Thursday, November 20, 2014

N is for noodles - a chicken (or turkey) noodle soup


i made this pot of loveliness on tuesday for my kids and wonderful babysitting-in-laws.  i had pitching lessons so they got to be with the kids with chris out and about.  i even prepped some manchego grilled cheese sandwiches:)

how did it go?  well, mary and larry LOVED both the soup and sandwiches.  the kids politely declined my soup and gobbled up all the grilled cheese. 

ingrates.

i reheated the soup for next day leftovers and gave all three of them a nice large bowl with calm, simple instructions: if they wanted any of the organic potato chips i had to share, they would have to eat the entire (freaking) bowl.

they licked their bowls clean.  mac and abbie even complimented my soup.  they also tried to leave some vege in the bowl... 

"i'm done!"

"no.you're.not."

my shady food blackmail tactic worked.  and boy do i.love.my.chips.


to the mullies with chicken noodle soup 

2 T coconut or extra virgin olive oil
6 organic rainbow chard ribs chopped (i reserve them when i make sautéed greens or smoothies! kale - hello 52 new foods challenge! - or celery works well here too).
1/2 organic red onion
4 small organic carrots
2 cloves of garlic
pinch of dried thyme
sage salt
2 qts organic vege stock
1 tsp organic chicken bouillon (optional)
1 soup bowl full of organic frozen peas
1 soup bowl full of gluten free pasta (i love the tinkyada brand)
2 handfuls of shredded organic chicken or turkey (hello leftovers from earlier in the week)

heat oil in a large stockpot over med-low heat.  add chopped chard ribs, onion, carrots, garlic, thyme, sage salt & pepper.  stir, sauté and cover low and slow until onions are translucent and just beginning to caramelize (20-30 min).  dump stock + bouillon and bring to a boil.  reduce heat, throw chicken in, cover and simmer for a short or long bit.  when you are 15-20 min from serving, bring heat back up and add peas and gluten free pasta.  season to taste.  the noodles and chicken will continue to break down with every leftover reheat... it just gets better and better.

from start to finish, you could totally make this soup fast, in 30-40 minutes.  however, i think the deliciousness factor went up 10 fold because i took my time with it.  i slow cooked the soffritto, simmered the stock, vege and chicken for a while (probably over an hour!), and then had it for two days of leftovers. the chard adds depth that celery can only wish it had!

when i got home, the noodles had blown up big sitting and cooling in the pot... i think that's my favorite part.  I had my last bowl yesterday for lunch and it was so tasty and thick and wonderful and oh I miss it in my fridge so much already.  

warm your little hearts up!  i think i'll be making it again with our turkey leftovers as it'll sure pair well with our weekend football fixins.

happy friday you foodie freakos,

xoxoL









Wednesday, November 19, 2014

a pusher love girl soup




i had two lovely debuts last saturday:

#1 my lovely homemade food rev banner - i know, i'm nuts... but i have a lot of fabric scraps and my brother in law kevin made me a super rad stencil, so i just HAD to.  (thanks a bazillion mom for teaching me how to sew such a long time ago!)  abbie's leapard duck tape holds it up quite well. ha!

#2 my delicious dairy free, gluten free cream of mushroom soup - it knocked people's socks off and i was shocked at how excited people were that it was df and gf! i had a good 10-15 people who could not have eaten it the "normal" way as they were either vegan, cutting out diary or living gluten free.  i hope you'll make it sooner than later in your kitchens whatever which way you like it... you could make it and replace that canned cream of mushroom soup from your favorite family recipe (green bean casserole much?  mmmmmm-kay?)  check out this great "toxins vs traditions" article by the food babe.

to the mullies with a cream of mushroom soup

a few T's of extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
3.5 c sliced cremini mushrooms divided
1 onion sliced thin
2 celery ribs sliced thin + leaves chopped
3 cloves garlic sliced thin
1/2 tsp dried thyme (1 T fresh)
2.5 T gluten free flour
1/2 c light coconut milk (you can add as much as 3/4 c here)
2 c organic rice milk (or almond milk)
2.5 qt (2 cartons) organic vegetable stock
sage infused sea salt (my dear friend terri also shows you how to make more homemade herbal salts here!  she knocks my socks off - i'm making every single one for my pantry!!!)
freshly ground pepper
freshly chopped parsley (optional as my kids would give me a thumbs down on the "grass")

heat oil in a large stock pot and add your 2.5 cups of the mushrooms, sliced onions, celery, garlic and thyme. (reserve 1 cup of sliced mushrooms to sauté on the side with oil + s&p.  you can add as a garnish later. however, if you have eaters who do not like the texture of whole mushrooms, simply skip this step). cook vege low and slow with the lid on until onions are translucent and juices have released (about 10-15 min). add 2 T flour to vege and mix for a few minutes - it should be clumpy and pasty = we are forming a "roux". slowly pour in coconut milk and stir until a smooth paste forms.  next, slowly pour in rice milk ad stir until mixture begins to thicken. pour in stock, mix and bring to a boil. reduce heat and simmer for 15 min. using a handheld immersion blender, whiz up until silky (or transfer to blender). season to taste with sage salt and freshly ground pepper. garnish with parsley + some sautéed mushrooms. enjoy a cozy crock or two with your friends and family.


see you again this saturday at dakotah's indoor farmer's market for three lovely thanksgiving inspired tastes:

pomegranate + mango + apple salsa (inspired by 52 new foods cookbook)
a raw thanksgiving stuffing/dressing (inspired by kimberly snyder)
apple + orange + cranberry relish (inspired by jamie oliver)


xoxoL


ps

big huge thanks to ulysses and the other fab MHS national honor society volunteers who helped me cook up a storm and pass out greens from the fremont community garden!  




Thursday, November 13, 2014

a food revolution guest blogger today!


i'm a guest blogger today!

come hop over to the jamie oliver food revolution (USA) website today and read my full blown recap:  diaries from the chicago food day 2014.

it's a itty.bitty.detailed.foodrev.journal.entry for you.

well, maybe not so itty bitty...

xoxo






Monday, November 10, 2014

inspiring eaters at dakotah's indoor farmer's market


i had some major butterflies in my stomach last week.  for i jumped out of my kitchen for the first time and got my feet wet cooking with induction while talking to strangers.  with a successful peterson garden project's cooking class under my belt + a night of cooking greens on my new portable induction cooktop, i was ready to take another 1st step and cook up some vege inspiration at dakotah's indoor farmers market!

do you like to eat sautéed greens? 

my kids & chris would still say "not reeaaaaally" (but i make them eat a few bites anyway).  i cooked up 5 rounds of sautéed greens last saturday and i'll be cooking up even more next weekend for dakota's farmer's market shoppers.  

so how did it go?  the majority of the market goers were definitely wary... but after they tried one bite, everyone finished their cup!  NOT.A.ONE threw the rest out!  (and i gave them the a-ok to toss it if they didn't like it!)  i turned a ton of people ON to these delicious lovelies and i felt like i won the lottery each time.  i brought 100 recipe cards and only brought 5 cards back home!  my favorite moment was when a mother daughter pair approached and the mother said, "oh, she'll ever try that, she hates greens." perhaps out of curiosity, perhaps a little out of defiance, the 18 year old picked a cup up, took a tiny bite and said,  "this is not terrible... wow.  ok, now don't get me wrong, i'm not going to eat an entire plate of this, but i can do this amount!"  and she finished the cup.  the mom took a recipe card home and i'm crossing my fingers they might cook it up together again soon.

one step, one bite, one new recipe to work into the kitchen mix per week.  a perfect place to bring the 52 new foods cookbook and talk about cooking and eating better together in the food revolution!

the village homesteading mundelein group runs our fremont township community garden and there are a ton of greens and other produce still available and getting sent to our lake county food pantries. since the broccoli, brussel sprout, kale and turnip greens harvest is abundant (and not as popular at the pantries), i get to cook these lovelies up and inspire people to eat them!  

it's my new saturday hangout while chris takes the kids to ymca basketball games all morning (yes, he coaches all three of their teams).  sports + real food = team shifdog.
dakatah, you've cooked up something wonderful for our fair town and i'm thrilled to be gathering with you and the other wonderful vendors and community members to help #growmundelein.   

to the mullies with sauteed greens + bbq
1 T olive oil or coconut oil
1 onion sliced thin
2 garlic cloves sliced thin
1/2+ c vegetable stock
1 lb washed greens (kale, collard, broccoli, brussel sprout, turnip, beet, spinach, rainbow chard...)
splash of apple cider vinegar
sea salt & pepper
BBQ sauce (make your own or buy one like holcomb hollow's with clean ingredients!)

Optional additions:
1 can cannillini or white beans
nitrate/antibiotic free bacon or sausage
tomatoes
mushrooms
sesame seeds (pair with a korean bbq!)
red pepper fakes
honey
be creative and add in your own with gumption!

remove middle stem/rib from greens.  dice stems like celery.  heat oil over medium heat and add ribs + onion.  sauté until onions become translucent and begin to caramelize (5-7 min).  add garlic and sauté for another min until fragrant (add tomatoes and/or mushroom here too.  sauté until juices have released).  add greens + stock + s&p and cover pan.  turn occasionally and cook for 5-15 minutes depending on toughness of greens (kale, collard, broccoli and brussel sprout greens take 5-10 additional minutes to wilt, so add these first before the more tender greens like spinach, chard, beet and turnip).  once all greens are wilted and still vibrant in color, add a splash of apple cider vinegar and stir to incorporate.  season to taste.  adding meat?  cook meat first in pan, then set aside and follow recipe.  need a bean fix?  add last, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for additional 5 minutes. plate with your favorite bbq sauce and dig in.  use local/organic ingredients whenever possible:)


i super love my new mobile cooking toy!!

xoxoL

Friday, November 7, 2014

tommy's feel better green smoothie


there is nothing better than having an excuse to stay in my pj's...  tommy asked for a green smoothie and i happily + shockingly obliged with some impromptu mullies video coverage. 

who would have ever thought?  

the recipe is in the video:)  don't get hung up on measuring... just dump it all in.  

as for this perfect song...  big thank you's to the icarus account.  i found these lovely musical artists on twitter, fell in love with their song and they gave me a double thumbs up to use it someday.  i had no idea what i was going to use it for and when i pasted all the clips together, i.just.knew.  thanks guys!

happy friday - happy weekend

xoxoL


Thursday, November 6, 2014

the peterson garden project - a fearless food kitchen 1st day



"The Fearless Food Kitchen is a home cooking school taught by neighbors, family members, elders, youth, chefs, farmers, entrepreneurs and others dedicated to sharing the valuable skill of home cooking.  Much more than nutrition, home cooking celebrates culture, history, family and community.

Be fearless with us and learn a skill that will influence your life, and the lives of others, for years to come."

i'm.in.love.with.this.place.

cooking + storytelling = i'm hooked

can you remember being a kid in a kitchen?  do you remember what your childhood kitchen smelled like?  what is your food story? what are your food traditions?  what kind of food traditions do we want to create & pass down for our kids?  i shared some of mine, they shared some of theirs and we all gathered together to cook and eat three food revolution recipes.  that's right, we got to EAT what we COOKED!!!  i decided to bring a bonus dish of sautéed greens and made two homemade dressings:  my homemade ranch (scroll down, it's in there!) & a new gumption tahini dressing inspired by friend terri (i will let her share that with you soon!).  one of the participants chose to pair the tahini sauce with the greens and we all followed suit... oh.my.word was it delicious!

the mullies recipe notes:

minestrone soup: added 2 cups of gluten free pasta instead of 1 cup (i got a little dump happy and it resulted in more of a pasta dish which everyone loved just the same = drop the recipe perfectionism!)
everyday green chopped salad: added carrot ribbons (so fun for kids to to peel!)
simplest fruit salad:  made coconut whipped cream instead of yogurt!  whip up the solids from a chilled can of coconut milk (drain and reserve liquid) + vanilla (1 tsp) + maple syrup (to taste) and mixed in the fruit (strawberries, apples, bananas, grapes and an orange).

thank you jennifer & the food patriots for hooking us up and HUGE thank you's to the peterson garden project for the chance + opportunity to stretch my teaching wings outside of the mullies kitchen!  to lindsay shepherd (peterson garden program manager) and my lovely volunteers - you guys are fearlessly balls out and you can bet your garden bottoms that i'll be back!


xoxo


ps

how cool is my new hat!?  jill brought it to me fresh from the island of maui - so so proud of the island residents' YES moratorium vote!

















Monday, November 3, 2014

mr big's food diary - getting on board



i'd like to introduce you to a new VIP guest writer in the mullies:

the one and only
the grand poo-bah
my vince vaughn meets chevy chase hubby of 14 years
mr chris shifley

this launches a new adventure starting here in the mullies.  i'm not driving it though... chris is at the wheel.  no editing except for basic punctuation (which clearly i have a problem with).

chris and i had just gotten back from his CDW employee health and wellness day where folks measure waistlines, take blood, ask questions... yada yada yada... basically, at the end you meet with a health coach and she tells you whether or not you're in the red zone in the major health topics of concern.  we went head to head in a husband vs wife health competition - his arse is still sore from the delicious beat down.

all kidding aside, deja vu alarm bells swept me back to sept 8, 2012.  but the difference this time is this: he's in charge of his boat, not me. i am not his mom (essential advice from my bunny!) and i'll do whatever he needs including offering up this blog space to spill his guts of fake food!  to CDW: thank you from the bottom of my food rev heart for the health data jump start.  to sheryl devore at the chicago tribune, thank you for writing that lovely article - nothing like a little print pressure to get him to walk.the.food.rev.talk.

hot diggity diz nawg welcome to his new hot column.

i'm on the edge of my seat to see where this puppy goes...


*****

Mr Big's Food Diary - Day 1

This is just as much a story about eating better as it is about a love affair coming to a possible end. No not me and my wonderful wife of fourteen years, but rather between me and the food I love (I'll miss you most of all Portillos.)

As you all know, Lindsey has been holding her children food hostages (me included) for the past two years after making the choice to remove all foods with artificial colors, preservatives, sweeteners and flavor in them.  Oh yea, and gluten.  Or as I call them, "foods I love". 

Of course, I am supportive of this new household menu and do my best to finish off what she serves up each night for dinner. The problem is when I'm not at home and working in a corporate environment with days spent sitting at the office or out if town traveling. Eating out at fast food or other Vernon Hills dietary gems (the aforementioned Portillos, Chili's, and numerous sub sandwich spots) may be easy for quick lunch breaks but tough to reduce the waistline. 

With Lindsey gaining more attention with her Jamie Oliver Food Revolution and articles in the Chicago Tribune, I felt it was time for me to finally get on board fully. So I'm going to attempt my own version of that "super size me" Morgan Spirlock tv show and try my best to follow the Lindsey rules for 30 days. 

It's gonna be a rough month with Thanksgiving and several business trips.

So here is where I start, the day after Halloween. 

Day 1
Saturday
November 1st

No breakfast as I was racing around with kids basketball games all morning. After five hours at the local gymnasium, the kids and I had lunch at Jason's Deli as it has all kinds of options, great service and most of all they have gluten free products on the menu. I went with a turkey club and a few hard boiled eggs. 
After an afternoon of Legos with Tommy, I was off to O'Hare for a work trip. This trip allowed me to enjoy airport food which I'm not ready to navigate healthy options on my own yet. So I had Dinner at an airport bar and went with the chicken sandwich (no bread) and the best $8 Sam Adams bottle they had to offer.

Day 2
Sunday
November 2 in Kansas City

I am realizing this was a tough weekend to begin this food change as I am spending it in BBQ country. 
The day was spent tailgating and rooting on the Chiefs as they beat the lowly Jets. I of course had all kinds BBQ meats but went light on the sauce and stayed away from all the other "fixins" as they say. It was a successful day of eating ....But the half dozen beers didn't help out much. 
Dinner was low key as I had some southern style Mac and cheese with BBQ burnt ends. Amazing... Just amazing.  

Day 3
Monday
November 3

Orange juice and gluten free bagel. 
Yes the bagel was dry and of course it was dense and not all that tasty but it fit into the plan so that's what I had. 
I am now on a flight back to Chicago after what I consider a successful trip as I absolutely ate "better" than I normally would.  


Two and a half days down.

*****

to the mullies we go...

xoxoL&C


i'm not excited or anything...

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

come cook with me at the fearless kitchen!


come cook with me at the fearless kitchen on tuesday, november 4th!

**UPDATE!  bring a friend for FREE!  the promotion code will come up in your registration!**

have you ever heard of the lovely peterson garden project?  my girlfriend jennifer suggested i apply to be an instructor at their new "taste test" series.  i had learned about their stellar chicago projects through the food patriots and fell in love with them.

so i did.  i jumped. i applied. they have accepted me.

oh dear lord.

i have done plenty of cooking classes in my own kitchen with kids, done demo's etc... but never something all official like this for adults.  i love that it's set up to be for 1st time instructors, or for those who want to "test out" a new class concept.  

i'm so excited, i'm so nervous, i'm sure i'll feel like i have to go to the bathroom just like i did before i took the softball field.  it's time to go balls out once again!

it's my big.first.game as a cooking instructor!  fake it till you make it i say.

i hope you can come fill one of the lucky 20 spots.  be gentle with me.  we'll be cooking and eating three + food revolution recipes that i enjoy cooking with my kids.  i'll be sharing my tips and tricks to get cooking with kids, our own food revolution story and how i got involved in this whole real food waterfall with JOFR.  more than anything else, i hope you leave armed with a few new recipes, a belly full of good food (it's BYOB too!!!), inspiration to start cooking from scratch more often and sore cheeks from laughing with me in the fearless kitchen. 

minestrone soup
everyday chopped salad
simplest fruit salad
homemade ranch & a jam jar vinaigrette 

doesn't that sound delicious!?  

i'll see you there!


ps

i'll bring the music












Tuesday, October 28, 2014

food day chicago 2014 - hidden cash event










to dana garcia (co-chair and project lead for chicago food day) and her incredible team, CHEERS to one huge successful CHICAGO FOOD DAY 2014 - click the link and check out the amazing photo gallery and events that took place!  

what a thrill to help spread food education for all and thank.you.so.much for the opportunity to volunteer for this incredible event!  it truly was a highlight of my food rev ambassadorship so far and i CANNOT WAIT for next year:)  oh sarvin keep those laces on, as we'll be teaming up again... and my dear aubrey, thanks for getting up at the crack of dawn, getting on that train and joining our team without one clue to what it would entail - we sure rocked it out baby!   

let's light up the stars in our beautiful skyline 

keep cooking & eating REAL chicago!!!!!  MUAH!!





ps

i'll be following up about this experience + our mundelein meal planning/pot luck night with my teammate christina for another food rev blog coming up soon!  xxx

Saturday, October 18, 2014

to the mullies with 52 new foods


"the 52 new foods challenge is about more than the foods - it's about the journey the foods take you on.  along the way, you will experience failure and frustrations, successes and celebrations.  in the end, though, you will transform the way your family eats because of the experience you have together."    - jennifer tyler lee, author of 52 new foods challenge

oh my dear jennifer...

did you write this book just for meeeeeeeeeeeeee?!  

because it's exactly what i need to keep me plugging along in the mullies kitchen.

for what you have found in your kitchen is indeed what i have found in mine. 

if you're new to the mullies, here's a quick poetic recap on why i became a food ambassador a little over 2 years ago:

my daughter was a new 1st grader and a year behind in school.
struggling with paying attention, socializing, following directions, reading... 
intervention meetings were part of our worried life.
i decided to make a food change before the next panicky step (official ADHD diagnosis & ?!?)
went gluten free (gulp).
she was symptom free less than a month later.
what a celebration!
what a new gig to keep up!
spreading food education for all.
no longer cooking good food for only myself.
getting my kids to cook with me & change picky taste buds.
the evolution of a food revolution.

thank you thank you thank you for writing this book.

i dedicate this post to you, to all of the parents out there trying to find balance with... 

our kids
our schedules
our spouses
our friends
our lives
our health

"meet your family where they are, and move forward from there.  everyone will start at a different place, and everyone can make lasting changes.  this is your family's adventure, and like any good recipe, the secret is to make it your own."  - jennifer tyler lee 


this classic book takes it one week at a time, step by step to help us cook more real food and move off of the fast & plasticky (yup some foods have plastic in them!) processed food high way.  holy moly could i have used this book two years ago AND it's still relevant to me today as a mom and ambassador in the trenches, working to get my kids cooking and hoping to inspire others to ride along with me!  

let's tap into our inner indiana jones.

let's go after the adventure and the treasure we might not yet see in our kitchens, hearts and bellies.

so what if a snake (er... i mean... insert your picky eater here) scares you off and makes you want to jump off the train!

they do it to me all of the time.

this 52.ligit.map can help you + me stay.on.the.tracks.

each of the following recipes were cooked by yours truly and developed with gumption (except for jennifer's lovely brussel sprout chips) around a chosen few of her 26 fall & winter foods.  any of her 52 new foods can be found in bold throughout this post.  each of my recipes is gluten free and the produce gathered for the recipes was either from my organic garden, my local organic CSA share at midnight sun farm or the organic produce box program at all ways healthy

here we go, here we go, here we go now!!


PUMPKIN


banana pumpkin muffins

2 smashed bananas
1 c home roasted pumpkin pulp
2 local pastured eggs (midnight sun farm egg share)
1/4 c melted coconut oil
1 c coconut palm sugar
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 c gluten free (gf) flour
1 tsp xantham gum
2 tsp gf baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

preheat oven to 350 degrees.  combine first 6 ingredients in stand mixer until fully incorporated.  in a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients and slowly add to mixer.  using an icecream scooper, fill up your paper cups 1/2 way and and bake for 25 minutes.  place a toothpick down the center of the muffin and if the stick comes out clean, you're good!  (i also gently push on the top of a few muffins to see if they spring back at me).

how to roast a pumpkin

preheat oven to 350 degrees.  cut off your top.  scoop out the pulp and seeds (save the seeds for jennifer's savory or spiced roasted pumpkin seed recipe!).  rub extra virgin olive oil over inside of pumpkin.  sprinkle with sea salt.  wrap in a double layer of tin foil and bake for an hour.  once cooked, slice pumpkin in half and scoop out the flesh for your recipe.  jennifer's cookbook includes a different method that is just as good!





pumpkin gnocci

1/2 c home roasted pumpkin pulp
1 lb organic russet potatoes
1/4 c grated parmesan reggiano (or use cashew cheese to make it vegan)
1 pastured egg
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp sea salt
7-10 turns of freshly ground black pepper (adjust to your taste)
3-4 c gf flour
8 oz manchego cheese cut into small cubes (inspired by mambo italiano!)

christina erickson (girlfriend, mom, high school foods teacher and food ambassador) and i got our kids together for this fun dinner cooking party!  

using a food processor, combine all ingredients except for the flour until smooth.  transfer to a large bowl.  combine with 2 cups of flour.  continue mixing in more flour until dough is just thick enough to handle and shape into logs like play dough (you gotta use some gumption here!).  sprinkle flour over a large cutting board or clean smooth surface.  dust your hands and go to town making logs and balls.  gently press a cube of cheese into the center of the ball and smoosh over with dough to form a ball.  your kids will be super into this!  tommy (above first picture) was not wanting to take turns with the gnocci roller and had a little cooking tantrum (is it possible to be happy about a tantrum!?) you can also use your fork to make fun lines or just make plain ol ballz!!!  ...and hey, the thumbs-up come with thumbs-down... stay the course:)

watch tommy and i make sweet potato gnocci here



RAINBOW CARROTS


plum gumption sauce
tip: if you use the purple carrots in the sauce as you'll get a very purply sauce!  leave them out for a more traditional tomato sauce color (thanks for the great tip food ambassador terri!)

1 lg red or yellow onion diced
2-3 orange and white rainbow carrots diced
3-4 stalks of celery stalks (you can add in the leaves too!) diced
(i add in red pepper and zucchini diced sometimes too!)
1/3 jar of oven roasted organic roma tomatoes packed in olive oil
5-6 large quartered garden tomatoes 
3 plums pitted and diced
1 handful purple garden basil
1/2-1 red chili minced (optional)
1 c vegetable stock 
1/2 c white wine
coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

heat a 5 quart dutch oven (the video's recipe is doubled for a 10 qt dutch oven) on low heat and coat with a few T of oil.  sauté onion, carrots, celery to make your soffrito.  mix occasionally and cook low and slow for 20-30 minutes until veggies are translucent, fragrant and beginning to slightly caramelize.  add tomatoes, plums, chili, basil, vegetable stock and and bring to a boil.  once boiling, add wine, stir and cover.  turn burner down to low.  simmer for at least 45-60 minutes.  using a handheld emersion blender, puree.  or keep it chunky and lovely.  

excluding the soffrito base, this sauce recipe is one that changes with the contents of my fridge.  

watch our plum gumption cooking video here 




homemade ranch dressing (beware: its highly addictive)
i eyeball everything with gumption to taste.  here's my best guess and feel free to tweak it yourself.

about a cup of organic or soy free vegenaise
2 T 21 spice blend (trader joes or costco has this blend)
1/2 T each dried basil, parsely and chives
1 clove garlic minced 
1/2 sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
juice from one lemon
2-3 T plain yogurt (optional)
organic rice milk (i add this to thin it out... some like it thick, some like it runny... you pick!)

combine all ingredients and whisk until smooth.  play with ingredients!  i use sriracha sometimes, add ketchup, salsa or even sprinkle in old bay seasoning.  the combinations are endless.



APPLES, PEARS & QUINOA




to the mullies with breakfast cookies
ambassador christina (pictured in the gnocci recipe!), gave me the outline for this recipe over a year ago and i have tweaked it into this lovely concoction!

2 c gf oats
1 c cooked quinoa (usually have leftovers from dinner!)
3/4 c almond meal/flour or gf flour 
1 apple grated 
1 pear grated
3-4 mashed bananas
1 tsp salt
1 T honey
1 tsp vanilla
raisins & mini dark chocolate chips

preheat oven to 350 degrees.  mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well combined.  line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats.  place large spoonfuls of batter on the baking sheet and cook for 25-30 minutes or until browned.  


leftover pancake n crab cakes with apples and kale
make pancakes for breakfast and reserve a cup of batter for these crab cakes!

1 c leftover gf pancake batter (52 new foods has a great whole wheat flour pancake recipe!)
8 oz wild caught lump crab
2 green onions finely chopped
1/2 chili finely minced (no seeds)
1/2 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
coconut oil
organic apples


quick jam jar dressing

juice of 1 lemon
3 T plain yogurt
3 T avocado oil
pinch of sea salt
freshly ground back pepper
a squirt of honey

combine all crab cake ingredients in a bowl.  over medium heat, melt coconut oil and coat pan.  place two spoonfuls of crab cake into a patty shape and cook approx 3-4 min on each side until cooked through with a nice brown crust.  serve over a bed of curly kale tossed with dressing and top it all off with a ton of freshly chopped organic apples.



GARLIC


chimichurri
this recipe was inspired from a wonderful trip with friends to the dominican republic last year.  i recently brought this to a friends house and we piled it on top of gorgeously grilled new york strip steak.   hummina hummina.

1 small onion
5-6 radishes
2-3 green onions
1/2 c sliced raw almonds
3 cloves garlic 
1 jalepeno finely minced
1 bunch garden cilantro
1 bunch garden parsley
1 bunch garden oregano
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c red wine vinegar
2 T freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 tsp sea salt

place all ingredients into a food processor and whiz.  

chimichurri goes with everything as far as i'm concerned.  meat, fish, pasta, toast, soup... it's balls out.



BRUSSEL SPROUTS




jennifer, not only did the kids love to help me with this, but it totally beats the hellerrrrs out of kale chips (and we all like kale chips!)  

brussel sprouts
1-2 tsp melted coconut oil
pink sea salt 
freshly ground black pepper
(i love em with a little tequila lime seasoning on them too!)


peel em, toss em with oil and sprinkle with s&p.  i baked these for only 15 min at 350 degrees and took them out because they were done!  finger lickin good.






AVOCADO & ARTICHOKE


a crab salad with avocado & artichoke

mixed greens
sliced avocado
marinated artichokes & red pepper
kalamata olives
wild caught lump crab meat
homemade ranch
sriracha

the picture says it all.  oh yea.



a cacao and avocado smoothie/fudgsicle
my kids like this so much that i make a batch at least 2x's a week!  mac can make it on his own now, which is really cool.

2 frozen or fresh bananas
5 pitten medjool dates
2-3 T hemp seed
3-4 T raw cacao powder
1 avocado (flesh only)
1 scoop unflavored vegan plant protein powder (optional)
1 tsp vanilla
2-3 T almond butter
2 c chopped ice (not necessary if you are making fudgsicles)
3 c almond milk

place all ingredients into a high powered blender (i have a vitamix) and whiz.  add more almond milk if needed to thin.  if the kids don't finish the smoothie, i put it in the fridge and it's a perfect after school snack!  to make fudgsicles that bring us back to childhood, simply pour them into a pop mold and freeze.  briefly run the plastic under hot water and get those suckers out!




light up the food revolution with me!

let's strike a match and start.it.up with this brand new cooking map.  wanting more info? you can pre-order this puppy & get an exclusive cookbook bonus and definitely check out this 52 new foods challenge video for more inspiration.

turn up the music
get your apron on
invite a little chaos in the kitchen (my sanity comes and goes)
get chopping with those kiddos, family and friends
make & eat your own rainbow with 52 new REAL foods

play + cook + eat = a healthier & happier you + me!


xoxoL