Purple Power Smoothie



Good Morning!  The kids and I are staying with friends in North Carolina and stumbled across a fun cookbook called “The Family Cooks.”   I have already placed our order on Amazon for this cookbook.  

Today we decided to make the Purple Power Smoothie from The Family Cooks.  This smoothie was quite different than all of my pineapple based smoothies and a big hit with the kiddos.  Enjoy!!

2 cups milk (dairy, nut, grain, or soy)
1 banana
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 to 2 teaspoons ground flaxseed meal or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon for little kids
1/4 cup peanut butter or almond butter (this amount tasted a bit strong to me, so next time we will do less of the peanut butter)

Makes 2 to 3 servings





Black Bean Burgers

Black Bean BurgersIt has been quite some time since I have blogged.  Life has been keeping me busy despite my good intentions of sharing my new recipes.

After many attempts I have found the perfect vegetarian burger for our family.  In recent posts, I made what my husband and I considered great quinoa burgers, but the kids didn’t “love” them.  Tonight I tried a new Black Bean Burger mixture that hit the spot for everyone…a thumbs up from all!  I am happy to report this will be part of our summertime rotation.

2 cups cooked 1(15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup plain whole wheat bread crumbs
1 teaspoon chile powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup water
1 egg (omit egg for vegan option)
1 tablespoon tomato paste (or ketchup)
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro (optional)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 small onion (diced small)
About 2 tablespoons olive oil

Heat beans in microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds.  Drain and rinse.  Mash the beans with a fork in a mixing bowl.  Just mash them some so no whole beans are left.  You should leave some half beans, they don’t need to be pureed.

Add the bread crumbs, chili powder, cumin, onion, water, egg, and ketchup (and cilantro if using), but don’t mix yet.  Use a grater to grate the garlic in.  (A garlic press or very well mince garlic works, too.)

Mix everything together with a fork, and then knead with your hands until the mixture is firm and uniform.

Preheat a frying pan or saute pan over medium heat.

Divide the burger mixture into six equal pieces.  Roll each piece into a firm ball.  Press the ball down into the shape of a patty.

Pour a thin layer of olive oil into the pan.  Cook the patties for 5 minutes on each side, gently pressing down on them with a spatula until cooked.

Serve with your favorite toppings on burger buns.

Servings: 6

Blood Orange~Pineapple Smoothie


During this weeks visit to the grocery store I discovered Blood Oranges.  Having never tried blood oranges, I bagged up five of them thinking that might make for great smoothie ingredients.  Unlike other citrus fruits, blood oranges contain anthocyanins (super antioxidant), the same red flavonoid pigments that give blueberries their intense color and powerful health benefit. Score!  So this afternoons snack turned out to be a Blood Orange-Pineapple Smoothies for all.  The kids LOVE it, and I like it as well but will warn, it’s SUPER SWEET! I hope you will give it a try.

2 Blood Oranges (peeled and pulled apart)
2 cups of chopped pineapple
1 cup water
1 cup ice


Serves: 4

Meatless Monday!

Meatless Monday…have you heard of it? Meatless Monday is a movement that was created to encourage individuals to take a look at their diet and cut out meat, one day a week. According to Meatless Monday going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save resources like fresh water and fossil fuel. If you do eat meat on other days, Meatless Monday strongly recommends grass-fed, hormone-free, locally-raised options whenever possible.

I would like to express that I have no intention of pushing any of my readers to be completely meat free, as I do have the mindset of “all things in moderation.” If you haven’t heard of this wonderful movement, I encourage you to visit their website at http://www.meatlessmonday.com.

Meatless Monday was a big motivator when I was first venturing into the “meat free” territory of cooking. It’s amazing how starting out one night a week “meat free” led to our whole week of dinners being “meat free” and now it’s just a way of life!

So, what are you having for dinner tonight? I will be cooking up my Extra Easy Spinach Lasagna! (click on the blue to be linked directly to recipe)

Enjoy the rest of your Monday!

Fruity Green Chia Smoothie

I decided to introduce GREEN back into our daily afternoon snack, today’s choice: ROMAINE LETTUCE.  For those of you who aren’t familiar, romaine lettuce is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, and vitamin C. Romaine lettuce is also a very good source of dietary fiber and 4 minerals.  In order to keep the romaine from being too overbearing in taste I added an array of yummy fruit.  If you are having trouble getting your kids to drink something GREEN, how about naming your drink something fun, like THE GREEN HULK.  Use your creativity.  You’ll be amazed at how quickly it will change your child’s perception.

Also included in today’s smoothie were my new favorite Chia Seeds.  I use The Chia Co.  Chia Seeds are the richest plant based source of Omega 3, dietary fiber, protein and antioxidants.

This smoothie is smooth in taste and KID FRIENDLY.

2 large leaves of organic romaine
2 ripe bananas, peeled
1 organic orange, peeled and seeded
1 mango
1/2 pineapple cored (can add more pineapple to increase sweetness)
1/2 cup water
1 cup ice
1-2 tbs black chia seeds


Yield: 4

Pear Oat Smoothie

Yum!  Today I decided to try this protein packed Pear Oat smoothie.  I received this recipe from a close friend and can now second that this is a great combination and nice change from a complete vegetable or fruit smoothie.  Enjoy.


1 pear sliced
1/3 cup rolled oats or steel cut oats (I used steel cut oats)
1 tsp raw maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp almond or Peanut Butter (I used all natural Peanut Butter)
A sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)
Cover with unsweet vanilla almond milk, hemp milk, or rice milk
Handful of Ice

Blend! Enjoy!

Yield: 1 to 2 servings

Broccoli Braid

I am so excited to share this recipe that has been in my family for years, thanks to my Mom.  It was traditionally cooked with chicken, but the recipe I am sharing today, is without.  Omnivores, you can add 2 cups chopped cooked chicken to this recipe!  I cooked this meat free version last night for my family and they LOVED it…ate the whole thing. Enjoy.

1 cup broccoli florets, chopped (fresh or you can buy 10oz frozen chopped broccoli & thaw)
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper (this was about 1 whole red bell pepper)
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 packages (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 egg white, lightly beaten
*2 tablespoons silvered almonds (optional)
*2 cups cooked chicken chopped (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine broccoli, bell pepper, cheese, mayonnaise, dill mix, pressed garlic and salt in bowl; mix well.
  2. Unroll one package of the crescent dough; do not separate. Arrange longest sides of dough across width of a rectangle baking stone. Repeat with remaining package of dough. Using a rolling pin, roll dough to seal perforations. On longest sides of baking stone, cut dough into strips 1 1/2 in. apart, 3 in. deep. (There will be 6 in. in the center for the filling.) (see pictures below)
  3. Spread filling evenly over center of dough. To braid, lift dough strips across filling to meet in center, twisting each strip one turn. Continue alternating strips to form a braid. Tuck ends up to seal at end of braid. Brush egg white over dough. Sprinkle with almonds. Bake 25-28 minutes or until deep golden brown