Monday, August 24, 2015

Fancy Caprese Salad with Avocado & Pine nuts

Sliced tomatoes with fresh mozzarella is certainly nothing new......but, the addition of a ripe avocado and some toasted pine nuts brings another element of deliciousness to this classic salad.  Add a little drizzle of balsamic glaze and you're done! It's easy-peasy, tastes amazing, and is visually beautiful.  I have to give credit to my husband on this photo. Didn't he do a nice job assembling?

I don't have ingredient measurements....just wing it! Make this now while tomatoes are still good and juicy!!!

Ripe Jersey tomatoes or ripe heirloom tomatoes, sliced
Fresh mozzarella, sliced
Fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
Pine nuts, toasted if you like
Ripe avocado, peeled and sliced
Balsamic glaze, store bought

Arrange sliced tomato, mozzarella slice and then avocado slice on a plate; repeat until all ingredients are used up (arrange them in any pattern you like). Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and fresh basil leaves. Drizzle with as much balsamic glaze as you like. Enjoy!!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Almond Butter Super Oat Cookies

Please believe me when I say this, these cookies are the most delicious baked good I have made/tasted in a long long time!!! And yes, they are dairy-free!!! And yes, they are gluten-free and flourless!!! And yes, my kids literally gobbled them up!! And so did my husband!! And so did I!!! I have made them THREE TIMES in five days!! THAT'S how delicious they are!!!!!  Now go bake! And if you are smart, you will double the recipe because the following only makes one dozen.....

This recipe comes from the Love Grown Foods website.  These cookies are so impressively good, I'm going to make every single recipe on their website! So, stay tuned!!

1/2 cup Super Oats Nuts & Seeds blend*
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
2/3 cups natural almond butter (TOTALLY use the crunchy kind; it gives an awesome texture)
1 egg
1/2 cup brown sugar (I used coconut sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (I used carob chips)

*If you cannot find the Love Grown Foods Super Oats Nuts & Seeds Blend, try using 1/2 cup regular quick-cooking oats plus 1 TBl chia seeds. They will not be quite the same, but I believe they will still be great!!


Preheat oven to 350F.

In a small bowl, mix together the Super Oats, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, beat together the almond butter, egg, brown sugar (OR coconut sugar), and vanilla until blended. Scrape down sides. Slowly add Super Oats mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop dough by the heaping spoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet. (Please note this dough is super gooey - I was nervous that they would be wet cookies. But they firmed up nicely after baking - just let them cool completely on the cookie sheet once you take them out of the oven) 

Bake for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown on edges. Enjoy!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Chilled Oatmeal with Yogurt, Berries & Honeycomb

Over the weekend my family and I ate brunch at a really swank hotel at the beach. I ordered the most delicious chilled oatmeal - it was heavenly!!! I told my family right then and there I'm blogging this as soon as we get home!!!!

I'm not a big breakfast eater (and this dish is very very filling) so I ate it today for lunch. Even though I couldn't finish the whole bowl, I enjoyed every single bite. I really think I nailed this one - it tastes exactly like the chilled oatmeal I was served. When I brought it to the table today my son said, "Mom, are you gonna blog that? Because you really need to take a picture of it! It's so pretty." That got me thinking that this is definitely a company-worthy meal and you probably should serve it at your next brunch! And it seriously would have looked adorable layered in a mason jar!!! AGH! I thought of that too late. Ha!

I made the oats last night. It was quick and easy and required zero cooking. I love soaking oats (instead of cooking them) because they don't get "gummy" and I really don't like gooey, sticky oatmeal. If you forget to soak your oats overnight, I think two hours will suffice.


1 cup dry oats (I used Love Grown Foods Super Oats- I'm obsessed with these!)
1 cup almond milk or dairy milk
1 or 2 tsp pure maple syrup, optional

Vanilla, honey or berry yogurt, I like Greek yogurt
Toasted almond slices, or walnuts or pecans
Raw coconut or toasted sweet coconut (which isn't as healthy, but it tastes good)
Hemp seed, optional
Fresh berries, optional but recommended
Honeycomb (wow do I love honeycomb!!) or honey
Dried fruits or raisins, optional

Place dry oats, milk and pure maple syrup (if using) in a Tupperware container. Mix together and then refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.

Once the oats are ready, layer them in a bowl (or mason jar for extra cuteness if you are entertaining) with a couple spoonfuls of yogurt on top. Next add any other toppings you like. I used almond slices, raw coconut, hemp seed, honeycomb (and then I drizzled more honey over the top) and raspberries.  Just tailor it to your own likes.

**If you are entertaining, you could set up a bar where people choose their own toppings - how fun!!!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Quinoa Italian Bowl with Broccoli & Parmesan

This meal was the perfect lunch for just me. I ate half of it one day and saved the other half for another lunch. I'm so tired of skipping lunch or eating a granola bar/cereal. This dish was super fast to put together (I used frozen pre-cooked quinoa/rice blend that I found in the freezer section at Whole Foods and I saved myself out the roasted broccoli from dinner the night before).

If you are looking for some extra protein, you could always add crumbled chicken sausage or rotisserie chicken.

**If you would like to make enough for dinner for a family of four, I suggest tripling or quadrupling the recipe. It's still super easy!!! Delicious!!

1 cup cooked quinoa OR rice OR a quinoa/rice blend (I buy this pre-cooked and frozen- super easy)
1 cup canned white beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup broccoli, roasted
1 cup marinara sauce (I only buy Rao's - it's THE best!)
1/4 cup fresh, shredded Parmesan
4 basil leaves, thinly sliced (optional)
2 Tbl pine nuts, toasted (optional)

Warm the marinara in a pot. Add all the ingredients together and enjoy!
***I ate half of this for lunch one day and saved the other half for lunch the next day. This is what my saved half looked like in a Tupperware - I added the marinara and Parmesan just before eating.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

"Just Peachy" Smoothie

Yesterday we went peach picking. It was a beautiful day and we couldn't resist eating those ripe, juicy peaches straight off the branch. The peaches were so inviting that I think we overdid it a little.....we came home with 1/2 a bushel....and now they are sitting in my fruit bowl, hanging out in my refrigerator, bagged up to give to friends and chopped up in our freezer ready for smoothies.

Last night my son and I came up with a smoothie recipe where peaches are the star. It was so delicious I had to blog it right away. We will be drinking a lot of these smoothies over the next week, I'm sure! And now I need to check Pinterest for more recipes....I'm thinking peach salsa, peach cobbler, peach ice cream.....

*Using frozen fruit in your smoothies means you do not need to add ice - ice always waters down the flavors - so try freezing your fruit when possible.

*This recipe makes enough for two medium size smoothies

2 or 3 fresh ripe peaches, cut up and frozen the night before, if possible
1 ripe banana, frozen if possible
1 orange, peeled
5 oz carton of vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup milk of your choice, regular/almond, etc
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Mix all ingredients together in a blender until completely smooth. Enjoy!