Healthfully Ever After

Healthier & Happier: Before & Beyond "I do"

Life Update and Clean Cocktails: Summer Dark Fruit Basil Smash

Healthy HostessCarlene ThomasComment

Hope your week is going wonderfully! It's hard to believe we are wrapping up August. At the start of summer I talked about how it's usually hard for me to adjust to the slow and relaxing pace of June through August. Well let's just say that didn't last very long...this was my busiest summer to-date! As I start to get requests for projects or appointments in fall, I'm realizing pretty quickly how insane this year will be. Earlier this week I had someone email me for three event partnerships/projects in September and October...and I could only make ONE out of three because I was already booked! ONE.

And even before that I had some amazing invites to go to Washington state and California for food tours with the Almond Board and Welch's, but couldn't make those either!!! It makes me excited and anxious to see what my favorite season will bring. That being said, I can't wait for my pre-ordered Day Designer planner to come in the mail!!! I need that hyper-organization more than ever on an hour by hour basis. 

Whew. On to the recipe! To celebrate the end of August, jump over to Swooned to see how to mix up my latest clean cocktail. This one focuses on the gorgeous dark fruits of summer: plums and blackberries paired with peppery basil. 

 

Clean Cocktails: Summer Dark Fruit Basil Smash

Two Ingredient Tropical Dessert: Cantaloupe Coconut Shake

Healthy HostessCarlene ThomasComment

As I sit here typing out this simple two ingredient recipe, it's nearly ten PM. Therefore, it's my bedtime because I have the internal time clock as someone who is eighty. And speaking of eighty-somethings, the husband and I spent the afternoon helping my grandparents unpack boxes and hang art in their new retirement condo (BTW, we didn't finish. They plied us with wine and cookies and then we went to dinner because that's what grandparents do.).

After over twenty years in their vineyard house in the country, they've downsized and finally decided to stop plowing two feet of snow off of their steep gravel driveways and bush hogging a few dozen acres of land....which they are more than entitled to do in their eighties. For this move they simplified their collections of things from several continents worth of travel to their favorites. And I can't help but appreciate that simplicity in a world of busy, a world of numbers and measurements like I've just described... even when it comes to cooking. A simple dessert, made with the simplest ingredients is all you need some evenings regardless if you're eighty-something or twenty-something. 

Cantaloupe Coconut Shake 
Cantaloupe Coconut Shake 
Cantaloupe Coconut Shake 

Cantaloupe Coconut Shake 

/// Ingredients ///

  • 1 c cubed cantaloupe (MUST be in season and ripe), chilled 
  • 1/3 c coconut milk
  • top with toasted coconut chips 

/// Directions /// Scoop and remove seeds. Cube cantaloupe and remove from rind. Add coconut and cantaloupe to a blender. Puree. Serve in a glass and top with coconut chips or shredded coconut. 

I beseech you: please only make this recipe with summer ripe cantaloupes! No conference cantaloupes allowed! You know, the ones that are practically white and hard and tasteless. The combination leaves you with a purely tropical, smooth and creamy treat that has much more flavor depth than you would expect from only two ingredients. 

Jicama Cabbage Slaw with Peanut Coconut Dressing

Healthy HostessCarlene ThomasComment

Sometimes I get ambitious and buy cabbage. Irregardless of the actual size of said cabbage, I can never, ever finish it. But I always think "Today's the day! I'm going to finish an entire cabbage!" because I'm a dietitian and I set goals like that. Please note, I have yet to make it happen. However, this is one more recipe where I get a little closer. Because the purple cabbage is paired with a sweet, crisp jicama, I find it more enjoyable to eat. To some people, cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables can be really strong and sulfurous...but you just need to pair it with something sweet and something a little fatty. In this case it's jicama + peanut coconut dressing. Another example of a pairing that works with those same concepts would be brussels sprouts + apple + bacon. And that's a lesson you can use over and over again. Vegetable class dismissed. 

Jicama Cabbage Slaw with Peanut Coconut Dressing

One of the reasons I love slaws like this is it makes healthy options like cabbage interesting. Cabbage is packed with fiber to keep you full and with under 50 calories per cup, it's a smart choice when it comes to nutrient dense, calorie light. There are also lots of studies being done on the antioxidants within cabbage for cancer prevention. I KNOW. Poor cabbage never gets the antioxidant buzz-word spotlight, but as un-sexy as cabbage is, it deserves props too. 

Jicama Cabbage Slaw with Peanut Coconut Dressing
http://www.artifactuprising.com/site/ntheme_display/c/SoftCover5.5x5.5?

Jicama Cabbage Slaw with Peanut Coconut Dressing

 

/// Ingredients /// 

  • 2 cups purple cabbage, shredded
  • 1 medium jicama, peeled and julienned 
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro (leave it out if it tastes like soap to you)
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut jam
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/3- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar (adjust for personal thickness preference)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil

/// Directions /// Remove outer leaves of the head of cabbage. Shred cabbage using a large knife to create long, thin strands. Peel jicama, removing the fibrous tan layer. Use a julienne peeler or some kick ass knife skills to create long, thin strands of jicama. Toss jicama and cabbage together. 

In a small bottle or jar or a small bowl, add peanut butter, coconut jam, lime juice, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil together. Whisk or shake to combine and emulsify dressing ingredients. Pour over top of the slaw and garnish with fresh cilantro. 

http://www.artifactuprising.com/site/ntheme_display/c/SoftCover5.5x5.5?

Salad Accessory Spotlight: I can't wrap up this post without mentioning this adorable mint quilted bowl. This is part of a series of textured bowls in a million different colors and patterns from West Elm. It's the smallest size and also the perfect size for pre-portioned snacks. 

© Healthfully Ever After & Carlene Thomas 2011-2014