DIY 4th of July snacks

It’s that time of the year for grilling, swimming, and don’t forget the patriotic desserts. Make a red, white, and blue fruit kebab that will show you’re true American pride. This Do It Yourself (DIY) snack is healthy and nutritious and totally easy to make!

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Photo Credits Christa Alexis

What you’ll need:

  • Strawberries, Bananas, Blueberries, or Apples
  • Kebab Sticks
  • Patriotic Plates

DIRECTIONS:

Get a pack of kebab sticks. Slice strawberries into thin pieces or just cut off the tops, you can also use apples which can be both for the red and white flag colors.  Red goes first followed by white aka (bananas or apples) each one can be sliced into semi-small pieces.  Finally, add the blueberries and repeat the pattern.

As you can see above, you can slice more or less depending upon what kind of look you want and which fruits you like the most. 

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Vegan Chili Warms The Soul

vegan-chili
Made by yours truly Christa Alexis

A perfect dish for a snowy Saturday evening is a bowl of three bean chili. It’s simple to make and will warm your heart. Let’s get to the basics, you know like what you will need to make this vegan chili dish. You’ll need celery, carrots, onion, garlic, vegetable broth, can of tomato sauce, and seasonings (cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika).

Once you have all your ingredients, you can start. Get a big deep dish bowl and line the bottom with a touch of olive oil and throw your chopped up garlic cloves in and saute for a few minutes (be careful you don’t want to burn them!) Season with a teaspoon of salt and pepper.

Chop your celery and carrot sticks (you’ll probably need about 4-6 sticks) into small pieces. HINT: The vegetables will cook quicker if they’re chopped into fine pieces but don’t over chop them either. The onion should be cut in the middle first and then horizontally. You want to fill up your entire chopping board with all of your veggies.

Now, throw them in and stir constantly until they are tender. Mix for a few minutes approximately 5 or so. Don’t worry if the veggies aren’t fully cooked yet, the vegetable broth will boil them for you. Add 2 cups of vegetable broth to the pot. Bring them to a slight boil and add a can 28 fl oz of tomato sauce or crushed sauce to the veggies and broth blend. Add your seasonings now, a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, paprika, chili powder, and garlic powder. Mix thoroughly. Cook on high for 5 minutes until it bubbles then add your beans: black, red kidney, and pinto beans.

Cook on a low simmer for 30 minutes and keep stirring. Now, you can eat a delicious vegan friendly hearty meal. I also threw in Trader Joe’s Beefless Ground Meat for extra protein in case you think you already didn’t have enough.

beef2Throw fresh non-dairy mozzarella on top and whole grain scoops on the side, and wah-la you’re ready to eat.made-chili

 

 

Cooking with quinoa

Many people have a false impression of quinoa. They think “eww that doesn’t taste good at all” – surprise surprise it’s actually quite delicious and nutritious. You have to flavor it up with seasonings like garlic, Himalayan sea salt, pepper, oregano, and bam you have a hearty meal.

Slice 1-2 tomatoes into small finely chopped pieces. Use 1-2 garlic cloves and chop into tiny chunks. Grab a can of kidney beans drain and rinse. You can add black olives or any other olive of choice to the dish, but make sure you cut them in half. Saute in Botticelli’s extra virgin olive oil until fully seasoned with sea salt, pepper, oregano, garlic and keep mixing to make sure everything gets the proper flavoring.

Add 1 cup of uncooked quinoa to boiling water. Let it cook for about 18 minutes until you see them puff up and become similar to a rice substance. Now, you know it’s ready. Drain the rest of the water left in the pot and add the quiona to your sauteed mixture of goodness.

Serve hot or cold and enjoy!

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Pasta Perfection!

Ciao!

I love my pasta and pasta with a lot of flavor and veggies. Personally, I love whole wheat pasta in any form spaghetti, penne, linguine, etc and it’s healthier for you in case you forgot. I made whole wheat pasta with sauteed spinach and tomatoes. Nomz!

All you need is a 1lb bag of whole wheat penne.

pasta brand

Let it boil until it’s al dente (just right, not too hard, not too soft) You can do a taste test after about 8 minutes.

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Chop up tomatoes into smaller pieces and set aside.

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Add olive oil to a pan and chopped up garlic cloves on medium heat. Add the spinach and shut the lid. You will notice that the spinach will begin to shrink. Keep mixing it together. Add salt, pepper, oregano, basil, and any other spices you prefer. Then, you can add the tomatoes.

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Once the tomatoes get softer, you can shut it off. Add the cooked pasta to the pan and mix thoroughly. (You can also add sauce if you’d like) Serve warm!

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Enjoy!

Special thanks to Botticelli foods for the olive oil and pasta sauce.

 

Simply hungry…simple spinach!

Simply hungry, simple spinach!

Really, you only need 5 simple ingredients for a quick, delicious, vitamin enriched dish. It’s totally true grab a bag or fresh spinach, garlic, sea salt, red pepper flakes, and a touch of olive oil. Spinach has high amounts of iron, fiber, and curbs overeating. And better yet it’s EASY to prepare.

1) Fresh spinach

2) Teaspoon of olive oil

3) Garlic

4) Dash of red pepper flakes

5) Dash of sea salt

Add olive oil to pan about a teaspoon and sliced garlic (add as much or as little as you’d like) pieces. Saute for a minute on medium heat and throw in all the spinach. Time to spice it up with some sea salt and red pepper flakes. Waa Laa! Only add about a tablespoon of each or more if you’d like it extra salty. Let it all cook together until the spinach starts to shrink and the garlic will become a bit more brown. Do a taste test and serve warm. Spinach is a fast convenient side dish that pairs with mostly anything. Goin’ vegan isn’t that bad.

spinach

Soup for dayz…

Soup is essential for every diet. It’s warm, delicious, and soothes the soul. Below find an easy recipe.

Homemade lentil soup ingredients (feeds 2-4 people)

  • 1 bag of Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods (use 2 cups)
  • 2 celery stalks chopped into small pieces
  • Handful of carrots chopped
  • 1 chopped up onion
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • handful of spinach chopped
  • 4 Cups of water
  • Organic vegetable broth
  • Oregano, parsley

lentils

1st pour 1/4 cups of olive oil and let it heat up. Then add celery, onions and carrots and wait 2 minutes until the onions start to turn a bit brown.

Now add your water, garlic, parsley, and lentils. Almost complete.

Let the ingredients simmer for about an hour. Time to enjoy!

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Healthy-Happy-Vegetarian friendly meals!

Watch below as I cook an all natural vegetarian and vegan dish Kung Pao Chicken (VegetarianPlus.com) You can also add more vegetables and rice for a complete meal. It’s perfect for people who love spice!