Spaghetti Squash Quinoa Cakes (gluten free, vegetarian, delicious!)

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Happy Thursday, guys! I haven’t posted a recipe in a while…I totally admit to neglecting my blog a little bit. I have been taking my 200 hour yoga certification class which I have been putting off for YEARS. But it is totally LIFE changing!! On top of that, and my other full time job and teaching yoga and being a mom and oh yeah planning a wedding…I totally put this on the back burner for a hot minute. BUT–I am back with an awesome recipe. I have never used Spaghetti Squash in this way. These babies took me back to the days of growing up eating homemade potato pancakes! These are made with cooked quinoa, spaghetti squash, kale (you can use spinach if you want), parmesan cheese, gluten free flour and eggs. So simple, yet they were soooooo delicious. Let me know what you think!!

What you will need:

  • 1 Spaghetti Squash, cooked previously (I did mine a day before)
    • Heat oven to 425 degrees and cut squash in half. Remove seeds and center. Spray with coconut oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook cut side down so the outside of the squash is facing up for 35 minutes or so until the squash is nice and soft and you can scrape (just to check if it’s done) the edges to see the “spaghetti”. LET COOL and then finish scraping the sides so all the “spaghetti” shows!!! After, try squeezing as much water out of the “noodles” using paper towels over the sink. You can store the spaghetti squash in the fridge for up to 5 days which helps remove the liquid in it. I waited only one day.
  • 2 cups COOKED quinoa
  • 2/3 Cup flour (I used Red Mill’s All purpose gluten free flour)
  • 1 cup uncooked, finely chopped Kale (or whatever green you would like)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup of finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • Green onion for topping
  • sour cream or greek yogurt for topping
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. In a kitchenaid or bowl with hand mixer add the 2 eggs and beat on high for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add flour and beat on medium to combine – another minute or so.
  3. Add spaghetti squash, quinoa, kale, garlic, and cheese and mix on medium until fully combined.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Heat a pan on extremely high heat (the cakes will stick unless the pan in hot).
  6. Then add some olive or coconut oil to the pan, it should sizzle and maybe smoke just a little bit.
  7. Drop a large spoonful of the batter 4 times onto the pan and use a spatula to round out the shape and flatten a little bit.
  8. Cook 2 minutes or so, I actually preferred the outside a bit crunchy so I would leave them on for a little longer.
  9. Then flip, cooking additional 1-2 minutes.
  10. Turn heat off of the pan and allow the cakes to chill in there still cooking for another 1-2 minutes (check if they are too burnt and skip this step if you want, I preferred to do this step every time).
  11. Remove cakes from pan and place on plate.
  12. Continue process until all batter is used.
  13. Season with salt and pepper, garnish with the green onion and add a dollop of sour cream or greek yogurt (preferably organic!!) if you would like for a classic potato pancake flavor.
  14. Enjoy!

Hope you all enjoy these cakes as much as my family did yesterday. It is a great way to get some extra veggies in your diet. Here’s to a healthy and happy you, xo!

Ancient Ayurvedic Practice: The Neti Pot

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Have you heard of the Neti Pot before? It’s one of the more popular Ayurvedic practices in the Western World…you can even find them sold at Wal-Mart (I know, shocking!). It may be thousands of years old, but it is one of the best at-home remedies to cure or prevent a cold!

Now that Fall is here in full swing, I can’t help but hear people with the sniffles. Our bodies are AMAZING-There is an ENTIRE universe inside of us that operates on its own. Creating new cells, fighting off bad bacteria, making sure our heart beats, and our lungs breathe oxygen and convert it to carbon dioxide, etc. Our nasal passages are one of the first defenses combating illness, allergens, irritants, and even pollution! There are little hairs in there that trap the bad stuff and try to get rid of it via mucus production.

The Neti Pot is a nasal saline irrigation therapy. Neti pots can be made of plastic, ceramic, glass and other materials–My opinion on the bacteria alone is to stay away from plastic. (Although you may remember my views on plastic in this old blog post here.) My neti pot is ceramic and I love being able to put it in the dishwasher for a deep clean.

During the fall/winter time or when it’s your allergy season I would incorporate the Neti pot into your morning routine every single day. I know it’s tough to incorporate yet another thing into your morning regimen especially when it’s cold and your bed is beckoning you to stay for a few more hours, but this will truly help prevent illness and clear out the sinuses for the rest of the day. If I am feeling under the weather I will incorporate the routine morning and night.

Neti Pot Benefits*:

  • Reduces snoring!!!-every gf should gift this for Christmas!
  • Cleared nostrils resulting in improved breathing
  • Reducing dryness in your nose
  • Helping with sinus headaches
  • Improved sense of taste and smell
  • Allergy relief
  • Allowing deeper breathing
  • Prevention cold/illness
  • Reduces the need for over the counter medications or going to see your doctor

*Benefits are from SpiritScience’s article, seen here.

The most important part of using the neti pot is using distilled water–I boil mine extra and then let it cool down to just warm before using in the netipot.

Let me know if you guys have any questions!

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

Sick? My 3 Steps to feeling better!

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It’s that time of year again…the sniffles, head cold, sore throat, allergies, feeling crappy “season.” I used to run to the doctor whenever I thought I had a cold and always left with a script for antibiotics. YIKES. If you read my blog before, you know how I feel about antibiotics- they are an AMAZING drug but scientifically it is best to save them for the time(s) you REALLY need them (hopefully never!)

Most common colds and ailments can be cured holistically by my 3 step method! The key is to start the regimen at the FIRST sign of feeling sick (waking up with a sore throat, a case of the sniffles, etc.)

What you will need:

  • Pink Himalayan Salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Local Honey (better if Raw!)
  • Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (Bragg’s pictured above is my favorite)

My 3-Step Sickness Cure:

  1. Salt Water Gargle
    • Dissolve pink salt into warm water. GARGLE and spit out contents several times until the water mixture is gone. The salt will do a wonderful job of destroying the icky bacteria but leaves the good stuff in the back of the throat. Win, win.
  2. Shot of Apple Cider Vinegar
    • Shots, shots, shots! Take a shot of apple cider vinegar. WARNING- this is the toughest part of the 3 steps. I don’t pour an entire shot because it really is tough to take. BUT, the benefits of this outweigh the difficulty of keeping it down. You will get used to it!
  3. Spoonful of local honey with cinnamon
    • This is my favorite step to the process- pour some honey on a spoon and top with cinnamon. Both have beautiful natural antibiotic effects – try to coat the back of your throat as you suck on the spoon.

Pretty soon, you will be back feeling well in no time! I repeat this process morning and night until I am feeling better. It has worked for me for years and I swear by it!

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