Category Archives: Summer

Meatless Monday’s Caprese Mushrooms

Caprese Quinoa Grilled Stuffed Mushrooms with Balsamic Glaze
Caprese-Quinoa-Grilled-Stuffed-Mushrooms-with-Balsamic-Glaze-10
This variation on the classic Caprese is so delicious you’ll have them begging for more.
The trio of tomato, basil and mozzarella are a summer classic. The three are wonderful served simply with a little olive oil, salt & pepper, but the flavors also work well in this variation on the original.

Yield: 12 baby mushrooms served as an appetizer  or 2 large Portabellos served as a main dish

Ingredients

12 baby portobello mushrooms or 2 portobello mushrooms, stems removed

  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, diced
  • 1//3 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
  • 8-10 fresh basil leaves, sliced or chopped
  • 3 tablespoon good + fruity extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Balsamic Glaze
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add vinegar and brown sugar if using to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a very low simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, until liquid reduces by about half and is slightly syrupy. Remove from heat, pour vinegar in a bowl or glass to pour, and set aside to cool and thicken.
  2. Preheat the grill to medium high heat or heat your oven to to 400 degrees F.
  3. Toss the mushrooms with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and peper. Place the mushrooms stem side up directly on the grill and grill for 8-10 minutes or bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the grill and dump any liquid that is in the caps.
  4. While the mushrooms grill toss the quinoa, tomatoes, mozzarella and basil together in a medium size bowl. Add the remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. When the mushrooms are ready stuff each mushroom as best as you can with the caprese quinoa. If your mushrooms are small you may have some of the caprese quinoa leftover, just serve it along side the mushrooms. If desired place the mushrooms on a baking sheet and place back on the grill or under the broiler for 30 seconds to 1 minute to warm the cheese. Serve with a drizzle of the balsamic glaze and fresh black pepper.

Photo & Recipe Courtesy of www.halfbakedharvest.com

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Meatless Monday’s Zucchini Pesto Pasta

Almond Pesto Pasta with Zucchini

Walnut-Pesto-Pasta-with-ZucchiniF

We’ve had some strange weather here in Annapolis recently.  We went from constant, endless days of rain to somewhat outrageous temps in the upper 90s with heat indexes near 100*.  I thought for sure my garden wouldn’t make it, but lo and behold my counter is bursting with summer produce! What I have the most of? Zucchini! As I began to grow tired of variations on zucchini bread, this pasta swooped in and saved the day.

Zucchini and carrots are shaped into strips to match linguine in this summer veggie pasta medley. An almond basil pesto sauce perfectly counters the savory zucchini and sweet carrots.

Serves 4

For the almond pesto:

  • 1 1/2 packed cups basil, washed
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast*
  • or
  • 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 5 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

To complete the Almond Pesto Pasta with Zucchini:

  • 4 ounces linguine
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 large carrot

*Found in health food stores or the health food section of most grocery stores.

To make the almond pesto:

Place the basil, nutritional yeast or cheese, almonds and garlic together in a food processor. Run the food processor until the basil almond mixture is very finely chopped, stopping the food processor and scraping down the sides with a spatula when necessary.

While the food processor runs, slowly pour the canola oil in through the top window. Process until you have a smooth sauce. Taste and season with the salt and pepper, adjusting amounts if desired.

To complete the Almond Pesto Pasta with Zucchini:

Place a large pot of salted water over medium-high heat. When the water boils, cook the pasta according to package directions, or until the linguine is al dente. Drain and transfer back to the pot.

Using a spiralizer or vegetable peeler, make the zucchini and carrots into thin strips to match the linguine.

Place the pesto in a frying pan and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the garlic and almonds become fragrant.

Add the al dente pasta, zucchini strips and carrot strips to the pan. Toss to ensure the pesto sauce is evenly distributed on the pasta and veggie “noodles”. Divide into 4 portions and enjoy!

Photo & Recipe Courtesy of http://www.veggiesforreal.blogspot.com

Back to Basics: Child’s Pose {Yin Series}

Back to Basics: Child’s Pose or Balasana

balasana

As a style, Yin yoga is a cooling, relaxing practice which is especially useful in this scorching Annapolis heat.  No matter where you are or hot it is, Child’s Pose gives a nice refreshing release at the beginning, middle, or end of your practice or even just on its own.  Pregnant yogis may find this pose uncomfortable, but can choose to open the knees to allow more room for the abdomen to rest.  Balasana is a nice counter pose to backbends and is especially soothing in times of anxiety and vulnerability.  Coming into this comforting pose is simple.  Begin seated on the heels while slowly folding the chest towards the thighs as you bring your forehead to the earth.  The arms can lay comfortably by your legs, allowing the shoulders to drape over you like a blanket.

Child's Pose with extended arms

Child’s Pose with extended arms

Conversely, the arms can be extended out in front for a different sensation.  Props can lend an even deeper relaxation.  A bolster under the forehead or blankets under the knees are both good options.  Enjoy this pose for as long as desired.

Supported Child's Pose

Supported Child’s Pose

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: http://www.yogajournal.com

Classic Israeli Salad

The time of year when gardens are exploding has finally arrived! I don’t know about you, but my counters and fridge are full of tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and bell peppers are slowly making their way in too.  While I love being the friend who happily gives away her excess loot, sometimes it’s nice to take advantage of my bounty and try a new recipe.  This Israeli Salad sounds right up my alley! Especially since with all of this Annapolis rain, my parsley is taking over!

classic_israeli_salad-458x326

Ingredients:
4 Roma tomatoes, diced (2 cups)
2 Persian cucumbers or ½ English cucumber, diced (1 ⅓ cups)
½ yellow bell pepper, diced (⅔ cup)
⅔ cup chopped Italian parsley
3 Tbs. chopped green onion
2 tsp. olive oil
2 tsp. lemon juice

Toss all ingredients in a large bowl, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  For the best flavor, let rest for 20-30 minutes before serving.

Recipe and photo credit: http://www.vegetariantimes.com

Meatless Monday’s Orange Jicama, Green Bean & Brussel Sprout Salad

Jicama-Brussel-Sprout-Salad-with-Orange-Sesame-Dressing12Jicama [HEE-ka-ma] is a crispy, sweet, edible tuber that resembles a turnip in physical appearance, although the plants are not related.  These tubers can sometimes grow to be quite large, although when they exceed the size of two fists, they begin to convert the sugars that give them their sweet flavor into starches, making them somewhat woody to the taste.

Jicama grows on vines that may reach 20 feet in length.  The vines tend to hug the ground, ending in tubers that may grow up to 50 pounds (!) in size, although the majority of those sent to market are approximately 3 to 4 pounds in weight.  Before eating, the coarse brown outer layer should be peeled to reveal the white inside.  I found the potato peeler to be to wimpy for this task so I used a pairing knife.

When choosing jicama at the store, look for medium sized, firm tubers with dry roots. Wet or soft spots may indicate rot, and don’t not be drawn to overlarge ones, because they may not be as flavorful.  If you are ever in doubt which one is the prizing-wining-perfect jicama, ask the produce man or woman for help.  I even go as far as having them cut it in half to make sure that it is good all the way through.  They will keep under refrigeration for up to two weeks.

This is a perfect summer salad.  Enjoy!

Ingredients: yields 8 cups

Kale massage:

  • 1 head purple curly kale
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Add in:

  • 1 lb (3 cups chopped) French green beans
  • 3 cups shredded jicama
  • 1 1/2 cups baby brussel sprouts
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 Tbsp white sesame seeds

Orange Sesame Dressing: 1 3/4 cup dressing

  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup cashews, soaked 2+ hours
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Sriracha hot chili sauce
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

Preparation:

Salad:

  1. Kale ~  wash, remove stems and dry the kale leaves before cheffinading them.  After cutting up the kale add the orange juice and salt.  Massage for about 5 minutes or until the kale leaves start to wilt and decrease in size.  This will make it easier to chew, eat and digest.   Place in a large bowl.
  2. Wash and cut the ends of the of the green beans, then slice into bite sized pieces.  Blot dry with a paper towel.  Place in the bowl with the kale.
  3. In the food processor, fitted with the upper shredding blade, break down the jicama, brussel sprouts and carrots.  Add to the bowl of kale and green beans.  Add sesame seeds.  Toss together with hands.

Orange Sesame Dressing:

  1. After soaking the cashews in water, drain and rinse.
  2. In the blender, combine the orange juice, cashews, honey, oil, coconut aminos, vinegar, chili sauce, onion powder and ginger.
  3. Blend till creamy.  Pour over the salad and mix everything with your hands.
  4. Eat right way, or allow it to marinate for 2+ hours to absorb all the flavors.  Enjoy!
  5. This salad should keep for about 2-3 days.

Photo & Recipe Courtesy of NouveauRaw.com

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Y3 Classic kale Salad for Meatless Monday

Y3 Classic Kale Salad

Y3KaleSalad

This is hands down our favorite Kale Salad.  Beets are bountiful this summer season and you could swap kale for summer arugula if you’d prefer.  Either way, it is a flavor explosion and the varieties of textures kept us engaged to the last bite.

This salad is bursting with Dietary Fiber, Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and is a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.

We originally created this salad for our annual spring cleanse.   Who knew it was going to be such a big hit and become our everyday go to salad.  Not only is it nutrient dense and great for a weight loss program, it will satisfy and energize you and your taste buds will be screaming for more.  We seriously couldn’t get enough of this salad.  We made it again and doubled the recipe to have leftovers and tossed with black quinoa for a protein packed side dish perfect for a summer picnic or any day of the week.

Salad:

1 Head of Kale, washed, stems removed, massaged with lemon & salt, chopped into bite sized pieces.  Massaging the kale makes it easier to digest and the texture is much more pleasing.  It is well worth the extra effort. Set aside to marinate.

3 radishes, thinly sliced

¼ of a large purple onion, diced

1 avocado, sliced

2 tablespoons Hemp Hearts

1 cup sliced figs

Juice from half a Lemon

Pink Himalayan Sea Salt

Cracked Pepper

Incorporate all ingredients very well and add:

2 Beets, I used 1 red & one gold, cut into matchsticks, add last so everything is mixed well and the beets don’t turn everything pink

Gently toss with Dressing:

1 tablespoon Champagne Vinegar

1 tablespoon Olive Oil, or more if needed

Serves 2 as a main dish

Variations:

  • Serve as a side dish with wild caught Salmon, marinated in maple syrup, and grilled on a cedar plank.
  • Serve tossed with quinoa for a cold salad.  If doing this you should diced everything up instead of slicing, so it is more like a slaw.  Add quinoa last and toss gently so it doesn’t become PINK from the beets or use black quinoa.

Enjoy and let us know what you think!

Y3