Sweet Potato Toasts

It’s the new thing. If you’re not hip to it, you better get hip real quick! Sweet potato toast is showing up at all the trendy brunch spots, and for a pretty penny too, so it’s economical to learn how to make it yourself.

Especially if you’re gluten-sensitive (like most of us, whether you know it or not), these are decadent alternatives to your morning toast, but this time the toast is the main attraction instead of one of your sides.

I like variety so I usually make one sweet and one savory option. This way I’m getting plenty of protein, healthy fats, and a natural sweet kick with some fresh fruit too.

There’s literally no limit or rules, so put whatever you like on your sweet potato toast! Also, you can use either yams or yellow sweet potatoes, both make delicious toast.

The first thing you’ll have to do is cut and bake the sweet potatoes: Preheat oven to 400 deg F.  Wash the sweet potatoes, then cut them length-wise using a large kitchen knife to make 3/4 cm thick slices. No need to peel them first. Place the sweet potato slices on a baking sheet brushed with olive oil, and brush the tops of each slice with more olive oil. Depending on your oven, bake them for 18-22 minutes until they are fork tender, but not too soft, nor burnt. When you start to smell them, they are close to being done. 

Next, assemble the sweet potato toast…

  1. Savory: Mashed avocado mixed with a SMALL splash of coconut milk, sprinkled with Everything but the Bagel seasoning (Trader Joes). Sweet: Cashew butter sprinkled with unsweetened shredded coconut and cinnamon, topped with blackberries and raspberries.
    •  
  2. Kite Hill chive cream cheese covered with fresh sprouts, smoked salmon (read the ingredients label and avoid added sugar!), sprinkled with fresh or dried dill.
  3. Savory: Fried egg over medium topped with mashed avocado and pesto sauce.  Sweet: Almond butter topped with unsweetened shredded coconut and cinnamon, sprinkled with almond slices.
  4. Almond butter sprinkled with unsweetened shredded coconut, topped with banana slices and cinnamon.

I can’t wait to see your creations! Please tag me on Instagram @spread.the.health in your pics!

The Orange Stuff Soup

I know it’s summer right now in Southern California, and it’s 84 degrees outside at 7:30 pm, but I’m makin’ soup! Hey, at least I have air conditioning, right? This is definitely a recipe you should save and make for your next holiday meal, especially during the fall months for Thanksgiving. But heck, it’s so delicious I make it year-round, despite the heat outside.  It’s pretty much summer weather all year long here anyway, so go ahead, make the soup!

I always make a big batch so I have leftovers that last well into the work week. Plus, the flavors blend together even more in the fridge, and it re-heats really well.

Download the PDF recipe to print –> The Orange Stuff Soup

Here’s what you’ll need (please don’t eat the flowers) 

While the PDF is downloading, here’s some pics to get you inspired:

  He’s so serious ^

One Pan Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Thighs

Per special request from a few followers, I’m sharing my recipe for this delicious fusion of Italian flavors: sun-dried tomatoes, black olives, and pesto.

Click bellow to get the PDF recipe!

One Pan Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Thighs

Using chicken thighs makes it a pretty hearty #keto meal too!

Leftovers re-heat really well, so make a big batch if you’ve got a pan big enough!

Can’t wait to see your creations. #tagme on IG

@spread.the.health

Farm Fresh To You

I can’t say enough good things about Farm Fresh To You. 

They are a CSA (community supported agriculture) family-owned business that offers subscription home-delivery services for fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. They have different plans and box sizes that you can choose from to fit your budget and dietary needs. The smallest box starts at only $26 per week, and you can customize and add to it however you want. They offer organic seasonal veggies, fruits, and herbs, but they also have high quality meats such as grass-fed and grass-finished beef, free-range pastured chicken and eggs, etc. They even have milk and yogurt alternatives too, which is great for my dairy-free life! 

We get a weekly small box that I customize myself, usually a mix of veggies and fruits with the occasional special order of grass fed and finished ground beef (seriously so delicious) depending on what meals I plan to prepare that week. I have my go-to items like rainbow carrots and broccolini, but it’s fun to try seasonal specialities like purple asparagus and baby bok choy that I would have otherwise passed by in the market secondary to fear of not knowing what the heck to do with it. My most recent trial was almond yogurt that I doctored up with fresh strawberries, blueberries, persimmons, coconut flakes, and cinnamon…and let me tell you, it was bangarang! They provide insider tips about storage for fruits and vegetables for optimal freshness and longevity, and how to revive wilted greens too, which I really appreciate. Did you know that you’re supposed to store basil on the counter in water like cut flowers, not in the fridge?!

They have a growing list of delicious and nutritious recipes that you can find here (https://www.farmfreshtoyou.com/recipes). Check out their roasted Brussel sprouts with garlic, it’s amazing and so easy to make! And be sure to check out other fun add-ons like jams, nuts, and juicing kits. 

They also play an impressive role in community service as they donate about 100,000 lbs of organic produce to food banks per year! This family-owned sustainable agriculture subscription will always have my support.

From my understanding, they have 2 farms located in Northern and Southern California. Check here to see if they deliver to your area. But so many communities all over the country have CSA subscriptions like this. Just Google “community supported agriculture near me” and see what you find. Maybe you’ve seen stands at your local farmer’s market! That’s how we found Farm Fresh To You in our area. 

Check out their website and see if a Farm Fresh To You subscription is right for you and your family! Click on the banner to the right of this post and use my code JACQ6394 and get $15 off your first box! 

Zucchini Sweet Potato Raviolis

Spread the wealth of health with this delicious and super impressive zucchini ravioli dish! It’s well worth the work, and great for date night (see: super impressive). Get everyone involved by making an assembly line to make it go faster. You’ll be amazed that such a delicious dish can come from such simple ingredients.

Download your free PDF recipe here: Zucchini Sweet Potato Raviolis

In the mean time, here’s a few steps to get you inspired…

The filling is a mixture of ground meat of your choice (I used turkey here) and sweet potatoes:

Place a dollop in the center of a thinly sliced zucchini cross:

Then fold them up to keep the filling inside, and place upside down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper:

Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper:

Make as many as you have ingredients for (usually the zucchini is the limiting factor) so you have leftovers – they re-heat wonderfully!

   

Please let me see your creations! Tag me on the gram (@spread.the.health) or post your pictures in the comments!

How To: Collard Greens

I’m taking you through how I prepare my collard greens and sauté them Brazilian style! 🇧🇷

This is a great way to get your leafy greens in and be happy about it. I love how they cook down when you sauté them so you are actually eating a good amount of green plant material without having to eat an entire mixing bowl of greens.

Let’s samba!

Step 1: wash the leaves and pat them dry.

Step 2: cut the stem out.

Step 3: layer all the leaves.

Step 4: fold leaves in half.

Step 5: roll the leaves into a cylinder.

 

Step 6: use a large knife to cut thin slices.

 

Step 7: Heat 1-2 Tbs olive oil in a pan.

Step 8: Sauté in a large skillet over medium heat with 2 Tbs olive oil, 1 tsp garlic and onion powder each, 2 tbs coconut aminos (I use Coconut Secrets) or balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, until bright green – about 5-7 min.

  

See, bright green:

Serve and enjoy!

Ground Turkey with Roasted Parsnips

If you need a super quick and easy yet tasty dish for the mid week dinner rush, this is a great go-to.

I made this for dinner one night at the end of the week when I was trying to make a quick meal with ingredients  we still had in the fridge. I wasn’t trying to be fancy or creative, I was just trying to use all the food before it went bad. But I really impressed myself with how delicious this simple dish was. It’s always nice to be pleasantly surprised like that on a week night!

Give it a try!

Click the link below to download the PDF recipe 🙂

Ground Turkey with Roasted Parsnips

 

Creamy Tomato Cilantro Sauce

I got a fresh bundle of cilantro in my recent Farm Fresh To You box, and had to come up with something to use it all before it went bad. I also had a half can of opened tomato paste that needed to be used as well. Thus was born Taylor’s bangarang creamy tomato cilantro sauce!

It’s rich and refreshing in flavor, and filled with healthy fats for long-lasting energy. My husband and I both agree it’s one of the best sauces I’ve made. I put it on anything and everything…eggs, turkey sausage patties, salads, sweet potatoes…it’s delicious on literally EVERYTHING!

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 heaping Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 heaping Tbs mayo (I made my own, but you can also use Primal Kitchen)
  • 1-2 Tbs coconut milk –OR– 1/2 avocado with 1 Tbs coconut milk

Next, place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender, and blend until well combined:

 

When you’re done blending, it should look something like this, and it should smell like heaven:

Scoop it onto whatever you’re currently eating, or eat a small spoonful straight from the blender 😉

Scoop the rest of the sauce into a jar or air-tight container with a spatula, and keep refrigerated up to 8 days.

Let me know what other variations you come up with!

Cauliflower Gnocchi

After hearing about it for the last couple weeks, I had my go with Trader Joe’s new cauliflower gnocchi the other night, and it did not disappoint.

It’s Whole30 compliant and gives you the feeling of eating a nice Italian dish without the heaviness of real pasta. I made mine with a mix of home-made pesto and tomato paste, sliced chicken sausages, and cherry tomatoes. Mmm!

Two bags of Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi and 4 sausages fed 4 of us, and we had one serving of leftovers that re-heated really well. It’s super easy to make, and only took about 30 minutes with prep and cook time. To cook the frozen gnocchi, all you need to do is add water to it in a pan and cover over medium heat for 6-8 minutes and voila! Then mix it together with sausage slices that you were heating in another pan, sprinkle some salt, pepper, and oregano to your heart’s desire, pour over your favorite pasta sauce (or maybe make your own creamy tomato sauce with tomato paste and almond milk) and you have yourself a delicious meal that everyone will love in no time.

The sausage I used was from Costco – they’re always changing what they carry, so be sure to read your labels to avoid added sugars if you’re wanting to stay within the Whole30 rules.

Definitely get yourself over to Trader Joe’s and stock up on their new cauliflower gnocchi for those nights where you need to throw dinner together in a snap!

 

How To: Fried Plantains

We recently got an induction cook top and one of the first things I set out to make using the new stove was fried plantains. After a couple trial and errors, I  think I’ve got it down to a good technique now.

I found that it was best to use a non-stick skillet otherwise the plantain gets really stuck to the pan . Also use ghee or clarified butter, not olive oil. When I used olive oil the first time, it made the plantains kinda mushy and they stuck to the pan even more.

Step one: melt 1 Tbsp ghee in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Keep the ghee out, you’ll probably need more before you flip the plantains over.

Step two: while the ghee is melting in the pan, cut the ends off the plantain, and make a shallow slice lengthwise.

Step three: peel the plantain. It will not peel as easily as a banana as the meat of the plantain is quite stickier and the skin is thicker.

Step four: slice the plantain, ~1/2 cm thickness.

Step five: place plantains in the pan. You will notice that they soak up the ghee quickly, and you’ll probably need to add more ghee before flipping. Depending on your stove, you may need to bring the heat down to medium to avoid burning.

Step six: after about 4-5 minutes, when you notice the edges starting to turn a brighter yellow, flip the slices over and cook for another 4-5 minutes.

Step seven: add fried plantains as a topping or side to your favorite dish, sprinkle with salt, and enjoy!