Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Gazpacho Soup

What is gazpacho you ask? Well let me tell you.... gazpacho is the PERFECT summer soup served chilled with in season fresh veggies and spices.

This recipe is compliments of my good pal Leigh. She and I both ran track and graduated in dietetics from ISU. She now works as a dietitian at the KU Integrated Med Center.
Each week she does a cooking class and I was lucky enough to sit in on last nights where she dished up this refreshing soup from the cookbook Simply in Season.

Gazpacho Soup
described as being the perfect balance of sweet, spicy, and cool
4 C tomato, chopped - load up on your cancer fighting antioxidant, lycopene
be sure to purchase local tomatoes, can use heirlooms in recipe as well
2 C vegetable broth
1 C cucumber, diced - get you healthy glowing skin from chomping of these
1 C green or red bell pepper, diced - Vitamin C and A reduces damage to your cells caused by free radicals. This damage can lead to atherosclerosis and heart disease.
1 C celery, chopped
1/2 yellow or red onion, diced - onions offer a blood sugar-lowering effect
2 T honey or agave nectar
1 T lemon juice
1 tsp sea salt
several dashes on Worcestershire sauce
10-12 drops of Tabasco pepper sauce
6 ice cubes
1 avocado, sliced (this is an optional, but highly recommended garnish)
optional: chopped green onions or chives to garnish
In large mixing bowl or soup pot mix together ingredients, let stand for 30 minutes to let flavors mingle.
Optional: puree half of the ingredients in a food processor and leave half chopped or diced for a thicker broth base.

Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pumpkin CranRaisin Muffins

The other day I did a health fair at Edgewater Retirement Community. It was a wonderful time and enjoyed speaking with the residents and staff.
Peyton helped me prepare the muffins to sample.

she was such a good help

"yaya, cook!"..that's "Sara, let's cook" in 2 year old language
find the famous recipe under labels on right hand side..... "pumpkin"

Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sundried Tomato Tofu w/ Quinoa

Yes, I am obsessed with this recipe. If you haven't tried it...what are you waiting here for recipe.
J and I LOVE it! Especially with some low fat cottage cheese atop.

the reason why I post it today is because yet again I have slightly changed it by trying a new pesto. Instead of the Basil Pine Nut aka green pesto, I tried Sun-Dried Tomato....and guess what!?!? It was still amazing!
I have yet to conquer homemade pesto....but it will come soon.

Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good

Egg Salad Sandwiches

I LOVE egg salad sandwiches! In fact, egg salad is one of the items J and I often make on Supersized Sundays so we can have an easily prepared and healthy lunch throughout the week.

The first step to making superb egg salad is how to cook the PERFECT hard boiled egg.

Today I am going to let you in on the secret....

Gently place eggs in saucepan. Fill pan with water till it is about 1/2 an inch above the eggs. Turn heat to high and wait for water to boil. When water starts to boil (no earlier or later) set timer for 10 minutes. In the meantime prepare ice bath in medium bowl.
When timer dings remove pan from heat. Carefully remove eggs from the water with tongs and place in ice bath.

Once eggs are cooled, peel and admire their perfection.

Now you're ready to make Egg Salad...
another loosely adapted recipe from my crossfit buddy Katie...thanks!
Egg Salad Sandwiches

6 eggs - use omega 3 eggs for an added health benefit!
1/4 cup Greek yogurt or plain (I use my homemade yogurt)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
1 lemon
1/4 cup chopped green onions and/or chives
2 tsp pickle juice or relish
dill (optional)
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, stir together the yogurt, Dijon mustard, yellow mustard, pickle juice, dill and green onions/chives. Add a squeeze of lemon juice. Chop the eggs into chunks and mix gently with the dressing. Season with salt and pepper.
Place salad covered in fridge for an hour or two so flavors can fuse.

My open faced sandwich with vinegar cucumbers & J's sandwich with extra yellow mustard and spinach. I also like egg salad on a whole wheat cracker smeared with laughing cow cheese. YUM! Try WASA crackers, Triscuits or good ol' (wheat) saltines.

Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good

Almond Butter Bars

Almond Butter Bars
Recipe is from my Almond Mania blog post
I made some small changes to this round....I used Land o Lakes all natural whipped butter (fewer ingredients than most tub butters)
and if you do not have Almond Butter try Peanut Butter!

Nutrition for 1 bar: 419 calories, prot 8g, carbs 29g, fat 33g, sat fat 2g, trans fat 0g
Slice into individual serving sizes, wrap servings in plastic wrap and freeze till you are ready for a nutty, awakening treat.

Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good

Friday, July 16, 2010

Dill & Vinegar Cucumbers

As many of you know I did a news segment on KCCI Wednesday night about buying fresh and local.
I decided I would post another of my favorite recipes for using local produce.
Today's star veggie is cucumbers!
Dill & Vinegar Cucumbers
1/2 c white vinegar
1/4 c plain or Greek yogurt (I use my homemade yogurt)
1/2 tsp dried dill
1 T sugar
2 cucumbers, thinly sliced
Rinse cucumber in water. Take a fork and score the sides of the veggie (this makes for a pretty presentation). Slice thinly. Mix all ingredients above and add sliced cucumbers. Cover each slice well with vinegar mixture.
Place lid over bowl and refrigerate for a couple hours. Enjoy!
I eat them like chips, on top of leafy green salads or on sandwiches.

Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Buy Fresh, Buy Local- on KCCI news tonight at 5

I am blessed with another opportunity to spread the word on living a healthy lifestyle!
Today on KCCI Channel 8 News I will be discussing

"Buying Fresh, Buying Local"

This is a topic I am very passionate about so I am excited to highlight it today on my blog. Agenda:
  • Share a couple tasteful and seasonal recipes for using your purchased local produce.
  • Highlight some benefits to buying fresh and local.
  • Share how easy it is to find farm fresh, local foods.
  • Resources to learn more.

Heirloom Tomato, Basil, & Mozzarella Salad
from Simply Recipes


Heirloom tomatoes, sliced

fresh basil, leaves carefully chopped as not to bruise

fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced

extra virgin olive oil

balsalmic wine vinegar

sea salt and fresh ground pepper


Assemble the salad with slices of tomatoes, basil leaves, and mozzarella slices. Sprinkle extra virgin olive oil over the salad. Add a dash of vinegar and a very light sprinkling of sea salt and pepper.

Other popular recipes I have posted using local produce:

Portobello Mushroom & Chicken Ragu

Wilson's Apple Orchard

Rhubarb Crisp

Where does your food come from?

Apple Squash Soup

Benefits to buying fresh, buying local:
1. Helps strengthen the local economy - buying local foods helps support growers in Iowa, who are more likely to reinvest their revenue back into their own community. This builds and strengthens Iowa's communities.

2. Protecting the environment - local foods travel on average 45-65 miles while most food items found in the supermarket travel around 1500 miles. The added travel supermarket produce goes through increases pollution from the extra transportation, distribution, and packaging.

3. Protecting your family's health - You can get to know your local farmers and learn about their farming practices. This enable you to choose farmers who avoid or limit the use of pesticides, chemicals, hormones, antibiotics, or genetically modified seeds.

Also, you get max health benefits from fresh produce. When a tomatoes is allowed to ripen on the vine it gains valuable nutrients. Local produce is typically harvested within a day of it being purchased, since it has such a short distance to travel to make it to your plate. This 'on the vine' ripening allows the produce to retain higher nutritional value than those harvested, handled, and transported thousands of miles. Basically, an increase in travel means a decrease in nutrients.

4. It just tastes better! No one from Iowa can deny the sweet goodness of peaches and cream corn purchased from a farm stand on the side of the road. I challenge all my readers to purchase some local produce this week and share their fine food moment with the rest of us.

So easy to buy local:

According to an economic analysis of Iowa's farmers' markets, in 2004 Iowa had around 160 farmers’ markets, the highest per capita in the nation. Full report:

Another wards....there is no excuse to NOT find one near you. To find a market.

I visited the Valley Junction Farmers Market last week:

scrumptious blueberries and scrumptious things made with blueberries

Timber Ridge Flax-fed Cattle

Another way to buy local is through a CSA or Community Supported Agriculture group. I visited Turtle Farms located in Granger, IA last week to learn more.
"A CSA Community supported agriculture (CSA) is a partnership between growers and consumers that seeks to recognize the importance of healthy food and the manner in which it is grown. Consumers (or CSA members) share costs of supporting the farm, including the risks. In turn, members receive locally grown, fresh, wholesome food grown in a sustainable and responsible manner by a farmer that they know." -from Turtle Farm's website

Turtle Farms was one of the first CSA's in Iowa. Angela (owner) and Ben (farm manager) are proud to grow all organic vegetables, fruits, and herbs.

you receive your "share" as a box of produce each week throughout the growing season

Angela and Ben gave J and I a tour

they grow everything from okra and bell peppers, to sweet potatoes and strawberries

getting ready to plant more veggies!

Other resources:
Find CSA's at

Take your family for a fun filled day at Picket Fence Creamery

Find local grassfed meat at

Greater Des Moines Buy Fresh, Buy Local

Until next time...

look good, feel good, do good