Monthly Archives: March 2017

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Salad dressings are one of those things that I always have around, because I eat salad daily, but I don’t like to buy them because 1) they’re expensive and 2) there are so many added unnecessary and unhealthy ingredients(though Newman’s Own does a pretty good job with some of their salad dressings). Making a salad dressing is simple, fast and inexpensive so homemade dressings have become a staple in our house.

Apple cider vinegar has some pretty amazing health benefits, but I am not one of those people that can just drink a tablespoon or a watered down glass, straight up. This is a fabulous way to get some apple cider vinegar into your body! I love this dressing on any of the green salads I make. The one pictured below has romaine lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes and sunflower seeds. And you can totally do this recipe with or without the maple syrup; I would try it first without and then if you feel like it’s too bitter, add the syrup.  I like it both ways though my kids prefer it with syrup.

Apple Cider Vinaigrette
*makes 1/2 c

1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp garlic, minced
1 Tbsp white or yellow onion, minced
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 Tbsp pure maple syrup

Combine all ingredients in a glass jar with a lid and shake vigorously until emulsified. Pairs beautifully with any green salad. Can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week.

*if oil solidifies, microwave for a few seconds until melted

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Homemade Staples, Salads

Blonde Brownies

My kids had a piano recital Monday night and they asked if we could go out for frozen yogurt after, but we had just did that last weekend after another special event and taking out a family of 7 for FroYo is not cheap. So I asked them what would be a good in-home alternative and they requested these Blondies. I’ve had this recipe for years and years and we’ve made it multiple times and love it, but because it does have quite a bit of sugar, I save it for special occasions or when we’re going to share it with a crowd.

I like to bake these in my 11×7 inch rectangular pan (2.2 quart) because they cook very evenly and turn out looking beautiful with very few breaks/cracks. But I have also made it in my 8×8 and it works, but I like the way they look better when they come out of the 11×7. So just putting that out there. You could also double this recipe and stick it in a 9×13 pan.

I’ve used both coconut oil and butter in this recipe and both turn out fabulous. Just make sure they are softened when you cream them together with the sugar (10 seconds in the microwave should do it if they’re pretty firm).

For the flour, I wouldn’t try and go all whole wheat, I’d stick with the half and half as I have it in the recipe. If you’ve ever tried this in a chocolate chip cookie recipe, you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say they don’t quite look or taste the same. But half and half in this recipe works beautifully.

2017-03-21 08.14.53

Blonde Brownies
*makes 12 bars

1/4 c coconut oil or butter, softened
1 c brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c whole white wheat flour
1/2 c white flour (I like to use an unbromated white)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 c chocolate chips (or white chocolate or butterscotch)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 11×7 inch pan (2.2 quart); can use 8×8 but they bake a little more evenly in the 11×7 and there is less breaking/cracking. In a large mixing bowl, combine softened coconut oil and brown sugar. Using a hand mixer, beat until blended. Beat in egg and vanilla. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour, baking powder and salt and mix together. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread into your greased pan. Bake about 25 minutes until light golden. Cut into 12 bars. Eat warm or, once cooled, cover and save to eat within a day or two.

*These freeze well in a freezer ziploc bag.

Leave a comment

Filed under Desserts, Uncategorized

Hot Lemon Water

I have been trying to solidify the habit of drinking hot lemon water in the mornings, for quite some time, like for 2 years. I would start up, and remember to do it for a day or two, but inevitably, I would forget and then it was over. The reason I wanted to make this a daily habit was because I’ve heard its  praises sung for such a long time from so many different sources. Having warm lemon water in the morning helps flush out toxins and aids digestion(warm liquids will help keep you regular; it loosens up stuff…and this is a much healthier choice than coffee) . Lemons are also a high alkaline food; having alkaline blood (rather than acidic) (ph balance) makes it harder for cancers and other diseases to flourish. Lemons also: strengthen liver, help cure common cold, reduce inflammation in joints and knees as it dissolves uric acid, are good for your skin, maintain health of eyes, help replenish body salts (especially after a hard work out).

A couple of months ago I decided to start the hot lemon water habit in the mornings again, but this time I came with a plan on when and how I was going to incorporate this into my morning routine and I’m happy to say that I’m still going strong! In the morning, after I read scriptures/meditate and exercise, I then drink my hot lemon water, and while I’m drinking it, I make up my green smoothie which I drink throughout the morning as I’m running kids to school and getting ready.

So, give this a try! Begin each day with a hot/warm cup of lemon water. Oh and a word of caution: lemons can be hard on our enamel, so brush your teeth shortly after you finish your lemon water, which you should be doing in the morning anyway ;).

This is my quick and easy way to make lemon water:

  1. Fill my mug with cool water

2. dump cool water into my small saucepan and turn stove on high (I don’t like to just pour water in because I usually pour too much which makes it take longer to heat up). I like this saucepan with the pour spout…makes pouring less messy for me.

3. Meanwhile, cut a lemon in half, stick your lemon juicer on top of your mug, and squeeze the juice out

4. This is usually the perfect amount of time for my water to heat up to a hot but not boiling temperature. Pour water into mug with lemon juice. Drink immediately.

Hot Lemon Water

1/2 lemon
water

Fill a mug with cool water. Dump cool water into  small saucepan and turn stove on high (I don’t like to just pour water in because I usually pour too much which makes it take longer to heat up). Meanwhile, cut a lemon in half, stick your lemon juicer on top of your mug, and squeeze the juice out. This is usually the perfect amount of time for my water to heat up to a hot, but not boiling, temperature. Pour water into mug with lemon juice. Drink immediately.

1 Comment

Filed under Breakfast

Moroccan Lentil Soup

This was a recipe Scott’s dad shared with me (“shared” meaning, he made sure we had the ingredients when he was over, texted me the recipe, and then said he really liked this soup; I took the hint and made it for dinner while he was visiting.). We loved it! I love all the spices! If you’re still having some cold days, like we are, this lentil soup is warming, healthy, and delicious.

 2016-12-28-12-42-58

THE RECIPE:

Moroccan Lentil Soup

6 c vegetable broth
2 c onions, diced
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp paprika (smoked, if available)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1, 28oz can, crushed or diced tomatoes
1 1/2 c red lentils, picked over and rinsed
1/3 c chopped parsley
1/3 c chopped cilantro
juice of 1 large lemon
1 tsp sea salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Heat 1/4 cup of vegetable broth in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrot, and garlic and saute, adding additional broth as necessary to keep the vegetables from burning. Saute until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the spices. Saute the vegetables with the seasonings for 1 minute to allow the flavors to bloom. Add the remaining vegetable broth, tomatoes, and lentils and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes or until the lentils are fully cooked. Add the parsley, cilantro and lemon juice and stir to combine. Season with the salt and pepper. If you would like to thicken the soup, use an immersion blender and pulse a few times inside the pot.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Soups

Maca Date Shake

This is a great shake for anyone, but especially athletes as it contains dates (many runners and bikers eat dates on their long runs), and Maca Powder which is considered a Superfood because it not only has a positive effect on hormones, but also increases energy levels and stamina. Health benefits aside, I love this shake! It’s almost like having a milk shake. It’s important to enjoy the foods we eat. I love when the shakes about done, but there are some tiny bits and pieces of the dates that have sunk to the bottom. They’re sweet and chewy.

2017-02-27-15-37-27

And a word of advice on the dates. I buy mine at Costco in the produce section, as that’s where I find them for the best price, and unless used within a week or so, should be stored in the fridge, but I will take out the 4 I need for this recipe the morning of, put them in a baggie and let them sit out for a couple of hours until I’m ready to make my shake, because my blender has an easier time blending them up when they’re at room temperature. And I have a high power blender.

2017-02-27-15-41-56

THE RECIPE:

Maca Date Shake
serves 1

1 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/4 c dates (about 4 medjool dates, at room temperature or 1/4 c of the chopped dates in oat flour)
1 Tbsp almond butter
1/2 tsp vanilla(I only use this about half of the time…great either way)
1 tsp maca powder
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1 c ice

Optional: 1/2 frozen açaí packet (only use 1/2 c ice if you use this option…also, açaí will change the color and make it look more chocolatey) 

Place in high power blender, milk first, and blend until smooth.

*Maca Powder: of the cruciferous family (like broccoli), and is considered a Super Food. Grown in the mountains of South America, Maca has a positive effect on hormone balance, energy levels, and is a health booster.

1 Comment

Filed under drink, gluten-free, Smoothies, vegan