The Most Refreshing Salad on Earth

Hi y’all! I hope you are well! I’ve been doing superb myself, though working a little too much. I’ll be striving for better personal-work balance from now on…and you know what that means! — More blogging! (It’s my personal way to unwind.)Image

Over the last week I have been craving salads of all sorts. I’ll post a few “unique” salad dishes for you to try, starting with this BERRY refreshing salad! (Points for being clever, right?!)

This salad is unique because it incorporates the refreshing taste of mint and the sweet, melt-in-your-mouth summery fruits. The flavors awaken your senses, the mint promotes a fast metabolism, and this salad is QUITE beautiful to look at!

Because it’s unique both in taste and in aesthetics, your guest (boyfriend? Husband? Wife?) will think you took a long time on it—when in reality it takes just a few moments to throw together. (I love easy!)

Ingredients (for a serving for 2):

½ cup blueberries, organic

½ cup strawberries, organic, halved

½ cup watermelon, cubed in 1-inch pieces

1 /2 tbsp. organic Stevia

1 tsp. honey or agave

1 tbsp. water

1/2 tsp. grated lemon or lime

½ tbsp. fresh, finely chopped mint leaves

Directions:

  1. Wash all fruit and set aside to dry.
  2. In a small bowl or dish, whisk together stevia, honey/agave, water, and lemon or lime zest. Once the mixture is fully incorporated, add in the finely chopped mint leaves.
  3. Put all fruit in a serving bowl; pour the mixture over the fruit and mix thoroughly.
  4. Let the fruit sit in the fridge, covered, for at least 30 minutes. (The natural sugars in the fruit are accentuated by the lemon and lime zest! This assures that the minty flavor is not too strong!)
  5. Enjoy!

Happy cooking, friends!

-Tiff

Perfect Quick-fix Smoothies! – UPDATED!

UPDATE: FUNNY STORY… A reader made the Peppermint smoothie, and the dear followed my recipe exactly. Through her, I realized I accidentally said to include 1/2 TABLESPOON of peppermint extract, when I meant to say 1/2 (or even 1/3 will do!) TEASPOON of the stuff. Needless to say, her sinus is now clear. 😀

Also, as an FYI–these smoothies are servings for 2 or more. (I usually limit my consumption to 8 oz.).

Thank you readers, friends, and supporters for catching my glitches and offering suggestions! It is so very appreciated!

-Tiff

Hey All!

It has been way too long since I have posted (don’t worry–I have about fifty NEW recipes, but have been swamped as of late!)

Yoga is calling my name, so I don’t have time to tell you about the amazing Raspberry tart bars I created (Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-free…and heavenly). I’ll get to those tomorrow!
I do want to leave you with something, however, so I have decided to share some of my favorite smoothie recipes with you! Smoothies are perfect meals on the go. In addition, they make great healthy-alternative dessert substitutes (Mint chip? Pumpkin pie? Sign me up!)

Because I try to stay away from dairy (it’s dairy’s fault for being mean!) these smoothies are all vegan. Of course, you could add greek yogurt or something additional for packed protein (but that also means packed calories. I feel better when I have lean, filling smoothies!)

The first is my favorite Banana-Nut-Butter Protein Smoothie I drink this when I need something to hold me over for a long time. It is packed with protein, and tastes as good as a milkshake (or better?)! Image
Ingredients:

  • 1 banana, ripe if possible
  • 1/2 c. almond milk, coconut milk, or other (unsweetened) milk of your choice
  • 1 tbsp. almond (or your favorite) nut butter
  • 1/2 tsp. organic vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. chia seeds
  • 1 organic date (seed removed)
  • 1 cup ice

Directions: Blend together all ingredients  and enjoy!

Nutritionists recommend detoxing the system of toxins, and smoothies can be a great way to do this. On mornings when I am feeling adventurous (and on mornings when I’m wanting to detox) I like to make this version of Green Lemonade: Image

  • 1 organic green apple, core removed
  • 3 strawberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped pineapple
  • 1/2 freshly squeezed orange
  • 1/2 freshly squeezed lemon
  • 1 cup organic kale, stems removed
  • 1 cup organic spinach
  • 1 tsp. chia seeds
  • 1/4-inch cube of raw ginger root (I use ginger because of the detoxifying properties)

Directions: Mix and enjoy! *If you’re new to the smoothie business, the green will totally freak you out. Never fear! If I can do it, you can do it! (And seriously, it’s actually pretty good!)

For the days when you’ve got extra carrots left over in the fridge, give this one a try! It’s my favorite simple smoothie, and it packs a big nutritional punch! ImageCarrot-Mango Dream:

  • 1 1/2 cup baby carrots or 4-5 large, organic carrots
  • 1 mango, chopped
  • 1/2 orange, chopped
  • a pinch of grated nutmeg

Directions: Mix and devour!

…what about dessert?

When you want pumpkin pie but you need to fit into a dress for an auction this Saturday (I speak from experience!) this treat is a great substitute that will surely satisfy any sweet tooth! Not to mention, the pumpkin packs a ton of fiber and vitamins! Pumpkin Pie in a GlassImage

  • 1/2 c. almond milk
  • 1 banana, chopped and frozen for at least an hour
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin (organic, of course!)
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, to taste

Directions: Chop and freeze the banana (this alleviates your need for ice, plus, frozen bananas give smoothies more creamy textures!) Then, blend all ingredients!

Another favorite dessert substitute is my Mint-Chip Smoothie (I promise, it’s better than ice-cream and totally guilt-free!): Image

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 c. almond, coconut (or your favorite) milk
  • 1/3 tsp. peppermint extract
  • 1/4 avocado (trust me!)
  • 1 tsp. organic honey
  • 1 tbsp. cocao nibs
  • 1 cup ice

Directions: Mix and enjoy!

Drew’s Favorite Breakfast Burritos (Make Ahead, Gluten-Free, Heart-Healthy)

My handsome younger brother (Drew) is an athlete. And, like most teenage boys, he is constantly hungry. (Here he is…what a stud!)
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Anyway, even though I live in a different city, I do what I can to make sure he is indulging in healthy foods. The nutrition-health nut inside me just hates the thought of him filling up on fast food, cup of noodles, or other prepackaged garbage. Studies show that people who eat healthy, whole foods perform better on all fronts. In addition, people who eat breakfast have consistently healthier body-fat percentages than people who skip breakfast.

I began looking for the perfect breakfast burrito recipe a few months ago because who doesn’t like breakfast burritos?! I have played with ingredients to find a blend of healthy, simple, easy, and delicious flavors. You will see that this recipe is simple, because it is important to get ingredients that contain the same water content. (I learned, for instance, that if you try to heat a burrito with frozen potatoes and cheese, the cheese will burn by the time the frozen potatoes thaw.) So though this recipe is simple, it has been thought out (and it tastes delicious). (Note: Dr. Oz presented a “gluten free breakfast burrito” recipe that was simply eggs. This recipe follows similar guidelines, but includes lean protein.)

Ingredients:

  • La Tortilla All-Natural Gluten Free Teff Tortilla (or the healthy wrap of your choice)
  • 1/2 lb. ground turkey (organic)* find a brand that is gluten free (Google is your friend)
  • 1 tbsp. pure organic maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. sage
  • ¼ of a small onion, chopped
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • low-fat Mexican cheese blend

Directions:
1. Make the maple-flavored turkey sausage by mixing the turkey, maple syrup, pepper, sage, and chopped onion. Once thoroughly (albeit gently) mixed, cook on medium-low until thoroughly cooked. Once cooked, set aside.

2. Whisk eggs, then cook over medium heat.Image

3. Lay out 8 tortillas; sprinkle cheese on each tortilla, then add eggs and sausage. Once this has been done, wrap the burritos. Cover immediately with saran wrap.

4. If you plan on freezing all burritos (they will last up to two months in the freezer), cover each with an additional layer of protection by using foil over each burrito. Then, put burritos in gallon-size plastic bags.

5. Burritos can be enjoyed by being heated 2-3 minutes (1-1.5 minutes on each side) after being taken out of the freezer.

Note: This recipe makes about 8 breakfast burritos.

These are the perfect filling albeit lean breakfast! Plus, they are much healthier than store bought and fast food items (which can contain over half of the recommended cholesterol intake, and over a third of the recommended sodium intake).

Enjoy!
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Heart-Healthy Absolutely Amazing Avocado Wrap (Healthified) with Vegan Option

Absolutely Amazing Avocado Wrap (Healthified) (with Vegan Option)
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Most Avocado wraps I’ve tasted go something like this: some avocado, veggies, and meat of some sort (or Tofu) wrapped in a dry tortilla. While these are often branded as ‘healthy’, the carbohydrates in the typically-refined tortilla are not my idea of ‘good’, ‘whole’ or ‘pure’.

Avocados can help you maintain lower cholesterol, improve your eye health, they are stellar for your heart, they regulate blood sugar levels, and they even help assure healthy babies (shout out to all of my pregnant friends). In addition, they are a great source of those monounsaturated fat (which, experts say, is important for maintaining clear, healthy skin)!

This recipe makes for a fantastic lunch, snack, or dinner item; it is easy, healthy, and incredibly tasty! Kid-Approved, Boyfriend-Approved, Mom-Approved, and totally heart-healthy!

Ingredients: Image
-2 avocados (organic, preferably, though avocados are one of the less-genetically engineered foods)
-3 organic tomatoes
-1/2 clove garlic
-1/2 onion
-Cilantro
-Himalayan Salt (this provides iodine without sodium; helps with cleansing and attaining a healthy immune system)
-Pepper to taste
-1 lime
-Shaved, all natural turkey slices (as pure as possible, please!) or, to make this vegetarian (and vegan), several large pieces of iceberg lettuce or cabbage

Directions:
1. Peel avocados; cut into long strips
2. Finely chop onion; mince garlic clove; finely chop tomatoes. Mix the three ingredients together.
3. Lay out Turkey (or Lettuce or Cabbage) flat on a table; lay 1-3 Avocado strips on each piece (depending on how large of surface you have).
4. Once avocado is laid out, spoon mixture of garlic, onion, and tomato over each avocado. Top with Himalayan salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with cilantro and lime.
5. Roll the wraps and enjoy!

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