Showing posts with label savory. Show all posts
Showing posts with label savory. Show all posts
Clean Green Smoothie

Clean Green Smoothie


I hope everyone has been having a great week so far! Our little corner of the world is seeing way below freezing temps, along with a fresh dusting of snow! It's crazy to look outside my window right now and think that yesterday I took an hour-long walk with Charlotte and our dogs!

When the temps get low like this, it's even more important to be sure we're getting as many fruits and veggies as possible. Give me all the immune system support, please! So today I'm sharing our every day, clean green smoothie with you! It's full of leafy greens, fresh fruits and a few extra healthy surprises you wouldn't even know were in there!

Used in this post: 


If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably been seeing my Vitamix allll over my stories. Jordan and I have wanted a Vitamix for years. Years, people! Our old blender was in a pretty sad state, and after doing a lot of research (and testing out some of my friends' Vitamix machines), I decided it was time to take the plunge. My only regret is that we didn't get a Vitamix sooner. I am seriously in love, and we have used it every. single. day. We're making soups, sorbet, pestos - and of course smoothies!

What I love most about our Vitamix is that it makes such smooth drinks. I mentioned above that there's some secret ingredients in these smoothies, and those are flax seeds and chia seeds! Both are full of healthy omega-3 fats, fiber and protein, but I'll be honest. I'm not a big fan of seeds in my drinks. When we make these smoothies with the Vitamix, you wouldn't even know they were there, because they get completely ground up. Seriously amazing!

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Makes about 3-4 servings

Ingredients:

1 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon flax seeds
2 cups spinach
1 cup kale
1 apple, cored and sliced
1 kiwi, peeled
1/2 cucumber, diced
1 cup frozen peaches or mango

Directions:

Add all of the ingredients to your Vitamix machine in the order listed above. Select Variable 1, start your machine, and increase to the highest speed. Blend for 50 seconds. If your machine has the frozen drinks setting, select this setting, start your machine and let it run through the cycle. Serve immediately!


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Thank you Vitamix for sponsoring this post. As always, opinions are my own.
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Kirsten Bell
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Homemade Garlic Pretzel Bites

Homemade Garlic Pretzel Bites


Warm pretzel bites, fresh from the oven. Is there really anything better? I always thought that pretzels would be hard to make, and I'm not sure where I got that idea from because they're actually pretty easy! These are so delicious fresh and warm, served with some honey mustard or my favorite beer cheese dip.


Makes about 32 pretzel bites

Ingredients: 

1 1/2 cups warm water (110-115 degrees F)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 package yeast
2 teaspoons garlic powder
4 cups flour
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted (divided)
5 cups water
1/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk, mixed with 1 teaspoon water
Sea salt

Directions: 

Whisk together the flour and garlic powder in a mixing bowl, and set aside.

Combine the water, sugar, salt and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture starts to foam. Add the flour mixture and 1 tablespoon butter to the yeast mixture, and mix on low using the hook attachment until combined. Increase mixer speed to medium, and knead until the dough is smooth and isn't sticking at all to the sides of the bowl - about 5 minutes.

Grease a large bowl with the remaining butter (you may not need to use all of it), and move dough to the greased bowl. Cover with plastic, and allow to rise in a warm place for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size. I like to put mine into the oven, preheat the oven to 170, and then immediately turn the oven off once temperature has been reached.

Once the hour of rising is up, remove the dough from the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Bring the water and baking soda to a rolling boil in a large saucepan.

While the water heats, lightly grease a large work surface. Divide the dough into 8 approximately equal chunks, and divide each of those chunks into 4 smaller (approximately equal) bite-sized pieces. (So you'll end up with about 32 pretzel bites.)

Drop about 5 pretzel bites at a time into the boiling water, and boil for 30 seconds. Remove the bites using a large slotted spoon or spatula, and place onto the prepared baking sheets. Brush the top of each bite with some of the egg yolk mixture and sprinkle generously with sea salt.

Bake the bites until golden brown, about 13-15 minutes.


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Kirsten Bell
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Beer Cheese Dip

Beer Cheese Dip


A few weekends ago, Jordan and I made fresh soft pretzel bites. One of my favorite restaurants in town serves their pretzels with beer cheese dip, and I am obsessed! The smooth, melted cheese with just a hint of tangy yeast from the beer pairs so amazingly with soft pretzels. So I just had to make some of my own!

We loved these with my pretzel bites, and you can also serve this beer cheese dip with a fresh baguette or even raw veggies for a lower carb option.

Ingredients: 

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 8 oz package cream cheese
1 cup beer
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Directions: 

In a medium sauce pan over medium heat melt the butter. Whisk in the flour. Melt in the cream cheese. Stir in the beer, garlic powder, salt and cayenne, stirring continuously until the mixture is thick and bubbling, about 3-5 minutes. Add in the cheese, and stir until smooth.  Serve hot!

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Kirsten Bell
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Quick & Easy Homemade Tomato Basil Soup

Quick & Easy Homemade Tomato Basil Soup


We've been having really cold, foggy days for the last week! Cold, crawling fog that seeps straight into your bones. Perfect dementor and/or white walker weather. AND, it's also perfect warm soup weather! Whenever I really feel chilled and cold, soup is my go-to dinner. I love that this homemade tomato soup recipe is so quick and easy, I can have it on the table, start to finish, within 30 minutes! And the best part is that it tastes like you worked on it all day. One spoonful of this homemade tomato basil soup, and you will never buy canned tomato soup again!


What I love most about this soup is that there are so many different flavors. Tomato, obviously, but also peppery basil and aromatic rosemary, all tied together with the sweet onion and caramelized garlic. In other words: savory flavor explosion! It's also really easy to make this into a vegan/vegetarian tomato basil soup - just swap out chicken stock for vegetable stock and you're good to go!



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Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 yellow onions, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock (or veggie stock for vegetarian version)
1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

Directions:

Drizzle olive oil into a large stockpot or dutch oven, and add onions, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Cook over medium-low heat until the onion is cooked and translucent. Add the tomatoes (including juices) and chicken stock. Simmer for about 20-25 minutes, or until the vegetables are all soft. Add the basil leaves. Puree with an immersion blender, or transfer to a blender and blend in batches. Serve hot with grilled cheese, cheesy pesto rolls or alongside a big green salad! Enjoy!

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Kirsten Bell
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Cheesy Pesto Rolls

Cheesy Pesto Rolls


Your average dinner rolls just got a major facelift! This cheesy pesto roll recipe may take a little time, but the payoff is more than worth it! Full of delicious cheese and rich pesto, these rolls are sure to be the talk of your dinner table. The best part? They freeze easily, so you can make a batch over the weekend and pull a few rolls out whenever you need! These are perfect served with a big salad, or my Tomato Basil Soup.


I'd recommend reading through the directions before getting started on these. They actually are really easy, but it helps to familiarize yourself with the steps before jumping in. I secretly love making bread, because of all the different pauses to let it rise! In college I used to bake homemade bread while studying, and found it really calming and therapeutic.




These days I use the time between each stage to clean the kitchen, do a load of laundry, feed Charlotte lunch - the list goes on haha! And with the hands on time so spread out, these delicious  pesto rolls end up feeling like they were no work at all! Added bonus: your house smells like freshly baked bread. Pretty sure there's not a candle in this world that smells better than that!

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Ingredients: 

3 2/3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 packet dry yeast (I use Red Star)
1 teaspoon cane sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water (115-117 degrees)
1/2-1 teaspoon olive oil
1 (7 oz) container of fresh basil pesto
1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
3/4 cups grated parmesan cheese

Directions: 

Combine the flour, salt, yeast and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook attachment. Measure the water into a microwave safe measuring cup, and microwave for about 1 minute. It should be warm, almost hot to the touch. Pour the water over the flour mixture, and mix on medium speed until the dough clumps together into one mound. If the dough seems dry, add more water a teaspoon at a time.

After the dough has formed together, knead for about 5 minutes in the stand mixer, or 10 minutes by hand on a floured surface. The dough is ready when it's soft and almost feels bouncy. Drizzle the olive oil into a large bowl, coating the sides of the bowl as well. Lay the dough into the bowl, turning it a few times to cover all the dough with olive oil. Cover, and allow to rise in a warm place for about an hour. I put the covered bowl into my oven, and then preheat the oven to 170. The minute it reaches 170, I turn it off. Don't forget to turn it off - I did that once and it kind of weirdly cooked the dough. Oops!

Lightly grease a 9x9 casserole dish. Remove the dough from the oven, uncover it, and punch the dough down a few times to pop any air bubbles that may have formed. Turn the dough onto a floured surface, and dust the top of the dough with a little flour too. Roll the dough out into a rectangle, about 12 inches by 15 inches. Remember that it doesn't have to be perfect, just as close to a rectangle as you can get. Add extra flour to the work surface as needed to the dough doesn't stick!

Spread the pesto evenly over the dough, and then top with both the shredded mozzarella and parmesan. Carefully roll the dough, with the longer side facing you. Cut the log into 12 even pieces using a serrated and/or sharp knife, and lay each piece into the 9x9 casserole.

Cover the casserole dish with plastic wrap or foil again, and place into the oven. Again, I like to then preheat the oven to 170, and turn it off immediately when it reaches temperature. Allow to rise for about 45-60 minutes, or until the rolls are roughly doubled in size.

Uncover the bread, leaving it in the oven, and preheat the oven to 375 f. Bake about 30-35 minutes, or until the tops off the rolls are just beginning to brown, and the centers don't look doughy anymore. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool about 15 minutes. Enjoy!

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Kirsten Bell
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White Wine and Parmesan Risotto

White Wine and Parmesan Risotto


Risotto is one of my favorite foods on the planet. It's creamy and cheesy, with just a hint of white wine. Yum! I love this as a side dish for my Garlic Salmon, but have also been known to eat a bowl of it on its own haha! Risotto has a reputation for being difficult, which I don't think is very fair. It does require more hands-on time than regular rice, but you will be rewarded with the best rice of your life! Seems like a fair trade to me.


Risotto is made using arborio rice, because it's incredibly starchy. That's what makes this dish so creamy and delicious. The starch is released by adding liquid slowly. While the liquid absorbs, you need to stir the rice continuously. Just pour yourself a nice glass of wine (you have to open a white for this recipe anyway - waste not!) and enjoy the process. I think that's half the fun!

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Ingredients:

1 shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine (I used Chardonnay)
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Directions: 

Bring chicken stock to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer. Heat butter in a large stockpot over medium heat, then add shallot and garlic and let cook until translucent.

Add the rice to the shallot mixture, tossing to coat. Toast the rice for about 3-5 minutes, then add wine. Simmer over medium-low heat until the wine is almost evaporated.

Add the broth one cup at a time, continuing to stir until all the liquid is almost absorbed before adding more. Once all the broth has been added and cooked into the rice, remove pan from heat and stir in parmesan, salt, pepper and paprika. Serve hot.


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Kirsten Bell
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Healthy Lemon and Garlic Baked Salmon

Healthy Lemon and Garlic Baked Salmon


Looking for a new favorite weeknight meal? This garlic baked salmon is bursting with flavor, and is so delicious, you'll feel like you're cheating on those New Years resolutions. But you're not! And the best part? It comes together in about 45 minutes, making this our go-to healthy weeknight meal.


This recipe has been used by my family for over two decades. Which makes me feel super old haha! My parents got it from a family friend, and it's one of those recipes that is crazy good probably because it's crazy simple. The flavors are bright and fresh, and I love all the superfood ingredients like olive oil, garlic and (duh) salmon! In the summer we cook this on the grill, and when it's super cold out like it is now, we bake it in the oven. It's delicious either way, and I've included directions for both below! I love to dress up this salmon by serving it with my Parmesan Risotto. or if I'm going for a simple meal I serve it with a my Kale Caesar Salad.


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Ingredients:

1 (2 lb) wild caught piece of salmon*
1/2 cup olive oil
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup chopped parsley
2 teaspoons lemon pepper

Sauce Directions:

In a small saucepan, heat garlic in olive oil until golden. Add lemon juice to the garlic. Simmer over medium-low heat until it thickens a bit, about 5 minutes. Add parsley and stir. Sprinkle lemon pepper  over the flesh side of the salmon.

Oven Directions:

Lay the salmon flesh side up on a foil lined baking sheet. Broil 3-5 minutes, or until the salmon just begins to brown. Pull the foil up around the salmon, and then pour the garlic sauce over the salmon. Lightly close the foil to create a tent over the fish. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30-40 minutes, or until the fish is cooked to your satisfaction. (Salmon can technically be eaten raw, and just like beef everyone has different ideas of what "done" looks like. For us, if the salmon easily flakes with a fork, we call it done!)

Grill Directions: 

Grill salmon until golden. Flip fish skin side down in casserole or foil. Pour garlic sauce over, making sure the foil holds all the oil, and finish cooking to your satisfaction.



* We also use frozen salmon from Costco, which is way more cost-effective since we don't live near a coast! Just thaw the salmon you want to use, and then follow directions as usual.

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Kirsten Bell
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Super Good, Superfood Smoothie

Super Good, Superfood Smoothie


I know you're used to seeing more baked goods from me, but I can't live off of cupcakes - right? So today I'm sharing my easy superfood smoothie recipe with you! It's one that Jordan and I both enjoy drinking for breakfast, and sometimes even lunch because it's packed with protein, fiber and tons of vitamins! I also love that it's a paleo, gluten free and vegan smoothie so it's one that most people can have.


Some of the key superfood ingredients in this smoothie are spinach, avocado and berries. Spinach is so good for us - probably everyone could benefit from eating more of it! It's good for skin, hair and bone health and is loaded with protein, iron, vitamins and minerals. Avocado is another really powerful superfood. We all probably know that avocado is full of healthy fats. But it's also a great source of fiber, folate, potassium, vitamin E and magnesium. Next up: blueberries! I love using frozen blueberries in this smoothie recipe because they're a pretty inexpensive berry when you buy them frozen (thank you Costco!). They are also stocked with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, properties and are high in Vitamin C and potassium.

Whip up one of these smoothies this week for breakfast or a post-workout nutrient boost!

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Ingredients: 

1 cup almond milk (I love the organic Silk almond milk)
1 packed cup fresh spinach
1 cup frozen blueberries (or berry mix)
1/2 cup avocado (I like the frozen avocado at Costco)
1 tablespoon almond butter (We use Justins!)

Directions: 

Load all the ingredients into your blender, and blend until smooth. Top with some fresh berries if you like, and enjoy!


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Kirsten Bell
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