Slow Cooker Savvy: Moroccan Lentil Soup

Moroccan Lentil Soup 2This soup is thick, delicious and nutritious, and it’s spices are especially warming on a cold winter day. Put it on in the morning and revel in its warmth and fragrance after a  day of snowshoeing, skiing or sledding. Vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free, it’s also suitable for any cleanse or new eating habits (I hate the word “diet!”) you may be testing in the new year. Continue reading

Quinoa, Squash and Black Bean Soup

squash quinoa soup 1This recipe was originally inspired from Oh She Glows, but I was up against the sweet potato she used. You see, SoulDaddy gags when I say the word sweet potato. But I did have a spaghetti squash from our summer garden still hanging around on the counter, just begging to be hidden in a form SoulDaddy wouldn’t recognize used.

I may be living in denial, but I’m convinced my darling husband doesn’t hate squash as much as he thinks he does. After countless tries, I finally succeeded with this soup! Filled with the flavor of cumin, coriander and chili powder, this protein-packed  bowl of deliciousness is warming and fills your belly fast with healthy goodness. Continue reading

Food to Crave: Hummus

This week, I’ve had a craving for hummus like no other! Thanks to my Armenian heritage,  I was raised on it as I was Tabbouli, and the store-bought kind will never do. Plus, it’s so incredibly simple to make! As long as you keep a jar of tahini [read: ground, hulled sesame seeds] in the pantry, you most-likely have all the ingredients on-hand at any time.

You can mix up a batch of this healthy, nourishing dish in 10 minutes or less. Spread it on sandwiches or falafels, scoop it up with crackers or dip into it with fresh-cut vegetables. Yum! Continue reading

Fennel, Apple and Radish Salad

You may have already heard me mention the Earthbound Cook, a cookbook featuring 250 recipes for delicious food and a healthy planet, by Myra Goodman, co-founder of Earthbound Farm. She provides worthwhile eco-tips amongst great recipes, including some on egg labels that I shared earlier.

With a bounty of fresh radishes ready in the garden, this recipe was a perfect pick. The subtle anise flavor of fresh fennel partners perfectly with sweet and tart apple, and the radishes add just a bit of peppery heat. We enjoyed this salad with friends on a night with temps still in the 90s, and it paired perfectly with a chilled rose wine. Continue reading

Garden Fresh Tabbouli Salad

Thanks to our Armenian heritage, my family grew up eating a number of pretty delicious middle eastern foods, including tabbouli [tuh-boo-lee]. Like many traditional cultures, they had it right when it came to fresh, whole foods.

Tabbouli is a perfect summer salad, taking spectacular advantage of the garden’s bounty of tomatoes, parsley, green onions and cucumber. It’s light, refreshing, cleansing, and completely addictive. Continue reading

Watermelon and Mint: A Perfect Summer Match

Happy Summer Solstice! I for one will be cheers’ing (I’m sure that should be a correct verb) our longest day of the year tonight. We’ve had scorching temps here in Colorado, but luckily, I’ve found the most awesome way to cool down when we can’t hit the mountains or local pool.

Watermelon and mint make an incredibly refreshing combination, and both are natural diuretics, meaning they will help flush excess water from your system. Hey, anything to help with a flat tummy in all that skimpy summer wear! 🙂

The number of treat choices made with this pair of summer favorites are plentiful. The best part of the three ideas here is that none require measuring; it way too hot to bother with that. I’m all about simplicity, especially as the thermometer rises! Continue reading

Corn and Black Bean Salad

In our house, we use any excuse we can to party. On Saturday, in honor of K-Bear’s 2nd birthday, we hosted our first BBQ of the season! Even the rain and cool weather that rolled in for the weekend couldn’t keep us from celebrating. We simply moved the party inside, blew up extra balloons, and let the laughter, drink, and food flow, including this salad, one of my favorites for grilling season.

I cut the recipe out of a newspaper one summer years ago, tucked it into my recipe book, and have since turned to it regularly when the weather warms up. I’ve lived in my share of places over the years, so unfortunately I can’t tell you from which fabulous town’s paper it came. What I can tell you is that it’s easy, healthy and delicious. (Notice a trend here with my recipe favorites?)  🙂  Continue reading

Rainbow Stuffed Peppers

I adore stuffed peppers, especially when they are lovingly stuffed with protein-rich quinoa. For those not familiar with this grain-like substance which is actually a seed, it is similar in texture to couscous but cooks like rice. Buy peppers in every color you can to achieve the beautiful rainbow effect, and utilize organic ingredients whenever possible. Continue reading

Happy Spring – Hit the Trails (with an Energy Bar Giveaway)!

Ok, so I’m a few days late in saying this, but happy April! I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t be more thrilled to see spring. It’s been unseasonably warm in Colorado and I’m loving every minute of it, even with the weeds multiplying daily in our yard! As much as I cherish the high number of sunshiney days here year-round, looking at all the brown after a few months of winter really gets me down. There’s nothing better than greening grass, budding trees, and emerging daffodils to lift your spirits.  Continue reading

Bee Happy!

Last holiday season, my husband and I were scouring a craft fair for unique, homemade gifts when I first spotted Bee Happy. I was smitten by the name, intrigued by the products, and thrilled when I later found a full selection of them in my holiday stocking (points for hubby!)

Fast forward a few weeks to my best friend’s birthday; I was so excited about Bee Happy that I had to get my girl a set of her own yummy-smelling, all-natural lotions and such. I ordered online last-minute (of course), totally ignoring the blatant banner reading (in short), “Hey folks, I’m on vacation so orders will be delayed until I return). Ugh, oh.

Enter Kerry Carter, creator of Bee Happy, to the rescue. She called me from a beach in Mexico (yes, probably holding a fruity drink with an umbrella), and arranged for her husband to leave my purchase in their milk box for me to pick up. Really. She’s that cool, and that dedicated to her business.

It’s for that reason, and the fact that I adore her reasonably-priced products, that I decided to feature her here. Kerry’s dedication and ambition shined through nearly immediately after we started chatting.

“I started Bee Happy almost 5 years ago,” explains Carter. “I saw someone making a product similar to my Bee Balm but it was too greasy. I thought, I can do that, and I can do it better.”

And better it she did. A pharmacy technician by trade, Carter had the background she needed to get started. Bee Balm was first, a lotion bar perfect for rough heels and elbows, followed by body butter, lotion, cuticle cream, and lip balm. Then she got FDA approval for SPF 15 in her lip balms, a definite plus for the Colorado altitude. Her latest release? Eye cream, the result of a large number of client requests.

“I formulated these products for myself, using only the best ingredients, only the things I’d want on my skin,” states Carter. “I’ve gone back to the basics, and it works. People love it and they come back for more.”

I can attest to that.

As you would expect, either beeswax or honey is an ingredient in every Bee Happy product. She explains that with the exception of a small amount of preservative to keep the liquid products stable, they are all-natural. They are also paraben, gluten, and petroleum free, and come in a variety of scents, including original light vanilla, creamsicle, cucumber melon, almond, and citrus basil (for men).

Carter still works her day job in addition to Bee Happy, but has plans to transition soon. “I’d like to do Bee Happy full-time,” she admits. With the steady rate at which she is expanding, and the months it takes to devise a new formula, Carter will need it.

In the meantime, she’s plenty busy handcrafting and packaging all her products at home. “A sore muscle cream is next,” she reveals.

I’ve only tried her original light vanilla scent thus far, but it is divine. I’d like to sample another scent or two as well as the eye cream, but no worries; I have plan. It includes my holiday wish list and a husband willing to earn more points (wink).

You can find Bee Happy at craft fairs and retailers throughout Colorado. Carter also has representation in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New Mexico, and Wyoming. All products are also available online at www.BeeHappyLipBalm.com.

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