Archive for March, 2012

Kiwi Blackberry Tart

Mar 30 2012 by | Comments (0)
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This dessert is on my top 10 list for a number of reasons. It’s easy to prepare, it’s fresh and light tasting and the filling ingredients can be changed to whatever is in season. A couple of my favorite combinations besides this kiwi and blackberry combo are peach and blueberry or rhubarb and strawberry. This tart would be a great addition to an Easter brunch or just anytime you want an easy and tasty dessert.

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 5 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup raw walnuts, finely ground
  • 1 cup raw coconut crystals plus 2 tbsp, divided
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 2/3 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread
  • 8-10 kiwi’s, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup blackberries (or blueberries)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix the ground flax seed with the water. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Combine the flour, walnuts, 1 cup of the coconut crystals, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in a large bowl.
  4. Add the Earth Balance and the flax seed mixture and mix with a fork or pastry cutter or even your hands until crumbly.
  5. Press half of the mixture into a 10 inch tart pan or if you don’t have a tart pan you could use an 8 x 8 baking pan.
  6. Gently combine the kiwi, blackberries and remaining coconut sugar and pour them into the baking dish.
  7. Spoon the remaining crumble mixture over the top of the fruit.
  8. Bake 40 minutes or until the fruit is tender and the crumble topping is browned. Let sit for 10 minutes or so before removing from the tart pan or cutting.

Nutritional Info:

Makes one 10 inch tart.

Serving size 1/10.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 346, Cal. from Fat: 152, Total Fat: 17g, Sat. Fat: 3g, Carbs: 45g, Fiber: 7g, Sugars: 19g, Protein: 5g, Sodium: 118mg, Chol: 0mg

Notes:

Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

 

Quinoa Lettuce Wraps

Mar 29 2012 by | Comments (11)
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Spring is most definitely in the air.  Even though we don’t really have seasons here in Southern California we’ve had about 3 or 4 days this past month that were rainy and cool.  Whenever the spring weather hits I start craving crunchy, crispy refreshing meals that are full of flavor.  These lettuce wraps really hit the spot.  There is a great crunch from the water chestnuts and the Asian inspired sauce is full of flavor.  This recipe makes a large amount and I enjoyed this dish for lunch everyday this past week.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

~Sarah

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, if canned, rinsed and drained
  • 2 green onions, finely sliced
  • 8 ounces sliced water chestnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 1 head of bibb lettuce
  • 1/2 cup reduced sodium tamari or soy sauce (if you follow a gluten free diet make sure to use a gluten free sauce)
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil (regular sesame oil will work as well but you will lose some of the richness in the sauce)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp raw honey or coconut nectar

Preparation:

  1. In a large bowl mix together the first 5 ingredients and set aside.
  2. Add the last 6 ingredients to a small bowl and mix together until throughly combined.  If using honey it helps to heat it up a little to make it easier to mix in.
  3. Pour the sauce over the quinoa mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Carefully remove the lettuce leaves from the bibb lettuce and fill each lettuce leaf with the quinoa mixture.  You can fill them up as much as you wish.

Nutritional Info:

Makes approximately 20 lettuce wraps.

Serving size 4 lettuce wraps.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 318.5, Cal. from Fat: 73, Total Fat: 8.5g, Sat. Fat: .5g, Carbs: 47g, Fiber: 8g, Sugars: 6.5g, Protein: 12.5g, Sodium: 1166.5mg, Chol: 0mg

Notes:

The leftover quinoa mixture will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.  The quinoa will soak up the flavor of the sauce and make excellent leftovers.  The recipe makes a large amount so you can enjoy these tasty wraps for lunch or dinner the entire week.

Spicy Lentils and Greens

Mar 28 2012 by | Comments (2)
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So, I’m still in that new love stage with Earthbound Farms Organic Mixed Baby Kale and Organic Power Greens. I’ve been using them all week in smoothies and salads. This weekend I was in the process of making one of my favorite dishes Spicy Lentils and Peppers and thought how good it would be with the addition of some greens. I used the Organic Power Greens and wow, what a delicious and nutritious boost to an already tasty dish. This dish is now super nutritious and really versatile as a side dish or a main dish served over rice to make a complete protein combination. It’s so good that I renamed this recipe Spicy Lentils and Greens.

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked black beluga or green lentils
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut in half lengthwise, stem, seeds and ribs removed and thinly sliced
  • 1-2 chili peppers (jalapeño, serrano, or fresno depending on your heat preference), cut in half lengthwise, stem, seeds and ribs removed and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 3 cups Earthbound Farms Organic Power Greens
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice

Preparation:

  1. In a large skillet heat the oil on medium-high heat. Add the onions. Saute until starting to soften, about 3-4 minutes and then add the garlic. Saute another minute.
  2. Add the peppers and tomatoes and continue to cook until soft about 4-5 minutes. Season with the coriander, sea salt and black pepper.
  3. Add the greens and lemon juice and cook until the greens are wilted. Stir in the lentils.
  4. Serve garnished with the lemon zest.

Nutritional Info:

Makes about 4 cups.

Serving size 1 cup.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 160, Cal. from Fat: 64, Total Fat: 7g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Carbs: 19g, Fiber: 6g, Sugars: 4g, Protein: 6.5g, Sodium: 522mg, Chol: 0mg

Notes:

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

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Back in January of this year my husband and I embarked on a 5 day juice detox.  It was the first time either of us had done any type of juice fast and we ended up loving it.  To this day we still begin each and every morning with a green smoothie.  So you can only image how excited I was when Hilary Greenleaf contacted me about her newest book – The New Green Smoothie Diet.  She was kind enough to send me a copy to review and it was love at the first chapter!

If you have ever wondered about juicing all your questions are answered in this book.  The beginning gives you a very thorough introduction to what green smoothies are, basic ingredients, how to make them, how often to drink them and much more.  If you’ve been juicing for awhile then you’ll probably know most of this information but I still enjoyed reading about the benefits that green smoothies offer and it was a great way to keep my motivation going.

I think the breakdown of this book is one of it’s finest features.  Instead of just throwing a bunch of recipes together it breaks it down for what goals you’re looking to achieve.  It has specific sections for weight loss, detoxifying, increasing energy, fighting heart disease, preventing certain cancers, boosting the immune system and more.  In each section it talks about key ingredients to use and why they are useful for that particular cause.  At the end of each section you’ll find some recipes that feature the key ingredients previously mentioned.

I have to admit that I’m pretty boring when it comes to my smoothie/juicing drinks.  I usually make an apple/spinach/kale drink each and every morning.  The recipes in Hilary’s book made me break out of my mundane box and it tasted so good.  One of my favorite recipes in the book is in the Increasing Energy section.  It’s a combination of spinach, pomegranate, frozen berries and ice.  It was AMAZING!  I could have had one of those smoothie’s with every meal.  I’ve tried just about every recipe in the book and there wasn’t one that disappointed me.

Hilary knows how much we appreciate our readers and she didn’t want any of you to lose out on all the fantastic benefits that drinking green smoothies have to offer.  She was awesome enough to let us giveaway 2 of her books to 2 lucky readers.  You can enter below and it’s soooo easy!

Now, if for some reason you aren’t one of the lucky 2 don’t fear, I have great news!  Head on over to amazon and pick up a digital copy of The New Green Smoothie Diet for only $2.99 – that’s not a typo people!!!  Click here to check out all the details!

We will announce the winner this Friday, March 30th on our Facebook Page.  Everyone is eligible to enter so tell your friends and family and let’s get the word out on how healthy and nutritious green smoothies are!

~Sarah

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Categories : Book Reviews, Reviews
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Brussel sprouts have long been a favorite vegetable of mine.  I love them raw, roasted, baked and even steamed with a sprinkle of salt.  My favorite way of eating them is thinly sliced and tossed with a delicious dressing.  I had some leftover purple cabbage and green onion that I need to use up so I threw them together with some shredded Brussel sprouts and topped with one of my new favorite dressings.  While this dressing is the perfect compliment to this salad it is equally delicious on any of your favorite salads.  I highly recommend making a double batch because one taste and you’ll be looking for every way possible to enjoy this dressing!

~Sarah

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups thinly sliced Brussel sprouts
  • 1 cup thinly sliced purple cabbage
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chickpea miso *see notes
  • 2 tbsp brown rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp reduced sodium tamari or soy sauce (if you follow a gluten free diet make sure to use a gluten free sauce)
  • 1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger (you can substitute with 1 tsp ginger powder if fresh is not available)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 tbsp water or as needed
  • 1/4 cup crushed roasted almonds (optional)

Preparation:

  1. In a large bowl mix together the brussel sprouts, cabbage and onions.  Set aside.
  2. Add the miso, vinegar, tamari, ginger and garlic to a small bowl and mix together until you have a smooth paste.  Add in 1 tsp of water at a time until you have reached your desired consistency.
  3. Add the sauce to the cabbage mixture and stir until well coated.
  4. Top with almonds if desire and serve immediately.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 50, Cal. from Fat: 1.5, Total Fat: 0g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 9.5g, Fiber: 2.5g, Sugars: 2g, Protein: 4g, Sodium: 540mg, Chol: 0mg

Notes:

Leftover salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.  It’s best to add the dressing only to the amount of salad that will be eaten at one time.  Leftover dressing and salad should be stored separately for best results.

I rarely use soy in my meal preparations.  There are a few recipes I enjoy that use organic tofu but for the most part soy is not apart of my diet.  Lately I’ve been craving miso (weird craving I know!) and miso dressing always hits the spot for me.  If you can find organic chickpea miso I highly recommend giving it a try.  It’s got a delicious flavor and I actually enjoy it more than the other miso varieties I’ve tried.  If you cannot find it at your local store you can substitute with your favorite variety of miso.

Organic Chickpea Miso

I had just run out of the usual baby salad greens that I get from the market. The brand I usually got I happen to really like because they are grown locally and are so fresh and crisp. I needed some in a hurry and I knew that the little store that is just down the road didn’t have these greens but I figured I could find something else similar. This turned out to be a good thing because I found 2 new products from Earthbound Farms, Organic Mixed Baby Kales and Organic Power Greens (baby spinach, baby kales and baby red and green chard).

Earthbound Farms Organic Mixed Baby Kales

I love kale but find that it can be quite tough to eat and needs to be de-stemmed first. I know some people also find it to be a bit strong tasting so avoid using it. The baby kale mix from Earthbound Farms is delightfully tender and flavorful, no de-stemming needed and is perfect to add to a salad, stir fries, steamed, added to soups and so much more.

Earthbound Farms Organic Power Greens

I have tried to like chard. I know how nutritious it is and it’s usually quite economically priced. I will eat it if it is served to me but I don’t love it. This Organic Power Green mix is the perfect solution. You get the nutritional benefits but a more mellow flavor with this green leafy trio. The Organic Power Greens can be used in much the same way as the Organic Baby Kales and are also good to add to smoothies without overpowering the flavors of the other ingredients.

Now that I have found these “babies” I want to use them in every way possible. Here is a very green meal plan featuring them in several different ways.

Kristy

Breakfast – 1 cup fruit and Power Greens smoothie. Example 1 small banana (frozen), 10 strawberries (frozen), 1 cup Power Greens, 1 cup orange juice and 2 tbsp raw hemp seeds.

Snack – 1 Homemade Pita Bread with 2 tbsp peanut butter

Lunch – 1 cup Kale, Squash and Potato Soup and 1 apple

Snack – 2 Stuffed Cinnamon Raisin Puffs

Dinner – 1 Sweet Potato Quinoa Burger and 1 serving green salad (1/2 baby lettuces and half Power Greens) with toppings and dressing of your choice.

 

*We were in no way compensated for our review of Earthbound products.  We simply enjoyed them and wanted to share our opinion with you.

 

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How annoying is it when stores are displaying items 2 seasons ahead? LIke when there are “back to school” things out when the kids have just started summer vacation? Or when Christmas music is playing over the speakers when it’s only October? Or bathing suits are displayed on mannequins in January? I always expect to see goosebumps on those poor mannequins! Potato salad has always been a summer thing for me, good at picnics or potlucks. With this pairing of potatoes with fresh springtime asparagus and bright lemony dressing this is one yummy thing I don’t mind seeing ahead of time.

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds red potatoes (about 4 cups diced up)
  • 1 pound asparagus (about 2 cups cut up) *see notes
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 tbsp Meyer lemon juice (you can use regular lemons but the dressing will be a little more tart)
  • 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp raw honey or coconut nectar
  • 4 tbsp Garlic Gold Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette (if you don’t have this you can substitute with 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 2 tbsp meyer lemon juice, 1 tsp oregano and 1-2 tsp garlic powder)
  • 4 tbsp silken tofu
  • 1 tsp sea salt or to taste

Preparation:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and the asparagus and simmer just until tender.
  2. Remove the asparagus and place in a bowl of ice water. Drain. Set aside.
  3. Drop the potatoes into the same water that the asparagus was cooked in. Simmer until fork tender.
  4. While the potatoes are cooking whisk together the lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, honey, and Garlic Gold vinaigrette. Whisk in the tofu until the dressing is smooth and creamy.
  5. Drain the potatoes and transfer to the bowl with the asparagus.
  6. Toss together with the dressing and green onions. Let sit for about 5 minutes to let the potatoes soak up the dressing.
  7. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutritional Info:

Makes approximately 6 cups.

Serving size 1 cup

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 97, Cal. from Fat: 37, Total Fat: 4g, Sat. Fat: .5g, Carbs: 13g, Fiber: 1g, Sugars: 4g, Protein: 2g, Sodium: 375mg, Chol: 0mg

Notes:

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

*Don’t forget to use the asparagus tips saved from the Asparagus Slaw with Sesame Dressing recipe.

Asparagus Slaw with Sesame Dressing

Mar 21 2012 by | Comments (0)
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One of the best things about spring is the influx of fresh green asparagus in the market. Asparagus is at the top of my favorite vegetables list not only for it’s verdant bright flavor but because I can never see it without thinking of one of my favorite childhood memories. On Sunday afternoons my dad would get us in the car and we would go asparagus hunting. He knew all the best places. He drove slowly along the country roads where we scoured each side of the road for signs of asparagus tips peeking out of the tall grasses. We stopped and harvested our treasure and then brought them home hardly able to wait until my mom steamed them for us to eat. Oh the joy! My love for asparagus started young and has remained strong but now I have learned to enjoy this delicious springtime favorite in many new ways.

Kristy

Ingredients:

For the slaw:

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 2 carrots
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
For the dressing:
  • 4 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp raw coconut aminos or low sodium tamari
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp parsley, minced
  • 1 tsp raw honey or coconut nectar
  • 2 tbsp unrefined sesame oil (if you don’t have sesame oil you can use any neutral flavor oil)

Preparation:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. While the water is heating prepare the asparagus by washing thoroughly to remove any sand and then snapping off the woody ends at the bottom. Cut the tips off and reserve for use in a recipe we’ll post later this week.
  3. Drop the prepared stalks in the boiling water for 5-10 seconds and then remove to a bowl of ice water.
  4. Julienne or shred the asparagus spears and the carrots. Add the onions and toss together into a bowl.
  5. Prepare the dressing by whisking together the tahini, vinegar, tamari, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, and honey. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Slowly whisk in the oil.
  7. Pour the dressing over the asparagus mixture and toss to evenly coat. Let sit 15-20 minutes to let the dressing soak in and flavor the vegetables.
  8. Serve sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Nutritional Info:

Makes approximately 2 cups.

Serving size 1/4 cup.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 130, Cal. from Fat: 97, Total Fat: 11g, Sat. Fat: 2g, Carbs: 5g, Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 2g, Protein: 3g, Sodium: 50mg, Chol: 0mg

Notes:

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Southwestern Mini Sliders

Mar 20 2012 by | Comments (10)
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One of my families favorite dinners is ‘burgers‘ and ‘fries‘.  My kids normally eat their burgers without a bun since they can’t really get a burger plus toppings and a bun in their little mouths.  Last week at dinner my daughter told us that she’s a ‘big girl’ and wants to eat a burger like Mommy and Daddy do.  In general, it’s best not to argue with her once she’s set her mind to something – I don’t know where she gets that from!  Since Keegan likes all things miniature I thought it would be fun to make mini sliders for her.  My family and I had so much fun eating these.  They were the perfect size for my kids.  Luckily I made a double batch because the kids have asked for the ‘little burgers’ every night.

This recipe features Garlic Gold Southwest Nuggets and we’re giving you a chance to win some,  plus 2 of their other amazing products – Herbs de Provence Nuggets and Red Wine Vinaigrette Dressing.  Click here for your chance to win all 3 amazing products!

~Sarah

Ingredients:

  • heaping 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 can (15 ounces) no salt added black beans
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp chopped green chilies
  • 1/2 cup corn (if frozen, thaw first)
  • 5-6 tbsp Garlic Gold Southwest Nuggets
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup crushed tortilla chips of your choice
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 1-2 tbsp hot sauce (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with non stick foil or parchment paper.  Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl add the black beans and gently mash with a fork.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients, except the tortilla chips, to the mashed black beans and mix throughly to combine.
  5. Add in 1/4 cup of the tortilla chips at a time adding in more as needed until your burger mixture forms a firm ball.

    Using the palms of your hands, roll 2-3 tbsp of burger mixture into a ball and then press down gently to form a small patty

  6. Using the palms of your hands, roll 2-3 tbsp of burger mixture into a ball and then press down gently to form a small patty.  Place the patty on the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining bean mixture.
  7. Place the burger patties in the oven for 20-25 minutes.  Flip the burgers over halfway through cooking.
  8. Place each burger on a mini hamburger bun and top with your favorite toppings.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 16-18 mini sliders.

Serving size 2 mini sliders.

Nutritional info based on the mini sliders only.  Does not take into account buns or toppings.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 124, Cal. from Fat: 28.5, Total Fat: 3g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 19.5g, Fiber: 4g, Sugars: .5g, Protein: 4.5g, Sodium: 90mg, Chol: 0mg

Notes:

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

I like using the leftovers as a fun topping for my salads.  Simply crumble the burgers over your favorite salad greens, add a little salsa and a few slices of avocado and you have a delicious Southwest Salad!

These can be heated on the grill.  Either wrap in foil or place them on a flat sheet of foil directly on the grill and cook until heated all the way through.

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I was shopping at Whole Foods a few weeks ago and was browsing through my favorite area – the salad bar.  I love getting inspiration for new recipes from their salad bar as it’s always filled with delicious smelling salads and entrees.  I came across an antipasto salad that looked wonderful but unfortunately contained both meat and dairy.  I knew I could make my own salad and even better, I could use one of my favorite dressings – Garlic Gold Red Wine Vinaigrette.  This salad was super easy to throw together and I love the bright colors and crunch from the fresh veggies.  I’ve been enjoying this salad all week for lunch but it’s also perfect for potlucks or get togethers.

This recipe features Garlic Gold Red Wine Vinaigrette and we’re giving you a chance to win a bottle plus 2 of their brand new flavors of garlic nuggets – Herbs de Provence and Southwest Garlic Nuggets.  Click here for your chance to win all 3 amazing products!

~Sarah

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces rotini pasta of your choice (I used Mrs Leepers Organic Rice Vegetable Twists)
  • 2 cups seeded, sliced cucumbers
  • 1 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 3/4 cup pitted and chopped kalamata olives
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeds removed and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds removed and diced
  • 1/2 cup Garlic Gold Red Wine Vinaigrette (feel free to adjust the amount of dressing to your desired amount)

Preparation:

  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water, according to package directions.  Drain the pasta, rinse with cold water and set aside.
  2. Mix together the cooked pasta, cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, olives, and yellow and red bell peppers in a large bowl.
  3. Toss with Garlic Gold Vinaigrette to coat.  For best results refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Info:

Makes approximately 8 cups of salad.

Serving size 1 cup of salad.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 215, Cal. from Fat: 103.5, Total Fat: 12g, Sat. Fat: 1.5g, Carbs: 46.5g, Fiber: 1.5g, Sugars: 2.5g, Protein: 3g, Sodium: 235mg, Chol: 0mg

Notes:

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.  The salad will soak up the dressing the longer it sits so leftovers might require additional dressing when eaten.

If you don’t have any Garlic Gold Red Wine Vinaigrette dressing on hand (click here to order some NOW!) you can make a dressing by mixing together 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp raw coconut crystals (optional), salt and pepper to taste.