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Tag: mint (Page 1 of 2)

Refreshing Cucumber Mint Soup

Cool off with this refreshing and invigorating cucumber mint soup. Cucumbers, mint, and lime juice are some of the coolest foods around.  When pureed with an avocado, some coconut milk, and spices, you get an amazingly flavorful and healthy chilled soup that has a lovely, creamy texture.

cucumber mint soup with pink vaseWith the outdoor temperature around here soaring this week, a cold soup is a perfect addition to any meal.  And it is so easy to make–just put the ingredients in a blender and blend! Then pour it into a container and let it chill!  This recipe is adapted from my husband’s favorite cookbook, Thrive Energy Cookbook by Brendan Brazier.  It is a plant-based, vegan recipe–great for building up the immune system and recharging the body with lots of wonderful nutrients. If you don’t like coconut milk, you can always substitute Greek yogurt to get the creamy texture without the subtle coconut taste.  I have gotten so I really like the coconut milk taste, and it feels good to have an alternative to dairy sometimes, though I still love my cheese and yogurt.

I made this soup a couple of times this week especially for my husband.  Like I mentioned, he loves the Thrive cookbook, and he loves all these super-healthy, plant-based recipes.  Since he is almost fully recovered from his knee surgery and enjoying doing more running and exercising outside, he is looking for food that will help his body renew and gain energy.  Our kids don’t love this soup, so it is in honor of my husband that I make it (though I like it a lot too).  In the busy hubbub of our days and our life right now, he doesn’t always get the special attention he got when we were first married.  He is my biggest supporter when it comes to me doing this blog, and he is awesome.

cucumber mint soup with pink vase 4Summer is fully, completely here.  We went swimming at a nearby lake last weekend.  Before we left for home, I went into the bathroom there to change out of my wet bathing suit. The changing room had an open-air courtyard and curtains across the individual changing stalls.  The wind came in through the open ceiling and was lightly blowing the curtains, not enough to compromise anyone’s privacy, but enough that the curtains were billowing gently in the breeze, creating a hushed, peaceful atmosphere.  It was such a serene setting, with the sun shining through the leaves in the open-air ceiling, and the curtains quietly flowing with the breeze.  Women from all walks of life were going in and out, and everyone was so peaceful and refreshed after cooling off in the lake.  I never expected to find this lovely setting in a public bathroom at a state park. It was a quiet oasis in the middle of a busy crowd, like time was standing still for a few minutes.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and can find some time for some peace in the middle of it all! Fiesta Friday is a happy space to visit too, and I plan to head over there soon. Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook and Colleen @ Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck are co-hosting this week.cucumber mint soup in hands 3cucumber mint soup spicescucumber mint soup on traycucumber mint soup in sun 2

Cucumber Mint Soup

  • Servings: 4-6
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  • 3 medium cucumbers, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  • a small handful of fresh mint leaves, torn from the stems
  • a small handful of cilantro leaves, torn from the stems
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • a pinch of chili powder
  • fresh mint leaves for garnish


Wash the vegetables and herbs. Peel and coarsely chop the cucumbers.  If they have big seeds, cut out the seedy parts before chopping.  Tear the mint and cilantro from their stems and peel and chop the avocado. Squeeze the lime juice. Place the cucumber, mint, cilantro, avocado and lime juice in a blender.  Add the cumin, sea salt, and pepper.  Puree all the ingredients.  Add the coconut milk and lightly blend to combine.  Add more salt, if desired.  Pour the soup into a container, cover it tightly, and chill for at least an hour.  Serve the soup cold as a side dish or a light lunch. Top with a pinch of chili powder (it looks pretty when swirled) and mint leaves if desired. This tastes great with tortilla chips! Enjoy!


Strawberry-Mint Pizza With a Hint of Lime

Fruit pizza is such a versatile thing. It’s like a blank canvas where you can mix and match different fruits, flavors, and colors. This strawberry-mint pizza features strawberries, chopped mint, and cream cheese frosting infused with lime juice and lime zest, all on top of a scrumptious sugar cookie crust.  It’s a fresh, delicious, and beautiful dessert, like a taste of spring.

strawberry-mint pizza on baking sheet 2It is teacher appreciation week at my kids’ school, and I am helping out with bringing food in to the teachers to make their week special.  Fruit pizza is one of the things I took in this week, and this strawberry-mint fruit pizza recipe I am sharing here is the happy product of some experiments in the kitchen the past couple of days.  My kids really loved this version, and they were glad I made one to keep at home and didn’t give everything to the teachers. 🙂  (Though teachers do deserve lots of appreciation–that is such an important job!)

It is not yet strawberry season here, but it will be before we know it, so I wanted to make something that felt like spring.  We do have mint growing rampantly in our garden already, and I really like the combination of strawberry and mint. For the cream cheese frosting, I also wanted to liven it up a bit, and so I adapted a recipe for lime cream cheese frosting from one I found on Food52, who got it from Two Red Bowls.  This frosting is so easy to make, and it has such a nice, subtly zingy flavor from the lime.  The cookie crust recipe I adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction, and this crust is delicious.

strawberry mint pizza in handsOne of my favorite parts about making this strawberry-mint pizza was going out into our garden and picking the mint leaves.  Such a treat, and a hint of what’s to come as more things start to grow.  Of course the possibilities are endless as far as fruit pizzas go, but this combination is really refreshing and tasty, not to mention very pretty!

I hope you all have a great weekend, and if you are celebrating Mother’s Day, I hope you have a very special day.

Fiesta Friday is co-hosted this week by Kaila @ GF Life 24/7 and Laurena @ Life Diet Health. I look forward to checking out the fiesta!lime frostingstrawberry mint pizza with background 2 strawberry mint pizza with mintDSC_0045

Strawberry-Mint Pizza With a Hint of Lime

  • Servings: 10-12
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For the crust:


  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of cornstarch


In a large mixing bowl, beat (or stir vigorously) the butter till fluffy.  Stir in the sugar and beat or stir again, until creamy.  Add the egg and the vanilla and beat or stir again, until creamy and all the ingredients are mixed together (any clumps of butter need to be incorporated into the batter).

In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and corn starch.  Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ones, carefully beating/stirring until the batter is all combined to form a dough.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  After the dough has chilled, spread it out gently with your fingers onto a lightly greased  12-inch pizza pan.  If you don’t have one (like me), you can use a regular cookie sheet, and just shape the dough into a circle on that.  Press it gently down so it is evenly distributed.  Bake in your 350 degree oven for about 18-20 minutes, or till the crust is just lightly browned.  You don’t want to over-bake it.  Remove the crust from the oven and allow it to cool completely before continuing.  (Your can work on your frosting and chopping the fruit while the dough is chilling and also while the crust is cooling.)

The recipe for the crust is adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

For the frosting:


  • 4 ounces of cream cheese, softened (low-fat versions do not work well for this frosting)
  • 1 tablespoon of butter, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of confectioner’s sugar
  • 1-3 teaspoons of lime juice, depending on your preference, and depending on the desired thickness of the frosting
  • 1 teaspoon of lime zest


If you are using an electric mixer, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and beat until all is smooth and fluffy, adding the lime juice as needed.

If you are using a hand mixer (I love using a hand mixer), cream the cream cheese and butter together first. It makes is much easier if the cream cheese and butter are very soft.  Add the confectioner’s sugar 1/2 cup at a time, mixing after each addition.  Finally, beat in the lime zest and lime juice as desired, till the frosting is light and fluffy. If it’s too watery, add more sugar.  If it’s too thick, add more lime juice till it’s the texture you like.

The recipe for this frosting is adapted from Food52 via Two Red Bowls.

For the strawberries and mint:


  • 1 pound of fresh strawberries, washed and sliced
  • a handful of fresh mint leaves, washed and finely chopped


When the crust is baked and cooled and the frosting is made, spread the frosting evenly over the crust, leaving a small rim around the pizza that is unfrosted.  Place the chopped strawberries and mint all over the top of the pizza, as much or as little of the toppings as you like.  Slice and serve.  Enjoy!

Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To plan ahead, you can make the crust and frosting a day in advance.  Just cover the crust with plastic wrap and store the frosting in the refrigerator.  Chop the fruit and assemble the pizza the next day.





Refreshing Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh is one of the most refreshing salads I have ever tasted.  With lots of mint, cucumber, lemon juice, parsley, and ripe, juicy tomatoes, it not only quenches my thirst and naturally cools me down, but it is also full of nutrients and tastes delicious. The grain in tabbouleh is bulgur wheat, which tastes similar to couscous.  close-up of tabboulehI really like bulgur because it is a hundred percent whole wheat and full of fiber, iron, protein, and vitamin B-6.  Bulgur is also a relatively low glycemic index food, so it causes less fluctuations in blood glucose levels than many other carbohydrates. Plus, it is filling without giving one that stuffed feeling.

mintWith the heat wave we have been experiencing this week, it is the perfect dish to satisfy a body in need of nutrients with a light touch.  It is also a perfect dish to take to potlucks and picnics, since this salad does not wilt easily.

I can’t believe I forgot about this dish all summer until now, since my whole family loves it, and I made it numerous times last summer.  We have some of the ingredients growing in our very own garden right now, including parsley, tomatoes ripening on the vine, and mint growing rampant.  That makes it even better, because the freshness of the vegetables is key to the wonderful flavor.  Luckily, I am now back on track again with the tabbouleh, and there is still time to make more, with the tomatoes still rolling in!  After eating a big bowlful during dinner tonight, my son said that he likes tabbouleh so much, he would rather eat a bowl of it than eat an Oreo (!), and with him, that is saying something.  With that kind of endorsement, I am going to make another batch tomorrow! In fact, I plan to double the recipe so it will last for more than one meal.

veggies and bulgurThe recipe I am sharing below reflects the balance of traditional tabbouleh ingredients we like best in my family.  Feel free to adjust the levels to your personal tastes.  It only takes about a half hour to whip up a batch, though it tastes best after it has chilled at least an hour.

Until the next time, stay cool, and savor what remains of the beautiful summer! The mornings have been so misty and lovely here lately, before the day starts to really heat up.  The insects are humming and there is a golden hue to the light. I hope you have a great Labor Day weekend! I am off to visit Angie’s Fiesta Friday, co-hosted today by Effie @ Food Daydreaming and Steffi @ Ginger & Bread.bulgur and veggiestwo bowls of tabboulehclose up tabbouleh

Refreshing Tabbouleh

  • Servings: 4
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  • 1/2 cup of bulgur
  • 1 cup of tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup of cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup of green onions, finely sliced
  • 1/2 cup of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


Wash the bulgur in a bowl, changing the water a few times.  Then cover the bulgur with boiling water.  Set aside and let it sit for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, wash and finely chop the vegetables and herbs, and place them in a medium bowl.  Add the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.  When the bulgur is done, drain it through a fine strainer.  Take the bulgur by handfuls and squeeze the excess water out of it, then add it to the bowl with the salad mixture.  Stir gently to combine.  Cover and refrigerate the tabbouleh for at least one hour.  Serve cold.  Enjoy!


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