Two Ingredient Sweet Potato Gnocchi

How about some easy, Two Ingredient Sweet Potato Gnocchi to kick-start the official day of Spring! I know here in Calgary the piles of snow make it undeniably difficult to believe warm weather is coming our way, but it will, don’t you worry, we will be swimming in puddles before we know it! Now, back to the gnocchi, these bright and beautiful little pillowy bites of deliciousness were actually so fun and simple to make! Gluten free and healthy gnocchi has been on my, figure out that recipe list, for a long time, but it seemed rather daunting.  After a few test batches using different flours and thinking I needed more ingredients than I did, it turned out I only needed two main ingredients, a little less force when creating the dough and a very quick boiling time, then these little sweet orange guys were made and devoured!

I was inspired to finally delve into gnocchi making after a leisurely stroll through my favorite Italian market, the hubs loves gnocchi and I always buy him some from the market for an easy dinner when I am working evenings, then I thought to myself, alright, time to make your own fresh gnocchi already! Why would I use plain old boring white potatoes either, sweet potatoes are packed with nourishing nutrients and taste 100x better. Sweet potatoes are frequently made in my house, from breakfast through dinner, it’s a must have ingredient on my counter at all times, not to mention my pup ADORES sweet potato and would eat it until she turned orange I’m sure. Then the struggle became real when I stared at all my gluten-free flour options in the pantry, gluten-free baking flour, chickpea flour, spelt flour, oat flour, the list went on, then I considered egg vs no egg… my mind finally settled and I made a few batches and the winning recipe is the one I’m about to share!

All you need for this Sweet Potato Gnocchi recipe are some medium-sized orange fleshed sweet potatoes and brown rice flour (you can get a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Brown rice Flour at Superstore for cheap!), I did throw in some freshly grated nutmeg and salt for that extra BOOM, but optional! Literally, roast the potato, mash until smooth smooth and add your flour until it creates a non sticky dough! I also want to mention I don’t have official gnocchi making tools and I made it just fine with a little creativity and remembering the latest Top Chef gnocchi hack, when a gnocchi board wasn’t available the chef used his mandolin that had a textured rippled surface to roll his gnocchi out to create those lovely grooves (which are there to mop up and hold the sauce of your choice)! Thank goodness for my Top Chef addiction and the things I learn from that show, although I did not agree with the judges choice on the finale, SPOILER ALERT, Adrienne should have won, hands down, am I right!? Anyways, if you don’t have any type of textured surface you can always use a fork to create those lines with, don’t fret.

Grating some fresh nutmeg into salted the flour before mixing in the sweet potato.


The dough ready to be cut and rolled out!

Here is how easy they are to make, this recipe made about 80 pieces!


2 medium (approx 2 1/4 cup mashed) orange fleshed sweet potatoes – roasted, peeled & mashed very well

2 1/2 cups brown rice flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Brown Rice Flour)

1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

1 tsp salt

How to Make:

Easy as 1,2,3… Roast your sweet potatoes, set your oven to 400° F, prick your potato several times with a  fork and roast until they are very soft, usually 30-45 minutes is enough. Not going to lie, after a few batches I got tired of waiting for the potatoes to roast and I microwaved the potato, actually turned out great, had my cooked sweet potato within 8 minutes, worth it if you are restrained in time!

After your potato has cooled just enough to handle it, peel off the skin and put it through a potato ricer, push it through a sieve or simply mash the heck out of it with a potato masher until it is really smooth, I used a masher!

Once you have your smooth potatoes, measure out 2 cups of flour onto a clean surface, sprinkle in your salt and nutmeg, add your potato slowly to your flour and begin mixing with your hands and in time your dough will begin to form! Keep slowly adding flour until your dough is formed and no longer sticky, this is when it is ready, so the 2.5 cups of flour is give or take based on how your dough is feeling. Try not too work your dough too much, I made this mistake my first two times and they came out a bit too chewy, just mix until formed then no more kneading!

Cut your dough into 8 wedges and roll out a piece into a log approximately one inch in diameter, then cut your gnocchi into 2-3 inch pieces. Once you have them all rolled out and cut, roll them on a textured surface to create those grooves, or use a fork and press them lightly to create some indents.

Store them on a lightly floured pan, boil a large pot of salted water and add them when the water is boiling rapidly, boil 3-4 minutes or until they all start floating to the top! Strain them out and add to a lightly buttered pan, I added chopped up chives salt and pepper, they were glorious!

There you have your cute little gnocchi nuggets! They were so tasty, the sweet potato with the nutmeg is a match that can’t be beat, a little butter and chives, yum! They stored really well in the fridge for up to 3 days, make sure they are lightly floured then toss into a sealed bag. Happy Spring everyone and hopefully you get to make your own Sweet Potato Gnocchi to enjoy! Thanks for all your support, love and following, XOXO!







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Citrus & Dill Roasted Chicken on Veggies

Good morning all! I really can’t believe November is coming to a close and a month of festivities is waiting just around the corner! With this lovely week of warm weather I have found it even harder to fathom that Christmas is only 26 days away… yikes! I recently had a cozy get away at a friends cabin for a little girls Christmas gathering and it sparked my holiday cheer and craving for festive homey, comforting and healthy food. We put together a pretty incredible roasted chicken dish that night which sparked my creativity and ingenuity for my next recipe, I think it is perfect for either a family dinner or a special gathering for sure. Get your roasting pan out for this next recipe, my Citrus & Dill Roasted Chicken on Veggies, it has layers of winter vegetables, sweet potatoes all basted in a citrus, dill, garlic sauce and of course the chicken steals the show here… beautifully browned and roasted, juicy and delicious!

I hadn’t made a full chicken in quite some time, with only two people in the house, its slight over kill with a whole chicky… but with Christmas a coming which usually indicates more gatherings with friends and family, I knew I wanted to make a dish that is pretty quick to throw together, feeds the masses and looks darn perty on the table to impress the guests! In my recent SPUD delivery box of groceries I received some golden and red beets, nothing beats roasted beets, then I came across massive bulbs of fennel at the market, I knew this combo was a match made in food heaven. Knowing me, I can’t ever keep things two ingredient simple, so I threw in onions, I get really excited about roasted onions and how they caramelize and add flavors like no other! Since I was this deep into my roasting pan plan I thought well heck, let’s put some sweet potatoes in there as well to have a full meal deal all in one!

So a lot of people ask me how I come up with recipes, a lot of the time it stems from cravings, meals eaten while travelling that I want to re-create, whats in my fridge/pantry, but usually it all hits me when I’m at the market or grocery store and I come across produce that are simply irresistible… this week they were a glimmering meyer lemon, a bundle of fresh fragrant dill and massive russian garlic cloves, that’s when I decided this chicken was gonna have a rub down in citrus, garlic and herbs with a shake of paprika! Love it when flavors fall into my shopping bag like that 🙂

Layering all the veggies down into the pan is so satisfying, being overly type A this means it has to be coordinated and patterned when I do it… no just tossing it all in… that results in slight anxiety for me! The beets and sweet potato I used my mandolin to slice them up into circles, not too thick so they roast and layered the bottom of the pan, then added onion and fennel slices. I had to take a moment to stand back and admire all those colors!

Alright, let’s get to the recipe!


1 whole chicken – giblets removed, rinsed

1 small sweet potato – sliced

1 large golden beet – peeled & sliced

1 large red beet – peeled & sliced

1 head of fennel – ends trimmed & cut into slices

1/2 medium yellow onion – cut into slices

For the rub:

1/2 cup fresh dill – chopped

2 tbsp olive oil (or butter)

2 cloves garlic – crushed

3 sprigs of rosemary – diced

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp fresh orange juice

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp each lemon & orange zest

2 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

Time to cook:

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Add your rub ingredients together in a bowl (except 1 tsp salt & 1/4 cup dill) and mix well.

In a roasting pan layer your sweet potato, then beets and finish with onions & fennel.

Add half of your sauce to your vegetable mix and coat evenly.

Rinse your chicken, trim any fat and place on top of vegetables.

Salt & pepper chicken in and out, stuff the inside of your chicken with 1/4 cup dill and I placed 3-4 lemon rings in there as well, then rub your chicken in the rest of the rub.

I tossed any extra dill & zest on top!

Put chicken in oven for 15 minutes at 450 degrees, then turn down to 400 and roast for another 40-45 minutes or so until done through, juices clear.

Let it rest a few minutes while everyone is getting seated and then dish out!











It’s an easy, lovely, healthy, minimal clean up kinda dish and really yummy dinner idea, I’m sure your family and guests will love it! Another reminder that if you wanted to try out a delivered to your doorstep grocery experience, provides to your doorstep delivery of local, organic products as well as an entire online grocery store of amazing produce and other products such as whole organic chicken! Use PROMO code: PINCH to receive $20.00 of your first order of $60.00! No sign up or memberships, just shop once to check it out, it is amazing! Let me know what you think of this recipe as well as f you try it out, thank you for reading and your support everyone. Have a lovely rest of your week and weekend! XOXO

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A Trio of Easy Grilled Skewered Vegetables

The last couple weeks have been an absolute whirlwind for me, half the time I don’t know the date or time, it has been moving/renovation week for us and life as a homeowner has been both gratifying and terrifying all at the same time. With a house in reno mode, full of unpacked boxes and an unorganized kitchen, madness has ensued and I have been utilizing my BBQ more than ever for quick and nourishing meals on the go. I wanted to inspire you with my favorite beautiful fresh produce that transform into a trio of easy grilled skewered vegetables that compliment any protein of choice. A delectable grilled trio of Maple Rosemary Garden Carrots, Paprika Honey Dijon Brussel Sprouts and Baba Ganoush Inspired Grilled Eggplant.

These are truly three of my all time favorite side dishes that utilize some of my favorite produce and grill up wonderfully in no time at all for those meals in a hurry. They aren’t your typical go to skewer veggies, I realize that, but I’m all about exploring food and its cooking versatility. So I have tried to grill almost everything… and these turned out to be very impressive I must say :). It’s garden carrot season, I’ve been getting local carrots bunch after bunch as they are so darn yummy, marinated in fresh rosemary from my lovely herb box, good ol’ Canadian Maple Syrup, then caramelized and grilled to perfection… so simple but my goodness you are going to love them grilled! They melt in your mouth with hints of woodsy rosemary and then the sweet maple, mmmm. These Maple Rosemary Grilled Carrots pair so well with a juicy grilled chicken breast! Here is how to make them!

Maple Rosemary Grilled Garden Carrots:

1 bunch of small fresh carrots (approx 10 small carrots)

1.5 tbsp fresh diced rosemary

1 tbsp maple syrup

Light drizzle of your favorite oil (I used olive oil)

1/2 tsp salt

Ground black pepper to taste

Wash carrots well & trim off ends, add carrots to a microwave safe bowl with an inch of water and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 3 minutes or until just softening. Drain water (careful it’s hot!) and add rosemary, maple syrup, salt and pepper and toss well until carrots are coated. Thread carrots onto a skewer and grill on low heat for 5 minutes, then flip, grill another 5 minutes. You’ve got yourself some gorgeous grilled carrots, enjoy! You will have left over marinade, don’t throw it out, I like to drizzle the remainder on my grilled carrots when they are done!

Next up are these mini green cabbage like veggies, brussel sprouts, most people say they despise these cute lil’ things, well that’s because you’ve probably had them over boiled and served bland, yeah? I beg you, give this recipe a crack, you will change your mind about brussel sprouts I swear and then cry during the winter when you can’t grill them up like this, although I do make this same recipe in the oven when I have withdrawals in the winter! These Paprika Honey Dijon Brussel Sprouts are AMAZING! They get a crispy outer layer from the grill and the Paprika Honey Dijon marinade caramelizes beautifully, if I haven’t convinced you with my words yet, just try them already! Here is how.

Paprika Honey Dijon Brussel Sprouts:

1/2 pound brussel sprouts (approx 10)

2 tbsp of your favorite Dijon mustard

1 tbsp honey (I use local Drizzle Spring Honey, so good!)

1/2 tsp smoked paprika (regular paprika will do, but I love the smokiness smoked paprika gives)

1/2 tsp salt

Ground black pepper to taste

Mix dijon, Drizzle honey, paprika, salt and pepper to create a marinade. Wash brussel sprouts well & trim off the hard end, add them to a microwave safe bowl with an inch of water and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 2-3 minutes or until just softening. Drain water (careful it’s hot!) and add your marinade to them, add salt and pepper and toss well until sprouts are evenly coated. Thread brussel sprouts onto a skewer and grill on low heat for 5 minutes, then flip, grill another 5 minutes. I love these with a side of grilled chicken or even a poached egg!

Last, but definitely not least, aubergine… eggplant… whatever you want to call the stunning purple bulb is up next! Eggplant is another vegetable I get asked a lot about, how to cook & season it, so here is one of my favorite ways of making them. I get so delighted when I come across Indian Eggplant, the small little individual bulbs that are so perfect for two bite sized sides, just cut them in half and smother in my take on a Baba Ganoush marinade. The garlic tahini marinade with a kick of chile powder, when grilled, makes a crispy and delicious outer crust with a creamy middle. These Baba Ganoush Inspired Grilled Eggplants are going to be a frequent on your dinner menu after you try them.









Baba Ganoush Grilled Eggplant:

6 Indian Eggplants (If you can’t find Indian Eggplant, normal eggplant cut into chunks will do!)

2 tbsp tahini

1 clove garlic – crushed

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp lemon zest

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp chili powder

Black ground pepper to taste

Mix tahini, crushed garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest and chili powder to create a marinade. Wash eggplant well & trim off top, then cut in half. Thread eggplant onto a skewer, salt & pepper them, then smother them in the tahini marinade. Grill on low heat for 5-6 minutes, then flip, grill another 5 minutes. I love these with a side of grilled fish!

There you have it, a trio of vegetable for you to skewer up and grill up! Give one, or all of these a try during these busy summer months! Let me know your favorite side and what you paired it with, tag me on Instagram @apinchofnurse or Facebook. Enjoy this hot weekend to come everyone and if you’re hitting the Stampede grounds have a blast, fill up on carny eats and I’ll be here for ya when you need a lighter meal to detox :)! XOXO


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Grill Em Up – Jalapeno Corn Chicken Burgers

Afternoon everyone! Hope your weekend has been jam-packed with adventure and hopefully delicious meals that were grilled up on that BBQ, since the sun came out to play yesterday. A slightly gloomy start to our Sunday, but who are we kidding , Canadians are notorious for using that BBQ as soon as a walk able path via snow boots can be shoveled through the snow to reach the BBQ… well I do anyways. Although, I find it preferable when you can entertain in the sanctuary of your backyard, kick back, have a drinkaroo or two, all while grilling up damn delicious Jalapeno Corn Chicken Burgers!

I find from time to time chicken can get slightly boring and recipes are monotonous, throw that flavorless chicken to the side and welcome into your life these super easy, moist, flavor packed and ready for summer, Jalapeno Corn Chicken Burgers! I was craving a juicy bite of a healthy burger, I created these sweet with heat chicken patties and it undeniably hit the spot! Within 10 minutes you can have your ground chicken mixed up with a medley of fresh jalapeno and lime, juicy sweet corn, fragrant cilantro and that perfect spice blend of chili powder , cumin, paprika and chipotle. These burgers deliver a serious flavor bomb, no boring ass chicken here!

I made a batch and had them for dinner, lunch than dinner… I was seriously impressed with their versatility and deliciousness even after being re-heated! I am optimistic that I have inspired you and created half your weeks dinner and lunch ideas, you’re welcome! I experimented with a fully loaded lettuce style burger, stacked with creamy avocado, grilled red onion, fresh tomato with a side of delectable Chili Lime Beets, I dove right in, crazy tasty! Then for lunch I whipped up a quick avocado, tomato, cucumber salad with a Jalapeno Corn Chicken Burger on the side or try the traditional patty between a bun with your fav toppings. You really can’t go wrong and yes, the recipe is also up for the Chili Lime Beet Chips!

I’m obsessed with beets and my BBQ, so I thought… let’s unify these two glorious things! BAM, Chili Lime Beet Chips with a smoky hue and a lovely crisp, a perfect compliment to that Jalapeno Corn Chicken Burger, served as a lettuce slider with a side of chips, not to mention a much healthier alternative than fries or regular fried chips. They did not last long, seriously obsessed and addicted! Just a FYI, the Calgary Farmer’s Market has gorgeous bags of golden and red beets right now, you may want to pick some of these beauties up.

Have I got you wanting to fire up that BBQ now? Get on it and indulge on my healthy and delicious chicken burger and beet chips tonight! Hope you all have a lovely rest of your Sunday and week ahead and let’s coax that sunshine out! XOXO


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Moroccan White Bean Stew For Rainy Days

Good morning all! Rainy and grey Sunday’s make me just want to curl up with my bowl of savory, Moroccan White Bean Stew and maybe throw in some Netflix or a good book, don’t you agree? How typical of Calgary… one day I’m outside grilling and basking in the sun, the next I’m back to comfort stews, watching the rain trickle down the windows. I’m not complaining though, there is something tranquil and beautiful about drizzling rain, soon bringing life and lush greenery our way. Oh and now you have a healthy and yummy vegetarian stew recipe to create and curl up with as well!

I have mentioned before the life changing and unbelievable impact that Morocco had on me and my culinary inspiration. My palate was introduced to a whole new world of flavors and cooking techniques that I find myself referring back too for many recipes. With bold and fresh spices and stunning colorful cookware being sold on every corner, it was difficult to not get lost and immersed in the food culture (FYI, I regret deeply not hauling a tagine back to Canada!) This Moroccan White Bean Stew is my healthy play on the radiant traditional Moroccan Loubia White Bean Stew, that I experienced while in Morocco.

The silky white beans bring a balanced richness to this vegetarian dish and the smokiness of the paprika and warmth of cumin keeps your spoon diving in for more. I can’t get enough of bursting and slightly browned roasted tomatoes, they deliver a whole different dimension to this dish, so I had to incorporate! A gorgeous market find this week was some exquisite purple kale, I knew it would finish this stew off perfectly, I mean green kale will do… but really, look how stunning that purple kale is you guys!

So I think you are in need of and deserve a lazy Sunday stew day, kick back with a large bowl of my White Bean Moroccan Stew and take in the beauty and freshness that the rain can bring. Take advantage of the rest of this weekend and enjoy! XOXO

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Asparagus Continues with Lemon Garlic Roasted Trout on Creamy Cauliflower Puree

As promised, another asparagus recipe to embrace asparagus season! I have recently been asked by  multiple people what my favorite, or go to meal is and instantly I knew I wanted to share with all of you this undeniably exquisite dinner. This is my go to dinner because it’s SO DAMN GOOD and works well with any seasonal vegetable, this one being asparagus! Even after making it three nights in a row, I still can’t get enough of my Lemon Garlic Roasted Trout on Creamy Cauliflower Puree, asparagus edition. I know, the title makes it seem dramatically difficult or restaurant like, but you guys, surprise surprise, this is a 20 minute meal!

Doesn’t it look so gourmet, I feel like I’m at a top-notch restaurant when I make and devour this beauty of a dish, without the large bill at the end! I always stock up on fresh fish when it is available, my travels through Japan has made me miss fresh and bountiful seafood tremendously.  I had the most outstanding piece of trout laid upon Japanese seasonal greens and broth while in the mountainous village of Magome, Japan. My obsession with fresh trout has been relentless since then! FYI, the Calgary Farmer’s Market has Market Seafood, where I buy my fresh fish. They have fresh steel head trout in right now, check out their website to see what they have in fresh that weekend!

Streets of Magome, Japan, steps away from the restaurant with the dreamy trout.

Now, back to my Lemon Garlic Roasted Trout and Asparagus With a Creamy Cauliflower Puree. Roasting asparagus, yet another way to prepare these crunchy green spears, roasting them allows their natural and fresh flavors to really shine. In this recipe they are simply roasted with fresh garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest and a pinch of salt and pepper, divine!

If you haven’t had cauliflower puree yet in your lifetime, I am actually going to come over this instance and make this creamy dreamy puree for you myself… you have been MISSING OUT BIG TIME! I am obsessed. I use it all the time and it elevates my dishes to that next level! It adds that silky dimension and you can dip and scoop it up with the garlicky flaky moist trout and crispy asparagus. It pairs really well with grains and works perfectly as a sauce, I threw some red quinoa into this dish (as pictured above) and the two were meant to be! The greatest part of cauliflower puree, is it takes 5 minutes, way less time than lets say… mashed potatoes! Simply steam with spices in the microwave then blend!

Well, let me know what you think about this delectable 20 minute gourmet meal. I wouldn’t be surprised if you too will be eating it three nights in a row, or more! Oh and also, if you can’t get your hands on fresh trout, salmon also works deliciously here, I just love the lightness of trout! Happy weekend everyone and don’t get fooled tomorrow 🙂 XOXO

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Celebrating Spring With A Vibrant Green Thai Chicken Curry

Happy first day of Spring everyone! The Spring equinox is upon us and this calls for a celebration I’d say, I am so looking forward to Spring showers, warmer days, green grass and blossoming flowers. So I created a dish that transitions us from the cool winters into the hopes of Spring, a vibrant and fresh vegetable packed Green Thai Chicken Curry

Quick curry dishes are a go to weeknight meal for me fore-sure and make darn tasty leftovers for your lunch the next day. With Spring here but cool days still lingering, I was craving a warm bowl of goodness packed with fresh and in season veggies balanced with the heat from the curry. I always get my bell peppers from Gull Valley Growers at the Farmer’s Market, seriously the best produce EVER! Their peppers are sweet, crunchy and hold so much flavor, they definitely elevate this curry to the next level! My Green Thai Chicken Curry is hearty with fresh bell peppers, sweet carrots, pops of crunch from flavor infused baby corn, fresh green spinach, tender juicy chicken pieces and that creamy green curry infused coconut broth ties it all together.

I know at times finding all the ingredients for exotic curry dishes can be daunting and can have you running around the city to different stores to find all those rare roots and grasses… this is my case all too often. I stumbled upon the Silk Road Spice Merchant’s Green Thai Curry blend, which is a mixture of all those ingredients that can be tiresome to find! It is such a great alternative when my grocery stores aren’t carrying everything I need and brings such an authentic aromatic flavor to this curry, then I elevated it with a few more spices and it was perfection!

Try this Green Thai Chicken Curry for dinner tonight, it is so simple to throw together and impressively packs a ton of flavor for the minimal time and effort put into creating this dish!

  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp Thai Green Curry spice blend/paste
  • 1.5 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp tamari/soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 cloves garlic – minced
  • 2 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 2 tsp fresh grated turmeric (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 small sweet yellow onion – sliced
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 2 large skinless boneless chicken breasts – cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 large green bell pepper – sliced into strips
  • 1 large red bell pepper – sliced into strips
  • 1 large carrot – peeled and thinly sliced pieces
  • 1 cup canned baby corn
  • 2 packed cups fresh spinach
  • Handful of fresh basil – coarsely chopped
  1. Heat coconut oil in large saute pan over medium meat.
  2. Add first 7 ingredients to pan and allow spices to get fragrant, approximately 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add onions and saute until just softened, approximately 5 minutes.
  4. Pour in coconut milk and chicken stock, bring to an almost boil.
  5. Once liquid almost boiling, add chicken and carrots, decrease heat to medium/low, cover with lid, cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Add the rest of vegetables, except spinach, cover and cook another 15-20 minutes.
  7. Once vegetables softened, add spinach and basil and cook until just wilted.
  8. Serve on cauliflower rice, rice of choice or bed of fresh spinach!
 I have confidence that you will fall in love with this transition into Spring, bowl of vibrant, healthy and nutritious ingredients! XOXO
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Lasagna With Love, From Venice

I’ve been dying to share my Venetian inspired lasagna with all of you! What better day to cheer you all up with a comforting, nourishing and love filled lasagna than on this snowy Monday? Let’s close our eyes and transport ourselves to the canal lined streets of Venice, Italy, where smooth sailing gondolas glide through the water, mysterious passageways are around every corner and the quaint cobblestone streets are filled with mouth-watering aromas of fresh-baked pastries and hints of espresso. I was truly inspired by the culture, cuisine and back streets of Venice, this is how my Butternut Mushroom Lasagna came alive!

The best way to see Venice is truly just to get lost, throw that map in the air and explore! My husband and I decided to veer off the touristy walk ways, burrow ourselves into the culture and a whole new enticing and enigmatic Venice was unveiled. We stumbled upon shops full of ornate, bright Venetian masks, inspiring and eclectic art galleries, traditional family run restaurants, charming cafe’s and of course stunning Venetian glass pieces. Our unexpected expedition and grumbling tummies led us to experiencing symbolic Venetian dishes around every corner.

My Butternut Mushroom Lasagna was inspired by a variety of flavors and ingredients that I devoured while in Venice. I can still taste the flavors of woodsy mushrooms layered on a crostini (Venetian Cicchetti) and how could I forget Italy’s famous, fine, sharp Asiago cheese. Italy is obviously is known for it’s delectable lasagnas, Venice offers lasagna made with a nutmeg infused, white bechamel sauce instead of a tomato base. Um, let’s not forget dessert (or the too many desserts!) the lemony and sweet Fritellas (donuts) were to die for. I asked myself, how do I create a healthy and wholesome Venetian inspired meal with all of these delights that hit my mouth?!

Let me introduce you too my tasty and grain free lasagna. My Butternut Mushroom Lasagna has layers of sweet butternut squash in place of heavy pasta, meaty mushrooms, savory leeks and onions, fresh thyme, juicy chicken, lemony ricotta with a hint of nutmeg, fresh spinach and lasagna isn’t lasagna without some sweet tomatoes! Top this gorgeous lasagna off with Italy’s finest Asiago and Parmesan shredded cheese. You will be transported to (a healthier) Italy with one bite of this delicious dinner recipe, try it tonight! Buon appetito!

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Weekends = Crock Pot Dinners!

Rise and shine everyone, it’s Saturday morning and the weekend has just begun, time to get going! I know the weekends can be quite the frenzy, trying to pack in as much as imaginable into 48 precious hours, so who has time to cook dinner? This is why I have a true deep love for my trusty crock pot that has never failed me. When i need a scrumptious dinner to be prepared at the end of the day, it comes through for me every time. Let me save you some time this weekend to focus on the meaningful moments; making beautiful memories, laughing, loving and consuming hearty and mouth watering, Butternut Black Bean Crock Pot Chili!

Butternut squash is a such a gorgeous, versatile and easy to work with ingredient, it beautifully absorbs any flavors you throw at it. It’s packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and has found to be an anti-inflammatory super food! I recently educated myself on picking the perfect butternut squash, you want the squash to be: heavy for its size, stem intact and firm, skin matte (not shiny – means it was picked too early), and when you tap it, it should have a “woodsy” sound. That should lead you to the perfect squash… now go tap away on those squashes… haha. I adore butternut squash and had to incorporate it into a chili recipe, I let the ingredients shine and this chili is truly scrumptious.

There is nothing better than digging into a hot bowl of chunky, veggie loaded chili, with smokey and sweet flavors that are so inviting and comforting at the end of a busy day. I recently made this for a very special and significant family gathering in my life, we shared many laughs and tears and the bowls were wiped clean, literally! I more than anything wanted to create a chili recipe that encompasses love and leaves you feeling delightfully satisfied, I think this is it! Try it out this weekend, gather your family and friends, share beautiful food and smile! Sending much love, Xoxo.




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Get Out Your Sombreros, it’s Fajita Night!

Hola everyone, well it’s a gorgeous winter day , sun is out and shining bright which brings a smile to my face and a hop in my step! The recent warm weather and golden rays of sunshine have me thinking of summer and beach vacations… in fact, the Mexican topic/theme has come up in my life several times in the last couple days, so I took it as a sign and I’d like to introduce to you your dinner for tonight! Drum roll please… I know you are going to LOVE my Zesty Fajita Squash Boats with my Cilantro Avocado Drizzle! They are a low carb and healthy twist on fajitas, not to mention so much fun eating out of a squash bowl!


Let me take you back to some of the best fajitas I’ve had and how that sizzling plate of deliciousness inspired this recipe! My husband and I took a summer trip to Whitefish, Montana a couple of years ago for a golf couples getaway. If you’ve never been to Whitefish, you absolutely have to experience this small town nestled in the Rocky Mountains, it has an old historic rustic charm about it, abundance of boutique shops, multitude of outdoor activities and of course a variety of culinary experiences!

Anyways, back to the golfing getaway and food inspiration… there we were golfing away in Whitefish, almost completed our 18 holes and famished, when all of a sudden a giant grizzly bear barreled past our golf cart and down the fairway! Before we even knew what happened, I armed myself with my golf club (smart and quick thinking, I know!) and unsure of what to do next, we just sat in our cart and let that bear do it’s thing! We skipped the last hole, too terrified to keep playing and decided with all that excitement we needed a darn good meal (since we didn’t end up being meals ourselves). You know when you are so hungry you don’t really even have the slightest care where you eat, that you just stop at anything that resembles a restaurant and hope it’s good? Well that was the case that day! We saw a small, old, barely visible sign for Mexican food and decided Mexican sounded darn good. We got out of our car and couldn’t really make out where this restaurant actually was, we were in some isolated parking lot… then we spotted a door to a very sketchy looking building, we weren’t turning back now! Well, I’ve determined over the years of travelling that these restaurants are typically the BEST and usually authentic, haha… usually.

We were seated at a cute little table, in a dimly lit small restaurant that was surprisingly full (I still wonder to this day where these people were parked). Faint Mexican music played in the background and the mouth-watering smells of Mexican fair filled the air. Now I’m sure you can guess what we ordered… yep, FAJITAS! So, you know when you are waiting for your food at a restaurant and someone else’s food goes by looking damn amazing and you think… wow I wish I ordered that. Well for once, that was our sizzling, bright, beautiful skillet of fajitas! I felt everyone’s eyes jealously peering over at our table. Now these fajitas were simply incredible, the flavors were so balanced, the vegetables cooked perfectly, the lime juice on top with that zesty kick, the subtle smokiness to the dish was the key. I still to this day don’t know what the name of the restaurant is or even where it is located, I keep intending to go back and find it one day. I decided that day that I needed more fajita in my life and I was going to create a spice mix and recipe that rocked my fajita world. Over the last couple of years I have, what I think, come up with a pretty darn good fajita recipe and I’m going to share that with you tonight!

For the recipe click here!

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