A Speedy Salad Recipe: Spinach and Red Bean Salad with Herbes de Provence

I’ve been all about the fast meals lately because I have been so crazy busy! I ate this salad for a late lunch after having a tall glass of juice. The juice was made of freshly juiced oranges and coconut water, and if you were wondering, it was amazing!

The formula for this salad is straight-forward: bed of greens, any combination of vegetables, beans, and herbs de provence dressing. There are always different theories on how to get past that afternoon slump: a nap, eat some protein (trail mix!), carbs (carbs, carbs), light exercise/break from the computer. Well, I can say that I have had moderate success with all of these at different points in my life, but my go-to afternoon lift is most definitely greens. Juices and smoothies work well, but big salads are my preference. Sometimes I munch on my greens while I’m preparing the rest of the ingredients and can already feel some new energy circulating.

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Eating Seasonally: Tempura Zucchini Blossoms with Nut-Free Vegan Cheese

When I was younger, eating seasonally didn’t have much meaning to me. I had little connection to seasonal eating save picking berries in the summers and making pumpkin pie every Thanksgiving. When I stepped away from processed foods, I naturally began to eat more seasonally because I made my foods from scratch, out of fresh, whole foods. In the colder months, I delight in seeing foods like sunchokes, cranberries, and the many varieties of apples appear in the market. I look forward to the berries and rhubarb in springtime, zucchini in the summer, and figs in late summer. There’s no time to mourn a passing season because for every fruit or vegetable going out of season, there are many whose seasons are just beginning.

Flashback to a few years ago…

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The Benefits of Beets + Raw Ruby Noodle Salad

Let’s flash back to my April eats. April was the month that I was obsessed with red foods. I had so many beets, red bell peppers, strawberries, frozen cherries, frozen persimmons, grape tomatoes (ya, it wasn’t quite tomato season, but I couldn’t wait), red apples, goji berries, frozen raspberries, dulse, acai berry puree, red grapefruit and even hibiscus tea. Deep reds, orange reds, pink reds, purple-y reds. Ok, you get it. Continue reading

Raw Spiced Cranberry Applesauce

I’ve always thought of applesauce as a rather plain food. When my mom assembled my lunch for school, she’d often include individual packs of cinnamon applesauce. I always liked it, but there was never anything particularly special about it. You can’t imagine the excitement I had when they started coming out with all of the wacky colors and flavors. Blue, red, green, or orange applesauce packs were unveiled in my lunch bag every weekday afternoon. They came in many flavors like blue raspberry, strawberry, and peach. That they were “flavored” is the key concept here.

Although some brands did add fruit puree, they also added high fructose corn syrup, “natural” flavorings, and artificial colors. I think we can do without all of that! Back then, I was entranced by the fun colors and flavors, but now I’m not so easily hooked in by imitation gimmicks. I still like fun colors and flavors, but I want the real thing. Enter my abundance of fresh cranberries and a fine recipe idea.Since I just can’t say no to those plump, Christmas-red cranberries at the store, I decided to use them to dress up some raw applesauce. This sassy applesauce (applesass?) is sure to wow you all. There is nothing “imitation” about this cranberry applesauce. It’s a pleasantly tart treat with a tease of sweet. If winter ever decides to come around (I miss you, snow!), the ginger will warm the chills right out of your body. And, if I may offer one suggestion: Don’t tuck it away in a lunch pail because it’s all decked out for a prime spot at the dinner table!

Raw Spiced Cranberry Applesauce
makes 3-4 servings

2 gala apples
1 granny smith apple
1/2 orange, peeled
1/4 cup cranberries
1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp vanilla
dash of nutmeg

-Add all ingredients into a blender. Blend and serve.