Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My Favorite Smoothies

It seems everywhere you turn someone is talking about smoothies and juicing. If you've seen documentaries like Forks over Knives and Sick, Fat and Nearly Dead you'll know how helpful fresh juices/smoothies are towards obtaining your goal for better health.

It works for me for various reasons. One example, I don't eat enough salads or veggies daily, so I "drink" my salad. Eating plenty of veggies - like dark leafy greens helps rid of acidity and to alkaline the body - so it helps lessen my pain and inflammation from arthritis (in my feet and hands). You'd be surprised how an acidic body can ruin your health. Read up more about alkaline bodies here. (These are the test strips I used to check my body's pH balance).

Anyway, I've started enjoying a green smoothie every morning shortly after doing a Dr. Oz's 3-Day Detox Cleanse. You don't have to do a detox in order to enjoy a daily smoothie, but that was just my journey towards it. For years my dad always told me about the health benefits of juicing and smoothies, of course I waited till I was sick to do something about it. But hey, at least I'm doing something about it now.

Remember, taste is KEY!

My Morning Green Smoothie and Berry Afternoon Pick me Up 
My Morning Smoothie:
1 cup of filtered water
1 cup of kale (or spinach)
1 cucumber
2 celery stalks
1/2 lime juice (squeeze in to your smoothie to neutralize that green taste, trust me it works)
1 cup of pineapple
1 banana (or apple)

Blend all ingredients for a few minutes. If you're new to smoothies and it taste too "strong", add more pineapples. Sometimes I'll use a mango in place of banana just for variation. You'll notice there's more greens than fruits, this does a body very good.

Berry Afternoon Pick Me Up:
1 cup of filtered water
1 cup of spinach
1 cups of frozen mix berries
1 Banana (if you want a thick smoothie)

Blend all ingredients for a few minutes and enjoy.

Simple suggestions about making your own healthy smoothie and juices:
  • Invest in a quality machine. I've used my Vitamix since it's arrival to my house December of 2012. And I'm absolutely loving my Breville juicer! These two machines are always on my kitchen counter. 
  • Use purified or Spring Water. Tap water isn't completely clean. (See what's in your water - EWG.)
  • Use organic veggies and fruits whenever possible. I purchase my produce from farmer's market and Trader Joe's. 

Next post - Juicing, and my Favorite Juices. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pan Roasted Brussel Sprouts

I know it's October and it's the season of the gourds (pumpkin/butternut squash,etc...) but I just can't get enough of Brussels sprouts. I have Alicia Silverstone to thank for that. I posted about it here 2 years ago when I finally tried it for the first time oven roasted. I've been eating them since! Read about the benefits of eating Brussels sprouts.

So this time I tried it pan roasting, and the results where delicious. Here's what I did:

1 T. olive oil
1 T. minced garlic
1 cup of chopped onions
A lb. of Brussels sprouts (yums) - rinced and cut in half
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 T Dijon mustard
Dash of salt and pepper 

Heat oil over a low-medium heat. Add garlic and onions and saute for 2 minutes. Add Brussel sprouts, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add 1/4 of the vegetable broth and let cook for another 10 minutes. Add the mustard and stir, and serve.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Chef Ramsay's Broccoli Soup

Every time I watch Gordon Ramsay do his thing in the kitchen, I just can't wait to get behind my kitchen counter and start prepping the next meal. The man sure knows his way around a kitchen.

This recipe suprised me because it was the most simplest one I've encountered from him. Broccoli Soup!

Green goodness Broccoli. Thick and creamy, simply yummy.

By far the best broccoli soup I've enjoyed and it only has 3 ingredients: broccoli, water and salt. And the salt is optional so we can even say 2 ingredients!

Now creamy soups are my favorite types of soups to have, it just feels more filling.

I chopped 2 heads of broccoli (you can use the entire broccoli not just the crowns), tossed it in boiling water for about 4 minutes.  Don't throw out the water you used to boil the broccoli, pour it into a glass cup and have it nearby. Notice how the water is now green? That's our "broccoli" stock that we use to make the broccoli soup.

Here's the boiled broccoli and the "broccoli" stock I used to pour into my Vitamix

What it looks like after blended

The amount of water you want to use when pouring it inside your blender will determine how thick it'll become. So if you like it creamy and thick use less water, but if you want it a little thinner, then add more water. I usually pour about 1 cup for two heads of broccoli. Then I toss in my salt and blend.

That's it. Chef Ramsay adds a small dollop of goat cheese. It does give it that pros touch.

FYI- I used and recommend Vitamix blenders.

Enjoy my GFFs!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Taco Salad for Meat Free Monday

Did you know skipping meat even for one day can help keep greenhouse gases down? Meat Free Mondays is a movement that has been in the scene since 2009 founded by Paul McCartney with his daughters Mary and  Stella. Sort of an ode to their vegetarian wife/mother, Linda McCartney. Their purpose besides bringing awareness to lowering greenhouse gas is to show its benefits from a healthy aspect, and money saving benefits. "Eat less meat + more veg = save money!" Sign me up!

It now has a large number of supporters ranging from big name businesses to big name chefs and celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow, Leona Lewis and Emma Thompson. Click for more information about Meat Free Mondays.

So now I am posting to show my support on this fine Monday, Meat Free Monday!

I love Mexican food, I actually love all Latin cuisines, but today I chose to share a Taco Salad, as you can see from the photo below, the brown granulates you see is not ground beef, but ground walnuts. Yes, Walnuts! I know a few vegan friends that have tried this and sworn how tasty it was so I tried it last week and YES! It is delicious. I even had a meat eater friend try it and she loved it as well. The recipe for the walnuts is from nutritionist Kimberly Snyder. The salad is your basic romaine lettuce, tomatoes, avocados, and chopped cilantro with lemon juice and onions.

Walnut "beef" filling for Taco Salad:
2 cups walnuts
1 Tbs. cumin
1/2 Tbs. coriander
2 Tbs. low sodium tamari
1 tsp. chili powder
From Kimberly Snyder's website: "For the taco filling: Put the walnuts in a food processor with the blade in place, and process until chunky. Scrape the ground nuts into a bowl, and mix in the cumin, coriander, chili powder, and cayenne. Add the tamari and mix again. To save time: just chop the walnuts by hand on a cutting board, and then mix the spices in, then toss in the tamari last. That way you won’t have to clean up the food processor!
Make a quick salsa by mixing the chopped tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and lemon juice."
Once complete add everything to your salad and there you have it! 
Please let me know your thoughts once you try this. I plan to also purchase the McCartney girl's cookbook, The Meat Free Monday Cookbook. It is not a gluten free cookbook, so I will thumb through and any dishes that are safe enough for us all. I will share with you any or all tasty dishes when I've made it.