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Strawberry Balsamic Summer Salad with Grilled Lemon Chicken

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Can you tell I’m on a strawberry kick? I think this is my second post in a row centered around strawberries! What can I say? It’s screaming hot in Dallas right now and anything “citrusy” and refreshing sounds amazing!

And, when I can make a meal without having to turn the oven on or stand over the stove, COUNT. ME. IN!

I know you’ve read my salad schpeal before so I’ll keep this short for anyone who hasn’t read previous salad posts… I LOVE salad. Would eat it almost daily. But I don’t just love any salad, I love BIG salads that have lots of ingredients and textures and feel like a meal vs bird food. THAT is a salad in my book!

And this recipe will not disappoint that criteria. This recipe was actually started by Mo and then I swooped in and amp’d it up a bit.

We really believe in eating seasonally and we practice coaching out clients the same way. When you eat seasonally you get far more nutrition out of the food and you’re body is able to operate cyclically. Meaning, when you begin to pay attention to eating per the season, you will notice that you will crave lighter, brighter foods in the spring and summer months and heavier, more rich foods in the fall and winter months. Unless of course you live in SoCal and you have one season per year. Okay, okay, maybe one and a half. 😉

This salad recipe is super quick to make and is so refreshing and light. It is perfect for the hotter months!

If you’re practicing strict Paleo, feel free to sub the couscous with cauliflower rice. I offer directions on how to cook the cauliflower rice in the Notes section.

Hope you enjoy!

Strawberry Balsamic Summer Salad with Grilled Lemon Chicken

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 free range boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 large lemon, zest and juice
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • ¾ cup dry couscous*
  • ½ large container pre-washed baby spinach
  • 8-10 fresh strawberries, leaves removed and sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2-3 tbsp crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, halved and toasted
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  • Place chicken breasts into a large Ziploc bag with the lemon zest and juice, paprika and a good pinch or two of salt and pepper. Seal the bag, toss well to coat the chicken and place in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes, up to overnight.
  • When you’re ready to make the couscous and put the salad together, get the chicken out of the fridge and place a grill pan sprayed with avocado oil cooking spray over medium heat. Once hot but not smoking, place the chicken breasts onto the pan and grill for approx. 5 minutes per side or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F.
  • While the chicken is grilling, make the couscous. In a medium pot, combine 1 cup filtered water and a good pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then stir in couscous (do not just dumb the couscous in without stirring or it will all clump together – stir as you pour it in…). Cover, remove from heat immediately and set aside for 5 minutes. Uncover, gently fluff with a fork and set aside until ready to assemble the salad.
  • While the couscous is cooking, place the spinach, sliced strawberries, avocado and goat cheese into a large salad bowl. Pour approx. ½ cup of the cooked couscous (while still warm) on top. Top with a good drizzle of olive oil and balsamic, salt and pepper to taste and toss gently to combine.
  • Slice the chicken and place on top or dice into bite-sized pieces and toss with the salad. Serve!

Notes:

  • To make this Paleo, sub couscous with approx. 1 1/2 cups uncooked cauliflower rice – saute in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until softened and slightly browned.
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Instructions
  1. Place chicken breasts into a large Ziploc bag with the lemon zest and juice, paprika and a good pinch or two of salt and pepper. Seal the bag, toss well to coat the chicken and place in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes, up to overnight.
  2. When you’re ready to make the couscous and put the salad together, get the chicken out of the fridge and place a grill pan sprayed with avocado oil cooking spray over medium heat. Once hot but not smoking, place the chicken breasts onto the pan and grill for approx. 5 minutes per side or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F.
  3. While the chicken is grilling, make the couscous. In a medium pot, combine 1 cup filtered water and a good pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then stir in couscous (do not just dumb the couscous in without stirring or it will all clump together – stir as you pour it in…). Cover, remove from heat immediately and set aside for 5 minutes. Uncover, gently fluff with a fork and set aside until ready to assemble the salad.
  4. While the couscous is cooking, place the spinach, sliced strawberries, avocado and goat cheese into a large salad bowl. Pour approx. ½ cup of the cooked couscous (while still warm) on top. Top with a good drizzle of olive oil and balsamic, salt and pepper to taste and toss gently to combine.
  5. Slice the chicken and place on top or dice into bite-sized pieces and toss with the salad. Serve!
Recipe Notes

To make this Paleo, sub couscous with approx. 1 1/2 cups uncooked cauliflower rice - saute in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until softened and slightly browned.

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Roasted Green Beans with Cherry Tomatoes and Raw Parm

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I stumbled into writing this recipe on accident. I’ve learned that those are the recipes that are often-times the very best and the ones I go back to over and over again!

A little insight into me: I love french fries (hang with me here…) – many days after school when I was in, I don’t know, let’s say 1st grade through 5th or 6th grade, my mom would stop and let me get french fries and a coke or chocolate milk shake for a snack… Yes, you read that right. 🙂 My parents actually used to joke that I was going to turn into a french fry, I ate so many of them! Ha! And I would not go near a vegetable – except broccoli, which my grandmother always called “trees” – which she would make Italian style with good olive oil and lots of garlic… That’s the only way I would eat it. But put greens in front of me or carrots even… I was having none of it!

Obviously, as my taste-buds have changed (through a lot of work I’ve done on my own through my nutrition – I’m here to tell you, just because you were raised eating a certain way does NOT mean you have to give in to that way of eating as an adult – I’ll save this for one of our Health Episodes Podcasts 🙂 ) I do not eat near as many french fries as I did when I was growing up. That is not to say that I don’t crave them and full confession – I have my share of sweet potato fries about once a week at our favorite Dallas restaurant: Origin Kitchen + Bar

What I try to do now is create things that allow me to have the same process of eating as if I had a bowl of french fries in front of me. Meaning: french fries are a finger food – they are a little crunchy and salty and they just satisfy, you know? So, I’ve found that when I roast green beans or even asparagus and allow myself to eat them with my hands as I would french fries – it truly satisfies that craving in my brain and in a far healthier way.

Okay, so back to THIS recipe and how I stumbled upon it… I was craving something salty and wanted that unctuousness… But I try to keep my french fry indulgence to once a week or less… So I thought, “Green beans!!!” I had intended to make roasted chicken with a side of salty roasted green beans and a side salad of baby greens, roasted cherry tomatoes and grated raw parmesan. But when I started cooking, the salad just didn’t sound as good anymore – I just wasn’t that hungry anymore, but I had already blistered the tomatoes for the salad… So I thought well, I’ll just pour them in with the green beans and grate some of the parm over the green beans and tomatoes – that way nothing goes to waste.

Whoa! Best. Audible. EVER! Mo and I started eating and looked at each other and decided this should be my new go-to side dish for any occasion! The acidity of the tomatoes cuts through the salty green beans and the cheese adds so much flavor. Gah! It is so good! I could eat a whole recipe by myself, I think! That said, it is great as leftovers for lunch the next day too! And SO easy to double the recipe and use it as a food-prep item that you keep in the fridge to eat through the week.

Hope you enjoy as much as we do!

Roasted Green Beans with Cherry Tomatoes and Raw Parm

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¾ tsp black pepper
  • 10oz cherry tomatoes
  • 4oz block raw manchego or parmesan

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment, spray with avocado oil cooking spray and set aside.
  • Make sure green beans are dry and then spread onto the lined sheet pan. Drizzle with avocado oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss well to coat the green beans.
  • Roast approx. 20 minutes, tossing halfway through. They are done when slightly browned.
  • While green beans are roasting, make sure tomatoes are dry and then place them into a large, dry nonstick skillet over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, tossing occasionally. They are done when they are browned in spots and the skin is slightly blistered. (You might hear them pop a little – that’s okay!)
  • When green beans and tomatoes are done, pour the tomatoes over the greens beans while still on the sheet pan. Grate desired amount of cheese over the top and toss well to combine. Serve!

Notes:

  • You can roast the tomatoes in the oven with the green beans if you prefer. I’ve found that when doing so they release their juices due to the steam and it creates a bit of sogginess. It’s not bad – just better when done separately and the tomatoes are kept dry.

 

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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment, spray with avocado oil cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Make sure green beans are dry and then spread onto the lined sheet pan. Drizzle with avocado oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss well to coat the green beans.
  3. Roast approx. 20 minutes, tossing halfway through. They are done when slightly browned.
  4. While green beans are roasting, make sure tomatoes are dry and then place them into a large, dry nonstick skillet over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, tossing occasionally. They are done when they are browned in spots and the skin is slightly blistered. (You might hear them pop a little – that’s okay!)
  5. When green beans and tomatoes are done, pour the tomatoes over the greens beans while still on the sheet pan. Grate desired amount of cheese over the top and toss well to combine. Serve!
Recipe Notes

You can roast the tomatoes in the oven with the green beans if you prefer. I’ve found that when doing so they release their juices due to the steam and it creates a bit of sogginess. It’s not bad – just better when done separately and the tomatoes are kept dry.

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Blood Orange Summer Salad

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Salad’s can be boring. We get it. But when it is 7000 degrees in Dallas (not really, obviously – but good-ness it feels like it!) and the LAST thing you want is something hot to eat – salad’s can make the perfect meal! That’s right… To all my manly men out there – I just referred to a salad as a “meal…”

When Mo and I first met and I offered to make dinner and told him we were going to have “a big salad…” he almost broke up with me right there on the spot. (Look what he’d be missing out on today! Ha! 🙂 ) Nevertheless, he indulged me and all but licked his bowl clean. This girl can make a mean salad… And one that does not leave you feeling like you just ate “rabbit food…”

The key is loading it up with different textures and temperatures and then tossing it with a really yummy dressing.

First you’ve got to start with really good greens – none of this iceberg lettuce crap. I’m talking spinach, arugula, kale, mixed baby lettuces, mache, etc. Anything but iceberg!

Then, you pick out your protein – be it salmon, as on this salad, or perhaps roasted chicken, ground beef or bison, if you’re vegan – maybe some tempeh… And season whatever you choose really well! THIS is key!

Now lets talk temperatures – I love to toss a salad with some vegetables (anything in season) I’ve just roasted or a just cooked protein source – this way the warmth from the cooked item gently wilts the greens… I know this may sound odd but THIS is what brings the whole salad together and makes it really feel like a true meal vs just greens and vegetables on a plate.

So you have the crisp from the greens, the warmth from the vegetables and/or protein and now we need something chilled that when you bite into it along with the greens and protein creates this awesome experience in your mouth… Stop! Get your minds out of the gutter! I’m talking about FOOD! 😉 This is where avocado or fruit, like the blood oranges in this salad come into play…

Now the dressing… It really depends on what season we’re in for me. So, if it’s cold outside and I am craving greens but want something really hearty – I will make a creamy dressing with Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo as the base. If it’s hotter than hell outside and I want anything BUT hearty – I will simply use good extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil and either with a vinegar – red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar or my fav: apple cider vinegar.

Last but absolutely not least – something crunchy – this should go on the salad after you’ve dressed it so that it doesn’t get the crunchy item soggy. I love to toast up sourdough croutons or roast some chickpeas or black beans. Toasted pumpkin seeds or almonds, pecans, cashews, etc. are great too! In this salad, the crunch actually comes from the way I cooked the salmon – because it is seared, it gets this wonderful crust! Mmmm… It’s SO good! You could also make your own tortilla chips by slicing up Ezekiel brand Sprouted Corn Tortillas or Siete brand Almond Flour or Coconut Flour Tortillas and toasting in the oven to get them crisp!

See? Salads don’t have to be boring! They are AWESOME if you follow these steps!

Now make this one and you can thank me later! 😉

Enjoy!!!

Blood Orange, Avocado & Goat Cheese Salad with Salmon

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 5-7oz wild caught salmon, skin on
  • 2 tsp ghee butter
  • 3-4 handfuls raw spinach, arugula or mixed greens
  • 2 tbsp crumbled goat cheese
  • ½ small avocado, diced
  • ½ blood orange, segments only
  • 1-2 tbsp chopped chives
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  • Heat ghee butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season top of salmon with salt and pepper. Once ghee is melted, place salmon into the skillet skin-side-up. Let cook for 4 minutes and then flip and cook another 3-4 minutes, based on preferred doneness.
  • While the salmon is cooking, place the orange segments into the bottom of a large bowl (this is so the juice does not make the greens soggy) and then place greens, goat cheese, avocado and chives on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle olive oil and vinegar over the top. Toss gently to combine.
  • To serve, place salad onto a plate or bowl. Gently peel skin of salmon off and place on top of prepared salad, skin-side-down.
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  1. Heat ghee butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season top of salmon with salt and pepper. Once ghee is melted, place salmon into the skillet skin-side-up. Let cook for 4 minutes and then flip and cook another 3-4 minutes, based on preferred doneness.
  2. While the salmon is cooking, place the orange segments into the bottom of a large bowl (this is so the juice does not make the greens soggy) and then place greens, goat cheese, avocado and chives on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle olive oil and vinegar over the top. Toss gently to combine.
  3. To serve, place salad onto a plate or bowl. Gently peel skin of salmon off and place on top of prepared salad, skin-side-down.
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Crunchy Celery Salad with Raw Parmesan

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I have a confession to make – I watch Ina Garten’s cooking show, Barefoot Contessa, on the Food Network every day while I eat lunch. I know… I know… We’re not supposed to watch TV or be distracted while eating – but it is one of my very favorite things! Sounds silly, right? But, it is so relaxing to me… Not to mention I learn so much. I swear, I learn something new every time I watch her – which I suppose is one reason she has been so successful!

Her recipes are by no means what I would categorize as “clean eating” – but she’s got several that with some light tweaking, they are wonderful for you! And that is the story with her Celery Salad with Parmesan.

I’ve made a few minor adjustments that don’t change the flavor at all, but help the salad become more anti-inflammatory. For example: I suggest a raw parmesan cheese vs a processed parmesan.

***Fun thing to note regarding dairy: Did you know that most people who deal with lactose intolerance can actually tolerate raw dairy vs processed? It’s the heat in the processing of cheese/dairy that denatures the lactose and that most often causes the issue for people who are lactose intolerant. Now, I am not insinuating that you if you are lactose intolerant that you go out and eat a bunch of raw cheese – but I do suggest you give it a try and see how you feel – maybe an ounce at most, to start… See how it goes! Quality really can be everything!

I like to serve this with some simple grilled chicken or salmon… It is cleansing and refreshing during the hotter months!

Hope you enjoy!

Crunchy Celery Salad with Raw Parmesan

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s Celery and Parmesan Salad

Serves 4-6…

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 lemon, juice only, divided
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • ½ tsp celery salt
  • ½ tsp anchovy paste
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • approx. 12 stalks celery + leaves, thinly sliced at an angle
  • 4-ounce block raw/unpasteurized Parmesan cheese*
  • ¼ cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • ½ bunch cilantro, leaves only

Directions

  • At least 1 hour before you plan to serve the salad, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, juice of 1 ½ lemons, shallots, celery seed, celery salt, anchovy paste, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.
  • Then, place the celery in a large bowl and toss it with the remaining juice of the leftover ½ lemon and ½ teaspoon salt (Ina says this is an important step and I must say – after making this, I 100% agree!). Add enough of the dressing in step one to the celery to moisten well. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the celery to crisp and the flavors to develop.
  • When ready to serve, arrange the celery on a platter, shave the Parmesan onto the celery with a vegetable peeler, then sprinkle with walnuts, cilantro leaves, salt, and pepper and serve immediately.

Notes:

  • You will probably only need to use about ¼ cup of the dressing, so you will have about ¾ cup leftover. It is GREAT on other salads or to use as a marinade for fish! So don’t let it go to waste!
  • You can sub a raw manchego (sheep’s milk) cheese if you cannot find raw parm.
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Deviled Egg Potato Salad

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Potato Salad brings back all the feels for me… EVERY time we went to my grandparents house, growing up, we always had homemade barbecue! I grew up in Texas, so no shock there, right?

My grandaddy would smoke ribs and my grandmother always made THE best pinto beans, skillet cornbread and yep – you guessed it: Potato Salad! …we also always had deviled eggs – but not in the potato salad.

Her potato salad was always my favorite because it was just enough “dressing” to coat the potatoes but it was never, well, slimy. You know how some potato salads are just nothing but sloppy mayo? Yuck! 🙂

My potato salad recipe is a rendition of hers, but I thought: “Why not add the deviled eggs to the potatoes?” Plus, Mo would eat his weight in deviled eggs and while I love to make them, I don’t always have time. And when I do, he’s in heaven. So this recipe kills two birds with one stone and honestly? After you try this, I’m not sure you’ll ever miss having them separately!

Whether you’re prepping for a summer picnic or a trip to the lake… Or something new and fun to put in the kids lunches – MAKE my Deviled Egg Potato Salad! You will love it!

Deviled Egg Potato Salad

Makes approximately 4, 1 cup servings…

Ingredients:

  • 20 small heirloom (purple, red, yellow) potatoes
  • 6 cage-free eggs
  • ¼ cup Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo
  • 1 tbsp grain mustard
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 bunch chives, thinly sliced

Directions:

  • First, boil the eggs. Place eggs in a medium pot with cold water and bring to a boil. Turn heat off immediately and let stand, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Place into a large bowl filled with ice and cold water and let sit for 5-10 minutes, until completely cool. Peel and set aside.
  • Place potatoes into a large pot and cover completely with water, add a big pinch of salt and bring to a boil, turn to simmer and cover. Let cook for 10-12 minutes, until easily pierced with a fork.
  • Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a medium bowl combine the mayo, mustard, vinegar, paprika, salt and pepper. Whisk well to combine. Set aside.
  • Once potatoes are cooked, drain and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  • While potatoes are cooling, slice the eggs into 1/8ths (half, half again and then half one more time J ) and place into a large bowl.
  • Once potatoes are cool enough to handle, gently slice into quarters and place into the bowl with the eggs. Pour dressing over the top and sprinkle with ¾ of the chives and another pinch of salt and pepper. Gently toss to combine.
  • Garnish with remaining chives and serve.
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  1. First, boil the eggs. Place eggs in a medium pot with cold water and bring to a boil. Turn heat off immediately and let stand, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Place into a large bowl filled with ice and cold water and let sit for 5-10 minutes, until completely cool. Peel and set aside.
  2. Place potatoes into a large pot and cover completely with water, add a big pinch of salt and bring to a boil, turn to simmer and cover. Let cook for 10-12 minutes, until easily pierced with a fork.
  3. Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a medium bowl combine the mayo, mustard, vinegar, paprika, salt and pepper. Whisk well to combine. Set aside.
  4. Once potatoes are cooked, drain and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  5. While potatoes are cooling, slice the eggs into 1/8ths (half, half again and then half one more time J ) and place into a large bowl.
  6. Once potatoes are cool enough to handle, gently slice into quarters and place into the bowl with the eggs. Pour dressing over the top and sprinkle with ¾ of the chives and another pinch of salt and pepper. Gently toss to combine.
  7. Garnish with remaining chives and serve.
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Paleo “Cheesy” Cauliflower with Lemon Coriander Dipping Sauce

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THIS cauliflower! I mean… I made it for myself as part of my dinner one night when Mo was gone. I thought: “No way I’ll eat a whole head of cauliflower on my own, so great! I’ll have leftovers!” …you know where this is going, right? Yeah… Uh, no leftovers. I ate every last morsel!

I learned about Nutritional Yeast when I was practicing a plant-based lifestyle. And it has that reputation – people who can eat dairy or “normal” forms of protein from eggs, meats, etc, don’t include this in their regimens. Most have never heard of it. Plus, if you do practice a plant-based routine you know that animal proteins can add a lot of flavor to dishes, so without it, a dish can leave you longing. Nutritional Yeast will pack a punch of flavor!

So a little bit about what exactly, Nutritional Yeast is and why it is good for you:

  • Nutritional yeast is a complete protein (and a plant-based one, at that!), meaning that among the 18 amino acids it contains, nine are essential ones that your body cannot produce – we must get it from the foods we eat.
  • It is an immune booster due to the fact that it contains glutathione, among other things!
  • It also offers a significant dose of the minerals iron, selenium and zinc + 4g of fiber per serving!
  • Just a half tablespoon of some brands will provide you with a day’s worth of B vitamins, while other brands offer between 30 and 100 percent of B vitamins. These vitamins help you extract the energy from food and produce red blood cells.
  • It contains little sodium and fat AND it is gluten, soy and dairy free!

So even if you are fine with dairy and have no aspirations of practicing a plant-based lifestyle, you might want to start including Nutritional Yeast into your weekly routine! You could be missing out on some good stuff!

Okay, back to my cauliflower! Did I mention it’s delicious? And I ate THE WHOLE RECIPE ALL BY MYSELF? And that sauce – it’s not a must but it really adds to the dish. It has so much flavor and it’s anti-inflammatory and so good for you and I mean… I would eat this every day! So go! Now! Make it! It will be your new favorite side dish!

Enjoy!!

Paleo Cheesy Cauliflower with Lemon Coriander Dipping Sauce

Serves 2-4

Ingredients for the Cauliflower:

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into large florets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Real salt and black pepper
  • 1/3 cup Bragg’s Nutritional Yeast
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh dill, for garnish (optional)

Ingredients for the Dipping Sauce:

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Place cauliflower in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil; season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Transfer to a baking sheet in an even layer, without touching, and roast cauliflower until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  • Sprinkle Nutritional Yeast over the cauliflower as soon as it comes out of the oven and gently toss to combine.
  • While the cauliflower is roasting, make the dipping sauce by combining all ingredients for the sauce into a medium bowl and whisking well to combine.
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Place cauliflower in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil; season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Transfer to a baking sheet in an even layer, without touching, and roast cauliflower until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle Nutritional Yeast over the cauliflower as soon as it comes out of the oven and gently toss to combine.
  4. While the cauliflower is roasting, make the dipping sauce by combining all ingredients for the sauce into a medium bowl and whisking well to combine.
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Cleansing Spring Vegetable Soup

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Spring is here and tis the season for cleansing! As holistic nutritionists, one of the things Mo and I focus on in educating clients is eating seasonally and the importance of that for the body!

If you think about it intuitively – as the seasons change, you likely crave different things. For example: when it’s cold outside you want a big bowl of chili or a hearty plate of creamy cauliflower rice risotto… Okay, okay, or maybe just good ‘ol risotto! 😉 And when the warmer months come around, a shake or smoothie might start sounding really good for Breakfast or perhaps a chilled soup or more vegetables and/or fish than heavy meats.

Now, think about it ancestrally – “back in the day” so to speak, there were no year-round-fully-stocked produce sections or butchers that carried any kind of meat any time of year, like we have access to now. The food people ate was because it was available per the season.

I’m not saying that in the colder months you should never have something that might not have been available to our ancestors. But what I am saying is that you should at least consider it. And know that when something is not in season, you will get very little of the nutritional value out of said thing but when it is in season, that is when it is chalked full of it’s nutrients!

Alllll of that to say: I came up with this Spring Vegetable Soup recipe while I was doing a spring detox – nothing major – only 4 days – just with the goal of resetting a bit and cleansing my liver from toxins, etc. I honestly haven’t been feeling right hormonally, emotionally, etc. for the last few months and with spring upon us it seemed like a welcome invitation to do some bodily spring cleaning, if you will! And no, before anyone asks – I’m not pregnant! Ha! 😉

This soup comes together very simply and make wonderful leftovers! It is just as good chilled as it is warm! But the best part? It is FULL of anti-inflammatory, cleansing foods! The mung beans in particular are chalked full of fiber and they taste amazing on their own too! My recipe calls for bone broth – which, I’ve gotta say, if I had to pick one food that I thought would nourish me more than any other food – it would be bone broth. If you’re unfamiliar with it’s benefits – check out this article from Cognitune.

So while you may not be inclined to a liver detox of sorts, I hope you will make this and incorporate some cleansing foods into your spring!

We hope you enjoy as much as we do!

Cleansing Spring Vegetable Soup

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mung beans, soaked for 30 minutes
  • 1-2 strips kombu dashi (optional)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 4 carrots, unpeeled and thinly sliced into coins
  • 2 yellow squash, halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 small zucchini, halved and thinly sliced
  • Real Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 pinches dried oregano
  • 1 pinch dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 can low sodium diced tomatoes
  • 1 quart beef or chicken bone broth or vegetable broth
  • 1-2 cups filtered water
  • 1 small container pre-washed baby spinach

Directions:

  • Place mung beans and kombu into a medium pot with 3 cups filtered water and a good pinch of salt, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer – continue to simmer, uncovered until beans are softened – approx. 25 minutes. Set aside.
  • While beans are cooking, chop all vegetables.
  • Warm olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Place all vegetables (this can be done one by one as you finish chopping them…) into the pot with a pinch of salt. Let the vegetables cook down a bit, until softened – approx. 10 minutes + another 5 minutes once all vegetables are added to the pot, if adding as you chop.
  • Add in remaining seasonings and stir well to combine.
  • Then add diced tomatoes, broth and water. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  • Drain mung beans and stir into the soup and let continue to simmer for 5 more minutes.
  • Turn heat off and add in spinach – stir to combine and wilt spinach.
  • Serve in big bowls as is or with a crusty piece of good sourdough bread or my 5-minute Grain Free Bread!

 

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  1. Place mung beans and kombu into a medium pot with 3 cups filtered water and a good pinch of salt, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer – continue to simmer, uncovered until beans are softened - approx. 25 minutes. Set aside.
  2. While beans are cooking, chop all vegetables.
  3. Warm olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Place all vegetables (this can be done one by one as you finish chopping them…) into the pot with a pinch of salt. Let the vegetables cook down a bit, until softened – approx. 10 minutes + another 5 minutes once all vegetables are added to the pot, if adding as you chop.
  4. Add in remaining seasonings and stir well to combine.
  5. Then add diced tomatoes, broth and water. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  6. Drain mung beans and stir into the soup and let continue to simmer for 5 more minutes.
  7. Turn heat off and add in spinach – stir to combine and wilt spinach.
  8. Serve in big bowls as is or with a crusty piece of good sourdough bread or my 5-minute Grain Free Bread!
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Cauliflower Chowder with Spiced Chickpeas

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I get on these kicks sometimes… Recently, it’s chowders. I literally wake up thinking about making chowder. I’ve never made a chowder. Never really had a burning desire to. But then for whatever reason, and this is how it works with me, I see something on TV or I have something at a restaurant and suddenly I am fixated on this one thing.

Chowder can be defined in different ways. But from what I understand, it ultimately means that potatoes are involved in some capacity. This recipe incorporates a potato for texture and creaminess – but some chowders leave them whole/diced. Does it really matter? No, not really.

My version of chowder (this time – stay tuned, there will be more where this came from!) is smooth and creamy… It is almost silky in texture. And I gotta say, one of the easiest recipes, quite possibly, ever!

I’ve posted several meatless recipes to demonstrate yummy ways of incorporating a meatless meal into the weekly routine (if you’re not already…) It makes life so much easier when you don’t have to cook a protein + it’s so good for digestion when we give it a little break from time to time. For all of my plant-based eaters, this is is a no-brainer for you. But for all of my carnivores, I’d be willing to bet you rarely if ever consider eating a meal that doesn’t involve meat of some sort. I’m here to tell you – try it! Once a week. Give it a shot and I promise you will feel good from it!

Over the last few weeks I’ve posted some great meals that I can speak for Mo (aka the ultimate carnivore) in saying that the meatless state of those meals was lost on him. Had I not told him there was no meat involved, I am 98% sure he never would’ve noticed.

That being said, this chowder will be a giveaway. Its meatless-ness (I know, not a word, but it works well here… Go with it!) will be noticed. But it is warm and filling and full of good nutrition. I served, yes, you guessed it: a “Big Salad” to go along with, which I kept meatless as well. We were completely satisfied, not wishing for more. It was a great meal.

That being said, this would be the most wonderful start to a meal vs being the main dish as I served it as. Or, served with a big piece of my 5-minute Grain Free Bread. Either way, it is wonderful!

We hope you enjoy as much as we do!

Cauliflower Chowder with Spiced Chickpeas

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 1 Yukon gold potato
  • 5 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1, 15oz can low sodium chickpeas, drained, rinsed and divided
  • 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup, light, canned coconut milk
  • 2 tsp miso paste
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 bunch chives, finely chopped

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a large baking sheet and a small baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, spray with coconut oil cooking spray and set aside.
  • Chop cauliflower into florets, and peel and chop the potato. Arrange on the baking sheet and drizzle with about 1 tbsp olive oil and a couple of pinches of salt and pepper and toss to combine.
  • Lay a small sheet of foil out and place garlic on top. Drizzle with approx. 1 tsp olive oil, wrap in foil so that it is completely enclosed and place on sheet with cauliflower and potatoes.
  • Roast cauliflower/potatoes for 20 – 25 minutes, until the cauliflower is starting to brown and the potatoes are soft (it’s okay if they are a little al dente). Check the garlic after 10 minutes to make sure it isn’t burning.
  • While the vegetables are roasting, place all but ½ cup of the chickpeas onto the small baking sheet. Toss with sea salt and the smoked paprika. Place into the oven to roast for approx. 15 minutes – toss them occasionally. They’re done when crispy and slightly browned.
  • Allow the vegetables to cool for 5 minutes and then add them to a high-powered blender. Squeeze the garlic out of skin and add it to the blender as well.
  • Add ½ cup of the chickpeas, broth, coconut milk, miso, nutritional yeast and additional salt and pepper, and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
  • Serve warm topped with chives and roasted chickpeas.

Recipe adapted from Alyssa at simplyquinoa.com

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Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a large baking sheet and a small baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, spray with coconut oil cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Chop cauliflower into florets, and peel and chop the potato. Arrange on the baking sheet and drizzle with about 1 tbsp olive oil and a couple of pinches of salt and pepper and toss to combine.
  3. Lay a small sheet of foil out and place garlic on top. Drizzle with approx. 1 tsp olive oil, wrap in foil so that it is completely enclosed and place on sheet with cauliflower and potatoes.
  4. Roast cauliflower/potatoes for 20 – 25 minutes, until the cauliflower is starting to brown and the potatoes are soft (it’s okay if they are a little al dente). Check the garlic after 10 minutes to make sure it isn’t burning.
  5. While the vegetables are roasting, place all but ½ cup of the chickpeas onto the small baking sheet. Toss with sea salt and the smoked paprika. Place into the oven to roast for approx. 15 minutes – toss them occasionally. They’re done when crispy and slightly browned.
  6. Allow the vegetables to cool for 5 minutes and then add them to a high-powered blender. Squeeze the garlic out of skin and add it to the blender as well.
  7. Add ½ cup of the chickpeas, broth, coconut milk, miso, nutritional yeast and additional salt and pepper, and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
  8. Serve warm topped with chives and roasted chickpeas.
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Paleo Teriyaki Mushroom Egg Fried “Rice” Bowls

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A funny fact about me, and don’t judge my mother for this… I grew up eating White Rice with Butter and Soy Sauce for Breakfast. True story. I mean, from the time I was, I don’t know, 4 years old to maybe 8 or 9 years old. Oh my goodness – I can taste it right now! I can smell it! The sticky-ish rice with the salty soy sauce and the creamy, fatty goodness from the butter to bring it all together. Holy moly. It is so good!

I’ve been reminiscing about it a little so I decided I’d try to make something that took me back a bit. This recipe is obviously a bit more fitting to the way we practice Nutrition as it is a complete meal and void of MSG. If it weren’t for Mo, frankly I would’ve left it at the cauliflower fried rice and been done with it – I mean, I probably would’ve eaten the whole batch — I could live on rice of any kind! But Mo would fire me as his chef 😉 if I did that. He needs PROTEIN! LOL! …he does. He really does. I do! YOU do! We all do! This is just a little inside-joke between the two of us because he tends to get a little fixated on his protein intake at times. And if you know Mo, you know that he gets fixated on nothing! Anyway…

This turned out really well! It is completely meatless and who doesn’t love an over easy egg on top of just about anything!?! The mushrooms bring the whole thing together and the cauliflower fried rice really does taste like fried rice. It’s awesome! If you’re not feeling the meatless thing, grilled grass fed flank steak would be great with this… As would grilled wild caught shrimp! But I’ve got to say, I don’t think you’ll miss the meat and without it – this comes together so quickly! It’s the perfect satisfying weeknight meal!

Hope you enjoy!!!

Paleo Teriyaki Mushroom Egg Fried “Rice” Bowls

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Mushrooms

  • ½ tbsp coconut oil
  • approx. 16 medium/large shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • ½ tbsp raw/local honey
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos or tamari
  • approx. thumb size of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • black pepper

Cabbage

  • 1 small head napa cabbage (or chinese cabbage), roughly sliced
  • 2 tbsp water
  • ¼ tsp chinese five spice
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Egg Fried “Rice”

  • ½ tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3, 12-16oz bags pre-riced cauliflower rice
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos or tamari
  • ½ bunch fresh chives, finely chopped

To Serve

  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • several leaves fresh cilantro
  • 4 over easy eggs (optional)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper – spray with a light coating of coconut oil cooking spray.
  • Place the cauliflower rice onto the baking sheet in an even layer and sprinkle with a couple of pinches of sea salt. Toss to combine. Roast in preheated oven for 10 minutes, toss and roast for another 5-10 minutes, until slightly browned on top. Remove from oven and set aside.
  • While the cauliflower is roasting, make the mushrooms. Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced mushrooms to the skillet and cook over for 5 minutes or until softened.
  • While the mushrooms are cooking, in a small bowl, add the honey, rice wine vinegar, coconut aminos/tamari, ginger, garlic, and a couple of pinches of black pepper. Whisk well to combine, and pour over the mushrooms. Cook over medium heat for another few minutes, stirring regularly to prevent burning, until the sauce has reduced and become sticky. Pour mushrooms into a bowl and set aside.
  • Now prepare the cabbage. Place the cabbage into the same skillet you used for the mushrooms with approx. 2 tbsp water and bring to a simmer. Steam for approx. 5 minutes or until tender but still bright green in color. Pour off excess liquid, pour into a separate bowl, season with chinese five spice and cayenne pepper and set aside.
  • Now, make the egg fried rice. Using the same skillet you used for the cabbage, heat coconut oil and add the eggs. Cook over a fairly low heat for 2 minutes, stirring regularly, until the eggs are fully cooked. Add the roasted cauliflower rice and coconut aminos/tamari and cook until warmed completely through. Pour chives in and stir well to combine.
  • Serve in bowls starting with the cabbage, egg fried rice and then the teriyaki mushrooms. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and cilantro.

 

Recipe adapted from Becca at amuseyourbouche.com

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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper – spray with a light coating of coconut oil cooking spray.
  2. Place the cauliflower rice onto the baking sheet in an even layer and sprinkle with a couple of pinches of sea salt. Toss to combine. Roast in preheated oven for 10 minutes, toss and roast for another 5-10 minutes, until slightly browned on top. Remove from oven and set aside.
  3. While the cauliflower is roasting, make the mushrooms. Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced mushrooms to the skillet and cook over for 5 minutes or until softened.
  4. While the mushrooms are cooking, in a small bowl, add the honey, rice wine vinegar, coconut aminos/tamari, ginger, garlic, and a couple of pinches of black pepper. Whisk well to combine, and pour over the mushrooms. Cook over medium heat for another few minutes, stirring regularly to prevent burning, until the sauce has reduced and become sticky. Pour mushrooms into a bowl and set aside.
  5. Now prepare the cabbage. Place the cabbage into the same skillet you used for the mushrooms with approx. 2 tbsp water and bring to a simmer. Steam for approx. 5 minutes or until tender but still bright green in color. Pour off excess liquid, pour into a separate bowl, season with chinese five spice and cayenne pepper and set aside.
  6. Now, make the egg fried rice. Using the same skillet you used for the cabbage, heat coconut oil and add the eggs. Cook over a fairly low heat for 2 minutes, stirring regularly, until the eggs are fully cooked. Add the roasted cauliflower rice and coconut aminos/tamari and cook until warmed completely through. Pour chives in and stir well to combine.
  7. Serve in bowls starting with the cabbage, egg fried rice and then the teriyaki mushrooms. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and cilantro.
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Warm Kale and Spinach Salad with a Creamy Paleo Lemon Dressing

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I’m a Nutritionist. And what that means is: I am supposed to be head over heels for KALE. All hale KALE. But… I’m not. I actually think it tastes a bit like a banana… And if you know me or follow me at all, you know that I loathe bananas. Always have. I’m sorry if I’ve now ruined the kale experience for you. Next time you eat it (hopefully this salad) you’re probably going to think of bananas. But, perhaps that will be a great thing, because maybe you really like bananas. All I know is – while I really don’t care for kale, I’ve learned that if I let it marinade in dressing for a bit or if I roast it and get it crispy, THEN I really enjoy it. Hence the birth of this salad. Well, and the fact that I am trying to incorporate more meatless dinners into our mix for Mo’s sake. The man loves meat. A lot. And left to his own devices, would probably eat it at every meal in spite of believing whole-heartedly that there is no need for it at every meal. I, on the other hand, would eat meat once a week, if left to my own devices. I’m not opposed to it, I would just much rather have vegetables!

So, we compromise………

I ALWAYS use spinach in the “Big Salads” I make. It’s my favorite. It’s dark green, it’s leafy, it’s antgi-inflammatory, it’s full of nutrition and man. It’s SO easy when you buy the pre-washed organic stuff. AND, it isn’t bitter like some other greens… Ehemmm KALE!

But, like we coach our clients, variety is the spice of life! 🙂 So I try to use other greens when I’m feeling the motivation to do so. I’ve never made a “massaged kale salad” before. But I have eaten them and really enjoyed them, in spite of my apparent distaste for kale. Mo loves kale, so I thought I’d up my compromise game and throw some kale and try the whole “massage the leaves technique” and let it sit for a few before adding the other ingredients. You know? It’s super easy… A little messy on your hands, but who cares? And, here’s the kicker – I really liked it. Annnnd, a little bonus – kale is 3g of protein per 1 cup chopped, so when you’re going meatless, this is an important point to consider!

Will kale be the new spinach for me? Heck no! But, now I have an easy way to make it something I think is delicious! Hope you enjoy as much as we did!

Warm Kale and Spinach Salad with a Creamy Paleo Lemon Dressing

Serves 2 as a meal or 4 as a side…

Ingredients:

Roasted Vegetables

  • 12-16oz bag pre-riced cauliflower rice
  • ½ tbsp smoked or regular paprika
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1lb baby new potatoes (any color), cut into ¼” thick rounds
  • 3 small carrots (any color), cut into ¼” thick rounds
  • 1, 15oz can organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground cumin

Dressing

  • ¼ cup Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp mustard powder
  • 2 pinches sea salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1 large lemon, zest and juice

Greens

  • 1 bunch dinosaur or lacinto kale, stems removed and thinly sliced
  • 2 large handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced (optional)

Directions:

  • First, make the dressing by combining all dressing ingredients into a medium bowl – whisk until well combined and smooth. Pour ½ of the dressing over the chopped kale and massage with your hands so that all pieces of kale are coated evenly. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line one large, one medium and one small baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with a light coating of coconut oil cooking spray.
  • Place the cauliflower rice onto the medium baking sheet in an even layer. Sprinkle with sea salt, paprika and turmeric – toss to combine. Roast in preheated oven for 10 minutes, toss and roast for another 5-10 minutes, until slightly browned on top. Remove from oven and set aside.
  • While the cauliflower is roasting, in a large bowl, combine cut potatoes and carrots. Add in drizzle of olive oil and spices, mix well until everything is evenly coated. Place in the oven to roast for 20-30 minutes, until slightly browned and tender.
  • Spread chickpeas onto the small baking sheet in an even layer. Sprinkle with sea salt and place in the oven, under the potatoes/carrots, to roast for approx. 15 minutes or until slightly browned and crisped.
  • Remove potatoes/carrots and chickpeas from oven and pour potatoes/carrots and cauliflower rice into the bowl with the dressed kale. Add the spinach and remaining dressing and toss well to combine.
  • Top with chickpeas and toss once more to combine.
  • Serve in bowls and top with jalapeno (if using) and toasted sesame seeds.
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Instructions
  1. First, make the dressing by combining all dressing ingredients into a medium bowl – whisk until well combined and smooth. Pour ½ of the dressing over the chopped kale and massage with your hands so that all pieces of kale are coated evenly. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line one large, one medium and one small baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with a light coating of coconut oil cooking spray.
  3. Place the cauliflower rice onto the medium baking sheet in an even layer. Sprinkle with sea salt, paprika and turmeric – toss to combine. Roast in preheated oven for 10 minutes, toss and roast for another 5-10 minutes, until slightly browned on top. Remove from oven and set aside.
  4. While the cauliflower is roasting, in a large bowl, combine cut potatoes and carrots. Add in drizzle of olive oil and spices, mix well until everything is evenly coated. Place in the oven to roast for 20-30 minutes, until slightly browned and tender.
  5. Spread chickpeas onto the small baking sheet in an even layer. Sprinkle with sea salt and place in the oven, under the potatoes/carrots, to roast for approx. 15 minutes or until slightly browned and crisped.
  6. Remove potatoes/carrots and chickpeas from oven and pour potatoes/carrots and cauliflower rice into the bowl with the dressed kale. Add the spinach and remaining dressing and toss well to combine.
  7. Top with chickpeas and toss once more to combine.
  8. Serve in bowls and top with jalapeno (if using) and toasted sesame seeds.
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