Spinach Pasta with Organic Summer Veggies

It's Summer time and I couldn't be more excited. I have been extremely busy building our new house but have so many recipe ideas up my sleeve...all I need is a little more time in the day, sans kiddos {that won't be happening now that it's Summer, big sigh}. But this dinner came out so wonderful the other night and I just had to share it with everybody. It's the perfect recipe for my household because of its versatility. It can be made vegan or just vegetarian or even raw vegan. It fits everybody's diet needs and tastebuds. 

The base is a brown rice spinach pasta and vegan pesto. The "sauce", which is more of a big summer salad, is a raw dairy-free Summer veggie salad. You can add parmesan for a nutty cheesy flavor or leave it off for a dairy-free version which still tastes fantastic. 

The pasta fills up the hungry people. But leave it out if you're not as hungry and just eat the veggies as a salad. My kids at the pasta only. {of course}.

Pasta Recipe

4oz 1/2 box spinach brown rice pasta noodles, cooked
3 Tbls vegan pesto {cheeseless}
3 Tbls shredded parmesan cheese, optional

After the noodles are boiled and soft, add pesto and parmesan. If you don't eat dairy, leave the cheese off. It's still very very tasty. 

Summer Salad "Sauce" Recipe

1c chopped cherry tomatoes {quartered or chopped in half}
1 large or 2 small zucchini squash, thinly sliced using a peeler
1 ear corn, kernals cut off using a knife
1c sugar snap peas, cut lengthwise or in half
2 Tbls olive oil
2 Tbls seasoned rice vinegar
1 1/2 pinches sea salt
pepper, to taste
1 heaping teaspoon vegan pesto sauce, optional

Combine all of the chopped veggies in a bowl. Add the vinegar, olive oil, sea salt and pesto. Mix again and let sit an hour or so before eating. You don't have to let it sit but the flavor combine better as they sit. 

Pour the salad/sauce over the pesto pasta for a delicious dinner.

Top with fresh basil and/or parmesan cheese for added flavor. 

Enjoy!

note: I buy vegan pesto at the local health food store. If you don't have vegan pesto, substitute traditional, cheesy pesto. You can also make your own fresh pesto at home and store in fridge for weeks at a time. 

 

Meredith's {Vegan} Pad Thai Amazingness

Meredith is amazing in general and today she completely blew me away with her Pad Thai recipe! She kills it in the kitchen and I'm so excited to share this with you. Here is her story:

Working in the food biz- doesn't always make for the most creative cooking at home. Sometimes when you think about food all day, you just want something really simple for dinner. We have a rotation of about 3 dishes that we always do variations of. 

But sometimes.... we mix it up! As I mentioned in my last post, we have a lovely intern Carly Gross here helping us this summer which gives me more ambition in the kitchen (does that rhyme?) and an extra set of hands. Not that you couldn't easily make this dish solo. It is very very easy.  

Anyways, the other night we made a lovely version of Pad Thai. It was absolutely a crowd pleaser, and not hard to put together at all.  It will certainly be a major player all summer long. 

The only special equipment need is a spiral slicer, but you could easily get away with doing a very thing julienne to the vegetables. 

We were serving 5 people so the recipe is kind of big- feel free to cut in half! 

Simple and delicious! 

We served it with an amazing bottle of chilled rose. 

Pad Thai Recipe
Serves 5

Vegetables / Salad

- 2 Zucchini’s, made into noodles with a spiralizer. Salt the zucchini for a least 30 minutes before serving. Rinse and drain. This takes the excess water out of the zucchini. 
- 3 Carrots, julienned 
- 2 Coconuts worth of meat, thinly sliced
- 2 Cups sugar snap peas, thinly sliced
-1 handful cilantro, chopped lightly
-Juice of one lime

Assembly

Toss vegetables with sauce. Garnish and serve immediately. 

Pad Thai Sauce

- 1 Cup Almond Butter
- Juice of half of a lime
- 1 Cup Coconut Water
- 1-2 Tbsp Fresh Ginger, grated 
- 1/3 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 Tbsp Red Chili, diced 
- 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil 
- 1 Tbsp Nama shoyu 
- 1 Tbsp White Miso 
- Salt to Taste 

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender. 

Curried Cashews

Toss chopped raw cashews with a few teaspoons sesame oil, curry powder, and lots of salt. This MAKES the dish. If you don't like cashews you could sub almonds. 

Garnish 

Lime Wedge 
Cilantro 
Sesame Seeds 

And look at the set-up. Meredith is SO-COOL in SO many ways! {Thanks Meredith}!

Meredith Shares Her No-Bake Protein Bars

As a women who has always appreciated culinary fads - I've definitely fell into the protein bar diet. I ate a Luna Bar for breakfast religiously in college, moved to Lara Bars when I got into "raw", had Greens Plus Bars shipped to me in Paris {freakish}, and now if I'm in a pinch - I will definitely grab a Kind Bar in the airport. 

Although THAT diet came to and end YEARS ago, I still love bars. I don't think that you need to live on them, or that they are necessarily the healthiest food,  but they are fun, nutritious {can be}, filling, and go really well with a cup of coffee.

Remember, they ARE a meal replacement. If you eat a bar on top of a meal, be prepared to have a stomach ache. 

OK, that's my spiel. 

All that being said, I'm usually too lazy to make my own. Until now.

This Summer we are testing recipes for Matthew Kenney's new book and we have a awesome interns in town to help. First on the scene is Carly Gross. She is a junior at University of Florida, is passionate about health and wellness and glows! She is super confident and talented in the kitchen so this Memorial Day we put her to work on those bars! :-) {For some beautiful food pics, follow @cgross on Instagram} 

We have some professional athlete clients who have requested protein bars, so starting a batch of bars to test seemed like a good idea. 

We chose to make a bar that didn't need to be dehydrated, nothing needed to be sprouted or blended, all you need is one bowl! Super fast and easy. 

This bar is high protein and low in sugar. You can substitute the honey for a little bit more coconut oil for a less sweet version.  

Meredith's No Bake Protein Bar Recipe

1/2 Cup Chopped Pistachios
1/2 Cup Pumpkin Seeds 
1/2 Cup Coconut Flour 
1/4 Cup Vanilla Protein Powder {we used our new favorite for the Be Beaming kitchen} 
2 Tbsp Hemp Seeds 
2 Tbsp Chia Seeds 
1/3 Cup Goji Berries 
1 Tbsp Jeruselum Artichoke Powder 
1/3 Cup Coconut Flakes 
1 Vanilla Bean 
1/3 Cup Hemp Milk 
1/3 Cup Coconut Oil 
2 Tbsp Coconut Butter 
1/4 Cup Honey 
2 tsp Cinnamon 
Pinch of Salt 

 

  • Mix all ingredients together and pressed into a terrine pan. 
  • Chill in refrigerator for approximately 1 hour. 
  • Slice into 12 1 inch bars. 

 

They are really, really good- enjoy for breakfast, or a post workout treat! 

YUM.

Until Next time! ---------- Meredith

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)
                                          ■Name
                                          ■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!

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.