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Penne alla Vodka [GF, DF, SF]

A Nod to My Sister's Penne alla Vodka Recipe

My sister has one of THE BEST Penne alla Vodka recipes around. It's a 'lick the bowl clean' kind of awesome. And a dish so good, I never dared to order it at a restaurant because it always paled in comparison. That creamy pink sauce of hers is...was....divine!

These days, however, I'm kickin it dairy free. But that doesn't mean I still can't enjoy Penne alla Vodka. I love taking old recipes and recreating them with a new twist. 

And to be honest, this recipe wasn't that hard to recreate. The sauce contains minimal ingredients - it's a mixture of tomatoes, heavy cream, red pepper flakes and of course, vodka. 

So the only thing I needed to make a swap for was the dairy. Seems easy enough!

And since I've cut dairy out of my kitchen for quite some time now, I've learned a thing or two about the awesome alternatives. There's plenty of options! You've got cashews - which work like a charm but don't always...

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Santa Hat Cheesecake Bites [GF, DF, SF]

Santa Baby, Hurry Down the Chimney Tonight 

With a gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free chocolate and vanilla, cheesecake for me.

Sung to the tune of Santa Baby, in my best Eartha Kitt voice. 

Okay, these were an absolute hit at Christmas Eve dessert table! Kids and adults alike loved them and no one seemed to care that they were missing the gluten, dairy and refined sugar typically found in regular cheesecake. Not to mention, they're vegan.

Yes it is possible to make a dessert that ALL your guests will enjoy no matter their dietary preferences!  

Note: Map out your circles across the top of your chocolate layer. Save the scraps. 

To make these Santa hat cheesecake bites you will need a chocolate cheesecake with a coconut pecan base (I made it in a springform pan but you might consider using parchment paper cupcake liners), vanilla creme cooled in plastic baggies for easy squeezing and strawberries. That's it!

A few notes to keep in...

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The Spicy Sister, Corn Chowder with Heat [GF, DF, SF]

The Spicy Sister, Corn Chowder with Heat

Okay, so I was in the kitchen the other day making one of my favorite soup recipes - my Spicy, Summer Corn Chowder. It's a little taste of summer, with a touch of fall and soooooo good. As I was gathering the ingredients, I realized I was a little short on celery. So I decided to see what else I could add in place. I looked around and found two poblano peppers and a bunch of yellow potatoes. Perfect! 

I didn't think it would change the recipe that much, but it kind of did! It was still similar to the original corn chowder recipe but, now it was even spicier - and I loved it! Plus I added potatoes this time, which I purposely left out of the original because white potatoes can be inflammatory to some people, myself included. 

However, they are traditionally part of corn chowder, so in they went. This added more density to the soup. And the next thing I knew, a spicier, heartier version of my original corn chowder was born. The...

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Layered Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

dessert recipes Oct 25, 2018

The Best Pumpkin Pie Recipe You Need to Make

This pumpkin pie cheesecake checks ALL the boxes!

Raw. Vegan. Gluten Free. Dairy Free. Refined Sugar Free. And totally easy to make. 

Not to mention it's the perfect addition to the Thanksgiving table. And it gives you something to do with all those extra Halloween pumpkins. However, from scratch pumpkin puree is not necessary. You can definitely use boxed or BPA free canned pumpkin to save time!

Just Be Prepared for What Your Guests Will Say. . . 

I LOVE the texture of the crust! 

Wow, the sweetness is JUST RIGHT!

It really tastes like cheesecake - how did you make it?!

And. . .I want that recipe!!!

Yup, these are real reactions from my lucky taste testers. 

I'm telling you, your guests will be saying the same things. And since this cheesecake is refined sugar free, using only a few dates and some maple syrup, you won't have anybody crashing after dessert. The balance of healthy fats with natural...

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7 Ways to Add Protein to Your Smoothie, with Real, Whole Foods

3 Things You Need for a Healthy Smoothie

Smoothies are a great way to start the day. They are incredibly easy to make, gentle on the digestive system and provide the body with nutrient dense, clean fuel. That is, if you use the right ingredients.

First things first, what ingredients should you be adding to your smoothie?

Three important things. Protein, healthy fats, and fiber.

But...this is only a winning combination if you use clean ingredients. And let’s be honest, I know you’ve looked at the ingredient labels on protein powders and thought to yourself, there’s an awful lot of ingredients in this powder, is it really healthy?

Protein powders are notoriously loaded with sugar and other junk ingredients that are absolutely, not necessary. You can literally get you protein fill from single sources using real, whole foods.

The Importance of Protein

So let’s talk a little more about protein. A healthy serving per meal is about 15 grams, which along with...

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Spicy, Summer Corn Chowder

dinner recipes soup Sep 22, 2018

Corn Chowder, Without the Dairy

Don't say goodbye to summer without making this spicy corn chowder! There's something about freshly husked corn that takes the flavor of this soup to a whole new level. Don't get me wrong, you can totally make this with frozen corn from the grocery store (just make sure it's organic - because who wants to eat GMOs), but if you can sneak in one last trip to your local farm for some fresh corn, I totally would.

And can we just talk about the fact that this is also dairy free. There is no heavy cream in this soup. Instead, I was able to get the beautiful consistency and taste with cashews and steamed cauliflower. 

I know cauliflower can sometimes be a little messy to make - but the good news is, you don't have to cut into the cauliflower at all. Just unwrap it from the packaging, remove the green leaves (honestly probably not even necessary) and place the whole head in a steamer basket. That's it. No mess at all. You'll then allow that to cool...

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How to Build a Healing Team of Likeminded Practitioners

healing team Sep 16, 2018

 

As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. Healing the body is no exception. When we seek out a team of like minded practitioners, a village, to support us on our journey, we can get to the root of the issue, and heal, once and for all.

But who should you choose to put on your healing team? That’s a great question.

Below is a framework of people you might consider adding to your team. For each role, seek out recommendations from friends and family first. Make an appointment and try the practitioner “for size.” Notice how the connection feels with that person. If it’s a good fit, keep working together. If not, remember they can still teach you something. Look for the lesson, the knowledge, the understanding each person can give you. Then keep going.

Choosing your people is a critical part of your journey and while it isn’t always easy to find the one, it will make or break your healing success. Choose wisely -- intuitively.

Assume...

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The 5 Step Meal Planning Framework

Healthy Eating Starts with a Plan

Healthy eating can seem like a daily battle when you have no idea what to eat, aren’t stocked with health supporting foods (grab my guide here) and don’t have the energy to prep something after a long day at work. Instead of setting yourself up for failure, why not set yourself up for success? It all starts with your weekly meal plan and prep. And once you get in the groove, you can easily streamline the process and settle into better health as a result of your fruitful labor.

So what should you do to ensure you eat healthy all week long? 

Follow this 5 step framework for healthy eating success all week long.  


The 5 Step Process to Healthy Eating Success

Step #1: Schedule a Recipe Inspiration Session (on your couch with a glass of natural wine)

It's quite easy to get stuck in a rut on what to eat each week. So why not get inspired by setting aside some time to browse your favorite cookbooks, trusted online...

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Cacio e Pepe, My Way

dinner recipes Aug 09, 2018

Home, Away From Home

It’s no secret that I love Italy. I’m pretty sure in another life I lived under the Tuscan sun. And I’m almost certain that I will live there again at some stage in this life. Until then I will cook up my favorite Italian recipes for a bit of nostalgia. During my many travels back to my soul land, I used to love getting a dish called, Cacio e Pepe. It’s a creamy pasta that I absolutely adore and it translates to “cheese and pepper.” What could be better in Italy, right?

However, as someone with a gluten sensitivity, I no longer eat pasta, unless of course it is gluten free. And I'm pretty particular, I love my gluten free pasta to be by Jovial Foods. If you haven’t started using their products, go check them out. They use the finest ingredients and even have a farm in Tuscany where they grow some of their products. All around perfect!

Recipe Revising

So back to the dish. I decided to recreate this recipe by putting...

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Blender Friendly Granola

recipes Jul 28, 2018

Have you ever made homemade granola?

I've tried quite a few recipes over the years. Unfortunately, I was always left disappointed at the lack of chunky granola goodness. But I knew chunky was possible because many of the store bought brands had the texture I loved. However, they were also filled with sugar and gluten. So I decided I was going to figure out the secret to creating a chunky granola - one I could make at home, without the added sugar and without the gluten.

Well I'm here to tell you I found the secret ingredient. And now I'm sharing it with you - so you can always get that chunky texture everyone loves, and never be disappointed.

What's the secret you might be asking? Just add nut or seed butter. It's that simple.

Adding almond butter or tahini (my favorite way) will enable the nuts and seeds to stick together and stay together as they bake. Once the mixture cools, you will have the chunkiest, tastiest granola ever. And the best part - it was made by you, with love and...

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