Marinated Cucumber Tomato Salad

Looking for a refreshing summer salad?  Get creative and look past a simple green salad and make it a marinated mediterranean style dish with seasonally sweet cherry tomatoes, hydrating cucumber, and detoxifying parsley and lemon/lime juice to add some zest.  With under 5 ingredients, this is an easy, simple and delicious side salad to add to your summer dinner table.


Marinated Cucumber Tomato Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 2 quarts cherry tomato, quartered
  • 2 lemon (or 2 lime), juiced
  • 1/2 cup parsley (or cilantro), finely chopped
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1/2 cup kalamata (or black olives), sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced (**Optional**)
  • Optional to Add chickpeas to make for a complete meal

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add all ingredients in a bowl (produce washed and sliced) and mix until lightly well combined.  Drizzle olive oil and lemon/lime juice and let sit in the refrigerator to chill before serving.  Enjoy as is, over microgreens, or serve as an appetizer with whole grain pita. 
 

Photos shown with and without optional avocado

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Spicy Stuffed Bell Peppers

My clients are often looking for ways to increase their current veggie intake.  Even I catch myself on busy days checking that I haven't had at least 5 servings of veggies in the day.  My boyfriend loved the chili recipe with salsa and red sauce, but I was getting bored with it, so I decided to spice it up, add quinoa, and dish it into a more interesting meal - stuffing a similar mix into red bell peppers.  Just get out your skillet, start cooking the grass-fed beef or black beans with quinoa, tomatoes, and a spice of your choice (salsa and Franks Red Hot for me).  Once the beef is brown, add to your bell peppers and you've got a perfect meal for dinner or that can be stored in the freezer... Actually I have 2 in the freezer now that you mention it!

This recipe contains Vitamin C as well as important nutrients like protein, amino acids, whole grains, and fiber. I’ve added in garlic and onions for additional anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties too! 

During seasonal temperature changes (like this spring for example), it's important to give your body the nutrition and attention it needs to boost immunity and keep you strong and healthy. One day it’s 75 degrees, the next its 40 and rainy. That change can put stress on our immune system and therein lead to increased susceptibility to colds and even allergies and related immune conditions. How can we ensure a strong immune system? The best piece is to continue to hydrate with fluids, water and broth, and consume plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean proteins throughout the day.

Use this delicious recipe to spice up your weekly dinner routine, freeze for later meals, and boost your immune system!

Spicy Stuffed Bell Peppers

 

SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2-3 cups quinoa, cooked
  • 1, 16 oz. can tomatoes (low-sodium, no sugar)
  • 1, 12 oz.can salsa
  • *Optional to add 1/4 cup Franks Red Hot
  • 1 Lb. Grass-Fed Beef or 1 can black beans (depending on vegetarian)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 4 Red Bell Peppers

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pre-Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Sauté garlic and onion in olive oil in saucepan over medium heat.  Once translucent (clear looking), add your ground beef and stir to combine and cook until almost all brown brown (if using black beans instead, just add all ingredients in now).
  3. Add tomatoes and salsa, (franks red hot as option).  Allow to simmer for about 3-5 minutes or until well combined.
  4. Add cooked quinoa, salt, pepper, sugar and cinnamon and stir to combine continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes.
  5. Wash your red bell peppers and slice so that there is an open cavity to put mixture into (cut the top head of the pepper off, remove the seeds and stem and place back on top of the pepper).
  6. After stuffing the cavity of the pepper, place the chopped head back on.  Place bell peppers in a glass rimmed dish or loaf pan, cover with aluminum foil and bake in pre-heated oven at 350F for ~25 minutes.
  7. Remove foil and continue to cook 5 minutes until the tops start to brown.  Option to add sprinkle of parmesean cheese. 
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The New Kid on the Block Juice

Are you new to juicing? Never tried it and think that you just hate all veggies so why would this weird green drink be ANY different?  Well my friend, that's where we can start to play, have some fun and customize your juice to fit where you are at! Try this recipe which is a little higher in fruits and sugar than most of my other juice and smoothie recipes.  This is the perfect juice to share with kids or to adults who are new to plant-based eating and skeptical if this "green stuff is any good"

I assure you that after this recipe they will be begging for more!!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 Pineapple
  • 2 Apples
  • 1 Lemon
  • Handful of Spinach
  • 1 Cucumber (or celery)

DIRECTIONS

1. Wash produce well.  Peel pineapple.  Put produce through the juicer chute and serve over ice.

SERVES: 1-2 (16 oz each)

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A Little Bloody Never Killed Nobody (Juice)

Blood Mary anyone?  This is the real deal - no processed junk, pasteurized tomato juices, just fresh veggies for a spicy non-alcoholic cocktail (but feel free to add some vodka if that's your fancy).  Tomatoes are rich in the nutrient lycopene, which is good for heart healthy and helps to improve blood circulation. 

Add some jalapeño for a real spicy kick! Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1-3 Red Tomatoes
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 1 lime
  • handful of Basil
  • *1/4 jalapeno optional
  • *Knob of Horseradish optional

DIRECTIONS: Wash all ingredients well.  Add through the juicer chute.  Serve over ice with a stick of celery to garnish.  Add 1.5 oz of vodka if you want to make it an alcoholic cocktail.

SERVES: 2, 16 oz servings

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Low-Sugar Green Smoothie

Berries are in season during the summer months so take advantage while you can!  Blueberries contain the blue-purple pigment known as anthocyanins which is a powerful antioxidant.  Antioxidants help to scavenge harmful free radicals and prevent cell damage. Berries are also lower in sugar than most fruits and are less likely to cause high blood sugar spikes.  Pair blueberries with this perfect green smoothie for a delicious start to the day! TIP: If it's not the summer months, use frozen berries - they have just as much nutrients as fresh! Frozen berries will give a cold smooth finish too!

***This is a great option for diabetics or those looking for a low-sugar option to prevent spikes in blood glucose.  Consuming juices, smoothies and foods lower in sugar will also help with weight loss goals and decrease inflammation in the body.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Handful of spinach

  • Handful of kale

  • 1 medium cucumber

  • 3 ribs of celery

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • Handful of blueberries (fresh or frozen)

  • 1 cup coconut water (unsweetened)

  • Ice as desired

DIRECTIONS

Wash all ingredients well. Add ingredients to your blender and blend on high for 60-90 seconds or until smooth. Add more coconut water as needed. Serve over ice with a few berries sprinkled on top! Enjoy!!

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