Green Glow Smoothie

I make green smoothies regularly.  I’ve had a few people ask me for recipes I use.  Truth be told, most of time I don’t use one.  I just throw in a bunch of things that are good for me and make it taste good enough to drink but not overtly sweet.

I had a head cold earlier this week and successfully kicked it in 3 days using all natural methods!  Most colds last at least 10 days for me.  Even though I’m feeling better, I want to make sure to build my immunity so I made sure to make a green smoothie today that has some of the heavy hitters in it.

I’ve been trying to incorporate turmeric into my diet.  The health benefits are amazing.  This article shows how turmeric is as effective as 14 drugs! What’s important to know about turmeric is that it’s fat soluble.  That means that you must consume it with a fat in order to gain the health benefits.  I usually use a healthy fat like avocado for smoothies or coconut oil for tea.

I decided to make a smoothie recipe I found recently but put my own spin on it.

Ingredients:

1 apple sliced and core removed

1 blood orange (or regular)

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/4 inch fresh ginger

1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (I use Vega.)

1/4 avocado

1/2 lemon juiced

1/2 cup almond milk (can use water)

1-2 handfuls of power greens mix, kale, or spinach (I get mine at Costco or Trader Joes)

1 handful of ice

Directions:

  1. Blend all ingredients together.  (I use a Vitamix but any high powered blender will work.)

I adapted the recipe from this one where the author points out the following:

Apples for: sweetness and fiber
Oranges for: vitamin C, fiber and phytonutrients
Lemons for: detoxification, to balance pH levels and acidity, to cleanse + purify
Ginger for: digestion aid, nausea, anti inflammatory, immunity + to add spicy flavor
Turmeric for: soothing properties, pain relief, curcumin (anti inflammatory), detoxification, antioxidants + medicinal healing

I hope you enjoy this tasty yet super healthy green smoothie!  It may not be a traditional shamrock shake but your body will thank you for choosing this one.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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Super Bowl Appetizer / Mini Corn Dog Muffins with Honey Mustard Aioli

I’m going to a Super Bowl party tonight and was asked to bring a drink or appetizer.  I typically flip on the Today Show during the week when I wake up to start my day.  This past week they featured various Super Bowl party recipe ideas.  One that caught my eye was for mini corn dog muffins with honey mustard aioli.
I had just discovered and made a gluten free cornbread from Trader Joe’s that my family really liked so I thought that I could grab another box and make a modified version of this idea.  I decided I would use chicken sausage links instead of hot dogs too.
A few days later I searched the Today Show’s website looking for their recipe so that I could make the aioli.  I wasn’t able to locate it but I did find this aioli recipe while searching Pinterest that I used instead.
I know they sound a little odd but they are pretty tasty.  I accidentally overfilled my mini muffin cups with my first batch so they didn’t turn out as pretty as I’d hoped. They expanded while baking and attached to one another.  With the next batch I made sure to only fill the cups half way and they turned out perfectly.
Mini Corn Dogs with Honey Mustard Aioli
Prep Time: 20 min     Total Time: 30 min     Yield: 48 pieces
Ingredients
For the aioli:
  • ½ cup mayo
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons honey dijon mustard (or 1 tablespoon honey + 2 tablespoons dijon)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper

For the muffins:

  • Trader Joe’s Cornbread Mix (I used the gluten free version)
  • Coconut Oil
  • 1 Egg
  • Almond Milk
  • Chicken Sausage Links (I used Trader Joe’s Maple Chicken Sausages) cut in quarters
  • Coconut Oil Spray
Instructions
Preheat oven to 375 degress
For the aioli:
  1. In a small bowl, mix together ingredients until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the muffins:

  1. Follow the instructions on the box mixing all ingredients with a mixer for 2-3 minutes.  For the oil I melted coconut oil and used almond milk for the milk.
  2. Spray mini muffin tins with coconut oil spray.
  3. Fill each cup with 1/2 a table spoon of cornbread mixture.  Don’t overfill as the mixture rises while baking.
  4. Place a quartered chicken sausage link in the center of each cup pushing to the bottom
  5. Bake for 15 minutes

If you’re looking for a quick and easy app this is it!  My taste tester husband approved!

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Spinach Artichoke Dip

NFL Juniors Sweatshirt, similar HERE // Express Jeggings // Ugg Slippers, similar HERE // Stella & Dot Choker

We’ve had a wonderful Christmas season hosting our friends and family.  This year I focused on serving a variety of appetizers of each of our gatherings in lieu of a big meal.  It allowed me to prepare much of it in advance to have ready when our guests arrived.  I thought it would make it so that people could mix and mingle a bit more, including myself.  I love that my guests are so helpful and want to help with the dishes after a meal but this allowed people to simply throw their plate in the trash and enjoy each other’s company.

I featured some of the apps I made at our Christmas Cocktail Party recently.  One that I’ve made a few times this season is a spinach artichoke dip.  It’s recipe that I got from a dear friend years ago and have only slightly modified.  It’s actually on a recipe card!  Most of the recipes I make now are online so it was kind of special to dip into my recipe box and make this oldie but goodie.

It makes quite a bit so I usually always have left overs.  It’s one of those dips that can be served hot or cold.  I usually always serve it hot when I first make it and then have the option of serving hot or cold the next day.

It’s great with any sort of sturdy cracker or tortilla chips.  I used a variety of sesame rice crackers, sweet potato crackers, and multigrain tortilla chips all found at Costco.  It can also be served with chopped veggies.

I used light cream cheese and sour cream but full fat is fine as well.  The grocery store I last visited before I made my most recent batch was out of frozen spinach so I used fresh Power Greens that I had just bought from Costco (combo of spinach, chard, and kale).  I continued to add handfuls until I thought it looks green enough!

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Time: 25 min

Preheat oven: 350 degrees

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C butter
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • 20 oz frozen spinach (thaw & drain)
  • 14 oz artichoke hearts (drained and chopped)
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 1 C shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 C parmesan cheese, divided
  • salt

Directions:

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until soft (about 5 min).  Stir in spinach, artichokes, cream cheese, sour cream, 3/4 C mozzarella cheese, 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, and salt.  Stir until blended and heated through.  Pour mixture into a 8×8 casserole dish & top with remaining cheese.  Bake until cheese starts to brown or mixture is lightly bubbling.

Although Christmas is over, there are still parties to be had and this is a great appetizer to serve or bring!  We are headed to a friend’s house to watch football tonight and guess what I’m bringing?!

Football parties call for cozy, stretchy clothes.  My destroyed jeggings are 50 percent off only through today!  They have the perfect amount of stretch in them for lounging around.

I found this boatneck Detroit Lions sweatshirt at TJ Maxx.  It’s a great place to search for gear to support your local professional teams.  HERE is a similar sweatshirt and you can also search this site for your team.

Gooooooo Lions!!!

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Overnight Steel Cut Oats

 

I know there a million recipes for overnight oats out there.  I’ve seen them.  I’ve pinned them.  I never made them….until recently.

My husband is an avid oatmeal eater but he has little patience for following directions.  His preferred method is to pour some (not a specific amount) quick cook rolled oats in a bowl, add a little (whatever he eyeballs) water, and microwave.

In the spirit of eating healthier, I introduced him to steel cut oats.  Not that rolled oats are bad for you, they’re actually pretty good for you, but steel cut oats have a lower glycemic index.

I buy the quick cook steel cut oats but they still take 6 minutes to make on the stove.  The thought of that on top of measuring the oats and water is simply too much for the hubs to commit too haha!  The directions indicate you can microwave them but 1. I’m a fan of little to no microwave use and 2. I have found that these make a huge mess in the microwave and don’t turn out great.

If I was a morning person and got up as early as he did I would be a good wife and make them for him every day.  But, I need my beauty sleep!  Enter overnight oats.  I thought I’d give them a whirl and see what he thought.  I adapted a recipe I found that he is a huge fan of.

They are meant to be served cold but I suppose you could heat them.  I gave him the option and he loves them cold so we’ve never tried heating them.  The result is a delicious oatmeal parfait!  Bonus – my step daughter likes them too!

overnight steel cut oats

Steel Cut Overnight Oats Recipe

Prep time: 15 min // Total time: 15 min

Servings: 4

What you’ll need:

2 Cups Almond or Coconut Milk

1 Cup Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats

8 oz Greek Yogurt

4 Bananas peeled and sliced

4 Handfuls of Blueberries (fresh or frozen) and/or berries of your choice

4 TBS Chia Seeds

4 TBS Hemp Seeds

2 TBS Honey

4 Dashes of Cinnamon

4 Wide Mouth Pint Mason Jars

Instructions:

  1. Add the almond milk and oats to a medium sized pot and over medium heat. As soon as it begins to bubble to boil, remove the pot from the heat and let the oats rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients. Stir well. Divide into the mason jars.  Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight or at least 8 hours.
  3. Stir well before serving. Serve cold within 4 days.

Overnight Steel Cut Oats

Enjoy!

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Pressed Juicery Freeze

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Green juices and smoothies filled with veggies and fruit are all the rage!  The health benefits are endless.  I make them at home regularly but popping into stores that make them for you is always a nice treat.

I’m always on the lookout for these types of stores when I’m traveling to keep myself on track as much as possible.  It certainly can be a challenge to stick to your regular diet and exercise routine when you are away from home.

On a recent trip to San Jose, California, I had a few days on my own while my husband was working.  After a full morning of checking out all the cute shops on Santana Row, I planned to go the juicery around the corner from our hotel.  I had never been to Pressed Juicery and was excited to see what concoctions they had on the menu.  Upon entering I noticed the soft serve machines behind the counter.

I quickly learned that in addition to their pressed juices they also offered a healthy frozen treat made with their healthy juices and almond milk.  I am a HUGE fro-yo (frozen yogurt) fan so this was right up my alley!  You bet I ordered up some of this vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, soft-serve amazingness.

Freeze is a soft-serve frozen treat and the first of its kind by using only juices from fruits and vegetables, almonds and coconuts.  This dessert is packed with the same nutrition found in their popular juice flavors.  Well they call it dessert.  I called it lunch but it could definitely be a dessert!

The location I visited had 4 flavors:

Greens: kale, spinach, romaine, cucumber, apple, lemon, dates, coconut meat

Fruits: apple, strawberry, dates, coconut meat

Chocolate: almonds, dates, cacao, sea salt

Vanilla: almonds, dates, vanilla bean, sea salt

They come in 3 sizes: 4 oz, 6 oz, and 8 oz ranging in price from $3 to $6.50 depending on size and whether or not you choose toppings.

I went with half Greens and half Chocolate topped with granola, chia seeds, shredded coconut, blueberries…..the first day!  I could not leave town with stopping in again the next day for the same exact thing and discovered they also offered almond butter as a topping!

My husband snickered when I told him about my healthy “lunch”.  I know it may look indulgent but it IS healthy!

Now what do I have to do to get one of these in my town?  California and New York seem to be the lucky ones for now.  Look them up the next time you visit and be sure to look for the locations with Pressed Juicery Freeze.  You can thank me later!

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Community Cafe, Sonoma, California

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I stumbled upon this yummy breakfast spot on Yelp on our recent visit to Sonoma.  What initially caught my eye was that they offered gluten free lemon flaxseed pancakes.  With a gluten sensitivity I often stick to my usual breakfast of eggs so this was a nice treat for me.  They were served with a warm raspberry honey butter syrup, apple chicken sausages, and two eggs prepared in the style of your choice.

Todd had one of their daily specials.  It was an egg white scramble with onion, pepper, goat cheese, spinach and was served with country potatoes.

Everything was fresh and tasty.  The atmosphere was eclectic yet cool.  Orders are taken at a counter and delivered to you.  We began our meal on a quaint outdoor patio but moved inside due to a pesky bee.  With a serious bee allergy I don’t mess around!

Community Cafe is a definitely a place I would revisit.

We have a fun filled weekend planned at home with friends, concerts, pool time, and bbq!  I hope you have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.

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R + D Kitchen

After an amazing day of wine tasting and touring wine country, Todd and I were looking for a spot to sip on an entire glass of wine.  We stumbled upon R + D Kitchen in Yountville, California on our way back to Sonoma.  It caught our eye due to a beachy looking lounge area outside with umbrellas and adirondack chairs.

It was exactly what we were looking for to wind down the day.  We didn’t intend to dine there but the food looked pretty good.  They do have food service outside at high top tables but we discovered that it was a pretty limited menu.

We grabbed a spot inside at the bar to expand our food options.  I was very torn between the Thai Tuna Sushi Roll and the Sashimi with Cashew Kale Salad.  I chose the latter and couldn’t have been happier.  The sashimi was crisp and refreshing and the salad was the perfect mix of sweet and savory.  The bar tender’s description of the Thai Tuna Roll was pretty good so next time I get out that way I may have to try that too!

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Todd had the Greek Style Rotisserie Chicken served with Tabouleh.  This was a dish that was bursting with flavor.  So good!

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All of the sudden I’m hungry and sad we don’t have an R + D Kitchen anywhere near where we live!  I highly recommend you put this on your places to have lunch or dinner if you visit the Napa area.  The atmosphere and food will not disappoint.

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Market – St. Helena – California

On a recent trip to Sonoma, my husband and I made our way from Napa to Calistoga checking out a few wineries.  For lunch we stopped in St. Helena to go to Market upon a recommendation from a friend.  I’m so glad we did!  I’ll get to the restaurant in a second.  My first impression was that St. Helena has the cutest little downtown full of shops and restaurants.  It’s definitely a place I’d go back to when I can spend some more time.

Now to Market.  I made a reservation on OpenTable although we didn’t really need to.  The ambiance was cute and we were seated right away.

I wasn’t starving so I went with something light.  The Lobster Rolls in Rice Paper included asparagus, avocado, sweet papaya, pickled red onions and a basil mint vinaigrette.  They were exactly what I wanted.  Light, delicious, and refreshing.

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Todd chose the Dungeness Crab Cake and Parmesan Garlic Fries.  We ordered a crab cake as an appetizer the night before only to be told they just ran out.  We were also eyeing another table’s truffle fries.  So, I think he/we had both of these on the brain!  The crab cake was a little more fried on the outside than I’d prefer but the inside was light, tasty, and not heavily breaded.  It was served with sweet white corn, asparagus, english peas, and coriander-lime butter sauce.  The fries did not disappoint because of course I had to have a few!

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If you are in the Napa area, make your way to St. Helena.  When you get there be sure to have a meal at Market.

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El Dorado Kitchen

On my recent visit to Sonoma my husband and I dined at a fabulous restaurant, El Dorado Kitchen, in the quaint downtown square.  After a 4 hour flight and an hour and a half drive to the hotel, we were famished and looking forward to a good meal.

We were so hungry that we dove right into our starters and I forgot to take photos!  Trust me that they were pretty.  Todd went with the daily soup, corn.  I love a good corn soup and almost chose this.  It was delicious but it was hard to have food envy with a salad like mine.  It was a good sized mixed greens salad with strawberries, summer squash, pickled red onion, pepitas, bleu cheese which I subbed with feta, and a tamarind vinaigrette.

I went with a starter for my entree, Ahi Tartare.  So much flavor and pretty filling!  The tuna was mixed with asian pear which was a nice touch.  It was served on an avocado mousse and topped with wasabi tobiko.

El Dorado Kitchen Ahi Tuna Tartare

Todd chose the New York Steak which he was still talking about a week later.  It had a delicious smokey flavor to it that I hadn’t quite experienced before.  It was served with a smoked potato puree, romanesco, confit carrots, baby fennel, king trumpet mushroom, chimichurri (yum!) and bordelaise.

El Dorado Kitchen New York Steak

The menu wasn’t huge but everything we saw looked great.  There were a couple seafood dishes, a chicken dish, a pasta, and a vegetarian risotto.  The truffle fries smelled amazing and I’m sure they were!

If you find yourself in Sonoma or in nearby Napa, I recommend you make a stop for a nice dinner at El Dorado Kitchen.

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Sweet Magnolia’s

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I’m a big believer in breakfast being the most important meal of the day.  I never miss it.  I’ve been eating healthy breakfasts for awhile but my latest kick is trying to make them hearty enough to last me longer since my regular lunches are usually pretty light.  Doing this involves a little time and work so it’s definitely a treat to get to go out to breakfast and have someone else do it for me!

Last week I went out to breakfast with my extended family.  We chose a place that had recently opened and we had heard great things about, Sweet Magnolia’s in Southfield, MI.  We were warned that the service was slow but we still gave it a try.

Everyone loved their meals and the prices were very reasonable.  There is a variety of chicken and waffles dishes.  A highlight was The Auntie Jean which is a banana flavored waffle with bananas and toasted walnuts with butter, strawberries, and grilled boneless breast strips. Off the kids menu you can find Fruity Pebble infused waffles with 2 fried drumsticks.  The French Toast was delicious and a huge portion.

You might be thinking that sounds good but what about healthy options?  They did have scrambles and skillets to choose from.  My MIL enjoyed the Veggie Skillet.

Slow?  Yes.  With a table of 8 and the pre-warning, we didn’t have high expectations of speed.  It was painfully slow though.  On top of that only a few dishes were brought to the table at a time.  In fact, everyone was done or almost done eating and mine still had not come.  I had ordered an egg scramble.  Nothing fancy.  I ended up cancelling my order at that point.  My husband and SIL had given me some of their meal so I wasn’t starving.  Plus I didn’t want to eat a full meal after everyone else.  Eggs aren’t really you can box up and reheat.  The waitress kindly removed it from the bill.

The food was really very good.  I think we were there the week after it opened.  Maybe give it a few weeks for them to get the kitchen in better order and give it a try.

Where is your favorite breakfast spot?  I’m always looking for new recommendations at home and for traveling!

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