Cooking with sweet and savory spices, herbs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and a variety of healthy ingredients, you can create amazingly flavorful meals and desserts. If you are limited to certain ingredients due to intolerances or allergies, there are creative ways to substitute ingredients. Making healthy choices has many benefits. Whole foods provide the nutrition our bodies need to function properly. Choosing fresh foods reduces the amount of chemicals consumed versus processed foods. Home cooking brings family and friends together and it's economical too!
My mother cooked healthy Polish meals which usually consisted of two fresh vegetables, potatoes, and roasted meat, fish, or poultry, and a vegetable relish. She made delicious soups, stews, and salads. My mother was very busy helping my father run their business so when she had time to cook she made very large meals or "batch cooking". Once or twice a month she made homemade noodles from scratch. Long thin strings of noodles cut by hand were draped over tea towels to dry on the backs of all the kitchen chairs. She loved watching our family enjoy the food she prepared for us and we enjoyed eating it! My siblings and I preferred foods cooked from scratch and chose desserts sweetened with honey even though in the 70's our friends joked that my mother was a "health nut"! Halloween and Easter candies were the exception. The warm family atmosphere that my mother created from what she learned from her mother is something I tried to give to my children as well.
I've included a gluten free and a nut free cake option below. I hope you enjoy the recipes! Recipes can be doubled. Freezing leftovers can save time for when you are too busy to cook. VitaRestore Wellness believes that everyone is genetically and metabolically different. One food that is medicine to one person, may create a negative reaction in another. Always experiment and watch your reaction to a new food. Your body will let you know if it is not working for you. Wait a few months and try again!
Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1/3 cup *melted butter, coconut oil, ghee, avocado oil
1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon coconut milk, nut milk, or milk
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease an 8-inch or 9-inch round cake pan. Cover bottom of pan with parchment paper.
Blend the coconut flour and salt in a small bowl, set aside. In a large mixing bowl, use a stand mixer or hand held mixer to blend the eggs, oil, honey or maple syrup, vanilla, and coconut milk. Blend well. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and blend until smooth. Quickly mix in baking soda and Apple Cider Vinegar. Pour batter into pan and bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick in center of cake comes out clean. When completely cool, frost with your favorite frosting. Double ingredients for two layers.
*Various oils may be combined to equal 1/3 cup. A combination of ghee and avocado oil is our favorite.
Gluten-Free Chocolate and Caramel Chip Cookies
Recipe adapted from Trader Joe's Caramel Seat Salt baking chips.
2 1/4 cups Pamela's Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour (Artisan Blend + Whole Grain)
1 teaspoon Pink Himalayan Sea Salt or Celtic Sea Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Soda (aluminum free)
1 cup Brown Sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
2 sticks Unsalted Butter, softened
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 Package Trader Joe's Caramel Sea Salt Baking Chips (optional)
1 12 oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1 cup Walnuts, chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 375°F. In a small bowl, combine first three ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, use a stand mixer to thoroughly blend until creamy brown sugar, granulated sugar, softened butter, and vanilla extract. Add eggs to blend, then dry ingredients, mixing until fully combined. Stir in Carmel Chips, Chocolate Chips, and Nuts. Place rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. After cookies cool slightly, transfer to a cooking rack. Yields about 24 cookies.
Do not eat raw cookie dough. Choose ingredients with "gluten-free" label, if necessary.
Lime Chicken Curry
3 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 star anise pods
6 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon lime zest, divided
2 cups red onion, sliced
2 small fresh tomato, quartered
3 tablespoons Kashmiri chili powder
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon ginger, freshly grated
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 3/4 teaspoon coriander powder
1 pinch garam masala (optional)
3 pounds cut up bone in chicken
salt to taste
1 tablespoon melted ghee or butter (optional)
5 1/2 tablespoons tahini
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
Heat coconut oil on medium high heat in a large pan. Add anise star pods and whole cloves, stirring about 30 seconds. Add onions, frying until translucent and browning starts to occur, stirring frequently. Turn heat to medium low and stir 1/4 teaspoon lime zest, garlic, ginger, and tomato into the onion mixture. Add Kashmiri chili powder, turmeric, and coriander. Continue to stir, slowly adding broth until the chili powder is absorbed.
Increase the heat to medium and add the chicken and salt. Fry uncovered for 35 - 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. If sauce reduces too much, add 1tablespoon water at a time. Before the chicken is done, add the remaining lime zest, ghee, and tahini.
Cover and simmer for 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked. Serve with cilantro garnish and rice.
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, minced
1/4 cup red pepper, diced
1/4 cup zucchini, diced
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley or 4 tablespoons dried parsley
1/2 cup olive oil
1 14.5 oz glass jar diced tomatoes with liquid
2 teaspoons fresh basil, minced or 1 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, minced, or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste.
Saute garlic, onion, red pepper, zucchini, and parsley in oil. When garlic is lightly browned, add tomatoes with liquid, basil, oregano, and salt and pepper, and simmer for 30 minutes or until well blended and thick. Makes about 2 cups.
**Healthy Hint: Lycopene in tomatoes is a powerful antioxidant with many health benefits, including sun protection, improved heart health and a lower risk of certain types of cancer. Though it can be found as a supplement, it may be most effective when consumed from lycopene-rich foods like tomatoes and other red or pink fruits. Tomatoes from glass jars is preferable, however, if unavailable, use 1 14.5 oz canned diced tomatoes.
Chicken, Cheese, & Mixed Greens Salad
1/2 cup mixed greens
1/2 cup arugula leaves
2 celery stalks, trimmed and finely diced
1/2 cucumber, sliced
4 green onions, trimmed and sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup walnuts or pecans or combination
12 oz boneless roast chicken, sliced
4 1/2 oz feta cheese
1/2 cup seedless red grapes, cut in half
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped mixed herbs or 1/2 tablespoon dried mixed herbs
Wash greens, pat dry with paper towels, and put into large salad bowl. Add the celery, cucumber, green onions, parsley, and nuts and mix well. Arrange the chicken slices, grapes, and cheese over the salad, and season with salt and pepper.
To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients into a screw-top jar and shake well. If using dry herbs, prepare 1 hour before serving. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve.
**Healthy Hint: It's very important to include a healthy fat like olive oil in your Dressing recipe ingredients. In order to extract fat soluble compounds from your food, you need to include some healthy fat.
Hash Brown Skillet
1 small onion, minced
3 tablespoons avocado oil
2 garlic cloves or 1/2 teaspoon dried garlic powder
1 green pepper, diced
4 red skinned potatoes, diced, skin on
1 small sweet potato, peeled, diced
3 purple potatoes, diced, skin on
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
1/8 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Saute diced onion in oil. When onion is translucent, add garlic and green pepper, simmer for 5 minutes. Add potatoes, paprika, parsley, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Mix well and fry until soft, adding additional oil if desired.
Crockpot Pot Roast
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 parsnips, peeled and sliced
1 medium onion, diced
3 small purple potatoes, diced
1 small turnip, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 lb chuck roast
2 cups beef broth
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground dried rosemary
2 bay leafs
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste.
Place half of the vegetables and garlic in crockpot. Place roast in crockpot arranging remainder of vegetables around roast. In a separate bowl, mix beef broth, parsley, thyme, rosemary, bay leafs, sage, tomato paste, mustard, and salt and pepper and pour over roast. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until tender.
3 Cups fresh strawberries
1 1/2 Cups watermelon, seeded and diced
1 tsp lemon juice (optional)
1/8 Cup Honey or 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup (optional)
Add all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Carefully pour into a popsicle mold and transfer to the freezer. Freeze for about 60 minutes or until partially frozen. Insert popsicle sticks. Allow the popsicles to chill in the freezer for four to five hours or until solid. Enjoy!