Tag Archives: vegan

Apple-Citrus Mint Salad

Apple Citrus Mint Salad

I first had this delightful salad while in Nashville attending an amazing food event.  I knew I had to learn to recreate it, but I have to be honest, I really don’t like grapefruit by itself, so I was hesitant to even try this dish.

What I found is that the sour taste of the grapefruit paired with the sweetness in the apple and complementary citrus flavor of the orange combined for an amazing fresh fruit salad.

This dish is a beautiful platter to bring to any event or to eat as part of a meal!  I’ve even eaten the entire thing as a lunch.

To make this recipe exactly as it is, you’ll one of those handy sliding mandolin slicers for slicing the apples.  If you don’t have one of those, you’ll want to be careful and slice the apple as thinly as you can.  You might even need a second apple to make the layers even. Or you can substitute one larger slice for the 2 thin slices in the recipe.

I hope you enjoy this refreshing salad!

Apple-Citrus Mint Salad
  • 1 large red apple, cored and sliced thinly using mandolin
  • 2 oranges, peeled and sliced thinly (seeds removed)
  • 2 grapefruit, peeled and sliced thinly (seeds removed)
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • juice of half a lemon
  • ½ teaspoon fresh mint, chopped
  1. Layer the fruit on a pretty platter in this order: 2 apple slices, 1 grapefruit slice, 1 orange slice. If your apple slices are thicker because you cut them with a knife, you might only need to layer one apple slice, or you could cut two apples.
  2. Squeeze lemon juice evenly on the fruit.
  3. Drizzle the honey on top of the fruit.
  4. Sprinkle mint.
  5. Enjoy!


What I Ate Wednesday 4-15-15

It’s the week after Spring Break….and let me tell ya, I thoroughly enjoyed the break from a 6 am wake up call, lunches, packing bags, and being a personal taxi service.

We relaxed, and danced, and listened to music, and sang some music, and were lazy, and so much more.

These three faces…I didn’t see enough of them this week.  I honestly cherished the time with them. <3



I didn’t do anything different with my food routines over Spring Break so I didn’t feel gross this week 🙂

Today, I started my morning like normal with a warm cup of water and the juice of half a lemon.  If you don’t have one of these handy lemon squeezers, you should get one!



As I took the boys to school, I drank this juice…very sweet and tangy–a great combo! And LOOK–Turmeric is in this juice 🙂



When I got hungry mid-morning (around 11am), I drank this Glowing Green Smoothie.  I’m participating in a 14 day challenge to drink one of these a day for 14 days.  I remember trying this recipe a few years ago, and I didn’t like it at all.  Now, I LOVE the taste and actually can’t wait to drink it each day.  This is evidence that taste buds DO CHANGE!



I love juices because they give me extra servings of fruits and vegetables during the day as well as a boost of energy, but I also love smoothies because they contain very important fiber for my body!  I like mixing it up or drinking both in a day!

I wasn’t going to be able to eat lunch until around 1:30, so I ate a couple kale chips on the way to pick up the kids.  It’s definitely cheaper to make kale chips, but not always feasible with my schedule, so these are store bought, and oh so yummy!


Once the kids were settled in to naps, I rested and made a large salad.  I forgot to make a salad dressing for the week  (ahh!!), so I made a quick lemon-tahini dressing by adding two large tablespoons of tahini, juice of a lemon, and salt to some romaine lettuce.



For a mid-afternoon snack, I shared some strawberries with my sweet Beckham.  He’s had a couple of really good days–where he isn’t acting two–or even three.  Just a big ball of sweetness. And I’m loving it.  I’ll take any days like that I can get!



Beckham ended up getting sick (is that why he was nice?!), so I had to keep dinner super simple.  He demanded his mama, and I’m totally ok with that!

Look how sweet this is….Sawyer brought him a blanket and some water and scratched his arm.  You know all those moments as a mother where you want to give up?  Most of the time I’m banging my head on the wall wondering if I’ve done anything right as a mother.  And then these moments happen.  The ones that matter….my heart is overjoyed!


I was in the mood for potatoes, so I baked one sweet potato and two small russet potatoes to make french fries–paired with garlic aioli.



I’m not scared of white potatoes like a lot of people are.  I like to eat REAL food–not out of a box–that is as close to nature as possible.  And white potatoes fit under that rule!

Most people consume white potatoes as deep fried french fries or potato chips–but when you take them away from the oil, they actually do have many health benefits.  They are rich in Vitamin B6, potassium, copper, Vitamin C and more.  Plus–even when you buy them organically–they are very inexpensive, can fill you up, have lots of fiber if you eat the skins, and are low in calories…

You can actually bake them without any oil, or just a drizzle if you prefer.  Since I love the sweet and salty thang, eating a regular potato with a sweet potato rocks my world.

I got Beckham in bed early so he could rest, and the other two boys were at their daddy’s baseball game, so I cuddled up with a couple (3 to be exact) of my favorite Chocolate-Banana Oat cookies!

Banana-Chocolate Drops 2


I did my exercises (I’m dong a 12 week program at home), relaxed on the couch, and enjoyed some down time.  I’m loving doing my routines (warm lemon water, a salad, fruit)…I’ve been feeling great!

Spice Spotlight: Turmeric

If you’re following on our Facebook page, you know we are doing weekly Real Food Challenges.  This week’s challenge is to cook using spices, and today we are looking at Turmeric (you can pronounce with or without the first “r.”


Today’s SPICE highlight is on the brilliant TURMERIC, an ancient Indian spice with multiple healing properties.

It has a subtle, yet warm and slightly peppery flavor. You might recognize its color and flavor as the main ingredient in curry.

To read a more in depth description of this super spice, read this article by Mikel at Nutrition Stripped:


A few of my favorite recipes that feature turmeric:

Shells & Cheese:


Turmeric Milk:


Dairy Free Queso Dip (might be my all time favorite!):


You can buy the spice ground up at all grocery stores, or you can venture out and buy turmeric root (use like ginger root) at a health food store.

Experience something NEW this week, and when you do, share a photo or a comment!

Neapolitan Nice Cream

With summer approaching, I find myself feeling nostalgic and longing for the days of old–like ice cream trucks, long hot days, lightning bugs, and fresh watermelon.

But since going dairy free [and since embracing a clean eating lifestyle], ice cream hasn’t been on my list.  Even “good organic” ones can be filled with lots of sugar….and sugar is bad for a former sugar addict like me.  While there are many dairy free alternatives out there, I haven’t found one that I like as much a simple frozen banana.  Plus, speciality items like that can be very expensive.  And ain’t nobody got time for that!

Many days, simple “Nice Cream” is enough, but sometimes I like to spruce it up, and this Neapolitan Nice Cream always does it for me!

Neapolitan Nice Cream

I have to warn you though—it won’t taste like fake sweeteners, and if you’re new to the clean eating lifestyle, it may not be sweet enough for you.  In that case, you can always add a tiny bit of maple syrup in each layer, maybe 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon.  I would make it as is, and taste as you go.  [the fun part!!]

It’s plenty sweet for me—and it doesn’t leave me feeling bloated like the old milk filled kinds did.  Even if you enjoy dairy products, it never hurts to try something different just for a change.

This makes a large portion, so you can share, or if you’re like me, enjoy it all to yourself without any guilt.  No, I’m not worried about all the bananas and fruit in the recipe, for many reasons.  I don’t count calories, servings, etc. It’s just my personal philosophy that works for me–but not for everyone. I eat a diet full of many raw and cooked vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and seeds and love to “carb up” on healthy carbs like bananas. I don’t eat processed foods, eat as freshly and organically as possible, and eat food as close to nature as possible.  So, no, I don’t fee bad about eating 5 bananas 🙂

If you’re following our Real Food Challenges on Facebook, you know we’ve started some routines:

-drinking warm lemon water in the morning, and citrus infused water throughout the day

-eating greens through a salad a day, or other ways

-snacking on in season fruit, or fruit in general

As you’re building your routines, hopefully you’ll start seeing changes. And next time you have a craving for ice cream [morning, noon, or night!!] give this recipe a shot.

A note:  When I make this recipe, I drink the whole thing as a meal.  It always gives me lots of energy.  If I were eating it as a dessert, I’d most likely split it 🙂


Neapolitan Nice Cream
Strawberry layer:
  • 1 frozen banana
  • ½ cup frozen strawberries
  • ¼ cup frozen cherries
  • ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk, or plant based milk of choice
Vanilla layer:
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk, or plant based milk of choice
Chocolate layer:
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon cacao nibs
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk, or plant based milk of choice.
  1. In a blender, put the strawberry layer ingredients in, and blend. You will need to stop and push the sides down. It may take some time, but be patient. You want it more like a thick ice cream consistency--not soupy at all. You can add more almond milk if necessary, BUT be careful not to add too much, since you want the layers thick so they don't bleed into each other.
  2. Once you've got the desired consistency, pour the strawberry layer into a large jar--or pour evenly into several smaller ones.
  3. Rinse the blender, and repeat the same steps with the other two layers, remembering to keep the layers thick.
  4. Top with extra cacao nibs or coconut and enjoy!


What I Ate Wednesday 4-8-15


It feels SO REFRESHING to sleep in just a tad and to have no lunches or bags to pack.  It really is glorious.

I started the morning working on some blog posts and drinking warm lemon water.



Then, in an effort to write a recipe down for the amazing Neapolitan Nice Cream Smoothie, I made it again.  It’s so yummy and full of good stuff that will give you “healthy carbs”  [GASP!] and energy!



Masters Week in Augusta is always awesome and always crazy.  I’m one of those girls who thrives off the chaos (surprise, surprise!) and loves all the visitors.  The end of the week usually gets exhausting, so I spent a lot of time resting today…The boys were playing with Easter eggs almost all day outside, so I spent some time catching up on Netflix and cleaning up the house.  Plus I took a shower.  I call that a successful day! 😉

For lunch, I ate this Kale Salad–one of my favorite simple recipes.



Then, I snacked on Brazil nuts and watermelon….I love these two foods!






We were headed to Rock Fore Dough–an awesome show for a great cause here in Augusta on Masters Week–to see McCall’s favorite country music artist and songwriter right now.  We had VIP and backstage passes, so I knew there would be tons of food–and if I ate meat, I would just eat what they had there (cause I’m not crazy obsessive about that kind of thing), but being a gluten-free vegan makes it very difficult because most options there have either butter, eggs, meat, or wheat in them.

I’m pretty used to it by now, so I always plan.  Preparation is key for me!

I made Sweet Potato Fries for the road with a simple honey-mustard sauce (made from Vegenaise, Coarse ground mustard, and raw honey).  I know some of you may be thinking that this doesn’t seem like a lot of food, but did you know that a sweet potato has approximately 4 grams of protein?  It filled me up until I got hungry again around 8!



Sorry for the blurry picture….I tried to take one while riding in the car in Masters traffic [not driving!!].

We hung out backstage, and even had the courage to ask for a photo.  McCall was so excited…Me? I was just trying to be a good mom–you know–asking for a picture and all 😉



When I got hungry again, I ate all of this:

It is 2 apples, a banana, an orange, and a bag of almonds.



Yes, I was full. And yes, I was happy.  I feel such freedom now that food doesn’t rule me, and I truly have a found a balance to eat to live–not live to eat.

At the end of the night, Sam Hunt signed McCall’s hat–and McCall deemed this the best night ever!  It really made me happy that he had a special night.  We all kind of threw our normal worries away for the night and just lived it up.  I’m so thankful for the blessings in my life each day, whether big or small.  Life truly is good!


Today, I’ve got to brave the crowds in Augusta to run some errands–wish me luck!