Sunday, July 29, 2012

Raw Zucchini and Summer Squash Salad with Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette

Summer is so wonderful! The days are warm and long. The food is light and fresh. But I do find that I have so many more obligations during the summer, which makes it a little more difficult to sit down at the computer. I am sure you find yourselves in the same predicament. With that in mind, I have decided that my posts from now until the end of summer (Labor Day) will be short and sweet. Still fresh, fabulous and nutritious – but they may contain a little less content. Think picture and recipe.

Todays post is a raw and delicious zucchini and summer squash salad with a lemon-dill vinaigrette. These photos have been waiting to find their place on my blog!!

2 medium/large zucchini
2 yellow summer squash
3 tablespoons of fresh chopped dill
Zest from 1 large lemon
Juice from 1 large lemon
¼ cup of EVOO
1 teaspoon honey
Sea Salt

Using a spiralizer or a vegetable peeler, peel the zucchini and summer squash into long ribbons and place in a large bowl.

Whisk the lemon zest, juice, EVOO, honey and salt in a small bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetable ribbons and top with dill.

Mix well and serve cold. Light, fresh, and delish!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Rainbow Kale Salad

Have you ever been to a potluck and passed by a dish that looked like a hot mess? Everyone is raving about this salad (or whatever it happens to be) but you can’t convince yourself to eat it because it looks awful? Maybe it happens in your very own kitchen. I have definitely whipped up a few things that taste great but look terrible. In fact, I even told my fiancé that something is not “blog worthy” because it does not look pretty J.

The reality is, when it comes to food - both sight and smell wins! If you cannot get passed the way something looks or smells, it is highly unlikely that it will make it into your mouth.

We were invited to a BBQ on the Fourth of July and asked to bring a dish to pass. I decided on a cold salad – something colorful! This is what I whipped up and it was yummy!

1 large bunch of Lacinato (aka dinosaur) kale, washed, de-ribbed and julienned
2 cups of shredded carrots
½ purple cabbage, chopped into ribbons
1 large red bell pepper, sliced thinly
2 cans of mandarin oranges, drained
½ cup of sunflower seeds
¼ cup whole Dijon mustard
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
Zest from one orange
¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice (juice from 1 large orange)
1 tablespoon of flax oil
2 tablespoon of EVOO
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
Sea salt

Place the kale in a large mixing bowl and add the apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of EVOO, and a dash or two of sea salt. Begin to massage the kale with your hands until it starts to wilt slightly. This process helps tenderize the leaves. Allow the kale to rest for approximately ten minutes.

Chop up all the remaining veggies and set aside.

Combine mustard, balsamic vinegar, orange zest and juice, flax oil, and EVOO. Whisk until well mixed.

Transfer the chopped veggies to the bowl containing the kale. Pour the dressing over the top, mix it together and top with sunflower seeds. Serve cold and enjoy!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Black Bean Chocolate Chili Cherry Cookies

I try to stay away from refined flours, sugars and processed foods for three reasons, 1) they do not nourish our bod or our health 2) they negatively impact the environment (think packaging and fuel) and 3) the real deal (unprocessed, whole-foods) is so much better! But…what’s a girl to do when she cannot deny her craving for fresh baked cookies?!

So, you can imagine how excited I was when I came across this amazing chocolate cookie recipe made with black beans! I know, black bean cookies don’t sound nearly as appealing as chocolate chip or snickerdoodle but I promise that no one will ever know they are loaded with beans. They look like regular cookies, smell just as amazing as regular cookies and even have a fudgy consistency (if you take them out a minute or two early like I doJ).

These cookies are gluten, dairy, and sugar free! Plus, they are filled with black beans, which means you are getting a boost of protein too! I just can’t think of anything better! The dough is really easy to whip up and by changing the spices and added ingredients you can easily recreate the recipe. I like the recipe as is but tried a batch with coconut and chopped almonds instead of chili powder and cherries to make an “Almond Joy.” Have fun and enjoy!


Black Bean Chocolate Chili Cherry Cookies
1.5-2 cups cooked black beans, very soft (or one 19 oz can, drained and rinsed)
2 tablespoons coconut oil (no need to melt)
1/3 cup organic cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt, more for sprinkling
1 teaspoon pure vanilla (I scraped the inside of a vanilla bean instead)
1/3 cup organic maple syrup (or sweetener of your choice)
2 tablespoons of chia seeds (ground flax seeds OR two eggs)
1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate (80% or higher)
1/3 cup of dried cherries, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

Black Bean Almond Joy Cookies
1/3 cup of shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1/3 cup of chopped raw almonds
1 teaspoon almond extract
* Use the above recipe but substitute the coconut, almonds and almond extract for the vanilla, dried cherries, and cayenne pepper.

Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a baking stone.

Mix chia seeds, maple syrup, and vanilla in a small bowl and set aside (skip this step if you’re using eggs).
Place drained and well-rinsed beans, coconut oil, cocoa, salt and spices (depending on your variation) in a food processor and blend until well combined.

Add the liquid ingredients and pulse to incorporate. The batter will be quite liquid-y, but still hold together.  Remove blade from the food processor and add chopped chocolate and dried cherries (if using). Fold to incorporate.

Spoon cookie batter onto lined baking sheet. Using the back of the spoon, flatten top of cookies slightly, as they will not spread when baking.  Sprinkle with coarse sea salt (important!). Bake for 12-15 minutes until the edges begin to brown. Cool and EAT! Store in the fridge.