Introducing the most refreshing green juice ever!

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I just wanted to send a quick little juice recipe your way. I wasn’t going to post about juice for a while but this one is SO delicious I had to do it. It might even be my new favorite. It’s perfect for summertime and I highly recommend that you try it at least once!

What you’ll need:

  • Handful or two of kale
  • Handful or two of swiss chard or collard greens
  • 1 cucumber, peeled
  • 1/4 of a large fennel bulb with the top trimmed off (or 1/2 of a medium fennel bulb)
  • 1/4 of ripe pineapple
  • 1 lime
  • A few mint leaves (I like a lot)

Push all ingredients through your juicer, add ice, and enjoy. My friend Brian added a green apple to this recipe for a little extra juice and said that was delicious too. So if you need more juice, go for it.

Let me do a little ingredient spotlight here on the fennel. Fennel is one of those vegetables that automatically prompts the majority of people to claim they don’t like it. I was certainly that way. I don’t even know if I had ever even had fennel before this past spring but I just knew I didn’t like it. Wrooongggg. If you’ve had fennel in the past month and you’re positive you don’t like it, fine. But if you can’t remember the last time you had it keep an open mind and give it another shot! It reminds me a little of licorice (which I actually don’t like) but fennel’s flavor is much more subtle than that licorice candy you’re probably thinking of right now. It works amazingly well with the mint and pineapple in this recipe.

In other fennel news, if you don’t have a juicer and can’t make this recipe, try this salad I wrote about a while back. I think it’s amazing and every person I’ve served it to agrees. Happy juicing and/or salad making!

Corn, Edamame, Avocado, and Sesame Salad

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Longest title ever, I know. This is the recipe I promised last week in my “things I’ll eat after my cleanse” post. This recipe is my slightly altered version of a recipe I found in a cookbook called Veganomicon. The original version of this recipe suggested the avocados as an optional addition but I think this salad is lacking without it, so it’s a must. I altered a few other things to make it my own, which is something you can certainly do as well. I originally wrote this post for a new health and wellness blog, One Life Well, but I thought you’d want the recipe too :) 

This recipe is satisfying on so many levels. First, it’s easy. It takes less than 20 minutes to prepare this salad and the only cooking skill required is knowing how to boil water. You’re welcome. Second, it’s healthy. There isn’t one ingredient in this dish that I wouldn’t feed to my most loved friends and family (and myself!). And third, it is so delicious. Some of the most delicious foods are the simplest and to me, this one is perfect. Enjoy this salad as a side dish to your favorite Asian inspired meal or eat it on its own for a snack or light meal. I usually just keep eating it til it’s gone. Terrible. But that’s how good it is!

 

The Recipe

  • 1 1/2 cups of fresh corn, or frozen corn, thawed
  • 2 cups of frozen, shelled edamame (non-GMO, of course!)
  • 1-2 ripe avocados, cut into small pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons of toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon of rice vinegar
  • A sprinkle of crushed red chili flakes
  • A sprinkle of garlic powder (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the dressing: Whisk together the sesame oil, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Set aside. If you can’t find toasted sesame oil, don’t worry! Extra virgin olive oil works just fine in this recipe.

For the salad: Bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil. Add the frozen edamame and boil for about 2 or 3 minutes. Add the frozen corn to the pot and boil for another 2 minutes. Pour the corn and edamame into a strainer and rinse with cold water. In a bowl, combine the corn, edamame, avocado, dressing, and toasted sesame seeds. Season with salt, pepper, chili flakes, and garlic powder if you prefer it. Cover the salad and allow the flavors to meld together in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes. Be sure to serve this salad as soon as possible, as the avocados will turn brown not long after being removed from their skins.
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Note on sesame seeds: Usually sesame seeds are sold raw but toasting them is a piece of cake! Just add the required amount to a dry skillet (no oil) and turn the heat to medium. Keep the seeds moving by stirring them or shaking the skillet until you see that they’re a more golden brown color and you begin to smell them, about 3 or 4 minutes.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have!

Amaretto Cherry and Pear Crisp

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Yesterday I went out to water my garden and noticed some of the cherries on our lovely cherry tree were finally red and ready to be picked. I’d actually been waiting for a few weeks for them to finally ripen and now they’re ready! I’m a big fan of sharing the entire life span of an ingredient with you. Thus, the picture below. You can see in the right of the picture, some of the cherries are still yellow and are continuing to ripen. The star of this picture, however, is ready to be used in the mouthwatering recipe I’ve created for it. Yum!

I was inspired to use the fresh cherries in a baked crisp by a great blog post I recently read. You can check it out here if you’re interested! This is awesome as a dessert topped with ice cream but it also works well as a breakfast fruit bake since I’ve added minimal sugar. I might even have this after my morning juice today. Shhh!

I chose toasted almonds in this recipe because before baking, the cherries with get a little amaretto bath. The almond flavored liqueur in the filling and toasted almond in the topping work perfectly together.

The Recipe

  • Total active prep time: 10 minutes
  • Total inactive prep time: 30 minutes
  • Total cook time: 30 minutes
  • Serves: 4

The Ingredients

For the filling

  • 1 cup of cherries, pitted and halved
  • 2 medium pears, cored, peeled, and sliced
  • 3 Tablespoons of amaretto liqueur (can be replaced by a couple teaspoons of almond extract if you’re not into liqueur)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon of unbleached granulated sugar

For the topping

  • 1/2 cup of toasted sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup uncooked rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons of Earth Balance buttery stick, melted (this is a butter alternative with healthy Omega-3s)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Dash or two of salt

The Preparation

1. Combine all filling ingredients. Let soak for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally so each piece of fruit gets it’s time in the amaretto bath.

2.  Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. To prepare your topping, combine all of the ingredients listed and set aside until the fruit has finished bathing. When the fruit is ready, steal a couple tablespoons of the amaretto liquid and throw it into the topping mix. If you need more liquid, add more of that liquid.

3. Spoon the fruit into four ramekins or a small glass baking dish. If a little bit of the liquid makes it’s way into the baking dish that’s ok but avoid adding too much extra liquid since the fruits let off their own when baking. If using ramekins, place them on a baking sheet just in case the yumminess bubbles over. Top the fruit filling with the almond topping and bake for 30 minutes.

I’ve found this recipe to be crunchy and satisfying with just the right amount of sweetness. I hope you enjoy it!

I wish I may, I wish I might…

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This is a little joke post that I decided to write so I can make a visual list of some of the things I plan on eating/cooking next week when I’m done cleansing. Ok fine it’s not a joke post at all. I really will make all of these things. I do realize that the purpose of a cleanse is to rid your body of junk but hear me out! These things aren’t terrible. They’re delicious and if I’ve said it once I’ve said it a hundred times, healthy can be delicious. If you know what’s good for ya you’ll be around when I whip these babies up!

1. Veg Pizza

  • Now I know pizza doesn’t sound healthy but this pizza is. The crust is homemade with whole wheat, organic flour. The sauce is organic and local. And then to top that off, its sprinkled with soy-based cheese and loads of fresh veg. If you’re not on a plant-based diet, you could always add your favorite real cheese to this pizza. Everything is fixable! My friend Lauren blogs about this pizza here.

Photo courtesy of L. Bennett 

2. Corn, Edamame, Avocado, and Toasted Sesame Salad
  • This.salad.is.so.good. And it’s so simple I can’t even stand it. It’s light yet filling, flavorful, fresh, and like I already said it’s easy to prepare. It’s perfect for when you’re in a rush or want to throw together something to take to work the next day. I will certainly post about it within the next week so you can have the recipe too!

3. Pesto Hummus

  • I’ve really been craving the creaminess of hummus. But I’ve also been craving that one-of-a-kind basil flavor too. My solution? Pesto Hummus. It’s really easy to make your own hummus and your own pesto so next week when I make it, I’ll post the recipe with some pictures for you. In the meantime, here’s a look at my hydro basil. Soon he’ll sacrifice his life, or at least his leaves, to be a part of something greater. Don’t let him fool you, he’s happy about fulfilling his purpose :)

4. Strawberry Cupcakes

  • These babies are amaaaazzzzing. They were one of the first animal product-free cupcakes I learned to make and they’re still my favorite. These were also the first cupcakes I ever sold to someone. Since it’s still strawberry season (barely) these will taste extra amazing.

Photo courtesy of L. Bennett

See, those things aren’t too bad! All animal product free, mostly plant-based, healthy (aside from sugar in the cupcakes), and oh so delicious. Lucky for you there’s always a seat at my kitchen table. Well, if there actually isn’t a seat, you can have mine! :)

Juice, juice, juice. And then more juice!

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Well good morning! Aside from my morning juice and the water I am perpetually sipping, I’m writing to you on an empty stomach. The last food I ate was on Saturday evening. Why, you ask? Because I’m doing a juice cleanse! For each of the five days I’m on this cleanse (Sunday til Thursday) I’ll have about 96oz of fresh vegetable and fruit  juices, lots of water, and no food. My mama and my good friend Lauren are doing it with me so at least I have support!

My wonderful friend Brian is on his 70-something day of a just juice fast. Yeah, that’s right, no solid food for over 70 days. He says he feels amazing. And he’s lost almost 60 pounds so he’s looking amazing too. He was certainly my inspiration in doing this. I’m not in it to lose weight because I feel fine where I am but all of the other benefits of a juice cleanse really make it worth doing. Plus sometimes I just like to test my will power.

Right about now (or maybe even during the first paragraph) you’re probably thinking I’ve gone a little crazy. I get that. It’s hard to imagine just not eating. So to ease your “JJ has gone crazy” thoughts, I’ve made a list of a few of the key benefits of a juice fast:

  • Recharge your metabolism
  • Boost your digestive and immune systems
  • Revitalize, detoxify, and energize your body
  • Healthy skin, hair and nails
  • Weight loss

I’m  not really going into great detail about all of the benefits but when I was researching juice cleanses I found this really informative post about it online. Definitely read it! After you finish reading this, of course.

In my quest to find the most delicious juices, I’ve discovered the perfect summertime juice. It’s refreshing, hydrating, and it makes you want to come back for more (even if you can eat real food!). I call it the minty cucumelon and it’s pink!

For this juice, you’ll need a few cups of cut up watermelon, one cucumber, and however many mint leaves you like. Throw them all in your juicer and deliciousness comes out.

Even the boyfriend liked it, which means you should try it :)

Little Garden Update!

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My first tomatoes have arrived!! Three of them. They’re the green striped zebra heirloom tomatoes that I planted as a seedling last month. For some reason tomatoes always surprise me when they show up. One day a space will be tomato-less and the next day I’ll go out to supervise the garden growth (as if that helps) and there are three. It never fails to make me so excited. Just ask all of my friends and family whom I inundate with “new tomato” texts.

And there are peas! My peas really tested my patience this year. They did not wanna show up for the party. But no fear! Now they’re here :) I have some great recipes that include these babies that I’ll be sharing with you soon.

I’ve also been harvesting some really beautiful lettuces and arugula this week. Coming in strong are arugula, black seeded simpson, boston lettuce, and mesclun mix.

These are some greens I picked for some of my friends. Organic salads all around!

Earlier this week I planted leeks, okra (Clemson okra!), cucumbers, a striped German tomato plant, sweet peppers, and kaleidoscope carrots. Please send them some good vibes so I’ll have happy things to report :)

Eat Well. Live Well.

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That’s their motto at Pure Health Lounge in New Haven. After reading today’s article in the Daily Nutmeg about the new store, which opened in January, I decided to give it a whirl. Obviously I don’t want to write a repeat of the article in the Daily Nutmeg, just wanted to give you a little glimpse into why my tummy is so happy right now.

Even though I make my own juices every day, I’m always up for trying someone else’s creation. The one I chose was the called Pure Green. Aptly named considering every ingredient in this baby is green. Kale, spinach, cucumber, and celery sure do know how to make a girl happy! I got the 16oz juice for $4.95, which is a steal in juice world. A steal I tell you.

Even though I went in to explore the place and maybe grab a juice, I ended up walking out with a sandwich too. Oops! But it was so worth it. I had the Veggie Extreme Panini with lettuce, tomato, carrots, green pepper, olives, cucumber, feta, and balsamic vinaigrette. I definitely recommend this one! While I’m not a calorie counter at all (that would really depress me) you calorie counters out there will be happy to know that this sandwich only had 117 calories. Yeah. You read right. If that doesn’t make you want to go there right now maybe this might:

While I wasn’t super crazy about the atmosphere, the girl who helped me was so, so friendly. She even gave me a sample of fresh squeezed orange juice from this lean mean orange juice squeezing machine. That thing is LEGIT. If, for some bizarre reason, you don’t go in for the juice, smoothies, or food, you have got to see that thing in action. Go!