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St. Patty’s Day Smoothie

St. Patty's Day Smoothie

Wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day was a necessity in my family; I still remember showing off my green socks to prevent a pinch from my older brother. One year my mom treated us to a rare visit to McDonald’s for a green “Shamrock Shake.” I was in heaven.

In my early twenties, I painted my nails green, decked myself in green beads and drank the obligatory green beer. I made shamrock shaped sugar cookies and cupcakes frosted with green icing for coworkers. As I’ve gotten older and more focused on health, the treats have been upgraded but my St. Patty’s Day spirit remains.

While sugary treats for each and every holiday is the norm, don’t go candy crazy.  A sugar binge will only shoot your energy sky-high, then bring you crashing down. Instead snack on something that is naturally sweet, provides lasting energy (enough to get you through the afternoon slump) and feeds your beautiful body the nutrients it needs to look and feel its best.

Try my St. Patty’s Day Smoothie!

This smoothie is rich with potassium, vitamin C, iron and fiber. Most importantly, it tastes fantastic! (It may also be the perfect opportunity to get your kiddos to eat their spinach). I hope you’ll join me in making this St. Patty’s day green and healthy. Enjoy!

 

St. Patty’s Day Smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: smoothie, dessert
Cuisine: clean, healthy
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 1
 

If you like mint, you’ll like this smoothie. To freeze banana, peel, slice then put into a container to freeze.
Ingredients
  • 8 oz. almond milk
  • 1 handful baby spinach
  • 2 dates, soaked in warm water (discard water after soaking)
  • ¼ tsp. peppermint extract
  • ⅛ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 small banana, frozen
  • ½ of an avocado
  • Optional: 2 tsp. ground flax or chia seeds

Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend well. Depending on the power of your blender, you may have to blend for awhile to break up the dates.
  2. Note: for children, you may want to add a little natural sweetener like pure maple syrup or agave.

 

 

Lucky Lentil Soup

I’m feeling lucky today, how about you?

In some cultures, lentils are seen as little seeds of good fortune and I decided I could use a little good luck sprinkled into my meals from time to time.

This soup is a delicious way to do it. Did I mention it’s incredibly simple, too?

 

Lucky Lentil Soup

Classic winter comfort food– rich and hearty. This clean + healthy recipe serves 4-6 and freezes well.

Lucky Lentil Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Clean eating comfort food
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4-6
 

Ingredients
  • 1 TBL olive oil
  • 2 medium sized onions, chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced (use leaves, too!)
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 cup dried brown lentils, rinsed
  • 1 28 oz can/box/jar of diced tomato
  • 5 cups of stock or broth (you can use water if you don’t have the stock. Just add a little more seasoning)
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A few handfuls of baby spinach
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Saute onion for about 3 minutes.
  2. Add carrots and celery. Saute for about 8 minutes.
  3. Deglaze pan with the wine (just pour in wine and scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon)
  4. Add tomatoes, lentils, liquid (either stock or water), marjoram and bay leaves.
  5. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat and simmer for about 45 minutes.
  6. In your serving bowl, add a handful of baby spinach and pour soup over top. This will wilt the spinach.
  7. Optional: top a squeeze of lemon and parmesan cheese (optional)

 

Add your spinach to the bowl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add the soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top with parm, if you’d like

Mom’s Split Pea Soup

The weather outside is frightful and this soup is so delightful!

I’m sitting in my living room, feet on the fireplace hearth, getting ready to dig into this hearty bowl of pea soup. When I became a vegetarian at 15, my mom was amazing. She stepped up her vegetarian cooking skills, dug through her recipe books and gabbed ideas with girlfriends until she had some core recipes under her belt.

This is one of them.

Clean Eating Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While it’s extremely easy to make, it’s not a quickie soup, so make this on the weekend. It makes a big pot– put a few servings in the freezer for those windy and rainy March days ahead.

Mom’s Split Pea Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: soup
Cuisine: clean eating comfort food
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 6-8
 

Hearty and comforting, this soup reminds me of home. It’s not a smooth pea soup, though you can easily make it so by blending half of it.
Ingredients
  • 1 TBL olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped (use the celery leaves if you have ‘em)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 bag (16 oz) dried split peas, rinsed
  • 3-5 potatoes, diced (more potato = more hearty)
  • 8 cups of water
  • 1 TBL Italian seasoning herb blend
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.
  2. Saute onion for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add carrot and celery. Season with a little salt. Saute until softened, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 minute.
  4. Add dried peas, potato, water, italian seasoning, basil and bay leaves.
  5. Bring soup to a boil and then turn down to simmer. Simmer for about 1 hour.
  6. Continue to cook soup until peas are very soft, about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  7. Add 1 tsp of salt and a dash of cayenne.
  8. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper
  9. Remove bay leaves before serving

 

Sweets for your sweetie

Happy almost Valentine’s Day!

Ok. Confession time– my husband and I have never really celebrated Valentine’s Day! Why?

“It’s a holiday created by candy companies.” 

I said that a lot over the years and it just kind of stuck. I think Dan was just as happy to not have to dream up some gift, dinner reservation, etc.

This year, I’ve changed my tune.

I’ve realized that anytime we get a chance to express love, en masse, it’s a good thing. So, I’ll make a fancy dinner (haven’t decided what to make, though) and of course, we have to have chocolates.

But, you know me– I can’t just go out and buy a bag of chocolates (nothing says I love you like TBHQ, artificial flavors, hydrogenated oil and high fructose corn syrup, right?) when chocolate bark is so easy to make.

Join me this year and skip the crap; give your lover the real thing. Choose a treat that fuel the body… and increases sex drive!

Valentine’s Day Chocolates

  • 1 bar of high quality dark chocolate
  • 2 TBL fresh pomegranate seeds (an aphrodisiac & beneficial for the heart– hey, hey)

Melt chocolate in the microwave or over a double boiler, taking care not to burn it.

You can either mix in the pomegranate seeds or sprinkle them on top of the chocolate once it’s spread out. It looks prettier when it’s sprinkled, but I think it tastes better when it’s mixed in.

Grab some parchment paper and lay it out on a cookie sheet. You can either spread the chocolate on the parchment (not too thin), drop into teaspoon sized globs or spread into a heart-shaped cookie cutter. Let cool in the freezer. Chocolates will keep for about 3 days stored in the refrigerator.

Make them! And let me know how it goes :)

 

Power snacks for afternoon energy

Snacks are an essential part of a healthy diet…

But, you have to eat the right snack.

Look, I know you’re probably not eating ho-ho’s everyday, but “healthier” snacks like goldfish, cheeze-its, pretzels or tortilla chips are messing with your diet. It doesn’t matter how many you eat– you’ll still be hungry.

These type of snacks clutter up your diet like too-small clothes clutter your closet. They keep your body from looking its best (just like that pair of jeans that fit two years ago, but now causes muffin top) and there is no nutritional value.

The purpose of a snack, or small meal, is to add value to your diet. Use snacks to increase veggie servings or to add a little more protein to your meal plan. Choose snacks that fit your specific health goals.

Here are a few Power Snacks that will bring you energy, not weigh you down.

1. Power Balls: funny name, tasty snack. Kids will love these because they taste sweet but there’s no added sugar here. You’ll love them because they’re easy to make and keep well in the refrigerator. (you can find the recipe for power balls in my FREE guide: Reclaim Your Energy. Click here to grab yours)

Veggie soup is a great snack  2. Soup: a broth-based soup is a fantastic snack. It’s hydrating and loaded with nutrients and fiber. (Try this easy pantry soup)

 3. Trail Mix: homemade trail mix is a great substitute for one of those clutter snacks. I love to mix almonds, walnuts, coconut pieces, dried fruit and pumpkin seeds. Make a big batch and store in the fridge. If you have kids who snack exclusively on clutter, then try making a trail mix out of their favorite clutter snack. For example, try mixing goldfish, raisins and peanuts for a great transition snack with a little protein.

4. Veggies and bean-dip: prepare a variety of veggies at the beginning of the week (like cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, sugar snap peas) and whip up some hummus or white bean dip and portion into individual servings.

5. Smoothie or Green Juice: a fast way to get some real nutrients

6. Fruit and nuts: Grab a piece of fruit like an apple, pear, banana or orange. Grab a handful of nuts or seeds. Easiest. Snack. Ever.

Snack healthy!

Got a favorite healthy snack? Share it in the comments below! 

 

 

 


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