Harvest Apple, Sweet Potato and Brussels Skillet

When the seasons shift to fall and the crispness flows through the air, I love the combination of many fall harvest flavors.  Especially in a delicious, healthy and hearty dish.

My family recently traveled  back to my roots (near our family’s old farm).  Our family enjoyed a weekend of festivals and I came home with a bounty of fresh picked, juicy apples.  We also had a yummy pack of pepper bacon from the local butcher.  These ingredients inspired me to break out the cast iron skillet and have some creative fun.

This gorgeous harvest skillet packs the incredible flavors of fresh apples, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, farm fresh bacon and more.

 

Not only is this harvest skillet dish incredibly delicious, but it also serves up a variety of vitamins, antioxidants, phytonutrients, fiber, minerals and may help with reducing inflammation.

 

With the holidays upon us, this dish would be a great addition to your family or holiday meal.  You could serve this dish as a yummy brunch side, add it to your dinner spread or add protein (chicken, sausage, bison, etc) to make a large skillet meal.  Get your creative juices flowing and have fun while cooking this heart and healthy meal.

 

Harvest Apple, Sweet Potato and Brussels Skillet

ingredients:

  • 1 TBSP Avocado Oil
  • 2 Sweet Potatoes, cut and cubed ( Skins are optional- I left them on)
  • 1 Pound of Brussels, trimmed and cut into quarters
  • 3 Apples of Choice, cored, cut  and cubed (I used Stamen Apples from Virginia)
  • 5 Slices of Farm Fresh Bacon, chopped (Can be modified for more or less)
  • 1 Large Onion, peeled and chopped
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 TBSP Real Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 Reduced Sodium Vegetable Broth
  • 2 tsp Fresh Thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Directions:

  1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a cast iron skillet, toss cut sweet potatoes in oil and roast them in the over for about 10 minutes.  They will be cooked but not golden brown and fully cooked.
  3. Remove the potatoes carefully from the oven.  Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees.
  4. Begin to add the Brussels, apples, onion, bacon, garlic and fresh herbs to the potatoes.  Carefully toss and combine all ingredients.  If desired, mix in the salt and pepper.
  5. Roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes, tossing throughout the cooking process if needed.
  6. Remove the skillet from the oven and add broth as needed while loosening up the bacon and browned ingredients with a spoon.
  7. Drizzle with maple syrup, carefully toss and roast another 5-10 minutes until the ingredients are fully cooked and the bacon is browned.
  8. Enjoy!

 

 

Notes:  I used pepper bacon and don’t usually cook with salt, so you may want to make these adjustments depending on your preference and ingredients.

If you don’t want to use sweet potatoes, butternut squash or pumpkin would make a great addition to this dish.

Additional cooking time may be needed depending on your oven.

Optional Toppings: Nuts (such as pecans), cheese (goat, etc), dried fruit such as cranberries.

Recommended Cooking Items:

12.5-inch Skillet: Lodge Cast Iron Skillet

15-inch Skillet: Lodge Cast Iron Skillet

Looking for additional healthy recipes this Holiday Season?  I welcome you to check out my Healthy Holiday Guide

XOXO,

Kim

Halloween Sugar

Top 10 Health Tips for Kicking Sugar Cravings

Halloween is a fun time to enjoy sweet treats, dressing up, holiday parties and fun with the kiddos.

There is much excitement with all of the decorations, spooky fun and festivals.  Yet, as soon as Halloween comes and goes, we start to hear the words sugar and holidays.  Clients and friends are already feeling the affects of the Halloween fun and they’re already thinking about what’s ahead with the upcoming holiday season.

There are ways to enjoy the holiday season without the guilt, constant crashes, weight gain and delayed resolutions.  Below are some of my top tips that may help you enjoy the holidays without the hard.

Tips for Kicking Sugar Cravings

 

Consider Your Caffein Intake.  

Caffeine is often consumed during the busy holiday season when many are feeling tired and exhausted.  Though there are some health benefits to coffee, it can also dehydrate the body, increase blood sugar swings and may cause sugar cravings.

Stay Hydrated.

Speaking of hydration… There are times that we are hungry or crave sugar and in fact, we’re dehydrated.  Try to stay hydrated throughout the day and if you feel added cravings coming about, drink some water and wait a few minutes. Not a fan of plain water?  Try infusing it with lemons, limes, berries or cucumbers.

“Crowd Out” Sweet Cravings with Naturally Sweet Fruits and Veggies.

Consuming sweet flavored fruits and veggies can help satisfy the sweet tooth you may be craving.  Here is one of my favorite sweet veggies.  Delicious, healthy and tastes like sweet healthy candy. Healthy Honey Glazed Carrots

Avoid Foods Consisting of Added Sugars, Chemicals and Artificial Sweeteners.

When sweetening dishes, swap out the above items for healthier options such as local raw honey, pure maple syrup, dried fruits (dates are my favorite) and stevia.

Stay Active and Keep Your Booty Moving.

Movement and activity helps to balance blood sugar levels, reduces stress, boosts energy and increases happiness.  When cravings hit, grab a workout with a friend, walk your dog, ride your bike, practice yoga or light stretching.  Switch it up and do more of what you enjoy.

Make Time for Rest and Relaxation.

When the body is exhausted, lacking sleep or stressed, it will crave the quickest form of energy available.  That form is often times sugar. Rest and relaxation is so important for the body and mind.

Consider the Amount of Animal Meat You’re Consuming.

When looking at Traditional Chinese Medicine and yin-yang principles of eating, too much or too little animal food can create imbalances in the body.  Slowing down while eating, being mindful and discovering the foods right for your body can help create balance of your own bio-individuality.

Eliminate Low-Fat and Fat Free Foods.

When our foods shifted towards low fat and fat free, there was a spike in sales of these products.  Many thought these foods would help them lose weight and live healthier lifestyles. In actuality, these foods contain high quantities of sugar to compensate for their lack of flavor and fat.  These foods will take the body on a rollercoaster of ups and downs.

Have Fun with Spices.

Spices and natural sweeteners (above) will naturally sweeten your foods.  Try experimenting with spices such as cinnamon, cloves, coroner and cardamom.  During the fall and winter seasons, your body craves foods and spices that are warming.

Consider Your Primary Foods.

Primary foods are different from the nutrition we have on our plate.  When we slow down and find joy in non-food ways, we discover a sweetness and zest for life.  Cravings are often related to other things going on in our lives.

Consider your current lifestyle and ways that you can make some adjustments to nurture more areas of your life beyond your plate. This is actually quite an empowering process.

 

When life is sweet, sugar isn’t needed!

 

Are you already thinking about the sugar crashes, diving into your grandmother’s mashed potatoes, the family pumpkin pie or the variety of cocktails you know will be served at your office party?  I know this is a time where we begin to accept and prepare the exhaustion, stress, bloating, weight gain and more.

You don’t have to relive other holidays like those in the past.  

There is a way to enjoy the tastes and cheer of the holidays while feeling confident and sexy in your holiday dress.

If you’re looking for a program and community that will help you THRIVE NOT SURVIVE through the holidays, I welcome you to join us!

The next Fall Fuel for You program begins Monday, November 11th.  If you have any questions, I welcome you to directly message me here. Contact

Looking for additional tips and recipes this holiday season?  Check out my Healthy Holiday Guide

Cheers to a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season!

XOXO,

Kim

Fall Superfoods

HEALTHY FOOD SWAPS USING FALL SUPERFOODS

Fall food swaps are a simple, healthy way to support this season’s change, strengthen our immunity and support our body as we approach the holiday season ahead.

If you want to eat a little healthier through the fall season, it doesn’t require completely changing your nutrition. In many cases, you can just make a few substitutions with the foods you already enjoy. Lower-fat foods that are tasty and nutritious. Here are some healthy food swaps that use fall superfoods.

Use Pumpkin in Cake Mixes

One of the easiest healthy food swaps you can do with your fall superfoods is to use pumpkin puree with cake mixes. This turns your cake or cupcakes into just 2 ingredients, including the cake mix of your choice and pumpkin puree. The pumpkin replaces all other ingredients you would have mixed in with the cake mix, like oil and eggs. This is often done with a spiced cake mix that goes well with pumpkin, but don’t be afraid to experiment with vanilla and chocolate cake mixes as well.

Don’t like pumpkin?  Use fresh applesauce instead.  Both pumpkin and apples are incredible fall foods with many health benefits.

Sweet Potatoes Instead of White Potatoes

Many people enjoy potatoes, especially in the fall when you want more savory dishes, but they tend to be high in carbs and fat, and not very nutritious. Instead of having traditional white potatoes in your dishes, try sweet potatoes. These are a superfood, so they are filled with nutrients, and are amazing to enjoy during the fall season. You can enjoy stuffed sweet potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, sweet potato fries or even sweet potato soup.

Use Cauliflower for Low-Carb Options

If you are on a low-carb nutrition plan, then you should become familiar with cauliflower. The bland taste and slightly rough texture of cauliflower makes it perfect as a substitute for many of the carb-rich foods you can no longer have. You can use it to make mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes, make lots of types of rice with it, or even make cauliflower steaks. Be creative and find different ways to substitute the higher-carb ingredients with cauliflower.  Cauliflower can pack a lot of flavor when cooked with avocado oil or ghee, herbs and spices.

I love to make healthier pizza with cauliflower crust.  I keep it simple and healthy with this crust of choice.  Link: Cauliflower Crust

Quinoa Instead of Rice

The last substitution you can make for a healthier superfood-rich meal is to replace your rice with quinoa. Most types of rice, including white rice and brown rice, are okay in moderation, but they lack the nutrition you need for a well-balanced meal. Quinoa is considered a superfood, so it is the perfect alternative when you want to have a rice dish. You can make a harvest quinoa side dish with squash, pumpkin, and spices, which is simply to make and very good for you with all the superfoods included.

As mentioned, there are many ways to swap some of your traditional dishes for healthier, super food filled, yummy recipes.  Below is one of my favorites this fall season.  It’s a great recipe to share with family and friends and it uses up those leftover pumpkins from Halloween. 😁
Roasted Pumpkin with Cranberry Sauce

INGREDIENTS:

2 pounds of fresh pumpkin, seeded and cut long ways into crescents

3 Tbsp raw local honey
3 Tbsp avocado oil (or another oil of your choice)
Optional seasoning: 1 tsp pumpkin spice

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly oil. In a small bowl, combine and stir the oil and honey. Spread pumpkin slices on prepared sheets, side by side. Brush one side of the slices with oil and honey mixture. If adding the spice, lightly dust before roasting. Roast 10 to 15 minutes, or until browning begins.

Carefully flip the slices with tongs and brush with the remaining oil combination. If desired, you can add more spice (if using). Roast another 10 to 15 minutes or until desired texture and color. Serve with cranberry sauce

Cranberry Sauce

INGREDIENTS:

12 ounces fresh cranberries
2 apples, peeled and chopped 1 cup of water
1⁄2 cup local raw honey

DIRECTIONS:

In a saucepan over high heat, bring all ingredients to a boil. Once the ingredients begin to boil, reduce the heat to low. Simmer and stir occasionally until the cranberries pop and the ingredients thicken. Remove from heat and allow to cool. This delicious dish can be refrigerated for serving later or served after cooking and once cooled down.

This recipe and many more will be featured in my Healthy Holiday Guide COMING SOON! To learn more or get on the waiting list, message me here: Contact Kim

Have you discovered a healthy swap that you enjoy?  I welcome you to share!

Happy Fall Y’all!

XOXO,

Kim

Kid-Approved Veggies for School Lunches

When it comes to kid-approved veggies, there are several tips (and recipes) I recommend.  This is a topic I often discuss with clients who want to help their children eat healthier at home.  Whether home or school, there are several veggies that kids (and adults) do enjoy.

When I was a kid, I didn’t enjoy soggy Brussels, canned green beans and steamed foods.  Now that I am a healthy foodie and love experimenting with dishes, it’s been fun to discover all of the veggies that I love to cook and the kiddos eat and enjoy.  Yes, it does depend on the kiddo and what they like.  Try experimenting with different foods and ways to cook them.  Have fun with it and get them involved with food prep around the meals.

While planning dinner with my boyfriend this week, he mentioned how he was chatting with one of his kids about eating healthier at school.  He then told me that his son put in a request for some of the dishes I often make for us when we are together.  This made me smile big time! 😁 After cooking a variety of produce from our gardens this past summer, the kids were discovering different ways to enjoy delicious, healthy farm fresh food.

I get so much pleasure watching them enjoy fresh, healthy meals.  They are so fun to cook for, we enjoy making meals and snacks together, and I love our quality time together at the table.  It made me reflect further on how many parents ask me for help with the kids and cooking.  Below are some tips and recipes that I’ve found to be helpful and kid approved.

Tip #1: When it comes to preparing  healthy veggies for kids, let’s keep in mind that they often times like sweets.  TRY experimenting with sweet veggies.

Sweet veggies like peppers are great for snacking and sautéing in stir fry.  Stir fry is just as delicious the next day when the flavors have marinated.  Perfect for school lunches.  If your kiddos enjoy cut veggies, adding multi-colored cut up veggies with hummus or a healthy dip is a great snack or lunch item.

Do your kiddos like carrots?  This is one of my favorite recipes!  Not only does it include healthy raw honey but the caramel glaze from roasting makes them sweet like candy.

Honey Glazed Carrots

Recipe: Healthy Honey Glazed Carrots

 

Tip #2: Keep it simple and fun!

Spaghetti squash has become a hit at our dinner table and we’ve discovered that it stores well for school lunches too. Another favorite with the kiddos!  We like to roast ours in the oven with garlic powder and herbs.  No complicated meals over here!  It’s super easy to make and can be fun if you want to add in toppings.

Speaking of toppings, spaghetti squash can be served on the side, topped with a delicious pasta/meat sauce or made into fun boats.  This is great for a family fun night!

Recipe: Simple Spaghetti Squash

 

TIP #3:  ADD IN SHREDDED VEGGIES to home cooked meals.

If you have a very picky eater who isn’t a fan of veggies, try shredding veggies and adding them into meals.  Shredded veggies mix well with meatballs, meatloaf, pasta sauce dishes and more.  Get creative and try new things.

I enjoy making these turkey rounds and use shredded veggies in place of some of the oats.

Recipe: Turkey Rounds

 

After discovering more of the kiddos favorites, I’ve been working on some new recipes that are kid (and adult) approved.  More to come soon!
Have you discovered some new veggie recipes or tips for school lunches? I welcome you to share.

XOXO,

Kim

 

 

 

 

smoothie bowl

Fall Breakfast Bowl Ideas Using Superfood

Fall Breakfast Bowls are a healthy, filling and warming treat as the cooler air moves in and we crave warming foods.

The fall season is in full swing and we’ve been feeling the seasonal shift.  This time of the year, many experience a lower immune system, stress, less sleep (especially during the holiday season)and may feel ‘blah.’  We start to crave heavier, comfort foods.

To help support the body through this seasonal change and beyond, adding in superfoods is a great way to support and nourish the body.

If you are interested in using more superfoods this fall, a great option for you is to make breakfast bowls. You might have heard of smoothie bowls, but that is definitely not the only fun bowl idea for breakfast that doesn’t include cereal. Take a look at these healthy options for your next superfood breakfast.

smoothy pumpkin breakfast bowl

Smoothie bowls are popular year-round, as a way to add more superfoods into your nutrition and have a healthy, yummy breakfast. It may seem weird having a smoothie with pumpkin, but it actually contains the perfect texture and just enough sweetness to make this a filling and healthy breakfast bowl. The trick here is to add banana to the smoothie bowl along with your pumpkin puree, since it is going to sweeten it up. You can then use some almond milk or other milk (such as cashew or coconut), along with your choice of fall spices. Just a little allspice will also work since it combines different flavors in one. For toppings, try chia seeds, ground cinnamon, and walnuts.  Toasted walnuts are delish too!

apple Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Here is another tasty breakfast bowl that is going to use those wonderful superfoods.  Between the farmers markets and apple festivals, it’s not hard to find delicious apples this time of the year.  Quinoa is added in to give you a healthy grain that is filling and contains plenty of fiber. This quinoa bowl is on the sweeter side, using sliced apples, apple pie spice, applesauce, and some almond milk or soy milk. You can also make it even sweeter with some pure maple syrup drizzled or local raw honey on top.

Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl

This may not sound appetizing right away, but give it a chance! You aren’t just eating a bowl of sweet potatoes; you are combining them with some of the classic fall flavors for a healthy and nutrient-rich breakfast bowl that is easy to put together. In addition to the sweet potatoes, which should be mashed after cooking them, add in a mashed banana and mix it together. You can then add in your spices, whether you add them individually, or go with allspice or a simple pumpkin pie spice. Other ingredients are up to you, though chia seeds, flax seeds and almond milk go really good with this type of breakfast bowl.

Have you heard of chia and flax?  This is a great article to share more! Chia and Flax

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal breakfast bowl

Pumpkin spice is a popular flavor during fall.  Often a fan favorite, this one you should definitely try. You can transform your morning oatmeal into a fall spiced delight and make it taste just like pumpkin pie. Some ingredients to use include rolled oats, water, nut milk, banana, pumpkin pie spice, and your choice of natural sweetener. You can go with local raw honey, agave syrup or a pure maple syrup. Pumpkin puree is of course also added in the oatmeal.

When it comes to breakfast bowls, spice it up, have some fun and dig into your creative side.  Discover what tastes and flavors you enjoy!

Below is one of my favorite fall breakfast recipes.  Super simple and easy to make.  It’s a great combination of the fall goodies we enjoy this time of the year.

 

RECIPE

apple CINNAMON SPICE OATMEAL

Makes 2 servings

1 cup rolled oats
2 cups water or dairy-free milk Dash of sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon raw cacao
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Honey or your favorite sweetener 1 apple, sliced

Add oats, water (or milk), sea salt, cinnamon, raw cacao, and coconut oil to a small pot over medium heat. Stir well and cook for about 10 minutes. Serve with honey or your favorite sweetener and sliced apple.

 

Happy Fall Y’all!

P.S. I will be sharing many delicious and healthy meals in my two upcoming programs Fall Fuel for You and Living the Nourished Life.  I welcome you to message click on the links or me on my Contact Page to learn more.

XOXO,

KIm