Simple Salmon

My goal for 2022 is to help people LOVE Salmon, like me! Unless you are physically allergic (totally understand), eating salmon twice a week is a treat and can help you meet your health needs.

“Salmon is rich in long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and decrease risk factors for disease…a nutritional powerhouse of impressive health benefits”(healthline.com). In addition, Salmon is a Vitamin D rich food. Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that many people are deficient in. The bottom line for me is, we can all eat more salmon in our lives and I would like to share a very simple recipe to make this a tasty, salmon experience.

What type of Salmon are you? Here is a photo of a Salmon Steaks and filet. If you enjoy any kind of meat on the bone, you would like Salmon Steaks. They have more fat in the cut and seem to be extra juicy. Salmon Filets can be juicy but be careful you do not over cook them! That is what I believe ruins the salmon experience for most. They’ve had overcooked salmon in their life and never want to eat it again! Well, hang in there and try this one recipe before you break up with the salmon idea.

Ingredients:

  • Salmon Steaks Or Filet ( 3oz is ideal) ***Wild Salmon is ideal. Love asking for Salmon from Norway, Ireland and Canada, as well. Please strive to stay away from farm raised.
  • Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Dill (Optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a large baking pan. Arrange the salmon on the baking sheet and brush with Olive Oil (2- 3 TBSP) Season with sea salt.
  2. Bake the salmon in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until the salmon is opaque and flaky when pulled apart with a fork. 
  3. Garnish with fresh dill or parsley….whatever spices up your life 😉 Enjoy
***Due to quick demand, will replace pic with a better Salmon, Dill one. Forgive it

Lactose-Free Cheesecake

My holiday celebrations with family always call for a Cheesecake to be made! Being we are a family of food sensitivities/ intolerances, every year we attempt to create foods and desserts that everyone can eat and enjoy!

This Cheesecake is Lactose-Free with a Gluten-Free crust. I’d love to hear which brands of Vegan products you like. I am not a Vegan but love sharing vegan products/ foods for friends and family who are vegan or have dairy sensitivities. The struggle is real and shouldn’t be anymore…it’s 2022!

*** Ghee is not Vegan nor is this recipe. It is Lactose-Free. People who have Dairy/ Lactose Intolerances should be able to eat this. Vegan Cheese and egg replacement was used in this Cheesecake.

Cheesecake Filling

Directions:

1.preheat the oven to 350° and grease an 8″ or 9″ springform pan with cooking spray.

2. Make Crust: Crumble 1/2 a box of graham crackers in a zip lock bag or ground them in a bowl. Transport the future crust in your pan then add 1/4 C of melted Ghee to the crumbled graham crackers. Mold the crust to line the pan.

3. Make Filling: In a large bowl using a hand mixer (or electric), beat cream cheese, ricotta, and sugar together until light and fluffy (no lumps remain). Add egg replacement, then beat in vanilla and sour cream. Pour mixture over cooled crust.

4. Bake at 350 for 1 hour ⁃ Remove from oven & immediately put a knife to sides so they don’t stick  ⁃ Keep out for 1 1/2 hours then refrigerate. Enjoy 😉

Cheesy Cauliflower Rice

A Greek twist on a cauliflower mac and cheese recipe. Originally, created a 4 Ingredient recipe to make cauliflower rice transform into this fabulous, cheesy and delicious dish. Recently, did not have parmigiano- reggiano cheese BUT had Kasseri cheese in my fridge and the recipe took a nice turn!

“Kasseri is a traditional, Greek-Turkish cheese made from unpasteurised sheep milk with no more than 20% goat milk mixed in. It is a springy-textured, stringy cheese belonging to the pasta filata family like Provolone or Muenster. To obtain the correct texture and flavor, the cheese needs to be matured for a minimum of four months. It is used as a substitute for the famous mozzarella by many Americans.”https://www.cheese.com/kasseri/

  • 1 Bag Cauliflower Rice
  • 2 Eggs (You can also do 1/2 C Egg whites)
  • 1 tsp Ghee
  • 4 TBSP Cheese. This Recipe I used Kasseri Cheese (Parmigiano- Reggiano is my usual Cheese BUT any grated cheese works)
  1. First, set the oven to 375 degrees to preheat it. 
  2. Steam the cauliflower in the microwave by filling a microwave-safe bowl. 2- 3 Minutes in the microwave, just to make the Cauliflower rice warm and soft.
  3. Spread Ghee all over a baking dish, to prevent the cauliflower rice from sticking to the dish.
  4.  Add warmed cauliflower rice in the baking dish with the 2 eggs and 3 TBS of cheese
  5. Mix the cauliflower rice, eggs and cheese together. Then, flatten the top of the mixture to make an even surface.
  6. Sprinkle 1 TBS of cheese on top. This will create a crispy, cheesy crust. ***You can add another TBS of cheese. As long as the top is covered in cheese, you are Good!
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes/ Until the cheese becomes golden brown on top. Enjoy 🙂

Diet Typing Info: Whether you are a Sugar, Fat, or Mixed Burner, adjust macros according to your type in order to achieve balance for your body.

Protein: Eggs/ Cheese Fat: Ghee Carb: Cauliflower

Moussaka – A traditional Greek comfort food consisting of layered Bèchamel sauce, minced meat, and vegetables. One of my favorite dishes my Yiayia used to make for all the holidays. Being, my family is no stranger to food allergies (lactose intolerant, allergic to gluten, garlic, and other fun allergies…) I thought of creating a Moussaka dish to cater to all of our allergies.

First I will share a traditional Cypriot recipe from the book, “Traditional Recipes of Cyprus <3:

“Traditional Recipes of Cyprus” by Athos Christodoulou

I cannot take full credit for this alteration of a recipe. My Greek Cypriot mom and I decided to experiment in our kitchen, finding a tasty way to enjoy this holiday dish without the food intolerance aftermath. Here are the alterations made to our recipe!

Ingredients:

For Gluten/ Dairy Free Bèchamel Sauce

  • 4 C Lactaid Milk (Cashew Milk works too)
  • 4 TBSP Almond Flour
  • 4 TBSP Ghee
  • 3 Eggs
  • 3/4 C Halloumi Cheese (made of sheep’s milk, very low in lactose) Vegan Parmesian Cheese can be an alternative.
  • 4 Eggplants
  • 4 Potatoes
  • 1 1/2 lb Turkey Chopped meat
  • 2 Onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 C Parsley, finely chopped
  • 4 Large ripe tomatoes, grated or 1 12oz can of ground peeled tomatoes (Pastene is what I used this time)
  • Olive oil for brushing vegetables
  • salt

Wash the eggplants, wash and peel the potatoes, then cut them all in slices. Brush the eggplant and potato slices with oil (add salt) and bake for 20 min (until brown) at 350 degrees. Now, heat some oil in a sauce pan and sauté the onion and turkey chopped meat. Stir occasionally, until the meat is half cooked and then add the can of tomatoes, parsley, salt and allow to simmer. To prepare the Bèchamel sauce: Melt the ghee in a non stick saucepan, stir in the almond flour and Lactaid (milk) gradually. Stir constantly until the sauce thickens. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the eggs and halloumi cheese, stirring constantly. Then arrange a layer of potatoes over the base, cover with the layers of eggplants. Then, place the layer of chopped meat. Finish up with the bèchamel sauce and sprinkle grated halloumi cheese over the top. Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees, until golden brown. Enjoy 🙂

Matcha X Moringa Brownies, a nice, light, superfood snack!

The traditional way to use Moringa and Matcha powder is in tea, but if you are not an adventurous tea drinker, the taste can be strong to sip on. What originally inspired me to create this power couple in a brownie, was the desire to help my client eat more greens and get in more antioxidants in their diet. I understand, not everyone is as enthusiastic as me, to take supplements or drink “earthy teas” to benefit their body. So, I had to think of an out of the box way to sneak in these superfoods to their diet!

Side note: “Moringa Powder is high in fiber, contains all nine essential amino acids and is loaded with protein, Vitamins A,C, and E” says Vanessa Risetto, MS, R.D (refinery29.com) It is also known to increase breast milk production…you’re welcome Momma’s. Matcha Powder is a member of the green tea family, but instead of steeping the tea leaves in water, they are ground up into the powder then consumed. This higher concentration of nutrients gives you more benefits than the green tea itself: Three times the amount of caffeine than alternative teas, contains the powerful antioxidant EGCGC to help prevent cancer (especially colorectal types, breast, prostate& lung) and contains the type of antioxidants called catechins, as well as polyphenols, to help “reduce cell damage and prevent chronic disease” Jenna Gorham, RD (womenshealthmag.com).

MxM Brownies

Recipe (Makes 8 Brownies ! 144 Calories per Brownie)

  • 1 1/4 C Almond Flour
  • 2TBS Coconut Flour
  • 1tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3 TBS Monk Fruit Sweetener (Lakanto)
  • 1Tsp Matcha Powder  (Sunfood Superfoods)
  • 1 Tsp Moringa Powder (Sun food Superfoods)
  • 2 Tsp Collagen Powder (Vital Proteins)
  • 2 Tsp Unsweetened Almond Milk (Blue Diamond or Silk Brands
  • 1Tsp Apple cider vinegar (Braggs Organic)

In a large bowl, or blender, mix all ingredients together, add chocolate chips if you’d like, after. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Let them cool or crisp up more in the oven. Enjoy!

* **The Vitamin Shop or Whole Foods are some of my favorite shops to get my ingredients. Nutritional info will vary depending on which ingredients you use. Eat up and Enjoy <3

Variation to the MxM Recipe, using Lily’s Chocolate https://lilys.com/collections

Health Food Product Shops:

Cauliflower Rice- 3 Ways

Cauliflower- The cruciferous vegetable that made the biggest “Glow Up” over the years. In my late teens, when I really needed to make healthy alternatives to satisfy my junk food cravings, the famous “Cauliflower Mash” was my favorite recipe to make. How brilliant it was to believe that instead of having mashed potatoes, you can make mashed cauliflower taste like it!

My food philosophy when I first started eating healthy was:

Quantity over Quality AKA More food, less calories. Similar to “Volumetric eating habits” which is eating more water based vegetables and fruits first, then the rest of your meal, I prefer to take advantage of reaching my daily fiber goal (25G a day) to stay full and satisfied!

Thank You Cauliflower! At about 25 calories per cup & 3 G Fiber, you cannot go wrong. This is the perfect swap to make for a lot of foods lacking fiber and nutrients. Cauliflower rice has been a life savior because it saves time, calories, and is so easy to make a lot of comfort food dishes that usually require rice.

My 3 quick recipes with Cauliflower Rice are

  • Cauliflower Mac n Cheese
  • Mushroom Risotto
  • Stuffed Peppers

Cauliflower Mac n Cheese:

  • 2 Bags Cauliflower Rice
  • 1/2 C Eggwhites
  • 4 TBS Parmesian Cheese (Nutritonal Yeast can be used for vegans)
  • 1 TBS Ghee

In a Corning ware bowl, brush the ghee to avoid the cauliflower sticking to the bowl. Then Mix the 2 bags of rice with the egg whites + 2 TBS of cheese. Finally sprinkle the last TBS of cheese on the top, so it can come out crispy.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 Minutes. Enjoy 🙂

Cauliflower Risotto

  • 1 Bag Cauliflower Rice
  • 2 cans Giorgio’s Mushrooms OR 1 Cup Fresh Mushrooms
  • 1 TBS Ghee
  • Salt, Pepper, Cilantro

Satutee the mushrooms on a pan with ghee until brown. Mix in the Cauliflower rice and cook until desired rice texture. You absolutely can add Cheese to make this dish full and more authentic to an actual Risotto dish, as you wish 🙂 Add salt, pepper and Cilantro (Adds a great taste, color, and helps detox your body) Enjoy 😉

Cauliflower Stuffed Peppers

  • 5 medium green, red or yellow peppers
  • 2 teaspoons Ghee
  • 1-1/4 pounds extra-lean ground turkey (99% lean)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 C Parmesian Cheese

Preheat oven to 325 Degrees. Cut peppers lengthwise in half; remove seeds. Place in a pan, coated with cooking spray or brushed with Ghee. In a large skillet, heat Ghee over medium-high heat. Cook and crumble turkey with onion and seasonings over medium-high heat until meat is no longer pink, 6-8 minutes. Cool slightly. Stir in tomatoes and cheese. Now, fill the peppers with turkey mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered until filling is heated through and peppers are tender 20-25 minutes. Enjoy 😉

Vasilopita (Greek New Years Cake) 2022 Style

Happy New Year! Vasilopita is a traditional cake or bread, in Greece, The Balkans, and eastern Europe, served to celebrate the New Year and the life of Saint Basil. After baking the Vasilopita cake, a coin is inserted through the base. When cut, the person who finds the coin is said to be granted luck for the rest of the year!

This was a fun tradition I celebrated with my Yiayia to kick off the New Year and hope to cut the piece with the coin! Being it is 2022, there are some upgrades to this tradition in my home.

  1. The “lucky coin” has been replaced with a Chocolate Chip due to cleanliness. Usually, my family would personally clean the coin and wrap it with aluminum foil to protect the coin from the cake. But, with more knowledge of the possible toxic effects of cooking with aluminum and Covid, we replaced the coin with a chocolate chip. Whoever has the piece with the chip will have good luck and “sweet surprises” for the year! (The coin, set aside, is also given to the person with the chocolate chip in the cake).
  2. Orange Juice is a staple in a traditional Vasilopita recipe. I did not have O.J. while making, so, I experimented with a tsp of Vitamin C powder mixed with water (less sugar alternative too!).
  3. Gluten Intolerances have become popular in my family. In order to make sure everyone can still enjoy this tradition, swapped white flour for a mix of Gluten-Free Flour & Almond Flour!

As a Diet Type Specialist, I encourage everyone to be inspired to make the food swaps you need in recipes to still enjoy the foods your heart desires and feel good for your body. This recipe was created as a tasty experiment that I feel you will enjoy, especially if you cannot eat Gluten. For my Greek relatives who stand by tradition, I still will be inspired by all the original recipes I grew up enjoying. I just add my little spins on them 😉

*** Created a Cross design with Slivered Almonds & the year 2022!

Vasilopita Recipe:

  • 2 C Gluten-Free Flour (King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour)
  • 2 C Almond Flour
  • 1 C Ghee
  • 1 TSPB Avocado Oil
  • 1 3/4 C Organic Sugar
  • 2 TBSP Baking Powder
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Tsp Vitamin C Powder (C+ BIOFIZZ) + 1 C Water www.designsforhealth.com
  • zest of an orange (we used a Pomelo!)
  • Chocolate Chip to replace the coin (Lily’s Sweet Baking Chocolate) https://lilys.com/
  • Tsp Cinnamon
  • Slivered Almonds (Topping)

Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees. Divide the wet and dry ingredients into two separate bowls. In the “dry” bowl mix all ingredients (Almond Flour, Gluten-Free Flour, Baking Powder, and Sugar) together. In the “wet” bowl, mix all ingredients (Eggs, Vitamin C powder + Water, Ghee butter, Avocado oil. Now, mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. An electric mixer is encouraged, even though I hand mixed this (extra arm workout!). Once the dough is formed, add the chocolate chip and cinnamon as you mix the dough for the final time. Coat your baking pan with ghee to prevent sticking.

For the topping, instead of icing, I just created a cross design and the numbers 2022 with slivered almonds! (optional)

Bake @350 degrees for approx. 50 minutes (golden brown). Enjoy 😉

Vasilopita Side View for a texture close up 🙂