Saturday, October 22, 2016

Bulletproof Pumpkin Misto

You've heard of a café latte or café au lait but, when it's made with tea, it's called a tea latte or misto. This Pumpkin Misto is a delicious way to celebrate the warm, spicy tastes of autumn and Halloween. The addition of coconut oil makes it bulletproof and will give your brain a boost! I like to finish off my bulletproof drinks in the blender to emulsify the oil into the liquid. (It's not necessary but, without blending, the oil will float to the top.) So, brew yourself some pumpkin or cinnamon spice tea (Tazo is a good brand) and enjoy a cup of comfort as you watch the autumn leaves fall from the trees and cover your path with gold!

Bulletproof Pumpkin Misto
Makes 1 serving

10 ounces of hot, brewed pumpkin spice or cinnamon spice tea
2 tablespoons plain pumpkin purée (canned is fine, but check the ingredients for sugar)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon stevia powder, or to taste (I used Sweet Leaf brand)
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more for topping
1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk

1. To a blender, add pumpkin purée, coconut oil, stevia powder, pumpkin pie spice and coconut milk.
2. Brew the tea and allow to steep for about 5 minutes. Remove tea bag and pour into the blender.
3. Blend until the oil is emulsified and the mixture is frothy. Pour into a mug and sprinkle with additional pumpkin pie spice. Serve immediately. (If needed, you may reheat the tea in the microwave for a few seconds.)

Nutritional Information (made with full-fat coconut milk): 218 calories, 4.8 g carbohydrate (1 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugars), 22.2 g total fat (17.8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 20 mg sodium, 10.9 mg calcium, 197 mg potassium, 0.9 g protein.  Net carbs per serving: 3.8 grams

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2016
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without author's permission.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Rainbow Chili

 A cool, autumn day calls for a comforting meal that is warming, all the way to my toes! This spicy meat chili has the added health benefit of assorted vegetables to nourish the body, but don't overlook the fact that their bright colors are appealing to the eye, as well. The purple of red cabbage, the bright orange of carrots, the bold red of tomatoes, the white of onion, the spring green of celery and the summer yellow of squash all come together in a rainbow of flavor! Mix them up and use whatever vegetables you have on hand or choose your family's favorites. I enjoy this hearty chili with a sprinkling of shredded cheese or topped with guacamole and sour cream.

I'm often asked how I fulfill the various tastes and dietary requirements of different family members at mealtime, since not everyone chooses to eat low carb. This meal is a great example! My carb-loving husband (who is not diabetic) loves his chili over boiled potatoes. We usually keep some starchy side dish in the fridge to add to his meals, such as boiled potatoes, pasta or rice.  This arrangement works well for us. It's easy for me to stay on my low-carb diet, while still satisfying his desire for a starch...that way we're both happy!

Rainbow Chili
Makes about 10 cups

2 teaspoons coconut oil
1 pound grass-fed, organic ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 cup chopped red cabbage
1 cup chopped yellow summer squash
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz.)
1 can organic black soy beans (15 oz.), drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon beef concentrate (optional)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper, or to taste
1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder, or to taste
1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, or to taste
1/16 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to more if you like it hot
1-1/2 cups to 2 cups beef broth (until desired consistency is reached)

Heat the coconut oil in a heavy Dutch oven. Brown the ground beef. Add the onions, celery and carrots and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion becomes translucent. Add the remaining chopped vegetables, garlic, tomatoes, beans, beef concentrate (if using), salt, pepper, herbs and spices. Stir to combine and sauté briefly. Add enough beef broth to reach the desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings to taste.  (I'm a wimp and like my chili mild, but if you like yours hot, you may need to add more chili powder, cumin and cayenne.) Cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, before serving.

Nutritional Information per cup: 166 calories, 7.3 g carbohydrate (3.5 g dietary fiber, 2.6 g sugars), 9.6 g total fat (3.7 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 28 mg cholesterol, 478 mg sodium, 48.6 mg calcium, 273 mg potassium, 13.3 g protein.  Net carbs per serving: 3.8 grams

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2016
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without author's permission.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Butternut Squash Noodles Topped with Sausage and Brussel Sprouts

Today was cloudy, dark and other words, a perfect Maine autumn day to stay in and nap! It was so hard to get motivated to make a healthy meal tonight. My almost bare refrigerator didn't help matters either. So, I forced myself to go down to the local Farm Stand with the challenge of making dinner from whatever they had available. I hit the jackpot! Beautiful winter squashes, fresh brussel sprouts, apples, last-of-the-season green beans and zucchini, locally made marinaded beets, broccoli, a sweet potato and a bunch of romaine--all locally grown, even some organic Sweet Italian Sausage! I'm set for a few days. Tonight's dinner was spontaneous and quick to throw together, but so delicious! The addition of fresh, slivered sage from my herb garden really made the dish POP! This meal is a wonderful combination of fall flavors.

Butternut Squash Noodles Topped with Sausage and Brussel Sprouts
Makes 2 servings

2 teaspoons coconut oil
1 organic Sweet Italian sausage link, casing removed
1-1/2 cups of chopped or slivered brussel sprouts
3 cups of spiralized butternut squash noodles
2 tablespoons butter
4 fresh sage leaves, rolled and then cut into slivers (chiffonade)
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Spiralize the butternut squash into spaghetti-length noodles and chop the brussel sprouts; set aside.

2. In a large, heavy skillet over medium heat, add the coconut oil and sausage. Break up and cook the sausage, add the brussel sprouts and sauté until the brussel sprouts are tender-crisp and beginning to turn golden.  Remove this mixture to a plate and set aside while you cook the noodles.

3. Turn the heat to medium-low and add the butter to the skillet. Allow the butter to brown slightly before adding the butternut squash noodles to the pan. Sauté until the squash begins to soften and add the sage, salt and pepper.  Stir frequently, allowing the sage to crisp up a bit by "frying" in the hot butter. When the noodles are sufficiently softened, but not limp, divide the noodle mixture between two serving plates.

4.  Turn up the heat to medium and add the sausage mixture to the skillet for a minute or two to heat through. Spoon over the butternut squash noodles and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information per serving: 338 calories, 23.7 g carbohydrate (5.5 g dietary fiber, 4.6 g sugars), 24.3 g total fat (11.6 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 70 mg cholesterol, 470 mg sodium, 125.8 mg calcium, 764 mg potassium, 10.3 g protein.  Net carbs per serving: 18.2 grams

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2016
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without author's permission.