Poblano Lime Black Bean Dip + Mango Lime Spritzer

This post is proudly sponsored by S. Pellegrino. All thoughts, opinions, content, and photos are my own. Thank you, as always, for supporting TFS. 

Eating healthy is something I spin around in my mind a lot, what it is, what it isn't, how to do it right, how do I feel about gluten? That last one is super real for me. I think like most things in life the simplest answer is usually the right answer and that, for me is to eat what makes me feel good. Fresh fruit, veggies, and mineral water are all pretty high on the list of things that make me feel good. 

I feel like I don't have enough veggie plates in my life, one reason is, I probably think back to childhood days of pre-packaged veggie plates where the only dip was ranch. Not a ranch fan here, but aside from my previous bad experiences, I'm pretty into just eating raw veggies with dip. I mean they're super easy to make, enough variety to keep my attention and it's pretty simple to make an awesome presentation. Even if it's just me eating it, I care a lot about how my food looks. I just feel better about eating it that way. I'm sure there's some research paper or book out there about the psychology of food that can support my Type-A theories about eating pretty food. Another not so fun fact about me, I'm pretty sure I legitimately got sunstroke a few weeks ago. While most of my days are a literal walk in the park, there are a few down sides to sitting outside perched on a rock taking photos for hours on end. One of them is that in the past week in the mountains we've had 5 days over 100°. Yup, so hydration has been pretty important to me these days and while I typically have enough water on hand, hydration is about more than just water. I need to keep the right electrolyte balance, that's why I like things like S.Pellegrino and coconut water, both are natural sources of electrolytes. I was really fighting off the urge to not bog down this post with a ton of links like I always do, but here's one about hydration, because I think it's important to know, and if it keeps you from getting sick from dehydration you'll thank me later. 

So for this dip I chose poblanos because I like a milder pepper, but if you're braver than I am in the spice department, try a jalapeño or habanero, both spicy, both relatively easy to find in your grocery store. If you're a spicy food kind of person and have your own preferences on peppers, I'll leave you to your own judgement about what to use. The point is, I'm pretty sure any type of pepper you want to make this dip with will be fine. Oh, and if the mango in the blender looks a little funny it's because I bought a crate, yes a crate of mangos, chopped them up and froze them. They then formed this log of mango pulp that was very satisfying to cut into, like a giant cheese log or something. It was amazing, but either way, that's why my mango doesn't look very mango-y. 

Here's what you'll need:

For the dip:

1 - 13 oz can of black beans - drained

1 poblano pepper - sliced

1/4 red onion - diced

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 Tablespoon of olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

sliced pepper, tomato pieces, and cilantro for garnish - optional 

For the veggie plate:

1/2 broccoli crown - cut into bite sized pieces

1/2 cucumber - sliced

1/2 yellow bell pepper - sliced

1 large carrot - cut into strips

1/2 white nectarine - sliced into wedges

1/2 lime - cut into wedges

2-3 radishes - for decoration 

a few blackberries - optional 

For the spritzer: 

2 cups of mango - frozen 

1 750ML bottle of S.Pellegrino

1 cup of coconut water

2 limes - juiced 

lime wedges - optional 

 

For the dip: Saute onion, garlic powder, and poblano on medium heat in olive oil for 3-4 minutes. Add in black beans and stir for 4-5 minutes longer. Place into a high speed blender or food processor, add in salt and pepper. Serve in a small bowl or ramekin and garnish. 

For the veggie plate: Once everything is chopped and washed, it's really a matter of arranging. All I really did was put the larger portions of vegetables down first on some endive or radicchio, and arrange the smaller things in the spaces afterwards. 

For the spritzer: Add all ingredients, except for the lime wedges into the blender, serve cold with a lime wedge. 

This will all last for up to two days in the fridge, but the spritzer will start to separate if it's left, so you'll have to re-blend it. 

Asparagus Walnut Zoodles with Grapefruit Avocado Cream Sauce (Vegan)

I need an endless summer type of situation to work itself out for me. I don't know how this will come to light, but I'm confident I'll work it out, or completely change my mind by the end of the season and decide I am entirely ready for the calm, quiet, soup-eating, snuggling in bed all day season that is fall. I might've already changed my mind. But for now I'm grateful for zoodles, covered in avocados and citrus, fresh herbs, and vegetables, sunshine, and all of the glory days on the river. 

I made these with avocado walnut sauce with grapefruit. The grapefruit flavor really isn't very overwhelming, but it does add a distinct citrus flavor to the sauce. I'm starting to think that grapefruit is way underused in the citrus department. It's a nice balance between familiar and hard to place flavor. So, obviously for this recipe you'll need a spiralizer, and a blender for the sauce, but with the right tools this recipe is really pretty simple. 

Here's what you'll need (Serves 2):

For the noodles:

2 medium zucchini - ends chopped off and spiralized into zoodles

1/2 bunch or 20-30 thin stalks for asparagus - stems chopped off and cut into thirds

1 Tablespoon olive oil

salt and pepper to taste 

1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts and cracked pepper to top it 

For the sauce:

1/2 avocado

1/4 cup of walnuts

1/4 cup olive oil

Juice from half a large grapefruit 

1 Tablespoon of agave nectar 

salt and pepper to taste 

Full disclosure this is about double the sauce I needed, but you can always half the dressing, or do what I did, use some for a salad and what's left after that for a hair mask. 

Directions:

Coat a medium pan with olive oil and salt and pepper, set to medium heat and add in chopped asparagus.

Sauté for 3-4 minutes

Add in zoodles and sauté an additional 4 minutes

Blend all sauce ingredients in a high-powered blender, if you have a single serving attachment to your blender it'll be very useful for sauces. This sauce will turn out thick, but if it's not spreadable add in a bit more olive oil until it reaches the right consistency. 

Add sauce to cooked zoodles sparingly, mixing as you go. 

Top with cracked pepper and chopped walnuts 

 

Honey Lavender Bath Soak + A Beauty Haul

This post is sponsored by Grocery Outlet. All opinions, ideas, and photos are my own. Thank you for supporting TFS. 

So, I got the chance to work with Grocery Outlet, I always thought I was pretty clever for shopping there. Until, one day I mentioned half off coconut oil to a friend, and she already knew which store I was talking about. I worked at a similar type of store when I lived in North Carolina, and half of the beauty products got bought up by the employees. I was particularly fond of mineral sunscreen when it came in, and it seems not too much has changed, because when I saw this The Seaweed Bath Co. mineral sunscreen on sale — there's a 20% off coupon on top of it — I bought four. And I was showing restraint. There's a bunch of amazing stuff here, but I can't hide that I was most excited about one thing in particular. 

I'm pretty fond of the EO brand too. I don't know if it's their blends or the quality of the essential oils they use but everything they make smells amazing. This brand can get pretty up there in price too, so getting everything at least half off is awesome if you want to try some things that you wouldn't necessarily spring for normally. And the Grocery Outlet that I go to, seems to always have it, lotions or shampoos, this time the thing I couldn't pass up was that body oil. 

As I get busier my self care intensifies, which I'm grateful that I remember to stay on top of it, because a little goes a long way. And in the warm weather when it's easy to get caught up being busy and not stopping, I feel like its extra important to keep in balance. So honey and coconut oil are not technically beauty products, but they can be. They're not eligible for the 20% off right now, because they are food items, but its totally worth picking up a few to keep in your bathroom. You can even wash your face with honey and take off your makeup with coconut oil. What else does a girl need? Well, if you're like me, a lot. 

Here's what I got:

Lavender Essential Oil

Raw Wild Honey

Antioche Olive Oil Soap

The Sweaweed Company Mineral Sunscreen

Nutiva Coconut Oil

EO Botanical Body Oil

EO Hand Soap

Sweet Almond Oil

This is the Antioche Soap which contributes to the economic development of women in Turkey. There are a few soap companies that do this, where they specifically provide jobs to women, and it's one of my favorite causes. I'm always for contributing to the advancement of women and their financial independence, especially in nations where that isn't necessarily the norm. Just a reminder there are a lot of people out there doing good work. #ShopYourValues

As for this honey bath soak, it's super easy to make, really moisturizing and luxurious. While you're soaking you can get about a teaspoon amount from your container and smooth it over your skin as a face mask. I added a little to my hair too and left it on overnight and shampooed it out in the morning. A little goes a long way, maybe a teaspoon or so on the ends of your hair and then put it in a loose bun, because you don't need ingredients all over your pillow, just enough to soften your hair. 

Here's what you'll need for your bath soak:

1 Tablespoon of Sweet Almond Oil

1 Tablespoon of Coconut Oil

1 teaspoon of EO Botanical Oil - Optional

1/2 Tablespoon of Dried Rose Buds - Optional 

10 drops of Lavender Essential Oil

1/2 cup of raw honey 

Directions:

Add all ingredients together in a small jar

Mix well

Add desired amount to your bath. I used about 1/4 of the mix including face and hair masks

Apply lotion to damp skin after bath for best results

I also picked up a ton of groceries there and some flowers too. 

Vanilla Seed High-Protein Granola (Vegan + Gluten-Free)

So, as I've mentioned I'm basically outdoors all summer for my job on the river, and I have had a protein shake most mornings since. Since cutting back on animal products— this Bob's Red Mill protein powder is vegan—I've been careful to diversify where I get my protein from, sometimes chickpeas, sometimes nuts and seeds, and a lot of the time it's shakes. 

I was a little worried to bake with this powder because it has probiotics in it and I worry that the heat is damaging to them, and I love that they're included in here, because I think health begins in the gut. That's not an original idea, it was Hippocrates who said, "all disease begins in the gut." At any rate, I love drinking this is as just a plain shake with some almond milk because of the high probiotic content, and the pre-biotic fiber, because keeping my digestion healthy has been no small feat running around eating anything and everything that is available to me. No joke, I'm hungry all of the time. I need all the snacks, which is how I decided to make granola because eating plain pumpkin and sunflower seeds all day can get old. This protein powder is pretty sweet on it's own, on account of the monk fruit. I still decided to add the agave nectar to get the pieces to stick together nicely in this grain-free granola, just keep in mind it'll come out very sweet and vanilla-y, not that that's a bad thing, but just an FYI. 

Here's what you'll need:

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup agave nectar - you can sub honey, or maple syrup as well

1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill Vanilla Protein Powder (there's even a coupon)

2 Tablespoons of flax seeds

1 Tablespoon of hot water 

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon lemon extract - you can sub lemon zest also

Directions: 

Pre-heat oven to 350°

In a large bowl mix together agave nectar, protein powder, and salt until well blended 

In a separate, small container mix in hot water with flax seed, let sit for 1-2 minutes (this helps it to gel) 

Add all remaining ingredients including flax seed and mix until thoroughly combined, it should be pretty sticky at this point

Place mix directly on a baking sheet, spreading carefully to keep larger pieces together. 

Bake for 15 minutes stirring very well half way through

Bake until golden brown adding on in 5 minutes intervals until it's reached the desired crunchiness for your taste.  

 

I really wish I had more edited mountain shots for you but for right now I just have these flowers. They'll have to do. Enjoy your summer, and here's $3 off of Bob's Red Mill Nutritional Boosters

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.