My Oh My, Healthy Pie!

Standard

Hi friends! Well, it’s almost Thanksgiving here, and in my third video blog I demonstrate how to make a super delish and healthy pie crust recipe that you have to try! There’s no flour, so it’s gluten free and low carb. In the video I show you how to make the crust, but I also am including my healthy pumpkin pie filling recipe that has NO SUGAR! Top it with some cinnamon whipped cream and you’ll have a wonderful Thanksgiving dessert that is easy to make! Here we go!

Gluten free, low carb pie crust

1 cup walnuts, ground

1 cup pecans, ground

4 tablespoons organic butter

2 teaspoons organic cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grind the walnuts and pecans in the food processor, and add the cinnamon. Melt the butter in the microwave, then add it to the food processor and pulse for a few more seconds until combined. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the crust is a golden brown.

Pumpkin Pie Filling

2 cans organic pumpkin purée

3 eggs

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup REAL maple syrup

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon each of ginger, cloves and nutmeg

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk eggs together and then add the rest of the ingredients. Beat until combined and bake for 15 minutes at 425. Reduce temperature to 350 and bake for 45-60 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let sit until cooled. Garnish with cinnamon whipped cream and enjoy!! Happy Thanksgiving to all my wonderful readers!!

Creamy, Healthy, and Easy Soup du Jour!

Standard

Hi friends! My second video blog is here for you today. I made a delicious, healthy, and easy soup that you will enjoy making almost as much as you’ll enjoy eating! Here’s the recipe:

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

4 cups chicken stock

1 cauliflower

1 brick cream cheese

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

4 oz butter

Salt and pepper

1/2 lb bacon

Paprika

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Chop the cauliflower into small florets, add to the stock and boil until tender. Cut the bacon into small pieces and fry until crispy. Drain and set aside. Add the mustard, cream cheese, and butter to the cauliflower in the stock. Use a hand mixer or a blender to combine until smooth. Add the bacon crumbles, paprika and walnuts as a garnish. It’s creamy and has so much flavor. You’ll love it! Eating low-carb soups like this will help you live a life of vitality- with Valerie!

WATCH My Latest Recipes!

Standard

Hi friends! It’s finally time to present my first video post on the blog. I’m so excited about this, and I hope you enjoy watching it. First, I want to give producing/directing credit to my baby, Danielle, and technical advising to my oldest, Jacqueline. I couldn’t do any of this without them. Next, I want to give a big thank you to all of my readers for your continued belief in me. I’ve included written versions of my recipes to make it easier when you’re making these delicious dishes.

Garlic Chicken

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

5-10 sliced garlic cloves

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 cup fresh, chopped parsley

1 teaspoon dried herbs

4 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Salt and pepper the chicken on both sides and place in a buttered baking dish. Sprinkle the garlic cloves and parsley on top of the chicken, and pour the olive oil and lemon juice on top. Bake the chicken for 30-40 minutes, until the chicken is golden brown. So simple and soooo good!

Mashed cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower

4 oz grated Parmesan cheese

4 oz butter

1/2 lemon, juice and zest

Cut the cauliflower into florets and boil them in plenty of salted water for a few minutes. Drain and discard the water. Then put them into a food processor or blender until mashed. Add salt and pepper to taste, and add more butter to the top if you want. They are BETTER than mashed potatoes and so much healthier for you as well!

That’s all there is to these recipes! They are delicious, healthy and SIMPLE. Eating food like this will help you live a life of vitality-with Valerie! ūüôā

Holy Guacamole!

Standard
Graduation! A time for fun, family, and food!

Graduation! A time for fun, family, and food!

Tis the season- for picnics, graduation parties, family get-togethers, and pot luck gatherings. If you’re like me, always trying to determine what to bring at the last minute, I turn to my easy, quick go-to, my guacamole. Since I always have the ingredients on hand, it’s a¬†fast and delicious addition to any meal! If you’ve never made guacamole, no fears, I will walk you through it step by step.

Guac ingredients and my Molcajete.

Guac ingredients and my Molcajete.

The first step is to assemble your ingredients, utensils and bowls. I use the following ingredients in my guacamole: 2 avocados, 1 medium sized tomato, a quarter of an onion, 1/4 cup cilantro, half a lime, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste. I use the Spanish version of a mortar and pestle, called a Molcajete in which to make it, because I think it’s a really cool way to serve the guac.

Veggie wash.

Veggie wash.

Next, I use¬†a vegetable and fruit¬†cleanser to clean my vegetables before preparing them. I feel this is an essential step because even though I buy organic vegetables whenever possible I still want to make sure they are clean before serving them. There are numerous different fruit and vegetable wash products on the market today, the one I am currently using is called “Veggie Wash” and can be purchased at any grocery store.

An easy and neat way to get the pit out of an avocado.

An easy and neat way to get the pit out of an avocado.

Now it’s time to get the pit out of the avocado. It is easily done by taking a knife, piercing the pit, and while holding it over the trash, twisting the knife. The pit pops right out and can be discarded.

Removing the avocado from the skin.

Removing the avocado from the skin.

Then, remove the avocado from the skin and place it in your bowl. I do this by first scoring the inside of the avocado, horizontally and vertically. Then I take a spoon and run it¬†underneath the skin¬†of the avocado and the inside is not only quickly separated from the skin but it’s already chopped into cubes from the scoring.

Rough chop of Cilantro.

Rough chop of Cilantro.

After this step is complete, the next thing is to chop the cilantro. Now I admit I am no chef so my rough chop is very rough but it gets the job done. I start with a quarter cup of cilantro but you can use as much or as little as you’d like, and I chop it into small pieces. Add it to the avocado in the bowl.

Chopped avocado, cilantro and onion.

Chopped avocado, cilantro and onion.

Next step is to chop your quarter onion. Again, I’m no chef so I try to dice the onion into small pieces so my family won’t get big chunks of raw onion when they’re eating, although a few¬†large hunks¬†usually end up in finished product. Use as much or as little onion as you like.

The addition of lime makes guacamole sublime!

The addition of lime makes guacamole sublime!

Squeeze the juice of half a lime into the bowl. I think there is no substitute for fresh squeezed lime, those “lime in a bottle” products don’t even taste like lime to me, but if that works for you then go for it.

Use the pestle, or a spoon, to combine the ingredients.

Use the pestle, or a spoon, to combine the ingredients.

Chop an entire tomato, add a teaspoon of minced garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Then, using the pestle or a spoon, I kind of smash the pieces of avocado, but I leave it a little chunky because I like it that way. However, if you like it smooth keep stirring and smashing until it gets to the texture you’d like it to be.

The all important taste test!

The all important taste test!

Now, the next step is very important. After combining the ingredients to your desired level of smoothness, taste your guacamole so you can determine the balance of flavors. If more salt or pepper, etc, are needed now is the time to add them before it is served.

Voila! The finished product!

Voila! The finished product!

I serve my guacamole with blue corn tortilla chips made by Garden of Eatin, which I purchase at Whole Foods or Earth Fare, my local health food grocery stores, but they are available at some regular grocery stores as well. They’re gluten free, non gmo (genetically modified), all natural and delicious too. Plus I think they make a nice color contrast with the green and red colors of the guacamole for presentation purposes. I also wiped down the sides of the Molcajete to make it look prettier. You may have to add more salt and pepper again at this time because I always think guacamole needs more salt, but have other people taste it and see what they think. Now the fun part happens when you get to eat your delish creation!

 

Wrap guacamole carefully to preserve it!

Wrap guacamole carefully to preserve it!

If any guacamole remains after everyone has enjoyed it, I have found a way to wrap my guacamole so that it doesn’t get brown and yucky looking. Most people wrap the top of the bowl with plastic wrap, but I actually put the wrap on the guacamole. I gather the leftover guac into a mound in the middle of the bowl and then place the plastic wrap directly on the guacamole making sure there is no air between the guac and the wrap. This keeps the guacamole green and fresh tasting for one or two days. Any longer than that and it will not taste or look good no matter what you do so eat it all before then.

My version of guacamole is very good for you, first it has avocado which is an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids or mufa’s. That’s the good for you plant based fat that is essential for enhancing heart health and protecting against chronic diseases. Even though guacamole has a relatively high amount of fat, it’s the healthy fat that can actually help you lose weight! It also has tomato which contains lycopene, vitamin C and folate, which may reduce cancer and heart disease risk. Guacamole is very fiber rich, with 15.4 grams of fiber in a 1 cup serving, that’s a significant amount given the minimum 20 grams of fiber we need every day. Fiber is very good for our hearts and our digestive systems, and it helps you feel full longer too.

Thanks for reading my post today and please feel free to leave comments. I hope this recipe works for you and if you try it, be sure to let me know! Buen apetito!

Valerie