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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Author:
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

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.

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

Quick and Tasty Wheat Free Pasta with Veggie Marinara

Sometimes I crave a good old pasta and marinara sauce dinner! It’s hard to find a recipe that is tasty AND health promoting. Having a bit of high quality protein, veggies, and healthy fat is the best way to make sure you leave a meal feeling energized and satisfied. Amanda and I  have been loving this Gluten Free Black Bean/Mung Bean Pasta lately (like most of our suggestions, you can find this pasta in the Gluten Free section at most major grocery stores). This pasta, combined with this clean and simple homemade high protein marinara sauce, is the perfect alternative to the typical “refined” white pasta you grew up on- and will taste better too! Enjoy!

Quick and Tasty Wheat Free Pasta with Veggie Marinara
 
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Try this quick and easy pasta dish when you're craving pasta or something with an Italian feel! Feel amazing and light after you eat it as it's full of fiber, B Vitamins, and protein!
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ½ Bag Black Bean Spaghetti*
  • Sauce:
  • ½ Bag Ming Bean Spaghetti*
  • 6 and ¼ cup water
  • 1 Jar Organic, No Sugar Added Tomato Sauce (made with olive oil)
  • 1 Small Can (6 oz.) Organic Tomato Paste
  • 4 TBLS Italian Seasoning (We like the brand Frontier Organics)
  • ⅛ Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Handfuls Organic Spinach
  • 1 Cup Raw Mushrooms
  • 2 TBLS Chopped Garlic (fresh or from the jar)
  • 1 Avocado (for garnish) and Pint Organic Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 Pound Baked Free Range Chicken, Chunked
  • Any Other Vegetable You Love!
  • * Find Gluten Free Black Bean or Mung Bean Pasta at most major grocery stores or local health food store!
Instructions
  1. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in medium pot. In the mean time, combine olive oil, garlic, tomato paste, and mushrooms in a medium sized skillet on the stove top at medium heat. Allow to sit on stove for about 5 minutes, or until mushrooms are slightly browned and softened. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, Italian seasoning, and spinach to the skillet. Once water is boiling, add dry Black Bean/Mung Bean pasta to the water and allow to boil for about 7-10 minutes until soft, "pasta like" consistency is reached. Drain the pasta when finished and set aside. Allow your sauce ingredients to simmer for about 10 more minutes or until mixture has come to a slow boil, and the spinach has cooked down/is well combined into sauce. Add chicken chunks (or other desired protein) to the sauce until they are warm throughout, and serve over the Black Bean/Mung Bean pasta. Top with chunks of avocado and cherry tomatoes- enjoy!
Notes
PN RX for ¼ of the sauce and 1 Cup Pasta: 2 Carbs, 2 Fat, 1 Veggies, 1 Protein

Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes

photo-5

Everyone should try out this healthy side dish that is full of vitamins, minerals, and complex carbs. I have had sweet potato and quinoa cakes in the past and loved them so I decided to make my own at home. I love the quinoa cakes at whole foods but they have Canola oil in them so I try to avoid them. Canola oil is inflammatory as are other vegetable oils. This recipe is a little different from the sweet flavored cakes. It has more of a Mexican flavor but I am going to make a sweet version too. These cakes would be a great addition to any meal!

Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Ingredients
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 cups quinoa, cooked (1 c dry)
  • 1.5 Tbsp organic butter
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • sea salt
  • ⅓ cup gluten free bread crumbs or almond flour
  • 1 egg
Instructions
  1. Preheat to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat up a large skillet and add butter, sweet potatoes, and red onions. Cook on medium heat until soft (about 15 minutes).
  3. Bring 2 cups of water in a medium sauce pan to a boil. Add 1 cup quinoa and bring down to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes until all water is absorbed.
  4. In a large bowl, add sweet potatoes and mashed. Add the cooked quinoa and mix well.
  5. Now add all of your seasonings and bread crumbs. Mix well.
  6. Add 1 egg and mix with hands until everything is incorporated.
  7. Form into medium size patties. I made 17.
  8. Place patties on cookie sheet with parchment paper. Bake for 10-15 minutes then flip and bake for another 10 minutes.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cake Calories: 83 Fat: 2 Carbohydrates: 13 Protein: 2

 

 

Horseradish Almond Crusted Chicken

Chicken

This recipe was inspired by a mustard crusted chicken my Mom used to make when I was growing up. I think it had breadcrumbs and a bunch of other seasonings including ground mustard. I really wanted to replicate an even healthier, gluten-free version. This recipe is very simple and easy so even if you are new to cooking you will be able to handle it. It tasted good cold on a salad too! Enjoy!

 

Horseradish Almond Crusted Chicken
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Lunch/Dinner
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 2lb Organic Chicken Breast Tenderloins
  • ½ cup Bob's Red Mill Almond Flour
  • 4-5 Tbsp Horseradish (I like plain old Stop and Shop Brand)
  • 1.5 Tbsp Organic Butter/Coconut Oil
  • .5 Tbsp Garlic Powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Melt the organic butter or coconut oil (on stove top or microwave).
  2. Place your chicken in a large, glass baking dish and cover with butter/coconut oil.
  3. Now sprinkle the ½ cup of almond flour and garlic powder over each piece of chicken. Spread horseradish over each piece as well.
  4. I sprinkled everything on top then mixed it all together when I put the horseradish on top so everything is combined. You can do this with your fingers to make it easier.
  5. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until center is no longer pink.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4oz Fat: 6g Carbohydrates: 2g Protein: 28g