Heirloom Tomatoes, Kale and Rosemary

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These are the stars of this quick and easy Garden Vegetable Impossible Quiche. I’m so *excited* to share with you all that I’ve joined the creative team of Cooking With Ruthie as a contributor. I’ll share a special recipe, like this one here, once a month on her delicious blog. Click on over to get the recipe for an “Impossible” Quiche, that’s totally possible—and so simple to make. Enjoy!

Super Greens Smoothie Discs

If it’s good for you (and green), it’s in here.
super greens smoothie discs
Talk about a healthy start to the morning. Or whiz up this super greens charged goodness for a healthy snack anytime of the day. My Super Greens Smoothie Discs are chocked full of vitamins, minerals, vegetable and seed proteins, nutrient-dense fruits, cleansing detoxifiers, and heaps of antioxidants. Whatever “anti-something” ingredient you can think of, I probably added it. I’ve been making these super greens frozen discs for a few years now. They make blending up a quick breakfast smoothie fast and easy. I make a huge batch of these at a time, them store them individually in the freezer for when I need a good dose of greens. And after reading (and drooling over) the May issue of yum. Gluten Free Magazine, an on-line Australian publication featuring gluten free and whole  & organic foods, I was inspired to pull out the blender and get the summer season kicked off right.
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greens smoothie overview
What’s in these? And why are they so good for you? This power-packed smoothie mix contains vegetables and fruits which are dark green and high in fiber. I also included seed proteins for an extra helping of nutrition. For the super greens, I bought this ‘Power Greens’ pre-washed mix by Earthbound Farm. It’s organic, and has all three leafy greens in one box. What’s inside:
Baby kale= vitamins A, B9, C and K, calcium, potassium and lutein
Baby spinach= vitamins A, B, C, E, K, calcium
Baby chard= vitamins A, B9, C and K, calcium and lutein & zeaxanthin (the last two are beneficial cartenoids (good for the eyes))

Then added in some Spirulina powder. What’s inside:
Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica= protein, betacarotene, phytonutrients, enzymes and other essential vitamins & minerals. I like the  Nutrex Hawaii brand. You can buy it in powder or tablet form. I like to take a couple of tablets daily, so for this recipe, I used a mortar & pestle to create a powder.

spirulina powder in mortar & pestle
For the seeds, I happened to have these in the pantry, and they blend up nicely. What’s inside:
Flax seed= omega-3 essential fatty acids, dietary fiber, vitamin B1, copper,  magnesium, phosphorus, and selenium.
Black chia seeds= fiber, protein, calcium, antioxidants, omega-3s, zinc, vitamin B1, 2, 3, and potassium.

For the fruit–use anything green. Honeydew melon or even some avocado would be good too. I happened to have dried mulberries in the pantry but choose whatever dried fruits you like. I used:
Green apples= vitamin A, B6, C, E, Iron, Copper, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc, Niacin and Thiamin.
Citrus (limes and lemon) =  vitamin C, flavonoid compounds that have antioxidant and anti-cancer properties, fiber.
Dried mulberries = antioxidants, vitamin K, B-6, and folic acid.

For the vegetables & herbs– more green! Choose what you like. The ginger (ok, it’s not green but I like the hit of spice from it) contains gingerol (found in its oil) and is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
Celery (including the leafy tops) = antioxidant nutrients, vitamin C, beta-carotene, manganese and  phytonutrients.
Zucchini= vitamins A, B complex, C, folate, and potassium.
Fresh mint & parsley= potassium, calcium, iron, manganese and magnesium., vitamin A, C, E,  and beta carotene.

For the sweeteners–keep it as natural as possible:
Agave syrup= low on GI scale, natural- not processed.
Candied ginger pieces= anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. (I know, they have a little sugar in them so that’s a bit of a cheat, but I only used 2 tablespoons for the entire batch…plus they’re so tasty!) You can absolutely omit them though, and instead add a bit more agave, honey or maple syrup. Some medjool date pieces would be good too.
agave syrup
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super greens smoothie disc
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Super Greens Smoothie Discs
yields 18 discs | printable version

2 large handfuls of mixed dark greens (kale, spinach, arugula, chards)
3 stalks celery + tops
2 small zucchini
1 green apple
2 limes, zested and peel removed
1 lemon, zested and peel removed
1 bunch each fresh mint & parsley
1/4 cup dried mulberries (or any dried berry of your choice)
1/4 cup flax seeds, ground
3 tablespoons spirulina powder
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 tablespoon fresh ginger
2 tablespoons candied ginger chips (optional)
2-3 tablespoons agave syrup, honey or maple syrup
1 cup coconut water
1/2 cup almond milk

Chop all vegetables & fruits. Zest citrus and then peel and chop pulp. Discard peels. Add all the vegetables, fruits, zests & herbs to a blender. Top with dark greens, spirulina, gingers and seeds. Add in coconut water and blend on medium speed until mixture has formed a course texture. Add in almond milk and sweetener. Blend again but on high speed to full incorporate all ingredients. The greens mix will be thick– that’s okay; it doesn’t need to be finely blended. You’re going to blend it again when you make the smoothies. Pour into muffin tins and freeze overnight. Pop discs out and wrap individually in parchment or wax paper, then wrap again in plastic wrap to ensure no moisture can get in. Store all the discs in a zip-top freezer bag for up to 3-4 months.

To make a smoothie, remove 1-2 discs from freezer, pop in blender with liquid of your choice (I like half coconut water, half almond/coconut milk) and blend until smooth. Add in additional sweeteners or fresh mint if you’d like. Or protein powder to really kick up the nutritional factor.
super greens smoothie 1


yum.-gluten-free-may-2015
For more healthy eating inspiration, check out the yum. Gluten Free May issue*. I love their clean, eye-catching layouts and each edition always has recipes that are simple to make…..and more importantly, delicious! Here’s what I’ll be cooking from this issue– looks like I’ll be busy!
Prawn & Pork Pad Thai
Passion Fruit Chia Seed Panna Cotta (made it; loved it!)
Roasted Beetroot Salad with Goats Cheese & Watercress Dressing
Sweet Potato, Haloumi & Quinoa Salad
Zucchini, Mint & Feta Fritters
Spiced Eggplant & Chickpea Salad with Paprika & Roasted Garlic Dressing


*Notes: magazine cover photo featured with permission from editor. This was not a sponsored post; just sharing some of my favorite things with you  :>)

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Detox Day Salad

With all the deliciously addictive Easter jelly beans, Meyer Lemon Biscotti, and Mango & Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta that I may have over-indulged in a wee bit this past week (oopsie!), thought it would be a good idea to offer up some inspirational pictures of a few recent hikes I’ve taken around Sonoma County to burn up those extra calories and get some fresh air. The wild fennel is sprouting up like crazy right now along all the rural trails. Its fragrant aroma definitely nudged me into adding its shop-bought twin to this dish. And so that we can feel ultra-healthy for a few days, here’s a Detox Day Salad chocked full of nutrient-rich greens that you can make to combat all the hot cross buns you just devoured. You know, all the ooey-gooey ones you’ve had pinned to your “must-bake” board for weeks now, and you finally had an excuse with this past holiday to make them…..I hear ya. But no worries, all’s forgiven. We’re going to balance our diet and eat right so we can feel better about making some more sinfully good dishes next week- right? Uh oh !  ;>)

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a hidden river at Riverfront Regional Park, Sonoma County

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vineyards at Riverfront Regional Park- heart of Russian River Valley

wild fennel

wild fennel- an inspirational ingredient for this Detox Day Salad


Detox Day Salad
(serves 4-6)

This is all about greens. Keep the skins on where noted to preserve as much nutrients as possible. Feel free to sub out any veggie and add your favorite. The ingredients list may seem a bit long, but 1) you’re in the produce section already, so just keep grabbing green things as you walk down the aisle 2) it’s good for you, and 3) IT’S GOOD FOR YOU….

Dressing:
2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons agave syrup
zest and juice of one lemon
zest and juice of one lime
salt & pepper to taste

Whisk all ingredients together in small bowl. Set aside. Can be stored refrigerated for up to one week.

Salad:
2 broccoli crowns, broken into small florets
1 broccoli stalk, peeled and finely diced
1-2 small green zucchini , large shreds, skin on
1 fennel bulb, finely chopped (stalks & fronds included)
2 cups Tuscan Kale, washed and chopped
1 large granny smith apple, skin on & finely chopped
1 -2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
1/2 cup silvered almonds
1 cup dried berries (I like a mix – goji, marionberry, cranberry and tart cherry)

Combine all the chopped veggies and herbs in a large bowl. Best to use a knife to cut all these as a food processor will make everything too fine. Add in almonds and berries. Toss to mix. If serving immediately, add dressing and stir to coat all ingredients. Or if making one-day ahead, you can stop here, cover the mix with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Then pour dressing over the salad when you’re ready to serve. Viola! Easy peasy.
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