Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Easy, Healthy, Lettuce-less Salad

This is a super easy, very versatile salad that you can whip up in a few minutes. I really wanted some hearty bites with dinner the other night, and I always have these veggies on hand. You can use other veggies or add different ones (bell pepper, mushrooms, radishes...), but these were my go-to veggies that night.

Start by gathering these ingredients:

1/3 of a cucumber
1 tomato
1 avocado (you can use half, but I LOVE avocado so I used the whole thing!)
1 green onion
a handful of cilantro
1/2 of a lemon OR lime
a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette.
salt & pepper to taste
a sprinkle of walnut pieces (this is a key ingredient!)

Chop all of the veggies into bite-sized pieces and toss in a small mixing bowl, except the avocado. When all of the other veggies are mixed together, THEN you can add the avocado, tossing gently. The avocado is so delicate that it could break down if it's mixed to hard. Salt & pepper the veggies to taste. Squeeze the lemon and drizzle some balsamic vinaigrette dressing on top and toss one more time. Pour the salad into your serving bowl and top with walnut pieces. Walnuts are rich in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Not only are the health benefits awesome, but they pair perfectly with the creamy texture of the avocado. Divine!

This was enough for me to eat with a small portion of dinner because it's so rich with flavor, however, this would be enough for two people to enjoy!

Just look at how beautiful this is!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Must-Have Bags!

I was able to get these reusable produce bags for next to nothing when was having a deal. I bought a voucher that was good for $20 worth of reusable bags by Esse (, for $8. When I signed up for SaveMore, I got a $10 credit so my purchase was FREE! (I just had to pay shipping for the bags) Normally, each pouch of produce bags are $11.95. After using the bags several times, I believe they are well worth the $12. It was so nice that I got a great deal, but I love them so much that I would have paid full price for them! I'm even thinking about buying more as gifts.

I decided to purchase produce bags because I have a plethora of everyday reusable bags and I had never seen reusable produce bags before!

What a find!!

We went to the farmers market on Saturday with one big reusable bag and one of our pouches of produce bags. We were able to get all of our produce and other items in all of our produce bags that conveniently fit in the one big reusable bag. All of our purchases were separate and it was nice not having a pile of plastic produce bags from all of the vendors.

Each package of six bags comes in a cute pouch with a carabiner clip attached (which makes it SO convenient to clip onto other reusable bags, purses, backpacks, etc.) The produce bags are 11" x 14" and are made of washable nylon mesh.

I'm posting about these bags because I REALLY like them! If you buy a lot of produce and go through a ton of produce bags, I highly recommend these! They are washable and come with a draw string for easy closure; I love that feature! 

Strawberry, Banana & Almond Butter Muffins

This recipe is adapted from

Daniel bought me a HUGE container of fresh strawberries, and I was able to find so may different ways to enjoy them. One way I decided to use them was to make some yummy muffins. We had some rip bananas too, so this was a perfect plan!


1 cup whole grain flour
3/4 cup white flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1.5 tbsp. ground chia seed (or flax seed)  + 1/4 cup water
1.25 cup almond milk
2 heaping tbsp. coconut oil
3 tbsp. almond butter (or any other nut butter!)
2 tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 large banana mashed, left a bit chunky
3/4 cup strawberries chopped
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes (optional)


Preheat your oven to 375 ͦ.

Grease your muffin tin and set it aside. I used individual silicone muffin cups. I set them on a baking pan and sprayed them as a whole; they worked great! next, in a small bowl, mix the ground chia or flax seeds and water and set is aside. In a large bowl mix all of the dry ingredients (flours, salt, cinnamon, brown sugar, baking soda & baking powder.) Set aside. In a medium sized bowl, mix all of the wet ingredients (chia seed mixture, milk, warmed coconut oil, nut butter & maple syrup). Mix well.  Add wet ingredients to dry and stir. Next, add the banana. Remember to leave it chunky. I picked of pieces with my hands to ensure good, solid pieces. :) Fold in chopped strawberries, reserving 1/4 of them to sprinkle on top of muffins. Scoop mixture into muffin tin  and sprinkle remaining strawberries and coconut flakes.  Bake them for 25 minutes. I was able to make 12 perfect sized muffins.

Dry ingredients:

Wet ingredients: