Grilled Summer Salad :: Memorial Day Weekend

I went to Whole Foods yesterday, in a hurry to grab food for the LONG weekend ahead. My boys' dad is out of town in Mammoth over Memorial Day so I wanted to get everything done beforehand. I stocked up on health snacks, liquids, dinner foods and a few special treats. While rushing through the produce isle I couldn't help but drool over the BEAUTIFUL veggies. I mean, everything look so fresh and full and vibrant. I grabbed red onion, sugar snap peas, radishes, parsnips, radicchio, dandilion greens, asparagus, avocado and everything that looks to-die-for.

I told myself I was going to make a HUGE raw salad with all of these items. Maybe add a little rice vinegar, some seasame oil and seeds?

But once I got home, I realized that the black turnips would be amazing if they were browned. That led me to grilling up the asparagus and radicchio as well {I know, weird, but I had seen it done before}! All I did was head a my pancake skillet with olive oil and sea salt. I didn't raise the heat above low/medium. So, nothing burned or charred.

I layered the salad with a few raw peas, red onion and greens. It seriously turned out amazing and even better than what I had imagined at the store! 

There was no sauce except on the raw dandilion greens I added Whole Foods band no added oil ginger sesame dressing. 

Grilled Summer Salad Recipe
makes 2 main dish salads

2 black turnips, super thinly sliced with knife or mandolin
1 small head radicchio, quartered with stem still attached at bottom 
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1-2 Tbls olive oil
1 bunch asparagus, ends snapped off
handful sugar snap peas, thinly sliced, with thick skin still on
2 cups dandilion greens, marinated in a good tahini dressing
sea salt, to taste
handful goat cheese or feta cheese, optional

Place a large pancake skillet on the stove top. Add 1-2 tbls olive oil. Keep flame at low to medium heat. Don't over heat the olive oil. If you want to turn the heat up, use coconut or grapeseed oil. Add sliced turnips until they lightly brown, add sea salt, turn over and do it again {about 5 minutes}. 

Once you remove the softened / lightly browned turnips, add the asparagus and radicchio plus a little sea salt. Brown those as well {see the photo of asparagus above} but don't over cook. 

Meanwhile, chop and then toss the dandilion greens in dressing. Let sit until ready to use. 

Slice the red onion very thing into strips. For the sugar snap peas, you can take the peas out of the pod or leave them in and cut into pieces. They are sweeter if you leave them in the pod. 

Layer the plates with grilled radicchio ----> turnips ----> marinated greens ----> peas ----> red onion ----> asparagus ----> feta cheese or avocado

Mix it all up and enjoy!!!!


Christine's Holiday & Summer Family Travel Tips

Before I share Christine's GREAT family travel article, I want to say CONGRATULATIONS to her. She is officially a first time mommy as of a few weeks ago. And we couldn't be more thrilled to have her as part of the PUREmamas team. In case you didn't already know Christine is trained in intregrative health and is a medical journalist. She is smart, beautiful and, well, now a healthy mom! Yay for that!

Christine's Tips for Skipping Town with the Kids: Must Haves

Thinking of heading to the great outdoors with the little ones? It’s getting to be that time of year when hiking and camping excursions are the family thing to do! Toting the tots equals a lifetime of memories, but are you sure you’re ready? If you’re going kid in the front, back pack in the back, here’s what you’ll want to stash in addition to the crayons and coloring books!

Pack a kiddie damage control kit

1. ID Bracelet (or ID card tucked into kids clothes) that reads:           

                                          ■Allergies (meds foods)
                                          ■Age/Birth Date
                                          ■Your Name, Phone Number, Email
                                          ■Emergency Contact Back “Home”
                                          ■Phone Number of Your Country’s Embassy or Missing Persons Info

2. On the Spot Fix it First-Aid:

Homeopathics! Children respond almost immediately to homeopathic treatment making them ideal for travel.. A bonus to homeopathics is that they carry an extremely low reaction and interaction (with other meds) rate (I‘ve never had a patient experience a reaction).

○      Arnica Montana (internal and topical): bruising and swelling
○      Kali Phosphorus: fever
○      Clematis: traveling anxiety
○      Rescue Remedy: irritability, restlessness, and unsettled feelings
○      Byronia, lycopodium & causticum: constipation
○      Belladonna & Hepar Sulphur: ear ache remedy
○      Nux Vomica: nausea and vomiting
○      Apis Mellifica: bug bites & stings
○      Homeopathic Teething Tabs

Natural Wound Care

○       Aloe is an extremely versatile wound remedy that instantly closes thes kin  well as encouraging germy microbes to exit the area. Aloe can also be used in any orifice as well!
○      Sovereign Silver: Colloidal Silver Gel is my fave topical anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal... Here’s where you can skip the Neosporin and go natural with great, fast results!

Snack Time. On the go go go equals an increased need for nutrients and healthy choices to keep your kid sustained. Kids are finicky eaters as it is so be sure to have a supply of healthy favorites. Snacks free of sugar are the best bet to keep your child’s blood sugar properly balanced and prevent dehydration all day long.

○      Kookie Karma snacks!
○      Dehydrated fruits
○      nut butters & pastes
○      rice protein mixed in organic juice
○      rice protein and fruit frozen into cubes (if you have a cold pack)

3. Hydration

Sounds like a no-brainer to give the kids water right? Kids are easily dehydrated and parents often don’t notice until it’s too late and a fever ensues.

Kids will like:
○      Watermelon
○      Coconut Water
○      Cucumbers
○      Jicama

Experienced Parents Share Other Fun Travel Tips...

I hit about five different airports a month so I’ve had the chance to chat up some super savvy traveling parents…  Some shared what they’d never leave home without and others taught me how they adapted to their surroundings with found amusements for their kids.

“Coloring books and crayons? Haha, duh!” One parent joked, “we don’t even go to a café without those.”

“Get to the craft store and buy a ream of velcro if you’re traveling with a kid under four. Kids drop enough as it is at home so consider picking something up off the ground while backpacking in Colombia-gross! We got the idea from a European family in California before we took off. Wrist rattles, pacifiers, anything you can imagine can be stuck to your kid’s arm or leg with velcro!”

“Mirrors. Babies love to see themselves and it’s relatively soothing when they get upset. My boyfriend and I attached mirrors to both of our backpacks so our son could see his reflection while we walked around or waited for buses.

“Even when babies are being carried they get restless. After our daughter was crying for an hour and we were feeling desperate we had this ‘ah-ha’ moment when we spotted mini-clip on dolls in Bangkok. We rigged a scooter mirror to the baby carrier and fashioned an impromptu mobile with the dolls clipped to the mirror. She loved it and it kept her occupied while we meandered through the crowded markets.”

"A bag full of new toys {.99 cent isle at target? or stuff on sale. cheap stuff} or special treats that they don't usually get at home. like lollipops {sorry to suggest unhealthy ideas, haha} or gummies. taking one thing out at a time every time the kids get restless is a HUGE life saver."

"A new book. One they haven't read before. Or a book they can't live without."

"Obviously, if the baby is young, don't forget the hooter hider. It's great when you're sitting next to strangers. Babies love to fall asleep on planes and giving them the boob always makes them feel right at home. They will most likely instantly fall asleep. Plus the sucking is good for take off and landing. Helps with the ears."

Are you a parent successfully on the go? Share your kid-trotting tips with other Matador parents here!

Meredith's Skin Saver Smoothie :: Papaya, Nut Milk, Flax Oil

This recipes is a sneak peak from my new book. We had it today as the perfect mid morning pick me up. It is SO good. To me it tastes like creamy papaya pudding-  This combination is delicious for summer when the sun is hot, and we start baking our skin and taking out all of the moisture! 

Papaya is an amazingly rich source of enzymes, vitamins and minerals. It is especially high in the enzyme papin, making it powerfully beneficial to digestion. Almond Milk is rich in Vitamin E, and Flax oil is rich in Omega’s fatty acids 3 and 6. This smoothie is truly internal skin food.  

Serves 1-2 * I doubled the recipe to make 3. 

     ½ Large Papaya
      1 Cup Almond Milk
      1 Tbsp Flax Oil
      Few Tbsp Papaya Seeds {optional} 
      Handful Spinach {optional}

Blend all ingredients until smooth!

As usual- sip, relax and enjoy!

Happiness! {it doesn't take much}

1) the prettiest, largest flower I have ever seen. had to buy it. INCREDIBLE 2) after school green drinks {avo, squash, stevia, pineapple, banana, spinach} 3) tennis courts at La Costa Resort 4) farmer's market radishes 5) caesar salad made with kale & radishes = best invention ever 6) thanks to the lovely ladies over at MyBarre3 for the workouts they sent me 7) my kids randomly started jiving to the live music at the local fair the other day. it was one of the funniest things ever 8) reading a book while my son actually sits still to listen and give hugs 9) the best game ever - hungry hungry hippos {my kids get so competitive} 10) cinepolis movie night. YES! 11) La Costa Resort pool on a hot sunny Saturday 12) we found this bugs bunny book at a garage sale. i love scoring cool used stuff. 13) my sweet one year old niece that i got to see for about 1 hour last weekend. SO CUTE. it's my favorite age for sure. 

The Big Question: Smoothie or Juice? {Meredith Speaks}

One of the most common question we get from readers is Buy a Juicer? Or buy a Vitamix? Which is better, juice your veggies? Or blend your veggies? 

So, Meredith Baird has created a smoothie recipe, Beyond Beautiful Berry Protein Smoothie, as well as her explanation:

My answer is that they are completely different, she says.

Juice is a supplement. The nutrients absorb easily because there is no fiber to slow them down.Because they absorb so quickly I prefer (and recommend) juices that are very low in fruit and sugar. Generally juices aren't that filling. 

Smoothies are a meal. They are full of antioxidants, vitamins and fiber.  Smoothies are a great way to combine fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and proteins for a completely nutrient dense experience.There is no right way to make a smoothie. Throw ingredients in that make you happy! This is my most frequent (and favorite) combination. You can't go wrong with the combination of berries and spinach- so nutritious! 

Plus, Summer is on its way- and so are amazing smoothies! I don't know about you, but winter makes it really hard for me to get into smoothie mode. It might be because I live in Maine and frozen fruit seems counter intuitive in the winter (as it should!), or perhaps it is nice just to change it up a bit- either way, smoothies are an amazing way to really pack in the nutrition. 

Here is my concoction, try it, and then experiment with your own. 

Fruits and Veg
Serves 2 Large Smoothies 

2-3 Cups Frozen (or fresh) Berries - I always make sure that some blueberries make there way in! 
1 Young Coconut- Meat and Water 
1 Cup Brazil Nut Milk (or Nut Milk of your choice) 
2 Cups Spinach 



  • Beaming Protein Powder - This is a proprietary blend of vegan protein made by or friends and colleagues at the Be Beaming cleanse squad in San Diego. I am LOVING it. 
  • 1 Scoop Green Vibrance 
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Butter
  • Bee Pollen- *I like Bee Pollen on mine 

*If you like it sweeter, add a date or a few drops of stevia. 

Throw all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth! (It helps if you put the spinach and liquid in first!) 

Sip, Relax and Enjoy!