Fall Roasted Veggies

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Roasted Root Vegetables

4-6 servings

Ingredients
1 sweet potato and or squash
2 parsnips
2 carrots
2 turnips or 1 large rutabaga
1 daikon radish
Beets
olive oil
salt and pepper
herbs: rosemary, thyme or sage (fresh if possible)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Wash and chop all vegetables into large bite-sized pieces.
3. Place in a large baking dish with sides.
4. Drizzle with olive oil; mix well to coat each vegetable lightly.
5. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs.
6. Bake uncovered for 25-35 minutes until vegetables are tender and golden brown, checking every 10 minutes to stir and make sure veggies are not sticking.

Note: Any combination of vegetables will work. Roasting only one kind of vegetable also makes a nice side dish.

Variation: For a sweet vs. savory variation use cinnamon instead of herbs.

I love topping a fresh green salad with roasted veggies in the Fall for more of a comfort and warm feel.

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Citrus Dill Dressing

“If you keep good foods at home, you will eat good foods”

I had a bunch of produce that I wanted to use up from the farmers market so I threw together this salad with what I had.  Just get creative with the ingredients you have and make something fabulous! 

Citrus Dill

Today I chopped up 4 baby cucumbers, 2 tomatoes, 3 little peppers, kalamata olives, and spiralized zucchini to make a “unpasta” salad. Tossed it with this dressing. You could add any veggies you have. I think red onion, feta, and avocado would have been great additions as well. You could use brown rice or black bean pasta to replace the spiraled zucchini too. This dressing is great on any pasta salad, fish, green salad, and especially cucumbers.   Pick a few ingredients to always have on hand so you can create and find the flavors you like together. Make eating real food easy for you.

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I want to know what real food you are eating today! Share on my Facebook page or comment here www.leanbydrea.com/facebook.

 

Chopped Broccoli, Kale, and Carrot Salad

I feel like I hit the jackpot at our local farmers market the other day. So much fun, I am like a kid in a candy store.  But buying all of this fresh produce means getting back in the kitchen and creating.

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I decided to make a salad spin off of my massaged kale salad.  It is one of my favorites so I replaced the green apple with broccoli and carrots. The results were crunchy, sweet, salty, and delish!

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Chopped Broccoli, Kale, And Carrot Salad

  • 1 head broccoli, chopped
  • 3 fresh carrots, chopped or shredded
  • 1 bunch kale, stripped off stem, torn, and massaged with himalayan pink salt
  • 2 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1-2 tsp raw organic honey
  • 1 tsp himalayan pink salt
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup fruit sweetened organic dried cranberries

Remove broccoli from stem and pulse in vitamix or food processor. Pulse carrots in Vitamix, food processor, or box shredder.  Strip kale off of stem and tear into small pieces. Massage with the pink salt for about a minute to break it down. Mix the oil, vinegar,and honey. Toss the broccoli, kale, and carrots with the dressing. Top with organic dried cranberries and raw pumpkin seeds.

(when I cook, I just use what I have so rarely measure. Use the amounts of broccoli, carrots, and kale that you want or have and adjust dressing accordingly. I used my vitamix to pulse the broccoli and carrots. I put on Variable 4 and pulsed a couple times.)

IMG_7295Then for dessert, I whipped chilled coconut cream in the vitamix with vanilla, cinnamon, and honey. I topped the fresh raspberries with the delicious whipped coconut cream. Yum!!

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4 Tasty Watermelon Recipes

This Month’s Superfood: Watermelon!

Watermelon is one of my favorite summer fruits because it hydrates, packs some powerful nutrients AND detoxifies our bodies! What makes watermelon a Superfood?

• It’s rich in vitamins A and C

• Provides an excellent source of beta-carotene and lycopene. Lycopene is what gives watermelon its deep red coloring; but the nutrient is also well-known as a cancer-fighting agent. It helps keep cell membranes strong, which in turn helps keep toxins from entering cells.

• Safeguards our eyes/vision. Watermelon contains lutein and zeaxanthin, potent antioxidants that are found naturally in our eyes. Researchers believe that the combination of these two antioxidants protects against several types of ultraviolet rays and many age-related eye diseases, including cataracts.

• Protects against a variety of cancers, including breast, prostate, colon, and lung, among others.

• Reduces inflammation and water retention; is a natural anti-depressant; boosts the immune system, and aids in weight loss.

• But wait, there’s more! You can even use the rind and the black seeds in your juicing! The rind is an excellent source of chlorophyll and the seeds are known to help relax the body, lower blood pressure and provide immune-boosting zinc and iron! (Make sure you rinse the rind very well before using.) This is truly a holistic, healing fruit!

That’s just about everything you ever wanted to know about watermelons … except: how do you determine from the outside how to pick out a watermelon that’s sweet and ripe on the inside? It’s easy if you know what to look for!

• First, choose a watermelon that feels heavy for its size. The water content of the melon increases as it ripens, and water adds weight.

• Next, examine the rind carefully, both top and bottom. The rind should be smooth and the top should be sort of dull compared to the rest of the rind. The bottom, which is where the watermelon rested on the ground as it was growing, should be a creamy yellow. If it is white or green, it’s probably not ripe yet.

• You can thump the watermelon if you like, but not everyone agrees that this helps determine ripeness. Those who do thump say to listen for a deep, hollow, bass sound rather than a shallow, higher sound.

Watermelon & Feta Salad with Serrano Chile Vinaigrette

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From Athens, Georgia chef, Hugh Acheson

Serves 6

Ingredients
½ to 1 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp champagne vinegar
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 small shallot, minced
1 Serrano chili pepper, stemmed and sliced or chopped
Salt to taste
1 small seedless watermelon
1/3 lb block of feta cheese, sliced into 1/8″ slices (about 12 slices) *optional
1 bunch arugula, washed and drained

Directions
In a jar or salad bottle with a tight-fitting lid, combine olive oil, lime juice, champagne vinegar, thyme, shallot, and Serrano pepper. Shake well. Season dressing with salt to taste; chill in refrigerator. Meanwhile, slice watermelon into 3″ squares, about ¼-inch thick. On small salad plates, begin to assemble each serving of the salad. To assemble, place one slice of watermelon on the plate; next, layer one slice of feta on top of the first watermelon slice. Repeat, layering another watermelon slice and then one more feta slice. End with a final watermelon slice on top. Place about one handful of arugula on the plate, encircling the stacked watermelon/feta. Drizzle the stack and the arugula with the vinaigrette and garnish with a few slices of Serrano pepper. Chill for 15 minutes or serve immediately.

*For those of you who don’t eat dairy, the salad is also delicious without the feta.

Watermelon Gazpacho
From Eating Well Magazine Serves 6

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Ingredients

8 cups finely diced seedless watermelon, (about 6 pounds)
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely diced
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 Tbsp red-wine vinegar
2 Tbsp minced shallot
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp sea salt or to taste

Directions
Mix watermelon, cucumber, bell pepper, basil, parsley, vinegar, shallot, oil and salt in a large bowl. Puree 3 cups of the mixture in a blender or food processor to the desired smoothness; transfer to another large bowl. Puree another 3 cups and add to the bowl. Stir in the remaining diced mixture. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Watermelon-Kiwi Popsicles
From Island Jane Magazine andNourishingMeals.com
Try these healthy popsicles and feel like a kid again!

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Ingredients

3 cups watermelon puree (about 1/4 to 1/2 a watermelon)
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup fresh strawberries, chopped
1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
1 peach or nectarine, diced small
1 handful of fresh cherries, pitted and chopped

Directions
Cut the watermelon into chunks and then puree it in a blender until smooth. Set aside. Set out a dozen popsicle molds and make sure they are sturdy (you may need additional or fewer molds, depending on their size). Fill each mold with the chopped fresh fruit. Add a slice of kiwi and a few blueberries to each mold. Then pour in the watermelon puree until each mold is full to the top. Place a popsicle stick into each filled mold. Place the molds in your freezer (again ensuring that they are sturdy) and freeze for 6 to 8 hours. To release popsicle, run the mold under warm water for a few seconds and pull each one out.

Watermelon Refresher

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Ingredients

1 cup watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 peeled and sliced cucumber
5 mint leaves
½ cup ice

Directions
Mix all ingredients in a high-powered blender (such as a Vitamix ). Blend on low 30 seconds, then on high until smooth, about 30 seconds more. Pour into individual glasses and garnish each glass with a mint leaf. Serve cold.

 

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Bok Choy Summer Slaw

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I fell in love with Bok Choy last summer and have been using it ever since.   I found some beautiful Bok choy at the Farmers market so I wanted to experiment with a few new ways to prepare it. It is a Chinese cabbage that is great in stir-fry, roasted, and in salads. Today I made a light and tasty summer slaw with it and it turned out fantastic.  

Bok choy is very low in calories, only 13 calories per 100 grams.  It is very rich source of many vital phyto-nutrients, vitamins, minerals and health-benefiting anti-oxidants. What is your favorite way to prepare? Answer in the comments below.

Bok Choy Summer Slaw

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons raw organic honey
  • 2 teaspoons organic Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon himilayan pink salt
  • 6 cups very thinly sliced bok choy, trimmed (I am using the bok greens for a later recipe)
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  •  1 yellow bell pepper or 3 little ones, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • toasted sesame seeds

Whisk vinegar, oil, honey, mustard and salt in a large bowl. Add bok choy, carrots, peppers, and scallions; toss to coat with the dressing. Top with cilantro and sesame seeds. 

I think this would be fabulous with thinly sliced chicken breasts and slivered almonds mixed in too. 

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5 Surprising Beauty Foods

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5 Surprising Beauty Foods

All fresh fruits and vegetables contain magical powers when it comes to shiny hair, clear skin, and strong nails. However, the ones I’ve chosen below are perhaps not as well known for their powerful beauty benefits. Try and include these foods into your diet if you want to look your best without the need for botox or other unnatural remedies.

  1. Red Peppers. All red and orange colored foods contain beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant. Red peppers are particularly beautifying due to the minerals A, C, and K. Vitamins A and C can help prevent cell damage that leads to premature ageing, and they can also reduce inflammation, which can cause a puffy-looking face. Pepper also has Vitamin K, which is an excellent property for protecting our cells from damage.
  2. Spinach. All leafy greens are actually very powerful in terms of being a beauty food because of the chlorophyll they contain. There are also loads of other phytochemicals and fiber in spinach that help build blood that is super clean and which will show through in your skin.
  3. Turmeric. This yellow-colored, Indian spice has a load of powerful antioxidant qualities. Turmeric assists in protecting our cells from free radical damage and also contributes towards cleaning up metabolic waste in our systems. It is also great as a liver flusher to get rid of any poisons and chemicals which are stored there.
  4. Pumpkin Seeds. Wow, these really are powerful. What don’t pumpkin seeds have in them?! The humble pumpkin seed contains high levels of zinc, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B, C, and E. Pumpkin seeds are also a great source of amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids, all essential for healthy cell maintenance. Make a handful of pumpkin seeds a regular part of your diet, and you will definitely notice a change in your appearance.
  5. Parsley. Next time your plate is garnished with parsley, don’t push it aside. This is a pretty powerful herb when it comes to anti-aging, as well as purifying and cleansing the body. It contains vitamins A and C as well as anti-oxidizing flavonoids that protect our cells from free radical damage. Parsley also helps to purify the blood, kill bacteria, aid digestion, and cleanse toxins from the liver.

The best thing is that all these foods are easy to incorporate into your diet. Add turmeric to juice and combine the other foods with some other fixings to make a great, beautifying salad. Who said that beauty was hard to keep? Or make a simple turmeric tea as a night cap.

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Speaking of beauty, I also added a new favorite thing to my site, Natural Happiness Skincare. All of these products are amazing but my favorite is the lotion bar. It is mosquito season in Minnesota now so try the bug bar for your family. It is not just about watching the chemicals we eat in our foods, it is about being aware of what we are putting on our body and believe me, this STUFF rocks! Plus, it is made within 15 miles of my house. Great gifts and fabulous for the whole family.

Or for another favorite line of skincare shop here

Do you incorporate any of these foods into your diet? Or have you tried Natural Happiness Skincare? Please answer below.

AVOCADO SALAD WITH LIME DRESSING

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AVOCADO SALAD WITH LIME DRESSING

  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 6 to 8 cherry tomatoes
  •  1 medium cucumber, chopped
  •  1 avocado, diced

LIME DRESSING 

  • 2 lime, juiced
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  •  1 teaspoon raw apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt Black pepper

Prepare the dressing. Add your lime juice, ground cumin, raw apple cider vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper to a small bowl. Whisk the ingredients until they come together. Set to the side. Mix the salad. Add baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and avocado to a bowl. Top with lime dressing and serve immediately.

Feel free to add taco meat or grilled chicken and any other veggies that you would like.  Homemade dressings are so simple to make and then you can control the ingredients.

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Massaged Kale Salad with Seeds and Fruit

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I had truly never even had Kale until about two years ago. Now I cannot seem to get enough of this powerhouse phytonutrient. I love it soups, smoothies, salads, stir-fry, as chips,and with eggs. This is truly my favorite recipe for salad and have to seriously portion it out or I could eat the whole thing in one sitting. Not that this is the worst thing to over eat but not necessary. Kale is tough so it needs to be massaged to break it down.
Massaged Kale Salad with Seeds and Fruit
1 bunch Kale Leaves
1 TSP himalayan pink salt
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup red onion,. chopped
1/3 cup fruit sweetened dried cranberries(no sugar added)
1 green apple, cored and chopped
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
2 TBSP Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar

Wash and dry kale. Remove from stems. Stack leaves and cut into ribbons. Massage kale with pink salt until it is broken down and looks wet (1-2 minutes)
Transfer to salad bowl top with onion, seeds, cranberries, apples and dress with oil and vinegar.

Feel free to add grilled chicken or shrimp for added protein or serve as a side salad to your meal. I love it just as is 

Do you like kale?

….and that is what is for lunch today here, what is for lunch at your house? Inquiring minds want to know.

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Honey Roasted Walnuts

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It is so quick and easy to roast nuts on the stove top. Not only are they a delicious addition to any salad, but they are also an amazing snack. They also fill the house with the most divine smell!  I made these today for my Spring Spinach Salad strawberry vinaigrette. I used my cast iron skillet to roast these, used coconut oil instead of the typical butter, and used raw honey instead of sugar.  They turned out perfect!

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Honey Roasted Walnuts 

  • 1 cup raw walnuts (or raw nuts of choice)
  • 2 TBSP unrefined organic cold pressed coconut oil
  • 2 TBSP Raw honey
  • dash of Cinnamon, Cayenne, and Ginger

Melt the coconut oil and honey over medium low heat. Add in walnuts and stir until coated. Stir often until they are nicely roasted and caramelized. Let cool on parchment paper. Serve on a salad or as a snack. Get creative with the seasonings and different variety of nuts to change it up.

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(I love these reusable parchment paper pan liners. I bought mine at Home Goods)

I served these delicious honey roasted walnuts on my Spring Spinach Salad

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SIMPLY CLEAN & DELISH~ Drea

Spring Spinach Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette

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I had my family over today for impromptu Sunday dinner. I was missing my older sister and one neice but everyone else was able to come last minute, even my grandma. Sometimes last minute works best! Since it was very last minute, I just used everything I had and did not make a trip to the store. It is amazing what you can come up with if you get creative. We grilled steaks, roasted root veggies, roasted potaotes, salad, and fruit. The salad I made was a huge hit. I made a homemade strawberry vinaigrette and roasted walnuts which added so much flavor and texture to the spinach salad. I actually had to make a second batch because we all loved it. One of my sons had 3 plates of it which sure makes his mama smile.

For the salad:

  • Fresh Organic Baby Spinach
  • Organic Strawberries, Sliced
  • Green Onions, sliced
  • Honey Roasted Walnuts
  • Strawberry Vinaigrette

Strawberry Vinaigrette

  • 2/3 cups strawberries (I used thawed sliced frozen ones in their juices)
  • 2 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1-2 TBSP raw honey depending on the sweetness of your strawberries
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients in the Vitamix or food processor and toss with spinach. Add the fresh strawberries, honey  walnuts, and  green onions. Serve with additional dressing on the side. IMG_5327

I love my family and this was a perfect afternoon for a get together.  We even got to sneak in a game of cards with grandma.

SIMPLY CLEAN & DELISH with Drea