easy recipe

Mexican-Inspired Dinner in 15 Minutes

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Friends, I recently declared in my newsletter that I'm no recipe guru. I will leave the recipe-mastering to folks who do it much better than me. Know what I can offer you? I can offer you advice on how to throw whole food together and make it taste halfway decent.

Here's what I did the other night when I was hungry, tired and wanted something nutritious with barely any work.

Mexican-Inspired Dinner in 15 Minutes

Feeds 2 with leftovers

you'll need:

2 cups of black beans, rinsed 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 medium onion, diced 1 Tbsp of coconut oil

1 tsp cumin 1 tsp chili powder 2 cups diced tomatoes 1 avocado 2 cups quinoa, cooked 1 sweet potato, diced 1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves

do this:

In a small pot, bring 2 cups water to a boil, add the sweet potato chunks and boil until soft. Drain and set aside.

In a small sauté pan over medium heat, melt the coconut oil and brown the onions until they are translucent. Add the brown beans, chili powder, cumin and garlic. Set heat to low and simmer for five minutes, stirring often.

Per person:

Combine 1/2 cup of the bean mixture, a handful of sweet potato chunks, 1/2 cup diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup quinoa, 1/2 cup spinach and top with 1/2 avocado, sliced.

Add a pinch of salt.

Still hungry? Eat more. It's all veggies and whole foods--you can feel good about it.

But make more next time, so you have leftovers. ;)

 

Real food is so fun, so good and so simple.  Eat it.

 

Homemade Maple Whipped Cream

This one was almost TOO easy. Ok, not almost. It WAS too easy.

*Note*

Strawberries are NOT in season in New England right now. Summer is berry season here. I bought these because they are from California and they looked delicious. I thought they needed something and so I put on my experimentation hat, got in the kitchen and made this.

Save this for the summer. Or make it now. Impress your friends or mother-in-law!

Maple Whipped Cream

Ingredients

1 pint organic heavy whipping cream 1 Tbsp maple syrup 1 container of organic strawberries

Instructions

1) In a high-powered blender, blend 1/2 cup cream and maple syrup on super low speed. Rev it up as needed until you reach your desired consistency. Watch as you magically make homemade whipped cream! 2) Cut strawberries into bite-sized pieces and spoon whipped cream over them in a bowl. Add a dash of cinnamon or cocoa powder.

 

Look at you, you fancy whipped-cream making rockstar!

 

Sweet Squash Soup*

Serve this sucker at Thanksgiving on Thursday.

It's:

1) easy

2) seasonal

3) delicious

That's what I always promise, yes?  ;)

SWEET SQUASH SOUP*

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter

1 small Spanish onion, medium diced

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon sea salt

4 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into large cubes

4 cups vegetable stock

2 tablespoon maple syrup (optional---but recommended by me)

Instructions

1) Heat the butter in a large thick-bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute until it begins to brown, 3-5 minutes. Stir in the cinnamon and salt. Add the squash and saute for 5 minutes. Add the stock and increase the heat to high. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer gently until the squash is soft, 15-20 minutes.

2) Use an immersion blender  to puree the soup right in the pot or transfer the mixture to a blender (or your Vitamix like we will, holla!!) and puree until smooth. (Use caution while pureeing hot liquid; keep blades of an immersion blender submerged and if using a blender, work in batches, filling the blender jar only halfway and hold cloth over the lid while pureeing.) If using maple syrup, add it to the squash while pureeing. Return the pureed soup to the pot and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until hot. Serve hot.

*this recipe comes from the seasonal menu cookbook from Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Lenox, MA. They titled it vegan and used Smart Balance in place of butter. As a holistic health coach, I use whole foods over processed ones as often as possible so I suggest using butter. I prefer to use real foods from sources where I know the animals were treated humanely. I make that decision over using chemically-created/processed alternatives for my own health. Do some research about these "alternative foods" and make the choice that feels right for you.