What Goes Well With Strawberries?

As I mentioned in my previous post about leaning into vegetarianism, I’ve been taking advantage of the many delicious and healthy foods that are abundant this summer season.

Along with other summer staples like avocados, tomatoes, watermelon and corn, I’ve been serving my family a lot of strawberries lately.

Here are some of my favorite pairings with strawberries:

  • Chocolate
  • Nutella
  • Bananas
  • Cream
  • Oatmeal
  • Yogurt
  • Pancakes/Waffles
  • Cheesecake
  • Lemonade
  • Balsamic Vinegar

For a quick non-dairy and sugar-free healthy snack for your family, enjoy my quick, inexpensive and super easy Strawberry Banana Smoothie recipe:

1 cup of ripe bananas

1 cup of ripe strawberries

2 cups of unsweetened almond milk

Handful of ice cubes

Blend ingredients on high until smooth and creamy.

Read more about the wonderful benefits of strawberries here.

Browse through the most popular strawberry recipes here.

DISCUSSION:

  • What are your favorite pairings with strawberries?
  • What are your favorite strawberry recipes?

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Meatless Meal Recipe #1: Tomato Basil Soup, Whole Wheat Quesadillas and Mexi-Carrot Slaw

As I mentioned in a recent post, I’m testing the waters on becoming a vegetarian. I’ve been eating significantly less meat and surprisingly, it hasn’t been bad at all.

I was initially worried that not having any meat on my plate wouldn’t satiate my appetite but I’ve actually been able to prepare meatless meals that my whole family has enjoyed.

This was a dinner that my family and I shared the other night, I thought you might enjoy it as well:

NORDSTROM-INSPIRED TOMATO BASIL SOUP

(Thank you to Blake Royer at seriouseats.com for this awesome recipe!)

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil, crushed
  • 3 28-ounce cans whole peeled Roma tomatoes
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Procedures:

  1. In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add carrots and onion and cook until beginning to soften, 10 minutes, then add basil and cook until vegetables are completely soft, about 5 minutes more.
  2. Add tomatoes and broth, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20-30 minutes, or up to 45 minutes if time permits.
  3. After allowing soup to cool somewhat, purée in a blender or food processor until smooth, doing so in batches if necessary. For a much silkier texture, strain the purée before returning to the pot.
  4. Stir in cream little by little over over low heat, until desired texture is reached and soup is just heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve warm.

WHOLE WHEAT QUESADILLAS

Ingredients:

  • 2 large whole wheat tortillas (I like Target’s Archer Farms Whole Wheat Tortillas)
  • 2/3 cup reduced fat Mexican Blend shredded cheese (I like Target’s Market Pantry Reduced Fat Shredded Mexican Style Four Cheese Blend)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Procedures:

  1. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Place 1 tortilla onto the skillet.
  3. Sprinkle the shredded cheese evenly over the tortilla.
  4. Add garlic powder.
  5. Place the second tortilla on top.
  6. Cook until the bottom tortilla starts to develop a bit of color and starts to crisp, about 2 minutes.
  7. Flip the tortilla with a large spatula to cook the other side.
  8. Cook until the bottom tortilla starts turning crispy, about 2 more minutes.
  9. Slide quesadilla onto a cutting board, cut into wedges and serve immediately.

Feel free to add different ingredients to your quesadilla like corn, onions, spinach, zucchini, bell pepper, mushroom, or whatever veggies you have on hand!

MEXI-CARROT SLAW

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups finely shredded carrots
  • 1 cup crushed Tortilla Chips (I like Target’s Archer Farms Blue Corn with Flax Seed Chips)
  • 1 handful of pepitas seeds
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro-lime dressing (recipe below)

Mix shredded carrots, crushed tortilla chips, pepitas and dressing and place in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving.

CILANTRO-LIME DRESSING

  • 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 3/4 pkg dry ranch dressing mix
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth and creamy

I hope you and your family enjoy this meal as much as we did. We certainly did not miss not having any meat with this hearty meal! You must try the carrot slaw, it’s so good : )

DISCUSSION:

  • What were your first vegetarian meals?

Share your story, your story matters.

Crispy Grilled Avo-Cheesy Sandwich

When I want to make something special for my husband Randy, I make him my Crispy Grilled Avo-Cheesy Sandwich. Randy says he gets sad every time he gets down to the last two bites because he doesn’t want the sandwich to end!

Try my delicious version of this classic comfort food that’s both satisfying and nutritious.

INGREDIENTS

4 slices of Oroweat Oatnut Bread

1 to 2 tbsp. of Earth Balance Original Buttery Spread

2 thick slices of lean honey ham or oven-roasted turkey

4 slices of 2% White American Cheese Singles

1 large ripe avocado, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon of good quality olive oil

PREPARATION

  1. Place a non-stick skillet (lightly coated with olive oil) on medium heat for 1 minute.
  2. Place the ham or turkey slices on the warm skillet until lightly brown on both sides. Set aside.
  3. Smear one side of each bread slice with the buttery spread. Make sure to cover the edges of the bread! This makes for a crispy sandwich!
  4. Build your sandwich. I like the sandwich in this order:
    • Bread (buttered side facing out)
    • Cheese
    • Ham or Turkey
    • Avocado
    • Cheese
    • Bread (buttered side facing out)
  5. Place your sandwich on a hot non-stick skillet.
  6. Flip the sandwich with a large spatula until both sides are browned to your liking.

NOTES

I use Oroweat’s Oatnut Bread because it has no trans fat and I like the bread’s texture from the hazelnuts. You can also use 7 Grain or 12 Grain bread.

I am so happy to have found Earth Balance products! I really love their Original Buttery Spread. It’s non-dairy, lactose-free and gluten free but it’s still creamy with that rich buttery taste and also very easy to spread.

Spend the extra couple of bucks on freshly sliced ham or turkey from your supermarket’s deli. You can certainly taste the difference in quality!

I prefer using 2% White American Cheese because it melts so nicely. It’s perfect if you want that soft velvety texture on your grilled cheese sandwich!

Learn how to safely cut, peel and slice an avocado here.

DISCUSSION:

  • What are your favorite variations of the classic grilled cheese sandwich?
  • What dishes do you make that your family just can’t get enough of?

Share your story, your story matters.