Delectable Summer Salad

salad

Quick and easy and beautiful to the eyes!

Red leaf lettuce, grated fresh carrots, sliced sweet onion, ripe tomatoes, and a delicious dressing of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and a drizzle of maple syrup. Toss!

For some extra tang, add a 1/2 tsp of dijon mustard.

Fresh Veggies with Garbanzos, Garlic and Olive Oil

Fresh veggies and garbanzos

This lunch is easy and quick and a picture is worth a thousand words. I made this the other day and it was delightful–especially since veggies are out, local, fresh and bursting with flavor!

Saute up a few chopped cloves of garlic in some butter. Add your choice of veggies and steam veggies until tender crisp. Top with a generous squeeze of fresh lemon, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and pepper and dig in!

Spicy Black Bean Veggie Bowl

Spicy black bean veggie bowl

Want something a little lighter? Meatless meals are great for you and great for the planet. Try this filling, fiber rich, brimming with antioxidants veggie bowl.

Ingredients
1 can of black beans
1/2 lb of green beans
2-3 carrots
2-4 garlic cloves
yellow squash or zucchini
1 red onion
fresh tomato
chili powder
cumin
salsa, hot sauce or sriracha
butter

Directions
In a frying pan with butter, add 1/2 onion and garlic, chili powder and cumin and stir and cook till tender. In a sauce pan, add to beans along with hot sauce and simmer over low heat. Wash veggies, chop carrots and squash and add remaining onion to large pan with a tbsp of butter, salt and pepper. Add about 1/4 cup water and lid, simmer over medium heat until tender–dont overcook! (ten minutes approx)

Spoon up beans in bowls and add veggies, chopped tomato, and a touch of hot sauce if desired. Enjoy! Makes 2-4 servings.

Mexican Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Mex turkey wraps

A little something spicy and delicious for an easy lunch or light dinner!

Ingredients
1 lb of ground turkey, either dark or white meat
garlic, minced
sea salt, pepper
pinch of cayenne
1/2 tsp or so of chili powder
1 tsp cumin
sweet vidalia onion
tomato
cilantro
salsa or hot sauce
green or red leaf lettuce
avocado
coconut oil, olive oil or butter

Directions
In a frying pan, heat up oil, add turkey, garlic, seasonings and cook till turkey is no longer pink. Chop up sweet onion, tomato and avocado and cilantro. Add turkey to large lettuce leaf, top with onion, tomato, avocado, cilantro and salsa. Mmmm-mmm. Serves 4.

BLT Salad

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Love Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwiches? This is a great way to enjoy that same great flavor, without the fattening bread–and with the addition of lots of green veggies, plus avocado!

Ingredients
Romaine, leaf lettuce, baby greens, supergreens, spinach, etc
Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half, or 1-2 larger tomatoes, chopped
4-6 slices natural bacon, cooked and chopped up
Avocado, chopped
Raw blue or goat cheese, optional
Extra virgin olive oil and apple cider or balsamic vinegar

Directions
Cook bacon ahead of time, chop. Clean and chop vegetables and lettuce. Assemble with generous amounts of bacon and avocado.
Add dressing before serving and garnish with cheese if desired.

Southwest Veggie Scramble

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Delicious, easy to throw together, superhealthy breakfast!

This one doesn’t really take any specific ingredients, just pull out a few veggies you have in the fridge and get scrambling!

Ingredients
handful of kaleasparagus
mushrooms
onion
red pepper
tomato
Sriracha sauce or salsa
sprinkle of cumin
2-4 eggs, whipped with fork
Sliced avocado
Cheese if desired

Directions
Chop up veggies and add to large pan (except tomatoes) with 1 Tbsp butter. Over medium high heat, stir and cook till tender. Add eggs, tomatoes and cumin, cook till done. Garnish with sliced avocado, salsa or sriracha. Enjoy!

Grilled Veggies and Chicken Bratwurst

grilled veggies and chicken brats

Want and quick and supereasy dinner idea? Try grilling up some veggies with chicken bratwurst. Super fast, super easy!

Ingredients
Chicken bratwurst, sliced down the middle
Zucchini
Yellow Squash
Sweet Onion
Tomoto
Fresh herbs, salt and pepper
Olive Oil

Directions
Cut up veggies and sausage, drizzle with olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with a little hot sauce if desired. Heat grill to medium high heat. Grill, turning frequently, till veggies are tender and sausage is cooked through. Serve with quinoa, sweet potato or alone.

Fresh Cucumber and Tomato Salad

my cucumber salad

Cucumbers are not the sexy new superfood but they are pretty awesome in their own right! They are a great source of conventional nutrition like vitamin C and vitamin A, and they contain a great source of manganese and antioxidants, including a substance called cucurbitacins. Cucurbitacins actually block cancer cell development and along with the lycopene in the tomatoes, this is a power-packed salad. Add some tuna to it for a complete meal!

Ingredients
3 fresh tomatoes, chopped
3-4 small cucumbers, sliced
1 sweet onion, sliced
Fresh oregano, thyme, or basil chopped
1 tsp raw sugar
2-3 Tbsp virgin olive oil
Lemon juice or 1 Tbsp apple cider or balsamic vinegar
sea salt and pepper
Can of Albacore tuna, optional

Directions
Chop up veggies and mix with dressing. Tastes better if prepared ahead of time and allowed to soak up flavors.

Coconut Flour Pancakes

Pancakes on a white background

These are delicious served with fresh fruit or used as a grain-free ‘muffin’ to hold your eggs. My favorite way is to use these and make a healthier version of an Egg McMuffin. Simply make the pancakes and freeze or refrigerate, heat in toaster or pan and add a piece of natural ham or canadian bacon, an egg and some greens. Breakfast on the go!

Ingredients
•    1/4 cup coconut flour
•    1/8 tsp baking soda
•    Pinch of salt
•    1/3 – 1/4 cup coconut milk
•    2 tbsp organic, cold-pressed coconut oil
•    3 eggs
•    1-2 tbsp honey
•    1/2 tsp vanilla extract
•    Maple syrup to taste
•    Grass-fed butter for cooking (Kerrygold and Anchor are my favorite brands)

Directions
Thoroughly mix the eggs,coconut and honey together. Add coconut milk and vanilla extract. Add coconut flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix, but not too much! Melt a dab of butter in your skillet and then using a measuring cup, add a little batter to the pan. I recommend figuring out how many pancakes you’d like to make beforehand so that you can use an appropriately sized cup or ladle. This recipe should yield around 8 or so pancakes.

 
*The lecithin contained in the egg yolks gives you the texture of the pancakes, so if you’re not happy with the overall consistency then I would recommend adjusting the egg quantity before anything else.

Cleansing Artichoke Soup

dish of fresh artichokes soup

I absolute LOVE this soup! It’s perfect for spring and full of great greens as well as the cleansing quality of artichokes. It’s not that complicated and easy to vary depending on your ingredients on hand. The key of course is the artichokes, leeks and potatoes.

Artichokes are members of the thistle family and we are eating the flower. They are very high in fiber, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and chromium and manganese. Artichokes contain cynarin and silymarin, which are excellent for the liver, kidneys, and stimulating bile secretion. Cynarin was actually used as a cholesterol lowering drug at one time and it can decrease cholesterol dramitically. And because artichokes are good for detoxing the liver they are great for hangovers!

Different greens work in this soup: sorrel, chard, spinach, beet greens, butter lettuce, etc.

Ingredients
2 medium to large artichokes
1 cup water with lemon juice added
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 leeks, sliced, white part only
4 garlic cloves
2 small red potatoes, quartered
Several leaves of greens
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
sea salt
5-6 cups water
1 cup frozen baby peas

Garnishes
Extra virgin olive oil
Parmigiana Cheese
Fresh ground pepper

Directions
Break off all outer leaves at the stem. Slice off the top of the remaining leaves about 2/3 of the way down. Cut the artichokes in quarters and remove the fuzzy centers with a spoon, leaving the hearts intact. Drop them into the lemon water as you work, so they do not turn dark.

Warm the olive oil in another large pan, and add leeks, artichokes, garlic, potatoes, greens and salt. Add 1/2 cup water and stew for a few minutes. Add peas and rest of ingredients and simmer partially covered for 20 minutes till artichokes are tender. Cool and blend in blender in batches. Garnish with olive oil and cheese and pepper.

Jerk Chicken (or Pork) with Pineapple/Mango Salsa

chicken+with+pineapple+salsa(photo courtesy http://healthyandgourmet.blogspot.com)

This is the perfect time of year to enjoy grilling outside and this is the epitomy of a refreshing, delicious summer dish. The jerk seasoning on the chicken (or pork) sets off the cool, sweet taste of the pineapple salsa perfectly. This chicken is best on the grill, but you can also make it on the stovetop as well–preferably in a cast iron skillet. Jerk seasoning is a spicy, sweet seasoning from the Caribbean. It can be found as either a wet or dry rub, but I prefer the dry rub. I make my own mix, but its generally easy to find in the store already mixed up.

Ingredients
2-4 lbs boneless, skinless breasts, or thighs or pork loins or pork chops
Jerk seasoning (recipe below)

Salsa
Pineapple and/or mango, chopped in small chunks
1/2 red onion
2-3 cloves garlic
1 small red or green jalepeno pepper, ribs and seeds removed and minced
fresh lime juice to taste

Directions
Heat grill to medium heat, brush grates with oil to prevent sticking. Coat chicken in jerk seasoning, and grill. Turn one or two times. The jerk seasoning with will burn because there is sugar in it, so try not to let it get totally charred, but a nice bit carmelized brown is great.
Meanwhile, chop and mix up fruit salsa. Serve with a generous dollop of fruit salsa on top. Sweet potatoes round out this dinner perfectly!

Chicken Piccata with Artichoke Hearts and Capers

chicken_piccata-6-1024x682(photo courtesy www.pixelatedcrumb.com)

This was always one of my fast, ‘go-to’dinners–always a favorite, and very quick and easy to fix. I just kept canned or jarred artichokes on hand, capers (great in a lot of dishes) and frozen chicken breasts. Viola! A quick, yet elegant dish that satisfied everyone!

Capers actually have a long history of being used medicinally all the way back to early Greece to treat inflammatory conditions. And they have been used for gas, indigestion and bloating as well as promoting healthy liver function. Adding capers to grilled meats helps prevent the formation of cancer-causing by-products as well.

Ingredients
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, or thighs
1/4 cup or so brown rice flour, optional
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp grass fed butter
4 cloves garlic minced
1 can or small jar of artichoke hearts (can be marinated or plain)
2 Tbsp of fresh lemon juice
2-3 Tbsp capers2 Tbsp white wine
Parmigiana Reggiano, grated, optional
Herbs–Rosemary, oregano, basil, etc.

Directions
Rinse chicken and dredge through flour or pour flour into a large plastic bag and shake chicken pieces in it. Add chicken to pan with olive oil and butter and brown. Add in garlic. Season with sea salt and herbs and cook chicken until done inside and golden brown. Add artichoke hearts, capers, wine and lemon juice. Simmer 10-15 minutes until liquid reduces and thickens slightly. Serve plain or over cooked quinoa, cauliflower ‘rice’ or potatoes.

Garden Fresh Gazpacho

gazpachoGazpacho is the perfect soup of summer. Refreshingly cool on a hot summer day, this classic Spanish soup combines the best of summers most nutrient rich vegetables. This soup is always best when you can use locally grown and picked at their peak vegetables. Not only will they be bursting with nutrients, but also bursting with flavor. You just can’t do justice to this soup with store bought veggies picked way before they are naturally ripe! And did you know, organic tomatoes contain three time the cancer fighting lycopene that conventional tomatoes contain? And lycopene is one of those foods that is absorbed better when eaten with a fat, so add some yummy avocado to your gazpacho to top it off!

Ingredients
4-6 ripe tomatoes, quartered
1 red onion, quartered
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped in large pieces
2-3 stalks celery, chopped in large pieces
2 carrots, chopped roughly
1 sweet red bell pepper, quartered
2-4 cloves of garlic minced
2 Tbsp fresh parsley
1 tsp cumin
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp raw sugar or honey
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
2-4 cups V-8, tomato juice or the healthy organic equivelent
Handful cilantro
Avocado sliced
1 cup medium shrimp, cooked (optional)

Directions
Combine all ingredients, with only about half the tomato juice in blender, and blend at low speed, leaving soup chunky. Add all ingredients, and mix. Refrigerate or serve with cilantro and sliced avocado. Makes great leftovers too!

 

Curried Sweet Potato Soup

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This soup has a rich and exotic taste that satisfies and warms your soul. Sweet potatoes contain numerous significant and surprising health benefits. The super nutrients that these root veggies contain include antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds, and blood sugar regulating substances. The bright orange flesh contains beta carotene, which is converted into vitamin A with the addition of some fat. Including healthy fats maximizes your body’s ability to absorb and convert beta carotene into usable vitamin A.

The phytonutrients in sweet potatoes also help with digestive tract problems and add healthy fiber. And don’t forget the power-packed spices–curry powder, coriander, cardamom, and turmeric have massive health benefits ranging from anti-aging, brain health to cancer protection and arthritis prevention.

Ingredients
4 cups sweet potatoes, cubed
1 medium sweet onion, chopped2 celery stalks, chopped
1/4″ fresh ginger, minced
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp turmeric
Sea salt
Pinch of cayenne
5 cups vegetable stock
1 cup almond, flax, or coconut milk
1 Tbsp coconut oil or butter
1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds

Directions
Heat coconut oil or butter in large pot and saute onions and celery until tender and translucent. Add minced garlic and saute briefly. Add remaining ingredients and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender. After soup has cooled sufficiently, place in blender and puree in batches till smooth. If too thick add more stock or water. Sprinkle with roasted pumpkin seeds.

Chimichurri Steak

beef chimichurri, Ted(Recipe and photo courtesy Chef Ted Wood)

I love the simplicity of a great chimchurri. It truly brings out the flavor of meat in so many dishes! Chimichurri is a staple of South American food, especially Argentinian dishes. This version uses fresh parsley, onion, garlic, oil, vinegar, and a little bit of chili pepper. The dominant flavor of the onion will make or break this dish, so use a sweeter onion if you can. If not, just cut back a bit.

Eating just two Tablespoons of parsley actually promotes better carbohydrate metabolism. It is also very anti-inflammatory, strengthens the immune system, fights heart disease, strokes, and atherosclerosis–not to mention bad breath! The vitamin K in parsley is also great for bones and helps the body make an important fat that protects the myelin sheaths around our nerves and nervous system.

You can also substitute fresh cilantro instead of–or in addition to the parsley, which also has huge health benefits as well.

Ingredients
Grass fed steak–flank, skirt steak, tri-tip, ribeye, etc.
5 large garlic cloves
1/4 to 1/2 red onion
1 cup parsley leaves
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
sea salt, red pepper flakes

Directions
Finely mince the garlic, onion and parsley. Stir in wine vinegar and olive oil, season with salt and red pepper.

Grill steak over medium high heat until medium rare. Thinly slice on diagnonal and serve with a generous amount of chimichurri sauce. Enjoy!

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Bell Peppers stuffed with Spiced Rice and Dried Fruits

Quinoa is a seed, not a grain and it is packed full of nutrients, including lots of protein. Quinoa is gluten free, and a great low glycemic vegetarian source of protein as well as being rich in manganese, magnesium, calcium, copper, iron, phosphorus, vitamin E, and B vitamins. Quinoa’s protein provides all essential amino acids, making it idea for meatless meals.

Quinoa typically comes in the white version, but there are also red and black versions. My favorite is a mixture of all three. The red and black types take slightly longer to cook but add a delicious texture and nuttier taste.

This recipe is delicious as a meatless meal or you can add ground beef or chicken or cheese, for heartier appetites. Either way, you will be sure to enjoy!

Ingredients
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 lb grass fed beef, chicken or turkey (optional)4 red, yellow or green pepper, sliced in half, with seeds and center removed
1 medium red onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small zucchini, diced
1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
1-2 tsp dried or fresh oregano
1-2 tsp dried or fresh basil
1 small can of organic chopped tomatoes or 3 fresh chopped tomatoes
Hot pepper flakes or dash of hot sauce
sea salt
Fresh chopped parsely
Grass fed cheese (optional)

Directions
Heat oven to 350 F. Wash peppers, removes stems and seed, and cut in half. Place in small baking dish with sides. (The idea is to have the peppers sort of packed in to help prevent them from collapsing.)

Cook meat in pan–when mostly done, add onion, garlic, zucchini, mushrooms, oregano, basil, salt and pepper flakes. If doing meatless version, just cook veggies in pan about 5-6 minutes till tender. Add tomatoes and quinoa and cook till liquid is absorbed.

Spoon mixture into peppers and bake in oven, covered in foil for about 20 minutes. Remove foil and cook for another 10 minutes or so. If adding cheese, add in the last few minutes and cook till just melted. Sprinkle with parsley and enjoy!

Asian Chicken Salad

asian-chicken-salad-1514275629

This yummy Asian inspired salad include the delicate flavor of napa cabbage, as well as other healthy cabbages and cruciferous vegetables. Cabbage contains compounds that make it naturally fat burning, and napa boasts the highest concentration of folate. Folate is extremely important for healthy pregnancies and for infants, for red blood cells and to prevent anemia.

Cabbage is big on cancer prevention. Nearly 500 studies have looked at this family of vegetables and their outstanding cancer destroying properties. The glucosinolates are the primary ingredient with the anti-cancer benefits. These are converted into compounds that prevent a variety of cancers including: bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer. So eat an extra helping of this cancer fighting salad!

Salad
2-4 boneless, skinless cooked chicken breasts or thighs, sliced thinly2-3 Napa cabbage sliced thinly
1/2 cup red cabbage, sliced thinly
1 small sweet red bell pepper, sliced in thin strips
4-6 green onions, chopped or sliced in 2″ strips
2 carrots, grated or cut in matchstick slices
1/2 lb fresh snow peas, cut in thin slices on diagonal
Big handful cilantro, chopped
1-2 cups mung bean sprouts
1/2 cup slivered almonds

Dressing
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (seasoned from Trader Joe’s is great)
Juice of fresh lime
1 Tbsp honey
1/4 cup olive oil, or avocado oil
1 tsp sesame oil
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger root

Slice all veggies thinly and place in large salad bowl. Chop or shred chicken using two forks. Whisk dressing together, making sure honey is blended in well. Add chicken and almonds and pour dressing over all. Great leftovers too!

Easy Teriyaki Chicken Satay

Delicious chicken satay on skewers

Most any cut of chicken works for this–the best is chicken breasts or thighs, but this marinade also works great on many types of meat. Meat can be marinated for as little as 1-2 hours, or overnight for more flavor. Marinades not only add flavor but can prevent some of the carcinogenic compounds from forming when meat is grilled.

Marinades are fun and easy once you get a basic formula down. This one is my stand-by formula. You can always make variables of this by adding more herbs, spices, etc. All you need is an oil, flavor (soy, teriyaki, etc), an acid (lemon, lime, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, etc), a touch of sweetness (honey, brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup), and then seasonings (garlic, ginger, herbs, salt and pepper). The sky is the limit!

Chicken
2-3 lbs of boneless skinless breasts or thighs
Bamboo skewers, soaked in water for a couple hours

Marinade
1 cup gluten free soy sauce
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp honey or brown sugar
Juice of one fresh lemon or lime
Splash of orange juice or fresh orange juice
1 Tbsp fresh ground ginger root
Fresh ground black pepper or pinch of cayenne or hot sauce like Tabasco
4 chopped fresh garlic cloves
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Direction
If using skewers, slice chicken in smaller slices that will fit on skewers. Mix marinade ingredients in a large shallow glass dish. Place chicken in dish and be sure all pieces are covered. Thread chicken on skewers and grill over medium heat on grill or in oven on a baking sheet at 375 F for 12-18 minutes. Turn to brown all sides. Serve with satay sauce (recipe below) or grilled fresh pineapple.

Satay sauce
1/2 cup peanut butter, sunflower butter or cashew butter. Add 2 Tbsp boiling hot water and mix with a fork till well blended. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, grated ginger, and a touch of honey or sugar. Mix well.

Healthy Cobb Salad

American Cobb Salad

A healthier, more up to date version of the classic Cobb salad. Definitely heart enough for a meal in itself. You can always vary the ingredients according to what you have on hand, and the brighter and more colorful, the better!

The addition of watercress and arugula add a great taste sensation plus the added benefits of cruciferous vegetables, which they are both a part of. Watercress and arugula both contain 8X the calcium as regular iceberg lettuce. Watercress is also a stimulant, a diuretic, an expectorant, and a digestive aid. Due to its high iodine content, watercress is good for the thyroid gland as well. Good thyroid function = higher metabolism = a better fat burning lean body.

Salad
3-4 Hard boiled eggs, shelled and quartered
1 cup organic cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
6 slices of natural bacon, cooked, and chopped up
4 cups watercress, arugula, baby greens, chard, etc.
1/4 cup thin sliced radishes
1/4 cup grass fed extra sharp cheddar, crumbled-optional
1 lb. medium sized shrimp or chicken, cooked

Dressing
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1-2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp dijon mustard or mustard powder
Chopped fresh herbs
1/2 tsp maple syrup

Arrange all ingredients on plate or shallow bowl. Drizzle with dressing, fresh herbs, sea salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Balls of Energy

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These nutty morsels not only fill you up with healthy super-powered nutrients, but they also are low glycemic and high in fiber, and give you oodles of fat-burning energy. Try these before a workout or as a sweet satisfying dessert, or even a high-powered breakfast to go! Every ingredient in these is a virtual superfood bursting with healthy, energizing, fat burning potential.

The fats are good for your heart, blood vessels, skin, eyes and more. The arginine in the nuts helps to relax blood vessels, lowering blood pressure and increasing stamina. And chia seeds are loaded with omega 3 fats, and tons of antioxidants! They provide complete protein, along with a bushel of nutrition!

Ingredients
1 cup raw or roasted almond, cashew, sunflower or peanut butter
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp minced ginger
1/4 cup chia seeds
3/4 cup oats
1 cup raisins or dried cranberries
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
2 Tbsp honey
pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp of organic cocoa powder
2 scoops cold processed whey protein powder

Directions
Mix all ingredients in bowl or food processor. Roll into balls or press into a square pan. Refrigerate for an hour or more. Store in refrigerator or freezer.