If you’re not following McKell Hill’s Instagram page, you absolutely must. It is eye candy for the belly, and a stunning collection of inspiration for anyone inspired by health, wellness, and a delicious meal.
Hill is about to release her new book, Nutrition Stripped: 100 Whole-Food Recipes Made Deliciously Simple, and you can be certain I will be eagerly awaiting my shipment with stove-mitted clapping hands.
This is taken directly from the description of her book:
Drawing inspiration from nature, the turning of the seasons, the world of plants, nutrient dense foods and hidden gems in the world of superfoods, Hill celebrates simplicity, and shares her vast professional knowledge and expertise in this practical and easy-to-use cookbook. But Nutrition Stripped isn’t just an approach to eating—it’s a lifestyle that will help you look, feel, and be your best. Whole foods cooking is the foundation of health and can be enjoyed no matter what your dietary preference, whether it’s vegan, paleo, or gluten-free.
Nom nom for the belly and mind. Get it, girl.
Here’s a sneak peak from one of her recipes that I am throughly thrilled to test out. Report back!
ZUCCHINI PIZZA CRUST WITH LEMONY PEA PESTO
Zucchini is a surprisingly chameleon like vegetable—I find myself using it frozen in morning smoothies, pureed in desserts, and, now, grated in pizza crust! Zucchini pizza is a great way to sneak in extra servings of vegetables, and it is naturally lower in carbohydrates and higher in fiber compared with traditional crusts. This recipe pays hom age to a cauliflower crust, which is one of my most popular recipes from the blog. Both of these recipe components, the crust and pea pesto, can be enjoyed on their own, yet when combined, it’s evident they’re meant to be enjoyed together.
3 cups finely grated zucchini
1 to 2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 cup almond flour
2 tablespoons brown rice flour
2 eggs, beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil, for drizzling
Lemony Pea Pesto (recipe follows)
Garnishes: arugula, grated fresh lemon zest, lemon juice, and freshly ground black pepper
Place the grated zucchini in a strainer, sprinkle the salt on top, and gently toss until the salt is distributed.
Allow the zucchini to sit and sweat excess moisture for 45 to 60 minutes.
Transfer the zucchini from the strainer to a nutmilk bag or cheesecloth. Wrapping the cloth around the zucchini entirely, use your hands to squeeze out any excess liquid. Repeat the process until the zucchini no longer releases liquid. Place the zucchini in a large bowl and add the flours, eggs, garlic, nutritional yeast, oregano, red pepper flakes, and black pepper to taste.
Stir to combine well.
Position one rack in the middle of the oven and another in the top position. Place a pizza stone (for a crispier crust) or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper on the middle rack. Preheat the oven to 500 ̊F. Place a large piece of parchment paper on a clean countertop and drizzle it with olive oil. Spread the zucchini dough onto the parchment paper and form the dough into a large 10-inch round or oval, about 1/2 inch thick. Transfer the dough from the parchment paper directly to the hot pizza stone or lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Flip the pizza crust over and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until the crust is firm-crisp.
Carefully remove the crust from the oven, spoon on the pesto to the desired thickness, and bake on the top rack for 5 to 7 minutes, until the pesto is warm. Remove from the oven. Top with garnishes, if desired, and serve immediately.
LEMONY PEA PESTO
MAKES ABOUT 1 1⁄2 CUPS
1 (10-ounce) bag frozen peas
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted (see page 42)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons filtered water
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
1 tablespoon grated fresh lemon zest
Juice of 1 lemon
Pinch of sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Quick-thaw the peas by blanching in boiling water for 3 minutes or microwaving until soft. In a food processor or high-speed blender, combine the peas, pine nuts, garlic, oil, water, hemp seeds, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste and pulse until the mixture is well combined and thick. Adjust seasonings to taste. Store in an airtight glass container.
‘Tis the season for everyone to be sick. Seriously—it’s a war zone out there full of aggressive germs with no mercy. I’ve been personally fighting off a mini sinus infection, and knew I could knock this out through good food, a ridiculous amount of neti pot-ing, and homeopathic approaches.
I’ve been pounding my sinus supporting herbs from my acupuncturist, taking immune support, drinking enough water to wonder if I could drown myself from the inside out, hot mint and licorice tea (licorice is GREAT for drying up phlegm. Yeah, sorry—I don’t like that word either.) I’ve been infusing Doterra’s Breathe blend with extra drops of lavender (a great antibacterial essential oil), and placing their On Guard oil on the soles of my feet, as well as ingesting it in capsule form.
The final frontier? The kitchen, of course! Nothing says get better like chicken noodle soup, but I didn’t want the grains and I couldn’t help but want something more exciting than chicken and broth. I added some cannellini beans for comfort, kale for nutrients, lemon because it’s delicious (and antiseptic), cayenne and hot sauce to boost my metabolism and clear out my sinuses, and coconut milk because it’s soothing.
The results: I ate this soup for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and woke up feeling like a new woman. Was it the soup? Was it the multitude of other homeopathic options I pulled out of my arsenal? Who knows. Either way—the soup is freakin’ good, so belly up and stay healthy!
‘Cure Me’ Chicken, Kale + White Bean Soup
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 carrots, sliced into thin coins
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1 meyer lemon, juice and zest
pinch cayenne pepper
1 bunch dino kale, chopped
1 15.5oz can cannellini beans, well rinsed
1 bay leaf
3 cloves garlic, slivered
1/2 can light coconut milk
18oz chicken bone broth (or regular if you can’t find bone broth)
breast meat from 1 rotisserie chicken
black pepper and sea salt to taste
optional: hot sauce!!
Warm olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add carrots, onion, celery, and bay leaf with a pinch of cayenne (skip if you don’t like spicy), salt, and black pepper. Zest your lemon over all the veg. Sauté for 8-10 minutes or until your veggies have softened. Toss in your rinsed beans and cook for another 4 minutes followed by kale for roughly one more minute. Finally, add your chicken (I prefer small bites so they can soften and shred) for a few minutes (I personally add more extra virgin olive oil here as I learned from my Italian trip that it is SO good for you.) Once your chicken has broken up a bit, add your bone broth, lemon juice, and coconut milk. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes and season according to your taste. If you like an extra kick, serve it up with a generous dousing of hot sauce on top! BYYYYYYYYEEEE COLD!
Superbowl Sunday. The mecca for delicious and not even remotely healthy food. If you can pop it, dip it, scoop it—game on. We all deserve to indulge, but the problem for me is paying the price afterwards. It always seems like a good idea, until my digestive system throws down the yellow flag.
So, what’s a sensitive tummy, dip loving girl to do?! Get creative, of course.
My slightly healthier offering for this upcoming game: Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites. I made these bad boys for last year’s game and they did not disappoint. I even whipped up a dairy-free alternative to the heavy bleu cheese dip that normally accompanies this dish. Fret not—this is still decadent, but it will satiate your veggie friends, as well as those who struggle with the heavy food.
Superbowl Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
1 head cauliflower, broken into bite size pieces
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup light beer*
2 teaspoons cajun or Slap Ya Mama HOT seasoning
1 teaspoon sea salt
8 tablespoons hot sauce**
2 tablespoons ghee
for dipping sauce:
1 cup Vegenaise (vegan mayo)
1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut or almond milk
1 teaspoon sea salt
assortment of fresh herbs such as:
2 teaspoons chives
2 teaspoons rosemary
2 teaspoons basil
2 teaspoons thyme
*I used a local white thai beer, but if you want to keep the meal gluten free try using Omission Beer.
**Look for a proper Louisiana hot sauce. I’d avoid anything similar to Tabasco.
Preheat oven to 450F. Clean your cauliflower and break it up into bite sized pieces. In a large bowl, whisk together beer, flour, salt and cajun seasoning. Toss the cauliflower in this mix until evenly coated.
Spray a large non-stick baking sheet with olive or coconut oil. Transfer your cauliflower evenly onto the sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
While the cauliflower is baking, melt your ghee and hot sauce (and add a pinch of sea salt for taste.)
Remove the cauliflower from the oven and transfer back into a large bowl with roughly half of your buffalo sauce. Cover the florets evenly, return to the baking sheet and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
Blend all of your dip ingredients together and transfer into a small bowl. Serve surrounded by nom-nom buffalo cauliflower and dig in!