This week’s focus has been on inspiring creativity in the kitchen through the use of new ingredients, but today’s recipe will take a favorite summer fruit and use it in a fresh new style. Because it has been such a hot and balmy summer I am always looking for light but hearty meal ideas to keep me both cool and satisfied. This chilled Watermelon and Cucumber Gazpacho is the perfect summer cooler! Made with a blend of fresh watermelon, cucumber, and dill- this chilled soup is deliciously complex in flavor. But the uniqueness of this soup lies is the cayenne pepper ingredient, which adds an incredible spicy kick to every mouthful. Best of all, this gazpacho recipe is made with whole foods so it is wonderfully healthy and nourishing. I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I do. And remember to stay cool this summer!
Watermelon and Cucumber Gazpacho
- 1 large tomatoes
- 2 cups fresh watermelon, seeded and cubed
- ½ English cucumber, seeded, peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons red onions, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced, plus more for garnish
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- Juice of one lime (About 2 tablespoons)
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Using a food processor, puree the tomato and watermelon. Add in cucumber, red onion, lime juice, oil and vinegar and pulse to combine. Fold in dill and cayenne. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the gazpacho into cups or small bowls and refrigerate for 30 minutes until cool. Garnish with extra dill and feta before serving.
Serve and enjoy!
Referring link: http://www.seasonallyjane.com/2014/07/watermelon-and-cucumber-gazpacho.html
See you tomorrow Sunny Slide Up friends!
Happy Tuesday! Yesterday in my first guest post I spilled my secret to keeping innovative in the kitchen by regularly experimenting with new ingredients. In that spirit, this week’s recipe theme is geared towards trying ingredients that are slightly off the beaten path. For example, yesterday I introduced cacao as a healthy cocoa or chocolate replacement in my recipe for Cacao Coconut Granola Clusters. Today I’d like to introduce you to a simple salad recipe that replaces every day romaine with yummy kale.
I’m always surprised by how many people don’t use kale in their regular cooking habits. It is in fact a super food and in my opinion, it’s super delicious too! This Kale and Avocado Salad with Creamy Cilantro Salad Dressing is a staple in my weekly meal plan. The trick to making the kale taste salad-ready and delicious is to make it soft and tender by massaging the leaves with the cilantro dressing. By massaging the leaves you help to break down the cell wall of the kale, allowing it to wilt and absorb all the delicious dressing flavors. Follow the recipe below to give your salad regime a new look!
Kale and Avocado Salad with Creamy Cilantro Dressing
- 1 cup loosely packed cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ tsp. white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp. honey
- Dash of salt and pepper
- 2 bunches kale
- 4 ribs of celery, diced
- 1-2 avocados, diced
For dressing: Combine all salad dressing ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk until combined. Taste test and adjust ingredients to your personal preference. Set aside.
For salad: Start by washing the kale, then tear or cut small pieces off the stems. Discard the stems and place the leaves into a mixing bowl.
Drizzle all the dressing ingredients onto the kale. Then use your hands to firmly start massaging the dressing into the kale leaves for 2-3 minutes. As you massage, you’ll feel the leaves soften and wilt. Once leaves are soft, add into the salad the celery and avocado. Serve and enjoy!
Referring link: http://www.seasonallyjane.com/2014/03/kale-and-avocado-salad-with-creamy.html
See you tomorrow!
I am so excited to be a guest blogger on Sunny Slide Up! My name is Alivia and I run a self-titled food blog called Alivia Jane. I started a blog as a way to tap into my creative side and showcase the foods I love to eat. Most of my recipes revolve around a whole foods and a plant-based way of eating, although I do sneak in a meat recipe here and there. Everything in moderation is my motto!
To keep innovative in the kitchen I experiment with a new ingredient every few weeks. It is so rewarding to try slightly off-the-beaten path ingredients that open up the door to new flavors and kitchen creativeness. My hope is that through the simple and delicious dishes I create, I will inspire others to be inventive in their kitchens with healthy and incredible tasting foods.
This week, I’ll be sharing five simple recipes that incorporate a new ingredient that you may not use in your every day cooking. Today, I’d like to share my recipe for Cacao Coconut Granola Clusters! If you are not familiar with cacao, it is a sugar-free raw powder and a healthy alternative to conventional over-processed “cocoa” used often for baking and desserts. Cacao is a top source of antioxidants, and it contains an abundance of magnesium and iron. It is amazing!
Finding a healthy snack can sometimes seem like such an impossible mission, especially when trying to maintain a healthy diet. These Cacao Coconut Granola Clusters are the perfect snack not only because they are totally delicious and made with whole foods like nuts, seeds and cacao powder, but also they’re filled with antioxidants, protein, and fiber. You can eat them plain, for breakfast with almond milk, or in yogurt.
Cacao Coconut Granola Clusters
- ½ cup cacao powder
- 1 cup of gluten free oats
- 1 cup pecans, lightly broken up but not crushed
- ½ cup dried coconut flakes
- ½ cup flaxseed
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- 3 bananas
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a medium baking dish.
Place oats, pecans, coconut, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, and sunflowers seeds into a medium sized mixing bowl. Toss to mix and set aside.
Into a food processor place the almond butter, maple syrup, bananas, and cacao powder and blend until smooth. Pour this mix over the dry ingredients and stir well until all dry ingredients are coated.
Add the granola into your baking dish and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the dish to toss the flattened granola mixture to create clusters and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven to let cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
Tip: Don’t be shy about adding additional maple syrup or honey drizzle to the finished granola for an extra sweet finishing touch!
Referring link: http://www.seasonallyjane.com/2014/07/cacao-coconut-granola-clusters.html
Excited to share a week of recipes with you!
First, congratulations to the winner of the Apricot Lane Girlfriend Styling Session and $50 in Apricot Lane Charlotte gift cards Giveaway…..
Please contact us to claim your prize!
To wrap up our camping theme week here on Sunny Slide Up, we have a guest from Apricot Lane Charlotte to share with us the 7 Fashion Essentials a Girl Needs to Survive – for camping, glamping and more!
Whether you are going to Coachella or taking a local camping trip with the family, you still need to look the part. Fashion is fun! It is the costume we wear on the stage of our life. Can you remember a certain article of clothing that was your ultimate favorite growing up? I remember my magnetic rainbow belt that was a staple in my wardrobe as a kid. Although we may not put much thought into getting dressed in the morning, fashion is part of the memories we create in life. We all have a little ‘fashionista’ in our hearts. This week we are celebrating camping in our stores, or should we say-Glamping, and talking about the 7 essentials you need if you were to take a camping trip.
1. 3Strands power – We believe strongly that we must be working for a greater purpose. We love helping dress women and make them feel confident, however we also find it important to help others. Through the 3Strands foundation we educate others on ways to stop human trafficking.
2. Bandeau Beautiful – Great fashion requires great underpinnings. Don’t worry if you can’t wear a bra, just put a bandeau on top of it and voilá! Everyone can wear a backless shirt.
3. Tanks – Every girl need a collection of Nikibikis. Soft, stretchy and perfect. They are perfect under everything!
4. Pretty in Print – Everyone needs some fun! Print is hot this Summer! Mix it in or wear it together.
5. Hello, Piko. – What’s your favorite tee? Ours is the Piko tee. Piko makes the best oversized tee that just looks perfect on everyone. Add a chunky necklace and some skinnys and you have a great date night outfit.
6. Dazed for Denim! – It’s our favorite staple. Denim will always be a wardrobe must. The most important thing is to find a pair that fits your body. Stop by and one of our specialists will help you find the perfect pair.
7. LBD or LWD, you choose. – Both are wardrobe staples. Everyone needs a little black or white dress when that party arises and you have nothing to wear. It should be a perfect fit and be your go to wardrobe item.
Be sure to connect with us on social media to stay updated on new arrivals, upcoming events, fashion tips and more! Check us out at Facebook.com/ApricotLaneCharlotte and Pinterest.com/apricotlanenc/.
(Sarah O’Connor is Director of Marketing for Apricot Lane stores throughout North Carolina)
We are super excited to announce another giveaway with Apricot Lane Boutique! You might remember the purse giveaway they hosted for us last summer, and we are so happy to have them back! Apricot Lane features top-of-the-line fun, fearless women’s fashion at affordable prices – located in StoneCrest and Birkdale Village! Apricot Lane is a popular national boutique featuring celebrity-inspired affordable fashions for the everyday woman. Offering styles from the L.A. fashion district and a personalized shopping experience, it’s the coolest boutique in the Carolinas. New women’s clothes, handbags, jewelry, other accessories and gifts arrive daily.
Girlfriend Styling Session for Two
The Girlfriend Styling Session for Two will include delightful light bites and sips, an expert styling session* with our top stylist and A $25 GIFT CARD FOR EACH girlfriend to get them started on their new Summer essentials. *Don’t worry, you don’t have to live in the Charlotte area to win this giveaway. If you are out of town, the Apricot Lane Charlotte team will host a virtual styling session!
1. You MUST be a Facebook fan of both Sunny Slide Up AND Apricot Lane Charlotte to be eligible to win.
Sunny Slide Up – www.facebook.com/SunnySlideUp
Apricot Lane Charlotte – www.facebook.com/ApricotLaneCharlotte
2. You must like a post on camping on both the Sunny Slide Up and Apricot Lane’s Facebook pages to be eligible to win.
You MUST be a Sunny Slide Up and Apricot Lane Charlotte Facebook fan to be eligible to win. The winner must like any post on camping on both, the Sunny Slide Up and Apricot Lane’s Facebook pages to be eligible to win. The winner will be chosen AT RANDOM and will be announced on Friday June 20th. If the winner does not claim the prize by the end of Friday, June 20th, a new winner will be chosen. Facebook is in no way associated with, endorses or sponsors this contest.
Special offers all week long!
- Sunday: 3Strands power – Education is the first step. **Every customer that makes a purchase will receive a 3Strands bracelet.
- Monday: Bandeau Beautiful – Great fashion requires great underpinnings. **$5 bandeaus with any purchase.
- Tuesday: Tank Tuesday – Every girl need a collection of Nikibikis. **$10 tanks with any purchase.
- Wednesday: Pretty in Print – Some fun to get over the hump! **Everything with a print is 25% off.
- Thursday: Hello, Piko! – What’s your favorite tee? **Buy one Piko, get another ½ off!
- Friday: Dazed for Denim! – It’s our favorite staple. **All denim is 30% off!
- Saturday: LBD or LWD you choose! – Both are a wardrobe must! **All black & white dresses are 25% off.
To celebrate this awesome event, Apricot Lane Charlotte is teaming up with us here at Sunny Slide up for this giveaway!