Easy Sausage, Potatoes, Peppers and Onions

It’s back to school and here’s an easy recipe that will be a go to for you and your family. I love making this for my family because it’s quick, healthy and fills their bellies. When school starts back we all are in the grind of life, adjusting to a new school year schedule. There are footballs practices, ballet rehearsals, music recitals and a thousand other things we have to focus on, so let dinner be one thing, you pour Love into, but not lots of time. But hey it can taste like it. 😉

Note: A short cut here for this recipe is to precooked the potatoes the night before or use frozen potatoes. I prefer to precook fresh potatoes the night before, fresh ingredients really does make a difference. If you do, cook them until they are mostly tender and not mushy. They will cook later in the recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

2 Tablespoons olive oil

4-5 Sweet Italian Turkey sausage links

10 medium red potatoes, cut in half

1 large yellow onion, sliced

3 bell peppers, any color, sliced into strips. I used what was in the fridge.

2 garlic cloves, minced

3/4 cup Low Sodium Vegetable Broth

1 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Sea salt to taste

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Add the red potatoes to a pot of boiling water, cook until mostly tender, they will cook in the saucepan with the sausage and peppers later. Drain and set aside.

*If you are using precooked potatoes or frozen, skip this step above.

While the potatoes are cooking, Poke each sausage a few times with a paring knife or fork (this helps release steam as they cook).

In a large skillet with a lid, heat olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add sausages and brown gently and slowly. Cook for 3- 5 minutes, turning occasionally to gently brown on all sides. (They should not be fully cooked.) Once browned, remove sausages to a plate. Set aside.

Increase heat to medium high. Add onion and pepper slices. Toss to coat in oil and sear vegetables until slightly blackened, stirring often. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.

Add vegetable broth, to deglaze the saucepan, scraping bottom of pan with a wooden spoon to release bits. Simmer the vegetable broth until reduced by half.

Add Italian seasoning. Stir well to combine. Add sausages and the potatoes. Add salt to taste and gently toss. Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer until potatoes and peppers are soft and sausages are cooked.

Broccoli and Parmesan Cheese with a twist

This is a simple recipe, but it has a twist. Instead of using water to steam the broccoli you use vegetable broth. It gives the broccoli so much flavor. In a sauce pan add a bit of oil on heat the stove on medium heat . Toss in 2 cups of broccoli florets. Stir the florets around in the pan to help coat them with the oil. Add in a 1/3 cup of low sodium vegetable. Place the lid on top of the pan and allow to steam until the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and add parmesan cheese on top, place lid back onto the pan to help the cheese melt. Serve immediately. Enjoy

This is for the Sweet Potato Lovers~ Sweet Potato Hash and Toast

Who doesn’t love sweet potatoes?  Yes. Everyone does! Okay I just going to pretend that everyone does. The rest of you guys will be converted after this post! LOL.

So here it is, sweet potatoes are not only nature’s little candy, because they are super sweet, but they are loaded with nutrients. Here are a few benefits why you should eat sweet potatoes:

  1. Stabilizes blood sugar levels.
  2. They are high in antioxidants
  3. Need a brain boost, sweet potatoes helps with brain function.
  4. They also are known to help enhance you immunity
  5. They promote vision health.
  6. Need to drop a few pounds, they also help with weight loss.

I know you are thinking about trying them now, with those impressive health benefits, but if you are not totally convinced, check out these two awesome recipes. The recipes below are vegan and plant based, but you can add an egg to them to boost your protein, if you are vegetarian or eat meat. The best thing about both recipes is that you can get super creative.

Sweet potato toast is the new craze out there, if you are trying to cut back on the bread. I love this new take on toast.  The toppings are endless, you can go sweet or savory.

Sweet potato toast is simple to make and you make several slices of the toast and keep them in the fridge for up to 7 days and pull them out when you need them and add your favorite toppings. Here’s the easy recipe:

 

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Sweet Potato Toast

Ingredients
1 large sweet potato

Sweet Potato Toast : Sweet ~ Almond Butter, Granola and Cherries Savory ~ Avocado, Smoked Paprika and Olive Oil
Sweet Potato Toast : Sweet ~ Almond Butter, Granola and Cherries Savory ~ Avocado, Smoked Paprika and Olive Oil

Instructions:

OVEN 
Preheat the oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper to help prevent sticking.

Peel the potato. This is optional. I peeled the the ends of the sweet potato off, cut the potatoes in 1/2 inch slices.

Bake until the slices are tender and easily pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Serve warm with your favorite toast toppings.

Store any leftover sweet potato slices in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. To reheat for an easy breakfast, just add to your toaster on the medium setting to heat up, remove and add your favorite toppings.

TOASTER

Ingredients
1 sweet potato, cut into 1/4 inch slices

Instructions
Peel your potato and add it to your toaster. It may take you three times to cook and toast the sweet potato completely.  Every toaster is different, so you will know it is done when the sweet potato is tender and brown on the edges. Remove it from the toaster and add your favorite ingredients: nut butters, avocado, jams, jelly, granola, nuts, apples slices, whatever, you get creative.

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Sweet Potato and Poblano Pepper Hash

Sweet Potato and Poblano Pepper Hash  

Ingredients

1 large organic sweet potato peeled and cubed
1  small red onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 poblano peppers, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 small yellow pepper, diced
1 cup broccoli pearls
1 cup of black beans
1 handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
a pinch or two crushed red pepper, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions
Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the onions and peppers and cook for about 2 minutes until they begin to soften, add the sweet potato, broccoli pearls, salt,  and crushed red pepper. Cover and cook about 5 minutes, until the potatoes begin to soften. Add beans and cook for about 3-5 minutes until the beans are warmed up.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.  Top with cilantro and garnish with lime ( optional) .

 

 

 

My birthday blessing ~ laryngitis

The past months have been very busy. My son is about to graduate from high school and we have been preparing with all the events around “Senior Year” to help him keep his sanity and for us to keep ours. My business has been going great and celebrating those I love in my life has been very fulfilling and made my heart so happy. All these things are good, but after awhile my body started to talking to me, “Hey you, yes you, can we celebrate me for a moment, can you honor and pay attention to me, because I am losing it over here. Yup that’s a sore throat you are feeling and those are body-aches, PAY ATTENTION LADY!”  LOL. 🙂

But all jokes aside, I got so rundown and being on auto immune suppressants, as a kidney transplant recipient, is not good medicine for wellness, and with a busy schedule.  Not happening!

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This is my birthday week/month. I know, I am one of those people.  Why not? It only comes once a year! Right?! Let’s get on with it,  how this laryngitis has been my birthday blessing .

So, I got sick and I lost my voice. No voice for the past three days. I have been pretty much silent and laid up in the house. The thing is, I know what this means, I am not listening to my spirit, so that is the first place I go, back home, to me, to Spirit.

You know that time in your life when you are fighting to “make things and people happen” and nothing is going your way. Yes, that frustrating, what is wrong with the world time?  What this week has taught me, well, what it has brought me back to, is a lesson God has been teaching me for many years. The issue is never outside of you Lisa, it is always within. I love Mother Teresa’s quote, “In the final analysis. it is between you and God. It was never between you and them.”

TYLERBOOK

So here I am with no voice, speaking to God with my soul, listening for his guidance, his words. What is it God that you want me to know? It is a question I have been asking God for as long as I can remember. The answer always opens up my heart and soul and blessings flood into my life in ways I never imagined.

The first thing he did was lead me to a book titled, Make the Most of You, by Patrick Lindsay. I read something in this book this week that brought me to tears, it was a quote by Mahatma Gandhi, ” To believe in something, and not live it, is dishonest.” Wow!!!

What do I l believe and I am not living it? Where am I not be truthful in my life? I examined this question and it pricked my heart so much. I believe that God is the source of my life and that whatever I need and desire comes directly from him. But I was stressed out and living like, No what I need and desire, comes from this situation or a person working it out for me. That is a lie. The second belief,  You need to say No, you are on divine assignment, stay aligned with God and he will tell you where to go and when to go and who to go with. I was living, I need to be there, so they will see that I care, so they will see that I matter.  EGO. EGO. EGO.  This made me sick, because I was not honoring what I believe to be true. I WAS HONORING MY EGO, MY PRIDE.

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God, the universe, our bodies are always speaking the truth to us.

We must not as Marianne Williamson states from the Course in Miracles, “Do not seek illusions to replace the truth.” I am returning back to being a truth seeker, my well being depends on it. The divine assignments that God has laid out for me depends on it. The flow of blessings and miracles that God has stored up for me depends on it. Silence has been a wonderful teacher, but the greatest teacher of them all for me is in God’s word: Galatians 1:10 New International Version (NIV)
10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

It is so easy to be human focus and not spirit focus in our day to day lives. I leave you with this beautiful African story about allowing our souls to catch up with our bodies:

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Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

 

There was once an American traveler who planned a safari to Africa. He was that typical Type-A American tourist, who many of us may be and who I admittedly am when I travel. We do our research about this travel destination and we have a timetable, maps, and a clear agenda of the things we need to see and do. Some local people had even been hired to carry some of the traveler’s supplies as they trekked throughout the land—it was that level of planning.

On the first morning, they all woke up early and traveled fast and covered a great distance. The second morning was the same—woke up early, traveled fast, and traveled far. Third morning, same thing. But on the fourth morning, the local hired help refused to move. Instead, they sat by a tree in the shade well into the morning. The American traveler became incensed and irate and said to his translator, “This is a waste of valuable time. Can someone tell me what’s going on here?” The translator looked at him and calmly answered, “They’re waiting for their souls to catch up with their bodies.”[1]

Honey, how do I lower my carbs, but still have the snacks I love? 🤔

Okay, so my biggest client is my husband. He is in amazing shape… and the Oscar goes to his wife, that’s me, for making him delicious and healthy meals, everyday. Yes everyday, well almost everyday. Lol 😂

He went for his yearly annual and his doctor told him most everything looked awesome, just had to watch those carbs. Of course, I get a call, because my husband is serious about his health and he married his nutritionist.

“Honey, he says, I need to cut back on the carbohydrates, but how do I do that and still enjoy what I love to eat? ”

Well before we get to that, let’s look at Why Carbohydrates are good for us:

Here’s the deal on carbohydrates, first off they are our friends. We need carbs to function, they give us energy. They help fuel our brains, kidneys, heart, muscles and central nervous system. They help us fill full and assist in keeping our blood cholesterol levels on point.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, you should consume, at the very least, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of carbohydrates, which is 130 grams for adults, 175 grams for women who are pregnant and 210 grams for women who are breastfeeding. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, women should consume 25 grams of fiber on a daily basis, while men should consume 38 grams of fiber on a daily basis. Source:WebMD

If you have health issues, like diabetes or prediabetic this number can vary based on your doctors evaluation.

If you have diabetes, you should see a doctor or dietitian who can help you plan meals to control your blood sugar. Though your daily carbohydrate requirements are the same as those for someone without diabetes, it’s important to avoid eating too many carbohydrates in one sitting. The American Diabetes Association suggests that you should limit your intake to about 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrates at each meal. SOURCE: WebMD

If you are just cutting back, I like to suggest 100 grams a day for weight loss. Substituting your simple carbs with more complex carbs, like brown rice for white rice, eating more fruits, whole grains and legumes. Eliminating simple carbs out of your diet, like sugary foods, white flour and white potatoes.

Also knowing how to count your carbs is very important. For example, multi grain bread may have 21 grams of carbs, but 4 grams of fiber, you subtract the fiber and you get a true number of how many carbs will be in that slice of bread. Got it?

Enough of the science, here’s some healthy substitutes I bought my husband that I know he will eat.

Popcorn instead of chips, is the big one for all of us:

The Special K bars have 11 g of carbs, the Dave’s Killer Bread, thin slice has 9 g of carbs, for breakfast he toast that and add a tablespoon of Nutella on it ,which is 10 g of carbs. The Smart Food popcorn has 11 g in 1 3/4 cups . We are cutting his desserts down to once a week, because we are not skipping on dessert. 🍮 . He eats some type of protein with each meal. The carbs gives him energy, while the protein builds muscles, skin, and hair. Both are needed in order to stabilize blood sugar and are best when eaten together.

So there you have it folks, my long answer to a question I think a lot of us are asking. Need more low car tips, just shoot me an email. Oh yes, I almost forgot, remember to Set the Table with Love.

Here’s how you can make a better salad to boost energy and help with weight loss

Salads are what you make them, and if you are eating to boost energy and shed a few pounds, you may want to be more conscious of how you are making that ‘healthy salad”. Most people think to throw some lettuce in a bowl with a few tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers and some type of dressing and you got yourself a healthy salad. Think again my friend. Don’t get me wrong, everything in that salad for the most part is good, but let’s look at it closer.

So, you are making a salad, most people go for just regular iceberg lettuce. Iceberg lettuce has no real nutritional value, just good ruffage.  When picking lettuce the best rule of thumb, the darker the greens the more fiber, flavor and nutrients they will possess.

Now let’s talk about ingredients. If you are eating a salad as your main meal, which is a good idea, because you can incorporate, good protein, lots of fiber, good carbohydrates and good essential fatty acids all on one plate, if we are conscious of what ingredients you are choosing. A salad that will keep you energized and help you drop a few pounds, if eaten daily, with exercise and other healthy accompany meals would look something like this:

Greens:

Choose 2 to 3 greens:

romaine lettuce

arugula

spinach

kale

Mixed green Medley ( easier way to get several leafy green choices)

You can also add:

Cabbage or Radicchio

Fresh herbs:

Choose 1 or 2 herbs:

basil

parsley

mint

dill

Grains ( optional, but loaded with vegan protein and lots of fiber, just use a little, they are high in carbohydrates.)

Choose 1 grain:

Quinoa

Wild Rice

Farro

Bulgar Wheat

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Protein 

Choose 1 to 2 proteins:

Organic Chicken ( grilled )

Salmon, steamed or grilled, high in protein and essential fatty acids

Chickpeas, vegan protein and fiber

Eggs

Beans, such as lentils

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Vegetables:

LET THESE BE THE MOST IN YOUR SALAD, LOAD UP!

Beets

Carrots

Onions

Cucumbers

Yellow Squash

Bell Peppers

Zucchini

Mushrooms

Celery

Peas

Olives

Broccoli

Brussels Sprouts

Healthy Fats, for crunch  

Nuts and Seeds of all kind that you can consume:

Walnuts, Almonds, Pistachios, Brazil Nuts, Hazelnuts, Peanuts, Sunflower Seeds, Chia Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Flax Seeds and Hemp Seeds .

Dressings:

Make your own and the healthiest dressings are one that are not creamy, but more in the vinaigrette family.

Simple and healthy dressings have these 4 key ingredients:

Acid~ Lemon Juice, Balsamic Vinegar, Red Wine Vinegar, Rice Wine Vinegar, Apple Cider Vinegar and White Wine Vinegar.

Oil ~ Olive oil, Walnut Oil, Avocado Oil, and Hazelnut Oil .

Emulsifierr ~ which is the ingredient that helps keep the first two ingredients from separating and keeps your dressing stable ~ Mustard, Greek Yogurt, Ground  Flaxseed, Mashed Avocado and Honey.

Herbs and Flavoring ~ Basil, Parsley, Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, Dill, Cracked Black Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes, Chives and Honey .

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Warm Beet, Green Apple and Trio Lentil Salad

Balsamic Vinaigrette with Salad Recipes

Warm Beet, Green Apple and Trio Lentil Salad

Creamy Honey Mustard Dressing 

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons honey

1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

water, to thin ( if necessary)

In a blender add all ingredients, blend and enjoy. 🙂

Store in a glass airtight container in the fridge for one to two days, this is a very perishable item. Use it all in a day if possible. 

So now you are educated about how to make an awesome salad that is loaded with everything your body needs. Now go out my loves and make the world a ” Happy Salad Place.” 🙂

Hello Fear, Why are you here?

Feeling afraid is very natural and sometimes very necessary.  Fear ~ an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. We are wired with fear, it serves a purpose, like all things in our lives.  It’s here to help us be safe, it keeps us alive during the times of danger.  Our ancestors lived in a world where imminent danger from wild animals and the elements of their environment was always a life or death situation, but even now people live in societies with constant war, and physical danger around every corner.  This launches us into The fight or flight mode. 


The truth is most of us do not live in extremely dangerous environments, where we need to be in fight or flight mode, all the time But, when you think about it, we are often there in our minds. We are practicing self preservation, we are trying to keep something, SAFE. We are trying to preserve our idea of what life should look like.

When life for any reason doesn’t look the way we would like it to, fear pops up and we panic!

Our minds begin to wonder, and our “what ifs”, start to flood us like a dam that has been broken and now is taking over a calm and peaceful forest, disturbing all of life within it. What if they do not like me? What if they see me for who I truly am? What if I do not get the job? What if I am not good enough? What if he doesn’t call? What if this relationship ends? What if it’s not what I expected?  There is no obvious physical danger here, but our “idea of life”  has been threaten. I love this quote by Mark Twain, “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”  Most of the time we are living in fear of things that will never happen.

When we constantly live like this we can be do serious harm to ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

pexels-photo-568027.jpegHere are a few ways that chronic fear can impact our lives: SOURCE: Impact of Fear and Anxiety
Living under constant threat has serious health consequences.

  1. Physical health. Fear weakens our immune system and can cause cardiovascular damage, gastrointestinal problems such as ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome, and decreased fertility. It can lead to accelerated ageing and even premature death.
  2. Memory. Fear can impair formation of long-term memories and cause damage to certain parts of the brain, such as the hippocampus. This can make it even more difficult to regulate fear and can leave a person anxious most of the time. To someone in chronic fear, the world looks scary and their memories confirm that.
  3. Brain processing and reactivity. Fear can interrupt processes in our brains that allow us to regulate emotions, read non-verbal cues and other information presented to us, reflect before acting, and act ethically. This impacts our thinking and decision-making in negative ways, leaving us susceptible to intense emotions and impulsive reactions. All of these effects can leave us unable to act appropriately.
  4. Mental health. Other consequences of long-term fear include fatigue, clinical depression, and PSTD.

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We do not want to stay in a chronic state of fear, but when it comes, you can allow fear to serve you.

A few months ago my fear was over taking me and all I wanted to do is run away and put my son in a room, so he would be safe. I was in the flight mode for sure. It was about my son driving, he is 17 years old and he has been driving for a year. He is a pretty good driver, but it’s a scary thing to see your kid growing up and getting behind the wheel, with all the teenager driver accidents I hear about.  I also have PTSD.  Years ago I saw a guy killed in a car accident and his body laid in the road for awhile before the paramedics came to remove him.  This put me in the hospital and I couldn’t speak for three days.

Trauma can give the mind references to pull up, when those similarities show up in our lives and our bodies and mental state can feel as though it’s happening all over again.

So when those past thoughts start to overwhelm me, I prayed and meditated. Suddenly I heard a gentle whisper, ” Why do I have to be something you avoid, something you fear or allow to consume you?  I am here to serve your highest good.” I just sat there in tears, blown away by these words, that just washed over my soul.  Fear is here to serve me. YES!!! It was put inside of my being, to help me stay safe and survive the elements of my world. The thing is, I do not live in an environment that is constantly threatening my physical body, but I do live in a world that is constantly threatening my emotional, mental and spiritual body.  I continued to meditate and pray. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath and this came to me, “Ask me why I am here?’ “Why did I show up?” So I took another trembling breath and asked fear ” Hello, fear why are you here?”

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Fear said, as I continued to meditate and pray:

I am here to remind you that you have stepped away from where you should truly stand. You have stepped away from the spirit of truth and love. I feel so strong and so forceful, because I need you to move from this place NOW.  I grip you so tight, because I need you to pay attention and listen to why I am here.   I am here to show you where you have not surrendered.  I am here to get you to look at the place deep inside you, where you first experienced me so intensely, so we can go back there and find your healing. I am here to get you to ask, Why am I scared? What do I truly want and am I afraid I will not get it?  I am here to remind you to get back to GOD, back to LOVE  and back to TRUTH.   IF AM HERE, THEN FAITH CAN NOT BE and you will not have hope. I do not give hope, I am just a reminder that you need to take care. SO LET’S DEAL with it. There is work for you to do. I am your teacher. I am a hard teacher, that will consume you until you surrender, learn and move forward.

So many thoughts flooded my mind during this time of prayer. I had moved away from God, love and truth in my thinking and I was afraid of my son getting into a bad car accident and being killed like that guy was. I had to go back and deal. I had to give that fearful thought over to God. I had to trust and plug into the million other probabilities out there, like this one, my son can be safe on the road. You see we allow fear to take us over, because we do not honor it’s presence.

We push it away, we try to avoid it altogether, but I am learning to stop, pause, breath, pray and ask fear, Hello, fear why are you here?  What do you need me to know? Where do we need to go? Once you have done that, the light comes back in, the soul feels safe from the dangers of the emotions we have not dealt with.   It maybe something in childhood, a bad relationship, a real physical trauma, a negative thought, whatever it is, we must not be afraid of fear. pexels-photo-748870.jpeg

We need to face our fears like a old friend that knows us really well and is trying to get us to see the truth. Resistance only feeds fear’s call and it starts to consume us, so surrender with lovingkindness and ask fear, “HELLO, FEAR WHY ARE YOU HERE,” so we can be FREE.

Penne Pasta with Sweet Peas Roasted Tomatoes Mint and Lemon Zest with a Green Apple Mint Salad

Yes! It’s winter and our bodies are craving those wonderful comfort foods, like l a big bowl of chili with jalapeno and cheddar cornbread or some creamy mac and cheese, but it’s good to give the digestive tract a little rest, even in the cold wintry months.

Today I was missing summer, so I decided to make this wonderful pasta and salad dish. I used one of my new favorite gluten free pastas, brown rice penne fromJovial Foods I love the nuttiness of their pasta and it holds up to it’s form.

This recipe honors a few of spring and summer’s produce, mint, lemons and sweet peas. I roasted some cherry tomatoes to give it a nice burst of smoky citrus flavor and a few pieces of mint leaves with a bit of lemon zest, well just say, it’s summer in your mouth.

The Green Apple Mint salad makes a wonderfully refreshing side. I love making my own vinaigrettes and this balsamic mint dressing could be one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy a bit of summer in these recipe.  Make sure you stay warm and Set the Table with Love.

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Brown Rice Penne Pasta with Peas and Roasted Tomatoes with a Green Apple Mint Salad

Penne Pasta 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Jovial Penne Pasta

1 cup cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup organic sweet peas

2 tbsp lemon juice

lemon zest

mint leaves, for garnish

cracked black pepper and kosher salt to taste

drizzle of good Extra Virgin Olive oil

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Toss the tomatoes lightly with olive oil on a baking sheet. Spread them out into one layer and sprinkle generously with kosher salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft. Once roasted set aside.

Add penne pasta to a pot of salted boiling water. Cook according to package direction. Drain and place back on the stove on low heat, add peas and lemon juice. Allow peas to just heat up and remove from heat.  Add pasta, peas and roasted tomatoes into a bowl, add lemon zest, mint leaves and gently toss. Drizzle with some good extra virgin olive oil and add a squeeze of lemon juice.

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Brown Rice Penne Pasta with Peas and Roasted Tomatoes with a Green Apple Mint Salad

Green Apple Salad

Ingredients: 

1 medium green apple

Bib lettuce or your favorite leafy greens 🙂

Cranberries

Pumpkin seeds

Sunflower seeds

Baby mint leaves, as garnish

Instruction:

Cut the apples, as desired. Gently tear the bib lettuce into desired pieces and place in a bowl, top with the cut apples, cranberries, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Add drizzle with the Balsamic Mint vinaigrette.

Balsamic Mint Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon finely minced shallot

3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

Place the shallots in a small glass jar with a secure lid.  Add the balsamic vinegar, the salt and the pepper. Pour the olive oil into the jar. Put the lid on the jar tightly, and shake vigorously, and add to the salad right before serving.

 

 

 

Guacamole Stuffed Zucchini Cups

This week I am sharing recipes from my cookbook, Set the Table with Love. I hope you enjoy these recipes and share them with your family and friends. I had so much fun doing this shoot with my friends and eating all the yummy food afterwards. Photography credit: ROB POLANCO. Art Design by: KEEGAN LEIBA. Love you guys!

Who doesn’t love good recipe for guacamole, well I have one for you. It’s simple and refreshing, because it’s stuffed in these zucchini cups. I love using this recipe for when I having a small dinner party or just for a nice afternoon snack.  A lot of my wellness clients are looking for ways to incorporate more veggies into their diet and this is a great way to do. I hope you enjoy this recipe and remember before the plates, glasses, silverware and candles, Set the Table with Love. 🙂

Stuffed Zucchini Cups

4 zucchini

2 tbsp. cilantro finely chopped, and enough leaves to garnish to top of the cups

1 tbsp. fresh lime or lemon juice

1/2 red onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)

2 ripe avocados

1/2 – 3/4 cups red bell pepper, diced

1/2 tsp. of sea salt and a dash of black pepper, to taste

1. Cut zucchini into 2 inch thick slices, discarding ends. Use a sharp spoon or melon baller to hollow out a cup in each zucchini slice, leaving just over 1/4 inch of zucchini flesh. Be careful not to get too close to the skin or the cups will leak the guacamole.

2. In a medium bowl, mash together the avocados, lime juice, and salt. Mix in onion and cilantro. Stir in salt and black pepper. Fill each cup with guacamole. Top with red bell peppers and cilantro.

 

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Farm to Williams Sonoma’s Table Cooking Demo Recipes

What a fun day?!  I so enjoy coming out and cooking for the customers and staff of Williams Sonoma in the Forum. The staff is like family! I have been demoing and educating the customers about eating and supporting local farmers for the past 6 months and it has been a beautiful partnership.  So many times we do not eat in season, we eat the same things week after week. I am so very grateful for the support of such an icon, like Williams Sonoma, to be able to showcase local farmers and share with their customers, creative and healthy ways to eat local.  Today we used my favorite local farm, Fry Farm in Bethlehem Ga, early spring produce, red kitten kale, baby chantenay carrots, nobel spinach and baby cress.

I wanted to put up a couple of the customer’s favorite recipes, before hitting the sack. I hope my readers will enjoy these simple and delicious farm to table recipes as well, just as we all did today.

Until next time remember to Set the Table with Love and Eat Local. 🙂

SET THE TABLE WITH LOVE

FARM TO TABLE EARLY SPRING MENU

White Asparagus, Red Spinach and Pancetta Tart topped with Baby Cress

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed and rolled out
  • ¼ – ½ cup pancetta, crisped and cooled
  • 1 cup shaved white asparagus, cutting off the spearheads and chopping them finely to add to each tart.
  • 3/4 cup gruyere, or more based on your preference
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan, plus more for topping (optional)
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups red spinach, chopped
  • baby cress, as garnished
  • extra virgin olive, sea salt and a lemon juice to dress the baby cress, optional.

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone-baking sheet. In a saucepan on medium heat, cook the pancetta, until crispy, set aside to cool.

Combine the shaved white asparagus, crispy pancetta, gruyere, parmesan, milk, thyme, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Place the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat.

Once hot, add the shallots and garlic and sauté for about 1 minute. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Remove from heat and transfer to the bowl with the cheese mixture.

Stir together until well combined.

On a floured surface roll out the puff pasty and using the smallest cookie cutter cut out several circles, as many as you can with each pastry sheet. Place the cut pieces into a lightly mini muffin pan, mold the pastry to make a small cup in the muffin pan. Use a fork to prick holes in the bottom, so the pastry doesn’t puff up. If the pastry puffs up after your blind baking, just gently press the middle down, before adding the filling.

Blind bake the tarts in the oven for 5-7 minutes. Remove from the oven gently push down the middle of the tarts, if has puffed up a lot. Leave whilst to add the filling.

Spoon in a little mixture into each tart.

Brush each puff pastry with the remaining beaten egg and top with a sprinkling of extra parmesan and gruyere, if desired.

Bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, until golden brown around the edges.

Remove from oven, let cool a few minutes before serving.

Gently toss the baby cress in the olive oil, lemon and sea salt. Add to the top of each tart.

 

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White Asparagus Red Spinach Pancetta and Gruyere Tart

                               

GRILLED SMOKY AND SWEET MAPLE BABY CHANTENY CARROTS, MAPLE SYRUP

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bushel of baby chantney carrots
  • 1 and ½ tablespoons oil
  • Sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle seasoning
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons butter
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • Fresh chopped mint

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat the oven to 375. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminium foil (for easy clean-up) and set aside.
  • Wash the baby carrots and drain well, chop off tops.
  • Tip the carrots onto the lined baking sheet (don’t crowd them, you want them to roast, not steam). Drizzle with the oil. Sprinkle with the sea salt and smoked paprika, chipotle seasoning, then toss the carrots gently to coat them with the seasoned oil.
  • Roast in the oven for 30-40 mins or until almost done.
  • In a saucepan on medium heat, melt the butter, and maple syrup, sea salt, and one juice of a medium blood orange, and reduce heat, until sauce has thicken. Add roasted carrots into the  saucepan and toss, until the carrots are completely covered.

Serve immediately, sprinkled with chopped mint

 

 

 

Pear and Beet Salad 5 under 30

I am so excited about cooking and sharing on Fox 5 Good Day Atlanta, how you can stay Fit and Fabulous for 2017, using 5 main ingredients under 30 minutes.

This salad was inspired by that simple challenge. We can do it and we can do it deliciously, with hardly no effort at all, using some of my easy recipes. It just takes some preparing and a bit of creativity. I love this salad, because it has over 26 grams of protein, that is vegetarian and about 15 grams of carbs. I love those numbers.

I hope you tune in to Fox 5 Good Day Atlanta Thursday Feburary 9th at 9:00 am, but until then, enjoy this salad. Oh yeah! Do not forget to always Set the Table with Love.

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Pear and Beet Salad Fit and Fabulous

Pear and Beet Salad

Ingredients:

4 small roasted or marinated beets, (I used Love Beets, already peeled and marinated or roasted for you and they are organic and delicious.)

1 bosc pear

2 cups of your favorite greens, chopped, ( I used romaine lettuce.)

2 tbsp of your favorite cheese, ( I used parmesan, vegetarian.)

1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds

Directions:

Add the lettuce to a salad bowl. Place the beets around in different places around lettuce, add the pears on top of the lettuce, sprinkle the cheese and the pumpkin seeds. You may have pumpkin seeds left over, eat them as a snack later.

Add a pinch of sea salt, cracked black pepper. Drizzle a little balsamic glaze and olive oil. Salad done.

You can also use nuts, instead of seeds. You can also add other veggies, like sautéed zucchini and yellow squash.

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Pear and Beet Salad Fit and Fabulous