All tagged Gut Health

Strawberry Chia Seed Pudding Parfait

Chia seed pudding is an excellent meal prep recipe, as it lasts in the fridge for 5 days!  The Strawberry Sauce is delicious layered with the chia seed pudding, and can also be stirred into yogurt (or poured over ice cream (shh I won’t tell!). Cheers to a breakfast that you can make in advance, grab and go, enjoy as a dessert, or devour as a midafternoon snack 😊

Serves: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes (+ soaking overnight)

Cooking time: 0 minutes

What (your ingredients):

Chia Seed Pudding:

½ cup chia seeds

2 cups almond milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon maple syrup

Strawberry Sauce:

8 oz. strawberries

1 tablespoon maple syrup

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of ½ lemon

How (your directions):

In a large bowl, add chia seeds, almond milk, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon maple syrup.  Whisk immediately, then allow to sit 5 minutes.

Whisk chia mixture once more, then cover and refrigerate overnight.

To make the strawberry sauce, simply add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds.

To assemble, create layers of chia pudding and strawberry sauce.  Garnish with additional sliced strawberries.

Why (the science):  Chia seeds are incredibly high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, so they’re great for both digestion and heart health.

Pear and Almond Tart Smoothie

I love a Pear and Almond Tart for dessert, but it’s not an everyday indulgence.  So, to enjoy one of my favorite desserts, I made a smoothie version that I can enjoy as breakfast, as a light and simple dessert on a weekday evening, or as an afternoon pick-me-up!  It comes together in less than 5 minutes, and is incredible for digestion, as well as for keeping energy levels up and stable 😊

Serves: 1

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 0 minutes

What (your ingredients):

1 Bartlett pear, core and stem removed

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon almond butter

1 cup oat milk

1 pitted date

How (your directions):

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on high for 30 seconds.

Enjoy immediately!

Or pour into an ice-cube tray, freeze, and blend with water or oat milk when ready to drink.

Why (the science):  Pears are incredible for digestion!  If you’re suffering from constipation, the fiber in pears promotes regularity and healthy digestion 😊

Grilled Romaine & Corn Salad with Basil Aioli Dressing (Vegan, GF)

If you’re bored with the same meals and are looking for the simplest and quickest way to switch it up, then you’re going to love this Grilled Romaine and Corn Salad with Basil Aioli Dressing.  The dressing and salad come together in 15 minutes flat! The Basil Aioli Dressing is creamy, dreamy and just happens to be super healthy and vegan (but don’t tell your spouse and children that...)  Whip up this showstopper salad in both winter for some needed brightness and color, and in summer to impress your BBQ party guests. 

Serves: 2-4 (2 meals, 4 sides)

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

What (your ingredients):

Basil Aioli Dressing:

1 cup raw cashew halves

½ cup boiling water

¼ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons lemon juice (1 lemon)

1 garlic clove

1 20-gram package basil

For the Salad:

½ tablespoon olive oil

1 head romaine, rinsed and dried

½ sweet corn, frozen

How (your directions):

To make the Basil Aioli Dressing, start by placing cashews in a small bowl and covering them with ½ cup boiling water.  Let stand 5 minutes.

While cashews are soaking, heat grill pan over medium heat.  Slice the head of romaine in half.  Tip: do not remove the tough bottom that holds romaine head together.

Once heated, add the olive oil to the grill pan.  Place each romaine half, cut side down, onto grill pan.  Next to the romaine, add the frozen corn.  Cook romaine halves and corn 3-4 minutes.

While grilling, add cashews and their soaking water, salt, lemon juice, garlic clove, and basil to a blender. 

Blend until smooth.

Plate by placing grilled romaine halves onto a large serving platter, then evenly distribute grilled corn on top.  Drizzle liberally with the Basil Aioli Dressing.

Why (the science):  Creamy dressings from the store are loaded with processed ingredients, preservatives, and unhealthy fats.  This Basil Aioli Dressing is super nutritious, between the heart-healthy and protein-filled cashews and the anticarcinogenic garlic.  This creamy dressing is something to feel good about 😊

Red Lentil Stew

Red Lentil Stew is the ultimate cozy comfort food that is incredible for your immune system- between the garlic, ginger, leek, and lemon, Red Lentil Stew has several health boosting vitamins and antimicrobial properties!  It also makes a great meal prep recipe, as it stores well in the fridge for 3-4 days.  Inspired by my favorite food blogger’s (Sarah Britton’s) Four Corners Soup, this Red Lentil Stew is something to look forward to after a long day’s work 😊

Serves: 4-6

Prep time: 5-10 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

What (your ingredients):

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 leek, sliced into half-moons and rinsed

Pinch of salt

5 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced

1 tablespoon cumin

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes

1 cup red lentils, rinsed

3 cups veggie broth

½ lemon, sliced into thin rounds

1 tablespoon maple syrup

4 cups spinach

To serve: slices of avocado or grated parmesan cheese and good olive oil

How (your directions):

Heat a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add coconut oil, sliced leek, and pinch of salt to the pot and sauté for 3-4 minutes.

Add minced garlic, ginger, cumin, and cayenne pepper, sautéing for 1 minute.

Add crushed tomatoes, lentils, veggie broth, and lemon slices to the leek mixture.  Bring to a boil, then cover, lower heat to low, and simmer for 30-40 minutes until lentils reach desired texture.

Add maple syrup and taste for seasoning.  With the heat turned off, stir spinach into stew until wilted.

Serve hot with either sliced avocado, or a grating of parmesan cheese and drizzle of good olive oil.

Why (the science):  Lentils are a plant-based protein powerhouse, with 20 grams of protein per 1 cup!  That’s equivalent to about 3 oz of chicken breast.

Cauliflower Chickpea Curry

When I think curry, I think anti-inflammatory, filling, comforting, scrumptious- and you’ll love this Cauliflower Chickpea version for all of those reasons.  Don’t be afraid of the list of ingredients, because you probably have most of them in your pantry already.  I like reserving a few spoonsful of the coconut cream from the top of the can of coconut milk, then dolloping on top of the hot curry and brown rice.  Or even better, a drizzle of protein-packed tahini adds creaminess and richness.  Yum!

Serves: 6

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

What (your ingredients):

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ red onion, diced finely

¼ teaspoon salt

Pinch of pepper

3 cloves garlic, minced or sliced finely

1 teaspoon coconut oil

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon paprika

1-2 dashes cayenne pepper (optional)

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 yellow pepper, diced

1 head of cauliflower, chopped or sliced into small florets

1 cup vegetable broth

1 28-oz can diced tomatoes (San Marzano is best!)

1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 15-oz can full fat coconut milk

How (your directions):

In a large Dutch oven or large Wok, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add diced red onion, salt, and pepper, sautéing for about 3 minutes, until translucent. 

Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.  Push onion and garlic mixture to one side of the Dutch oven or Wok, then add the coconut oil to the pan to melt.  Add curry, turmeric, paprika, and cayenne pepper (optional) to the oil to release the fragrance of the spices and toast slightly. 

Add tomato paste, yellow pepper, cauliflower, broth, diced tomatoes, chickpeas, and coconut milk (reserving a little coconut cream if desired for serving) and stir to combine.

Simmer on medium-low heat for 30-40 minutes.

Serve with brown rice and a drizzle of tahini.  Salt and pepper to taste and enjoy hot!

Why (the science):  Curcumin from turmeric may help prevent cognitive decline!  Check out this guide to boosting brain health here: https://onmilwaukee.com/living/articles/milwaukeean-brain-health.html