Inspiration: 101 Cookbooks

I meant to write up a recipe for a sweet potato soup today last week, but I just didn't get around to it. I got distracted/lazy. I'll be sure to get that up this week, because it was very good ifidosaysomself. So, in lieu of that post I thought I'd show some blog love to a blogger that I admire for her creativity both in the kitchen and in life. She inspires me to look at simple ingredients differently and to play around with flavors.

101 Cookbooks is written by the talented Heidi Swanson who is based in San Francisco. Her recipes are simple, healthy and honest food. What always wows me is how she incorporates and plays with flavors. Stuff that you would never think of putting together. I mean it's not rocket science, but sometimes trying to cook an easy meal feels like it.

Take for example her Red Lentil Soup. A seven ingredient (six if you're me) list, none of which scream exotic or amazing. Why did I make it then? A friend who has good taste and loves to cook recommended it to me, so I figured why not. Well, I'm glad I did!

The soup itself is basic and a cinch to prepare. What makes it special are the little extras she suggests as toppings. Almonds, black cured olives, feta. Yes please to all of them (well maybe not the dairy for me)! Those toppings take a humble soup of brown rice and red lentils and make it so much better. And if you happen to have a bottle of truffle oil that someone was kind enough to gift to you, well then swirl that in too.

Some of my other favorites:

Simple Tomato Soup
Baked Quinoa Patties
Orange and Oat Scones
Nikki's Healthy Cookies

If you're looking for simple food with flair then be sure to visit 101 Cookbooks!


Berry Avocado Smoothie

Can I share a secret with you? Promise not to tell anyone?

I am not a breakfast person.

There I said it. Now the whole world knows.

I eat breakfast only because I hear it's the right thing to do and because if I don't my stomach will remind me to eat something. Now, it's not that I don't like breakfast foods. It's just that most breakfast foods tend to require chewing. I'm so not into chewing my food in the mornings. Too weird?

To remedy the fact that I need/should eat breakfast I've become best friends with my blender. I love my blender, because with it I can make endless variations of smoothies. I looooove smoothies. No chewing necessary. Just drink up!

One of my favorite, if not favorite, smoothies is a Raw Chocolate Shake (sans the maple syrup). Since I limit my dairy intake, I can't have the yummy creamy chocolate ice cream with banana malted shakes I use to enjoy on a regular basis. The Raw Chocolate Shake has taken its place and I feel like I'm having a treat when I blend one up. I would love to have it every morning for breakfast, but I've come to realize that it's good to change things up. Keep life interesting ya know!

So from time to time I'll whip up a smoothie with mixed berries and avocado! Yup, folks an avocado. It totally gives it that creamy thick consistency. And no, it doesn't taste like avocado. Well, at least I don't think so. Give it a whirl folks. It's total health food in a glass! No chewing necessary.

Berry Avocado Smoothie
Serves 1

1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 small avocado
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
2 cups almond milk (or any non-dairy milk alternative)
*optional sweeten to taste with honey or stevia if needed (sometimes the berries are not sweet enough)

Place all ingredients in blender and blend till smooth. Serve and enjoy!