Simple Hummus Lettuce Wraps

Disclaimer: This is barely a recipe.  It is delicious, however, and sometimes we need a reminder of simple, delicious foods to eat that really don't take much time at all. 

We have a large selection of hummus on sale at the store (50% off while supplies last!) in different varieties that are perfect for making your own lettuce wraps. They're even good for picky child eaters since they can assemble them entirely on their own.

What You’ll Need:

Butter Lettuce (also called “Living Lettuce”)
Large Carrots
Cucumber
Baby Bell Peppers.
Fresh Basil
Fresh Cilantro
Your choice of Hummus
Kosher salt

See more information at directions at Treats with a Twist.

Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

These bars are perfect for a quick breakfast on a hurried morning or as a healthy snack on the go. The recipe is also easily customizable for your family's own specific tastes!

Ingredients:

2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup whole wheat flour (gluten free flour can be substituted if needed)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond, but any kind will do nicely)
3 tablespoons honey*
2 tablespoons peanut butter (creamy or crunchy—I used natural creamy)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 medium banana, quartered and diced

See the entire recipe and directions at Well Plated.

Summer Salad with Amaranth and Chickpeas

Amaranth is a grain well known in Mexico and Guatamala, but less so in the United States, which is unfortunate, since it's a fantastic, high protein, gluten free grain. Amaranth is a tiny grain that can be boiled like rice or quinoa, but it can also easily be popped like popcorn! This is a simple recipe that is a delicious introduction to a grain that definately deserves more notoriety!

Ingredients:

½ cup cooked ( via package instructions) amaranth and ¼ cup toasted Amaranth
2 cups diced cucumber, seeds removed
½ cup finely chopped red onion
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
¼ cup toasted amaranth
2 tablespoons canola blend salad oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 can Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

See the entire recipe and directions at Growing Up Bilingual.

Zucchini Smoothie

If you grew zucchini in your garden this year, this is the time that it's likely your kitchen is overflowing with them! Here's a new way to use them! Although it may sound strange, zucchini's mild flavor is very nice and creamy in a smoothie recipe.

Ingredients:

1 organic banana, peeled
1 large organic apple, cored
1 organic zucchini, chopped
4 to 6 ounces of filtered water

See the full recipe and directions at Incredible Smoothies.

Also, here's a chocolate zucchini recipe that's really tasty too!

Persian Wheat Berry Breakfast Pudding

This is an exotic breakfast recipe that uses ancient grains and is spiced deliciously with rose water, anise and cinnamon. It's definitely one to try, plus it's full of protein and fiber! 

Ingredients:

1 cup rinsed wheat berries

1/2 cup sugar*

2 cups blanched almonds, broken walnuts, shelled pistachios and pine nuts

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds or cranberries

1 tablespoon ground anise

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon orange flower or rose water

*Note: this recipe uses quite a lot of sugar as written, though that amount can be drastically reduced if desired.  Also, honey or maple syrup can be substituted.

See the full recipe and directions at Green Prophet.

Anti-inflammatory Ginger & Citrus Smoothie

This anti-inflammatory smoothie recipe is as delicious as it is good for you- its a great way to start the day!

Ingredients:

1 medium banana
2 medium oranges, peeled
½-inch knob of fresh ginger
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon Natural Calm Magnesium Powderlemon flavor (optional)
2 tablespoons cashews
½ cup water
½ cup ice
Cayenne pepper

See the entire recipe and directions at Calmful Living.

One Bowl Lemon Cake

This is an amazing, low sugar cake recipe that's perfect for summer! 

Ingredients:

1/3 cup lemon juice
zest of one lemon
3/4 cup water
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp yogurt, such as coconut milk yogurt
1/3 cup oil (60g)
2 cups spelt, white, or GF all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp each: baking soda and salt
1 cup unrefined sugar or xylitol
Optional Frosting: Beat together just the thick cream from two cans of coconut milk with 2 tsp lemon juice, pinch stevia or 6-8 tbsp powdered sugar, and 2 tsp lemon zest

See the entire recipe and directions at Chocolate Covered Katie.

Vegan Superfood Detox Salad

This salad has such a delicious and unique combination of flavors- plus it's absolutely great for you!

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth or water
1 can garbanzo beans (or 2 cups cooked garbanzo beans)
2 cups mixed berries
5 ounces arugula
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Cashew-Cilantro Dressing
⅓ cup cashews
½ cup water
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
¼ teaspoon sea salt

See the entire recipe and directions at Calmful Living.

Gooey Chocolate Coconut Banana Bread

This bread is fantastic for when you want something sweet while still keeping healthy!  It's great for a chocolaty snack too!

Ingredients:

1 2/3 cup overripe mashed banana  
2 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp coconut extract (omit if desired)
1 tbsp white or apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup canned coconut milk (not coconut milk beverage)
3 1/2 tbsp coconut butter OR 2 tbsp milk of choice
2/3 cup pure maple syrup or honey or agave
1/8 tsp uncut stevia OR 1/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup spelt, white, or Bob’s GF Flour, loosely packed  
1/2 cup shredded coconut, optional
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips in the batter, plus regular chips for decoration, optional

Read the entire recipe and directions at Chocolate Covered Katie.

Easiest Watermelon Smoothie

This smoothie is perfect for summer- for adults and kids alike! We have been drinking this ALL THE TIME- my daughter is a huge fan. The nice thing is that it's so easy to make- every time you cut a fresh watermelon, put a few ziplock bags of watermelon chunks in the freezer and you'll be good to go!

Ingredients:

2 cups frozen cubed watermelon
1 cup water
2 tablespoon of raw honey

optional: stevia to taste (it's definitely tastier for kids with a bit of added stevia)
optional: a few leaves or fresh mint, or any herb in your garden 

 

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.  

Add stevia to taste if desired (stevia is an all natural sugar-free sweetener that has become my new secret weapon in convincing my daughter to drink "healthy smoothies"). It changes this recipe from being moderately tasty to something that tastes like it came from Starbucks.

Add a straw and enjoy, preferably sitting outside in the sun!

 

Avocado and Three Bean Salad

This is a wonderful salad to bring to backyard get-togethers this summer! It's quick to put together and is bursting with flavor, plus it's high in plant protein and fiber!

Ingredients:

1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained (or substitute fresh)
1 large orange or red bell pepper, diced
12 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 large avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
juice of 2 limes
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, mashed or finely diced

See the entire recipe and directions at Noble Pig.

Hemp Seed Energy Bites

These are the perfect size for a snack on the go or to tuck into lunchboxes, plus these little bites are low in sugar and high in omega-3's!

Ingredients:

1 cup gluten-free oat flour*
½ cup nut butter
⅛ cup hemp hearts, divided
¼ cup maple syrup
⅛ cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla extract
dash of sea salt

*Oat flour can be easily made by grinding oats in a blender or food processor

See the entire recipe and directions at Skinnyfitalicious.

Dairy Free Alfredo Pasta Sauce

This is a great dairy free sauce that's much healthier (and significantly lower in calories) than the original.  I won't say that it's exactly the same as its the original, but it's a nice, healthy alternative!

The original recipe was made for two servings, but I scaled it up to use a whole cauliflower and an entire package of pasta.

INGREDIENTS:

3 clove of garlic
1bs extra virgin olive oil
3 cup cauliflower (100 grams
2 1/4 cup almond milk (175 milliliters)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1.5 tablespoon lemon juice
12 ounces uncooked pasta (gluten-free if necessary)

See the entire recipe and directions at Simple Vegan Blog.

Orange Wheatgrass Snoothie

Wheatgrass is an incredibly nutrient dense superfood, while still being mild tasting and slightly sweet. This recipe uses simple, easily available ingredients to make a tasty smoothie that's a great way to start the day!

1/4 cup water or coconut water
1/2 cup non dairy milk
1/4 cup fresh wheatgrass OR 1/4 teaspoon wheatgrass powder
1 orange or 2 tangerines
1/2 banana, frozen
1/2 cup ice

See the full recipe and directions at Blender Babes.

Seeded Whole Grain Quick Bread

This recipe makes a delicious, hearty breakfast or snack that compliments both sweet and savory flavors.

⅓ cup unsalted sunflower seeds
⅓ cup unsalted pumpkin seeds
3 tablespoons flaxseed
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 cups white whole-wheat flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 large eggs
1½ cups buttermilk
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup
 

See the entire recipe and directions at Eating Well

Collard Greens Wrap – Great for Reducing Carbs

This is less of a recipe than a helpful tip to pass on. My husband has been trying to reduce his carb intake, and our one downfall is tortillas. Well, we’ve discovered that collard greens make a fantastic substitute for tortillas (or sandwich bread) for anyone trying to reduce their carb intake (they’re also nice for gluten free diets). They’re tasty and sturdy to hold any fillings, and they’re absolutely chock full of nutrients.

Honest Fare has a great tutorial on how to prepare collard greens for using in wraps on their website (along with a nice recipe), here. Another nice thing about using collard greens is that they last a long time in the fridge, even when made in advance with fillings for lunches.
 

Lemon Turmeric Quinoa

Turmeric is a fantastic anti-inflammatory spice, and this recipe is an easy (and delicious) way to add a bit more to your diet; plus this recipe only uses 5 ingredients, so it's simple to put together!

3 cups cooked quinoa (from 1 cup uncooked)
1 teaspoon coconut oil
Juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon (about 1 tablespoon juice, 1 teaspoon zest)
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric powder
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon salt

optional add-ins: chopped green onions, Thai basil, ground black pepper, cashews, etc.

Read the entire recipe and directions at Simply Quinoa.

Tuscan Toasted Red Quinoa Pilaf

If you've never had red quinoa, this recipe is a perfect way to serve it.  Red quinoa has more fiber than regular white quinoa, and while both varieties are great for you, if you haven't tried the red variety, it's a real treat!

Quinoa is a wonderful, high protein ancient grain that is also gluten free.  The Ancient Grains brand we carry is washed and pre-rinsed so it's ready to cook.  Quinoa should always be rinsed before preparing, but since the grains are tiny it can be a real challenge with most colanders, so the kind we carry at the store saves you a step!

2 cups red quinoa
4 cups lower-salt chicken or vegetable broth
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 Tbs. minced garlic
1 medium lemon, finely grated to yield 1 tsp. zest and squeezed to yield 2 Tbs. juice
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

Read the entire recipe and directions at Fine Cooking.

 

Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Drink

Raw apple cider vinegar is so healthy for you- it has benefits for weight loss, detoxification, it’s antibacterial, it can help with lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and may even have protective effects against cancer. It’s been used for thousands of years for its many health benefits- it was even frequently prescribed by Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, in 400 BC for a variety of health issues!

Apple cider vinegar can be an acquired taste for some. First, I’d say, don’t try to drink it straight- it’s too strong!  Dilute it with water to make it easier to drink. This recipe is a great one to make apple cider more palatable, and its ingredients even add to ACV’s effectiveness.
This recipe makes a lot for convenience’ sake and can be kept in the fridge and sipped a few times throughout the day.

 


Ingredients:

• 2 glasses of water (15-30 oz.)
• 4 Tbsp. Bragg – Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother, the chunks of stuff floating in the jar)
• 4 Tbsp. lemon juice
• 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
• 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
• 4 Tbsp. honey (raw honey if possible)


See the entire recipe and directions at Bembu.com

Springtime Crockpot Minestrone

Yes, I know spring is a far way off. Still, I cannot wait to see those buds popping out of the ground! The weather might not seem very springy, but this beautiful soup recipe has a freshness that just sings "spring"!

Ingredients:

1 sweet onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 (28 ounce) can of diced tomatoes
2 (15 ounce) cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
3 cups water
8 ounces of uncooked ditalini pasta
12 thin asparagus spears, stems removed and cut into thirds
1 cup of frozen sweet peas
1 (6 ounce) bag of fresh spinach
1/3 cup freshly grated romano cheese + more for topping
salt and pepper to taste

See the entire recipe and directions at How Sweet It Is.