Author Archives for Sandra Shields, Food and Wellness Blogger, Health Coach, Healthy Living, Food Intolerance Recipes, Well Rounded Living

About Sandra Shields, Food and Wellness Blogger, Health Coach, Healthy Living, Food Intolerance Recipes, Well Rounded Living

Hello! I am Sam. I am a foodie and a Health Coach who likes being in the kitchen creating healthier versions of favorite foods, especially for those with food intolerances and restrictions, or those who are looking to incorporate healthier eating habits. I have had an obsession with baking since I was ten! I started this blog to share recipes I was making for myself after finding out I had several food sensitivities, including gluten. I had no idea what I was going to eat and how I would feed my hungry family. I went to school for Health Coaching as a second career at Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world's largest health coaching school. I wanted to have recipes I could eat, and the whole family would enjoy, that were healthy, delicious and made with ingredients that promoted overall health. So this is in essence my food diary. Taking real food and creating delicious recipes is something I am passionate about. From experience, I believe nutrient dense food gives the body the best fuel and building blocks to be vibrant, healthy, prevent disease, and maintain great energy as well as heal. I am excited to share delicious food recipes and tips!

Dark Chocolate Mint Truffles with Raspberries and Macadamia Nuts

Dark Chocolate and Raspberries with Mint is divine! But if you like Macadamia Nuts better, I have given you options. Or, if you are like me, I like to make both!SO Perky raspberry and macadamia truffles

This is a brand new recipe with choices! I have added a powdered drink mix supplement that is new to Perfectly Posh called So Perky that has a lot of beneficial ingredients in it, to boost these truffles, like Green Coffee Bean, Matcha Green Tea, Peppermint, Vitamin C, Vitamin B12 and Ginseng! The mint flavor in this drink mix adds a nice flavor to the chocolate, plus other benefits. But, you can totally make this without it! All the new Knosh is allergen free, with no artificial colors! One of the many reasons I love it!

So Perky Dark Chocolate Mint Truffles

Here’s some more information below on the So Perky which you can pick up here.

 

So Perky

I like to add it to make these delicious dark chocolate bites an Energy Power Treat!

So Perky Truffles

They also have cashew butter in them, and are simple to make, because instead of cooling the truffle mixture and then rolling them into balls, which can be tedious, you simply pour it into mini muffin cups which is much quicker and easier!

Here’s how to make them!

Dark Chocolate Mint Truffles with Raspberries and Macadamia Nuts (optional Knosh So Perky Drink Mix)

Ingredients:

1 Cup of Dark Chocolate Chips

1/4 Cup of Cashew Butter

2 Knosh So Perky Mint Julep Drink Mix packets (optional)

1/2 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

1/8 Teaspoon of Peppermint Extract

A pinch of Sea Salt

Freeze Dried Raspberries (crushed) 1 Cup

1/2 Cup of Macadamia Nuts (finely chopped)

Directions:

Prepare a mini muffin tin with 20 paper liners.

In a double broiler over simmering heat, melt the dark chocolate chips, cashew butter, a pinch of sea salt and 2 Knosh So Perky Mint Julep Drink Packets. Whisk with a fork until it is melted together. When completely melted, remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and peppermint extracts.

Crush the freeze dried raspberries into a fine powder. I like to use a mini food processor. You can also do this in a plastic storage bag and crush them by rolling a rolling pin over the top of the sealed bag. Finely chop the macadamia nuts. Place each in a small bowl for sprinkling.

Place about a half teaspoon of the crushed raspberries and macadamia nuts in ten each of the mini muffin cups. Pour the melted truffle mixture evenly into each cup leaving a little room at the top for more raspberries and nuts. Immediately sprinkle the remaining crushed raspberries and macadamia nuts on top of the truffles accordingly.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes until set. Remove them from the mini muffin pan and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator to enjoy as needed!

Makes 20

Dark Chocolate Mint Truffles with Raspberries and Macadamia Nuts

*I am a consultant for Perfectly Posh and love all their cleaner beauty products and supplements and what the company stands for. I appreciate you choosing me as your consultant when shopping with them.

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What’s In Season for August

What's In Season in August

August is a time of year when the fresh fruits and vegetables are at their peak! This is a great time to eat your fill of all the freshness the season has to offer and enjoy all the nutrient rich benefits of a large variety of colorful, fresh food.
I have put together a list for you to pin, share and inspire you!
How would you use some of these? Share with me in the comments and share this post with friends who love good food!

Blueberry, Dark Chocolate Chip, Pecan Quick Mug Muffin

Quick Muffin 6

Is there ever a season when we don’t need something quick in the kitchen? I don’t think so from my experience. Even in the Summer when the kids are out of school, the pace can be fast, and we have to purposefully carve out time to slow things down.

Quick Muffin 7

Our time Up North is winding down, and it has been so fun, relaxing and refreshing. Lots of quality time, but I’m feeling tired. Because even a vacation, or even especially a vacation, can make you tired.

Quick Muffin 3

During the last few days, I am running out of time to bake, and also not replenishing things like muffins that I don’t want to take with me traveling home.

Quick Muffin 5

So, I’ve made a new recipe for a quick 2 minute mug muffin. No big batch, just enough for two servings. Half for now, half for later, or to share all at once. It’s big enough for two.

This one has dried blueberries, pecans and dark chocolate chips in it, and I used a combination of Banana and Quinoa flour, and sweetened it healthfully with applesauce and maple syrup.

Quick Muffin Batter in Mug

Blueberry, Dark Chocolate Chip, Pecan Mug Muffin

You will need one 16 oz. Microwave Safe Mug

Ingredients:

1 Egg

1/4 Cup of No Sugar Added Applesauce

1/4 Cup of Quinoa Flour

2 Tablespoons of Banana Flour

1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons of Pure Maple Syrup

1/4 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

1/4 Teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon

1/8 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

A Pinch of Salt

1 Tablespoon of Dark Chocolate Chips

1 Tablespoon of Dried Blueberries

1 Tablespoon of Chopped Pecans

Directions:

Whisk together the egg, applesauce, maple syrup, olive oil and vanilla extract in a medium sized bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, except the chocolate chips, blueberries and chopped pecans. Whisk vigorously until smooth. Add a Tablespoon each of Dark Chocolate Chips, Blueberries and Chopped Pecans. Pour the batter into a 16 oz. microwave safe mug. (It should be half full). Sprinkle with additional chocolate chips, blueberries and pecans if desired.

Microwave on high for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes until cooked through and the muffin springs back to the touch. The first time you make this start at two minutes, and if needed go 30 seconds more. After that you will know your microwave time requirements for this muffin. Microwaves vary. This muffin Puffs Up Huge above the rim of the mug when microwaving. It will shrink back down level with the cup when it is cooled. There are no worries of it spilling over. Kids will enjoy watching this process, at least mine do. 🙂

Cool a little bit before eating this. It is good warm or cooled. 🙂

Serves 2

THISIS~1

 

 

The Health Benefits of Sweet Cherries

Health Benefits of Sweet Cherries

The cherries are in season, so now is a good time to enjoy them, freeze them at their peak to enjoy all winter and to reap the health benefits of this delicious stone fruit!

 

Let’s talk about the benefits of sweet cherries!

 

Some of my favorite benefits of cherries are the compounds that help improve sleep naturally (they contain natural melatonin). If you want the benefit of better sleep, have a serving an hour before bedtime. 

 

Cherries also contain anti-inflammatory properties, and they inhibit oxidative stress. It is always a good idea to eat foods that decrease inflammation in our bodies that can lead to a variety of diseases and health problems, and oxidative stress leads to premature aging and puts you at a higher risk for cancer, neurodegenerative disease and diabetes.

 

The red color of the cherries is from Anthocyanins which are a class of antioxidants that research shows can benefit our bodies in several ways. Anthocyanins are anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-microbial and neuroprotective. Anthocyanins can rev up fat burning and decrease fat storage. The polyphenols in cherries are a boost to heart health and aid in exercise recovery.

 

As with any fruit, stick to reasonable serving sizes.

 

1 Cup of Sweet Cherries has 90 calories, 22 g of carbs and 17 grams of sugars.

 

Sweet Cherries are highly palatable and tasty just as they are. This stone fruit is a good source of vitamins, minerals and fiber, especially Vitamin C and Potassium. They are wonderful atop a salad, as a snack, chopped up and made into a salsa to go with a meal as a topping, in a breakfast bowl, in a homemade cherry bbq sauce, use them to make homemade popsicles or in broccoli salad. There are so many creative ways to use them as part of a healthy, well balanced diet and the benefits are worth your attention.

Photo by twinsfisch on Unsplash

Resistance to Healthy Eating Goals from Family and Friends

 

daisy tea

Don’t Let Family and Friend’s Resistance of Your Healthy Eating Goals Sabotage You.
I’ve been there. Change is hard no matter what it is. Humans do not like to be uncomfortable, and change disrupts the apple cart.
Psychological analysis of why someone you care about is so upset by what You choose to put in your mouth is written about a lot, but the truth is there is an array of reasons depending on the relationship.
What you eat and how it will make You feel about yourself, your energy, your health, your looks, your vitality, your pain, your future ultimately affects you! 


Food is such a hot button, and it draws the lines between friends and family and cuts loose a slew of judgement and opinions on both sides.


So what are the facts? 


Healthy Eating and choosing foods that support your body and well being will make you:


Less Bloated
Mentally Sharper
More Energetic
Leaner with more Muscle Mass
Create Healthier Cells Going Forward
Give You the best form of Whole Food Nutrients
A Better Chance of Dying of Old Age
Blood Sugar Regulation
Supportive of the Health of the Next Generation through example
Better Mood
Glowing Skin


I’m interested. What have you found to be the biggest challenge socially or with family that keeps you stuck eating food that really doesn’t serve you?

I always love to hear from you!
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Sandra Shields, Health Coach

Chocolate Chip, Cranberry, Walnut Cookies (Grain Free)

Chocolate Chip, Cranberry Walnut Grain Free Cookies

I am super pumped about this cookie, because it is the real deal, and it uses Banana Flour!

It does not taste like bananas. It tastes like a legit white flour cookie, but it is a grain free, Paleo, maple sugar sweetened, gluten and dairy free cookie! It even spreads in the oven without having to press it with your palm! If you are not a recipe developer, this might not be significant to you, but trust me, it’s awesome!!!

We have had a lot of batches of this cookie version around, as I’ve been testing it repeatedly and tweaking the ingredients. This is the one!

Gluten and Grain Free Banana Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

Almond flour, coconut flour and other grain free flours are great for baking as well. But if you know me well enough, you know that my passion is writing recipes for food intolerances and those who want to eat healthier. Banana Flour isn’t something I have worked with before until now.

Grain Free Banana Flour Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

This cookie has dark chocolate chips, dried fruit sweetened cranberries and brain benefiting walnuts in it. For a nut free cookie, just omit the walnuts and increase the chocolate chips and cranberries equally. There is olive oil in the recipe as well….a very Italian and healthy baking ingredient! It is good in cookies! I did a 50/50 split between it and organic shortening. Shortening gives it the mouth feel you crave and helps with spreading and browning evenly.

Chocolate Chip, Cranberry, Walnut Cookies Healthier Bakiing

This is the banana flour I have been using to test and make these cookies. It is GMO Free Gluten Free, Vegan, Paleo and contains only 100% bananas.

Chocolate Chip, Cranberry, Walnut Cookies Healthier Bakiing

Chocolate Chip, Cranberry, Walnut Cookies (Grain Free)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Ingredients:

1 Egg

3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

3 Tablespoons of Organic Shortening (I use Spectrum)

6 Tablespoons of Pure Maple Sugar

1/2 Cup of Banana Flour

1/2 Teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract

1/4 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

1/4 Teaspoon of Cinnamon

1/8 Teaspoon of Nutmeg

1/8 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

1/3 Cup of Dark Chocolate Chips (I use Enjoy Life)

1/3 Cup of Dried Fruit Sweetened Cranberries

1/3 Cup of Walnuts (chopped)

Directions:

In a medium mixing bowl, with an electric hand mixer, beat together the olive oil, shortening and maple sugar until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat for one minute. Sift together the banana flour, sea salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg and stir it with a spatula into the wet mix until it is starting to incorporate. Then, beat it with an electric hand held mixer until incorporated and creamy. If you don’t stir it in with a spatula first, the banana flour is very light and will fly everywhere.

Fold in the chocolate chips, cranberries and walnuts with a spatula.

Banana Flour Cookie Dough

Scoop the dough into tablespoon mounds on two parchment lined cookie sheets. You should have 14 cookies.

Oven Ready Banana Flour Cookies

Bake in your preheated oven for 11 minutes, rotating the sheets half way through the baking (top to bottom and turning side to side). Cool for five minutes on the sheet, then remove to a wire rack to completely cool.

Enjoy!!!

Chocolate Chip, Cranberry, Walnut Grain Free Cookies, Dairy Free, Paleo, Gluten Free

 

 

Sundried Tomato, Basil, Chicken “Pasta”

Chicken, Tomato Basil Noodles

Good for you Pasta Bowls will all the flavor and more vegetables, less carbs!

That was the goal of this juicy chicken and pasta bowl.

Now I’m a girl who grew up with Pasta Sunday, and I still look forward to a big serving, but with a healthier twist that isn’t going to give my belly a pooch and have me slumping down on the sofa for the rest of the evening in a carbohydrate coma.

Chicken Tomato Basil Pasta Toss Grain Free

It is always a great idea to choose boneless chicken thighs if you don’t want to take the chance of getting a dry breast. Thighs just have more flavor, and according to Dr. Oz in his White Chicken Meat vs. Dark Chicken Meat episode by Food Journalist Mark Schatzker, we have been trained our whole life to go for the white meat as a healthier option but is it? That being said, if you use perfectly roasted chicken breasts in this recipe, they would be delicious too, just not as foolproof. There is definitely a time to use them, like in my new chicken salad recipe with lemon pepper and strawberries here! The key is they have to be roasted to perfection and not taken a minute beyond 165°F.

Now, onward!

I like to roast my spaghetti squash the day before in the oven while I am making that night’s dinner, let it cool, then shred it into noodles with a fork and refrigerate it until the next day when I plan to make this dish. You can also completely do it in the same day.

Chicken Tomato Basil Spaghetti Squash Noodles

You are killing two birds with one stone, and saving a bunch of time by prepping it a day in advance.

This is a super flavorful pasta with beautiful oregano, basil and garlic all over the cubed thighs that are browned on the stove and then finished in the oven in 20 minutes total time. While the thighs are roasting, the rest of the ingredients can be prepped. Then you pour the chicken juices (broth) with all the seasonings right over the pasta. There is not a lot of fat in it because the chicken in skinless, but there is a Lot of Flavor!

Chicken Sundried Tomato Basil Pasta Grain and Dairy Free

Sundried Tomato, Basil, Chicken Pasta

1 Roasted Spaghetti Squash, cooled and shredded into “noodles”

1 Red Onion, Diced

2 Tablespoons of EVOO

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil Packed Organic Sundried Tomatoes, diced

1 Cup of Sliced Scallions (green onions)

1/2 Cup of Fresh Basil

1 Can of Organic Mushrooms, drained


2 Pounds of Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs

1 Tablespoon of Dried Oregano

1 Tablespoon of Dried Basil

1 Tablespoon of EVOO

Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

1 Tablespoon of Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

2 Cloves of Minced Garlic

Directions:

Roast you spaghetti squash up to a day in advance. To roast the squash, preheat your oven to 400° degrees F. Split your spaghetti squash from stem to end and remove the seeds. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place it cut side down onto a rimmed cookie sheet. Roast 45 minutes to an hour, or until the top of the squash is soft when pressed.

Remove from the oven, and flip upright to cool completely. Shred the squash with fork tines. If using later, cover and refrigerate.

On the day you are making the dish:

Preheat the oven to 400° degrees F.

Whisk together the basil, oregano, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. Brush the seasoning over your boneless chicken thighs. In a large skillet, brown the chicken thighs on each side for five minutes, using a little more olive oil if necessary to prevent sticking. Transfer the chicken thighs to a parchment lined cookie sheet, and place in the oven to finish cooking through for approximately ten minutes, or until the thermometer reaches 165° F. Remove the thighs from the oven, and when cool enough, cut each thigh into quarters. Reserve the chicken juices from the pan, this is the broth!

In the same uncleaned pan you used to cook the chicken, you will make the sauce. All the brown bits from the chicken are little nuggets of flavor.

Brown the diced red onion in two tablespoons of olive oil until tender. Add the sundried tomatoes, scallions and mushroom, and stir warming and incorporating them into the cooked onions. Now, add the previously prepped spaghetti squash and the chopped fresh basil. Toss with tongues to coat and evenly distribute the vegetables.

Add the chicken pieces and juices from the chicken to the “noodles” heating and incorporating gently.

Serve!

Sundried Tomato, Chicken and Basil Grain Free Pasta has tons of flavor! It uses boneless chicken thighs and is a perfect bowl noodles for Grain Free Pasta Night! Paleo, Dairy, Gluten and Grain Free.

 

 

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