Showing posts from June, 2017

Norm's Farms - Be Well, Get Elderberry!

Norm's Farms, located in Pittsboro, NC is a small sustainable elderberry farm. Their mission is healing foods make with natural, simple ingredients. Their parent farm, named in honor of Norman Lenhardt, is located in Hartsburg, MO and has been placed in a land trust to honor Norm's dream for land preservation.

While elderberries are a powerhouse full of antioxidants and known for it's healing benefits - only 10% of all U.S. elderberries are grown on U.S. soil, most are imported from Europe. Which makes Norm's Farm even more precious and important - buy local!

If you have not already fallen in love with Norm's Farms, get this. They encourage you to learn not only the health benefits of elderberries, how to produce/start your own elderberry farm and encourage you to apply to become one of their berry suppliers!

Norm's Farms carries a wide variety of elderberry products:
- Syrups
- Jams, Jellies, and Preserves
- Supplements
- American Elderberry cutlets, to help you…

Women's Weekend in the Woods

I am beyond blessed to know the wonderful Gina Molinari - a wonderful adventurer, yogi and downright awesome person.

How we met was a pure accident and honestly, almost didn't happen.
I had a work acquaintance that invited me to a donation based community yoga class. Since I already had a work exchange pass, I really didn't see the need to pay for a class (even if it is $5.00), but I went with it because I needed some social time in my life.

Gina was teaching the class and I actually recall that she was wearing a dark blue sweatshirt and a blue and white scarf. - Don't ask, I remember weird things.

Anyhow, I felt connected with Gina almost immediately. Her class always starts out with a question along the line of  "what do YOU need today?" and then she asks that you honor that and yourself and that throughout the practice you flow the way your body is asking you to. Not necessarily the class she is preaching, but whatever movement works for you.

Seriously, I know…

Zucchini Bread Banana Whip (Gluten-free)

Zucchini Bread Bannan WhipIngredients:
- Spices (Ginger, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Almond Extract)

- Frozen Bananas

- Frozen shredded zucchini

- Toppings (optional, but I used fresh banana, frozen blueberries, and dates)

Vegan Rob's (Gluten-Free, Vegan, GMO Free & Plant Based)

Vegan Rob's - Live & Enjoy!

Rob has brought back the enjoyment of eating snack foods.

It has been years since I have even attempted to try new varieties, as every time I found it to come even close to being "Nicole-Safe" the product was: as hard as a rock, stale, soggy, mushy, weird tasting, full of chemicals or odd ingredients that I couldn't begin to pronounce and just overall not an appealing experience.

When I found Vegan Rob's, I started to reconsider snack foods. I started researching the product line and found the company was claiming to be able to offer a healthy option for those that love to snack but still able to focus on nutrition and compassion for all.

I was hesitant, but as my special delivery arrived, I was amused by the fun marketing. The box is adorable, the products names are catchy, and each package is brightly colored and I just wanted to rip them all open and try each one immediately!

I have somehow contained myself and this far only demo…

Carrot Banana Pineapple Smoothie

2 Cups Carrots
Fresh Ginger
1 1/2 Cups Water
1/2 Cup Pineapple
1 Ripe Banana

Blend until smooth and then enjoy!

Simple Vegan and Gluten-Free Summer Dinners

Here is a quick and simple no-cook recipe for those hot summer nights!

I spiralized some zucchini, tossed it in a basic dressing and fresh herbs and then steamed some delicious zucchini and vegetables!

Simple. Delicious. Healthy!

Not every delicious and healthy meal needs to be difficult or time-consuming - sometimes simpler is better.

Gluten-Free & Vegan Strawberry Basil Banana Whips

Need a quick and easy allergy-friendly dessert idea for all the summer BBQs coming up?!

Check out this simple, yet elegant strawberry basil whip.

Fresh Ginger
Fresh Basil
Handful of Frozen Strawberries
2-3 Frozen Banans
Spices of choice (Cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, etc.)

Steps: Toss it all into a Vitamix and let it roll!

Strawberry Basil Banana Whip

Summer time is here! Oh how I welcome you with open arms and heart!

My mind has been really in need of the longer days, the warm arm hugging close and the smell of newly blossomed flowers.

Later in the evening when I am craving something sweet, I like to quickly blend together a whip of some sort.

While I knew I loved the sweet and basil combination, for some reason, I had never tried it in my whips before - so I went for it!

Couple frozen bananas, fresh ginger, frozen strawberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, and basil and on my way to deliciousness!

Cooking For Others Is My Medicine

While some might choose to meditate - others might choose to go for a run -some might even turn to shopping; but for me, I find cooking for others rather therapeutic and rewarding.

I am sure I get this from my parents. When we were younger (who am I kidding, dad still does this) my dad would find the way to show others you love them and truly care is to cook for them. Mom would find that she could share her feelings in baking. Every holiday or any chance family was visiting, mom would take the time to make one her "famous" goodies. Things I recall the most would be: Fruitcake, Kolache, Sugar Cookies, Apple Pie and Blueberry Pie.

And so I guess I took these lessons from my parents and twisted them into my own unique way of sharing the love via food.
"Cooking is love made Visible." BUT since I am single and live solo these days, I don't often have the opportunity to cook for others. Especially since, when I do visit family, I don't want to compete with my paren…

Spicy Grilled Sweet Potatoes and Zucchini Rice (Gluten-Free, Vegan, & Oil-Free)

I think we all know how much I am in love with Formosa Hot Sauce.

Being that we are entering into the summer BBQ season, all the more reason for me to start backup experimenting with some new recipes!

I knew immediately that I wanted to grill the white sweet potatoes on the charcoal grill and of course some fresh grilled zucchini is always a pleasant treat as well.

I had some fresh cilantro and scallions, so I figured dry grill the potatoes and then toss with the Formosa Jalapeno Sauce and fresh herbs.

I have been seeing a lot of buzz about zucchini rice so I thought I would give it a try on the grill.

I used the spiralizer and then chopped it into smaller pieces (not perfect or uniform by any means but I was afraid to make it too small for the grilling process).

I then added some carrots, onions, garlic and seasoning and tossed it on the grill for a couple of minutes.

Overall the meal was enjoyable. I liked the zucchini rice, but need to work on perfecting that recipe some. The potat…