Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer Living Smoothie Style!

If you have read all my blogs for the month of June then by now you should know a few things about me:
  1. I love summer
  2. I love to cook AND eat (especially Mexican food)
  3. I love to be physically active (aka play) outside
  4. and last but not least,

did I mention that I LOVE Summer!

One of the many reasons I enjoy summer is because of the abundance and variety of fresh, ripe, sweet, and juicy fruits that are just waiting for me to eat them. You should enjoy them as much as possible too because they pack a good nutritional punch in every bite with all the vitamins, minerals, and disease fighting antioxidants they contain. Don't forget to eat from every color group because each color provides different health benefits.

These are my absolute favorite smoothie concoctions that I enjoy eating almost every day during the warm months for lunch or as a pre workout energy meal. They are always affordable to make when produce is in season and I can take them with me to work or any place I need to go and they also take very little time and energy to prepare. So blend up one of my favorite mixtures or come up with your own by including your favorite fruits of the season.

Tropical Tahitian Blend

  • Half of 1 fresh pineapple

  • 10-12 ounce bag of frozen mango

  • 6 ounces of frozen or fresh blackberries (berries are optional but add a nice great touch)

  • 3-4 cups of unsweetened Almond milk

Tropical Thailand Blend

  • 10-12 ounce bag of frozen mango

  • 4 fresh peaches

  • 3 -4 cups of unsweetened Almond milk

Berry Bonanza Blend

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

  • 3-4 cups unsweetened Almond milk

Add fruit to blender and blend until smoothie style.
These amounts make enough for 2 to 4 people at a time so you can adjust accordingly for individual servings.
The key to a great smoothie is choosing one frozen fruit to create a better blend.
Pick your frozen fruit of choice for any of these blends.
Many times it is more affordable to buy frozen fruits, especially berries, mangoes, and other tropical fruits that are not grown here.

Health Facts:
- Almond milk is naturally free of gluten, soy, dairy, sugar, cholesterol, peanuts, casein, eggs, saturated fat, and MSG.
- It is an excellent source of calcium, vitamin D & E, and a good source of vitamin A.
- It is naturally vegan and low on the Glycemic Index which is good for diabetes control and weight management.
- It contains only 40 calories and 3.5 grams of (healthy fat) per cup.
- My favorite brand: Blue Diamond Almond Breeze

So drink up and use Almond milk for all your baking, cooking, and/or drinking needs!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Living Salad Style!

It is now officially summer and my favorite time of the year because: I get to run, swim, bike and be active outside all day, it is hot and sunny during the day and warm at night, and finally there are so many options for delicious and nutritious meals.

This is the best and easiest time of the year to boost your health: all you have to do is soak up the sun to get your daily dose of Vitamin D, play (be active) outside to get your physical activity, and eat all the fruits and veggies in season to get plenty of vitamins, minerals, and cancer fighting anti-oxidants.

This recipe makes it very easy to add more veggies to your daily diet, you can eat as a side dish or as a meal with a scoop of quinoa, that is my favorite way!

GF Organic Summer Salad
  • 1 head green leaf lettuce
  • 1 head red leaf lettuce
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley
  • 1 medium purple onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
Serves 4-6 people, I make a big salad that lasts about 2 days for me and my hubby.
Chop all veggies and mix together in a large bowl.

Fresh veggies are all naturally gluten-free but beware of processed bottled dressings that not only may contain gluten but also preservatives, additives, and unnecessary sugar. This dressing recipe is so easy to make, it only takes a few minutes to prepare, and it tastes way better than that bottled crap. =)

GF Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Italian seasoning: or combine dried herbs: oregano, thyme, marjoram, and rosemary.
In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, lemon juice, and desired amounts of salt, pepper and dried herbs.
Serve 1 or 2 spoonfuls over a serving of salad.

Health Tip /Facts:
Eat your salad with this lemon vinaigrette at the end of your meal to ease digestion, absorb more minerals and nutrients, promote weight loss, cleanse your blood, and cool the body from summer heat.

These leafy greens and veggies are full of nutrients that help eliminate waste from the body, reduce body fat, keep your skin looking and feeling healthy, cleanse your blood, reduce inflammation and infections, and prevent and treat illness, disease, and cancer.

So eat them all up!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Mexican Brown Rice

I am so happy brown rice is gluten-free because it provides so many health benefits and it is easy and fun to cook in so many different ways that never fail to turn out amazing. To get more insight of the many healing qualities of brown rice, visit the link below to view my facebook note:


I like to eat whole grain brown rice at least 2 to 3 times a week and this recipe will give you another great way to include it in your diet as well: you can serve it for any meal as a side dish or make it the main course by adding beans, meat, or veggies. To make the perfect meal that is vegetarian as well, try this rice with my homemade refried beans recipe (recipe featured last month) and top with avocado and salsa verde (recipe in January 2011 archive). This also goes very well with my Carne Asada, enchiladas (recipe coming soon), and much much more! I sure hope you get to try it soon!

Organic and GF Ingredients
  • 3 cups rinsed whole grain brown rice
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • granulated garlic powder
  • kosher or sea salt
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • water
In a pot filled with water, boil the tomatoes until the skin starts to peel off, then drain the water and cover the pot to let the tomatoes steam. After steaming for about 5 minutes, peel the skin off the tomatoes and puree in a blender until smooth with salt, garlic cloves, and garlic powder.

In the rice pot, add olive oil, enough to fill the bottom of the pot, and heat up on medium heat. Then add the rinsed brown rice and chopped onion and turn up to medium high heat, stir frequently, for about 10 minutes, until rice is evenly browned.

Add water and the tomato puree to the rice pot: make enough liquid to double the rice, this recipe needs 6 cups total of water and tomato puree together. Keep on medium high heat and bring to a boil.

After rice boils for a couple of minutes, turn the heat down to low and simmer for 65 to 75 minutes or until rice is fluffy and water is evaporated. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Let's Cook!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Summer Living Carne Asada Style!

I need to apologize for the long break I have taken from my food blog, sometimes life gets in the way of things you want to do and that is exactly what happened. I planned on sharing my favorite Mexican recipes for the month of May because of Cinco de Mayo but I was unable to post them all due to my blogger break. Now it is already June (and thank God for that!) because I was in dire need of warm weather and summer to arrive here in the Mid-West after our stubborn lingering winter made our spring season painfully cold.

I must say, I feel like a completely different person in the warmer months: I love living!
There is nothing like good friends, good music, good outdoor fun, and good food of course! I only left out family because that is the one thing I am missing in my life right now. I cannot wait for the times I will get to share with them.

So this meal is dedicated to family, friends, summer, and living it up! I love to cook, but I LOVE to cook even more for family and friends. I am truly blessed to have a husband who enjoys and appreciates every meal I make, but I still do not feel completely satisfied unless we have others to share with the experience of a truly delicious and nutritious meal.

Carne Asada

  • Grass Fed skirt steak

  • GF Soy Sauce: San J Organic Tamari GF Soy Sauce

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • Granulated garlic powder

  • Kosher or Sea salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

-Prepare the charcoal grill first (that is where my husband comes in handy =)
-Place steaks flat in a large and deep baking dish.
-Add garlic powder and salt and pepper to both sides of steaks.
-Add fresh lime juice and enough soy sauce to cover the steaks.
-Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Grill steaks on each side, I prefer cooked to medium well.

The Fix-ins:

  • Enjoy Life GF Whole Corn Tortillas: Found at Whole Foods. Just warm up on the grill after the meat is ready.

  • Rebecca's Salsa Verde (see recipe in January 2011 archive)

  • Rebecca's Guacamole (recipe coming up soon!)

  • Freshly squeezed lime juice

  • Chopped cilantro and onion
Don't forget your favorite cocktail!
I prefer a Pina Colada or Mai Tai: Recipes coming soon!

I get affordable grass fed beef from City Fresh Market located at the French Market in Chicago. Look up your local farmers markets for farmers who sell affordable grass fed beef, and by that I mean they are cheaper than Whole Foods Market. You should expect to pay more for good quality food. You will actually save money by staying healthy and avoiding expensive medical bills.

Health Facts:
Grass-fed cows are humanely raised on free range farms and are never fed corn and/or grains because that causes them to get sick and in turn need antibiotics. You are more likely to get food poisening from conventional meat than from grass-fed meat.
Meat from grass-fed cows contains no hormones or antibiotics and contains less saturated and total fats than conventional beef, it contains 2-4 times the amount of Omega-3's and 3-5 times the amount of CLAs, all believed to improve cardiovascular health and fight cancer and disease. Beef is also a good source of protein, iron, and Vitamin B12.