appetizer

#meatlessmonday

bb soup

I can eat soup ANYTIME. But I am especially thrilled that the real soup season is upon us! I love having my dutch oven working away as it simmers my favorite veggies, soothing broth and healing herbs. Crockpot more your thing? That works too. I am excited to try to use my crockpot more this fall and winter. I would love to hear your favorite crockpot recipes!

Forgive the not so appetizing picture…photography isn’t my strong suit. I PROMISE, it tastes better than it looks!

bb soup edited

I was looking for a recipe I could make for dinner tonight but also freeze some for leftovers later. I found this Vegan Black Bean Soup recipe on Cookie & Kate and ran to the store to get what I needed. It comes together in no time which is essential for me. The only thing I did differently was I blended ALL of mine in the Vitamix at the end. I just prefer the creamier texture but you do what you want. I topped mine with Fage full fat Greek yogurt and cilantro.  It would be fabulous served alongside spicy margaritas and cool guacamole, #justsayin.

Enjoy!

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One Can of Organic Pumpkin…

pumpkin

 

Ahhhhhhhh, Fall is in the air (finally)! It’s my favorite season for so many reasons…sweaters, boots, pumpkins piling up on my front porch, chili in the crockpot, football games, cooler temperatures…

Even though you can get organic, canned pumpkin year around, it just sort of makes sense this time of year. It’s such a versatile, healthy, clean ingredient that is easy to come by, easy to use, and delish.

If you need more convincing, check out this article on one of my favorite sites Mind Body Green and you’ll learn pumpkin is packed with Vitamin C and fiber, carotids to help prevent aging (yeah!), magnesium, potassium, zinc…and so much more!

Instead of listing some of my favorite ways to use pumpkin (one is right here if you want to check it out), I decided to share some awesome links that give you HUNDREDS of uses for this orange nutritional powerhouse.  Enjoy!

1. Huffington Post tells you all the things you can do with one can of pumpkin

2. Greatist shares a variety of uses for pumpkin, including a cocktail (#winning)

3. Prevention gives some really different recipes such as pumpkin hummus, you know I will be trying this

pumpkin hummus
Photo credit: Prevention

4. Eating Well wants you to make a pumpkin burger, among many other options!

5. I LOVE Chocolate Covered Katie and can’t wait to try her Pumpkin Spice Latte

xo,

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Simple DELICIOUS Summer Side Dish

So simple in fact, you don’t need a recipe.

And just in time for your July 4th weekend festivities!

Who doesn’t love a caprese salad?  Am I right?  Super ripe, sweet, LOCAL summer tomatoes with slices of salty mozzarella and ribbons of crisp, fresh basil.  Splash on some good olive oil, maybe some balsamic and BOOM.

I LOVE THIS.

But when serving a crowd (which I do more in the summer when everyone can spread out outside) I like to serve up a chopped caprese with a twist. I add bread to put a little panzanella spin on the salad and spinach so it packs even more of a nutritional punch. Pine nuts give added crunch and texture-which to me is what takes a salad from boring to bright and something people will go back for seconds and thirds!

There is no need to measure, just add what you like in whatever amount. Here’s what you need:

  • Local cherry tomatoes, the more color variation the better. Slice in half.
  • Fresh buffalo mozzarella or burrata cheese. I will be using creamy burrata because it is INSANE. Tear into bitesize pieces.
  • Basil leaves. Either tear into pieces or slice into ribbons.
  • Organic spinach. Same as with the basil, tear or slice for easy eating.
  • Toasted pine nuts or any sort of nut you like.
  • Local, fresh bread from Lorraine’s if you live in Lynchburg or any other clean, whole wheat bread torn into bitesize pieces. Toss with olive oil and toast until lightly browned in the oven.

Put all of your ingredients into a large bowl and drizzle with GOOD, fruity olive oil and a little balsamic if you like. Dash generously with salt and pepper and serve immediately!

Voila!

Happy holiday weekend y’all!

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More Pantry Staples

Is everyone’s biggest complaint, while gazing into a packed fridge and pantry, “I have nothing to eat” or is it just me?  I may have just returned from the grocery store, decide there is nothing to eat and promptly order take out. Whaaaat?  No!  We can do better than that guys! I have found that by keeping these few items in my pantry, I can quickly whip something up that’s healthy and delicious. I just have to do it!

Avocados– I know, I know.  I scream the avocado benefits from the rooftops but eat one a day and you notice a difference in your skin and hair, you feel fuller faster, and not to mention they are SO GOOD!  Eat it plain with sea salt, throw in some organic salsa to make a fast guacamole, mash into avocado toast or mix half an avo with half a sweet potato for a double super food punch.

 

 

Sweet Potatoes– Speaking of…my husband got me on a sweet potato kick.  They are so good and easy to use.  Throw them in the oven and bake a few at a time so you can eat them throughout the week. Cut them into strips and make crispy baked oven fries (our favorite). Slice them thin and use them for Sweet Potato Toast!

 

 

Brown Rice PastaThis is my personal favorite pasta to use.  I order it on amazon.  It’s organic, wheat free, gluten free and the perfect white pasta swap.  Sometimes I just top it with EVOO, parmesan and crushed red pepper.  During the hot summer months I use fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and ripped basil. Use your favorite, no sugar added jarred sauce if you prefer. Nearly instant gratification.

 

Dave’s Killer Bread Thin Sliced– Y’all.  You know it’s a win if my husband is requesting more loaves. This bread has it all.  It’s good for you, it tastes SO fantastic toasted or not, and the toppings are endless.  We love crunchy Barney Butter on top of ours.  Local, organic jam. Local honey. Avocado. Poached egg. Grass fed butter.  WHATEVER.

 

Beans– Ok I know this doesn’t sound very glamorous.  But we actually eat a lot of beans for a number of reasons.  They are quick, tasty, and and can stay in the pantry until you’re ready to use them.  I take a can of white northern beans and simmer on low with a chopped garlic glove, EVOO and a sprig of rosemary.  It isn’t fancy but it is a tasty side dish served alongside anything.  Grind a can in your Vitamix and make a white bean puree or white bean hummus.  Add them to soups and stews.  Black beans are perfect to mash and make a puree for tacos, toss with corn and cilantro for a quick side, or throw in to some chicken stock with veggies and make an easy black bean soup.

Super simple (you know me!) but keeping your pantry stocked with a few of these essentials means a healthy, quick meal is only minutes away.  What am I missing?  What else do you keep stocked?

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