Broiled Grapefruit and a Spring Luncheon

Spring.  A time to plant gardens, bare arms and legs, spring clean, and enjoy the outdoors.  It’s a season of renewal and growth, for the earth as well as us humans.  Spring is the time to shed our winter coats, heavy boots and sweaters, as well as old thoughts and habits that no longer serve us.  Release the old and welcome the new!

Spring also means new seasonal produce.  As I’ve progressed through my whole foods journey, I notice that I instinctively crave lighter foods that energize rather than weigh me down as the weather warms up.  What about you?  Do your food choices change with the seasons?

Broiled Grapefruit and a Spring Luncheon|Grow Eat Glow

Last week I hosted a simple luncheon for two special friends, Myda and Ana.  Let me just take a moment to tell you how much I adore these girls.  Deep conversations into the early morning hours.  Feeling connected.  Joyful.  Supportive.  Positive.  Authentic.  Beautiful inside and out!  Every girl should have friends like these.

I decided to serve them my latest recipe – Purple Cabbage Kale Salad.  This delicious, nutrient-packed salad is very simple – kale, purple cabbage, carrots, and sunflower seeds with a lemony horseradish mustard dressing.  I beefed it up by adding roasted sweet potato and eggplant, which was a perfect addition!

Broiled Grapefruit and a Spring Luncheon|Grow Eat Glow

I also had fun making a special lunch for Ana’s son.  His meal consisted of cheese wrapped in ham, orange slices, gluten free crackers, and almonds mixed with chocolate and yogurt covered raisins.

I just love those little kid trays with the separate compartments. They remind me of the school lunch trays from the ’70s.  Even though my boys are way too old for these trays, I have a few on hand for little guests.

Isn’t he a sweetheart?  That face.

Broiled Grapefruit and a Spring Luncheon|Grow Eat Glow

Dessert was also light and simple.  A Boot Camp friend gifted me with several grapefruits from her bountiful citrus trees.  I drizzled the grapefruit with honey and sprinkled chopped basil over the top.  Then I broiled the grapefruit for a few minutes, until the edges turned golden brown.

I’m not too shy to say that it was amazingly good and refreshing!

Broiled Grapefruit and a Spring Luncheon|Grow Eat Glow

If you’re not into grapefruit because of the tartness, give this recipe a try.  Broiling the fruit mellows that tart taste, and the honey adds the perfect amount of sweetness.  It’s yummy, simple, and makes a beautiful dessert presentation!

Broiled Grapefruit and a Spring Luncheon

Broiled Grapefruit and a Spring Luncheon

Ingredients

  • Grapefruit (1/2 grapefruit per person)
  • Honey (1 teaspoon per person)
  • Basil, chopped

Instructions

  1. Turn on broiler to low setting.
  2. Cut grapefruit in half and place on baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle honey and basil over grapefruit halves.
  4. Broil, checking every 30 seconds or so until the edges are golden brown.
  5. Serve immediately.
http://www.groweatglow.com/lifestyle/inspiration/broiled-grapefruit-and-a-spring-luncheon/

 I link up to these fun parties!

~Christi

Purple Cabbage Kale Salad

February and March have flown by, haven’t they?

I simply cannot believe it’s the last week of March.  I’ve been so busy with school that I neglected Grow Eat Glow this month.  How I miss the photographing and the story writing and recipe sharing!  The good news is that I’m learning so much and can’t wait to share all the fantastic information with you!  My mid-term is in April, and then I move on to Therapeutics.  Still a ways to go, but it’s so exciting to progress to the next phase!

Purple Cabbage Kale Salad|Grow Eat Glow

I came across this lovely Purple Cabbage Kale recipe today because 1) I was hungry and, 2) I had a bunch of kale and purple cabbage in my fridge.  The kale came from a friend’s garden, and let me just say: backyard garden kale is WAY better than store kale!  No bitterness, no tough leaves, just soft, curly goodness.  Kale is a winter crop here in AZ, so I’ll have to wait until the fall to plant it.  Something to look forward to!  Anywhosky, I googled my two main veggies and discovered this delightful bowl of perfection at greenlitebites.com.  I love it when I find a recipe and I have all the necessary items on hand, don’t you?

Purple Cabbage Kale Salad|Grow Eat Glow

I gathered my ingredients and got to work chopping.  The recipe is simple, yet so flavorful and good for you.

And when I say good for you, I mean if this salad were a super hero, it would look like Superman (the Christoper Reeves version, of course), and possess the powers of Iron Man, Yoda, and Gandolph the White combined.  Allow me to state my case with a few key ingredients:

Kale – one of the most nutritious foods on the planet (and Middle Earth), kale is high in vitamins A, K, C and B, as well as calcium and fiber.  It’s anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer.  Kale, will you marry me?

Purple Cabbage – a badass vegetable as well, cabbage is high in vitamins K, C, B, and fiber.  Cabbage offers support for your digestive tract and cardiovascular system, is anti-inflammatory, and the antioxidants found in this food are anti-cancerous.

Carrots – don’t knock the common carrot.  It has tons of vitamin A which is great for eyesight, as well as  biotin, which is good for skin and blood sugar balance.  It’s also a great source of fiber, is anti-inflammatory, and has anti-cancer benefits as well.

Sunflower Seeds – these unassuming seeds are high in vitamins E and B, as well as magnesium, copper, and selenium.  Buy sunflower seeds raw and unsalted to get the most nutrition. I get mine in the bulk bin at Sprouts. (www.whfoods.com)

Apple Cider Vinegar – there are sooo many things to love about ACV.  It’s tart and tangy (perfect to perk up salad dressing), but it also detoxifies the body, regulates pH, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, and clears skin.  Also anti-inflammatory.

You may have noticed that “anti-inflammatory” came up a lot.  This is key, and I’ll tell you why.

Almost all chronic disease is caused by inflammation.  Autoimmune disease, stroke, arthritis, heart disease, cancer, allergies – all caused by chronic inflammation.  Anti-inflammatory foods provide the body with the nutrition it needs to purify the blood and keep the body in balance.

Now that I’ve sold you on the benefits of this beauty, let’s make it!

Purple Cabbage Kale Salad

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Serving Size: 1

Purple Cabbage Kale Salad

Ingredients

    Salad Dressing
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp horseradish mustard or whole grain mustard (I used HR mustard. I highly recommend it)
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • Salad
  • 1 cup shredded kale
  • 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 2 tbsp raw sunflower seeds

Instructions

  1. Mix dressing ingredients.
  2. Chop the salad ingredients and mix into a bowl. Add dressing and mix until coated.
  3. Enjoy!

Notes

If the kale seems tough, make the salad with the dressing and allow it to sit in the fridge for an hour or so before serving. Alternatively, you can also massage the kale with a little olive oil to soften it.

http://www.groweatglow.com/recipes/dinner-recipes/salad/purple-cabbage-kale-salad/

I just have to add that not only is this a nutritious lunch or side salad, it is also colorful and so yummy.  In fact, I’ll be making this for lunch tomorrow as well!

I link up to these fun parties!

~Christi

Resources:

     The World’s Healthiest Foods. Kale, cabbage, carrots, sunflower seeds. Retrieved from http://www.whfoods.com.

     Marquis, D. (2013, Mar). How Inflammation Affects Every Aspect of Your Health. Available from http://articles.mercola.com.

Roasted Buddha Bowl

You’re sitting cross-legged in a meadow, feeling the warm sun caress your skin.  A soft wind plays with the flap on your tent, and you hear wind chimes tinkling in the background.  Soft footsteps approach, and you open your eyes.

“Would you like a Buddha Bowl?”, asks Finn.  He hands you a beautifully carved wooden bowl, filled with greens, grains and veggies, topped with a lemony sauce.  You take a bite and marvel at the perfectly combined tastes dancing in your mouth.  Finn sits next to you and takes a bite of roasted broccoli from his bowl, then closes his eyes and smiles.  Lazily, he opens his ocean blue eyes and gazes at the sky. Then he turns and looks at you; no, looks into you.  His smile disappears and you feel his energy change.  Urgency.  Finn leans toward you and gently sets your Buddha Bowl down.  His kisses taste like fresh lemon.  As you lay back, Finn’s soft, dirty blonde hair falls over your face.  You are One with the Food, One with Finn, and One with the Earth.

Roasted Buddha Bowl|Grow Eat Glow

When I first heard the term “Buddha Bowl,” the above hippie fantasy sequence played in my head.

Then my mind wandered further, and I wondered if a hippie erotica niche market existed, and if not, could I start a market?  Is there a need for hippie erotica?

Google that phrase at your own risk.

Let’s just say I decided to focus my efforts on making my first Buddha Bowl.

Buddha Bowls are versatile but have similar components: grain, protein, vegetables, and a sauce.  Grains can be quinoa, wild or brown rice.  Protein is usually a legume, although shredded chicken would also be divine.  Vegetables can be steamed, sautéed, raw, or roasted.  I like to add greens as well – kale, spinach, or dark green lettuce are my faves.  Keep the sauce simple and let the veggies be the star.  I simply add a little olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.  Hummus is also a perfect addition.

Roasted Buddha Bowl|Grow Eat Glow

For this recipe, I cooked the quinoa whilst roasting the veggies and chick peas.  This recipe makes about three to four servings.  Store leftovers separately in the fridge and use within four days.

Alternatively, you can use leftover veggies and grains from dinner to make a beautiful bowl for lunch the following day.  It’s a nutrition packed meal that will become a favorite!

Roasted Buddha Bowl

Roasted Buddha Bowl

Ingredients

    Grains
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, wild rice, or brown rice (I used quinoa)
  • Greens
  • 1 bunch of kale, spinach, or lettuce, torn or shredded (I used kale)
  • Vegetables for Roasting
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 3/4 to 1 lb. Brussels sprouts
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • Other Veggie Options: sweet potatoes, radishes, carrots, mushrooms (all peeled/chopped)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt/pepper
  • Dressing
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • Topping Options
  • Avocado
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Fresh chopped parsley
  • Hummus
  • Salt/pepper to taste if desired

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Peel/chop veggies and place them, and the chick peas, on a rimmed baking sheet in an even layer. Drizzle with olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and pepper if desired.
  3. Bake for 35-40 minutes, stirring veggies 1/2 way through cooking.
  4. While veggies roast, cook quinoa or other grains. Chop kale or other greens.
  5. To serve, layer quinoa, greens, roasted veggies, sauce and toppings into your bowl.
  6. Savor and enjoy.

Notes

Adapted from the Simple Veganista

http://www.groweatglow.com/how-to/transition-to-whole-foods/roasted-buddha-bowl/

Let’s recap:

Buddha Bowls will make lunch exciting again, and may also transport you to a meadow with strange, shirtless men.  What are you waiting for?

I link up to these fun parties!

~Christi (a.k.a. Willow)

Lemon Whip Body Butter

 Our skin is our largest organ, and everything we apply to it is absorbed into our body.  Beauty products can contain thousands of chemicals like formaldehyde, paragons, plasticizers, endocrine disrupters and carcinogenics (you can read about ten toxic beauty ingredients here).  We need to be aware of what we put on our bodies as well as in them!  That’s why one of my main goals this year is to replace my current home, health and beauty products with natural, nontoxic alternatives.  Replacing everything at once seems a little overwhelming (and expensive).  My plan is to replace one item a month with a natural alternative and share my findings with you!

Lemon Whip Body Butter|Grow Eat Glow

This month I replaced my lotion with a homemade Lemon Whip Body Butter.  This is a light and fluffy body cream that glides on beautifully and smells delicious!  It does feel a little oily initially, but if you wait a minute or so before getting dressed, the butter absorbs nicely into the skin.  I’ve also been applying this glorious cream on my face and neck at night with great success.  My face looks hydrated and, dare I say, less wrinkly in the morning!

Lemon Whip Body Butter|Grow Eat Glow

To make Lemon Whip Body Butter, I used a recipe from Beth at Unskinny Boppy.  She includes a video with her recipe that is very helpful (plus she has the cutest Southern accent ever).  You can watch her video tutorial here.

Let’s make Lemon Whip Body Butter!

Lemon Whip Body Butter

Yield: 2-4 cups

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup organic coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup unrefined shea butter
  • 4 oz. of any carrier oil that is liquid at room temp (olive oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, or fractionated coconut oil) I used olive oil and it gave my body butter a yellowish color
  • 30-40 drops of essential oil (DoTerra or Young Living are great brands). For Lemon Whip, I used 15 drops of lemon oil and 15 drops of Wild Orange from DoTerra.

Instructions

  1. Using a saucepan over low heat, melt the coconut oil and shea butter together until they are completely melted.
  2. Pour into a stainless steel bowl (I used my Kitchenaid mixing bowl) then put it into the fridge.
  3. Once the mixture begins to harden back up so that you can see your fingerprint in it (check every 30 minutes), start whipping using the beater attachment. If you don't have a Kitchenaid mixer, an immersion blender or handheld blender should also work.
  4. Whip for a few minutes with the mixer until it begins to look light and fluffy (like cake frosting). Slowly add the liquid carrier oil as it is whipping, along with the essential oils.
  5. Total whipping time is about 10 minutes. The final mixture should be the consistency of whipped cream and stay put when you hold the container upside down.
  6. This recipe makes about two to four cups of whipped body butter, depending on how much whipping you do.
http://www.groweatglow.com/lifestyle/natural-living/lemon-whip-body-butter/

I purchased the coconut oil from Costco, the Shea butter from Sprouts, and the oils from DoTerra.

Lemon Whip Body Butter|Grow Eat Glow

Have fun experimenting with other essential oils such as peppermint, lavender, lime, citrus, Whisper, melaleuca, or Frankincense.

Are there any products you’d like to replace with a more natural alternative?  Share your thoughts below and I just might try your suggestion next month!

I link up at these fun parties!

~Christi

Spicy Shrimp with Cilantro and Ginger

Spicy Shrimp with Cilantro and Ginger is such a flavorful meal!  With ingredients like fresh cilantro, ginger and lemon, with a zip of spice from jalapeño, this is a restaurant quality dinner that’s easy enough to make on a weeknight, yet fancy enough to serve to guests.

Spicy Shrimp with Cilantro and Ginger|Grow Eat Glow

If you’ve never cooked shrimp, it can be a little scary!  If you over cook, the shrimp gets rubbery.  If you undercook it, you run the risk of contracting food borne illnesses.

I learned how to cook shrimp in 2010, from a lovely lady named Gigi Centaro.  Gigi was the author of “Let’s Cook Tonight”, a unique cookbook that offered entire dinner menus rather than separate recipes.  She used whole food ingredients in her meals.  At the time, I was learning how to cook with whole foods, but as my family can attest, I wasn’t very good at it.  I had recently been diagnosed with food allergies and leaky gut syndrome, and cooking in general was overwhelming.  So when Gigi asked if I’d like to create a video with her to promote her book, I gladly accepted!

The recipe we made is (more…)

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