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*all of these recipes can be customized to meet varying diet preferences

I love real food. Simple, hearty, healthy, what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of meals. Before Robbie (my Husband) and I got married, the ONLY dates we did were on my parent’s dining table. I would always cook something special on the sundays he came by to see me! He and I always always looked forward to it. Now when he requests a meal, he goes: “when are you making those chicken wings and pizza from Roman Ridge’.

I love that he loves what I make. It honestly spurs me on to create more! And I look forward (by God’s Grace) to doing same for our babe who recently started solids. This is why I couldn’t just bring myself to pureeing fruits and veggies for the babe, because that just doesn’t represent me. How creative can one get with pureed carrots?

Now that we are married, he’s eating my food a lot more frequently, and he has favorites. So we have family favorites now? I guess? lol.

Really excited to be sharing 3 of our favorite meals with you. I love meals that are customizable, and these three definitely fit the bill. You don’t have to stick with every single thing on the ingredient list; definitely add and take out if you please.

 

Sweet Potato Black Bean Casserole (Vegan/GF):

Ingredients:

3 Medium (orange) sweet Potatoes (peeled and cubed)

1 large zucchini (thoroughly rinsed and cubed)

1 large yellow bell pepper (thoroughly rinsed and cubed)

4 cups of cooked black beans (soaked for at least 8hrs) –canned also works

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1/4 cup avocado oil/olive oil/coconut oil

2 ears of sweet corn

Seasoning:

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp chilli powder

salt to taste

Process:

Preheat oven 350F

Toss sweet potatoes and zucchinis in seasoning and oil

Start roasting process with corn and sweet potatoes. When sweet potatoes and corn have roasted first for 10 minutes, add zuchinis, and continue roasting. At 15th minute, add bell peppers. Roast for a total of 20-25 minutes or until sweet potatoes (and zucchinis) are soft as preferred.

Transfer roasted veggies into a large bowl.

Shave corn off of the cob and add to bowl (Video of how to shave corn with knife here

Add cooked black beans

drizzle lemon juice (please don’t skip this step!)

mix it all contents in the bowl

let sit for about 5 minutes for all flavors to combine!

Serve with tzatziki and avocado for a burst of all the good flavors and nutrients! We love love this meal!

Customization:

You can:

  • serve this on a bed of greens
  • add  more roasted veggies : cauliflower, broccoli are really great additions
  • you can serve this over jasmine rice
  • AND my Husband’s current FAVORITE, stuffed in a tortilla wrap as a burrito with EXTRA TZATZIKI ON THE SIDE!

 

2. Anyway Balanced Bowl(Paleo Friendly/Vegan Friendly/ GF Friendly/Dairy Free)

 

I called these anyway balanced bowls because you can have them a-n-y-w-a-y! Sub quinoa for whatever grains you have on hand. beef for white meat or seafood or hard-boiled eggs, or omit completely for vegan. hey! whatever you want.

The only genius thing here is how to make the stir-fry beef! absolutely delicious and a total game changer!

Process:

For quinoa: Soak for at least 8 hours. RINSE THOROUGHLY!! follow packet instructions. I usually cook mine in broth.

Here’s how I build my balanced bowls:

  1. Always greens first. If you’re trying to not over eat, it’s always advisable to load your plate with greens and work your way up from there.
  2. Grains/ roasted vegetables: sometimes I want roasted veggies, and sometimes i just want all the grains- quinoa/rice mostly.
  3. Protein of choice(beef pictured)
  4. extra veggies: these could be anything- carrots, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, you name it! here, I have cucumbers, and sautéed onions and red bell peppers. I always add sautéed onions! I cook them in the ‘leftover-ness’ from the meat in the same pan. Let me tell you, ABSOLUTE GAME CHANGER! it gives the entire bowl a burst of flavor!
  5. Healthy fat: avos are definitely my go to always. you can also simply drizzle olive oil, add a dollop of tzatziki/ just yogurt.

And there you have it! One bowl, all the amazing mix of micros and macros you need to keep satiated, instead of falling victim to binge eating.

Now to my go to recipe for beef stir-fry:

Ingredients:

2 cups of Beef Strips

Seasoning:

1 Tbsp of soy sauce (we rarely eat soy sauce or any kind of soy. But since I don’t seem to have fish sauce readily available, I use soy sauce for my beef stir-fries)

1 Tbsp coconut aminos

1 tsp coconut sugar

1 1/2 tsp of ginger and garlic mix

1 tsp of sesame seed oil

1 tsp of lemon juice ( i put lemon juice in everything! lol)

salt to taste

Process

  1. Season beef ahead of time (preferably overnight) with above seasoning ingredients. Taste to adjust seasoning according to liking
  2. Heat avocado oil/ preferred oil and a drizzle of sesame seed oil in frying pan or cast iron skillet
  3. add garlic ginger mix
  4. add in seasoned beef
  5. Stir fry on medium heat until no longer pink.
  6. Use same juices to stir-fry onions and bell peppers.

You can eat this with anything!! SO good!!

Customization:

  • You can sub grains for cauliflower rice to make this entirely gluten free, and paleo friendly.
  • You can replace beef with hard boiled eggs to make vegetarian friendly, or omit completely for vegan friendly bowl.

 

Cauliflower Alfredo:

I am so excited to share this recipe because I love the way everyone goes “….. cauliflower alfredo?’… and then goes ‘wow!!! this is good!’. My ‘extended’ family is a great case of lab rats because not everyone eats healthy. so if I can get them all to love something, it’s definitely a winner in my books! and that sure feels so good!

 

Ingredients:

1 medium head of cauliflower (you only need the florets)

1/2 cup coconut milk

11/2 cloves of garlic (minced/not since its going to be blended)

1/2 cup parmesan, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese

3 Tbsp of (gress-fed) butter

water to cook cauliflower

Process:

  1. sauté minced garlic in avocado oil/olive oil/olive oil and butter. (I love the oil and butter combo) on medium heat to ensure garlic doesn’t brown in oil.
  2. Add in cauliflower florets
  3. add just enough water to cook cauliflower until soft (This will take about 10 minutes to cook all through)
  4. Once cauliflower is soft, turn off heat and transfer everything in pan into blender, and blend on high speed
  5. pour blended mixture back into pan.
  6. turn on heat on low, add coconut milk, cheeses, butter.
  7. cook on low until cheeses are melted, and then add salt accordingly. (It’s always important to add cheeses BEFORE salt)
  8. Turn off heat, and let flavors combine for an even better taste!

We served this as part of a prawn-alfredo with GF pasta! sprinkled some parsley on top and it was just so good! This will be amazing with garlic bread also! This is our dinner on thursday, and I can’t wait! Our baby girl devoured it (no salt version), and sincerely, that makes me so happy to see her enjoying meals I make! Thank God!

Customization:

For dairy free/vegan version, sub cheeses for nutritional yeast.

For paleo version, also sub butter for ghee and serve over spiralized carrots or zucchini

ENJOY!!!

 

I sincerely can’t wait for you to try all or one of these recipes! We love them as a family. My ‘external’ family equally loves them, even my very ‘ghanaian’ dad!! So yes, I am sure you will love them!

Always in Love, Nana xoxo

 

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