Christmas Wrap-Up and Popeye Detox Toast

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas filled with friends, family, food!  My Christmas was pretty fantastic 🙂  I had a great time and got some amazing presents, most of them food related which means I’m going to be making a lot of new and exciting recipes for you guys!

Christmas kicked off at my Uncle’s apartment in Manhattan where my whole family goes to celebrate Christmas Eve.  We celebrate the traditional Italian way with seven fish, not my favorite meal of the year.  Between my dislike for seafood, allergy to shellfish, and dairy allergy Christmas eve dinner is always hard for me.  Remember when I said I was going to start bringing a dish I can eat to every party I go to?  I really need to remember to do that! Despite the my food troubles, I absolutely love seeing my whole family.  When my family get’s together it’s always a good time!

On Christmas morning, I was back in New Jersey at my house and made pumpkin pie waffles for breakfast.  Delicious!  After some present giving and a lot of being lazy around the house, the rest of my family came over and we once again did what we do best: eat and laugh a lot!  Christmas dinner was a large organic, free-range ham, with wild winter stuffing, sautéed brussel sprouts, and rollatini.  It also was served with a big helping of family gossip and good stories.

After dinner we drank coffee, nibbled on Christmas cookies, and exchanged gifts.  I can’t wait to start using some of the kitchen gadgets I got, including a food dehydrator, mandolin slicer, Vitamix, and numerous ceramic bowls, plates, and serving dishes made by my Aunt Barbara! I think my favorite part of Christmas night was my Aunt Barbara giving me basil and tomato seedlings. I miss being around plants!  She told me how I can grow the tomato seedlings to hang around the large window in my kitchen so by spring I will have fresh tomatoes.  Also, I’m now going to have homegrown fresh basil year round.  How cool is that?! I am so so so excited about these little plants.

Today I woke up exhausted and with a food hangover.  For breakfast I toasted buckwheat apple-almond muffins with almond butter.  By lunch I was craving something green.  The past two days have not been filled with my usual copious amounts of leafy vegetables and I am feeling the withdrawal.  So I toasted some sprouted sesame bread, sautéed a large amount of spinach with garlic, and topped it with hemp hearts and fresh lemon juice.  It’s tasty, satisfying, and so good for you!  Whole grains, greens, and nuts or seeds always make a good-feeling meal 🙂

Popeye Detox Toast
vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free option 

serves one

2 slices bread of choice* (I used Ezekiel brand sprouted sesame bread)
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups organic spinach
2 Tbsp hemp hearts
olive oil
fresh lemon juice (to taste)
salt and pepper (to taste)

*use your favorite gluten-free bread if necessary

1.  Toast bread.  While bread is toasting, heat about a teaspoon of olive oil in a pan.  Add garlic and saute for about 30 seconds, or until garlic is fragrant.  Add spinach slowly and cook until it is wilted (about 2-3 minutes).  Pile spinach on toast, sprinkle with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and hemp hearts.

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