March 17, 2017

Ready, Set, Weekend With Simply Beautiful Eating

Green isn’t limited to shamrocks and leprechauns. At this epic spread, it’s the inspiration for a healthy, yet hearty lunch that offers a spread of crudités with green goddess dip, mini fruit-topped pavlovas, and iced green tea.

Here’s what comes to mind when I think about St. Patrick’s Day: loads of green food, rainbows, pots of gold, shamrocks and of course, leprechauns. Even if you’re not Irish, you can create, style, cook, bake and host a gorgeous and elegant St. Patrick’s Day party!

This table offers a lush meets luxe dining experience. Think green and leafy intertwined with white and gold accents for your table settings. In keeping with the traditions of this theme, I used all of Martha’s recipes to blend together a wonderful, healthy lunch for family and friends.

One of the most eye-catching details at this table? The four-leaf clover napkins! Since this holiday is always fun and festive, I wanted to try my hand at napkin-folding. The only problem I have with this type of challenge is following instructions. This was a perfect job for my husband to tackle. (I bet you didn’t know that he is an expert napkin folder. Now you do!) He has so much more patience when it comes to tasks like this, it’s wonderful. Here’s how!

One thing I loved doing for an anniversary party I hosted recently, was a DIY garland for the table runner. It was super easy, reasonably priced, and packed a punch as a focal point for a simply beautiful centerpiece. For this garland, I included frisée (pronounced “free-ZAY”), which is used to refer to a variety of endive with curly, pale green or yellow-ish leaves. I created the garland with an edible factor, which is also appealing to the eye.

Let’s get back to the food. I chose these recipes carefully, based on three ingredient colors: green, white, and a pop of gold. For a quick appetizer, I created a wonderful crudité platter with green goddess dip.

My main course dishes were super healthy, green, and packed with protein. A warm quinoa and chicken salad, baby bok choy with ginger and garlic plus a refreshing salad with buttermilk dressing.

Don’t forget a signature mocktail. I served a cool and refreshing iced green tea with cucumber, which paired perfectly with the meal.

Lastly, dessert was easy: mini pavlovas garnished with fruit and a fresh herb that kept the St. Patrick’s day theme going — green grapes, kiwi, and mint.

Wishing you a pot of gold and all the joy your heart can hold.

Here are some quick tips for hosting this party:

Get festive with your food, think green and clean.

Showcase your creativity by cutting foods into pretty themed shapes. For example, a green pepper sliced width-wise looks exactly like a shamrock or four-leaf clover.

Give your tablescape a focal point, like the DIY garland.

Incorporate traditional with a modern twist: a four-leaf clover napkin, gold drinking straws, confetti and a menu filled with color themed food.

Include a signature “green” drink.

Have fun!

Credits
Author/Photographer/Stylist: Debi Traub | @simplybeautifuleating created exclusively for

Martha Stewart Living

Party props: Little Miss Party

Tableware, Props: Pier 1 Imports

Florals: Irene’s Floral

Tableware, Props: HomeSense (U.S. readers can shop similar product at HomeGoods)

View all recipes by clicking on the pictures above

xx, Debi
Post your comment

*Required

October 13, 2016

Mandy’s Meals & More

IMG_0022

The December Holidays are a big deal around here at Little Miss Party. We love any excuse to get the whole family together. Making healthy food that the kids will eat is always a challenge. This seasonal salad has crispy, flavorful chicken tenders and sweet cranberry dressing. Chicken fingers in a salad? That should seal the deal. Happy kids, happy parents. Enjoy the holidays, xx  

IMG_0021

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 16 Minutes

Serves 2 as a Main/4 as an Appetizer

Winter Spinach Salad

3/4 cup sliced almonds
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh cranberries
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
Pinch Salt & Pepper to taste
1 can mandarin oranges, drained or 2 fresh mandarins peeled & segmented
1 pound spinach

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Arrange almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast in oven for 5 minutes, or until nuts begin to brown. Watch carefully to avoid burning
In a food processor, combine the vinegar, oil, cranberries, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.
In a salad bowl, toss the almonds, mandarin and spinach with the vinaigrette
Note: salad dressing would make a beautiful dip for the tenders if you prefer not to mix! 

IMG_0015

Chex Rosemary Dijon Chicken Tenders

3 cups Rice Chex™ cereal, crushed
2 tablespoon fresh rosemary chopped
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1 lb boneless skinless chicken tenders

Preheat oven to 400F on cover with parchment paper
Meanwhile, crush cereal in zip top bag using a rolling pin and chop rosemary
Mix crushed Chex™, rosemary and garlic powder in bowl
Cover tenders with dijon on both sides
Place each tender in Chex™ mixture covering each side, pressing mixture into mustard
Bake 8 minutes on one side, flip tenders over and bake for another 8 minutes

IMG_0024

IMG_0002

IMG_0003

IMG_0005

IMG_0010

IMG_0023

IMG_0019

IMG_0014

Looking for more delicious, Chex-inspired DIY recipes? Head on over to Chex.com for plenty of simple and healthy ideas!

xx, Seri
Post your comment

September 30, 2016

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

I have to be honest. The amount of cooking that I actually do lately during the week has drastically dwindled. Now, that’s not withstanding the shoots that are part of Simply Beautiful Eating. Those are created during the weekends, take an entire day and we have loads of leftovers afterwards.

The reason for my lack of cooking is twofold:

1) It’s just the two of us now, so we don’t care if we eat straight out of a pot and;
2) I like going to my yoga class after work.

This would never be possible if I wasn’t married to a great husband who is a wiz in the kitchen. Steve prepares the full meal and all the trimmings and I’m in charge of setting the table, a truly daunting task, wink wink.

So I bet you’re wondering why I’m telling you all of this.

Easy.

The other night, I made a salad. Aren’t you impressed?

This is what happens when I’m in charge.

Kale, Fig & Plum Salad with Goat Cheese

-1 bag of kale salad mix or 5 cups of fresh kale
-2 cups shredded nappa cabbage
-3 – 4 fresh figs, sliced in half
-2 red plums, sliced
-¼ cup goat feta cheese (if you can’t find goat/feta use either one)
-2 tablespoons pine nuts
-2 tablespoons dried fruit, cranberries, raisins or apricots
-Creamy Avocado Poppyseed dressing (recipe below)

Place kale and cabbage on a platter or in a salad bowl. Arrange sliced plums over the top, sprinkle with cheese, nuts and dried fruit. When ready to serve, toss with salad dressing.

Vegan Poppyseed Dressing
-2 tbsp avocado mayonnaise (for this one I used Chosen Foods avocado mayo)
-2 tsp Kozliks balsamic fig & date mustard (if you can’t find this, dijon mustard will do)
-1½ tbsp avocado or olive oil
-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
-1 tsp lemon juice
-1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
-1 tbsp poppy seeds
-1 garlic glove, peeled and smashed
-dash of kosher salt & pepper

Mix all ingredients well in a blender or food processor. Serve over salad. Can be stored in fridge for up to one week.

See you next week!

debi @simplybeautifuleating
simplybeautifuleating.com

xx, Debi
0 comments
Post your comment

August 12, 2016

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

IMG_5849

I’m sure you have been wondering where I’ve been over the past month.

Well.

IMG_5810

The love my life and inspiration for this blog (my 94 year old mom) has been in the hospital. On the day I completed this shoot, I got a call from her caregiver that she had a nasty fall in her bedroom. Her injuries included a broken hip and wrist which required surgery. The nightmare began on July 13th and hasn’t ended. She spent three long and grueling weeks in the hospital, suffered some physical setbacks and finally came home last week at her request.

She didn’t want any more medical interventions performed and frankly I couldn’t blame her. Sometimes hospitals are places that can perform lifesaving techniques and other times they wear you down to a point of exhaustion, especially at her age. Seeing that I’m her primary advocate, I needed to respect her wishes and set a goal to get her home as quickly as I could.

I fully renovated a main floor room in the home my father built for her. She calls it her palace. It’s a place where she feels safe, has many memories, and where she wants to be for the rest of her life. My promise to her is to keep her as comfortable as possible and to remain her voice when she is too weak to make decisions. She has the best care I could arrange. 24 hour nurses, personal support workers, physiotherapists and her full time caregiver of 7 years on staff. We have aptly named this crew TEAM FRIEDA.

I’m bringing you this recipe today with a heavy heart. She has really been struggling with the loss of her independent lifestyle and it’s taking the toll on her both physically and emotionally. I have spent loads of time with her every day since the fall. Holding her, talking to her and sopping up the precious moments that I can spend with her. She is my life, my love, my best friend and biggest fan. I hope and pray for a speedy recovery but only time will tell and heal.

She is truly loved by so many that know her and that know of her. Thank you from far and wide for your support, wishes and prayers. It means the world to me. xo

IMG_5838

Grilled Fruit Caprese Salad

3 peaches or nectarines, halved
6 – 8 medium sized bocconcini cheese balls, halved
8 cantaloupe balls
6 yellow cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh raspberries
extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
2 teaspoons balsamic reduction – store bought or homemade

IMG_5747

IMG_5758

IMG_5764

1) Prepare peaches or nectarines by coating them in olive oil and sprinkling with salt and pepper.
2) Heat barbecue or indoor grill pan to medium high heat. Place peaches or nectarines on grill and sear on both sides until fruit is softened. Set aside.
3) Place cheese, cantaloupe, tomatoes and raspberries on a serving plate along with the grilled peaches or nectarines. Drizzle with balsamic reduction. Toss and serve.

IMG_5737

IMG_5848

See ya next week!

debi @simplybeautifuleating
www.simplybeautifuleating.com

xx, Debi
0 comments
Post your comment

July 4, 2016

Ready, Set, LONG Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

Photo 2016-06-26, 3 07 31 PM

Well, it’s been a while but I’m back into the swing of things again. My friends at DK Publishing sent me another stellar book to review and let me just say, I have a “gut” feeling you are going to LOVE it. Sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun and there’s more to come.

Photo 2016-06-26, 3 11 26 PM

So what is the Healthy Gut Cookbook all about? It’s a compilation of recipes and advice designed to help alleviate leaky gut syndrome and other digestive problems that can result in physical and physiological ailments. Just to clarify the term leaky gut, it’s not like a leaky faucet, which I keep picturing in my mind. No need to call a plumber, you can fix this by changing your diet and repairing your very long and winding digestive tract.

Photo 2016-06-26, 2 56 42 PM

There are over 150 “good for the gut” recipes that prove that your meals don’t have to be bland and boring.

Photo 2016-06-26, 3 11 38 PM

With a very interesting concept of “healing in stages”, this book lays out the foundation with 6 stages of gradually adding GOOD foods into your daily routine, ending with the “full diet” once you have completed the healing process. Stating that you must follow these steps very strictly, each stage has recipes that will not disappoint your palate.

I read this book cover to cover and found that the diet is very similar to the one I’ve been on for the past 3 months. With the Healthy Gut Cookbook, I have finally found some wonderfully delicious recipes to try rather than having to figure out what to do with a sweet potato and brown rice.

Photo 2016-06-26, 2 56 22 PM

This salad in particular caught my eye. A hearty mixture of kale and other good for you ingredients all melded together in one eye pleasing dish.

Photo 2016-06-26, 2 59 17 PM

I mixed up the recipe a bit to make it my own signature salad with the addition of avocado, goat cheese and topped it with a phenomenal coconut avocado yogurt dressing. Total yumminess and yes I threw some flowers into the mix for these photos because, well, I hadn’t killed them yet so why not?

Photo 2016-06-26, 2 49 21 PM

There is certainly nothing wrong with working towards a healthy lifestyle and clean eating. To be honest, I fell off the wagon a few times over the past week because it was my birthday and there was CAKE. Lots of cake in fact. So much cake that I actually don’t want to look at cake again for a while. Don’t get me wrong. It was so sinfully good but not the best thing to do to my body since I started this pristine diet. Think of it like wearing freshly laundered white pants then rolling in the mud. Uh ya.

Photo 2016-06-26, 2 47 29 PM

What amazes me is this – I had a great time stuffing my face with processed flour, refined sugar and lots of fondant roses BUT boy did I ever have a “gut” reaction to all that crap inside my body. I had visions that I turned into Augustus Gloop in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

You know what they say? You are what you eat. In my case, I was a giant white slab cake and I paid the price for it.

Photo 2016-06-26, 2 28 41 PM

NO guts? No glory. You need guts to try to change your lifestyle but I found that following this regimen wasn’t so gut wrenching.

Thanks for letting my spill my guts out to you today. I’m done.

Photo 2016-06-26, 2 28 37 PM

Calming Kale & Spinach Salad
-8 cups spinach or kale
-1 green apple, sliced
-1 cucumber, finely chopped
-2 avocados, pitted, sliced (or made into a rose if you dare)
-1 cup pecan halves
-1 cup green grapes, sliced
-4 – 6 oz crumbled goat cheese
-coconut chips for garnish – optional

Photo 2016-06-26, 2 30 04 PM

Coconut Avocado Yogurt Dressing
-1/2 cup coconut yogurt
-1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
-1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
-Zest of 1 lemon
-1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley or dill
-2 tablespoons avocado oil
-Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Photo 2016-06-26, 3 05 06 PM

Plate all salad ingredients on a large platter or in a bowl. Using a blender or whisk, mix together all ingredients for dressing. Drizzle over salad, toss and garnish with coconut chips if desired.

See ya next week!

debi @simplybeautifuleating
simplybeautifuleating.com

xx, Debi
0 comments
Post your comment