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Summer Sidekick

The twist to this gazpacho is to replace the olive oil with avocado. It’s my favorite thing to eat all summer! It tastes amazing even if it just looks okay :)  

3 large tomatoes
1 yellow bell pepper
1 cucumber
4 celery stalks
1 bunch green onions
1 small bunch cilantro
1 small bunch parsley
1 serrano or jalepeño pepper 
1 large avocado
3 cups Very Veggie juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons salt (or less)
½ teaspoon cayenne or black pepper

ALWAYS use organic when possible!!

Wash and chop all vegetables into large pieces and set aside.  Stir together juice, vinegar, salt + pepper and set aside.  Add a variety of veggies with the liquid mix and puree in food processor - just put in as much liquid as you need in order to get the veggies moving.  Otherwise don’t worry too much about the veggie to liquid ratio.  This makes a large batch which is why you have to do it in a few steps instead of mixing all at once.  Pour each batch into a large bowl.  Stir well and refrigerate for a few hours. I love this recipe; it’s a great one to experiment with.  Try it with a dollop of tzatziki :)

Balsamic Mushrooms with Kale

This was supposed to be a side and I almost ate the whole thing by myself!  In other news, I really need to stop using my phone to take pictures…

1 large purple onion sliced
1pound crimini mushrooms, quartered
1 bunch organic kale, washed, chopped and dry
1 cup good balsamic vinegar

Saute onions with a little olive oil in a large pan until golden.  Add mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes. Add balsamic and reduce until the consistency of honey. Add kale, cook until wilted. This dish is hard to overcook and you can always add more balsamic and reduce again for extra flavor. SO GOOD!!

Emerald City Salad

Gotta love the Emerald City!  This is my most favorite salad of all time (thanks PCC!).  Make a batch and eat it for days!  Dress ahead - it won’t wilt!

2.5 cups wild or black rice, prepared
1 bunch kale, chopped
1 bunch chard, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 fennel bulb, sliced thin
1 bunch green onion, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper to make dressing. Cook rice according to instructions, cool, and toss rice with dressing. Remove tough stems and ribs from greens and chop. Combine with peppers, fennel bulb and chopped green onion. Toss veggies with dressed rice. 

Quinoa 10 Ways

Ten ways to cook quinoa that you may not have thought about! 

Romesco Sauce

ingredients                                                                                                                  1/4 cup olive oil
1 1-inch thick slice of crusty bread, torn into pieces
1/2 cup blanched almonds, chopped or slivered (can substitute hazelnuts, peeled)
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 15-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
1 8-ounce jar of roasted red bell peppers, drained
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar

directions                                                                                                               Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, sauté bread and almonds, stirring often, until they just begin to brown. Add garlic and sauté another 1-2 minutes.

Place the contents of the sauté pan into a food processor with the remaining ingredients—salt, tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, smoked paprika, vinegar. Purée until smooth. Spread the sauce out on a rimmed sheet pan and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the edges begin to caramelize. Cool before serving.

Mini Greek Salad

My favorite party plate - so simple, so tasty!

cherry or grape tomotoes
english cucumber
kalamata olives
feta cheese

The key is to cut square cubes of feta so each bite will stand on it’s own.  I love finger food!

Vegetable Tian

This beautiful dish tastes even better than it looks! 

1 large sweet yellow onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 medium russet potatoes, unpeeled
1 zucchini
2 yellow squash
3 large roma tomatoes
Sea salt, fresh black pepper, to taste
Fresh thyme, to taste
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese

tip - buy potatoes, zukes, squash, & toms with the same circumference.

directions                                                                                                              Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat baking dish with cooking spray. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Saute onions until translucent. Add garlic and cook for one to two minutes. Spread onion mixture on the bottom of the baking dish.  Slice the potatoes, zucchini, squash and tomatoes in 1/4 inch thick slices. Layer them alternately in the dish on top of the onions. Season with sea salt, black pepper and thyme, to taste. Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil over the top.  Cover the dish with tin foil and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top and bake for another 10 - 15 minutes.

Macho Gazpacho


I keep this in the fridge all summer long.  So refreshing & healthy - you can’t get any more vitamins in here!  Best snack ever! 

3 large tomatoes
1 yellow bell pepper
1 cucumber
4 celery stalks
1 bunch green onions
1 small bunch cilantro
1 small bunch parsley
1 serrano or jalepeño pepper 

 ALWAYS use organic when possible!!

Finely dice or use a food processor (much faster!) to puree* all ingredients.  (*if you puree your veggies add some of the liquid mixture below). Combine vegetables in a bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl mix:
4 cups Very Veggie juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil (or puree an avocado into the juice!)
2 teaspoons salt (or less)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (sub cayenne if you’re feeling spicy!)

Stir well and combine with vegetables. Refrigerate for a few hours. I love this recipe; it’s a great one to experiment with.  I like mine with a dollop of tzatziki :)

TIPS:  Experiment with all your favorite veggies! Try making a green gazpacho.  Add tofu noodles for added protein.  There are so many things you can do with this!

Quinoa Risotto with White Beans, Arugula + Parm

This came straight from my Healthiest Meals on Earth cookbook. For once I actually followed a recipe to a tee.  I really couldn’t see any way to improve upon this amazing dish!  ENJOY!

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup quinoa (soak in water for 30 min & drain)
3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1/4 to 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 can organic great northern beans, drained & rinsed
1 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 carrot, finely grated
2 1/2 cups arugula, stemmed & chopped
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

In a large sauce pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and quinoa, cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add broth, increase heat to high, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low until quinoa is tender, about 12 minutes.

While mixture is cooking, toast pine nuts in a dry frying pan over medium heat, 3 - 4 minutes (do not overcook: browning = bitter).

At 12 minutes, stir into quinoa: beans, mushrooms, carrot, arugula, and simmer until the quinoa grains have turned from white to translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in cheese, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle pine nuts over the top. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

calories: 409,  fat: 12.5g,  fiber: 12g,  protein: 13g    

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