Saturday, June 13, 2015

Fresh Start Green Smoothie

Fresh starts are a wonderful thing in life. Recently, this has been a consistent theme for me. I started a new job, switched to a new disease management regimen, and now, looking for a new house. Every "fresh start" comes with a defining moment - a job offer, a cookbook, a workout plan, a For Sale sign in your front yard. It signifies that there's change ahead, which to me is what keeps life fun and interesting.

Fresh Start Green Smoothie

Like in life, sometimes my diet needs a "fresh start." Cleanses and cleansing foods often symbolize this. I will be the first to admit that cleanse is a misleading word, often associated with week-long juicing, body scrubbing and cayenne-spiced waters that result in headaches, mood swings and several trips to the bathroom. They tend to be a bit much for my delicate system, so I stick to much shorter versions or simply just consume cleansing foods, like this green smoothie. 

I realize that I have taken a VERY LONG break from the blog, but with good reason (see list above). Consider this my fresh start! 

Fresh Start Green Smoothie

Fresh Start Green Smoothie

Yields: 1 smoothie 

1/2 avocado
1 pear with skin on
Juice from 1/4 lemon
Handful fresh spinach
1/4 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1/3 cup filtered water
10 mint leaves (can also use cilantro)
1/2 teaspoon honey (optional)

Add everything into a blender and mix at high speed for several minutes. Scrape down the sides if needed and continue to blend. Eat/Drink immediately for best nutritional value.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Cardamom Cherry Almond Thumbprints for Easter

A few years ago, I posted a recipe from Oh She Glows for Easter Macaroon Thumbprints on the blog, which is still my favorite gluten free cookie recipe. Unfortunately, the Hubby isn’t a fan of coconut so I decided to try a different type of thumbprint this Easter. Baking has always been a challenge for me, especially gluten free baking. It is hard to find a gluten free recipe that I can successfully pull off and that the Hubby will eat. Don’t get me wrong, he is SUPER supportive of my dietary restrictions, but he isn’t a big fan of gluten free baked goods. However, over the last year I have come across several local gluten free treasures and resources for recipes. 

Cardamom Cherry Almond Thumbprints for Easter |

My favorite gluten free flour to bake with is almond flour mostly because I love almonds. Most of the gluten free recipes that I Pin call for almond flour, which comes in handy since I splurged and purchased a five pound bag of it. I came across this recipe on The Roasted Root and made a few tweeks based on our tastebuds.

The Hubby is much happier with these thumbprints over the coconut ones. Personally, I will make them both in the future! They are easy cookies to put together and pretty difficult to mess up, not to mention versatile based on which preserves you have in your fridge or decide to make during the season.

We hope everyone has a nice Easter!

Cardamom Cherry Almond Thumbprints for Easter |

Cardamom Cherry Almond Thumbprints 

Recipe adapted from: The Roasted Root
Yields: 12 cookies
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10-12 minutes

1 1/4 cups blanched almond flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg white
Cherry preserves

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Add the dry ingredients to a bowl and stir to combine. In a separate small bowl, add the wet ingredients and whisk until just combined. Stir into the dry ingredients until a dough forms.

Using a tablespoon, roll a small ball of cookie dough in your palms, and gently press the center with your thumb. Repeat this until all the dough is gone placing thumbprints on a cookie sheet. Spoon in a small amount of preserves into each well of the cookie. Be careful not to put too much preserves in each cookie so it doesn't overflow when cooking!

Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown around the edges. Cool on a cooling rack and keep in an air-tight container for up to a week.

Cardamom Cherry Almond Thumbprints for Easter |

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

Even though warm weather is coming...slowly, we are still at the tail end of Winter produce. Soup is the perfect easy dinner to keep me warm as the evening turns chilly. Using the carrots and sweet potatoes from the last of the Winter harvest makes for a perfect base for soup.

During the month of February, I was sick for probably 20 of the 28 days! It was a rough month, and soup got me through most of the sniffles, sneezes and freezing cold weather. As Spring approaches, I have a few soup dinners planned for the Hubby and I to keep us warm during the chilly nights.

Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup |

I love carrots and always eat them. It seemed like an orange match made in heaven pairing them with sweet potatoes, another favorite vegetable. I first made this soup during one of the snow days in February. The Hubby loved it and I knew it would be the perfect dinner for the chilly nights ahead this week.

Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup |

Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup 

Yields: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30-40 minutes

1 onion, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 inch fresh ginger, grated
2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped
4-6 whole carrots, chopped
salt and pepper
1 quart organic low-sodium chicken broth (use vegetable broth if vegetarian)
1 large bay leaf
1/8 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon dried chili peppers
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
lime wedges
maple syrup
fresh parsley, chopped

In a large, thick-bottomed soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat and sauté the onions until translucent, around 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger and sauté for another few minutes. Add in the sweet potatoes, carrots, dash of salt and pepper and continue to cook while stirring. After 2 minutes pour in the broth, bay leaf, coriander, chili peppers and thyme. Stir well and cook covered for 20 minutes over medium heat. Check to see if the sweet potatoes and carrots are well cooked and soft. If not, continue to cook for 5-10 more minutes.

Pull out the bay leaf and discard. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until desired consistency. You can also use a blender to puree the soup (most likely in batches). Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup, fresh parsley and juice from a lime wedge, all to taste.

Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup |