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Say Goodbye to Sugar Cravings!

Winter blues can tend to bring sweet cravings – as we miss the energy, lightness and joy of summer – but did you know that these can often be helped or eliminated by increasing our uptake in sweet vegetables? God knew what he was doing when he made most winter vegetables hearty (comforting) and sweet!!! I’m talking squash, yams, parsnips and beets baby! And speaking of… THIS. My newest winter salad.

So. Freaking. Good.

The Sweet Winter Wonder Salad. Please, please make it today. ‪#‎winnerwinnerHEALTHYdinner‬.

20151215_182136INGREDIENTS: 

  • 1 bunch roasted beets + 2 parsnips + 2 carrots, all organic, all peeled and diced
  • 1 cup Quinoa, soaked, sprouted and cooked
  • Seeds from 1/2 pomegranate, seeds removed by cutting pom in half, placing face down in bowl of water and opening/pulling seeds out)
  • Feta Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Currants
  • 1/2 cup sliced Almonds
  • Handful of fresh basil, chopped
  • Dash of Coconut Oil to toast almonds
  • Olive Oil + Sea Salt for vegetables
  • Olive Oil + Balsamic Vinegar whisked for dressing

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Toss vegetables with EVOO + salt. Roast for 60 min.
  3. Combine {cooked} quinoa, pomegranate, currants and feta.
  4. Toast almonds, add to salad.
  5. Toss finished vegetables and dressing with salad, then top with fresh basil.
  6. Be prepared for your tastebuds to die and go to heaven. 🙂
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Have Your Guests Salivating this Super Bowl…

Since the blog posts this week have been such a hit [thanks to you!], I thought I’d keep the momentum going and round up some awesome recipes to have your guests salivating this year. You don’t even have to tell them our little secret – that they’ll be enjoying foods that are 100% Macks Mo, real food approved, matching flavor with downright good-for-you-goodness. Talk about a touchdown!

Too cheesy? Okay, let’s get to these recipes. I am so excited to share this first one with you. It’s been such a hit in our #momentumchallenge that I just HAD to share it with you. As a dinner recipe, we serve it up over spaghetti squash, but for the big game, you can serve the sauce & meatballs app-style with toothpicks!

meatballs superbowlINDIAN CURRY MEATBALLS
Ingredients:
1 package organic, ground turkey
2 apples, cored & sliced into *small* pieces
1 onion, chopped finely
1 egg, beaten
MEATBALL SPICES: 1 Tbls. curry powder + 2 tsp. each of ground ginger & turmeric
1 (28 oz.) can of San Marzano diced tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
1/4 cup olive oil
1 (15 oz.) can organic, coconut milk
SAUCE SPICES: 1 Tbls. each: dried curry, oregano + basil and 1 tsp. each of thyme and red pepper flakes

#1: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
#2: Prepare and chop vegetables and fruit.
#3: Sauté onion & apple in 1 Tbls. butter (or olive oil) for 3 minutes to soften.
#4: TO MAKE SAUCE: Open the can of tomatoes and have those handy. Add garlic and olive oil to a large sautoir pan and cook for 1 minute or so, then add tomatoes to stop the cooking (make sure not to burn garlic). Then add the SAUCE spices + coconut milk and cover, simmering on low for 30 minutes.
#5: FOR MEAT: Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix package of ground turkey breast, 1 beaten egg, onion, apple and MEATBALL spices.
#6: When sauce is done, puree it in the blender. Put a toothpick in each meatball and serve sauce on the side or put it all in a bowl!

BUFFALO CHICKEN, BLUE CHEESE + CELERY BITES:
– I can’t take credit for this one, my Montana brother-in-law made them over Christmas and they were divine! –
Ingredients:
3 chicken breasts, thawed
2 Tbls. coconut oil [or organic butter]
Hot Pepper Sauce [see directions following]
Small container of blue cheese chunks [check ingredients]
1 package of celery, stalks sliced horizontally into 1/2″ pieces
Toothpicks

Hot Pepper Sauce: I adapted this recipe from Bryant Terry’s Vegan Soul Kitchen.
Ingredients:
¼ cup each: olive oil [or organic butter], water and organic tomato sauce [you could use sauce from meatballs or organic, canned]
Half (4 oz.) can organic tomato paste
1 small red onion, chopped
2 tsp. each of: minced garlic & apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. each of: cumin & cayenne pepper (can use more or less cayenne based on desired spiciness)
Sea salt + pepper to taste

#1: Add coconut oil to a sauce pan over medium heat. Using scissors, cut chicken into small, bite-size pieces. Add to heated oil and cook until chicken is browned (7-10 minutes).
#2: While chicken is cooking, make the SAUCE: Place olive oil in a sauce pan, over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, cumin and cayenne until onions start to caramelize (about 8 minutes). Next, add tomato paste, tomato sauce, vinegar and water – mix well. Simmer until sauce starts to thicken (5-7 min). Transfer all ingredients to a blender, pureeing until smooth. Add salt + pepper last.
#3: Toss chicken with Hot Pepper Sauce and place out on serving tray. On chicken, stack one chunk of blue cheese, then a piece of celery, fastening in place with a toothpick. Do this for all remaining chicken pieces.

If you’re looking for an awesome dip, try this Creamy Kale & Artichoke Dip by Food Babe. She also instructs how to make homemade pita chips, but I’ll give you two more options, just in case those don’t suit your fancy. First, you could keep in simple and get blue, organic corn chips from the grocery store [be sure to check ingredients – corn, salt & oil are all you need to make chips!]. Another option is baking your own homemade sweet potato chips – inspired by my friend Sarah in her Simply Real Health blog:

sweet potato chipsBAKED SWEET POTATO CHIPS:

Ingredients:
3 thin sweet potatoes
Olive oil
Sprinkles of sea salt and paprika; cinnamon optional.

#1: Preheat oven to 375.
#2: Slice yams/sweet potatoes into thin coins (as thin as you possibly can). If you have a mandoline, this works great to make thin slices!
#3: Place sweet potato slices in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil [enough to cover, not drench – start small, add more as needed]. Using your hands, massage oil and salt into vegetables until all are coated evenly.
#4: Lay on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Season with spices.
#5: Cook for 35 minutes, or until the chips start to crisp up a bit (depends on the size of them). Keep them in longer for a crispier consistency. Remove when ready and serve.

Do you have a favorite savory Super Bowl recipe? Share below! If you like this post, pass on the love and share! 

*For more information on programs we offer, check out our website here. We’d love to share our Macks Mo Method with you! If you missed our Momentum Challenge [which launched this Jan], don’t worry – you can still participate in the program outside the “challenge dates!” Email me (whitney@macksmo.com) for more information or be on the lookout for other Macks Mo programs launching later this year like our Partner Power program [a complete lifestyle, nutrition and exercise program designed for couples to build their health momentum together], the re-launch of my new signature 28 Day Program and more Momentum Group Challenges/Coaching Sessions. Whatever your M.O. – we’d love to support you in your journey!

Your [Not-So] Typical Gray Seattle Day

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!

Kale Salad & Mango

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

  1. 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).
  2. 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”.
  3. 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

INGREDIENTS:

½ lemon, sliced horizontally

Leaves from 2 basil stems

1 lime, sliced horizontally

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).

Balsamic Beet & Arugula Salad

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!

Beets and Arugula

INGREDIENTS:
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

DIRECTIONS:
#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.

Quinoa, Kale & Sweet Potato Hash

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!

Sweet Potato, Quinoa & Kale Hash        SPQK 2

INGREDIENTS:

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

DIRECTIONS:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Add quinoa to sauté pan, add lemon juice and season to taste with sea salt + pepper.
  4. Great additions (any or all): avocado, crushed nuts, sliced olives, raisins or eggs on top!