Oven Roasted Beet Salad

Don’t redecorate the kitchen or waste another piece of foil to cook your beets! Simply throw them whole in a Dutch oven, to concentrate and seal in their sweet and earthy flavor, then easily turn them into this nutrition-packed, scrumptious Oven Roasted Beet Salad!

Don't waste another piece of foil to roast your beets in the oven! Simply throw them whole in a Dutch oven, to concentrate and seal in their sweet and earthy flavor, then easily turn them into this nutrition-packed, scrumptious Oven Roasted Beet Salad!

Beets = crazy good stuff, right? Right! They’re so sweet and juicy and have this super delicious and very distinct earthy flavor that keeps you coming back for more. And best of all is they’re just as good for your body as they are for your taste buds.

Their one serious drawback though is that they’re not much fun when comes the time to cook them. The sweet, earthy and delicious little buggers are worse than tomato sauce if you boil them on the stove top. No matter what you do, they splatter all over the place and quickly turn your entire kitchen all kinds of shades of pink!

Luckily, there’s a very easy solution to that problem: take things down into the oven! You could wrap the beets in aluminium foil and bake them just like you would potatoes, but then you’d end up wasting a whole bunch of precious aluminium foil. I’ve an even easier option for you: just grab your beets and shove them into a Dutch oven, then grab a magazine and read while they are happily roasting away, entirely mess — and waste — free!

No fuss, no mess, no waste… and you’ll get the best tasting beets you will have ever eaten. And when all is said and done, you can choose to eat your beets as is, or just as easily turn them into this crazy delicious Oven Roasted Beet Salad.

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Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding

Here’s chocolate pudding that’s so good for you, you can totally have it even if you don’t eat your meat! Indeed, this Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding is made with nothing but wholesome, nutritious ingredients. A dessert you can eat without feeling even one once of guilt!

Here's chocolate pudding that's so good for you, you can totally have it even if you don't eat your meat! Indeed, this Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding is made with nothing but wholesome, nutritious ingredients. A dessert you can eat without feeling even one once of guilt!

You know the song, right? “If you don’t eat yer meat, you can’t have any pudding – How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat yer meat?”

Well, forget all about that! This pudding right here, you can totally have regardless of what you have — or haven’t — eaten prior! In fact, it’s a nutrition powerhouse disguised as dessert: we’re talking avocado, coconut, cacao powder, chia seeds, dates… all things that are super good for you!

But don’t go thinking that it tastes like bird or rabbit food, though. In fact, this stuff tastes even better than the “just-add-milk-instant-powdered-stuff” and has a far superior texture, too! It’s silky, velvety, soft but somewhat firm, almost like a mousse, but without being too airy, either. It’s perfect in every possible way! 

And the best part is, it’s just as quick to prepare as the aforementioned “just-add-milk” stuff…

Try it once, you’ll be hooked for life!

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Homemade Dry Cured Duck Prosciutto

This Homemade Dry Cured Duck Prosciutto is an interesting spin on traditional prosciutto that can be easily made at home with only a few simple ingredients. No special equipment required!

This Homemade Dry Cured Duck Prosciutto is an interesting spin on traditional prosciutto that can be easily made at home with only a few simple ingredients. No special equipment required!

This is probably the last meat recipe you’ll see me post in a while… I’m not saying that I’m not going to do meat ever again, but I’m planning on staying away from it for a wee bit. In fact, I’ve decided to start the year with a 30 day vegan challenge, so there will be no animal products in my diet for at least this one month.

And then I’ll see where that takes me. But I get the feeling that meat will become more of an occasional thing for me. At least, that’s the plan.

But for now, let me tell you about this beautiful thing that I learned about just shortly before the Holidays and then elected to serve as part of my New Year’s appetizers. Very similar to prosciutto, this dry cured duck is made with just a couple of duck breasts, some coarse salt, coarse ground black pepper and a few sprigs of fresh herbs. That’s it. It’s super easy to make and will not fail to please, and impress, your family and loved ones!

The only thing is you need to plan on making it quite a while in advance, as it will need to cure for up to a full day, and then age/dry for up to 3 weeks! But don’t let that stop you. The prep work itself is super easy and will only require a few minutes of your time.

If you’re a fan of prosciutto, you will love these dry cured duck breasts. Only this time, you will be the artisan behind this delicious creation! 

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Spiced Butternut Squash Pecan Pie

Free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar, this Spiced Butternut Squash Pecan Pie is a nice change from your classic pumpkin pie, and perhaps even better! What’s best is you can easily make it with your own homemade butternut squash puree and ditch the canned pumpkin stuff!

Free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar, this Spiced Butternut Squash Pecan Pie is a nice change from your classic pumpkin pie, and perhaps even better! What's best is you can easily make it with your own homemade butternut squash puree and ditch the canned pumpkin stuff!

If you’re a fan of pumpkin pie, then you will totally fall for butternut squash pie. Honestly, the two are very similar in taste and texture, but one clear advantage that the latter has over the former is that you can make your own butternut squash puree at home, from scratch, using fresh gourds that you ideally purchased from a local farmer, market, or even better yet, grown yourself in your own garden. And this means — among many other environmental benefits — you’ll be leaving an aluminium can on the shelves. I’m all for using less cans!!

Technically, pumpkin pie is made with a traditional pie crust, but I prefer to make mine with a crumb crust. Firstly, because I have no patience for making pie dough; I find that crumb crusts are so much easier to deal with. Not only that, but they also add tons of flavor AND nutritional value to your pie. The only downside to these kinds of crusts is that they tend to be extremely fragile, especially when the filling happens to be crazy moist and super silky. So they don’t support your slices very well, making it hard to extract picture perfect slices from your pie.

But frankly, I find that the benefits totally outweigh this small inconvenience…

Of course, if you preferred to go the traditional route you could very well use my paleo pie dough recipe instead of the crumb crust that I am suggesting in this post. But seriously, while this crust doesn’t entirely make the pie, it complements it so well, I totally recommend that you stick with it and be super delicate when handling and serving your pie. Just use a good pie server and you should be fine!

Personally, I think that the addition of chopped pecans to that crust as well as to the top of the pie, as a garnish, really helps in toning down the level of sweetness and intense spiciness of this traditional dessert. And the shredded coconut simply takes it to another level!

Try it once, then you can decide for yourself which option you like best! 

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Festive Bliss Balls

Raw, vegan, free of gluten and of added sugar, these Festive Bliss Balls are the perfect little pick-me up snack or sweet yet healthy capper at the end of a good meal.

Raw, vegan, free of gluten and of added sugar, these Festive Bliss Balls are the perfect little pick-me up snack or sweet yet healthy capper at the end of a good meal.

Whether you are looking for a quick little snack or cute petite sweet bites to put on the table following a good family meal – or even a Christmas feast, maybe – these adorable festive bliss balls are totally guaranteed to be a hit. It’s not because they happen to be raw, vegan and paleo friendly, completely free of gluten, dairy or refined sugar and filled with nothing but superfoods and wholesome ingredients that they are not absolutely delicious and insanely addictive!

Honestly, they’re almost better than chocolate! Except they’re good for you. Completely, totally, utterly good for you! And they’re super easy to make, too.

Try them once, you’ll probably want to have a batch in the fridge all the time after… 

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Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Water Chestnuts and Pomegranate Seeds

If you are looking for a festive and delicious yet super healthy side dish this Christmas, look no further! These Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Water Chestnuts and Pomegranate Seeds are sure to be a hit!

Looking for a festive and delicious yet super healthy side dish this Christmas? Look no further! These Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Water Chestnuts and Pomegranate Seeds are sure to be a hit!

While this is totally not a classic Christmas recipe that you should ultimately reserve for your Holiday menu — as in: it would be equally delicious any time of year, really, providing that you can get your hands on the pomegranate — you have to admit that with its gorgeous jewel-like colors that fit the theme perfectly well, this Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts dish would look absolutely spectacular on your table this Christmas!

And in case you are wondering, I can totally attest to the fact that it tastes just as fantastic as it looks. It has just as much flavors and textures to offer as it has colors! And they all complement each other perfectly well. You’re looking at a total multi-sensory party happening right here! What’s even more to love about it is that it is crazy easy to make and can even be made in advance, if you don’t mind eating it on the colder side. Simply take it out of the fridge a few hours before serving so it has a chance to get back up in temperature a little…

Just one word of advice, though, before you run to the store – or kitchen – to make it. Yes, there is pure vanilla extract in that dressing. By all means, do not leave it out: it makes a WORLD of difference in the overall flavor profile of the dish!

Seriously, this would be a Brussels sprouts dish that even the kids will go for! I say you should totally give it a try!

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Maple Cinnamon Whipped Butternut Squash

This Maple Cinnamon Whipped Butternut Squash is absolutely perfect as a side for Thanksgiving, but it’s so good, it will totally make you want to give thanks year round!

This Maple Cinnamon Whipped Butternut Squash is absolutely perfect as a side for Thanksgiving, but it's so good, it will totally make you want to give thanks year round!

I know I’ve been loving on Butternut Squash A LOT lately and as a result, I have been showering you with all kinds of (if not exclusively) butternut squash recipes for the past few weeks. 

Well, the good news is I’m leaving for Mexico this morning, so I might have a drastic change of heart when I return and [finally] start eating something else. But then again, I’ve been having visions of a butternut squash pie for the last few days, so this might still very well happen upon my return… but then I’ll be moving on after that one, I promise! 

In the meantime, I say you should totally give this Maple Cinnamon Whipped Butternut Squash a try, especially if you happen to still have room to play on your Thanksgiving menu!

It’s a nice change from the more traditional whipped sweet potatoes, but frankly, I find that the squash version tastes even better: it’s silky and crunchy, it’s sweet, salty and buttery, it’s perfectly spiced and totally addictive! 

Best part is, I made this one crazy easy to make, too. ‘Cuz you probably have better things to do than slaving away over a hot stove…


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Costa Rican Butternut Squash Picadillo

This Costa Rican Butternut Squash Picadillo is exploding with all kinds of exotic and bold flavors and filled with nothing but wholesome ingredients! A healthy gustatory experience you won’t soon forget!

This Costa Rican Butternut Squash Picadillo is exploding with all kinds of exotic and bold flavors and filled with nothing but wholesome ingredients! A healthy gustatory experience you won't soon forget!

In case you’re not familiar, Picadillo is a kind of hash that’s commonly served in many Latin American countries. It is generally made with ground beef, tomatoes or tomato sauce and a bunch of other wholesome ingredients that vary depending on the region where it’s being served. 

Like most Latin American dishes, this one is bursting with all kinds of bold and complex flavors, cleverly marrying sweet, salty and tangy aromas with absolute perfection! 

While you may find that olives and raisins make for a strange association, I can guarantee you that they work perfectly well together and will make your taste buds sing the most beautiful exotic songs! 

The best part is, like most hashes, this creamy, comforting and unpretentious dish comes together super easily, and reheats super well, too! 


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Dutch Oven Spaghetti Sauce

This is probably the easiest, and dare I say tastiest, spaghetti sauce you’ll have ever made. And the best part is, no mess to clean up! Try it, you’ll love it!

This is probably the easiest, and dare I say tastiest, spaghetti sauce you'll have ever made. And the best part is, no mess to clean up! Try it, you'll love it!

I must admit… this would be my dad’s spaghetti sauce recipe. Well, I say my dad, but in fact, I think it was more my mom’s… cuz back when I was a kid, she’d be the one making it all the time! As in really: all the time! She would make a fresh batch of this deliciousness Every.Single.Week. Yeah; my dad really loved his pasta! As for me, I remember being a tiny little toddler standing on a chair and helping my mom stir the sauce.

Needless to say I started making it on my own at a very young age and today, I could totally whip it up it with my eyes closed, even though nowadays I only will make a batch every now and then, since I don’t do pasta quite as much, anymore…

The only thing that I have changed from the original recipe would be the preparation method. Indeed, my mom used to do this on the stove top, and she’d let it simmer for hours in a large stock pot which she would partly cover, but even at that, the sauce would splatter all over the place and make a huge mess in the kitchen. By the time the sauce was done, the range was usually covered in all kinds of totally cooked to semi-cooked drops of tomato sauce. And that, would be a witch to clean!


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Hazelnut Butter 2 ways: All Natural and Dark Chocolate

Learn how to easily make your own creamy Hazelnut Butter at home and then make it even more delicious by adding a touch of Dark Chocolate to it! Breakfast will never be the same… 

The day I realized just how easy it was to make nut butter at home, I started making my own all the time. Especially the fancy ones! Cuz you know, specialty nut butters, they cost SO MUCH to buy at the store. And hazelnut butter, it definitely falls in that category. 

But despair not! I’m about to show you how to make your very own hazelnut butter, that’ll taste just as good if not better, for a fraction of the price! 

Not only that, but we’ll also be kicking things up a notch… Tell me, can you think of anything that tastes better than toasted hazelnuts? Toasted hazelnuts AND chocolate, of course! 


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