As weather gets warmer, or in the DMV this week – HOT – I try to go for lighter meals that are filling and bright. Went to what has become my two favorite books thus far (have many more recipes and ideas to go through in these two) for this week’s prep.  Took the Kale and Fennel Salad from the 30-Day Alzheimer’s Solution —  and the Chickpea (Falafel) Patties from the Blue Zones Kitchen —   I also used a sweet treat I have made before from Blue Zones.

You may wonder why I am using these books so much for my prep.  First, as I have said before, they are far more than cookbooks with yummy recipes.  While both beautiful in presentation, they are full of important and educational information.  Based in science and experience, these two books have taught me a lot (and there is much to learn) about the impact of certain foods on my body and my mind.  Both have given me the courage to try foods I have never tried before making it all seem accessible and digestible (see what I did there? ha-ha).  They have also encouraged me to give my health and well-being the priority they deserve.

Whether it is one of these books (or both) or other reliable science-based information, give something new a chance.  I love that I am learning to have fun with food, to step out of the usual and try the different.  Still a long way to go and still have that “bad for me food” from time to time but my cravings are less, my body feels better, and I am not the least bit deprived of any flavor, filling or want.

This week’s menu:

  • Breakfast:                   Goji Berry Smoothie
  • Lunch/Dinner:             Kale and Fennel Salad (page 201 30-day book) w/Chickpea (Falafel) Patties (page 81 Blue Zone)
  • Snack:                     Oatmeal Breakfast Cookie (page 251 Blue one)
  • Snack:                         Fresh Watermelon Chunks
  • Water:                         YES

Goji Berry Smoothie:  I must admit I owe part of this recipe to someone on Instagram who I briefly saw speaking about the importance of good nutrition for the skin.  I heard a few of the ingredients but couldn’t save it so took what I remembers and sort of “winged it” from there.  I like goji berries but honestly had not thought of adding them to a smoothie.  I do not have good quantities for any of this…just did it by sight and some looking on the internet as to those ingredients I had not used before.   I am happy to report, it tastes great with a creamy texture to it.

To my trusty Ninja blender, I added about 4 cups (a little less) of water, a bunch of dried goji berries, a handful of greens (in this case kale and spinach), a pour of chia sees, a chunk of turmeric, several drops of marshmallow root extract and several scoops of collagen protein powder.   I blended all that and then added fresh raspberries, lots of frozen wild blueberries and a few ice cubes.

Note:  Marshmallow root has been reported to be beneficial for skin, help in digestion, and reduce inflammation.  I have resisted using collagen supplements for some reason but thought I would try it here.  I did a bit of research and happily we have a local vitamin store where the employees know their products.  I chose a collagen peptide powder where the suggested science is it is good for skin, joints, bone and muscle health and even cognitive function.  We’ll see about all that but for now…. we will give it a go.

Kale Fennel Seed Salad:  This salad and its dressing was easy to put together, and I got to use fennel, which I never had before.  Ingredients include Kale (I added some fresh spinach too), fennel bulb (used the fronds for the dressing), carrots, green apple and a mix of seeds.  I used sesame seeds, sunflower seed and then topped with some chopped pistachio nuts.  The dressing is a combination of fresh orange juice, lemon, fennel fronds, and Dijon mustard.  Very tasty. Only need a small amount to dress the salad.

Chickpea (Falafel) Patties:  This is very tasty, although I don’t think I got the texture completely right…it was easy (as required by Simply Yum) to put together, so I will be trying it again.  Into my Ninja food processor went chickpeas, lots of garlic, onion, parsley, cilantro, cumin, coriander, black pepper, and cardamom.  It goes into a very sparsely oiled fry pan for a few minutes and that’s it.  I am serving it on a whole wheat sandwich thin to keep it light.

Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies:  I made these delicious snack bites several weeks ago and loved them, so, had to make them again.  So simple and just a few ingredients – bananas, oatmeal, apple sauce and chocolate chips.  When I made them last time, I thought my texture was off so this time I tried three things.  I added a bit more oatmeal than called for, I chilled the “dough” before I baked it and when I did bake it, I baked it about 10 minutes longer than called for.  So good and really satisfies any desire I have for something sweet.

Watermelon Chunks:  I always have fresh fruit in the frig but this time of year when so much more is available, I like to have it easily accessible either by making a fruit salad as I did last week or simply chunking up watermelon or having a bowl of grapes or cherries ready.

Water:  So important to stay hydrated always.  As weather gets hot and humid here it is more important.  Since I drink a lot of it, making this water each week simply makes it more enjoyable and tastier.

#StrongisBeautiful #SweatisSexy #HealthisHappy


Lentils with Roasted Veggies Ingredients
Lentils with Roasted Veggies Ingredients
Lentils and Onions
Lentils and Onions
Lentils and Veggies
Lentils and Veggies