Tag Archives: Nutrition

Butternut Squash Soup

This simple and delicious soup is a staple in my home, a favorite amongst my friends, and a recipe I give out often. It’s a smooth, warm and satisfying meal that can be made in advance. For a heartier version, serve with flax crackers.

Ingredients
4 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced (approx. 1 medium squash)
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 tablespoons ghee**
1-quart organic vegetable broth (Imagine or Pacific brand)
1 teaspoons sea salt
1 pinch of saffron threads or powder (optional) Flaxseed oil or Udo’s Choice Oil Blend for drizzle
Directions
In 4-quart saucepan, sauté onion and butternut squash in ghee until vegetables sweat, but do not brown. Add vegetable broth, saffron, and sea salt. Cook on medium/low heat until vegetables are tender and soft, about 15 minutes. Turn off heat and cool slightly. Place immersion blender directly in a pot and blend until pureed, or to desired consistency.
If you do not have an immersion blender, cool and transfer mixture to a standard blender and puree for 20-30 seconds. Return mixture to the saucepan and bring back to desired heat. To serve, ladle into bowls and drizzle with flaxseed oil or Udo’s Choice Oil Blend.

**Ghee is clarified butter without solid milk fat particles, this lactose-free. It can be found at most health food stores. Feel free to substitute coconut milk for a 100% vegan version.

The One Missing Ingredient to True Love

It was imperative that I address ‘True Love’ this month, as it isn’t only Valentines Month, but it is Heart Health Month as well.
And I began to think about how we love and what love means to us.
As a collective, we look at love as a feeling in ways outside of ourselves.

I love you.
I love this movie.
I love burritos
I love driving long distance
I love fashion and chocolates.

And it is seldom, as a collective, that we really look at Love as a universal truth, a way of being in the world, a way of feeling each day.
How can we feel the universal truth, when we are so caught up in our ways of thinking?

I am busy
I have so much to do today
I am exhausted
I don’t have a boyfriend
I need a drink

And in the way that we all think and live is our way to survive. We know and understand..what we know and understand.
And the far-reaching truth is there are some things we just can’t wrap our heads around.

And that is Acceptance.

Acceptance of what is…..

Now, I can hear your ‘ monkey mind’ saying, well that’s just lazy to settle for “what is” that is not proactive and productive.
How does “acceptance” pay the bills, and give me the life I want?
“Acceptance is a failure to move forward, and how can I accept that my car won’t run, or my cat is sick, or I hate my job”?

And herein lies the work.
Acceptance is not “being ok” with what is.
Acceptance is seeing life for what it is and changing your perspective on the story.

“It may be time for me to get a new car, or look into getting it fixed.”
“My cat is getting older and she has had such a good life and brought time so much joy, it may be her time to go to the heavens”
“I am opening myself up for a job that allows me to thrive and grow- and then I can buy a new car”

The One missing ingredient to true love is Acceptance of What is…..Acceptance of Yourself.

True love is loving yourself when:

You are fat
You are skinny
You are beautiful
You look a little ragged
You are annoying
You are tired
You are funny
You are rich
You are poor
You are having a bad day
Your car is broken and you are kvetching about life

On this Heart Healthy Month, this White and Red themed Heart-centered Valentines, sweetheart and Love ladened month, take a moment if you will and look at your life through Acceptance.
And there you will find True Love.

Written by Diana Stobo

Life transformation and Spirit Coach
Health and Wellness Expert

Grain-Free Double Chocolate Chip Cookie

I went a step beyond gluten-free for this recipe. And if you don’t have almond butter on hand, you can substitute for peanut butter or cashew butter. The flavor will change a little bit you’ll still have a decadent little cookie!

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup almond butter

3/4 cup coconut sugar

½ cup raw cacao

½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1 egg

1 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Blend ingredients until well incorporated. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop or roll dough into 1 inch scoops, place 2-3 inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 Minutes. Place on mesh rack to cool, about 5 minutes. Store in airtight container.

Peanut Butter & Jam Grain-Free Thumb Print Cookies

I upgraded this classic recipe and even went a step beyond gluten-free, there is no absolutely no grains. And who doesn’t love peanut butter and jam?

These are a pretty addition to any Holiday dessert spread made with ingredients everyone has in their pantry.

 

1 cup Peanut Butter

3/4 cup coconut sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of sea salt

½ cup of your favorite jam

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 

Blend ingredients until well incorporated. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop dough into 1 inch scoops, place 2-3 inches apart. Make a little divot in each cookie with your thumb. Gently scoop a little jam in each cookie.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 Minutes.

Place on mesh rack to cool, about 5 minutes.

Sweet Potato Macaroni and Cheese with Lentil Pasta

If you are familiar with my original Naked Macaroni and Cheese  (my daughter affectionately named “Mac-a-faux-ni”) you really love this updated version.  I’I’m currently obsessed with red lentil pasta, it cooks ups nicely and really holds it shape, I find most gluten-free pastas get mushy. It also is loaded with protein, so a small serving is very fulfilling.  I know the recipe calls for Ghee, which is not vegan but has all the milk solids removed. That’s why I love using it, it has the buttery flavor without the inflammatory dairy reactions. Please feel free to use coconut oil for a completely vegan version.

Ingredients

2 heaping cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

1 tomato cubed

11⁄2 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil for a 100% vegan/dairy-free version

11⁄2 teaspoons sea salt

1 cup almond milk (freshly made of course!)

1⁄4 cup nutritional yeast

3 tablespoons soaked and drained cashews

1 tablespoon lemon juice

12-ounce package lentil penne pasta

Directions

In a 4-quart pot, prepare pasta according to package directions. Cook al dente (test by chewing), strain, and run under cold water immediately to stop the cooking process. Pour cooled pasta back into pot.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt
ghee or coconut oil and gently sweat
the sweet potatoes and tomato, do not brown.
Add sea salt and almond milk (for recipe please watch this VIDEO)  and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
Carefully pour hot sweet potatoes into blender and add
drained cashews, nutritional yeast, and
lemon juice. Blend on low with the center cap on lid
removed to release the heat while blending. Slowly increase speed until mixture is smooth and creamy. Pour over pasta and stir.

Raw Dairy Free Pumpkin Cheesecake

One bite of this special dessert and you’ll say, “No way is this dairy free! No way is this free of processed sugar and gluten and wheat! And it’s good for me?” Yes, it is! It’s full of “good” fats that can actually lower your cholesterol and help your body burn fat. Plus you’re getting all the nutrients of raw pumpkin, raw nuts, and carrot juice. It’s a super-delicious super-dessert!

pumpkin-cheesecake

Crust
Ingredients
3 cups raw pecans
3 dates
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Directions
Process all ingredients until they start to stick together. Pour ingredients into a 10-inch non-stick springform pan. Spread evenly and press down slightly with hand until gently packed.
Pumpkin filling
Ingredients
3 cups raw cashews, soaked for 1–2 hours, drained, and rinsed
2 cups pumpkin, cubed
1½ cups carrot juice
½ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 cup agave nectar
1 cup coconut oil, melted in hot bath
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ teaspoon sea salt
Directions
Blend all ingredients in high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. Pour mixture into pan on top of crust. Using spatula gently spread toward edges of pan until even. Place in freezer while making next layer or for 1–2 hours.
Coconut topping
Ingredients
1 cup raw cashews, soaked
1½ cups coconut milk (1 young coconut)
¼ cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ tablespoons lecithin
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
Pinch sea salt
Directions Blend all ingredients in high-speed blender until light and fluffy. Carefully spread on top of cheesecake filling. This should be at the very top of the pan. Place in refrigerator for 4–6 hours until completely set. Use thin knife to scrape around edges of pan before removing cake from pan. Cut into slices and enjoy!

Heart Healthy Chocolate Cake

This recipe is absolutely perfect. Not too sweet, just the right amount of richness from the Dark Chocolate.

I brought a slice to my acupuncturists, and she dubbed this the Heart Health Cake.

Beets lower risk of heart disease. Beets are a good source of folate and betaine. These nutrients act together to help lower blood levels of homocysteine, which can increase your risk of heart disease by causing artery-damaging inflammation.

And Dark Chocolate helps to lower your blood pressure naturally. … The other surprise was they reported no increase in heart rate with chocolate consumption, once again confirming the benefits of dark chocolate for heart health.
Savory Chocolate Cake with Coconut Ganache

BeetChocCake

For the cake:

2 medium beets (1 cup beet puree)

2 1/2 cups coconut milk

1 1/2 cups coconut sugar

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

1 ½ cups oat flour

3/4 cup almond meal

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 Tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon of sea salt

For the frosting:

Chocolate Ganache

Ganache:

1 cup dark chocolate

1/2 cup coconut milk

To puree beets

Boil beets until smooth and then cool. Peel and chop.

Place beet chunks in the bowl of a food processor. Puree, scraping down the sides as necessary. You may have to add a bit of water to encourage the beets to puree. Scoop out 1 cup of puree for this recipe – the rest is leftover.

To make the cake:

Preheat oven to 350. Coat two 8-inch cake pans with coconut cooking spray. Line with parchment paper, set aside.

To the coconut milk mixture, add 1 cup of beet puree, sugar, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. With a hand mixer (or in a stand mixer), beat until foamy, about 30 seconds.

Mix together remaining dry ingredients. Add liquid to dry ingredients and beat until smooth

Divide between the cake pans. Bake at 350 until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with fudgy crumbs, 30-35 minutes.

Remove and cool completely in the pans on wire racks.

To make the frosting:

Ganache:

Reheat the water to a simmer in the pot on the stove

Place another medium bowl over the water and add chocolate and coconut milk

Stir until completely melted and add coconut milk

To assemble the cake:

Place the first layer on your cake stand or serving plate. If the top is uneven, carefully even it off with a knife. Smooth on about half of the frosting, and top with the second cake layer. Smooth on remaining frosting and add any decorations you like! (If you made 1 9-inch layer, you will have enough frosting to coat the sides, if you want.)

Refrigerate before serving. The cake can be served immediately, but I like it best after being refrigerated overnight. Enjoy!

Coconut Curried Pumpkin Soup

My girlfriend on the East Coast just called and asked for a recipe for Pumpkin soup.

She always calls me when she wants to make something yummy and healthy.

When we were little girls growing up, she used to come over to my house after school and watch me play in the kitchen.

I was a latch-key kid and was in charge of making dinner for my brother and my mom.

And one of my specialties was soup.

So, I took one of my favorite soups and played with it a bit

here is the recipe I gave her:

Coconut Curried Pumpkin Soup

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Ingredients

3 cups fresh pumpkin, diced

1 yellow onion, diced

2 tablespoons ghee or (coconut oil for a vegan version)

1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 quart organic vegetable broth, either — •

  • Store bought (e.g., Pacific Natural Foods)•
  • Homemade •
  • 1 quart water and organic vegetable bouillon cube

2 cups coconut milk, either — •

  • Homemade (see recipe below) •
  • 14-ounces of organic store-bought coconut milk

¼ cup cilantro, chopped

 

Directions

 

In 4-quart saucepan, sauté onions and pumpkin in ghee until they sweat but do not brown. Add curry powder, sea salt, and broth. Cook on medium-low for about 20 minutes until vegetables are soft. Take pot off heat and add coconut milk. Using hand blender, blend until desired consistency. (Or cool and transfer to blender and blend for 20– 30 seconds.) Stir in cilantro and serve.

Coconut milk

1 1/2–2 cups coconut water 8 ounces coconut meat (or meat of 1 coconut, depending on size)

Place both in high-speed blender and blend on high until ingredients are emulsified.

Soothing Non-Dairy Turmeric Milk

Not only is this warm drink delicious, it is also soothing for sore throats and stuffy noses. Ginger and turmeric are anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. The black pepper boosts those properties. You can make this with any fresh nut-milk you have on hand or even store bought coconut milk. Make sure you heat it gently to not curdle the milk.

Non-Dairy Turmeric Milk

2 cups homemade almond, coconut milk, or any non-dairy milk of your choice
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1″ piece of ginger sliced
raw honey to sweeten, if desired

Combine all ingredients and whisk on low heat until milk is warm but not too hot. Serve immediately.

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Soothing Turmeric Almond Milk

The Secret Ingredient in My Crème Brûlée….

Crème Brûlée is one of my favorite desserts.

The crunchy sugar topping, the beyond decadent cream.

It is my go to after a fancy meal at most restaurants.
It is a special occasion treat. An Anniversary dessert..
Well, I wanted to create my “Naked” Version, so it didn’t have to be a once in a while kinda thing.

It could be a whenever you want kinda thing.
I am really proud of these 2 recipes, they just turned out perfect.

This has become a permanent recipe item down at The Retreat.
And you’ll never guess the start ingredient…. Cauliflower.
That’s right, I created Cauliflower Crème Brûlée and it is perfection.
I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.

Caramel Crème Brulee

CremeBrulee

Ingredients
2 cups steamed cauliflower
1 cup coconut milk
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup lucuma powder
3 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt

½ cup coconut sugar for topping

Directions
Steam cauliflower for about 15 minutes and then mash, you can use a food processor.

Combine the maple syrup and the lucuma powder in a small bowl and stir until smooth.

In a small pot preheat the coconut milk. Add the unflavored gelatin, salt, vanilla and caramel paste made with the maple syrup and the lucuma.
Mix all these ingredients with the mash cauliflower and put in small containers approximately 3 oz each and put in a fridge at least 4 hours.
When is ready, put a little bit of coconut sugar on top and melt with a torch making a crust. Or you can place the ramekins in the oven on highest rack and turn on the broiler to high. Broil for five to 10 minutes, watching very carefully and rotating them frequently so that they broil evenly. Serve immediately.

Coffee Crème Brulee

CoffeeCremeBrulee

Ingredients
2 cups steamed cauliflower, mashed
3/4 cup coconut milk

½ cup concentrated coffee or espresso
1 tablespoon maple syrup
½ cup coconut sugar
3 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt

½ cup coconut sugar for topping

Directions
Steam cauliflower for about 15 minutes and then mash, you can use a food processor.
In a small pot preheat the coconut milk and then add the unflavored gelatin, salt, vanilla, coconut sugar and maple syrup.
Make the concentrated coffee using less water to make a stronger flavor or espresso.
Mix all these ingredients with the mash cauliflower and the coffee. Put in small containers approximately 3 oz each and put in a fridge at least 4 hours.
When is ready, put a little bit coconut sugar on top and melt with a torch making a crust. Or you can place the ramekins in the oven on highest rack and turn on the broiler to high. Broil for five to 10 minutes, watching very carefully and rotating them frequently so that they broil evenly. Serve immediately.