Your Menu Awaits You!

Every New Years Eve we all make vows to ourselves to be healthier and stick to it! Well this year you will and we can start with your 5 course menu! I put together a fun health inspired menu to kick off 2015 the right way! Get in the kitchen and start loving your food and preparing foods that will love your body back! All dishes are created to make you feel good about what you are putting into your body. No guilt here!

Feel free to make any of these dishes more of your own! Below you will find an appetizer, salad, main course with a side and a desert. None of these dishes are overly complicated to prepare and contain food items that we can all find in our local grocery stores. Plus OMG – there are bound to be leftovers you can enjoy!
APPETIZER: LEMON ZEST ROASTED CHICKPEAS
CHICKPEAS
Snack on these babies while you are whipping up your dinner feast and watching football games2  cups cooked chickpeas

(1-2) tbsp olive oil

sea salt to taste (about 1/4 tsp)

OPTIONAL: black pepper, paprika, oregano, pizza spices, garlic powder

(1) lemon for grating the zest

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place chickpeas on a paper towel and pat as dry as you can. Try to remove any loose skins and place on a baking sheet that has been lightly rubbed with about (2) tbsp olive oil. Roll around to coat. Sprinkle with optional spices or seasonings of your choice and toss well to coat, making sure chickpeas are in a single layer.

Bake for 15 minutes, toss well and flip, then bake for about 15 minutes more, until crisp and crunchy looking. Remove from the oven and transfer to a bowl. Add the grated lemon zest if using and toss into the hot chickpeas and allow to cool.

SALAD COURSE- STRAWBERRY, AVOCADO AND SPINACH SALAD

This is a far cry from the average spinach salad. Bursting with fresh strawberries and the bright clean flavors of mustard, your taste buds are in for a real treat!

Not only is this salad super tasty, it is also really nourishing. By combining the iron rich spinach with the vitamin C rich strawberries and bell peppers, you will be increasing your body’s capacity for absorbing iron by up to 30%. The dressing for this salad is sweet, sour and a little spicy, perfectly balanced!

STRAWBERRYSALAD

Salad Ingredients:

1 cup strawberries, sliced

1 bell pepper, sliced

1 container of organic baby spinach

1 diced avocado

2 chopped green onions

Dressing Ingredients:

2 tbsp mustard

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp miso or pinch sea salt

½ small zucchini, diced

Directions: Place all salad ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Place all dressing ingredients in a personal or high speed blender and blend until smooth. Pour dressing over salad, toss and enjoy!

MAIN ENTREE – MUSHROOM BOURGUIGNON WITH SMASHED POTATOES

MAINDISH1 tsp oil (olive or coconut)

1lb Portobello mushrooms, stems cut off and discarded, mushrooms cut into 2 in cubes

2lbs white mushrooms, sliced

1 stalk celery, diced

1 carrot, diced

1 onion, sliced

4 gloves garlic, minced

2 tsp dried thyme

2 cups red wine (full bodied wine is the best to use, if you wouldn’t drink it don’t cook with it)

3 Tbsp tomato paste

2 cups low sodium vegetable stock

Salt and pepper

2 diced shallots

2 Tbsp cornstarch

4 Tbsp cold water

Heat oil in pot. Add both types of mushrooms, sauté until lightly browned.

Add celery, onion and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes.

Add thyme, red wine, tomato paste and stock.

Cook for 20 minutes or until liquid has reduced by ½.

Add diced shallots

Mix cornstarch and COLD water together until all the cornstarch is dissolved.

Add ½ the cornstarch mixture into the mushroom stew. Stir in the cornstarch. Bring stew to a simmer and wait a few minutes. Check sauce thickness, if it is not thick enough repeat this step with the rest of the cornstarch.

SERVE ON TOP OF your choice of:

1 cup of mashed potatoes, I like to use the golden potatoes or the redskin potatoes. Steam and mash with fresh herbs, sea salt and any other seasonings you like.  If I make mashed potatoes I will add in some almond milk or vegetable broth. I  personally do not use butter but I will sometimes use either a few TBSP of coconut oil or tahini (sesame seed paste) both of those add a much healthier fat.

This dish can also be served on any kind of grain or pasta as well.

The mushrooms give a very “meaty” feel to the meal but if you want to add a grilled chicken breast or any other lean meat option that is totally fine as well!

SIDE – RAINBOW ROASTED VEGETABLES

VEGGIES

3-4 carrots, peeled and sliced
4 parsnips, peeled and sliced
1 red onion, chopped into large wedges
3 cups chopped broccoli
1 bell pepper, chopped into large chunks
1 zucchini, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
Seasoning of choice (Mrs. Dash, Salt & Pepper, Garlic)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut all veggies and place in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil and seasoning, toss. Place in large sprayed casserole dish. Place in oven (uncovered) and cook for 20 minutes, toss, then cook another 20 minutes or until done.

DESSERT-  BANANA RASPBERRY MOUSSE

RASBERRYMOOSEServes 2 Makes a great evening snack.

Blend in food processor:

1 cup of plain greek yogurt or  dairy free coconut milk yogurt

2 bananas

2 TBSP of raspberry preserves (or any flavor you like)

1 TSP vanilla extract

1-2 pitted dates

Blend until smooth then you can refrigerate or set in freezer for a few hours so it is nice and chilled or slightly frozen in the freezer, top with a few fresh raspberries or any other berry.

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