Thursday, August 31, 2017

Mango Cardamom Lassi Is A Healthy GF Drink

mango cardamom lassi in a mason jar

Do you love mangoes? It's mango season and the mangos are ripe and plentiful- perhaps the perfect time to make a refreshing stomach pleasing healthy gluten free mango lassi-

ripe mangoes

Old time ethnic recipes like this one don't fool around. They taste great, are made from real food, and provide many health benefits unlike modern day processed convenience drinks.

What is a lassi? 

According to Wikipedia- "Lassi is a popular traditional yogurt-based drink from the Indian Subcontinent. Lassi is a blend of yogurt, water, spices and sometimes fruit. Traditional lassi is a savory drink, sometimes flavored with ground and roasted cumin." Wikipedia

A mango lassi is a nutritious drink that originated in India where it gets extremely hot in the summer. The combination of yogurt ( or almond milk)  cardamom,  and mango is especially cooling and delicious. Spices like cardamom are packed with nutrients and antioxidants.

mango cardamom smoothie

If you have a ripe mango, follow the easy directions below for cutting the mango into bite size chunks.

Assemble the mango chunks, the yogurt, the ice, and cardamom spice in a blender and whiz until smooth and blended. ( How to cut a mango into chunks the easy way)

scored mango into chunks
( How to cut a mango into chunks the easy way

This is a healthy drink which can also be made vegan by substituting almond milk for the yogurt. Yogurt provides protein and probiotics while the mango is bursting with Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and a significant amounts of vitamin B-6. Mangoes are also sodium free, cholesterol free and fat free.

The cardamom is provides additional vitamins and other health benefits as it is an antimicrobial. Enjoy this healthy drink on a hot summer day.

mango cardamom lassi
Add caption

Did you know that spices are one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. Turmeric, cumin, cardamom are widely used in India and other Asian countries and are excellent sources of antioxidants and vitamins. 

Remember to use ground spices in your recipes as frequently as possible. 
 My easy  Roasted Carrot Soup with Cardamom, cumin, and turmeric is another delicious recipe that is rich in healthy spices and lovely to serve to company.
green cardamom pods
Green cardamom pods

Cardamom is a wonderfully fragrant spice that is often used in cookies, cake, or mango lassi. It has a mild sweet spicy flavor. It grows in pods and the seeds are removed and then ground.

cardamom pods and seeds

One of my favorite ways to use fresh whole cardamom pods ( I get them in an Indian grocery very reasonable) is in a homemade tea . Once you have tried this easy to steep tea, it will become a regular soothing go to tea!

 Ayurvedic Cardamom Anise tea. 

Homemade Ayurvedic tea

Although mango lassi is the traditional type of fruit lassi made in India, you can create your own fruit of choice lassi by choosing cantaloupe, honeydew melon, strawberries, or even pineapple.

all kinds of smoothies


1 cup of yogurt (or almond milk or vegan yogurt for vegans)
1/2 cup of almond milk or milk of your choice
2 cups of ripe mango chunks
12 ice cubes
sweetener of your choice
1/8 teaspoon of ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon of turmeric
optional: Freeze your mango chunks ( or whichever fruit you are using)  and then omit the ice
Optional Variation : add a pinch of ground ginger


Place all of the ingredients in a blender. Whiz until well blended and enjoy!

Sharing this link on Beth Fish Reads- Weekend Cooking- where anyone can share any food related post.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Kale and Cannellini Bean Soup

bowls of kale and white bean soup

Yesterday we were eating salads and fresh mangoes; today I am eating hot kale and white bean soup. The weather changed just that quickly. It went from the high 80's to the low 50's! Is it fall ?

It's the next to the last day of August. and it's a rainy, damp chilly day.
Despite that it is still officially summer, this may be the beginning of soup weather for me.

I was not in the mood to cook ( I wanted to curl up with a blanket and watch Netflix), but I  motivated myself to get out the soup pot.

Since I had a refrigerator full of vegetables from this week's CSA pickings ( garlic, onions, purple potatoes, carrots, parsley, sage, kale, and dandelion greens),  I realized I had everything I needed to make a delicious soup. I added a can of cannelloni  beans and felt satisfied with this warm comforting dinner.

Any kind of greens would taste good in this soup; I added a combination of kale and dandelion.

I made this soup in just 30 minutes
It took just 10 minutes of prep and about 20 minutes cooking time to complete this simple recipe.
It made 4 bowls of piping hot soup rich in vegetables, beans, and greens! Yum!

Make sure that you add your chopped or torn greens to the hot soup just before eating so they wilt, not cook, in the soup. This will help retain more of the valuable nutrients.

Over the summer, I kind of forgot how wonderful the aroma of homemade soup simmering on the stovetop smells. This vegan and naturally gluten free soup filled our kitchen with the fragrance that brought warmth to our hearts on our first rainy chilly night. 

We enjoyed this hearty stick to your ribs soup while the evening weather was in the 50's.
Summer is not really over. Tomorrow will be back in the high 70's, so we may be back to eating summer salads and mangoes again but tonight I'm enjoying my soup.

Author: Judee Algazi
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4 bowls


2-3 cloves of garlic, cut in halves
1 medium onion, diced
1 large carrot or 2 medium, sliced
I medium potato diced 
1/2 cup of chopped parsley
2 leaves of fresh sage
1 cup fresh kale, chopped
1 cup of fresh dandelion greens or spinach , chopped
1 can of organic cannelloni beans, washed and drained
Olive oil spray
4 cups of vegetable soup broth
4 cups of boiling water
Cracked pepper
optional: 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger or 2 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice ( I love it)


Spray a 4 quart Dutch Oven type of pot or your favorite soup pot with olive oil spray. Saute the garlic and the onions until translucent. Add the carrots, potato, parsley, and sage and spray the vegetables with olive oil spray or toss first in olive oil. Toss and then add the vegetable broth and boiling water.  Add the cannoli beans, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover the pot and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Remove lid and turn off the burner.  Add the kale and dandelion greens  allow them to wilt in the hot soup. Serve immediately. 
If you prefer a creamier soup, blend half of the soup in a blender and return it to the other half - stir and serve

My notes: 
1.Variation: Squeeze some fresh lemon or lime juice in the soup while simmering and crock the lid.
2. Variation: Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese in each bowl
3. Blend half of soup if you prefer a creamy soup and return it to the pot- the pureed beans will make it creamy.

It's not what you do occasionally but what you do consistently that makes a difference!

This recipe will be shared Sunday on Souper Sunday at Kahakai Kitchen where you can link up soup, salad, or sammie recipes...

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

Friday, August 25, 2017

How to Slice a Mango the Easy Way

Do you love mangoes as much as we do, but struggle with finding an easy way to cut and eat them?
I used to make a delicious juicy mess every time I cut one up,  until I learned how to use this super easy and convenient method.

My daughter in law Wendy has been using this method for years. 
However, it was actually my friend Vicki who recently taught me how to do it! It is so so easy!
No special tools are necessary
The only tool that you will need is a sharp pairing knife to cut the mango in this special way.

 Cut the mango in 3 easy steps. 

You will actually be cutting the mango into thirds with the pit being the middle part.

Do not peel the mango. Hold the mango on its side with the stem down. 

1. Slice off one side as close to the pit as possible.
2. Turn the mango and slice off the other side- you will be left with the pit in the middle
3. Place one of the sliced sides peel down and score it by making 4 lines in each direction . 

Invert and it will be in chunks. you can eat it right off  the peel, or slice the chunks into a bowl.

If this seems confusing, I found a video on Youtube that demonstrates this super easy process. Once you see it being done, you will be able to do it ! ( video is at the end)

That is all you have to do to be able to eat a mango with dignity and no mess!

We used to only eat mangoes outside on our back deck because we mutilated them when cutting them and the juice would be unmanageable. If you are a mango lover, you know that mangoes can be extremely juicy and messy. 

I've seen so many ways to conquer the mango- but hands down - I think this is the best. 

Of course you cut use a mango slicer. I have one that I bought on Amazon, and they are easy and fun to use. They kind of look like an apple slicer but are made for mangoes and much sturdier.
  OXO Good Grips Mango Slicer, Splitter, and Corer

 Mango Demonstration Video from Youtube!!

My Mango Recipes

Mango Peach Salad/Salsa

Skinny Mango Salsa

Mango Cardamom Lassi 

Mango Orange Blossom Popsicles

It's time to leave your comment, story about mangoes, etc. 

This post is shared on Beth Fish Reads " Weekend Cooking"
where anyone can share any food related  post-  

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for Amazon like most bloggers. If you click on a link from my blog and make a purchase, I will receive a small compensation at no cost to you. This helps pay for the cost of running a blog. Thank you for your support.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Wordless Wednesday- Murals in Montevideo Uruguay

Montevideo, Uruguay
"Montevideo, Uruguay’s capital, is a major city along Montevideo Bay. It revolves around the Plaza de la Independencia, once home to a Spanish citadel. This plaza leads to Ciudad Vieja (the old town), with art deco buildings, colonial homes and landmarks including the towering Palacio Salvo and neoclassical performance hall SolĂ­s Theatre. " - Wikipedia

This was a professional photo - not mine- there were lots of wild parrots in the parks

Restaurants in the old city still displayed window advertising from the 1940's 
                              It was one of our favorite trips

The old city of Montevideo looked like a city of murals that were painted on many of the walls across town +
plus a few other street shots for 
Wordless Wednesday

I loved this mural of the fish just painted on a building on the street. Too bad the car was in the way of the shot

she was in front of a restaurant or bakery

I appreciate your comments- thanks for participating and leaving a 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

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.

I always cut grapes in half for little kids

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.

Allergic? Or concerned about others who are?

If you or your little one is allergic to nuts or attend a nut free facility then Sunbutter works just as well.
I copied this information from the Sunbutter page-

" SunButter is free from the top 8 food allergens: peanuts, tree nuts, soy, milk, eggs, wheat, fish, and crustacean shellfish. SunButter is also free from Canada’s ten priority food allergens, which include mustard, sulfites, and sesame.
SunButter is made in the US from locally-grown, specially-roasted sunflower seeds, which are processed in our dedicated peanut free and tree nut free facility. Our sunflower seeds are grown in a region of the country where peanuts are not grown, eliminating the risk of cross contamination. SunButter is vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, and certified kosher."
you can find Sunbutter on Amazon ( Prime) ..

Whether you use nut butter or Sunbutter, the idea is simple but offers some decent protein, sweetness from the raisins, and is very tasty.

Slice Apples, Plums, Peaches, or Pears

For variety use apples, pears, plums, or peaches and nut butter on a rice cracker or rice cake
or leave off the rice cake and just spread the nut butter on sliced apples

Sliced bananas sprinkled with cinnamon or nut butter

what are your favorite real food after school snacks? Love your comments!!

This post is shared on Beth Fish Reads " Weekend Cooking"
where anyone can share any food related  post- 

Disclaimer: Always check with your doctor before giving nut butter to children . Nut butters may cause allergies or be too thick for some children.

I am an affiliate for Amazon and like all bloggers, I may receive a very small compensation if you click on an item on my blog and make a purchase. This helps me defray the cost of running a blog. I thank you ...

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