Tag Archives: easy

Green juice smoothie

YUM!

YUM!

This crazy colored, nutrient-dense, frosty beverage is one of my favorite ways to start the day!

Slightly sweet, just-frosty-enough, this smoothie will power you through a full morning, and then some!

ENJOY!

Green juice smoothie

  • 4 oz favorite juice or coconut water (I usually use fresh juice–kale, cucumber, celery, ginger, beet, carrot, apple, orange)
  • 1 banana (frozen banana works great here to make this even more frosty)
  • 2-3 cups kale (I use a mix of kale, beet greens, and spinach)
  • 1 c frozen berries (I used peaches and raspberries this morning, but love this with frozen blueberries) 

    Vitamix ready to go!

    Vitamix ready to go!

Blend until smooth.

 

Best kale salad, EVER!

Best kale salad, ever!

Best kale salad, ever!

All I am going to say about this salad is that after eating half of his FIRST large serving, Andy told me this needed to be on HEAVY ROTATION here through the summer.

Kale salad on heavy rotation!?!  YES!!!

MAKE IT, EAT IT, LOVE IT!

Best kale salad, EVER!

  • 6-8 c organic baby kale mix (baby kale, spinach, beet greens, carrots) from Sams (any baby kale or kale mix will do just fine!)

Dressing

  • 1/4 c lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • salt, pepper, chipotle pepper flakes

Mix the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Pecan and cranberry mix 

  • 1/3  c pecans
  • 1/3 c pistachios, shelled
  • 2 heaping T nutritional yeast
  • 1 T EVOO
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 2 big handfuls of dried cranberries.  I used sweetened.
  • salt, pepper chipotle pepper flakes

Use a grinder to process the pistachios and pecans to small pieces.  Add the nutritional yeast, EVOO, salt, pepper, and hot pepper and pulse in the grinder a few times, until crumbly and mixed.  Add the dry pecan cranberry mix, salad dressing and kale greens to a large lidded bowl.  Shake well to evenly coat the greens with the dressing and pecan, cranberry mix.  

Serve immediately.  

You can add roasted beets and/or red onions to the salad to add some more color and lots of good nutrition and flavor!  

Great color and flavor in this very simple and nutritious salad that is a meal!

Great color and flavor in this very simple and nutritious salad that is a meal!

 

 

Mango Gazpacho

Best gazpacho ever!

Best gazpacho ever!

I love springing forward for so many reasons, but a big one for me (especially right now) is the fact that there will be a bigger and more interesting and flavorful selection of fruits and veggies available at the store.

This week, my very favorite mango was available at Sams, by the flat.   I have been patiently waiting for their reappearance, checking back every couple of days, and my heart soared when I finally spotted this orange beauty sitting out!

Mango salsa, mango salad, mango smoothies, and this crazy awesome, mango gazpacho are just a few of the many things I make with this super sweet, exotic, and bright tropical fruit.

There are many different varieties, but the smaller, champagne (ataulfo) variety is hands-down my favorite and what I almost exclusively use here in my kitchen.

If you aren’t a big fan of mango, I would guess that you just haven’t had a perfectly ripe, soft, and sweet one yet.  It is crazy how they change as they ripen.  The really pretty, flawless ones that you see in the store and in ads are not ready to eat and honestly, taste terrible.  You have to be super patient with mangoes and allow them to ripen to the withered, ugly state before you eat (devour) them.

If you haven’t had one for a while, follow the above advice on the champagne mango and then let me know what you think!

Now, back to the gazpacho…

Mango gazpacho.  BEAUTIFUL!

Mango gazpacho. BEAUTIFUL!

Just look at this picture and tell me your mouth isn’t exploding with excitement.  Whether it is just me and my hubs having an intimate evening together or if we have a house full of hungry friends, this is one of my favorite ways to start a meal.   You can make it well ahead of time and just let it sit and chill in the fridge while you prepare the main course or entertain your guests.

All of the crispy, colorful bits of veggies  are such a great contrast with the smooth and creamy mango puree!

I can’t wait for you to try this one.  Don’t wait too long…these good mangoes are only here for a couple of months and if you miss your opportunity you will have to wait another season before you can enjoy this beauty of a soup.

As the season progresses, I stock up on the mangoes, big time!   They freeze very well, so I peel them and store them in the freezer.  That way I can enjoy all of my favorite recipes through the fall and winter months too.

Now go out and buy a flat of these orange beauties and give this recipe a try!

XO

Mango Gazpacho

  • Perfectly Ripe Mangoes–flesh of 8 or so–about 2 cups
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 c freshly squeezed orange, tangerine, or mandarin juice (I by the whole fruit and use my juicer)
  • 1/2 small red onion, chopped into pretty small pieces
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small cucumber, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper
  • generous squeeze of lime
  • salt and pepper, too taste
  • chipotle pepper flakes, too taste
  • cilantro for garnish

In a food processor, blender, or vita mix puree the mango, jalapeno, and garlic together.  Add the citrus juice (including the lime juice) and mix well.

In a medium bowl add the chopped veggies.  Add the mango puree and mix until well incorporated.  Add a dash of salt, freshly ground black pepper, and chipotle pepper flakes and mix.  Taste and adjust the seasoning to your palate.

Serve in small decorative bowls topped with a generous cilantro garnish.

Bon Appetit!

 

 

 

Favorite peanut butter pumpkin dog treats!

Treats fresh from the oven.  You can see the score marks.

Treats fresh from the oven. You can see the score marks.

Yes, this really is a recipe for dog treats!

Being snowed in allows me a little extra time to do the things that I usually put on the back burner.  Making dog treats is one of those things.  I don’t know why, because they are so darn simple to make…plus fresh treats always make the kids sooo happy!

The oven was already nice and hot from making a fresh batch of quinoa blueberry muffins (recipe will follow at some point) and the dogs were going a little stir crazy from being house bound with the frigid out door temps, so this was the perfect time to whip together a batch.

If your dog(s) like(s) pumpkin and peanut butter like ours do, this will be a big hit at your house!  These treats are so much better for your dog than most of those over-the-counter dog treats, that are loaded with wheat, corn and chemicals!

4 simple ingredients are all it takes to make this healthy treat:  organic oats, peanut butter, eggs, and pumpkin.  Yep, that is it!    I don’t usually measure anything, so you may need to adjust the liquid/dry ratio a little–especially if your peanut butter is on the dryer side.  Just play around with it–you can’t screw this up!  Store the treats in a ziplock bag in the freezer.

Tobi was happy to model for this blog post!

Tobi was happy to model for this blog post!

Peanut butter pumpkin dog treats!

  • 1 1/2 cups whole organic oats
  • 1/2 c organic peanut putter
  • 1/2 c organic canned pumpkin
  • 2-3 eggs
  • maybe a dash of cinnamon, totally optional

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  

Put the oats into the food processor and blend to a flour consistency.  Add the other ingredients and blend just until it is well mixed.  The batter should be thick — somewhere between brownie and cookie consistency.  

On a greased cookie sheet, spread out the batter using a spatula.  Using a pizza cutter or a knife, lightly score to make it easier to break into individual treats once cooked and cooled. 

Bake for about 30-45 minutes (depending upon the moisture in the batter)–until lightly brown and crispy.  

 

 

Blueberry juice smoothie

Blueberry juice smoothie

Blueberry juice smoothie

Breakfast this morning…

Enough said!

Blueberry juice smoothie

Juice your favorite veggies and fruit.  My favorite mix is this:

  • ginger
  • beet
  • celery
  • cucumber
  • kale (this is the organic mix that I get from Sams–beet greens, spinach, carrot, baby kale)
  • apple
  • tangerine

For the smoothie you will also need

  • More kale mix
  • Frozen blueberries

Pour this into your vita-mix or blender (reserving some to drink!).  Add a big handful of kale and about a 1-1/2 c frozen blueberries.  Blend to smoothie consistency.  

Bubbling up with good energy!

Bubbling up with good energy!

Drink and enjoy!

 

Ozark BUNs

My Ozark BUNS

My Ozark BUNS

This Ozark-made Vietnamese bowl is one of my very favorite ‘go to’ dishes.  This is on a regular rotation here at Yoga Belly.

The brown rice vermicelli noodles are bombarded by all sorts of delicious vegetables–steamed and fresh.  Mushrooms, onions (white and green), broccoli, carrots, bell pepper, squash, kale, cilantro, and green onions are topped with an acidic and bright lime vinaigrette sauce and chopped nuts (not shown).

It is super simple to whip together and loaded with flavor…my mouth is watering just thinking about it!  Last night we went all veggie with our BUNs, but adding shrimp is a great way to bump up the protein!  Sometimes I also add a big hit of chopped cashews to top off the meal, which provide a healthy fat (to help reduce inflammation) and and a big hit of tryptophan (just a small handful adds a whole lot of tryptophan) to boost our winter weary spirits!

The really great thing about this noodle bowl is how good you feel after you eat it–smarter, faster, stronger!  Ok, maybe that was more about my 90 minute power yoga class, but I did feel extra good last night!

Give My Ozark BUN a try and see if how it makes your body feel!

Here’s to feeding your belly well and loving every minute of it!

My Ozark BUN

Servings:  2

  • Rice Vermicelli noodles, enough for 2 servings.   Made according to package instructions.
  • Cooked shrimp, optional.  As much as you like in two servings of BUN!
  • Your favorite vegetables!  My choices this time were broccoli, kale, carrots, sweet bell pepper, yellow onion, green onion (for a heavy garnish), mushrooms, cucumber.
  • Lime Vinaigrette Sauce–recipe follows
  • Nuts, chopped–either peanuts or cashews, or both
  • Cilantro and green onions, chopped for a heavy garnish
Lime Vinaigrette sauce!

Lime Vinaigrette sauce!

Lime Viniagrette

Servings ~2

  • 2 1/2 T fish sauce
  • 3 T lime juice
  • 1/2 t + chili sauce (sriracha)–or more depending upon your tolerance for HEAT
  • 1 1/2 T garlic, minced
  • 1/2 t anchovy paste
  • 2 t ginger, minced
  • 3 T sugar
  • 1/8-1/4 c water

Mix all ingredients for the sauce into a small bowl.  

Steam the vegetables to al dente or as soft as you like.   Serve them over the pasta and garnish with the green onions, nuts, and cilantro.

Pour the lime vinaigrette sauce over the top of the dish and ENJOY the gorgeous, fresh flavor of My Ozark BUN!I can't get enough of this

Almond cookies

Heart-sharped almond cookies

Heart-sharped almond cookies

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Kristen for sharing this fantastic cookie recipe with me!

Friday night, after yoga class, there were a few of us hanging out sipping tea and chatting.  Given that we had just finished a pretty intense 60 minute class AND it was 7 PM, our bellies were rumbling a bit and food became the main topic of our conversation.

We talked about different ways to make good foods better, a few of our favorite recipes, and THESE cookies.  Kristen raved that her kids love them and that was ok with her, because they are actually pretty healthful, for a cookie!

The ease in preparation, the fact that they are gluten-free, and mostly because she made them sound absolutely delicious, are ultimately what convinced me to try them this weekend.

She was not exaggerating!  They are exactly as she described!

The dough itself is so good, I had a hard time not gobbling it all up!  Once I tried them fresh out of the oven though, I was really happy I didn’t eat ALL of the dough.  They came out of the oven a little crispy and just sweet enough.  Perfect with a cup of tea or big glass of cold almond milk.

Give these cookies a try and savor each and every naturally sweet bite!  You may want to make a double batch, just in case, like me, you get a little crazy eating the dough!

Almond Cookies

Fresh from the oven.  Can you see the love?

Fresh from the oven. Can you see the love?

  • 2 c almond meal
  • 1/4 t kosher salt
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  •  1/4 c maple syrup
  • 2 T coconut oil, softened
  • 1 T butter, softened–if you don’t want to use butter than add an extra T coconut oil
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 t almond extract–if you don’t have this, just do 2 t vanilla
  • about 1 t almond milk (or a little more, to get the right texture for your cookies)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  

Mix together the dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl, mix together all of the wet ingredients, except the milk. 

Add the dry to the wet and mix until well incorporated.  Add the milk if you need it to get the right consistency to the dough.

Use two large zip lock bags to roll out the dough.  Cut into shapes, as desired.  Place on a greased cookie sheet and place in freezer for 20 minutes before cooking.  Bake for 10-13 minutes, depending upon the thickness and size of the cookies.  

These are great warm, so get a big glass of almond milk and ENJOY one fresh out of the oven!

 

 

 

Roasted zucchini bites

Zucchini bites.  From the next time...

Zucchini bites. From the next time…

These roasted zucchini bites are SOOOO good!  Andy and I ate them all before I could snap a picture for you!  Sorry about that!   Maybe next time?!

Super simple, very tasty, and a great, healthy snack food for your kids, family, or friends.  Make these zucchini bites tonight and see what you think.

Roasted zucchini bites

 

Servings ~2-3

  • 1 small zucchini, cut in half and then sliced into thin pieces.
  • 1/2 c nutritional yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t chipotle pepper flakes, ground.  I use a pepper mill to grind up my Victoria’s gourmet flakes.  WORKS GREAT!
  • PAM cooking spray

Preheat oven to about 400 degrees F.  

Coat a cookie sheet with some oil or PAM cooking spray.

In a small bowl, beat the egg and set aside.

Mix together about a 1/2 c nutritional yeast with about a teaspoon of chipotle pepper flakes in a separate bowl.

Dip a zucchini piece into the egg mixture, to coat both sides.  Use a spoon to sprinkle the nutritional yeast mix onto the strip on both sides.  Place on the cooking sheet.  Repeat until you have all of the pieces ready to go.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until you have a nice brown and slightly crispy zucchini strip. Eat and enjoy!

 

 

Italian spinach pasta salad

Even though it is turning cold outside we wanted a hearty salad for dinner last night.  I checked the contents of my fridge/pantry and this is what I created.

Italian spinach and pasta salad.

Italian spinach and pasta salad.

PURE DELICIOUSNESS!

This is an Italian spinach pasta salad that will add some color to your table and make your taste buds spring back to life.  The flavors are intense enough to give this salad just what it needs to become your new favorite.  That is what happened for us last night anyway as we dug into second helpings of our dinner.  You can look at the ingredient list and get a pretty good idea for the huge flavor in this one.  Italian, a little tart, a little briny, and a lot of zing!

Don’t be intimidated by the longer ingredient list for this salad–I promise, you will have it on the table in 30 minutes or less!  Give it a go and see how it wakes up your dinner plate!

Cheers to eating well and loving every bite!

Make sure to scroll to the end of this post for a picture of our stray Quattro!  Isn’t she beautiful?

Italian spinach pasta salad

Servings 4-6

  • 1 – 8 oz box gluten free noodles, cooked al dente according to the package directions.  I used Ancient Quinoa Harvest Rotelle
  • 4-6 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 2/3 c black olives, sliced into thirds
  • 1 c artichoke hearts in water, sliced in half
  • 1 – 14 oz can great northern white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 c sun-dried tomatoes, in EVOO, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1-2 T Red Wine Vinegar, to taste
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 c EVOO
  • 2 T fresh thyme or 2 t dried thyme
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • chipotle pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 c freshly grated, aged Parmesan cheese, optional

Mix together the EVOO, salt, pepper, chipotle pepper flakes, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, red wine vinegar, onion and let marinade for 15 or 20 minutes at room temp while you prep the other ingredients.

Add all of the other ingredients EXCEPT the spinach and cheese.  Allow to rest and marinade for a few minutes.  

Just before you serve the salad, add the spinach and cheese and toss to fully combine.  Garnish as you like–more cheese, some fresh herbs, a few fresh tomatoes, whatever you like!

Eat and ENJOY!

Shameless plug for our stray Quattro.

Shameless plug for our stray Quattro. Let me know if you would like to give her a forever home!

 

 

 

Citrus Meets Fish

Citrus meets fish

Andy's portion

Andy’s portion

I love the smell of an orange or tangerine freshly zested.  A hit of zest will add a huge amount of flavor to almost any dish–sweet or savory!

I found some organic super sweet tangerines at Mama Jeans this week and have been adding them to just about everything coming out of my kitchen–smoothies, green juices, salads, sauces, and desserts. Last night I decided to try using some in our main dish. I dolled up a boring piece of cod with tangerine zest and boy was it good. The home grown grape tomatoes and red onion added some extra life to the dish. It made for an amazing dinner, served over a bed of sauteed spinach with a side of roasted brussels sprouts.  Check out this 488 original and let me know what you think about citrus meeting fish! 

Bon Appetit!

My portion

My portion

Citrus meets fish

Servings:  2

  • 2-3 cod steaks (fillets) or any wild caught fish that you like!
  • 1/2 t sweet paprika
  • 1/2 t kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/4 t ground chipotle pepper flakes
  • 7-10cherry or grape tomatoes, cut into thin slices
  • 1/4 red onion, finely diced
  • juice and zest from 1/2 orange or a couple of tangerines
  • 1-2 t butter or coconut oil, melted
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional), just a sprinkle.  You may sub a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for the parm.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine the first 4 dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Set aside.

Pat the fish fillets dry with a paper towel.

Put the diced red onion in a roasting pan so it will set directly under the fish fillets.  Place the fillets on the onion.  Sprinkle fresh citrus juice on top of the fish.  Melt the butter and brush each fillet with butter.  Sprinkle the dry ingredient mix evenly over the 2 fillets and do the same with the zest.  Place the tomato slices on top of the fish to cover the entire surface of the fish.  Add a light sprinkle of Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast to the top of the tomatoes.

Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, depending upon the thickness of the fish.  Turn the oven up to broil and cook for another minute or two, just enough to lightly brown the top of the fish and cheese.

Serve over a bed of sauteed spinach or some seasoned quinoa and ENJOY!