St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Smoothie

Green beer, green cocktails, and green iced doughnuts are staples on St. Patrick’s Day, but if you want to get your green on and not wreck your healthy intentions, we have got you covered with a fantastic Shamrock Smoothie. Blend up this ultra-green smoothie to put some pep in your step first thing in the morning or sip on this after an exercise session.

Our amazing Shamrock Smoothie is made with melon, kiwi, lime juice, and mint. This smoothie is perfect for a light breakfast drink, an anytime pick-me-up drink, or a refreshing glass during the festivities. If you made with the optional protein powder, it is a great way to get some additional protein into your daily diet, not to mention the other vitamins and minerals!

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium, fresh-ripe kiwi fruit (peeled and sliced, or frozen)
  • 2 cups cantaloupe melon (cubed, fresh or frozen, but chilled)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh or concentrate lime juice
  • 1 ounce of protein powder, preferably unflavored (optional)
  • Garnish with mint sprigs or spiraled kiwi peeling

Directions:

  1. Place the cubed cantaloupe, sliced kiwi, and lime juice in your blender, processor, or handheld mixer. 
  2. Make sure you give it a good whirl and then add the optional protein powder. 
  3. Again, give it another good spin until mixed. 
  4. For a smoother mixture, blend just a bit longer. 
  5. Divide the smoothie between two glasses and garnish with mint or the spiraled kiwi peeling for a fresh, tasty look.
  6. Do not forget that you can freeze leftovers for the next day.
  7. Enjoy! 

As always, please let us know how your Shamrock Smoothie turned out for St. Patrick’s Day, and enjoy the holiday!

Mouthwatering Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Are you like everyone else and just now falling in love with brussels sprouts? If so, the way you prepare them makes all the difference in the world! This recipe is so easy and has the added flavor of balsamic vinegar and tasty bacon. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • One pound brussels sprouts (Make sure you trim them) 
  • One tablespoon olive oil or extra virgin olive oil 
  • Two tablespoons balsamic vinegar 
  • One-fourth teaspoon black pepper 
  • One-eighth teaspoon sea salt 
  • Two slices bacon (Cook till crispy, drain the bacon and then crumble. To bake pork bacon, place slices next to each other on a rack in a foil-lined shallow baking pan with sides. Bake for eighteen or twenty minutes until bacon is crispy. Drain well on paper towels) 
  • Two teaspoons finely shredded, fresh lemon peel 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Make sure you cut large brussels sprouts into lengthwise quarters. If you have small brussels sprouts, cut them in half. Take a large bowl and mix together brussels sprouts with one tablespoon of the balsamic vinegar and the extra virgin olive oil until all of the brussels sprouts are coated lightly. Salt and pepper to taste and toss the ingredients and make sure everything is coated. 
  2. Place the brussels sprouts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for about twenty to thirty minutes or until the sprouts are brown and tender (turning about every ten minutes). 
  3. Now transfer the brussels sprouts to a large bowl. Drizzle the leftover, one tablespoon vinegar, and sprinkle with the crumbled bacon. For personal preference, you can garnish with a fresh lemon peel. 

Note: The sprouts will take about twenty minutes to prepare and ready to eat in about 40 minutes. 

We hope you enjoy! Let us know what other recipes you would like to see by sharing your ideas with us in the comment section. Thanks for reading!

St. Patrick’s Day Cookies: Matcha Green Tea Shortbreads

With St. Patrick’s Day being a month away, you have got to try our Matcha Green Tea Shortbread cookies. Yep, we are talking about fresh-baked, chewy, and soft cookies that are everso delicately flavored. It is a tea cookie inception!

Our cookie is not too sweet with the unique matcha flavor that is so delicate and special. These green tea cookies are soft, pillowy, and pair perfectly with tea. Please do not overlook the beautiful color that is just perfect for St. Patty’s Day cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups bleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Matcha green tea powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt or sea salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ½ cup powdered sugar (add more or less depending on personal preference)

Directions: 

  1. Sift the flour, matcha green tea powder, and salt into a bowl. 
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and powdered sugar until fluffy. 
  3. Add flour mixture to a mixing bowl and mix slowly until dough just comes together. 
  4. Pull and roll dough together carefully into a log, about two inches in diameter. 
  5. Wrap dough logs in cloth or wax paper and place it in the freezer for thirty minutes or until the dough is firm to the touch. 
  6. Slice dough into ¼ inch round pieces and place 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. 
  7. Bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees for 16 to 18 minutes until cookies are a light golden brown around the edges – turning the pan halfway through the baking time. 
  8. Remove cookies immediately and place them on a wire rack to cool. 
  9. Store in an airtight container or wrap and freeze. 

We hope you enjoy your Matcha Green Tea Shortbread Cookies, and Happy St. Patty’s Day!

Cauliflower Rice with a Mediterranean Twist

Are you on the fence about the taste of cauliflower? We were not quite sure about how delicious cauliflower can really taste, so we decided to try this recipe with a Mediterranean twist. Boy, are we glad we did! Spruce this recipe up with a few extra ingredients, and we are sure you will love it as much as we do!

Ingredients for Cauliflower Rice:

  • One medium to large head of cauliflower 
  • Two cloves garlic, minced or pressed 
  • One 1/2 cup sliced almonds 
  • Just a pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Two tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
  • One tablespoon lemon juice (fresh if available)
  • One 1/4 teaspoon sea salt 
  • One 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley – chopped well 
  • Top off with fresh ground pepper for taste 

Directions for Cauliflower Rice:

  1. Cut the head of cauliflower into medium chunks and throw away the core. Put a small amount in your food processor until the pieces are broken into small pieces. Now you have the rice. 
  2. Wrap the cauliflower rice in a kitchen towel and twist well to remove as much water as possible from the rice. Actually, during this step, you will see how much water was in the cauliflower. 
  3. Now toast your almonds in a large skillet over medium heat, making sure to stir often, so they do not burn. Once they start to turn gold and you smell them, they are ready. This usually takes about four to five minutes. Place in a bowl to cool. 
  4. Take the skillet and return to heat while adding olive oil and garlic. Make sure to keep stirring until you smell the garlic. This only takes about ten to twenty seconds.  
  5. Add the cauliflower rice, red pepper flakes, salt, and stir well to blend. Now cook for about six to ten minutes until the rice turns golden. 
  6. Remove the skillet from heat and stir in your cooled off toasted almonds, parsley, and lemon juice.  
  7. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper. Serve warm. 

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cooking Time: 15 minutes | Serving Size: Four Servings as a Side Dish

The Essentials: Creating Your Spice Cabinet

Your culinary journey begins in your kitchen. The endless possibilities of foods are at your disposal with the right spices and knowledge. If you are just beginning to create your spice cabinet, there are thousands of spices to explore. However, becoming familiar with a handful of spices can go along way. Here are the top ten spices to begin with when creating your spice cabinet.

Basil

This herb is an excellent start to your spice rack or cabinet. Basil is perfect for helping to spruce up sauces or many Mediterranean cuisines. If you really want to get the full flavor of this excellent herb, you can also invest in fresh basil to keep in your refrigerator or grow your own.

Cayenne Pepper

This pepper is a Capsicum Annuum. It is typically grounded up into a fine powder to use to add spice to food. Try adding cayenne pepper to any dish you are looking to zest up the flavor.

Cilantro

Also known as Chinese parsley, this leafy herb is potent. It can give a distinct flavor to many dishes. Cilantro has a much bolder flavor than parsley. It is also great for bone and heart health, as well.

Cinnamon

Another spice you should have on hand is cinnamon. Cinnamon is made from the inner bark of Cinnamomum trees. It has been used in different cuisines for thousands of years while being a staple in many dessert dishes and pairs excellent with sugar. It also has many health benefits from anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidants and lowers blood sugar levels.

Nutmeg

Nutmeg is another great spice. It is rich in antioxidants and tastes great. Plus, it can be used in coffee or other dairy-based dishes. Typically, it is used in combination with cinnamon for holiday sweets.

Onion Powder

Onion powder is a very useful spice in the kitchen. Use this to help add the delectable flavor of onions evenly throughout an entire dish.

Oregano

Oregano is excellent to add to sauces or pizza. This herb strongly complements tomato-based dishes. It also is loaded with antioxidants and an excellent source of fiber.

Parsley

Parsley is a milder herb than cilantro. It can be used to accentuate Middle Eastern or Mediterranean cuisines. Parsley is mildly bitter yet helps lifts the natural flavors in your dish.

Rosemary

This is great for a wide variety of dishes from soups and salads or chicken and fish. Rosemary can help improve digestion and is very versatile. With its distinct lemon-pine flavor, it can easily brighten up any dish you make in the kitchen.

Vanilla Extract

Vanilla extract is essential for many baking recipes. It goes great with almost any dessert that you are looking to create. Help make a bland cake taste delicious with this powerful extract.

There are still hundreds of more spices to explore. These spices are great for kickstarting your spice cabinet and beginning your seasoning adventures. What are some of your favorite spices that we did not mention? Let us know below in the comment section!

Holiday Meals for the Entire Family

The holidays are full of memorable events, but nothing brings a family together like food. Sitting down with your loved ones and sharing a meal brings a sense of togetherness and evokes feelings of thankfulness and comfort. It provides the assurance that the people who have gathered with you are full and happy.

Today, cooking a holiday meal that can be eaten by the entire family can be a difficult task. Beliefs, preferences, and allergies can make catering to everyone’s needs frustrating and nearly impossible. Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives out there that can be used to make holiday dishes available to almost everyone at your table this year.

Plant-based cooking not only ensures that vegetarians and vegans in your family can enjoy your meal, but it also eliminates dairy, making it okay for anyone who is lactose-intolerant. Plus, it eliminates any type of meat which may be avoided due to someone’s religious beliefs.

While drinks are just as important at the dinner table as the food, you can make sure everyone is catered to this year with an easy to make vegan eggnog.

Vegan Eggnog

Ingredients: 

  • 24 ounces silken tofu (crumbled) 
  • 2 cups of soy milk
  • 2/3 cup turbinado sugar 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 cup water (cold) 
  • 1 cup rum
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 20 ice cubes 
  • Nutmeg for garnishing

Instructions: 

  • Place the tofu, soy milk, sugar, and salt in a blender and blend until the mixture is smooth.
  • Pour the mixture into a bowl and whisk in the water, rum, and vanilla extract.
  • You will want to keep the mixture refrigerated until it is ready to be served.
  • When you are ready to serve the eggnog, blend the mix with the ice cubes until frothed 
  • Enjoy! 

A hearty vegan Shepherd’s pie is an excellent way to ensure all your guests are able to enjoy a warm and filling entree this holiday season.

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients: 

  • 4 Potatoes 
  • 2 tbsp vegan margarine 
  • ¼ cup unsweetened soy milk 
  • Salt and pepper (to taste) 
  • One onion 
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil 
  • 1 ½ cups vegan ground beef substitute 
  • 1 ¼ cups vegan gravy 
  • ½ cup green peas 
  • ½ cup of corn 
  • ½ tsp garlic powder 
  • Dash of cayenne pepper 

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F 
  • Dice potatoes and chop onions
  • Boil or microwave potatoes until soft 
  • Drain potatoes and mash with vegan margarine and soy milk 
  • Add salt and pepper to add taste 
  • Saute the chopped onions in the vegetable oil 
  • Combine the onions, beef substitute, vegan gravy, peas, corn, garlic powder, and a dash of cayenne pepper in a large mixing bowl and pour into a pie pan 
  • Spread the mashed potatoes over your vegetable mixture 
  • Bake for 30 to 40 minutes 
  • Enjoy! 

The holidays are full of wonderful sweets, so give vegan gingerbread cookies a try this holiday season to ensure everyone satiates their sweet tooth.

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup of vegan margarine 
  • 1 cup of sugar 
  • Egg Replacer for one egg 
  • 1 cup molasses 
  • Two TBSP apple cider vinegar 
  • 5 cups flour 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 TBSP ginger 
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp cloves 
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Instructions:

  • Beat the margarine and sugar together in a large bowl 
  • Add the egg replace, molasses, and apple cider vinegar to the mixture 
  • In a separate bowl, combine your dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. 
  • Pour the dry ingredients into the large bowl of wet ingredients and combine well 
  • Let the dough refrigerate for at least two hours to become firm 
  • Preheat the oven to 375 F 
  • Either roll out your dough and cut it into holiday shapes with cookie cutters or form it into ½ inch balls 
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper 
  • Place your cookies on the sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes until done 
  • Enjoy! 

The holidays bring a lot of different people from separate walks of life together. Plant-based options make sure that you are prepared to cater to anyone this holiday season. Feel free to leave a comment below with your favorite go-to holiday dish and make sure to subscribe!

Thanksgiving Turkey Alternative: Baked Chicken

With Thanksgiving around the corner, it is time to begin game-planning your holiday meal. The delicious course usually involves turkey paired with tasty side dishes. But this year, if you are looking for an easier main course, try baked chicken breast. It is often a crowd-pleaser and is easy to cook for first-time hosts.

Ingredients for Baked Chicken Breast: 

  • Four chicken breasts – 150 – 180g, four to six ounces each 
  • Two teaspoons extra virgin olive oil 
  • One and one half tablespoon brown sugar 
  • One teaspoon paprika 
  • One teaspoon dried thyme or oregano or choose another herb that you prefer 
  • One fourth teaspoon garlic powder 
  • One half teaspoon sea salt 
  • One half teaspoon black pepper 
  • Finely chopped fresh parsley for garnish 

Directions for Baked Chicken Breast:

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cooking Time: 18 minutes | Total Time: 23 minutes

Serving Size: Four servings | Calories: 285 calories per chicken breast 

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F on a standard oven or 390 F on a convection oven. 
  2. Pound the chicken to 0.6” at the thickest part of the chicken by using a rolling pin or meat mallet. This is a key tip for ensuring that the chicken is cooked evenly throughout. 
  3. Mix all of the seasonings. 
  4. Now line the tray with aluminum foil and baking paper (this will help in clean up). Place the chicken upside down on a tray. Drizzle the chicken with one teaspoon olive oil and rub over with your fingers. Sprinkle with seasonings. 
  5. Flip the chicken. Drizzle with one teaspoon olive oil, rub with your fingers, sprinkle the seasoning, and be careful to cover as much of the surface as you can. 
  6. Bake for eighteen minutes or until the surface is a golden color, or if the internal temperature is 165 F, using a meat thermometer. 
  7. Now remove from the oven and transfer the chicken to serving plates. 
  8. Wait about three to five minutes before you put the final garnish of parsley on top. 
  9. Serve with your favorite Thanksgiving side dishes and bread.

Notes Baked Chicken Breast:

For a juicy chicken breast, use a touch of brown sugar in the seasoning. This makes the chicken sweat while it bakes, making a semi-sauce and cooking fast at a high-temperature.

We hope you enjoy our baked chicken breast recipe and would love to hear any feedback!

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie Recipe

If you are like us, everywhere we turn, we see something to do with pumpkins: pumpkin decorations, pumpkin pies, pumpkin cupcakes, and pumpkin lattes. The color orange is the perfect fall color since orange is a happy color, and it is that highlighter color that grabs your attention! With the smell of pumpkin spice permeating the air, what better way to celebrate fall than by making a healthy and tasty pumpkin smoothie!

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

Prep time – 5 Minutes | Cook/Chill Time – 3 hours | Total Time – 3 hours 5 minutes

Serving Size – One Serving

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp Pumpkin Puree
  • 2 Pitted Dates or 1 to 1 ½ Tbsp of Honey or Maple Syrup
  • 1 Cup Rolled Oats (Gluten-Free if Preferred)
  • ¼ to ½ tsp Instant Coffee Granules (If you are unsure about adding coffee, start with ¼ tsp and increase to ½ tsp according to personal preference)
  • ¾ cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • ½ Tbsp Almond Butter
  • ¼ tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp Ground Nutmeg

Directions:

  1. The night before, add all ingredients to your blender and make sure you stir them well (you are not blending yet). Cover and place in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours. You can eliminate this step, but soaking the oats overnight- it will make the smoothie creamier.  
  2. When ready to make, blend on high until the oats and dates are fully broken down. Blend until you have a smooth and creamy consistency. If the smoothie is too thick, just add a little almond milk. 
  3. You can enjoy the smoothie cold or warm. To drink warm, add the mixture to a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. If the smoothie becomes too thick when cooking, simply add a splash of almond milk.  

We hope this recipe helps you to kick off the fall season. Happy October!

How to Make a Healthier Mac & Cheese

As everyone knows, macaroni and cheese is known for being a “comfort food” soothing ability! If you love mac and cheese as much as we do, please see our tips below for making a healthier recipe for the family.

Add Vegetables

You will want to add vegetables according to the season. Peas, tomatoes, corn, squash, green beans, and almost any other vegetable make the perfect topping for the mac and cheese. The wonderful golden cheese is the perfect backdrop for hiding a few veggies for picky children. You are also adding fiber and delightful nutrients to the golden mac and cheese!

Switch out Your Pasta 

Normally, mac and cheese in a prepackaged box contain refined pasta. Switch this out with a whole wheat pasta to increase fiber, minerals, and vitamins. You can also add chickpeas to increase plant-based proteins. 

Use Different Cheeses

As you know, a ton of fat and cholesterol are in a prepackaged mac and cheese. If you choose to use a cheese that is lower in fat or even use a little bit of cottage cheese to fill in, is a great way to reduce the saturated fat and cholesterol in your side dish.

Add to Your Sauce

Now, pull out your food processor and puree some veggies like cauliflower and carrots. This is a perfect way to sneak veggies into the good ole mac and cheese! Again, you are adding fiber and nutrients without the little ones noticing.

Use Other Milk

This is a no brainer, instead of using whole milk try adding a milk alternative like almond, soy or coconut milk. Do not use heavy cream; try substituting half and half for the cream sauce.

Avoid Adding Meats

Do not add hotdogs or bacon to your mac and cheese. You will eliminate a ton of calories, fat, and cholesterol in doing so. Again, only add good things like vegetables for the perfect mac and cheese.

Do Not Bake Your Mac & Cheese

Typically, when we bake mac and cheese, we add additional cheese and breadcrumbs to the top, so it is best not to do this. Simply make your mac and cheese in a handy skillet to eliminate the extra cheese and breadcrumbs. You will cut down on lots of calories and fat when doing so.

We hope you enjoyed these tricks and happy cooking!