One Step Chilled Avocado Cucumber Soup

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The weather has been so nice out lately and a green healthy chilled soup was exactly what I needed to finish off the weekend! This recipe is incredibly easy and is the perfect amount of cool, fresh and crisp. It’s a nice way to end a warm day (or start the day!)…It even becomes a nice healthy portable lunch if you put it in a mason jar and top with some nuts & beans. So basically you can have breakfast, lunch or dinner in 5 minutes, really?!… 

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Costa Rican Inspired Cabbage Cups

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I was so excited to head to the farmer’s market last Sunday! With the holidays and our trip to Costa Rica, it has been a long time since I was there and I couldn’t wait to see what was fresh and new. I always go to the farmer’s market looking to get my veggies to roast for the week but I generally also go knowing that lunch is on the horizon so I look for inspiration from what is available to create a new meal. I’ve made recipes like my Pea Salad and Green Panzanella this way.

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Gluten Free Avocado “Toast”

Gluten Free Avocado Toast

This is one of my favorite go-to breakfast or snack items. I love avocado on regular toast but given that I don’t always have fresh bread in the house, this are a nice way to still get the same great taste – and they are gluten free for those out there with an intolerance! Whoever thinks they don’t have time to eat breakfast hasn’t tried this yet!!!

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7 Vegetarian Dinners in 30 Minutes or Less!

When I posted Five 20 minute meals, I got a lot of great feedback because many people get home from work late and just don’t have time to spend hours cooking a meal… but just because you are busy or work late doesn’t mean you can’t end the day with healthful wholesome meals. So here is a week’s worth of meals you can make in 30 minutes or less :). And the good news is you’ll probably have left overs to take with you for lunch!

1. Delicata Squash and Tofu Curry

Delicata Squash and Tofu Curry

2. Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad… 

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Dip In: My Favorite Dips, Sauces and Spreads

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Below I have created a list (and links) to my favorite dips, sauces and spreads. So go ahead, dip in and enhance your meals with these simple recipes. The best news of all… every single one of these recipes is vegan and gluten free for those who have any dietary restrictions!

1. Pesto. My husband and I are obsessed with pesto. It is not an exaggeration when I say that we put it on everything! Bread, eggs, sauteed veggies, pasta, salad dressings, pizza, etc. I usually just whip up some of this homemade pesto once a week and let it sit in the fridge for us to find the lucky item to put it on. It is oh-so good and fresh.

Pesto

2. Hummus. I put pesto on pretty much everything and I put hummus on almost everything. I love to add a heaping spoonful to a salad, use as a spread for a sandwich and of course have with veggies or crackers when I need an afternoon pick me up.

Hummus… 

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Mango & Avocado Salad

Mango & Avocado Salad

This salad brings me right back to a warm sandy Hawaiian beach – and who doesn’t love a trip (whether a real one or a mental one) to those lovely islands?! That kind of trip is especially needed right now as SF ‘summer’ has been in full effect the past few weeks… I’ll continue dreaming of warm summer nights but if you need some tips on cutting a mango, take a moment to learn about it here. Enjoy this refreshing summer treat! Note: It is great to sub in Fuyu persimmons when mangos are not in season!… 

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Top 7 Summer Salads

As we move from Spring towards Summer, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite Summer salads. These are a perfect starter or a side dish for those hot summer nights. Click on the link below the photo to take you to the recipe.

Corn, Cherry Tomato and Asparagus Salad

Corn, Cherry Tomato and Asparagus Salad

Grapefruit and Avocado Salad

Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

Tabbouleh (cracked wheat salad)

Arugula Salad with Peaches

Arugula Salad with Peaches and Goat Cheese

Quinoa Salad

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Watermelon with Feta and Mint

Watermelon with Feta and Mint

Caesar Dressing

Homemade Caesar

Sugar Snap and Garden Pea Salad

Sugar Snap and Garden Pea Salad

I hope you cannot overdose on peas because I have literally been making this non stop! I went to the farmer’s market the other weekend and there were fresh snap peas, fresh peas, fresh kale and fresh arugula…so obviously, I went to town :). My friend Alli had made a rendition of this at our Supper Club but I modified it to make it my own. It is a light, crisp goodness of greens. Be sure to check out my new site The Simple Kitchen. Oh and don’t forget you can find the guide to making lemon vinaigrette here

Sugar Snap and Garden Pea Salad
 
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Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 cups snap peas
  • 2 cups garden peas
  • 5 cups arugula
  • 2 cups kale, stems removed
  • ½ cup mint leaves, chopped – can do more depending on your taste
  • 1½ -2 avocados, cubed
  • ¼ cup lemon vinagrette
  • Pepitas and coarse sea salt for garnish
Instructions
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath.
  2. Wash the sugar snap peas and de-string them if necessary, snapping the tip and removing the fibrous strand running lengthwise. If the snap peas are young, you won’t have to do this. Drop the sugar snap peas into the pot of boiling water. Cook for 2 minutes, then strain out and drop them into an ice bath. Once cooled, strain.
  3. Combine arugula, kale and mint to a serving bowl.
  4. Add peas, avocado and dressing and mix well.
  5. Top with pepitas, salt and any additional toppings (chopped cherry tomatoes, grated cheese, etc.)

Tofu Lime Ceviche

Tofu CevicheThe weather here is SF has just been fabulous lately and there is nothing more refreshing that a crisp cool meal or snack when the weather is nice. I loved this idea of a vegetarian ceviche when I saw this recipe on the Whole Foods website and I have recently started to get avocados and tomatoes in my CSA box, so I thought it was the perfect time to try it out… and this will be a great addition to your cinco de mayo menu (don’t forget to serve with some yummy Guacamole as well). I love the fresh flavor combo’s of the avocado, lime, cilantro, coconut and ginger.

Tofu Lime Ceviche
 
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds firm or extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium avocado, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Pat tofu dry with paper towels, then transfer to a bowl and toss gently with Worcestershire sauce. Spread tofu out evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake, turning once, for 30 minutes. Set aside to let cool to room temperature.
  2. Put tomatoes, lime juice, cilantro, jalapeño, salt, onions, avocado, ginger, garlic and coconut milk into a large bowl. Add tofu and toss gently. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight, before serving. *If marinating for a long time or overnight, you can add avocado in prior to serving in order to avoid browning.

Photo Credit: Whole Foods

Crazy Sexy Kale Salad + a little extra!

Kale and Sprout Salad

For those of you who are not familiar with Kris Carr, you should become familiar…quickly. Her story is incredible! She was diagnosed with a very rare and incurable form of stage 4 cancer which encouraged her to make a total lifestyle upgrade inside and out. She focuses on a nutrient dense, plant-based diet and her books (and now her recipes) are so much fun. Her cookbook came out not too long ago so it’s no surprise that my girlfriends thought it would be the perfect hostess gift for me – thanks ladies of WC! The reason I like this kale salad so much (other than the fact that I am obsessed with kale) is that it uses avocado to give it such a great texture. It a modified version of her salad in the book and is oh so yummy (and super easy to modify to make your own)!

For new and improved recipes, please visit my new site The Simple Kitchen!

Crazy Sexy Kale Salad + a little extra!
 
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Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of kale, shredded by hand (I prefer dino)
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • 1½ avocados, pit removed and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp flax oil
  • 1½ Tbsp lemon juice (fresh is best!)
  • 1 cup diced bell peppers (I prefer orange, yellow or red over green)
  • 1 cup pea shoots, chopped in half
  • 2 cups of sunflower sprouts, chopped in half
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Cucumber, sliced (for serving, see picture)
  • 2 Tbsp pepitas
Instructions
  1. Combine kale, parsley, avocados, flax oil and lemon juice in a bowl. Massage and mix with hands to wilt the kale and cream the avocado.
  2. Add the bell pepper, pea shoots, sunflower sprouts and salt and mix to combine.
  3. Serve on a plate and wrap with cucumber slice.
  4. Top with pepitas.