sweet & spicy sesame cucumber salad

It’s cucumber season!  The farmers’ markets will be overflowing with cucumbers these next few weeks!

I’ve always wanted to make real fermented pickles, but can’t seem to get my act together!  Besides from making kombucha I’m a little afraid of the whole fermentation process.  I had a disastrous attempt last year with a fermented cabbage slaw.  So until I gain the confidence to tackle it again these quick and easy cucumbers will have to do!

Sweet & Spicy Sesame Cucumber Salad ~vegan, raw, gluten free~

Sweet & Spicy Sesame Cucumber Salad

2 large cucumbers, sliced

1/4 cup red onion, diced

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon agave

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 red jalapeno pepper, diced (optional)

sesame seeds for garnish

-Thinly slice cucumbers.  (I used a mandolin for uniform thin slices)

-In a large bowl, combine cucumbers, red onion, cilantro and optional jalapeño pepper.

-Wisk together rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, agave and salt.  Pour over cucumber mixture and toss to coat.

-Let sit for a few minutes to allow flavors blend.

-Garnish with sesame seeds and enjoy!

SInce I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep Noah away from this salad I left the jalapeño out…hence no red pepper in the photo!  We simply had a sweet sesame cucumber salad last night  :)


blueberry crumble smoothie (balancing omega 3 & omega 6 fatty acids)

Balance, balance, balance…

In the nutrition and wellness world we talk a lot about balance.  Balancing calories in with calories out, balancing fluid intake, having a balanced diet, etc.

I have one more balancing act to add to the mix.  Balancing omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.

Both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are essential, meaning our body can not produce them so we need to rely on food sources.  Both are important in their own right.  Omega 6 fatty acids are necessary for hormone production, inflammation (a good thing when talking about immune response), and blood clotting.  Conversely, omega 3 fatty acids are important for decreasing inflammation, lowering triglyceride levels and risks of developing diseases such as heart disease.

There is a fine line, an equilibrium that must be met for optimal health.

Unfortunately, the Standard American Diet (SAD) has an overabundance of omega 6 fatty acids.  Why you ask?  Because of our dependence on processed foods and fast food restaurants!!!  Omega 6 fatty acids are found in corn oil, peanut oil and safflower oil to name a few.  These are all inexpensive oils that are used heavily in cookies, crackers and packaged snack foods.  Too much omega 6 in a diet can lead to heart disease, auto-immune disease, cancer, obesity, depression and other mood disorders.  All these disease states stem from inflammation.  The SAD is said to have an omega 6 to 3 ratio of 10:1 or 20:1 when it should ideally be at 2:1 to 4:1, that’s a huge difference!

So, how to bring your omega 6 to omega 3 ratio back in balance?

First things first…cut out the junk!  Stay away from those drive through windows and perfectly packaged ring-dings.  Second, swap out your oils.  Use olive oil instead of vegetable oils when cooking.  Third, pump up the omega 3 superfoods like chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, green leafy vegetables and sea vegetables.

This smoothie recipe will deliver a healthy dose of omega 3’s from the hemp seeds, flax seeds and spinach.  Plus,  it tastes good!

blueberry crumble smoothie ~vegan, gluten free~

Blueberry Crumble Smoothie

(makes 2 servings)

2 cups almond milk

1 frozen banana

2/3 to 1 cup frozen blueberries

1/4 cup old fashioned oats

2 dates, pitted

2 tablespoons flax seeds

2 tablespoons hemp seeds

1 teaspoon vanilla

and a large handful of baby spinach for good measure!

~blend and enjoy~


raspberry lime rickey smoothie

A little tart, a little sweet and a whole lot of refreshing!

Not to mention, it’s an easy way to get an extra serving of greens in your day!

Raspberry Lime Rickey ~vegan, raw, green smoothie~

Raspberry Lime Rickey Smoothie

1 cup coconut water

2/3 cup frozen raspberries

2 pitted dates

handful baby spinach

1 tablespoon chia seeds

Juice of 1 lime

~Blend and Enjoy!~

Raspberry Lime Rickey ~vegan, raw, green smoothie~