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Recipe: Sweet and Sour Cabbage

How gorgeous is this dish? In my humble opinion, Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage rocks! The flavor is incredible; it pairs well with just about any type of grilled or roasted meat; it’s purple color brings any plate to life; it’s chock full of antioxidants and phytonutrients (you know how awesome those cruciferous veggies are!). Oh, and it’s extremely easy to prepare. It truly is a culinary home run!

Here’s my mom’s recipe, which I had forgotten about until quite recently. A few weeks ago, I roasted a pork tenderloin and served them together. It was pretty fabulous and, since then, I’ve made it several times and paired it with beef and chicken, as well.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy side dish that’s a little different from the usual suspects, give it a shot and please be sure to let me know how it turns out.

Buon Appetit!

Karen

Sweet and Sour Cabbage

2 Tbsp. butter

5 cups of thinly sliced or shredded red cabbage

⅓ c. Apple cider vinegar

3 Tbsp. Water

2 tsp. Salt

¼ cup of sugar (I prefer not to use sugar, so I use ¼ teaspoon Stevia instead)

¼ tsp. Ground black pepper

Place butter, cabbage and sweetener in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add vinegar and water and season with salt and pepper. Bring to boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the cabbage is tender.

Serves 6-8.

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Recipe: String Beans with Shallots and Pine Nuts (GF)

String beans are one of my favorite vegetables. They’re so delicious and seem to pair well with just about everything. Not to mention the fact that they’re quick and easy to prepare. Most of the time, I do a quick sauté in a little olive oil until the skin is slightly blistered, add sea salt and freshly ground pepper and voila!

This time, I decided to play around with another favorite of mine, shallots. I diced the shallots, sautéed them, added the beans and finished with a sprinkling of toasted pine (or pignoli) nuts for a bit of crunch. It took minutes to prepare, tasted wonderful and, as you can see in the photo, looks quite fancy for a weeknight meal 😉

Buon Appetit!

Karen

String Beans with Shallots and Pine Nuts

2 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil

3 Tbsp. Shallots, diced

8-10 ounces of string beans (I prefer the thin French beans/haricot verts)

2 Tbsp. Pine (or Pignoli) nuts

Coarse salt and ground black pepper

 

Place the pine nuts in a small sauté pan over medium high heat. Tossing frequently, allow the nuts to toast until they are lightly golden. Remove from heat and set aside.

Place olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium high heat. When oil is shimmering, add the chopped shallots and sauté 1-2 minutes. Add the string beans and continue to sauté, stirring occasionally, for approximately 6 minutes, or until the string beans are crisp-tender. Remove from heat, sprinkle with pine nuts and salt/pepper to taste.

Serves 4.

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Recipe: Lemon Roasted Asparagus (GF)

Have you noticed the big piles of asparagus at the markets these days? It’s a sure sign that spring has arrived!

I recently interviewed Holistic Health Coach, Jen Klainberg (you can listen to the full interview here) and we spoke about the importance of eating with the seasons and lightening up our diet in springtime. Asparagus is one of those foods that really supports the body at this time of year; it’s extremely alkalizing, anti-inflammatory, and full of nutrients that our bodies crave as we move from the warmer, heavier foods of winter into the fresher, lighter foods of spring.

Here’s a recipe that I probably make once a week during springtime. It’s so easy and delicious, and it pairs well with just about everything. Once the weather gets a little warmer, I’ll cook the asparagus on the grill (minus the lemon slices), but for now…into the oven it goes.

Buon Appetit!

Karen

Lemon Roasted Asparagus

1 bunch of asparagus (I prefer the pencil thin stalks, but either thick or thin will do)

1 lemon, zested and then sliced

2 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place asparagus on a cookie sheet and lay the lemon slices over top. Drizzle olive oil over it and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the stalks are fork tender and just beginning to brown at the tips (be careful not to overlook, as the asparagus can become very mushy).

Remove from the oven and discard the lemon slices. Salt and pepper, to taste, and sprinkle lemon zest over top.

Serves 4.

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Recipe: Easy Homemade Peppermint Patties

I’m a big fan of indulgences. I know that’s not a message that most people expect to read on a healthy lifestyle blog, but I firmly believe that indulging in a high quality treat from time to time is quite healthy. Deprivation is no fun and certainly doesn’t create a sense of balance and pleasure in one’s life.

But note that I used the term “high quality treat.” That means…have the good stuff – the good dark chocolate, the croissant from that French bakery you love, the homemade cannoli from your favorite Italian restaurant. Instead of wasting your indulgences on Chips Ahoy cookies or chips eaten in front of the t.v., choose your treats wisely and savor them fully. When you indulge in this way – mindfully – you’ll almost always find that you’re more satisfied and less inclined to overdo it. Not to mention, you’re not filling your body with the chemicals, dyes, additives and preservatives contained in store-bought, mass produced “junk food.”

The next time you’re looking for an easy, oh-so-good treat, remember this recipe. If you’re a fan of the Peppermint Patty or the Junior Mint (and, let’s face it, who doesn’t love a Junior Mint?! 😉 then this is one you’ll definitely want to try.

A few ingredients combine to form the peppermint “dough.” After hardening in the freezer for a few minutes, each little piece gets dipped in chocolate. In minutes, you’ve got an amazing little treat to be savored. Unlike the store bought version, this little candy is the perfect texture, rich in flavor and super satisfying (truly, one or two is all you’ll need!).

A high quality treat, to be sure!

Enjoy!

Karen

Easy Homemade Peppermint Patties

¼ cup softened butter

⅓ cup light corn syrup

2 tsp. peppermint extract

3 cups powdered (confectioner’s) sugar

2 cups dark chocolate chips (I prefer Ghirardelli brand)

2 tsp. canola or vegetable oil

Combine butter, corn syrup, peppermint extract and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix with an electric mixer for approximately 2-3 minutes or until the dough comes together (I like to put a towel over the mixer so that the powdered sugar doesn’t make a mess).

Remove the dough from the bowl and divide into sections (about 2 tsp. each). Roll each section into a ball then gently flatten into a little patty. Place onto a pan lined with wax paper. Once all patties are made, place pan in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Add oil to the chocolate chips and melt in the microwave in 30 second intervals (stirring between). Be careful not to burn the chocolate. When the chocolate is smooth and completely melted, remove the patties from the freezer. Dip each patty into the melted chocolate and set back onto the wax paper to harden for about 10-15 minutes.

Makes approximately 30 patties.

Note: if you’d prefer not to prepare all the peppermint patties at once, simply store some of the frozen patties in a ziploc bag in the freezer for up to 3 weeks. When you’re ready to eat them, simply remove them from the freezer and, while still frozen, dip them in chocolate and allow the chocolate to harden.

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Recipe: Chicken Sausage with Tomatoes and Arugula (GF)

This dish is a little “one-pot wonder” that I’ve been making quite a bit lately. I absolutely love it when I can put a whole bunch of things into a pan, set it in the oven and forget about it for a while. This is just such a dish – very little work, yet it has great flavor!

Most of the time, I use chicken sausage, although it can certainly be made with pork sausage, as well. The tomatoes and onions caramelize in the oven and the addition of the arugula at the end provides a fresh, peppery pop of flavor.

I usually serve it over brown rice or with roasted new potatoes. It’s hearty, filling, easy and healthy. And if you’re cooking for a crowd, you can be sure that this meal will not require you to fuss over the stove all evening.

Buon Appetit!

Karen

Chicken Sausage with Tomatoes and Arugula

6 chicken sausage links

1 lb. grape tomatoes

1 onion, cut in half and then sliced

6 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

3 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil

3 Tbsp. White wine

1 Tbsp. Dried Italian Seasoning

2 cups of baby arugula

½ can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Ground black pepper, to taste

 

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a roasting pan or oven-safe skillet (I love using my ScanPan), place sausage, tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, wine, and Italian seasoning.

Roast for 15 minutes, then turn sausages. Continue roasting for another 15-20 minutes, or until sausages are nicely browned and cooked through.

Remove pan from oven and stir in arugula. Allow the mixture to sit for 1 minute (arugula will wilt slightly), then add cannellini beans and black pepper, to taste.

Serves 2-3.

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Recipe: Roasted Fennel with Almonds (GF)

Recently on the blog, I interviewed Holistic Health Coach, Jen Klainberg (you can listen in here LINK) and one of the many things we discussed was the importance of eating seasonally. Jen ran through a number of foods that are in season and she mentioned one veggie that I absolutely love but rarely make: fennel. I’m not sure why I don’t make fennel more…it’s wonderful and pairs nicely with red meat, poultry and fish, alike. Not to mention the fact that fennel is SUPER healthy, full of nutrients and antioxidants.

I decided to roast fennel, as it mellows its licorice-like flavor, then began experimenting with ingredients to jazz it up a bit. This combination of fennel, sliced almonds and Parmesan was outrageous!

Happy Spring and Buon Appetit!

Karen

Roasted Fennel with Almonds and Parmesan

2 medium fennel bulbs (remove tough outer layers and cut through the root into wedges. Reserve the fronds.)

2 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil

¼ c. Grated Parmesan cheese

¼ c. Slivered almonds

Pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet, toss the fennel with the olive oil. Roast for approximately 10-12 minutes per side.. Top with Parmesan cheese, almonds and freshly ground black pepper. Cut the fennel fronds and garnish the platter with them. Drizzle with additional olive oil, if desired.

Serves 4.

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Recipe: Smoked Salmon Bites

Do you love smoked salmon with cream cheese on a bagel as much as I do? Or better yet, how about the smoked salmon platter served in certain restaurants, where they serve the salmon on toast points with cucumber, chopped onion and capers? It’s a treat that I rarely have these days, as I try to limit gluten and dairy as much as possible, which is why I was thrilled to develop this appetizer. It has the incredible flavors of those dishes without the bread and the thick layer of cream cheese.

These Smoked Salmon Bites are perfect as an appetizer. They’re a convenient little finger food – no assembly or utensils required by guests – yet have BIG flavor. There’s no cooking necessary…you merely assemble the ingredients. And they happen to look beautiful all lined up on the platter (I’m very visual, so I love an interesting presentation…especially when it comes to party food!).

I used goat cheese instead of cream cheese. For one thing, goat’s milk is much more easily digested than cow’s milk and isn’t nearly as heavy or clogging for the system. In addition, goat cheese adds a slight tang that’s lovely when paired with the flavors of the mild cucumber, salty capers and bright, fresh dill.

Here’s the recipe. I hope that you enjoy them as much as I do.

Buon Appetit!

Karen

Smoked Salmon Bites

½ pound wild, smoked salmon (sliced)

1 4-ounce log of goat cheese

1 cucumber, peeled and cut into 1” julienned slices

⅓ c. chopped fresh dill

⅓ c. capers

Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Spread the slices of smoked salmon on the counter or cutting board. Cut each slice in half (vertically).

Spoon a dollop of goat cheese into the center and lay a cucumber slice on top of it. Add a couple of capers and a sprinkling of fresh dill. Gently roll each salmon slice so that it envelops the filling. Repeat with remaining salmon slices and line them up on a plate or serving platter.

Once the entire platter has been assembled, scatter the remaining dill and capers over top and finish with a sprinkling of cracked black pepper.

Serves 8.

DID YOU GET YOUR GIFT YET ?  CLICK HERE to Grab your (FREE) guide –

Wellegant™ Mind, Body, Life: Nourish Your Body and Feed Your Soul

It contains my best healthy living tips, recipes and other resources to help you live your most Wellegant life. Enjoy!