Watermelon Gazpacho

Note: this is still a work-in-progress but I simply had to share. The consistency needs to be a bit thicker but it is still amazingly refreshing.

Watermelon Gazpacho  

3 cups watermelon, chopped (white seeds are OK, toss the brown ones if they are in there)
1/2 cucumber (seeds removed)
4 mint leaves
1/3 cup basil
1/4 cup parsley
1 tsp shallot
Dash pepper
1 tbl olive oil
Splash lemon juice





Method:

Not much of one! Once you have prepped and washed everything above, place everything in a food processor and pulse, blend, viola.

Super easy. Super fresh. Super delicious.



I think next time I will add more cucumber and possibly another veggie to thicken it up. I still ate it with a spoon but you could drink it like a smoothie as well.

Stay tuned for the next version!

Enjoy ;)

Banana Hemp Smoothie

Believe it or not, I haven't eggs with my breakfast all week. I know. I know. But this smoothie is just too good...




Banana Hemp Smoothie

1 frozen banana
1/3 cup frozen blueberries
Handful of fresh spinach
1/4 coconut milk (the concentrated canned kind)
2 tbls hemp seeds


Method:

Throw all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse. Blend. Consume ;)




A Yummy Variation:

1 frozen banana
1 tsp cocoa powder (vs blueberries)
Handful of fresh spinach
1/4 coconut milk
2 tbls hemp seeds




From the looks of it, I didn't really have the patience to blend this one up very well...

Mmm... I'm thinkin' this one is good for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack or heck even dessert ;)

Sugar-Detox Variation: 

2 handfuls of fresh spinach
1 semi-frozen* green-tipped banana
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 cold coconut milk (from a can, full fat, organic)
2 tbls hulled hemp seeds 




Enjoy ;)

Sweet Guacamole Salsa

I lovvvvved this salad. Perfectly fresh, light and clean.

Mmm.




Sweet Guacamole Salsa

1 avocado, mashed
1/4 cucumber (or 1/2 cup), diced
1 white peach, mashed
1 tsp chopped onion of your choice (I used yellow)
3 fresh mint leaves, chopped

Method

Mix all of the ingredients together in a medium sized bowl, give it a healthy stir and that's about it!

Simple and simply delicious.

Enjoy ;)

Creamy Strawberry Smoothie

For as much as I love smoothies, I've been thinking I should probably add some more green to mine. And while avocado is technically a fruit, I feel like I'm adding some awesome nutrition to my smoothie if I put one in there AND I was trying to come up with something that didn't have banana since I had already had one in the morning.

Avocados also contain much less sugar - actually zero and a very small amount of carbs (3) while contributing a healthy dose of good fat. You can read more about the nutritional breakdown of the lovely avocado here.


OK, enough of that rambling.

Creamy Strawberry Smoothie:

1 avocado
2 handfuls of spinach
5 frozen strawberries
1/4 cold water
1 tbls coconut flakes
Splash of lemon juice




Method:

Not much of one :) Slice the avocado, add in the spinach and strawberries and blend. Then add in the water, coconut and lemon juice.


Yeah... apologies for the not so great photo as I put this right into a to-go mug. Although, I must tell you, I kept this in the fridge in a to-go mug and ate a few hours later and the green stayed green even with the avocado. I was  pleasantly surprised.

Enjoy ;)

Chopped Beet & Apple Salad on Butter Lettuce

I don't know if it's because spring is settling in or if summer is about to begin, but I have been in the mood for fruit and veggies lately. As in, that is all I've been craving. Salads, smoothies, raw fruits, raw veggies and maybe a touch of fresh herbs. Heavenly.

Anyway, this made for a fabulous light dinner. You can even pair with your favorite gluten free beverage ;)


Chopped Beet & Apple Salad on Butter Lettuce: 

1 can beets (can use fresh too of course - this was a last minute meal idea) 
1 apple (I used Pink Lady) 
~ 2 tbls crumbled walnuts
2 hard-boiled eggs 
4-6 butter lettuce leaves 
1 tbl honey
1 tbl lemon juice
1/2 tsp water
Pinch fresh parsley

Method: 

Chop the beets and apple and toss in a medium-size salad bowl. Add in walnuts and chopped hard boiled egg (boil water with a pinch of salt and splash of olive oil, add in the eggs and boil for 13 minutes. Either fridge for a couple of hours or place in cold water in the fridge to speed up the process). In a small dish, combine the honey, parsley, lemon and water. Pour the honey mixture over-top and stir well. Serve cold on the butter lettuce.



Serves ~ 2

I don't know why I don't eat butter lettuce more but I think I'm going to. It really is a different type of lettuce and has a bit of sweetness to it that other greens do not.

This salad can be adjusted in many ways. I think next time I may add some onion or cucumber. Mmm maybe both...

Enjoy ;)


Strawberry Banana Smoothie

YUMMY!

Lol. OK, I had to get that out as I am eating (drinking?) this right now. It's delicious! I've been having a hard time with consistency of smoothies lately and I think it's because I wasn't adding a banana because I eat a banana every morning right when I wake up before my workout so I didn't want to double up.

 Apologies for the poor photo, I apparently was in a hurry to have my smoothie :)



Note that the measurements aren't exact but pretty close.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie:

1 large banana
4-5 frozen strawberries
1/3 cup vanilla coconut ice cream (I use Coconut Bliss)
1 tsp dairy free cocoa powder
1/2 tbls coconut flakes
1/3 almond milk

Method:

Blend the banana, strawberries and ice cream together first then add in the rest of the ingredients. Blend thoroughly and viola!





This was divine after a nice long hike. Definitely hit the spot.

Love my Saturday hikes :)))


Enjoy (on the back patio in the sunnnnn ;)))

Strawberry and Pistachio Salad

Talk about a light satisfying lunch. This was simply heavenly.

I've been in the mood for salads lately. Give me some veggies and fruit with a bit of protein!!! Constantly craving veggies and fruit (a little too much on the fruit but I'm working on it ;)).

 This took a about two minutes of prep-time. So easy.

Strawberry and Pistachio Salad

Large handful of spinach (about 2 cups)
Small handful of baby carrots (about 8), shredded
3 strawberries, sliced
5-8 pistachios
1-2 tablespoons of Almond 'Cream Cheese'  (fantastic substitute for a feta feel!)


That's it my friends. Light, beautiful and yummy salad.

Enjoy (outside in the sun ;))

'Bunless' Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries

Ever just crave a burger and fries?

Don't think that just because you are gluten-free, paleo or simply wanting to eat healthy that you can't a burger and some fries.


I won't get to deep into the paleo/primal potato debate in this post but to make a long story short, potatoes don't require much if any processing and can be eaten in their natural state. That being said, they are still higher in carbohydrates with the sweet potato leading in the health department due to their abundance of of beta carotene (which is a great source of antioxidants and converts to Vitamin A in the body), they also have a lower glycemic index. So are they paleo? Most will tell you that white potatoes are not and to be conservative with the remaining root vegetables- not making them a primary part of your diet but that they are acceptable.

Anyway, as you can tell- I think sweet potatoes are just fine and can (and should) be eaten every so often.

Now, on with the cooking.

'Bunless' Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries:

Burgers:

2 lbs grass-fed lean ground beef
Dash of ground pepper
Dash of garlic sea salt
Dash of paprika
1 tbls hot sauce (of your choice)
1/4 cup of water (can use beer if you don't have a gluten sensitivity - or find a gluten-free beer)

Method for burgers:

Combine meat, seasoning and water in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Make the patties and place in the fridge for about 40 min so that they become firm. When you are ready to cook them- cook them using the method of your choice. We did stovetop but if I had a grill, I'd be using that :) Cook to your liking.



Makes ~ 5 patties.

Sweet Potato Fries:

3 sweet potatoes sliced into fries
1 tbls curry powder
1/2 tsp garlic salt
~ 2bls extra virgin olive oil

Method:

Bake at 375 for about 40 minutes on a baking sheet sans the seasoning and oil. After baking, toss around in the olive oil, curry powder and salt. Spread out back onto the baking sheet and broil on low for about 6-9 minutes (we did high for a few minutes too and ended burning a few pieces so keep on low!)

Sides & toppings: 

Sautéed mushrooms and onions: 
1/2 yellow onion thinly sliced 
~ 3 cups chopped baby portabella mushrooms
Dash of ground pepper
Dash of garlic sea salt
~ 3 tbls extra virgin olive oil 
~ 2 tbl water
1/8 tsp truffle oil 
Method: 

In a large skillet, combine everything together except for the truffle oil and saute until the juices start to excrete and the mushrooms and onions become soft. Truffle oil is very potent and should be used sparingly but it has a delicious flavor. Drizzle the truffle oil overtop and mix in just before you serve. 

We also had romaine, sliced tomatoes and avocado topped with a sunflower oil and garlic based aioli and horseradish mustard (no additives!). Yum!




Enjoy ;) 

Banana & Oats Smoothie

I actually had a hard time waiting to eat this... I made it in the morning and brought it to work for my lunch.

I simply adore my non-paleo cheat, oats. Yum.

This was sooo easy to prepare, extremely satisfying and quite delicious.

Banana & Oats Smoothie:

1 cup raw outs (gluten-free)
1 banana
Dash of cinnamon
Few dried cranberries
1 tsp honey
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk




Blend it all up and you have a nutrient packed smoothie whether its breakfast, lunch or dinner (though as a side note, my body does not like oats in the evening. They are difficult to digest so eating them in the morning or early afternoon is best... )















Enjoy ;)

-Sunshine Girl