One foods that typically doesn't grace it's presence at our Thanksgiving table is... Salad. And hey, I'm not complaining (nor is anybody else). But last months I had a friend visiting, my former roommate and still one of my best friends.
My original idea was to put a Fall spin on a Summer classic: The Caprese Salad. There's nothing more refreshing than a juicy tomato topped with a cool slice of mozzarella and a fresh piece of basil. Unfortunately, in the Fall, it’s pretty impossible to find good tomatoes. This Fall, I thought it would be fun to break the caprese salad rules, and make a version with Squash instead of tomato, and a pumpkin seed pesto instead of the traditional pine nut version.
My dad makes quite possibly the best artichokes. In fact, they weren't anything I really cared for until her started making them into these epic and elaborate side (or main!) dishes. His secret? He stuffs them with Italian breadcrumbs. They reason they're so delicious? The artichoke basically becomes a vehicle for eating stuffing. Instead of a fork, you use artichoke leaves.
When you live in a city (with one measly window AC) it's hard to eat anything but frozen food in the summer. My freezer is stocked with frozen fruit as I'm always prepared to whip up a smoothie for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, when I don't feel like turning on the stove (or moving at all for that matter).
One of my favorite make-at-home meals is tacos. They're super easy to make, delicious, and if made right, are still packed with nutrition. These next couple of weeks I'm hosting a 12-Day Sugar Detox, so tortillas and taco shells are on the "eliminate" list, as they fall under the category of processed carbohydrates. I didn't let that stop my from creating a satisfying taco bowl, no shell required.
In the hot summer months it might be difficult to keep up with the water consumption you need. That's why I always recommend eating your water! This salad is loaded with hydrating veggies and topped with a healthy-fat and protein filled dressing. Not to mention it's bursting with flavor, and a much healthier and lighter option to lug to a picnic or barbecue. Check out the recipe below.
Many people have told me how much they love my simple Acai Bowl recipe, so I decided to make another smoothie bowl recipe, with some more common ingredients. I've been hooked on this Wild Blueberry Smoothie Bowl for weeks and am excited to finally share this super quick and easy breakfast (or lunch!) with you.
When I was in eight grade, my first period science teacher told my parents that I was a "good student" but I always seemed tired in the mornings. He suggested they send me off with a cup of coffee in the morning to "help wake me up." Mr. Marlow... if you're reading this, you probably should have suggested I went to bed earlier!
Oh how I love me some Almond Joy bars. I think it was sometimes around Halloween when the craving striked. Since then, a lot of my sweet cravings were chocolate and coconutty. So, naturally I decided to make my own more nutritious version: Joyful Almond Bars. Made with 4 simple ingredients. Check it out.
Joyful Almond Bars
4 cups shredded coconut
10 medjool dates, pitted
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup coconut milk
2 cups dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup slivered almonds
In a food processor blend together coconut, dates, vanilla, and coconut milk. Place in a 9x13x2 pan and spread evenly. Place in freezer for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a double boiler, melt dark chocolate chips (or chocolate sauce). Remove the coconut from the freezer. Pour and spread the chocolate sauce on top of the coconut. Top with almonds. Place tray in refrigerator until chocolate layer sets. Cut into squares and enjoy.
The flavor combinations in this dish show up frequently in my dinners. I love peanut butter all ways, but it's especially delicious when its used to make a marinade. I decided to use tofu in this situation, but you can easily use chicken, shrimp, or steak.
In the past I would make this dish with soba or rice noodles, but after receiving a spiralizer for Christmas, I decided to sub out the easy-to-overeat noodles with some nutrient dense zucchini noodles, or "zoodles." If you don't have a spiralizer you can get the same result by using a vegetable peeler and peeling the zucchini length wise. It might take a little longer, but it will still be delicious!
To Make the Zoodles
- 2 zucchinis, spiralized or peeled length wise
- dash of salt
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 limes, zested and juiced
In a medium pan (with no oil) place spiralized zucchini and salt, toss until the zucchini let's off water and water evaporates. The zoodles should be tender, but not mooshy. Remove and place in a large bowl. Toss with cilantro and lime zest and juice.
To Make the Spicy Peanut Sauce
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (more if you prefer spicy)
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.
To make the Tofu
- 1 block extra firm tofu, sliced width wise (about 1/2 inch)
- 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, crushed
- Spicy peanut sauce (above)
Preheat oven to 375 F. Take 10 paper towels and stack them. Lay out the tofu pieces in one layer on top of the towels, and then top with 10 more paper towels. Place a heavy book or pan on top of them to dry out the pieces.
On a parchment lined and sprayed baking sheet, lay the tofu flat, in one layer. Brush with spicy peanut sauce and bake for 15-25 minutes, until tofu is slightly browned. Layer on top of zoodles and top with peanuts. Enjoy!