This is my month, because June 17, 2018 my husband gave me his kidney and my life was changed. I am so excited to celebrate national kidney month, bringing you kidney happy recipes. There so many amazing foods that actually help with kidney health, like eggplant, celery, cabbage, asparagus, red peppers and cauliflower. Eating foods that are high in water, actually helps keep the kidneys hydrated and flushed. Drinking clean fluids and getting the proper exercise is also a wonderful way to keep our kidney and other organs healthy and functioning at their best. Check out the blog for some awesome “happy kidney recipes”, like my sautéed cauliflower, tossed with herbs and drizzled with garlic oil and this low carb Gluten free Vegetarian Cauliflower Veggie Pizza. Happy National Kidney Month eat to your health. 🤗💕
Broccoli Slaw is one of my favorite things to eat. According to studies, Broccoli contains phytochemicals shown to benefit arthritis, cancer, immune system health, blood pressure levels, vision, skin health, blood sugar disorders and much more” Source:Mercola
This recipe is packed with not just the benefits of broccoli but it’s loaded with planted based protein from the pumpkin seeds, fiber from the cranberries and vegetarian protein from the greek yogurt dressing, not to mention the b vitamin power of the blueberries and blackberries. My mantra is to. Eat on purpose with lots of flavor and this salad honors that fully. You can add your favorite fruit in this salad or even zucchini and yellow squash would be amazing. However you decide to enjoy it remember to, Set the Table with Love. 💕💕Ingredients:
For the dressing:
2 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt (I use nonfat)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp grainy Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
6 oz (3 cups) store-bought broccoli slaw
2-3 Tbsp cranberries, to taste
2-3 Tbsp pumpkin seeds, to taste
1 Tbsp chia seeds
Directions:In a mixing bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. Add the broccoli slaw, pumpkin seeds, cranberries and chia seeds and toss gently until all ingredients are well combined.Eat immediately or you can cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes. The yogurt and mustard will tenderize the vegetables; the salad will be crunchy, but not soggy.Serve cold or at room temperature.
This salad is so beautiful, simple and delicious. I love avocados. They are loaded with so much good stuff, like omega fatty acids. Avocado also helps improve digestion and they are wonderful for your heart. I love making this salad in the summer, but it’s also delicious in the winter time as well, because I saute the green beans and sweet peas and toss them with arugula, spices and olive oil and lemon juice. I love to also add salmon to add more good omega fatty acids and protein. If you are vegan, add walnut or pistachios. The possibilities are endless, you can also add chard, kale, even brussels sprouts would be a wonderful green option. Oh and don’t forget to Set the Table with Love.
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup onions, diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 cup green beans, fresh or frozen
1 cup sweet peas, frozen
Avocado, halved and peeled
olive oil, sea salt, Montreal steak seasonings, lemon juice
In a saucepan on medium heat, add the olive oil and onions, saute the onions for about 1 – 2 minutes, then add your garlic, cook for another minute. Add your beans and cook for about 3-4 minutes until slightly tender, you still want them to have a crunch. Add your sweet peas, season with sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste. Remove from heat once the sweet peas are warmed through.
In a nice serving bowl, add you arugula, sweet peas, green beans, toss gently with a bit of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Cut an avocado in half and peel. Take half of the avocado and add it to the top of the green mixture, drizzle with more olive oil and lemon juice and season generously with Montreal Steak Seasoning or a medley of cracked peppercorns. I love to also add basil leaves or mint to this salad to give it some freshness. Enjoy with some crusty bread or yummy multi grain crackers.
Here’s another recipe that may wow your Valentine’s Day date. 💕It’s so simple, easy, delicious and healthy. I love taking traditional recipes like a spring roll adding non traditional ingredients and allowing my guests to experience something in familiar in a new way. This will make appetizer, before dinner or add some wonderful cheeses, nuts,dried fruit and you got a beautifully unique anti pasti platter, pair it with your favorite wines and dinner is served. Psst… throw in some really good chocolates and this Valentine’s Day will be talked about for awhile. The truth is whatever you decide to do, just make sure you Set the Table with Love. NOTE: The pictures below show a wok fried version of this recipe, but I did give you an option to back them. Ingredients:1 tbsp olive oil 1/4 cup onions 1/2 cup red bell pepper1/2 cup sundried tomatoes 1 medium garlic clove, minced 1/2 cup frozen spinach, thawed and pat dry to remove excess water1/2 cup chanterelle or baby portobello mushrooms,choppedFreshly ground black pepper and sea salt to tasteRice Papers To help hold them together:1/2 tbsp cornstarch 1 tbsp water Basil oil for dipping 2 cup of basil 1 cup olive oilSea salt to taste Directions: Preheat your oven to 425.In a sauté pan on medium heat add the olive oil. Add onions, peppers and garlic and sauté for about minutes or two until onions are a bit transparent. Add the remaining ingredients, seasoning to taste. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, until everything is heated through. Remember you will be baking these as well. Remove from stove and set aside. Prepare your rice paper for baking: 1 Place a single wrapper on a wet kitchen towel (cover the remaining wrappers with another kitchen towel so that they don’t dry). Arrange the wrapper in a diamond shape, place a bit of ingredients at the bottom. Stop when you reach half way, fold the right and left corner in so that the roll looks like an open envelope. Brush a bit of cornstarch mixture on the final corner and finish rolling. Place under a damp kitchen towel while you roll the rest. 2 Brush the rolls with a small amount of vegetable oil and place on a baking tray lined with a piece of baking parchment. 3 Bake for about 15 minutes on one side, then flip and bake for another 10-15 minutes on the other side, until the rolls are golden brown. Remove from the oven and enjoy with the basil oil or your favorite sauce.
Preparing Rice Paper wraps for deep frying. Use the same rolling process as you would for baking adding the ingredients in the rice paper and rolling according to previous instructions:To start the process of deep frying, all you need is a nice big wok or saucepan, a ladle or a pair of tongs and some oil.
- Heat up a cup of oil on low heat in a wok or big sauce pan. When the oil starts to lightly smoke, it is ready for frying.
- Using a ladle or a pair of tongs, gently immerse a spring roll into the hot oil. Be very gentle so that the oil does not splash on you.
- After half a minute, turn the spring roll over gently. Fry for another half a minute, then put it to the side of the wok and let it continue frying. You need to do this before putting the next spring roll into the oil as the spring rolls may stick to each other before both sides have been fried for half a minute.
- Fry the spring rolls until they are golden brown and crispy.
- Remove from oil and place ice on a paper towel, to remove and excess oil and enjoy!
For basil oil: Add all ingredients in a blender and lightly pulse, until well blended, add more oil if you like a nice thin basil oil. Continue to 5 of 6 below.
Today is day four of my 30 day cleanse and it’s going pretty good. It is challenging coming up with creative recipes, but hey, that’s my thing. I love to take what I have an make creative recipes, but even more when the recipes call for no diary, no processed white sugar,vegan and yep, no gluten. The truth is even though I am doing this cleanse, I still crave my favorites, like dessert, chips and bread. The body needs to cleanse and reset itself for optimum health and wellness, this is why I cleanse 3 to 4 times a year. We all need a reset, no matter how healthy we eat. So, back to dessert, chips and breads.
This dessert is very easy and you do not need a million ingredients. Take note, I am not using any sugars, such as, honey, maple syrup or agave, just coconut sugar. Coconut sugar only has 5 grams of sugar, much better for you while doing a cleanse, if you craving something sweet. The macaroons are excellent paired with French Broad 100% dark chocolate, now this will be intense, only for the purist. You can also use 72% or 80% dark chocolate, no milk chocolate, since we are doing a cleanse. LOL. 🙂
Here’s the recipe. Enjoy.
2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp melted coconut oil
1/2 cup dairy free dark chocolate, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Add coconut and coconut flour to a food processor or high speed blender and blend, scraping down sides as needed, until you have incorporated the coconut and coconut flour. You want a pliable dough to feel like play doh. If the dough is not pliable, add more coconut and blend. Add coconut sugar and vanilla and mix again until just incorporated.
Using a 1 tbsp scoop, scoop out in enough to fill the scoop, pack down firmly, but gently with your hands to shape the dough, gently tap the dough out of the scoop. Shape it into a nice half moon ball. Place each macaroon gently on the baking sheet.
Brush the tops lightly with melted coconut oil. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges start to look golden brown. Allow the macaroons to cool.
While macaroons are cooling, melt chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave in 30 second increments. Set aside.
Once completely cooled, drizzle the chocolate over each one. Put them in the fridge for 30 minutes or over night, this will allow them to firm up. Be gentle in handling the macaroons, because they are very fragile. Remove each macaroon from the cookie sheet and place on a nice platter. Serve and Enjoy.
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
I was in great debate about posting this blog. This sausage recipe is very delicious and the powers that be, suggested that it needs to be in my new cookbook: Set the Table with Love, plant based recipes to make you look and feel great. So stay tuned for that recipe. But keep reading the Vegan Basil Pasta is delish!!
I will share this amazing and easy Vegan Basil Pasta. Here is what making this pasta very special. One of my best friends gave me today this wonderful Kitchenaid food processor. I never had a big professional food processor. I know I cook a lot, but I am so primitive. I do everything on hand. I even make my pasta from scratch with no processor, but I think I am hooked.
Thanks Andrea for making my life easier. I love my new food processor.
Vegan Basil Pasta
1 cups semolina flour
1 3/4 cups organic unbleached pastry flour
1/2 cup basil leaves
1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 – 1 cup room temperature water
Place flours and basil in the food processor and pulse to combine.
While the food processor is running, drizzle in the olive oil. Add the water 1 Tbsp at a time through the spout while the processor is running.
I used almost 1 cup of water. Remove dough from processor and place on a modestly floured clean surface, knead briefly until smooth. Rolling the dough into a ball. Cut in half. Take one of the halves and pass through your pasta machine as per its instructions, dusting with semolina flour as needed. Once the dough is thinned out to your preference, you can send it through your fettuccine attachment, dusting your pasta and the pasta machine with semolina flour, so it doesn’t stick .
If you do not have an attachment or a pasta maker, you can roll the dough with a dusted rolling pin with semolina flour. Take a pizza cutter or knife to cut into small strips. Place the strips on a lightly floured surface and dust with more flour, so that pasta will not stick together.
Toppings for the pasta:
1/2 cup onions, diced
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
basil leaves ( for garnish)
I sautéed the onions and garlic in a sauce pan. I added it over the pasta, with a few chili peppers, sea salt and basil leaves.
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.