S3 ( Smoothies, Salads and Soups) For A Happy Healthy Summer

Today on my Facebook Live post I talked about something I love sharing with my clients.  Most of them have super busy schedules, but want to incorporate a healthier lifestyle and perhaps lose a few pounds, but do not need all the fuss. I like to call this my S3 plan, Smoothies, Salads and Soups, we also do a +1 for those who like to incorporate fresh green juices.

The plan is pretty simple and just takes a little creativity and prep work on your part, but  I am going to get you started.  So what’s the plan? Here’s the deal on S3. It’s smoothies in the morning, that consist of fruits such as, cherries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, apples, peaches,oranges, papaya, melons,guava and kiwi. These fruits can be added to your smoothie. I like using unsweetened non dairy milk as my liquid. Remember S3 is a gentle cleansing plan, so dairy is not included. I do suggest if you must have dairy, use yogurt. You can also add to your smoothie, nuts such as almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pistachios. This will add more protein to your smoothies.  I also like to add a vegan protein mix, that’s low in sugar and carbohydrates. Get creativity! Try out new fruit and nut combinations, it’s easy, just throw it all in your blender and go for it.

For the salad: When we think of salads we think, lettuce, tomatoes and cold vegetables with yucky carrots stripes that are dry and just unappealing.  You can make a salad without lettuces, but if you do use greens, make sure they are  leafy greens, like kale, swiss chard, butter and bib lettuces, romaine lettuce, add different type of spinaches. But a salad can be sautéed vegetables, with some chickpeas added, some fresh herbs and dried cranberries or golden raisins. In the S3 plan, I make all kinds of vegetable salads, french lentil salads and green salads as well. The point here is to use as many vegetables you enjoy, cooked or raw and make your own vinaigrettes or buy a really good healthy one. That’s the key here, use vinaigrettes on your salads, instead of heavy creamy dressings.

SIMPLE VINAGRETTE RECIPE:

You can be so creative with vinaigrettes, add chopped strawberries, finely chopped blueberries and blackberries, if you like and there you have a fruit vinaigrettes.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced (about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 2 teaspoons organic honey
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTION:

  1. Combine shallot, garlic, honey, vinegar, and water in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in olive oil. Alternatively, place all ingredients in a tightly sealing jar, seal, and shake vigorously until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Vinaigrette will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

     

Now for the soups, here you have a world of possibilities just as with the smoothies and the salads. The catch here is to only make broth based soups, lots of broth, this will add in elimination. Today I made a french lentil and porcini mushroom soup, it was brothy and earthy and just plan delicious. All of the carrots, onions, garlic and celery helped give me a good fiber based. When you are making your soups you want to pack them out with lots of herbs, dry and fresh, seasonings, such as turmeric, cayenne pepper, garlic, cumin, coriander, ginger,smoked paprika, chipotle and red chili peppers. All of these are anti inflammatory spices.

Here on S3 you can eat all the Smoothies, Salads and Soups you want. When you need to snack, make sure to have nuts, seeds, and vegetable and fruit handy. I would suggest the ones I listed above under what fruits are good for a S3 smoothie. You can do this plan for 3 days, 3 weeks or even 3 months. Your basically eating a vegetarian diet. I like to add eggs to make soup, a poached or boil egg gives me that extra protein I may need. You can also add eggs to your salad. If you need to eat something more than vegetarian, I would suggest fish, such as trout, salmon or mackerel. Here’s the deal, keep it simple and it will not be complicated.

How are we feeling about S3?  It’s super simple and easy, it can be done.

Let’s talk about what you want to avoid during S3: Whatever time period you have decided to do this plan you want to cut back or all together avoid, processed sugar, alcohol, caffeine, red meats, high fat foods, such as chips, pastries, etc. You want to consume plenty of water, that includes, green tea, coconut water, that is just pure coconut water and you can juice your

BELOW THIS RECIPE IS MORE S3 RECIPES YOU CAN TRY.

FRENCH LENTIL AND PORCINI MUSHROOM SOUP
FRENCH LENTIL AND PORCINI MUSHROOM SOUP

French Lentil and Porcini Mushroom Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 cups boiling water to re-hydrate them (save liquid for soup)
  • 3 tbs good cooking extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 small carrots, chopped
  • 2  small celery stalks, cleansed and chopped
  • 1 small onion,  peeled and roughly chopped onion
  • 1 cups French lentils or any lentils you prefer
  • 4 cups good low sodium vegetable stock
  • fresh thyme, about 1 tbs, minced
  • sea salt and ground cracked  pepper to taste
Directions:
  1. Re-hydrate the mushrooms in boiling water, cover with plastic wrap and let sit 30 minutes.
  2. In a heavy bottom soup pot over medium heat and olive oil, then add our vegetables, MAKE SURE TO CUT THE VEGETABLES THE SAME SIZE and season with salt and pepper and add a sprig of thyme.
  3. Cook stirring often for 15 minutes or until vegetables start to caramelizE, YOU WANT JUST COLOR, NOT BURNT VEGETABLES, :)!
  4. Add lentils, vegetable stock, mushroom liquid, broth then bring to boil, then turn down to simmer.
  5. Cook until lentils are just tender.
  6. Serve immediately, I like to drizzle a few drops of extra virgin olive over the soup.
  A FEW RECIPES YOU CAN TRY. ENJOY AND REMEMBER TO SET THE TABLE WITH LOVE

Smoothies

Smoothie with a Purpose

Salads

Mediterranean Salad

Harissa Roasted Chickpea salad with acorn squash, mint and pumpkin seeds

Brussels Sprouts and Avocado Salad for Breast Health

Soups

Tri Color Carrot and Lentil Soup with Pistou

 

Brussels Sprouts and Avocado Salad for Breast Health

Brussels Sprouts can be one of those, I love it or I hate it kind of things. I am on the lovers side of brussels sprouts, you will find plenty of recipes on my site talking about my love for these little baby cabbages.  The truth is, if they are done right you might like them, possibly, no promises.  But this recipe is one that could win you over. I also love them for their healing benefits.

According this amazing and informative article from Dr. Oz , by Rachel Beller, MS, RD, Founder of Beller Nutritional Institute, shares why brussels sprouts, a cruciferous vegetable is good for our breast health, here’s an excerpt from Rachel Beller’s article:

“Cruciferous vegetables such as arugula, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, bok choy and kale are rich in sulforaphane – one of the primary phytochemicals (protective compounds found in plants) that helps prevent cancer. Recent studies from the Linus Pauling Institute, which was supported by the National Cancer Institute, suggest that sulforaphane can selectively target and kill cancer cells while leaving normal cells healthy and unaffected.”

Brussels sprouts is truly a super hero for our bodies, especially us ladies, take care of your Tatas from the inside out ladies, by eating these foods listed above. I really believe you should enjoy your food, but above all, eat on purpose. I love to incorporate in my daily meals, food that are delicious and healing for me and may family. This 30 day cleanse has helped me be so created with the meals I prepare.

Food is truly Healing Art. Please enjoy this recipe and many other happy healing recipes on my blog. Oh yes, always Set the Table with Love. 🙂

img_2407
Brussels Sprouts and Avocado Salad

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 pound brussels sprouts, cleaned, trimmed and leaves separated

2 tablespoon raw walnuts

1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and sliced

2 tablespoons cranberries, for garnish

Instructions:

Whisk together lemon zest and juice and mustard in a bowl. Ad oil in slow, steady stream, whisking until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.

In another bowl, toss dressing with brussels sprout leaves and walnuts. Gently stir in avocado, season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

 

 

Two sides of the coin ~ Toasted Pearl Barley Salad

When I competed on Food Network’s All Star Academy season 2, I was blessed to be mentored by Iron Chef and Food Network guru, Alex Guarnaschelli.  She looked at me and my teammate Lee Abbot and said, “You will never look at cooking the same,ever again.” She was right. Competing on Food Network’s All Star Academy, was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life.  It’s not just television folks, it’s an experience you will never forget. It challenged me to my very soul, not only in front of the cameras, but also behind the scenes. In such competitions, 12 hours of filming, elimination challenges, television politics and illness, you discover a part of you, you never knew. I have to say, I am so grateful for my time on the show. The experience is still revealing more of who I am and what I am capable of. You may say, Lisa, it was just a game show, maybe, but life is how you digest it, how you take it in and savior all of it’s flavors, like a wonderful dish executed with skill, patience and lots of care. This is experience was one of the best I have ever consumed.

The dish I would like to share with you today reminded me of my time on the show. I got a chance to cook also with Chef Curtis Stone, he is incredibly brilliant chef, that takes his craft very seriously.  Chef Stone inspired me with his precision and attention to every single detail. Chef’s food reminded me of art, fashion, symphony, culture expressed on a plate. Chef Guarnaschelli mentoring and food is full of soul, spirit, it’s holistic, she hits you with texture, flavor, aromas, emotions, she brings you HOME.

I made today two salads, from produce I got from the Farm and from my local grocery store. The salad is made with all the same ingredients, not one is missing no matter how different they may look. When I made these dishes, I wasn’t thinking of my experience on Food Network, I was just creating, but as Chef Guarnaschelli said,  You will never look at cooking the same, ever again. She was right. Thanks Chefs for the inspiration that  sometimes comes out unconsciously. It’s in me now. 🙂

 

Toasted Pearl Barley Salad ( two ways) 

This salad is necessarily not a recipe. It using your favorite vegetables and displaying them from your cooking perspective. Here is what I used.

img_1760
Toasted Pearl Barley with veggies Basil and Garlic oil

 

For the Rustic Salad and Salad of Art

Using a mandolin, slice up squash, radish, red cabbages, set a side

Cut up campari tomatoes in quarter for the rustic salad, for the artistic one, thinly slice of the bottoms, not exposing the inside, scoop out the top and some of the inside of the tomato, set a side.

Cut up 1 shallot, peel and slice horizontally, keep two of the ends where the circles are intact, the remainder will be used to toast in the rustic salad.

This is all about creativity, so follow my instruction or go wild with your imagination.

 

Here’s the instructions you need to follow:

Toasted Pearl Barley with Ras El Hanout season walnuts and vegetables with a fried egg

( a mouth full) 🙂

Toasted Pearl Barley

Ingredients:

1 cup pearl barley

1 tsp olive oil

2 cups organic vegetable broth, low sodium

sea salt and black pepper to taste

1/2 cup green cauliflower florets, small pieces

1/2 cup green sweet peas

1/2 cup sliced red bell peppers

1/2 cup sliced onions

1/2 cup walnuts

1 tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 tbsp ras el hanout

sea salt to taste

Directions:

Cook pearl barley as instructed. Once cook set a side. In a sauté pan add the oil, the peppers, onions, and pinch of the salt, cook until tender remove. Add the cauliflower, pinch of salt, cook for 1-2 minutes, you want it to stay crunchy. Remove and add to the peppers and onions. Add the walnuts and the ras el hanout and a pinch of salt. Cook the walnuts and seasonings for about a minute, you are just warming up the walnuts and bringing out the flavors of the ras el hanout. Add all the ingredients into the toasted pearl barley, season with more ras el hanout and sea salt, to taste.

For the Rustic Salad:

Add the toasted pearl barley to a plate and toast in your favorite veggies, remember to leave some of the vegetables on the side to create your Salad of Art. You will need 3 medium squash slices, 6 small pieces of the squash slices, 6 small radish slices, 3 pieces of the red cabbage,  Drizzle with the Basil and Garlic oil, recipe below:

Basil and Garlic Oil:

Ingredients:

2 cups of packed basil leaves
½ cup – 1 cup of olive oil, adjust based on the thickness level you prefer
1 garlic clove
Salt to taste

Instructions:

Place the basil, olive oil, garlic, mini-food processor, mix until you have smooth sauce. Taste and add additional salt if needed.

Salad of Art:

On a beautiful white plate, add 3 pearls of basil oil on the plate, take 3 of your mandolin cut squash and add it on top of the basil oil pearls. Stuff your campari tomatoes with some of the toasted pearl barley mixture, add one pea on top of the each stuffed tomato. Add a piece of the red cabbage inside of the stuffed tomato, allowing it to stand up like a flag. Add the radishes on the outside of the tomatoes with a dollop of the basil and garlic oil and add the small squash slices onto that. Add the pieces of the green cauliflower artistically onto the plate with the slices of shallots.

Be creative, squash all that I have written and honey do your on thing. LOL.

img_1745
Toasted Pearl Barley with veggies Basil and Garlic oil

Enjoy and Remember to Set the Table with Love.

 

Vegan Quinoa Protein Bowl with a little Thai flavor

 

 

13512178_10153801528543613_3388417148540582673_n
Vegan Quinoa Protein Bowl with Roasted Thai Peanut Butter flavored Chickpeas, Brussels Sprouts, Tomatoes, Carrots and Peppers

I love peanut butter. I can eat it by the spoonfuls, but the best part about eating peanut butter for me is, the high plant based protein and antioxidants it has in it. Yay me. Good for my body and my skin. I actually came across an amazing peanut butter a few weeks ago, when I was being interviewed by Mara Davis, television and radio personality, also GURU of all that is too know about food and where to get it.  She is the host of Atlanta Eats radio and television show. I absolutely love this woman, she knows food and she makes me laugh until my ribs crack.

Well as we were having our interview at Krog Street Market, here in Atlanta, she took me to Natures Garden Express and turned me on to this amazing peanut butter, Georgia Grinders. The owner Michael at Nature’s Garden Express was generous enough to give me a jar to take home and try. I  have been hooked ever since. This recipe came about when I was just craving a spoonful of their peanut butter.  A quick note here: if you are allergic to peanut butter you can substitute another nut butter of your liking.  This recipe is super simple, loaded with vitamins, vegan based protein, lots of flavor.  You get protein everywhere in this dish, the chick peas, the quinoa , the peanut and a little here in the brussels sprouts.

Thai Peanut Sauce

INGREDIENTS

1 1″ piece ginger, peeled

1 1/2 cup Georgia Grinders peanut butter

3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 teaspoon (packed) light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoons srirachi sauce

1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

13510913_10153801528538613_3481252863826255747_n
Vegan Quinoa Protein Bowl with Roasted Thai Peanut Butter flavored Chickpeas, Brussels Sprouts, Tomatoes, Carrots and Peppers

 

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat 400

Add ginger into a blender and blend until finely chopped. Add peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, srirachi sauce, coconut oil, and blend. ADD  A LITTLE WARM WATER IF IT IS TOO THICK, until smooth. DO AHEAD: Peanut sauce can be made 3 days ahead. Transfer to a small bowl, cover, and chill. Bring to room temperature before using.

Set a side some of the sauce for garnish. Add the remaining sauce over chick peas that have been drained and rinsed. Toss the chickpeas in the sauce until they are covered completely.  Place the chickpeas on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, spread them out, so each one can roast properly. Roast for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Once they are roasted remove from the oven and allow to cool. Once cooled use a fork to separate them from one another. Set a side.

Cook 1 cup of quinoa, brown rice or your favorite gluten free grain. Add the grain to the base of the bowl and top with your chickpeas and favorite vegetable toppings. Here I sautéed some brussels sprouts with garlic, lemon juice and a little sea salt in a non stick pan. I added tomatoes, carrot, red bell peppers and the sautéed brussels sprouts. I garnished with a little parsley, cilantro would be the best option, but I am without a car since it is in the shop, so parsley made it on this dish today.

The point here is being created and eating as much as the rainbow as possible.

You can add other raw vegetables here for example, cauliflower, yellow squash, avocado would have been a good options as well. Eating healthy is about creativity and exploration.

So enjoy being a food art is your kitchen.

Do not forget to Set the Table with Love

Coming Home to You Birthday Luncheon

Coming Home to You Birthday Luncheon

Dee this one is for you.

13432168_10153759829798613_8445894510737530969_n
Asparagus with parsley and shaved parmesan

I love my friends. I am even so grateful that God put some incredible women in my life. I have women that have been in my life for over 3 decades. They have celebrated life with me and some of my most tragic times. These ladies have loved me unconditionally. They understand me and allow me to just be Lisa, without depends. I am so grateful for that more than anything.

13391446_10153759829413613_3499206838088019707_o
We all wrote a blessing on this card for her.

Yesterday I was able to throw a birthday brunch for one of those beautiful souls, Dee Armstead. I met Dee when we both were going through a very hard time in our lives, we both had lost our moms and we were there for each other. We kept each other afloat. She loves me for me, she builds me up and never tears me down. This is 14 year friendship and I can honestly say these words about her.

13418686_10153759830013613_8389535052923659865_n
Dee is the fabulous one in the linen pants

Dee is a big giver. When I asked her what she wanted to do for her birthday and she said, Lisa I want to do something that will inspire and empower women. This is her gift, Dee inspires others, so I want this to be really special. So, I decided to do one of my Coming Home to You workshop brunches. I filled the whole entire brunch and exercises with positive affirmations, deep breathing technique , meditation and a lifestyle behavioral coaching exercise. The ladies were very inspired and the best part, my Dee was happy and pleased with the outcome.

God is amazing in how he works. There were many components in planning such a brunch, because it is not just about beautiful table settings and food, but helping people move passed the things that get in the way of connecting again themselves and what is next in there lives.

13413502_10153759829903613_5929717964840046381_n
Follow your Dreams

Dee trust me, she never once asked me, what I was planning. This is how you now it is God, she closed it out with a speech of gratitude and gave each of her guest, a beautiful frame with the most inspiring words that went along side the workshop’s entire message. “Allow ALL life to move though you, let go of fear and embrace love.”

One of the best things I got a chance to teach my granddaughter how to Set the Table with Love. She pressed napkins, linens, we made floral arrangements, and made the prettiest table settings. We had a blast.

13433303_10153759829583613_2946981162191292725_o
Coming Home to You Birthday Luncheon Homemade Floral Arrangement adds a special touch.

Thanks Dee for being one of my dearest friends and allowing your light to ignite my light within. Love you.

The menu was vegetarian. I wanted to share recipes with everyone that was simple, easy, delicious and healthy . The chai muffins were gluten free and one of my favorite recipes, we served the muffins with a simple ginger and cardamom butter.

The menu included:

Blueberry and Lemon scones with lemon sugar

Chai Muffins made by my bestie, Kristina Millsaps

Frittata Muffins with cheddar cheese and parmesan

Roasted Asparagus with parsley and parmesan

Roasted Potatoes with herbs and parmesan

Strawberry Basil Rosé Lemonade punch

Chocolate Oolong Tea

Coffee

Guests Favorite:

I want to share with you one of the recipes that was one the favorites. I will share the other recipes, including that incredible punch later this week. Enjoy this one.

Roasted Asparagus 

Ingredients:

1 pound asparagus

A bunch of parsley leaves

Fine sea salt, ground black pepper

Extra virgin olive oil

Parmesan shavings

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 400.

Trim away the bottom third of each asparagus stalk.

Put the asparagus on a cookie sheet with parchment paper, top with parsley. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast until slightly tender, about 10 -15 minutes. Just before serving, add shaved parmesan.

 

 

 

Tuscan White Bean Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette

Summer is around the corner, but honey if you live in Georgia, it is already here sitting on our backs like a monkey. LOL. In the Summer time my go to is salad. I love to use vegetables and fruits that are in season to make super flavorful and refreshing salads. This salad here is excellent anytime of the year. What makes it special to me is the champagne citrus vinaigrette, it gives the salad this wonderful burst of summer in your mouth. I am one to take my salad seriously. It’s not just putting raw vegetables and fruit in a bowl. Allow yourself  to get wild with salads this summer, roast, sauté, grill bake your ingredients and add them to arugula, wild kale, Napa cabbage, just get creative and add lots of color, EAT THE RAINBOW! Salad is a great way to do this. I hope you enjoy this recipe just as I have. Remember, to Set the Table with Love.

img_2106
Tuscan White Bean Salad with a Lemon Basil Vinaigrette

Tuscan White Bean Salad w/ Lemon Basil vinaigrette
2 cans white beans
1 1/2 tbsp Tuscan season blend
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup onions, med, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, med. chopped
1/4 cup chopped red onions
1 garlic clove
5 small artichoke heart , cut in fours
1/2 cup black olives,small
3 tbsp parmesan grated cheese
1 tbsp dried basil
1/2 tsp capers
4 shaved pieces of parmesan for garnish
1 boiled egg cut in quarters as garnish,
optional

Lemon Basil Vinaigrette
1/2 cup basil leaves, packed
1 clove garlic, smashed
1/2 tsp sea salt
dash of cracked black pepper
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp lemon zest
2 1/2 tbsp. organic honey
1 tbsp citrus champagne vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions:

1. In large skillet add 1 1/2 tbsp of olive oil, saute the onions, peppers,
beans. Sprinkle everything with 1 tsp of Tuscan season blend and
1/2 tsp of sea salt , cook for about 3-4 minutes on medium heat.
2. Add garlic and cook for about 2 minutes until the garlic is soft. Set
everything aside in a larger salad bowl.
3. Add to the bowl the quartered artichoke hearts, black olives,
capers, red onions, 3 tbsp of grated parmesan cheese, dried basil and
the remainder of the Tuscan season blend. Set aside and make the
vinaigrette.

Vinaigrette
1. In a food processor, process the basil, garlic, salt, black pepper and
lemon juice vinegar and zest, until smooth. As the food processor is
running, slowly add the oil. Blend until combined.
2. Drizzle vinaigrette onto the white bean salad and gently toss until
all ingredients are combined. Do this to taste. I like to start off with a
small amount of dressing for the salad and add more, as needed. Or you
can leave the dressing out and serve it with the salad on the side.
3. Place the shaved pieces of parmesan on top and quartered boil eggs and add to the salad.

 

Red Fruit Salad with Cacao Chips for Breakfast

I believe food is Beautiful Healing Art. Okay, I am busted that’s the title of my new cookbook. Hee Hee. 🙂 Today I woke up and wanted to have a fruit salad for breakfast,but not any old fruit salad, something special. I am so happy it’s cherry season, because this girl love her some cherries. LOL. Beside, cherries are very healing for the body. I decided I wanted a monochromatic salad. Yes I am one of those people who likes to eat in color and today I chose red. Red fruits are loaded with antioxidants, fiber, ellagic acid ( a potent anticancer agent), Vitamin A and C and high in potassium. So why not eat red today. This salad is super simple and you go with what you love. I added, cherries, strawberries, goji berries and cranberries. But you can try raspberries, even little pieces of cut watermelon in here would be very refreshing. I also added a little coconut whipped cream, cut up some of my leftover granola I had in the freezer and a few cacao chips sprinkled over the whole salad. That is all to it. This is a vegan version, but you can add greek yogurt to this as well.

Let your mind run wild. Instead of red fruit, do purple and blue fruit. It is a easy way to incorporated more raw foods into your diet,  and a fun experience for your whole family.

This is a rough recipe, because it just putting your favorite fruit together in an artistic way and top it with coconut cream, honey and cacao chips. Enjoy!  Remember to Set the Table with Love.

 

13139247_10153688429893613_7225696106443287209_n
Dark Chocolate and Cherry Fruit Salad
13217048_10153688429928613_5231602122840171272_o
Dark  Chocolate and Cherry Fruit Salad with homemade Granola Bites topped with coconut whipped cream and cacao chips

Ingredients:

Handful of cherries and strawberries

1/4 cup cranberries and 1/4 goji berries

1/2 cup coconut cream and honey to taste

1/4 cup of cacao chips

Directions:

Cut the fruit in half and position on a plate that suits your fancy. Add coconut cream and honey. Garnish with cacao chips.

*The coconut cream is just the top of the cream a can of coconut milk with a tsp of honey, gently stir and top on your fruit salad.

 

 

 

 

For the Raw Vegan Mom ~ Cacao Raw Pudding Tarts

What mama doesn’t love a little sweet treat on Mother’s Day, but this one is for the Raw Vegan moms and those in spirit that love a super, decadent, delicious and yes healthy treat.  I love making these when I need a little something sweet, but is not going to put on tons of calories on me, whatever they decides to go after 40. LOL.

Chocolate, yes. I am a dark chocolate girl. I love dark chocolate, it is so good for you, it is high in antioxidants, low in fat, gives you energy and helps balance out moodiness. So, it maybe a good idea to make mom these yummies.

Hey here’s the thing, THERE IS NO COOKING! NO BAKING! YES!  So, you feeling pretty confident, huh? Honey you should feel confident. You can do this and the best part, she want feel all guilty about eating these chocolates later on. Win Win!

Enjoy one for yourself and remember to Set the Table with Love.

 

img_1855
CACAO RAW PUDDING TARTS
img_1858
CACAO CACAO RAW PUDDING TARTS

Tart Crust

Ingredients
1 cup almonds, dry
1 cup cashews, dry
1 cup dehydrated shredded coconut flakes
1 tsp sea salt
2 cups raisins or pitted dates
Cacao Pudding filling
Ingredients
2 med. avocado (ripe)
1/2 cup raisins
3 tbsp. raw cacao powder
1/4 cup water or more if need for smoothness
2 tbsp. honey or maple syrup
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup orange zest, for garnished

Tart Crust
1. Pulse the almonds, cashews, 1/2 cup of coconut flakes, sea salt in a
food processor until nuts are in tiny pieces. Do not over process the
mixture, you want chunks in your crust.
2. Slowy add the raisins into processor in small batches to mix with
the nut bits. The raisins will bind the nuts to form a dough. Flour
each tart mold with dehydrated coconut flakes. Press the dough into
the bottom of the floured tart pan. Set aside.
Cacao Pudding filling
1. Blend all the ingredients into the blender or food processor. Add
more water if the mixture is too thick, if too thin add a little more
cacao powder. Making Raw food is about adjusting, adding a little bit
here and there to get the right consistency.
Assembly
1. Add the Cacao pudding filling into each tart crust.
2. Add orange zest to each tart and sprinkle with a little coconut
flakes.
3. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes to allow tarts to set. Remove from
tart pan and serve.
Makes 12 tarts

For more Raw Vegan Desserts on my blog check these out:

Cacao Smoothie

Raw Chocolate Torte

 

 

Mother’s Day Story ~ Breakfast in Bed Ideas

I love Mother’s Day. I have two boys, one 29 and my youngest is 15. I have two grandchildren, I adore and could get up with a biscuit and some gravy. They are truly yummy. My favorite thing growing up as child was to think about how I was going to make my mom feel special for Mother’s Day. Of course, I did the usually cards with macaroni glued to them and flowers, candy and little things I made with popsicles sticks. Okay, I need to confess soon as I wrote, macaroni, I thought about my mom’s cheesy, buttery, gooey macaroni and cheese, bubbling over in her special mac and cheese glass bowl. So where were we? Yes, Mother’s Day. One year I came up with the idea to make my mom, breakfast in bed.  Now granted I was about 9 years old and I never really cooked a meal all by myself, but I was determined to do this for her.

I went into the kitchen very quietly. I made sure not to make a sound. I remember opening up the fridge and getting out,  bacon, eggs, butter and the orange juice. Yes. I was going to make my mom, a good old southern, bacon and eggs breakfast. I put on a cup of coffee, aka, hot water and Folgers, put the cast iron skillet on the stove and added the bacon. It smelled so good, but it was making too much noise, so I closed the kitchen door.

I added the eggs to the skillet, with lots of butter, just the way my mom did.  Well, maybe too much, but hey I was 9. I cracked the eggs, very gently into a bowl and used a fork to gently whisk them. I was doing something. I felt like my mom, for just a moment. I remember my little sister and brother getting up. I pulled them in the kitchen and demanded they keep quiet. We made our brother sit at the table quietly and my sister made the toast and poured the juice.

All of a sudden I hear footsteps. I wanted to cry.  Oh no, it will not be a surprise anymore, I thought. But, it was my dad. He open the door very slowly. It seemed as if, it took forever for him to open that door and for me to see, it was Dad, not Mom.

He asked with a smile on his face, What are you guys doing? We replied, Making mom breakfast. He left out and said, Okay, carry on.

12088201_10153281762588613_8702744938612165856_n
My grandson Mikey
11696027_10153132741663613_3898366493566366785_n
My oldest son Bernard and granddaughter Naleyla
11226011_10153281732333613_1887147313245959711_n
My granddaughter Naleyla
11059741_10153111029033613_908867859660875927_n-2
My husband, Joseph, my youngest son,  Tyler and my granddaughter Naleyla

It was almost done. I had my sister run into the dining room and get a pretty tray from our china cabinet. We got a rose from my Dad’s rose garden and put it in a nice vase. I was so proud of that breakfast. The toast was a little burnt and the the bacon on the crispier side, but my eggs were awesome. We carried the tray to her bed and the best thing about that day that I remember, is my mom’s face when she say we had made her breakfast in bed.

Just writing this makes me cry. She has been gone for 14 years now and I miss her as though it was yesterday, when she left this Earth. She kissed me, my sister and brother and said, Thank  you so much, this makes mama feel special. But I remember the special look in her eyes she gave me. She was so proud of me, she knew how much this meant to me.  I will never forget that look as long as I live. She ate that breakfast as though it came from a five star restaurant. This is properly where my love of cooking for those I love comes from.  The day I first Set the Table with Love for my Mama.

Thanks everyone for taking time out to read this post. I usually don’t write long. I just get to the recipes, but that will change. I believe setting the table with love, is much more than just good healthy food, it’s about expressing love and that love being experienced through food.

Happy Mother’s Day. 🙂

Check out these links for some yummy Mother’s Day breakfast and brunch idea.

Gluten Free Vegan Potato and Leek Waffles

Southern Style Biscuits No Lard Needed Sorry Mom

Caramelized Pears with Homemade Granola

Gigi’s Fluffy Pancakes with Nutella Almonds and Chocolate Chips

 

Caramelized Pears with homemade Granola and Mascarpone cheese

Breakfast and brunch is my favorite time of the day to eat. I love everything about a good breakfast and brunch. I feel, it’s the most creative time of the day to combine savory with sweet. You can have eggs, grits, muffins, toast, cakes, salmon, meat, chicken, juice, coffee and champagne, all at once. So, you see why it’s my favorite time of the day to eat.

I love having fruit for breakfast, but sometimes you want more than a raw apple or a banana. Sometimes, you want something decadent, rich, but also nutritious. I came up with this pear recipe when I got a little to happy in the produce department and bought tons of pears. I ate several and put several in salads, but there was just a few left over and starting to look a little too ripe. I am standing over my counter thinking, what will I do with these pears?  Hmm… sauté them!! Yes!!

I sautéed these pears in coconut oil and I sprinkled a little coconut sugar over the, to give them a nice caramelization, but the coconut sugar also gave them this wonderful nutty flavor. I made homemade granola the night before and thought this would be fantastic over the pears. But, here’s the decadence. I topped them off with little mascarpone cheese with lemon zest. OMG!! I hope your mama is not near, because you would want to slap her. LOL 🙂  Now, if we are going all out healthy , yogurt would be perfect. But sometimes you need to indulge a little, or a lot, depending on the day.  This makes an amazing dessert as well.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did. Oh yeah, remember to Set the Table with Love.

img_8282
Caramelized Pears with Granola and Mascarpone Cheese

INGREDIENTS

4 tablespoons coconut oil
4 medium Bosc pears, pitted and halved
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 cup granola,  homemade or bought tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese, 1 tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup blueberries or  your favorite fruit
Drizzle of honey

DIRECTIONS

Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Sprinkle each pear with coconut sugar just enough to over lightly cover the pears, you will have some left over.  Melt the coconut oil. and then add the pears, cut-side down, cooking until they are slightly golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the remainder of the coconut sugar and continue cooking until caramelized, 4- 5 minutes, depending on your stove top.

Mascarpone Cheese with lemon zest. 

Add the mascarpone to a bowl and add the lemon zest and gently stir, until the lemon zest is incorporated into the cheese. If you are using yogurt, just add the zest into the yogurt or just add honey to the yogurt, if you desire.

Plating

Divide the pears, 2 pears to a plate. Add the homemade granola, a dollop of mascarpone cheese, drizzle of honey, add the berries all around the plate and a little shake of cinnamon and it’s the bees knees.

img_8266
Caramelized Pears with Granola and Mascarpone Cheese