Honey Mustard Chicken

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4 chicken breasts

¼ cup mustard (whole grain and/or yellow)
½ ripe avocado, mashed or ¼ cup mayonnaise (olive oil-based)
2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup
¾ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder or 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
¼ cup almond flour
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 375 °F
2. In a medium bowl or 2-cup glass measuring cup, mix together ingredients for sauce/marinade.
3. In a glass baking dish (“casserole dish”), pour sauce/marinade over the chicken breasts. Turn chicken breasts in the sauce so entire chicken breasts are covered.
4. Bake immediately or marinate over night.
5. Bake for 30 minutes, turning half way (at 15 minutes); chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165°F.

Yield: Serves four.

Recipe by Leigh Wagner

Flax Bread

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2 cups flax meal
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
¾ teaspoon Celtic sea salt
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or honey or 7-10 drops Stevia
5 eggs, whisked
½ cup water
⅓ cup olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
2. In a large bowl combine flax meal, baking soda, lemon juice and salt.
3. In a smaller bowl, mix together sweetener, eggs, water and oil.
4. Stir wet ingredients into dry, mix well, and let stand for 2-3 minutes to allow the batter to thicken.
5. Pour batter into square baking dish.
6. Bake for 30-35 minutes or so until a knife comes out clean or crust springs back
7. Remove from oven and cool.

Recipe by Leigh Wagner PhD, MS, RD

Turkey-Stuffed Acorn Squash

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4 medium acorn squash (about 1.5 lbs each)
1 pound Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
½ pound sliced fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 medium apple, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fennel seed
2 teaspoons caraway seed
1 teaspoon dried or fresh sage leaves
4 cups fresh baby spinach
2 Tablespoons minced fresh thyme
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar (I love Bragg's)
*Optional: 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, chopped or shredded

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut squash in half; remove seeds. Cut a slice from bottom of each half to allow them to lie flat. Place in a roasting pan, hollow side down; add ¼ inch of hot water. Bake uncovered, 45 minutes.
2. While squash is roasting, in a large skillet, cook: (sausage, bell pepper, mushrooms, apple, onion, dried seasonings) over medium heat ~8-10 minutes; drain.
3. Add spinach, and seasonings. Stir about 2 minutes and remove from heat.
4. Remove squash from pan. Drain liquid.
5. Return squash to pan, open side up, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir in cheese (optional) and vinegar into the squash mixture. Spoon into squash. Bake ~8 minutes or until squash is tender (easily pierced with a fork).

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home

Lemon Parsley Pesto


2 cups loosely packed Italian (“flat leaf”) parsley
¾ cup combination of cashews and walnuts or pecans
1 lemon juiced
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Black pepper, to taste
¼ - ½ teaspoon lemon zest*
¼ - 1/3 cup olive oil

1. Wash and de-stem herbs. Blend all ingredients except olive oil in blender or small food processor.
2. Carefully open vent of food processor and add olive oil slowly (while food processor is on) to incorporate oil.
*zest is only the outer yellow edge of the skin of the lemon, not the white rind

Recipe by Leigh Wagner PhD, MS, RD

Salmon Salad


2 cans skinless, boneless wild salmon (Bear and Wolf is a good brand found at Costco)
1-2 stalks of celery, diced
1 apple or pear, cubed or ½ - ¾ cup red grapes, sliced in half
2 tablespoons lemon juice or mayonnaise
6 cups mixed greens
2 carrots, shredded
2/3 cup walnuts or slivered almonds

1. Open the canned salmon and place in a medium sized bowl.
2. Mix diced celery and sliced grapes or apples in with salmon and stir in lemon juice.
3. Plate up 1 cup of greens on each plate. Sprinkle shredded carrots and walnuts over the greens.
4. Scoop ½ cup of salmon and place on top of salad greens.
5. Drizzle balsamic vinaigrette over salmon and salad greens.
6. Enjoy!

Basil-Balsamic Salad Dressing
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons finely chopped basil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons of agave nectar, pure maple syrup, or honey
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon sea salt 

Place all ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake well. Drizzle over your favorite green salad or fresh tomatoes and mozzarella. You can also use this dressing to make a perky cold white bean or pasta salad – a perfect nutritious side dish.

*You can keep dressing stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks

 Recipe by Leigh Wagner PhD, MS, RDN

Green Sesame Sunflower Salad

GF, GrF, DF, V, Vegan

1 head of broccoli or 2 broccoli crowns
1 bunch Swiss chard, leaves removed and chopped into bite-sized pieces, tender stems finely chopped
½ small red onion, finely chopped
½ cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds
½ - 1 medium apple, diced or chopped
*Optional: Sesame seeds

1/3 cup sesame oil or combination of sesame and olive oils
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (Bragg’s is a good brand)
1-2 teaspoons natural sweetener (raw honey, pure maple syrup) or 5-8 drops Stevia
1 tablespoon soy sauce, wheat-free tamari, coconut aminos, or Bragg’s aminos
½ - 1 teaspoon ground ginger
*Leftover dressing can be used for salads or marinade

1.  Prepare all salad ingredients and place in a large bowl.
2. Mix dressing ingredients over salad ingredients and add more, to your liking. You can determine your preference for dressing amount. Leftover dressing may be used for side salads, marinades or dressings for another day.

*This tastes better if you stir periodically

Recipe by Leigh Wagner PhD, MS, RDN

Fish Tacos with Citrus Slaw

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1 pound tilapia
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons sea salt
¼ cup lime juice
1 tablespoon chili powder or Mexican seasoning (2 teaspoons chili powder + 1 teaspoon ground cumin)
1 onion, chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
12 taco shells or fresh gluten-free tortillas (corn, teff, rice)

¼ - 1/3 head green cabbage
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 green onion, sliced or minced
½ to 1 teaspoon chopped jalapenos or 1 teaspoon Serrano chili, to taste
1 tablespoon Veganaise (dairy and egg-free mayo) or olive oil mayonnaise or organic Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon cumin seeds or ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste

Optional taco fillings:
Avocado slices
Grated cheese
Shredded lettuce 

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Rinse the tilapia under cool running water the place in a large mixing bowl. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, salt, lime juice, and chili powder then pour marinade over the fish. Let stand for 10-15 minutes; the longer time will allow for increased flavor absorption.
3. Lightly grease the bottom of a glass baking dish. Place the marinated tilapia in dish and cook at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-15 minutes until it flakes with a fork. While the fish is cooking, heat the remaining oil in a large skillet. Add onion and sauté until hot.
4. In a medium bowl, combine the cabbage with the remaining ingredients.
5. Warm taco shells according to the directions on the package.
6. Cut each hot fish fillet into 6-8 pieces and place in warmed tortilla with slaw and desired fixings.

Cashew "Ranch" Dressing

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½ cup raw cashews or macadamia nuts
½ cup water
2 cloves garlic (or 2 teaspoons jarred garlic)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
¾ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
2 teaspoons fresh dill or ½ teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup or honey or 4-5 drops liquid stevia
black pepper, to taste

1. Place the nuts, water, and garlic into a blender. Blend until creamy. Add remaining ingredients and blend again until combined.
2. Pour into a glass jar or container and refrigerate. Shake and pour over your favorite salad or dip with your favorite veggies or seed crackers. Enjoy! :)

Recipe by Leigh Wagner PhD, MS, RD

Cauliflower Rice with Cilantro and Garlic

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1-2 teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large head cauliflower
3 cloves garlic, minced (or 3 tsp jarred garlic)
3/4 teaspoon salt or Herbamare (herbed seasoning salt)
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

1. Cut cauliflower into very large florets or chunks. Depending on the size of the cauliflower, you will want to divide the chunked cauliflower into 2 to 3 batches.
2. Place 1/2 or 1/3 of the cauliflower into a food processor and pulse or process it until the cauliflower turns into a rice-like texture. In a medium bowl, set aside each batch until you have finished "rice'ing" the cauliflower.
3. Heat a medium pan to low-medium heat and add the oil and minced garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until garlic is softened.
4. Add the cauliflower and sprinkle the salt or Herbamare over the top. After about 5 minutes, add the chopped cilantro and continue sautéing for 3-5 more minutes until heated through.
5. Serve with Honey Mustard Chicken or any other place you'd use rice. I love serving it with this lovely and delicious Veggie Korma recipe from Seasonal and Savory.

Recipe by Leigh Wagner PhD, MS, RD

Banana Chocolate Muffins

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wet ingredients
3 eggs
¼ cup coconut oil
2 medium ripe (brown) bananas
4 medjool dates, pitted
1 teaspoon vanilla
*Optional: 7-10 drops Stevia

dry ingredients
¼ cup coconut flour (heaping)
1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed (aka “flax meal”)
¼ teaspoon salt (heaping)
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup pecans, toasted (could use walnuts)
2-3 Tablespoons cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips

1. In a blender, add eggs, coconut oil, bananas, dates, vanilla and *optional stevia; blend until combined
2. Add coconut flour, flaxseed, salt and baking soda until smooth
3. Fold in pecans and optional cacao nibs
4. Place batter into lined muffin tin
5. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 22-23 minutes

Recipe by Leigh Wagner PhD, MS, RD

Almond Flour Pizza Crust


2 cups almond flour (aka almond meal)
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
1-2 Tablespoons dried Italian Herbs (I am heavy on herbs)

For Crust:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Place ingredients in a medium to large bowl, and mix thoroughly with fork.
3. Wet hands and press onto parchment paper on cookie sheet (to make cleanup easy). Leave crust somewhat thick (about ¼ inch thick). Press into desired shape.
4. Before adding toppings, bake crust until golden for 10-12 min at 400°F.
5. After topping, place in oven until warm.

Recipe by Leigh Wagner PhD, MS, RD

Golden Milk

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2 cups nut or seed milk (almond, coconut, cashew, flax, other)
1-2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
7 drops liquid stevia or 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
1 pinch, each of cayenne and black pepper

1. Blend ingredients in a blender at high speed
2. Serve immediately or for warm golden milk, transfer to small saucepan, stirring constantly to heat to desired temperature
3. Enjoy!

Recipe by Leigh Wagner PhD, MS, RD

Leigh's Creamy Mashed Cauliflower

GF, GrF, DF, V, Vegan

1 large head cauliflower
2 cloves garlic, peeled
¼ cup olive oil-based mayonnaise or Veganaise (egg-free mayonnaise)
¼ - ⅓ teaspoon salt or Herbamare (herbed seasoning salt)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. In a medium or large pot with a steamer basket, fill pot with 1-2 inches water and bring to a boil.
2. Add cauliflower and garlic, reduce heat to a low boil, and cover pot.
3. Cook for 15 minutes or until cauliflower is very soft.
4. Drain water and add remaining ingredients to pot
5. Mash/blend the cauliflower and garlic mixture until creamy using a(n):
         -Potato masher
         -Immersion blender (a.k.a. “stick blender”)
          -Food processor
6. Adjust seasonings, if needed

Serves: 4-6

Recipe by Leigh Wagner PhD, MS, RDN