Curated & Tweaked: Delicious (and Healthful) Recipes

This is a curated recipe list. I can’t claim authorship on anything in here. Rather, these are recipes I’ve collected (and sometimes tweaked to my liking) over years of trying things. The recipes are linked wherever possible so the chefs get their props. When I couldn’t find the recipes online, I retyped them in their original form (mostly) with my tweaks noted at the top. They all meet my two most important criteria: healthy and delicious.

With any of these recipes I would start with a salad or serve one on the side. I usually use either arugula or mixed baby greens. My favorite go-to dressing is super simple: a drizzle of aged balsamic (4% acidity – it’s really different than 5% or 6% and you don’t need a lot) and extra-virgin olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.

V = vegan • VG = vegetarian • GF = gluten free • DF = dairy free

I’m kicking these off with a few supporting recipes, main dishes are below.

VEG:

Magic Mineral Broth (Rebecca Katz)
V, VG, GF, DF
Tweaks: Nothing. This is perfect just as it is.
Uses: Base for soup, sauce, hot drink. I’ll refer to it as MMB below.

Rebecca Katz is my favorite health-supportive chef. Her recipes always put a premium on “yum” and she takes the time in her wonderful cook books to explain why they are healthy and delicious. This one does take some time – make it on a weekend – then use the broth in place of vegetable or chicken broth in any recipe. I haven’t yet found a recipe that this broth didn’t make BETTER. I even like it on its own with a dash of cayenne as a hot cup of afternoon delicious on a cold winter day.
RECIPE

Crispy Shiitaki “Bacon” (Rebecca Katz)
Tweaks: Nope!
V, VG, GF, DF
Uses: Sprinkle on soups (especially the squash soup below), salads and eat them as snacks.
What a find! These tasty morsels are simply wonderful. They aren’t bacon – I dare say they are BETTER than bacon (and that’s a high bar for me taste-wise)! Even my carnivore-leaning husband thinks they are delicious! I sprinkle them on soups, salads and eat them as snacks.
RECIPE (included with another wonderful recipe) 

Verdant Cashew Cream (Laura Pole)
V, VG, GF, DF
Tweaks:

  • I like bolder flavors, so I double the onion and the garlic and add a dash of salt.
  • Using white wine makes an entirely different flavor – I’d recommend a sweeter wine.

Uses: Dip; pasta sauce; pour over vegetables, chicken breasts or poached eggs. I use gluten-free quinoa-based pasta.

I originally found this via the now-defunct My Food My Health website and couldn’t find another location online to link to. (Laura, if you’re out there and you see this, let me know!) It uses dried onion powder and garlic powder, which makes it fast and easy, but you can amp it up if you use fresh garlic (I’d still use the onion powder for its ease and sweetness).

Makes 1-1 ½ cups, can be refrigerated up to 4 days, frozen up to 2 months

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup raw, unsalted cashews
  • ½ cup vegetable stock (MMB above), chicken stock or white wine (plus more if necessary)
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 3 cups baby spinach leaves, rinsed and drained

Preparation:

Add the cashews to a blender or food processor and pulse until powdery. Add the stock, ½ tsp of salt, garlic powder, onion powder and the spinach and blend until smooth.

Add more broth or wine, if necessary, until sauce is a good pourable consistency. (I keep it thicker for use as a dip.)

Taste and add salt if necessary (you’ll need to add salt if you go with the wine vs. an already salty stock). The sauce should be slightly salty if serving over pasta.

If serving over a hot entrée or side dish, add the sauce to a saucepan, bring to a simmer and heat slowly, stirring constantly. Be careful not to overheat the sauce or it will lose the bright green color.

Japanese Sweet Potatoes with Miso Butter (Epicurious)
VG (lacto), GF
Tweaks:

  • Only use butter from grass-fed cows. Kerrygold is usually the easiest to find. I’d like to try this with goat butter some time.
  • Chives make a subtler substitution for the green onions.
  • If you are trying to reduce salt intake, cut proportion of miso and butter equally.

Uses: This is rich enough to be a main course for us, but it also makes a lovely side dish with either meat or a richly-flavored fish like teriyaki salmon.

For those who are appalled that I would consider butter healthy, please read this, this and this. A little butter can actually be good for you. And it’s sooo delicious. Just make sure it’s from grass-fed cows. Butter from corn or other grain-fed cows does not have all the health promoting effects.
RECIPE

Curried Squash & Mushroom Soup (Epicurious)
V, VG, GF, DF
Tweaks:

  • I prefer to use a drizzle of goat yogurt or goat kefir
  • Top with a few of Rebecca Katz’s Crispy Shiitaki Mushrooms (above).

Uses: This is a main dish, as far as I’m concerned! I serve with an arugula salad topped with goat cheese, pistachios, a splash of aged (4% acidity) balsamic and olive oil.

I copied this one down so long ago I had lost track of the original, but I just found it online. I love dairy, but dairy usually doesn’t love me back. I’m not alone – many people suffer from lactose intolerance, casein intolerance or dairy allergies. Many don’t even know it. Personally, I find I don’t have any digestive or skin issues when I consume dairy from goats.
RECIPE

Chestnut and Celery Root Soup (Sunset)
V, VG, GF, DF (skip the yogurt for V and DF)
Tweaks:

  • I once didn’t have enough celery root and substituted celery. It lacked the deep, earthy flavor, but it was still quite tasty. I’ve never tried a complete substitution, however.
  • This is also one of those recipes I always taste and tweak at the end, adding a little salt or olive oil if needed for flavor and texture.

Uses: This is super rich, so if you’re using it as an appetizer, definitely use espresso cups or tiny bowls. If you serve in a regular soup bowl, it’s a meal on its own. I’d serve it with a salad.
RECIPE

Delicata Squash Boats Stuffed with Quinoa (Terry Walters)
V, VG, GF, DF
Tweaks:

  • I prefer a sweet red pepper over the green pepper.
  • I’ve only ever tried this with maple syrup.
  • I prefer white quinoa because I think it has a lighter flavor that picks up the flavors better. Be very careful when you toast the quinoa – don’t get the pan too hot and watch it like a hawk. I’ve burned quinoa. Not pretty.
  • I would use MMB instead of water or vegetable stock.

Uses: Main course, serve with a salad.

This is another My Food My Health recipe and I can no longer find it online. Props to Terry Walters for this one – if you’re out there and have a link I can put in here, please let me know! It does take a little more time than some of these recipes, but it’s worth it.

Ingredients:

  • 3 1-lb. delicata squash
  • 1 cup apple cider or juice
  • maple syrup or agave nectar as needed
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water or vegetable stock
  • salt
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • ½ green bell pepper, diced
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped pistachios

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out and discard the seeds and place the squash flesh-side up in a baking dish. Add cider and enough water to cover the bottom of the dish with ¼-inch of liquid. Drizzle a small amount of maple syrup or agave nectar into each squash half, cover with foil and bake until soft, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, rinse the quinoa and place it in a small, heavy-bottomed pot. Toast the quinoa over medium heat, stirring frequently until the quinoa is dry and fragrant. Add the water or stock, cover and add ½ teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. Let sit for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.

Warm the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and pepper and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and fold into the quinoa with the parsley. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Spoon the quinoa filling into each squash boat, top with pistachios and serve.

FISH:

Arctic Char with Green Olive and Lemon Dressing (Better Homes and Gardens)
GF, DF
Tweaks:

  • I only had Pacific Salmon on hand, so that’s what I used the first time and I loved it. Now I always make it with salmon (but it would be delicious on cod or other light fish as well).
  • You can substitute your typical pimento-stuffed green olives from a jar if you don’t have any fancy olives, it’s OK.
  • But if you can get the Sicilian green olives cured with citrus and don’t mind removing the pits yourself, this recipe goes from really good, to awesome.

Sides: I usually serve it with white quinoa or brown rice.

While this is fantastic with fresh salmon, you can easily substitute frozen salmon – just give it 5-10 more minutes of cooking time depending on the thickness.
RECIPE

Cod With Lemon, Green Olive and Onion Relish (Epicurious) + Second Day Surimi
GF, DF
Tweaks:

  • I found regular lemons a bit too tart and they overpowered the delicate brined Castelvetrano olives. I’d recommend using the sweeter Meyer lemons or add a few drops (not squirts) of honey to the mix.
  • Don’t short the 4-hour marinating time for the onion/olive mixture – it’s even better if you marinate it overnight.

Uses: This makes a LOT of sauce, so if you aren’t serving eight, make the whole recipe and save the remaining sauce to pour over surimi (gluten-free fake crab). Heat for 30 seconds in the microwave and it makes a fast, delicious lunch!

Sides: White quinoa or brown rice.

I have only ever made this with frozen cod – just give it a few more minutes of cooking time depending on the thickness. I’m sure it’s even better with fresh fish!
RECIPE

CHICKEN:

Chicken Patties with Apple and Arugula (Rebecca Katz)
GF, DF
Tweaks:

  • I sometimes add a dash more cumin than the recipe calls for.
  • I prefer to make these as sliders (vs. full patties) because they can be a bit crumbly.

Sides: We usually eat these without buns, preferring a side of roasted potatoes and salad.

This is another MyFoodMyHealth recipe that I keep going back to time and time again. I have been making it so long, I had forgotten it was from Rebecca Katz! The flavor is so surprising (it’s the fennel) and hands down, it’s the best chicken patty recipe I’ve ever made.

RECIPE – Scroll to Page 45. And check out pretty much anything else in this PDF, it’s healthy stuff!

Please let me know what you think of these recipes and if you have any new tweaks to share.

Happy cooking!
Jennifer

Jennifer Allen Newton
Recipe Collector and Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach

 

 

Jennifer

Leave a Reply to Anonymous Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *