Soup & Salad Challenge: Week 5

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We are coming to the end of the soup portion of the Soup & Salad Challenge right on time (at least for New Englanders). The temperature has spiked to nearly 90 degrees this week. Hello, early Summer! We’re ending on a high note: Nourishing Foundations’ recipe for Caribbean Chili. The sweet potato in this recipe gives it a surprisingly sweet note, especially when corn is also used. If, however, you are following the Whole 30 diet, you will want to make a few adaptations to this recipe: replace beans with extra sweet potato & omit the corn. Still totally delish! Enjoy!

Nourishing Foundations' Caribbean Chili

This hearty meal has a little bit of spice as well as a sweet touch. It’s a filling, tasty dish and makes an excellent meal for company!

  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil or Avocado Oil
  • 1 lb Ground Beef (chicken, turkey or buffalo Unless you prefer the vegetarian version, in which case, omit!)
  • 3 TBSP Esther's Caribbean Chili (or Chili Powder of choice)
  • 1 tsp. Esther's Red Hot Pepper (or hot pepper of choice)
  • 2 tsp Esther's West Indian Pepper (or pepper of choice)
  • 1 TBSP Esther's G.O.G.
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced
  • 14 oz Mirepoix (or 2 stalks celery, 2 carrots)
  • 1 TBSP Chicken or Vegetable base (Rapunzel works well)
  • 1/4 cups Water or chicken broth
  • 1.5 cups Chopped Sweet Potato
  • 3-4 cups Beans of Choice (Cooked; Replace with sweet potato if following Paleo/Whole 30 diet)
  • 24 oz Tomato Sauce or Crushed Tomatoes High quality (no sugar added, whole ingredients (we recommend (Victoria's or Rao's))
  • 28 oz Diced tomatoes (Organic is best!)
  • 12-16 oz Frozen sweet corn (Omit if following Paleo/Whole 30 diet)
  1. To Make on Stovetop:

    Heat oil in frying pan. Cook mirepoix for 2-3 minutes, add meat, then spices.

    Cook completely. (~5 min)

    Add 1/4 cup water & allow to simmer

    In large pot, combine this mixture with ~4 cups beans or sweet potatoes, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Allow to simmer, stirring frequently, for approx. 10 min.

    Add frozen corn.

    Serve with cheese, avocado, sour cream etc.

To Cook in Instant Pot:

Using the sauté function on your Instant Pot, heat oil, then cook mirepoix for 2-3 minutes.

Add meat, then spices. Cook completely. (~5 min)

Add all other ingredients EXCEPT for corn.

Secure lid and set Instant Pot to 40 minutes on manual.

Allow for natural pressure release

Add corn at end.

Since I only made one meal this week, I had a little bit of extra time to mess around with a good and good-for-you dessert. This Avocado Chocolate Mousse by Food52 is UHmazing. I love it! Definitely worth a try.

Hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I did this week!

Guilt Free Strawberry Shortcake

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My sister is getting married! This past weekend we attended a pre-wedding BBQ, a chance to get the families together before the big day. My job was to bring dessert. What to bring….what to bring…. Of course I waited until the last minute to decide and the night before I was surfing the isles of Whole Foods looking for inspiration. My toddler wasn’t cooperating with the process, which meant we basically left Whole Foods empty handed (with the exception of 3 lbs of strawberries and the seeds of an idea).
The trick in these kinds of settings is that many folks don’t care for “healthy desserts” – and with good reason! If “healthy” means bland, tasteless or filled with chemical substitutes to make something “sugar free”, I am often turned off too. Luckily, this time it didn’t. I opted for two versions of the old classic Strawberry Shortcake: a “regular” version (with store bought pound cake, strawberries and whipped cream) and a “healthy” version (gluten/grain free, processed sugar free, organic). Turns out my “healthified” version took the cake – literally! – and got rave reviews. I hope you enjoy the recipe!


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Guilt Free Strawberry Shortcake

The coconut poundcake recipe for the “bisquits” was adapted from CrossFit Santa Cruz Central’s blog post:

Serves: 1 Scale


  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup coconut milk or cream
  • 12 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 14 tsp baking soda
  • 14 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 lb frozen strawberries organic is best
  • 1 lb fresh strawberries organic is best
  • 13 cup maple syrup
  • 12 oz mascaparone
  • 23 cup coconut milk or cream (or remainder of 14.5 oz can)
  • 12 cup whole milk yogurt
  • 13 cup Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat the eggs with the coconut milk, maple syrup /honey and vanilla extract, until smooth. Add the coconut flour, baking soda and salt. Mix until a smooth batter forms.
  2. Pound cake form:
  3. Grease a loaf pan with coconut oil, and sprinkle with some coconut flour to lightly coat pan. Pour batter into the loaf pan. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, until pound cake separates from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean! Allow the pound cake to cool before removing it from the pan.
  4. Bisquit Form:
  5. Grease a muffin pan with coconut oil, and sprinkle with some coconut flour to lightly coat pan. Pour batter; bake for about 20-25 minutes
  6. Strawberry topping:
  7. Combine 1 lb of frozen strawberries with 1/3 cup of maple syrup in a pot over low heat. When strawberries are halfway melted, blend mixture together and return to pan. Add fresh strawberries, sliced. Heat until mixture makes a strawberry syrup.
  8. Sweet Cream Topping
  9. Combine mascaparone, coconut milk, whole milk yogurt in blender. Add maple syrup and vanilla. Blend. Store in fridge.

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Easy Peasy Multi-Purpose Granola

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Every week or two I try to make a big batch of Easy Peasy Multi-Purpose Granola. This is a VERY easy project in which to involve kids. The recipe changes every time based on what I have on hand and the proportions I desire, but it never fails to be delicious and quickly disappears! Following is the basic idea. Feel free to use/adapt as you see fit!


I store my granola in an airtight container and usually do one of three things with it through the week:
1. Use as granola. Eat with milk of choice or mix with yogurt.
2. Use as a trail mix/snack
3. Mix with almond flour, coconut oil, maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice for a simple fruit crisp topping. Place on top of any combination of fruit (including, but no limited to the half eaten pieces of fruit my son leaves around the house that I “redeem” in breakfast crisps. Bake at 350 for approx. 15-20 minutes.
A few things to note:

  • If you’re going grain free, it’s great to have just nuts/seeds/dried fruit in the mixture.
  • If you want to stretch the mixture (after all, nuts can be expensive!), add more items such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds etc. You can also add oatmeal.
  • To make a sweeter mixture, add dark chocolate chips!
  • The most economical and convenient source I’ve found for nuts is us Trader Joe’s, however, Aldi and Costco/BJ’s are also great options if you live near any of those locations.


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Easy Peasy Multi-Purpose Granola

Course: Breakfast

Serves: 1 Scale


  • 1 cup raw walnut pieces
  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup raw almond slices or whole!
  • 1 cup cashew pieces
  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • 1 cup dried fruit organic and without sulfur is best! I usually use raisins. Can also use goji berries, chopped aprico
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1


  1. Grab a big bowl. Let your kids throw in a little bit of this and a little bit of that based on proportions that work for you/your family. Mix and enjoy!

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Flourless Nut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars

Cooking with kids can be an absolute blast! The trick is to pick SIMPLE recipes that involve lots of opportunities for hands-on engagement.  Flourless Nut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars are an all-time favorite simple dessert in our household. Detoxinista hits the nail on the head with the following recipe. Enjoy!

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Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies


Course: Desserts

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 25 min

Total Time: 35 min

Serves: 16 Scale


  • 1 cup natural creamy peanut butter Or any nut butter
  • 13 cup honey Or maple syrup
  • 1 whole egg
  • 14 teaspoon sea salt (*if using unsalted peanut butter)
  • 12 teaspoon baking soda
  • 12 cup dark chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease an 8″ square pan with butter or coconut oil.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the peanut butter, honey, egg, salt and baking soda until well combined, then fold in the chocolate chips.
  3. Pour the batter into the greased pan, and use a spatula to smooth the top.
  4. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is a light golden brown. (it only took 20 minutes in my oven)
  5. Let cool, then cut into squares and serve!

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