Ashton Byrne feels right at home both in teaching a heated yoga class, or preparing a nutritious meal. Ashton is Owner/creater of Healthy Mountain Meals. The Anjali theme for 2018 is to Nurture Yourself in order to sustain your service to others. Eating a healthy diet balanced by exercise and rest is crucial to this end. I asked Ashton to give us a yummy healthful recipe for the new year. She offered two. Thanks Ashton!


  • Creamy Chicken, Broccoli, Spaghetti Squash Bake
This Creamy Chicken Broccoli Spaghetti Squash Bake is gluten free and dairy free. It can also easily be made vegetarian by substituting tofu for the chicken.  This is an easy, healthy comforting meal, that may trick your brain into thinking you’re eating a heavy pasta dish.
Serves 4
  • 3-4 cups spaghetti squash (about one whole medium sized squash)
  • 3-4 chicken breasts or 1 package tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 2 heads broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder or fresh chopped garlic
  • Black pepper to taste
  1. Cut spaghetti squash in half and lay in pan with 1″ water, cook on 400F for about 45 minutes, or until soft. Set aside to cool.  Meanwhile:
  2. Cook chicken or tofu until done.
  3. Steam or microwave broccoli for about 5 minutes with a little water.
  4. Add all sauce ingredients to a saute pan on medium heat, whisk until sauce starts to thicken, about 6-8 minutes.
  5. Take a fork and scrape out spaghetti squash, it should come out easily, and look just like spaghetti.
  6. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix well.
  7. Heat in oven until warm, or store and serve later.                                                                                                                           Recipe adapted from Paleo Gluten Free Eats.
  • Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
A hearty, Gluten free, Vegan Shepherd’s Pie that’s loaded with veggies and topped with fluffy mashed potatoes. A great comfort meal that’s also easy to make ahead of time and reheat later!
Serves: 6
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 10-ounce bag frozen mixed veggies: peas, carrots, green beans, and corn
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 3 pounds yukon gold potatoes, thoroughly washed
  • 3-4 Tbsp vegan butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Slice any large potatoes in half, place in a large pot and fill with water until they’re just covered. Bring to a low boil on medium high heat, then generously salt, cover and cook for 20-30 minutes or until they slide off a knife very easily.
  2. Once cooked, drain, add back to the pot to evaporate any remaining water, then transfer to a mixing bowl. Use a masher, pastry cutter or large fork to mash until smooth. Add add desired amount of vegan butter (2-4 Tbsp), and season with salt and pepper to taste. Loosely cover and set aside.
  3. While potatoes are cooking, preheat oven to 425 degrees F and lightly grease a 9×13 pan.
  4. In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté onions and garlic in 1 Tbsp olive oil until lightly browned and caramelized – about 5 minutes.
  5. Add a pinch each salt and pepper. Add the tomato paste, chicken broth, Worcestershire, rosemary, thyme, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.
  6. Add the frozen veggies, stir, and cover to meld the flavors together.
  7. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Then transfer to your prepared oven-safe baking dish and carefully top with mashed potatoes. Smooth down with a spoon or fork and season with another crack of pepper and a little sea salt.
  8. Place on a baking sheet to catch overflow and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the mashers are lightly browned on top.
  9. Let cool briefly before serving. The longer it sits, the more it will thicken. Let cool completely before covering, and then store in the fridge for up to a few days. Reheats well in the microwave.
Recipe Inspiration: Minimalist Baker

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