Author

Heather

Sausage-Kale-Bean-Stew-Heather-Habelka

When you grow up with an Irish mother, a pot of stew simmering away for hours provides a sense of warming comfort. It just smells like home.

While I make her classic recipe (complete with stew beef, carrots, and potatoes) throughout the fall and winter, I love creating new recipes that also make our home feel like it’s wrapped in a warm, nourishing blanket.

My recipe for sausage, kale, and bean stew is both nutrient dense and satisfying. And like most stews and soups, it tastes better the next day.

I regularly make this dish when I batch cook so we can enjoy it throughout the week.

Ideally in front of a roaring fire and a Patriots’ game!

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Sausage-Kale-Bean-Stew-Heather-Habelka

Sausage, Kale, and Bean Stew

  • Author: Heather Habelka
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 lb. Hot or Sweet Sausage (without casing)
  • 1/4 Bag or 1 Bunch Chopped/Washed Organic Kale
  • 1 Can Cannellini Beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 28 oz. Can Stewed Organic Tomatoes
  • 4 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock or Homemade Bone Broth
  • 1 Medium Diced Onion
  • 23 Cloves Minced Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
  • Shredded Parmesan (optional)
  • Salt & Pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large dutch oven, gently warm olive oil and add diced onion.
  2. When the onion becomes soft and translucent, add garlic, salt & pepper to taste.
  3. Cook until garlic becomes fragrant – don’t let it burn!
  4. Add sausage and break it up into bite-size pieces as it cooks.
  5. For extra heat, add crushed red pepper flakes (optional).
  6. Once cooked through add stewed tomatoes, chicken broth & 2 cups of water.
  7. Add beans.
  8. Bring to a rolling boil.
  9. As the stew boils, use a spoon to gently skim the foam from the top. This will make the beans easier to digest.
  10. Once the foam has been removed, bring the stew down to a simmer – uncovered.
  11. Allow to simmer for at least 45 minutes – the longer, the better.
  12. Add water, and salt & pepper if needed (just remember, salt becomes more concentrated as it cooks).
  13. Five minutes before serving, add the kale and allow to cook just until bright green.
  14. Top with shredded Parmesan (optional).

Notes

You can swap out the kale for spinach but you’ll need 3/4-1 bag to get the same delicious result!

Beet-Greens-Heather-Habelka

I LOVE watching The Kitchen on Food Network! #ICAG (If you know, you know!)

A recent episode focused on reducing food waste by cooking all parts of the vegetable.

For example, I now peel and chop broccoli stems and steam, roast, or sauté them with the florets.

They are crunchy, nutritious, and most importantly delicious!

Now that beets are in season, I decided to give the greens a try.

I’ll admit I was skeptical. To me, they don’t look all that appealing especially with their dirt coating!

But I decided to trust my fellow food bloggers and keep an open mind.

They did not steer me wrong!

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Beet-Greens-Heather-Habelka

Let’s Give Beet Greens Some Love

  • Author: Heather Habelka
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 Minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 Servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 Bunch Organic Beet Greens
  • 1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Tongs
  • Cast Iron Skillet

Instructions

  1. Give the beet greens a good scrub and let air dry.
  2. Once dry, chop into bite size pieces.
  3. Gently warm the olive oil.
  4. Once warm, toss in the greens.
  5. Sauté until bright green – just until the rawness has been cooked out.
  6. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve!

Easy-Cook-Digest-Kale-Heather-Habelka

For some women (like me), raw kale is difficult to digest.

And for others, eating raw cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, etc.) can slow down thyroid function (by blocking the thyroid’s absorption of iodine.)

Here’s my recipe that addresses both concerns. It’s super fast to make, easy to digest, and packs a healthful punch!

A bunch of organic kale is only $1.99 at my local Whole Foods (I’m in the Northeast) so we eat this at least twice a week.

It pairs great with salmon, chicken, steak—or even a hardboiled egg. And it heats up beautifully for breakfast or lunch the next day.

Side note: the caramelized onion is not only delicious, but it infuses the kale with a sweet, anti-viral kick!

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Easy-Cook-Digest-Kale-Heather-Habelka

Easy to Cook (and Digest) Kale

  • Author: Heather B. Habelka
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 Servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 Bunch Organic Lacinato “Dinosaur” Kale
  • 1 Small-Medium Onion (put in as much, or as little, as you like)
  • 1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Wooden or Bamboo Spoon
  • Dutch Oven or Medium Pot

Instructions

  1. Chop off bottom stems (a good 2 inches) and wash leaves in a strainer.
  2. Let air dry, then chop (leaves and stems) into bite-size pieces.
  3. Dice the onion.
  4. Sauté the onion in 1 Tbsp. of EVOO over medium heat. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
  5. Once onions are soft and caramelized, toss in the kale and coat with the oil and onions.
  6. Add an additional dash of salt and pepper if needed. (Greens get salty really fast, and even saltier as they cook down.)
  7. Let the leaves cook down, tossing as needed, until it is cooked to your liking – firm, crunchy, sweet, and bright green.
  8. If you’d like, hit the finished kale with a bit more EVOO as a way to increase your healthy fat intake!

Notes

Serve with protein – it goes with everything!

Zucchini-Shallot-Heather-Habelka

As I become more confident in my cooking skills, I find myself shopping based on categories.

For example, when it comes to produce I go for what’s seasonal, organic, and affordable—and plan my meals from there.

I’m no longer beholden to a rigid recipe or long list of expensive, obscure ingredients. My goal is to guide you to do the same!

This summer I’m all about the zucchini. I steam it, spiral it, and slice it.

Here’s how I sauté it:

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Zucchini-Shallot-Heather-Habelka

Zucchini: Summer’s Best Side Dish

  • Author: Heather Habelka
  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 Minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 Servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 Sliced Zucchini
  • 1 Minced Shallot
  • 1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper

Instructions

  1. On medium heat, warm the oil in a cast iron skillet or stainless steel sauté pan.
  2. Add the minced shallot.
  3. Cook until soft and translucent.
  4. Add the zucchini, toss until each slice is covered with the oil.
  5. Lightly season with salt & pepper.
  6. Cook zucchini slices to your liking.

Notes

Consider your bio-individuality when cooking the zucchini slices. Your body will tell you if “rare, medium, or well” is best for you.

This recipe also works great with yellow squash. And if you can’t find shallots or would rather use an onion or garlic, go for it! The idea is to cook up meals based on what you like and have on hand in your healthful kitchen!

Shrimp-Basil-Tomato-Heather-Habelka

Basil. There’s no stopping the invasion.

Every summer – whether it’s hot & humid or cool & rainy, this feisty herb grows straight up to the sky!

Let’s be honest, there is only so much pesto a person can eat!

So this summer I’m challenging myself to incorporate fresh basil into my weeknight dinners.

Adding the cool, fragrant hit of basil to my shrimp, tomato & feta pasta hits all the right notes!

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Shrimp-Basil-Tomato-Heather-Habelka

Shrimp, Tomato & Basil Pasta

  • Author: Heather Habelka
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 Servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/2 lb. Orzo Cooked Al Dente
  • 1 lb. Wild Caught Shrimp (uncooked, peeled & deveined)
  • 1 Pint Grape Tomatoes Halved
  • 1 Large Clove Garlic or 2 Medium Cloves Minced
  • 1 Bunch Fresh Basil
  • 1/2 Lemon Zested & Juiced
  • 1/2 Small Raw Red Onion Diced (Optional)
  • 1 Block Feta in Brine
  • 1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • Salt & Pepper

Instructions

  1. Before cooking the pasta and the shrimp, wash & halve the tomatoes, mince the garlic, chiffonade the basil, dice the red onion, zest & juice the lemon, and break the feta into chucks (1/4 block).
  2. Be sure the shrimp is dry (place it between two paper towels) and once dry, season both sides with salt & pepper.
  3. Once all the prep is done, start with the orzo.
  4. Cook in salted, boiling water until al dente. Drain (don’t rinse) and set aside.
  5. While the orzo is boiling, gently warm the butter, olive oil, and garlic in a cast iron skillet or stainless steel sauté pan.
  6. As soon as the garlic becomes fragrant, toss in the seasoned shrimp.
  7. Cook shrimp over medium-low heat until it turns pink and it is just cooked through.
  8. Once the shrimp is cooked, toss the orzo into the pan along with the lemon zest and lemon juice.
  9. Thoroughly combine so the orzo is coated in the oil, butter, garlic, and lemon.
  10. If needed, add an additional drizzle of olive oil. You want a thin coating of the oil/butter.
  11. Turn off the heat and allow the pasta to warm through.
  12. Plate the dish by scooping the pasta and shrimp into individual serving bowls, or into one large bowl to serve family style.
  13. Top with tomatoes, feta, basil, and red onion.

Notes

Gasp. Yes! I do eat pasta from time to time when I can control the ingredients. Gluten is not one of my trigger foods.

I try to add garlic and/or onions into every dish. Part of the allium family, they are powerful protectors of our health.

I don’t cook with nonstick pots & pans. While this is my personal preference, I don’t want those chemicals in my food – or my body. The research on this is vast – give it a Google to learn more!

Finally, this dish cooks fast! It’s imperative that all ingredients are prepped before the cooking starts. No one likes overcooked pasta or shrimp!

 

Salmon-Rainbow-Salad-Heather-Habelka

Whether you’ve been told by your doctor to make dietary changes, or you’re simply burnt-out by take-out, cooking at home can be daunting.

One of the reasons I started my cooking blog was to reframe the way many of us feel about cooking more healthfully.

I get so frustrated by “simple” nutrition books and cookbooks that contain pages of obscure ingredients, expensive equipment, and complicated cooking techniques.

Talk about overwhelming, expensive, and time consuming—and I read cookbooks like they’re novels!

To show you eating more healthfully doesn’t have to be hard, I’m posting today’s lunch: no fancy ingredients, lighting, or plating. Just me, tearing through my fridge to make lunch with foods that are best for my bio-individuality.

If you’re inspired to follow my lead, post a pic of your simple, colorful & healthful lunch and tag me! (IG: @the_healthful_kitchen #thehealthfulkitchen)

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Salmon-Rainbow-Salad-Heather-Habelka

Let’s Make Lunch Simple, Colorful, and Whole!

  • Author: Heather B. Habelka
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

Use this “recipe” as a guide and swap in what you have on hand.
Any type of protein, greens, nuts/seeds, and fruit will be delicious!

  • Leftover Roast Salmon (cold or re-heated)
  • Handful of Arugula
  • Handful of Walnuts
  • Handful of Blueberries
  • Sliced Orange

Instructions

  1. Toss the arugula with homemade dressing (see notes below)
  2. Add in walnuts, blueberries, and orange slices

Notes

I always make my own dressing! This is a great way to control your ingredients. The simplest dressing I make is olive oil whisked together with apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper. Here are a few tricks: 1. Dip a piece of arugula into the dressing to taste (not your finger or a spoon) and then adjust for seasoning. 2. Whisk up the dressing in the bottom of the bowl, then add in your ingredients. Don’t you love as little clean up as possible?

Healthy Asparagus Soup

When my dad was undergoing treatment, he lost his appetite.

So I set out to create recipes that he could taste, find comfort in, and get nutrients from.

His favorite go-to meal became my asparagus soup.

I’ll be honest. Since he passed away almost eight years ago, I haven’t been able to make it.

But one evening we were having friends over for dinner.

As I was planning the menu, I knew my asparagus soup would be the perfect starter.

And the perfect way to attach a new memory to this healthful recipe!

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Healthy Asparagus Soup

Healthy Asparagus Soup

  • Author: Heather B. Habelka
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 Bunch Asparagus
  • 1 Medium Zucchini
  • 1 Small Potato (to thicken the soup instead of flour)
  • 4 Cups Chicken Stock (If you make your own bone broth, use it for this soup!)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Wooden or Bamboo Spoon
  • Blender
  • Dutch Oven or Medium Pot

Instructions

  1. Chop off (or snap) the bottom stems of the asparagus spears.
  2. Wash spears and chop into 1-inch pieces.
  3. Wash zucchini and dice into 1-inch cubes, leaving the skin on.
  4. Wash and peel potato, dice into 1-inch cubes.
  5. Warm 1 Tbsp. EVOO in the pan and toss in all the vegetables.
  6. Lightly season with salt and pepper and stir to ensure all the vegetables are covered with the oil and the seasoning.
  7. Add chicken stock or bone broth and bring to a boil.
  8. Once the vegetables are tender, blend.
  9. I personally use an immersion hand blender for my soups. (I love how easy clean-up is!)
  10. Once smooth and creamy, taste and add a touch more salt and pepper if needed.
  11. If the soup is too fibrous, strain in a small mesh strainer over a large bowl.
  12. Return to the pot and allow the soup to simmer and the flavors to develop.
  13. If the soup is too thick, add water.

 


Notes

Top with a dollop of sour cream, crispy pancetta, parmesan, parsley, or lemon juice.
This soup tastes great served warm or at room temperature, making it ideal for entertaining!

For many women, having too much estrogen (estrogen dominance) is like strapping our hormones into the front car of a rollercoaster!

Fortunately there is a way to help our hormones enjoy a smoother ride—by making sure our liver is functioning and detoxifying as optimally as possible.

One way to show our liver some love is by incorporating dandelion greens (when in season) into our meals.

Now stay with me here. If you grew up in the United States, chances are your Dad (like mine) went to war as soon as the first dandelion poked up through the grass.

But the research suggests that the dandelion is actually our friend—not our foe.

In the Northeast, dandelions are plentiful in late Spring and early Summer and can be found at your grocery store or farmer’s market.

When I cook them up, I like to keep the process simple and fast so I get as many nutrients as possible while pulling out most of the bitterness.

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Spring Into Dandelion Greens

  • Author: Heather Habelka
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 Bunch Organic Dandelion Greens
  • 2 Cloves Minced Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Tongs
  • Cast Iron Skillet

Instructions

  1. Chop off bottom stems (a good 2 inches) and wash leaves in a strainer.
  2. Let air dry, then chop (leaves and stems) into bite-size pieces.
  3. Mince the garlic.
  4. Lightly sauté the garlic in 1 Tbsp. of EVOO and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Once the garlic becomes fragrant, toss in the dandelion greens and coat with oil.
  6. Add an additional dash of salt and pepper or drizzle of EVOO if needed. (Greens get salty really fast, and even saltier as they cook down.)
  7. Let the greens cook for a few minutes, tossing as needed, until cooked to your liking – bright green and less bitter.
  8. If you’d like, hit the finished greens with a spritz of fresh lemon juice to boost liver detoxification even more. Your liver loves bitter food!

Notes

I love to serve these greens with wild caught seafood including salmon, cod, shrimp, or scallops.

Bulletproof-Coffee-Ingredients-Heather-Habelka

My clients are curious about my coffee.

Here’s how I blend mine up every morning.

But don’t forget: I’m a firm believer in bio-individuality.

So I encourage you to:

  1. Take the science that backs the up the benefits of bulletproof coffee
  2. Experiment with ingredients that work best for your body—just like I did!
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Bulletproof-Coffee-Ingredients-Heather-Habelka

How I Make My Coffee Bulletproof

  • Author: Heather B. Habelka

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 Scoop Collagen
  • 2 Tsp. MCT Oil
  • 1 Tsp. Cacao Butter
  • 1 Tsp. Hemp Hearts
  • Sprinkle of Himalayan Pink Sea Salt
  • Sprinkle of Cinnamon
  • Splash of Organic Half & Half (I can’t drink black coffee)
  • 1/2 Cup Coffee (I love Four Sigmatic!)

Instructions

  1. Blend all ingredients together until smooth. I use the NutriBullet.