It has been nearly 3 months since I planted my herb garden and the yields from it have been incredible.  I have been working on incorporating them into daily meals with the family.  The richness they bring to dishes is so unbelievable, I couldn’t keep it to myself, so I had to share it with my friends.  I decided to host my very first dinner party yesterday and used the herbs from my garden.


It was my first dinner party I have ever hosted.  I invited two of our best friends and their spouses over for dinner and wine.  I found the hardest part of planning was narrowing down what I wanted to cook.  Maybe it is from working in the restaurant, but I was full of different course ideas and ways to incorporate my herbs into dishes and drinks.  It was very challenging to narrow it down.





I finally decided on some seasonal fare I found at the farmers market and a perfect blend of my very own herbs! :)  I made creamy goat’s cheese with chive and pomegranate, mushroom and truffled herb salad, melanzane parmigiana, and peach and basil crumbles.  All of the courses turned out delicious.  The herb salad was my favorite, it was light and had the perfect amount of richness.  I highly recommend all of these recipes!

My dinner party featuring my very own herbs was a huge success!  Planning it was a little stressful but so worth it in the end.  The food turned out great, everyone had a wonderful time, we had great conversation even better wine, and I think I convinced a few of my friends to start an herb garden! This was my first dinner party but it definitely won’t be the last.

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie

Dinner is served

by on 9/22/2014
It has been nearly 3 months since I planted my herb garden and the yields from it have been incredible.  I have been working on incorporatin...
I have always been fascinated in how the body reacts to the food we consume.  Different foods have properties that benefit internal organs and physical appearance more than others.  Since becoming a vegetarian and being aware of what is going into my body, I have noticed a change in my skin. 


Many of my friends and family ask me what face creams and anti-wrinkle serums I use Neutrogena Healthy Skin Face Lotion SPF 15 a few times a week. But specifically I watch what I eat and understand the benefits of each food.  I swear by a few foods that make my skin look so healthy and rejuvenated.  Here are my favorite foods that keep me looking youthful and have healthy skin.


 Here are my favorite foods that keep me looking youthful and have healthy skin.

•    The Kiwi is my favorite fruit because it is packed with vitamin C and stimulates collagen synthesis which keeps skin tight and smooth fine lines.  I notice less dryness and fewer wrinkles when I consume a diet high in vitamin C.



•    Berries have anti-inflammatory agents and vitamins that help protect against premature aging.  They also are high in antioxidants and minimize the damage of free radicals in the skin that fuel wrinkle formation.  BONUS- Berries are also packed with vitamin C.

 
•    Edamame is a protein filled bean is also packed with collagen; keeping skin firm, youthful, and wrinkle free.  And did I mention, very delicious?



•    The Avocado is rich in protective antioxidants and essential fatty acids keep skin looking plump and smooth.  The “good fat” in avocado is not only beneficial to internal heath, but also replenishes the protective layer of fatty acids around skin cells.  It keeps moisture in the skin, preventing dryness and irritation.  And who doesn’t love a good avocado sandwich or for that matter face mask?

 
•    The orange hue of pumpkins are from carotenoids; wrinkle-fighting agents that neutralize free radicals in the skin.  It is also filled with vitamins C, E, and A, and powerful enzymes that work to cleanse the skin.  Don’t just make jack-o-lanterns this year, save a little for yourself.



From my previous posts, it is clear that I try to keep everything natural.  Keeping my skin tight and youthful is no exception.  Eating these foods and exercising help maintain a healthy body both inside and out.

Why not eat well and look great at the same time, give them a try!

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie

Foods for great skin

by on 9/08/2014
I have always been fascinated in how the body reacts to the food we consume.  Different foods have properties that benefit internal organs a...
Happy National Mushroom Month! It is the best time of the year, mushrooms are so abundant and it is my excuse to use them this month as much as I can!  Mushrooms have such a unique taste and distinctive texture that makes them wonderful to cook with. 

Some people are mushroom “haters” and refuse to give them a try, I say put your hate aside and try some of my favorite recipes that showcase September’s featured veggie, MUSHROOMS! :)


Portobello Red Pepper and Pesto Pizza- very easy!
Serves 6
Ingredients-
•    Your choice of pizza dough, either homemade or premade
•    2-3 Portobello mushrooms with the stems removed
•    5 canned roasted red peppers, sliced
•    ¾ cup of parmesan mozzarella blend
•    ¼ cup pesto, your choice either homemade or store bought
Instructions
•    Prepare the dough according to its specific directions, then place in a pizza pan.
•    Chop the Portobello mushrooms into long thin slices.
•    Spread the pesto on the pizza dough, top with Portobello slices and roasted red peppers then sprinkle the parmesan mozzarella blend on the top.
•    Bake at 425 for about 10-15 minutes; the time will depend on the dough and your personal crispy taste.



Easy Mushroom Stroganoff
Serves 2
Ingredients-
•    1 tbsp. of oil
•    1 medium onion, diced
•    4 cloves of garlic, minced
•    17 oz. mushrooms, sliced or diced
•    3 tbsp. vegetable stock
•    1 tsp. paprika
•    Black pepper, to taste
•    3 tbsp. sour cream
•    4 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
Instructions
•    Heat oil in a large frying pan, cook the onion, garlic, and mushrooms over medium heat for 5-10 mins until slightly softened.
•    Add vegetable stock and paprika and season to taste with black pepper.
•    Before serving, stir in the sour cream and half the parsley.  Once heated through, serve topped with remaining parsley.


Portobello “Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich”
Serves 4
Ingredients-
•    2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
•    1 medium onion, sliced
•    4 large Portobello mushrooms, steams and gills removed, sliced
•    2 tsp. dried oregano
•    ½ tsp. ground pepper
•    1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
•    ¼ cup vegetable broth
•    1 tbsp. soy sauce
•    3 oz. thinly sliced provolone cheese
•    4 buns, split and toasted
•    (Optional) ½ medium green pepper, sliced
Instructions
•    Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until soft and beginning to brown.  Add mushrooms, green pepper, oregano, onion and pepper. Stir often and cook until vegetables are soft and wilted, about 5-7 minutes.
•    Reduce heat, sprinkle the vegetables with flour and stir to coat.  Add broth and soy sauce and bring to simmer.
•    Remove from heat lay cheese slices on top of vegetables, cover and let stand until melted.
•    Divide mixture into 4 portions in each toasted bun, and serve.





There are so many ways to prepare mushrooms and add them to your favorite recipes, you could spend the entire month finding different ways to savor the taste of mushrooms.

If you are a lover like I am, I suggest following @MushroomChannel on twitter or the Mushroom Channel on Facebook.  They post great recipes and interesting facts about one of the best veggies.  Join me in hashtaging all your wonderful mushroom creations this month, #MushroomMonth, for the Mushroom Council :) As the mushroom council says, “Let your friendly fungi flag fly.”

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie

National Mushroom Month

by on 9/04/2014
Happy National Mushroom Month! It is the best time of the year, mushrooms are so abundant and it is my excuse to use them this month as much...