Thursday, July 30, 2015

Tropical Smoothie Bowl

This morning I told my kids they could eat the apple cider donuts we brought home from the county fair last night for breakfast.  My 5 year old daughter said, "Mom, I'd rather have a smoothie bowl. Can you make me one?"  Wow, that was a proud moment!! Smoothie bowls over donuts? YES!! So, while my sons munched away on donuts (and they really did look amazing!), my daughter and I had one of my tropical smoothie bowls. And believe me, it was every bit as satisfying!!!

I don't always get the chance to prep my smoothie bowls (and I use fruit that isn't frozen- it still tastes great, but the texture is better when everything is frozen). If you are able, put the cut up fresh fruit in the freezer in a tupperware over night. It definitely streamlines the whole process for you when you are ready to make the smoothie bowl the next day. 

Smoothie bowls deliver raw enzymes, fiber and protein that will keep you feeling full and satisfied for hours and hours. They are a great way to start the day or as a lunch that will get you through to dinner no problem. 


1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
1 ripe frozen banana
1/2 frozen pineapple
1 large handful of spinach (optional)
1 Tbl honey or pure maple syrup (optional)

Toppings - try any combo of these:
Any nut butter: peanut, almond, sunflower, etc
Frozen blueberries, blackberries or strawberries
Banana, cut up
Granola (gluten-free if needed)
Unsweetened shredded coconut
Toasted coconut chips (Dang brand is my favorite)
Hemp seeds
Sliced almonds

Blend frozen mango chunks. frozen banana, frozen pineapple and spinach and/or honey (if using) in a high power blender until completely blended (this may take two cycles). The fruit base should be thick and cold, almost like a sorbet.

Pour base into a bowl and top with whatever you like. My favorite is lots of almond butter, gluten-free granola, hemp seeds, and shredded coconut. Eat right away! Enjoy!!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Nutty Zucchini Saute

My friend, Gina, over at, shared this quick, healthy and scrumptious side dish with me. I've made it quite a few times, without caring about measuring at all, and it always comes out perfect. I have been serving it in place of a side salad.

If you have a spiralizer, this is the perfect time to make zucchini noodles. If not, you can put the zucchini through the food processor with the grater attachment or even use a potato peeler to get zucchini "ribbons". 


4-6 small zucchini or 3 large zucchini
1/2 c. walnuts, chopped
Fresh ground pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
A couple Tbl of Whole Foods French Vinaigrette OR I make my own (recipe below)

Heat about 1 tsp olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the chopped walnuts and toast for a couple of minutes, careful not to burn.  Cook until nuts are slightly browned.  Set nuts aside.

Shred, spiralize or grate zucchini in a food processor (you are looking for "noodles" or "ribbons").  Heat the same large pan over medium and add another tsp or two of olive oil.  Sprinkle Jane's Crazy Mixed Up Salt all over the zucchini. I never measure this- just put on what you like to taste. Add pepper to taste (I find the Crazy Mixed Up Salt to have ample amounts of pepper in it, so, I don't add any extra. Again, season to your taste). Saute zucchini ribbons for about 5 minutes. Add french vinaigrette or your own dressing (recipe below). Add the toasted walnuts. Cook for a minute more and serve. 

Simple Vinaigrette

2 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbl apple cider vinegar (or red or white wine vinegar)
1 Tbl lemon juice
1 tsp honey or pure maple syrup

Mix all ingredients together. Done!

Mix with nuts. Serve hot. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Nut Butter Cookie Dough Bites

I'm not kidding you when I say I'm completely obsessed with these little bites of deliciousness! I eat them for dessert about four or five nights a week. They totally satisfy my sweet cravings! I have made many many "cookie dough bites" and these are the very best!! The recipe comes from one of my favorite cook books of ALL time, Oh She Glows by Angela Liddon (she's a culinary genius!).


PS My kids love them too!!

1 1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten free if you like)
2 Tbl coconut oil, melted
2 Tbl any nut butter, peanut/almond/sunflower, whatever you like
1/4 cup pure maple syrup or other liquid sweetener (like honey or coconut nectar)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup almond flour or almond meal
1/4 tsp fine-grain sea salt
2 Tbl mini dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (I use carob chips)

1. In a food processor, blend the oats until a fine flour forms. Set aside

2. In a large bowl, combine the oil, nut butter, maple syrup, and vanilla and beat with a hand mixer until smooth. Add the almond flour, oat flour, and salt and beat again until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

3. Roll the dough into small balls (about 1 Tbl of dough each). If chocolate chips fall to the bottom of the bowl, press them back into the dough when rolling. Place the finished bites on a plate lined with parchment paper.

4. Freeze the bites for 5 to 10 minutes, or until firms. Store the bites in the freeze in a freezer bag for quick and easy snacks.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Mediterranean Rice Salad

It's always a great idea to make a large batch of some delicious grain salad at the beginning of the week and then eat it for lunch in the days that follow. My friend, Keli, is always doing this exact same thing.  She brings a tasty, grain-y, healthy, vegetable-y salad with her for lunch while the rest of us stare at her with hungry eyes and watering mouths. Grain based salads are perfect for saving throughout the week because the flavors just continue to meld and the ingredients do not get soggy (unlike lettuce based salads).  Save each lunch-sized portion in a separate container so you can easily grab it out of the fridge when you leave the house.

My husband and I ate this whole thing for dinner tonight, but, I love the idea of making this on a Sunday night and enjoying it for lunch the rest of the week.  I have a feeling that's what Keli is going to do.....

For the Greek salad:
1 cup cooked brown rice (I use cooked, frozen rice- it's so easy!)
1 15oz can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
½ medium red pepper, seeds removed, chopped
2 hearts of palm, sliced
12 cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
10 pitted kalamata olives, cut in half OR 1/4 cup capers
1 cucumber, diced
10 pepperoncini, sliced
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
For the dressing
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice from one lemon
1 1/2 Tbl vinegar, white wine or apple cider
1 - 2  teaspoon honey, your preference
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Combine all the ingredients for the salad in a large bowl.

Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl with a tight fitting lid. Cover with lid and shake vigorously until all ingredients are combined.

Pour dressing onto salad. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour. Serve with pita wedges if desired. Enjoy! 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Sweet Pea & Bean Soup

I am a huge fan of pea soup - I just love it!! In the past, I have especially loved it with bacon or ham. But now that I'm a vegetarian, I decided to create a super yummy pea soup, minus the meat.  Peas are such a wonderful vegetable. They have anti-inflammatory properties, are full of fiber, and high in B & K vitamins.  The additions of the cannellini beans also add fiber, as well as give the soup a creamy texture with no cream whatsoever.

Hope you enjoy this soup as much as we did!

1 Tbl butter (I actually use ghee - it's a clarified butter found in the Indian food section)
2 medium sweet onions, chopped
3 - 4 garlic cloves, use fresh garlic - it's so much better (better for you, too)
1 15oz can cannellini bean, drained & rinsed
1 tsp dried oregano
3 - 4 cups vegetable broth, depending on how thick you like it
16 oz bag of frozen sweet peas
zest from one lemon, grated
Kosher salt & pepper, to taste
olive oil for drizzling

Heat the butter in a soup pot. Add the chopped onions and a bit of salt.  Cook for 5 - 7 minutes, until the onions have softened. Add the garlic and stir, cook a bit more. Add the cannellini beans, oregano and vegetable broth (start with 3 cups of broth, you can add more after you blend it). Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the peas (it's fine if they are still frozen) and cook for a few more minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the lemon zest and stir.

Ladle the soup into a blender.  Make sure the plastic piece on the top has been removed. This is to let steam escape while you blend. Cover the open top with a fresh towel and blend until completely smooth.  Season with salt & pepper to your taste.  Add a little more broth, if desired. This soup is best if it is served right away, but, if you need to reheat it, don't let it boil.....just gently reheat.  Drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil just before serving (about 1/2 tsp per bowl).  Serve with yummy bread.