One Simple Sauce Two Fabulous Ways

PASTA

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I just got back into working out after the pregnancy and today was practically my first run in a year! I am so incredibly proud of myself for having done 10 km, so I have been on a bit of runner’s high all day, except the hour and half I crashed on the couch for a schnooze. To fuel my new cardio crazy body I needed some serious carbs and what better than a bowl of pasta, when in Rome do as the Romans, literally (however on a slightly smaller scale and 3 hours more north). Continue reading

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Avo Almond Joy Smoothie

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This avocado almond joy smoothie is what I would call my version of a green goddess smoothie. It is creamy, rich, sweet and feels like an exotic treat, and it doesn’t stop at your taste buds, but offers bundles of benefits for your health. It is loaded with vitamin C, A and is also big to boot on calcium, all from the mighty power of the kale alone. It also has you covered on potassium as the avocado in it packs an even bigger punch in this department with 35% more than that of the banana. And if I haven’t convinced you yet just how good this smoothie is for you then you can be sure that your immune system will thank you this winter when flu season hits and you are sipping on the oodles of immune boosting vitamins in this smoothie, all while giving yourself a sweet treat. So here’s to takin’ care of yourself and feelin’ good! Continue reading

Pasta Night: Avocado & Pistachio Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes & A Fresh Summer Salad with Warm Sesame Infused Asparagus, Orange Slices and Sweet Onion

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Yes, I realize that this is the second post today with avocados and that I may be going a little overboard with the avocado bonanaza in ‘casa Sirotti’ as of late. I have a confession to make . . . I even had it for breakfast, lunch AND dinner today! I know, avocados are good for you, right, but just as it goes with anything, too much of a good thing can turn sour real quick. .  so watch for the pucker face :). So despite my own nutritional transgressions, this recipe is good and healthy – it’s raw, chalked full of nutrition and just plain ol’ pasta inducing carb coma good. The pasta sauce is a creamy blend of avocado, sun-dried tomates, pistachios, nutritional yeast (optional) and garlic.

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Lunch Idea: Avocado + Peach + Mint Toast with Balsamic Vinegar Drizzle

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It’s Wednesday again (my half-day at work), which means I am back with another quick lunch idea. As the temperatures rise to sweltering degrees here in Italy and as the date for my dissertation presentation creeps closer, I am looking for quicker and quicker light lunch ideas. Right now my life is like a 100 meter dash race, I rush home, hurry to get lunch ready and scarf it down in front of the computer as I try to get in the ‘study’ mindset, which really means checking out my favorite sites and allowing myself another 5 minutes, oh wait I just wanna finish reading this, oohhh now that’s interesting, I have to look at that and then I’ll start. . . and then half an hour after I was meant to start I reluctantly open up power point and start practicing my schpiel. This will be going on for another couple of weeks, and then freedom! Then it’s  .  . . pool season, trips to the beach, bike rides in the sun and just plain ol’ having fun in the summer sun with my son!

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Taco Bowl with Jerk ‘Chicken’ and all the Fixin’s

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I know I can’t dedicate every new post to someone but I absolutely have to dedicate this one to my sister as she posted a picture on facebook the other day of, what I think we would both say is, The Best greasy down-home Mexican food- which is not really from a restaurant but is instead a Mexican supermarket with a resaurant in it. This place is fabulous and is one of the sort of places that you only get in border towns like El Paso, not in Missouri (where I’m from). You walk in and it’s like a Latin party in full swing – salsa music playing, pinatas hanging and a smorgesboard of every chili imaginable, all surrounded by the wonderful wafting smell of fresh Mexican food. The first time I went there was on a visit to El Paso with my sister, as that is where she used to live. Needless to say, we went back there several times together before I went back home. On the last trip I stocked up on dried chilis, fresh made tortillas, sopes, and Mexican spices. Ironically, I went to Mexico on vacation shortly after this trip and I was unexpectedly dissapointed with the food compared to what I had had in Texas. Mexican food was better in Texas than in Mexico (in my experience of course)! Continue reading

Lunch Idea: Stacked English Muffin

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This is not really a recipe, rather just a yummy idea . . . . and it’s what I had for lunch today! This was so satisfying! I used a vegan english muffin that I made last night and started stacking 🙂 I toasted the muffin then added on some hummus with pepper, next up I smeared some creamy avocado on, then I topped that off with some fresh cherry tomatoes and finally I finished it off with the left over sauce from my stuffed zucchini flowers. I ate as an open sandwich, I tried closing it but it was too overwhelming and opened was just better in my opinion.

Portobello Mushroom Sandwich with Sun dried Tomatoes + Avocado + Pistachio Mint and Basil Drizzle

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Portobello mushrooms are really something special – full of flavor, meaty, earthy, and just plain good! And making sandwiches out of these is always so simple and so good. They are a great replacer to the classic burger and with interesting sauce, they can really knock the socks off even meat based burger lovers. And with summer is around the corner, which means barbecuing, hanging out outdoors, and sipping lemonade, these are a great way to sub traditional bbq fare. Although I made these in a pan, I suggest grilling them over an open flame, if you can, which would really take this sandwich to a whole new level – watch out meat eaters! 🙂

This sandwich is simple and like usual quick, but really satisfying. You can build on to it, adding your favorite condiments and toppings to make it just the way you like it. I do however suggest the sun dried tomatoes and avocado; the tomatoes add a nice touch of acidity to the meatiness of the mushroom and the avocado gives it a lovely creamy finish. Of course to top it all off, I went for a good helping of my pistachio mint and basil drizzle, which really made it pop. The sauce is really light – there’s no oil or even vegan mayo in it, but if you want something creamier, you can try adding in some vegan mayo.

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