shopsmallThere are few “holidays” nearer and dearer to us than Shop Small Saturday and I know we’re all looking forward to getting out in the neighborhood (DC too!) to score some great deals on locally made goods. Swing by and say hi if you’re out and about in Bethesda Row!

pomegranate-orange martini

HEAblueberry[photo credit – Healthfully Ever After]

Let’s all raise a glass to our friends, family and good fortune this Thanksgiving and if you’re looking for something to fill it with this pomegranate-orange martini is a good place to start! ;)

6 tablespoons pomegranate juice, divided
6 tablespoons cranberry juice cocktail, divided
2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur, divided
1/4 cup raspberry-flavored or plain vodka, divided
crushed ice
pomegranate seeds
orange curls (optional)

Combine 3 tablespoons pomegranate juice, 3 tablespoons cranberry juice cocktail, 1 tablespoon liqueur, and 2 tablespoons vodka in a cocktail shaker; fill shaker with crushed ice. Shake for 15 seconds; strain into a martini glass. Repeat procedure with remaining pomegranate juice, cranberry juice cocktail, liqueur, and vodka. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and an orange curl, if desired. YEILDS 2 servings.

tip: This cocktail can be made gluten free by using potato vodka.
recipe via Cooking Light Real Family Food September 2012

gluten free/vegan apple and sage stuffing

stuffing1Turkey may be the traditional name of the Thanksgiving game but stuffing has stolen the spotlight for most of us. IT’S JUST SO GOOD. Especially during a time of year when we’re much closer to winter and summer warmth is far off in our memory. And for me, nothing says comfort food like a casserole almost entirely made of CARBS. ;)

Making a clean stuffing (so you can eat the stuffing without feeling so STUFFED!) has been high on my to-do list and last year I think I nailed it! Made with a hemp, flax seed vegan/gluten free bread (from your freezer section) and local apples made a sage stuffing that was light and digestion friendly. The bread toasted up crisp and held its own even after baking. And most importantly the flavor got a thumbs-up from everyone at our table.

Gluten Free/Vegan Apple and Sage Stuffing:
1 loaf Three Bakers 7 Ancient Grains Whole Grain Bread
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 T. minced thyme
1 T. minced sage
2 baking apples (I used Cortland)
Kitchen Basic’s Unsalted Vegetable Stock
olive oil

Preheat oven to 400.

Thaw loaf of Three Bakers bread and tear into 1 inch – 1.5 inch pieces (shape and size isn’t crucial here!) and toss with olive oil, salt/pepper. Distribute evenly on a large baking sheet bake and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until browned (it will be slightly darker than a normal bread but that’s fine!), set aside.

Turn oven down to 375.

Heat 3 T. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add celery, onions, apples, sage and thyme, salt/pepper to taste. Cook 5 minutes. Transfer toasted bread to a 9×13 casserole pan and add vegetables and broth. Set aside to allow the bread to absorb some of the liquid. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove the foil and bake for another 30. Allow to set 15 minutes before serving.

A FEW OTHER THANKSGIVING RECIPES WE ARE LOVING THIS YEAR: Kabocha Squash with Miso Tahini Dill Sauce, Pomegranate, and Walnuts shared by Hungry Curious
3-Ingredient Cranberry Sauce shared by In It For The Long Run
Sweet Potato Casserole with Cinnamon Pecan Oat Crumble shared by Pickles & Honey
Warm Wild Rice Salad with Pomegranate, Roasted Squash & Pine Nuts shared by Port and Fin
Cinnamon Spice Roasted Carrots shared by Sweet Phi

hosting thanksgiving for friends and family with dietary restrictions (the easiest way out)


Cooking Thanksgiving dinner isn’t easy. Especially if you or your host is expecting a guest with dietary restrictions. When I first embarked on my gluten free journey, now 8 years ago, every meal was basically some version of brown rice and vegetables (forget apple pie, forget dinner rolls fresh from the oven, say goodbye to stuffing forever :/ ).

Nowadays, it’s much easier to prepare a meal for someone who adheres to an alternative diet thanks to the internet and an overall increased awareness. Still, it’s certainly not simple. If you are planning on having or hosting someone on a plant-based, paleo or gluten-free (or any other!) diet and would like to find the most efficient route, local health food stores are a great place to start for both supplies and recipe suggestions.

Also, Whole Foods has prepared a number of pre-cooked and/or prepared meals for your favorite gluten free/vegan family and friends like this Vegan Dinner for 2 (fully cooked) or individual Holiday Vegan Gardein Roast (frozen). Also, I just discovered this GF/V gravy by Pacific Foods! Thanksgiving miracle!

preparing for the start of holiday season and happy friday!

BlogBrunchDC-Blog-106fallcleansespecialI’ll be whipping up these easy Coconut and Ginger Energy Balls shared by Every Last Bite and tossing them in my weekend bag! And next week we’ll be sharing some of our favorite fall pomegranate recipes, but until then we’ll leave you with these Super Simple Vegan Pomegranate Clusters (no, seriously, super simple is an understatement), shared by Fit Foodie Finds.

ps. Not sure about removing pomegranate arils (that’s the seed’s technical term) from the fruit? Click here to see how!

strawberry ginger lemonade

EPstrawberry[photo from a daily something and mornings like these #blogbrunchdc]

In August we launched Puree Juice’s Lemonade Stand to help combat DC’s sweltering heat and soaring temperatures. We “popped up” in a handful of locations and handed out samples of a variety of new lemonades, to a warm (or I suppose, *COLD* pressed) welcome. ;) The customer favorite by far was our very summer-inspired Strawberry Ginger Lemonade, made with muddled strawberries, our signature Mean Lemonade and fresh pressed ginger juice.

Staying hydrated is one of our hardest health targets in a city constantly on-the-run (and often over 100 degrees!) so we created a line of lemonades using alkaline water which is more easily absorbed than regular tap or bottled water. While our summer seasonal flavors (which also included blueberry!) are currently unavailable, you can always get our Mean Lemonade and Green Lemonade in store or try our fall seasonal Pomegranate Lemonade in this week’s $99 2-day cleanse special!

Craving something a more seasonal? We’re loving the look of this Warm Ginger Pear Smoothie shared by lynseylovesfood!

celebrating small successes, celebrating ALL successes.

progressnotperfectionquoteHappy hump day, ya’ll! Being that it’s Wednesday and all, it seems like the perfect halfway point to reflect on what we have already done, and furthermore what the rest of the week will look like.

When we reflect back on the beginning of the week, it is important to take inventory of our actions – all of them. Hopefully we were able to remain strong and consistent since Monday on our health regiment. If not, that is okay! We need to first pat ourselves on the back for all of our successes and positive actions that we have upheld. Simply pulling your dedicated hiney out of your warm cozy bed on these freezing mornings is reason enough for me to call you a hero. Successes are successes – no matter how big or small! Next, we must, must, must acknowledge the challenges that we have faced. These challenges are not failures – we are human and as such we are faced with challenges in our day-to-day lives – our path to health is no different. When we take inventory of what has happened thus far, we can then analyze what might have impacted us, in both good and bad ways this week. Becoming aware of these actions will allow us to adapt and change for next week.

Next, we mustn’t forget that we still have the rest of today, tomorrow, and Friday before the weekend begins. It is now time to plan ahead for the rest of the workweek. We all know that the weekends can be the most challenging time to stick to our health regiment, so it is crucial to finish the week on a strong note. Maybe try setting some goals for yourself: try pushing yourself a little harder on the treadmill, or refrain from dessert for the rest of the workweek because you know you might indulge a bit on the weekend. Setting a plan for these days is vital to your success. Your plan making does not need to stop here – sit down and create a plan for your weekend as well. This way you will know exactly what to expect of yourself, you can truly hold yourself accountable, and your chances of succeeding will be much greater.

So enjoy this beautiful Wednesday, reflect on what you have already accomplished, forgive yourself for any challenges you might have encountered, pat yourself on the back for your successes, and plan ahead for what is to come. You can do it… I know you can!