Carrie Vitt is one of the sweetest people I know and she’s got a great new cookbook out called The Grain-Free Family Table: 125 Delicious Recipes for Fresh, Healthy Eating Every Day. Carrie has experienced huge improvements in various health issues via diet change: she follows a grain-free diet and the focus of this book is grain-free recipes.

grain-free stuffed peppers from @winnieab//www.healthygreenkitchen.com

While I don’t eat a grain-free diet, I really like this cookbook because it’s packed with protein-filled recipes as well as recipes that feature fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, grain alternatives, natural fats, and wholesome sweets. Moreover, the food photos, shot by Carrie, are beautiful, and my recipe for sauerkraut is on page 258!

I have made these stuffed peppers a few times now and my family enjoys them a lot. For the record, I have not been too keen on adopting the “cauliflower in lieu of rice” trend but I did “rice” the cauliflower for this recipe and I am glad I gave it a try (it’s really easy to do and it increases the veggie quotient of this dish). That said, feel free to substitute cooked rice for the cauliflower rice if you like, and if you don’t need the recipe to be grain free. (Note that this is not a Paleo cookbook, but Carrie gives suggestions for how to make each recipe Paleo/dairy free if that’s something you need.)

grain-free stuffed peppers from @winnieab//www.healthygreenkitchen.com
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We went to the Dominican Republic back in December and boy am I missing it right now. The beach was so, so beautiful and the weather was perfect. And the fruit! The mangoes, papayas, etc. were really delicious. I drank their juices and ate plates of them every day.

Ever since I got home, I have been buying papaya at the market because I enjoy it so much. While I love a few slices with my breakfast, I’ve also discovered it’s great in smoothies. One of my new favorites is this one with fresh squeezed blood orange juice, papaya chunks, and frozen dark sweet cherries.

Blood Orange, Papaya, and Cherry Smoothie from @winnieab//www.healthygreenkitchen.com

I made this smoothie last week hoping to share it with you on Valentine’s Day. But there’s really no reason to relegate this dark red beauty of a smoothie to a holiday! It’s a wonderful winter treat you can enjoy any time.

Blood Orange, Papaya, and Cherry Smoothie from @winnieab//www.healthygreenkitchen.com

You don’t have to use blood orange juice; You can absolutely use the juice of any type of oranges. Don’t use bottled orange juice if you can help it, though…it won’t be nearly as good if you do. I’ve also made a version of this without the frozen cherries and I like that one, too, but the cherries add great flavor and a powerful punch of nutrients so I strongly recommend them.

Feel free to change up this smoothie by adding some more fruit such as banana and/or pineapple, greens, yogurt, protein powder, etc.
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Heart Disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. To increase awareness and help prevent heart disease, the American Heart Association is currently sponsoring American Heart Month. Since eating lots of fruits and vegetables is strongly recommended as a preventative measure for heart disease, I’ve partnered with Dole on this post to inspire you to eat more of these in 2015, and especially during Heart Month.

When the folks from Dole asked me to come up with a healthy, heart-inspired recipe, I had many different ideas about what I could make. In the end, I had a lot of fun creating this Greens Quesadilla, especially since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner :)

quesadilla_hearts_text
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