Monday, April 30, 2012

Pineapple Shrimp Tacos


Last week, I was gone on spring break with our friends, Shawn, Melissa and family in Tucson, Arizona to stay at their house, soak up some rays, drink margaritas and lay by the pool. What I didn't know was that while all of that did happen, our "vacation" quickly turned into taking care of sick kids, staying up at night with Olivia who thought it would be cool to "angry cry" for hours in the middle of the night, at certain nap times and whenever her fever came back. She also thought it would be hill-freakin'-larious to wake up at 3am for the day, then not nap later and upchuck in the parking lot at the frozen yogurt place, then many, many times afterwards. Poor baby. Poor parents.


Some other things I learned on vacation:
1) County Fairs are nasty. Period. I'm pretty sure my kid got conjunctivitis from one spin on the carousel
2) When riding on carousels at county fairs, pick the ugliest horse. No kid wants to ride on the ugly horse, which means there is less chance of catching anything, mainly conjunctivitis
3) My husband makes better margaritas than I do
4) According to Shawn, Melissa does not securely screw lids on anything
5) Trying to let Olivia cry-it-out in a smallish house with no insulation is A) hell. and B) impossible

What Melissa and Shawn learned while on vacation:
1) You don't order dessert or appetizers only if your going to finish them. Because spending $8 for a slice of cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory when you don't go there that often is not about being too full to finish it, but rather the experience of having a few bites. This is a philosophy we pretty much live by. Would you spend a few bucks for the "experience"? The answer is always yes, young grasshoppers.
2) Olivia is not as easy as she once seemed, and, you can get conjunctivitis from county fairs

Luckily, we did have some real vacation moments. The silver lining of the storm so to speak. Olivia napped one afternoon and we took full advantage of those much talked about margaritas, pool and sun.







This particular afternoon, I may or may not have threatened Melissa by telling her, and posting to facebook that, and I quote, "If you flush the toilet in the house while Olivia is sleeping, I will cut you"

But obviously, she woke up at some point. And isn't she the prettiest little thing?








My favorite parts from the trip besides that one blessed afternoon by the pool while Olivia slept, was a dinner at Olive garden, which was surprisingly fancy after spending the afternoon at that damn county fair (which, for the record was equally fun and nasty) with all it's fried and processed food from greasy trucks that smell suspiciously like dog and sugar and fat. I also loved the night we made homemade pizzas which turned out perfectly, our trips to In-N-Out, and this really sweet taco place named "Blanco"where we drank things like white peach and hibiscus margaritas and ate fresh chips and salsa, guacamole and fish and shrimp tacos.

at Blanco


Which brings me to our own homemade pineapple shrimp tacos. I wrote a post for this before I left on our trip. Then, for some reason I lost everything I had written which, for the record, is frustrating beyond belief. But if you would have seen it, you'd have read that before our trip I had Melissa and Shawn over for a shrimp taco fest on our deck to test two different recipes so we could decide which one we wanted to make while in Arizona. Long story short, we had an avocado crema slaw shrimp taco, and this pineapple one. I liked the pineapple taco better. Melissa liked both. Typical. Shawn liked the avocado crema one the best. So, on vacation, I made the one Shawn liked because I'm gracious like that. But now that were home I'll be making the pineapple version again. Join me?

The shrimp is smokey, slightly spicy and charred from the grill. Pile that up on a warm flour tortilla with cool, sweet and fresh pineapple salsa and a small pinch of sharp white cheddar cheese and get ready...even if it's only for another one because, oh, you will have another one. I can tell this is going to be a regular on my table this summer and I can't tell you how excited I am to entertain with it. Everything can be prepped ahead of time and the shrimp can be grilled while your guests are sipping on something refreshing (Coronas anyone?) and eating scoopfuls of chunky guacamole. Make some dessert. Have a feista!


Spicy Garlic Shrimp
adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything
serves 4 

1 fat clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (if kids are eating, add a little less)
1 teaspoons paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes before grilling

In a medium bowl mix all the ingredients, except for the shrimp, to make a paste. Toss the shrimp with the sauce in the bowl until coated and set in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, to marinate for 2 hours (and up to 6 hours). 

Preheat the grill to medium heat and lightly oil the grill grate. Skewer the shrimp and cook the shrimp on the grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until opaque. When done, take the shrimp off the skewers and pile them in a bowl for serving.

Pineapple Salsa
4 cups diced fresh pineapple pieces
1 red pepper, diced
5 scallions diced thin (or purple onion)

1/4 cup chopped cilantro
juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeno, diced (take out seeds and core so it's not too hot) 

1 clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt and pepper (about 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 tea. pepper)

Mix everything and let the flavors blend for a few minutes or overnight in the fridge.

For the Tacos:
1 recipe pineapple salsa
1 recipe grilled spicy garlic shrimp
10-12 flour tortillas
sharp white cheddar cheese, grated

Make the salsa first, then marinate your shrimp. After the shrimp have cooked, quickly warm the tortillas on the grill for a few seconds on each side and wrap tightly in foil. To serve, pile the shrimp on a warm tortilla and top with the pineapple salsa and a pinch of the sharp cheese. Smile. Then serve yourself another.

In other news, we are finishing our house this week and moving in either Thursday or Friday! It doesn't really feel like it's happening and it probably won't until the day actually comes. So, as of right now, I feel rather incredulous about it all. That was for you, Danielle. Read about our last Arizona trip here.

Oh, and I'll share the recipe for the avocado crema slaw shrimp taco we made soon, so no worries. Except I probably won't call it that. That's a terrible name. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Giveaway Winner


Hey everyone, just a quick update on our giveaway winner for "My Fathers Daughter" and some Essie polish. Drumroll please? .......lucky commenter number 5, Casey! Casey, send me an email ( with your shipping address and I'll get your goodies to you ASAP. I leave this weekend for spring break, so I'll send it the week I get back.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding Mousse

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

Isabella: Mom, is Peppermint Patty a boy?

Me: No

Isabella: But she kind of looks like a boy, and Marci calls her "Sir".

Me: True. But she's a girl

Isabella: She looks like a boy

What can I say? She does. Kind of like how this pudding looks like mousse, but it's not. Weird.

What it is? Good, velvety, cocoa-y, creamy, cold, and vegan. This is of of those recipes that non-vegans roll their eyes at and are secretly scared of because its base is something foreign, like chia seeds. What the heck are chia seeds you ask?

We talked about them a little bit in the Overnight Vanilla-Orange Steel Cut Oatmeal, but I didn't exactly tell you what they are. There's a reason. Remember those nasty cha-cha-cha-Chia pet things? Yeah, unfortunately it's that. But hark, it's also a really tasty seed. They taste nut like, and are very rich in omega 3's, even more so than flax seeds. They are also incredibly high in antioxidants, and again, unlike flax, do not have to be ground for the nutrients to be available for your body to break down. Also, they provide a good dose of fiber, calcium, zinc, magnesium, manganese, copper, niacin, phosphorous... are you still reading? They also do this really cool thing when you put them into liquid which, for this recipe is coconut milk and maple syrup. They puff up and get really soft and gel like. Almost like tiny tapioca. If you don't dig tapioca, you will hate this. If you like tapioca, you'll love this. Simple as that.

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

Maybe Peppermint Patty was created in response to the burgeoning Women's Liberation Movement that was sparked in the latter half of the 1960s, and Charles Schultz desired to create a character that defied gender stereotypes and embraced social norms that had yet to become fashionable.

Disclaimer: I am in no way educated enough to have come up with that musing. I totally wikipedia-ed it. You're welcome.

In other news, Debi from The Truth About Motherhood wrote an unexpected article about this little ole blog on Smart Mom Style, saying I'm one of her favorite people on the internet. I'm totally blushing. Read about it here. If you don't know Debi, go say hi. She is one of the most passionate, funny, and sweet people out there. Plus, she's got networking skills like mad. Something I lack something awful, I suspect.

Lastly, and finally, If you haven't entered my giveaway for the Gwyneth Paltrow cookbook "My Father's Daughter" (my favorite this year) and Essie nail polish giveaway, enter here. There are no hoops to jump through, no asking to share on your blogs or tweet about it, so the pool will be much smaller giving you a much better chance to win! Now, on to the chocolate.  

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding Mousse
adapted from Oh She Glows
serves 4

1 1/4 cup canned coconut milk (see my note below before substituting for different milk)
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons brewed coffee (this helps to highlight the chocolate flavor)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 tablespoon raw cacao powder (or sub with more cocoa powder or carob powder)
1/2 tablespoon vegan chocolate protein powder (we use Sun Warrior protein powder)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon stevia (or another tablespoon of maple syrup to sub)

Stir everything together in a medium bowl. Refrigerate for an hour before serving, so the chia seeds can throughly absorb the liquid. Top with shaved bittersweet chocolate, if desired.

Notes: As you can see, there are quite a bit of substitutions in the recipe. You can also substitute a thinner milk, such as coconut or vanilla almond milk in a carton, but the end result will be more like pudding than mousse because canned coconut milk is thick. It's thick luxuriousness is precisely the reason I use it here, but just know you can tweak it for your preferences. The thinner the milk, the longer you'll have to refrigerate for it to thicken, about 2-3 hours before serving.

I can't believe I haven't mentioned before now how ridiculously good for you this mouse is. It's chock full of antioxidants with very low sugar and only healthy fats. It's pretty darn healthy. It could be breakfast.

For all y'all who are still rolling your eyes over this recipe, don't worry. I have a really decadent brownie recipe coming up soon that uses butter and chocolate and white flour.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Pea and Basil Soup + A Gwyneth Paltrow Cookbook and Essie Giveaway!


My Dad had wanted to name me Tatiana. More to come on that...

I know it might not sound super exciting to most people, but when I saw this recipe and saw the ingredients involved, I knew I was going to make it ASAP. This is one of the first recipes I tried in Gwyneth Paltrow's "My Fathers Daughter", which happens to be my favorite cookbook this year. (You might have noticed, ahem, and ahem). I love that something as boring as pea soup could be given new life, a beautiful green color, and a fresh taste thanks to the basil. This comes together in a hot second, too. You do no more than saute an onion before adding peas and stock to the pot and bringing to a bubble. Just blend everything with some basil and salt and pepper until smooth and voila! You have yourself a beautiful, nuritious, chic spring lunch. Round it all out with some sweet potato fries or a side salad if you'd like. The simplicity here is tres magnifique!

Excuse my French. I just read "Sarah's Key."


So, I just found this out in talking to my Mom the other day:

*My Dad wanted to name me Tatiana. It means "fairy queen or peacemaker".
(There was a popular perfume out at that time with the same name and he thought it sounded exotic.)


Introduced in 1975, Tatiana perfume by fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg is a lovely white floral scent. Like the designer’s famous wrap dresses that she is known for, Tatiana perfume is an easy-to-wear fragrance that is versatile, yet glamorous. Sweet orange blossom, jasmine, tuberose and musks meet to create a beautiful blend that is the perfect choice for a chic woman.
At least the man had taste, even if the name wouldn't exactly suit me. I'm Italian, Irish, Spanish and Danish. I'm also a white girl, so...
*Meanwhile, my Mom wanted to name me Sari. Which means "princess".

*They both agreed on Jessica. Which is a name Shakespeare made up, but is most likely derived from "Jesca" which means "to see". My Grandpa Burgos hated the name Jessica. (He worked with someone horrific bearing that name)

Back to the drawing board.

*My Dad liked the name Chris for a boy. Turns out, I was a girl. He still liked the name Chris. My mom thought the name was too plain, especially for a girl in 1981.

*My Mom liked the name Christalynn. It used Chris, after all. She says she was persuaded out of the name because every time she told someone about it they would say "Oh. Hmmm. Have you thought about seperating the two? Like Christa for the first name and Lynn for the middle? That way it wouldn't be too long. Christalynn is a long first name."

It was a gentle way of saying it was a horrible name. Thank God, or my nickname in school might have been "Crystalmeth"

And so, It came to be. She spelled my name with a "K" and a "Y" to be different. She spelled "Lynn" with two "N's" to be different. Which turned out to be totally embarrasing for my dad in later years when he got my name tatooed on his arm in Brazil. He was probably drunk, becuase he emerged with my name on his arm alright. "Krysta Lyn". One "N". Oh, the humanity!

*My given name: Krysta Lynn. It means "Follower of Christ" and "waterfall" respectively. They got it right. Finally. All is well.

Hey, do you know what Gwyneth means? "Happiness, or white and fair". I think the lovely Gwyneth Paltrow embodies those things, which brings me to my giveaway! Who wants her cookbook? I'll also throw in a couple spring nail polish colors from Essie, just for fun. Colors may vary.

Les cookbook de stars, Tome I recommandé par l'hôtel du Cadran



****Just be a follower of my blog (or regular reader) and leave me one comment and you are entered. That's it. If you want, tell me what your name means. I'd love to know. Winner announced on Thursday.

Cold Pea and Basil Soup
adapted from My Fathers Daughter, by Gwyneth Paltrow
serves 4

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 small or 1 large yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
4 cups frozen peas
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock (this tastes best using chicken bullion and water for stock)
15 fresh large basil leaves, plus a few finely sliced for garnish if desired (more if desired)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
Sour cream or your best highest-quality olive oil, for serving ( I use olive oil or Greek yogurt)

Heat the olive oil in a small soup pot over medium heat, add the onion, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the peas and stock (or chicken bullion and water), bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the whole basil leaves and more salt and pepper to taste. Whiz in a blender until smooth and serve.

Gwyneth likes this soup cold. I do not. If that's your thing, let the soup cool, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve garnished with a spoonful of sour cream and the finely sliced basil.

I always end up adding more basil to blend into my soup. I love it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Butter Leaf Salad with Chive Vinaigrette


My friend and I were talking the other day about how people assume salads are one of the easiest things to prepare. Au contraire. I think they are pretty difficult to get right. The beauty of this salad is in its simplicity. The butter leaf lettuce is velvety, crunchy at its base, and the perfect choice for spring. All that needs doing is a quick dress up with a sprinkling of good blue cheese and a drizzle of homemade chive vinaigrette. The leaves are beautiful left whole, which means less work for you! You could even get crazy with it and add some blueberries or mandarin oranges for an extra pop of color.

I'm in love with this vinaigrette. It's simple and elegant, combining Dijon, real maple syrup, white wine vinegar, lemon and chives. Ideally, I'd serve this salad along side some plump roasted chicken or white fish, and sit outside with a nice, crisp sauvignon blanc. There would be roasted rosemary fingerling potatoes too, a mason jar full of orange ranunculus flowers, and a homemade lavender honey ice cream for dessert with berries.

There I go again, menu planning. It's a problematic obsession. If you want to know the truth, I really served this salad on a monday night with some grilled salmon and balsamic roasted cauliflower, no dessert, no wine, and for the record that works just fine too.

Chive Vinaigrette
adapted from My Fathers Daughter by Gwyneth Paltrow
yield: 1/2 cup

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon real Vermont maple syrup
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
big pinch of Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

Whisk together the mustard, maple syrup, and vinegar. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, fold in the chives, and season to taste with salt and pepper. You'll need a big generous pinch of each. Taste and add more salt if needed.

Butter Leaf Salad
serves 4

1 big head of butter leaf lettuce, or two smaller heads, roots removed (if attached)
Blue cheese crumbles
1 recipe chive vinaigrette

*optional, blueberries or mandarin oranges

Wash and separate the butter leaf lettuce leaves. Divide the leaves up between four salad plates. Top leaves with blue cheese crumbles and fruit, if using. Drizzle each serving with chive vinaigrette. Serve right away.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Overnight Vanilla-Orange Steel Cut Oatmeal

Vanilla-Orange Overnight Steel Cut Oatmeal

I am in love with this oatmeal method! First off, the flavor isn't really orange-y. It's more like a delicate flavor in the background setting off the more notable tastes of vanilla, creamy nuttiness. Technically, this recipe is supposed to be "raw". The oats and chia seeds soak in the milk, orange juice, cinnamon and vanilla overnight. In the morning, it's ready to eat cold or slightly warmed through. I much prefer to heat in a saucepan gently until it bubbles for a few minutes. This way, the whole concoction thickens up and is warm, just the way I like it, but still has a chewy and delicious texture rather than the usual soft.

I love the addition of chia seeds, but if you don't have them, you can leave them out. But, keep in mind they are a perfect addition to breakfast food and very good for you...but you know, no pressure or anything.

Vanilla-Orange Overnight Steel Cut Oatmeal

Obviously, I use almond milk, but if that's not your thing, feel free to change it out for something else. Most anything will work here. Coconut milk would be a great addition with shredded coconut as a topping.

I opt to skip my usual go-to oatmeal topper, brown sugar, because although the oats have very little sugar per serving, they are still very pleasantly sweet. A little fruit, a splash of milk, and a dusting of sliced almonds and I'm good to go.

Overnight Vanilla-Orange Steel Cut Oatmeal

serves 4 big portions

2 cups steel cut oats
2 cups almond milk, plus 1/2 cup for adding in the morning
Juice of 1 orange
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon french vanilla extract (or sub in more vanilla extract)

Mix all ingredients together in a sealable container and place in the refrigerator overnight.

The next morning, stir in the remaining 1/2 cup milk and transfer the mixture to a saucepan. Heat up gently to a simmer. Simmer for 2 minutes

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Parmesan Roasted Asparagus and My Easter Dinner Table


The best side dish, ever. The recipe is below, but read on to see what else will be on my table this holiday.

photo via Please note. This picture is not of the real ham I'm making. Click the link above for that. Food Network wouldn't let me use their image, so you get this one. Keeping it real since 1981.

Parmesan Roasted Asparagus- Recipe down below

Whole Wheat Biscuits with butter and honey

I use Smitten Kitchen's roasting technique (link above), but I'll brush mine with a little ginger syrup first, and use different spices. I like smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, garlic salt, Kosher salt, red pepper flakes, black pepper, thyme, dry mustard, smokehouse maple or cajun seasoning, and cumin for starters. :) They are awesome.

Butter Leaf Lettuce with Chive Vinaigrette- Recipe coming soon!

We cheat and use Bisquick, which if you know me, is somewhat shocking. But my husband loves the biscuit Bisquick makes and so we use it, which is also somewhat shocking.

If you are looking for a great asparagus side dish this Easter, try this roasted Parmesan style. I rarely make it any other way.


Parmesan Roasted Asparagus
adapted from Barefoot Contessa, Family Style by Ina Garten
serves 6

2 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus, ends trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 Cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I use about 1/4 cup, if that)
2 lemons cut in wedges, for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Lay the asparagus in a single layer on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. I usually give them a toss to ensure they coat every piece. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender. Sprinkle with Parmesan and return to the oven for another minute. Serve with lemon wedges.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Black Bean and Mango Salsa Bowl

black bean mango salsa bowl

Happy Friday everyone! I'm just popping in to bring an oldie but goodie recipe back in the spotlight. You could say, I adore this meal. It's one of my favorites, and so easy!

Now, I'm off to do all those things I've been avoiding all week before the weekend. Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Mason Jar (Make Ahead) Salads

Mason Jar Salads

It's Wednesday! Well, I'm actually writing this post on Tuesday night in preparation for tomorrow, so I guess you could say I'm a big fat liar. I'm also really honest, which is why I confessed. Ask my friends- I can't lie. I do weird facial contortions, my mind goes blank, I say stupid non-sensical crap and slap them together into sentences in attempt to fumble my way out. I find it best to just tell the truth. Sometimes I lie on accident. It's quite funny, because I'll usually realize the truth mid-sentence, and then I have a silent conversation in my head that goes something like this:

Should I backpedal now and explain the whole truth? Explain why I didn't realize it until now, and how it was all just a misunderstanding? Is it even important? Maybe it's just better if I don't say anything. Yeah, I won't say anything. But, I'm stumbling over my words as we speak because I'm trying to think and talk at the same time. Oh, there goes the facial contortions. Better fess up now. Shoot.

Phew- Now that we have that confession out of the way let's move on to the good newsflash I have for you. Mason Jar Salads.

I'm sure you have seen these floating around on Pinterest. These salads are make ahead concoctions for a quick lunch that packs well to the office, or that you can grab out of the fridge anytime. The salads are layered, which means dressing on the bottom, hearty vegetables or beans that can stand up to the dressing on top of that, followed by all your other ingredients, and ending with the lettuce so it stays crisp and fresh on top. Sounds fantastic right?

Here are the things I've found helpful in preparing your jars:

1) Pack ingredients in pretty well. You don't want a lot of extra space in the jar where condensation from wetter ingredients (mandarin oranges, etc) can build up, plus you want to fit as much lettuce in as you possibly can.

2) Pack common toppers like almond slices, blue cheese crumbles, sunflower seeds, and the like in a seperate to-go baggie. This might seem like a pain and you don't have to do it, but for the nuts to remain crunchy you need to add them in fresh, and blue cheese will stink your jar up. Still, these things should be fine after a day or two in your jars if only kept that long.

3) If you won't be at home when you eat your salad, make sure to pack a fork and a bowl or big tupperware container to toss your salad in before eating.

4) Plan to make your salads filling, or they won't take you till snack time.

I feel so accomplished after I've made these little beauties and have them waiting in our fridge for the upcoming week.

mason jar salads

Although Mason Jar Salads can be made up of whatever your little heart desires, here are the three I tried and had great success with.

mason jar salads

Asian Salad
Shredded carrots
diced cucumbers
red bell pepper, diced
mandarin oranges (patted dry)
mixed baby greens
sesame seeds

(If I had marinated super firm tofu like my local health food store makes, I'd add that too)

mason jar salads

Field Berry Salad
shredded carrots
red onion, sliced thinly
mandarin oranges
sliced almonds, roasted honey flavor
blue cheese (add on the very top)

mason jar salads

The Salad Bar
Dressing: Chunky Blue Cheese or Italian
diced cucumber
sliced beets
broccoli florets (best if used before day three)
kidney beans (dry off well, and best used before day three)
marinated artichoke hearts
sprinkle of salt and pepper
Romaine lettuce, chopped
sunflower seeds (bring along instead of putting in your jar, unless eating the next day)

Remember, Dressing on the bottom, lettuce on the top.

All the blog's I've read say these should last for five days in the fridge. I say more like three for optimal quality. Still, that's pretty cool. The lettuce really does stay crisp and fresh, even on day five, but the other ingredients start to go downhill after day three and four.

What combinations are you most excited to try? Any salad suggestions for me on my next go around?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Delicious Vegetable Juices and Tonics



We had a juicing party at Kel's house a few weeks ago. Straight up. It was unintended. She and I planned to get together to try out a couple different vegetable combinations in her juicer to see if we couldn't come up with some winners. Becca called right as we were getting started and happened to be out and about. The thought of juicing was all too tempting (seriously) so she came by. Next, Kel's cousin, Rachel, joined us and before you know it, we had ourselves a juicing party. And I'm not kidding, it was the most fun I'd had in a while.

We had a cornucopia of vegetables to choose from is it just me or can you not read the word "cornucopia" without thinking of The Hunger Games? That and "arena"...I digress. which gave the ability to make multiple juices. Behold:


I was so full of energy and giddy after drinking these juices, I might have shoved the camera into Kel's hand and demanded she take a picture of me, citing that I had to make an appearance of my blog once in a while. I mean, sheesh.


We drank and laughed and juiced for more than an hour. We laughed mostly from a story Becca told us about a girls trip to Austin, TX where she clogged the toilet in a Vietnamese nail salon and had to fess up to the owners, who all exploded in angry chatter in their native language about the incident, while plunging. Later that night while at an improv show, they asked the audience if anyone had a funny story to share so they could act it out. Becca's friend told the improv people the story, and they proceeded to act out the funniest skit revolving around the now infamous poop. And now - I just used the word "poop" in a food blog. I've failed you, haven't I? Let's move on. The story was much funnier in person. I'll save you the part where, when instructing Kel on how to wash the beet greens, I actually said "Kel, wash them more, you seriously have to douche them". She immediately crumbled in laughter over the sink shouting "did you really just use the word 'douche'?!?" I laughed so hard, and might have kept it up if I didn't have to leave the room to pee from all the juice I had ingested. See how I didn't actually spare you that story? And now we can take the potty talk count for the food post up to two. Epic fail.

These, my friends, were the winner combinations from our juicing party

Cucumber Lemon and Kale


serves 1

Taste: Refreshing and yummy despite it's dark green color. How else can you consume a whole head of kale and really love it. I'd drink this one all day long. It was my favorite.

1 whole head of kale, stems and all, washed throughly
2 cucumbers, un-peeled
1/2-1 lemon, skin and all (Becca and I like a whole lemon, but Kel preferred half)

Run all through a juicer and drink immediately

Beet Carrot Mint Juice


serves 1

Taste: Sweet and fresh. Add more lime or mint to taste but we think we hit the flavor combination on the head with this one. This is adapted from this post and I think this version is even better.

5 medium carrots
1 medium beet, peeled (Or not peeled. Depends on your preference)
1/2 bunch container of mint, stems and all (about 6-7 sprigs)
1/2 a lime, skin and all
1 green apple, skin and all

Run all through a juicer starting with the mint (so the other vegetables push every last drop of the juice out) and drink immediately.

Citrus Beet Juice



serves 1

Taste: mild and sweet with a beautiful color, not unlike and Arizona sunset. I liked this one better with ice.

1 green apple
2-3 large carrots
1/2 lime, skin and all
1 orange, skin and all
1 medium sized golden beet

Run all through a juicer and drink immediately.

Cucumber Tonic


serves 1

Taste: fresh. This is a lot thinner and more clear than the other juices and all thought we would ideally like to sit by the pool while sipping it. It reminds me of Summer. Becca recommends adding a pinch of sea salt to the finished product. It was good as long as you like cucumber.

2 cucumber
1 stalk celery
1/2 lemon, skin and all
4 sprigs of mint, stems and all

Run all through a juicer starting with the mint (so the other vegetables can help coax all the juice into your glass)

Beet Greens and Lemon Juice


serves 1

Taste: Considering we juiced two bunches of beet greens with beets, I'm surprised it tasted this good. The color is dirty and it doesn't have much "glass appeal" but I promise it tasted better than it looks. It was pretty lemony. Becca and I liked this one and were pleased to use the whole beet, since we bought beets with their greens still attached. Kel was on the fence about the taste. Again, adding a pinch of sea salt to your glass would be a good addition here. The kids actually really liked this one. Go figure!

2 bunches beet greens from the tops of beets (we used red and golden)
1/2 a lemon, skin and all
1/2 a celery stalk
Pinch of sea salt, if you are so inclined

Run all (except salt) through the juicer and drink immediately

See? I wasn't lying! The kids loved it.


You want to drink vegetable juices as soon as they are juiced or within a half hour or so for maximum benefits. It's not recommended to keep juices in the fridge to drink the next day. Make them each fresh. Also, I have talked about the importance of getting the whole fruit or vegetable into your body before, by preferring smoothies over juices so that you get all the roughage and fiber that help our bodies break down and store everything better. However, I like vegetable juicing because you can still get many of the antioxidant benefits from juice. I don't like juicing fruits (unless it's a small flavor enhancer) because you essentially strip all the fiber away and what you have left is sugar. I am comfortable with a little fruit to make the vegetables taste better if that's how you can get them down, which is why you'll see some in the recipes above. It's worth noting that green apples contain a lot less sugar that other varieties, which is why I favor them here.