Pineapple and Spinach Smoothie

Light green and sweetened with pineapple. This green smoothie is refreshing and has a frothy top. 

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Serves 1-2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1-1/2 cups of fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup of almond milk 
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of ice cubes
  • 3 tablespoons dried coconut

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend thoroughly. Serve cold. 
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Mixed Greens Salmon Salad

This Salad is loaded with vegetables, salmon, a touch of feta and a creamy balsamic dressing that is one of the best I’ve tried. 

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Today was the first 70 degree day we’ve had around here in six months.   Have you had warm weather yet in your area? All this warmth is putting me in a salad state of mind. 

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I’ve said this before but it should be repeated. The hardest part about making salads is the chopping. My suggestion to you is purchase good kitchen knives and a sharpener. You will not regret the investment. 

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Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 3 cups rinsed and chopped mixed greens
  • 1 (5 ounce) package salmon,
  • 1-1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber, seeds removed
  • 1 cup chopped tomato 
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • balsamic dressing ( I used salad-in-a-jar.com recipe)

Directions

  1. Place mixed greens, salmon, mushrooms, carrots, cucumber, tomato, and feta cheese in a large bowl. Mix to combine.
  2. Separate into bowls and add dressing. Serve immediately.
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Eggs and Greens on Flatbread

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When you find something good you stick with it. Take this flatbread with eggs and greens. There is something to being able to put together a meal in mere minutes. 

Did you know that the breed of hens that lay brown eggs are bigger than hens that lay white eggs? Hence they need more food and that may be why we pay more for them at the grocery store. 

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I think they look pretty but that could be due to the pretty background I used. I grew up eating white eggs and never saw a brown egg until 10 years ago. I’m pretty sure I didn’t miss out. I do know that I have bought brown eggs at farmers markets and the yolk has looked different to me.  But now that I know these hens are bigger that explains why the yolks are bigger. 

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I am fortunate to live in an area where we have more than several produce markets and because of this we have a huge variety of foods. These Petite Salad Greens are a great example of this. I have never seen anything like this before and I thought to myself, I have to try these. I’m glad I did. As far as greens go these do not have an overwhelming flavor. They complemented the eggs and guacamole. 

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This recipe requires one pan. In the past I’ve heard people say I use too many pans when I cook. You know who you are. Let me set the record straight on this topic. If you cook food you will use pans, period. You will need to wash dishes. End of story. 

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Serves 1

Ingredients 

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup of Farmed Here Petite Salad Greens
  • 1 Flatbread
  • 1 (2 ounce) mini cup Guacamole (I buy All Natural Wholly Guacamole minis at Target)
  • Optional Sriracha

Directions

  1. Place eggs in a bowl and blend until combined using a fork or whisk. 
  2. Preheat an 8-inch fry pan and spray with cooking oil. Pour the eggs ito the pan and cook on medium heat. As soon as they begin to form a solid turn the heat to low. Continue stirring until the eggs are no longer liquid. Remove from heat and prepare the rest of ingredients.
  3. Place flatbread on a plate and slather on guacamole. Place eggs on top and the greens. Squirt a small amount of Sriracha on top. Roll up and eat immediately. 

Note: When making scrambled eggs, stir as you cook them. Do not cook over high heat  or they will brown and become overcooked. 

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My Life in 10 for April

This is what’s going on with me:

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1: I took about 40-50 photos of this dog over two days and this is what I got. What’s going on in his head? 

2: Think Spring….

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3: My favorite station for working out is Wolfgang Gartner radio on Jango. Keeps me moving. 

4: I made my own lotion last month. It’s pretty easy. I smell like an apothecary store. I think I like it. 

5: A few very beautiful days in March.

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6: Someone said to me recently that the majority of human beings are good. There are only a few bad apples. I know this but sometimes it’s easy to lose sight when you run into one of those not so good people. 

7: I want…to grow some food this Spring. 

8: I need…to start now. 

9: I have…. to find some pretty shoes for a wedding I’m standing up in. It’s exciting!

10: Exercise your brain as well as your body. It feels good. 

UPDATE: as of today I just went back to my old lotion, I will try making lotion again soon. I’m not too keen on being super greasy with the homemade lotion. 

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Super Fast Green Beans and Hummus

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You might be asking yourself if this even counts as a recipe because it’s so easy to put together. I can see that. But I think just as I didn’t  think of this combination until recently you might not have either. 

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The steam in the bag green beans have the best texture once they’re cooked. They snap in half and bits of liquid  drip down the sides. Not a lot, just enough. Then I scoop up a hefty helping of hummus and put it into my mouth. I want some right now.  

I thought I could save money and buy the frozen steam in the bag green beans. Not the same. They were a bit mushy and their scooping ability did not compare. It’s worth the extra money to me and if your taste buds are anything like mine you will think so too. 

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Serve 2-4

Ingredients 

  • 1 (12 ounce) steam in bag green beans
  • 1 (10 ounce) package classic hummus

Directions

  1. Heat green beans according to package instructions. They steam in 3 minutes in my 900 watt microwave oven. Serve with hummus. 
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Is This Fast Food or Food Fast?

Do you like fast food? I like food fast especially when I’m hungry. A few nights ago I challenged my taste testers to make some food fast because everyone was starving and it had been a long day. They managed to pull out several bags of pre-cut vegetables, place them on a tray, and pour some dressing into a bowl. This took 3 minutes. 

Try this vegetable tray idea the next time you’re craving something crunchy and need it in 3 minutes. Yes it was 3 minutes. Don’t you believe me? 

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I’m not saying to you that this is a balanced meal because it’s not. It’s a great way to start a meal. I’m also not saying I never eat fast food from a restaurant. What I am saying is to rethink the idea of food and how it can be fast as well as healthy. 

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Fast meals come together quick with frozen vegetables.

I bought these in the freezer section at my local Target. At a moments notice I can whip up a satisfying pepper and mushroom frittata without having to add chopping time. Now I definitely do my fair share of chopping in the kitchen, but there are just some days that I need a few more minutes to conquer other tasks. Have you taken on a butternut squash? It’s not an easy job.

Frozen vegetables give you the option to use them at your leisure. You don’t have the pressure to eat the same vegetables every day this week before they spoil. Right now I’m working through a big bag of Kale. Yes I like kale, but by the third or fourth day I start craving a different green.

One other major bonus, none of these frozen vegetables have anything added. The ingredient list is what you see on the package. I love it! 

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The same goes for frozen fruit. It’s great in cereal, yogurt, smoothies, and you name it. 

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One of my favorite smoothies is fresh baby spinach, frozen peaches, ripe banana, ice, and almond milk. The peaches and banana make it creamy and smooth. 

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I try to find ways to make the best use of my time and with these ready to eat options available to us,  I can’t think of an easier way to eat healthy. 

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7 Healthy Salads to try this week

I just realized I haven’t been posting any salad recipes lately. It’s not for lack of eating them. Just ask my taste testers. I am making a promise to you that a new round of salad recipes is coming soon. Stay tuned. In the meantime enjoy these oldies but goodies. 

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Spinach Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

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Wilted Swiss Chard Salad

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Brussels Sprouts and Pecan Salad

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Tuna and Shredded Vegetable Salad

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Polenta and Fried Egg Spinach Salad

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Salmon and Spinach Salad

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Spinach Salad with Avocado and Beets

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Pear and Coconut Muffins with Chocolate Icing

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I received an email from Shari’s Berries a few weeks ago and they asked if I could write a healthy chocolate recipe because March is National Nutrition Month. I said, “You’ve come to the right place.”

This recipe is adorned with some of my favorite ingredients: it has proved to be decadent as well as healthy. And as with many of my muffin recipes, it’s egg free. 

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So you ask yourself how can this delicious looking morsel be healthy? 

Pears are a good source of fiber, vitamins and minerals. Pure Maple Syrup contains natural antioxidants which are good for your immune system. Coconut Oil is gaining popularity as a heart healthy food. Take a minute to google coconut oil and you will be amazed by the amount of articles explaining the healthy benefits of eating as well as using it on your skin.

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Pecans contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, B, and E to name a few.

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As for dark chocolate, we all know how good it tastes and we’ve heard about the numerous health benefits to eating dark chocolate in moderation.   

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So there you have it. These muffins can be whipped up in about 45 minutes and they are just under 200 calories each. Bring it on, National Nutrition Month!

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Makes 12 medium muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 medium ripe pears (makes about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk beverage 
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon pecan butter (or nut butter of your choice)
  • 1-3 ounce package dark chocolate broken into pieces
  • Handful of fresh blueberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
  2. To a large bowl add pastry flour and baking powder. Mix to combine.
  3. Peel, remove core and chop the pears, place in a food processor. Pulse until pears are liquid.
  4. Pour into bowl with pastry flour along with maple syrup and coconut milk beverage. 
  5. Heat coconut oil and pecan butter for approximately 15 seconds in microwave. Just enough to make it liquid. 
  6. Pour into the bowl with pastry flour and stir until combined.
  7. Spray muffin tin lightly with oil.
  8. Scoop batter into muffin cups and bake 20-25 minutes.
  9. When muffins are done, place chocolate in microwave safe dish and melt in 15 second intervals, checking and stirring each time until melted.
  10. Drizzle melted chocolate over muffins and serve. Top with blueberries. 
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Black Beans and Burmese Rice

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Does this look familiar? The difference in this recipe is I made it with my favorite. I have been eating black beans since I was a little girl. My stepdad is Cuban and this was part of our almost daily diet. We also ate red beans, garbanzo beans, and once in a while pinto beans. I could probably make them with my eyes closed. Probably not a good idea but you know what I mean. 

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So let’s talk for a minute about cilantro. Some countries refer to cilantro as coriander. If the recipe says fresh coriander or coriander leaves, cilantro is what they’re talking about. I adore cilantro. When I go produce shopping I love to pick up a bunch and give it a good sniff. 

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I don’t cook with turmeric often. I do know if you google it, the amount of good for you articles is amazing. I like the way it tastes with rice. I also like yellow rice. Is that weird? 

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Serves 2-4

Ingredients for Burmese Rice and Peas

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 4 cups cold cooked brown rice
  • 1/2  tablespoon fish sauce (if you want to make it vegan, use salt or tamari)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chopped green onion
  • fresh cilantro leaves 

Ingredients for Black Beans

  • 1 teaspoon Spanish olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried onions
  • 2-15 ounce cans of black beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon tamari
  • and a little beer or water ( 1/4 cup)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions for Burmese Rice with Peas

  1. Place all ingredients in pan except for the cilantro. Stir and heat 5 minutes or until peas are slightly soft and heated through. Set aside. 

Instructions for Black Beans

  1. Add oil and onions to a large saucepan. Add black beans, dried oregano, cumin, tomatoes, tamari, water or beer. Heat 12-15 minutes on medium-high heat. 
  2. Pour a generous amount of black beans into a bowl and serve with a side of Burmese Rice. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
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Crunchy Quinoa and Oat Granola

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Granola is one of those things that is nice to have laying around. I don’t always make it but when I do I’m glad I put in the effort. When I was prepping the ingredients, quinoa was not a first thought. See up until recently I did not know you can bake uncooked quinoa. So as I’m staring into my pantry I pull out the box of quinoa and think could this work? 

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I go straight to my laptop and look up quinoa granola. Sure enough I find lots of inspiration. 

I heard about quinoa back in the early 2000’s from an article in Martha Stewart Living. At the time quinoa was not as easy to find. It was intriguing. The first time I tried it I skipped the part about rinsing before cooking. Mind you I could have read the instructions but my excitement about trying something new took over following the rules. 

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Today you can buy quinoa at most major grocery stores, Target, on line, and specialty stores.

If you’re looking for serious crunch in your granola this is perfect.

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Servings 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2 ½ cups old fashioned rolled oats ( not quick or instant)
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds 
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup dried pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F or 163 degrees C. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. To a bowl add the oats, rainbow quinoa, slivered almonds, raisins, coconut flakes, and pineapple chunks.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine salt, maple syrup, and canola oil. Heat until it becomes a thin liquid, which means it will come off the spoon quickly when you pull it up from the pan. 
  4. Using a large wooden spoon combine maple syrup mixture to the oats and quinoa mixture. Spread out onto baking pan lined with parchment paper and smash down evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 23-25 minutes.
  5. Allow granola to cool completely in the pan.
  6. Take out of pan when cool and break into pieces. Serve with some yogurt or as is. Place additional granola in an air tight container. 
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