June 30, 2014

chili roasted sweet potatoes

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 Love sweet potatoes but need a new way to serve them?  This recipe is sweet, the sugar almost caramelizes while roasting giving them a crunchy outside, and also has a bit of heat.  However, not enough that kids won't love them... my 3 year-old ask for seconds, making them the perfect side dish for anything Mexican!
 

jalapeno cornbread

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 I love cornbread and I am always looking for ways to make it even better.  This recipe is so good and moist thanks to the buttermilk.  It made a perfect addition to the black beans and rice that I made for dinner.  The flavor of the jalapenos infuses into the cornbread and gives it unbelievable taste. 

black beans and rice

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 This recipe is so easy since it all cooks in one pot and there is little clean-up.  If you prefer some spice, add in some green chilies or diced jalapeno to kick it up a notch. 

On a Saturday morning...

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We have a local farmer's market in Athens, Georgia that is open on Saturday mornings .  It is a great place to get local, organic produce.  I was able to get some ingredients for this week's meals while supporting local farms:)  If you have one in your area I would highly suggest you check it out!  This one has live music, fresh coffee, pastries, crafts for the kids... basically it's a great way to start the weekend!



 

June 29, 2014

orzo stuffed peppers with feta and mint

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These stuffed peppers are the best!  I used a vegetarian sausage but you can also use pork sausage.  The mint is the perfect compliment to the feta and onions. 

June 28, 2014

blackberries and cream crepes

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 I set out to pick blackberries and got some help when I told my family about my plans for them... crepes!




 Even Elsa came to help;)

If you've never tried crepes they are wonderful and so versatile.  Besides blackberries and cream, I love filling them with peanut butter and bananas, chocolate, chocolate and bananas, strawberries... you get the picture:)  They are so so so good!  If you can make pancakes, you can make crepes.

classic dinner rolls

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gnocchi with spinach and peas in a lemon cream sauce

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Gnocchi is an Italian pasta usually made from potato, and until about year ago, I had never tried it.  I was always curious what that white pillowy looking pasta was but never ventured over until I came across this pasta recipe.  I fell in love and it became an instant favorite.

This pasta is delicious and super quick to make.  Perfect for a busy weeknight!!  The lemon balances out the sweetness from the peas and pairs perfectly with the spinach.  Let's not forget the bread... which with pasta is pretty much a must around our house!:)  I decided, last minute of course, to make classic dinner rolls.  They taste just like the ones Grandma used to make, soft with that sweet yeast smell.

June 26, 2014

roasted garlic pasta salad

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 This pasta salad is amazing!!!  Yes I use that word a lot... but this definitely deserves it:)

This recipe features 3 garlic bulbs, but don't be scared away because when roasted they become sweet and soft and lose the bite that raw garlic has.  When the roasted garlic is whipped into the yogurt and ricotta it becomes a dressing to die for and it has unbelievable flavor!

Remember how I love my pasta shapes?  Look who I found for tonight;)
Garlic is so good for you for numerous reasons, here is a run through of some facts:)  It is an immune system booster as well as used to fight chest infections, coughs, and congestion.  Garlic contains high levels of iodine which makes it an effective treatment for thyroid conditions.  Cardiovascular disease can be reduced by ingesting garlic and studies have shown the amazing benefits of taking garlic in relation to heart disease.  Need another reason?:)
Cardiovascular disease can be reduced by ingesting garlic. LDL cholesterol is no friend of garlic and the aortic plaque deposits that gather on the walls of your body’s veins can be reduced with the use of garlic too. Studies have shown the amazing benefits of taking garlic in relation to heart disease. - See more at: http://www.naturalblaze.com/2013/04/10-amazing-health-benefits-of-garlic.html#sthash.IcUZVcMG.dpuf
Cardiovascular disease can be reduced by ingesting garlic. LDL cholesterol is no friend of garlic and the aortic plaque deposits that gather on the walls of your body’s veins can be reduced with the use of garlic too. Studies have shown the amazing benefits of taking garlic in relation to heart disease. - See more at: http://www.naturalblaze.com/2013/04/10-amazing-health-benefits-of-garlic.html#sthash.IcUZVcMG.dpuf
as helps to fight chest infections, coughs and congestion. - See more at: http://www.naturalblaze.com/2013/04/10-amazing-health-benefits-of-garlic.html#sthash.IcUZVcMG.dpuf
Garlic contains high levels of iodine which makes it a very effective treatment for hyperthyroid conditions. Treatment with garlic has been shown to greatly improve this condition. - See more at: http://www.naturalblaze.com/2013/04/10-amazing-health-benefits-of-garlic.html#sthash.IcUZVcMG.dpuf
Garlic contains high levels of iodine which makes it a very effective treatment for hyperthyroid conditions. Treatment with garlic has been shown to greatly improve this condition. - See more at: http://www.naturalblaze.com/2013/04/10-amazing-health-benefits-of-garlic.html#sthash.IcUZVcMG.dpuf
Garlic contains high levels of iodine which makes it a very effective treatment for hyperthyroid conditions. Treatment with garlic has been shown to greatly improve this condition. - See more at: http://www.naturalblaze.com/2013/04/10-amazing-health-benefits-of-garlic.html#sthash.IcUZVcMG.dpuf
Garlic strengthens the immune system as well as helps to fight chest infections, coughs and congestion. - See more at: http://www.naturalblaze.com/2013/04/10-amazing-health-benefits-of-garlic.html#sthash.IcUZVcMG.dpuf
Garlic strengthens the immune system as well as helps to fight chest infections, coughs and congestion. - See more at: http://www.naturalblaze.com/2013/04/10-amazing-health-benefits-of-garlic.html#sthash.IcUZVcMG.dpuf

Grocery List- Week 6

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Meals for the week:
-orzo stuffed peppers with feta and mint served with pita chips and hummus or your favorite bread
-gnocchi with spinach and peas in a lemon cream sauce served with crusty bread
-chili roasted sweet potatoes with black beans and rice served with your favorite corn bread (I'm making jalapeno corn bread and it's AMAZING!)

Produce
  • 2 large onions
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 7 garlic cloves
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 pounds (3 to 4 medium) sweet potatoes
  • 2 cups fresh baby peas, depending on season you may have to grab frozen
  • 6 cups packed baby spinach (6 ounces)
  • 1 lemon
  • 6 medium red, orange and/or yellow sweet peppers
  • 2 stalks organic celery
  • 1 1/2 cups carrot or tomato juice
  • 1/4 cup snipped fresh mint
  • 4 ounces vegetarian sausage, Italian hot or mild
Baking/Spices/Nuts
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons organic sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder 
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes 
Dressings/Oils/Vinegars
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Ethnic
  • 1 cup organic brown rice
  • 1 cup black beans, cooked according to package directions (equal to 2 cans)
Pasta/Beans/Canned Goods
  • 2 pound dried gnocchi 
  • 3/4cup dried orzo
Freezer
  •  
Dairy
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 2 cups crumbled feta cheese (8 oz.)
Seafood/Meat
  •  
Miscellaneous

FOR THE CORNBREAD
  • 1 cup buttermilk (TIPS AND TRICKS: A substitute for buttermilk)
  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 jalapeno peppers

June 24, 2014

vegetable curry with tofu

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 Tonight I'm thinking curry... Mmmmmm one of my favs!  I LOVE curry.  I don't make it often but when I do I wonder why I don't.  This recipe uses tofu but that tofu can easily be substituted for any meat or shrimp.  You could also leave out the meat and use this as a side dish.  If you are one of those people that has never tried curry... well here's your chance!  It's amazing and a whole new world of flavors just waiting:)

June 23, 2014

black bean and pineapple enchiladas

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 Mondays... oh Mondays... they are so ho hum.  I usually plan something fun for dinner for my sweet husband since going back to work on Monday, especially after an amazing weekend, can be less than exciting!  Tonight I'll be making our favorite enchiladas.  They are so good that you'll forget the meat is missing:)  The flavors are wonderful together!

Fun fact for the day... beans are even healthier than I realized (just learned this myself) because they contain saponins, compounds that protect cells from cancer-causing damage.  So eat up! 

June 22, 2014

roasted tomato grilled cheese

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  I did something wonderful on a Sunday night.  So my family has this obsession with grilled cheese... that melted cheese on crispy, buttered, homemade rustic italian bread is to die for!  I had some balsamic reduction left over from lunch, when I made grilled vegetables with polenta croutons drizzled with a balsamic reduction, and just couldn't throw it away.  So... I decided to make a grilled cheese with roasted tomatoes and that ooey, gooey, amazing, sweet balsamic:)  There were no words for how good it was... grilled cheese will never be the same! 

grilled vegetables with polenta croutons drizzled with a balsamic reduction

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 Sunday afternoons are perfect for grilling out!  This recipe is simple and although it takes longer than some, most of that time is hands-off.  The balsamic reduction is a perfect addition to the vegetables and takes them from ordinary to unbelievable.  As the balsamic thickens the flavor sweetens, becoming less bitter.  It is delicious!!!  Besides all these yummy vegetables this recipe also features polenta which a health star!  The carotenoids from the milled corn are easier for your body to digest, rather than whole kernels, so you are able to absorb all the nutrients!  Yellow squash would also make a great vegetable for this dish and you could even throw in potatoes!
 

favorite juice recipe?

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How did you start your day?  This morning we had carrot + citrus juice and loved it!!!  I would love to know your favs and post some of them on here!  Send your best juice recipe to
eat.pray.juice.blog@gmail.com

Have a great Sunday!!!

June 20, 2014

quinoa tabbouleh

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 Tabbouleh is a Levantine vegetarian dish traditionally made of bulgur, tomatoes, finely chopped parsley, mint, and onion, and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt.  In this version I used quinoa instead of the bulgur for the added protein and kept it simple with only parsley.  The feta?  I felt it made a perfect addition!  This is a great summer dish and makes a simple side for any meat or seafood!  Extra garden veggies... here you go:)
  

June 19, 2014

Grocery List- Week 5

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Meals for the week:
-black bean and pineapple enchiladas served with chips and salsa/guacamole
-quinoa tabbouleh with your choice of meat (I'll be using black bean burgers!)
-grilled vegetables with polenta croutons drizzled with a balsamic reduction served with crusty bread (can be a main dish or side)

Produce

  • 3 large yellow onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 pineapple (you can also buy it cut up and packaged from the produce dept. if you'd like, you'll need 2 1/2 cups)
  • 3 lemons
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 4-6 portobello mushroom caps
  • 1 large eggplant (or 2 japanese)
  • 3 medium zucchini
  • 2 bunches green onions
  • 1 package of polenta
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
Baking/Nuts
  •  
Spices/Oils/Vinegars
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
Ethnic
  • 1 (4.4 oz) can chopped green chilies
  • 1 (10 oz.) can mild enchilada sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa
Pasta/Beans/Canned Goods
  •  1/2 cup dried black beans, cooked
Freezer
  •  
Dairy
  • sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces feta cheese crumbles
Seafood/Meat
  •  your choice to accompany the quinoa tabbouleh
Miscellaneous
  • 8 flour tortillas (8 or 9 inch)

June 16, 2014

spinach, almond, and feta pasta

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 I love spinach and here's why (well besides the wonderful taste and pretty green color)... spinach is loaded with flavonoids which act as antioxidants, protecting the body from free radicals. Researchers have discovered at least 13 different flavonoid compounds that act as anti-cancer substances. The various nutrients offer much in the way of disease protection.  This leafy green is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B2, potassium, and vitamin B6. It’s a very good source of protein, phosphorus, vitamin E, zinc, dietary fiber, and copper. Plus, it’s a good source of selenium, niacin, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Next I could go on and on about the health benefits of almonds and garlic, but after all that spinach goodness you may just want to look it up on your own.  In a few words... they are also amazing!

On to the yummy side of things... this pasta is delicious!  I added the toasted almonds for crunch and feta because its tangy creaminess goes so well with the spinach and sprouts.  Last but not least... garlic which is always a plus and you can never go wrong!:) 

June 15, 2014

corn, tomato, and avocado salad with cilantro-lime dressing

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I hope everyone had a wonderful Father's Day!!  My husband's parents joined us for a cookout and I made this delicious salad to go along with grilled chicken, my father-in-law and mother-in-law haven't crossed over to being vegetarians... yet!;)  

My favorite herb... cilantro.  I love it!  I use it in my soups, sandwiches, enchiladas, basically anything and everything.  This cilantro-lime dressing is so refreshing and perfect for a hot summer day.  This salad is so easy and takes less than 20 minutes to throw together!  If we had been eating it as a main dish I would have served it with homemade cornbread or cheese quesadillas... pick which ever one you like:)

June 13, 2014

mushroom and herb spaghetti squash

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 LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!  About a year ago when my family started eating mainly vegetarian meals I tried spaghetti squash.  My whole family loves it and it makes a healthy, simple meal.  I like to serve it with a homemade rustic Italian loaf, but any crusty bread would be delicious! 


June 12, 2014

blackened tofu with corn and onion grits

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Still feeling the southern cooking kick I've been on, I decided grits sounded good for dinner.  I grew up in Indiana where grits is not a common word.  When I moved to the south 4 years ago I thought they were just a nasty dish people ate for breakfast.  On top of that the only grits I had ever tried were Quaker Instant Grits, and they are a far cry from the stone ground goodness that I now eat!:)  I realized I was missing something when my husband and I went to a 5-star restaurant and they served shrimp on a bed of grits... I knew there was more to them!  After trying several recipes they are now one of my FAVORITES!!!  So don't be afraid... go for it!


If you aren't familiar with grits... here is an idea of what you will be looking for at the grocery store.  Up north you probably won't see this brand, but Bob's Red Mill is more readily available and just as good!

I separated the recipe and ingredient list for these two dishes so that if you are interested in making the grits with a shrimp or chicken dish, you can easily do that.  However, the seasoning and ingredients would work perfectly to make blackened shrimp or chicken and could easily be substituted for the tofu.

June 11, 2014

campfire pizza

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This is my favorite pizza recipe of all time.  I first had this pizza 8 years ago when I went to a famous pizza restaurant in West Lafayette Indiana, on Purdue University's campus.  I fell in love and a couple of months later I set out to recreate that amazing pizza pie.  It starts with an onion marmalade that is then topped with smoked sausage, gorgonzola cheese, and fresh rosemary.  I made this vegetarian version using a veggie smoked sausage but either one will work or you can leave it off completely:)

June 10, 2014

Grocery List- Week 4

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Meals for the week:
-blackened tofu with corn and onion grits (shrimp or chicken can be equally substituted in this recipe for the tofu)
-mushroom and herb spaghetti squash serve with your choice of crusty bread
-corn, tomato, and avocado salad with cilantro-lime dressing serve with cheese quesadillas or cornbread

Produce
  • 3 white or yellow onions 
  • 3 pound spaghetti squash
  • 6 ears of corn
  • 8 ounces mushrooms
  • 1 bunch green onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 medium avocados
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 limes
  • 3 & 1/2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes (roughly 3 pints)
  • 1 package of extra firm tofu 
  • 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 package fresh chives
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
Baking/Nuts
  •  1 cup stone-ground or coarse-ground grits
Spices/Oils/Vinegars
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional, if you want more spice)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
Ethnic
  •  1/2 cup dried black beans
Pasta/Beans/Canned Goods
  •  
Freezer
  •  
Dairy
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup grated white cheddar cheese, about 3 ounces (yellow cheddar will also work) 
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus some for serving 
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese
Seafood/Meat
  •  
Miscellaneous
  •  

June 09, 2014

carrot + citrus juice

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

INGREDIENTS
  • 10 carrots
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 orange   
  • 1 lime 

June 08, 2014

potato, zucchini, and onion packets with sour cream dip

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 After a long day doing yard work, it was time to answer that famous question "what's for dinner?".  I had already decided on grilling fish, but I wasn't sure what I wanted to go on the side that was easy.  Sometimes it's nice when the whole meal goes on the grill, that way I can also be outside with the family versus spending 40 minutes alone in the kitchen:)  So... I decided on these veggie and potato packets seasoned with dill and chives.  They were so good and took little time to prepare.  Having people over?  They can be prepped a day ahead and then just seasoned before putting them in foil.  Yellow squash would also be good in these and/or green beans.  A great way to use those extra veggies from your garden this summer!

strawberry lemonade

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Whether it was my recent vacation to Williamsburg Virginia, and seeing all the breathtaking southern homes with beautiful wrap around porches (where you just know they used to sit and drink lemonade when it was hot), or all the yard work we did when we got home... this sounded like the perfect way to relax on the patio when it was all finished.  

Lemonade always sounds good when it's hot outside and you can never go wrong with strawberries:)  The sparkling water tops it off perfectly and makes it so refreshing! 

June 06, 2014

warm balsamic spinach salad with feta

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  I love salads!  All of them.  However, sometimes I feel like I get into a rut with what I ingredients I use and the dressings I make, so I am always looking for new ideas.  I found this recipe, made a few adjustments, and loved it!  The warm dressing is my favorite part and the feta goes so well with the sweetness in the balsamic.  Add the sauteed mushrooms and onions... perfect!!

After a busy day this salad makes a great dinner, and is super easy to put together.  It makes a great main, or side dish, and can be topped with grilled chicken.
 

June 03, 2014

prosciutto and fig pizza with arugula

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 I went to go visit my sister in Indiana and we ordered pizzas from one of those little swanky gourmet pizza restaurants.  It was unbelievable.  The arugula adds just the right amount of bite to contrast the fig jam.  As if it could get any better, it is then topped with goat cheese and drizzled with a balsamic reduction.  Simply amazing.

chipotle-avocado dressing and dip

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 This creamy dressing is perfect for any summer salad and a great dip for quesadillas.  I used it on a corn, black bean, and tomato salad that I took to a family cook-out and it was a hit, everyone loved it!  Avocados are known for their healthy fat which reduces levels of bad cholesterol in your blood and lowers your risk of stroke and heart disease.  In addition avocados are an excellent source of potassium (containing more per weight than bananas). They are also rich in vitamin K, vitamin B9, vitamin B6, vitamin B5, vitamin C, and vitamin E.  So eat up and feel good about it :)

June 01, 2014

teriyaki stir-fry with noodles and tofu

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 This recipe is full of flavor and perfect for a quick healthy meal.  Want some spice?  Stir in some crushed red pepper flakes:)

Some grocery stores carry frozen bagged stir-fry vegetables that can cut down on prep time.  Another time saver would be to buy bottled teriyaki sauce instead of preparing it from scratch.  I prefer to make my sauces and cut down on preservatives and let's be honest... I think they taste better when homemade!  However, there are those time when you are in a hurry and who cares... grab the bottle:)