Seasonal Recipes That Will Make You Thrive

Seasonal Recipes

Coming out of 10 years of chronic illness has made me look at life in a different way. I’ve realized that things happen for us, not to us; something new comes into our lives or something happens to make us change. For me it was Lyme disease, PCOS, hypothyroidism, leaky gut, and so much more. When I had to cut out gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, and corn, I thought my life was ending but I learned that we can come out of any struggle in our life on the other side of it and prove to ourselves that we can not only survive, but thrive.

This salad makes me feel like I’m thriving. It’s packed with whole, fresh ingredients—lots of protein, healthy fats, and fiber. I love making this for my clients for dinner and then serving leftovers in lettuce wraps the next day!

Springtime Spinach Quinoa Salad (Serves 4)

  • ½ cup dry quinoa
  • 3 Tbsp. raw walnuts (chopped or whole)
  • 2 Tbsp. raw macadamia nuts (chopped or whole)
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 1 large English cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 2 Tbsp. avocado oil (or extra-virgin olive oil)
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 ½ tsp. fresh lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp. dried cherries or cranberries

Directions:

Cook quinoa according to package directions. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350℉.

Place the raw nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10–12 minutes or until they are golden brown and fragrant. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, spinach, cucumber, and cabbage. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, oil, crushed red pepper flakes, sea salt, and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the quinoa mixture and toss to combine. Add the cilantro, lemon zest, and cherries; toss again and serve. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.

Tiny tweaks can lead to big changes in your life, and I’m living proof. When I had to cut out inflammatory foods, I was lost. I was chronically ill and had no idea how to create flavor with my food without feeling deprived. But I started adding in new foods and making small changes that made my taste buds jump for joy. That’s what this salad is all about. The toasted buckwheat and almond butter add the perfect touch of crunch and natural sweetness without needing a processed salad dressing.

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Massaged Kale Salad with Almond Butter Drizzle (Serves 4)

  • ½ cup dry red quinoa
  • 1 head curly kale
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. creamy almond butter, warm
  • 2 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 Tbsp. toasted buckwheat or toasted sunflower seeds

Directions:

Cook the quinoa according to package directions then fluff with a fork and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the kale, sea salt, pepper, and olive oil and massage with your hands for 2 minutes or until the leaves turn dark green and are soft. Add the cooked quinoa. Drizzle the warm almond butter over the kale and quinoa. Garnish with lemon zest, tarragon, and toasted buckwheat. Season to taste with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Serve.

Cooking is all about creativity. Something I taught myself on my journey of 10 years of chronic illness was to include creativity in my life—especially in my food! While everyone else was out drinking beer and eating pizza (which I couldn’t do), I made my life extra special by using ingredients such as tahini, lemon juice, fresh herbs, and brightly colored fruits and veggies to whip up extraordinary meals that made me happy—and helped with my healing. We can eat all the kale in the world and still be unhealthy, which is why it’s so important to focus on the mind-body connection and have fun in your kitchen. This is just the recipe to get you started!

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Green Bean Buddha Bowl with Tahini Drizzle (Serves 4)

  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 2 Tbsp. avocado oil, divided
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 head curly kale or 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup red cabbage
  • 2 Honeycrisp apples, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. warm tahini
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400℉.

Pierce the potatoes with a fork to create small holes. Place the sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.

Place the cauliflower florets on a separate rimmed baking sheet; drizzle with 1 Tbsp. oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast the potatoes and cauliflower for 30–40 minutes or until very tender. Remove from the oven; set aside to cool.  Cut the sweet potatoes into ½-inch –1-inch chunks.

Meanwhile, steam the green beans on the stove top.

In a large bowl, massage the kale with the remaining 1 Tbsp. oil until the leaves are tender and dark green.

In another large bowl, combine the potatoes, cauliflower, green beans, kale, cabbage, and apples. Drizzle with the tahini and lemon juice. Garnish with the lemon zest and parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.

I started creating my own salad dressings when I was diagnosed with PCOS and had to cut out the processed dressings that were loaded with sugars and fake ingredients that spiked my blood sugar. I felt lost until I started creating my own silky smooth dressings and dips from avocado, hummus, and coconut milk. This recipe is just the thing you need for a filling weeknight meal or a weekend lunch; it’s packed with fiber, protein, and healthy fats to keep you satisfied and happy. Dig in!

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Sweet Potato Buddha Bowl with Coconut Basil Dressing (Serves 4)

  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 2 heads broccoli, tops cut into florets
  • 1 Tbsp. avocado oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 BPA-ree can full-fat coconut milk, chilled overnight in the fridge
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup white quinoa
  • 4 mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. raw walnuts
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Apple cider vinegar to taste

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400℉.

Pierce the potatoes with a fork to create small holes. Place the sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.

Place the broccoli florets on a separate rimmed baking sheet; drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.

Roast the potatoes and broccoli for 30–40 minutes or until very tender. Remove from the oven; set aside to cool. Cut the sweet potatoes into ½-inch–1-inch chunks.

In a small bowl, scoop the coconut cream out of the refrigerated can. Add in 2 Tbsp. of the water remaining in the can and whisk together until smooth. Add more coconut water if needed. Add apple cider vinegar, basil, and sea salt and pepper, to taste. Place in the fridge for 1 hour before serving then whisk again.

Meanwhile, cook the quinoa according to the package directions.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked potatoes, broccoli, quinoa, mushrooms, cilantro, and walnuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add crushed red pepper to taste and serve. Top with the coconut dressing.

For more Eating Clean recipes, check out my new cookbook, Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body. It’s full of over 200 recipes free of gluten, dairy, soy, refined sugar, eggs, peanuts, white flours, and other inflammatory foods.