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.
Today I am talking about “food for the soul”, but will be back to our regularly scheduled food program tomorrow. 🙂
Did you know According to U.S. News, approximately 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February, so the odds are against you. Source: Business Insider
Wow! Really? That means we only have a couple of weeks before most of us stop going to gym, our closets look like a hurricane hit them, and that plant based “What the Health” diet, has us pulling up to the closest fast food chain. LOL. 🙂 Okay all kidding aside, staying true to our goals can be pretty challenging, if you do not start off with the right intention, as well as, giving ourselves a bit of grace and lots of support. I wanted to share on this blog a few things I do to keep myself focus and on track. It’s not going to cost you tons of dollars, maybe not even a dime, just a moment to breath, slow down and make some conscious decisions . So, here we go, are you ready! This is a big one!
Be determine to not give up! Keep trying!
Do not be so hard on yourself. Remember this is a journey and along the way we have to pace and reset. Give yourself grace and take time out to go back and look at your goals. Ask yourself a few questions: How is this going? How is this making me feel? Do I need to reevaluate a few things or maybe change this goal to something more realistic? We can easily be pumped up by the beginning of the year with all the it’s “A New Year, so you much become a New You” talk. There’s nothing wrong with growing in all areas of our lives, but do it with lovingkindness.
Make sure you have encouragement around. Get a goal buddy, or join a Groupme, an amazing app where you can find like minded individuals, moving in the same flow of energy as yourself.
Set yourself up to win. I have throughout my home mantras, affirmations and positive words to remind me of my goals. My fridge, pantry and counters, reflect my goals for healthy eating. My yoga mat is laid out in my yoga space, so I can see it. I put my water jug on the side of my bed every night, so I can make sure I drink my water as soon as I get up.
Reward yourself appropriately. If it’s about eating healthy, do not reward yourself with a bucket of ice cream, maybe reward yourself with a massage or a new pair of shoes, and if you want the ice cream or cake, just a few bites and PLEASE enjoy it. How we feel about food affects how we digest our food, so be happy eating that cake.
A Bonus Tip:
Stay positive, making goals can be so much fun! It allows us to open up our minds to all the possibilities out there waiting for us. We get to try new things, connect with people moving in the same direction and possibly change our lives for the better.
Tuesday is my day to get refueled from the weekend and a super busy Monday. Mondays are one of my busiest times of the week, very rejuvenating but I am moving from one thing to the next.
I have an early morning Life coaching and Reiki session and right after, I teach my yoga class and then I am off to do B’Tyli Natural Skin Therapies work, plus other things that my Creative Marketing Director, Kristina Millsaps has on the agenda. So, let me tell you when Tuesday rolls around I am ready to go and set in my yoga teacher’s studio and her peaceful presence, for 1 hour and 30 minutes and receive my healing and bliss. Tuesdays, also calls for a little work. I really don’t consider this a work day, because I get to make raw food and let out some creative energy. I love making raw foods for my clients, because it sends healing to them and I always make enough for leftovers for me. 🙂
Today was all about the carrots. I juiced carrots for a yummy raw carrot and ginger soup, this juice also was used to make a raw carrot and ginger dressing for a beautiful cruciferous salad. Cruciferous salad?
Cruciferous vegetables have risen in popularity recently due to their apparent cancer-fighting properties. This large group of plants is diverse, each providing strong, unique flavors. It is named after the Latin word for crucifix because the blossoms of these plants resemble a cross.
Cruciferous vegetables include:
Cruciferous vegetables are low-calorie, and rich in folate, vitamins C, E, and K, and fiber. Fiber is an important nutrient to incorporate if weight loss is the goal, as it helps keep you fuller longer.
But, hmm… what to do with the all the carrot pulp. I decided to make these yummy Raw Carrot Cake bites. I shaped them like Easter eggs, because I thought these would be so pretty on the table at Easter. Raw vegan or not, you will love these little bites. They are very versatile, you can use your favorite nut, add your favorite spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg, and pinch of clove. Also raisins or dates will work just find in this recipe. I did not use nuts for this recipe. I love nuts, but sometimes we can have a love hate relationship and today my body said, NO NUTS! 🙂
I hope you enjoy this recipe and maybe add it on your table for Easter or any day of the week. Happy Easter Everyone! Enjoy setting your table with love.
1 cup gluten free rolled oats
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 shredded unsweetened coconut, set aside 2 tbsp for garnish
3/4 cup dried raisins
1/2 cup carrot pulp
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cloves
¼ cup water or more if needed
Blend oats, sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup coconut in vitamix (food processor should work too) until you get a fine consistency like flour.
Add in dried raisins, pulse a few times to break them up then add carrots pulp, maple syrup, vanilla and spices.
Slowly add in water. You looking for a consistency of nice slightly wet cookie dough
Roll dough into balls, like the shape of Easter eggs and cover in shredded coconut if you want.
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.
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
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
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
Re-hydrate the mushrooms in boiling water, cover with plastic wrap and let sit 30 minutes.
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.
Cook stirring often for 15 minutes or until vegetables start to caramelizE, YOU WANT JUST COLOR, NOT BURNT VEGETABLES, :)!
Add lentils, vegetable stock, mushroom liquid, broth then bring to boil, then turn down to simmer.
Cook until lentils are just tender.
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
There is nothing like a beautifully delicious salad, but sometimes it’s really hard to eat salad during the winter. So I opt out to making warm salads. Yes, salads can be warm, you still get your greens and veggies but sautéed a bit. Here is one of my favorite salads. I love mediterranean ingredients, like artichokes and kalamata olives. This salad includes them both, but with a little twist. The great thing about salad, you can throw in all your favorite ingredients. Instead of just putting the olives in this salad I made an olive tapenade and spreader it on gluten free toast is a great alternative. In a later post, I will show you how to pump up your olive tapenade with plant based protein. But, until then enjoy this recipe. Always remember to Set the Table with Love.
1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup red onions, diced and extra tablespoon for garnish
1/2 cup red bell peppers, diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons olive oil, in a sauce pan, to sauté veggies
1 tablespoons garlic herb seasonings
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
2 bunches of kale, rinsed, dried with a paper towel, leaves roughly chopped
1 bunch of chard, rinsed, dried with a paper towel, leaves roughly chopped
1/2 cup artichoke hearts, marinated
Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a sauté pan, on medium heat and then add the diced onions and peppers. Sauté until soft. Add diced garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add beans and stir. Add the spices and stir gently, to keep the beans in tack. Cook for another 5 minutes. Set aside once cooked. Add the remaining oil into the pan on medium heat. Add the kale and chard, sauté for 2 minutes, you are just welting the leaves. Remove for heat and set aside
Olive Tapenade Ingredients:
1 cup pitted black olives
6 small capers
1 garlic clove
3 tablespoons olive oil
Mince the garlic clove. Place olives, minced garlic, capers and olive oil in blender. Blend until you reach a smooth spread. Add to the gluten free toast. To Assemble: Add the kale, chard, in a salad bowl, top with beans and gently toss, place artichoke hearts sparingly throughout the salad. Garnish with diced red peppers, season with sea salt, cracked black pepper and a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil.
I love talking about food, nutrition, wellness and beauty. So, I thought that, I would share how my days usually go, that keeps me full of energy, balanced, looking and feeling my best. I learned a lot of this when I studied Holistic Nutrition and Medicine at Clayton College of Natural Health. How we break our fast, from the night before is very important . Eating a healthier, lighter diet and drinking plenty of fluids, helps cleanse and nourish the body gently, so you may have more energy and clarity throughout the day. What is happening, is we are flushing out built up mucous in the body, as we consume pure liquids, high fiber fruits and veggies, during the am.
Here is my sample of an Ideal Morning routine to cleanse the body, reduce inflammation, boost energy and jump start your day.
Wake up with the sun. Go to bed early enough to wake up without an alarm.
Sit quietly or lie up in bed, pray, meditate, deep breathing. Release any concerns or frustrations. Let things go. Visualize your day.
Pray, and I love reading my bible and other spiritual books.
Drink 2 cups of purified water with a squeeze of lemon.
Yoga and deep breathing for 20-30 minutes.
Eat 1 or 2 pieces of fruit.
Go for a vigorous morning walk or weight training 30 minutes
Get ready for my day.
Eat a whole grain breakfast, I love cooked oats or quinoa. Consume 30 – 60 minutes after the fruit.
Take my supplements.
In 1 or 2 hours, mid morning. a handful of nuts and/or seeds.
Now this depends upon any health issues you may have. So, ALWAYS TALK TO YOUR HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONER, BEFORE STARTING ANY NEW ROUTINE.
I am kidney transplant survivor and this works well for me, even when I have to p]0take medication.
I will share my Ideal Afternoon routine tomorrow, remember to always Set the Table with Love.
My 20 year anniversary is coming up in a few weeks. My husband and I have decided to do a wedding renewal ceremony. I am very excited, because I did not think I we would have made 20 years. I had kidney disease when we meet and kidney failures 7 years after we had our first son together. I was on dialysis for 3 months in 2008, when we found out he was my perfect match. My second chance at life happen on June 18th, 2008. One month before our son’s birthday, which is July 18th. It’s amazing how God works. We knew bringing our son into the world, could jeopardize my well being or kill me. So, how God to allow my husband to give me that life back, that was compromise by giving life to our son. It blows me away every time I think about it
This recipe is inspired to help me drop a few pounds to get in my wedding renewal dress and blow his socks off when I walk down that aisle one more time. The recipe I want to share today is my Avocado Scramble. it’s very simple and loaded with nutrition.
1 large avocado
1/4 teaspoon turmeric ( this gives it that yellow color)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
sea salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 cup of red bell peppers
handful of basil leaves, gently torn apart.
In a bowl mash the avocado with the turmeric, garlic powder, sea salt and black pepper. Add the peppers and basil and gently stir. I like to live a little basil and peppers on the side to use as a garnish.
This is great on gluten free toast, as well.
The sausage recipe will be in my new cook book, Set the Table with Love Take 2 ~Raw, Vegan and Vegetarian recipes for looking and feeling great.
This recipe came from me craving something fresh, healthy and easy. I love this salad because you can put any of your favorite veggies and it’s always a winner. I took red cabbages, cherry tomatoes, asparagus , green snap peas, red bell peppers, carrots and portobella mushrooms and it was a great combination. This is such an easy and flavorful salad to make.
2 large carrots, chopped in circles
2 cup green snap peas
1 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, whole
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 cup red cabbage, shredded
1 1/2 cup baby portobella mushrooms, halved ( love mushrooms) 🙂
10 medium asparagus, chopped at an angle, each about an inch length
Sea salt and Black Pepper to taste, just a little. But do season your veggies. 🙂
Basil Oil Marinate
3/4 cup oil, extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup organic honey or your favorite sweetener
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried fennel seeds ( or more if you like fennel)
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes ( optional), But great for digestion. 🙂
In a large bowl add all the ingredients and whisk, until everything is incorporated.
Take prepared veggies and put them in a large glass bowl with an air tight container lid. Combine ingredients for the Basil Oil Marinate and pour over vegetables. Mix the vegetables and marinate thoroughly. Cover the glass bowl with an airtight lid and refrigerate overnight. You can remove the veggies from the marinate and plate. I like to drizzle a little of the marinate and extra virgin olive oil over my salad for extra flavor. You can serve this alone or you can top it on some leafy greens.
*Allow it to get room temperature for the best experience for your taste buds.
So I have been working out hard to reach a particular goal, so why am I making pecan tarts. Because I can and a tart never hurt anybody, right? Right? Ya’ll don’t hear me out there ( in my southern baptist preacher voice) lol. Enjoy! I will be working out hard in the next few days.
These are so yummy.
Here’s the recipe:
2 Tbsp. butter, melted ( 1 Tbsp will for the phyllo dough cups you make)
2 large egg
3 Tbsp. organic brown
2 Tbsp. of Maple Syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
1 cup chopped pecans
Box of phyllo dough sheets
In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients except pecans. Mix well. Add in chopped pecans, and stir until combined.
In a regular muffin pan cut phyllo dough up into medium squares, lay in the muffin pans ,shape to the pan and dab with butter. I used about 3 sheets to make a nice sturdy container for the pecan mixture. Fill the cups about 1/2 way up. They will rise. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes. Let cool and drizzle I drizzled the maple butter glaze over top each one and served.