Sandwich Verde by Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven



Sandwich Verde





Serve this vibrant sandwich on Independence Day, at a beach picnic, or anytime for that matter.  Summer is the season when fruits and berries are ripe, the ocean breeze beckons, and Peru provides a bumper crop of buttery fruits called avocados.  Assemble these Verde Sandwiches ahead of time and neatly wrap in parchment paper and sandwich baggies for your next outing.



Quantity:  1 sandwich


Ingredients

2 slices organic grains and seeds bread (eureka!)
2 slices vegan pepper jack cheese (Go Veggie) 
½ avocado
Tofu Spinach Pesto Sausage link (Tofurky)
buttery spread (Smart Balance Light with Flaxseed Oil)
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika


Directions

Use kitchen scissors to snip the stems off the baby spinach leaves.
Wash and dry the baby spinach.

Wash and dry the lemon.
Slice and juice the lemon into a bowl.

Carefully cut the avocado in half.  (Keeping the avocado halves on the cutting board is key to avoiding injury when cutting.)
Place the avocado halves on a cutting board.
Use a smaller knife to cut the flesh into long segments.  
Spoon out the flesh into the bowl of lemon juice. 

Slice a link of tofu spinach pesto sausage.
Follow the package directions to cook the tofu spinach pesto sausage link.  (This is usually 3-4 minutes of grilling on each side, turning occasionally.) 

Toast the bread slices on both sides until golden brown. 
Butter one side of each slice of bread.

Add one slice of vegan pepper jack cheese to each slice of bread.

Then, neatly place the sliced avocado on one of the slices of bread.

Salt the avocado slices to taste.

Sprinkle the sliced avocado with smoked paprika.

Place the sliced, grilled tofu spinach pesto sausage on the other slice of bread.

Top the tofu spinach pesto sausage with a handful of baby spinach.  

Bring the two slices of bread together, gently pressing, to form a sandwich.


*For a variation on this sandwich you may wish to add dill-cashew spread or Lizano Salsa.








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Fitness and Living Jigsaw: Number 7 by Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven



Fitness and Living Jigsaw:  Number 7






What signs of better strength, wellness, and living have you seen since Fitness and Living Jigsaw: Number 6?

Remind yourself again:  You deserve to live well and be well.  Making fitness and good nutrition a routine, a habit, and expression of how you respect yourself is essential to developing a desire to get moving and stay moving.  

It is imperative to understand the power of health and wellness.  One of the most critical factors in the process of physical, mental, and emotional wellness is you.  Your creativity, choices, workout equipment, awareness of your own abilities, evaluation of health goals, and execution of good habits is essential.  Execution and implementation can be a challenge, although without implementing the proper healthy habits all the reading of exercise articles will not make you physically stronger.  Rather than a specific plan, this article supplies guidelines, inspiration, and ideas to spark your interest.

Often I am asked about my routine for healthy living and how I maintain good fitness, especially when I am regularly baking, cooking, and always on the hunt for excellent restaurants.  No big secrets here.  I eat well, get a good amount of sleep, rest, and give my body and mind a goodwork out.  If anyone knows a thing or two about fitness and nutrition, it’s me.  And if I can do it, you can too.  A background of teaching health and physical education, as well as a lifelong interest in nutrition, has been essential to maintain an excellent level of fitness, energy, and strength for me.  

Models, actors, athletes.  The images we see in ads, movies, and media can influence our goals and perceptions.  Keep in mind the people in those professions spend a lot of time and have a lot of time to look their best.  Or computer graphics best.  Rather than focusing on images in media, focus on health and wellness for the mind, body, and soul.  We all approach fitness at various levels, perspectives, and habits based upon previous experiences and family environment.  Take a moment to reflect upon good values, the ideas you hold close, that will be the center of what gets you physically fit.  Structure your day, fight for the time to eat well and get physically fit.  Work toward betterment, not perfection.  Be prepared to respond in life.  That means being ready to plan out options and alternatives to preserve your health and wellness.  We all know life is a continual journey, full of difficulties and blessings.  Put on some good music, turn up the volume, and get liberated from those unhealthy habits.  

Working out is not enough for our bodies.  Diet, what you eat, what you buy at the store and bring home to your kitchen, is highly significant to strong abs and obliques.  Purchase and prepare foods that satiate your appetite.  Eat seasonally and enjoy the monthly flavors.  Your fitness routine also needs variety.  Mix up your activities.  Sleep is also key.  The body, mind, and soul need rest and revitalizing.  Sometimes preparing yourself is the key.  Remind yourself in verbal or written form to workout the next day or after work.  Repeat that reminder each night before you go to bed.  This mantra may be the key to applying the health and wellness information you know to do. 

Eat.  Enjoy.  Satiate.  Satisfy.  Get nutrients.  Deal with emotions.  Make something beautiful to make your belly happy.  Breathe.  Those daily habits make a difference.  In my book, candy, cakes, cookies, and desserts are not the devil.  Too many sweets and too often is not good.  Not to worry though.  Take a breath.  If you get off the path of healthy living, I’m confident you can do better next time.  As David S. Ludwig, MD, PhD stated, “Overeating doesn't make us fat.  The process of becoming fat makes us overeat.  In other words, hunger and overeating are the consequences of an underlying problem.  Follow a simple lifestyle prescription focused on enjoyable physical activities, sleep, and stress relief to improve metabolism and support permanent behavior change.”

Jigsaw Number 7:  Leg and Core Options

Horseback Riding




Stability Ball




As part of improving flexibility, agility, and coordination change up your routine with horseback riding or utilizing an exercise ball.  Begin with either activity and then work up to doing more of that exercise.  You may find doing variations on your movements or speed and distances makes working out more interesting for you and you may see better results.  

Leg exercise is key to your fitness program.  Riding a horse improves muscular strength, including the quadriceps and hamstring muscles.  The quadriceps is a four-part muscle in the leg.  The hamstrings are a muscle group on the backside of the thigh, running from the pelvis, across the knee, and to the lower leg.  Beginners should stretch and work with a trainer to learn English and Western styles of riding, equestrian facts, techniques, how to bridle, halter, saddle, and groom a horse.  According to the Compendium of Physical Activities by Arizona State University and the National Cancer Institute, general horseback riding requires approximately the same intensity or metabolic equivalent (5.5 MET) as golf, bowling, and rock climbing.  Trotting increases the MET to 5.8 and jumping 9.0.  Note:  The Mayo Clinic instructs women that are pregnant not to participate in “[A]ctivities that pose a high risk of falling — such as downhill skiing, in-line skating, gymnastics, and horseback riding”.

Core activities are another significant option to get your heart pumping and lungs working hard.  A large exercise or stability ball can be an intense workout and used with many core exercises.  Improved flexibility and balance is another benefit.  First, select an appropriate size and weight of an exercise ball for yourself.  Carefully read the weight limit of the stability ball before purchasing; some manufacturers make a variety of features and weight limits for various purposes.  A stability or exercise ball may be utilized for hamstring exercises, leg curls, chest presses, and hip curls.  

Join with your family and friends today.  Find a locale to work out that gets you inspired.  Then return here and share your progress, tips, and what you learned.  Please remember all information is of a general nature and is furnished only for education.  See a doctor or medical professional for your own personal fitness advice.









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Note: All information is of a general nature and is furnished only for education.  See a doctor or medical professional for your own personal fitness advice.  Use of this information is at your own risk in regard to any losses, liabilities, injuries or damages resulting from any and all claims.


Credits:  drweil.com/drw/u/ART03528/Always-Hungry-David-Ludwig.html, Image courtesy of [lkunl] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Image courtesy of [stockimages] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Image courtesy of [photostock] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Credits:  drweil.com/drw/u/ART03528/Always-Hungry-David-Ludwig.html, Image courtesy of [lkunl] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Image courtesy of [stockimages] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Image courtesy of [nenetus] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net,   Image courtesy of [JanPietruszka] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, KiropraktorCentrum, https://sites.google.com/site/compendiumofphysicalactivities/Activity-Categories/sports, Image courtesy of [franky242] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Roasted Fish and Kimchi Potatoes with Arugula: Martha and Marley Spoon Review



Roasted Fish and Kimchi Potatoes with Arugula





Absolutely, positively, indubitably better than takeout.


This is a brilliant, quick, and spicy as you like it meal.  Martha and Marley Spoon delivers recipes and ingredients to your door, “Technology allows us to become your local greengrocer, butcher and fishmonger.  Or at least it gives us the opportunity to reconnect you with the core values of knowing where your food comes from.  Building relationships with sustainable suppliers ensures that we are a lot more than just an online shop.”

My trial of the meal kit service was first-class.  The recipes were enjoyable, plentiful, and  tasty.  The online ordering, pre-portioned ingredients, chilled box, and recipe cards are smartly designed and based on Martha Stewart's techniques.  A must order whether it’s dinner for one or more. 

The Roasted Fish and Kimchi Potatoes with Arugula was remarkably flavorful and simply created on one baking sheet.  Kimchi, a cabbage that has been fermented, brought excellent flavor and spice to the smashed potatoes.  Utilizing an ingredient such as kimchi is one way to liberate your palate from the doldrums of other tired, overused ingredients.  Martha and Marley Spoon provides terrific opportunities for customers to discover new items and explore various cuisines.




Ingredients


pollock fillet (species of the cod family)
kimchi








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Credit:  marleyspoon.com

Barbecue Chicken with Dill Pickle Potato Salad: Martha and Marley Spoon Review



Barbecue Chicken with Dill Pickle Potato Salad






Recipe That Says “Disfrute de su comida” to Your Dinner Guests.


Another easy, satiating, and bright flavor meal.  Martha and Marley Spoon delivers recipes and ingredients to your door, “Technology allows us to become your local greengrocer, butcher and fishmonger.  Or at least it gives us the opportunity to reconnect you with the core values of knowing where your food comes from.  Building relationships with sustainable suppliers ensures that we are a lot more than just an online shop.”

My week long trial of the service was a success.  The meal kits are enjoyable, hearty, and delicious.  The online ordering, pre-portioned ingredients, chilled box, and recipe card are smartly designed and based on Martha Stewart's techniques.  A must order. 

The Barbecue Chicken with Dill Pickle Potato Salad has unbelievable deliciousness and layers of flavors that come together with a simple formula.  The potato salad is the star of this dish with bright, fresh flavors that will make you want an extra large portion.  This dish makes great sense for a summertime picnic or date night meal.




Ingredients


Worcestershire sauce








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Credit:  marleyspoon.com

Celery, Fennel, and Quinoa Salad: Martha and Marley Spoon Review



Celery, Fennel, and Quinoa Salad





A Recipe That Says ¡Buen provecho! to Your Family.

This dish by Martha and Marley Spoon was easy to prepare, satisfying, and teaches customers how to develop full flavor.  Martha and Marley Spoon delivers recipes and ingredients to your door, “Technology allows us to become your local greengrocer, butcher and fishmonger.  Or at least it gives us the opportunity to reconnect you with the core values of knowing where your food comes from.  Building relationships with sustainable suppliers ensures that we are a lot more than just an online shop.”

My week long trial of the service was a success.  The deliveries were enjoyable, hearty, and delicious.  Not something everyone could keep up with every day, which is why there is the option to choose the frequency of deliveries.  The online ordering, pre-portioned ingredients, chilled box, and recipe card are smartly designed and based upon Martha Stewart's techniques.  A definite must order. 

The Celery, Fennel, and Quinoa Salad with Fried Chickpeas, Almonds, and Feta was aromatic and composed with bright flavors and crunchy textures.  Quinoa salad is an excellent dish to learn to make, as it can be made in a variety of ways for many cuisines.  An enjoyable summertime meal for any family or party.




Ingredients










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Credit:  marleyspoon.com

Boozy Watermelon Pizza by Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven



Boozy Watermelon Pizza





Ripe, luscious, sweet, boozy, and for the adults.  This treat for grown-ups is refreshing and excellent for a party, patio dining, or summer escape.  Cinnamon liqueur and orange-flavored cognac infuse the fruit; the longer the watermelon and strawberries soak, the more flavorful they become.  *This recipe is also delectable without the alcohol.  


Ingredients 


1/2 cup organic honey
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup cinnamon liqueur (Goldschl├Ąger)
1/4 cup orange-flavored cognac (Grand Marnier)
1 teaspoon real maple syrup (Do not use imitation syrup.)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup sliced, organic strawberries
1/4 cup halved, organic blackberries
1 Tablespoon cut fresh, organic mint





Directions

Gently wash and dry the watermelon, strawberries, blackberries, and mint.

Use a long, sharp serrated knife to cut the watermelon.  
Slice a 1” thick round from the center of the watermelon.
Slice the round of watermelon (“crust”) into 8 equal wedges.
Place the watermelon wedges on a baking sheet.

In a saucepan on medium-high heat, bring the honey, water, and cinnamon liqueur (Goldschl├Ąger) to a boil.
Stir and cook the honey, water, and cinnamon liqueur for approximately 1 minute.
Remove from the stove and allow the syrup to cool.

Then pour the syrup evenly over the watermelon wedges on the baking sheet.
Refrigerate the watermelon wedges for one hour.

De-stem the strawberries.
Slice the strawberries horizontally.

Pour the orange-flavored cognac (Grand Marnier) into a bowl.
Place the sliced strawberries in the bowl of cognac (Grand Marnier).
Refrigerate the sliced strawberries for one hour.

Remove the watermelon wedges from the refrigerator and arrange in a circle on a round serving platter or pizza stone.

Mix the Greek yogurt, maple syrup, and vanilla extract in a small bowl.

Slice the blackberries in half horizontally.

Use kitchen scissors to snip the mint leaves.

Use a small offset spatula to dollop and spread the yogurt mixture on top of the watermelon wedges.

Top the watermelon wedges with the sliced, cognac infused strawberries, blackberries, and mint.

Enjoy.








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Patriotic Fruit Flag by Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven



Patriotic Fruit Flag





Serve this Patriotic Fruit Flag on Independence Day, Flag Day, election day, or any time the season is right.  Summer is the time when fruits and berries are ripe, luscious, and sweet.  This display of red, white, and blue is quick to assemble, fun, and one children, teens, and adults alike can create.  Assemble the fruit into a flag design on a handsome food tray, create a number of flags on several platters, or scale up in size to fit an entire table for a dramatic effect.


Ingredients




Directions


Gently wash and dry the blueberries, black cherries, strawberries, and raspberries.
Fill a small bowl with blueberries.
On a food tray, evenly distribute the black cherries, white candy coated pretzels, strawberries, and raspberries to form the red and white stripes.




*Cookery Facts:  Strawberries are fruits, not berries.  First bred in France with a cross between a species from Chile and one from the United States.

*History Facts:  The heraldry of the flag is significant.  The white stripes symbolize purity and innocence.   Red symbolizes hardiness and valor.  The blue field symbolizes vigilance, perseverance, and justice.  Each star signifies a state within the union, a new constellation, or divine goal of the nation.  Also of significance is the number of stripes; 13 to represent the original colonies.





  
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Credit:  time.com/2013/07/04/why-the-u-s-flag-is-red-white-and-blue/

Tomato and Nectarine Fruit Salad by Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven



Tomato and Nectarine Fruit Salad 





The full flavor of the season makes this dish a satiating hit.  Conquer your nutritional needs, hunger, and menu planning all in this recipe.  Walnuts give this salad a good meaty crunch, along with omega-3 fatty acids thought to assist with lower blood pressure and to reduce inflammation in the body.  Queso panela, a fresh, salty Mexican cheese, brings unity to the flavors on the plate.


*Cooking Tip:  Read a recipe several times before preparation.  Highlight or underline key steps.  Then double check you have the correct ingredients.


Serves: Two people as one salad each or twelve smaller portions.


Ingredients

6 to 12 cubes (1/2” x 1/2” x 1/2") panela cheese
2 or more organic black cherries
1/3 cup walnuts
4 Tablespoons fresh, organic baby dill
4 Tablespoons chopped fresh, organic chives
3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar


Tools

3” round stainless steel cookie cutter
produce knife
cheese knife
cutting board
large bowl
paper towel 
measuring spoons
sauce pot
spoon
serving plates
kitchen scissors
baking sheet
parchment paper
table knives 
salad forks


Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius).

Gently wash and dry the nectarines, tomatoes, lemon, cherries, dill, and chives with water.

Pour the juice of the lemon into a large bowl.

Thinly slice the nectarines.
Place the nectarine slices into the bowl of lemon juice to prevent browning and add flavor.
Lightly sprinkle nectarines with salt.

Neatly remove the stem from each tomato.
Place the cookie cutter on top of one of the tomatoes and push down.
Trim the remaining tomato peel.
Repeat with the other tomato.
Sprinkle each tomato with salt to taste.
Sprinkle each tomato with white pepper to taste.
Place the tomatoes on a paper towel to absorb water.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place walnuts in a single layer on the parchment lined baking sheet.
Toast walnuts in the oven for approximately 5 minutes.
Use an oven mitt to carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven.
Set walnuts aside to cool.
Lightly sprinkle the toasted walnuts with salt and white pepper to taste.

Pour balsamic vinegar into a sauce pot on medium-low heat.
Allow the balsamic vinegar to barely simmer, occasionally whisking for about 3 to 5 minutes until thickened.  Keep attention on the balsamic vinegar to prevent burning. 
Remove the balsamic vinegar glaze from the heat and allow to cool until needed for plating.  

Slice the panela cheese into 6 to 12 cubes (1/2” x 1/2” x 1/2").

Use kitchen scissors to snip the chives into small pieces.

Gently pull off the baby dill fronds from the stems.




On two plates or one large platter, arrange the tomatoes, nectarines, walnuts, and cherries.  As you plate keep in mind the acronym BUFF: B for balance, U for unity, F for focal point, F for flow.
Place cubes of cheese on top of each tomato.
Sprinkle chives on top of each tomato.
Top the nectarines with dill fronds.
Add a few drops of the balsamic vinegar glaze to the plates or platter.








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