Monday, December 30, 2013



1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) or butter
2 medium eggplants, cut into 1 in cubes
2-3 medium zucchini, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
3 medium tomatoes, cut into 1 in cubes
1/2 tsp thyme
8 oz goat cheese
Salt & pepper

1. Heat 2 Tbsp of the EVOO or butter in very large skillet or dutch oven on medium heat.  Add in cubed eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

2. Add in 2 more Tbsp of oil or butter and add in sliced zucchini, onion, red pepper, and salt and pepper.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 5 more minutes.

3. Finally, add in cubed tomatoes and thyme and cook another 5 minutes, until tender.  Simmer mixture another few minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed. 

4. Serve the Ratatouille with crumbled goat cheese in a bowl and some crusty bread or folded-up in a warmed wrap.

5. Enjoy!!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

GF Chocolate Freezer Tart

I served this chocolate tart for two of my Christmas parties this year.  It is very decadent and sweet, but something you don't have to feel guilty about indulging in! This can be served as-is or with some fresh berries on top or homemade whipped cream.  This recipe was adapted from Real Food Forager.

GF Chocolate Freezer Tart

2 c. almond flour
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp raw honey (preferably local)
4 Tbsp butter, room temperature
Coconut oil, for greasing

2 ripe avocadoes
3 Tbsp raw honey (preferably local)
1/4 tsp stevia
1 large ripe banana
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c. cocoa powder

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Mix together dry ingredients for the crust in a food processor: almond flour, cocoa powder, sea salt, and baking soda.

3. Add egg, vanilla, and honey to food processor and mix until well combined.

4. Cut butter into small chunks and add slowly into food processor.  Mix until butter is well incorporated.

5. Grease a tart or pie pan liberally with coconut oil.  Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit in the bottom of the tart pan and grease on top of the parchment paper as well.

6. Press batter into the tart pan, spreading evenly and up the sides.  When it is well spread, poke a fork every few inches all over the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan.  Bake the crust for 12-16 minutes at 325 degrees, or until lightly browned.

7. Allow crust to cool completely.  If using a tart pan with a removable bottom, carefully remove the tart onto a serving plate.  Place in the freezer for at least an hour.

8. Prepare filling by mixing together avocadoes, honey, stevia, banana, and vanilla in a food processor.  Add in cocoa and finishing mixing, until well combined.


9. Spread filling evenly in the tart.  Place back in the freezer for at least 4 hours to set well. Cut, serve, and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Elderberry Syrup

During cold and flu season, we take this daily to protect ourselves from the cold and flu viruses going around.  It is super easy to make and will keep in the refrigerator for quite some time.  If you do get the flu, take a dose of elderberry syrup every three hours until symptoms subside.  I have used it and it really works!  We buy our elderberries from Mountain Rose Herbs (they also have some tasty teas!).  This recipe was adapted from the Wellness Mama and Elliott Homestead. Also, make sure to use some local honey, usually you can find some at the grocery stores or health food stores in town.  This is important for the cold aspect of the cold and flu prevention. Merry Christmas and be well!

Elderberry Syrup
(makes about 1 1/2 quarts)

2 c. dehydrated elderberries (see above for where we buy ours from)
8 c. filtered water
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp whole cloves
2 Tbsp fresh ground ginger
1 c. raw local honey


1. Using a large saucepan, mix together water, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and berries.  Bring the mixture to a boil. Once it begins boiling, put a lid on the saucepan and drop the heat down to low so it is barely simmering. 

2. Simmer the mixture for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Allow to cool to room temperature.  Using a fine strainer, strain out the liquid and squeeze any remaining juice out of the elderberries.  Discard the elderberries.

4. Then, stir in the honey and store in a mason jar in the refrigerator.  I recommend adults taking about 1 Tbsp per day.  Kids can also take it, a smaller dose of about 2 tsp per day.

Stay well this holiday season!

Hamburger Casserole

This recipe came from my mom, it is loaded with veggies and is a very comforting meal. This recipe is another easy casserole that takes about 10 minutes to assemble and then goes straight in the oven. It takes about 2 hours to cook, so keep that in mind. Hope you try it soon!

Hamburger Casserole

1 - 11/2 lbs grass-fed beef
2 lbs red or white potatoes
1 can or 12 oz frozen peas
1 large onion
3 large carrots
3 stalks of celery 
2 cans or 1/2 box low sodium, organic tomato soup
1/2 c. Water or pea juice (if using canned peas)
Sea alt & Pepper, to taste 

1. Brown the beef in a medium skillet over medium heat, breaking up into small pieces until browned throughout.

2. While beef cooks, chop up potatoes in 1-2" pieces, peel and chop carrots, chop celery, and chop onion. 

3. Layer casserole in the following order:

Salt & pepper
Salt & pepper
Salt & pepper
Mix together soup and water (or pea juice) and pour over top
More salt & pepper, if desired

4. Cook at 350 degrees for 1 hour with foil covering and then another hour without the foil.
5. Enjoy!


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Lentil, Eggplant, and Kale Soup

This is a great meatless meal that is very filling and full of protein and fiber.  This recipe is adapted from Nourished Kitchen. You will need to start soaking the lentils 8-12 hours before you want to make your soup, I usually do it in the morning so it is ready when I want to make dinner.

Lentil, Eggplant, and Kale Soup

2 c. lentils
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2-3 medium-sized eggplants
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 can diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp butter
1 yellow onion
3 stalks celery
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp coriander
1 tsp mustard seed
1/2 tsp cumin
8 c. chicken stock (homemade is best)
Sea salt & pepper, to taste
1 bunch kale

1. Soak the lentils in the apple cider vinegar and enough filtered water to cover the lentils well in a glass bowl.  Place some plastic wrap over the bowl and let it sit on the counter approximately 8-12 hours.  Most of the water should be absorbed by the lentils and they will be nice and puffy.

2. When the lentils are ready, cut up the eggplant into 1-2" cubes.  Toss the eggplant with olive oil and place in a single layer on a cookie sheet.  Cook the eggplant in a 425 degree oven for about 40 minutes, tossing a couple times during cooking.

3. While the eggplant cooks, chop up the onion and celery.

4. Melt the butter in a dutch oven or large pot on medium to medium-high heat.  Add onion and celery to the pot and saute for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.

5. Add in the spices (cumin, coriander, mustard, and bay leaves), chicken stock, tomatoes, and soaked lentils. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.

6. Add in the roasted eggplant and allow the soup to simmer another couple minutes.  

7.  Remove the 2 bay leaves from the soup (they normally float on top) and add in some salt and pepper, to taste.  Chop up the kale into bite-sized pieces and add into the soup, allowing it to wilt a few minutes before serving.

8. Enjoy!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Organic Unsweetened Cinnamon & Clove Crockpot Applesauce

I bought a bunch of organic apples from Green Bean Delivery and, like last year, I wanted to make and freeze some applesauce to use throughout the year. However, my task this year was to make unsweetened applesauce. Apples are naturally sweet and there is no need to add all that sugar to what can be a nutritious side dish! I got the idea for the cinnamon and clove seasoning from The Elliott Homestead.

I like to keep my applesauce a little chunky at the end, but if you prefer it smooth or have small children you want to make it for, you can throw the finished product trough the blender to purée it. 

The apple sauce was plenty sweet naturally and so delicious! Hope you try it!

Note: I also tried this with 1/2 pears, 1/2 apples and it was delicious as well!

Organic Unsweetened Cinnamon & Clove Crockpot Applesauce
(makes about 1 1/2 quarts)

12-15 large organic apples (more or less depending on the sizes you have)
1 whole cinnamon stick
1 tsp ground clove
Juice from 1/2 a lemon (about 1 Tbsp)

1. Wash, peel, and core all of your apples. 

2. Cut the apples into bite-sized pieces (about 1-2" chunks), and add to the slow cooker. 

3. Add in the lemon juice, ground clove, and cinnamon stick to the slow cooker and stir around to evenly coat the apples.

4. Turn the slow cooker on low and let simmer for 4-6 hours. Every 1/2 hour to hour, use a potato masher to smash up some of the apples and release more of their juices.  It is done when it had reached the consistency and taste you like. 

5. It's that easy! Enjoy!!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sweet Potato Brownies

I promise you will absolutely love these brownies! They are better than those white-sugar processed brownies and you won't feel guilty eating them! Try them! These are adapted from

Sweet Potato Brownies

1 small sweet potato
1/4 c. Coconut oil
3 eggs
1/3 c. Raw honey
1/4 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp coconut flour
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa (we like Dagoba)
1/4 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c. Mini chocolate chips (we like Enjoy Life and they are dairy, nut, and soy free)

1. Wash the sweet potato and poke a few holes in it with a fork. Wrap it in a small piece of foil and cook it in a 425 degree oven for about 25 minutes, or until it feels soft or a fork easily pokes through it.

2. Allow the sweet potato to cool. Once it is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and place the potato in a large bowl.

3. Mash the sweet potato well with a fork.

4. Melt the coconut oil on the stovetop or in the microwave.

5. Whisk together the 3 eggs in a small bowl and then add in the honey, coconut oil, and vanilla, whisking to combine.

6. Add the egg mixture to the sweet potato and whisk until smooth, without lumps.

7. Add in the remaining ingredients (except the chocolate chips) one at a time, using the whisk to incorporate each while keeping the batter smooth.

8. Fold in the chocolate chips.

9. Using some coconut oil on a paper towel, grease a small square baker (8x8 works well) and add the batter to the baker.

10. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

11. Allow the brownies to cool so they can setup well. Enjoy!!