Blackberry Broccoli Slaw with a Blueberry Yogurt Dressing

Broccoli Slaw is one of my favorite things to eat. According to studies, Broccoli contains phytochemicals shown to benefit arthritis, cancer, immune system health, blood pressure levels, vision, skin health, blood sugar disorders and much more” Source:Mercola

This recipe is packed with not just the benefits of broccoli but it’s loaded with planted based protein from the pumpkin seeds, fiber from the cranberries and vegetarian protein from the greek yogurt dressing, not to mention the b vitamin power of the blueberries and blackberries. My mantra is to. Eat on purpose with lots of flavor and this salad honors that fully. You can add your favorite fruit in this salad or even zucchini and yellow squash would be amazing. However you decide to enjoy it remember to, Set the Table with Love. 💕💕Ingredients:

For the dressing:

2 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt (I use nonfat)

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp grainy Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp fresh black pepper

6 oz (3 cups) store-bought broccoli slaw

2-3 Tbsp cranberries, to taste

2-3 Tbsp pumpkin seeds, to taste

1 Tbsp chia seeds

Directions:In a mixing bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. Add the broccoli slaw, pumpkin seeds, cranberries and chia seeds and toss gently until all ingredients are well combined.Eat immediately or you can cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes. The yogurt and mustard will tenderize the vegetables; the salad will be crunchy, but not soggy.Serve cold or at room temperature.

Simple Green ” Heart Healthy” Avocado Salad

This salad is so beautiful, simple and delicious. I love avocados. They are loaded with so much good stuff, like omega fatty acids. Avocado also helps improve digestion and they are wonderful for your heart.  I love making this salad in the summer, but it’s also delicious in the winter time as well, because I saute the green beans and sweet peas and toss them with arugula, spices and olive oil and lemon juice. I love to also add salmon to add more good omega fatty acids and protein. If you are vegan, add walnut or pistachios.  The possibilities are endless, you can also add chard, kale, even brussels sprouts would be a wonderful green option. Oh and don’t forget to Set the Table with Love.

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup onions, diced

2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

1 cup green beans, fresh or frozen

1 cup sweet peas, frozen

Avocado, halved and peeled

olive oil, sea salt, Montreal steak seasonings, lemon juice

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Simple Green Avocado Salad

Directions:

In a saucepan on medium heat, add the olive oil and onions, saute the onions for about 1 – 2 minutes, then add your garlic, cook for another minute. Add your beans and cook for about 3-4 minutes until slightly tender, you still want them to have a crunch. Add your sweet peas, season with sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste. Remove from heat once the sweet peas are warmed through.

In a nice serving bowl, add you arugula, sweet peas, green beans, toss gently with a bit of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Cut an avocado in half and peel. Take half of the avocado and add it to the top of the green mixture, drizzle with more olive oil and lemon juice and season generously with Montreal Steak Seasoning or a medley of cracked peppercorns. I love to also add basil leaves or mint to this salad to give it some freshness. Enjoy with some crusty bread or yummy multi grain crackers.

Ways to make him feel special this Valentine’s Day

This blog is short and sweet.

Here are a few ideas you can try to help your honey feel special this week. I found some of these on: She Knows.com Valentine’s Day Ideas , for more ideas check out her blog. I listed some I have did with my husband over the past 25 years.

  1. Photo book of our dating relationship.
  2. Breakfast in bed with old loves letters, that we read after breakfast.
  3. Recreated the first meal I made him.
  4. Outdoor picnic in the park.
  5. Romantic coupon book, with his favorite things inside. 😘
  6. Theatre 🎭 🤫
  7. A day of being “right”.pexels-photo-207962.jpeg
  8. Leave a little note in his/her briefcase or laptop bag so they will find it when they get to work.
  9. Plan a surprise outing! Start with dinner at your partner’s favorite restaurant, then reveal tickets to a show or sports game.
  10. Stop by your sweetie’s office around lunchtime with his/her favorite noontime snack.
  11. Take a drive together — car trips provide some of the best time for talking one-on-one.
  12. Do chores or errands without being asked and without complaining.
  13. Leave a note on the bathroom mirror so he/she will see it first thing in the morning.
  14. Recreate your first date — then recall all the feelings you had for each other that very first night.pexels-photo-264109.jpeg
  15. Dedicate a day to the one you love — plan a day filled with his/her favorite things.
  16. Volunteer together. Work side-by-side at your local animal shelter, nursing home or as you gather donations for your local food bank.
  17. Try an activity that he/she loves that you don’t usually do together.
  18. Iron his/her clothes and leave sweet, simple notes in the pockets.
  19. Watch the sun set or rise together from your backyard or nearby park
  20. Kidnap them. Blindfold them and take to a secluded location, where you create one of your favorite evenings together.

heart-wood-love-wooden-161711.jpeg No matter what you do, have fun and know that it’s about you guys enjoying one another.

The Happy Now

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Most of us are waiting for happy to show up at our door and knock, we answer with glee, “Hello, Happy I have been waiting for you, now all is well with the world.” Happy looks at you and says with great merriment, sorry is this 52 Henderson Way?  You look with great disappointment and hang your head low and slam the door. Happy skips off, not affected at all and move on to find 52 Henderson Way.  I know, cheesy story, but my point is this, we need to stop waiting. If we expect happy to make things right in our lives we will be disappointed. Happiness is based on condition and conditions change as much as the weather is so unpredictable here in Georgia.

God is my source of happiness. God is the creator of happiness, love, compassion and all the sparkly, unicorn fairy feelings ,that make us feel all effervescent inside.

My connection to God and the universal truth, that he planted inside of all of us, that in him we are remember that we are whole and complete.  Happiness is not something that you wait to show up, it is always. Happiness is always there. Love is always there. Compassion is always there. It is a matter of where you are looking.  This little exercise may perhaps help you see it more clearly in your own life.

The Happy Now practice :pexels-photo-799420.jpeg

List 10 things that make you HAPPY :

Take your time. The mind is programmed to look for what you are looking for. If you are looking for suffering you will find it , because just as happiness is out there, so is suffering, so is love, just as hate. It’s all about where you are focusing your attention.

I bet you thought of somethings, so guess where happy is right now? It’s in you! You just experienced it. You stepped into the happy that has always been there.

Now take the same list and live in the energy of that happiness, try to do one thing on your list this week that stirred up the happy inside of you.   If you can do all ten and do it with someone you love, make it a weekly practice. The point is to see that whatever you  are looking for is never outside of you, dear one. It’s right there, always.


Mini Vegan Dark Chocolate Macaroons

Today is day four of my 30 day cleanse and it’s going pretty good. It is challenging coming up with creative recipes, but hey, that’s my thing. I love to take what I have an make creative recipes, but even more when the recipes call for no diary, no processed white sugar,vegan and yep, no gluten. The truth is even though I am doing this cleanse, I still crave my favorites, like dessert, chips and bread. The body needs to cleanse and reset itself for optimum health and wellness, this is why I cleanse 3 to 4 times a year. We all need a reset, no matter how healthy we eat. So, back to dessert, chips and breads.

This dessert is very easy and you do not need a million ingredients. Take note, I am not using any sugars, such as, honey, maple syrup or agave, just coconut sugar. Coconut sugar only has 5 grams of sugar, much better for you while doing a cleanse, if you craving something sweet. The macaroons are excellent paired with French Broad 100% dark chocolate, now this will be intense, only for the purist. You can also use 72% or 80% dark chocolate, no milk chocolate, since we are doing a cleanse. LOL. 🙂

Here’s the recipe. Enjoy.

Vegan Dark Chocolate Macaroons

Ingredients:

2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbsp coconut sugar

1 tsp melted coconut oil

1/2 cup  dairy free dark chocolate, chopped
Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Add coconut and coconut flour to a food processor or high speed blender and blend, scraping down sides as needed, until you have incorporated the coconut and coconut flour.  You want a pliable dough to feel like play doh. If the dough is not pliable, add more coconut and blend.  Add coconut sugar and vanilla and mix again until just incorporated.
Using a 1 tbsp scoop, scoop out in enough to fill the scoop, pack down firmly, but gently with your hands to shape the dough, gently tap the dough out of the scoop. Shape it into a nice half moon ball. Place each macaroon gently on the baking sheet.

Brush the tops lightly with melted coconut oil. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges start to look golden brown. Allow the macaroons to cool.
While macaroons are cooling, melt chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave in 30 second increments.  Set aside.
Once completely cooled, drizzle the chocolate over each one. Put them in the fridge for 30 minutes or over night, this will allow them to firm up.  Be gentle in handling the macaroons, because they are very fragile.  Remove each macaroon from the cookie sheet and place on a nice platter. Serve and Enjoy.

Vegan Dark Chocolate Macaroons

Sundried Tomato Risotto ~ Easy Elegant Entertaining

What I love about entertaining at home, is spending time with my friends and family, so that means, not being in the kitchen all day, while everyone is having a good time in the other room. Who doesn’t want to be a part of the party?  I even bought our new house with that purpose in mind, to be with my guest, while I am preparing food for them. We all sit around our 8 foot island and just connect with one another over an excellent bottle of wine and eat as each course comes out.

Creating recipes that are loaded with flavor and doesn’t take a lot of time, but will make your guest feel like it did, is the key. My to go to recipe, my Sundried Tomato Risotto, because it seems, difficult, it looks fancy, but psst… IT’S NOT and it’s pretty darn delicious.

Risotto is one of those dishes you can truly make it your own, you can flavor it with all kinds of mouthwatering possibilities, with spinach, sweet peas and mint or you could do butternut squash and fried sage with just a pinch of nutmeg. Just allow your imagination to run wild, serve it with steamed veggies or a nice salad, some crusty bread, excellent wine, and you will be the hostess of the year, will maybe of the month, it is risotto and not coq au vin, LOL, 🙂

So here’s the recipe I hope you will enjoy it with your friends and family as you Set the Table with Love.

Sun dried Tomato Risotto

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Sundried Tomato Risotto photo by: Noi Tran Photography

Ingredients:

1 cup of water

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup finely chopped onion

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup Arborio rice

1 ounce sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil, I used pre sliced ones)

2 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup of white wine

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

finely chopped fresh basil leaves for sprinkling the risotto after cooking

Directions:

1. In a saucepan add the water and the bring the liquid to a simmer, and keep it at a bare simmer. In a large saucepan cook the onion and the garlic in the oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until they are softened, add the rice, stirring until each grain is coated with oil, and stir in the tomatoes.

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Sundried Tomato Risotto Photo by: Noi Tran Photography

2. Add 1/2 cup of the simmering liquid and cook the mixture over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding the liquid, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly. Once you have added all the water and broth liquid add the 1/2 cup of white wine remember to allow each portion to be absorbed before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still al dente)

3. Stir in the Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle the risotto with the fresh basil. I like to drizzle a little olive oil over it all at the end. Makes 4-6 servings

Vegan Basil Pasta with Soy Free Gluten Free Chorizo Sausage

I was in great debate about posting this blog. This sausage recipe is very delicious and the powers that be, suggested that it needs to be in my new cookbook:  Set the Table with Love, plant based recipes to make you look and feel great. So stay tuned for that recipe. But keep reading the Vegan Basil Pasta is delish!!

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I will share this amazing and easy Vegan Basil Pasta. Here is what making this pasta very special. One of my best friends gave me today this wonderful Kitchenaid food processor. I never had a big professional food processor. I know I cook a lot, but I am so primitive. I do everything on hand. I even make my pasta from scratch with no processor, but I think I am hooked.

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Vegan Basil Pasta with Soy Free Gluten Free Vegan Chorizo Sausage

Thanks Andrea for making my life easier. I love my new food processor.

 Vegan Basil Pasta

Ingredients
1 cups semolina flour

1 3/4 cups organic unbleached pastry flour

1/2 cup basil leaves

1 tbsp olive oil

3/4 – 1 cup room temperature water

Directions:

Place flours and basil in the food processor and pulse to combine.

While the food processor is running, drizzle in the olive oil.  Add the water 1 Tbsp at a time through the spout while the processor is running.
I used almost 1 cup of water. Remove dough from processor and place on a modestly floured clean surface, knead briefly until smooth. Rolling the dough into a ball.  Cut in half. Take one of the halves and  pass through your pasta machine as per its instructions, dusting with semolina flour as needed. Once the dough is thinned out to your preference, you can send it through your fettuccine attachment, dusting your pasta and the pasta machine with semolina flour, so it doesn’t stick .

If you do not have an attachment or a pasta maker, you can roll the dough with a dusted rolling pin with semolina flour. Take a pizza cutter or knife to cut into small strips. Place the strips on a lightly floured surface and dust with more flour, so that pasta will not stick together.

Toppings for the pasta:

Ingredients:

1/2 cup onions, diced

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

sea salt

basil leaves ( for garnish)

Directions:

I sautéed the onions and garlic in a sauce pan. I added it over the pasta, with a few chili peppers, sea salt and basil leaves.

Naleyla’s Mango Blueberry Smoothie and Gigi’s Peanut Butter and Dark Choclate Popsicles

If you know me just a little bit, my grandkids are my heart’s joy. I love cooking, baking and going on adventures with them. They both love to be in the kitchen with me, just like my boys, when they were kids. Valentine’s Day is coming up, so I am sure we will be coming up with some yummy, healthy treats, but until then enjoy Naleyla’s Mango Blueberry Smoothie and Gigi’s Peanut Butter and Dark Choclate Popsicles recipe. Remember to Set the Table with Love. Naleyla’s Mango and BlueberrySmoothie1 cup mangoes, chopped1/2 cup frozen blueberries1 cup organic orange juiceAnd a pinch of cinnamonAdd to a blender. Blend and enjoy.Serves 2 happy grandbabies.Gigi’s Peanut Butter and DarkChocolate Chunk popsicles2 cups of Plain Greek Yogurt1/4 cup Georgia Grinder Peanut Butter(I used their Cinnamon Vanilla PecanPeanut Butter)2 tbsps Xoccoalt dark chocolate baror any good dark chocolate bar,chopped into nice chunkspopsicle sticksMakes 9-12 popsicles, based on thesize of your popsiscle moldsDIRECTIONS:In a food processor or blender combine yogurt and peanutbutter until smooth.Add chunks of dark chocolate and toss them into the mix.Add the mix into popsicles molds and add dark chocolateshaving on top of the mixture.Place in freezer. Allow to set for about 8-10 minutesbefore placing drift wood sticks or popsicle sticks. Onceset, add in popsicle stick. Freeze over night.Allow to thaw just a bit, about 1-2 minutes and removefrom molds and enjoy.

Beet and Couscous Salad with Micro greens and Pistachios.

I am a beet lover, yes I love love beets!! I am about to share a secret with you. Are you ready….here it is, this salad will make you one too. 😆. It’s so simple and the flavors just love each other. Beets, pistachios, mint, orange and a balsamic glaze, just says, Family.

I love to make this salad when I have a busy day and I just don’t have time to think lunch through. I usually have beets on hand and some sort of leafy green. You can also do lentils, instead of couscous or add an egg or piece of salmon. I even like changing up the dressing and just squeezing some lemon juice over it with some good extra virgin olive oil. My thing is this, eating healthy doesn’t have to be complicated. Keep it simple and delicious.

Oh yes, always Set the Table with Love.

Ingredients

1/2 cup cooked Israeli couscous

1 cup micro-greens

2 cooked medium beets, quartered

1/2 cup pistachios, chopped

1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon of mint leaves, roughly choppedFor the Dressing Simple: Once you assemble the salad squeeze the juice of a medium orange over it, drizzle with some balsamic glaze and a little extra virgin olive and lots of cracked black pepper.

Instructions

Cook the couscous according to package instructions, put to the side, to cool. You want it to cool, so the micro greens do not wilt. Once the couscous is cool, take out a 1/2 cup or more based on your preference and it to a salad bowl, add the rest of the ingredients. Add the dressing ingredients on top and gently toss. Enjoy.

Sweet and Spicy Chipotle Avocado and Arugula Salad

Salad? Boring. Well here’s a quick salad you can whip up that’s loaded with flavor and you can make it in minutes. What makes it so awesome is the Chipotle dressing. You guys will want to put this stuff over everything! Like everything, well maybe not ice cream, hmm…🤔 .

All you would need is your favorite salad greens. I used arugula, add the greens to a bowl, add slices of avocado , cranberries and maybe nuts, like pistachios. Okay are you ready. Now slowly with a big smile on your face, drizzle that yummy Chipotle dressing and that’s all folks.

Sweet and Spicy Chipotle Avocado and Arugula Salad

Ingredients 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/4 cup organic honey

3/4 cup organic extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

2 small garlic cloves, roughly chopped

Instructions

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or mini food processor and process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.