Salads aren’t just for summer! They definitely dominate the warmer months for a reason because they are cooling for our bodies when the weather is hot. And, some greens are meant specifically for the spring to detox our bodies from the heavier, more grounding stews and veggies typically eaten in the winter. That works nicely, but I find myself craving salads all year-round. So, what’s a girl to do?! I made a list of leafy greens having the highest ANDI scores (a measure of nutrient density) and then used those that are more on the hearty side and wintery. Send in kale, swiss chard, brussels sprouts and purple cabbage. This salad is a heavy-hitter when it comes to nourishing your body and when topped with toasted pistachios, dried cranberries and avocado, it becomes off-the-charts amazing. It truly is medicinal in what it delivers to your entire system and is über-yummy as a bonus!
When I am tossing a salad during the cooler months and using more sturdy greens, I prefer to shred them. Thin ribbons of kale, cabbage, swiss chard and brussels sprouts are much more palatable and totally delicious as delicate little strands, but can have too much of a bite when left in larger pieces. To achieve a finer cut of these bold greens, just stack freshly rinsed leaves on top of one another, roll them up to resemble a cigar and thinly slice from one end to the other. This is called chiffonade. And it results in beautiful, thin ribbons of whatever greens you have sliced. Now, your heavier, heartier greens are light and delicate in texture, but still seriously hearty in substance.
I always include avocado and toasted nuts in my salads for the healthy fats and protein to stay satisfied longer, but also for the difference in textures to keep things interesting. Just a few dried berries add a little sweetness here and there, without being overpowering. Once you have gotten this far, remember to whip up a quick homemade salad dressing! It only takes a minute to mix up a little balsamic, extra virgin olive oil, a tiny touch of dijon mustard and a little honey, salt and pepper for a dressing that works for most any salad.
Taking a few minutes to prepare a couple different types of salad greens, veggies and nuts to have on hand will set you up for success in the kitchen. Think ahead and plan ahead so you will be more equipped to choose fresh foods over packaged when meal or snack time rolls around. This simple practice will leave you feeling more in control of your health, which will result in a healthier and happier you. Enjoy! xxo!
This is probably my most favorite thing to make and have on hand at all times because it elevates any meal to gourmet status almost instantly with minimal effort. With an abundance of home grown tomatoes from our CSA delivery, I almost cannot resist preparing them without this pesto. It’s like wow, all of these incredible flavors bursting in your mouth…….a treat for the mind as well as the body. All it takes is a generous cup of basil, another cup of arugula, zest from one lemon, one clove of garlic and three tablespoons of toasted nuts, a little salt and squeeze of lemon juice. Oh, and the best olive oil you can get your hands on. So simple, it’s hard to believe such complexity of flavor can come from just these few ingredients.
To make it, toast your favorite nuts in the oven or a dry skillet first until they begin to turn a shade darker and you smell their yummy, toasty aroma. Allow the nuts to cool while you gather the other ingredients. Toss washed basil and arugula into the bowl of a food processor, zest a lemon over it, roughly chop a clove of garlic and toss it in too. Have a quarter of a cup of extra virgin olive oil ready to go. Add a bit of salt and squeeze some lemon juice into the bowl and follow with the cooled nuts. Put the top on and give it a whir. Now, pour the olive oil into the top opening of the food processor with it running. You might need to stop it and scrape down the sides a couple of times, but keep going until everything is tiny in size and uniform. Pack it in a beautiful little glass jar! It will keep in the fridge for a week, but I promise it won’t last that long! Enjoy! xxo!
Yes! And, it’s nutrient packed! This came about because as my boys get older, the harder it is to get them to drink green smoothies or green drinks. Such a bummer. But, they love chocolate…especially the younger one! So, since I am determined to get as much healthy food in them as possible, I figured chocolate would be how I was going to make it happen. This yummy smoothie does have some green in it that is thankfully, in this case, hidden by the chocolate. But, even without the green ingredients, it is full of some powerful nutrients that make this smoothie anything but sinful, even though it tastes like it!
Here are the ingredients that will ignite your feel good receptors while infusing your body with some much needed phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals…..just to name a few.
Cacao is what’s behind the bliss in this yummy drink, and not just because of it’s pure chocolatey taste, but mostly because it contains one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants and magnesium in nature. Did you know that magnesium is one of the minerals the standard American diet is most deficient in? So, it’s really important that we eat foods as close to their natural state as possible in order to give our bodies what they need to be healthy. We need magnesium because it is an anti-inflammatory mineral that offers protection against illnesses like arthritis and Alzheimers disease. And, since inflammation causes many problems in our bodies that can lead to disease, we don’t want to miss out on nutrients that fight inflammation! Read more
In an effort to help my twin sister who has to assemble four lunches for her children every school day, I came up with three of the most nutritious options for trail mixes I could think of, taking into consideration each of their preferences. Two of the girls love fruit, so I mixed nuts, fruit and the chocolate chips for them. Her only boy likes straight forward and simple. So, for him, I did almonds, peanuts and chocolate chips. Girl number three wanted everything but the fruit. Easy! I will do anything for these kiddos….I call them the fantastic four and I am the very proud founder of their official fan club!
I started this little experiment with raw nuts from the bulk section of Whole Foods. I also picked up some dried papaya, pineapple, wild blueberries and cranberries. Oh, and dark chocolate chips! All of the nuts went onto two large pans and into the oven at 250 degrees for 30 minutes. While the nuts toasted, I sliced the papaya and pineapple into little pieces and set them aside. Then, after the nuts were toasted and cooled I started assembly. Tons of nutrients, phytochemicals and antioxidants without all of the added and probably rancid oils present in most packaged trail mixes and packaged nuts! Read more
This is how I start my day……and how I energize myself in the middle of the afternoon. It’s where I go when I need a little boost or self-care. Five minutes in the kitchen with my Vitamix and carefully selected ingredients gives me the power to set everything right. It replenishes, recharges and renews. It has to be green, because green is vitality, life and positive energy. I don’t just limit myself to the typical greens such as spinach and kale. I go deep. I need spirulina, blue-green algae, phytoplankton and chlorella just to name a few of the serious ingredients that are part of my daily regimen. I hope this inspires you to get creative with your blender drinks! xxo!