Summer Foods for the Win

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I have been experimenting with re-making some of my favorite recipes diet-friendly. Quick recap, I have eliminated: Sugar, Peanuts, Soy, Gluten, Dairy, Corn, and Eggs. These ingredients are known to cause inflammatory responses in the body. By eliminating them I have personally experienced a wealth of health benefits. I’ve since lost 8 pounds, I am no longer waking up with a headache, I’m sleeping through the night, I’m much more energetic throughout the day, and I’m no longer experiencing the same digestive issues I was previously.

So, its Summer. And its Texas. One of my favorite summer meals is Mac N’ Cheese with almost any protein, Chicken, Pulled Pork, Brisket, etc… Tonight, I had chicken so I made Shredded Chicken Mac N’ Cheese for dinner. I was BLOWN AWAY! This meal is not only delicious but it’s filling! Bonus, after eating it I don’t feel sick. I’m not suddenly exhausted and needing a nap from the carb overload. I didn’t over-eat and now feel like I need to go on a walk or lay comatose all night. Instead, I feel satisfied and happy. Plus I love eating this, it feels decadent and like I have a secret. The secret? Knowing that it’s not only nutritious but good for you. I don’t actually measure anything ever, so the below measurements are estimates, so just eyeball as you go!

For the Sauce:

1 Cup Cashews
¾ C Chicken Stock
3 Tbls Nutritional Yeast
1 Tbls Seasoning Salt of choice ( I like Lowrys)
1 Tsp Garlic Powder
1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 Tsp Black Pepper
½ Tsp Turmeric

For the Mac N’ Cheese

2 Chicken Breasts
2 Cups Broccoli
1 Cup Cauliflower
8 Oz of Shells, I use (Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta Shells)

In a pressure cooker, cook your chicken on high pressure for 10 minutes. Once cooked, cool and use a handheld mixer to shred your chicken. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can pan fry or bake your chicken in the oven at 450 degrees for 15-18 minutes depending on the thickness of the breasts. I season my chicken with salt and pepper regardless of the method of cooking.

While the water for the pasta is boiling, add cashews to a small pan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Let the cashews boil for 15 minutes.

While the cashews are boiling, saute your broccoli and cauliflower in a pan. I use avocado oil because it has a high smoke point and does not turn rancid. I recommend you don’t use olive oil. Olive oil when heated turns rancid and creates all kinds of toxic unhealthiness. Olive oil is best used fresh with no heat applied. Coconut oil is also good to cook with. Cook your vegetables until they are soft, but not mushy. About 5-8 minutes.

Cook your pasta according to package directions.

Once your pasta is cooked, drain and add to your veggies and shredded chicken.

For the sauce, once your cashews have boiled, strain them and add those with the rest of the sauce ingredients to a food processor. Process until smooth and creamy. Pour sauce over pasta, veggies, and chicken. Mix to combine. Serve and enjoy!