Watercress Pesto Cast Iron Pizza

watercress-pesto-pizza

Well, I wouldn’t exactly call this healthy. Comforting, yes. Warm and cheesy, most definitely. But healthy? Not unless you mean good-for-the-soul-healthy. I started this pizza with the best of intentions: to take a shot at making a gluten-free crust. Because a gluten-free crust magically makes a pizza healthy, right? Anyway. That first wad of gluten-free dough never saw the light of the oven. After I let it rise, I tried to knead it with my fingers. Had I been blindfolded, I would’ve told you that I was sticking my hands in peanut butter. I couldn’t get it off my fingers. I could not wash my hands of that gooey mess. Needless to say that dough ball hit the bottom of my trash can in a moment of aggravated flurry.
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Pumpkin Cashew Curried Millet

pumpkin-cashew-curried-millet

Warming ginger, flavorful curry, and scrumptious pumpkin turn mild-mannered millet into a mouth-watering meal. Post-holiday canned pumpkin was a bargain last month, so I stocked up. Coincidentally, my peer health coach at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition recommended this recipe straight from the IIN website. Millet has recently become one of my favorite whole grains. Like quinoa and amaranth, it’s nutritious and quick-cooking. It makes a great breakfast porridge, side dish or a meal in itself. Thought to have originated in Ethiopia, Millet has been a mainstay in Africa, Asia and India for the last 10,000 years. Only recently has it gained popularity in the United States as a gluten-free alternative. Traditional roti flatbread of India is made by grinding Millet seeds into flour.
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Grown-Up Chicken Nuggets with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

grown-up-chicken-nuggets

Remember when you were a kid and mom used to take you to the drive-thru for chicken nuggets? The best part was dipping them in all those rectangular plastic packages of sauce like ranch, bbq, and honey mustard laden with high fructose corn syrup? Ah, those were the days. Ignorance was bliss. Sometimes I wish I just didn’t know better. But I do. That’s why I make my own tasty nuggets with free range chicken and almond meal batter. So now I’m going to take your blinders off, too. Sorry, but I gotta do it. Taken straight from McDonald’s website, here is the long list of ingredients in McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets and Tangy Honey Mustard Sauce. Drum roll please….
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Bacon, Sweet Potato & Chickpea Salad with Tahini Lemon Vinaigrette

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Before we get in the kitchen, I want to propose a challenge. The challenge is to not use canned chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) for this recipe. There’s a bonus recipe in it for you if you stick around to the end. Are you up to it? If you have a slow cooker, give this simple recipe a try. Start with a pound of dry chickpeas, such as these:
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Ginger Coconut Mango Aloha Granola

ginger-coconut-mango-granola

In a former lifetime I worked as a real estate transaction coordinator in Everett, Washington. My boss, Clint Schlotfeldt, was the coolest boss ever. Our political views were polarized and we had very few common interests, but I had great respect for him and the way he ran his business. He gave me a lot of autonomy and taught me not only about real estate, but about people and negotiation. His nickname for me was…”Granola.” Yup, Granola. If I had to be nick-named after a food, I don’t mind being dubbed after this Ginger Coconut Mango Aloha Granola.
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Carrot Apple Raisin Kale Salad

carrot-apple-raisin-kale-salad

Carrots and apples and kale…CARROTS and APPLES and KALE, Oh My! These are three foods you’re likely to encounter on the yellow brick road to health. We’re going to dress these veggies in a tangy apple cider vinaigrette, then fold in some raisins for chewy goodness and walnuts for Omega-3 crunch. This colorful, cleansing salad tops my list when the old digestive tract needs a little help, if you catch my drift.
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Homemade Raw Almond Milk

Almond-Milk

So…you know that almond milk you get in a carton from the refrigerated aisle at the grocery store? The Almond Breeze or Silk or whatever brand you buy? Well, it’s time to stop buying it. Yes, really. That stuff’s gross. I know, I know. Blasphemous, right? I used to love it, too…until I had the real thing. Plus, there’s like ten ingredients in the carton version, eight of which I wouldn’t recognize if they punched me in the face. I’ve never been punched by Sunflower Lecithin or Carageenan, but if I had I wouldn’t have known it.
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Sierra Nevada Stout Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Sierra-Nevada-Stout-Slow-Cooker-Beef-Stew

Maybe it was the looming clouds and the threat of rain this week that made me crave beef stew. Maybe it was the fact that I’m getting over a cold. Or maybe I needed an excuse to buy a six-pack of Sierra Nevada Stout and invite our neighbor, Virginia, over for dinner. For the record, we have the coolest neighbor ever. Virginia is a sixty-somthing, semi-retired, celestial anthropologist who never ceases to engage in passionate conversation about her latest discoveries in the Southwest. Matt, Virginia, and I gobbled down this savory stew while we talked about everything from gardening to health to politics. A few hours and several Sierra Nevada Stouts later, we locked the chickens up for the evening and wished Virginia goodnight.
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