Vegan Walnut Pesto

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What do you do when you have a ton of basil because you keep buying it thinking that you’re out but you actually already have three packages in your fridge? You make pesto, of course! I don’t “do” cheese as you know, and I didn’t have pine nuts so I improvised and used walnuts instead of the pine nuts and left the cheese out altogether. It’s wonderful even without the cheese and really, you can make pesto with any nut you like.

Fill your food processor up with fresh basil

Add about 1 Tablespoon chopped garlic

Add about a handful of walnuts

Squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon into the mix

Pulse until thoroughly combined.

Turn food processor on and slowly drizzle olive oil in until it comes to a somewhat smooth consistency.

Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.

Black Bean Dip

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I have a deep love for summer. The sun, the heat that seeps deep into your bones…so relaxing. The long days, the gardening, barbecuing, yummy drinks with lime and mint, camping. I could go on and on. I also love all of the foods that go along with those months, especially dips. So simple and convenient. I like to keep at least one on hand in the fridge for a quick snack or a nice side dish to go with a lunch salad. When I first went dairy-free I feared that my love affair with dip would be over. But, the more I research and think things through, there are tons of dips that I can make and enjoy dairy free. This bean dip is one of them and it’s incredibly simple. Great for summer and I think it would also be delicious baked with dairy-free cheese on top for the winter months.

1 Can of Black Bean, rinsed and drained

1 Whole Clove of Garlic, peeled

1 Whole Jalapeno, stem removed

About 2 Tablespoons Fresh Cilantro Leaves

Zest of 1 Lime

Juice of 1 Lime

1 1/2 teaspoon Cumin

About 2 Tablespoons Olive oil

Rice Crackers.

Place all ingredients in food processor (minus the olive oil and rice crackers…of course). Pulse until mixture is somewhat incorporated. Turn food processor on and drizzle olive oil in until fully incorporated. You can make yours as smooth or as chunky as you like. If you want it really smooth you will have to add more olive oil. I like mine to have a little bit of body. Serve immediately or store in refrigerator.

Super Smoothie

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At least 4 days a week I drink my breakfast. And I don’t mean alcohol either. Ha! Although, teenagers do sometimes make you want to start your day off with a Bloody Mary. Seriously though, smoothies are a great way to start your day. The options are endless and you can get a lot of fruit and vegetable servings started first thing in the AM. I always start mine with pineapple, not only because I love it, but because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Then, I add a banana for the magnesium, potassium, and fiber. Usually I add blueberries for the antioxidant and then if I’m feeling up for it I add spinach, kale, or some other green item. Occasionally I’ll add coconut yogurt…seriously, the options are endless.  I grab the smoothie and a handful of walnuts and I’m out the door. Easy, handy, nutritious, and delicious.

I made the recipe below a few days ago. This morning I’m drinking a smoothie with organic raspberries, organic banana, coconut milk yogurt, and pineapple. Love them!

*This recipe makes 3 16 oz. fruit/veggie smoothies.

Super Smoothie

1 Organic Banana

1 1/2 Cups Organic Fresh or Frozen Blueberries

1 Cup Spinach, packed

20 oz. Crushed Pineapple in its own juices, or fresh pineapple

1 Cup Frozen Mango

About 1 1/2 Cups Ice

Place all the ingredients (except the ice) in a heavy-duty blender, blend until smooth. Add the ice, blend for about 1 minute. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blend until smooth and enjoy!

Hellloooo…Breakfast

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This morning I was meandering through a fellow blogger’s food blog and ran across a delicious looking smoothie. Made me realize I haven’t had a smoothie in a really long time. It seems like we’ve had the longest, rainiest, cloudiest, winter ever…which makes me want to eat comfort food for breakfast. This morning, even though it’s still cloudy, I actually woke up to the sweet sound of birds singing, a true sign of spring! Goodbye heavy oatmeal and scrambled eggs and hello fruit smoothies.

This is kind of a “what’s in the fridge” smoothie. I also had spinach and parsley that I considered, but I just couldn’t stomach the thought today. I’ll have to do a super foods smoothie another day.

What’s In The Fridge Smoothie

*Makes 2 – 16 oz. glasses with a little left over

2 Tbsp. Brown Rice Protein Powder

1/2 Cup Almond Milk

1/2 of a Large Organic Banana, peeled

1/4 of an English Cucumber, peeled

1 Whole Mango, peeled & rough chopped

1/2 Cup Organic Carrots

6 Kumquats, washed and green end nubs removed

1 Cup Pineapple in its own juices, not sweetened

1 Cup Organic Frozen Blueberries

1 Cup Ice

Get all of the ingredients ready to go.

In a heavy-duty blender add the pineapple, protein powder, and carrots. Blend until smooth. Add the kumquats, mango, and cucumber. Blend until smooth.

Add the banana and blend until smooth. Add the blueberries a little at a time, blending until smooth. Add almond milk and ice and blend for about 1 minute.

 

Mediterranean Salad

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It seems like it’s been a really long winter around these parts. Last summer went by much too quickly and wasn’t as warm as usual. Then fall and winter hit and now we’re into March with rain and still having some pretty chilly days. We’re starting to get into camping mode and really wanting to spend some more time outside, so my husband thought it would be fun to plan a little road trip and picnic today. It was just what the Dr. ordered to get rid of the winter blues! Even though the weather was a bit chilly, it didn’t rain until we were on our way home. It was wonderful to just sit and chat during our picnic and watch the dogs play in the sand and water.

I filled our picnic basket with sandwiches, veggies, sea salt chips, a couple of Cutie oranges, fresh-cut pineapple, a Mediterranean salad, water, a couple of beers, and a few of the jam thumbprint cookies I made a couple of days ago. It’s so much easier and healthier to pack our own food for a nice, relaxing, picnic than to try to find some greasy spoon out in the middle of nowhere where I can get something gluten and dairy-free.

This was the first time I’ve made the salad and it was really good and extremely easy. It was fabulous as a  picnic salad, which means it will also work well for camping when the weather warms up a bit.

Mediterranean Salad

1 – 15oz Can of White Beans

1 – 150z Can of Garbanzo Beans

1 1/2 Tbsp. Basil, chopped

2 Tbsp. Oregano, chopped

2 Tbsp. Parsley, chopped

1 Tbsp. Garlic, chopped

15 Pitted Kalamata Olives, sliced in half lengthwise

15 Small Grape Tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise

About 1/2 of a Small Red Onion, sliced

1/2 Block of Sheep’s Milk Cheese, crumbled

1/8 Cup Olive Oil

1/4 – 1/2 Cup Basil & Oregano Rice Vinegar

About 2 Grinds of Sea Salt

About 4-6 Grinds of Good Pepper

Rinse and drain both cans of beans.

Once beans have drained, pour into a medium size bowl. Add chopped herbs and sliced vegetables, garlic and olives, stir with spatula to combine.

Pour olive oil and vinegar into a measuring cup and whisk to combine. Pour over salad.

Stir carefully to combine. Allow flavors to meld at least one hour before serving.

I’ll sneak in a picture of Romeo and Abigail, our sweet babies. Romeo is on the right and is 2 years old, Abigail is on the left and turned 1 on Valentine’s Day. ♥ Our other sweet baby is human and 18… and opted to stay home and hang out with friends instead. Us old people are a little boring. Wink, wink.

Lake Roosevelt.