Thanksgiving Butternut Squash and Spinach Stuffed Shells w/ Sage Browned Butter (gluten free!)

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Ok if you have any vegetarian guests to your Thanksgiving this year, you HAVE to make this dish. I made it for our Friendsgiving a few weekends ago and it is now one of my favorite recipes. These are not as sweet as traditional butternut squash ravioli, they are salty and savory and the SAGE BROWNED BUTTER IS THE BOMB.

I made these with gluten free brown rice shells however, you can easily make it with regular shells if you <3 gluten. Let me know what you guys think!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 container of butternut squash, precut (to reduce time, but you can always buy and cut yourself) **COSTCO sells the perfect size and it’s ORGANIC!!!**
  • 1 Box of Pasta Shells (gluten free if you’d like)
  • 2 Cups of Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan
  • 1 big handful of spinach, chop after measuring with your hand
  • 1 Lemon (zest plus juice)
  • Pink Salt/Pepper
  • 10 FRESH Sage leaves
  • 1 Stick of Butter (original recipe calls for that, however, I chose 1/2 stick plus 1/2 cup olive oil)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Olive Oil

Directions:

  1. Begin by preheating oven to 425 degrees F. Toss the cubed butternut squash with 1-2 TBSP of olive oil, pink salt and pepper and roast in oven for 15-20 min (should be soft and able to mash with a fork when done)–As soon as the squash is ready, take a handheld blender and make sure it is whipped up nice and evenly- place in fridge to cool to room temperature.
  2. Reduce oven to 400 degrees
  3. Boil Water for Pasta Shells and cook according to the box directions
  4. In a bowl, combine ricotta, parmesan, room temperature squash, garlic, spinach, egg, salt, pepper, and the fresh lemon zest from 1 lemon. MIX WELL!
  5. Spray a 9×13 inch pan (I used glass!) with coconut oil non stick spray
  6. When the pasta shells are finished cooking, run cool water over them and begin to fill them with the butternut squash and cheese mixture – you might not use all the shells depending on how much mix you use– I opted to make a quick fix with remaining cheese and spinach and made a few w/o the squash!
  7. Place stuffed shells in oven for 18-20 minutes, until hot all the way through
  8. While shells are baking, take a small sauce pan and place the stick of butter OR 1/2 stick plus olive oil mixture depending on your preference. Add the sage leaves, juice of one lemon and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Heat over medium low heat for about 10-12 minutes making sure to frequently stir the mixture. The mixture should be a darker color when it is finished and the leaves should be crispy.
  10. After the shells are finished cooking, pour butter mixture over top and serve with crispy sage leaves!

Enjoy!

 

Here’s to a healthy and happy you, xo

Caramelized Sweet Potato & Quinoa Salad (vegan, gluten-free, healthy!)

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Always my little helper!

Salad can be fun! I used to think restaurant salads were so much better than salads you made at home. While I was right on a certain level, mostly because they use tons of sugar to make you like their salads– I just didn’t understand you can think of a salad less traditionally. This WARM, toasty, CARAMELIZED sweet potato, quinoa salad with organic Arugula, Italian basil and white beans is by far one of my favorites. It’s a great dish for the fall but in a pinch, can be a quick cold lunch salad!

What you will need:

  • 1 Can of organic white beans
  • 1 Sweet Potato
  • Organic Arugula (or greens of your choice)
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Handful of Italian basil, ripped
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1tbsp of Annie’s organic balsamic salad dressing
  • Balsamic Reduction
  • Olive oil
  • pink salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degree f
  2. Chop sweet potato into small cubes
  3. Prepare quinoa as directed, add salt to water it cooks in
  4. Place cubes of sweet potato on cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 17 min, for 3 minutes broil on high, remove from heat right away
  6. In a pan, saute onion, garlic and beans until onion is translucent
  7. Add cooked quinoa, sweet potatoes, basil, season with salt and pepper
  8. Wash and dry arugula or your choice of greens
  9. In a large bowl, place arugula and drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper
  10. Add Annie’s dressing and 1 tablespoon or more of balsamic vinegar, and olive oil to the hot pan with cooked arugula, beans etc…
  11. When it is all mixed, remove from heat and add directly to the arugula bowl
  12. Mix and drizzle with balsamic reduction, plate!

I hope you guys like this recipe, I came up with it last night in a pinch…Enjoy!

 

Here’s to a healthy and happy you! xo

Gluten Free PB Banana Cupcakes!

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Happy FRIDAYYYY! My friend had a birthday yesterday so I decided to whip up these babies in the kitchen. I found a recipe online from GlutenFree with LB (Check it out here) and worked off of that to create my own! I typically try to stay away from Cane Sugar, but a birthday calls for something you don’t typically have on the regular 😉

Sofia was my little helper- she loves mixing things and taste testing. This Peanut Butter Cream Cheese frosting was seriously out of this world. Hope you guys enjoy the recipe.

What you will need:

For the Cupcake:

  • ½ c. organic butter, softened, unsalted
  • 1 ½ c. organic granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ c. milk
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 ¼ c. white rice flour – (I used gluten free all purpose flour)
  • ¾ c. tapioca starch
  • 1 t. xanthan gum (I had no clue what this was, a lot of GF mixes have it in already!)
  • (Or 2 c. all purpose flour for the non-GF)
  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 t. of pink himalayan salt
  • 1/2 c of mini chocolate chips
  • Cupcake Liners (I found an unbleached, eco friendly brand called “If you care”)

For the icing:

  • 4 T. cream cheese, softened, (I used half a block of organic cream cheese)
  • 4 T. organic butter, softened
  • ¼ c. organic peanut butter (I used a CUP!)
  • 6 c. powdered sugar (I used half this amount)
  • 2-3 T. milk
  • 1 t. vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes (I used my Kitchenaid but a handheld mixer will work, too!)
  3. Add eggs and bananas. Mix until combined.
  4. Combine soda, flour, starch and gum in a separate bowl. Alternatively add flour mix and milk to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour.
  5. Add chocolate Chips to mixture and the teaspoon of salt.
  6. Line cupcake tray with liners and spritz each one with Coconut Oil non-stick spray. Fill liners with batter to ¾ full.
  7. Bake for 24-28 minutes, or until tops are golden brown.
  8. While cupcakes are baking, prepare peanut butter frosting, I started with the butter and cream cheese, then added sugar and peanut butter and the rest of the ingredients. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting– I put the frosting into a ziploc bag and cut off one of the bottom ends to filter the frosting out so it turned out pretty 🙂
  9. Enjoy!

 

Here’s to a healthy and happy you! xo

Gluten-Free Almond Joy Granola (Bars)

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These granola (bars) are bomb. I accidentally just ate half- woops! These are a much healthier version of the “chewy bar” or the stuff you find at the grocery store. I wish I could call them BARS but they kind of crumble together and become yummy granola pieces. Apparently, this is because I adapted a recipe online that had brown sugar and butter and opted for coconut oil and maple syrup- so I will be experimenting in the future and coming back with another recipe. But in the meantime, here you go!

What you will need:

  • 2 1/2 cups of Gluten free old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup of slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup of Agave or Honey
  • 1/4 cup of Coconut Oil
  • 1/3 cup of maple syrup – I actually think it was too sweet, next time I will add less!
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink himalayan salt
  • 1/2 cup of shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup (or more, who is counting anyways) of chocolate chips
  • Parchment paper or aluminum foil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit
  2. Place almonds and oats on a rimmed baking sheet
  3. Place in oven for 9 minutes (give or take) to gently toast
  4. In the meantime, in a small saucepan add the coconut oil, maple syrup and agave or honey
  5. When it has fully combined and started to bubble, remove from heat and add salt and vanilla extract
  6. Take the oat mix out of the oven and pour the mixture in sauce pan over the oats and almonds, coating generously…add the coconut and combine evenly. Allow to cool 10-15 minutes before adding the chocolate chips!
  7. Use a spatula and make sure all oats/and additions are coated in the syrupy sauce
  8. Take a 9×9 pan and place aluminum or parchment paper, spray with non stick spray (I love the coconut oil one!)
  9. Place chocolate chips on the bottom of the pan
  10. Take mixture from pan and place in pan, pressing firmly with the spatula
  11. Top with coconut and chocolate chips
  12. Refrigerate for AT LEAST 2 hours… I took mine out a little early because I was craving a taste
  13. These hold up well in the fridge or freezer. You can store at room temperature but there are no preservatives so eat within a few days

Let me know what you guys think! Sofia loved to steal all the chocolate chips as pictured above.

Here’s to a healthy and happy you! xo

 

Cauliflower Pizza – Toddler/Family Approved!

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We are PIZZA people. I mean do you know anyone who doesn’t like pizza? Comeeee on! But regular pizza is essentially fast food despite my many years of trying to equate it to something a little healthier. The reality is with the fat to carbohydrate ratio, combined with the sugar hidden in the crust, the sauce and the toppings– pizza is not so good for you. Cue sad emoji.

BUT- Cauliflower pizza is a great substitute. Now, now….I had my reservations, too. It’s not a New York slice by any means, but it is truly delicious. In fact, I can successfully state that the one I made tonight is in our belly’s with not a crumb to spare.

Here’s what you need:

  • Pizza Stone (You can order one here or checkout your local TJ Maxx or Homegoods)
  • Food Processor (ours is DeLonghi, but you can use whichever one is best for you!)
  • A clean dish towel
  • 1 Head of Organic Cauliflower
  • 1 Cup of Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup or so of Pizza Sauce or Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Clove of Fresh Minced Garlic
  • 1 Organic Egg
  • 1/2 TSP Italian Seasoning (I used parsley, oregano, garlic, pepper and salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon himalayan pink salt
  • Basil for topping and crust, chopped finely
  • 1.5 cups or so of shredded organic mozzarella cheese
  • Parchment paper
  • Optional: meat or veggie toppings of your choice!
  • Large Cookie Sheet
  • Olive Oil

Instructions:

  1. Pour yourself a glass of wine to start. Oh maybe that was just me…
  2. Put pizza stone in oven while it is at room temperature and then pre-heat oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Wash cauliflower and chop up, place in food processor and pulse until it is the consistency of rice or cous cous.
  4. Open a clean dish towel and pour contents of food processor onto towel.
  5. Fold contents up in towel and squeeze trying to remove as much water from the cauliflower as possible.
  6. In a large bowl, add the cauliflower, parmesan, Italian seasoning or my version above, some basil, minced garlic, some black pepper and pink salt, egg. Mix until the mixture flattens and sticks together.
  7. Take a baking sheet and flip it upside down so the bottom is facing up. Place parchment paper on top of it and drizzle olive oil over it. Sprinkle pink salt over oil.
  8. Place mixture on top of olive oil and then flatten into a thin crust.
  9. Dab with paper towels to remove any more moisture from cauliflower.
  10. Place just the parchment paper with uncooked crust directly on pizza stone and cook for 15 minutes.
  11. Take parchment paper out but leave stone in oven.
  12. Put sauce and cheese (or additional toppings) on pizza crust and cook for additional 4 minutes.
  13. Take entire pizza stone out and let cool, top with fresh basil and seasoning/toppings of your choice (we drizzled balsamic glaze over it- it was delicious!)

Here’s to a healthy and happy you! xo