My daughter Amy was fixing lunch for our family to have a picnic outside. Her heart was set on tacos. She worked hard to feed her family. She had to thaw the hamburger, cook it and then create a taco spice blend. She sliced the olives, mashed the avocado for guacamole, and she made homemade salsa. (her mom didn’t have a stash in the fridge)
I was so proud of her. She did all of this because she wanted too. We all enjoyed the Spring weather but most of all I enjoyed being the mom of this brilliant 11 year old.
1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes, drained
1 fresh Jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons lime juice
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
3 dashes hot sauce
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse 3-10 times.
If you have a child who loves to cook, allow them to the spread their wings and serve you lunch. They can very well surprise you.
To your best health,
Its almost grilling season. I know this week seems like it is far away but it will be here before you know it. Roasted Brussels Sprouts are one of my favorite foods. Grilling them is a close second.
Grilled Brussels Sprouts
1 pound Brussels sprouts, as uniform in size as possible
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cut off the stem end of the Brussels sprouts and remove any yellowing outer leaves. Place the Brussels sprouts into a large, microwave safe mixing bowl and heat in the microwave on high for 3 minutes. Add the olive oil, garlic, mustard, paprika and salt and toss to combine. Allow the sprouts to cool until you can handle them. Skewer 4 to 5 Brussels sprouts onto each metal skewer with the stem ends facing in the same direction, leaving at least 1/2-inch in between each sprout. Place the skewers onto the grill with stem end closest to the flame. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Turn the skewers over and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Serve as is or for additional flavor, remove the sprouts from the skewers, return them to the original mixing bowl and toss with any of the remaining oil and garlic mixture before serving.
Its been snowing quite a bit lately and I have been in the mood for soup more than usual this winter. This recipe is a favorite because it makes such a large batch of soup, but also because it uses up just about anything I have in my fridge. Bonus is my kids love it.
Kitchen Sink Soup
3 pounds ground beef
3-4 cups chicken broth
3-4 cups water (or more if needed – less if you want yours more “stew like”)
2 cups diced tomatoes
1 large sweet potato, diced
6 carrots, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
5 celery stalks, chopped
2-3 cups shredded green cabbage
3 small shallots, finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 teaspoons ground cumin
1-2 teaspoons coriander
2 teaspoons chili powder
1-2 tablespoons dried basil
About 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
In a large soup pot add the sweet potatoes, carrots, chicken broth, and water and bring to a boil
In a separate large pot or skillet, brown the 3 pounds of ground beef, and season with a little bit of salt and pepper, and set aside. You can also use ground chicken, turkey, or lamb.
After the soup pot comes to a boil, add the shallots, garlic, diced tomatoes, celery, and bell pepper and let simmer for about 10 minutes.
Add the browned ground beef and shredded cabbage and continue to simmer until the potatoes and carrots are tender.
Season with all of the spices. Taste, and add more seasoning if desired.
Stir in the fresh cilantro and serve.
*Tips: Garnish with more fresh cilantro if desired, diced green onions, minced jalapeños and more shredded green cabbage. With your leftovers, eat a bowl of soup for breakfast topped with fried or poached egg!
To Your Best Health,
Here is another of my favorite cauliflower recipes! This is a great side dish that is super easy to make and will go great with any meal.
Heat olive oil in a large pan and start to sauté the grated cauliflower over medium heat. Add the chicken stock. Continue sautéing, stirring, until the cauliflower is al dente. Don’t cook it too long or it will turn to mush. I estimate this takes 5-7 minutes, but just taste it as you go and pull it off the heat when it’s done.
Stay tuned for more cauliflower recipes!
My favorite vegetable this week is cauliflower. I have it just about every day. Yesterday I had it in cauliflower bacon hash for breakfast and at dinner I love Mexi-cauli Beef. It’s already in the oven along with broccoli and carrots to roast for dinner.
The Bomb Mashed Cauliflower
In a large pot with a tight fitting lid, steam the cauliflower and cashews in water until cauliflower is tender. Drain water and transfer cauliflower mixture to a food processor or blender. Add coconut milk and puree (in small batches, if needed). Top with butter, salt and pepper to taste.
Stay tuned for more of my favorite cauliflower recipes! 🙂
Deb from Concord loves to experiment with new recipes. She received this one from a friend out west. This Asian Slaw recipe combines the tang of rice wine vinegar with the sweetness of mangoes, the slight zing of scallions, and the crunchiness of cabbage.
Combine the cabbage, carrots, scallions, and mango. Toss together in a large bowl. Prepare the dressing by whisking together the rice vinegar, lime juice, and soy sauce. Slowly whisk in the peanut oil. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to coat. Let it sit at least 15-20 minutes to let the dressing soak in. Serve sprinkled with sesame seeds.
I made this and my family loved it too. I grilled up some chicken and used this as a side dish. It was even better the next day.
Enjoy great food that is great for you,
I love broccoli, but I can't eat it plain every time! This is a great way to add some flavor to your broccoli but still keep the prep and cook time simple. It comes out delicious!
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl, toss the broccoli florets with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Spread the broccoli in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until florets are tender enough to pierce with a fork and the edges are browning, about 15 minutes. Turn once halfway through the baking process and add red pepper flakes, if using. After baking, squeeze lemon juice liberally over the broccoli before serving.
Right now is the perfect time for some tomatoes fresh out of the garden! Pick a few of your own and dress them up with this simple but delicious recipe!
Slice tomatoes and lay out on plate or serving dish. Brush on olive oil with a pastry brush. Sprinkle on Mrs. Dash’s Garlic & Herb seasonings (all Mrs. Dash seasonings are salt free). Cover and let sit for 30 minutes to an hour at room temperature.
Did you know that I am not normal? And maybe you aren’t either!
And I mean that in a good way.
I’m not normal in the sense that I want to be the best version of the healthiest me I can be. I am constantly looking for ways to challenge myself to become better.
Sadly, that's not normal.
Most people just coast through life not wanting to put in the time or effort to be the best.
Unfortunately, most people coast through life accepting their health as unchangeable. They do what is typical in our society - eat too much, sit too long, go for the easy way out.
I enjoy physical activity! I prep food every week. I care what goes into my body. And I'm guessing but I probably eat more than the average person when it comes to vegetables.
I don't have any hard data on this, but just by talking with hundreds of people, I would guess the average person consumes less than two servings of vegetables per day.
And most of those are the same ones, over and over again.
A lot of people just don't know what or how to cook certain foods.
My biggest challenge doing this over the computer is that while I can tell you all about a certain vegetable, I can show you what it looks like, I can even tell you what is great about a certain veggie... until I can get you to experience it, it’s just to ‘weird’ to even think about.
I’m going to introduce you to jicama today. Just to say it seems a bit odd, but think of the first letter as being an “H”. It looks a bit like an odd shaped potato. In fact you would peel it like a potato and the inside reminds me of a white potato. BUT the similarities stop there. It tastes different, in fact ,you can eat it raw or cooked.
Jashbrowns are a favorite way to cook jicama for rockstar Jennifer.
I peel the jicama, which is a root vegetable, and then slice it into thin French fry shapes. I add these to a taco salad so that I have crunch without a taco shell. My kids love it this way too.
Check out this recipe highlighting jicama paired with cucumbers as a side dish.
Jicama Cucumber Salad with Chili Dressing
Puree vinegar, oil, onion, chili powder and salt in a blender until smooth. Toss jicama and cucumber with the dressing in a large bowl; stir in mint. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle the salad with more chili powder before serving, if desired.
A simple concept - eat five servings of vegetables every day. I’m hoping I’ve given you enough education so that jicama doesn’t feel so weird when thinking of vegetables. By adding jicama to your grocery list, you can up your vegetable count.
To your best health,
Rock stars Deb and Adam have been talking up a new salad they created for months. They practically handed me all the ingredients one day so I could make this salad. It was delicious just as they said. Why, oh why, did it take me so long? I am grateful I made it before the summer was over. This is going to be hit for picnics.
D.A. Summer Salad
Mix, chill, and serve. Yep, it's that easy.
If you don't have access to a Trader Joe's, this will take a bit longer. You can also be creative as this recipe will work wonderfully with coleslaw mix, riced broccoli, or any blend of greens. You'll need about 6 cups of greens.
Creamy Italian Dressing
Mix all ingredients in a blender. If mixture is too thick, add either vinegar or water. Remember, your dressing will get slightly more liquidy as you toss it with your salad.
Place egg, dry mustard, salt and lemon juice in the blender. Add 1/4 cup of olive oil and whirl until well mixed. Slowly incorporate the remaining olive oil. Drizzle it in with as small a stream as possible. You'll hear it start to emulsify. Don't rush this. Be patient. Continue to blend until the oil is incorporated and your mayo is light and fluffy.