Blueberry Mint Sparklers

Hey Friends! How is your summer going so far? I can't believe we're already at the end of July! Time is flying faster than ever it seems. Summer here has been unusually hot, sunny and dry! Which has been an amazing change. In the midst of this unusual heat though, I along with many others I know have been searching for delicious, refreshing summer beverages to make that are easy and don't take too long to whip up! (because when you're thirsty and in need of a drink, you don't want to wait all day)
Last weekend my sister and I were browsing through the July/August 2013 issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray and we found Blueberry Tarragon Sparklers - they looked delicious and sounded super easy to whip up. So we decided to give them a try.
I headed off to the grocery store with a very short list of ingredients to purchase and when I got to the produce section to look for tarragon, the fellow working in the store politely informed me they hadn't carried fresh tarragon in oh, about ten years. Say what?? So quick thinking coupled with my strong desire not to have to try every grocery store in the area resulted in me picking up a container of fresh mint instead. What a success!! These drinks were lovely!
Without further delay, here's the yummy recipe.
Blueberry Mint Sparklers
minimally adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp. fresh mint leaves
  • ice
  • 1 bottle sparkling white wine (I used Yellow Tail Bubbles)
  1. In a small saucepan, bring blueberries, honey, mint and 1/4 cup water to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir until honey dissolves, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and muddle blueberries and let stand for 20 minutes. Strain and place in refrigerator until chilled.
  2. To serve, spoon 1-2 tbsp. of blueberry syrup into 4 glasses. Add ice, then pour sparkling wine over top. Stir. Garnish with more fresh mint and blueberries.
Super easy, refreshing and delicious!
Cheers to the rest of our summer being just as fantastic as the first half.


Lentil & Chickpea Curry

Happy Monday friends! I hope you had a fantastic weekend. I sure did! It was filled with yoga, spa time, and relaxation in the sun with a great book. And lets not forget some awesome time spent with some really good friends. All in all such a great weekend.
Today I've got such a great recipe to share with you! It makes a huge batch (for super cheap) but its so good you won't mind eating it all week like I did last week. The leftovers are almost better than the night you make it.

I found the recipe for Lentil & Chickpea Curry on this great blog called Sweet Sugar Bean written by a sweet gal from Saskatchewan. Since Saskatchewan is one of the world's largest producers of lentils, I figured Renee must know a thing or two about how to prepare them in a delicious, healthful way. I made a couple modifications to the original recipe, but by and large I stayed pretty true to the original.

 Lentil & Chickpea Curry
Minimally adapted from Sweet Sugar Bean

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 3 tbsp. medium indian curry paste
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 540ml can diced tomatoes
  • 1 540ml can coconut milk
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed thoroughly and picked through
  • 1 540ml can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tbsp. honey
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • vegetable stock
  • handful of cilantro, chopped
  • plain yogurt
  • hot sauce
(Seems like a long ingredient list right? I know, I know... but the great thing about this recipe is a) you likely have more than half of this on hand already and b) the above listed ingredients are super cheap to buy and this recipe makes about a billion servings...)

  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook til soft, about 5-8 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and stir til fragrant. Add the curry paste, carrots, spices and salt. Stir well and cook for a couple of minutes.
  2. Stir in tomatoes, coconut milk, lentils, chickpeas and honey. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low to maintain an active simmer. Stir every ten minutes or so until lentils are cooked through (this takes approximately 40 minutes).
  3. Once lentils are cooked, stir in cauliflower and peas. Cook til cauliflower is tender. If curry is too thick, add some veggie stock or water to thin it out. Stir in cilantro and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  4. Serve topped with a dallop of yogurt and a few drops of hot sauce if you like it spicy. Some home made naan takes this meal over the top.


Happy Cooking my Friends! Hope you enjoy this one.


Pineapple Fried Quinoa

Okay, so maybe the above pictured dish doesn't look all that appetizing... I believe one of my FB friends exact words were "this looks like something my cat would throw up". Thanks for that my darling friend! But in all seriousness, this isn't a pretty, stunning dish to make for your dinner party guests, but its a quick delicious and healthy weeknight dinner that will leave you with leftovers to eat for lunch the next day.
This dish is like fried rice, but with quinoa! I've also lightened it up, so its miles healthier for you than your typical fried rice.
Pineapple Fried Quinoa
Recipe adapted from  Allrecipes.com
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 eggs, beaten lightly
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup diced pineapple
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (adjust depending on heat preferences)
  1. Place quinoa, chicken broth and water in a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until quinoa is tender and liquid has been absorbed.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, add eggs and scramble til cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Add sesame oil to skillet then add minced garlic and cook til fragrant - this will only take about 30 seconds. Add pineapple and stir for a few minutes. Next stir in cooked quinoa, eggs, cilantro, soy sauce and red pepper flakes. Garnish with more cilantro and a drizzle of hot sauce if desired.
Quick and easy - you can have a week night dinner on the table in 30 minutes! A bonus is that is tastes delish and is super healthy for you too. For you meat lovers, add some cooked chicken or shrimp to this dish.
To make this dish vegan - omit the eggs and use tamari instead of soy sauce.
Happy Cooking my Friends!