Sunday, January 29, 2012

Shop, wash, cut, repeat…

Okay, so maybe I only went shopping once, but I have enough produce in my fridge that you could come shopping at my house!  That’s what my weekend has been like…lots of washing of fruits and veggies and then cutting them for this weeks’ snacks, salads, and soups.  I’m not going to lie, it’s hard work prepping for meals, but it is so worth it to put a healthy plate in front of my family at the end of the day.  You might even incur an injury or two, so be careful in the kitchen!

Just a slight slip of the knife.  Nothing that a “Peanuts” band aid couldn’t handle!


And the product of my so called hard labor.  Lots of greens and colorful veggies…still have some parsnips, a butternut squash and some sweet potatoes to wash.DSCN2880

DSCN2882 In the blender are some tomatoes just waiting for some friends (cilantro is in line to be washed, then I’ll throw in some onion, garlic, some lime juice, a little salt, cumin, and a few flakes of chipotle red pepper for some spice) to come join them and happily mix their way into homemade salsa.  We’ve found this to be our dip of choice for fresh veggies…sometimes I’ll mix in a little plain Greek yogurt for the princesses.

DSCN2881 Though I am excited that I got all my prepping done for the week, I think the highlight of my weekend was attending a “Juicing Class” at our local health food store, Ramona Family Naturals.  They offer several fun and informative classes throughout the month and this one caught my attention.   While part of the intent of those who signed up for the class was to partake in a “7 Day Juice Feast” challenge, my intentions for going were to 1) learn the ins and outs of juicing, 2) learn the benefits of juicing along with blending, and 3) challenge myself to incorporate more veggies, especially greens, into my diet.  After all was said and done I think I accomplished all three! 

I opted to stick with more “blending” for now!  Here is a very informative site on the benefits and how-to’s of blending, along with some great recipes.  Check out these blogs for some more creative “green smoothie” ideas…Green Diva Mom and Green Monster Movement. 

Here’s today’s “green monster”…flax meal, spinach, carrots, pineapple, orange, and strawberries with a little water and ice (I like my smoothies on the thicker side!).  I really liked this combination, but maybe next time I’ll try a bit of avocado to give it some creaminess.

DSCN2896 My goal is to blend up at least one, preferably two, “green monster” smoothies a day and alternate my greens (i.e. kale, spinach, etc…) and adding one other veggie in the mix.   While I had already been incorporating smoothies into my family’s diets, I was laying a bit more heavily on the fruits in order to make it more palatable for the princesses.  After tasting all the wonderful juices during the class, I now have an idea as to what fruits and veggies work well with one another.  Let the mixing begin!


And while I have come to love my salads over the years, I’m always looking for new ways to change things up a bit.  I’ll admit that I have those days where I just don’t want to see another piece of “leafy green” and yet I’m too lazy to think of something new and creative.  I found this “Chickpea Salad” on Oh She Glows and it reminded me of my grandmother’s egg salad, minus all the mayo and egg!  This salad can be served alone as a side dish or as the filling to a wrap or pita sandwich.  And it’s going to be my dinner tonight…served on a bed of red lettuce and spinach!

DSCN2887 I love all the fun colors and the longer it chills in the fridge, the better the ingredients meld together! 

DSCN2888Thanks to the pickles and celery this salad has a wonderful “crunch” to it!


Now that I’ve been talking all this healthy talk about veggies and fruits, I did promise a “sweet” recipe that I was working on last post.  It’s really not all that “bad” except for the fact that it’s hard to have just one bite and walk away!  WARNING: YOU WILL COME BACK FOR MORE!!

DSCN2905 Irresistible Chocolate Granola

(inspired by Saffron Crush and Oh She Glows)

Yields 6 cups


1 1/4 cup gluten free rolled oats

1 cup brown rice cereal

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup raw sliced almonds

1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

2 Tbsp chia seeds

2 Tbsp Sunflower butter

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

3 Tbsp raw honey

1 cup dark chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (oats, salt, nuts, seeds, and chocolate chips).

In a small saucepan, heat together the oil, maple syrup, Sunflower butter, and honey.  Stir well and add in the vanilla.

Add wet to dry and stir very well until oats are coated.  Spread onto baking sheet and bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes, flipped once halfway through (it will be very sticky).  Allow to cool on baking sheet for about 30 minutes before transferring to an airtight container (I like to store mine in the fridge to keep the chocolate firm).


Okay! That’s enough silly talk about food, now it’s time to eat!  I can hear dinner calling me from the fridge!



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