Category Archives: Recipes

Secret Superfoods with Andrew Weil

If you have been reading Sweet Potato Bites for a while, you probably know of my love for True Food Kitchen.  I have the cookbook, I’m frequently dining there, and I love their use of seasonal ingredients.  Recently I was invited to attend a Secret Superfoods with Andrew Weil cooking demo, and jumped at the chance to go.

superfoods with dr andrew weil demo

I have been a big fan of Dr. Andrew Weil for quite some time now and try to follow his anti-inflammatory diet.  For this particular event, he was going to be creating some new superfood-inspired dishes that will hopefully appear on the True Food Kitchen menu this weekend.

I recruited my fellow fabulous fitbooker Tianna to come with me, and when we arrived at True Food Kitchen we were immediately presented with the Natural (which happens to be my favorite beverage there), which has fresh ginger, agave, and club soda.

superfoods with dr andrew weil the natural

Unfortunately, I forgot my cookbook, so I wasn’t able to get that signed, but Tianna and I were lucky enough to meet Dr. Weil and snap a pic.

superfoods with dr andrew weil picThen it was time for the cooking demo.  The first dish that was created was a curried cauliflower soup made with cashew cream.

superfoods with dr andrew weil soupI’m not really a curry fan AT ALL, so I wasn’t sure how I would like this, but the soup was excellent.  The recipes were provided to us during the demo so we could follow along but this soup contained cauliflower, vegetable, cashew cream and sautéed apples.  The apple sounds totally weird but it worked.  There was also a hint of turmeric and curry powder which has anti-inflammatory properties.

The main course was a toasted buckwheat salad (with buckwheat groats, not flour) with autumn vegetables.  Unfortunately, this dish contained walnuts so I could not taste it, so I just took pictures of Tianna’s plate (and have plans to recreate this at home).

superfoods with dr andrew weil buckwheat saladThe staff at True Food was kind enough to bring me my own dish, so I got the harvest chopped salad which included mixed greens, roasted butternut squash, pomegranate, apple, and goat cheese.  A beautifully grilled piece of salmon was placed on top as the finishing touch.

superfoods with dr andrew weil harvest choppedI remember having the harvest chopped last year and I forgot how amazing it was.  All the flavors in this salad just work.  If you visit a True Food Kitchen this fall, be sure to order this salad.

Dessert was sea buckthorn bars.  They created a vegan and non-vegan version, and we were served the vegan one which was made with gluten-free flour.

superfoods with dr andrew weil sea buckthorn

The bars had a lot more citrus flavor than I was expecting!  We had tasted the sea buckthorn juice by itself earlier and it was quite sour, so it was nice to have a dessert with a little added sweetness to balance the sea buckthorn flavor out.  I’ll admit this dessert wasn’t my favorite, but I do like the idea of using different ingredients.

After the meal Dr. Weil hosted a Q&A and explained his perspective on living a healthy, balanced, diet.  Some of the takeaways included:

  • Grapeseed oil is a great alternative to olive oil in cooking.
  • Use natural sugars as opposed to artificial sweeteners in cooking.  Honey, maple syrup and palm sugar are some of the best.
  • Dr. Weil firmly believes in a diet that consists of whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables and healthy starches.  Sweet potatoes are one of his favorites (heck yes!)
  • Do not fear the fat!  Healthy fats are a great addition to your diet.
  • Beware of overuse of antibiotics.  Dr. Weil believes this is a contributing factor to why people have more and more food intolerances these days.  He also mentioned how less and less people are breastfeeding, which can contribute to food intolerances in babies which I found interesting.
  • And of course, nothing should be off limits, but everything in moderation (which we already knew).

Thanks True Food Kitchen and Dr. Weil for an informative evening!  I can’t wait to see the new recipes appear on the menu!

Pumpkin Protein Smoothie

This is probably one of the simplest recipes I’m ever going to post on the blog.  In fact, I hesitate calling in a “recipe” since it’s literally just blending ingredients together.  But since fall is in full swing and I can’t get enough pumpkin in my life, I felt it was only appropriate to share this pumpkin protein smoothie.

pumpkin protein smoothie pinI really love using pumpkin in smoothies because not only does it give the smoothie a nice creamy texture, it’s loaded with good stuff like potassium and Vitamin C, which makes the perfect recovery drink after a hard run.  I’ll get back from my run, throw the ingredients in the blender and then put the smoothie in the fridge to chill while I shower and get ready for the day, since I like my smoothies COLD.

Speaking of cold smoothies, am I the only one who wants them as chilled as possible?  I always load my smoothie up with ice and almond milk, and then leave it in the fridge to chill down even more.  My husband on the other hand, likes his smoothies more at a room temperature and always requests that I leave the ice out, which I can’t even fathom.  I’m the same way with water too – the colder the better.

Whether you like this pumpkin protein smoothie ice-cold or room temperature, you need this smoothie in your life.  It’s almost like pumpkin pie in a glass, but a whole lot healthier.

Pumpkin Protein Smoothie (makes 1)

Ingredients:

1 cup almond milk (or any milk of your choice)

1/4 cup canned pumpkin

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tbsp almond butter (pb works great too!)

1 packet or scoop protein powder.  I use brown rice protein

LOTS of ice

Directions:

Place all of your ingredients in a blender.  Blend until smooth.

Pour in a glass or container of your choice and enjoy (I love using the Starbucks tumbler cups).

pumpkin protein smoothie cup

I’ve found the following items also go great in this pumpkin protein smoothie if you want to amp it up a bit:

– Frozen Banana

– Cacao Powder

– Extra almond butter or PB

– Unsweetened coconut

– Drizzle of honey or maple syrup

So smoothie lovers tell me, do you drink your smoothies super cold?  Or are you more of the room temp variety?

Healthy Orange Julius

When I was a kid one of my favorite treats to get at the mall was an Orange Julius.  I loved that delicious combination of oranges, sugar and ice and would spend those afternoons at the mall sipping my beverage as content as could be.  It’s been a long time since I had one of those drinks, and decided to try my hand at making a healthy Orange Julius.

Healthy Orange Julius PinI found that it’s ridiculously easy to make a healthy orange julius, because the ingredient list is so short!  Just some fresh oranges, a hint of banana, vanilla, ice, and unsweetened almond milk and you are done.  That’s it.

The banana adds a nice creaminess and sweetness to the drink so you don’t even miss the sugar.  The vanilla, ice and oranges give it that traditional Orange Julius taste, and the unsweetened almond milk finishes it off.

If you wanted to make this an “adult” healthy orange julius, I recommend adding some Veev Coconut Colada or even a splash of rum to give it a tropical beverage feel.  I may or may not have had some spiked healthy orange julius drinks while watching some Sunday football.  Ahem

Bottom line is, you need this drink in your life.

Healthy Orange Julius GlassesHealthy Orange Julius (makes 1 large or two smaller servings)

Ingredients:

1 orange, peeled

1/2 frozen banana

2 cups unsweetened almond milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1-2 cups ice

Directions:

Place ingredients in blender.  Blend until nice and smooth.  Add a shot of liquor if you feel so inclined.

Healthy orange Julius close upDrink, and enjoy!

What was your favorite snack at the mall as a kid?

Paleo Banana Cacao Nib Muffins

Sometimes when I want to bake, I only want to make a few of something.  Meaning, I don’t want an entire loaf of bread or a dozen muffins.  That’s why these paleo banana cacao nib muffins are perfect.  Minimal ingredients + 3 muffins total.  What’s not to love?

Paleo Banana Cacao Nib Muffins Close

I used an extra large muffin pan, so these would be perfect with a layer of peanut butter (and jelly!) or just with a nice pat of butter on top.  I’ve been packing them in my work lunches to enjoy as a mid-afternoon snack as well.  And since bananas are the perfect post-run food, I’ve found these to be especially tasty after a long, sweaty run.

These paleo banana cacao nib muffins are only sweetened by the banana in the recipe, so if you want something a little sweeter add a tablespoon of honey.  If you don’t like the taste of cacao, semi-sweet chocolate chips would be a nice addition as well.

Easy muffins that are ready in under an hour.  Wins all around.

Paleo Banana Cacao Nib Muffins

Paleo Banana Cacao Nib Muffins (makes 3 large muffins)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup almond flour

2 tbsp ground flax

1 egg

1 banana

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 tbsp cacao nibs

1/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350F.  Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper liners.

Mash your banana in a small bowl.  Add your egg, vanilla and almond milk and mix well.  Set aside.

In a larger bowl mix your dry ingredients: almond flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, ground flax and cacao nibs.  Gently fold your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients and mix well.

Scoop your batter into your muffin tins and place in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the tops begin to turn golden brown.

Paleo Banana Cacao Nib Muffins

Dig in and enjoy!