Gluten Free Salmon Cakes with Spiralized Cucumber and Roasted Red Pepper Aioli Sauce

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Coming home from the amazing Mii Amo Spa, I am still craving all of those wonderful spa flavors. We have a great new online Farmers Market that is just getting going in our area and they offer Wild Salmon that is amazing. If you are from this area, be sure to check them out here:http://www.localharvestmarket.co. I am all for cooking once, eating twice so I wanted to make something with my leftover salmon. These were DELISH and even had my picky husbands approval.

These are the ingredients I used for Salmon cakes. I have used fresh raw Salmon before and also canned salmon so improvise with what you have. I change out many of the ingredients and customize it to what I have. Get creative!

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Chop everything and add to a bowl.

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gently folding in the salmon last

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Fry in a non stick pan if you can (I rarely use non stick anymore but I have some for things like this) because the are very fragile.

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Serve on a lettuce leaf and top with spiralized cucumbers and red pepper garlic aioli sauce.

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WILD SALMON CAKES WITH ROASTED RED PEPPER AOILI AND SPIRALIZED CUCUMBER

  • 12 ounces of chopped/flaked salmon, cooked, fresh, or canned (adjust cooking accordingly)
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons diced green onion                                                                                                        
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced  red peppers
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 organic free range egg
  • 1/4 cup very gluten free panko crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • Himilayan Pink salt and pepper

Mix together all the ingredients except the salmon,  gently fold in the salmon and shape into cakes (2, 3, or 4 depending on preference for size) Cook in non stick skillet over medium heat for a couple minutes until browned on one side. Lower heat to medium low, turn the cakes, and cover for another 5 minutes or so until cooked through. Serve on top of butter lettuce leaf, top with spiralized or sliced cucumber, and fresh roasted red pepper aioli sauce. 

Roasted Red Pepper Aioli Sauce  

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  • 1/4 cup healthy mayo (I used earth balance mindful Mayo)
  • 1/4 cup roasted red peppers
  • 1 clove garlic
  • zest of a lemon

Blend the mayo, red peppers, and garlic in food processor. Add in lemon zest and serve. 

I am a fan of cook once, eat multiple times. This salmon cakes came from our dinner Sunday night. I broiled Salmon for dinner and saved half for this recipe.

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Place fillets, zest of one lemon, 1-2 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1 TBSP fresh chopped rosemary in a large zip-top plastic bag. Seal and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

Remove fillets from marinade, discarding marinade. Place fillets, skin side down, on a rack in broiler pan.

Broil fish 5 1/2 inches from heat 10 to 12 minutes or until fillets flake easily with a fork.

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I hope you enjoy!

Fall Roasted Veggies

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Roasted Root Vegetables

4-6 servings

Ingredients
1 sweet potato and or squash
2 parsnips
2 carrots
2 turnips or 1 large rutabaga
1 daikon radish
Beets
olive oil
salt and pepper
herbs: rosemary, thyme or sage (fresh if possible)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Wash and chop all vegetables into large bite-sized pieces.
3. Place in a large baking dish with sides.
4. Drizzle with olive oil; mix well to coat each vegetable lightly.
5. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs.
6. Bake uncovered for 25-35 minutes until vegetables are tender and golden brown, checking every 10 minutes to stir and make sure veggies are not sticking.

Note: Any combination of vegetables will work. Roasting only one kind of vegetable also makes a nice side dish.

Variation: For a sweet vs. savory variation use cinnamon instead of herbs.

I love topping a fresh green salad with roasted veggies in the Fall for more of a comfort and warm feel.

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Creamy Broccoli and Gouda Cheese Soup

I just went to my local farmers market, Alexandria’s Farmers Market, this weekend and scored some delicious treasures. I bought this beautiful broccoli and this aged raw gouda cheese from grass fed cows from a local farm Fruitful Seasons Dairy . Check them out, you will not be disappointed. I typically eat dairy free but if I choose dairy (because my body gets angry at me when I eat it),  I like raw and aged cheese that comes from grass fed cows so this is perfect, plus it is local!!!!  Raw milk cheese is a complete food, containing proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, cholesterol, and probiotics. It  contains all of the 8 essential amino acids (the building blocks for protein and we need to get this from our diet). When traditional dairy is heated, some of these benefits are destroyed. This soup is gluten free and can be made dairy free by leaving the gouda out and was done in about 30 minutes.

The Broccoli (I used two of these)

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The star of the show, the Cheese!

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The seasonings

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Mashed sweet potatoes add nutrients and creaminess without the added cream, flour, and butter.

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This soup tastes delicious dairy and cheese free too so If you are dairy free, just leave the gouda out.

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But if you want to add a creamy amazing goodness to it, add it in! You will not be disappointed.

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Broccoli and Gouda Cheese Soup

2 cups of fresh broccoli, chopped into tiny florets (set 1/3 aside to steam for topping)
3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup of raw milk aged gouda cheese made from grass fed cows, freshly grated, rind removed (extra for garnish)
1 cup of shredded or finely chopped carrots
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup precooked and mashed sweet potato
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
Himalayan pink salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Bring the onion, carrots, 2/3 of the broccoli, bay leaf and the garlic to a simmer with the stock. Simmer for 15 minutes or so.  Remove the bay leaf and add in the mashed sweet potato. Blend a little with immersion blender or add half into your Vitamix and blend to desired texture. I like to leave a little texture in my soup. Add in your seasonings. If you want it dairy free, stop here , top with a serving of remaining steamed broccoli and crushed red pepper flakes, and enjoy. If you want the creamy smokey goodness of the gouda, add in the cheese. Melt over low heat until blended.  Top with more grated cheese. steamed florets, and crushed red pepper flakes.

My belly is really happy!

I cannot wait until the next Farmers Market! If you have a local farmers market or access to a CSA share, check them out. It is a great way to try new things.

MUCH LOVE,

Drea 

 

HEALTHY SNACK IDEAS

BAKED APPLES

Healthy Snack Ideas

Cravings happen even to the healthiest of us. Often, when a craving hits in the afternoon or the evening after dinner, we get the urge to snack. Snacking can be a bad habit to get into, because the snacks we choose are often junky, un-nutritious, and high in calories, sugar, or fat.

The trick to snacking without piling on the pounds is to find healthy alternatives to the regular snacks you might normally reach for.

Usually, when we get a craving it is for either something sweet (chocolate), savory (potato chips), creamy (ice cream), or crunchy (crisps). Obviously, my examples are foods you shouldn’t eat all the time or in excess if you want to be trim and healthy. But that doesn’t mean you have to fight your cravings for the rest of your life. Instead, you just need to substitute.

Next time you get a craving for something sweet, why not try:

  • fresh, whole fruit
  • apples and almond butter or peanut but dip (recipe below)
  • dried fruit
  • green smoothies
  • banana “ice cream” (peel a banana, freeze, blend in a food processor with nuts, berries or  raisins ,and serve)
  • dates stuffed with almond butter or other nut butter
  • organic dark chocolate chips or carob chips

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For your savory cravings, try these healthy alternatives:

  • olives
  • pickles and pickled vegetables, such as carrot, daikon, beets, and lotus root
  • tabouli, hummus
  • steamed vegetables with tamari/shoyu or umeboshi vinegar
  • freshly made salsa or guacamole
  • Sauerkraut (will also knock your sweet craving right out!) My favorite is Bubbie’s!
  • salted edamame
  • Sunflower Seed or Pumpkin Seed Pate with veggies

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Your creamy cravings can be met by eating:

  • smoothies
  • avocados
  • rice pudding
  • dips and spreads, like hummus and baba ghanoush
  • puréed soups
  • puddings made with silken tofu, avocado, or mashed banana
  • mashed sweet potatoes
  • coconut milk
  • avocado pudding

AVOCADO

Finally, don‘t cave and reach for the Pringles, when you can eat these crunchy (but still healthy) snacks:

  • apples
  • frozen grapes
  • rice cakes
  • light popcorn or plain popcorn (use coconut oil to pop in a covered pan)
  • carrots (particularly the sweet, organic baby carrots)
  • celery and nut butter
  • raw, unsalted nuts like cashews, almonds, and walnuts
  • kale chips
  • baked apple chips (Summer Cleanse)

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Don’t fight your craving. Instead, listen to what it is your body wants specifically and choose the healthier option that will be good to your waistline.

 

5 Surprising Beauty Foods

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5 Surprising Beauty Foods

All fresh fruits and vegetables contain magical powers when it comes to shiny hair, clear skin, and strong nails. However, the ones I’ve chosen below are perhaps not as well known for their powerful beauty benefits. Try and include these foods into your diet if you want to look your best without the need for botox or other unnatural remedies.

  1. Red Peppers. All red and orange colored foods contain beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant. Red peppers are particularly beautifying due to the minerals A, C, and K. Vitamins A and C can help prevent cell damage that leads to premature ageing, and they can also reduce inflammation, which can cause a puffy-looking face. Pepper also has Vitamin K, which is an excellent property for protecting our cells from damage.
  2. Spinach. All leafy greens are actually very powerful in terms of being a beauty food because of the chlorophyll they contain. There are also loads of other phytochemicals and fiber in spinach that help build blood that is super clean and which will show through in your skin.
  3. Turmeric. This yellow-colored, Indian spice has a load of powerful antioxidant qualities. Turmeric assists in protecting our cells from free radical damage and also contributes towards cleaning up metabolic waste in our systems. It is also great as a liver flusher to get rid of any poisons and chemicals which are stored there.
  4. Pumpkin Seeds. Wow, these really are powerful. What don’t pumpkin seeds have in them?! The humble pumpkin seed contains high levels of zinc, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B, C, and E. Pumpkin seeds are also a great source of amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids, all essential for healthy cell maintenance. Make a handful of pumpkin seeds a regular part of your diet, and you will definitely notice a change in your appearance.
  5. Parsley. Next time your plate is garnished with parsley, don’t push it aside. This is a pretty powerful herb when it comes to anti-aging, as well as purifying and cleansing the body. It contains vitamins A and C as well as anti-oxidizing flavonoids that protect our cells from free radical damage. Parsley also helps to purify the blood, kill bacteria, aid digestion, and cleanse toxins from the liver.

The best thing is that all these foods are easy to incorporate into your diet. Add turmeric to juice and combine the other foods with some other fixings to make a great, beautifying salad. Who said that beauty was hard to keep? Or make a simple turmeric tea as a night cap.

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Speaking of beauty, I also added a new favorite thing to my site, Natural Happiness Skincare. All of these products are amazing but my favorite is the lotion bar. It is mosquito season in Minnesota now so try the bug bar for your family. It is not just about watching the chemicals we eat in our foods, it is about being aware of what we are putting on our body and believe me, this STUFF rocks! Plus, it is made within 15 miles of my house. Great gifts and fabulous for the whole family.

Or for another favorite line of skincare shop here

Do you incorporate any of these foods into your diet? Or have you tried Natural Happiness Skincare? Please answer below.

Strawberry Bang Smoothie

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Strawberry Bang Smoothie

  •  1 Cup Coconut Milk
  •  1 Cup Cultured Coconut Milk (found by the kefir in the refrigerated section)
  •  1 Cup frozen Strawberries
  • 1 Cup Chopped Spinach
  • 1 Tbsp Flax
  • optional: scoop of high quality protein powder

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy! (2 servings)

I love to start my day with a smoothie. Get creative with your ingredients. Change up your greens, change up your milks, super foods, and fruit to create a smoothie perfect for you.

Chia Seeds, benefits and recipes

Chia seeds

The Chia seed is an ancient SuperFood used by Aztec and Mayan warriors to increase their energy and stamina, way back in 3500 B.C. Chia is the highest plant-based source of Omega-3s, fiber and protein. Many health experts agree that these tiny seeds are the next big thing in nutrition. In addition to protein and Omega-3s, they are packed with protein, healthy oils, fiber, disease-fighting minerals, enzymes and antioxidants. The Chia seed also has three times more calcium than milk, for an excellent non-dairy source of this bone-building nutrient.

Chia seeds can be added to just about any recipe, providing extra nutrition without changing the taste or texture. When you add chia seeds to liquid, they form a gel and absorb ten times their weight in water, making it an excellent source of hydration. The seeds take on the flavors of whatever food you mix it with.

I try to eat Chia seeds every day, mixing a tablespoon or two into oatmeal, smoothies and soups, or sprinkling it on top of salads.

This month’s SuperFood at a glance; Chia seeds are:

• A complete protein with all of the essential amino acids intact. This is a great protein source!

• A super source of Omega 3 fatty acids (the same Omega-3s that we get from fish oil and flax.) Omega 3 fatty acids are well-known for controlling inflammation in your system.

• High in fiber, which helps pull toxins from the digestive system. Fiber also keeps things “moving” and makes you feel fuller, longer.

• Rich in antioxidants (more than blueberries!) which protect your cells and tissues and keep you looking and feeling YOUNG!

• A source of sustained energy and known to help relieve inflammation in the body.

• Research shows that the concentrated amount of antioxidants and Omega-3s in Chia seeds may help improve brain clarity, concentration and memory.

Drea’s Recipe Corner
Banana Nut Loaf
Makes one loafbanana_bread

Ingredients
5 large over-ripe bananas
1 cup almonds
2 cups pecans
1 cup of buckwheat or brown rice flour
1/2 cup of maple syrup
3 Tbsp chia seeds
2 Tbsp cinnamon

Directions
Start by pre-heating the oven to 300 degrees . Then blend the almonds and pecans in a food processor so that they form a flour-like consistency; this should take about 30 seconds. Once the mixture is smooth, add it to a mixing bowl with the buckwheat flour, maple syrup, chia seeds, and cinnamon, mixing them all together. Next, mash the bananas together util smooth before stirring them into the flour/nut mixture; at this point the mixture should be nice and sticky. Grease a loaf tin with coconut oil and then pour in the mix and allow it to bake for about an hour. Slice and store in snack-size freezer bags for the perfect travel treat! They will defrost naturally in your carry-on or backpack!

Dirt Balls
From Dr. Mark Hyman’s, The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook

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Makes12

Ingredients
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup chia seeds
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup dates
1/4 cup cacao powder
1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
3 Tbsp water
1/4 cup coconut flakes

Directions
Combine the cashews and oats in the work bowl of a food processor and pulse until they are as fine as breadcrumbs. Add all remaining ingredients, except coconut, and process until it forms a large ball. Roll out 12 equal balls and pour the coconut flakes out onto a large plate. Roll each ball in the coconut until completely covered. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Store leftover Dirt Balls in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Homemade Trail Mix Bars

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Ingredients
3 cups puffed whole-grain cereal (e.g., puffed wheat or Kashi)
1/2 cup chopped nuts or seeds (or a combination)
1/2 cup (or up to 3/4 cup) chopped dried fruit such as cranberries or blueberries (or a combination, NO added sugar)
3 Tbsp ground chia seeds
1/3 cup creamy nut or seed butter (e.g. cashew, almond – NO added sugar)
1/2 cup raw honey (OR brown rice syrup, light molasses, sorghum, or pure maple syrup)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9-inch square metal baking pan foil; spray with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl mix the cereal, nuts, dried fruit and (optional) flaxseed; set aside. Place the nut butter and honey in small heavy saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly for about 1 minute until bubbly and smooth. Pour hot mixture over cereal mixture in bowl, stir to blend (mix well to coat all of the cereal). Transfer mixture to prepared pan. Using a large square of wax paper or foil, firmly press mixture down into pan to firmly compact. Bake until just golden around edges, about 10 minutes. Cool completely. Remove bars using foil liner and cut into 16 bars or squares. Wrap in tin foil or plastic wrap and store in zip bags for travel. Makes 16 servings.

AVOCADO SALAD WITH LIME DRESSING

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AVOCADO SALAD WITH LIME DRESSING

  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 6 to 8 cherry tomatoes
  •  1 medium cucumber, chopped
  •  1 avocado, diced

LIME DRESSING 

  • 2 lime, juiced
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  •  1 teaspoon raw apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt Black pepper

Prepare the dressing. Add your lime juice, ground cumin, raw apple cider vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper to a small bowl. Whisk the ingredients until they come together. Set to the side. Mix the salad. Add baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and avocado to a bowl. Top with lime dressing and serve immediately.

Feel free to add taco meat or grilled chicken and any other veggies that you would like.  Homemade dressings are so simple to make and then you can control the ingredients.

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EGG MUFFINS

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EGG MUFFIN (Makes 6 Servings)

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups egg white (or 6 whole eggs)
  • 2 cups raw spinach, chopped
  • 2 sweet peppers, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup raw asparagus ,chopped
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

PREHEAT YOUR OVEN: Preheat your oven to 350°F.

PREPARE YOUR VEGETABLES: Chop all the vegetables into small pieces. Add one tablespoon olive oil to a pan and sauté the peppers, onions and asparagus. Sauté for 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables soften. Then add the spinach and sauté for an additional 2 minutes.

COMBINE YOUR INGREDIENTS: Pour the egg whites into a bowl and mix in the sautéed vegetables. Fill each muffin tin with the egg and vegetable mixture.

BAKE YOUR MUFFINS: Bake for 20-25 minutes or until fully cooked

Get creative with your veggies. These reheat well so a great thing to have on hand for busy mornings or even dinners on the go.