Happy Friday, everyone!!!!
Gonna share some “green” recipes today, whether in color or just use of produce or items, as well as throw in some little newsy bits and announce a give-a-way winner!
A little while back when our garden was over-run with zucchini, I tried out this recipe from Hobby Farms magazine. It would be appropriate to make it again, as my basil plant is now flourishing!!!
Puree zucchini, basil and other farm-fresh ingredients for a refreshing summer soup.
- 3 T. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1½ cups roughly chopped onions (any kind)
- 1 T. chopped garlic
- 1/4 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
- 1 cup seeded and chopped sweet bell pepper (any color)
- 2½ cups coarsely chopped zucchini
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 4 cups fresh spinach leaves, loosely packed
- 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh sweet basil
- chopped fresh tomato for garnish (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a large, thick-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Sauté onions, garlic and salt until vegetables start to soften. Stir in pepper, zucchini and stock. Bring to a simmer, and cook until pepper is soft, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the spinach and basil just until wilted. Use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. Add more salt if needed. Serve hot, topped with chopped fresh tomatoes if desired.
Makes about 6 servings.
This soup is great for on-the-go, as well, whether hot or cold! “Green” tip: store wet things like soup in clean jars in the refrigerator; good re-use of something rather spending energy on recycling or (gasp!) just throwing it away, and storing things in glass cuts down on your chemical toxin intake (some plastic storage containers have been known to leach unknown substances into your food, even when cold).
I have a confession to make: I have a sweet tooth. If you know me at all, this is not really a confession, but a “so what else is new?” Having a sweet tooth can lead to unhealthy choices if we do not operate in the fruit of the Spirit called Self-control…but luckily we can also choose healthy recipes so that we can enjoy treats once in awhile (not overeating them, mind you) without even having to be concerned over what the “bad” ingredients might do to our little temples (like some other items we might choose…ahem.)
Here is a recent DELICIOUS recipe I tried recently after watching an episode of “Giada at Home” on the Food Network. I tweaked it to make it healthier.
Lime and Cornmeal Cookies with Citrus Glaze (they are Gluten-free!)
- 1/2 stick, at room temperature (I used Earth Balance instead)
- 1 cup sugar ( I used 1/3 C Stevia-in-the-Raw, 2/3 C “Swerve”*)
- 3 large limes, zested
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (2 to 3 large limes)
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups rice flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
Glaze: (I only did HALF the recipe, and it was plenty)
- 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar (I used equal parts Swerve* and Stevia-in-the-Raw ground up in my Magic Bullet to make powder…don’t waste your money buying the powdered version when you can do it yourself!)
- 2 large limes, zested
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Special equipment: 3-inch round cookie cutter
For the cookies: Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner or parchment paper. Set aside.
In a food processor, pulse together the butter, sugar, and lime zest until combined. Add the egg, lime juice, and vanilla. Process until smooth. Add the rice flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Process until the mixture forms a dough. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for 20 seconds. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly flour a work surface. Cut the dough in half and roll out each piece into a 9-inch diameter circle, about 1/4-inch thick. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut the dough into 10 circles and arrange on the prepared baking sheet. Gather any scraps of dough, knead together, and roll out to 1/4-inch thick. Cut out 2 additional rounds of dough and place on the baking sheet. Bake until light golden around the edges, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely, about 15 minutes.
For the glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, lime zest, and lemon juice until smooth. Spread about 1 teaspoon of the glaze onto each cookie leaving, a 1/4-inch border around the edge. Allow the glaze to harden for about 45 minutes before serving.
*To order “Swerve” or get information on it, go to http://www.pcflabs.com/store/swerve.htm
Newsy Tidbits and other info…..
If you have been reading this blog for awhile, you know that we have been “fostering” a plethora of felines on our compound, desperately seeking new homes for the sweet babies! Hallelujah, we found one!!! Thank you, very much, Paula, for opening your heart and home to one of the darlings!
There are still 2 babies in need of a forever home. Today is our callback date to the Humane Society to see if they have room, which is no guarantee, but not only will that cost us $10 per kitten, I would truly rather these adorable wee ones went straight to a good home! They are about 12 weeks old and so sweet. If you have not yet seen their pictures or read their story, you can go here:
I have been meeting a personal challenge lately in the form of a Couch to 5K program. Tomorrow I will be on Week 2, Day 3. So far, so good. By the Grace of God, the Power of the Holy Spirit, the word of my testimony, and the sheer grit all of those empower me with to get my hind end outside, I am overcoming limitations left and right! Feel free to read about that journey and what helps me here:
I am actually looking forward to tomorrow’s run!
Also, you can picture me out there with a little pink pepper spray bottle due to a catastrophic run-in (no pun intended, since I was on a bicycle) with a Rottweiler mix nearly 2 months ago. My left derriere STILL has a 4 inch square bruise with a scar-on-top! Read about how God soothed me here:
This week at Vessel’s of Clay Yoga was “grab bag week” in which rather than having just one scripture that we all shared, we “grabbed” one from a pile of previous scriptures…those scriptures have been prayed over in advance that God will send the right ones to the right people for whatever they are needing! This is not only a good use of resources, it also allows for a little more literal “quiet time” during the beginning and end of our classes, as we quietly contemplate what God is saying to us today. Here is the scripture God had for ME this week and as always, He was right on time:
Psalm 145:9 (NIV) The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.
Isaiah 30:18 (The Message) But God’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you. He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you. God takes the time to do everything right—everything. Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones.
Speaking of waiting and how good things come to those who wait (is THAT where that phrase came from?), some of you are waiting to find out who won this week’s give-a-way of either a yoga mat or a Vessels of Clay Yoga coffee/tea mug….and the winner is…..
(I even had Hubby draw the name for me, since we are both up-and-at-’em this morning!)
So, at your convenience, Paula, let me know which you would prefer: a yoga mat in either Buttercup Yellow or Dark Teal (check last week’s blog post for pictures) or a Vessels of Clay Yoga mug! And congratulations!!!
Thank you to all of the participants! It sure is fun getting your answers here and on Facebook!!!
(For those who don’t know, that’s http://www.facebook.com/pages/Vessels-of-Clay-Yoga-LLC/73576731717)
Blessings and favor be upon all of you this weekend. Seek His face first, and you will not stumble over your own feet….Psalm 25:14-15 The Message (among many others, actually!!! I dare you to type the word “stumble” or “trip” into the search engine at Bible Gateway.com!)
Glory to God!