vegetarian

Avocado, Beet and Strawberry Smoothie

While perusing the aisles at Costco this past weekend, something new caught our eye: Love Beets Beet Powder. Generally speaking, we prefer to get the actual fruit or vegetable—not a dried, powdered or concentrated version of it. But, we’re always open to trying new things. Plus, if this powder works well in variety of food options (as it claims to), it might allow us to get the benefits of eating beets when they are out-of-season and hard to find in the grocery store.

So, we bought it and our first experiment was to make a smoothie using it as well as frozen avocado chunks (also from Costco!). Good news? It totally worked. Even better news? This smoothie isn’t overly sweet and could easily be enjoyed as a breakfast, snack, or dessert. Best news? Otto loved it! We hope you will, too.

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Chipotle Potato Salad

Happy Fourth of July to our American readers! We’re spending the holiday in the north woods of Wisconsin with family, and Otto has made his inaugural journey into the lake behind Grandma and Grandpa’s house. He even got himself out to the floating raft (with the help of a floatation device and mom and dad), setting the record for youngest grandchild to do so.

We’re mightily looking forward to the food and festivities that go along with summer holiday cookouts. Potato salad has always been a mainstay at family gatherings, and we wanted to add some variety to the salad that provided some kick and keeps the great flavor. We know you’ll enjoy it. There’s still time to get out to the store for this afternoon’s BBQs—you can do it!

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Summer Cauliflower “Couscous” Salad

The mom’s group in our area is very active, and so large that it’s subdivided into groups based on the children’s ages. I’m a “Llama Mama” and this year, it was the Llama Mama’s turn to host the annual pot-luck family picnic. I volunteered and also took a side salad. Now, a typical picnic side salad dish might involve leafy greens or cold pasta and chopped veggies plus some form of cheese and dressing. Given that we’re gluten- and dairy-free and I know at least a couple of the moms in the group are vegan, I wanted to avoid those “normal” options.

As I planned for the day, I was chatting with a college friend. Feeling somewhat nostalgic, I reflected on the things she often made when we were roommates–Matza Ball Soup, latkes, bagels with cream cheese and lox (OK, no, she didn’t make that one from scratch). Now, couscous isn’t a “traditional” Jewish food (it originates from Northern Africa) but it’s commonly enjoyed in Jewish communities and I can remember having cold, crisp couscous salad in the spring and summer or hot couscous with toppings in the fall and winter. This rendition of a cold couscous salad pays homage to those while being vegan- and paleo-friendly. We hope you like it and choose to serve it at your next picnic or barbecue!

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Homemade Habanero Guacamole

I recently had a craving for Mexican food, and one of my favorite things is a good guacamole. It’s delicious, satiating, and guilt-free. Frankly, I’m surprised it’s taken us this long to share our recipe with you. We were first going to share it as part of a larger taco bowl recipe, but we realized this is too good to not stand alone.

It’s simple and perfect for snacking with veggies (celery, bell pepper sliced, etc.), pork rinds or gluten-free chips, and it makes a great topping for scrambled eggs and homemade tacos or burrito bowls. Note: The habanero has me nervous the first day because it’s flavor was punchy. But it mellowed by the second day and added just the right sweet heat to the guac. We hope you enjoy it!

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Brazilian Diced Tomato Salad (Vinagrete)

So far this year, a high-fat, low-carb diet has been my modus operandi; it’s great for mental clarity, has eliminated hunger, and helped me a lot with losing weight. All of this has been awesome, but it has also meant going without many salads. It is much easier to focus on low carbs by avoiding them altogether, but that isn’t always the best solution for health and performance. As I’ve started running more, and dipped my toe in the water of racing, it has become apparent that my diet warrants some modifications.

This vinagrete was such a great surprise, and reminiscent of a pico de gallo. Even though spring is avoiding us here in the Washington, D.C., area, the mix of fresh tomatoes, cucumber, oil, vinegar, and herbs is refreshing and simple. It is great on top of your favorite protein (meat, fish, chicken) or on its own as a side salad. We bet it’s great over scrambled eggs, too.

However you choose to enjoy this vegetarian/vegan dish, we know you’ll love it.

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