Friday, January 27, 2012

Mexican Guacamole Plus Tips

               bowl of guacamole and tomato

There is nothing quite as simple and delicious as a bowl of colorful guacamole.

Florida Vacation With Siblings

Two of my husband's siblings and their families met with us in Florida for a family vacation. We all crashed my brother-in-law's large home in Parkland, Florida.  While we were all there for the week, we enjoyed cooking together and of course eating together. 

One of the late afternoon snacks we made and shared was this big bowl of Mexican guacamole. (Happy Hour anyone?) 

The avocados were nice and ripe, and the entire recipe only took about 5- 6 minutes to make.

This recipe makes a delicious party dip that just also happens to be gluten free and vegan, making it perfect if you or your guests have special eating needs. 

Use celery sticks or (gluten free Non GMO) corn chips as dippers and enjoy!

What makes a guacamole recipe Mexican?

I purchased Haas avocadoes which come from Mexico, and the optional tequila really authenticates it as Mexican !!! Hola

Helpful Tips for buying and  using avocados:

1.  If you make the guacamole in advance, be sure to leave the pit in the dip until you serve it. The pit will help keep the avocado dip from turning brown.. Remove the large pit before serving!

2. An avocado is ripe when the outer skin turns brown and the avocado becomes somewhat soft to the touch. If you buy a hard green avocado, you can just leave it out on the counter to ripen up. 
It takes about 3-5 days.

3.  If you need to use the avocado sooner, put it into a brown paper bag (never a plastic bag) together with a banana or an apple and the gases from the other fruit will speed up the ripening process.

4. If you forget to use your avocado and it becomes too ripe to use, you can give yourself and avocado facial or hair treatment. Avocado contains vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids that are great for damaged hair.

Mexican Tequila Guacamole Recipe

2 ripe avocados
1 pkg. cherry tomatoes, washed and dried and chopped into quarters
Juice of 1 large lemon or lime
1 clove (or more) fresh garlic pressed
Salt to taste (we did not use any)
If you like things hot, add  red pepper flakes
Optional: 1-2 ounces of Mexican tequila (we did not add it)

Peel and cut up avocado into a bowl. Add tomatoes, pressed garlic . Squeeze in lemon juice and mash with fork to desired consistency. ( we like it a little chunky)
Taste and add salt if desired and a the tequilla.. OLAY!!!

lemon and avocado

bowl of halved avocado
Add caption

                        cocktail frozen mojito
                       Frozen Kiwi Mojitos Anyone??  click here for a great recipe

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Skinny Cabbage Soup

                                 cabbage soup, vegan cabbage soup, cabbage diet

Skinny Cabbage Soup? Who wouldn't love to shed a few pounds.

Remember the old recipe for a "no points" vegetable cabbage type soup from Weight Watchers or the Cabbage Soup Diet?  

It was a hearty soup that was given as a bonus and could be eaten without counting the points in your daily allotment. AND you could still lose weight. Kind of a fill you up with lots of veggies and very few calories.

This soup recipe is my version of a "get skinny " no point" weight watchers type soup that can be eaten any time you like without any guilt! Yet, it's so good, your entire family will love it.

And best of all it can be made in THE CROCK POT ( which I love ), the Instant Pot or on the stove top.

This soup is  low in calories, but not low in taste.
IT only took about 10 minutes prep and about 3 1/2  hours to cook on high in the crock pot. So Easy!

I threw everything into the crock pot about 10:00 A.M . I then went out and did a few errands . When I returned about 1:30, I was greeted by the wonderful aroma coming from my kitchen of a home cooked soup, and was thrilled to have something healthy and hot that was ready to eat.

I like this soup because it can help you stick to your diet  because it is so satisfying and delicious.

You can add cooked black beans and even a little brown rice if you want to turn it into a meal.

If you are looking for healthy ways to boost the immune system and who isn't, this soup is also bursting with antioxidants and immune building vegetables like fresh garlic, fresh cabbage, and carrots. It's healthy -- enjoy..

Oh! I almost forgot. It has no added fat, it's vegan, and of course gluten free!!!

Here's how to get started...Pictured Tutorial

carrots, red onion,
Slice some carrots and red onion

tomato, sun dried tomato
Slice up some sun dried tomatoes

vegetable broth or stock
Find a fat free tasty vegetable stock

Get a bag of Frozen artichokes, and run under warm water to defrost ( I got mine atTrader Joe's)

Chop up some red cabbage, fresh mushrooms, and garlic

Put it all vegetables into the crock pot with a container of vegetable broth,
1 T tomatoe paste and 1- 2 cups water (you will need the full two cups in the crock pot on high)
3 medium organic carrots, sliced
1 small red onion, chopped
1 cup mushrooms , sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 cups red cabbage, chopped
1 bag of frozen artichoke hearts (Trader Joe's) 
Run under hot water to defrost first
5 sun dried tomatoes, sliced
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
2 Tablespoons Trader Joe's 21 Salute dried seasoning or any seasoning you like
1 container good tasting vegetable broth, divided
4 cups water

Add 1/2 cup of vegetable broth to the crock pot. Turn on high and  add red onion, garlic and carrots and
allow to warm on bottom of crock pot for about 10 minutes, stirring if needed.

While the vegetables are heating, chop cabbage, mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, etc. Add to crock pot. Add remainder of the vegetable stock, tomato paste and seasoning, water and defrosted artichoke hearts. 

Cover and allow to cook on high in the crock pot for a minimum of 3 hours. Eat as is or add 1 cup of cooked black beans or chick peas for protein.

Stove Top: follow directions but add to a soup pot with 1 additional cup of water. Bring to a boil, and then simmer covered for 30 minutes. 

Instant Pot: Follow direction but add to the liner of an Instant Pot. After all ingredients are added, secure lid, close vent, and set to pressure cook for 9 minutes. When done, release steam manually according to the manufacturer's instructions. 

This recipe is WFPB oil-free vegan, kosher parve, and gluten free. 

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Gluten Free Super Bowl Recipes

Check out my Fabulous Finds too

Very awesome.
I found this picture on Pinterest.
Does anyone know whose blog it's from?

Ain't it the truth!! 

Scroll down and click on the blue titles to retrieve some great recipes to make for your Super Bowl Sunday!
Mini Caprese appetizers  finger food that you can assemble quickly

Easy Hummus Bruschetta on GF crackers ( just assemble and eat!) Delish!

Sun dried tomato salsa  fast and easy!
Soak some sun dried tomatoes,
assemble with other ingredients and whiz in the food processor.
 No cooking involved. Eat with gluten free chips!

Goat Cheese spread ( any store or Trader Joe's) decorated with
figs and strawberries. Just assemble and serve with GF crackers

Easiest yet. Everybody is selling these little bite size sweet
peppers! They can be eaten whole. Then take a regular pepper, hollow it and fill with any
GF store bought dip ( Trader Joe has plenty)

This picture of the strawberries below is from a website Joy of Baking
Click to find out how she makes it!

I just added this oldie but goodie, but you do need the overn..
Best ever oatmeal raisin cookies are GF, egg free, sugar free, and nut free, yet they are a hit with everyone. Make with GF oats

Tequila Flavored Guacamole!!

Very awesome.I just found the photo if these cute football chocolate dipped strawberries on Pinterest and I'm going to make them for the Super Bowl ! 
They are so cute but I can't credit them because Pinterst doesn't have a link to a blog or website. If anyone knows who to credit, please leave me a comment.
 I'll replace the photo as soon as I make mine. Just wanted you to see it..
It's all over Pinterest.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Moisturizing Salt Scrubs DIY


My skin is normally very dry, and in the winter it can get rough and scaly. 

Last winter I bought a container of moisturized salt scrub and was amazed at how soft and beautiful it made my skin feel. However, I was also amazed at how much that  little container  cost  ($28), definitely more than I wanted to spend. 

So, I did  a search on how I could make my own ( DIY) and came up with some quick and easy formulas that worked really well. While the salt takes off dry dead skin, the rich oils absorb into the skin and moisturize.

DIY Herbal Salt Scrub
2 cups sea salt
1/2 cup almond oil ( health store)
1/2 cup macadamia nut oil or other rich oil ( health food store)
1 tsp. vitamin E ( pierce a capsule or two)
1 tb. dried, ground lavender, rosemary, mint
1-3 drops of fragranced essential oils ( I love peppermint and lavender).

Moisturizing salt scrubs  help remove dead skin, help the skin detox and rejuvenate.
Once you buy the ingredients, you can make it over and over again.

Since I discovered sea salt body scrubs, my skin has transformed! I can't believe how magical these simple treatments are and how fast they work.  The essential oils are wonderful and the aroma is so soothing and relaxing!

All you need to do is moisten your skin with warm water while standing in the shower or relaxing in a warm bath take a small amount of moisturized salt scrub and apply it to you skin and rub in a circular motion to exfoliate the dead dry cells. The sea salt also helps remove toxins.

 Your fresh new skin layer will soak up the moisturizing oils that  have been added to the salt scrub, and leave your skin soft, so smooth, and so silky that you will look forward to doing this once or twice a week.

It takes about three- four  minutes to do your arms,  legs and feet.  Leave it on for about 30 seconds to allow your body to help detoxify your largest organ- your skin . Exfoliating with aromatic salt scrubs is truly a pleasurable experience that leaves both your  mind and body feeling refreshed, relaxed and rejuvenated. (  you will never have to depend on lotion for your arms and legs again.

And if you exfoliate before shaving your legs, you will get a closer nick free shave.

A basic salt scrub recipe consists of these  ingredients

1 part oil
1 part abrasive (salt, sugar, ground oatmeal, ground almonds, coffee grounds .)
3 to 5 drops of fragranced essential aromatherapy oil

You can find fragranced essential oils in any health food store.

Choose your essential oil for variety of effects:
Vanilla : for a soothing effect
Orange, lime, tangerine or lemon: For an uplifting effect.
Rosemary, eucalyptus or peppermint: For clearing out the sinuses and stimulating the body
Cinnamon or clove: For improving circulation
Rose, jasmine : for a romantic floral scrub.
Geranium: For balancing your mood.
Lavender: For promoting relaxation.

moisturizing salt scrub

My bathroom spa

Visit the health food store for a large variety of essential oil fragrance choices;  They are very concentrated and a small bottle will last a very long time.

Lemon Salt Glow

Sea salt detoxifies and exfoliates dry dull skin to allow the skin to then absorb the rich nutrients in the sweet almond oil

  • ½ cup sea salt or kosher salt ( ground finer)
  • ½ cup sweet almond oil ( purchase at health food store)
  • Three drops of essential oil fragrance ( health food store) or grate 1/4 teaspoon of organic lemon peel
Mix all ingredients in a dry container ( water will dissolve the salt) .  Store in an airtight container. If you wish to make larger batches, double the recipe and add a 1/2 teaspoon of Vitamin E ( pierce a capsule). The Vitamin E is a natural preservative.

Pin It 

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sparkling Pomegranate Cider for the New Year

Have you tried sparking Pomergranate Cider?

New Year's Eve we watched Dick Clark's New Year's Eve party on TV at my friend Jan's house.
When the ball dropped, we toasted each other with a glass of non alcoholic Martinelli Sparkling Cider . ( We had already had wine at dinner).

I was surprised when I realized that our toast wasn't just the traditional apple cider Martinelli!
The Martinelli was a blend of apple and pomegranate , and it was really delicious.
I didn't even know that Martinelli came in flavors.

 It was so good, that New Year's day  I was on a mission. I went out early and shopped for some apple pomegranate Martinelli.

I went to my local supermarket, but there was none to be found.
Instead, I found bottles of apple- mango, apple -pear, and apple -mixed berry. I was amazed. Who knew?

I bought a bottle each of the mixed berry and apple- pear.

When my kids and grand kids came over for New Year's day dinner, I sliced some strawberries, took out some champagne glasses, and poured in some apple -mixed berry Martinelli for a toast!

Everyone loved it , and we may have started a new tradition.
 I can't wait to try the apple-pear mixture or apple mango mixture!

How did you spend your New Year's eve?

Happy Healthy New Year to everyone!

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