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.
Raise your hand if you enjoy a salty and crunchy snack. I am going to assume you have at least one hand in the air. In case you are wondering, both my hands are stretched up to the sky. Years ago I was more of a sweets girl than a salty girl, but tables have turned and my heart belongs to sea salt. Baked Sweet Potato chips are my go-to snack. They fulfill my salt craving without being too heavy. Using sweet potatoes adds a nutritional punch and an extra layer of flavor.
These chips take a bit of time and patience. Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to crunchy baked Sweet Potato Chips. Cooking them at a high temp and short period of time has never worked for me. I am always left with crispy edges and soggy centers or burnt edges and crispy centers. Call me crazy, but I like the entire chip to be crispy.
INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are part of the super food family (the royals of all food groups). Rumor has it they are one of the healthiest veggies we eat.
-They are high in Vitamin A, which supports vision and reproductive health.
-Great source of fiber to help keep you regular.
-High in iron. Eat up vegetarians!
-Antioxidant overload. Vitamin C and beta-carotene work hand in hand to rid the bod of free radicals, which can be cancer causing and promote aging.
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.
Hello, again. It’s been awhile. There is more than one reason I have neglected this little blog the past few weeks.
1. We drove from Seattle to Austin. A majority of this 3 day journey includes driving through the boon-doggies, where there is absolutely zero cell/internet service.
2. I lost my laptop charger. Dead laptop = no blogging
3. We traveled to the beautiful Alys beach Florida where I dropped my phone in the ocean. Ocean- 1 point. Krissie- 0 points.
Between the absence of my laptop and cellphone it felt like I was transported back to the 1990s, minus the grunge flannel shirts and pagers. The good news? I am back in business and throughout my technical difficulties I never stopped cooking or recipe testing.
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.
Are you ready for the most chocolaty, rich and nutrient dense dessert you will ever have? If your answer is yes (there is no reason is shouldn’t be) then I have the perfect recipe for you, decadent raw food brownies. They have been tested on my best friend, who is a self acclaimed chocolate connoisseur, and passed with flying colors. Instead of rambling on and on about how delicious these bad boys are, I am going to suggest you get up from whatever you are doing and go make them. Oh, and no need to turn on the oven. All it takes is a few go-arounds in the food processor for the brownies to come together.
At The Honest Plate cooking class I served the brownies with a Coconut Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (recipe to follow) and paired them with Matthews Chalkboard Red Wine (www.matthewswinery.com). It was a match made in wine and dessert heaven, which is the heaven I would like to go to.
The other night I had the joy of teaching a cooking class to a group of fabulous ladies. We created a delicious menu full of healthy summer appetizers paired with Matthews wine, my absolute favorite winery (www.matthewswinery.com). Through the chatting, laughing and wine drinking we managed to pull together a menu of…
-Gazpacho Shooters with Prawns and Basil Oil.
-Chicken, Black Bean and Avocado Tostadas with Avocado Cilantro Crème.
-Crostini with Homemade Ricotta, Peaches, Honey and Basil.
-Dairy Free Coconut Milk Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Decedent Raw Foods Brownie.
-Spinach and Arugula Salad with Blackberries, Walnuts, Pears and Blue Cheese tossed in Lemon Vinaigrette.
Since the cooking class, the crostini with ricotta, peaches, honey and basil has consumed my mind. If you have ever wondered what heaven tastes like, this is it. Homemade ricotta is creamy, clean tasting, a bit salty and every bit perfect. It is also suuuuuper simple to make. Honestly, it is as easy as making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The moment you pull out this appetizer your guest are going to think you swapped identities with Giada De Larentiis. Don’t worry, the simplicity of homemade ricotta will be our little secret 😉
I will be posting the other recipes from the cooking class this weekend. Just like the Ricotta Crostini, they are guaranteed to be yumzo.
INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT Raw Local Honey
I am a big fan (and user) of local raw honey. As cute as that little plastic honey bear bottle is, it lacks key nutrients found in raw honey. How is this possible? When honey is heated and pasteurized it loses many of it’s vitamins, minerals, enymes and powerful anti-oxidants. It has been said raw honey can cure the world of all aliments. I am not 100% sure it can cure the world of every single disease, but I do know it can aid in digestion, treat ulcers, cure a cold, reduce stress, balance blood sugar, strengthen the immune system, reduce pain and eliminate allergies. Local honey is especially important when it comes to eliminating allergies. It contains local pollen, which helps the body build a tolerance to seasonal allergies. While we are on the subject of bees…go ahead and run from them but don’t squash, swat or kill them. They make our world go round. Stay tuned for more on that subject.
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+.
We have all heard the saying “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. This is as true as saying Justin Timberlake is the most beautiful man on earth (except my husband). Breakfast kick starts our metabolism and gives us the brain fuel we need to take on the day. Although I know this to be true, the simple task of making time to sit down for breakfast seems close to impossible. It is a scramble to get out of bed, showered, dressed and out the door on time. Which is why smoothies are my saving grace. They are the perfect on-the-go breakfast. Quick, nutritious and delicious. To cut down on prep time in the morning, chop all ingredients the night before and put them in a mason jar. Come morning all you have to do is toss the mason jar contents into your blender, blend and go!
A few more reasons a Cherry Almond Kale smoothie is the right way to start your day…
-It will give you more energy than hitting snooze.
-Eating a nutritious breakfast ensures you won’t get hangry (hungry + angry) before lunch.
-Sitting in traffic is much easier when sipping on a delicious smoothie.
-You will be more focused and productive at work, which will lead to a promotion which meansmore money to spend at the Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale