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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Zucchini Hummus

Zucchini Hummus

I have made many different types of hummus but on the cleanse I just did (recap to come later this week), we had to eliminate all night shades so I had to say bye bye to my babaganoush, which is one of my very favorites!

There were also food combining rules I had to abide by so I was excited to find a hummus that did not include beans or eggplant. My daily salads are just not complete without a nice dallop of hummus on top :).

This recipe came from The Conscious Cleanse recipe book and along with my parsnip chips, it really helped me get through the cleanse. The chips are even great to dip in the hummus! For those with a bean aversion, fear no more, this zucchini hummus tastes just like the real stuff. And while calories are not a focus here at FLB, given that you replace the beans that are found in a traditional hummus with a veggie, this is a lot lower in calories so you can feel free to snack away.

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

Zucchini Hummus
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Serves: 3 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 medium zucchini, roughly chopped
  • ¬ĺ cup tahini
  • ¬Ĺ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¬ľ cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1¬Ĺ tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp cumin
  • ¬ľ tsp cayenne pepper (can omit if you don’t like spicy)
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Good for up to a week refrigerated.

 

My Tested and Approved Green Smoothie

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As many of you know, I am a juicer. I love to juice every morning and when I am traveling or away from home, I definitely miss my green juice. Green smoothie’s seem to be a bit easier to find while traveling (although you usually have to modify quite a bit!) so I decided to give them a shot at home and have my green juice as an afternoon snack. I’m actually pleasantly surprised with how much I have come to enjoy the morning smoothie and how satisfying it is. I usually eat something alongside my morning juice but just the smoothie seems to keep me going all morning long…. 

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Breakfast Break: Top FLB Breakfast Foods

Breakfast is one of my favorite parts of the day, especially when I get to enjoy it slowly. I always begin my day with a homemade green juice but  generally want a little something in addition to that. Here is a list of my favorite FLB breakfast dishes, some a little on the sweeter side (but still healthy of course) and others a little more savory. Click on the links below the pictures to get directed to the recipe!

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Green Juice

Raw Veggie Taco

Open Faced Veggie Taco… 

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Roasted Baby Artichokes

Roasted Baby ArtichokesI got some feedback from a friend and colleague of mine that my Stuffed Artichokes¬†didn’t work for her…I got to the bottom of it and realized it is important that you used homemade breadcrumbs. Also, you ¬†should be able to stick a knife easily through and the outer leaves should be almost falling off (as you should have removed the firm outer leaves prior to cooking). I have made the update but just wanted you all to know that all feedback is welcome.

Anyway, if that all sounds like too much for you, this is a much simpler and easier way to cook artichokes but you’ve got to use those adorable little ones that are all over the place right now. These are delicious and crispy and remind me almost of artichoke chips, yum!!!!

Roasted Baby Artichokes
 
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Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • 9 baby artichokes (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 lemons, cut in half
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons good-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • ¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (omit for vegan version)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Prepare artichokes. Cut stem and remove the tough outer leaves of the artichokes (until it starts to look a lighter green). Cut off the top third of the head to remove the tough ends of the leaves, then split it down the middle. Rub with lemon as you work so they don’t turn brown.
  3. Mix together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and garlic. Lay the artichoke halves cut-side up in a roasting dish and drizzle or brush with the olive oil mixture. Roast in the oven until the artichokes are tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Top with the cheese and garnish with the parsley.

Serving Suggestion: Throw in some sweet potatoes and roast together for double yum!

Photo Credit: My Man’s Belly

 

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.)

Stuffed Artichokes

Stuffed ArtichokesI have shared recipes and/or inspirations from this Classy Broad before but this simple dish is worth yet another shout out. She hosted our monthly Supper Club last week – this is where four of us get together once a month to experiment with our cooking and entertaining skills. We generally have a key ingredient or a theme of sorts and I just loved Alli’s answer when she told us how she came up with her menu. She said she was at the farmers market and everything just looked so good and fresh that instead of having an idea and shopping for the ingredients, she bought what looked good and then looked for recipes around that. Talk about seasonal cooking, I just love it! This was our main course (we always do somewhere between 4-5 courses to really make it classy!) and¬†let’s just say I was shocked when I heard how few ingredients were in this – it definitely tasted like it should have been a bit more naughty than it actually is. ¬†My mouth is watering as I post this….

Stuffed Artichokes
 
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 large, full-size artichokes
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1½ cups home made bread crumbs – may not need to use them all depending on your preference
  • 1 cup grated pecorino – can use a dairy free cheese as a vegan option
  • ⅓ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 5 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Using a serrated knife, cut off artichoke stems to create a flat bottom. Cut top thirds off artichokes, pull off tough outermost leaves, and trim tips of leaves with kitchen shears. Rub cut parts with lemon halves. Open artichoke leaves with your thumbs to make room for stuffing; set aside.
  2. Heat oven to 425¬į. In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, ¾ cup pecorino, parsley, salt, pepper, and garlic. Working with one artichoke at a time over bowl, sprinkle one-quarter of bread crumb mixture over the artichoke and work it in between leaves. Transfer stuffed artichoke to a shallow baking dish. Drizzle each artichoke with 1 tbsp. oil. Pour in boiling water to a depth of 1″. Rub 1 tbsp. olive oil on a sheet of aluminum foil, cover artichokes with foil (oiled side down), and secure foil tightly around dish with kitchen twine.
  3. Bake until a knife easily slides into the base of an artichoke, about 45 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle tops with remaining cheese, and switch oven to broil. Broil until tops of artichokes are golden brown, about 3 minutes.

Serving Suggestion: Throw any finely chopped veggies of your choice in the stuffing mixture to add an extra punch!

The recipe and photo are courtesy of Saveur.

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.

Brussels Sprout Salad with Avocado and Pumpkin Seeds

Brussels Spout Salad with Avocado and Pumpkin Seeds

It seems that every fall, I find a new Brussels Sprout Salad to share with you (which is amazing because at one point, I could not even fathom the thought of eating raw brussels sprouts). First came the Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad with Walnuts and Manchego, next came the Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad and now here is a new way to do Brussels in a salad. This recipe is completely dairy free but you could feel free to sprinkle with any cheese of your choice. This is a great side to your Thanksgiving meal so go forth and conquer!

Brussels Sprout Salad with Avocado and Pumpkin Seeds
 
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Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1½ Tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb brussels sprouts, trimmed, leaves separated
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 1 avocado, sliced
Instructions
  1. Whisk lemon zest and juice and mustard in a small bowl. Gradually add oil, whisking to emulsify, and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Toss dressing with brussels sprout leaves and pumpkin seeds. Gently stir in avocado and adjust seasoning.

Photo Credit: WholeLiving.com