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Love peaches?  Well, now is the time to get to your local farmer’s market and take advantage of this juicy, sweet, summer fruit.  Many supermarkets are also carrying local peaches at great prices–just make sure you look to see that they’re the local variety to get the best flavor.  And, if you really want a treat, do what I did a week ago and visit a local peach orchard and pick your own!  Aside from their delicious flavor, peaches also have nutritional benefits.  They’re low fat, saturated fat free, sodium free, cholesterol free, and a good source of vitamin C.


I’ve pulled a few recipes together that spotlight this wonderful fruit.  Summer Peach Balsamic Caprese Salad has an amazing blend of flavors.  And, it’s light enough that it’s perfect for warm summer nights.  An extra bonus is you can throw this salad together in 10 minutes!  You’ll use thinly sliced peaches, fresh mozzarella balls, chopped romaine lettuce, toasted sliced almonds, and minced fresh basil.  The dressing is made from balsamic vinegar, agave syrup, Dijon mustard, olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste.


Courtesy of Whole and Heavenly Oven


One of my favorite seasonal desserts is peach crisp.  The problem I always have with an empty nest is I have too much leftover.  Peach Crisp for Two is the perfect solution for those of us who want to make this delicious dish, but don’t need to make such large portions.  Of course, you can always double up on this recipe to make more.  You’ll use chopped peaches, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, old fashioned oats, coconut oil, salt, and coconut sugar.  The peach crisp is baked for 15-20 minutes in a 350 degree oven and you can serve with low fat frozen yogurt or whipped cream if you choose.


Courtesy of Eating Bird Food


Fresh Peach Salsa is a perfect blend of two summer flavors–peaches and tomatoes.  The sweetness of the peaches complement the tanginess of the tomatoes.  Bell pepper, green onion, salt, and fresh lemon juice are also added to this salsa.  Enjoy with tortilla chips or over chicken or fish.


Courtesy of The Nutritionist Reviews


Have a terrific week and I’m back next Monday with some tasty ideas for tea party snacks.


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Most of us get our fill of zucchini during the summer months as it’s so plentiful.  If you’ve planted some in your garden, you know that many times you’re trying to figure out ways to use this veggie because of the abundance of the crop when it reaches harvest.  But there are ways to take advantage of zucchini so that you can enjoy it throughout the year, especially during those months when they are scarce at your local supermarket (and the few you find are a far cry from the ones you’ll find in season, when they are at their peak of flavor).


Pickles …that’s right, Dill Zucchini Pickles!  You can make pickles using fresh zucchini spears and they are incredibly delicious.  You’ll use the same sterilization for your jars as you would any canning/jarring recipe.  You’ll create a pickle brine from cooking water, white vinegar, salt and sugar.  You’ll stuff your jars with sliced zucchini, fresh dill, and garlic.  Ladle the brine into the jars stuffed with zucchini and cap, leaving 1/4 of room at the top.  Boil the jars for 10 minutes.  You can keep these pickles for up to a year or two (be sure to label).


dill zucchini pickles
Courtesy of Financial Forager


Zucchini Relish is a terrific topping for hot dogs, hamburgers, or sandwiches.  For this recipe you’ll use ground zucchini, ground white onion, salt, white vinegar, sugar, pepper, celery salt, nutmeg, dry mustard, turmeric, and cornstarch.  The key to this recipe is to let the zucchini, onion, and salt sit in the refrigerator overnight.  The next day you’ll rinse the veggies twice before adding the remaining ingredients and bringing to a boil.  Reduce the heat and let simmer for 30 minutes. Add the relish to sterilized jars or you also have the option of adding to an unsterilized jar, which you can place in the refrigerator for up to a week.


zucchini relish
Courtesy of Served from Scratch


The Best Healthy Zucchini Bread can be made now and placed in the freezer so you can enjoy it in the months ahead.  This delicious bread is only 100 calories per slice!  This recipe calls for whole wheat flour or an almond meal/coconut flour mix, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, eggs, mashed banana or unsweetened applesauce, vanilla extract, molasses, grated zucchini, and almond milk.  Enjoy this bread at breakfast or as an afternoon snack.


Courtesy of Foodie Fiasco


Have a terrific week and if you love peaches, you’ll definitely want to check back next Monday for some great recipes!


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We’re officially into the “dog days” of summer, so when it’s hot there’s nothing quite like a cold glass of lemonade to help cool you cool down on a hot day.  But wait …don’t reach for the pre-made mix or bottled stuff.  This summer, try making your own fresh lemonade–I promise, you won’t regret it!  First off, there is no comparison when it comes to taste.  And second, using fresh lemon juice can provide up to 40 percent of your recommended daily requirement of vitamin C.  Plus, there are some very refreshing variations on the basic lemonade recipe …so let’s mix it up!


To start, we’ll make basic Fresh Squeezed Lemonade.  Again, the key is using fresh lemons–forget about using the lemon juice in the bottle.  You’ll need about 1 and 1/2 cups of lemon juice, which is roughly 7 lemons (depending on size), 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar (you can use a different sweetener if you choose like Stevia), 2 cups boiling water, and 4-5 cups cold water.  Add your boiling water to a jug with the sugar and let the sugar dissolve.  Add four cups of water to dilute and then add the lemon juice.  Stir to mix and add more water and ice according to taste.  Garnish with sliced lemons.


Courtesy of Nostastic


Homemade Raspberry Peach Lemonade is a real treat!  This recipe calls for 8 cups of water, 1 and 1/2 cups of fresh lemon juice, 1/2 cup sugar, 4 large peaches, and 1 cup fresh raspberries.  You’ll use less sugar in this recipe as you’ll let the fruit add most of the sweetness (a bonus!).  In a blender, puree peaches, raspberries, and 1 cup of water.  Push the contents through a strainer until you get out as much liquid as you can.  To a pitcher, add the raspberry/peach mixture, 7 cups of water, fresh lemon juice, and sugar.  Stir and serve over ice.


Courtesy of Joyful Healthy Eats


Sparkling Lavender Lemonade is the definition of refreshing.  For this recipe you’ll use 2 drops essential lavender oil (make sure it’s food grade–not all oils are the same), 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup fresh lemon juice, 3 cups cold sparkling water, 1 drop purple food coloring (optional).  Create a simple syrup by coming the 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a saucepan.  Simmer and cook until the sugar is dissolved and then bring to room temperature.  Combine lemon juice, simple syrup, sparkling water, and lavender oil to the pitcher.  Add food coloring if desired.  Serve with ice.


Courtesy of Oh So Delicioso


Enjoy your week and I’m back next Monday with some ideas on ways to enjoy summer zucchini year round.


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Cole slaw is a popular side dish this time of year, but the traditional recipe (shredded cabbage and carrot, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar and spices) tends to be higher in fat and calories.  What’s great about “slaw” is you can recreate this side dish using a healthier base dressing and mix it up with opting for shredding a variety of veggies in place of cabbage.  I’ve selected a few examples for today’s blog to give you some delicious ideas.


Simple Seedy Slaw uses a combination of purple and green cabbage, but also includes mixed seeds like pumpkin, poppy, sunflower, and sesame to add extra flavor and texture.  A light dressing is made from olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, ground cumin, and salt.


Courtesy of Cookie and Kate


Beet Slaw has an abundance of color, texture, and flavor.  You’ll grate raw beets and combine them with sliced scallions, grated ginger, chopped mint, golden raisins, sliced almonds, and sesame seeds.  A light dressing is created by combining lemon juice, honey, apple cider vinegar, and a pinch of salt.


Courtesy of Lexi’s Clean Kitchen


If you like your food to have a little “kick”, you’ll love Spicy Sriracha Broccoli Slaw.  This recipe is super easy too, as you’ll use the ready-made bags of broccoli slaw found in the produce section of your supermarket.  Mix in chopped cilantro. You’ll create a dressing by combining minced garlic, olive oil, Sriracha sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and lime juice.


Courtesy of Simply Whisked


Have a great week and I’m back next Monday with some tips on making one of summer’s favorite beverages–lemonade.


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Pasta salad is quite popular at summertime barbeques, picnics, and pool parties.  However, the old fashioned version that combines macaroni with a bit of chopped celery, onion and lots of mayonnaise isn’t exactly health conscious.  Not to mention the issues it can create in the food safety department due to the mayo-based dressing.  Thankfully, pasta is so versatile and with the abundance of summer veggies, there are a multitude of delicious combinations you can create.  I’m featuring a few this week I think you’ll enjoy at your next summer soiree.


Mandarin Pasta Spinach Salad with Teriyaki Dressing has a wonderful blend of textures and Asian flavors.  The base of your salad is bowtie pasta and fresh spinach.  Add in dried cranberries, pine nuts, mandarin oranges, and chopped cilantro.  A dressing is made from teriyaki sauce, rice wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, sugar, salt, and pepper.


Courtesy of Crème de la Crumb


Grilled Veggie Pasta Salad takes advantage of the most popular forms of summer cooking–grilling.  Zucchini, bell pepper, red onion, and asparagus are brushed with olive oil and grilled until tender.  Cut veggies into 1/2 inch pieces and place into a bowl with cooked pasta (ziti was used in this recipe).  Mix with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.  Top with fresh oregano and Parmesan cheese before serving.


pasta with roated veggies
Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens


Lemon Garlic Orzo with Roasted Vegetables is delicious served hot or cold.  Mushrooms, bell pepper, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, garlic, and shallots are roasted. You’ll create a dressing with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Combine cooked orzo, roasted veggies, pine nuts, feta cheese, and dressing.  Garnish with basil and parsley before serving.


Courtesy of Vanilla and Bean


I’m back next week with some ways to enjoy slaw–using different kinds of veggies and dressings.


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