Pesto Stuffed Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken

It’s been awhile! If you’re missing my posts, know that I am still blogging weekly at, sharing Food as Medicine insights and recipes such as this awesome Stone Fruit Crisp and this Watermelon, Cucumber and Feta Salad.  My food brain is still very much alive and I am in the kitchen more than ever these days!

One of my favorite things to do since becoming an omnivore about a year ago is to wrap things in prosciutto. Literally, all things. Prosciutto was one of my first non-vegan indulgences and remains a favorite, a close second to really good smoked brisket.  One of my other favorite things to do is to stuff delicious things with other delicious things, like this Blue Cheese, Fig + Swiss Chard Stuffed Pork Loin I did awhile back and also like dates stuffed with goat cheese wrapped in bacon. Oh, and there’s goat cheese involved here too, did I mention that?

This recipe combines both stuffing and wrapping, and is therefore, perfection. I have been making and freezing tons of pesto this summer and am fairly certain that this dish is my favorite use of pesto. This dish is a fun dinner party trick to make your guests think you slaved in the kitchen all day. Make the pesto as far ahead as 3 days and freeze the extra in ice cube trays for later use.

For the pesto:
2 cups fresh basil
4 cloves garlic
juice of 1 lemon
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil                                                                                            
salt and pepper to taste
For the chicken:
4 chicken breasts
4 oz goat cheese
salt and pepper
8-12 slices prosciutto                             


Make the pesto. In a food processor, combine basil through pine nuts. Pulse until finely chopped. With the food processor running, slowly stream in the olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 375.

Overlap 2 slices of prosciutto so that it forms a square. Place a chicken breast on one end of the prosciutto square. Using a sharp knife create a slit in one side of the chicken breast. Spoon a tablespoon of pesto into the slit and add about a tablespoon of goat cheese and pull the slit closed. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.

Wrap the prosciutto around the chicken breast and place seam side down on a baking sheet. Repeat for the rest of the chicken breasts. Bake until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees and golden brown on the top– about 20 minutes. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. To serve the chicken, slice in half and top with more pesto.

Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Manchego + Marcona Almonds

Last week, I spent a glorious few days in Calgary, visiting my boyfriend who is there on a temporary assignment.  It proved a much-needed reprieve from the Houston heat (and floods) and we spent lots of time hiking, exploring, and eating (duh).

One of my favorite dishes was at a restaurant called Ox and Angela, which served (sort of) traditional Spanish tapas and reminded me of all of the tapas consumed when I studied in Cordoba, Spain during my junior year of college.  The dish was a simple salad of zucchini, studded with Marcona almonds and garnished with shaved Manchego cheese (two of my favorite things in the world that happen to also be very Spanish). We devoured it immediately and I vowed to recreate it the second I got home.

Zucchini makes a lovely grain-free substitute for pasta, but its texture can sometimes be a little bit off-putting when served completely raw.  By marinating the zucchini in lemon juice and olive oil, it softens and gains a more “cooked” texture that is much more appetizing.  You can use a mandoline slicer to cut your zucchini ribbons, or just use a vegetable peeler and run it down the length of the zucchini until you reach the core.  My favorite mandoline is this little cheapie from Sur la Table that I use far more often than the expensive one I have with a gazillion different blades that is most certain to slice off a finger one of these days.

Once you marinate the zucchini, this salad comes together very quickly and should be eaten day of or it will get too soggy.  I imagine this would go nicely with some torn prosciutto and basil if you wanted a more Italian take!

Makes 4 servings

2 medium zucchini

Juice of 1 lemon

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1/4 cup Marcona Almonds (in the cheese or specialty section at Whole Foods)

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

2 oz raw aged Manchego cheese, thinly sliced and crumbled

3-4 sprigs fresh mint, leaves removed

pinch sea salt

Using your mandoline or vegetable peeler, slice the zucchini into long ribbons, keeping them as uniform in size as possible.  Place the ribbons in a medium bowl and add the lemon juice and olive oil.  Toss to coat and let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour, until zucchini begins to soften.  Be careful not to leave marinating too long, as the zucchini will become mushy.  Add the almonds, tomatoes, cheese crumbles and fresh mint leaves.  Sprinkle with the sea salt and serve at once.

Superfood Acai Smoothie Bowl

Smoothie bowls are a great way to change up your morning routine.  By using a little more frozen fruit and a little less liquid, you get a texture that is closer to ice cream..and who doesn’t like ice cream for breakfast?! I was obsessed with acai bowls when we were in Brazil earlier this year, they were  like, one of two foods I actually ate while I was there. In case you didn’t read that rant, see my Moqueca Fish Stew post from awhile back.

Sadly, the acai I have found in the states so far really doesn’t compare.  There is a frozen version and a powder at Whole Foods.  Don’t get me wrong, they’re not bad, just not the real deal.  I mixed in some frozen blueberries to amp up the purple color and berry flavor.  You can do this with literally any frozen fruit, any milk or nut milk, and any combination of toppings.

1/2 banana, frozen
1/2 cup blueberries, frozen
1 scoop freeze dried acai powder (alternatively, add 1/4 cup more blueberries or any other fruit of your choice)
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 scoop unflavored protein powder

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth, adding more frozen fruit or liquid until a thick consistency is achieved.  Pour into a bowl.

Top with shredded coconut, goji berries, hemp seeds, bee pollen or superfood add ins of your choice! The options are endless!

Roasted Veggie Bowl with Dukkha

This veggie bowl is a constant in my life, I eat it at least a couple times a week for breakfast or lunch.  The combinations are endless, I just used what was leftover from my weekly CSA from Johnson’s Backyard Garden.  Top with a couple fried eggs, leftover quinoa, or shredded chicken to make it a meal.  Choose vegetables with contrasting colors to make your bowl look appealing and cover a broad spectrum of phytonutrients!

Dukkah is an Egyptian spice blend that is crazy versatile.  You can change this up as well, depending on what you have on hand.  Use whole spices so that you can toast them for maximum flavor.  Save any leftovers to sprinkle on hard boiled eggs!

IMG_5547For the dukkha spice blend:
¼ cup almonds or hazelnuts
2 T coriander seeds
2 T sesame seeds
1 T cumin seeds
1 T mustard seeds
1 t fennel seeds
1 t pink peppercorns
½ t sea salt

Makes about 1 cup

Roast the almonds or hazelnuts in the oven at 350F until just fragrant, about 7 minutes. Grind the almonds or hazelnuts until they resemble small crumbs.  Set aside.

Toast the coriander, sesame, cumin, mustard and fennel seeds until fragrant in a skillet over medium heat.  Add to a mortar and pestle along with the peppercorns and crush.  Add the nuts and the sea salt.  You can store leftovers for up to a month in a sealed container.


For the roasted veggies:
1/2 head Romanesco cauliflower 
1 bunch scarlet turnips 
1 pound Jerusalem artichokes
1 large bunch heirloom carrots 
2 Tablespoons ghee

Preheat the oven to 425F.  Combine all of the vegetables in a large bowl and coat with ghee.  Sprinkle liberally with about 1/4 cup of the dukkha.  Roast 25-35 minutes until vegetables are soft-yet-crunchy.


For those of you who’ve been missing my frequent posts, check out Ali Miller RD, where I’ll be posting original, food-as-medicine recipes twice a week!

Grain Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble


I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to come across rhubarb at my local Whole Foods the other day.  We used to have this growing in the backyard on the East Coast, but it is very rare in my experience to find fresh rhubarb anywhere in Houston.  My grandmother, Dot, who is my culinary idol and would be 99 years old this month, used to make strawberry rhubarb pie in the summer.  We would have a picnic under her carport nearly every Sunday, and her desserts were always the best part. I’m pretty sure the woman subsisted entirely on sugar for the last 10 years of her life, all 98 pounds of her!

Needless to say, I scooped up several pounds of the bright red stalks and the cashier looked at me, dumbfounded and had to look it up.  As soon as I got home, I got to work chopping the rhubarb into small pieces, freezing a good amount to stash away.  I’m not sure my grandmother would recognize the final product, or approve of the lack of actual sugar, but the idea is the same.  Tart rhubarb and sweet strawberries are a match made in heaven.  I jazz them up with a bit of lemon zest, red wine and black pepper and top it with an almond flour and pine nut crumble.  This dessert is best eaten warm with a scoop of ice cream (try this coconut milk version) and shared with friends.


For the filling:

2 cups strawberries,  sliced

2 cup fresh rhubarb, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces

zest of one lemon

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

4 Tablespoons local honey

1 Tablespoon arrowroot

a splash or two of red wine

For the crumble: 

3/4 cup almond flour

3 Tablespoons coconut flour

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

4 Tablespoons local honey

1/4 cup grassfed butter (or coconut oil), softened


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 x 8 pan or skillet.

Assemble the filling by combining strawberries through honey.  Mix the arrowroot with the red wine until it is completely dissolved.  Add into the filling mixture and toss to coat.  Set aside.

Make the crumble.  Combine the flours, nuts, salt and pepper.  Add the honey and the butter and use a fork to cut into the flour mixture until crumbs form.  Keep pressing together until you have a workable dough.

Pour the filling into the pan.  Crumble the topping over filling.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until topping is browned and filling is bubbling.  Remove from the oven and serve warm.

Almond Flour Trail Mix Scones


Scones, in their traditional form, are pretty much devoid of nutrients and are high in carbs, making them a less than desirable breakfast option.  They are, however, undeniably delicious and go quite nicely with your morning coffee or tea.  These almond flour scones make for a much more nutritionally dense option that is higher in protein as well as heart-disease fighting plant sterols and Vitamin E.  You can choose any dried fruit and nut combination you like.  Enjoy these with a pat of grass fed butter!

Makes 10 small scones

 2 cups almond flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/4 cup dried blueberries
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup pistachios, chopped
1 large egg
2 Tablespoons honey

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, combine almond flour, baking soda and sea salt.  Mix in the dried fruit and nuts.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and honey,  then add the wet ingredients to the dry.  The mixture will seem too dry at first, but just keep stirring until the dough comes together. Form dough into a ball, then shape into a square, about 1/2 inch thick.  Cut into 10 triangles.  Bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown.

Baked Eggs in Tomatoes


This breakfast recipe is any meal-prepper’s dream.  It’s super simple and delicious and requires only a few ingredients.  The tomatoes provide a good source of the antioxidant lycopene when cooked, while the eggs provide necessary protein, omega 3s and sulfur.  The final product is sturdy and travels well, making it ideal for a breakfast on the go or a quick mid-morning snack.  They are also a fun and easy idea for entertaining and can be made relatively quickly and in large batches for your next big brunch!

4 large tomatoes
8 pasture-raised eggs
sea salt
black pepper
3 T fresh basil or parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the tomatoes in half and carefully scoop out the seeds and center portion. Reserve this part for soups or sauces. In a ramekin, crack the eggs one at a time, then carefully slip into the scooped out part of each tomato. Season with salt and pepper and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 7-8 minutes or until whites are set and yolks are still slightly runny. Top with fresh herbs.

Indian Cauliflower Pickles


The other day I was at Pondicheri, one of my favorite Houston spots and was checking out the merchandise in their new(ish) upstairs bake lab.  I spotted a jar of cauliflower pickles out for sample, and tried one…or two.  They were spicy, sweet, tangy and perfectly crunchy, punctuated by black mustard seeds and a variety of Indian spices, some familiar and some not so much.  They were so freaking good.  Instead of buying a jar and calling it a day like any normal person might, I set out on a mission to make my own.  After snapping a shot of the ingredient label, I sent my wonderful boyfriend out to the Indian market to buy the less common ingredients.

These pickles call for mustard oil, which was new to me.  It is hot and obviously very mustardy, so I’d recommend tasting this as you go, adding more or less of the ingredients to your preference.  They also call for jaggery, which is unrefined palm sugar and has a more molasses-like flavor than regular sugar.  You can substitute coconut palm sugar if you can’t find it.  I had some Romanesco cauliflower (that’s the green, alien-like one in the picture) from the farmer’s market so I threw that in as well.

This recipe should make two mason jars full, plus enough liquid to cover all of the pickles, and they should stay good for months in the refrigerator.  If you are a canner, you could certainly seal these in a water bath.  I just know mine aren’t going to last that long!

On a further note, I posted another Indian-inspired condiment recipe on Ali Miller RD, my Crunchy Spiced Chickpeas!  I’ll be blogging for Ali twice a week, so you’ll have double the recipes each week! Check out her Houston based Food As Medicine practice here. 

1 medium head cauliflower, broken into florets
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup jaggery (powdered or grated)
1/4 cup fresh ginger, roughly chopped
1 medium bulb garlic, cloves peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 cup mustard oil
1/2 cup olive oil
4 Tablespoons Indian red chili powder
2 Tablespoons garam masala
1 Tablespoon ground turmeric
1 Tablespoon black mustard seeds
1 Tablespoon sea salt

First, blanch the cauliflower.  Bring eight cups of water to a boil, then blanch 2-3 minutes.  Drain well and spread out on paper towels to dry.

Place the ginger and garlic in a food processor or blender and pulse until a smooth paste is created.  You want to take the stringiness out of the ginger.  Set aside.

Toast the mustard seeds in a small skillet over medium heat until they begin to top.  Be careful, because they like to jump right out of the pan! Transfer to a mortar and pestle and crush roughly, or use the bottom of a glass to crack them.


Place the jaggery and vinegar in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until all of the jaggery has dissolved.  Lower the heat and simmer.

In another pan, add the mustard and olive oil and heat until just below smoking. Lower the heat and add in the ginger and garlic paste and cook, stirring intermittently for 5 minutes.  Add all of the rest of the spices and the salt, then add the jaggery and vinegar solution and simmer, stirring, for another 5 minutes.

Allow the mixture to cool about 15 to 20 minutes so it will not cook the cauliflower any further.  Then, in a large bowl, pour the liquid over the cauliflower and mix until all of the pieces are evenly coated.

Spoon into sterilized mason jars and fill up to the top with the sauce, then cover tightly with a lid.  Allow to sit at room temperature for two to three days.  Transfer to the refrigerator and enjoy as a condiment, on salads or straight out of the jar!


Beet, Jalapeno + Ginger Sauerkraut

I’m a big fan of the Farmhouse Culture Ginger Beet Sauerkraut, and like most store-bought things, I tell myself that “I could SO make this at home” every time I buy it.  So, I did.  I added a little bit of my own flair with garlic and jalapeños, and after a couple weeks on the counter, I’m pretty darn pleased with the result.  I love cultured veggies with just about everything–pop this on top of salads, serve as a side dish or condiment!  The bright purple color from the beets and red cabbage is totally gorgeous, to boot!

Cultured veggies are packed with probiotics to promote a healthy gut, aiding in digestion and immune function! The ginger, garlic and jalapeños add a powerful immune boost as well and aid in circulation.  Lacto-fermentation is an easy way to make your own probiotic superfoods and store foods for an extended period of time!


1  large head red cabbage, shredded (Reserve 2-3 of the outer leaves)
3 medium beets, peeled and shredded
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely diced
2-3 inches ginger, peeled and finely minced
1 tablespoon unrefined sea salt

Toss together the cabbage, beets, garlic, jalapeños, ginger and sea salt in a large mixing bowl.  Knead the mixture together until juices begin to release, about 5-7 minutes.  You may want to wear gloves for this step! Allow to rest for a few minutes, then knead for another 5-7 minutes.


Pack the mixture into a liter sized mason jar.  You want the brine (salty liquid) to completely cover all of the vegetables.  Use the reserved cabbage leaves to completely cover the vegetables, taking up any additional space in the jar.  Pack them down tightly and secure with a stone or weight if needed.  Close the lid of the mason jar and leave at room temperature for about 2 weeks.  Taste for sourness, and leave out on the counter until desired taste is achieved, up to another week.  Store in the fridge for up to a year.

Almond Flour Strawberry Shortcake


I suppose this post might have been most useful pre-Valentine’s Day, but heck, I had leftover strawberries.  This dessert is simple and requires few ingredients, so its a cinch to whip up for a romantic dinner for two, with leftovers of course.  I really love the addition of black pepper, I think it adds a great layer to any strawberry dessert.  You can omit it, of course, if you’re feeling more traditional.

I used a heart cookie cutter to form the almond flour biscuits, but you could choose another shape or do a simple round biscuit by forming it in your hands.

What really makes this dessert is the homemade whipped cream, which is so simple that there’s no reason to every buy the storebought variety again.  You want a heavy whipping cream, full fat. Use a local, organic variety if at all possible. In Houston, I like Mill-King and it is readily available at Whole Foods.

Serves 4-6

For the biscuits:
2  cups almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil
1 Tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
For the strawberry topping:
1 large container organic strawberries
1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For the fresh whipped cream:
1 cup heavy cream, plus 2 Tablespoons
1 Tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl mix together the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and sea salt. Whisk together the honey and melted butter or coconut oil, then add in the eggs and vanilla until well combined.  Stir the wet mixture into the dry until incorporated.  Shape the dough into a ball and chill for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, make the whipped cream.  Add the first two tablespoons of heavy cream to the bowl of a standing mixer along with the honey and vanilla and blend on high speed.  Add in the remaining cup of cream and continue to mix on high until stiff peaks form.  Place in the refrigerator in a sealed container until ready to use.

When the dough is chilled, take out of the fridge and divide into six parts.  Shape into balls and place each one on a parchment-lined baking sheet, then flatten to about an inch thick.  Or, if you prefer, roll out the dough and cut into desired shapes.  Bake 10-12 minutes until golden.  Allow to cool.

While biscuits are cooling, prepare the strawberry topping.  Stem and slice the strawberries and place in a bowl with the maple syrup, vanilla and black pepper.

Cut the biscuits in half, then layer with the fresh whipped cream and sliced strawberries.  Enjoy!