Dragon Fruit Chia Seed Pudding
My daughters both share the same excitement about food that I do. Yesterday my older daughter and I went to Central Market to get fresh Cod and left with $270 worth of food. My family knows that if I say I'm going to Central Market, Whole Foods, or Costco, I will not leave there without spending at least $200. They can't get mad at me when they know this to be true.
While there, my daughter saw a dragon fruit and said she really wanted to try one. I told her to grab one. Have you ever tried dragon fruit? It is very pretty to look at as it has white flesh with black specks that look like chia seeds. Texture is similar to kiwi, very soft, and it is mild in flavor and slightly sweet. As soon as we got home, she was on Pinterest looking up recipes with dragon fruit. She found one for dragon fruit ice cream and showed it to me. It had 1 cup of sugar in it. I told her, I love your passion, but try again! Or take that recipe and tweak it to be healthier. She took that challenge on like a champ and literally created her own recipe. Again, for this recipe a high speed blender is recommended. It came out so good I had to blog about it! I asked for her to write it out for me, so here we go!!! Not only did she come up with one recipe, but 3!
Dragon Fruit Ice Cream/Sorbet/Chia Seed Pudding
If you want to make chia seed pudding:
I hope you try my sweet baby's creation. Comment and share your thoughts! We'd love to hear them!
5-Minute Raw Caramel Sauce
Let me start out by saying that I've never been a HUGE caramel fan because it's just so sweet, or so I thought! When you make it yourself, you have control over the amount of sweetness or even saltiness that it contains! That's one of the huge benefits of cooking; you can cook to your palate!
My girls are huge fans of caramel and anything sweet, really. My challenge as a mom, just like all of you out there, is to control the sugar intake. I encourage my girls to find, or invent, a healthier alternative to recipes that are full of sugar. They do a really good job of it! This recipe is one that even I indulge in a bit because it's just THAT GOOD! The ingredients make my jaw drop - who would have known that dates and cashews mixed together with pure maple syrup could create such a luscious sauce! Incredible!
I love to create my own recipes, but I am inspired constantly by other amazing people online. Pinterest has been my cookbook for years, but sometimes I will find someone whose recipes just keep popping up as favorites. When that happens, I buy their cookbooks! My latest purchase is The Blender Girl by Tess Masters (theblendergirl.com). If you don't follow her on Facebook at The Blendaholic, I beg of you to do so! Tess must be a long lost sister of mine because she speaks to me with every recipe she has! Considering her cookbook title, she is a huge proponent of a good quality high speed blender! You all know that I love my BlendTec, and I know that VitaMix is also a great option. These blenders are life changing and worth every cent! Put it on your Christmas list this year!
Now, here's what you've been waiting for, the recipe. These ingredients are staples in my pantry because they are very versatile and can be used in many healthier sweet treat recipes. Here are a few hints to make this sauce perfection every time: soak your dates in warm water for 5 minutes to soften them up, use good quality ingredients (organic preferred), and using a high speed blender is required for this to come out smooth and creamy. If you have a regular blender, I cannot guarantee it will produce the same lusciousness.
Follow the recipe exactly the way it's listed first time, then you can tweak it to your taste later. You can add more or less of the maple syrup and more or less of the salt. I think it's pretty fantastic the way it is! Think of all of the ways you can use this sauce: as a dip with apples, over greek yogurt, on chia pudding, over ice cream, as a dip for pretzels or shortbread cookies, and so much more! Let your mind run wild! I personally just want to eat it off of a spoon. Shhhh, don't tell!
RAW CARAMEL SAUCE
5-MIN CARAMEL SAUCE you can make in your blender. This is one of the most popular recipes from The Blender Girl cookbook.
1/4 cup (60ml) unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup (120ml) plus 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/2 cup (80g) firmly packed chopped pitted dates, soaked
1/3 cup (47g) raw unsalted cashews
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon natural salt, plus more to taste
Throw everything into your high-speed blender, and blast on high for 30 to 60 seconds until smooth and creamy.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!
I'm sure I'm not the ONLY one out there who could live on chips and queso! Raise your hands! I know you're out there!!!! Although I'd love to eat it daily, my waistline says otherwise. My heart skipped a beat when I was introduced to vegan queso. The first time I was told about it, I won't lie, I was extremely skeptical. I mean, how can you make a cheeseless queso that actually tastes good and satisfies that craving? Well, it exists, and it's darn good my friends! Like good enough to actually make it into my SideKicks cookbook! Not only that, but it's very versatile! My favorite way to eat it, other than straight up with chips, is over warm zucchini zoodles! You will read the ingredients and think I've lost my marbles, but I promise you, it's amazing and you will thank me later! The key to this "queso" is to have a really good high powered blender. Bonus if you have one with a heating function like my BlendTec does. I can make this in less than 5 minutes, and it's hot and ready to eat. If your blender does not have a heating element, then you will want to warm it on the stove before eating. Ready for your mind to be blown? Here we go:
8 oz water
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup raw, unsalted cashews
1/3 cup raw, unsalted almonds
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
A few dashes of your favorite hot sauce (I love Valentina or Cholula)
Add all ingredients into blender in order listed. Run on high speed for 180 seconds. If your blender does not have a heating function, you will want to heat it on the stove to warm it up. Serve over zoodles, noodles, with tortilla chips, over nachos, or on any recipe that would be enhanced with a cheese sauce. Adding in some jalapenos or Hatch green chiles after blending would be an EXCELLENT idea too! Yum!
I absolutely love granola! I love the crunch, the slight sweetness, the nuts, and the dried fruit. What I don't like is the unnecessary ingredients added to store bought granola! Especially when it's this easy to make! The great thing about making it at home is you can add what YOU like and make it your own! You can add a variety of nuts, seeds, dried fruits, even chocolate chips if you so desire! I like to keep it on the healthy side, so today I used gluten-free old fashioned oats (don't buy quick oats!), a mixture of nuts and seeds, unsweetened shredded coconut, and some dried cranberries! I decided to change up my own recipe and add in Orange Vitality essential oil instead of Cinnamon and Lime listed in my recipe book. I make it differently every time! Here is basic recipe to follow, then you can tweak it to fit your palate!
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup raw nuts and/or seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup unrefined, organic coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup organic blackstrap molasses
1/4 cup raw, organic honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon or 2 drops Cinnamon Bark Vitality essential oil
Today I added 10 drops Orange Vitality essential oil
1/2 cup chopped dried fruit
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (not wax paper). In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts/seeds, shredded coconut and salt. In a small bowl, combine the melted coconut oil, molasses, honey, cinnamon and essential oils. Pour the liquid mixture over the oat mixture and stir until evenly distributed. Spread evenly on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Stir once and bake for another 5-7 minutes until lightly browned. Take out of oven and mix in dried fruit. Let cool and enjoy. Store in airtight container. Enjoy!!!
During the summer I can eat salad on the daily! I confess that I get bored by the same ol' salad, though, so throw something new and delicious my way and I scream from the rooftops! This recipe is unique in that it utilizes the whole-body wellness supplement drink, Ningxia Red. You can only buy it from Young Living, so if you want some, reach out to me. Ningxia Red is a tangy, sweet drink made from wolfberry, plum, aronia, cherry, blueberry and pomegranate juices and extracts along with lemon, orange, yuzu and tangerine essential oil. It's a powerhouse and is the base to this dressing.
4 TB Ningxia Red
1 TB balsamic vinegar
1 TB extra virgin olive oil
6 drops Young Living Orange Vitality essential oil
Whisk together and serve over a bed of spinach topped with sliced strawberries, walnut or pecan pieces and crumbled goat cheese. Add some grilled chicken for a heartier meal. Feel free to double or triple the recipe if you actually want some dressing left over. People will be licking their bowls, no joke.
Trust me, this is insanely delicious!
Gazpacho!!! Have you ever had it? Cold soup - that sounds weird! Too many veggies - my kids won't eat it. I'm here to stop the excuses and get this tasty explosion in your mouth PRONTO!!! This is not a super quick recipe, I won't lie. It takes some chopping time, but it's not difficult. We engage our kids in this recipe and it becomes family bonding time. Mom and Dad drink a glass of wine, music plays in the background and great conversation ensues while we all contribute. Why do I think your kids will eat it? Because it's tangy, fresh, crunchy, and CRAZY delicious! The Rogers house goes nuts over this soup, and it's a perfect summer meal. I'm pretty positive this is going in my next cookbook - it's just THAT GOOD!
You ready for the recipe? Here we go:
1 1/2 pounds organic vine-ripened tomatoes
32 oz. bottle organic tomato juice
1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 large jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
2 celery stalks, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Zest and juice from 2 medium limes (you can also use 10 drops of Lime Vitality essential oil instead of the zest if you prefer)
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp Worchestershire sauce
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
1 tsp kosher salt (to taste)
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper or 2 drops Black Pepper Vitality essential oil
2 TBS fresh basil leaves, chiffonade (fancy word for rolling the leaves up and slicing it in strips)
Bring large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Take a paring knife and make an X on the bottom of the tomatoes, just barely breaking the skin. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water for 25 seconds, just long enough to see the skin start to curl. Remove and transfer to a bowl of ice water and cool approximately 1 minute. Peel skin off tomatoes and put in a large bowl. Use a hand blender to emulsify the tomatoes.
Add about 3/4 of the bottle of tomato juice and the rest of the ingredients except for the basil chiffonade. If mixture is too chunky for your taste, transfer 1 1/2 cups of the mixture to a blender and puree for 15-20 seconds and add back in. Stir to combine. Add more salt, pepper, and tomato juice to taste. Everyone is a little different, so do what tastes best to you. Cover and chill overnight. Serve with chiffonade of basil.
Enjoy this summer soup with a group of friends on the patio!
Summer hits and I immediately crave fish tacos and an ice cold beer! Fish tacos are light, tangy, fresh, and full of flavor! I love how satisfying they are, yet they're still a light meal option. This dish is not difficult in the least, but it does require some marinating time to truly get the flavor in the fish! I like to serve my fish tacos with my Rockin' Cabbage Slaw (full recipe under the "Recipe" section on this site) from my SideKicks cookbook, sliced avocado, fresh cilantro, lime wedges, and topped with Chipotle-Lime Aioli. I also love to top them with some crumbled queso fresco, but I didn't have any on hand this time. I sauted my fish, but you can grill it or bake it. Whatever is easiest and most convenient for you. You can't go wrong! You'll notice that one of the pictures shows a deconstructed fish taco for my daughter who is not a tortilla fan. Not sure where she came from, but that's a whole other story. I hope that you'll try these out this week one night for dinner and share your feedback with me. Cheers!
For the marinade:
For the Chipotle-Lime Aioli:
To make the marinade, mix all marinade ingredients together with a whisk. Place cod in a shallow glass dish and pour marinade over the top. Cover and refrigerate for 6-7 hours. To make the aioli, mix all ingredients together until well blended. Store in refrigerator until needed. Cook fish in desired manner. Grilling is the tastiest, but you can bake your fish or saute it. I poured all of the marinade and the fish into a large skillet and cooked it over medium heat with a lid on for about 4 minutes on each side. It came out flaky and delicious. Assemble tacos as desired with preferred fixins. Enjoy!
I love the fresh, crisp, luscious tastes of summer, and this dish is a perfect example of how combining simple ingredients together can be truly mouth watering. When peaches are in season, I go kind of nutty! I love how juicy and sweet fresh peaches are. They're truly summer's candy! The combination of peaches with farm fresh grown tomatoes, red onions, and cilantro with a simple vinaigrette is truly incredible. Spice lover? Add a diced jalapeno to the mix! Ooooh delicious!
This past weekend, we took a family outing to an organic farm in Princeton, TX just 45 minutes outside of our hometown of Plano. I follow Reeves Family Farm on Facebook, and I've wanted to visit for quite some time now. They have this adorable Farm Store onsite where they sell some of their delicious fruits, vegetables, eggs, milk, and yummy jams and pickled veggies. This store is precious! It was the most relaxing experience to walk into a small, family run store. We were greeted with smiles and Young Living Essential Oils diffusing in the store. Made me swoon! We bought some homemade sourdough english muffins there this past weekend that we all drooled over! We enjoyed them toasted with an over medium egg and sliced farm fresh tomato on top for breakfast. I can't wait to buy some more!!!! We left with cantaloupe, tomatoes, peaches, and english muffins, and they even had whole bean coffee from a local roaster along with local honey! Drool!!!!! Visit The Reeves Family Farm at 3597 FM 1377 in Princeton, TX. Follow them on FB at Reeves Family Farm!
Ok, back to my dish! Are you ready to be the talk of your next get together? Take this dish and watch it disappear!!! All you need is a cutting board and a knife. No cooking required for this 5 minute dish. Pull out your Young Living Vitality Oils if you want to add an extra dash of flavor!
In medium size bowl, combine peaches, tomatoes, and red onion. In separate bowl, mix together olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest or Lemon Vitality essential oil, salt, pepper,
or Black Pepper Vitality essential oil, and crushed red pepper or jalapeno (optional). Mix well and pour over peach mixture. Top with fresh cilantro. Gently mix and serve immediately or refrigerate to let flavors blend. Best consumed within 24 hours. Enjoy the flavors of summer!
Homemade potato salad takes me back to being a kid. My mother makes an excellent potato salad, and she spoiled me because I just can't stomach store bought potato salad. Lucky for me, it's not difficult at all to make. You think I'm joking? This recipe right here was put together by my 12 year old! You read that correctly! The pictures on this post are her creation. She boiled, chopped, and diced. She looked at multiple recipes and created her own. She LOVES to make this and eat it by the bowl full. She loves hard boiled eggs, so this recipe is full of them! She also loves dill pickles, so this recipe has both dill relish and Dill Vitality essential oil in it. Absolutely luscious! I can't wait for you to try it!
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook potatoes until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Drain potatoes and add them to a large bowl. Slightly mash potatoes, keeping many large chunks visible. Add the eggs, celery and shallots and stir. In a separate bowl, mix together vinegar, mayo, mustard, dill pickle relish, paprika, salt, pepper, dried dill or Vitality oils. Mix well and add to the potato mixture. Stir and add additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold.
After you read this post, I may be your new best friend. Pickling vegetables and waiting for weeks for it to be ready is for the birds! Who has time for that? Not me, and surely not you either! I have the simplest recipe that you can use with any veggie of your choosing. We have tried this recipe with many different veggies and our favorites have turned out to be carrots, green beans, and cauliflower. Nice sturdy vegetables that take on the flavors but don't get soggy. Let's get started!
In a medium saucepan, bring water, Apple Cider Vinegar and distilled white vinegar to a boil. Take off stove and let cool to room temperature. In the meantime, tightly pack a 1.5 or 2 quart mason jar with your desired vegetable or mixture of vegetables. Add in mustard seed, dill weed or Dill Vitality, and minced garlic. Once liquid has cooled, pour over vegetables and seal. Marinate in fridge for a minimum of 24 hours. Enjoy! Note: we've also done this with shredded red cabbage, but we eliminate the mustard seed, dill and minced garlic. We like ours very tangy, but if this is too much for you, adjust the vinegar to water ratio. You may like to use more water and less vinegar. Tweak it to fit your taste!