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Best Smoothie EVER

16 May

OK, I haven’t posted in a LONG time, but OMG, just made the best smoothie I’ve ever had and wanted to share. Using my Magic Bullet (of course), I used the following ingredients – these are listed in the order that I add them to the blending cup:

  • 2 large fresh strawberries – quartered
  • 1/4 cup or so of frozen blueberries
  • 2 frozen chunks of banana
  • About 8 oz of almond milk
  • About 1/4 cup of vanilla nonfat Greek-style yogurt
  • 1 scoop of Tera’s Whey Protein Powder (organic fair-trade chocolate)

Blend together and enjoy. Using those strawberries made such a difference…so glad they’re back in season!

Off to my work out. Stay tuned as I try to blog next week about the Ayurvedic Detox I’m doing next week. Have a great rest of the week, everyone!

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A Couple of Essentials…Tera’s Whey Protein & The Magic Bullet

2 Nov

Protein shakes are pretty much an everyday treat for me. I say treat because the way I make them, they’re delicious and because my flavor of choice is fair trade dark chocolate. Since I’m mostly eating vegetarian these days, but still pretty green at it (pun intended), I like to supplement my diet with protein shakes to make sure I’m getting enough protein on a daily basis.

That being said, I am not a fan of putting artificial stuff in my body and actually swore off ALL processed foods about a year ago. So…about a year ago, I found the BEST whey protein EVER and, while it’s a little pricey, I HIGHLY recommend you get yourself some! It is called Tera’s Whey. I have included a blurb from the back of the container below:

“The most natural ingredients like organic, hormone-free cow & goat whey proteins. All natural flavors. High antioxidant superfruits. Low glycemic stevia. Gluten free. The best tasting, simple ingredients, ethically sourced from small, Wisconsin family farms, artisinal cheesemakers, fair trade suppliers. Whey that transforms your health (and that of those you love), made in a green factory that touches the planet lightly.”

I have tried several different protein powders and this one CRUSHES the competition in both taste and ingredients. By the way, there are only FIVE ingredients and I can pronounce them ALL! So, if you’re in the market for protein, Tera’s is the “whey” to go!

Next essential when it comes to ma shakes…the Magic Bullet. If you make lots of shakes like I do, this will come in handy; it’s reasonably priced and makes it easy and mess-free (this is important for me) to make them. I have also used the Magic Bullet to make marinades and spice rubs as well.

In terms of shake recipes, I typically make the same shake each time; however, I like to change it up from time to time. I will plan to post my shake recipes as I try new things so stay tuned. For your reference, I try to have my shakes within an hour (either before or after) a workout.

Lentil Soup Recipe

27 Oct

Last night, I made lentil soup for dinner. It was fast, easy, delicious and filling. Of course, it was also healthy and provided a great source of both protein and fiber. Here’s what I did – no exact ingredients…just play around with it and taste as you go…

Ingredients

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 2 medium yellow onions
  • 4 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 lb of lentils (rinsed)
  • 1 28 oz can of chopped tomatoes – I bet roasting these ahead of time would be good too
  • 8 cups of reduced sodium vegetable or chicken stock (I used chicken last night) – you may also substitute 1/2 with water if you prefer
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Cumin (I probably used about 3/4 teaspoon)
  • About 5 splashes of hot sauce
Directions
  • Heat a healthy dose of EVOO over medium heat in a large dutch oven or pot – I typically use enough to cover the bottom of the pot
  • As that’s heating up, rinse/drain the lentils and pick out the bad ones
  • Once EVOO is heated, add the onion, celery and carrots and sprinkle with a healthy pinch of salt – saute until they start to sweat and the onions become translucent (probably between 7-10 minutes)
  • Add the garlic and continue to saute for about 1 minute
  • Add the lentils and mix it around with the veggies
  • Add the can of tomatoes and mix it around
  • Add the stock, pepper (probably around 1/2 tsp), cumin and hot sauce and give a stir
  • Bring soup to a boil and then cover and reduce heat to low
  • Simmer for about 40 minutes or until lentils are tender
  • [OPTIONAL] Take about 6 ladles full and blend in a blender (or use a stick blender) and then stir it back into the soup
To Serve
  • Last night, instead of bread, I used my last pita and made pita chips. I also served the soup over a little bit of rice and really enjoyed that
  • To make the pita chips, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the pita into 8 pieces. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and arrange the pieces of pita on the cookie sheet. Drizzle the pita with olive oil and then sprinkle with a little garlic salt, freshly ground pepper and a teeny tiny bit of kosher salt. Rub that mixture into the pieces of pita so that they’re evenly coated. Place the cookie sheet in the oven in the top rack and bake for about 5 minutes or so (keep an eye on them so that they don’t burn). They are ready when they are browned and crispy.
  • Place a little rice on the bottom of your bowl [OPTIONAL], ladle the soup over the rice, sprinkle with a little parsley to garnish and add a few pita chips to the side of the bowl
Enjoy! Please leave your comments if you have recommended modifications!

Grilled Ahi Tuna Salad

2 May

Last night, I made a really good marinade for grilled ahi tuna. I wanted to quickly jot it down so that I wouldn’t forget it and so that I could share it with you. I don’t use measurements so please use your taste buds to figure out if you need a little more/less of an ingredient.

First, I smashed and peeled about 5 cloves of garlic and put them in a large ziplock bag. The I patted the tuna steaks dry with a paper towel and then sprinkled with pepper.

In a small bowl, I whisked together about 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), a splash of sesame oil, a splash of rice wine vinegar, juice from 1/2 a lime, about a tablespoon of soy sauce, about 1 teaspoon of hoisin sauce, a pinch of ground ginger (I would have grated ginger, but didn’t have any in the house), about 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh cilantro, 1 green onion finely chopped, 1/2 to 1 full teaspoon of Chinese 5 spice. Add this mixture to the ziplock with your garlic and then add the tuna and let it marinate (I had mine marinating for about an hour)…I think that’s about it – may sound like a lot of stuff, but it was SOOOO good.

After I grilled the tuna (preheated the grill to high and then seared for about 2-3 minutes per side), I placed the tuna steaks in a dish with sesame seeds and coated each side.

I sliced the tuna and served it over a nice salad with a homemade wasabi vinaigrette salad dressing. The vinaigrette was pretty simple – I whisked together EVOO (about 3 tbsp) w/ about 1 tbsp of rice wine vinegar, a splash of soy sauce, about 1 teaspoon of wasabi paste (I am not the biggest fan of wasabi so if you enjoy it, you may want to use about 1 tbsp to get more of the flavor to come through), pepper to taste, a sprinkle of dried oregano, a sprinkle of onion powder and a sprinkle of garlic powder.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. I have also seared the tuna, sliced it up and served as an appetizer for company. To garnish, you can sprinkle scallions over the tuna and serve with soy sauce and wasabi.

Healthy Breakfast – 3.14.11

14 Mar

Quick, easy and healthy breakfast this morning…scrambled eggs (2 whites, 1 whole egg w/ splash of organic fat free milk), one piece off 100% whole wheat toast, 2 slices off tomato

Don’t waste the yolks…scramble them up for a nice treat for your pet(s)

Mushroom Barley Soup Recipe

13 Mar

Ingredients

  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 large Portobello mushrooms
  • 1 8 oz. package of sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 6 whole fresh mushrooms (look for “Stuffing Mushrooms”
  • 1 bunch of thyme
  • 3 large carrots
  • ½ cup cabernet wine
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or enough to cover the bottom of your pot/Dutch oven)
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 onions
  • 1 package of baby spinach or you could use kale
  • ¼ cup barley
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste
  • Salt/pepper
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

 

*Please note, you can use whatever type of mushroom you prefer

Instructions

1.       Heat the Extra Virgin Olive Oil and butter in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat until butter melts

2.       Toss in the onions and carrots and sprinkle with a pinch of salt – sauté for about 7 minutes or until they are soft

3.       Add the garlic and continue to sauté for 1 minute

4.       Add the large Portobello mushroom chunks for about 2 minutes, then add the rest of the mushrooms and sauté for about 4 additional minutes or until they are tender and sweating

5.       Add the Cabernet with the heat on high until it starts to boil, then turn heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes

6.       Add the barley, tomato paste, vegetable broth, salt and pepper to taste, crushed red pepper flakes and stir so that everything is mixed – heat on high until it starts to bubble and then turn back down to low, add the bunch of thyme on top, cover and simmer for an hour

7.       Remove the bunch of thyme, stir and serve with a nice crusty bread (keep it healthy with whole wheat)

Weekly Menu & Grocery List

12 Mar

In an effort to help you plan your meals better, I am including a sample menu that you could use for the week, as well as a corresponding grocery list and a list of things that you should have in your pantry that you will need. Please TRY to cut out any processed foods from your diets and buy fresh ingredients from your local grocers, farms and butchers. As I have written before, I live in the stix and have found local vendors…if I can do it, SO CAN YOU! Good luck and let me know how things turn out!

Grocery List (based on 2 people)

CAVEAT…yes, I know this is a long list and I know it’s expensive BUT…try to keep a tally of what you spend in a given week when you are ordering in or going to lunch with co-workers or even if you are making multiple runs to the grocery store versus the one BIG trip. You will probably see that it evens out, in fact, you may even see a savings with the one trip. In the end, your body, your health and your family’s health should be top priority. You can certainly modify here to cut costs and I’m happy to hear your feedback.

  • 1 cantaloupe
  • 1 large head of romaine lettuce
  • 5 oz. package of arugula
  • 16 – 20 oz. baby spinach OR 8 oz. spinach/8-10 oz. kale (for mushroom soup)
  • 4 yellow onions
  • 4 apples
  • 4 Portobello mushrooms
  • 1 8 oz. package of sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 6 large organic white mushrooms
  • 1 bunch green onions (scallions)
  • 1 bunch of fresh thyme
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil
  • 2 stalks of celery (optional as this may not be in season)
  • 1 bunch bok choy
  • 6 carrots
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 4 baking potatoes
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 package of strawberries
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • Organic quick oats
  • Shelled walnuts
  • Organic granola
  • 1 can organic black beans
  • 1 can organic cannellini beans
  • 1 box or bag of whole wheat pasta
  • 1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
  • Organic whole wheat English muffins
  • 1 wheat bread boule (for soup dipping)
  • 1 loaf of 100% whole wheat bread
  • 1 package of whole wheat pizza dough or dough mix
  • Organic hummus (whichever flavor you prefer)
  • Cottage cheese – 4 pack or container w/ enough for 4 servings
  • Feta, bleu or goat cheese crumbles
  • 8 oz. mozzarella cheese
  • 4 oz. fontina cheese
  • 4 organic cheese sticks
  • Organic Greek-style yogurt (2 4-packs of Oikos recommended)
  • Eggs (18)
  • Almond milk – unsweetened
  • 2 all natural boneless/skinless chicken breasts
  • 8-10 large shrimp (USA only) – uncooked/preferably deveined
  • 2 pieces (approx. 4 oz. each) of lean meat (i.e. filet)
  • Edamame (frozen) – 1 bag
  • 1 bottle of cabernet sauvignon

Recommended to Have in Your Pantry/Fridge

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Organic cooking spray
  • Unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Maple syrup
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • Organic whole wheat flour
  • Almond Butter – all natural and/or organic
  • Organic fruit preserves
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Low sodium soy sauce
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Champagne vinegar
  • Rice vinegar
  • Dijon mustard
  • Tomato paste
  • Low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • Brown rice
  • Pearl barley
  • Organic unsalted butter
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Frozen blueberries