Guest Post: Clean Cuisine Cottage Pie (A British Food Makeover)

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The following is a guest post by Ivy Larson with Clean Cuisine.


Hi everyone! I’m Ivy Larson visiting from Clean Cuisine. I am truly thrilled to be here, as I have always felt a connection to Lisa, her mission, and the 100 Days of Real Food audience. I SO wish there was a website like hers back in 1998.

Like Lisa, I radically changed my diet practically overnight. I did this in 1998 when I was just 22 years old, after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, multiple sclerosis (MS). My husband, Andy Larson, M.D., was doing his surgical residency at the time and had never heard of using nutrition to fight a disease like MS. But, after consulting with my neurologist at the University of Miami, who prompted him to do some research, Andy finally agreed I had nothing to lose by giving nutrition a try. And since I desperately wanted to have children, knowing that the powerful disease-modifying MS medications were contraindicated (i.e., not advised) during pregnancy was a huge motivating factor.

But, like Lisa will tell you, it was not easy!

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Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Green Smoothie!

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If you (or your kids) are getting tired of the same old snacks I’ve got the perfect solution to switch things up …A Pumpkin Pie Green Smoothie! The kick of the fresh cinnamon along with the sweetness of the banana in this recipe make the spinach hardly even noticeable. So not only is this a fun seasonal drink, but one that’s good for you, too! And if your little ones turn their nose up to drinking something green how about putting it in an insulated cup they can’t see through? Just be sure to show them what they were drinking (and enjoying) afterward so they know greens aren’t so scary after all! If it goes well be sure to visit our friends over at Simple Green Smoothies for more tasty green smoothie recipes.

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Recipe: Apple Walnut Muffins

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The other day my 9-year-old was hungry for a snack, and after rummaging through the kitchen she said, “Mom, do we have any muffins anywhere?” That girl loves some muffins, and if she’s really hungry she’ll try to eat two in a row (or even three!) some days. So she was thrilled today when she came home from school and said, “What smells so good?” and I explained that it was a new muffin creation in the oven …Apple Walnut Muffins! With fall upon us and apples in season this is the perfect combination to snack on (or add to a school lunch) this time of year. I hope your little ones enjoy them as much as mine do! :)

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Recipe: Whole-Wheat Sweet Potato Ravioli

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Now before you discount this recipe as something you won’t make (because homemade pasta is required), let me stop you right there. Making homemade pasta is not something I do often, but it’s really not any harder than other recipes you make from dough (think pizza, biscuits, tortillas, breads). I simply put two ingredients in my food processor and let it do the work for me. Then I crank it through our pasta machine that I’ve owned for 15 years (still going strong!). This process takes me less than 30 minutes, not counting the “let the dough sit for 20 minutes” part.

Plus, not only is making homemade pasta a really fun kitchen project (for both me and my daughters!), but the outcome TASTES REALLY GOOD (like really, really good). Homemade ravioli is one of my most favorite dishes of all time, and there’s just no way to make it at home if you don’t make the dough. Now you’ll see that the sweet potato ravioli in my picture isn’t perfectly square or straight, and that’s because my daughters pretty much made these by themselves (see pics below)!

Making Sweet Potato Ravioli on 100 Days of #RealFood

My girls making ravioli in their pajamas last Sunday.
I didn’t have to ask them twice to help – they love making pasta!

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Recipe: Homemade Ice Cream Cake!

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Every now and then we “break the rules” with a special homemade treat like this one that I’m sharing today. That’s because it’s unrealistic to think you’ll never indulge in a sweet treat again (oh, the horror!), and I fully recognize that when there is a special occasion, the homemade from scratch version (even with sugar and a little white flour) is far better than the store bought variety.

So on that note, I present to you…Homemade Ice Cream Cake! And I must share that my husband, who has never been much of a dessert person, was caught red handed having seconds of this cake! I about fell out of my chair when I saw that happen. So for a special celebration or occasional treat, this make-ahead dessert will surely be a crowd pleaser. Enjoy!

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Recipe: Raspberry Almond Lunch Box Waffles + 5-day School Lunch Meal Plan

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Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is super important …and our kids should be no exception to this rule! So let’s start the school year off right by packing a wide variety of colorful produce in our children’s lunches – and I am not just talking about a rotation of apples, grapes and carrots.

Today we are talking about a fabulous (colorful) fruit option that holds up really well in the lunch box, and that’s berries! Not everything looks appealing after being tossed all around on the way to school, but I think berries hold up beautifully and they also work well in recipes, which is why I am excited to partner with Driscoll’s on this post. And let’s face it, berries by themselves are basically one of nature’s fast foods with no chopping or peeling required.

If you saw my recent post on “Thinking Outside the Sandwich,” you know that I’m all about coming up with some creative ideas other than just the predictable PB&J to keep your kids interested in trying and eating real food. So I think you’ll be excited about this new berry recipe below – Raspberry Almond Lunchbox Waffles! You can send it as-is with a yogurt or maple syrup dipping sauce, or spread some organic cream cheese on the waffles to make it into a sandwich. My daughters absolutely love this variation, and I love feeling like I am packing something fun and different instead of an old stand-by.

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