Sunday, August 20, 2017

Got Celery? Simple But Healthy After School Snack

Celery is an alkalizing green vegetable that is a great gluten free base for a healthy snack.
Now that kids are going back to school, it's time to start thinking about nourishing after school snacks.

Have you ever filled a stalk of celery with nut butter and topped it with few raisins? It's a simple after school snack that is really delicious, packed with protein and nutrients, and ridiculously easy to make.

Kids of all ages love it!!

Real food makes great snacks for kids.

Instead of providing  packaged snacks to fill those little tummies, try reaching for fruit, vegetables and nut butters like peanut butter , almond butter or sun butters.

I was shopping in Whole Foods Market last week and they had a back to school promotion. Every department offered something special to taste or try. It was really fun trying samples throughout the store of food, smoothies, desserts, supplements, cosmetics, etc.

My favorite display was in the produce section where they made these little celery stalks filled with sun butter and raisins as a suggestion for a healthy after school snack. 

The idea is simple but offers some decent protein, sweetness from the raisins, and is very tasty.

For variey use apples and nut butter on a rice cracker or rice cake.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Wordless Wednesday- Haulover Beach in South Florida

This bird flew onto the ledge of the pool to take a drink of water. I was able to get a quick shot because he didn't seem afraid and kind of just stood there even as I got closer and closer. 

Does anyone know what kind of bird this is? 
I haven't the faintest idea!!


South Florida

this beach is in the Sunny Isles Ocean Walk in South Florida
Early in the morning the birds are the only bathers

This week I'm pairing a refreshing summer drink( non alcoholic or add rum) with my Wordless Wednesday Beach Post
                                       Watermelon Limeade

I look forward to reading your comment!!

May be shares on the following Wordless Wednesday blog carnivals:
 Wordless Wednesday at Beth Fish Reads, Wordless Wed on Tuesdays wordless on tuesday, image in ing, ClaireJustine linky  and Saturday snapshot hosted by West Metro Mommy  Create with Joy bethere2day nanahood

Monday, August 14, 2017

Red Cabbage Potato Salad

Red potato salad is an easy to make, delicious to eat, frugal side dish that is a frequent guest at BBQ's and other summer gatherings. My colorful red cabbage potato salad is a healthier version that is made with chopped red cabbage, red onions, celery and red potatoes and no mayo.

I created this salad when I ran short of containers to store my leftovers one night. Out of necessity, I combined my red cabbage slaw with my french potato salad into one container. The next day when I went to serve my salads again , the two salads had mingled together creating a colorful delicious tasting potato salad that I we enjoyed immensely,

Since I loved the results,  I now make a recipe for red cabbage potato salad.
I think you will love it too, so don't forget to pin it for when you need a really good summer salad.

This delicious salad is  mayo free, gluten free, vegan, and full of colorful and crunchy vegetables.

Purple Vegetables
Although we sometimes call them red cabbage , red onions, and red grapes , they are actually in the purple family and their rich color is key to some powerful nutrients and protective antioxidants.

Our bodies need antioxidants to fight against aging. 
Purple vegetables are just as important to add to your diet as your greens.
I once read that antioxidants behave like rust proofing in our bodies and the darker the color, the more antioxidants. 

I sometimes get a craving for the purple type vegetables- this simple summer recipe satisfies whatever it is my body is needing with the red/purple onions, red purple cabbage, and red potatoes. Since I buy organic potatoes, we eat the skin.

5 medium size red potatoes, boiled, skinned , and quartered
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup of chopped curly parsley
Juice of 1 large lemon or lime
1/2 cup of chopped celery
1/4 cup of chopped fresh dill
1/4 -1/2 cup of diced red onion ( according to your taste)
1 cup of chopped ( small) purple cabbage
Himalayan salt and pepper to taste

Mix your boiled potatoes together with the olive oil, lemon juice, hopped parsley, chopped celery, diced red onion, chopped purple cabbage and seasonings. Taste and add more lemon juice or olive oil if needed. This may taste even
better the second day after the flavors mingle.

My Notes: 

  1. If using organic red potatoes - boil potatoes whole in the skin- Leave skin on for the potato salad or remove skin after it has boiled and toss into a skillet with eggs ( some potato will adhere to the skin) 
  2. Tastes even better after the salad has a chance to allow the flavors to mingle.
This recipe is shared on Souper Sunday at Kahakai Kitchen where you can link up soup, salad, or sammie recipes...

Also shared on Weekend Cooking open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Wordless Wednesday- Butterflies

My CSA farm has fields of flowers as well a vegetables and berries that all seem to attract butterflies. I like to take a little extra time to stroll around the grounds when I pick up my produce. It is so peaceful and grounding to bond with nature.

The last time I went, I saw these beautiful butterflies in the fields of flowers.

I choose to share my buttered noodle and cabbage recipe with this post of these beautiful butterflies
with vegan and low carb alternatives 

Love to hear your comments

Participating in the following Wordless Wednesday link carnivals 
Shared on Wordless Wednesday at Beth Fish Reads, Wordless Wed on Tuesdaysimage in ingClaireJustine linky  and Saturday snapshot hosted by West Metro Mommy. Create with Joy

Monday, August 7, 2017

Vegan Pesto Sauce with Pasta

Summer is the perfect time to make simple pasta dishes tossed with fragrant pesto sauces.
 Most pesto is made with nuts; this quick and easy pesto recipe  is nut free and vegan, which cuts down on the calories and expense- but not taste. ( of course it is gluten free as well)

I had a large bag of basil and a half bag of fresh parsley from the organic farm. I was getting ready to travel, so I gave it to my daughter- in- law Wendy. She made this wonderful nut free/dairy free pesto with it.
It's Wendy's Recipe
Basically her recipe calls for fresh basil, fresh parsley, fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. It is a simple and delicious. She made it in the food processor not a blender.

Aside from the fact that there are many people who are allergic to nuts, nuts like pine nuts, walnuts, and pistachios which are usually in a pesto recipe are expensive. Since this recipe is nut free and dairy free- it's also much less expensive to make. Yet, you still get the robust flavor of fresh basil and the nice thick texture of pesto.

Raw greens like basil and parsley are cleansing and alkalizing

And remember that fresh greens of any kind like basil and parsley are cleansing and alkalizing for your body ph-( an alkalized body environment is very important for good health) . Pesto is just one more way to get your fresh alkalizing greens into your diet!! It's uncooked which is even greater benefit for enzymes and vitamins.

Served with a garden salad, pasta tossed in pesto can be eaten as a light and delicious dinner.

Summer Tip: 
Cook your pasta early in the  morning long before the heat sets in. Then store it in the refrigerator  until you are ready to use it. At dinner time just take out the cooked pasta and dress it your favorite pesto sauce and quickly heat just before serving.

Homemade pesto is fast and easy to make and tastes great on any shape of pasta. I've made
spinach basil pesto, all  basil pesto, and now nut free/dairy free pesto. All three are awesome.

Have too much basil? Freeze it
If your garden is over flowing with basil , then make the plain basil pesto which requires quite a bit of basil. You can then freeze the pesto in small mason freezer jars or in ice cube trays.

I have also frozen pasta that has been already tossed in the pesto.

Try this other pesto recipe that contains nuts
However, if you have to buy a large quantity of fresh basil in the supermarket ( it can be expensive  ) then make the spinach basil pesto . You will get the taste of basil but the benefit of spinach as well.

Gluten Free Pasta now comes in all shapes

There was a time that gluten free pasta was hard to find. Not any more! Gluten free pasta is available in just about any shape. It may be made from brown rice, quinoa, lentils, corn, etc  personally I keep away from the corn because most corn is GMO .

I like the farfalle shaped brown rice pasta or the penne shaped or spaghetti.
I buy the Jovial Gluten Free Organic Brown Rice Pasta Farfalle -- 12 oz - 2 pc

I also use Jovial Organic Brown Rice Spaghetti, 12-Ounce Packages (Pack of 6) which I get on Amazon.

3 cups of loosely packed fresh basil ( stems removed)
2 cups of loosely packed flat parsley
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup of olive oil
Himalayan Salt and Pepper to taste

Place basil and parsley in the food processor with the metal blade. Begin to process and slowly add the oil, lemon juice and seasonings through the shute of the processor. Process with on/off bursts until well blended/

Note: This pesto is made in the food processor not the blender. 

It's all good and all personal preference.

Want low carb? Make Zoodles ( spiralized zucchini) zoodles and avocado pesto
zoodles ( spiralized zucchini) 

 For those of us who would like to forgo the carbs, zucchini noodles make a wonderful substitute for the pasta. All the flavor without the carbohydrates.  zoodles and avocado pesto

Shared on Weekend Cooking on Beth Fish Reads where anyone can share a food related post.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for Amazon. If you click on a link from my blog and make a purchase, I will get a very small compensation. This helps me defray the cost of running a blog,and I so appreciate your support. Of course there is no additional cost to you. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Cauliflower Rice and Japanese Eggplant

Japanese eggplants make a fabulous summer side dish and cauliflower rice is a delicious low carbohydrate substitute for traditional rice ( and tastes just as good) .

These slender purple vegetables one of my favorite veggies. They are less bitter than the regular eggplants, cook up quickly, are low in calories while high in fiber ( skin).

Since I get my summer produce from a local organic farm, I always eat the skin of my vegetables.

My CSA pickup was overflowing this week.

There were plenty of Japanese eggplants, yellow and green zucchini, lettuces, scallions, garlic, beets, kohlrabi, cucumbers, fennel, celery, basil, beautiful long dandelion greens, cherry tomatoes, green beans, sunflowers, and raspberries. We will be having some great salads this week.

I had to work hard to pick some of the veggies
Although most of my share of veggies were waiting for me in the cool shady barn, the cherry tomatoes, green beans, sunflowers, and herbs were pick your own. That was no joke in this 97 degree heat wave we have been having. 

Surprisingly, I found people of all ages (babies on their mama's backs to grandmas with large brimmed hats)  out in the hot sunny fields picking their share of this week's prolific crops. 

The sweat was dripping off of us, but my husband and I got int and out of the fields as fast as we could bundles of pick your own string beans, cherry tomatoes, herbs, and sunflowers.

How I make it easier on myself

I've learned to bring baggies or containers with me right into the fields, which helps cut down on the work once I return home. I now immediately put the produce that I have to weigh in the barn and the produce that I need to pick in the fields in large baggies, I am able to put everything into the refrigerator as soon as I get home. I used to just put everything into shopping bags and had to sort later ( sometimes for an hour).

Hot, Tired, and Mission Complete!

We left our house at 5:00 PM and returned  home around 6:15 PM . I was drained and too tired to start prepping the salads or cooking. My food prep had to wait until 6:00 AM the next morning.

Today's Recipe Uses My Japanese Eggplant 

I made a low calorie/ lowish carb summer side dish.

Roasted eggplant, yellow peppers, cherry tomatoes, 

I roasted eggplant with cherry tomatoes, garlic, and red peppers on a cookie sheet.  Separately, I heated some riced cauliflower in a skillet and then served the roasted vegetables over the riced cauliflower ( make your own or buy organic in Trader's Joe's like I did)

Low Carb and absolutely delicious cauliflower rice

The cauliflower rice is light and fluffy and I think as tasty as regular rice without the carbs
read my post on how to cook the frozen cauliflower rice so it is light and fluffy

What a bang for my buck. Lots of flavor with very few calories. 
Of course this recipe is naturally gluten free and vegan.


6 Japanese eggplants, sliced lengthwise and then chopped in large peices
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
12 mini red, yellow or orange peppers, cored chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Place vegetables into a bowl , toss with 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Place on a rimmed cookie sheet that has been covered with parchment paper. Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes.

My Notes:

1. Just for the record, Japanese eggplant is less bitter than the big round purple varieties- so I don't salt and let it sweat first.

2. Adding feta cheese will turn this side dish into an entree.
     Vegans could consider adding seeds or nuts.

3. There is nothing like fresh roasted vegetables right out of the oven. However, this recipe will taste good at room temperature or served cold the next day.

4. I read that eggplant is really a fruit??? Is that true??

5. I added some of the dandelion greens from my CSA haul to my morning green juice instead of kale.

6. To cut down on calories, I simply spray vegetables with olive oil spray while on cookie sheet.

Shared on Weekend Cooking on Beth Fish Reads