We recently hosted a big brunch for family and friends who came from out of town for my daughter Maddie’s Bat Mitzvah. After the brunch, I was left with a good deal of beautiful fresh strawberries so I spent a few days whirring them into smoothies. This one, made with Silk soy milk is a new favorite.

I train with weights most weekday mornings, and I like to eat something that is high in protein when I return home. Why? Because protein provides energy and is essential for growth, repair, and maintenance of lean muscle tissue. Silk Soymilk contains 8 grams of protein per cup so this smoothie is great as a post workout drink. (If I’m looking to boost the protein further, I sometimes add some protein powder.)

Smoothies weren’t that appealing in the winter, but now that the weather is warm, I am really enjoying them. In addition to the protein content, another great thing about this Strawberry Date Smoothie is it’s made with just 3 ingredients and can easily be varied. Add a few leaves of lettuce or kale for a green smoothie, or mix up the fruit: I also love it with dried cherries.

Recipe for Strawberry Date Silk Smoothie

Ingredients:

*1 heaping cup of fresh strawberries, sliced in half

*4 pitted dates, preferably Deglet Noor

*1 cup of Silk soy milk (I used the Original flavor)

*1 cup of ice

*1 teaspoon of all-natural jam for added sweetness- optional (try strawberry, raspberry, or another flavor; I used a spoonful of this jam-like preserved rose petals)

Directions:

Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until the desired consistency is reached. Add additional ice for a thicker smoothie and more liquid for a thinner one.

Be sure to check out the Silk website, where you can sign up for a coupon for $.75 off of your Silk soymilk purchase!

Disclosure: This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

Maria Speck‘s award-winning first cookbook Ancient Grains for Modern Meals is one of my favorites, so I was extremely pleased when I heard Maria was writing a follow up. Her new book is called Simply Ancient Grains: Fresh and Flavorful Whole Grain Recipes for Living Well and I am happy to say this book is just as lovely as the first. It features beautiful, innovative ways to fit grains including amaranth, buckwheat, freekeh, millet, quinoa, sorghum, and teff into your life.

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Beets and Oranges from @winnieab | www.healthygreenkitchen.com

Ancient grains are wholesome and versatile staple foods, and Maria will inspire you to think way outside the box with recipes such as Burgundy Bulger with Blueberries and Orange Blossom Water, Sweet Potato and Oat Cakes with Blue Cheese and Sage, and Lemony Millet Pudding with Caramelized Grapes. I made her gorgeous Quinoa Salad with Roasted Beets for a family gathering and it quickly disappeared…I am certain you will have a similar experience with her recipes :)

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Beets and Oranges from @winnieab | www.healthygreenkitchen.com
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Steel-Cut Oats with Coconut, Pomegranate, and Walnuts from @winnieab | www.healthygreenkitchen.com

Pacific Foods makes a variety of non-dairy beverages and they recently sent me some of their new organic coconut milks.

I’ve only ever purchased coconut milk in cans before, and I use those cans for soups and other recipes where I am looking for a creamy product with really distinct coconut taste. Pacific’s coconut milk is entirely different. It tastes light, mildly sweet (it’s sweetened with coconut water only), and quite hydrating/refreshing. It contains notable amounts of vitamin b12, vitamin D, and potassium, as well.

coconut milk

I’ve been playing around with different oatmeal recipes lately, and decided to try cooking my steel-cut oats in Pacific’s Original Coconut Milk instead of water or regular milk. I like how the coconut milk imparted a subtle sweetness to the cooked oatmeal. I portioned out the steel-cut oats cooked with coconut milk and added pomegranate seeds, toasted walnuts, plain yogurt, and a little unsweetened coconut as a garnish, then drizzled some pomegranate molasses on top to finish. So good!
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There is so much to love about Sara Forte’s recently published book: The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl and Spoon: Simple and Inspired Whole Foods Recipes to Savor and Share.

Bowl and Spoon by Sara Forte

Like her blog (and her first book), Bowl and Spoon is filled with recipes that celebrate beautiful, nourishing produce, and is sumptuously photographed by her husband, Hugh Forte. Sara’s warm and wise words are a joy to read, as always.

I really adore the premise of Bowl and Spoon. In Sara’s words: “food in a bowl has an aesthetic gentleness to it that feels stark on a plate- ingredients nestled within each other, tangled to make most sense as a sum of their parts.” With recipes for “Morning Bowls”, “Side Bowls”, “Big Bowls”, “Sweet Bowls”, and “Dressings and Sauces”, this book is meant to inspire colorful, wholesome meals. The food is stunning but it’s not fussy; Sara is all about practicality.

I had a hard time deciding what to make, but in honor of it finally feeling like spring around here, I went with Sara’s Roasted Asparagus Bowl. It’s a tasty combination of roasted asparagus, green lentils, toasted walnuts, and a vinaigrette replete with herbs.

Roasted Asparagus Bowl from @winnieab | www.healthygreenkitchen.com

I ate this for lunch with some baguette slathered with fresh ricotta, and I refrigerated the leftovers and ate them the following day with 2 soft-boiled eggs mixed in. I will definitely make this recipe again. And again.

Roasted Asparagus Bowl from @winnieab | www.healthygreenkitchen.com
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I’ve been a fan of Alexia Foods for a very long time, so I am very pleased to partner with them on this post. They asked me to come up with a balanced weeknight-friendly meal to share with my readers. I decided to make one of my all-time favorite easy meals: a Tuna Melt with Baked Sweet Potato Fries.

Alexia’s waffle-cut seasoned sweet potato fries are a great addition to any meal but I often serve them alongside sandwiches. The fries cook up crispy and have great flavor. I usually make tuna melts like this one for lunch, but it makes a wonderful protein-packed quick dinner, as well. Serve with a giant salad, if desired.

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