So far, I haven’t picked up the kindergarten crud, and I’m trying to keep my smoothies extra healthy. This turned out surprisingly delicious. It was my first carrot smoothie experiment, and I was attempting to add a little staying power to the smoothie with fat and protein.
Carrot Smoothie #1
- 10 small, chopped baby carrots
- 1/2 chopped green apple
- 1 clementine orange
- 1 cup spinach
- 1 tbl almond butter
- 1 tbl coconut oil
- 1 squeeze ginger pulp
- 4 oz coconut water
- 1/2 cup ice cubes
Blend together for 45 seconds or so. I’m finding with my new Nutri Ninja, that the individual blending cup does a fantastic job, but apples take up a lot of room, so I have to blend with 1/2 the apples first, then add the rest.
What is your favorite ingredient?
I had a rather expensive and scattered shopping trip to Fred Meyer yesterday. Some of my finds are in the picture above. I was in the process of fighting yet another bug and probably became overambitious, shopping for too many different recipes at once. My husband brought the bug home this time. I had 24 hours of sore throat, but I seem to have kicked it! Did smoothie drinking do the trick? Hard to say.
Yesterday, I tried my first recipe from Marco Canora’s cookbook – a berry smoothie. Extra virgin coconut oil is my new favorite ingredient. How yummy! Today I think I’ll try the same recipe, to use up my berries, but add a scoop of one of the two green supplements I bought on sale yesterday, and see what it does to the taste.
It is undeniable that some of these smoothies are going to cost more than what I usually spend on a meal, but I think I’d rather spend my protein dollars on yogurt than meat, then splurge on fruit I was not eating before. None of the superfood add-ins are cheap either, but I’m in the experimental phase. We’ll see what I stick with. Definitely the coconut oil!
What is your favorite fruit?
We all have our guilty reading pleasures, and People Magazine has been mine ever since I did a “test” subscription on my son’s new iPad two or three years ago. I can’t say I’ve been excited by too many of the recipes over this time period, but the April 13, 2015 (Avril Lavigne cover) issue may just have changed my life.
In it, there is an article about Marco Canora with three of his smoothie recipes. He’s shilling a new cookbook (which I just got around to buying today) and I’m not sure how important smoothies are to his overall food world, but for some reason, the concept struck me. I’ve made all three of his recipes with variations multiple times in the past 2 1/2 weeks. I’ve dug out a couple of other cookbooks we purchased for my mother-in-law when she was fighting cancer – the Crazy Sexy books, raw food books, smoothie specific cookbooks. My mother caught the bug and bought us the Linda Westwood book Slimming Smoothies. I’m smoothie-ing every day now and just ordered a new Nutri Ninja blender that I hope can manage ice and chia seeds a bit better!
Why am I doing this? My young son and I have traded off seven colds and 1 bout of flu since October. It’s been miserable around here. My husband has only caught a couple of them, but he doesn’t need to be this drained with his very physical job. A few days after I started smoothie-ing, my son brought home the stomach crud. I didn’t catch it! Was it the smoothies? I don’t know, but adding at least another daily serving of veg and two of fruit, as the smoothies tend to have, must be doing something good for my body. Not to mention the added liquid, which I certainly need. I’m trying to replace dinner daily with my smoothie. Will I lose weight too? I need to get on the scale and start tracking.
Anyone interested in joining me on this diet exploration? I’d love to discuss recipes and cookbooks with fellow smoothie-ers!
We’ve been so sick around my household that we haven’t had the energy to eat properly. It was time to make something fast and tasty…and low calorie!
General Tsao Tofu
1 medium turnip, sliced thinly
1 large Vidalia onion, sliced thinly
14 oz package extra firm tofu, drained and diced
1/2 cup General Tsao stir-fry sauce (I used House of Tsang)
Spray cooking spray into a stir fry pan over medium heat. Add a little olive oil to coat. When oil is ready, add onion and turnip and cook, stirring often, until soft and lightly golden. Raise temperature slightly. Add tofu and sauce and cook for eight minutes, stirring frequently.
I served this with multi-colored pasta (the kind that claims to have servings of vegetables in it). Another good choice would be rice. Enjoy!
We were so ready to eat this right out of the oven I forgot to take a picture of it! Very tasty as it is, but if you want a sweeter dessert, serve with ice cream or whipped cream, or some extra eggnog poured on top.
Apple Eggnog Cobbler
Oven to 425 degrees. Cook for 25 minutes
- 5 cups chopped apples. I leave the skins on, personally.
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1 1/2 tbl. tapioca
- 3 tbl. brown sugar
- 1 dollop honey
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 2 tbl melted butter
- 1 3/4 cup biscuit mix
- 1/2 cup eggnog
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 4 tbl melted butter
Gently mix together the ingredients up to the butter and pour into an oiled 8×8 baking pan. Then dribble the melted butter over the top. Mix together the rest of the ingredients and spoon over the apples.
Bake and enjoy!
In celebration of next week’s release of my novel Christmas Delights!
Orange Raisin Shortbread
1/3 cup golden raisins
5 tablespoons orange juice
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 8×8 pan. Bring raisins and four tablespoons of orange juice to boil in microwave or on stove. Stir; remove from heat and cool.
Combine flour and sugar in bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in raisin mixture and remaining 1 Tbs orange juice.
Knead just until dough holds together. Press into pan. Prick entire surface with fork. Sprinkle with sugar.
Bake until pale golden, 22 minutes. Makes a doughy, not terribly sweet shortbread with a delicious aftertaste!
Yes, yes, we’re addicted to pumpkin spice! Here’s a fun recipe to try, with loads of flavor.
2 Cups Diced Apples. I always leave the peel on for extra nutrition.
1 Cup Flour (or use a generous cup of gluten-free baking mix and skip the baking soda)
2 tablespoons Pumpkin spice coffee syrup (I used Torani)
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts (optional)
Preheat over to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 inch pan. Cooking time: approx. 45 minutes.
Mix applesauce, eggs, syrup and vanilla. Mix chopped apples with sugar and add to first mixture. Stir the dry ingredients together and fold in, then add walnuts.
Makes a dark, shiny cake perfect with a dollop of whipped cream!
This recipe is hearty enough for a meal on its own!
- One tube Jimmy Dean sage sausage
- One chopped onion
- Two stalks chopped celery
- One cup chicken stock
- Two eggs
- One half tsp. poultry seasoning
- One half tsp. pepper
- Six cubes seasoned bread cubes
- One bag pre-cubed squash
- 1/4 chopped pecans
- 350 degree oven
Measure bread cubes into a large bowl. Beat two eggs and combine with bread cubes. Brown sausage and add to bread cubes, then use the same pan to brown the celery and onion. Mix the stock with the seasonings and add to the celery and onion. When heated, add to the bread cube mixture. Prepare the squash per the bag instructions then add to the bread cube mixture. Mix in the pecans.
Bake for thirty minutes.
This quick recipe pairs beautifully with a smoothie for a quick summer lunch!
- 1 Box Krusteaz Almond Poppyseed Muffin Mix
- 1 Cup milk
- 3 Tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 1 Egg
- 1 Cup blueberries
Oven to 400 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners or baking spray.
Mix the first four ingredients (flour packet only), then fold in blueberries with poppyseed packet. Fill muffin tins.
Bake for 20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
I dreamed of making some new recipe that would tie into my upcoming release, The Kidnapped Bride, so I decided to adapt a recipe for Selkirk Bannock. This upcoming novella is set mostly in Scotland. While the end results were tasty, my baking did not go well, reminding me that there is chemistry involved in the process, and if I ignore the fact that my intermediate results went bad, the end result will not be perfect.
What did I learn?
If the yeast doesn’t behave, my baking project will not magically turn out perfectly at the end. It was supposed to expand and mine didn’t, even though it was fresh and I followed the package instructions. Gee, I shouldn’t have been surprised when my dough didn’t rise. And yet, I was. Next time, I will not give Active Dry yeast a shot, but use the kind that can simply be mixed in with the dough.
Don’t just blindly follow the oven time the recipe says. Every oven behaves differently. Yes, the outside of my loaf looked pretty, but it didn’t sound hollow when I tapped on it, like it was supposed to. Ergo, the dough was raw instead. Tasty, but raw.
And yes, if you put in an entire stick of butter, your food is going to be fattening. My bannock is not a diet food. Which leaves me hesitant to make it again and do a better job. Because if I can eat the sorry results of attempt number one, you know I’m going to positively inhale the results when I get it right!