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Chia Seed Ice-Cream (Sugar Free and Vegan)

My favorite commercial right now is the Geico one where ex-NFL player Ickey Woods is waiting in line to buy cold cuts, and gets ridiculou...

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Healthy "Ice-Cream" - 3 versions


Need a recipe to beat the heat minus the guilt?  Here it is.  Having frozen banana slices on hand ensures that you're only 5 minutes away from creamy, healthy "ice-cream."  I buy 2 or 3 bunches of bananas each time I go to the grocery store.  When they start to get really ripe and full of brown spots, I slice them up and throw them in the freezer.  Then when a craving for ice-cream hits, simply throw them in the food processor with a mix-in of your choice, and voila - a super healthy and delicious treat with no added sugar!  Since I could eat ice-cream 3 times a day in the summer, this recipe is a healthier way to indulge.  No more jealous looks at my kids happily enjoying their regular ice-cream without a care!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Lemon Artichoke Caper Spread (vegan)


One of our favorite meals at my house has always been chicken with lemon butter caper sauce.  I usually throw artichokes and mushrooms into the sauce, too.  These days I'm making more vegan meals than ever, so I wanted to make that sauce into an all purpose spread. 
 
Lots of my meals are things like homemade veggie-quinoa burgers, gluten free wraps stuffed with grilled veggies, and roasted platters of beans, tofu, or tempeh, and vegetables.  It's tempting to just throw a bunch of cheese or olive oil over these types of things, but I wanted something a bit healthier that still tasted delicious. This spread jazzes everything up.  Plus it adds artichokes to your meal, which are one of the healthiest vegetables you can buy!

Ingredients~ 
  • 1 14 oz. can artichoke hearts
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • juice of 1 large or 2 small lemons
  • 1 Tbsp vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp capers
  • 1/2 Tbsp butter (use a coconut based vegan butter to keep vegan)
  • 1 tsp dried Italian herb seasoning blend
  • 1/2 cup white Northern beans
  • 1/4 tsp honey
Directions:
1.  Mince the garlic and set aside
*Tip:  Always chop garlic 10 minutes before adding it to heat or something acidic, such as lemon juice or tomatoes.  Allowing it to rest for 10 minutes after chopping allows the maximum amount of the enzyme allicin to be created, keeping it's nutritional powers from being destroyed while it's cooked.  It's great to get into the habit of chopping garlic before any other prep work while cooking. 

 
2.  After 10 minutes, heat the 1/2 Tbsp of vegan butter in a small saucepan.  Over medium-high heat, cook the garlic for 1-2 minutes, or until it starts to brown. 

3.   To the food processor add all of the ingredients.  Pulse several times to combine ingredients and break down the beans and artichokes.  You want everything chopped but not pureed, so the spread remains chunky. 

4.  Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 week. 


This spread is very versatile.  It would be delicious on fish or chicken if you're not vegan, or with crackers and vegetables in place of hummus.  Try wilting some baby spinach and mixing this spread in the saucepan until warmed, and using as a pasta sauce.  Also delicious on baked potatoes!





Sunday, June 22, 2014

Spicy Bloody Mary Green Smoothie

 
Even as obsessed with vegetables as I am, I still tend to fall into a rut and buy the same few over and over again.  Rutabaga?  Last purchase was 1 year ago.  Fennel?  I'm trying to incorporate it into new recipes so I can enjoy it more often.  Mustard greens?  I pretend they don't exist.  Seriously, a little voice inside my head taunts "I can't see you!" when I push my grocery cart past them in the store.  And it's a shame since they offer stellar nutrition.  But they are so spicy.  Don't get me wrong, I love spicy food, but these greens will knock your socks off in a regular old green smoothie.  Don't even try to mix them with fruit, they can't play nice the way spinach does.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Swiss Chard Popsicles

 
My kids eat popsicles like it's their job.  They get their fair share of ice-cream treats from the store, but I try to make them at home as much as possible.  It really only takes 5 minutes, and what a cool way to sneak their veggies.  You can change out the greens in this recipe to whatever you have on hand, as well as decrease the greens to only 1 or 2 leaves.  Then as your kids get used to them, start the sneaking!  My middle son looked at them strangely when I handed him one, (honestly, you'd think he would be used to my concoctions by now!)  But he took one lick, shrugged his shoulders and said, "Oh!  They're good!"  Score one for Mom. 


Ingredients~
  • 1 Swiss Chard leaf
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 3/4 cup pineapple
  • 2 Red Leaf Lettuce leaves
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp honey
*Optional:  Food coloring, since they turn out a slightly brown color due to the greens. (If you're worried about food dyes, try these all natural colors out - )http://www.naturalcandystore.com/ssearch?q=food+coloring

Directions:
1.  Place the strawberries and pineapple in the blender, followed by the remaining ingredients.  Blend until smooth.
2.  Fill popsicle molds and insert popsicle sticks.  This recipe will fill 8 average sized popsicle molds.   
3.  Freeze at least 3 hours.  Run hot water over the outside of the molds for 20-30 seconds to easily remove popsicles. 

 
 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Color Crush: Lime, Fuschia, & Cobalt



Summer is in full swing and I am having a little mini-obsession with these bright, fun colors!  I adore lime, fuschia, and cobalt together and have been combining them in accessories as a way to punch up the fun.  It's a bright and bold look, so I like to keep it simple.  However, the warmer it is the more daring I feel.  I even love the way it livens up a coastal glam look in home decor, keeping it from being too fancy.   Happy summer!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

SUNBUTTER CUPS



I almost ruined this blog post before I had a chance to write it.  My husband and I were sampling these as I was taking them out of the pan when I realized I only had a few left to photograph!  That's pretty much how it goes when there are Reese's peanut butter cups in the house.  Sometimes they're leftover from Halloween or Easter, once in awhile we have a weak moment in the store and buy them.  Then we actually hide them from each other, who does that?!  After we find each other's hiding spot, they're usually gone in a day.  Seriously, if there was ever a trigger food for me, it's those.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

PINA COLADA GREEN SMOOTHIE!

 
It's the kind of summer day that makes me want to sit on the deck, watch the kids play in the yard, and forget about all of the laundry and house work.  Or jet to a beach somewhere, but let's just say that's not happening this week.  And of course if I'm lounging on the deck I'd like to be drinking a pina colada.  But it's 11 in the morning, so I made a pina colada green smoothie instead.  I even got lazy and used a pile of pre-washed salad greens in this because summer's all about relaxing and taking it easy.  And this is so much tastier than a salad!