simple + healthy meal ideas

Many people believe that healthy and easy can’t be in the same sentence. Why does healthy need to be paired with words like time consuming and complicated? It’s like when someone says healthy we all imagine chopping, prepping and washing veggies for hours on end. Here’s to putting an end to those thoughts and to making healthy easy, fun and SIMPLE! While there is a little bit of planning to go into eating healthier, but it will make your life so much more enjoyable if you can grab a healthy snack instead of sneaking to the closest vending machine. I’ve put together some simple steps that can help us all avoid our cravings for those tempting packaged and processed goods.

Let’s find 15 minutes in our busy schedules to make a giant batch of a high-energy, healthy treat that we can use as a grab and go. A granola with some nuts, seeds and a dried fruit is perfect to keep you going throughout the day. Peanut butter granola with pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, almonds, and dried cherries.

Sandwiches, wraps, pitas!! Start off with a wholesome bread like Ezekiel bread, whole grain or a whole wheat pita and then fill it up. I loved to spread some hummus or avocado on mine and then stack it up with veggies. Some veggies that are great are tomatoes, spinach, cucumber, sprouts, avocado and some carrots for a crunch. Another tasty and healthy addition are slices or roasted beets. The world is your oyster when it comes to building a delicious sandwich, wrap, or pita. If you want to ditch the bread try using collard greens and roll as if you were preparing a wrap. Get creative and think seasonal. If the weather is nice, head to your local farmers market for some local, organic veggies to get the optimal health benefits.

What is simpler than packing a ton of vitamins and minerals into one? A smoothie! Throw all your seasonal fruits, veggies,  a splash of almond milk, into one blender, give it a swirl and BAMB! You have a healthy cool treat that will send those candy cravings out the door. Quick and simple.

Healthy and salads go hand in hand, but salads can be easy too. There is no cooking with salads! You’re salad can have all your favorite ingredients in it and can be an on the go item. Throw it in a bowl and slap a lid on that baby and you’re out the door without any regrets or wondering what’s in store for lunch. Another idea is layering your ingredients in a jar- putting the dressing in first so Salad-in-a-JarKeeps nuts, beans and lentils on hand. They are an easy additive with what you’re making.

What takes two 2-3 minutes and is just about the best source of protein you can find? The egg! Eggs can be a part of any and every meal. You can scramble them up with some sautéed veggies, you can put it in salads, throw it in a sandy. Eggs can make your meal that much more nutritious and will fill you up. If you can, buy pastured eggs from your local farmer. If not, look for organic, avoiding antibiotics.

Cooking in large batches will help us from scavenging through the pantry then end up with chips and salsa on the couch.  Making a healthy stir-fry, salad, or salad in bulk can be saved in your fridge and brought out on a day where you just don’t feel like spending any time in the kitchen.
Have breakfast items that you can grab on the go. Yogurts, fruit, granola are all great things to have at all times so you we 1) don’t skip breakfast, then over eat at lunch or 2) end up going to the closest drive through for a breakfast sandwich or seeing donuts at the office and diving in.

Keeping fruit on hand will fulfill our sweet cravings. Apples and peanut butter, handful of strawberries, and blueberries and yogurt are a perfect fit.

Frozen veggies and frozen fruit can come in handy when we are in a pinch. Keep them on the back burner when you don’t have any produce. Just keep an eye out for sodium levels and added sugars.

clumpygranola

EASY BIG BATCH GRANOLA RECIPE
INGREDIENTS
3 cups rolled oats (not instant)
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup small-dice dried fruit
1/2 cup coarsely chopped raw or toasted nuts or seeds

INSTRUCTIONS
1) Heat the oven to 300°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
Place the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl and stir to combine; set aside.

2) Place the honey, oil, and vanilla in a small bowl and stir to combine. Pour over the oat mixture and mix until the oats are thoroughly coated.

3) Spread the mixture in a thin, even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then stir and continue baking until the granola is very light golden brown, about 5 to 15 minutes more.

4) Place the baking sheet on a wire rack and cool the granola to room temperature, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. (Note: It will harden as it cools.)

5) Add the fruit and nuts or seeds to the baking sheet and toss to combine. Store the granola in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

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hearty and healthy banana bread

What’s better on a cold winter day (or any day really) than a delicious, comforting piece of banana bread? Since it is one of my all time favorite treats and I have been craving it a lot this winter, I have been been making healthier versions by using whole wheat flour, a touch of maple syrup, adding ground flax seeds and walnuts for extra omega 3s. Feel free to add some dark chocolate or cacao nibs for extra flavor and health benefits such as antioxidants, lowering blood sugar and boosting moods.

Another great thing about this recipe is it’s fairly simple and quick to make and only requires one bowl, minimizing clean-up 🙂

banana2

Ingredients
3 very ripe bananas
1/2 cup melted coconut oil, butter or ghee
1/2 cup maple syrup, brown rice syrup, or coconut palm sugar
1 egg beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher or sea salt
1.5 cups 100% whole wheat flour
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1/2 cup cacao nibs or chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions
Preheat oven to 350F and grease a loaf pan with coconut oil or butter or line with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas and add the melted coconut oil or butter.

Mix in the baking soda and salt. Stir in the maple syrup, beaten egg, cinnamon and vanilla. Mix in the ground flax seeds and flour. (Do not over mix)

Stir in any additional ingredients like chocolate chips and walnuts.

To make this recipe vegan, swap the egg for a flax egg (soak 1 TBS of ground flax in 3 TBS water for 15 mins) or your favorite egg replacer.

I have been making a lot of different variations off of the above recipe. Feel free to add any of your favorite dried fruits, nuts, seeds or even swap out the flour for gluten-free variety and add 1/4 tsp xanthan gum.

Enjoy!

fall inspired repair and replenish post-workout smoothies

These three recipes are a must try! They help to replenish and repair after a workout, boost your immune system and taste delicious. They are also packed with essential vitamins and nutrients like fiber, healthy fats, B vitamins, and much more. If you’re like me, these will quickly become smoothie recipe staples. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Powerhouse

Pumpkin is loaded with vitamin A, which protects against the cell damage that occurs during Pumpkin Smoothie aboveexercise. Avocados are high in monounsaturated fat—specifically oleic acid—which is been linked to reduction in inflammation.

Ingredients
½ c canned pure pumpkin, frozen in ice cube tray7 oz 2% Greek-style yogurt of almond milk
½ c water
¼ avocado
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
1 Tbsp maple syrup
½ tsp pumpkin pie spice

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Pear Ginger
Gingerols, compounds in ginger root, act as potent anti-inflammatories that speed your recovery time. Meanwhile, fiber-rich flaxseed satisfies hunger, so you’re less likely to find your stomach rumbling later in the day.

imagesIngredients
½ c  Greek yogurt, almond milk, or dairy-free yogurt (almond or coconut milk)
1 ripe pear, cored and cut into large chunks
1 c pear juice, coconut water, or diluted aloe vera juice
½-inch chunk of fresh ginger root or ⅛ tsp dried ground ginger
2 c baby spinach leaves
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
½ cup ice cubes

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

 

Gingerbread Smoothie

Greek yogurt provides the protein necessary for repairing and rebuilding muscle tissue, and the banana replaces the carbohydrates and potassium lost during exercise. Molasses is a good source of iron that aids in the delivery of oxygen to muscles.

Ingredientsimages
7 oz Greek or dairy-free yogurt1 c ice cubes
¼ c frozen sliced banana
2 Tbsp almond butter
1 Tbsp molasses
1 tsp grated ginger
¼ tsp cinnamon
⅛ tsp each nutmeg and cardamom
Pinch of clove

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

adapted from prevention.com

Tea : Powerful Health Benefits + Recipes for Energy, Stress-relief and Detox

Next to our number one hydration buddy, water, tea is the runner up on the most consumed beverage in the world. I love this statistic! Whether you like it for the taste, the endless health benefits, the comforting warmth or just the sophistication of having a cup of tea, there are plenty of health benefits as to why we should up our tea consumption. Eastern medicine has looked towards teas and herbs for centuries, and there are proven studies to show just how powerful these plants can be in health and longevity. The 5 most common teas are black, white, green, herbal and oolong. Each tea has its own special powers  – all benefitting our body in different and powerful ways.

Tea_in_different_grade_of_fermentation

Below we give a brief summary of the main benefits of the different popular types.

Looking and feeling younger is something that we all aspire  – white tea can give us a lift here. The properties of white tea can help inhibit the wrinkle process with its power of strengthening elastin and collagen. Goodbye crow’s feet and forehead wrinkles!

Black tea is shown to lower our blood pressure, decreasing out risk for a heart attack or stroke.

Green tea is our saving grace with its ability to increase the body’s ability to burn fat. Also, with weight loss, green tea is shown to increase our metabolisms, therefore making it easier to burn off calories faster. The antioxidants in green tea help our immune system put those free radicals to rest – fighting off cancer and other harmful disease. Green tea can also strengthen our bones.

Oolong tea is fragrant with a fruity hint that includes multiple benefits to our bodies. Oolong tea can help reduce heart disease, inflammatory issues and aids with high cholesterol levels. Many Eastern practices use this for weight loss as well.

Herbal teas have endless amounts of health properties and medicinal purposes.  Depending on what you need (stress relief, sleeping aid, energy booster) specific herbs blends in can be your cure-all in a cup. From detoxing, energy boosting, nausea reducing, skin healing, constipation, even helping mother with lactation and women with menstrual cycles, different herbal teas and blends can work wonders. Do some research on what you are looking for and go to your local loose leaf supplier for the cure  (instead of your pharmacy!) Make sure to contact your physician or an experienced herbalist when consuming large amounts or different herbals teas/blends (especially when pregnant).

Also, make sure you aren’t overdoing teas that contain caffeine (green, black, white and red). Caffeine is good in moderation but can also cause added anxiety, sleep disturbances and dehydration. Feel free to sip on most herbal teas all day though!

Now let’s get specific. What do we need? What does our body crave? Check out these 3 tea recipes: one for detox, energy and last but not least a stress reliever tea!

Ginger Turmeric Detox Tea Recipe
Ingredients:
• 2 inch knob of ginger
• 2-3 inch piece of turmeric root or substitute 2 tsp turmeric powder
• 1-2 dashes of cayenne (or you could juice 1/2 a habanero or jalapeño pepper)
o Circulatory stimulant: increases pulse of lymphatic and digestive rhythms
• 4 lemons (3 for juicing and 1 for slicing as a garnish)
• 3 droppers vanilla stevia
• 2 quarts waterginger_tea

1. In a juicer, juice your ginger root, turmeric, and 3 lemons
2. In a large pitcher add your juice to about 2 quarts of water, a couple droppers of vanilla stevia to taste, a couple dashes of cayenne and your thinly cut lemon slices.
3.  Mix well with a wooden spoon and adjust flavors to taste.
4. Let sit for about 10 mins before serving to let the flavors blend. Will last about 5 days in the fridge.

Heath Benefits

Ginger:
Colon Cancer Prevention
Reduces Pain and Inflammation
Cold and Flu Prevention Treatment
Turmeric:
Natural Antiseptic and Antibacterial agent
Natural liver detoxifier
Assists in healing of damaged skin
Cayenne
Anti-Cold and Flu Agent
Anti-fungal Properties
Digestive Aid

Give Me Energy Tea
Ingredients:
• A clean glass bottle or container
• 1 kaffir lime leaf
• Organic yerba mate – about 3 tablespoons per cup of water
• A few slices of fresh ginger
• Water

1)Combine all ingredients, stick’em in the bottle.
2)Let it sit overnight.
3) Bottle up and enjoy!
Yerba mate is full of antioxidants, aids digestion, and has a natural caffeherbal_lavender_flower_tea_1ine

Stress Relief Tea
Ingredients:
• 1 Tbsp St John’s Wort (suggestion)
• 1 Tbsp Oatstraw
• 1/3 c Chamomile
• 1 Tbsp Lavender
• 2 Tbsp Lemon Balm
• 2 tsp Catnip
• 1 Tbsp Orange or lemon rind.

1. Heat 2 quarts water until almost boiling.
2. Add the St. John’s wort and oatstraw and steep for 6 minutes.
3. Add the rest of the herbs and steep for an additional 3-4 minutes.
4. Strain herbs and sweeten with honey if desired.

I love purchasing loose tea in bulk- it cuts down on price and more importantly – wasteful packaging materials. If you do prefer buying packaged bags that are conveniently prepared, make sure the tea is organic. Many commercial tea bags can contain harmful toxins and chemicals that will end up counter acting the health benefits from the teas. My two favorite brands for herbal and medicinal teas are organic Alvita and Traditional Medicinals.

Summer’s Bounty

Did you know some of our staple summer produce holds some of the most nutritious vitamins? Here they are right in front of us, in bulk, at our grocery stores and farm stands! They are as fresh as can be and less expensive compared to the colder months. Now that we have all of these fresh and nutritious options at our finger tips lets gobble them in before it’s too late! Some things to keep in mind when buying produce is to consider organic. We can understand that buying 100% organic can be expensive. The “Dirty Dozen List” is a list of fruits and vegetables that are at the top 12 pesticide infested fruits and vegetables, and therefore should be priority when choosing which foods to purchase organic.  Going organic for these 12 are definitely worth your pretty penny!

The Dirty Dozen

Apples Strawberries Grapes Celery Peaches

Spinach

Sweet bell peppers Nectarines Cucumbers Potatoes Cherry tomatoes

Hot peppers

If there is produce available that is organic and locally grown, that’s a double whammy! Buying local doesn’t only benefit you, but the people around you. Your produce will taste better if it is locally grown because it doesn’t have to go through being picked before being ripe and shipping. Local food also promotes energy conservation by decreasing our carbon foot print by traveling miles to grocery stores. Buying local helps local farmers and builds the community as a whole.

One of my favorite summer fruits are BLUEBERRIES. I could go through a carton all by myself, no shame. Blueberries are low in fat with only 80 calories per serving. They are also full of dietary fiber, which helps keep your body regular during digestion, keeps our heart healthy and keeps our cholesterol in check. Blueberries are packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that help with cardiovascular disease, cancer and other age related diseases. These small little blueberries carry a lot of Vitamin C on their shoulders; Vitamin C helps with collagen formation, maintains healthy gums and capillaries and boosts that immune system. Manganese can also be found in blueberries which aids with bone development and with converting proteins, carbs and fats into energy. Who would have thought blueberries came with such a punch?!

Nothing says summer like a juicy peach. Taking the first bite of a perfectly ripened peach is a force to be reckoned with. You are bound to get peach juice all over your cheeks and then it starts to drip down your hand and then it somehow ends up on your lap, but…it’s all worth it. When there is nothing but the pit left you could go in for another peach. Not only are they delicious this time of year, they benefit our bodies. Peaches contribute to our eye health because they have beta carotene in them which improves eye vision by increasing circulation of blood. Peaches can make our skin glow! They are packed with Vitamin C, which can help with dark circles and wrinkles. Hallelujah. Peaches are a rich source of antioxidants and fiber. Antioxidants help with the immune system and fiber keeping our digestion regular.

watermelonA slice of watermelon is always a special treat during the summer because we all know winter watermelon and summer watermelon don’t even compare. Watermelon helps with cardiovascular and bone health because it improves blood flow and  it’s also rich in potassium which holds onto calcium in the body, therefore promotes healthy strong bones. Watermelon is known to reduce body fat with its partner citrulline that reduces the accumulation of fat in our fat cells. Along with the other fruits, watermelon contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant support.

 These are just a few of summer’s special treats to us. Whenever you feel a sweet tooth craving come in, give in with fresh fruit! Looking for something a little more complex on your tastebuds? Check out some simple healthy recipes using our favorite summer treasures!

 

Blueberry Peach Cobbler 

Ingredients

  • 5 lb peaches, pitted and sliced
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup organic cane  sugar or coconut sugar, divided
  • 3/8 tsp salt, divided
  • 6 3/4 oz plus 2 tbsp 100% whole wheat flour, divided (or brown rice flour for GF + 1/4 tsp xantham gum)peach
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup organic butter or EarthBalance soy-free vegan butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk (or dairy free with 1/2 tsp lemon juice)
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 tbsp turbinado sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In a large bowl, toss peaches with lemon juice, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/8 tsp salt and 2 tbsp flour.  Arrange peaches in a 9×13-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and remaining 1/4 tsp salt.  Place the butter and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes on medium-high speed.  Add in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.  Mix in the vanilla extract.  Add the flour and buttermilk, alternating between the two, starting and ending with the flour.  Stir in the blueberries.  Pour the batter over the peaches and spread evenly.  Sprinkle the top with the turbinado sugar.
  4. Place pan on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 1 hour or until topping is golden and filling is bubbly.

 

Watermelon Blueberry- Mint Popsicle 

Ingredients

  • 6 heaping cups diced seedless watermelon (or remove the seeds)
  • 3 tablespoons agave or honey
  • ½ tablespoon lime juice
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon minced mint leaves
  • ½ cup fresh blueberries

Instructions

  1. In a blender, puree watermelon along with sugar, lime juice, and salt until smooth.
  2. Add mint and blend briefly to finely mince the mint and get it mixed in.
  3. Pour puree into popsicle molds. (You should be able to make at least 10, but it will depend on the size of your molds.)
  4. Freeze until hard.

 

 

Can’t cool down this summer? Check out these Ayurvedic Cooling Foods + Recipes

It’s a hot one this summer!  The high temperatures are  really making up for this frigid winter we had here  in Philadelphia. Looking for some other ways to beat the heat besides hogging the closest AC units? We have some helpful tips and recipes to help keep you feeling cool from the inside out.

First, if you are filling up your glasses with more ice cubes than water, stop there!  Although it’s tempting, consuming ice cold drinks will make your body work harder in the digestion process. Working harder = more heat.  Room temperature water is the best choice for cooling yourself down while hydrating (add cucumbers and fresh mint for extra benefits and cooling properties!)

There are many foods that can help cool our bodies down through the summer months. You may or may not be familiar with Ayurvedic practices –  in short Ayurveda focuses on balancing the body’s systems through diet, herbs, yoga and breathing techniques. The dosha Pitta is associated with heat (among other properties) and its effects are greatly felt throughout the hot summer months. If you tend to experience heartburn, excess stomach acid, irritableness and/or skin breakouts you may be experiencing an aggravated Pitta. Be sure to incorporate the cooling foods listed below to help balance and cool your body from within.

SPOSTeasons play a large role in Ayuvedic practices as well, during which the foods we consume help to balance our doshas through out the year.  The following Ayurvedic cooling foods will help to lower our body temperature and help correct any Pitta related discomforts.

 

Ayurvedic Cooling Foods

Avocado         Cherries        Plums        Grapes       Pineapples      Peaches      Mangoes      Cilantro           Mint              Asparagus       Cucumbers          Sweet potatoes    Broccoli           Green leafy vegetables       Zucchini          Green beans          Almonds             Sunflower seeds  Coconut       Melons          Pomegranate     Apples          Pears          Dates      Figs

All of these foods are perfect for snacking alone or get creative and try them in a fun summer recipe. We provided a few of our favorites below. Enjoy 🙂

Hibiscus Tea with Lime
Ingredients
• 1 tablespoon dried hibiscus flowers
• 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
• 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
• Lime slices, for serving

Directions
Bring 2 cups water and the hibiscus to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Strain and discard flowers. Let cool to room temperature. Before serving, stir in honey and lime juice and garnish with lime.

cool-drinks-mbd108831_vert

Melon, Mint + Cucumber Smoothie
Ingredients
• 1 cucumber, peeled and seeded
• 2 cups cantaloupe chunks (from about 1/4 large cantaloupe)
• 1 cup finely chopped kale or baby spinach leaves
• 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
• 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
• 3/4 cup plain unsweetened almondmilk
• 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
Blend until smooth.

Cool As A Cucumber Raita
Ingredients
• 1 cup fresh yogurt or coconut milk yogurt for dairy free version
• 1/4 cup cucumber, peeled and finely diced
• 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, peeled and finely grated
• 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
• 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
• Salt to taste
• 1/4 cup fresh chopped coriander leaves
Simply combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.

Sinfully Delicious Rice Pudding
Ingredients
• ¾ cup basmati rice, uncooked
• 3 cups cow’s milk
• 1/8 teaspoon saffron
• 15 cardamom seeds
• 3-5 tablespoons brown rice syrup, honey or maple syrup  (adjust for sweetness)
• Garnish: 2 teaspoons organic lemon peel, grated and 2 tablespoons toasted unsweetened shredded coconut

Directions
Wash the rice until the water is clear. Combine the rice, milk, saffron, and cardamom seeds in the top of a double boiler. Cover and cook (with water in the bottom or your double boiler) over low heat for 1 hour. While it is simmering, you can toast the coconut in a dry skillet if you like, unless you have happened upon a source of pre-toasted unsweetened coconut. It just takes a few minutes, stirring occasionally so it does not get too brown. Let it cool. When the rice is done, stir in the sweetener and top with lemon and coconut. Serve hot or cold.

Cantaloupe Smoothie
Ingredients
• 1/2 fresh ripe cantaloupe (feel free to add or combine any of your favorite melons)
• 1/2 cup water or almond milk
• 1/4 teaspoon coriander powder
Blend all ingredients together well in a blender.

Sivananda Yoga Cookie Recipe
Ingredients
• 2 cups rolled oats
• 1 cup  wholewheat (or spelt flour)
• 1/3 c brown sugar
• 1/3 c raisins
• 1/3 c nuts/ seeds/ dessicated coconut
• 1 1/2 tsp each of ground cinnamon and ginger
• 1/2 tsp nutmeg grated
• 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 6 oz oil or ghee
• 6 oz water

Directions
Preheat oven to 400F. Oil 2 baking sheets or use greaseproof paper. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, add oil and mix. stir in enough water to make a firm texture. Take a ping pong ball sized amount and shape into cookie shape (about 10cm in diameter). Repeate with rest. Bake in oven for around 15 minutes until golden at edges. Cool on a wire rack. Try experimenting with adding goji berries, raw cocoa nibs etc.

Festive Healthified BBQ favorites + a Patriotic Sangria Recipe. Happy Independence Day!

Did the 4th spring up on anyone else out of no where? June up and went and all the sudden July flew in. July 4th can be a long day so let’s be ready for it. We have the staple points of 4th of July: early parade around 10AM, either town festivities like pie eating contests or a family/friend BBQ at 1PM, cook outs and pool parties till 6PM, then you have a few hours to get ready for your local fireworks!  We will all need a ‘pick me up’ to keep us going through all the activities, sun and the commotion that comes along with our Independence Day. Let’s mix the 4th up with some new recipes that will keep you moving all the way through till you can finally sit down and watch some fireworks. Leave the hot dogs and hamburgers at home and WOW your friends and family with a few fresh and healthy recipes that won’t leave them sleeping through the firework finale!

Creamy Dill Potato Salad
vegan, makes 8 cups
1 lb mini potatoes, halved/quartered
1 Tbsp garlic powder
2-3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
4 Tbsp vegan mayo, Vegenaise (if not vegan make sure to use an organic mayonnaise)
2 Tbsp spicy Dijon mustard
3/4 cup sweet onion OR scallions, chopped
1 1/2 cups fresh dill, chopped (stems and fronds)
1/4 tsp cayenne fresh black pepper and sea salt to taste

*feel free to add in healthy additions for a flavor boost – like more fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, chives), nutritional yeast, or smoked paprika

Directions:
1. Prep all your ingredients. Scrub your potatoes well. Halve and quarter them. Smaller potato bits will cook faster.
2. Bring salted water to a boil and drop your potatoes. Cook until tender – do not over cook or you will end up with more of a “mashed” potato salad. I like to rinse my cooked potatoes in ice water to halt cooking.
3. There are two options now. You can chill your cooked potatoes first – then fold your ingredients directly into the potatoes and serve or chill. This prevents the vegan mayo and other creamy ingredients from ‘melting’ into the hot potatoes. The other option is to simply toss all the ingredients into the warm potatoes – and then chill until ready to serve. Doing this will allow the flavors to marinade nicely – but it may also wilt the “thickness” of your creamy potato salad sauce. The last option is to fold all the ingredients into the potatoes and serve warm. This is also delicious! 4. Chill your salad until ready to be served – or serve warm. Garnish with fresh dill sprigs and a drizzle of good olive oil and fresh black pepper over top

Black Bean Fiesta Burgers (Black Bean Freedom Burgers)
vegan, makes 5 burgers

5 whole wheat burger buns
Burgers:
1 1/2 cups black beans, drained/canned (unsalted)
3 Tbsp fine bread crumbs
3/4 cup baked/mashed sweet potato
3 Tbsp chopped cilantro – including stems
1/3 cup diced white onion
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chopped garlic
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 jalapeno, diced/de-seeded
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast – or use more bread crumbs a few dashes of chipotle powder or cayenne for extra heat

Special Spicy Sauce: 1/2 cup vegan mayo +  2 tsp garlic hot sauce
5 round onion slices and 5 round tomato slices
optional: lime-juice spritzed avocado slices (not shown in burger photos – but recommended!)

Directions:
1. First off prepare the Fiesta Slaw according to the directions. (recipe) – Chill in fridge until ready to add to burgers.
2. Whip up your “special spicy sauce” – set aside in fridge as well.
3. Next up, prepare the burgers. Pulse all the ingredients in a food processor. You can also mash well by hand – but a fp is a tad faster. Next, hand-form burger patties with the mixture and place them on a lightly greased baking sheet. I like to roll my burgers in a touch of bread crumbs so that they have nice crisp edges.
4. Bake your burgers at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool for a few minutes before assembling burgers. The last 5 minutes of cooking – add your burger buns to the oven to warm/toast them.
5. Assemble those burgers! Warm bun, spread of special sauce, tomato, onion, optional avocado, burger, fiesta slaw and finally another slather of the special spicy sauce on the top bun.

Time to cool refresh and cool down!

Blueberry Kale Pops 

Ingredients
1 c. frozen blueberries
1 c. baby kale leaves
2 c. organic purple grape juice

Directions
1. In a food processor or high-powered blender (I use Vitamix),  blend all ingredients until perfectly liquefied.
2. Pour into ice pops molds or ice cube molds (
3. Freeze until solid.

….now what’s a party without some festive and fun Sangria?!  Enjoy this delicious recipe:

RWBSangria6

 

Patriotic Sangria

2 bottles dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc is good)
1.5 TBS orange zest 5-7 drops organic orange oil
1/2 cup organic distilled vodka (berry flavor optional)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 1/2 cup simple syrup (see tips below) or agave (basil simple syrup works wonderfully in this recipe as well)
1 cup blueberries
1 1/2 cups hulled and sliced strawberries
1 cup raspberries
1 1/2 cups pineapple chunks

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a large punch bowl or pitcher and stir well. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Serve well-chilled with a good scoop of fruit floating in each drink, or serve over ice.

Tips:
*To make 1/2 cup simple syrup, boil 1/2 cup water and add 1/2 cup granulated organic cane sugar. Turn heat to simmer and stir until dissolved. Turn off the heat and let cool. (For basil: just add 4-5 leaves basil leaves when you add cane sugar, drain and discard leaves once cool)
*Make more simple syrup if you like on the sweeter side
*Use fresh fruit for this recipe.
*To make star-shaped pineapple pieces, cut long & wide pieces of pineapple off the side of the fresh fruit. use a star cutter to cut shapes.

Rosemary Ginger Lemonade (+cocktail recipe)

rosemaryginger
Let’s switch it up this summer and combat the heat with this refreshing Rosemary Ginger Lemonade.   I know some of us can be dependent on our iced coffees, but what about something even more energizing and delicious? A cool, refreshing drink that will jump start our energy levels and contains more nutritional benefits than our old cup of joe.

This Rosemary Ginger Lemonade will pick us up, cool us down and will leave us feeling stable throughout the day without the crash (will also help flush out those nasty toxins we build up over time)  Try this simple recipe below,  your tastebuds and body will be so very grateful!

Rosemary Ginger Lemonade

Ingredients
7 cups water
3 rosemary sprigs
1 8-10 inch ginger hand, peeled and diced
1 cup honey/agave
1.5 cups fresh juice from lemons

Directions
Simple syrup: Place 1 cup water in sauce pan with ginger. Bring to a boil add agave and rosemary sprigs and return to boil. Remove from heat and let cool.

Lemonade:
Mix remaining 6 cups water, lemon juice and cooled simple syrup. Keep in pitcher refrigerated. Feel free to add more agave or honey for desired sweetness.

Health Benefits

Rosemary in this refreshing, detoxifying elixir has loads of health benefits. Rosemary will help jumpstart our bodies in the morning with its powers to increase blood flow. Getting that blood pumping throughout the body is exactly what our body needs to get itself moving and gain natural energy (great for mid-day slumps too).  Everyone needs a little immune booster , no matter what season it is  – and rosemary will do just the trick. Rosemary also has many anti-inflammatory properties. And get this:  during a long workday (when your brain is feeling a bit fried)  rosemary can be your life saver with its memory boosting abilities. Rosemary also has the perk of reducing severity of asthma attacks, help cure congestion and allergies – who knew?!

how-to-peel-chop-grate-ginger-verticalGinger is the perfect pick me up because it helps jump start your metabolism and awakens your body and mind – preparing you for the busy day ahead. Along with rosemary, ginger is an anti-inflammatory and a great immune booster. For those readers that get motion sickness, ginger can ease that stomach pain and it is also great for seasickness for you adventurous ocean goers. Ginger can help fight and cure infections like athletes foot and nail infections with its anti-fungal properties. Lastly, ginger is great for digestion and helps absorb essential nutrients consumed throughout the day, don’t let them go to waste! Get your ginger in.

Lemons are made up of citric acid that allows the breakdown of bile and dissolves any other toxins in the body. Lemon also helps flush out the kidneys and colon of toxic that tends to build up, the perfect detox! Remember, our goal is to achieve balance in the body, and lemon is a great way to balance the pH levels.  Lemons are packed with Vitamin C, which helps neutralize free radicals in the body and also boosts the immune system!

 

Cocktail Recipe

The Rosemary Ginger Lemonade can be very versatile. Had enough detoxifying and energy boosting? Need to do a little more winding down and  some re-toxing? 😉

It’s so easy to transform this elixir into a fun sumer cocktail – perfect for those warm summer evenings. Just pour 1 cup of the Rosemary Ginger Lemonade in a shaker with ice, add 1 oz vodka, gin or tequila and give it a good shake. Serve in a martini glass with a sprig of rosemary for garnish. Like your drinks on the rocks? Just pour lemonade over ice in a tumbler, top with our choice of liquor and garnish with rosemary, lemon slice or candied ginger.

Relax, cool down and feel better about indulging in a cocktail (or two) with the added health benefits of this light, refreshing libation.   Enjoy!

St Patty’s Day: Minty Madness Smoothie

shamrock-1

Happy St. Patty’s day! I am sure some of you will be having other beverages that do not include spinach… or almond milk… BUT if you are on the detox (or  just looking for another delicious healthy smoothie recipe) you have to try this refreshing,  creamy Minty Madness Smoothie.

This 7 ingredient smoothie tastes somewhat how I would imagine the popular Shamrock Shake tastes … only WAY better. It also doesn’t contain the a million chemicals and unpronounceable ingredients the certain fast food chain uses. Not to mention it’s full of naturally flavorful ingredients that provide so many health benefits. It’s full of vitamins A, C, K and D, B vitamins, folate, magnesium, potassium, fiber, protein, antioxidants, healthy fats,  and many other vitamins and minerals.

I tested this recipe last weekend and have been craving it ever since. This creamy, minty goodness will be sold at the Galley all of next week in honor of St. Patty’s day. Come and get one of your close by! If not be sure to make it at home. I think it will soon become a smoothie staple in your household.

Minty Madness St. Patty’s SmoothieIMG_1611
Serves 2

Ingredients

1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least an hour or overnight*
1 cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk
1 cup spinach
1 serving vanilla hemp protein
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup fresh mint
vanilla bean (from one pod) or 1-2 drops vanilla stevia or extract
optional: honey or stevia for desired sweetness

In vitamix or high powered blender, add all ingredients. Blend on high for 1 minute or until creamy and smooth. Note: you may need to add more almond milk if too thick.

*The longer you soak the cashews the creamier the consistency. I like to soak overnight but if you forgot and need this smoothie now, it still tastes delicious with them soaked for a few minutes

Enjoy!

a few meal inspirations

Hello fellow detoxers!  I can’t believe how  many people have decided to join me on the 21 day detox. I am so thrilled to have you with me on this journey with me to vibrant health and new beginnings.

YAY! You made it through the first few days. Pat yourself on the back, they really are the hardest.  It’s like the minute you tell yourself you aren’t eating gluten you want that bagel staring at you on your co-workers desk…even if you usually don’t even eat bagels. Humans are strange creatures.  I promise though, those cravings will quiet everyday until they are gone completely. Sugar and caffeine seem to be the hardest part for people, especially eliminating them if you are used to having them daily.

If you are having headaches due to caffeine withdrawal, have some green tea. You can even buy flavored green tea that may help with a sweet tooth. If that sweet tooth will not give up, have a small piece of fruit or a green smoothie with 1/2 a banana or green apple and some coconut oil and unsweetened almond milk.

I swear they will soon start tasting like milkshakes to you (once your taste buds adjust to the natural flavors). I make this smoothie for my husband when he is having a sweet craving and he wouldn’t swap this for his favorite milkshake now, would you Mike? 😉

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

hi Mike! came across this pic in my phone

A clean treat that is loaded with protein, fiber, antioxidants and other vitamins.

ChocoBanana Protein Smoothie
1 cup spinach
1/2 frozen banana
1 Tbs almond butter
1-2 Tbs raw cacao powder
1.5 tsp coconut oil (organic, cold-pressed)
1 Tbs hemp protein powder
3/4 cup unsweentened almond milk
1/2 cup ice
1 tsp honey or maple syrup(optional)
Additional add-ins : ground flaxseed, chia seed, raw cacao nibs (add after for choc chip pieces)

Blend until smooth.

Sorry, I went off on a smoothie tangent.  Anyway, I am really enjoying all of the emails about your progress so far- mentally and physically. It has only been a few days but I am seeing that a lot of you are already noticing positive affects. Whether it’s a noticeable change in energy levels, moods, stress, bloat, or any other digestive health issues, I am beyond excited hear all of your feedback! It only keeps getting better from here.

I’ve been getting a lot of inquiries about menu and meal ideas. Instead of sending each of you different recipes and ideas, I’ve decided to compile some of my favorite recipes and dishes from friends and fellow bloggers.

Many of these are dinner ideas – but can easily be stored and made into lunch the next day. Switch it up by adding a few more spices or vegetables to it, or even throw it in a saute pan in the morning, crack and egg on it and you’ve got a delicious and easy breakfast.

Be creative and switch out different ingredients and spices to your liking. Most of them are gluten and dairy free, however if one of the items happens to be just swap it out or just nix it. Enjoy!

Recipes:

Cauliflower Lentil Taco Salad,  Food Babe

Quinoa Fried Rice with PorkThe Queen of Quinoa
I substitute with organic chicken, beef or egg. Most of the time I  eliminate meat all together – as quinoa is very high in protein

Kale Rice Bowl , 101cookbooks
Can substitute yogurt with coconut milk yogurt or add avocado for creaminess. Great for breakfast or dinner. 

Roasted Sweet Potato, Kale and Sage Skillet Quinoa , Recipes to Nourish 

Jerk Chicken with Mango Salsa and Creamy Coconut Millet, Inspired Edibles

Quinoa Crusted Sole in a Chili-Lime Glaze, Inspired Edibles

25 Soups and Stews, With Food + Love
All Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg + Meat Free

Here are two recipes I’ve made this past week:

Spiced Salmon with mustard sauce
(I halved for 2 people and still had leftovers) 

Ingredients
2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets

Directions
Preheat broiler.

Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well with a fork. Rub mustard mixture evenly over each fillet. Place fillets, skin side down, on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Broil 8 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.

I know some of you were asking about substituting  breads/wraps for lunch, especially when packing a lunch for work. If you are not going 100% Gluten Free (which is okay, as long as you are eating the right kinds of grains) As I mentioned before, this should be tailored and manageable for your life. Don’t make too drastic of changes unless you know you can plan on maintaining. It’s better to set realistic goals for the detox and be in it for the long haul, then to cut it short or give up.

Creamy Kale + Basil Sauce
Great on any dish. Try it on chicken, fish, quinoa/rice bowls. I even put it on sautéed spinach and eggs for breakfast.

Ingredients
4-5 kale leaves
1 small bunch basil
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 clove garlic
sea salt and pepper to taste
approx. 1/2 cup olive oil
optional: 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (great for vegetarian dishes and adds a cheesy flavor) 

Directions: Place all ingredients in a vitamix/food processor. Blend until well incorporated. Slowly drizzle in olive oil until creamy and well emulsified.

This is so flavorful and adds a nutritional punch to any of your favorite dishes. It’s full of vitamins, fiber, protein, anti-oxidants, and healthy fats.

The other night we made lettuce wraps with our left over salmon. We shredded the salmon on large Boston lettuce leaves, added avocado, cucumber, radishes, chives and fresh dill. Drizzled them with this sauce and it was so good!

salmonwraps

You can make the sauce in large batches and store in the fridge. (Mix well before using, you may also have to add a little more olive oil if consistency thickened).

I am posting my Vegan Cheesy Broccoli Casserole tomorrow, as well as a vegan Shamrock Shake we made this weekend, just in time for St. Patty’s Day (think spinach, fresh mint and vanilla bean, yum!)