grass in control as well as the tick population. Haha. It’s a happy symbiotic relationship. 

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Suffice it to say, I put my money where my mouth is and support the local farms that raise chickens the way nature intended. And for that matter, most small farms only sell whole chickens since they don’t have the resources or infrastructure to process chicken meat into the parts that we easily take for granted. So, for this recipe, I highly encourage you to buy a whole chicken and break it down into parts. “YIKES?!” you say? Well, it just takes a little practice. I promise I’m getting a video up on whole chicken breakdown. In the mean time, Google always has the answers for all the things.

Ultimately, you can also use any chicken parts you want – split breast, thighs, boneless, etc. I just want to encourage everyone to try utilizing a whole chicken (plus you can then make bone broth with the leftover parts so it’s a real bang for your buck).

Now, let’s make some yummy dinner! 

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One Pan Chicken Vegetable Dinner
 
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A simple, healthy yet flavorful dinner that's done in 30 minutes and leaves only 1 pan to clean up.
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 pieces of chicken - such as 2 breasts and 2 thighs- I suggest with skin on
  • 1 Tbl ghee
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 small yellow onion, small dice
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 medium carrots, small dice
  • 1 sweet potato, small dice
  • 1½ cups chicken broth
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 Tbl chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 large handfuls baby spinach
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Heat a large oven-safe skillet (such as a cast iron Lodge pan) over medium heat.
  3. Melt the ghee in the pan.
  4. Sprinkle salt and pepper evenly over chicken on all sides.
  5. When pan is hot, place chicken skin side down into pan and sear until golden brown, about 7-10 minutes.
  6. Flip chicken over, then add onion and stir it around to disperse around the chicken.
  7. Add garlic, then carrots and sweet potatoes, allow to cook for about 5 minutes.
  8. Reduce heat to low, add chicken broth and then rosemary - allow broth to come to a simmer.
  9. Add spinach and stir it around the chicken as it wilts.
  10. Add tomato sauce around the chicken, I don't cover the skin of the chicken with sauce as that will cause the skin to lose crispiness.
  11. Sprinkle parsley over top.
  12. Place entire pan into oven for about 10 minutes until chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165.
  13. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving. Careful, your pan is hot!

 

 

Breakfast N’Oatmeal

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NOatmeal3NEWI’ve been making more breakfasts for my personal chef clients these days, and this N’Oatmeal recipe is on the favorites list. This is a take on oatmeal, but minus the oats for a more gut-friendly and healthy option. This recipe is gluten-free, grain-free and dairy-free but I promise it’s not lacking in flavor! Also, the flax adds a toasty, nutty taste that I love. If you’re looking for a quick grab n go breakfast, you can make this recipe as “N’Oatmeal To Go” in which you portion it into muffin liners so it’s ready for ya in the morning. It’s even tasty cold if you don’t have time to heat it up as you head out the door. Note: if you want to make this a seasonal dish for the fall/winter, add the sweet potato! Yum.  

Breakfast N'Oatmeal
 
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Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups coconut milk
  • 5 Tbl coconut flour
  • 2 Tbl coconut flakes
  • pinch salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ cup sweet potato puree (or mashed cooked sweet potato) - optional
  • ¼ cup raisins – optional
  • 3 Tbl ground flax
Instructions
  1. In a small pot, whisk together the coconut tmilk, flour, flakes and salt.
  2. Heat over medium-low heat just until begins to bubble and boil. Remove from heat, allow to cool for a few minutes.
  3. While that cools, mash the banana in a small bowl, add eggs and whisk to combine. Add the sweet potato as well if using.
  4. Slowly add the egg-banana mixture to the warm coconut milk, whisking as you do so.
  5. Return to medium-low heat (not too hot!), stirring occasionally. Add cinnamon, and raisins if using.
  6. Allow mixture to thicken for about 5 minutes, continuing to stir occasionally.
  7. Add flax, stir to combine, then remove from eat.
  8. Serve with almond milk, fresh berries and toppings of choice - such as hemp seeds
  9. Store in airtight container in fridge.
  10. To make N’Oatmeal to Go: scoop mixture into muffin liners or small single-serve containers. Reheat in oven at 325 for about 10 minutes, or enjoy cold.

Beef Stew & Health Tips

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This beef stew recipe belongs mostly to my dear colleague and fellow personal chef Elissa. I’ve created a few variations just for the sake of playing with different flavors –  I like to add some tomato, so I included that here as an option. This stew is a one stop shop for a meal, but plan ahead as it needs 2 – 3 hours to cook. You can use a pressure cooker instead for quicker cooking, see the note below the recipe! 

I am excited to also bring you some health tips for this holiday season, courtesy of the lovely dietitian nutritionist Ayla Withee from Boston Functional Nutrition. You can find fantastic information on her website to go along with these tips: 

  • Make yourself the priority. Remind yourself why you’re eating the way you are – for great health, to reduce unwanted symptoms, etc. – and how important it is to your wellbeing. 

  • Keep stress at a minimum. Stress will always make negative symptoms and eating habits worse. Reduce stress by exercising, taking a walk or trying meditation or yoga. Or, if all you have time to do is close your eyes and take some deep breaths, make sure you at least do that. 

  • Stay regular with other meals. Eat normal, healthy and balanced meals and snacks surrounding other holiday events. This will help keep you eating better and on a schedule.

  • Drink plenty of fluids and mostly water. Thirst can sometimes be mistaken for hunger and during busy times, drinking can be forgotten.

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And a few additional tips I try to remind myself of at this time of year: 

  • Incorporate bone broth into your weekly meals to support gut health (so make this beef stew!).
  • Focus on anti-inflammatory ingredients such as ginger, turmeric, and omega-3’s (like wild caught salmon).
  • Don’t skimp on sleep – if you have to choose between that 5am spin class or catching up on much needed sleep, it’s best to choose sleep. You’re not doing yourself any favors by depriving your body of recovery time. 
  • Break up with sugar - or keep it to a minimum as much as you can outside those holiday parties.

 

Braised Beef Stew with Vegetables
 
A healthy beef stew recipe perfect for chilly winter nights.
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbl grass-fed ghee or coconut oil
  • 3 lb. grass-fed beef stew meat
  • 1 large onion, chopped into 1- inch pieces
  • ½ cup celery root, peeled and cut into 1- inch cubes
  • 3 carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch rounds
  • 3 medium parsnips, peeled, cut into 1-inch rounds
  • ½ cup sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 T. minced fresh parsley
  • 1 T. minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 t. fresh thyme, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbl tomato paste (optional)
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2½ cups beef stock
  • 2 large handfuls baby spinach (optional)
Instructions
  1. Over medium high heat, melt the ghee/oil in a dutch oven pot (cast iron enabled pots are best for braising)
  2. When the pot is hot, sear half the beef until browned, about 3-5 minutes on top and bottom.
  3. Add the remaining beef and the remaining ingredients except spinach.
  4. Stir, cover and bring to a low boil.
  5. Reduce heat to low to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the meat is very tender, about 2½ -3 hours.
  6. Meat is done when a wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into the thickest part comes out with little or no resistance. Be sure to keep lid on pot during cooking.
  7. Add spinach and gently stir in just before serving.

 Alternatively  you can use a pressure cooker:

Lock lid on pot and bring to high pressure (setting 2). Reduce heat to maintain even pressure for 24 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes. Release steam and then remove lid when pressure indicator has dropped. 

 

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

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I may or may not get overly excited about fall which results in pumpkin everything around my house. I can’t help it. If I still dressed up for Halloween I would be a pumpkin. Actually, I was a pumpkin when I was little and I was stuffed with newspapers to make my costume all puffy. I wish my family used cameras back then because it would be so fun to see a picture of that.

Well, costumes aside, this year myself and my colleague Elissa are teaching a gluten-free holiday baking class at a local Whole Foods, so a variation of this recipe is most definitely going in the line up. I’ll update the recipe if I make more changes.

Hope you enjoy!

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
 
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Fall inspired pumpkin cranberry quick bread
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbl ground flax
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tbl cassava flour
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tbl coconut flour
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • 2½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbl pumpkin puree
  • 3 eggs plus 3 yolks, beaten
  • 5 Tbl water
  • ¼ cup plus 3 Tbl maple syrup
  • 3 Tbl ghee, melted (or sub coconut oil)
  • 1 cup cranberries (fresh or dried)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Grease a 9x5 loaf pan with ghee.
  3. Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl: flours, salt, baking soda and powder, spices.
  4. Combine all the wet ingredients in a separate bowl: pumpkin, eggs, water, maple syrup and ghee.
  5. In 3 parts, slowly sprinkle the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, whisking as you do so.
  6. Add cranberries, then pour into loaf pan and smooth the top.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes, rotate pan 180 for even baking.
  8. Bake another 15 minutes, then start checking for doneness every 5 minutes- the top should not be jiggly and a knife inserted into the center should come out with barely any crumbs.
  9. Allow to fully cool before slicing.

Balsamic Roasted Acorn Squash

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This is an easy, delicious recipe that makes a lovely side dish. You can also use this recipe as a vessel for filling: my Autumn Stuffed Squash recipe is definitely a crowd pleaser and impressive dish to serve to guests! I make these for clients on a regular basis. They hold up really well for multiple days – I can cook for a client on a Monday and they can be confident it will still taste delicious on Wednesday night. This recipe is meant to highlight all the lovely squash that is available in the fall. I’m using acorn squash here but you can use this same technique for butternut, delicata, or carnival too. 

Balsamic Roasted Acorn Squash
 
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A simple technique for delicious, flavorful and healthy squash.
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 medium acorn squash
  • 1 Tbl coconut oil
  • 1 Tbl balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
  3. in a small bowl, combine the oil and vinegar.
  4. Using a basting brush (or your fingers) brush the oil mixture over all the exposed flesh of the squash, the sprinkle the salt over top.
  5. Place squash cut side down on a baking sheet pan.
  6. Roast for 30 minutes, then check for doneness by poking through the skin with a fork. If done, the fork should go right through with no resistance. Depending on the size of your squash, roasting will take up to an hour.
  7. Don't move the squash around until it is done.
  8. Remove from oven, turn squash over to cool.

 

Autumn Stuffed Squash

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I have fond memories of my mother’s stuffed squash from childhood. She would use butternut squash and mix in walnuts that gave the dish some nutty texture. Every fall I get a craving for this type of dish, so I recreated a simple version here that’s packed with veggies. Use my Balsamic Roasted Squash recipe to  make the squash, then while those are roasting, whip up the filling!

Autumn Stuffed Squash
 
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A savory stuffed squash.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Fall
Serves: 4 Halves
Ingredients
  • 1½ Tbl coconut or ghee
  • 1 lb ground dark meat turkey
  • 1 small leek, washed and finely chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, diced small
  • 2 medium carrots, diced small
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped kale (or frozen)
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tbl chopped parsley
  • 1 Tbl fresh chopped sage
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1-2 Tbl ground flax seeds
  • 2 roasted acorn squash, halved lengthwise, seeded and roasted
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Prep the acorn squash as per my Balsamic Roasted Squash recipe.
  3. While squash is roasting, heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add 1 Tbl oil.
  4. Add turkey and sauté, breaking up the meat into small clumps with your spatula.
  5. Sprinkle with 1 tsp of the salt. Turn heat down to medium-low.
  6. Cook until no longer pink, about 10-15 minutes.
  7. Remove from pan and place in a bowl or on a plate, set aside for later.
  8. Heat pan over medium heat, add the remaining ½ Tbl oil.
  9. Add leeks, sauté for 3-5 minutes until softened- turn heat down if they start to brown.
  10. Add celery and carrots and garlic, sauté 5 minutes, then reduce heat to low.
  11. Add the remaining salt, the pepper and the broth, over pan and allow to simmer 5 minutes.
  12. Add the turkey back to the pan, along with the herbs, stir to combine and remove from heat.
  13. Scoop about 1 -2 Tbl of flesh out from the center of the roasted acorn squash and mix this into the turkey filling.
  14. Reduce oven temperature to 325
  15. Now you’re ready to stuff! Fill each squash with equal amounts of filling, then sprinkle flax over the top.
  16. Place stuffed squash on baking pan and roast for another 7-10 minutes, just to give the top a slightly toasted look.
  17. Serve and enjoy!

Pumpkin Curried Cauliflower

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I’m not quite sure where the inspiration for this recipe came from, but all of a sudden it happened! Super simple to make and packed with flavor, this is a vegetable side dish that would make a great addition to my recipes for Lamb Meatballs, Simple Bolognese or even the Carrot Ginger Soup! Hope you enjoy this! 

Pumpkin Curried Cauliflower
 
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An easy, healthy vegetable side dish that puts a fun twist on cauliflower.
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • ¼ cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp. red curry paste
  • 2 Tbl coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbl fresh parsley, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Use a whisk to mix the pumpkin, curry paste, oil or ghee, lemon juice, cumin and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
  3. Add cauliflower and toss to evenly coat.
  4. Spread cauliflower out in a single layer on a baking pan.
  5. Roast for 10 minutes, stir cauliflower around, then roast for another 10-15 minutes until golden and starting to get crispy.
  6. If your oven happens to be one that doesn't crisp veggies well, after roasting for 20 minutes you can broil the veggies for 1-2 minutes, but keep a close eye on them so they don't burn.
  7. Toss with parsley to serve.

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Crispy Carrot Strips

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Yummy snack! These crispy strips can help satiate that “Help! I need something crunchy” craving that we all get from time to time. They’re great on their own or you can dip them into something like…..guacamole! Because any excuse to eat guacamole is alright by me. Now, as an added bonus I have also found these tend to go over well with kiddos, especially if you call them chips. 

A couple  suggestions: try to set up your oven so you can use as many racks at a time as possible. You probably will need about 3 baking pans, or you can do them in batches. I like to double the recipe and do several batches in the oven while I am prepping dinner- this gets the bulk of the work over with all at the same time!

Crispy Carrot Strips
 
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A healthy and kid friendly snack that gluten-free and made from veggies.
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 3 carrots
  • 1½ Tbl oil, such as avocado or coconut
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Optional: ½ tsp granulated garlic or ¼ tsp paprika for a little spice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the carrots into ribbons. Inevitably you won't be able to peel the entire carrot, so save the remaining for another use (like soup).
  3. Toss the ribbons in a bowl with oil and salt until they are well coated.
  4. Add garlic or paprika if using and toss.
  5. Lay the ribbons in a single layer on several baking pans.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, then flip the carrots over, bake for 5 minutes, then keep checking as you bake every 2-3 minutes. The ribbons go from looking almost ready to burnt pretty quickly so they need a little babysitting! They are fine when slightly browned & crispy.
  7. Remove from oven & allow to cool.

 *Please note: the carrot ribbons shrink a lot in the oven as they get crispy, which is part of why I recommend doing a bigger batch- at least double this recipe. If you’re going to take the time to peel carrots and roast them, you might as well get a bunch done at once so you have more to show for your efforts!