Due to the far-reaching impact of the gut, what we eat is so important for whole-body health. ‘Eating healthy’ is often associated with a super boring and restrictive diet… but it doesn’t have to be like that!

We’ve compiled amazing recipes designed to support digestion and the gut microbiome — while still tasting delicious. These recipes focus on celebrating the flavors and nutrients in probiotic and prebiotic rich foods. Enjoy whole, unprocessed ingredients (and still impress your guests).

Without further ado, here are two three-course, microbiome-friendly, dinner-party ideas!

Start the night off with some Microbiome-Friendly Creamy Spinach Dip (GF):

· 2 cups of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
· 2 cups of full-fat, plain organic Greek yogurt
· 1 clove garlic
· 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
· 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
· 1/4 cup mint, chopped
· 1/4 tsp salt

1. Combine all ingredients to a food processor and purée until smooth. Add more lemon juice or extra virgin olive oil if you want a thinner consistency.
2. Serve with crudités.

For your main, enjoy the Jerk Chicken or Tofu (GF):

· 8 chicken legs or 2 packages of organic extra-firm tofu cut into 1-inch thick slabs
· 1/4 cup olive oil or avocado oil
· 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
· 2 tbsp brown sugar or coconut sugar
· 1 tbsp dried thyme
· 1 tsp ground cumin
· 2 tsp ground allspice
· 2 tsp smoked paprika
· 1 tsp ground cinnamon 
· 1 tsp ground ginger
· 1 tsp ground cloves
· 1 tsp cayenne pepper
· 1 tsp garlic powder
· 1 tsp onion powder
· 2 tsp fine sea salt
· 1/4 tsp black pepper

1. Preheat your oven to 425°F, setting the rack to the lower middle position. Line a 13 x 9 rimmed baking sheet with foil. Lightly grease the foil.
2. Thoroughly dry the chicken or tofu using paper towels. 
3. Poke a fork in each protein several times.
4. Combine all the other ingredients in a medium bowl to form a paste.
5. Rub the spice paste generously on the tofu or on and under the chicken skin.
6. Bake the tofu for 30 minutes. Bake the chicken for 40 minutes or until the internal temperature registers 175 degrees.

Finally, wrap up this luxurious meal with some rich Chocolate Avocado Mousse (Vegan, GF):

· 1 ripe banana
· 1 ripe avocado
· 3 tbsp maple syrup
· 2 tbsp coconut cream
· 2 tbsp dark cocoa powder
· 1 tsp vanilla extract 
· Cocoa nibs or dark chocolate shavings to garnish (optional)

1. Purée all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. 
2. Garnish with cocoa nibs.
3. Serve chilled.

If your dinner party went so well you’re ready to do it again, here’s the lineup for round 2:

Kick it off with this Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad (GF):

Salad Ingredients 
· 6 medium beets, scrubbed
· 4 cups arugula
· 2 cups kale
· 1 avocado, sliced
· 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed, or 1 cup fresh snap peas, cleaned
· 4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
· 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

Dressing Ingredients 
· 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
· 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
· 2 tsp Dijon mustard 
· 2 tsp pure maple syrup 
· Sea salt
· Freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat your oven to 400° F. 
2. Wrap each beet in foil before placing it on a baking sheet.
3. Bake until tender (about 1 hour) then set aside to cool.
4. Make the vinaigrette by vigorously whisking all the ingredients with salt and pepper to taste. 
5. Once the beets have cooled, peel and slice them.
6. Add the washed and towel-dried greens to a large bowl. Then add the avocado, peas, beets, goat cheese, and nuts. 
7. Toss with the vinaigrette.

Follow that with Miso Tofu or Salmon (GF):

· 1 heaping tbsp white sesame seeds
· 3 tbsp sweet white miso paste
· 1/4 cup Japanese rice wine (mirin) or apple cider vinegar
· 2 tbsp tamari 
· 2 tbsp coconut aminos
· 1 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
· 1 tsp red pepper flakes
· 1/3 cup scallions, thinly sliced
· 2 garlic cloves, minced
· 1 ¼ pounds center-cut salmon fillet, cut into 4 portions OR 1.5 14-ounce packages of extra firm organic tofu cut into 1/2-inch slices

1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and place tofu pieces or salmon into a casserole baking dish.
2. Combine the remainder of the ingredients into a medium-sized bowl to make the marinade. 
3. Pour the marinade thoroughly over the protein.
4. If using salmon, bake for 15-20 minutes or until opaque. If using tofu, bake for 30-40 minutes or until lightly browned.
5. Sprinkle with more sesame seeds and scallions, if desired, before serving.

Finally, finish the night off with some delicious “Ice Cream” (Vegan, GF):

· 2 bananas, peeled, frozen, and chopped
· 1 tbsp maple syrup
· 2 tbsp almond milk or coconut milk
· 1 tsp vanilla extract 

1. Purée all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. 
2. Garnish with fruit or dark chocolate.
3. Serve chilled.

That’s all! If you decide to try out any of these recipes, let us know how it goes in the comment section! Feel free to leave your go-to microbiome-friendly recipes below as well.

Bon appétit!

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