Zucchini Spaghetti and Meatballs

Does anyone have zucchini or summer squash overflowing in their garden? This recipe is a great way to use a lot of it! To julienne the squash or zucchini use a julienne peeler. I also included a really basic sauce recipe because I did not have any tomato sauce but I did have tomato paste so I made my own. It actually came out amazing! It had a lot of flavor and was really easy. I definitely recommend making it if you have a few minutes while the meatballs are cooking.  I had this for lunch for about 3 days and did not get sick of it. It is absolutely delicious, enjoy!

 

meatball

 

Zucchini Spaghetti and Meatballs
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Ingredients
  • Meatballs:
  • 2lb grassfed ground beef
  • 1 large egg
  • ⅓ cup brown rice flour (or any gluten free flour)
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • Zucchini:
  • 3 zucchini's, julienned
  • sea salt
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • Easy Sauce:
  • 2 6oz cans organic tomato paste
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Instructions
  1. First add all of your sauce ingredients to a small sauce pan and heat. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
  2. Add all spices, flour, and the egg in a large bowl and mix. Once all ingredients are mixed add in your ground beef and mix with your hands until all spices are worked in.
  3. Form into meatballs and place inside crock pot. You can also bake this in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes each side.
  4. If cooking in a crock pot, cover meatballs in ⅔ of the sauce. Save the rest of the sauce to add at meal times. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  5. Julienne your zucchini/squash and place in a colander and sprinkle with sea salt. Let sit for 10-20 minutes. This is when a lot of the water comes out of the veggies. This allows them to stay more firm like noodles when you top them with the meatballs.
  6. Put zucchini/squash in large container with peppers and store in fridge. Top with meatballs and 2-3 tbsp sauce when serving.

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork

 

 

pork

 

Summer is in full swing, which means lots of BBQs, family parties, friendly get togethers and the 4th of July! All of these events have many things in common, but the one that stands out the most to me is food. It can be very easy to let your healthy eating habits dwindle during the warmer summer months but if you make small conscious decisions on a daily basis you can avoid excessive damage to your body and continue working toward long term health. One way you can continue your healthy eating habits through the summer is to find healthy condiments or make your own. Ana and I recently talked about healthy condiments on Better Connecticut.

Pulled Pork is a very popular summer food and one of my favorites! BBQ sauce is one of the primary ingredients in pulled pork and often has sugar and high fructose corn syrup as the main ingredients, which is not something you want to include regularly in your diet. Bone Suckin BBQ sauce is a great brand that does not contain any inflammatory ingredients. They use honey to sweeten the sauce and that’s all! You can find it at Stop and Shop, Big Y, Whole Foods and most other health food stores. Not to mention it also tastes amazing. Try it out in this simple BBQ Pull Pork recipe and let us know how you like it!

Enjoy!

Amanda

 

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Lunch/Dinner
Ingredients
  • 3-4lb Pork Shoulder
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • ½-1 jar Bone Suckin BBQ Sauce (depends on amount of pork)
  • ⅓ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ½ tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tbsp Raw Honey
  • *Add 1 tsp Cayenne pepper for a spicier pulled pork
Instructions
  1. Place pork shoulder in crock pot.
  2. Mix all other ingredients together in a medium size bowl. Pour on top of pork shoulder.
  3. Cook on low for 8 hours. Add more BBQ sauce to taste.

 

 

 

Classic Cobb Salad (with a PN twist!)

Cobb salads are delicious and full of high protein, healthy ingredients! However, they are one of those foods you don’t really want to order at a restaurant. It’s hard to know that you’re getting  healthfully sourced ingredients, such an unprocessed, uncured bacon from humanely raised pigs, a dressing made without any vegetable/canola oil or fake mayo, and free range, organic eggs and chicken! Finding a restaurant that values the integrity of all of the main ingredients of a Cobb salad is tough- that’s why I love making these at home! The dressing is my favorite part…check out the recipe and let us know what you think!

 

Classic Cobb Salad (with a PN twist!)
 
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Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 4 cups organic mixed greens
  • 4 slices all natural, uncured bacon (cooked crispy and crumbled into bits)
  • 2 organic hardboiled eggs (sliced into pieces)
  • 1 medium organic roma tomato
  • 1 medium organic chicken breast (you will need 1 TBLS coconut oil, 2 TBLS coconut flour, 4 TBLS coconut flakes, and 1 egg if you're not using leftover chicken)
  • ½ cup chopped mushrooms
  • 2 carrots (sliced)
  • ½ cup plain greek yogurt
  • 4 TBLS fresh dill (finely chopped)
  • ⅛ cup olive oil
  • Pinch sea salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 3 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Instructions
  1. First cook your chicken breast, or slice some leftover chicken you have into strips. I like to cut mine into strips, batter it with 1 egg and 2 TBLS coconut flour and then sauté lightly in ½ TBLS coconut oil in a pan in coconut oil for about 4-5 minutes, or until brown. I then place the strips on a baking sheet on the other ½ TBLS coconut oil and top with coconut flakes and bake for about 10-15 minutes at 375 degrees (no longer because you don't want the chicken to dry out). If you don't like coconut chicken you can do this same process with olive oil and sea salt/pepper.
  2. Next, place the mixed greens on your plates and top with all of your vegetables, crumbled bacon, and sliced egg. I like to do it in rows, but you can do different style of layer depending on your visual preference.
  3. Lastly, to make the dressing simply mix all of the remaining ingredients together until well combined. Add a touch more oil and lemon juice if you like it thinner. When the chicken is done, place the strips on your salad while still warm, put the dressing on the side in a small bowl, and enjoy!
  4. PN RX (per salad): 4 free veggies, 1.5 protein, 3 fats

Springtime Super Food (and yummy spring rolls!)

Happy Spring everyone!

For those of you reading this from the East coast, I hope you all have gotten a few moments of solar therapy this past week after a long winter! Seeing the sun shine makes me want to be more active, and it also gets me craving fresher, creative new foods. That’s why I decided to demonstrate how to make Superfood Spring Rolls on Better CT yesterday.

The foods I chose as this year’s “Spring Super Foods” offer your body a broad spectrum of health benefits. To name a few, they are full of nutrients that boost your immune system, help to ward off seasonal allergies, detoxify your body after a long winter, and help slim the waist line to help you get ready for summer! Watch the video below to learn how to incorporate these superfoods into your everyday life by making a simple and tasty Superfood Spring Roll!

  • Citrus: Grapefruits, lemons, or oranges any time of day! Enjoy lemon in your water, grapefruit as a side to your breakfast, or a juice orange for a dessert on a warm day. 
  • Quinoa: Use for cold or hot side dishes, on a salad, or in a Spring Roll!
  • Dandelion Greens: Throw these peppery greens into a salad, in a soup, or in a lunch wrap for an added zing to your meal!
  • Raw Local Honey/Local Bee Pollen: Put in tea, yogurt, smoothies, or enjoy a spoonful raw!
  • Walnut Oil: Use for cold foods only (not for cooking); enjoy its nutty flavor in a dressing or on top of a favorite grain dish such as brown rice or quinoa
  • Asparagus: Grilled, sautéed in a stir-fry, or put in a Spring Roll, asparagus are a hearty spring vegetable full of nutrition that will keep you feeling full for hours!

 

Springtime Superfood Spring Rolls
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • The Rolls:
  • 6 large rice wrappers (found in international section at grocery store)
  • ½ Cup (cooked) quinoa (any variety)
  • 6 grilled asparagus (grilled or roasted with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper)
  • 1 handful of dandelion greens, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 handful of mixed, Asian, or other type of greens (for "base" of spring roll)
  • 1 large carrot, chopped into small pieces
  • 10-12 fresh mint leaves
  • 4 TBLS fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 2 TBLS walnut oil
  • 4 TSP local honey
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Pinch of red chili flakes
  • Grilled chicken or shrimp (optional addition for extra protein)
  • Sweet Chili Sauce
  • ¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 TBLS Braggs liquid aminos or Tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
  • 2 TBLS water
  • 2 TBLS honey
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Juice of ½ orange
Instructions
  1. The Rolls:
  2. Combine the quinoa, carrots, and dandelion greens into a small bowl. In a separate bowl combine the walnut oil, orange juice, chili flakes, sea salt, and honey into a dressing. Whisk briefly and pour over the quinoa salad, tossing gently. Take a spring roll and gently submerge in a shallow bowl of water for 8-10 seconds. Place on a non-stick surface (parchment paper or cutting board) and line with a thin layer of mixed greens, 1 asparagus, and a thin line of the quinoa salad. Gently fold the top half in, followed by the sides, and gently roll until mixture is tight within the spring roll. Cut in half and serve with the sweet chili sauce as a side dip.
  3. Sweet Chili Sauce:
  4. Combine all ingredients into a small bowl and whisk until well combined. Serve as a dipping sauce for spring rolls, or use as a marinade for grilled chicken or shrimp.
Notes
PN RX (may vary depending on ingredients)
For 3 rolls (with ingredients indicated in recipe above): 2 free veggies, 1 carb, 1 fat

 

As always, stay well, eat well, and have a beautiful week!

Ana

Gluten Free Philly Steak and Cheese

philly

 

I love recreating some of my favorite foods into healthier versions that provide nutrition but still satisfy a craving. Sometimes even just one meal of processed food and refined carbohydrates can throw you off the wagon and cause a host of sugar cravings, mood swings, headaches, and complete loss of motivation and energy just to name a few. When you are craving something that isn’t going to provide your body with the nutrients it needs and even take away many nutrients during the process of digestion try to make a healthier version. This way you can still enjoy your food but you leave all the nasty side effects of cheat meals behind. I love philly steak and cheese sandwiches and sometimes I want bread but I know how it will make me feel. I picked up some gluten free buns from Trader Joe’s along with some organic shaved steak and raw cheese to make this delicious and satisfying meal. The gluten free buns are still a concentrated source of carbohydrates and more processed than fruits and vegetables so I try to make them a treat but overall this is a great substitution.

 

Gluten Free Philly Steak and Cheese
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 Gluten Free Rolls
  • 1lb Organic Shaved Steak
  • 1 Medium Onion, chopped
  • 8oz Baby Bella Mushrooms
  • 2 Bell Peppers, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Hot Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • Raw Cheese to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat a large pan over medium heat and melt butter. Add in Worcestershire, hot sauce and garlic powder and mix.
  2. Add in shaved steak and cook until no longer pink but try not to overcook.
  3. Heat up gluten free rolls and toast in oven for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add 4oz of shaved steak to each roll with onions, peppers, and mushrooms. Place 1oz of cheese on top and heat in oven until melted.
  5. We cut ours in half then put 2oz on each half and a little cheese on top.

Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Whole Chicken

 

 

 

 

 

 

chicken

 

Before I made this recipe I had never actually cooked a whole chicken before. I always just got chicken breasts or thighs. It was fun making the entire chicken and it came out so moist! It was delicious as leftovers on salads and mixed into stir fries. Don’t let the fact that it is unfamiliar scare you. This recipe is very simple and was easy to prepare thanks to my slow cooker. Enjoy!

 

Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Whole Chicken
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 whole Organic Free Range Chicken (4-5lb)
  • For the rub:
  • 4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 3 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • For the slow cooker:
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 carrots, chopped
  • 5 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, pealed and mashed
  • 2 lemons, quartered
Instructions
  1. Chop up vegetables and place them in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. Rinse chicken then dry with a paper towel. Combine rub ingredients and rub garlic cloves all over chicken then rub with spices.
  3. Place lemons and garlic cloves inside chicken and place in slow cooker.
  4. Cook on low for 7 hours. If less than 5 pound chicken will take about 6 hours.
  5. Place in a glass baking dish and broil on high for 4-5 minutes to get a crispy skin.
Notes
You can add some chopped up sweet potatoes in the slow cooker with the chicken for some healthy carbs.

 

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings

spicy wings

 

I opened a wonderful email from my older sister the other day with this recipe inside. She said that these wings were to die for and that I had to make them. She was right! This recipe is a great substitution for fried hot wings. It is the perfect amount of sweet from the honey and spicy from the chipotle peppers. I made this the other night and they were gone in a day and a half! They are amazing. These would be great to bring to a party or family gathering. Enjoy!

 

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings
 
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Ingredients
  • 3lb Organic Chicken Drumsticks
  • Salt and Pepper
  • ½ cup Raw Honey
  • ½ cup Bragg's Liquid Aminos
  • ¼ cup Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp Coconut Oil or Butter
  • 4 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Grated Ginger or 1tsp Dried Ginger
  • 2 Chipotle Peppers in adobo minced, plus 1 Tbsp of sauce
  • 1 tbsp Potato Starch
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Salt and pepper the chicken. Don't go crazy with the salt, the sauce makes up for it.
  2. Place chicken in glass baking dish.
  3. While oven is preheating, combine all remaining ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer until it begins to thicken (about 15 minutes). If it does not thicken you can take 1 tbsp of Potato Starch and mix with 2 tbsp cold water then add to sauce and it will thicken right up.
  4. Toss the chicken in the sauce. You can let these marinate over night or cook right away.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes then flip and bake for another 25 minutes.
Notes
I had about ½-1 cup of sauce left over. You can add this to the chicken as it cooks or save it and make burgers out of it. I also marinated salmon in it and it came out very good! Get creative!

Avocado Dream Salad

avocado salad

My younger sister, Amy, recently got back from Hawaii and brought this delicious recipe with her! The Avocado Dream Salad is similar to a tuna or chicken salad. Chop up a bunch of vegetables into little cubes then use the mashed avocado to mix in like a mayonnaise. You can even add some chopped up grilled chicken or fish in there to complete the meal. This also tastes great with some goat cheese or nuts crumbled on top. It is the perfect, refreshing recipe for the warm weather coming our way. Enjoy!

 

 

Avocado Dream Salad
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 avocado, scooped out and mashed
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped up into small pieces
  • 1 red pepper, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
Instructions
  1. Chop up all of your vegetables into small pieces and put in a large bowl.
  2. Squeeze the juice of one lemon on top and add 1 tbsp of olive oil and the crushed garlic.
  3. With clean hands, pour avocado on top and mix into the vegetables with your hands. Keep mixing until you get everything covered with the avocado, olive oil, and lemon juice.
  4. You can top with some nuts and/or goat cheese.

Teriyaki Sesame Bison Balls

 

 

American_bison_k5680-1

Trying different types of foods is not only fun and adventurous but it is also important for our health. At Practical Nutrition we believe in varying the foods in your diet as often as possible in order to allow yourself to get as many different nutrients as you can. If you are accustomed to eating beef, chicken, and fish you can try expanding your nutritional horizons with eating bison.

Bison is a great source of nutrients, it has the basics: zinc, niacin, iron, vitamin B6 and selenium.  A quick review of some important functions these nutrients have:

Selenium – helps prevent cellular damage from free radicals

Zinc- does a lot- helps immune system, hair and skin health and overall cell function

Niacin helps convert food into energy for the body – all at the cellular level

Iron- carries oxygen through the body

B6- tons of value of for physical and even mental health

Bison is also extremely tasty so I recommend giving this recipe a try! Enjoy!

Teriyaki Sesame Bison Balls
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 6-7
Ingredients
  • 2lb Organic Ground Bison
  • ½ cup Almond Flour
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 2 Tbsp Bragg's Liquid Aminos
  • 2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Gluten Free Sriracha Sauce
  • ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place foil on top of a baking sheet.
  2. Add all ingredients except for the ground bison to a large bowl and mix.
  3. Add in ground bison and mix with your hands until all ingredients are evenly incorporated.
  4. Make 12 bison balls out of the mix and place on baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes then flip and bake for another 12-14 minutes.

Herb Vinaigrette Baked Salmon

herb salmon

I am obsessed with making new salmon recipes lately. I wrote about all of the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids not too long ago in this post. If you aren’t sure if you like fish I would definitely give the recipe below a try or this one here. They both have a nice blend of flavors that you can add to any meal. I baked some asparagus and sautéed a plantain in coconut oil to complete my meal. You can also add some salmon to a salad or eat it with a nice side of quinoa and brussel sprouts.

In this recipe I marinated the salmon in my Zesty Herb Dressing recipe I posted a while back. I make a bunch of this dressing at once and store it in old pasta sauce jars to have for recipes and to add to salads. It is very convenient having your own dressing already made and it only takes 5 minutes!

Give this recipe a try and let us know how you like it!

Herb Vinaigrette Baked Salmon
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Fish
Ingredients
  • 1.5 to 2lb of Wild-caught Salmon
  • 6 Tbsp Zesty Herb Dressing*
  • Garlic
  • Sea Salt
  • Dill
  • Oregano
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place salmon fillets in a large glass baking dish.
  2. Take seasonings and cover each fillet and rub in with fingers. Pour zesty herb dressing over each fillet. Flip fillets over a couple times to make sure they are fully coated with the dressing.
  3. Let marinate for 10 minutes.
  4. Bake in oven for 12 minutes then flip over and broil skin for 3-4 minutes. If you do not want to broil skin then bake for 18 minutes.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4oz Calories: 288 Fat: 18 Protein: 33