Last week we had one of those moments.
You know those idyllic parenting moments you dream about and then you become parents and sometimes the moments you pictured in your head don't quite turn out because #reallife. Well this wasn't one of those. It was one of those beautiful, just-as-I-always-pictured-it moments and I am so thankful for God for the memories we got to make when we took our one year old to the pumpkin patch this year.
Grey adored EVERY part of the day at the "Pum Pum" Patch, that he so affectionately calls it, which in turn made ME enjoy every part of the day and made my mama heart extremely happy. He played in corn (yay sensory activity I didn't have to clean up, haha), fed a goat, rode a massive tire swing, slid down a huge slide with me and Mr. Charming, picked a baby pumpkin and ran until his cheeks turned pink and his legs grew tired.
Yes, it was a beautiful Fall day indeed. And for those of you in Arizona, we drove up to Dewey (just outside of Prescott) to Mortimer Farms and its by far my new favorite fall spot.
We've been trying to be more intentional this season. Intentional about our quality time together as a family, intentional about how we care for our marriage, our home, our bodies.
I've been doing a life changing Proverbs 31 Study this month and it's motivated me to spend more time with God, purge our home of things we don't need and up my game again in the kitchen to get nutritious, home cooked meals in me and the boys.
Even as a nutritionist, I was falling short (and can totally admit it) when it came to putting the best food on the table when I was in new mama territory.
This Quinoa bowl was ACTUALLY a total accident, as I had white quinoa in the freezer and my husband was on his way home for lunch and I wanted to give him something healthy as we're trying to keep our immune systems boosted and our calories down and this bowl was born.
And. It. Was. Gosh. Darn. Amazing.
The flavors came together SO beautifully. I love when you throw together what you have left in the fridge and you make an epic creation. This bowl needs to be made and enjoyed. The hot quinoa and roasted sweet potato with the crunchy cool tomatoes and avocado play with your senses, while the olive oil, sea salt and pepper enhance the natural flavors in the dish.
A simply and easy meal for any weeknight or lunch hour. Recipe below per usual.
I love Chinese takeout. OK. Let me rephrase that, I LOVED Chinese takeout. I think it's probably been close to three or four years since I've gotten take-out because of how they prepare the food, so I make it a mission to recreate old loves on a regular basis, in a much healthier, more organic way.
I found a gluten-free, spaghetti squash recipe that I wanted to try, but it used brown sugar and spices that I couldn't have, and some other items that are on my list of can't's so I altered it to make my own version. I make this when Mr. Charming and I need a vegan meal to break up the week, but you can add seafood, chicken or steak if you wish.
We personally like to top ours with strips of fresh avocado. But what DON'T I like to top with avocado?
1 Spaghetti Squash
3 cloves of minced garlic
1-3 tsp of fresh grated ginger (use 1 and will have a stronger soy sauce/garlic flavor, using 2-3 with make it spicy and gingery, I go back and forth depending on my taste buds.)
1/2 C. gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos if you are avoiding soy
2 C. cole slaw lettuce mix
1 stalk of celery
2 TBSP. of olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut spaghetti squash open length wise and scoop out seeds. Place in a cake pan with open sides down and fill shallowly with water so that the cut open portion is submerged.
Place in oven and cook for 40-50 minutes until soft. While squash is cooking, dice onion and celery and sautee in olive oil over medium-high heat until warm, but not too soft. Toss in cabbage and cook for two to three minutes until fragrant. Set aside.
In a small bowl mix together soy sauce, minced garlic and grated ginger. Set aside.
Once squash is done put all ingredients into a wok or large pan over medium-high heat and mix until warm.
Serve immediately with chop sticks and top with any items of your choice. Shredded chicken, steak strips or avocado would be my top suggestions.
For an added touch: Try pairing the meal with these awesome gluten-free fortune cookies from the Instructables Blog.
Mandi's Tip: Replace the Cornstarch with Tapioca or Potato Starch. And use organic sugar in place of regular sugar.
This recipe is not to be confused with my veggie pasta, where I actually incorporate gluten-free noodles. This pasta is completely grain-free, 100% all veggies and it is amazing. It's super easy, surprisingly very filling if you have a large bowl, and great hot with dairy-free butter or high quality butter/ghee if you tolerate dairy. There are two options here in making this dish. The convenient way if you're on the go like I was on Easter, or the more involved option that I like to do when I'm home in my own kitchen.
Pre-packed mix of shredded broccoli, cabbage and carrots
For at home:
Earth Balance Dairy Free/Soy Free Olive Oil Butter
Wash all vegetables thouroughly. Slice cabbage leaves into thin strips. For the carrots and the broccoli stalks, you may use a mandolin or food processor to get uniform strips.
For fresh, or bagged mix, heat Tbsp. of EB Butter over low-medium heat and place veggie mix in a heated pan. Add a little more butter to your preference as well as sea salt and any additional spices or herbs of choice. I'm doing a more gentle body detox right now, so I didn't add anything additional this time and it was still very flavorful. Cook on medium heat, covered, until "noodles" are soft but still hold a little bit of crunch.
Serve warm with a protein on the side. Enjoy!
The possibilities for this veggie stir-fry are endless, however I kept it to veggies that are safe for Auto-Immune Paleo, as I was using a lot of peppers/tomatoes in my dinners lately and I havn't been feeling as well, so I thought I'd omit them with this tasty dish. There is also a meat option, and if you eat tofu you may add that as well. I do not promote the consumption of soy products due to so much soy being GMO, and the way it messes with my hormones. The beauty of this dish is you can alter it to your specifications anyway you like.
1 Medium Size Organic Onion, diced
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
6 Leaves of Organic Kale
1 C. Brown Rice
1 C. Quinoa
Zucchini or Sweet Potato Noodles (For Grain Free)
Chicken Breast (optional)
Non-GMO Soy Tofu (optional)
Sauté 1 diced onion and 2 cloves of minced garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add 6 leaves of cleaned, diced kale. Kale cleanse the blood as well as the intestines. Add additional veggies of choicem, 1 package of cooked tofu for protein or grilled chicken, and serve over 1 cup brown rice, quinoa or vegetable noodles.
An amazing detoxifying salad that helps to clean the colon and keep you energized.
Raw beets cut into 1 inch slices (Trader Joe's sells boxed, chilled organic beets)
1 C. Salad Green
1 Tsp. Psyllium Husk powder (I buy mine at Sprouts)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place sliced beets on cookie sheet and sprinkle with olive oil and sea salt. Roast until tender and edges begin to caramelize. Toss with greens and sprinkle with psyllium husk. Serve with a hot mug of bone broth for a complete, nutritious lunch.
Olive oil cooking spray
2 large sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 lb), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon white pepper, divided (if well tolerated)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice, plus wedges for garnish
1 tablespoon pure balsamic or apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 can (15 oz) organic black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup thinly sliced orange or red bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
4 cups baby arugula
Heat oven to 375°. On a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, place potatoes in a layer; sprinkle with 1/2 tsp sea salt and 1/4 tsp white pepper. Bake until tender, about 30 minutes; let cool. In a bowl, whisk juice, vinegar, garlic, remaining 1/2 tsp sea salt and remaining 1/4 tsp white pepper. Add sweet potatoes, beans, tomatoes, bell pepper, and mint; toss; serve over arugula, and garnish with lime wedges.
2 medium organic sweet potatoes
2 Tbsp. Earth Balance butter + 2 Tsp. Earth Balance butter
1 large sweet onion
1 large Hass avocado
Handful of organic cherry tomatoes
1 rotisserie chicken
1 clove fresh garlic
Handful of fresh organic spinach
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Poke holes in potato to allow steam out. Place sweet potato on cookie sheet and bake for 75-85 minutes or until soft.
When the potatoes have about 20 minutes remaining, shred chicken and saute in large frying pan with 1 Tbsp. EB butter and clove of chopped garlic over medium heat.
Chop onion and in a separate small frying pan, cook onion, covered, over low-medium heat with 1 Tsbp of EB butter until brown and caramelized.
Once potato is cooked, cut open and insert 1 tsp EB butter into each potato and allow to melt. Top with carmalized onions, spinach leaves, cherry tomatoes and avocado. Serve with shredded chicken and organic unsweetened applesauce.
*for vegan, omit the chicken.
Use a slicing mechanism, or mandolin, that will magically make fettuccine just by pushing the zucchini through.
Boil a pot of water and add salt – add your “noodles” and cook for a minute – be sure not to overcook. Remove and set into a pot of cold to stop the cooking process.
Then, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan – throw in about 3 cloves of minced garlic, add in your freshly made "pasta", saute around until evenly coated – sprinkle with red pepper flakes (omit for AIP), and fresh basil leaves to taste. Plate. Light healthy and delicious!
1 small spaghetti squash
15 large basil leaves
1 small clove garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tomato, diced
Cut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds and fibers. Place in a microwave safe dish and cover. Microwave 8-9 minutes. Remove from the microwave and scoop out flesh with a fork into a large bowl.
In a small blender combine basil, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and puree until smooth.
Combine pesto with two cups spaghetti squash (save any remaining squash for another recipe). Add tomatoes and season with additional salt and pepper.
Nosh & Nurture was born of this journey I am on to better the health of myself, my family and those around me. What started as a simple compilation of recipes has grown to a all-around lifestyle journal with ways to incorporate organic products into your home, pantry and beauty cabinet. I also include stories on pregnancy, new motherhood, travel, Proverbs 31 marriage, and spiritual health, as I am a Christian who couldn't do any of this without my Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. For more of my story you can click here.
All recipes are gluten-free and dairy-free with a lot of soy-free, grain-free, sugar-free options.