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My boyfriend loves doing the food shopping and so I do my best to be patient and loving that he’s so generous.  At times he’ll forget what we have in the house or buy things that aren’t exactly ideal for my “clean” lifestyle.   This time though, he purchased portobello mushrooms and with a big grin said, “what can you do with these?”

Thankfully I was able to do some research and adapt a gluten free, dairy free recipe with chicken instead of pork sausage so all parties would be satisfied.  It came out quite well, so we’re sharing this one for Healthy Eating Always a Real Treat and anyone else who wants to have a tasty hearty healthy meal.

Portobello mushroom caps (2)
olive oil
chicken or veggie broth (1 cup)
chicken apple sausage (Applegate Farms) (3 links)
fennel (medium) chop the white part of the bulb
yellow onion (1/2 medium) chopped
celery (2 stalks) chopped
garlic (3 cloves) minced
GF bread (2 slices) toasted and cubed
1 large egg
Daiya mozzerella cheese (1/2 c + a little more for topping)
rosemary (1/2 tablespoon) – I used dried, chopped
oregano (generous sprinkle)
tumeric (generous sprinkle)
cayenne (tiny sprinkle)
sea salt and black pepper (generous sprinkle)

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
Wipe off your mushrooms with a paper towel to remove dirt, and gently scrape out the gills with a spoon.

Drizzle some EVOO on the bottom of your baking dish or tray and on top of the mushrooms, set aside.

Saute your sausage, if you are using the Applegate Chicken sausage, you’ll brown it a bit first and then take off heat and chop it up so it’s all in small pieces. I actually broke it up with a knife and fork and then further into smaller pieces with my hands. Place back in the pan with a drizzle of olive oil.

Add chopped onion, fennel, garlic, and spices, continue to saute until tender. (5-10 minutes)

Add broth (can also use white wine), to deglaze the pan and cook for another 5 minutes. Meanwhile toast your bread – I used Canyon Bakehouse gluten free bread. Once toasted, slice into small cubes.

Stir in the bread cubes and cheese (I use vegan, gf, Daiya cheese). The bread should soak up the broth.

Lightly beat your egg and remove from the heat and stir in the egg to the mixture. Scoop into the mushroom caps to make generous mounds, and top with another bit of cheese.

Bake in the 450 degree oven for 30 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and the stuffing has browned. (Check after 15-20 to make sure nothing is burning).

Bon Appetite!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Satisfies every time smoothie

My love affair with smoothies really started when I had my personal training studio with my ex-husband in Soho, NYC. We eventually made our way into a fabulous 5,000 sq. ft. store front studio. It was elevated a little from the sidewalk, and had floor to ceiling windows that opened sideways, so that the front of the studio was open to the street and passersby. What does this have to do with smoothies you’re wondering? I saw this setting was the ideal space to create an organic juice bar and cafe! I was on a mission from our opening to fulfill my vision… and for what better reason than I wanted to drink ’em myself. There were no smoothie or fresh juicing shops in the Hudson Square/Soho/West Village intersecting quadrant of downtown Manhattan. How this could be I had no clue.

It took some time, both to build out the bar by my handy husband, and then to enroll the best barista around to come over from Lifethyme Grocery. Needless to say when all of these pieces finally came together I was a happy camper and so were our clients, as well as many of the neighbors. We did a lot of fun experimenting, so I was able to have a smoothie and/or juice every day. I’ll share one of my all time fav’s here:

Blueberry smoothie (serves 1)
Place in a blender the following:
1 cup blueberries (I get frozen organic, wild blueberries also good)
1 banana (can be frozen ahead, if you do, remember to peel it first)
1 cup almond milk, or soy milk (I choose unsweetened because the fruit is sweet enough for me, but if you prefer, vanilla is nice too)
1 rounded tb of natural unsweetened peanut butter (or if you prefer, almond butter, but it changes the taste)
USUALLY I ADD SUPERFOODS FOR HEALTH & VARIETY:
1 tb maca powder
1 tb cacao powder
1 tb lucuma powder
(it’s ok to add any combination of superfoods thereof. I’ve even added noni or spirulina to this combo – just be careful not too much of those potent powders). Then blend gradually up to high (10) for a minute until all is smooth. You may need to open it up to stir if it seems not moving, or add a tad bit more milk. I like them thicker and eating my smoothie with a spoon or drinking with a straw.

Blueberries promote digestive health as they are rich in soluble fiber. The tannins in blueberries reduce inflammation in the digestive system, and the polyphenols have been shown to have rich anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant properties. What does this mean? They are great for digestion, brain health and for lowering risk for cardio-vascular disease!

Stay tuned for my Green smoothie, this is great way to better bones, help for your heart and an improved immune system!

Invigorating U,
Valerie

www.InvigorateU.com

Delicious Guacamus (Homemade Guacamole & Hummus)

I never know whether I love guacamole or hummus more, but I do know that when you put either one in front of me I can’t stop eating them!! 

The nice thing is that avocados are good fat, which we need some of in our bodies.  Bad fats increase your cholesterol and your risk of certain diseases, while good fats have the opposite effect, protecting your heart and supporting overall health. In fact, good fats—such as omega-3 fats, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, play a huge role in helping your brain function– they manage your moods, keep you on top of your mental game, fight fatigue, and even control your weight.  These fats are absolutely essential not only to your physical health but your emotional well-being.  And hummus, well… chick peas are a very tastey source of protein for vegans, (tahini is excellent nutrient density too, however, it’s not included/needed in this recipe).

Recently, one of my clients has had a financial setback so he’s taken to feeding me after our sessions – not a bad trade off, particularly when your client is a good healthful chef.  I was reminded how easy it is to whip up homemade hummus and so I’ve concocted this variation on some of his specialties.  The name “guacamus,” which is combining ingredients from guacamole and hummus, is coined by a good HS buddy who is very clever and a superb cook himself.

These are estimates on the proportions I used which feed 2 a nice sized portion, (these are also flexible to your taste):

1/3 of a ripe Florida avocado,

1/2 a box of organic chickpeas (rinsed) = 1 cup

1/4-1/3 cup of olive oil,

1/2 a large shallot,

a few pinches sea salt, cayenne, tumeric, black pepper + BLEND. 

Although I didn’t use lemon in this recipe, it would be a great addition – for the above proportions I’d add the juice of 1/2 a lemon.  Finish with a drizzle of olive oil on top, a few shallot slices, and a parsley leaf. 

Enjoy–an invigorating snack on its own with veggies or other healthful pita/cracker combo, condiment for gourmet sandwiches, accompaniment to salads!

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