Grilled Pineapple (GF) (V)

grilled pineappleGrilled Pineapple (GF) (V)

the ingredients:

  • 1 fresh pineapple – peeled, cored and cut into 1 inch rings
  • 1/4 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 3 tablespoons melted Earth Balance butter
  • 1 dash hot pepper sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp Pico de Gallo

 

 

the method:

  1. Place pineapple in a large resealable plastic bag. Add honey, butter, hot pepper sauce, and salt. Seal bag, and shake to coat evenly. Marinate for at least 30 minutes, or preferably overnight.
  2. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil grate.
  3. Grill pineapple for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until heated through and grill marks appear.

Grilled Avocados with Pico de Gallo (GF) (V)

avocadoThe season may have just changed to Spring for the rest of you folks, but in Arizona it already feels like Summer. In fact, it’s supposed to reach 97 degrees here by Wednesday. That’s right – BE jealous, America.

So… I can’t really take credit for this delicious recipe since it’s one that I stole from Nick’s mom, January. I always know these little avocados will be served up whenever she has a get-together at her abode. Anywho, this recipe is super simple and perfect for BBQs!!

 

Grilled Avocados with Pico de Gallo (GF) (V)

the ingredients

2 avocados, sliced in half
1 tbsp avocado oil
4 tbsp pico de gallo (recipe follows)
salt and pepper to taste

the method

Cut avocados in half and remove the pit. Slather each side with avocado oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill avocados until they get a nice char on them. Fill the pit with pico de gallo and serve. YUM!

Pico de Gallo (GF) (V)

the ingredients

3 red onions
12 Roma tomatoes (slightly under ripe is fine)
2 cups fresh cilantro leaves
2 to 3 jalapenos
1 lime
Salt
the method
Dice up equal quantities of onion and tomato. Roughly chop the cilantro.Now, slice 1 or 2 jalapenos in half. With a spoon, scrape out the seeds. (If you like things spicy, leave in some of the white membranes.) Dice the jalapenos very finely; you want a hint of heat and jalapeno flavor, but you don’t want to cause any fires. Now dump the four ingredients into a bowl.Slice the lime in half and squeeze the juice from half a lime the bowl. Sprinkle with salt, and stir together until combined. Be sure to taste the pico de gallo and adjust the seasonings, adding salt or more diced jalapeno if needed.

 

Rise and Shine Detox Smoothie (V) (GF)

smoothieI’m not going to lie to you, this smoothie is absolutely hideous, yet oh-so-delicious. It will also give you that energy boost you need sans coffee! I am doing a detox with Nick this week – so I plan on adding more smoothie recipes to the collection. Enjoy!!

Rise and Shine Detox Smoothie (V)(GF)

the ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp flax seed, ground
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 cup spinach
  • 1 tbsp almond butter/peanut butter (I used peanut butter in Nick’s since he has an almond allergy)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

the method:

Blend. Sip. Repeat.

Quick-Marinated Cherry Tomato Salad (GF) (V)

Quick Marinated Cherry Tomato SaladQuick-Marinated Cherry Tomato Salad (GF) (V)
The ingredients:
1 pint red cherry tomatoes
1 pint yellow cherry tomatoes
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 heaping tablespoon vegan pesto (same as normal pesto but with Rice Dream Parm)
1/4 teaspoon brown sugar
1 clove garlic, pressed
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 head iceberg lettuce, cut into chunks
The method:
  1. Halve the tomatoes and add them to a large zipper bag with the sliced red onion. Add the olive oil, balsamic, parsley, pesto, sugar, garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Seal the bag, getting all the air out. Place into the fridge until ready for dinner.
  2. Place the iceberg lettuce in a large bowl and pour on the tomatoes. Toss and serve! (The dressing from the tomatoes becomes the salad dressing.)

Pasta Florentine (GF) (V)

I had a request to post vegan dinner recipes more frequently – a request that I was more than happy to accommodate. I love it when readers reach out and give you suggestions on what to post so keep the requests coming y’all!

This is my vegan and gluten-free take on Pasta Florentine:

pasta florentineThe ingredients:
1 pound gluten free rotini or penne
Salt
Ground pepper
2 tablespoons vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup low-sodium broth, more if needed
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 bag baby spinach
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
The method:
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions in lightly salted water. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and quickly stir to avoid burning. After about 30 seconds, pour in the broth and wine, stirring to deglaze the skillet. Allow the liquid to bubble up, and then continue cooking until it’s reduced by at least half (most of the surface of the liquid should be bubbling at this point).
  3. Turn off the heat. Add the spinach, tomatoes and cooked pasta to the skillet. Toss to combine; the spinach will wilt as you toss everything.  Serve immediately.

Perfect French Fries (GF) (V)

french friesI have searched the internet high and low for the best french fry recipe. Whether I was making them fried in oil or baked in the oven, I never was fully impressed with the end result. I have been duped, just like the rest of you! The pictures on these recipe websites would portray a a hot fry with crispy skin – yet the recipe would never produce what was actually in the picture. I would just end up with greasy, flimsy fries. Super sad face.

That was until I stumbled upon a recipe by the Pioneer Woman that promised to deliver crispy fries. The secret? The double-frying process.

Yes, I know that frying anything isn’t necessarily good for you, but sometimes we need to indulge to nourish our souls – then hit the treadmill later! I made these on Saturday along with a veggie burger for myself and bacon-cheeseburgers for Nick – and I will fully admit that I did not hit the treadmill later that night. However, I do fully intend to make it to yoga tonight and the rest of the week, so let’s just call it a wash, okay? Okay!

I also opted to fry the potatoes in Sunflower oil instead of the usual canola or vegetable oils for a healthier fry. Sunflower oil is a  mild-flavored oil that is chock-full of vitamin E. It is 80 percent monounsaturated and has a high smoke point, making it perfect for frying anything. :)

Perfect French Fries

The ingredients:

  • 5 pounds Russet Potatoes
  • Sunflower Oil For Frying
  • Sea Salt

The method:

  1. Peel and rinse the potatoes. Cut them into sticks by cutting the potato in four or five vertical pieces, then cutting each piece into sticks. Place them in a large bowl and cover with cold water, then allow them to soak for a few hours.
  2. Drain the potatoes with a pasta strainer. Place the sticks on paper towel-lined cookie sheets to absorb all the water in the potatoes.
  3. Pour sunflower oil into the dutch oven (about 4 inches high) and heat on  medium-high until the oil reaches 300 degrees.
  4. Drop the potatoes in batches (this recipe makes about 4 batches) into the oil for about 3 – 4 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft. Transfer soft potatoes to paper towel-lined cookie sheets to drain the oil.
  5. Now crank up the heat for the oil. Once the heat reaches 400 degrees, drop the batches in again one-by-one until the potatoes are golden brown and crispy.
  6. Drain fries on paper towel-lined cookie sheets one last time. Sprinkle them with salt and serve.

New York Style Chopped Salad (GF) (V)

New York StyleNew York Style Chopped Salad with Homemade Vegan “Honey” Mustard Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups Mixed Salad Greens
  • 3 cups Bibb Lettuce
  • 8 whole Romaine Leaves
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • Grape Tomatoes, Halved
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • Corn
  • Sliced Or Diced Bell Pepper
  • Avocado, Sliced
  • Cucumbers, Halved Then Sliced
  • 1 bunch radishes, sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • Vegan “Honey” Mustard Dressing (recipe follows

The method:

  1. Lay out different greens and all the veggies in small dishes.
  2. Have a big stainless bowl with tongs. Have everyone build their own salad by throwing what they want into the bowl. Toss with dressing, then pour tossed salad onto a cutting board.
  3. With two knives, quickly chop the salad so that it’s chopped into smaller pieces.
  4. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.

Vegan “Honey” Mustard Dressing:

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/3 Cup Agave Nectar Light
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp Spicy Brown Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 Clove of Garlic, minced
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1. Whisk all ingredients in a bowl and serve.

Pretty (and YUMMY!) Fruit Salad

fruitThere is something about these hot, HOT Arizona summers that just get me in the mood for a crisp, refreshing fruit salad.

When I was little and still living in New Jersey, my grandparents used to take us to pick strawberries on those humid summer days. We would make fruit salads, desserts or just eat those succulent berries all by themselves. Ahhh the good old days.

I pulled this recipe from one of my favorite down-to-earth chefs – Ree Drummond 9aka the Pioneer Woman). I realize she makes hearty, cowboy recipes that aren’t exactly the healthiest things to put in our bodies, but she will throw in a salad or fruit dish every now and then.

Her recipe calls for a sugar and water mixture to sweeten the recipe up, but I just like to use to some freshly-squeezed orange juice to kick up the antioxidants and Vitamin C levels.

This dish would make a great dessert or side dish as any BBQ. In fact, I’m eating it right now for breakfast!

Enjoy!

Pretty Fruit Salad:

The ingredients:

  • 1 green apple, cubed
  • 1 pint of strawberries, chopped
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 2 kiwis, peeled and chopped
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • A couple of mint leaves, chopped

The method:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss together. Refrigerate until cold and serve. Great as leftovers!