Tag Archives: healthy substitutions

Delicious Sweet Potato Cauliflower Mash

20 Mar

I have invented something amazing!!! Okay I probably didn’t invent it. I know we’ve all ditched the white potatoes by now…duh…and you’ve probably heard of or even tried subbing mashed cauliflower for potatoes. I’ve tried this before and it was so-so. I wasn’t a fan of the chunky and gritty consistency. It was fine, but I wasn’t rushing out to make it again.

While making a Paleo Shepard’s pie last week I think I invented my new favorite substitute for mashed potatoes. Sweet Potato Cauliflower Mash. You MUST try this if you haven’t. It was rich, creamy and extremely flavorful.

I topped my Shepard’s pie with the mixture and it was heavenly.

shepard's pie

 

Sweet Potato Cauliflower Mash

1/2 of a medium sweet potato

1/2 head of cauliflower

1-2 cloves of garlic

1/4 cup coconut milk

1 tbsp coconut oil

salt, pepper, and garlic powder

1. First, cook your sweet potato and cauliflower. I cooked my (whole) sweet potato in the microwave for 10 minutes.

2. Chop the cauliflower into florets and place in a saucepan filled with water. Cook until soft.

3. Meanwhile, heat coconut oil in a sauté pan.

4. Add garlic and whisk.

5. Add in coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder.

6. Drain cauliflower. Cut your sweet potato in half and throw away the peel (you only need half).

7. Place cauliflower, sweet potato, and coconut milk mixture into your food processor and process until smooth.

Sweet potato Cauliflower mash

8, Consume! Never eat white potatoes again!!!!

I put it on my Shepard’s pie

Sweet Potato at Shepard's Pie

It was thick and creamy, unlike some cauliflower mashes I have made. The small amount of sweet potato really balances it out and the coconut milk makes it super-creamy! Try it!

What’s your favorite way to eat sweet potatoes?

5 ‘weird’ healthy foods you should eat

17 Mar

Through my experiences with healthy eating, and most recently trying to switch to a Paleo/Whole 30 diet, I have been trying and enjoying some really delicious fruits and veggies I had previously ignored. I definitely go through phases…once I find something I love I buy it incessantly…until I find a new obsession!

Most people don’t look twice if they see things like Twinkie, unnatural orange colored ‘cheese’ poofs, or boxed mashed potatoes on your plate. These things are completely processed, man made and contain little nutrients. Start showing up to lunch hour with a variety of fresh veggies, however, and you will elicit curios stares. People may even ask “What IS that stuff”??”

It’s unnerving to be singled  out for just trying to eat healthy and eating whole, nutritious, real food. And it’s weird that people think it’s weird. The more you eat processed, sugared-up junk the more your body gets used to it and makes you turn your nose up at less common fruits and veggies. But I realized as you start eating more and more whole natural foods your body learns to appreciate the natural flavors this food has to offer. Here are five you should add to your diet or at least give a try:

weird

1. Rutabaga:

source

Shredded rutabaga

I already blogged about my coconut rutabaga pancakes, but this potato-like veggie can be used for so much more! It has a subtle, crispy, carrot-like taste. As a root vegetable, you could use this for anything you would use a potato for: mashed or pureed, shredded as hash browns, or roasted with some herbs in the oven. It’s high in calcium, magnesium, potassium, and only has 50 calories per cup!!!

2. Plantains

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I have recently fallen in love with this starchy fruit! It can be best described as a cross between a banana and potato. When green, plantains can be used as more of a potato substitute- boiled and mashed, roasted in the oven, or used as the ‘pasta’ element in a lasagna. Riper, brown or yellow plantains work well used more like a banana- caramelized in sugar and drizzled with chocolate.

image (3)

I fried mine in coconut oil and dark chocolate balsamic vinegar for breakfast!

3. Kale

Kale

I’ve seen more and more kale popping up on blogs…so I know it’s becoming popular. It’s a leafy, bitter green that tastes amazing sautéed with garlic and onion. It’s very low in calories and also very high in calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron. It goes great with runny eggs as a breakfast or as a side for dinner! It can also be eaten raw, or made into a pesto. Try to buy organic whenever possible.

4. Parsnips

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A cousin to the carrot, parsnips are another way to spice up your nightly veggies. Another root vegetable, they can be roasted in the oven with carrots, or pureed and used as a potato substitute. They’re high in fiber, potassium and magnesium.

5. Squash

display of squash

source

There are so many varieties of squash…..you’ll never get bored! Use spaghetti squash as a pasta substitute, butternut squash in place of potatoes or pasta, and zucchini, acorn or summer squash as a side dish to dinner. The possibilities are endless!

Butternut squash is my favorite because it’s so versatile. Favorites I’ve made are butternut squash fries, cinnamon and nutmeg crockpot mashed butternut squash, and butternut squash lasagna!

 

So put down the Twinkies and pick up one of these options next time you’re at the grocery store. The worst that can happen is you won’t like it! But I bet you’ll find at least one that makes a regular appearance on your plate.

Nutritional Info: Caloriecount.com

What weird healthy foods do you eat that prompt awkward stares from people around the lunch table?

‘Paleo’ Shamrock Shake

16 Mar

I’m all about festive holiday treats..

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image (4)

St Patty’s Day Pancakes!!!

Tis the season for McDonald’s most coveted creation:

I don’t really have to go into detail about how much sugar/how many calories are in that thing. I think you know. If you want one though; you should have one- not judging.

I decided to try to make my own healthified and paleo version. I’ve made healthy mint shakes with milk and protein powder, but with paleo, those things are out. Since I’ve been focusing on eating whole foods, I kind of miss protein shakes. However, protein powder is expensive and it’s kind of nice not having to shell out the money for it.

Here’s a healthy shamrock shake with no sugar, dairy or grains added!

paleo

Serves 1:

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/4 of an avocado

1/2 of a banana

handful of fresh baby spinach (can’t taste…for color!)

1/2 cup of water

5-6 ice cubes

3-4 drops of mint extract

smoothie ingredients

 

You CAN add sweetener, however I don’t need it!

paleo shamrock shake

Hit the spot. Now I don’t need to run out and get the sugar overload version. I think I am done celebrating St. Patrick’s Day however, even though it hasn’t even gotten here yet. I went to a parade last weekend and spent some time with some very special people, AKA my family. It was amazing to get to see them all and spend some time together.

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What is your favorite St. Patrick’s Day Treat?

Spicy Roasted Carrot ‘Fries’

13 Mar

I’m always looking for more nutritious substitutions for unhealthy foods.  There are so many veggies out there that offer so much more than the traditional white potatoes. Squash, turnips and rutabagas have been making an appearance in my diet lately.

One unlikely suspect to make ‘mock fries’ is…..the carrot!

Potatoes, rutabagas, turnips, carrots…they’re all from the same ‘root vegetable’ category. So I started thinking that if I attempted to make fries out of them like sweet potato or regular fries it may be tasty….and it was!

Carrot Fries2

 

Spicy Roasted Carrot Fries

Serves 1-2

5-6 medium carrots

olive oil

Spices- paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, salt & pepper, chili powder

Preheat oven to 425

1. Peel the carrots and slice them lengthwise.

2. Cut them again into thin strips about 1/2 thick.

3. Spray a cooking sheet with non-stick spray or olive oil. Add your carrots and make sure they are spaced out and not over lapping.

4. Drizzle your olive oil over the ‘fries’. Add your spices. I didn’t really measure here, just a couple of dashes of each of the spices (except cayenne, go easy on that!)

5. Mix them up so they are all coated with oil and spices.

6. Bake for about 15-20 minutes. Take out the carrots and flip them.

carrot fries

Carrots halfway through

Bake for another 15 minutes or until they are browned. Keep an eye on them..my oven is older so timing may vary.

7. Serve with sunbutter, preferably….. heaven!

carrots

The sweetness of carrots and the spices makes a delicious combo with sunbutter or any other nutbutter. Yum! Making these again. So much better than regular fries!

What are your favorite substitutes for fries?

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