Banana Peanut Butter Yogurt Smoothie with a twist.

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Can’t get your kids to eat “good” foods?  How about sneaking them in to what they love?  I posted a recipe for a smoothie a few months ago that had an avocado in it and I had several people email me questioning the taste and my sanity.  Ha!  Then they tried it on their 2, 3 and 4 year olds and guess what… the kids were asking for more!  Now I don’t go telling my kids what I put in their smoothies because then they would complain or not drink them.  Today was the perfect example… my oldest daughter went to the gym yesterday to workout with my 75 year old dad.  He kicked her tush!  I got a text this morning that stated simply “I’m broken.”  Ha ha.  Now, I shouldn’t laugh but every day of my life I have a sore muscle or muscles.  The constant pursuit of fitness will yield these results.  So with a chuckle, I knew I had to make her a nice big protein smoothie to help her sore muscles rebuild.  She, along with the workers that I have in my house today installing our pool table, all gobbled it down and loved it.  None the wiser of the ingredients!

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— Knead to Cook

Fast, fresh tomato sauce.

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Just back from an awesome 12 day vacation (my Cabot posting will be up this week as it may take days to download all of the pictures from my fun race weekend in Maine) and inundated with fresh tomatoes from the garden.  Today, as it always seems to be as we return back from vacationing in August – was filled with school shopping on the brain.  I had one child done and just received the other’s list for supplies.  So after many errands today, I had just enough time to whip up my down and dirty tomato sauce.  No roasting tomatoes here… just a quick, fabulously fresh sauce that you can top your veggie or whole wheat pasta with and enjoy with a loaf of crusty bread and a glass of wine.  I love a good sauce you can make and just let simmer on the stove while you do a million other things… and that is just what was needed today.

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— Knead to Cook

Cherry Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. {clean eating}

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Okay the dog days of summer are here and that calls for ice cream, right?  Of course!

My clean eating journey continues but that doesn’t mean I can’t have ice cream (or at least a healthier version of it).  PLUS no ice cream maker required! I love that this creamy “ice cream” hits the sweet spot plus bananas are filled with fiber and potassium, cherries are a natural anti-inflammatory fruit (we can all use that) and the creaminess… oh you had me at the first spoonful.  Great treat for the kids too!  Also a perfect way (without making banana bread) to use up ripe bananas.  Go grab your bananas and get them into your freezer~ you’ll be so happy you did!

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— Knead to Cook

Gazpacho.

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I love making vegetarian dinners for my family.  It’s important to me to do this a few times a week.  This one, I admit, is super easy when you have a bounty of fresh tomatoes flowing from the garden daily.  I typically make salsa or roast my tomatoes for sauce but I thought it would be a nice night for a cold soup with some crusty bread and tons of flavor!  If you love salsa, you will totally flip over this soup.  Also, great to make the night before or a few hours before dinner and let the flavors mingle while chilling.  Also great for an appetizer idea served in tall, thin glasses as shooters.  You can top this with fresh sliced jalapeƱos or cold shrimp would be perfection too!  Plus another great thing about this recipe, no heating up your kitchen and preparation is super fast!   Vegan.

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— Knead to Cook

Shrimp Salsa.

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Lately I haven’t been eating any meat, actually it’s been quite a few months since I have.  I haven’t had a taste for it so I adjust my sails and go forward.  I’m sadly not a seafood lover but I do love, and have since I was pregnant with my oldest 15 years ago, cold shrimp.  Not cooked shrimp, it has to be cold.  I actually think I love the spicy cocktail sauce more than anything (the shrimp being a venue to get that to my mouth) but as of late, I started venturing out of my comfort zone and this little dish is now one of my favorites that I cannot stop eating.  Hashtag addictive!  Ha ha.  This is the perfect salsa to serve with tortilla chips, as a side or straight up out of the bowl like I do it.  It is so good and so refreshing.  It also proves my point once again, clean eating can be easy, quite tasty and fun.  Plus the longer this has to sit in the fridge, the tastier it becomes.  Easiest recipe ever!

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— Knead to Cook

Dried Fava Bean Hummus.

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I often buy bags of beans (thanks to Bob’s Red Mill) that look interesting or something I haven’t tried before.  Now I’ve eaten fresh fava beans but never dried so I grabbed the bag and vowed to make something this week (and not let it get buried in the back of pantry never to be seen again).  This is a crazy (yes, another) week with three swim meets, one of which we are hosting amongst construction in our house, training and our swim banquet.  My eye is twitching in stress as I type this (ha ha).  So in my free hour that I was blessed with today, I grabbed the beans and cooked them according to the package directions.  It only took about 40 minutes.  The texture is similar to a baked potato when done.  They are packed with protein, fiber and iron!  Perfect as I haven’t been eating meat in the past few months.  And this is what I did with them after draining…

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— Knead to Cook

Tomato Basil Vinaigrette.

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This is like a fresh burst of garden flavor. I just love the flavors.  Now I know the color may be deceptive (thanks to the yellow tomatoes I used and the dark balsamic) but don’t be swayed.  The flavor is incredibly summer.  Packed with freshness that will make your tastebuds dance!  Great for topping your favorite greens, proteins or for dipping veggies into.  I keep dipping my veggies into it… so good!  Easy, clean and vegan!

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— Knead to Cook

Haricot Vert Salad. {green bean salad}

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Haricot verts are a thinner green bean to the domestic green bean.  I found these beauties at our farmer’s market and I thought they would make the perfect salad (dinner for me) side dish for my family.  Easy to make.  I used my roasted red pepper balsamic vinaigrette dressing to dress it.  It a great dish for these hot days of summer when you don’t want to eat anything super heavy.  Can also be prepped ahead of time and leftovers taste better the next day after absorbing lots of the flavors.  Again, I encourage you to use what extras you have on hand to add to your salad to make it your own.

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— Knead to Cook

Roasted red pepper balsamic vinaigrette.

 

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I have always loved making my own vinaigrettes.  I use them for topping salads, veggies, meats – whatever!  This one is a favorite as my family really loves the flavor of smoked paprika.  This dressing has a dark, earthy flavor – which pairs up beautifully with greens or mixed vegetables.  I prepared a mixed green bean salad and topped it with this dressing last night for dinner.  It was so good.  In fact… everyone kept dipping veggies into the dressing despite my efforts to photograph it for this post.

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— Knead to Cook

Overnight Peanut Butter and Banana Oats. {no cooking or baking.}

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I need to add more oats to my diet.  I am a total creature of habit.  I pretty much have the same breakfast and lunch every day.  I needed to mix it up – variety is the spice of life, right?  I kept seeing overnight oats everywhere I looked – like a subliminal message, I thought I would make a batch last night (after three days away in three states for a short holiday) and see how it tasted.  Well as you may or many not know, I’ve been clean eating for about 8-9 months.  Avoiding pretty much anything processed, loaded with preservatives, meat and striving to be as clean as possible.  Okay enough about that!  So I wanted to add only clean ingredients to my overnight refrigerated oatmeal.  It took me about 2 minutes to assemble and have in the fridge.  I anxiously awaited the morning and the taste test… to be continued.

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— Knead to Cook