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

food-salad-healthy-lunch.jpgsalad-healthy-diet-spinach.jpg

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

pexels-photo-196643.jpegpexels-photo-539431.jpeg

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 .

IMG_7953
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.” 🙂

Galettes ~ Easy ways to Celebrate Summer’s bounty

A galette is probably one of the easiest ways, I know how to celebrate summer fruits. Today I am sharing my Summer and Fall versions of my favorite dessert, The Galette. Sometimes you need to enjoy a little sweet treat and I love dessert. The truth is, I look at the dessert menu first, when I go out for dinner. It determines what I will order for my main course. I believe,  Dessert first, makes life a little sweeter. These easy recipes will open your mind up to the possibilities of the rustic beauty and elegance of this humble tart.

Today after Mother’s Day I was thinking of my mom and all those southern dishes she use to make for us growing up. My mom always inspires my cooking and baking. I just like to take a more healthier route, but dessert, forget about it. Indulge a little.

Here is a basic galette recipe that I love to use. This is my favorite go to recipe by the one and only Chef Jacques Pepin. You can find this recipe here  Basic Galette Recipe

 

13174016_10153683110983613_7766035978170850435_n-2
Sea Salted Caramel Apple Galette
13138874_10153683110998613_315867132036161718_n
Sea Salted Caramel Apple Galette

This recipe is for an Apple Galette.

Pastry

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup ice water
Apples

3 Green apples
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey, preferably wildflower
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

For my  Sea Salted Caramel Apple Galette, I used the same basic galette recipe, and treated my apples according to Chef Jacques Pepin’s recipe. I just decided to make a homemade caramel to drizzle over it.

Sea Salted Caramel Sauce

Ingredients:

1 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 tablespoon water
1/4 cup butter, cut into chunks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon William Sonoma fine grey sea salt

Directions:

Add sugar, cream of tartar and water to a medium saucepan, bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook without stirring until mixture begins to caramelize. Use a rubber spatula to gentle stir occasionally until mixture reaches a honey color.

Reduce heat to medium-low, continue to cook until mixture turns a deep amber, roughly 3-5 minutes.

Remove from heat, immediately whisk in vanilla and butter. Whisk in cream and sea salt.

Cool slightly in pan before pouring into glass storage or a bowl for immediate use.

Cool completely before covering and chilling. Warm before using.

I drizzled this over my Galette once it cooled.

Directions for Pastry and Apple Recipe

  1. In a food processor, combine the flour with the sugar, salt and butter and process for about 5 seconds. Sprinkle the ice water over the flour mixture and process until the pastry just begins to come together, about 10 seconds; you should still be able to see small pieces of butter in it. Transfer the pastry to a work surface, gather it together and pat into a disk. Wrap the pastry in plastic or wax paper and refrigerate until chilled. (You can also roll out the pastry and use it right away.)
  2. Peel, halve and core the apples and slice them crosswise 1/4 inch thick. Set aside the larger center slices and coarsely chop the end slices and any broken ones; about half of the slices should be chopped. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400°. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry to a 12-by-14-inch rectangle and transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet. Spread the chopped fruit over the pastry to within 1 inch of the edge.  If you are using blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, no need to chop them, just lay them in the center of the galette.
  4. Drizzle the honey over the fruit. Decoratively arrange the apple slices on top in concentric circles or in slightly overlapping rows. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the apples and dot with the pieces of butter.
  5. Bake the galette for about 1 hour, until the pastry is nicely browned and crisp and all of the apples are tender. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the galette cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Galette OPTIONS:

13124854_10153689056193613_8543080079652650516_n
Georgia Peach and Blueberry Galette

 

For my Peach and Blueberry galette. The galette recipe is the same. I just added the peaches in the pastry as you would do the apples. I made the blueberries sauce separated. It is so simple to make my  Blueberry Sauce. Just three ingredients, that’s it.

Ingredients

1 1/2 pints fresh blueberries, rinsed
1 cup organic sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Directions:

Combine the blueberries and sugar in a large heavy saucepan. Add 1 cup of water, the lemon juice to the saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat. Cool to room temperature. The cooling will allow it to thicken more. You can use it soon as it cool or cover and refrigerate for later.

 

img_9593
Strawberry Galette

For my Strawberry Galette, you can use the same galette recipe. I sliced my strawberries added them to a bowl with organic sugar and a little lemon juice and pinch of cardamom. Cardamom does something magical to strawberries.  Add the strawberries into the pastry and fold the edges and bake. These are mini galettes, so you do not have to share. LOL. 🙂

 

 

 

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

 

What’s Trending in Food? Savory Yogurt and Turmeric/Curry Chickpeas and Greek Yogurt

img_8991
Roasted Red Curry Chickpeas, Yellow Chickpea Spread over Greek Yogurt

Fashion!! We are always looking for what’s hot on the runways. So, I will indulge that side of us, for just a moment; Retro is the thing this season, designers are getting their inspiration, once again from the 60’s and 70’s, but just an essence of the era, from high waist and wide- legged pans, to wide brim hats and Boho frocks. If you ask me, Boho frocks will always be in, I am just saying.

Okay, back to food. The big thing now, that’s trending in food, is savory yogurts and turmeric. We have seen yogurt topped with granola, coconut, chocolate chips, honey, etc., etc. But we are also, seeing this trend of topping and mixing yogurt with savory ingredients. Now in Ayurvedic medicine ( an ancient medical system of India, which take a holistic approach to healing)has been mixing yogurt with savory ingredients as a common practice to healing, especially using turmeric. It is known to provide many health benefits, one in particular is to help with anemia. Turmeric is also the main ingredient in yellow curry, hence the curry recipes I am sharing with you today.

So, I decided to take on this trend and make a healthy dish using yogurt and turmeric. This recipe is high in protein, to be exact, it packs a whopping 27 grams of protein. It is also great for digestion, because of it’s high content of probiotics. As well as, being high in potassium and b12, which provides lots of energy and good nerve health.

This recipe is super easy, high is vegetarian based protein and full of flavor. Enjoy.  Remember to eat on purpose as you Set the Table with Love.

Side note: In this dish you are making the chickpeas two ways, roasted and also as a spread over the yogurt.

Ingredients:

1 can organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained, you will use this one can, for the spread and for the roasted chickpeas, so divide the chick peas in half. Set the other half aside and prepare the roasted chickpeas first.

7 0z. greek yogurt

2 tbsp of chopped red bell pepper

mint and lemon zest as garnish

For the Red Curry Roasted Chickpeas

Half of the chickpeas

1 tbsp of olive oil

1/2 tbsp of red curry powder, more or less based on your preference

1 tbsp of  no salt garlic herbal seasonings

sea salt and cayenne pepper to taste

Direction:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
Blot chickpeas with a paper towel to dry them. In a bowl, toss chickpeas with olive oil, and season with red curry powder, no garlic seasoning and sea salt and cayenne pepper, to taste.  Spread on a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until browned and crunchy.

Ingredients :

For the Yellow Curry Chickpea Spread

The remaining chickpeas

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tbsp yellow curry powder, less or more based on your preference

sea salt to taste

Directions:

Add everything to a food processor and process until smooth, you may need more oil, if you like your spread thinner.

How to plate:

Add greek your to the bottom of your plate. Top with Yellow Curry spread first, then roasted chickpeas, than add garnishes and drizzle extra virgin olive oil over top the entire dish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smoothie with a Purpose

I love making my smoothies in the morning and also juicing, but it’s not just to feel good and have lots of energy. You can purpose your juicing and smoothie making, by just adding the right combinations for fruits, vegetable and herbs to help with specific health issues. Always talk to your Physician before starting any new diet plan, everything that is good is not always good for everyone. 

These three juice recipes are for helping you lose weight.

I drink about one or two of these a day. One for breakfast and one as my mid day snack.

I hope you enjoy these smoothies and juice recipes as you are on your journey to better health.

Berry Pineapple Smoothie or Juice

1 cup of blueberries

1/2 cup blackberries

1/2 cup raspberries

2 sprigs of parsley ( but not if you are pregnant or have kidney problems)

1 cup chopped pineapples

1 scoop of Vegan protein powder mix

If juicing add all the fruit and parsley to the juice. Whisk and pour in a glass and Enjoy.

If making a smoothie, add all ingredients into a blender, Vitamix or Ninja. Blend and Enjoy.

Carrot, Apple and Celery ( juice)

1 medium apples

1 carrot

2 stalks celery

1/2 cucumber

Melons and Pineapples 

1 cup watermelons, chopped

1 cup pineapples, chopped

1/2 cup cantaloupe

1 orange

1 thumb size piece of ginger

Using a juicer, process the all the produce. Whisk and pour in a glass and Enjoy.

Three Weight Loss Juices.
Three Weight Loss Juices.