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    • Recipe Ideas for summertime gatherings

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    •  5/27/2012 8:39:34 PM

            This holiday weekend is the kick off for summer parties! We know that this is a season where BBQ's and other family events can be tricky. It is not easy to swap to this lifestyle and it can get a lot harder when we attend these event with family or friends who might not be too keen on the new plant loving you. We want to make this a little easier and help you with a  few tips and recipes to make a good impression on all those meat lovin' skeptics! :)

      I always want to make sure my dish that I bring is something that will be enjoyed by plant and meat eaters. I want to tempt them to ask me questions or at least give healthy food a shot. 

      Here are a few tips:


      ~ENJOY yourself. Focus less on the food and more on the family and friends! If they see you having a great time they are less likely to be "concerned about this new lifestyle of yours."


      ~Please eat a little something healthy before heading over. If you are partially full, you will be less tempted by unhealthy foods.


      ~Don't argue, for some reason people really enjoy teasing us plant eatin' folk! (this is a toughie for me, cuz I am a little too bold at times)


      ~Bring a dish that can be enjoyed by all!

      A few of our favorite party dishes:

      Party Pasta Salad

      Grilled Veggie Kabobs

      Mexican Corn Salad

      Hummus with veggies and pita chips!

      Couscous Confetti Salad

      And of course the NUMBER ONE crowd pleaser Anytime Bean Dip with corn chips 

      Happy Memorial weekend!


      ~Newbie :)


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    • Salad Rules!

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    •  5/17/2012 9:53:03 AM


      Rule numero uno: There are NOT any Rules! Be Creative!! :) Its your work of art, have fun!


       I do have one word of caution: read the ingredients on your store dressings... if you can just omit the dressing all together and squeeze fresh lemon or lime!


      I feel like salad has been giving a bad wrap.. (yes putting your salad in a wrap is a great way to eat it!) There are so many varieties and combos to making an excellent salad. Please don't bore yourself with the same old thing everyday. This time is year it is so fun to make salad creations! Here is an awful (from my iphone) photo of my lunch yesterday. It took me about 5 minutes to make!


      Yesterday's Salad:

      1 handful of spring greens

      1 handful baby spinach

      3 strawberries chopped

      1/2 red pepper chopped

      low sodium corn chips (crumbs really)

      a scoop of black beans

      1/2 roma tomato

      1 scoop if mango salsa

      I had some creamy tomatillo dressing made up from a few days ago. You really don't need it with this flavorful combo.

      Combine and enjoy! There is no going wrong with a salad!

      Salads are a great way to eat leftovers. I say grab a handful of spinach and last nights dinner, combine them, and call it today's salad special! I love topping my salads with fruit, salsa, beans, rice, any grain is great, or just a squeeze of lemon. You can throw your newly created salad into a whole wheat pita, a fun wrap, or even roll it up in a romaine leaf for extra greens! I rarely use dressing on my salad, it took a little time to get use to, but now the fruit or salsa is plenty of "dressing" or flavor to keep me happy. 

      Now I hope my rules where very clear... Be creative! Enjoy this season of fresh from the garden goodness!!


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    • EASY homemade refried beans

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    •  5/5/2012 10:05:25 AM
    • I have been trying to use less canned goods and more making things fresh. This can be hard when at the end of the day I find myself scrambling for what to make for dinner!?! I have made a pack with myself to be better at planning ahead. I recently found this fabulous recipe from I altered it just a tiny bit, omitting a can of green chilies. (Which could easily be added when you add the tomatoes)


      I like to double this recipe to make enough to store for a few days in a glass container in the fridge and use for several meals. Give it a try. 


      A fav  bean Recipe: Cool Beans Burrito


       Refried Beans

      Makes about 5 1-cup servings

      These beans are flavorful with no added fat. Serve them with rice and a green salad, or as a filling for tacos or burritos.

      1/2 cups dry pinto beans 
      10 1/2 cups water, divided 
      4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed 
      1/2 teaspoons ground cumin 
      1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
      1 onion, chopped 
      1 cup crushed or finely chopped tomatoes 
      1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt 

      Clean and rinse beans, then soak in 6 cups of water for 6 to 8 hours. Discard soaking water, rinse beans, and place in a large pot with 4 cups of fresh water; add the garlic, cumin, and cayenne. Simmer until tender, about 1 hour.

      Heat 1/2 cup of water in a large skillet. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

      A cup at a time, add cooked beans, including some cooking liquid, to tomato mixture. Mash some of the beans as you add them. When all the beans have been added, stir to mix, then cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until thickened. Add salt to taste.


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