Category Archives: Core Plan

Zesty Lemon Quinoa

Core Plan

Serves 4

1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts or toasted pecans
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons freshly grated organic lemon zest
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

 

Rinse quinoa in a fine strainer for a few seconds.  Transfer to a medium saucepan, add 1 teaspoon sea salt and 1 1/4 cups water.  Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer.  Cook until water is completely absorbed, about 18-20 minutes.  Transfer quinoa to a medium bowl along with the pine nuts, lemon zest, cumin, cayenne, parsley, and drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Cauliflower Power

Cauliflower…possibly the world’s most versatile food!

I usually tell people to stay away from white foods but cauliflower is definitely the exception to that rule.  Below are 14 ways you can use cauliflower but there are certainly many more.

In addition to it’s taste and versatility, cauliflower has amazing health benefits!

Nutritious –  cauliflower is loaded with vitamins and minerals.  In fact, many people don’t realize that it is an excellent source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, protein, B-vitamins, and potassium

Fights Cancer – Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable and contains sulforaphane, indoles and isothiocyanates which are known to help kill and slow the growth of cancer cells.

Lowers Inflammation – cauliflower contains indole-3-carbinol (I3C) which is a compound that has been shown to prevent inflammatory responses.

Feeds the Brain – cauliflower contains choline, another B vitamin related to brain health, especially cognitive function and memory

Improves Digestion – cauliflower contains fiber which supports digestive health.  It also contains glucosinolate which has been shown to help keep bad bacteria in check.

Provides Antioxidants – cauliflower is loaded with antioxidants and sulfur-containing nutrients which help with detoxification and defense against free radicals.

14 Ways to Use the Power of Cauliflower

Mashed Cauliflower

Blasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower Rice

Fried Cauliflower Rice – simply make cauliflower rice out of 1 head of cauliflower and set aside.  Heat 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a non-toxic skillet.  If desired, add onions, peas (core plan only) and peas (core plan only) and cook to desired doneness.  Add riced cauliflower.  When heated, add Liquid Aminos or Coconut aminos to taste.  Make a well in the middle and pour in 2-3 scrambled organic eggs and cook until done.  Stir into the rest of the mixture.

Spanish Cauliflower Rice

Risotto Style Cauliflower

Cauliflower Rice Pilaf –  Rice the cauliflower and add to a pot with 1 – 1 1/2 cups organic free range chicken broth, 2 tablespoons butter, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, dash of paprika, dash of onion powder.  Optional – roasted almond slivers.  Cook until cauliflower is cooked and liquid is mostly reduced.

Loaded Cauliflower Chicken Bake

Coconut-Lime Cauliflower Rice and Chicken

Pizza Crust/Breadsticks – Rice and cook 1 head cauliflower and while hot, drain and squeeze out moisture.  Add 1/2 cup organic shredded mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup organic parmesan, and 1 large free range organic egg.  Mix until combined and form into a circle or oval on a parchment lined baking sheet and cook at 400 degrees for 8-11 minutes.  Take out and add toppings then bake for another 5-7 minutes.

Salmon Chowder 

Buffalo Cauliflower – cut cauliflower into florets and combine with 1-2 tablespoons of avocado oil.  Toss with buffalo sauce (check ingredients) to taste and bake at 400 degrees until done.

Cauliflower Steaks – cut cauliflower into slices about 1/4 inch thick.  Drizzle with avocado oil and season to taste.  Grill on an outdoor or indoor grill pan until done.

Soup Thickener – make mashed cauliflower and use to thicken any kind of soup or stew.  This will also add extra nutrition into your meal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blonde Brownie Bars

Core & Advanced Plan

Makes about 24 bars

I have been trying to make a blonde brownie for a few years now.  I concluded that maybe a layered type bar would be best since I could never get them gooey enough.  Because brown sugar and caramel were out, I improvised.  This one got a stamp of approval from the entire household.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR THE BROWNIE LAYER

  • 2 1/4 c. advanced plan flour (I used paleo flour but you can also use 1 3/4 cup almond flour + 1/2 cup coconut flour)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 12 tablespoons grass fed butter, melted (I use Kerrygold)
  • 1 c. erythritol (like Swerve brand) or xylitol
  • 3 droppers English Toffee Liquid Stevia (Sweetleaf brand)
  • 2 large free range, organic eggs
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • cinnamon and sweetener, for sprinkling

FOR THE WHITE LAYER

  • 2 blocks organic cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 c. erythritol (like Swerve brand) or xylitol
  • 2 large free range, organic eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350º and line a 9″-x-13″ baking pan with parchment paper.

Prepare brownie layer: In a medium bowl, whisk together advanced plan flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. In a large bowl, beat butter and sweetener with a hand mixer until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, vanilla, and toffee stevia and mix until just combined. Gradually add flour mixture and mix on low until just combined.

Prepare white layer: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sweetener until fluffy. Add eggs, and vanilla and beat until combined.

Press about two-thirds of the brownie layer dough into an even layer in the bottom of the pan using a spatula.  Then sprinkle with cinnamon and sweetener. Pour white layer batter on top in dollops and smooth with a spatula. Break up remaining brownie dough into small clumps and sprinkle over then sprinkle with more cinnamon and sweetener.

Bake until edges are set and center is soft to the touch, about 35 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing into squares.

Indian Spiced Lamb Chops

Advanced & Core Plan

Serves 6-8

This is a very simple, robustly spiced dish.  The flavors match wonderfully with the lamb and you get the health benefits of all of these pungent spices.  Turmeric has widely known healing properties and it gives the lamb a beautiful golden crust and distinct taste.  

  • 6-8 organic, grass-fed lamb chops (looks like a mini t-bone)
  • 3 tablespoons avocado or coconut oil
  • sea salt
  • cumin
  • smoked paprika
  • ground black pepper
  • tumeric
  • ground coriander
  • ground nutmeg

 

 

 

Heat oil in a large cast iron (or other non-toxic skillet) (I love cooking with cast iron- if you don’t know the ins or outs of cooking w/ cast iron, google it).  Sprinkle both sides of lamb chops generously with sea salt, cumin, smoked paprika, black pepper and turmeric.  Sprinkle less generously with coriander and nutmeg.  

Add chops to oil and cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side for med-rare.  

 

Great served with broccoli and black bean pasta with olive oil, butter, and garlic.  

Grainless Strawberry Bread

Advanced & Core Plan Options

Serves 16

One of the things people often miss when changing their diets are breads, muffins and other sweets.  This is an awesome treat that is a great breakfast, dessert or snack.  The large slices of strawberries are a burst of flavor.  The recipe comes together very easily and can be sliced and frozen if desired.  Make them during the holidays as gifts.  

Note: Sweeteners like erythritol or date syrup should be used sparingly on a healthy diet.  

 

  • 1 pound fresh organic strawberries, sliced (about 2 ⅔ cups)
  • Dash pure stevia (I use Kal brand)
  • 2 cups erythritol (Advanced Plan) or 1 ¼ cup date syrup (see below) (Core Plan)
  • 3 cups advanced plan flour – 2 cups almond flour, ½ cup coconut flour, ½ cup garbanzo bean flour.  You can use just almond flour but doesn’t give the same consistency.
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 organic eggs
  • 1 ¼ cup avocado oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup chopped nuts, optional

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two loaf pans with parchment paper.  

Leave strawberries on the cutting board, sprinkle with pure stevia, and toss to coat well. 

In a large bowl, mix the flour, sweetener, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Whisk eggs in another bowl then add in oil and mix well.  Add the strawberries and stir.  Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir well.  

Pour batter into the loaf pans, dividing equally.

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.  Cool in pans for about 10 minutes then carefully lift them out using the parchment paper.  Use a bread knife to cut into nice clean slices.  

Date syrup-

cut about ½ pound of Medjool dates into bits and add 2 cups of water.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for about 30 minutes.  Let cool for another 30 minutes then puree the mixture using a high powered blender or food processor.  If desired, you can strain the mixture with a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth.  

Grass Fed Steaks with Creamy Peppercorn Sauce

Advanced & Core Plan

Serves 4

Grass fed beef steaks are a culinary delight.  They are far superior to conventional beef – in nutrition, in taste, and for the environment.  This is a great alternative to grilling steaks outside and the sauce is outstanding.  It makes for a beautiful presentation so it would be perfect for guests.

NOTE:  Grass fed beef is best cooked rare – medium rare.  

1-2 tablespoons, freshly ground whole peppercorns with a course grind (don’t skip this step and use regular black pepper, it will compromise the flavor)

4 grass fed steaks (filets or NY Strip)

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons grass fed butter

1 tablespoon avocado or coconut oil

1 large shallot, finely chopped

⅓ cup grass fed beef broth (homemade or store bought but check ingredients)

1 cup organic heavy cream

Sprinkle both sides of the steak with salt and crushed peppercorns.  Press the peppercorns into the steaks.  

In a large, heavy non-toxic skillet (cast iron works best), melt the butter and avocado oil (do not let the butter smoke).  Cook steaks until desired doneness.  A 6 oz steak will typically take about 3 minutes on each side.  When done, transfer to a dish and cover.

Add a little more oil if necessary and cook shallot until soft (a minute or two).  Add the remaining butter and melt then pour in the broth and let cook for another minute.  Add heavy cream and stir frequently until reduced to a thick sauce (6-7 minutes).  Add a pinch or two of sea salt and taste for appropriate seasoning.  Return steaks (and any juices that escaped) back into the skillet and cover well with sauce.  Serve with any remaining sauce.  

Great served with mashed cauliflower and oven roasted broccoli.

Apple Turkey Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

Advanced Plan & Core Plan

Serves 6

This is a great fall recipe!  It comes together really quickly and makes for a beautiful presentation (don’t you love how fruits and vegetables look so amazing?)  This is an Advanced Plan recipe that makes you fall more in love with your commitment to eating well.  This should end up in your recipe rotation.

Note:  squash should be eaten in moderation on the Advanced Plan and it is fine on the Core Plan.

3 acorn squash
Avocado or coconut oil
dried Italian seasoning
sea salt
cayenne pepper, optional
1 lb mild Italian turkey or chicken sausage
1 small onion, finely diced
2 ribs celery, finely diced
1 large granny smith apple, diced
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese, optional (leave out for a dairy free alternative)

 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Cut the stem end and the bottom ends (as little as possible) of each of the squash.  Cut them in half (they should easily stand up).  Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard. Put on a parchment lined baking dish.  Drizzle with avocado or coconut oil and sprinkle with Italian seasoning, sea salt, and cayenne pepper if desired.  Bake for about 40 minutes or until soft to the fork (don’t overcook as it will lose its shape).

Cut casings off of sausage and sautee in a pan with onions and celery.  Break up the sausage into small bits.  When browned, add the apple and saute for 2-3 more minutes.  Stir in 3/4 cup parmesan cheese.

Put mixture in the acorn squash and sprinkle with additional parmesan back in the oven for about 10 minutes.

Serve hot