Homemade Pesto

Homemade Pesto

As you might have seen from my last post, I am up to my ears in fresh herbs (which is such a good thing)! I have been making this Homemade Pesto recipe lately on a weekly basis to go over pasta, served alongside grilled chicken or shrimp or as a topping to fresh salmon. This recipe is so easy to make—my fifteen year-old, Zachary made this batch for me. Toss fresh basil, garlic, Parmesan, olive oil, salt and a touch of a fresh lemon juice in a blender or food processor. It’s that easy!

Similar to cilantro, basil if filled with many health benefits including helping to rid of acne, help replenish iron and more. Basil is a good source of vitamin A and can help with cardiovascular health. Basil is also an anti-inflammatory food so it can also help individuals with inflammatory health problems such as rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel conditions. Try this recipe and enjoy fresh basil all summer long.

DIY Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

I am really into making homemade fresh salad dressings this summer. When I was out of town last month in Cabo, I came home and my husband had planted various hanging fresh herb baskets in our backyard. Needless to say I was beyond excited, and this DIY Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette recipe will be the first of many recipes including fresh herbs in the coming months. This vinaigrette can be drizzled over salads, fish tacos, seafood, pork and chicken. We served it last night over a big mixed salad with grilled shrimp, and it was divine! If you want to grow your own cilantro this summer, it’s super easy. It just needs good sunlight and water almost every day.

fresh cilantro

Fresh cilantro is very low in calories, and its green leaves contain  antioxidants, vitamins, and dietary fiber, which may help reduce the “bad” cholesterol levels in the blood. It’s also high in potassium, calcium, folate, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. It’s also said to be a detoxifying food.

 

Fresh Peach Pecan Crisp

Peach Pecan Crisp

If you’re looking for a super easy summer dessert, try this Peach Pecan Crisp recipe. In 45 minutes, you’ll have an a scrumptious mouth watering dessert for friends and family to enjoy. I love using two of my favorite ingredients—peaches and pecans. I typically purchase mine from Pearson Farms in Georgia. They’ve been in business since 1885 and are a wonderful, friendly family-owned business. At our house we go through peaches and pecans so quickly, so I try to always have them on hand, especially while peaches are in their peak season. If you want to prepare this recipe when peaches go out of season, feel free to use frozen peaches (be sure to thaw them slightly before serving). Peaches are so healthy for you. One fresh peach (about 21/2 inches) is only 68 calories and has zero fat. Peaches contain 10 different vitamins. A large peach provides Vitamin A, which is important to healthy vision, Vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, niacin, folate and more.

I’ve been using my cast-iron skillet often for desserts lately, but if you don’t have one, you can substitute a 10-inch or 2 quart baking dish. Be sure to slightly grease it before adding the peaches and brown sugar. If you don not have a 10-inch, you can also use an 8-inch as well as a 61/2-inch if you have these smaller sizes. Have a great week and cheers to summer!

Layered Berry Smoothie

layered berry smoothie

Layered smoothies take extra time, but they are so worth it! My family has been working out a ton this weekend (tennis tournament, hiking, swimming, running and golf) so we decided to make these Layered Berry Smoothie just in time for the Memorial Day holiday. The best way to make these, so the flavors don’t run into each other is to prepare each flavor at a time, and put each flavor in the freezer until ready to layer.

layered berry smoothie 2

These layered smoothies are so healthy with fresh strawberries, blueberries and bananas. They are also easy to prepare, taste fresh, are filling and are good for you. Feel free to use your favorite milk, and if you can’t have dairy, feel free to substitute coconut water.

Decadent Carrot Cake

Decadent Carrot Cake CreamCheeseFrostingSheetPan

I have been searching for a new carrot cake recipe for a while, and I finally found one. I am in love with this new cookbook 200 Best Sheet Pan Recipes and this recipe for Decadent Carrot Cake by one of my favorite cookbook authors, Camilla Saulsbury and Published by Robert Rose (my publisher). Getting dinner together can be challenging, especially for those who work full time and/or have kids. Sheet pan meals are the new one-pot meals since they allow you to cook several components of your meal at one such as her recipes for California Fish Tacos with Cucumber and Pineapple, Sheet Pan Clam Bake and even Weeknight Chicken and Stuffing. Her book begins with an “extra-simple pantry meal” chapter, followed by breakfast and brunch recipes, meatless meals, recipes for seafood, chicken, turkey, beef, pork etc. Of course, I love all of the recipes I have tried so far!

Children, including those who claim an aversion to vegetables, are drawn to carrot cake. Perhaps it’s because the carrots create a moistness that plays up the sweet spices of the cake, and accent the component everyone loves most: the tangy cream cheese icing. Whether you have kids or not, this carrot cake is the perfect mix of sweetness and softness. It’s perfect for Mother’s Day, spring parties and summer gatherings. It’s also so simple to prepare. Enjoy and be sure to check out this cookbook!

Courtesy of 200 Best Sheet Pan Recipes by Camilla Saulsbury © 2016 www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold.

200 Sheet Pan Meals Coobkook

Homemade Plum Jam

Homemade Plum Jam

 

I have never made jelly or jam before, but I had some leftover plums and attempted my first ever Homemade Plum Jam. This recipe came out fabulous, and if you like Port, it’s wonderful with that unexpected addition. While I know this recipe has sugar, it also contains cardamom which is super healthy for you including gastrointestinal protection, cholesterol control, control of cancer, relief from cardiovascular issues, and the improvement of blood circulation in the body. Plums are also a great source of Vitamin C, K and filled with fiber. Serve on biscuits, toast and even crackers or bruschetta with a touch of goat cheese for a sweet savory appetizer.

Tuna Zucchini Kabobs

swordfish kabobs

Zucchini recipes are so hot right now on the internet, so why not try something a little out of the box and combine them with fresh tuna, bell peppers and a citrus marinade such as in these Tuna Zucchini Kabobs. The Moroccan flavors of the marinade pair well with the grilled fish and vegetables. Easy to prepare and a party showstopper, these are low in calories, fat and carbohydrates. They are also a paleo-friendly and gluten free, so sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Healthy Peach Crisp

Individual Peach Crisp

Alabama peaches are the best right now: so sweet and juicy! If you’re looking for a healthy dessert (under 200 calories) with fresh peaches, read on. I quickly created this individual Healthy Peach Crisp recipe with these fresh jewels which came out spectacular! All you will need is whole wheat flour, flaxseed meal, raw sugar and oats for the topping. I used as little butter as possible. You can prepare these ahead of time and warm them up in the microwave when you’re ready to serve them. Enjoy this summertime recipe during the week or for weekend get togethers.

IMG_2657 copy

Peach Tea Fizz Cocktail

Peach Tea Fizz Cocktail

Looking for the easiest three ingredient cocktail ever? Try this Peach Tea Fizz Cocktail this weekend while the weather is hot and peaches are in season. This makes a great after-work drink, lake or beach cocktail. I used Sparkling Ice as my peach tea starter. It works great in this recipe and is so refreshing. Happy weekend!

Sparkling Ice Teas launched nationally in 2015 and include Raspberry Tea, Lemon Tea, and Peach Tea flavors. SPARKLING ICE combines sparkling water, natural flavors, fruit juice, vitamins and antioxidants to offer a great tasting lightly carbonated beverage all without the calories. To locate SPARKLING ICE visit www.sparklingice.com.

Watermelon Grapefruit Slushie Recipe

watermelon grapefruit slush

It has been so warm here the past few weeks where 97 degrees is the new norm. I made this chilling, refreshing Watermelon Grapefruit Slushie which was a home run. My kids were skeptical about me adding the grapefruit, but they ended up loving it and asking me to make more. This recipe is healthy, detoxing, and refreshing. It is perfect to make after a tough workout or as a lunchtime or dinnertime dessert. With 98 calories per serving, this recipe is high in B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Potassium and Manganese, so sip and enjoy!

 

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