My Whole Food Discovery……..
I grew up with a mother who was very good at serving us a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. It’s hard to remember any dinner that she made us that didn’t include a salad. So needless to say I have always been a big fan of including my “greens” or “The Digestive Detergent’s” into my diet.
As the years progressed I became more and more exposed to all the many colors that could be found in the rainbow of the Veggie & Fruit World. With so many flavors and textures to explore. I found that you can taste natural hue of “pepper” in an Arugula salad, that a ripe heirloom tomato can really stand on it’s own or be turned into something extra special just by sprinkling a pinch of Kosher salt and The Avocado “Oh my word where do I begin” the affection runs deep.
So very recently I have found a whole new appreciation for Whole Foods (and I’m not talking about the grocery store). In the beginning of July , I embarked on a clean eating challenge via Fit Girls Guide. They offer a 28 day challenge to commit to clean eating and cooking. So I signed up and so far I’m halfway through the challenge and “Loving It”. Now here is my plain truth I have the worlds biggest sweet tooth. I also am addicted to cheese and baguettes. Yes not the the world’s healthiest of combos. So at first I fretted and maybe protested a bit in my mind. Then one day about two months ago at the urging of my friend Jessica I entered the front door of a local healthy eatery called Luscious Lorraine’s Juice and Food Bar. I ordered a Raw House salad that consisted of – Raw shredded beet, zucchini, carrots, cabbage on mixed greens, with avocado & avocado-tahini dressing. Simple and “Oh My” so full for beautiful flavor. Little by little I found myself going back over and over again. So then it came to me to “Go for It” and take a dive into the world of Rainbow Eating and it’s been once of the highlight’s of my summer so far!
So here are a few of the Veggie “Hits” I’ve prepared this month, that I am sure you too will find surprisingly delicious yourself. Believe me this whole clean eating got has been a very humbling experience so far. I had no idea that all this “Good for you Food” would rock my world like it has. I have so much more energy these days, my sleep has been solid and sound and my taste buds have been taken to new heights. So I encourage you to give some of these recipes a try. You might very well Surprise yourself!
First up is the “Mexi Power Bowl”
- 1 Bag Organic Green Mix
- 1 Cup shredded cabbage
- 1 Cup cooked Brown Rice
- 1 Avocado Diced
- 1 Red Pepper Diced
- 1 Yellow Pepper Diced
- 1 Cup Sliced Grape Tomatoes
- ½ Cup Diced Green Onions
- ¼ Cup chopped Cilantro
- Drizzle of Olive Oil
- The juice of 1 Lime (freshly squeezed)
- **Optional - a few shots of hot sauce (Tapatio or Cholula)
- Layer all ingredients in a bowl and drizzle with Oiive Oil, fresh Lime Juice and hot sauce.
- Add a sprinkling of Sea Salt for extra special flavor.
Individual Veggie Pizza’s
- 4 Whole Grain Pita Breads
- 1 Jar Organic Marinara Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Carton Crimini Mushrooms
- 1 Red Pepper (Rough Chopped)
- 1 Yellow Pepper (Rough Chopped)
- 2 Cups fresh Spinach
- Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
- 1 Cup Grated Mozzarella Cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- To a pan add Olive Oil, Mushrooms, Peppers, Spinach and sauté until all veggies are soft (try not to overcook them) you still want the peppers to have a bit of a small crunch to them. Season with Sea Salt and fresh ground pepper. Set pan aside.
- On a cookie sheet line up the 4 pita rounds and spoon over Marinara sauce on each one. Then add the vegetable mixture generously to each pita and sprinkle with the grated Mozzarella cheese.
- **** For extra special seasoning you can add a small sprinkle of dried oregano , parsley or basil to the top of each pizza.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the pita edges are crisp.
- 6 Organic Corn Tortillas
- Olive Oil spray
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Large Red Tomato , chopped
- 1 Cup shredded cabbage
- 1 Cup fresh spinach
- 1 Large Avocado Cubed
- 1 Carton of Crimini Mushrooms
- ½ Cilantro Chopped
- Sprinkling of grated cheddar cheese
- ** Optional Jalapeno's in a jar for garnish and spice
- Preheat oven to 375 Degrees
- Spray the corn tortillas with Olive Oil spray on both sides. Line on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 mins or until crisp.
- Add Olive oil to a saute pan ,then add the spinach and mushrooms add a little and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until softened.
- To Assemble: Load the baked tortillas with the cooked veggies (mushrooms and spinach) then garnish with avocados, cabbage ,tomatoes, cilantro , jalapeño and cheese.
- *** Optional- squeezed a little lime juice and drizzle with hot sauce (Tapatio or Cholula).
The “Cali” Power Salad
- 1 Package of Chicken Tenders (Cooked)
- 1 Bag Organic Greens
- ½ Radicchio - Shredded
- 4 Mini Persian Cucumbers chopped
- 1 Large Avocado Cubed
- ½ Cup Dried Cranberries
- ½ Cup Pepitas
- ¼ Cup Toasted Almonds
- Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper to Taste
- Dressings that can be used on this salad are (Balsamic Vinaigrette & Green Goddess)
- Preheat oven to 350
- Line the chicken tenders on a baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until tender. Once chicken tenders are cooled , Chopped into bite size pieces and set aside.
- Combine all the Greens, Radicchio, Cucumbers, Avocados, Dried Cranberries,Pepitas and Almonds in a large salad bowl. Season with Sea Salt and Pepper to taste.
Coconut Almond Joy Bites
- 2½ cups flaked coconut, unsweetened
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- a pinch of sea salt
- 4 ounces dark chocolate for coating
- Pulse the coconut in a food processor until sticky crumbs form. Set aside about ¼ cup of the mixture.
- Mix the coconut oil, honey, vanilla, and sea salt. Stir in the coconut from step one. Form the mixture into small balls by squeezing until a ball forms. The mixture will be crumbly, so it doesn't work to put the mixture in your hands and roll it. You have to squeeze it. There will be a little bit of excess oil - that's okay.
- Once you have the balls rolled, refrigerate for 1 hour or so until they are firm. At this point, if you want, you should be able to take them out and re-roll them to get the shape just right since they'll be firm and malleable.
- Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the coconut and shake or stir constantly for a few minutes until the coconut is lightly browned and fragrant.
- Melt the chocolate for a minute or so in the microwave. Stir it until it's smooth. Dip each coconut ball in the chocolate and remove with a fork, letting excess chocolate drip off. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and top with the toasted coconut from step three. Freeze or refrigerate to set the chocolate.
- These yummy treats taste great when kept in the refrigerator.
Good Health to you!