Lox and Schmear

   This version of “lox and schmear” has turned out to be one of my kids’ favorite snacks. Whenever I grill up salmon, I always make sure to have leftovers for two reasons: #1 – Because I’ll eat more the next day and #2 – It will become a super simple and healthy afternoon snack for my kids. The “recipe” is as follows:

  • I use Real Foods Organic Corn Thins as the base instead of a bagel so it’s not an overload of carbs.

  • We spread on a layer of organic cream cheese (I use reduced fat).

  • We top each one with large flakes of grilled salmon.

    Now that summer is here, this will actually become a lunch for them especially once it is accompanied by fresh fruits and veggies- the best way to get the RIGHT carbs!

Other easy snacks/lunches you may like:

Roasted and Seasoned Crunchy Chickpeas

 

Roasted and Seasoned Crunchy Chickpeas 

I have been adding these to my salads or just grabbing a small handful for a light snack. I LOVE the crunchiness of them, and you can take the liberty of seasoning them in some many ways. I’m hoping to try them with my Mexican spices and Indian spices next. You can adjust the amount of chickpeas depending on how much flavor you want them to have.

Chex Mix Spiced Chickpeas

  • 2-3 cups cooked chickpeas

  • 1 1/2 t seasoned salt

  • 1/2 t garlic powder

  • 1/2 t onion powder

  • 1 t Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 t olive oil

Once cooked, drain and pat the chick peas until they are dry. (This is a very important step in order to get them crunchy.) Line a cookie sheet with foil. (fold up sides of foil if you are not using a flat/no side pan so those guys don’t roll off!). Mix seasonings, worcestershire sauce and oil in a mixing bowl. Place chickpeas into the bowl and stir until well coated. Pour them onto cookie sheet and bake 45 min in a 400 degree oven. Flip them about have way through. Allow to cool completely once they are done. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Italian Chickpeas

  • 2-3 cups chickpeas

  • 1 t dried basil

  • 1 t dried oregano

  • 1 t dried parsley

  • 1 t nutritional yeast

  • 1/2 t garlic powder

  • 1/4 t onion powder

  • S & P to taste

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

Follow the same baking directions above.

Our “NYC Rooftop” Garden

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The other day while we were at Lowe’s, Joel decided he wanted to plant watermelon and cantaloupe seeds. While it is a little late to be planting, how could I say no to him? He was desiring to do that which I love which goes hand-in-hand with my passion for fresh, whole foods. So off to the fabric store we went to get burlap for our milk crate garden boxes.

The milk crate garden was an idea I stole from a NYC restaurant that utilizes their rooftop for a garden. Here we are constructing the garden boxes and planting the seeds. He was so patient as we cut, filled, planted, and watered. We even played “name that decomposing food” as we scooped out compost from our bin. (We have about 5 baby avocado trees thanks to our compost pile!)

Here is how we make each crate:

  • Line with burlap (I use 1 1/2 yards)

  • Tie burlap to the crate with string 

  • Place organic soil one third of the way up

  • Place in compost for the next layer

  • Fill to near the top with more organic soil

  • Plant seeds according to package directions 

The burlap helps hold in the soil and then naturally breaks apart towards the end of the growing season (notice the bright green crate…the burlap has disintegrated along the sides, but since my sweet potato vine has grown over into it, I have left it alone). I use the remaining burlap to line the very bottom of the next batch of milk crates before placing the new burlap in and draping it over the sides. I set the crates on brick to keep them off the ground and the bugs out as much as possible.

My garden isn’t grand, but I love my little garden. I haven’t bought tomatoes in 3 months, and I’m looking forward to harvesting my sweet potatoes and even possibly some melons :)

Egg and Cauliflower Frittata

I often make frittatas when I haven’t been to the store in several days. I almost always have eggs on hand and can reach into the freezer for extra fillings. I whipped this one together not too long ago, and I’ve made it a couple of more times since. The cottage cheese acts a bit like milk to give it richness, while adding extra protein. And then the finally chopped cauliflower discreetly hides in the midst of the yellowish eggs. The scattering of cheese and sprinkling of the nutritional yeast gives it that saltiness that it needs.

Egg and Cauliflower Frittata

  • 10 eggs

  • 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese (I use Daisy or Friendship brands)

  • 1 cup steamed cauliflower, finely chopped

  • 1/3 cup nitrite-free breakfast sausage, chopped

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 cup Shredded cheese (do it yourself- it’s cheaper and healthier!)

  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast

Preheat oven to 375. Beat eggs, cottage cheese, cauliflower, sausage, garlic, and salt and pepper in a medium bowl until a bit frothy. Pour into an oiled 9″ cast iron skillet or 8×8 pan. Bake for 20 minutes, top with cheese and nutritional yeast and bake another 15 minutes or until center is set. (And then broil for 3-4 minutes if you want the cheese extra browned.) Pull out of oven and allow to rest about 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Top with avocado, salsa, greek yogurt, or any other garnish you prefer.

Other Egg Dishes:

Boiled Egg Casserole

Egg Salad

Cobb Salad ~ Cinco de Mayo Style

  One week from today, we will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo! They say you eat with your eyes first. Perhaps that’s why cobb salads are so delicious and popular. The rows of color and texture are definitely appealing to the eyes. And since Mexican food is always bursting with color, why not recreate the cobb salad and give it a fiesta flare?! I got rave reviews from the husband, the husband’s friend, and all three kids on this one.

Mexican Cobb Salad

  • 1 Head of Romaine

  • 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1-2 tablespoons mexican spices

  • 1/2 cup black beans (boil your own cheaper, easy, and leftovers are stored in the freezer!)

  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped

  • 1/2 cup cojita cheese

  • 4 hard boiled eggs, chopped

  • 1 avocado, sliced

  • Lime Vinaigrette

Place the cooked, shredded chicken into a sauce pan and add the water and Mexican seasoning. Simmer on low for 5 min. Place washed and chopped romaine into a large serving bowl. Arrange the toppings in rows to create a varying array of colors. Serve with lime vinaigrette on the side.

Love Mexican too? Then try:

Steak Fajitas

Guac on the Cob

Fajita Quinoa

“Cheesy” Kale Chips

If you are unfamiliar with nutritional yeast, it’s a powder or flake – yellowish in color- that is grown from beets and then dehydrated. Despite the word ‘yeast’, it contains no gluten, but is high in protein (18 amino acids) and B-12 (just 2 teaspoons gives you your RDA). The nutty/cheesy flavor lends itself to the perfect topping for a salad, pasta, popcorn, potatoes, or just about anything! I love it on my kale chips, eggs, and on my sauteed or roasted veggies. You can find it at your local health food store.

 
 Kale Chips

  • 4-5 large kale leaves

  • Olive oil

  • Garlic powder

  • Onion powder

  • Pepper

  • Nutritional Yeast

Wash and pat dry leaves. Tear kale into 2-3″ pieces and lay on a baking sheet in a single layer. Spray with olive oil and sprinkle with the seasonings. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 min. Turn off oven and keep the kale in for another 10 min. Remove from oven and enjoy. If you do not finish all the kale chips, they can be crisped back up simply by placing them in a warm oven for about 3-4 min.

And then there’s always Chocolate Kale Chips!

Homemade Pizza with Hand-Shredded Cheese

Homemade Pizza with Hand-Shredded Cheese 

I try to stay home on Tuesdays in order to keep our house in order. :) Today, I did just that and was able to make homemade pizza crust for our dinner tonight along with an awesome (if I do say so myself) Greek salad (Use Ina Garten’s recipe for the dressing– yum!). I love Wolfgang Puck’s pizza crust recipe. It makes two pizzas so I often double the recipe and freeze the 3rd and 4th ball of dough. I also use the dough to make pigs in a blanket (I use Applegate hot dogs) or empanadas/calzones. Besides the homemade crust (NO preservatives – yay!), I also use nitrite-free ham and pepperoni. I add sweet potato puree and chia or ground flax seed to the sauce, and I GRATE MY OWN CHEESE. I freeze the mozzarella cheese for about 15-30 minutes and then grate it with the food processor. Why do I grate my own cheese? I don’t like cellulose added to the shredded cheese to keep it from caking together. Here is a great article from the WSJ about the use of cellulose (aka wood pulp – blah! ). I get enough fiber from my veggies.

Sweet Potato Panzanella

  •   This past weekend, I made the herbed oil blend in this recipe and took freshly chopped veggies to our Saturday event at Lake Eola – Project Dance Orlando. It was a warm day, and so I knew hydration was important. Once I dipped the sweet potato slices into the oil and placed this wonderful combination into my mouth, I was immediately taken! While this dip is excellent with cukes or celery or tomatoes, it is by far truly made for sweet potatoes. Since sweet potatoes are high in carbs like bread, and by allowing this anti-oxidant-rich veggie to soak in the dressing, it reminded me of the classic Italian bread dish – panzanella. Who needs bread when you’ve got sweet potatoes?! Much tastier and much more nutritious and soooooo easy. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Sweet Potato Panzanella

  • 4 cups peeled and sliced raw sweet potatoes

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped

  • 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast

  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper 

I like to cut my sweet potatoes into coin slices – about 1/4″ thick – and then quarter them. Place the sweet potatoes into a large bowl. Mix reminding ingredients in another bowl. Pour over the sweet potatoes, cover, and chill several hours to allow oil and herbs to infuse and slightly soften the potatoes. Eat and savor! 

7 Days of Fulfillment ~ Day 7

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Day 7 Prophecy:

Jesus himself prophesied about His death and resurrection:

Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” John 2:19

Fulfimllent: 

“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.” Luke 24:19-24

 

7 Days of Fulfillment ~ Day 6

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Day 6 Prophecy:

Yet another prophecy of King David:

Into your hands I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.

Psalm 31:5

Fulfilled: 

“And after crying out with a loud voice, Jesus said, ‘Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ And when He had said these things, He expired”. Luke 23:46

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