The first gem is Nikole at Forty-Sixth at Grace. Very minimilist layout which really appeals to me and she has an online shop I love. Thank you Lecia for steering me her way. Lots of us share Nikole's taste in her lists of "things I like" and her photographs tell the story better than words. Nikole uses words minimally as well, but you'll love the way she expresses herself. There are not tons of recipes, but when you see one, you're going to want to make it ASAP.
Then I found a marvelous blog if your focus is on really healthy eating. Be sure to visit 101 Natural. Eleni's blog is brand new, beautifully done with a light and cheerful layout that makes you smile. Her photos are fabulous and her recipes are gourmet material but made with some surprising ingredients. Eleni will introduce you to lots of innovative ways to cook healthy with ingredients you may not have thought of. (I loved the Polenta-based Pizza. )Her dishes are so appealing, you'll want to try all sorts of new things. Great fun!
I'm saving the best for last. Let me introduce you to Sprouted Kitchen. You may already know about it because Sara's blog is a year or so old and she's garnered quite a following. There's a good reason for it: you'll love her recipes AND (once again) her photographs. I was bowled over by her presentations. Sara also tends towards healthy ingredients, but not exclusively. I found her posts fun to read and am tempted to run right to the kitchen by nearly all of them. I wish I was as talented as these women and had a more professional eye with design and with a camera. Be sure to scroll down through Sara's other recipes, it's worth the time and you'll be drooling.
Now how could anyone resist making a salad Sara calls Veggie Le Crunch? Certainly not me and you're going to love this salad, it's simple and delicious.
Veggie Le Crunch
From Sprouted Kitchen, May 27th, 2010
Ingredients for the salad:
(Sara suggests using farmers market and or organic vegetables here. She feels when you are eating them raw like this, the genuine flavor of the vegetables is important.)
6-7 radishes, depending on size
1-1/4 cup black beans, cooked and drained ( I used canned)
1 cucumber (I used an English cucumber so did not have to remove seeds)
1 cup fresh, diced pineapple
Some scallions to taste (my addition)
Handful of Fresh Basil ( I made a chiffonade)
1 head of lettuce (any soft green will do)
Ingredients for the avocado dressing:
(Sara says you could make this vegan by using 2 tbsp. olive oil and an extra tbsp. of vinegar in place of the buttermilk. )
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon honey (more to taste)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
juice of one lime
Splash of Cholua/Tapatio Hot Sauce
In a small blender or in a bowl, mix the avocado, buttermilk, vinegar, lime, honey, hot sauce and salt and pepper to combine. The blender will make it smooth, but a bowl and whisk will still get you a dressing consistency.
Use a mandoline to slice the radishes thin. ( I didn't) Cut in fourths. Peel and halve the cucumber, scoop out the seeds and dice into small pieces. In a large bowl, combine the radish, cucumber, black beans, diced pineapple and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add desired amount of fresh basil.
To serve: you can put the veggie mix in a lettuce leaf and dribble dressing on top or mix the dressing with the veggies and put them in the leaf, already dressed.