(from Barefoot Contessa)

2 small fennel bulbs, tops removed
1 pound fingerling or small potatoes (I use yams of course)
1/3 cup good olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound french string beans, trimmed
1 bunch thin asparagus, ends removed, cut diagonally into 3-inch pieces
(I’ve added yellow squash, broccoli, any veggie you desire)
1/4 cup freshly grated parm cheese (optional)

Preheat oven 425.
Cut fennel bulbs into 6 edges each, cutting through the core to keep the wedges intact. Place on a sheet pan. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and place them on a the pan with the fennel. Drizzle oil on the veggies, then sprinkle with salt/pepper. Toss with your hands.

Roast veggies for 25-30 minutes, until the yams are tender, tossing once while cooking. Toss the string beans and asparagus with the roasted veggies and roast for another 10-15 minutes, until the green veggies are tender. Sprinkle the parm, roast for 1-2 more minutes. Serve hot and garnish with salt/pepper.
Oven Roasted Vegetables with Fennel

*Note: most of these are acceptable for ALL diet programs/detoxes. Please refer to specific ingredients in your plan if unsure. All in all, these are balancing, clean, and alkalizing (vs. acidic), and promote health and wellness.

Bon Appetit!

Butternut Squash over Arugala with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Recipes for Healthy Holiday Eating
1 (1.5 lb) butternut squash, peeled and 3/4 in diced
good olive oil
1 tbs pure maple syrup
salt/pepper (kosher/sea)
3 tbs dried cranberries
3/4 c apple cider or apple juice
2 tbs cider vinegar
2 tbs minced shallots
2 tsp dijon mustard
4 oz baby arugula, washed and spun dry
1/2 c walnut halves, toasted
3/4 c fresh parm cheese

Preheat oven to 400.
Place squash on a sheet pan. Add 2 tbs olive oil, the syrup, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper and toss. Roast squash for 15-20 min., turning once, until tender. Add the cranberries to the pan for the last 5 minutes.

Vinaigrette:
While the squash is roasting, combine the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.. Cook for 6-8 min, until the cider is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Off the heat, whisk in the mustard, 1/2 c olive oil, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.

Place the arugula in a large salad bowl and add the squash mixture, the walnuts and grated parm. Spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten, and toss well. Sprinkle w/ salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Roasted Broccoli and Green Beans

Fresh broccoli florets (chopped from stems)
Fresh green beans (cut/trimmed)
Garlic (fresh cloves or minced from a jar)–to taste
Lemon juice (to taste)
Sea Salt and Pepper (to taste)
Fresh basil
Pine nuts
Grapeseed oil (about 2-3 TBS)

Place veggies on cookie sheet. Heat oven to 400. Drizzle oil all over veggies. “Sprinkle”/douse garlic all over veggies (depending on how much you like garlic!). Squeeze lemon juice all over veggies. Salt and pepper freely. Place cookie sheet in middle of oven and cook for about 25-35 minutes or until veggies begin to crisp/brown.

Remove, toss in pine nuts and fresh basil, serving immediately. YUM. (by the way, feel free to use only broccoli, or green beans, or add asparagus, etc…. tomatoes too…)

Whipped Skin-On Sweet Potatoes…

that rival traditional fattening mashed potatoes:

1/2 – 1 Sweet Potato per person you are serving (4 may serve 6….)
Good extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
1/4 garlic powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp pepper

No need to preheat. Heat oven to 425. Place sweet potatoes directly into middle rack of oven (make sure you have foil @ the bottom of your oven–they will ooze.)
Bake for up to an hour and a half depending on size and doneness.

Using a Kitchen Aid mixer or something similar, place warm potatoes (skin on) in the mixing bowl. Begin to mix slowly on low. Begin to add olive oil–slowly–just enough to moisten. Then add spices, and mix on higher speed, until nice and whipped smooth. You’ll have to use judgement on how much oil, depending on how thick/thin you want them, so be careful not to use too much. Sweet potatoes are much more “mushy” than white potatoes, so they don’t need all the cream, etc. (For a kick, add red pepper or even curry)

Peppermint Chocolate Frothy Shake

Chocolate Herbalogica shake mix, 2 scoops, with cold water (12 oz.) and ice: add a tiny capful (or less) of real organic peppermint extract. Blend til thick. ENJOY!

Pumpkin Pie (ish) Shake

Vanilla Herbalogica shake mix, 2 scoops with cold water (12 oz.) and ice: add cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, even cloves (go easy–these are potent!). Blend til thick. ENJOY!

Cran Cocktail

8 oz. sparkling water
100% cranberry juice (no sugar added)- only about 2 splashes
1 whole lime, squeezed

combine all over crushed ice and stir and sip with straw. Cheers!

Spiced Nuts Appetizer

Mixed RAW, whole nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts)
Cinnamon
Red pepper

Dash spices onto nuts and toss. Deliver to a saute pan and toast on low- med-low until the oil from the cinnamon and nuts starts to heat and brown the nuts.

Enjoy–but watch portion (1/4 cup is good) HINT: great on top of a salad, or even mixed in with rice.

LentilsYou might not consider lentils a basic food (not everyone grows up familiar with them), but they are a great food to get to know and add to your repertoire.

Lentils cook in about 15-25 minutes, are high in fiber, are an inexpensive source of protein, and taste really good! They have a hearty, rich, nutty flavor that holds up to lots of seasoning. Lentils are not only great in soups, but can also be eaten hot or cold, as a hearty main or side dish. They are very popular in French, Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine.

Buying & Storing Lentils

Lentils fall into the category of food called “Pulses”, which includes peas and beans as well. As with the peas and beans, there are many types of lentils. Except for the color variations they all look pretty much the same, although some are a bit smaller than others.

The brown ones (pictured above) are the most common and the least expensive. You can also buy green, red, orange, black, and white lentils. French green lentils, sometimes called Puy, can cost about 3 times more than the brown lentils.

Lentils should be kept in a cool, dark place, (not the refrigerator) and can be stored for up to 12 months. If you have different types of lentils store them separately. They all require slightly different cooking times so you don’t want to jumble everything together.

Once cooked, lentils should be stored in the refrigerator, covered, and should be eaten within 3 days.

Cooking Lentils — The Basic Approach

Lentils do not need to be soaked for any length of time before cooking them.
You can cook lentils by themselves in just water or stock and then eat them as is. Here’s how:

  • Measure out about 8 ounces (by weight) of lentils, or 1 ¼ cups. We are going to combine that with about 1 ¾ cups of liquid.
  • But first, sort through the lentils to make sure there are no small stones or bits that should not be there. If need be, you can spread the lentils out on a clean kitchen towel to do the sorting.
  • Then rinse the lentils under cool water.
  • Bring 1 ¾ cup of stock or water to a boil.
  • Add the lentils to the pot.
  • Give them a stir
  • Then bring the lentils back to a boil
  • Cover the pot and turn the temperature down to simmer and cook for about 20 more minutes or until the lentils are tender.
  • If you’ve added too much liquid and over cook them, they will get mushy! After 20 minutes most of the liquid will have been absorbed.
  • There may still be a bit of liquid on the bottom, which is fine.
    Taste them. You may want them to be a bit more tender, in which case continue cooking until all the liquid is absorbed. (About 5 more minutes)

These are general cooking directions. Be sure to check the directions on the back of the package of lentils you have bought. Cooking times and amounts of liquid may vary slightly.

Different types of lentils require different cooking times. If you are eating them as a side dish or in a salad be sure not to over-cook them. If they are going in a soup, you may want to cook them a bit longer.

If you need to season the lentils with salt, do not add it until after the lentils are cooked and removed from the heat as it can toughen the lentils if added during the cooking process.

If you choose to add anything acidic (such as tomatoes, lemon juice, or vinegar,) do so after the cooking is completed as well.

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