vodka lemonade with ginger, basil + chia seeds
happy memorial day weekend, everyone! i don’t usually post on saturdays, but i wanted to make sure i did something a little holiday weekend-themed for you guys since it is memorial day weekend, and what better way to kick it off than with a bananas + bellinis approved cocktail recipe?!
as we all know, based on the name of my blog alone, i love being healthy, but i also love having fun, enjoying life and throwing back a few cocktails every now and then. but, while i am all for going out with your friends and enjoying your poison of choice, what i’m not all for is the sh*t that often comes along with it… drinks mixed with soda, juice from concentrate, high calorie mixers, syrups, you get the idea.
with that being said, i’ve recently become inspired to start experimenting with mixing up my own cocktails using all natural ingredients. i really feel like i’m living the bananas + bellinis mission statement… seriously, being a mixologist might be my true calling.
so, here’s my first creation: a summer-inspired vodka lemonade recipe. i kept the ingredients natural, fresh and healthy. the chia seeds might seem like a weird addition, but trust me, as a superfood, they serve a purpose! the measurements below are what you will need for one drink.
- 1 shot of vodka
- 1/2 c. all-natural ginger ale [i love bruce cost]
- 1/2 c. club soda
- the juice from one large lemon [about 1/4 c.]
- 2-3 basil leaves, shredded into large pieces
- 1 tsp. chia seeds [optional]
- fill your glass about half full with ice cubes.
- add the vodka, ginger ale, club soda and lemon juice; stir well.
- mix in the chia seeds and basil [the chia seeds will float up to the top].
- garnish your glass with a lemon slice and a paper straw, serve immediately.
healthy lifestyle staples: detoxifying lemon water
one of my favorite, cannot live without healthy lifestyle staples is kinda weird [but that should be no surprise at this point]. i was introduced to this little concoction in college and would occasionally throw it into my routine here and there over the years, but only in the past year or so has it become a staple in my regimen.
hot lemon water. with apple cider vinegar. and turmeric. and cayenne pepper. every morning. before breakfast.
i knowwww what you’re thinking: no. but let me explain.
first, hot water with a little bit of lemon is a great way to wake up your digestive system and detoxify your body from the day before…essentially, you’re starting the day with a clean slate.
second, the apple cider vinegar will balance your pH levels aiding digestion, improving immunity and helping to clear up your skin.
finally, the turmeric helps reduce inflammation in the body, and the cayenne pepper gives your digestive system one last little boost.
now we’re talkin’, right? for this detoxifying lemon water elixir all you’ll need is:
- 8 oz. of water, brought to a boil
- the juice from half of a lemon
- 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- cayenne pepper to taste
all you need to do is boil the water, pour it into a mug and stir in the lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, turmeric and cayenne pepper. drink this in the mornings before you eat or drink anything else and try to make this a daily habit if at all possible… that’s how you’ll reap the most benefits!
kale salad with lemon tahini dressing
salads are my go-to when i’m looking for a quick, no-effort lunch or dinner. depending on what i have in the kitchen, it’s typically as easy as throwing a bunch of veggies, sometimes fruits, nuts and seeds together in a bowl and tossing it with some salad dressing. i avoid store bought dressings as much as possible because they typically contain additives, preservatives and extra calories… things we just don’t need. i like experimenting with making my own dressings to keep things interesting and change up the flavors here and there. this lemon tahini dressing served over a fresh kale salad is definitely one of my favorites. kale is great as a base for a salad because it contains lots of protein and fiber, is packed with other vitamins and minerals and is much more filling than other greens like romaine or iceberg lettuce.
for one serving of the lemon tahini dressing you will need:
- 1 tbsp. tahini
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- juice of 1/2 of a lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
to make the lemon tahini dressing, simply combine all of the ingredients listed above in a small bowl and whisk together until smooth.
the salad here contains [measurements are approximate]:
- 2 c. fresh mixed kale [you can buy this in most grocery stores ready-to-eat]
- 1/2 c. grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 of an avocado, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp. sunflower seeds
combine all of the salad ingredients with the lemon tahini dressing, add a little salt and pepper and enjoy!
spicy vegan spinach + white bean soup
the weather in new york has been just miserable this week. so miserable that i’ve had some serious trouble getting out of bed in the morning [the sound of rain hitting my window can keep me in bed all day if i don’t have anything to do], i’ve skipped a few of my workouts and literally all i want to do is lay in my bed, listen to serial [if you guys haven’t checked this out yet, get on it] and eat soup. so, last night, i did just that.
i threw together this vegan spinach and white bean soup in under 30 minutes, so it’s quick and only requires a few ingredients, but still has lots of nutrients and health benefits. spinach is full of calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and believe it or not, protein, the beans add even more protein [yes, you can get protein from non-animal sources] and the cayenne pepper is great for clearing out the sinuses, revving up the digestive system and warming the body up while packing a little punch. the coconut milk makes it rich and creamy, giving it that homestyle comfort food feel we all love, especially during the cold winter months. the recipe makes about two servings, so feel free to double or triple it if you want to make a big batch to have on hand for the week! you will need:
- 2 c. vegetable stock
- 1 c. coconut milk
- 2 handfuls of raw baby spinach
- 1/2 of a yellow onion, diced
- 2/3 c. cannelli beans, drained and rinsed [about half of a 16 oz. can]
- 2 gloves of garlic, minced
- 1 inch chunk of fresh ginger, peeled
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- cayenne pepper to taste
- in a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
- add onions and garlic to pan, stirring over medium heat until the onions start to turn golden-brown.
- place the spinach in the saucepan, stirring until the leaves begins to wilt.
- add the vegetable stock, beans and cayenne pepper and stir.
- bring the soup to a boil over medium heat. once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- after 15 minutes has passed, add the coconut milk and ginger, stir, cover and allow to simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
- remove the ginger, serve hot and enjoy!
happy halloween + healthy candy recipe
halloween is tomorrow and over the last few years, it’s become one of my favorite holidays. i usually know what i’m going to dress up as months and months ahead of time and I’ve gotten really into making/building my own costumes rather than buying something pre-packaged at the Halloween store… it’s more fun that way!
another thing i love about Halloween? the candy. duh. unfortunately, the typical halloween candy that you find in stores and probably remember eating as a kid is just… sh*t. sorry, there’s no way around it. so, instead of buying yourself an industrial sized bag of absolute garbage this weekend, you should try making your own healthy candy! the recipe below is incredibly easy to follow, takes about 10 minutes to prepare and is customizable based on what you have on hand/what you like. i can’t stand milk chocolate because a] it tastes like wax and b] it’s terrible for you, so I used dark chocolate [which actually has some health benefits when eaten in moderation] to make my own healthy versions of crunch bars, almond joys and chocolate turtles… with some other variations in there, as well!
for about 24 pieces, all you need is:
- 1 bag of vegan dark chocolate chips [i used these from enjoy life]
- your choice of fillings [i used pecans, almonds, and brown rice cereal]
- your choice of toppings [i used pepitas, coconut flakes, goji berries, caramel sauce, and fleur de sel]
there are just a few, really easy steps to this:
- line a cookie sheet with wax paper.
- place your fillings in little piles on the cookie sheet in whatever arrangement/combination you would like.
- using a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips, stirring constantly, until fully melted and smooth.
- drizzle the melted chocolate onto your fillings, covering the piles completely and then add the toppings.
- place the cookie sheet in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before devouring… and be sure to share!
what are your halloween plans? what are you dressing up as?! i’m off to new orleans for the weekend… i’ll be sure to share the details of my trip [and my costume] next week.
first image courtesy of cute autumn
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