Fruit salad

Fruit salad is such an easy recipe to prepare, but when it is enhanced with some citrus juice, honey, and mint, it makes this recipe so much better. This is a great side dish or dessert to make during these hot summer months for BBQs or parties. I sometime just make this and keep it in the fridge, snacking on it throughout the week (if it even lasts that long – it’s so good!).

Ingredients

1 small pineapple, cored and diced
1 pt. strawberries, quartered
1 mango, cored and diced
1/2 pt blueberries
1/2 pint raspberries
2 cups green grapes, halved
Juice from one lime
1 Tbl honey or agave
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1 Tbl mint, minced

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Toss fruit to coat with honey, juices, and mint. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve!

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Easy guacamole


Avocados are one of my favorite foods. Actually, I have three favorite foods. And they are all in the recipe. So I guess that makes guacamole my favorite food.

Avocados, limes, and serrano/jalapeno peppers are my three favorite ingredients to cook with. I really dislike using things like mayo and sour cream in recipes that call for them. Usually, I will substitute a puree of avocado for them and it makes it taste so much better with less calories/fat. Limes are also really great ways to flavor things without calories. It can sometimes take the place of salt in certain recipes because of its high acidity. I omit the salt in this recipe because the lime juice adds enough “saltiness” to make it taste seasoned.

I don’t really have a good reason as to why hot peppers are some of my favorite things to eat. I just really love spicy food and I add them whenever I can because I can never get enough heat.

If you like avocados, you should most definitely give this recipe a try. This is a really easy and fast dip that you can serve for really any occasion at any time of the year. Its a great recipe to just have on hand as something you can throw together in minutes.

Ingredients

3 ripe avocados
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 serrano pepper, minced (Jalapeno can also be used here)
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
Juice from one lime
2 Tbl red onion, finely chopped

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Take a knife and cut through the avocados in the bowl, leaving the pieces chunky. (If you like your guacamole a little smoother, you can mash the avocados with a fork. I like mine more chunky so I leave the pieces pretty big.)

Serve immediately. If making ahead of time, cover the guacamole with plastic wrap and make sure the plastic is touching the surface of the guacamole. This will help prevent it from browning.

Skinny 4th of July Dessert

The 4th of July is one of my all time favorite holidays. It always has been. It might be because my birthday is right around the corner, or the fact that it’s summer. But it really might just be because it is a great excuse to have people over and BBQ all day long.


Although I love everything about barbecuing and the 4th of July, it can be a little overwhelming. So much food, so many choices, so many calories. Where do you even begin to determine what is OK to eat and what’s not?

Since it’s summer and I like wearing a bathing suit to the beach, I really try and control my portions and calorie consumption on the 4th. This dessert is a really great way to make a really beautiful dessert that is full of flavor, but is also packed with fruit and lightened up ingredients to make it not so fattening. This is also a really simple recipe that can be put together in minutes! No baking involved!

I hope you all have a wonderful and relaxing 4th of July! I know I will be watching the fireworks on the beach enjoying this amazing dessert!

Ingredients

3/4 of one angle food cake, cut up into small chunks
1 pt. Strawberries, quartered
1 1/2 pts. Blueberries
1 tub light Cool Whip (I used True Whip which is an all natural, trans fat free whipped topping that is very similar to Cool Whip.)
1 box sugar free instant vanilla pudding
1 1/3 cups fat free milk

In a bowl, whisk together pudding and milk until thickened. Fold in whipped cream and set aside.

Lay down a layer of angel food cake on the bottom of your trifle dish. Top it with the cut up strawberries and blueberries. Spread pudding/whipped cream mixture over top. Repeat this process until you have at least three layers and have used all of your pudding/whipped cream, fruit, and cake.

Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, but overnight is better.

Enjoy!

Roasted cherry and dark chocolate chunk coconut milk ice cream

Summertime is the perfect time of year to make homemade ice cream. If you are like me and love all things ice cream, then you will love this recipe! I have been seeing dairy free ice creams more and more frequently these days. I’ve tried soy ice cream and it was OK, but I had never had coconut milk ice cream until today. I was blown away by how good it was. Absolutely delicious.

This recipe is a true winner and is one that you should definitely make during these hot summer months. It has such an amazing flavor and is so surprisingly creamy for being dairy free. You can definitely doctor up the flavors to make it fit your taste, but I must say – the roasted cherry and chocolate combination is so good. I will definitely be coming up with a lot more flavors this summer, so if any of you have any requests please let me know!

Ingredients

1/2 lb cherries (pitted and quartered)
1 Tbls sugar
16 oz coconut milk
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup + 3 Tbls raw sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Dark chocolate chunks

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and place cherries in the middle. Sprinkle with 1 Tbls sugar and toss to coat. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes. Once finished, remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Set aside.

In a heat proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water (make sure your bowl is not touching the water), stir together sugar and egg yolks. Stir for five minutes or until sugar has dissolved. Add the can of coconut milk to the sugar and egg mixture and whisk to combine. As it warms, the custard will begin to thicken. Add in the vanilla and remove from the heat. Place in refrigerator to cool.

Add the cooled custard mixture to your ice cream maker and churn according to the directions. During the last five minutes of churning, add in your cooled cherries and chocolate chunks. Allow to finish churning and then place in the freezer to firm up.

Florida quinoa

First and foremost, I want to apologize for being MIA for the last few weeks. As most of you may already know, I graduated college two weeks ago and relocated back to Naples from Charlotte. It has been a crazy few weeks. But I have really missed all of you 🙂

Because my sister and I have lived in North Carolina for the last few years, we wanted to make sure to hit up all of our favorite restaurants before we moved away. This included an array of food that was fried and/or laden with butter and cream. It was all so good. But so bad. I need to detox.

Quinoa is so healthy, so any time I get the opportunity to make it, I do. I recently had a salad that was very similar to this recipe in Whole Foods and decided to put my own spin on it once I got home. It has so many really healthy ingredients in it – but is so flavorful. You would never guess there is no added fat in it!

Ingredients

2 cups quinoa
4 cups water

Cook quinoa according to directions on the box. Once cooked, allow to cool completely.

1 mango, diced
1 cup shelled edamame
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 orange, peeled and cut into segments
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Zest from one lemon
Juice from one lemon
Juice from one orange
Juice from one lime

Combine all ingredients into a bowl. Add in the cooled quinoa and stir to combine. Allow to sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to allow all the flavors to be absorbed into the quinoa before eating.

Enjoy!!