sparkle_logo

Real Food Recipes. Sustainable Living. Shining Health.

20 Minute Meals / Appetizer / Dairy-free / Dinner / Egg Free / Gluten-free / Grain-free / Local Eats Project / No sugar / Nut-Free / Paleo / Raw / Salad / Side Dish / Vegetarian

Asparagus Pesto Salad

Makes 4 Servings 1 bunch asparagus 1 cup cherry tomatoes – halved 1 cup zucchini – chopped AVOCADO BASIL PESTO 1 large bunch of fresh basil 1 avocado 2 tbsp lemon juice 1 tbsp garlic – chopped ½ tsp salt 1 tbsp olive oil ¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper To make the pesto, add all ingredients to a food processor. Pulse for two minutes until all is well incorporated. Toss the pesto with the asparagus, tomatoes and zucchini. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Dairy-free / Dinner / Egg Free / Gluten-free / Grain-free / Holiday Favorites / No sugar / Nut-Free / Paleo / Sauce

Roasted Lamb Riblets with Chimichurri Sauce

Have you noticed the new no food waste trend? It is now en vogue to eat every single part of a food, including the stems, the roots, the flowers, the bark, the seeds, right down to the ears and tail of an animal. I do my best to lead a no waste life. “Never use anything once,” is one of my mottos. When I roast a chicken I save the carcass for broth, when I steam kale, I reserve the stems for sautéing, and my egg shells are composted to create rich soil. So naturally I rejoice in the no food waste movement! No wasted food equals more food to eat. Recently, a pop-up in New York based an entire restaurant on this concept. WastED was created by Blue Hill and Stone Barns Farm, the forerunners in farm‑to‑table eating going back sixteen years ago. For three weeks, WastED served a Read More

Dairy-free / Dinner / Egg Free / Gluten-free / Local Eats Project / No sugar / Nut-Free / Salad / Side Dish / Vegetarian

Jerusalem Artichokes and Braised Kale Rice Pilaf

It should have been my celebration meal. Smoked bison loin, watercress salad, corn succotash and sunchoke soup. I was in DC for the Marine Corps Marathon. But I wasn’t running the race. Three months earlier I sprained my ankle, making it impossible to train for 26.2 miles. The trip to DC became memorable for other things, particularly a trip to the Native American Museum. Spectacular exhibits, even more spectacular food. The Mitsitam Cafe serves all foods indigenous to North America. It was there that I had my first taste of sunchokes, also known as jerusalem artichokes. Jerusalem artichokes are not artichokes at all or even in the same plant family. They are the roots of sunflowers and get their name from a faulty Italian translation, “girasole artichoke.” Girasole translates to sunflower and I have no idea how that turned into jerusalem. And the artichoke is an even bigger mystery. I Read More

Breakfast / Dairy-free / Dessert / Egg Free / Gluten-free / Grain-free / Holiday Favorites / No sugar / Nut-Free / Paleo / Salad / Side Dish / Vegetarian

Ambrosia Salad (Dairy-free!)

Ambrosia belongs in the Cool Whip concoctions category. Along with lime green jello salad, cherry fluff and watergate salad. You know the type. A combination of fruit, cool whip and mini marshmallows, served as a side dish. To me these all scream old-school Southern cuisine. The ooey-gooey salad was a fixture at my Memphis family gatherings and I anticipated the moment I could steal the first marshmallow from the bowl. Although I’ve come to find that creamy fruit salads are actually popular all over the country. With such wide popularity I had to create a dairy-free version of the traditional ambrosia salad. Coconut cream and coconut yogurt replace the dairy ingredients and I’ve omitted the marshmallows to cut out all added sugar. The pretty pastel colors in this dish make it a lovely addition to an Easter brunch or any spring table. Enjoy!

Breakfast / Dairy-free / Dessert / Drink / Egg Free / Gluten-free / Grain-free / No sugar / Nut-Free / Paleo / Raw / Smoothie / Vegetarian

32 No Sugar Added Desserts

Move over fat, there’s a new culprit in town. Sugar is now the ingredient to avoid. Do you know how much added sugar you consume in one day? I didn’t. My “healthy” dessert habit got out of control. I was obsessed with the one minute mug cakes, homemade magic shell, and single servings of chocolate chip cookies. After almost every meal I’d make myself a little treat. I used maple syrup or honey as the sweetener and I tricked my brain into thinking they were “nutritious” sugar. Well ALL sweeteners, even the “pure” ones are sugar. And sugar impairs the immune system by suppressing white blood cells. Just one teaspoon impairs the immune system for up to four hours. Then there’s the blood sugar spikes and extra calories negatively impacting your body too. What are the options? Option A: Shun dessert and never eat ice cream again. Option B: Make Read More

Dairy-free / Dessert / Egg Free / Gluten-free / Grain-free / No sugar / Nut-Free / Paleo / Raw / Vegetarian

Mango Chia Pudding (No Sugar Added Dessert!)

Chia seeds are a funny little food. Just add water and they gel up into a gooey substance. What causes this gelling action? Chia seeds are hydrophilic which means they can take on a lot of liquid for their size.  This is because of it’s composition: 5% water, 19% protein, 33% oils, and 43% fibre, of which about half is soluble. The high amount of soluble fiber allows chia seeds to gel up in water. Hyped to a be a real superfood, they actually don’t measure up to their claims. Chia seeds are just another food with some nutritional benefits. I only occasional include them in my diet and feel best when it’s in a dessert. Chia pudding comes together quickly and the consistency is always satisfying. By blending mango with coconut milk, there is no need for additional sweeteners. I’m trying to avoid added sugars and fruit is a Read More