Toddler Spinach Smoothie

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If you are looking for a way to get your toddler to eat spinach, here’s something that works for us! My son loves to eat peas, sweet potatoes, corn, roasted carrots, mini peppers, celery and edamame. However, I haven’t had much luck in the broccoli and spinach department, so I came up with this smoothie recipe and it was a hit!

Ingredients:
Banana
Spinach
Plain Greek yogurt (can omit if you are dairy-free)
Peanut butter (can also sub almond butter)
Almond milk (unsweetened)

Add a banana, handful of spinach, a large spoonful of Greek yogurt, a large spoonful of peanut butter, and unsweetened almond milk. Blend together until smooth and enjoy!  🙂

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Mini Apple Pear Pies

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I love eating pies, however, once a nice big pie is fresh out of the oven, the wholeness of it becomes destroyed by the slice of a knife. Therefore, sometimes I opt instead to make mini pies. They are super easy to make and you can experiment with various flavors, fillings and top crust designs all in one baking batch!

For this recipe, you will need a food processor, cupcake pan, rolling pin, knife (or pizza cutter), large saucepan, measuring cups and measuring spoons.

Pie crust:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup almond meal
1 cup unsalted butter (chilled and cubed)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup ice water
1 tsp. lemon juice (mixed into water)
toasted almonds (optional)

Filling:
One apple (finely diced)
One pear (finely diced)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tbsp. butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla bourbon
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 egg

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a food processor, pulse dry ingredients (flour, almond meal and salt). Manually pulse about 3-5 times until dry ingredients are blended together.
  • Slowly add in ice water, while pulsing an additional 5-7 times. The mixture will look crumbly, however, should stick together when formed into a ball.
  • Remove dough from food processor and form into a large ball on a clean surface.
  • Use a rolling pin to flatten out the dough.
  • Let dough set, while preparing the filling.
  • In a large saucepan, heat approximately 2 tablespoons of butter on medium heat.
  • Add diced apples and pears, stirring constantly, ensuring that the the fruit is being coated in butter.
  • Add brown sugar and white sugar.  Continue stirring.  Add more butter, if necessary in order to keep the fruit moist.
  • In a large bowl combine butter-coated fruit from saucepan.  Add cinnamon and vanilla bourbon.
  • Add cornstarch to create a thickened consistency.

Dicedapples

  • Focus your attention now back to the dough.
  • In a cupcake pan, grease each individual pan with butter. Evenly disperse and place mini balls of dough into each individual pan. Leave 1/4 of the dough behind for the non-lattice top crust.
  • Using your thumb and fingers, flatten each mini ball into the shape of a pie crust.

Minidough

  • Add pie filling to each mini pie.
  • With leftover dough, create lattice (or in my case, non-lattice) top crusts.  Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut out strips of dough. I accidentally ran out of dough, so I also used toasted almonds as a top crust alternative to a few of the pies.
  • Sprinkle some sugar on top of each pie then use an egg wash (aka a whisked egg) to seal each top crust.
  • Bake in the oven for approximately 20-30 minutes, or until the edges of each pie looks golden brown.

Nonlattice

  • Remove from heat and serve immediately with whip cream!  Or save and reheat for a later time.  🙂

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Spring Chicken Vegetable Soup (immune strengthening)

It’s one of the worst things to feel “under the weather” on a nice sunny, spring day. However, it’s important to listen to your body when the sniffles start to rise, which usually indicates that an adjustment is needed. Instead of dousing your system with over-the-counter medications that just mask symptoms and push them deeper inside, it’s important to take a look at what’s been happening in your life externally and internally (i.e. stress, non-healthy diet, over-worked, surrounded by others who are contagious, hygiene practices, etc.) that may indicate that restoration is needed. Here’s a simple cleansing recipe that will soothe, strengthen and warm your soul.

chxsoup

Ingredients:
boneless chicken thighs (chopped)
organic vegetable broth (low sodium)
carrots (diced)
celery (chopped)
red potatoes (diced)
shallots (minced)
garlic (minced)
olive oil
oregano
thyme
rosemary
cilantro
salt & pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot on medium heat.
  2. Saute minced garlic and shallots for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally (do not burn).
  3. Add chopped chicken breasts. Stir and coat in oil.
  4. Add oregano, thyme, rosemary and black pepper. Stir occasionally. Cover and let simmer on medium-low heat for approximately 7-10 minutes or until the chicken is browned (but not all the way cooked).
  5. Add diced potatoes and carrots. Increase heat to medium and stir for approximately 5 minutes.
  6. Finally, add chopped celery. Simmer for approximately 3-5 minutes.
  7. Add 1 quart of vegetable broth (I used the low sodium Pacific Organic brand).  I know this is not the authentic way to make chicken soup, but sometimes time is of the essence!
  8. Increase heat to medium-high/high to allow the soup to boil. Once the soup reaches boiling, reduce heat back down to simmer (medium/medium-low).
  9. Add salt to taste.
  10. Garnish with cilantro.
  11. Serve hot and let your system be cleansed and nourished!

Click here for another immune strengthening soup recipe.

Chicken Enchilasagna

Here’s a fun and tasty recipe that’s guaranteed to be a party-pleaser.  I guess you could call it a Mexican spin on an Italian classic.

Enchilasagna

Ingredients
boneless chicken breast (1 lb)
corn tortillas
three-cheese blend
roasted corn
black beans (1 can, drained)
red bell pepper (chopped)
tomato sauce (1 can)
white onion (chopped)
garlic (1 bulb)
chili powder
oregano
cumin
garlic powder
olive oil
vegetable oil
flour
brown sugar
salt
tortilla chips (optional for garnish)

The chicken..

  • In a large stock pot, heat approximately 1 tbsp. olive oil on medium heat.
  • Add garlic cloves and chopped white onions.
  • Add approximately 1 tbsp. of chili powder and oregano.
  • Slowly saute onions, garlic and spices together (stirring frequently).
  • Add boneless chicken, fully coating chicken with oil and spices. Lightly brown, then add 4 cups of water.
  • Cover and boil for 25-30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked thoroughly.
  • Remove chicken from broth and pull apart with two forks. Set aside.

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The enchilada sauce..

  • Heat approximately 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil on medium heat.
  • Add approximately 3 tbsp. of chili powder and 1 tbsp. each of cumin, garlic powder, and oregano.
  • Stir together to create the flavor base for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add one can of tomato sauce. Stir on low to medium heat.
  • Add 1 tbsp. of brown sugar and salt.
  • Add sprinkles of flour to create a smooth consistency.
  • You want the sauce to taste sweet with a hint of spice.
  • Keep stirring on low to medium heat (you don’t want the sauce to burn).

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The casserole…

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a 9 x 14 baking pan or casserole dish, coat bottom of pan with a layer of enchilada sauce.
  • Take the remaining sauce, and mix it with the pulled chicken in a large bowl. Make sure the chicken is fully coated with sauce.
  • Cut corn tortillas in half. Layer the halves on top of the sauce in pan.
  • Add one package of roasted corn, one can of black beans and a layer of chicken.
  • Add another layer of tortilla halves, enchilada sauce and chicken.
  • Add chopped red bell peppers and a layer of cheese (3 cheese grated blend).
  • Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes.
  • Let cool for 5-10 minutes, slice and serve! Also stores well for leftovers the next day.
  • Optional: garnish with tortilla chips around the border and call it good.

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Portobello Mushroom & Heirloom Tomato Lettuce Wrap

Gluten & Dairy Free

This week I went on a sporadic portobello mushroom kick. What a fantastic fungus.. so meaty and full of texture. Mushrooms are known for their cooling nature, reduces heat toxins and helps to bolster immunity. To celebrate the end of summer, I also wanted to get the most I could out of heirloom tomatoes, which are my favorite tomato. Heirlooms not only come in beautiful colors, shapes and sizes, they are packed with bursting juiciness. Tomatoes are also very cooling and helps to relieve dryness and thirst.

Here’s a really simple mid-day snack, side dish or light lunch for when you need to cool off on a hot late summer day.  I opted out on using a bunch of different seasonings because I wanted to let the pure flavor of the mushrooms and tomatoes shine through.

lettucewrap

Ingredients
portobello mushrooms
heirloom cherry tomatoes
white onion
romaine lettuce hearts
olive oil
salt & pepper
optional topping:  shredded goat cheese or aioli

Directions
Heat olive oil in pan.
Saute chopped white onions and chopped portobello mushrooms for approximately 5 minutes, tossing frequently.
Place mushroom, onions and olive oil on romaine lettuce hearts.
Top with chopped heirloom cherry tomatoes.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Dig in for a cool, refreshing bite!  🙂

How to make Cucumber Kimchi

Gluten & Dairy Free

Kimchi was a staple in my household growing up and though there are a bunch of different kinds, cucumber kimchi is one of my top favorites. Here’s a simple recipe… perfect and refreshing for a hot summer day!

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Ingredients:
english cucumber or small pickling cucumbers
green onion (chopped)
gochugaru (Korean red pepper)
minced garlic
rice vinegar
white sugar
sea salt

Directions

  • Cut off the ends of the cucumber, slice lengthwise into two halves, and cut into wedges (or moon-shapes).
  • Place in bowl and sprinkle approximately 2 tablespoons of sea salt.  Toss together.
  • Let sit overnight or for at least 4 hours.  This causes water to be drawn out of the cucumbers.
  • Add minced garlic, chopped green onions, and approximately 2 tablespoons of gochugaru (can add less or more depending on how spicy you want it).
  • Add approximately 1 teaspoon of rice vinegar and a sprinkle of white sugar.  Toss together with gloved hands. Can add more salt, sugar or gochugaru to taste.
  • Let cool in refrigerator for a few hours.
  • Serve cold with steamed rice and kim (roasted seaweed) or as banchan (Korean side dish) with your main entree.  Very crisp and refreshing on a hot summer day!