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My New Roots Cookbook Review & Beverage Recipe – Sparkling Mint Melonade

My New RootsPaging through crisp pages of a new cookbook is one of my favorites. I love the stories behind the dishes, the beautiful photographs and the instant bookmarking I begin to tally in my head. My New Roots fulfills all of these checklist items and more. Author, Sarah Britton, a food blogger since 2007, has transferred her passion for whole-food ingredients, an organic lifestyle and her “conscious cooking techniques” into a glorious and mouth-salivating book of healthy, interesting and relatively uncomplicated recipes. She believes if you eat this way then there is no such thing as a diet…it’s a lifestyle. Amen, sista. I feel the same way.

My New Roots is a plant-based, seasonal, real-food cookbook that showcases recipes that are manageable, inspiring and original. Sarah captures the culinary beauty of preparing and eating healthy food that is full of texture, taste and personality. Her creativity makes me want to try and be more creative. Her passion shines through and this is truly one of the best cookbooks I have ever owned in which it will become a staple of reference in my kitchen.

When I mentioned the mental bookmarking I begin to do when I’m excited about a new cookbook, let me assure you this was the case as well for My New Roots. I even went as far as putting yellow sticky notes on each page so I wouldn’t forget each dish I was dying to make. I bookmarked an array of recipes such as Thai-Style Coconut Soup with Zucchini Noodles, Skinny Dip White Bean Fondue, Red Onion Lentil Soup with Manchego Toasts, Raw Key Lime Coconut Tarts, Roasted Red Pepper Walnut Dip, Rooibos Ginger Sun Tea, Dark Chocolate Cherry Overnight Oats and Oyster Mushroom Bisque…to name a few. So far I have made the Thai-Style Coconut Soup, the Raw Key Lime Coconut Tarts and the Sparkling Mint Melonade (recipe below). All 3 were amazing!

A cool feature that Sarah includes in her book are tiny blurbs within most of the recipe pages explaining the health benefits of a food item in that recipe. For example, we all know cucumbers are healthy for us, but she explains why and what cucumbers do to help nourish our bodies. It’s nice to have the breakdown of nutritional information because so often we just eat what we think we are supposed to without really knowing why something is good for us.

I already have plans to whip up that fondue this weekend and I’m sure I’ll be posting Instagram shots of my versions of Sarah’s recipes in the months to come. I highly recommend My New Roots if you are looking for new, creative and delicious plant-based recipes in your life. There are recipes for everyone and for every season of the year.

Sparkling Mint Melonade


Sparkling Mint Melonade
 
www.deserthealthy.com:
Ingredients
  • 2½ C. chopped ripe melon (I used cantaloupe)
  • 1½ TBSP. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tsp. raw honey or pure maple syrup (I used syrup)
  • Handful (about 20) fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish if desired
  • Sparkling mineral water, to top up
Instructions
  1. Put the chopped melon in a blender, add the lime juice and honey, and blend on high until smooth. Add the mint leaves and pulse just to chop it up.
  2. Fill a glass two-thirds full with ice, and pour in the melon mixture. Top with sparkling water, and stir. Garnish with more mint if desired. Serve.
Notes
This could be made into a cocktail as well by adding a shot of your favorite booze.

 
*I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review, but all opinions are my own.
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July’s Love with Food Subscription Box Review and Giveaway

Love with Food 7/15

The July Love with Food box arrived and per usual, I was giddy with excitement. Snacks on my doorstep? Yes please. Love with Food helps people like you and me discover new organic or all-natural, healthy snacks and they’re delivered to our door every month. There are various levels of membership and as of now I subscribe to the Tasting Box which includes 6-8 snacks every month. For every box they deliver, they donate a meal to a food bank and have donated almost 700,000 meals to date!! Pretty awesome!

This month’s box is themed “Surfin’ USA.” I was thrilled that 6 out of the 8 snacks were gluten free and 2 were organic. The snacks delivered included the following:

  • Kids’ Organic Sour Citrus Chews by Honey Stinger
  • Coconut Almond Curry Granola by Bear Naked
  • Simply Toasted Crunchy Coconut Chips by Bare Snacks
  • Gum Pops by Glee Gum
  • Hawaiian BBQ Chips by One Potato Two Potato
  • True Lemon, True Lime, True Orange and True Grapefruit by True Citrus
  • Lemon Almond Biscotti by Biscotti Di Suzy
  • Organic Fruit Snack by Fruigees

 

Overall I thought this month’s selection was a 6 out of 10. I couldn’t eat the Bear Naked granola because it’s not gluten-free, but my husband had it and said it was delicious. I also handed him the biscotti which he enjoyed dunking in his coffee. The potato chips were tasty, I loved the Honey Stinger kid chews and the coconut chips are a sweet addition to yogurt, dessert, or a smoothie. As far as the other snacks go, the True citrus packets are pretty flavorless, I could care less about a sucker and I’m afraid to drink the Kalefornia Grape Fruit Snack…I don’t know why, but it creeps me out to drink out of a squeeze pack. So overall, it was a mediocre box in my opinion. I liked three of the snacks, my husband liked two and three of them I either couldn’t eat (gluten free sitch) or just have no desire to. I still think this is a great box to subscribe to even if there is a month where the snacks are subpar. It’s a great way to taste test different brands and discover what you like and what you don’t. It can either encourage you to run to the store and buy a product in full size or it can help you avoid purchasing something you don’t care for.

Once again, I have an extra subscription box that I will be mailing to one subscriber! Yay! All you have to do to be entered is to complete one of the following:

A) Subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already. That’s it.
B) If you’re already a subscriber, just leave a comment below telling me what your idea of a perfect healthy snack box would have in it.

NOTE: You have to subscribe or already be a subscriber to be entered. You can do this in the upper right hand corner of the blog. It’s a breeze.

Winner will be chosen at random through www.randompicker.com and will be announced within the comments of this blog post. Giveaway ends on Friday, July 31st at midnight. Good luck!

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Love with Food Subscription Box Review and Giveaway!

Love with Food Subscription Box

I love a good subscription box, but I hadn’t subscribed to one in a while. I was beyond excited to see a recent deal on Amazon Local for a 3 month subscription to Love With Food for $21.00, a steal. Love with Food helps you discover new organic or all-natural snacks delivered to your door every month. Snacks are free of zero trans fats, hydrogenated oils, artificial colors & flavors and high fructose corn syrup. Love with Food offers different levels of membership and after the 3 month period of my Amazon local voucher concludes, I can stay on the same Tasting Box plan or upgrade to the Deluxe or Gluten Free box. If there is a snack that you absolutely love and need more of, you can purchase the full size version off of the Love with Food website.

Love with Food Subscription Box

Each monthly box is shipped with a theme inside. The June box is “Saturday in the Park.” The snacks included were the following:

  • Northwest Trail Mix by Emily’s
  • Fruit Strips by Sunripe
  • Crazy Hot Popchips by Popchips
  • Everything Savory Bar by Sheffa
  • Rosemary Artisan Crackers by La Panzella
  • Chocolate Chip Brownie Brittle by Brownie Brittle
  • Classic Ice Tea Candy by Bali’s Best
  • Chocolate Banana Health Bar by Kutoa

Love with Food Subscription Box

I was happy that 5 out of the 8 snacks were gluten free as that is a new adventure I am embarking on…(I will post about why I am going gluten free in the near future) I think the box was well worth the $7.00 I spent for it. My favorite snacks were the Health Bar and the Trail Mix. My least favorite was the Savory Bar…it was too dry and lacked flavor. I was surprised to see Popchips in the mix because I don’t consider those gourmet or unique, but I went with it. They were tasty and I had never tried that hot flavor before so it was a win.

I squeal with delight when I receive packages in the mail…packages with food inside make me the happiest though which is why I would recommend subscribing to the Love with Food subscription box. It’s an easy way to discover new snacks that you might otherwise overlook at the grocery store. Plus it’s affordable and they donate one meal per box to a food bank. Use this link to save 40% off your first box!

I have an extra subscription box that I will be giving to one lucky subscriber!! All you have to do is subscribe to this blog and if you’re already a subscriber, leave a comment below telling me what your favorite healthy snacks are. Winner will be chosen at random through www.randompicker.com. Giveaway ends on Saturday, June 27th at midnight. Good luck!

 

 

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The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook Review & Recipe – Tahini Kale Slaw & Roasted Tamari Portobello Bowl

The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon

Adding to my cookbook obsession is the recent release of The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon by high profile food blogger, Sara Forte of The Sprouted Kitchen. Sara’s specialty is creating recipes using simple whole foods that are in season and fresh. She uses as much produce as possible in her dishes and this allows for what she calls “wiggle room” for indulgence if desired. I resonate with Sara’s style of cooking because she doesn’t subscribe to one particular diet or food group. She believes in balance, simple not complicated and she loves cooking with whole foods…just like me! I like her already.

Bowl + Spoon is a cookbook packed with recipes all created & eaten out of…….you guessed it….bowls. The table of contents is divided amongst Morning Bowls, Side Bowls, Big Bowls, Sweet Bowls and Dressing & Sauces.

“I have an affinity for seasonal vegetables and whole foods with bold dressings or sauces. I crave healthful, colorful foods that taste good. My specialty, per se, is food in a bowl – combinations of vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, big salads – texture and flavor that go together to make a simple, nutritious, meal that makes sense composed in one vessel…ingredients nestled within each other, tangled to make most sense as a sum of their parts. I am using the bowl as a point of inspiration for the recipes shared here.”

The diversity of the recipes is impressive with dishes such as creamy mushroom pasta with frizzled leeks, smoky tortilla soup, cauliflower gratin, pumpkin pie steel-cut oats, homemade ricotta, tropical smoothie bowl and peach derby ice cream. Sara’s dishes are vibrant, full of quality ingredients, seasonal and pretty simple to make. She appeals to the every day home cook who wants to prepare and serve their families delicious, healthy meals.

In addition to the array of beautiful photos and recipes, Sara has detailed lists of essentials she needs to prepare, cook and serve the dishes that she makes. There are lists discussing how to build a stocked arsenal of legit kitchen tools, a fridge full of condiment & produce staples and a pantry of ingredients that will never steer you wrong. The thing I love about her lists is that everything is affordable and majority of everything can be found at a well-stocked grocery store, health food store such as Sprouts or Whole Foods or online at retailers such as Amazon and Thrive Market.

I bookmarked multiple recipes, but the one I made recently and wanted to share is Tahini Kale Slaw and Roasted Tamari Portobello Bowl! Portobello mushrooms are kind of my thing so when I paged across this recipe, I instantly read the entire thing top to bottom. Adding to the shrooms is kale, brown rice, pepitas, onions, carrots, avocado and delicious Tahini Citrus Miso Dressing. YUM!

Tahini Kale Slaw and Roasted Tamari Portobello Bowl

Tahini Kale Slaw and Roasted Tamari Portobello Bowl1

Tahini Kale Slaw and Roasted Tamari Portobello Bowl

Tahini Kale Slaw & Roasted Tamari Portobello Bowl
 
www.deserthealthy.com:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 large portobello mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame or grapeseed oil (I used sesame)
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or low sodium soy sauce
SLAW
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 3 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
  • ½ cup sunflower sprouts or microgreens ( I used pepitas and no microgreens)
TOPPINGS
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 large avocado, peeled and diced
  • ⅓ cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds
DRESSING
  • ½ cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons white or yellow miso (I used white)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha or hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 large orange (about ⅓ cup)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Lemon juice, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F and line with parchment or foil. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and rub both sides with the oil and sprinkle of sea salt and pepper. Place them gill side up on the baking sheet and drizzle the tamari on top. Roast for 15 to 18 minutes until the mushrooms look soft and collapsed. Once cool, slice them thinly.
  2. While the mushrooms cook, prepare the slaw. Finely chop the kale. In a large mixing bowl, combine the kale, shredded carrots, green onions and dress and desired. Rub the dressing into the kale to soften it and then add the sprouts.
  3. To make the dressing – In a mixing bowl, whisk together the tahini, miso, honey, sesame oil, and Sriracha to combine. Whisk in the vinegar, orange juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Thin with water or lemon juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed. Taste and adjust seasoning. The dressing will keep, covered, in the fridge for 2 weeks and it makes a lot.
  4. Serve each bowl, warm or col, with a good portion of the kale, scoop of rice, a mushroom, avocado, and a generous sprinkle of sunflower seeds.

 
Check out Bowl + Spoon for yourself and turn those farmers market goodies into something truly distinctive and tasty.

*I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review, but all opinions are my own.
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True Food Kitchen

Before moving back to Arizona, I already had True Food Kitchen on my radar. Being familiar with Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet, in which the restaurant’s concept is based off of, I knew TFK would be my jam.

Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid

If you aren’t familiar with Dr. Weil or his work, he is a leader in the world of integrative medicine and believes that medicine involves mind, body and spirit. Additionally he is a best-selling author having written 10+ books, a highly sought out public speaker and the Director of the Center for Integrative Medicine of the College of Medicine at U of A. If you want to know more about this awesome man, read more info here.

Onto the food…the menu at TFK makes my heart skip a beat. The menu is full of healthy options with dishes like “inside out” quinoa burger, spaghetti squash casserole and asparagus & artichoke pizza. YUM!

True Food Kitchen Menu

I have been a few times now to TFK and every time it’s just as delicious as it was previously. This last time I visited, I ordered a Root & Remedy juice which consisted of juiced beets, carrots and ginger, mixed with tumeric & honey lemonade. Besides the threat of the beet juice dripping onto my white pants I wore that day, this drink was amazing. It felt so good to know that every drop I was sipping was nourishing my body. I love it when good juice makes me feel that way.

Root Remedy

After I slurped up the Root & Remedy concoction, it was onto my lunch entree. I chose the organic Tuscan kale salad with a salmon filet perched on top. The salad was really tasty and had the right amount of dressing on it. I could have used a little more Parmesan, but you’ll have to excuse the Wisconsin in me. The salmon was seared to perfection and although I had full intentions of only eating half of it and saving the rest for lunch the next day, I ate every last flake. Whoops.

Kale Salad with Salmon - True Food Kitchen

If you’re into the sort of thing like really good food and eating healthy, check out True Food Kitchen. There is a location in the Biltmore Fashion Park and another in the Scottsdale Quarter. It’s definitely a treat when I get to have lunch there, but the quality of the food and the ingredients behind it make it worth every penny.

True Food Kitchen Philosophy True Food- Virginia Wolfe quote

@TrueFoodKitchen
True Food Kitchen on Facebook


RESTAURANTS ON MY RADAR
Marlee’s Thai Bistro
Ingo’s Tasty Food
Sage Kitchen


 

 

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