The name for this one could possibly be more creative, I'll admit that. But this is a well loved recipe in my home, and whenever it's made and I'm asked what's for dinner "the purple soup that I make" is how I refer to it. This luscious soup gets it's gorgeous purple hue from red cabbage (another favorite around here that you will find in many of the foods I prepare) that, when combined with coconut milk, imparts it's tone throughout this stew. This stew is full of classic Thai flavors and ingredients and manages to be light and fresh while concurrently substantial and filling. This is due to the hefty amount of vegetables and fiber I've used, as well as the full fat coconut milk and shrimp, which provide a huge does of good-for-you fats and protein. You will love this one pot meal that is complex in flavor but simple in preparation.
COCONUT-CURRY PURPLE STEW
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 yellow onion, halved, sliced crosswise
4 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped into 1/2 inch chunks (see photo below)
1/4 head red cabbage, thinly sliced
4 oz green beans, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 can petite diced tomatoes, diced
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth (or water)
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 14 oz can full fat coconut milk
1.5 tbsp green curry paste
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 cup basil, sliced thinly
1 cup cilantro, chopped (plus more for serving)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1) Heat the coconut oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and saute for 5 minutes. Add garlic, saute 30 seconds. Add bell peppers, green beans, and cabbage and saute until the veggies begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk, tomatoes, stock, curry paste, juice of 2 limes, and fish stock. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes.
2) Increase the heat to medium. Add the shrimp, basil, and cilantro and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are no longer translucent, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Serve with additional cilantro and lime wedges.
I recently made chicken bone broth for the first time because, near me, chicken bones are a bit harder to source than beef bones. And I must say I was so impressed and happy with how it turned out! So the dilemma was, what to do with all of this gorgeous chicken bone broth? Why, make the most delicious chicken soup ever, of course! The silky texture of the broth really lends something extra special to this chicken soup, made with all the classic, comforting ingredients; carrot, celery, pasta, and lots of herbs! I've also included a quick recipe for bone broth made specifically with chicken because you don't need to cook chicken bones as long as beef bones (but if you're looking for beef bone broth, find my recipe here http://www.ahealthyfoodobsession.com/blog/bone-broth-noodle-bowls.)
CHICKEN BONE BROTH
3-4 lbs chicken feet (available at Asian markets!)
1-2 tbsp apple cider or white vinegar
Cool, filtered water
1/2 tbsp kosher salt
1) Place the chicken feet in a slow cooker and cover completely with water, coming just below the rim of the slow cooker. Add a hefty splash of vinegar and let sit for at least an hour (I let it sit for more like 2-3). DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. It's very important. (Sorry for yelling, lol). Turn the slow cooker to low and let simmer for 24 hours, seasoning to taste with kosher salt in the last hour of cooking. Let cool slightly before straining out the bones. Once refrigerated, it should have a gelatinous quality.
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of most fat, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
4 large carrot, peeled, sliced 1/4 inch thick into rounds
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 bunch lacinato kale, thick ribs removed, chopped
1/2 to 3/4 cup dry salad macaroni noodles (the little cylinder ones, pictured below)
1 cup Italian parsley, chopped (you can include the stems)
8 cups chicken bone broth
salt & pepper, to taste
lemons or limes, for serving
1) Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring and flipping occasionally, until browned, about 8 minutes. Remove the chicken, place in a bowl, and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion and a sprinkle of salt and saute for ten minutes, until soft. Add the garlic, carrots, and saute for 10-15 minutes more, until the veggies have softened. Add the kale and stir. Return the chicken, along with any accumulated juices, to the pan. Pour in the dry pasta and the parsley, pour in the bone broth, and simmer over medium low heat for about half an hour, until the pasta is cooked and the soup is lovely and fragrant. Season with salt and pepper and serve with the citrus of your choice!
After a holiday season full of rich foods, my body wants nothing but food that is light, lean, and brimming with nutrients. This meal definitely fits that bill without skimping out on flavor and substance! If you've not yet tried combining oranges and olives, you will not be disappointed- the briny, salty flavor of olives is beautifully complemented by sweet, fresh oranges here for a simple yet flavorful fish accompaniment. I served this with roasted beets (one of my favorite things in the world) and roasted cauliflower but it would also pair well with pretty much any grain or a nice green salad.
SPICE RUBBED AHI WITH CITRUS & OLIVE SALAD
For the tuna:
2 ahi tuna filets
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 grinds black pepper
1 tbsp neutral oil (I use sunflower)
For the Salad:
1 orange, segmented, with remaining juice squeezed into the salad bowl
1/4 cup kalamata olives, quartered lengthwise
1/4 small red onion, sliced vertically, very thin
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp agave or honey
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1) Combine all of the rub ingredients in a spice grinder and grind until very fine and well combined. Sprinkle evenly over filets and press it in a bit. Place the spice rubbed filets on a plate and let rest, refrigerated, for about an hour.
2) While the fish rests, make the salad; combine all of the ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3) In a heavy bottomed pan, heat the oil over medium high heat until very hot. Add the filets and cook for 1.5 minutes. Flip over, cook for 1.5 minutes more for medium. Remove from pan and slice to prevent further cooking. Serve topped with salad!
My family has come a long way with their love for quinoa! When my (now) husband and I first started dating he wanted nothing to do with the stuff, but now he asks for seconds (sometimes thirds) whenever I prepare it. The key though, as with all healthy food (and well, food in general!), is in HOW it's prepared, and in these stuffed peppers, filled with ground turkey, veggies, spices, marinara and mozzarella cheese, it's kind of hard NOT to love it! This is an easy recipe that the whole family will love, and one of those comforting meals that, although it's beaming with protein, lycopene, calcium and vitamin c, no one who has the pleasure of enjoying it will immediately think "wow, I bet this is really good for me" because they will instead be thinking "wow, this is really good!". Dig in!
TURKEY & QUINOA STUFFED PEPPERS
4 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers (look for peppers that are pretty even/flat on the bottom), hollowed out (see pic below for tips)
3/4 extra lean ground turkey (do not use regular! it will make the mixture too oily)
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cups roughly chopped mushrooms (button or criminis)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 extra lean ground turkey (do not use regular! it will be too oily)
1 cup prepared quinoa
4 oz mozzarella cheese, grated, divided
1 hefty cup marinara sauce, homemade or store bought, preferably low sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2) Heat 1.5 tbsp oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the turkey and saute, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add remaining oil and onion and saute until onion is translucent and beginning to soften, about 7 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for 7 minutes more, until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Stir in the tomato paste and stir until fully incorporated into vegetable mixture. Stir in the quinoa, marinara, parsley and 1/2 cup of cheese and, once cheese is melted, remove from heat.
3) Place peppers in a square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Using a spoon, evenly distribute the quinoa mixture among the peppers. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until peppers are soft and cheese is brown and bubbly. Let cool for a few minutes (the filling will be very hot!) and serve!
Some of the simplest of recipes are often the best! This easy and versatile topping consists of only five ingredients but definitely does not lack flavor. In this recipe I saute shallots with radicchio, the little powerhouse veggie that's brimming with b vitamins and vitamin c, to mellow out most of it's trademark bitterness. I then hit it off with a good splash of balsamic vinegar, and finish it by melting a bit of sweet and creamy gorgonzola into the mix. The result is a flavorful and decadent combination of elements that compliment each other so well! I like to serve this on baked or pan-friend chicken cutlets, but it's also delicious served on a hearty vegetable like sliced beets or cauliflower. You could even mix it into pasta or serve it on bruschetta (or on avocado toast, like in the bonus recipe I've included at the bottom of this post)! So please enjoy this tasty little treat full of fall flavors.
RADICCHIO & GORGONZOLA TOPPING WITH BALSAMIC
1 large shallot, quartered, thinly sliced
1 small head of radicchio, core removed, shredded
1.5 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1) Heat the oil in a medium sized nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and saute for 2 minutes. Add the radicchio by the handful along with a hefty pinch of salt, stirring often and turning the heat down a little if the shallots start to burn, until the radicchio is wilted completely, about 8 minutes. Stir in the balsamic until it evaporates into the radicchio, about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the gorgonzola and few grinds of black pepper. Serve immediately.
BONUS RECIPE ALERT! If you have some of this topping left over, I highly recommend serving it atop 1 slice of ezekiel bread topped with half a mashed avocado and a pinch of sprouts, as pictured above! Absolutely delicious.
The first time I had a banh mi, which was only a few years ago, my mind was sort of blown. How in the world, I asked myself, had I been existing on this planet unaware of the magical Vietnamese sandwich (yes... sandwiches can be magical, and this one is!) that hit so many of my favorite flavor profiles? And although I do love a classic banh mi (salty pork, crusty white bread, spicy mayo and tangy pickled vegetables.. what's not to love?), for this recipe I decided to make it just a touch healthier while not compromising one bit on the feeling of the elements that make the classic that I fell in love with so delicious. For this recipe I've swapped the white bread for fiber, prebiotic, and protein rich soba noodles and used slightly leaner ground chicken in place of the pork. I also cut back on the mayo (a little goes a long way!) and made sure to pack plenty of the veggies into the noodles. The result tastes just as indulgent as the classic!
BANH MI NOODLE BOWLS
For the Meatballs:
1 lb ground chicken
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
5 cloves garlic, minced
4 green onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp fish sauce 1 tbsp sriracha
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp constarch
1 tsp kosher salt
For the Pickled Veggie Soba Noodles:
1 1/2 cups peeled, shredded carrot
1 1/2 cups peeled, shredded daikon radish
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 jalapeno, very thinly sliced
1/4 cup minced cilantro
6 oz soba noodles, cooked according to package direction
For the chili mayo:
1/3 cup best quality mayo
1 tbsp sriracha
2 green onions, very finely chopped
Limes, for serving
1) Combine all of the ingredients for the pickled veggie soba noodles EXCEPT the noodles and cilantro. Set aside on the counter to quick-pickle.
2) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees f. Combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs, mixing gently. Form into 1 inch balls and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, coated with cooking spray, leaving about half an inch between the meatballs (you may need to use two pans). Place in the preheated oven and bake until cooked through, about 20-25 minutes.
3) Combine all of the chili mayo ingredients in a small bowl.
4) Toss the noodles and cilantro with the pickled veggies. Place about 3/4 cups of the noodle and veggie mixture in a bowl, top with 3 meatballs and a heaping teaspoon of the chili mayo. Squeeze lime over everything and serve!
Not surprisingly, food oriented holidays are my absolute favorite, and Thanksgiving is, of course, the best one of all! Every year I smoke a turkey and then have so much fun repurposing it in the coming days. This is one of my favorite ways to use leftover turkey; cooked in a simple broth and topped with a ton of fresh flavors.
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1/4 cup garlic, minced
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano
1-2 chipotles in adobo, minced
1 bay leaf
4 cups chicken (or turkey) broth
4 cups water
3 cups dark meat turkey
3 cups hominy, drained
Radishes, thinly sliced
Green cabbage, thinly sliced
Chopped fresh cilantro
Serrano chiles, thinly sliced
1) Heat the oil in a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and somewhat translucent, about ten minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, and chipotles, and cook for 2 minutes more. Increase the heat to high, add the water, broth, and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer over medium low heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
2) Add the turkey meat and hominy. Simmer over medium low heat for 1 hour.
3) Spoon into serving bowls and top with fresh veggies. :)
This is an easy, fun, and festive side to prepare when pomegranate season hits. I love the combination of sweet, crunchy pomegranates with savory couscous, all coated in a fruity, tangy vinaigrette. This one is delicious served warm or at room temperature, so why not bring it to your next holiday dinner party? :)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
2 cups couscous, prepared according to package directions
1 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup finely chopped Italian parsly
For the Pomegranate Vinaigrette:
2 tbsp pomegranate juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp dijon mustard
Large pinch of kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper
1) Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Saute the shallot with a pinch of salt until soft, about 7 minutes. Add the couscous for stir, coating the couscous with the oil and shallots, for about 4 minutes. Stir in the pomegranate and couscous. Add the vinaigrette, stir to combine, and serve!
Roasted cabbage is a glorious thing! When treated with a fair amount of heat and a hefty dose of salt and pepper, this humble vegetable develops a sweet, nutty flavor and wonderful texture... it's truly transformed! I have definitely eaten a whole head of roasted cabbage in one sitting before; I have a hard time resisting one it's cooked. In this recipe, I've paired it with a bright and zippy salsa verde that comes together in minutes. I served this side with fresh local salmon last night but it would work well with any protein, and same goes for the salsa verde! It stays well for a week or so and is fabulous drizzled on chicken breast, steaks, tofu, you name it.
ROASTED CABBAGE WITH SALSA VERDE
1 head purple cabbage
1 bunch cilantro
4 green onions, trimmed, chopped
2 tbsp drained capers
1 garlic clove, crushed with the flat side of a knife
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
Pinch of kosher salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the cabbage into 8 wedges, trying your best to keep the stem intact.
2) To make the salsa verde, combine cilantro-red pepper flakes (using only 1/4 cup of the olive oil) in a food processor, mini prep or blender and process until smooth. Let sit on the counter while the cabbage cooks to allow the flavors to meld a bit. (Note: you will have quite a bit of salsa verde left to use as you please!)
3) Arrange the cabbage on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with about half of the olive oil and sprinkle with a good pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Flip over, repeat. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, flip over, and bake for 15 minutes more. You will likely have some brown crunchy leaves in the pan- discard them if you like or if you're like me and love crunchy bits, snack on then :). Remove from oven, drizzle with salsa verde, and serve alongside your protein of choice!
Growing up, we always ate very nutritious foods but never really ate beets. When I was in my mid twenties, my friend's mother (who is a GREAT cook, she had a very successful catering business for years and years) served roasted beets at a family dinner, and I immediately fell in love and was hooked. I still use her recipe for roasted beets; I always have some in the fridge (and just this year started growing my own!). I am so glad that I love them so much, because they are one of the best foods you could eat; they boost immunity, reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, cleanse and detoxify your liver, among many other benefits (read more about the health benefits of beets here: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-beets). In this salad, I grated and lightly steamed them and then tossed them with earthy soba noodles, roasted eggplant, sweet, fresh yellow bells and a tangy bright sesame ginger vinaigrette. The beets give this noodle salad a gorgeous pink hue and the taste result is a vibrant, fiber and nutrient packed meal that is also vegan. To your health!
SESAME SOBA NOODLES WITH BEETS & EGGPLANT
Prep time: about an hour
2 small eggplants, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup tamari
2 tbsp sesame oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sriracha (to taste if you prefer less heat)
1 large red beet, peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater
1 yellow bell pepper, quartered and thinly sliced
3 large green onions, whites and light green parts, thinly sliced
1 inch piece ginger, grated
4 ounces soba noodles
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
1) On a large cutting board or cookie sheet, place the eggplant slices in a single layer. Sprinkle lightly and evenly with the salt and let sit for ten minutes to draw out some of their moisture. Blot with a paper towel, flip the slices over, and repeat. Place the eggplant in a zip top plastic bag. Combine and whisk together the next 6 ingredients (vinegar-honey) in a measuring cup; pour over the eggplant. Marinate for about an hour, turning occasionally to coat the eggplant thoroughly. Remove the eggplant from the bag and reserve a shy 3/4 cup of the marinade. Whisk the sriacha into the reserved marinade.
2) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the eggplant in a single layer on parchment lined baking sheets, leaving at least 1/2 inch of space between the pieces so the eggplants do not steam in the oven. Roast for 15 minutes per side, until soft and a bit brown. Remove from the oven, cool slightly, and cut into quarters.
3) Place the eggplant, bell peppers, green onions, and ginger in a large bowl (see note on photo below re: ginger). Steam the grated beets in a steamer basket over medium-low heat for three minutes and then add to the bowl with the fresh veggies. Cook the soba noodles and add to the bowl with the veggies. While the soba noodles are still hot (this is important because hot noodles absorb dressing better) pour the reserved marinade over the whole salad, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and toss to combine. Let sit for about 5 minutes for the dressing to absorb, toss again, and serve immediately.
Hi. I'm Claudia. I'm a food obsessed, nature loving, fitness fanatic and happy gal living in the Pacific Northwest. I've been eating and cooking healthy foods for most of my life, and I'm so excited to share my passion for it with you!