Almond Smoothie

Crazy about your heart? Then go nuts!

Did you know that the almond nut is technically a seed of the fruit of the almond tree? A tree that bears fragrant pink and white flowers just like it's cousins, the peach, cherry, and apricot trees and grows in dry and warm climates. Almonds are packed with amazing benefits for our bodies. Full of healthy fats and fiber that can aid in weight loss, help control blood sugar levels as well as lower common diabetic risks, they are rich in oxidants that support a healthy heart, reduce inflammation, and maintain healthy skin thanks to Vitamin E. Sign me up!

2016-07-14 16.57.41.jpg

Given all of these benefits, we recommend trying our favorite almond smoothie. Only 5 wholesome ingredients are needed, and a blender of course. So simple and so yummy! Make it just for yourself, or share it with an awesome little person like I am with in the photo above. Yep, that's Ava. But be aware, if you do share it with an awesome little person, you may not be able to get your straw in more than a few times - it's really that good!

Ingredients
3 cups of Whole Organic Milk (or a milk of your choice - homemade cashew milk works well!)
1/2 cup of Dry Roasted Almonds
2-3 Organic Medjool Dates
1 tsp Organic Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
Ice (optional)

Method
Add all ingredients to blender and blend on high until smooth. If you are adding ice, you probably just need a handful for a nice cold almond smoothie treat.

Enjoy!

Leek and Spinach Lasanga

Dark leafy greens like spinach provide protein, iron, vitamins and minerals.

I remember growing up and having amazing meat lasagnas as a child. Once I became a vegetarian at 16, those lasagnas quickly became a distant memory. Over the years, I may have made vegetable lasagnas a handful of times but it was only until recently, making this leek and spinach one, that my love for lasagna resurfaced. It has also become a great way to get some more leafy greens into Ava's diet - a sure way to get her to the table! Keep in mind that this is a freeze-friendly meal so you can make it ahead of time, or even make mini ones, so you can take it out when you need something quick and easy.

Ingredients
Olive Oil
3 Large Leeks, thinly sliced
1 Medium Red Onion, thinly sliced
A Bunch of Spinach (300g approx.), washed and chopped
Ricotta Cheese, 16oz – 454g
Tomato Sauce, 1 litre (Ideally I would love to make it fresh but lately I have been using the Sonoma Gourmet Plum Tomato Marinara or the vegetable one – Both organic and no water or sugar added), 25oz – 709g jar, I use about 1 and a half of another (approx..)
1 Packet of Organic Brown Rice Pasta Lasagna Sheets, or whatever your preference is
Fresh Mozzarella, 8oz – 226g (it comes in a log form so you will need to slice to place evenly on top)
Fresh Parmesan (I use Stella Asiago), grated
Freshly Ground Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 420F
Heat large saucepan or pot and add a splash of olive oil. Add leeks and red onions and let sweat slowly until soft and translucent. Add chopped spinach and allow it to wilt down. Turn off heat and set aside to cool slightly and then drain any excess liquid. Add ricotta into the mixture (leek, onion, and spinach) and season with fresh ground sea salt and pepper to taste.
Cook lasagna sheets as instructed on box. I cook them for about 9-10mintues approximately.

Now it’s time to put the lasagna together! Get an oven safe dish (mine is 12 x 8.5”) and pour a quarter of the tomato sauce in. Add a layer of pasta sheets (about three go across in mine), add half of the ricotta mixture, add another quarter of the tomato sauce, add another layer of pasta sheets, then the remainder of the ricotta mixture, top with another quarter of the tomato sauce, add another layer of pasta sheets and top that with the remaining tomato sauce (I always find that I need more tomato sauce so I always use more than 1 jar). Finally, top with grated parmesan and fresh mozzarella. It’s now ready to go in the oven :)

Bake for 45minutes or until golden brown and crispy on top. It should also be sizzling! Enjoy with a green leaf salad.