Healthy Cranberry Sauce

This is a holiday favorite but unfortunately, store bought versions are loaded with sugar and are sickeningly sweet!  Cranberries are tart and this recipe highlights their tartness but is lightly sweetened with stevia and oranges.  Remember…it will not taste as sweet as what you are used to.  Embrace the tartness 🙂

cranberry sauce• 2 bags of fresh cranberries (usually 12 ounce bags)
• ¾ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
• ½ cup of organic applesauce (no sugar added)
• ½ cup of water
• juice and zest of one organic orange
• ½ – 2 teaspoons pure stevia extract (to taste)
• dash cinnamon (optional)
• dash ground cloves (optional)



Put cranberries, orange  juice, applesauce and water in a saucepan and and bring to a boil.

Keep on medium heat, stirring constantly until the cranberries start to explode (about 10-15 minutes).

Reduce to a simmer and mix the additional orange juice, zest, and stevia in to the  cranberry mixture. Simmer about 10 minutes longer.

Cool completely and refrigerate before serving.

Blackened Seasoning

Core & Advanced Plan

Blackened seasoned meats and fish are popular and add a burst of spicy flavor to your meal.  Unfortunately, many popular “blackened spice” seasoning mixes contain less than desirable ingredients like monosodium glutamate and other additives, fillers, and preservatives.  This recipe is so simple, there is no need to pay the extra money for a pre-mixed version.

blackened seasoning

1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt (more to taste if desired)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in a container with a lid and store in a cool, dry place. Great for chicken, fish, beef, and even hearty vegetables like cauliflower.


Sweet Barbecue Sauce

This recipe comes from Dr. Janet Early.  She has been a welcomed addition to our staff because she is a foodie like me 🙂  She is brilliant at coming up with replacements to the “favorites” people just don’t like to give up.

Try it on organic chicken wings, grilled chicken breasts, shredded chicken, grass fed brisket, grass fed beef sloppy joes, etc, etc, etc….

From Dr. Janet’s Blog

“Barbecue season will soon be upon us.  Most barbecue sauces are loaded with high fructose corn syrup and other unhealthy sweeteners.  I’ve been trying to come up with an Advanced Plan and Core Plan version that tastes as good as the sugary ones.  Give this one a try at your next barbecue. My very picky family loved it!” ~ Dr. Janet Early

  7 oz. organic tomato paste
7 oz. filtered water
2 1/2 T rice vinegar
2 T Coconut liquid aminos * or Liquid   Aminos
1/4 tsp. ground celery seed
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce
1/2 tsp. stevia (adjust to personal sweetness preference)

Heat in a small saucepan.  Brush on meat the last few minutes of baking or grilling.  Cook for a few minutes,
flip, and then brush the other side of the meat before baking for a few more minutes.  Serve with extra sauce.

*Coconut liquid aminos are available at most health-food stores, including Nature’s Corner.  It can also be ordered through Amazon.

This barbecue sauce also works well for an Advanced Plan catsup replacement

Pesto – 4 Ways

Advanced Plan & Core Plan

Servings vary depending on use.
pestoPesto is very versatile and can be used to top eggs, whole grain pasta, quinoa or brown rice, chicken, fish, beef, burgers, sandwiches, soups, salad dressings, etc.  Feel free to get creative with the ingredients and make your own version of pesto.

Pesto can also be frozen into individual servings by using a bpa free ice cube tray.
Basil Pesto
4 cups packed fresh basil leaves, washed well
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted until golden and cooled (watch closely and stir a few times) or walnuts
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and black pepper to taste
optional, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

For spicy basil pesto add 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

Place the basil in a food processor. Pour in about 1 tablespoon of the oil, and blend basil into a paste. Gradually add pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, chili powder(if using), and remaining oil. Continue to blend until smooth.

Arugula Pesto

1 cups arugula (packed)
1/2 cup raw almonds or walnuts
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and black pepper to taste

Place arugula almonds, lemon juice, lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of the oil and pulse until blended into a paste.  Add the rest of the oil along with the salt and pepper.

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto or Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

3 tablespoons pine nuts, roasted
2 cups sliced roasted red peppers or 12 sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Spicy Option:  1/4 – 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

Place the pine nuts red peppers, basil, garlic, parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons of the oil in a food processor. Process until smooth and thick, adding more oil as necessary to create a thick paste. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Avocado Pesto

Homemade Barbeque Sauce

Advanced & Core Plan

Makes about 1 cup of sauce

1/2 cup Xylitol Syrup – see below
8oz organic tomato sauce or tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon liquid aminos or tamari
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1-1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Make the xylitol syrup first.  Measure out about 1/2 cup and save the remainder for another use.  Mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl until well combined.  Add 1/8 – 1/4 cup of filtered water to get the sauce to the desired consistency.   Use over chicken, as a steak sauce, on bbq chicken pizza (advanced plan crust), etc.

Xylitol Syrup: (courtesy of Dr. Ashly Ochsner)

1 c. xylitol

1/2c. water

1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

Combine xylitol and water in a stainless steel sauce pot

Bring mixture to a boil

Whisk in xanthan gum and return to a boil

Stir until thickened and remove from heat and cool