Strawberry-Nectarine Sauce!

I love the dish a friend gave me – a heart shaped plate, engraved with 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, which reads as follows:

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless.

But love will last forever!

And another friend gave me the beautiful bowl with Psalm 46:10, Be still and know that I am God!

Even in the kitchen, I can praise God! I love these practical reminders of His Word, which encourages and reminds me of God’s love and how He wants us to put it to practice.

So what did I make today for a special Sunday brunch?

I went ahead and used the strawberry-nectarine sauce I created Friday on the fruit salad, as well as on the English muffins! Talk about delicious….

1 lb. of chopped strawberries

5 chopped nectarines

1/2 cup turbinado sugar

1/2 cup refined white sugar

a healthy dose of ground ginger

I put the 5 ingredients in a pot and let it cook down for about 2 hours, and then let it cool, before pouring it into a blender, and then back into the pot, where I placed a package of pectin, which allows the sauce to become denser, more alike to a jam. Needless of its consistency, I admit that I couldn’t reach well enough to lick the pot it cooked in, but I cleaned it off and enjoyed the spoonful, as it was quite tasty.

What can you do with a mix such as this? I have no qualms about doing a sweet and savory mix, so when I went to scramble some eggs this morning, I popped an English muffin in the toaster and toasted it twice, yes twice. There’s something quite yummy about slightly overly toasted bread in the morning, and placed a dollop of the strawberry-nectarine sauce right smack in the middle, and licked the spoon before washing it!

For the scrambled eggs, first I cooked 1/3 cup of a white onion; then in a bowl placed 3 eggs whisked with a little bit of almond milk, a heaping tablespoon of bacon bits, two handfuls of organic mozzarella cheese, freshly grated black peppercorn, and finely chopped some fresh broccoli.  Love making a healthy portion, as it leaves leftovers for the week.

When the scrambled eggs were done, I put a heaping tablespoon and then some on top of the English muffin and the strawberry-nectarine sauce. It was delicious.

A side was a mix of fresh fruit, including strawberries, pineapple, grapes, nectarines, and tomatoes, and a spoonful of the sauce on top, alongside a cup of coffee. It was spectacular! Brunch is one of my all times favorite meals to put together, as it’s a fast and filling meal that you can create with any ingredients in your pantry and refrigerator.

Have a blessed Sunday afternoon!

Saturday Brunch….all about the greens and fruits in the fridge!

It’s Saturday morning and I woke up with lots of energy, so I started cleaning, organizing, and washing clothes….then at the first promptings of hunger, went to the kitchen and decided to make my crust-less green veggie mini quiches, while waiting for the washer and dryer to finish its work.

What exactly did I put in these mini green wonders? Everything but the kitchen sink! In true fashion, it’s all about what you have handy.

  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 10 oz. box of frozen chopped spinach (easier than chopping fresh spinach any day!)
  • 6 finely chopped portabella mushrooms
  • about a cup of chopped fresh broccoli
  • Italian sea salt and freshly grated black peppercorn
  • a handful of frozen peas

How does this start? I begin by cooking the onion with a dash of sea salt and freshly grated black peppercorn, while the frozen spinach cooks.  Once the spinach is done, I drain it and add it to the onion and allow it to mingle, while adding in the fresh broccoli and portabella mushrooms.  I let it cook for about 2 minutes or so, until the broccoli starts turning that bright beautiful green color, and turn off the heat.

In two separate bowls, I add

  • 4 beaten eggs
  • at least 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup organic shredded cheese (whatever kind you have in your fridge)
  • and then I choose one bowl into which I add bacon bits and more cheese, while in the other bowl, it has more veggies than the egg and milk mixture.

Then using a cupcake pan, with a large spoon, I fill them up to a little over brimming, as when this cooks, it will decrease in size as the eggs cook.  It’s good to leave them in a 350 degree oven for at least a good 45 minutes, so that it’s well done and not runny.

I typically take it out of the oven and choose to wait at least a good 15 minutes, as when it’s just taken out, it’s piping hot and will disintegrate should you choose at that time to unmold them. I use a knife to first cut around and then a nice large spoon to take them out.

The day before I had gone to my neighborhood Aldi’s, and saw that the nearby French bakery, Bonjour! was open…..so after loading the car with my groceries, I ran over to see what they had….and ended up purchasing two amazingly decadent French croissants….yes, totally decadent.

So once the mini quiches were not as hot, I sliced a croissant and in went a mini quiche, creating a new style of breakfast sandwich, which was gone in just a few minutes.

The pleasure of not having to run out the door for errands led me to take my time and get creative with the fruits at hand, so I cut up a large kiwi, sliced strawberries, and created mini skewers with red grapes and fresh pineapple pieces.

End result? A delicious brunch, with plenty of leftovers – as you will have at least a dozen mini individual quiches that you can eat as a snack, as a meal with a side salad, with fruit, or use any bread to create a sandwich, or eat them as is, either hot or cold.  I love having these, as it’s a super fast meal to put together any time.

I hope you will make these for you and your family.  They are a treat, as you’re having a meal which is healthy (healthier if you leave out the croissant, of course!) and very filling.

Have a great Saturday!

 

Soup, The Final Frontier… aka – let’s clean out the veggie bin!

There’s something quite comforting about a bowl of hot soup. And today was one of those days….yes, it’s back up to the 80’s in Miami, but I wanted soup, so off I went into the veggie bin.

I sauteed two chopped white onions with a dash or two of freshly grated black peppercorn and a dash of sea salt, and added two chopped potatoes and allowed it to cook until the potatoes were tender in 3 cups of spring water. Then I added about 2 cups of fresh broccoli, and about a cup and a half of riced cauliflower – yes, all the fresh veggies went into this pot of goodness. I couldn’t wait to blend it, put it back in the stovetop pot, and allow it to come up to a gentle boil.

Then I scooped up a bowl and threw some plantain chips on top…..I love a bit of crunch with hot soup, and it was sooooo good! Am actually having a second cup for dinner…..today has been a smoothie kind of day!

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Healthy Green Lunch to start the Month Right!

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Had to start the month right…..celebrating from the 1st to the 31st! Opted to go healthy, so sautéed broccoli and portabella mushrooms with garlic, lemon juice, and freshly grated pepper. Covered salmon with my spinach pistachio pesto and into the oven it went for a good 15 minutes, and soon had a yummy and healthy meal to enjoy the beginning of the month’s celebrations!

It’ll be a Green and Healthy 4th of July!

20 Minute Green Lunch!

What happens when I’m hungry, want a light lunch and it needs to be healthy, green and quick?

I run to the freezer! I knew I had chicken breast strips, but also pulled out a bag of frozen spinach, riced cauliflower with garlic, and another of broccoli.

Cooked the chicken stovetop with the freshly squeezed juice of 3 lemons, cracked peppercorn and sea salt, and then mixed together the spinach, cauliflower and broccoli with 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese and Voila! After chopping the chicken and allowing it to hang out with the veggies, I had my light green healthy lunch finished and ready in 20 minutes!

The great part about this meal is that it will keep well in the fridge or freezer.  If you make a larger amount, you could actually portion it out for your lunch for the week or dinners, with a nice green salad.

 

 

Scrambled eggs with broccoli – Green Saturday morning delight!

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What comes together in a blink of an eye for a quick Saturday breakfast? Scrambled eggs, of course! As I’m working hard at leaving carbs out of the equation, I reached for the broccoli staring at me when I opened the refrigerator door. Come with me, and chop, chop, it was ready to be included in the pan with the eggs.

Since the beginning of this year, I have not eaten bread, biscuits, or toast! This has truly been quite an experience, and frankly, one that I never thought I would be able to sustain for a very long time.  I come from a carb-happy family, in which bread, biscuits toast and/or crackers are incorporated into each meal….each meal! My Aunt Neni, who I adore, doesn’t understand how I can have a meal and not finish it off with a piece of bread – yes, you read that right….that’s her “after dessert” treat!

I chose this green path for my health and I am happy, thrilled, shocked that I was able to lose 10 lbs within the first couple of weeks – totally unheard of as that had never ever happened before.  Yes, I jump started a cleaner way of eating using Dr. Gundry’s The Plant Paradox.  I am so grateful for this book – the recipes are super easy and delicious, and as I love to cook, I’ve tweaked some of them according to my personal taste.

But back to the eggs…what did I put in them?

A small handful of shredded Gruyere

2 chopped chicken and apple sausage breakfast links, Applegate Naturals – found them at Whole Foods and had to try them, and

a dash of freshly ground pepper, and that’s it! No added salt of any kind due to the sodium in the breakfast links, and after the eggs were almost done, the chopped broccoli went into the pan, and Voila! A delicious breakfast without bread.

Yes, I can eat meals without bread, Tia Neni!

Strawberry-Tomato Soup with Broiled Chicken infused with an Espresso-Kosher Salt Rub!

 

ImageRemember that awesome tomato soup I made on Friday afternoon?

For a special Sunday lunch, I took one pound of fresh, bright red strawberries and pureed them with 1/3 cup of the awesome tomato soup, and placed it to chill in the freezer.  I adorned it with some grape tomatoes, broccoli and three Awesome Garlic Parmesan Pretzel Crisps, made by Snack Factory.  These chips are totally awesome…and go so well with strawberry-tomato soup, which by the way could be enjoyed before, during or after lunch!  The light garlicky tomato soup, accentuated with the pureed strawberries made my taste buds feel like they were at a disco! So much flavor dancing all over my tongue….severe yum factor!

Had chicken in the fridge, so out it came…and unbeknownst to me, opening my cupboard I reached for the espresso….even though it did not seem to make any sense, I took kosher salt and therefore created my first espresso and kosher salt rub for chicken.  Let me tell you….the awesome perfume of espresso with chicken wafted throughout my kitchen, making me salivate, as I waited for it to cook.

Zucchini and broccoli, lightly tossed with a just a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, really good balsamic vinegar and kosher salt made a great side dish.

Try this recipe out and let me know what you think!!!!

SO EXCITING THAT THIS HAS BEEN FRESHLY PRESSED!!!!!

Basil Pesto Salmon with Broccoli & Honey Gold Potatoes……severe YUM factor!!!!!

I really meant to take a picture of this amazing dish that I cooked up tonight for my supper……but I was overcome by the enticing aroma of the salmon smothered in basil pesto (basil pesto from Whole Foods) cooking in the oven……this was beyond DELISH.  It was Smarvelous. Just really, really good.

So, I took about 2 heaping tablespoons of this wonderful basil pesto and covered the salmon and placed it on a pan that had about two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and allowed it to cook through for about 10 minutes. 

Before that, I found a bag of Honey Gold Potatoes, and placed them as well as a frozen 8 oz package of broccoli to cook, in about 3 cups of boiling water, with some salt and freshly ground black pepper.  These were cooked through rather quickly, as the potatoes are small.  I drained the water, and put just a little bit more of pepper, and freshly squeezed lemon juice.

I placed the salmon on a dish with the broccoli and potatoes, and instead of even contemplating going to find my camera (I should have had it in the kitchen to begin with) I dived right into this plate…..and let me tell you, so simple and yet so delicious and so quick to make! So fulfilling as well.

Salmon is great for the skin.  Every time that I eat salmon twice a week, my skin thanks me!

Please try this dish and let me know if you like it as much as I did!!!!

And to leave you with a wonderful verse for the evening;

“How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!  I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!

Psalm 139;17 & 18