Fresh Limes + Mango Salsa + Grilled Salmon

IMG_2078

On our drive from Seattle to Austin, my husband and I stopped at his parent’s house in Palm Desert. Standing tall and proud in their backyard is a lime tree. It was a sight for sore after 16 straight hours in the car. What’s a girl to do when given access to hundreds of fresh limes? Make a lime and mango salsa, of course!  We grilled up some salmon to go along with the salsa. I was expecting the salmon to be the shining star of the meal, but it turned out the mango salsa was the biggest hit. At one point Taber was scooping it up by the spoonful. I think he liked it.

This recipe makes quite a bit of salsa (3 1/4th cup).  The extra salsa will remain fresh for 4 days (if it lasts that long). If you aren’t in the mood for salmon, the salsa also pairs well with grilled chicken or served with chips as an appetizer.

[recipe]

A Farewell Summer Gazpacho

IMG_2085

Farewell, summer. I will be counting down the days until we meet again. Yes, I know summer doesn’t officially end until September 22nd, but Labor Day feels like the unofficial toast goodbye. It is the last hurrah before the swim suits are packed away and butternut squash takes back the center stage.
To bid adieu to my favorite season I made  gazpacho, a chilled (super delicious) Spanish soup that embodies the flavors of summer. It’s the perfect light meal for the hottest of summer days. Gazpacho is essentially a liquid salad. Chop up some raw veggies and herbs, throw them in the blender and bada-bingo bada-bang you have yourself a soup.

For this gazpacho recipe, I blended 3/4th of the veggie mixture and kept the remaining 1/4th unblended, which resulted in a chunkier soup. For a smoother consistency, blend all the veggies together. Same flavor. Different texture.

One more thing, summer- Please send Austin the memo that your time here is unofficially done, so the 100 degree temps aren’t necessary. I would be very thankful. So would my super furry dog.

[recipe]

 

Creamy Corn + Basil Soup

IMG_1911

Bins full of corn on the cob standing front and center at the farmers market is a true sign summer is in full swing. Straight off the cob, grilled or boiled, it is hard to resist summer’s earthy sweet treat. There is something about the crisp kernels that make my taste buds go into overdrive. One of my favorite ways to enjoy corn is my creamy Corn and Basil Soup. It is one of the few hot soups I can eat on a hot summer day. The bright flavors make it refreshing and comforting at the same time. If hot soups in the summer aren’t your thing, you may also serve it chilled. But do yourself a favor and try it hot. You may be surprised. Oh and by the way, floss isn’t required after slurping savoring it. A rarity when it comes to eating summer corn.

[recipe]

Chickpea + Tomato Salad

The Seattle weather Gods have gone above and beyond this summer. They have blessed us with 18 straight days of sunshine.  If you are not from the Northwest 18 days of sun may seem like no biggie.  Around this neck of the woods it’s a big deal. We are 33 days away from breaking Seattle’s record of 51 days with no rain. I am loving this weather and the extra dose of natural vitamin D that comes along with it. What I am not loving, hanging out and sweating by the stove all day.  Which is why I give my Chickpea Tomato Salad the award for best summer salad. It requires no cooking. Zero, nada, none. Not only does it require no cooking, it’s also uber satisfying and substantial enough for a main course. Chickpeas, tomatoes and scallions are tossed with a creamy raw foods miso dressing to deliver a fiber and protein rich salad.  Enjoy it on a bed of greens or marry it between two pieces of bread to make a sandwich. Either way it is the perfect accessory to a summer picnic.

The 411 on the raw miso mayo…Say adios to jarred mayo, a new and improved spread/dressing just moved into town. The new kid on the block is made of raw cashews, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, miso and garlic. It can be used in place of mayonnaise on sandwiches or as a dressing.  It may taste like mayonnaise, but that is where the similarities stop. There are several health benefits that come along with miso mayo, which cannot be said about traditional jarred mayonnaise.

INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT                                                                                                                                                               Chickpea/Garbanzo Beans

These nutty beans are full of protein and fiber. Dietary fiber lowers cholesterol, promotes healthy digestion and helps stabilize your blood sugar. The body metabolizes garbanzo beans at a slow rate providing energy to your body for a longer amount of time. These little beans are also high in folate, a vital nutrient to all the preggo ladies. Even if you aren’t preggo,  folate is an important nutrient. In the school of nutrition garbanzo beans receive an A+.

[recipe]

Recipe

Watermelon Salad

IMG_1266

Summer and watermelon are BFFs. You can’t have one without the other.  I decided it was time for watermelon and summer to add a few more friends to the mix…feta, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and spinach.  If watermelon and summer could talk, they would  be thanking me for broadening their social circle, because this salad is amazing.  The sweetness of the watermelon combined with the saltiness of the feta and the tang of balsamic vinegar is heaven.   Although the recipe is simple, the flavors are complex. There is something in it for everyone.

Another reason I love this salad is for how versatile it is. Swap spinach for arugula, micro greens or kale. Fancy up the dressing by making a vinaigrette, add red onion or shrimp… do whatever your little heart desires, and the outcome will still be mouth watering delicious.

INGREDIENT SPOT LIGHT
Watermelon

No matter how you slice it, watermelon’s health benefits are incredible.  It goes well beyond being super hydrating. Watermelon is high in B vitamins, which helps with energy production, the vision protecting vitamin A,  immune boosting vitamin C  and a valuable source of lycopene, an antioxidant known to  reduce the risk of breast, colon, prostate and lung cancer.  Watermelon packs a lot of punch for being 92 % water.

Go ahead and beat the heat with a big piece of watermelon. Your body will thank you.

[recipe]

 

Kale + Mushroom Taquitos

When I ask my husband what he wants for dinner, I secretly hope he requests a Mexican dish (or anything that requires guacamole).  Lucky for me, he usually does. His favorite Mexican dish is taquitos. He prefers freshly made authentic taquitos, but has been known to throw down  the frozen kind. Yes, you read that right, my husband eats frozen taquitos. Only when I am not looking. There was only one way to put a stop to this…make my own.  In with the Kale, mushrooms and coconut oil, out with the preservatives, chemicals and whatever else is hidden in those little frozen taquitos.

Once you try this little gem of a recipe, I have a feeling sales of frozen taquitos may go down, and the sale of kale will go up.

 

INGREDIENT SPOT LIGHT

Mushrooms provide more than texture and taste to dishes. They have been used for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years and score an A+ when it comes to nutritional benefits.  Mushrooms have been shown to reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancer, help strengthen the immune system and  treat the flu. They are an excellent source of potassium, a mineral that helps reduce the risk of a stroke by reducing blood pressure and helps our body process sodium.  Have you every been woken up in the middle of the night with an excruciating cramp in your calf? That may be due to a potassium deficiency. Next time that happens eat a mushroom, not a banana. Although bananas are high in potassium, portobello mushrooms provide more. You know what’s better than eating a plain mushroom to curb calf pains? Eating a mushroom and kale taquito. Say good bye to leg cramps and enjoy a tasty meal at the same time…win-win.

[recipe]