Valentine’s Day is all about making that special someone in your life feel appreciated and loved. My favorite way of expressing my love is through food. However, not everyone wants to be in the kitchen cooking up a five course meal all day.
No worries I have a beautiful salad you can prepare in under 20 minutes and your love will be very impressed. This recipe uses peaches , but you can easily substitute them for pears. You can have this salad as a main course or serve along side a piece of grilled salmon.
No matter how you decide to serve it, remember to always Set the Table with Love.💕💕💕
Arugula Salad with Sautéed Peaches, Honey Harissa Almonds, Fresh Burrata topped with Organic Waikiki Honey
Add enough arugula on to a beautiful serving dish, set aside.
Add oil to a sauté pan on medium heat. Once heated add sliced peaches, drizzle 1 tbsp of the honey over them and stir until they are coated with the honey and a pinch of sea salt . Sauté for 2 minutes, remove from heat and set aside. Using the same pan on medium heat, add your almonds, the rest of the honey, harissa and sea salt to the pan and stir constantly, until the almonds are covered completely, about a minute. Remove from heat, turn off the heat and remove the pan from the stove. Take your Burrata and put it in the middle of your bed of arugula, open it up with a knife gently in the middle, to expose the curd, add the Organic Waikiki Honey in the middle of opened Burrata. Next add the peaches on top of the bed of arugula, then add the almonds all around, creating a beautiful salad, drizzle the entire salad with olive oil and balsamic glaze.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
1/2 cup Jovial Penne Pasta
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup organic sweet peas
2 tbsp lemon juice
mint leaves, for garnish
cracked black pepper and kosher salt to taste
drizzle of good Extra Virgin Olive oil
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.
Green Apple Salad
1 medium green apple
Bib lettuce or your favorite leafy greens 🙂
Baby mint leaves, as garnish
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
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
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.
It’s another cold day in Georgia and we got some snow. Yes! I love when it snows here. Everything shuts down, because that’s how we do it in the south. 😊
I love it because it gives our family a chance to get quiet and slow down the hustle and the bustle of life and just be inside and enjoy a nice fire, watch our favorite movies and get outside and attempt to make a snowman ⛄️ .
When it’s this cold, it’s time for some chili. Instead of the traditional chili with dark kidney beans, I am using cannellini beans and making Vegan White Bean Chili. I love the buttery flavor of cannellini beans and they don’t cook very long, since I am using precooked beans. This recipe is quick, easy and full of flavor. I spiced it up with some spicy poblano peppers and a little cayenne never hurts .
Enjoy and always remember to Set the Table with Love.?💕
Ingredients: 3 cans or jars of Cannellini Beans ( I used Jovial Organic Cannellini Beans)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion large, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped poblano peppers
6 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning (no salt)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
dash black pepper
Instruction:In large sauce pot heat the oil. Add the onions and sauté until transparent about 10 or 15 minutes.
Add the garlic, peppers, ground cumin, dried Italian herbs, ground cloves and cayenne pepper.
Sauté 2 minutes.
Add the beans
Add 6 cups of the vegetable broth, stir and bring to a boil
Add the nutritional yeast, sea salt and pepper.
Turn on low heat and cook for about 10 minutes ( do not overcook, or the beans will become mushy)
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.
Pear and Beet Salad
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
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.
Some encounters bring you back home to what your soul is yearning for. This year has done that for me and my family. I have been around people and places that have made me feel like, I was coming home. One of those encounters inspired me to move my culinary creative juices back to Raw Foods. Raw foodism is the dietary practice of eating only uncooked, unprocessed foods. It only includes, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Now I AM NOT A RAW FOODIST, VEGAN OR VEGETARIAN, but my diet is about 80% plant based. I believe eating whole foods is better for my body, mind and spirit. So, how did I come back home to raw foods? My best friend. She wanted to take a yoga class one morning and I did have the time, I had so much work to do. I was behind schedule on several projects, I felt run down and just wanted to work and maybe catch a nap in. However, inside of me, my spirit was calling from some release, so I went.
The funny thing is, as we were driving to the studio, it hit me where we were going, to my old yoga studio. The place I learned about the healing beauty of yoga and meditation, ironically another one of my best friends introduced me to this studio, 13 years prior. I got some teacher training here from some the best yoga teachers in the United States. I was very ill during that time, fighting kidney disease and trying to take care of a toddler.
The yoga studio was a place of love and great healing for me. As we walked into the yoga studio, there on her mat was the owner and one of my first yoga teachers. My heart felt so much joy. I felt like I was back HOME. The class was amazing and I felt more energy in my body and spirit, plus so much peace.
My yoga teacher and I caught up and we talked about health issues. She shared with me her journey of healing and it hit me why I was there. Food has been a healing art for me. So of course, my best friend and Creative Marketing Director of my wellness company, mentioned what I had been up to lately with food. My yoga teacher was excited, she had been eating raw to heal, but she runs three businesses and doesn’t have time to prepare the food. She asked me to help her and of course it was my pleasure to say, YES. The yoga studio and her classes brought me so much healing and now I could give back. Life is always trying to bring us home, if we just take the time out to slow down and listen.
Here are three ways you can use my Raw Chocolate Ganache.
Raw Chocolate Ganache: You can use this for many other desserts
1 cup maple syrup
1 cup cacao powder
1/4 cup coconut oil, pinch of sea salt
Using your blender, mix together syrup and coconut oil until well combined. Add in your cacao powder and a pinch of sea salt, and process until smooth – scraping down the sides as needed. Use immediately, or keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a couple weeks. If using the ganache after being refrigerated, simply place the container in warm water for a few minutes to let it soften up a bit, or roll out ganache truffles using a melon scoop. 🙂
Raw Chocolate Ganache Torte with Pistachio Dust and Black Berries
1/2 cup black cherries, thawed out frozen cherries
3/4 cup Raw Chocolate Ganache
1 tbsp maple syrup
crushed pistachios and a black cherry
Using a blender Blend everything together, using a biscuit cutter, place on a sheet pan with parchment paper . Pour the ganache mixture into the biscuit cutter, almost to the top, leave room to add the pistachios. Add the pistachios and top with a black cherry. Put into the freeze and allow to set over night or for at least 2 hours to get it very firm. When ready to serve, allow to set room temperature for about 2-3 minutes, this will make it easier for you to push the torte out of the biscuit cutter. Gently remove, by pushing up from the bottom with a frosting spreader or the back of a spoon.
Serve and enjoy immediately because the base is made of coconut oil, it must be eaten immediately or kept frozen.
Pears Dipped in Spicy Raw Chocolate Ganache topped with walnuts and cardamom with a side of cardamom coconut cream
1 pear cut in half and seeds removed
Raw Chocolate Ganache, in it’s liquid form. if using the ganache after being refrigerated, simply place the container in warm water for a few minutes to let it soften up a bit.
whole coconut milk
1 tsp cardamom and a little more to dust over the pears
1 tbs maple syrup
Super simple. I add a little lemon juice to the pears, so they would not brown. Dipped them into the ganache. I dipped half of the pears here, added crusted walnuts, sprinkled with cardamom, you can also drizzle maple syrup, honey or agave over them for more sweetness. Put the pears into the fridge for an hour or overnight so the ganache can harden on the pears properly. The coconut cream is also super simple.
Open up a can of coconut milk and remove the creamy top part and add to a bowl. Using an electric hand mixer whisk attachment, beat the cream until fluffy and smooth. Add in maple syrup and cardamom. Put whipped cream in the fridge to harden a bit, about 10 minutes. Remove the pears and whipped cream from the fridge. Add whipped cream to the pears and serve immediatley.
NOTE: This ganache has a coconut oil base so it will melt fast, so keep it in the fridge until ready to serve.
Pears Dipped in Spicy Raw Chocolate Ganache topped with walnuts and cardamom with a side of cardamom coconut cream
Last one, but oh so good. My grandson helped me make these, notice the heavy handed areas of pistachios. Love it.
Raw Chocolate Ganache Bark with Peppermint and Pistachios
3 tbsp cacao
2½ tbsp raw virgin coconut oil
1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
small pinch sea salt
2 tbsp crushed pistachios
1 crushed soft peppermint stick
Whisk together melted coconut oil, raw cacao and maple syrup in a small bowl until completely smooth.
Add a pinch of sea salt and combine well.
Add nuts and peppermint
Line a cookie sheet with non stick parchment paper.
Pour the chocolate mixture into the lined cookie sheet and spread out evenly using the back of a spoon, spread it thick so you bark doesn’t melt so quickly when eating it. 🙂 Add the goodies on top.
Place the container in the freezer for 30 minutes until the chocolate is completely hard.
Break up the pieces and serve immediately.
Store in the freezer. PSA
Since the base of this bark is coconut oil it will melt at room temperature, so please keep it in the freezer, until ready to serve. Eat immediately.
I will make this blog, quick and sweet. But don’t get that twisted. The flavor will still be explosive. I will let the recipe do the talking. I have this recipe in an earlier blog, but I used butternut squash and regular sweet potatoes. I decided with this recipe to use purple sweet potatoes, instead. Boy, I could not wait for this soup to be done, for one reason only, outside of tasting it, the color. Purple soup! Yes! Purple soup.
Remember to Set the Table with Love.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large sweet purple potato, peeled and small cubes
1/2 cup onions, peeled
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp thyme leaves
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 cup vegetable broth or more for consistency
1 tbsp maple syrup
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Coconut Maple Cream
1/2 cup canned coconut milk, you want the cream part of the milk. Refrigerating the coconut milk will make it more solid.
1 tsp maple syrup
In large saucepan on medium heat, add the olive oil. Add purple sweet potatoes. Stir and cook for 10 minutes or more, until soften. Add onions and garlic. Stir and cook for 3 minutes. Add fennel, thyme and spices. Stir. Add vegetable broth. Turn up heat and allow to come to a boil. Turn off the heat and remove the pot and allow the soup to cool down, before adding to the Vitamix.
Prepare Coconut Maple Cream.
In a food processor add coconut cream, maple syrup and a pinch of sea salt. Process until smooth. Do not over process the coconut cream, where it liquifies. You want it to be smooth like a whipped cream. Place in a bowl and set in the fridge.
Once the soup has cooled down. Add the soup to your Vitamix or blender. Blend until smooth. Add the tbsp of maple syrup and blend. If the soup is too thick add a little more vegetable broth. Taste it for seasonings. Add more sea salt or pepper, to taste.
Add the soup back into a sauce pan to heat up. Heat the soup up on medium heat, while constantly stirring. Remove from heat. Serve immediately in your favorite soup bowl. Add the coconut maple cream in the middle of the soup and garnish with thyme leaves.
I love soup, but my best friend Kristina is a souper fan of it! Hee Hee. I made a funny, get it souper fan! Like I played on words. Oh okay… Back to the soup.
So I am on this soup kick, since it’s getting colder outside. Yesterday, I made a purple sweet potato soup. I will post that recipe later on today. It was creamy, buttery, spicy and delicious and it’s vegan! I wanted something, broth based today. I picked up my son’s cold and broth based soups are excellent for cleansing the body.
I added ginger in this recipe and it works very well. I topped the soup with a pistou. Pistou is the French version of Italian pesto, except it doesn’t have pine nuts in it. It made an excellent garnish for the carrot soup, it gave it some freshness. I also used lemon zest on top of the pistou, to break up the fat a little, from the olive oil. I hope you will enjoy this recipe, as much as I did today.
Remember to Set the Table with love.
3 small to medium, tri color carrots ( purple, orange, white or yellow) , chopped, same size
1/2 cup onions, chopped
2 small garlic cloves, chopped
1 small thump size ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 tbsp garlic and herb seasonings, No salt
1/2 cup lentils
4 cups vegetable stock
pinch of turmeric
sea salt and black pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, no stems.
Garnish with lemon zest ( optional )
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, cook onions. Stirring, 5 minutes, until soften. Add in carrots and garlic. Cook for 2 -3 minutes. Add in a pinch of sea salt, black pepper and garlic seasonings. Add in lentils and stir everything together. Cook for 3 minutes. Constantly stirring. Add in vegetable broth. Turn up the heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cover saucepan, allow to cook for 20- 30, minutes, until lentils are tender. Once cooked, remove from heat. Serve in bowls and top with pistou and lemon zest.
Prepare the Pistou. Blend or process garlic, olive oil and basil in small processor, until smooth. Season to taste with sea salt. Transfer into a small bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Serve over top the soup or spread on a baguette.