Smoothie Basics

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I’ve been making daily green smoothies for more than two months now as of this post. Here are the things that I find successful. I encourage you to experiment and see what you like.

Ratios for a smoothie:

I like smoothies made with 1 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 2 cups (60 g) baby spinach, and 140 g fruit.

  • Elizabeth Rider recommends blending 1 cup liquid, 2 to 3 cups greens, 1 cup fruit, and 1 Tablespoon nuts, seeds, or nut butter. She says, “Keep your green smoothie to at least double, preferably triple, greens to fruit ratio to keep the sugar content of your drink low and reasonable (no blood sugar spikes here!)”
  • 100 Days of Real Food recommends using 40% greens: 1 cup base, 1 cup greens, and 1.5 cups fruit to make a 16 oz. smoothie.

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Turkey Enchilada Sauce

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A bowl of goodness

A bowl of goodness

This recipe is a variation on my beloved Sweet Potato Enchilada Pie. The combination of sweet potato, mushroom, beans, and cheese makes me want to sing with joy. However, I wanted to make a version of this dish that didn’t have tortillas in it and lightened up the cheese. Depending on the enchilada sauce you use, this could be a gluten-free dish (I used Hatch brand). I added yogurt to bring the heat down, since we used medium-heat sauce. No extra spices are needed, because the sauce has good flavor on its own. We served it over sweet potatoes that were steamed in the microwave. You may also like this sauce over pasta.

Makes 8 servings (1/2 cup each)

To make this vegetarian, omit the turkey and add more mushrooms.

2 large sweet potatoes

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz. box sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 pound (16 oz.) ground turkey breast, 99% fat free
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, no salt added, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz.) red enchilada sauce, medium or mild
1/2 cup (2 oz.) shredded Mexican-blend cheese
1/2 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt

Microwave the sweet potatoes on the Potato setting until done. Cut in half and let cool. Peel and diced the cooked sweet potato; discard the potato peelings.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook turkey and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the beans, enchilada sauce, oregano, cumin and sweet potato; heat through.

Spinach Banana Smoothie

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See Smoothie Basics (link) for details on ingredients / methods.

Mmmm...potassium

Mmmm…potassium

Unfortunately, I woke up with leg cramps today (and a cat trying to pounce on my feet). This smoothie is similar to the Funky Monkey with the chocolate and banana elements, but it emphasizes foods that are high in potassium (and reasonable for breakfast). A sweet potato topped with chunky tomato sauce would also be high in potassium, but I would eat this dish for lunch with a little sharp cheddar cheese. However, if you do want to throw half a cooked sweet potato in the blender, though, check out the Sweet Potato Smoothies.

About the chocolate almond butter: I used Kolat brand with dark chocolate and coconut. If this is not available in your area, you could use 1 Tablespoon plain almond butter and unsweetened cocoa powder to taste.

Makes about 20 oz.

1 cup coconut water
1 cup plain, fat-free Greek yogurt
60 g baby spinach (about 2 cups)
1 medium banana (about 4 oz.)
1 Tablespoon chocolate almond butter
Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Pineapple Green Smoothie

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See Smoothie Basics (link) for details on ingredients / methods.

This smoothie is based on proportions recommended by Elizabeth Rider: 1 cup liquid, 2 to 3 cups greens, 1 cup fruit, and 1 Tablespoon nut butter.

I recommend freezing the pineapple the night before — this smoothie tastes better when it is cold.

Makes about 20 oz.

 

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
60 g baby spinach (about 2 cups)
1/2 cucumber, peeled and sliced (about 4-inch piece or 1 cup cucumber slices)
1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
1 Tablespoon creamy cashew butter

Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Three Amigos Turkey Chili

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Serve this mild chili with corn muffins and hot sauce to taste. Leftovers are great for lunch with a mixed green salad.

Makes about 7 cups
Total time: 40 minutes

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 pound ground turkey breast
1 can diced tomatoes with garlic — do not drain
1 can (15 ounces) each garbanzos, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 ounces) each black beans, drained
1 can (15 ounces) each Great Northern (white) beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 ounces) low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Heat oil on medium-low. Add onion and sauté until soft (about 3 to 5 minutes). Add turkey, breaking up pieces with a spoon, and brown (about 5 minutes.) Add tomatoes with juice, beans, broth, and spices. Stir and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.

Adapted from Men’s Health (Salt reduced. Kidney beans swapped out for white beans.)

Chicken Sausage and Pepper Pizza

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Delicious homemade pizza

Delicious homemade pizza

This pizza recipe is based on 3 or 4 recipes from online. We got the pizza dough from our supermarket deli. The advice to bake the crust for a little bit before adding toppings was perfect: it came out chewy with great texture. We also cooked 4 sausage links and 2 peppers, then halved them for this recipe. The leftover sauce, sausage, and peppers would be great over pasta.

Makes 8 servings.

Make it vegetarian: Omit the sausage and use sauteed baby bella mushrooms instead.

Dough:
1 thawed pizza dough (1 crust) from deli
Yellow cornmeal

Sauce: You will have sauce leftover for other meals
2 cups spaghetti sauce with mushrooms
6 oz. can tomato paste
1 Tablespoon Italian Herb mix

Toppings:
2 raw chicken sausage links (we used spinach and feta sausage)
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 orange bell pepper, seeded and diced
Large handful of baby spinach (about 1.5 cups or 45 g)

Cheese:
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan

 

Heat the oven to 500F. Sprinkle cornmeal on a cutting board and a large rimless baking sheet.

Knead the dough lightly on the cutting board, and then stretch it out into a rectangle. Shape the dough onto the baking sheet, stretching into shape (about 1 inch/2 cm thick). Bake for 3 minutes, until the dough is puffed and lightly golden.

Turn the oven down to 400F.

Make the sauce: combine spaghetti sauce, tomato paste, and herbs in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until heated through. Keep on low heat while you cook the toppings.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Lightly coat the skillet with cooking spray. Cook the sausage links almost all the way through. Take them out of the pan and slice into coins. Return the sausage slices to the pan, and cook until the sausage is completely cooked.

Spread a liberal amount of sauce on the crust, leaving a border. Tile the sauce with the sausage slices.

Cook the peppers in the sausage drippings until they become tender. Stir often. Add the baby spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted. Using tongs, layer the peppers and spinach over the sausage slices.

Sprinkle the cheese on top, making sure that you cover the toppings with an even layer of cheese.

Bake the pizza at 400F for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the pizza crust is golden brown.

Cut into 8 pieces and serve.

 

Rosemary Chocolate Chip Cookies

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An informal poll at my office showed that women liked these more than men did.

An informal poll at my office showed that women liked these more than men did.

This is a modified vegan recipe: it uses coconut oil instead of butter and 1 egg (instead of a flax-seed substitute). I really like that it uses much less sugar than a traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe. I used extra dark chocolate chips. The rosemary adds such an interesting flavor with the chocolate chips. It doesn’t make the dough green. I omitted the salt and didn’t miss it at all.

Use a tablespoon-size cookie disher (scoop) to measure out the dough so that the cookies are the same size.

Isa says, “Make sure that your coconut oil is at room temperature. It shouldn’t be clear and melted, just somewhat creamy without any large lumps.” They are puffier than purely vegan cookies, and I believe that’s because of the egg.
Makes 24 cookies

1/2 cup refined coconut oil, softened
1 teaspoon rosemary powder
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (I used Guittard Extra Dark 63% cocoa)

 

Heat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease two large baking sheets.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the coconut oil and rosemary powder, until relatively smooth. Add the sugars, and beat for about a minute.

Add the egg, and beat for 30 seconds or so. Mix in the vanilla.

Mix in about half the flour, the salt, and the baking soda, and mix well. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Beat in the remainder of the flour. Add the chocolate chips, and beat briefly to make the dough.

Scoop the dough onto prepared cookie sheets (or use a tablespoon). Flatten gently with your hands. (Tip: press a few extra chips into the top of each cookie before baking.)

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until bottoms are golden brown.

Let cool on sheets for 3 minutes or so, then transfer to cooling racks to cool the rest of the way.

 

Adapted from a recipe by the wonderful Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Best Recipe: Roasted Kale with Apple Wedges

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Action shot! (Seriously, don't let the blurry photo deter you from making this dish)

Action shot! (Seriously, don’t let the blurry photo deter you from making this dish)

Adapted from a more complicated recipe in the Food Network magazine. Very delicious! The kale gets crispy in the oven and is better than potato chips. We served this as a side dish with rotisserie chicken.

1 bunch organic green kale (about 8 oz.)
2 Tablespoons (1 oz.) extra virgin olive oil
2 organic Gala apples (about 8 oz. of apples)
Himalayan pink salt

Heat the oven to 425F. Spread a piece of foil on a rimmed baking sheet; coat lightly with cooking spray.

Wash the kale, and cut the stems out. Slice into 2 to 3-inch wide strips. Place the kale in a large bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over the kale. Put on a pair of food-safe handling gloves, and massage the kale lightly.

Core the apples, and cut them into thin wedges. Add them to the kale and stir to combine.

Spread the kale-apple mixture on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt.

Roast for 20 minutes until apples are tender and kale is crunchy in spots.

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