Archive for July, 2013

Layered Garden Medley

Jul 29 2013 by | Comments (0)
FavoriteLoadingAdd to Recipe Box

Layered Garden Medley

Summer is in full swing and that means plentiful fresh produce either from your garden or the farmers market. This dish uses just picked zucchini, sun ripened tomatoes and fresh juicy onions layered together with a bread crumb mixture that is seasoned with aromatic herbs reminiscent of Thanksgiving dinner. A great side dish with just about any meal or double the recipe for an ideal potluck offering.

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (use gluten free bread crumbs if needed)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 5 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups diced fresh tomatoes ( grape, cherry or any variety of fresh tomato that you have on hand)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2-3 medium zucchini, thinly sliced

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs, pecans, 1/2 tsp salt, thyme, sage, parsley, rosemary and 1 tbsp oil. Add to the skillet and cook 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer back to the bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in the same skillet. Add the onions and remaining salt. Cook 8-10 minutes stirring often until the onions are soft and lightly browned.
  3. Add the tomatoes, garlic and pepper and continue to cook 4-5 minutes more. Pour in the wine and simmer 2-3 minutes.
  4. Transfer half of the onion mixture to a shallow oven proof 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Layer half the zucchini slices starting around the outside of the dish  overlapping slices working your way to the center until completely covered. Spread half the bread crumb mixture evenly over the zucchini slices. Repeat in the same manner with the remaining ingredients. Drizzle with remaining 2 tbsp oil.
  5. Bake 1 hour or until the zucchini is tender when pierced with a fork. Depending on the thickness of the zucchini slices you may need to bake up to 30 minutes longer.

Yield:

Makes 6 servings

Notes:

This dish is best eaten right away. The breadcrumbs will not be as crispy if reheated.

FavoriteLoadingAdd to Recipe Box

Guilt Free Banana-licious Ice Cream

Who’s ready for a super delicious Throwback Thursday?!  With summer heat hitting most every part of the nation it’s a perfect time to make this cold and yummy treat.  Considering this ‘ice cream’ is made with just bananas and other fruits you can enjoy it without any guilt whatsoever!  Summer just got a whole lot tastier!

~Sarah

Ingredients:

For Banana Blackberry Ice Cream

  • 2 medium sized ripe bananas
  • 8 blackberries
  • 4 peach slices
  • 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

For Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

  • 2 medium sized ripe bananas
  • 1 tbsp raw honey or maple syrup (optional)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter (optional)

For Banana Sweet Potato Ice Cream

  • 2 medium sized ripe bananas
  • 1/4 sweet potato
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp chopped pecans (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Peel the bananas and cut into 4-5 chunks. Place in a zip top bag or in a container with a tight fitting lid. Place in the freezer until frozen.
  2. Prepare any other fruit you plan on using in the same way, cutting into approximately 1-2 inch chunks or slices and then freeze. When using a vegetable such as the sweet potato cook it first before freezing. I baked the sweet potato, removed the skin, cut it into chunks and then put it in the freezer.
  3. To prepare the ice cream place the bananas and any additional fruit or veggie into a food processor. Start out pulsing until the bananas are chopped into confetti sized pieces then process normally until a ball forms. You will either want to pulse a few times at this point or open the lid and chop up the ball before continuing.  Process again until you have a soft smooth ice cream.
  4. Add any additional ingredients here such as spices, cocoa, sweetener or coconut milk and pulse just to mix in.
  5. Spoon into bowls and serve or to make a soft serve style cone, spoon the ice cream into a plastic baggie, cut the tip at one end and squeeze out into a soft swirly pyramid.

Yield:

Each banana you use makes 1 serving.

The serving size will vary depending on any additional ingredients you add.

Notes:

I found that any leftover ice cream you have is best stored in zip top freezer bags with as much air removed from the bag as possible. To serve remove the bag from the freezer and let thaw for 10 minutes or so and then squeeze the bag working the ice cream around to soften it back up.

Experiment with different ingredients to find your favorite combinations. Fruits, nuts, seeds, even pumpkin are all great additions.

FavoriteLoadingAdd to Recipe Box

Root to Skin Sweet Potato, Carrot and Kale Salad

Have you heard of the cooking movement “nose to tail” where all parts of the animal are used? I would prefer to keep noses and tails on the animal where they belong thank you very much. I’m not quite so sympathetic when it comes to fruits and vegetables though! Some of the most nutritious parts are in the bits we throw away like the skin, leaves and roots. In this recipe I use not only the sweet potato but the skin too and a bit of green carrot tops go in the dressing to add a little zip of freshness. Root to skin to leaves, almost every part of your produce is edible and as a bonus, it’s highly nutritious too.

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes (about 3 cups diced)
  • 3-4 unpeeled carrots (purple if you can find them) with green tops (about 1 cup diced)
  • 2 tbsp plus 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp Dorito Seasoning Mix
  • Creamy Chipolte Sauce
  • 4 cups thinly sliced kale (you can also sub with spinach or arugula)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 1 baking sheet with foil and one with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  2. Thoroughly clean the sweet potatoes. Dry well. Peel, reserving the skins. Dice the potatoes into small size bits.
  3. Remove the carrot tops and set aside. Dice the carrots into small size bits. Mince 1-2 tsp green carrot tops and add to the Creamy Chipolte Sauce.
  4. Toss the sweet potatoes and carrots with 2 tbsp oil, salt, black pepper, cumin and thyme.
  5. Spread in a single layer on the baking sheet with foil.
  6. Bake 20-25 minutes or until tender.
  7. During the last 10 minutes of baking time toss the reserved skins with the remaining 2 tsp oil and the Dorito Seasoning Mix. Spread in a single layer on the baking sheet with the silicone mat. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly brown and crisp.
  8. In a large bowl toss the kale, roasted vegetables and Creamy Chipolte Sauce until mixed.
  9. Serve immediately topped with the crispy potato skins.

Yield:

4 servings/1 cup kale and 1 cup roasted vegetables each serving.

Notes:

This dish is best eaten right away. You can roast the vegetables ahead of time , refrigerate and then reheat before tossing with the kale and sauce but the potato skins need to be baked just before serving.

FavoriteLoadingAdd to Recipe Box

I'm Just Peachy Salad

On Thursday my Twitter and Facebook feeds fill up with people posting old photos of themselves.  While you won’t catch me posting old embarrassing photos of myself I do think the idea is a fun one and thought what a great way to revisit some of our favorite recipes here on The Naked Kitchen that we’ve all but forgotten about.  Here’s one of my favorite summer salads that I confess, I haven’t made in quite a long time.  With all the cherries and peaches in season right now I’ve been enjoying this old favorite all week long.  Let’s welcome back this yummy old friend for our first Throwback Thursday!

~Sarah

Ingredients:

For the salad:

  • 2-3 cups kale, finely shredded, stem removed
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small ripe peach, diced (feel free to leave the peel on if desired)
  • 5-6 sweet red cherries, pitted and sliced in half
  • 2 tbsp slivered almonds

For the dressing:

  • 1 small ripe peach, peeled and diced
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp agar agar powder (optional, makes for a thicker dressing)

Preparation:

  1. In a small sauté pan add the almonds and heat on medium high.  Stir occassionally for about 5 minutes or until the almonds are nicely browned.
  2. While the almonds are toasting add all the ingredients for the dressing to a blender and process until smooth.
  3. Add the kale, green onion, mushrooms and peach to a bowl and drizzle with the dressing.  Sprinkle the toasted almonds on top and enjoy!

Yield:

Makes 1 serving.

Notes:

The recipe makes a good amount of dressing.  Leftover dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Naked Eating for Men

Jul 15 2013 by | Comments (0)
FavoriteLoadingAdd to Recipe Box

My husband and I are polar opposites when it comes to eating.  He was born and raised in South Africa – he’s only been in the US about 15 years and did not grow up eating much besides meat and potatoes.  I grew up in Michigan and practically ate 24/7 out of the garden my Grandfather grew.  When I talked about Naked Eating (or sometimes called Cleaning Eating) with him and about changing our lifestyle to reflect it, this was the response I got – “I’ll do it but I’m not eating yucky food and I’m not gonna start munching on broccoli.”  Ok then!

He’s quite the sport though.  He watched as I cleaned our whole house and got rid of any food that wasn’t natural and wholesome and didn’t make a peep.  He tried every meal I put out for dinner – granted he doesn’t ask what’s in it – and he never said a word about going back to our old eating ways.  He’s lost more than 20 pounds, has gone from borderline diabetic to normal readings and feels better about himself than he ever has.

He normally works from home but on the days he is at a client site he takes his cooler bag with him that contains all his meals.  I actually write out a menu on a small sheet of paper so he knows when to have what.  Here is a sample of the types of things he eats during the day…

Breakfast:

My husband is a creature of habit.  He loves starting his day with cookies.  Yes, cookies!  These breakfast cookies contain cinnamon (great for lowering blood sugar levels), raisins and cranberries (full of antioxidants) and chopped walnuts (a healthy nut!).  He’ll usually have a fruit smoothie or glass of fresh orange juice with his cookies.  On chilly mornings he’ll start the day with a bowl of oatmeal, whole grain toast with peanut butter or pancakes.  He also has a large glass of ‘green juice’ every morning (it’s a mixture of spinach, kale, apple, pear, banana and a sea vegetable powder).

Lunch:

Crunchy Burger Patties

Did I mention my husband was a creature of habit?  He seriously eats the same stuff everyday.  It’s boring but it works for him!  For lunch he usually has a hamburger and some potato chips.  On colder days he likes to have cheesy taco bake or lentil shepard’s pie.  I keep a supply of his meals in the freezer so all he has to do each day it pull one out and warm it up.

Snacks:

Naked Trail Mix

Grapes are probably one of his favorite snacks.  He’s also a fan of pineapple, bananas and apples.  If he’s not reaching for a piece of fruit he usually goes for some nuts.  I always have some trail mix on hand and in a pinch he’ll gladly grab a handful of almonds.  He’s also a fan of Kristy’s peanut butter protein bars.  They are perfect for those afternoons when he’s lacking energy and needs a pick me up!  Surprisingly, my veggie hating husband loves edamame.  He’ll often have some for a snack if he hasn’t already had some for his lunch.

Dinners:

Family Favorite Black Bean Tacos

Some of my husbands favorite dinner meals are corn frittersenchiladasquinoa loaf, spaghetti and of course our favorite tacos.  We usually have pizza once a week and even though he has burgers for lunch almost everyday, we still usually have burgers once every week or so.  Most of the time our dinner meals are whatever recipes we are working on at the time.  Since every recipe we feature on this site is taste tested it usually ends up being our dinner for the week.

Exercise:

Every night we walk about 3 miles outside.  Weekends we tend to walk more, about 5-6 miles a day.  We also like to bike with our children around the trails by our house.  Our nightly walks are some of the most enjoyable time of our day.  No phones, no emails – just fresh air and nature.  Our goal is never to finish in a certain time or reach a specific heart rate level.  We try to keep exercising from becoming something that is a chore – something you HAVE to do.  Because we keep the time so enjoyable we rarely miss a night (when we do it’s because of rain or bad weather – not because we didn’t want to go).

Beverage:

I never thought I would see the day when my husband went from drinking 8-10 cans of diet soda to drinking water.  But cold turkey he stopped!  I like to add lemon to mine but he’s not a lemon kind of guy.  He actually enjoys plain water now.  We both drink more than the recommended amount of water per day and it’s one of the areas of our diet that we notice the change in the most.

Extras:

While my husband does get a healthy dose of raw vegetables everyday, he isn’t one to load his plate with anything green.  Because of this he takes a raw food vitamin daily.  It ends up bringing his total vegetable intake up to the recommended amount.  Although we don’t count calories he usually takes in about 1800-2200 calories a day.  He eats about 4 times per day, but if he’s hungry he listens to his body and will grab another snack if needed.  We also take a b-12 vitamin daily since we eat a strict plant based diet.

One of the questions my husband gets asked the most is how he gets enough protein eating only a plant based diet.  My husband needs about 70 grams of protein per day.  He easily hits that number each day.  Each of his meals usually contains one or more of the following:   sprouted grains, quinoa, tofu, lentils or other legumes.  There is no lack of protein in our diet!

Lemony Date Bars

Jul 15 2013 by | Comments (0)
FavoriteLoadingAdd to Recipe Box

Lemony Date Bars

One thing that is always in abundance here in California are lemons. It’s a good thing too because I go through quite a few each week. Whether it’s a tangy wedge added to a tall glass of cold water or iced tea, a citrusy bit of acid in a vinaigrette or the star of a flavorful dessert that creates just the right balance of flavor, lemons can do it all. This dessert is a layered confection starting with a chewy oatmeal and almond crust that is spread with a sweet and tangy date center then topped with a crunchy oatmeal crumble. Lemonicious!

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 2 cup (approximately 20) chopped pitted medjool dates
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut crystals
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 8 or 9 inch square baking pan. Set aside.
  2. In a medium size sauce pan combine the dates, lemon juice, water and cardamom. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 15 minutes or until the dates are soft and gooey. Break up any chunks with a spoon or fork. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl combine the coconut oil and coconut crystals. Add the whole wheat flour, almond flour, baking soda and salt. Mix until combined. Stir in the oats and mix until thoroughly combined.
  4. Press 3/4 of the oatmeal mixture into the prepared baking pan. Spread the date mixture evenly over the oatmeal layer. Top with the remaining oatmeal crumbles.
  5. Bake 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan completely before cutting.

Yield:

12 squares

Notes:

Tightly cover the pan with a fitted top, foil or plastic wrap and store in a cool dry place for up to a week.  Individual bars can be frozen for longer storage.

Warm Mushroom and Grape Salad

Jul 10 2013 by | Comments (0)
FavoriteLoadingAdd to Recipe Box

Warm Mushroom and Grape Salad

One of my favorite things to do at the end of the week when the refrigerator is looking bare is to get out The Food Bible and see what combination of ingredients pair well together based on what I have on hand to make a tasty and (sometimes) unique meal. The ingredients in this salad are what I had available to work with and I was thoroughly pleased with the delicious outcome. Earthy mushrooms combined with sweet grapes and pungent arugula glistening in a warm white wine dressing. Who knew such a combination would be so good?

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp ground rosemary
  • 1/2 cup red grapes, halved
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 4 cups arugula or spinach

Preparation:

  1.  Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add the oil. Add the mushrooms, onion, garlic, salt and pepper and sauté 6-7 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender and beginning to brown. Add the grapes and rosemary and sauté another 1-2 minutes.
  2. Carefully add the wine and simmer 3-4 minutes before adding enough nutritional yeast to slightly thicken the liquid.
  3. Place the arugula or spinach in a large serving bowl and pour the vegetables and dressing over the top. Toss to combine so that the warm dressing lightly wilts the greens.
  4. Serve immediately. Great served with big chunks of warm crusty bread.

Yield:

Makes 4 servings as a side dish or 2 as a light meal.

Notes:

This salad is best served right away.

Summer Grilling Inspiration

Jul 08 2013 by | Comments (0)
FavoriteLoadingAdd to Recipe Box

Summer Grilling Inspiration

I’ll admit summer is one of my favorite seasons simply for the fact that my family and I love to grill which means I can take a little vacation from cooking dinner each night!  This recipe is less of a recipe and more of an inspiration for you to play around with.  It’s one of my favorite summer meals because it’s so simple to throw all the ingredients on the grill and not worry about clean up at all!  I also have cherry tomatoes growing like crazy and this is a wonderful way to use up those plump little tomatoes.  If you don’t have a grill or if it’s winter where you are then you can easily make this meal in the oven – don’t you just love flexible meals?!

~Sarah

Ingredients:

  • thinly sliced bread of your choice
  • asparagus, washed and ends trimmed
  • cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • red onion, thinly sliced
  • any other veggies of your choice (zucchini, squash, eggplant, broccoli)
  • olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. Lightly coat the veggies in olive oil and place on a grill pan or heavy duty foil.  Place on a pre-heated grill and grill until bright and tender.
  2. Place bread on the grill. If desired you can brush the bread with a little oil first.  Cook for just a few seconds or until the bread is nicely toasted.
  3. Layer the grilled veggies on top of the toasted bread and enjoy!

Notes:

This dish is best served right away.

Comments (0)

4th of July Favorites

Jul 02 2013 by | Comments (0)
FavoriteLoadingAdd to Recipe Box

I seriously can’t believe it’s almost July 4th!  This summer has just flown by!  Between swimming, school work, dance, karate and music lessons I swear it’s gonna be done and over before I get to enjoy any of it!  So for this 4th of July I’ve planned a relaxing day at home involving lots of grilling and chilling!  Here are some of our favorite foods that you can enjoy for your 4th of July celebration.  Have a healthy and fun holiday!

~Sarah

Hot off the Grill

Chili Dog Sausages (Vegan)

Grilled Asparagus with Sweet and Sour Dressing (Vegan and Gluten Free)

Italian Sausages (Vegan)

Southwestern Mini Sliders (Vegan and Gluten Free)

Veggie Sub with Avocado Spread (Vegan and Gluten Free)  

*I know, you can’t grill this but still a great sandwich to have on hand for a party or get together.

 

Summer Sides

Smoky Ranch Potato Salad (Vegan and Gluten Free)

Tangy Three Bean Salad (Vegan and Gluten Free)

Green Bean and Tomato Salad (Vegan and Gluten Free)

Chopped Salad with Creamy Vinaigrette Dressing (Vegan and Gluten Free)

California Dip (Vegan and Gluten Free)

 

Tasty Treats

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Chips (Vegan and Gluten Free)

Blueberry Pie (Vegan)

 

Holiday Cocktails

Watermelon Fizz (Vegan and Gluten Free)

Blueberry Lemonade (Vegan and Gluten Free)

Categories : Recipes
Comments (0)

Refreshing Watermelon Salad

Jul 01 2013 by | Comments (0)
FavoriteLoadingAdd to Recipe Box

Refreshing Watermelon Salad

Hot, hot hot! It’s been so hot this past week. Hot weather makes me crave cool refreshing foods and watermelon is an ideal ingredient to work with. Good thing the market has been “ripe” with plump melons. Juicy watermelon, crisp cucumber, herbs, a splash of lime and a dash of hot sauce cover all the bases for a cool and clean summer sensation.

Kristy

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups diced seedless watermelon
  • 2 persian cucumbers, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 green onion, white and green parts, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 tbsp minced parsley
  • 2 tbsp minced cilantro (if you don’t like cilantro sub with basil)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tsp of your favorite hot sauce or to taste
  • salt to taste

Preparation:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Toss gently. 
  2. Chill well before serving.

Yield:

Approximately 3 cups

Notes:

Serve as is or toss in some frisee or serve in endive leaves. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.