May 30, 2014

pasta with garlicky greens and capers

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This pasta is one of my favorites, and my husband's, my friend's, my sister-in-law's, etc.  It is so quick and easy that it has become a staple for when I have people coming over.  It isn't overly complicated, not a lot of prep, and child friendly.  When your guest come over you'll be able to visit instead of spending hours in the kitchen.  It would also make a great side for grilled chicken, fish, or steak.  The capers and parmesan are a perfect finish!

I have a thing for pasta shapes.  I'll admit it.  I'm not the girl that just grabs the spaghetti or bowties and keeps walking.  I may have found my favorite... or let's admit it... one of them.  Meet Italian Campanelle.  


spinach, tomato, and avocado nachos

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  These vegetarian nachos are full of healthy vegetables and plenty of protein from the veggie crumbles.  Great for the big game, family movie night, or just having some friends over.  You can also make them with black beans or grilled chicken!

Grocery List- Week 3

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Meals for the week:
- spinach, tomato, and avocado nachos
- pasta with garlicky greens and capers
- teriyaki stir-fry with noodles and tofu

Produce
  • 7 ounces of mixed greens (I used a kale, spinach, and chard blend, but there are many options)
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 2 cups of chopped spinach
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 2 onion
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 package of extra firm tofu
Baking/Nuts
  •  1 tablespoon brown sugar
Spices/Oils/Vinegars
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
Ethnic
  • 1/4 cup tamari (type of soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 9.5 ounces soba or ramen noodles
Pasta/Beans/Canned Goods
  •  1 pound of pasta, small cut (ex. shells or bow ties)
  •  2 tablespoons capers (by the olives)
Freezer
  • 1/2 package of veggie crumbles (vegetarian ground beef) (optional for nachos, could be subbed with chicken, steak, or black beans)
Dairy
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mexican cheese (I used crumbling cheese)
  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick) 
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
Seafood/Meat
  •  
Miscellaneous
  • 1 bag of tortilla chips

May 28, 2014

blueberries and cream cookie pie

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I am always looking for new dessert ideas that are quick, easy, and delicious.  After spending all that time cooking dinner I want something that can be put together easily but also looks like I put some time into it.

Today I spent 3 hours at a car dealership, just to get an oil change (before you say "why didn't you go to the quick lube", we have the care package with free oil changes... if you go to the dealership... and wait), then had to take all three kids grocery shopping.  On a normal day this wouldn't be too terribly bad, the kids on the other hand had way to much energy and were so over the day at the dealership.  I was... to put it nicely... exhausted!  HOWEVER, we were having dinner with friends and it was my turn for dessert.  I was short on time, but didn't want to pull the "here are the brownies I grabbed at the grocery store" trick, but "thanks so much for dinner!".  I'll admit... I also didn't want all of the preservatives from the pre-made desserts;)  What sounded good?

  Sugar. Berries. Cookie. I put it all together and came up with this.  Sugar cookie bottom, creamy white chocolate cream cheese, and berries to top it all off.  This is so easy, I almost felt like I was cheating! :)  Have extra strawberries or raspberries that you need to use?  They would be great also!!!

corn, black bean, and spinach quesadillas

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 It's Sunday night... what to cook?  You are tired.  Kids are tired.  Perfect end to a crazy week... these quesadillas are full of veggies and have a crispy corn shell.  They are fast, simple, and versatile depending on what you have on hand.  They are so full of flavor and the pepper jack cheese just tops it all off!! 

May 26, 2014

whole wheat and flax seed pancakes

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This recipe features wheat flour, wheat germ, and ground flax seed.  Flax seeds are high in omega-3, lignans, and fiber.  CLICK HERE to read an article about their amazing health benefits!  These pancakes are so delicious and just as healthy! 

collards + carrots juice

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 Prep Time 5 min 
Total Time 10 min
Servings 2-3

INGREDIENTS
  • 8-10 stalks of collard greens
  • 5 large carrots
  • handful of parsley
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 inch ginger root (according to taste)

May 25, 2014

parmesan crusted tilapia

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 This tilapia recipe is unbelievably fast and simple to make.  It is so full of flavor and can be paired with almost anything!  While the recipe calls for tilapia, any firm-fleshed fish can by used, such as grouper (shown above) or catfish. 

kale and quinoa salad with smoked paprika dressing

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This salad makes an awesome main course or side, and is so versatile!  I added the black beans
and quinoa for protein and we ate it as a main course for lunch, however it would also make a great side for a steak or shrimp.  There are many ingredients that could be added or subbed including fresh corn and/or avocado!   

May 24, 2014

green + beet juice

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Prep Time 5 min 
Total Time 10 min
Servings 2-3

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 beet and the greens
  • 6-8 stalks of kale
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 2 apples
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 inch ginger root (according to taste)

May 23, 2014

italian zucchini boats

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With freshly grated parmesan cheese, these scrumptious, Italian zucchini boats are full of veggie goodness. They are absolutely delicious with the slightly crisp zucchini and fresh basil. All that gives these a little tang is the crushed red pepper flakes, but you can leave them out if you prefer. No judgment here!

garlic and caramelized onion smashed potatoes

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Take mashed potatoes to a new level with caramelized onions and garlic... you'll never look back.  Trust me.   

green bean and feta pasta

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This pasta is so refreshing and perfect for a summer night or afternoon lunch on the patio.  The combination of creamy feta, pine nuts, and basil make this dish irresistibly delicious. 

May 21, 2014

Grocery List- Week 2

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Meals for the week:
-parmesan crusted tilapia alongside kale and quinoa salad with smoked paprika dressing
-italian zucchini boats with garlic and caramelized onion smashed potatoes
-green bean and feta pasta

Produce
  • 5 oz kale (spinach would also work
  • 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 3 red onions
  • 3 zucchini (medium)
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • large tomato  
  • 1/2 cup fresh mushrooms  
  • 1 lemon 
  • 1 pound fresh green beans
  • 1 package of fresh basil 
  • 2 1/2 pounds of red potatoes 
Baking/Nuts
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
Spices/Oils/Vinegars
  • 1/4 cup sherry wine vinegar (red wine vinegar would also work)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  •  1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
Pasta/Beans/Canned Goods
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (roughly a heaping 1/2 cup of dry beans)
  • 1/2 cup of quinoa
  • 1 pound of pasta (small cut such as shells)
Freezer

Dairy
  • mexican crumbling cheese
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese 
  • 1 stick of butter 
  • 7 ounces of feta cheese, crumbled 
  • 1/4 cup milk
Seafood/Meat
  • 2-3 pounds of fresh caught tilapia (any white fish will work, however, always opt for fresh caught not farmed)
Miscellaneous

black bean brownies

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These brownies are packed full of protein and taste amazing!!  I made them again (updating the pics) and added some nuts... they may be even better this time!

May 20, 2014

eggs over rice with spinach and tofu

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About a year ago, I went out on a limb and made fried rice with an over easy egg on top, instead of chopped up inside.  It was unbelievable!!!  I won't go back... try it and I promise you will also love it!!  There is something about the gooey yolk serving as a sauce and running over the rice.  If you must... chop it up, just don't tell me about it ;)

You can use any type of wholegrain rice you like, just think non-white.  There are many wonderful whole grain rice varieties out there to try- brown rice, red rice, wild rice- I used black rice.  I prefer the whole grain rices because they have their nutrients intact, unlike white rices, and in my opinion are more interesting to the eye than their refined counterparts.

May 18, 2014

pasta with roasted asparagus and orange gremolata

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This recipe features raw garlic which has some amazing health benefits, including:  lowering your risk for cancer, lowering cholesterol, is antibacterial, and strengthens your immune system!  So eat up :)

Traditional gremolata is made with garlic, lemon zest, and parsley and used to sprinkle on Italian stews.  In this recipe, orange zest stands in for the lemons, and the gremolata is used to compliment the flavor of roasted asparagus.

May 17, 2014

crispy mushroom, spinach and avocado quesadillas

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These quesadillas are amazing!!!  Stuffed with mushrooms, spinach, and creamy avocado they are sure to be a hit with the family. The best part... these quesadillas feature irresistibly crispy sides.  Thinly sliced chicken or steak could also be added to the inside.

May 16, 2014

Grocery List- Week 1

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Meals for the week:
-crispy mushroom, spinach and avocado quesadillas
-pasta with roasted asparagus and orange gremolata
-eggs over rice with spinach and tofu

Produce
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • garlic bulb
  • parsley
  • 2 oranges
  • bag of onions (I prefer purple)
  • 8 oz mushrooms (any variety)
  • 12 oz spinach (kale can be subbed)
  • 1 lime
  • 2 advocados
  • 1 extra firm tofu
Spices/Oils/Vinegars
  • olive oil
  • crushed red pepper
Pasta/Beans/Canned Goods
  • 1 lb. penne pasta (any small cut will work)
  • 1 bag of whole grain rice
Freezer


Dairy
  • 2 1/2 cups of shredded jack cheese (I prefer to buy a block and shred it)
  • 4 eggs (good quality)
Miscellaneous
  • flour tortillas 

green juice

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Prep Time 5 min 
Total Time 10 min
Servings 2-3

INGREDIENTS
  • 8-10 stalks of collard greens
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 2 apples
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 inch ginger root (according to taste)

May 15, 2014

Juicing

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Whole Fruits/Veggies or Juice


Did you know that 95% of the vitamins and enzymes our bodies need are found in the juice of raw fruits and vegetables? We would need to eat 2 lbs of carrots, 10-12 apples, or 8 lbs of spinach to get the same amount of nutrients you receive in one 16 oz juice. When you drink juice, highly concentrated vitamins, minerals and enzymes rapidly enter the bloodstream absorbing all of the nutritional benefits of the fruits and vegetables and giving your digestive organs a much-needed rest.

When to Juice


It’s best to drink our juices the same day they are pressed. As soon as any juice meets the air it begins to oxidize, compromising its nutritional value. However, storing our full juices in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed glass jar slows this process. The best time to drink juice is on an empty stomach or at least an hour before eating a meal. This maximizes the amount of nutrients absorbed into the body. Of course, fresh pressed juice is still loaded with health benefits even if you can’t drink it during the recommended window.

Juicing and Illness


There is lots of research that shows the healing properties of juicing. Not only will juicing facilitate weight loss, increased energy levels, strengthened immunity, strong bones and a glowing complexion, it may also reduce chances of heart disease, cancer and strokes, three of the leading causes of death. A growing body of research suggests that most vitamin supplements don’t help prevent chronic disease. A synthetic vitamin or mineral is a laboratory simulation of the real thing. Natural, plant-based vitamins and minerals are more easily and completely absorbed by the body.

Here is a helpful article that I found from Food Babe, Common Juicing Mistakes, to get you started if you are still a newbie.

juicing mistakes

I also highly recommend you watch the documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, which lays out the research, facts, and power that juicing can have on your health.

Many people have ask what juicer I have so here it is, however, there are MANY great juicers out there!

http://www.amazon.com/Breville-JE98XL-Fountain-850-Watt-Extractor/dp/B003R28HWQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=appliances&ie=UTF8&qid=1400187568&sr=1-1&keywords=juicer+breville
Click on the photo for details





Next... one of my favorite recipes that we use every morning! :)  My other recipes can be found to the right ---------->


Green Juice
Prep Time- 5 min 
Total Time- 10 min
Servings 2 

INGREDIENTS 
  • 8-10 stalks of collard greens
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 2 apples
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 inch ginger root (according to taste)
1.  Wash all vegetables thoroughly.
2.  Feed the vegetables and fruit through the juicer.  The greens seem to work better if they
     are rolled up and I place the ginger in the middle of them.  
3.  Rinse and clean juicer immediately.
4.  Drink and enjoy!


For those of you that like their research (like me) here are some fun facts...
  •  Chlorophyll-  Green juice is rich in chlorophyll, which gives greens their color. Chlorophyll helps your body detoxify. For example, it may inhibit absorption of environmental pollutants like dioxin and also help your body excrete them quicker, says K. Morita, lead author for a study published in "Environmental Health Perspectives."  Chlorophyll also enhances oxygen transport in your body and is a top nutrient for balancing your body’s pH by helping to reduce acidity. Low-grade acidosis may contribute to fatigue as well as other health concerns, including kidney stones and lower growth hormone levels, which lead to more body fat and loss of lean muscle mass.
  • Antioxidants-  Green Juices are antioxidant-rich beverages, notes Estitta Bushkin and Gary Bushkin in the "Better Nutrition" magazine article, “Anti-Aging with Antioxidants.” Antioxidants protect your cells from damage by free radicals, which are produced when your body breaks down food and caused by exposure to environmental factors like tobacco smoke. Free radicals may have a role in diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Both versions of the juice offer the benefit of antioxidants.
  • Collard Greens-
    • Calcium- You might not think it at first, but collard greens are a rich source of calcium. As the mineral found in greatest quantity throughout your body, calcium helps build strong bones and teeth. It is also needed for cellular communication and regulating your body’s hormone levels, as well as helping with blood clotting. A 2-ounce serving of fresh collard juice contains 147 milligrams of calcium per serving. This is almost 15 percent of the recommended dietary allowance for adults.
    • Vitamin K-  Vitamin K is also known as the clotting vitamin, as it is essential for your body to produce blood clots. Insufficient amounts of vitamin K can lead to abnormal bruising or bleeding and difficulty recovering from wounds. It also helps your body with calcium absorption and use, so it helps your body maintain strong bones and teeth. A 2-ounce serving of collard greens juice contains almost 277 micrograms of vitamin K. This is over 100 percent of the recommended adequate intake for men and women.
    • Folate-  Folate is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning excess amounts will be expelled by your body, so regular intake of this essential B vitamin is necessary. Folate helps with cell and tissue growth and function. It can also help prevent anemia, as well as certain birth defects. A 2-ounce serving of fresh collard juice contains 82 micrograms of folate. This is a little over 20 percent of the acceptable intake for men and women and 16.4 percent of what's acceptable for pregnant and breast-feeding women.
  • Ginger-
    • Digestive health- Ginger gets your digestive system up and running and is known to contribute to awesome digestive health. It can help digest fatty foods and break down proteins. It also tends to reduce gas or burping as well as prevent afflictions like diarrhea.
    • Inflammation- One of the amazing benefits of ginger is its power to reduce inflammation. Because of this, ginger can be used to treat any disease caused by inflammations such as arthritis or ulcerative colitis.
    • Cholesterol- It reduces the level of cholesterol absorbed and may have a role in lowering LDL cholesterol.
    •  Immune booster- Ginger promotes healthy sweating which is often instrumental during the cold or flu. Along with detoxification, German scientists have found that sweat contains a powerful germ-fighting agent which fights infection.