COCONUT CURRY BUTTERNUT SQUASH STEW
My favorite thing about fall is the return of weekly soups to my crockpot. If you don’t have a crockpot, my advice would be to get one – as soon as possible. I purchased my first crockpot in college at Target for $7; and it’s still running. Last Christmas I upgraded to a bigger one with a timer, but the point is – any crockpot works and you’ll love the food it makes! This stew, in particular, is a favorite of mine and clients who’ve done our 28 Day Nutrition Program.
Loaded with nutrient-dense foods and spices that aid in reducing inflammation in the body, this stew helps to give the immune systems a boost for the change in season (and increase in colds!). Enjoy!
1 medium butternut squash
6 cups coconut water (regular water is also fine or a combo of both; can add more water if needed/desired)
1 organic vegetable bouillon cube
1 cup adzuki beans, dried
½ cup quinoa, dried
Half (15 oz.) can Organic Coconut Milk
1 Tbls. each of: curry and turmeric
2 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. each of black pepper, sea salt and cayenne pepper (can do more/less cayenne based on desired level of spiciness)
1/3 cup organic peanut (or other nut) butter
Leaves from 3 stems kale, washed & stems discarded
1 red bell pepper, sliced thin horizontally & seeds removed
(1). Remove the shell from the butternut squash and slice into cubes [check out this video tutorial: http://ow.ly/pxQEs for guidance!].
(2). Place water, coconut milk, spices and bouillon cube in the bottom of the crockpot and whisk to mix.
(3). Add squash, beans, quinoa and peanut butter.
(4). Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7-8.
(5). Ten minutes before you’re ready to eat, add kale and bell pepper. Let cool before eating!
*If desired, you can also add organic sausage or free-range organic chicken breast (in step #3). We used kale and a bell pepper in this version, but feel free to use any other vegetables and leafy greens you have on hand! Some examples are chard, spinach, zucchini, yellow squash, broccoli and even mushrooms!
I love spaghetti squash. And this smorgasbord of vegetables on top of spaghetti squash is pure delight. In the recipe, you use store-bought marinara sauce. I usually make my own, but sometimes it’s nice to just pour it pre-made straight out of the jar. Do you feel me? My new favorite brand is Mezzetta Tomato Basil, filled with all whole food ingredients and found in PCC, Thriftway and QFC Grocery Stores here in Seattle. Regardless of the brand, always check ingredients – buy products that contain only ingredients you’d use at home to make a pasta sauce (citric acid and “natural” flavors excluded). I’m talking tomatoes, olive oil, basil, garlic, red wine vinegar, honey, wine, tomato paste; get the picture? And you don’t have to include every veggie listed below. You can swap, exclude or add in any others you’d desire. And last — enjoy. Let us know how you like it!
1 medium spaghetti squash
2 whole carrots, peeled and sliced thin
3 celery stocked, sliced
2 zucchini, quartered
2 yellow squash, quartered
Florets from 1 crown broccoli, stem discarded
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed (or other desired bean)
2 tsp. each of: minced garlic, thyme, Italian seasoning
Pinch of sea salt + pepper
1 jar store-bought organic marinara sauce (check ingredients – no chemicals, artificial preservatives or additives; only real food ingredients you’d use to make a sauce at home!)
- Hold spaghetti squash standing up lengthwise over cutting board and use a large serrated knife to slice shell off squash. Once complete, remove stem, cut in half and use a form to scoop out seeds. Fill a large glass bowl with ½” of water, then place SS on top and cover with saran wrap. Cook in microwave for designated times, based on size:
– Small = 10 minutes
– Medium = 12 minutes
– Large = 15 minutes
- Meanwhile, cook carrots & celery in water (sparingly cover bottom of large sauté pan), covered and on medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally & add more water as needed.
- Next, add garlic, seasonings, zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes and broccoli. Again, add more water as needed (always want a little on bottom to be able to steam the veggies). Cook, covered for another 8 minutes. At this time, add the jar of sauce + beans and simmer on low, covered for 5 minutes.
- Remove SS from microwave and carefully drain out excess water. Add vegetable primavera to the squash and stir to combine.
We all have those days…where the fridge is filled with a bunch of random ingredients, we haven’t been to the grocery store in a few days (or week) and we want to throw something quick together for dinner. Enter the “kitchen-sink curry”. For grocery-less and extra busy weeks, it’s important to always have a stocked pantry. One of my staples is organic coconut milk – it’s great for thickening sauces and of course, is just plain delicious. I also always have a jar of Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste (great whole food product found in the asian section of almost any grocery store). When I’m making a curry, I always use three staple spices: curry powder (that’s a given), turmeric and coriander; no specific measurements, like a little shake here and a little shake there + sea salt and pepper.
Ingredients I had “lying around”:
– Sweet potatoes
– Cauliflower (I’ve had the intention to make cauliflower rice for awhile now)
– Red Chard
– Yellow onion (1/2)
– PCC Organic Chicken-Apple Sausage
– My “curry staples”: organic coconut milk, curry paste and my spices
– 1 Tbls. each of: brown rice flour and coconut oil x 2
– Water, vegetable broth or half a vegetable bouillon cube
When you’re making a “kitchen-sink” dish, you can use ANY vegetable you have around: yellow summer squash, zucchini, carrots, broccoli, kale, spinach, cabbage, leeks, parsnips, turnips – the list goes on. You can choose to add an animal protein or not – I had PCC Chicken-Apple Sausage on hand that I set out to thaw earlier in the day.
So, to make, you’ll need three pans – saute, sautoir, etc. If three pans going at once sounds intimidating, don’t worry – this is how we make the meal quick: multi-tasking! You’ll put designated ingredients in each pan and cook at the same time. Chop all your vegetables first and your animal protein (if using). Then, make the cauliflower “rice” by adding cauliflower florets and 1/2 an onion to a food processor, chopping into “rice”-size bits.
#1 PAN: Add any vegetables with 1 Tbls. coconut oil in your largest sautoir pan (like a saute pan with high sides) – this will be the pan you end the curry in. Saute for 5 minutes on medium heat.
#2 PAN: Add animal protein and saute until browned. When done, remove from heat.
#3 PAN: Add cauliflower rice + 1 Tbls. coconut oil. Cook for 8 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Season with sea salt + pepper. Remove from heat when done.
- When vegetables have sauteed for 5 minutes (they should still be a little “uncooked”), add 1 Tbls. flour and coat. Then, add 1/2 can coconut milk, 1 Tbls. Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste and either 2 cups water + half vegetable bouillon cube OR 2 cups vegetable broth. Stir for about 60 seconds (flour helps to thicken sauce). You can always add full can coconut milk or more vegetable broth to have more sauce.
- Add animal protein (if using) and seasonings: 1 tsp. each of: turmeric, coriander and curry powder + sea salt & pepper. Stir to mix.
- Cook, covered for 5 – 8 minutes, letting flavors marinate. At this time, add any GREENS (like chard, kale, spinach, etc.).
- Serve over “rice”!
If you’re always on the go, looking to add more greens and vegetables to your diet or just looking for a scrumptious way to start your day, then this smoothie is for you.
Smoothie Tip #1: Prepare your ingredients the night before. Put everything except water & ice in the blender, then store in the fridge. In the morning, all you do is put the blender on the base, add W&I, blend and go.
Smoothie Tip #2: Make 2 portions; 1.5 for breakfast and the other .5 for a snack later that day. Kill two birds with one stone. Boom.
Smoothie Tip #3: If you or someone you know is just beginning to delve into the world of real food, adding in more vegetables to your daily intake or have kids/husband/wife that you’re trying to encourage to eat more vegetables & greens, smoothies is a GREAT way to do it. However, depending on where you’re starting from, you might want to start using this smoothie with an added kiwi to sweeten the flavor. Ideally, one sweeter fruit to 2-3 vegetable servings is my goal when concocting smoothie recipes.
- 1 pear, sliced
- ¼ cup each of: dried, shredded & unsweetened coconut, oats + hemp seeds
- ½ avocado
- Handful parsley leaves, stems discarded
- 1/2 cucumber
- 3 leaves of kale, stems discarded & leaves ripped
- ¼ to ½ cup water – enough to blend to desired consistency
- 5-7 ice cubes
DIRECTIONS: Prepare ingredients in your blender the night before. In the AM, add water and ice. Puree or liquefy until smooth. Add ice and any more water if needed until you have your ideal blend. This smoothie will have a creamy texture because of the avocado.
*As always, if you have questions, please ask!
Warmer days often leave cravings for cold, refreshing drinks. Often, we reach for a margarita, martini or a n ice, cold beer. And there’s nothing wrong with having a drink every once in awhile. But, for the days when you want the refresher sans alcohol, I’ve got the ticket. All you need is:
– seltzer water (carbonated water)
– fresh ginger root
– a lemon (or lime).
You could definitely use pre-minced ginger, but if you have a zester, zest some fresh ginger and rinse your zester off in a glass filled with the seltzer water. Using a fork, extract the lemon juice (and some pulp!) from 1/2 a lemon. Add ice, toss back and forth between 2 glasses and enjoy. You seriously are gonna love this. I may or may not be slightly addicted at the moment.
*This is also a great drink for anyone trying to kick soda consumption. The fizz and flavor are better than any soda when you’re craving bubbles!
On a chilly day, we want something warm & comforting. In Seattle, that often means running to the nearest coffee house for that warm brew of goodness. But with spring just around the corner and with the help of my friends at the West Seattle Produce Stand, on THIS [not-so] typical gray Thursday in Seattle, my day was brightened in a better-than-expected way and yours can be too!
When we fill our bodies with whole, real and fresh ingredients, especially those derived from plant food, we see a huge shift in our energy levels and improvement in our digestion, to name a few benefits, while additionally not being able to overlook the mental boost we get from feeding our body good, delicious food!
The best type of food to buy is always local and organic whenever possible. However, knowing where the food came from and trusting its source is just half the equation; once we have these fresh ingredients, to enjoy them, we need an idea of what to do with them, right? I consider myself SO lucky to live approximately 6 blocks from the West Seattle Produce Stand – where it’s not only convenient to shop this way, but the people there make it fun. Yes, I just said produce shopping was fun. There are three employees – owner Bruce (your soon-to-be favorite mate; he’s from New Zealand) and the ever-smiling Robby and Shannon; who are, by the way sooo helpful. Produce is not only their expertise, but passion, so gobbling up new facts and flavors from them is my new favorite past-time.
So today, on my typical Thursday, a visit to the WSPS not only boosted my body (from my purchases), but also my mood. I encourage all of our West Seattle community (clients, friends & strangers) to get down there ASAP and support not only one of our brightest local businesses, but feel good about the food you buy and the people you buy it from! All recipes posted below came from the Stand today; and if you’re wondering, yes, they were all DE-licious.
And PS: Tell them Whitney from Macks Mo sent you with love and you’ll receive $2 off any $20 or more purchase!
Pesto Kale & Arugula Salad:
1 head Lacinato (aka Dinosaur) Kale, ends of stems cut off then chopped into bite-size pieces
2 handfuls arugula
Handful of grape tomatoes, quartered
½ cucumber, peeled & quartered
1 whole carrot, peeled & sliced horizontally
1 avocado, meat sliced into cubes & pit removed
Leaves from 3 stems of basil
½ cup walnuts
1 tsp. minced garlic
Sea salt + pepper to taste
- To make pesto, combine last 4 lines of ingredients in a food processor with 1/8 cup water. Puree until desired consistency (smooth or chunkier; can always add more water).
- Add kale, half the avocado meat, arugula and pesto to a large bowl and get dirty. Use your hands to massage pesto & avocado into every inch of the salad (helps to soften kale and slightly “wilt”.
- Rinse hands and add remaining ingredients to the salad.
Fresh Homemade Vitamin Water
Inspired by and Adapted from Mama Earth Organic
Admission – I don’t have a pitcher. I know, as one who likes to play host to parties a lot I should. And will have one by the end of the weekend so that I can make MANY more of these! Hence the blender “pitcher”. J
½ lemon, sliced horizontally
Leaves from 2 basil stems
1 lime, sliced horizontally
- Add fresh basil to the bottom of a pitcher. Press or twist a muddler (or wooden spoon) to bruise leaves and release the flavor; you don’t want to totally crush them.
- Next, add the lemon and lime, doing the same thing. Slightly muddling or pressing wooden spoon into them to release flavor. Add 1 cup of ice cubes then fill with water.
- Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. And I would recommend letting the flavors steep together for at least an hour before serving! A great non-alcoholic alternative for parties! Or even a way to infuse plain alcohol for natural flavors (like vodka).
This quick meal makes 4 servings and is great to make as a dinner with plans for leftovers or on a Sunday to have for meals throughout the week. With a fresh blend of tomatoes and herbs, this flavorful dish reminds me that summer is near.
1 lbs. medium raw shrimp, shell & tail on
1 cup bulgur
1 cup diced grape or cherry tomatoes
1 cucumber, peeled & sliced into 1/4’s
1 avocado, sliced into chunks
1 tsp. each of cumin & minced garlic
Juice from 1 lemon
Handful chopped parsley & mint (same amount between the two, about 1/2 cup total chopped
3 Tbls. olive oil
Sea salt + pepper
- Start the bulgur first. Boil 1.5 cups water, then add the bulgur and return to boil. Cover and turn off heat. Do not remove lid or move from heat; let sit for 25 minutes.
- While that’s cooking, prepare everything else: in a large bowl, add cucumber, tomatoes, avocado, parsley and mint. Separately, whisk 2 Tbls. oil, lemon juice & cumin. Add to vegetables and season with sea salt + pepper.
- With 6 minutes left on the bulgur, add 1 Tbls. + garlic to saute pan. Heat for 1 minute, then add shrimp. Cook for 5 minutes, until shrimp are cooked through and turned pink.
- Add bulgur & shrimp to large bowl and stir to fully combine flavors.
Beets can be messy, I know. Purple everywhere. But aren’t they delicious? 🙂 This recipe minimizes your “mess” but doesn’t fall short on flavor. You can make a bunch of beets at the beginning of the week and add in the arugula + other salad components each meal to keep it fresh. Great served warm in the winter!
3 beets, scrubbed well! and then sliced horizontally – tail & top cut off
A few handfuls of arugula
1/2 cup sunflower seeds + 1/8 cup dried, unsweetened, shredded coconut
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar + 3 tsp. cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbls. coconut oil x 2
Raw milk parmesan shavings [or feta cheese], sea salt & pepper to taste
#1: Place 1 Tbls. coconut oil in large sautoir pan with beets. Saute for 2 minutes, then add 1/4 cup water and cover. This will steam the beets, but make sure to stir occasionally. Cook for 8-10 minutes; until beets are soft.
#2: In a small, saute pan, on low, heat remaining Tbls. coconut oil and add sunflower seeds + dried coconut. Saute for 1-2 minutes, careful not to burn, then remove from heat.
#3: In the bottom of a large bowl, whisk balsamic and olive oil together.
#4: Place finished beets in a large bowl and toss with remaining ingredients.
1 grapefruit (with juices), peeled and sliced
1 pear, cored & sliced
1 frozen banana, halved
3 leaves of kale, stems discarded
1-2 tsp. fresh grated ginger
3 celery stalks, sliced into 1/3’s
Combine all ingredients in blender. With the frozen banana, mine was the perfect consistency, but feel free to add ice and/or water to get your ideal blend. This smoothie was the most delightful burst of citrus and gave me so much energy all morning – no coffee needed!
Two things I love – sweet potatoes and kale. Quinoa is also in incredible grain that serves as a complete protein and is naturally gluten-free. I don’t obsess over anything being gluten-free or not, but let’s just say, texture and taste-wise, I tend to lean towards quinoa and brown or wild rice over pasta as a personal preference. This dish could be great as a full meal or play fiddle to a protein-centered dish. It’s also a great leftover that you can transform – like, for example poached or basted eggs over it for breakfast! Whenever you choose to eat it, know it’s a great go-to, as it takes under 15 minutes!
2 (thinner) sweet potatoes/yams, washed well & sliced horizontally [thinner in size are easier to slice; be sure to choose ones with red garnet colored skin]
1 Tbls. coconut oil
1 bunch of kale leaves, ripped & stems discarded
½ cup quinoa, uncooked
1.5 cups water
Handful of parsley, stems discarded & chopped finely
Juice from ½ lemon
Sea salt + pepper to taste
- Place water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil, add quinoa and cook until water has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Once quinoa is done, stir in parsley, remove from heat, cover and set aside.
- While quinoa is cooking, place sweet potatoes in sauté pan with coconut oil. Cook for 5 minutes, evenly coating. Add kale and a splash of water, then cover. You want sweet potatoes to steam, but stir occasionally and add water (as/if needed) so that SP’s don’t stick to pan. Cook until they are soft, about 8-10 minutes.
- Add quinoa to sauté pan, add lemon juice and season to taste with sea salt + pepper.
- Great additions (any or all): avocado, crushed nuts, sliced olives, raisins or eggs on top!