One of the most requested foods my oldest son asks me to bake when he comes home from college to visit is a big batch of muffins. From pumpkin muffins to blueberry muffins to banana chocolate chip muffins, I’m always happy to oblige my son! With limited cooking skills, he’s very grateful – at least I think that’s him saying “thank you” with his mouth stuffed full of my newest muffin Vegan Chai Tea Spiced Apple Muffins.
These are perfect to make ahead for quick breakfasts and snacks, plus they freeze fabulously – so of course extra were made to send back to college. Read on to get the full recipe and the cookbook that inspired these easy vegan muffins. Continue reading →
Turmeric, turmeric, the golden root . . .the more you eat, the more you “whoot”! Pardon me, I’m in a silly mood, but turmeric is an easy-to-use spice ingredient that kicks up both the color and nutrition of your recipes.
You may already be on board with an all-access, fast-track pass to turmeric town. But, newbies and veterans alike will find the mild, earthy taste to complement many dishes – and the health benefits are the bomb. This spice is abundant in curcumin, has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant powers that can help reduce the incidence of many diseases including some cancers, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, depression and more. I’m no doctor, just a fan — google Turmeric Health Benefits to learn more. Meanwhile, check out my roundup of 8 Golden, Good-for-You Turmeric Recipes. Continue reading →
Well, first of all, happy Mardi Gras – Laissez les bons temps rouler! This day of eating, drinking and overindulging that can take quite a toll so, I’m sharing a healthy salad to help keep you fit and fierce for Fat Tuesday . . . or get you back on track later in the week!
You’re going to love my Spicy Creole Shrimp Salad with French Quarter Croutons, it’s like a healthier version of a Po’ Boy sandwich that exploded with loads of lettuces and farm-fresh veggies. Instead of getting fried in oh-my-gawd grease, the succulent shrimp in this quick and easy recipe get a toss in Creole Seasoning before being lightly sautéed in heart-healthy olive oil.
Forget about bland Creole seasoning from grocery store spice aisle, kick up the taste and cut down on costs by making a big batch at home – in addition, making it from scratch lets you say au revoir to weird chemicals and preservatives and control the amount of heat. Often referred to as Cajun spice, this blend of peppers, paprika, thyme, oregano, garlic and onion powders creates the base of bold flavor on practically everything in my shrimp recipe – BAM!
I also use Instantly Fresh Herbs in my Creole Spice Mix, a generous recipe that makes plenty for the salad, dressing and croutons – store leftovers in an airtight jar for up to a year. Use this Creole Spice Mix in soups and gumbos, rub into catfish and tuna, mix into meatballs, and even sprinkle on grilled fruit – this Cajun food seasoning is crazy-good!
The dressing isn’t loaded in fat either; I used the deliciously creamy Greek yogurt-based Ranch and jazzed it up a bit with Creole spices.
To make Creole Spice Mix, place ingredients in small jar with lid. Stir or shake to combine. May be stored in pantry out of direct sunlight for up to one year. Makes approximately ½ cup.
To make shrimp, heat olive oil and Worcestershire sauce in large skillet over medium-high heat. Pat thawed shrimp dry and toss with Creole Spice Mix. Place in hot skillet and sauté for approximately 2 minutes, or until heated through (take care not to over-heat since shrimp are precooked). Remove shrimp from heat to a plate while finishing remainder of dish.
To prepare salad, top lettuce with cabbage, radish and tomatoes on a large platter or individual bowls. For dressing stir, Creole Spice Mix in dressing until incorporated – use more or less depending on preference for spiciness.
For croutons, slice 8-inch length of baguette in half lengthwise. Next, slice each half in half at a long diagonal; place on baking sheet. Brush cut side of bread with olive oil and sprinkle with cheese and Creole Spice Mix. Set under broiler for 60 seconds (keep a vigilant eye) or until top beginning to bubble and brown.
To serve, place shrimp on prepared salad and add one big crouton per person; pass with dressing.
This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk.
Lots of good things going on this week – putting my warm weather free time to good use by supplementing my day with trail runs, learning new yoga poses and getting in some quality time with the kids outdoors. The dog has even been going on walks – she doesn’t know what to think about this new summer schedule!
All of this moving around has me feeling a little closer to my age! A little ache here, a little pain there – it’s really nothing to complain about since I do ask a lot from my body when it comes to athletic performance. So, I’ve been sprinkling the spice turmeric onto my eggs, salad dressings and steaks. Releasing a warm and faintly citrusy flavor, this beautifully orange-yellow spice is prized for the anti-inflammatory benefits that come from the chemical compound curcumin. Not only does the curcumin in turmeric help reduce inflammation, thereby lessen tendonitis and muscle pain, the powerful antioxidants have been shown to regulate blood sugar and lessen the risk for certain cancers.
A great way to optimize these benefits is by pairing turmeric with a healthy fat – so why not make a healing and delicious drink by pairing with almond milk, a beverage robust with healthy fatty acids like Omega 3s?! Turmeric Honey Almond Milk is so easy to prepare and is a tasty cure for what ails you – I like to have a “shot” when I return home from my runs and workouts. Another thing my body appreciates about using almond milk is that it contains plenty of B vitamins such as iron and riboflavin, both essential components in muscle growth and healing. And when you add local honey, you help in the fight against seasonal allergies
I drink several different types of milks, but Almond Breeze Almondmilk Original is always on my shopping list. I typically buy the cartons out of the dairy section, but you can also buy shelf-stable almond milk (typically found on the cereal aisle) and I like to keep that stocked in my pantry for my impromptu healthy indulgences!
A big mug of Turmeric Honey Almond Milk is also delicious served warm as a comforting, natural way to relieve pain.