Kimberly Snyder is a celebrity nutritionist, founder of Solluna, and host of the Feel Good with Kimberly Snyder podcast. Snyder is the New York Times bestselling author of The Beauty Detox book series and Radical Beauty, co-written with Deepak Chopra. Her new book, Recipes for Your Perfectly Imperfect Life, is available now in stores and online.
Below, Snyder shares some of her favorite food memories and recipes:
After my mom passed suddenly last year (within 3 days of my son's first birthday), I found I had a whole new perspective of wellness. I realize now it's so important that we feel good, meaning we're connected to ourselves and our bodies. It's equally important that we find peace in our perfectly imperfect lives, versus constantly striving to look perfect and chasing an endless to-do list.
The mission of Recipes for Your Perfectly Imperfect Life is to provide readers with an accessible way to live. It aims to help you feel beautiful in your unique body, get on track for eating well, overcome self-doubt and feel confident. It includes practical tools, tips and illustrative personal anecdotes on overcoming body shame, letting go of patterns of emotional drama, restoring self-worth, getting past comparison, eliminating toxic social media habits and treating unhealthy relationships with food.
The book also includes over 100 healing recipes designed to make you feel good in a holistic way, three of which I've provided below. My hope is that these recipes, along with my philosophy, help you find the inner peace that comes from embracing our perfectly imperfect selves.
1. Chickpea Stew with Pistachio Pesto
If you've never had pesto in a stew, you are going to love this! I think one pot cooking is so accessible and practical, and this delicious recipe is loaded with antioxidants, minerals and protein.
For the pistachio pesto:
1 cup raw unsalted pistachios
1 cup fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
1⁄4 cup olive oil
3⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
For the chickpea stew:
1⁄2 cup diced yellow onion
1⁄2 cup sliced carrots
1⁄2 cup sliced celery
4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth
2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Sea salt to taste
1⁄4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
1. Make the pistachio pesto: Combine all the pesto ingredients in a food processor or mortar and pestle. Process or mash together, retaining some chunky texture.2. To make the stew, combine the onion, carrots, celery, and vegetable broth in a large pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes, until the veggies are soft. Add the cooked chickpeas and 1⁄2 cup of the pesto, and simmer over low heat for an additional 10 minutes. Season with salt. (Save the rest of the pesto to use as a veggie dip; it will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. We just had to make a larger amount to ensure easier blending.)Ladle the stew into bowls and garnish with the chopped parsley.2. To make the stew, combine the onion, carrots, celery, and vegetable broth in a large pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes, until the veggies are soft. Add the cooked chickpeas and 1⁄2 cup of the pesto, and simmer over low heat for an additional 10 minutes. Season with salt. (Save the rest of the pesto to use as a veggie dip; it will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. We just had to make a larger amount to ensure easier blending.)Ladle the stew into bowls and garnish with the chopped parsley.3. Ladle the stew into bowls and garnish with the chopped parsley.
2. Coconut Wow Cookies
Part of my perfectly imperfect mantra is that we need healthy treats. It's part of life, and real life and eating real food is what my philosophy is all about. These cookies are delicious, and they have the health upgrade of being gluten-free, dairy-free, and plant based for easier digestion. Plus, they include coconut oil as the fat, which remains stable at higher baking temperatures and has been linked with boosting metabolism and sustained energy.
2 cups KS Gluten-Free Flour Mix (or a store-bought gluten free flour)
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon guar gum
1⁄2 cup coconut sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄4 cup coconut oil, melted (see Note)
1⁄4 cup coconut nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1⁄3 cup almond milk
1 cup coconut flakes
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set to the side.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour mix, baking soda, guar gum, coconut sugar, and sea salt. Make a well in the middle.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the melted coconut oil, coconut nectar, vanilla, and almond milk, and stir well. Pour the liquid into the well in the flour mixture. Stir in the coconut flakes.
4. Shape about 1 tablespoon of the mixture into a ball and place it on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Gently flatten it with the palm of your hand so it pushes outward into a flat cookie shape. Continue until all the dough is formed into cookies, being sure to place them a few inches apart.
5. Bake the cookies for 13 to 14 minutes, until they are golden brown. Transfer them from the baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.
3. All Veggie Clean Lasagna
Who doesn't love lasagna? I think what really makes this recipe great is the amazing sauce, how hearty it is, and that it's full of fiber and nutrients. The layers are thinly sliced cooked veggies, but the dish is so delicious you will not miss any of the heaviness of noodle-based lasagnas — nor the bloat for that matter!
For the easy red sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 ounces tomato paste
25 ounces tomato puree
1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the lasagna:
1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced lengthwise into 1⁄4-inch slices (with a mandoline or by hand)
2 zucchini, peeled and sliced lengthwise into 1⁄4-inch slices (with a mandoline or by hand)
4 cups Easy Red Sauce or store-bought red sauce
8 ounces vegan mozzarella cheese
12 ounces crumbled organic, non-GMO tempeh or soy crumbles (optional)
1 cup fresh basil leaves, for garnish
1. Make the easy red sauce: In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat; stir in the tomato paste and tomato puree. Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 20 minutes. Stir in the chopped basil and season with sea salt and pepper, then set the pan aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9 × 9-inch glass baking dish with coconut oil.
3. To make the lasagna, in a skillet, precook the eggplant and zucchini slices in batches, using a small amount of coconut oil for each batch. Cook over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes on each side.
4. Place a layer of eggplant slices in the prepared glass dish, top it with a layer of zucchini slices, then add a third of the tomato sauce, a third of the vegan cheese, and a third of the crumbled tempeh, if desired. Repeat to make 2 more layers, or until all the veggies are used.
5. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes, or until the veggies are softened and the top has browned. Uncover and bake for another 10 minutes. Garnish the top with the basil leaves. Let sit for a few minutes before serving.