21 July 2014

A Month of Smoothies: Week 3

This week's smoothies are brought to you (partially) by the power of coconut milk, which I sometimes have leftover after making a small batch of curry.  Actually, these drinks are turning out to be a great way to use up produce and other odds and ends in the kitchen.

If you find yourself using a lot of bananas in your smoothies, as I have been trying to do, you can slice and freeze the ripe ones and store them in sandwich baggies in the freezer until you're ready to use them.  If you do this and there is also ice in the recipe, you can leave out the ice.  And of course, add water whenever they turn out thicker than you want.


Pink Power Smoothie

1/2 cup chopped kale
1/2 cup raspberries 
1/2 cup strawberries 
1/2 cup chopped pineapple 
1 small banana 
1/4 cup almond milk 
1/2 cup Greek yogurt

Banana-Kale Smoothie

1 banana
1/2 cup chopped kale 
1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt 
1/4 cup skim milk 
2 tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce 
1 1/2 tablespoons chia seeds 
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup crushed ice

Green Tropical Smoothie 

3/4 cup light coconut milk
6 oz fat free Greek yogurt
3/4 cup fresh pineapple, cubed
1 ripe medium banana
1 cup spinach
2 tbsp sweetened shredded coconut
1 1/4 cups ice

Coconut-Mango-Carrot Smoothie

1 cup sliced carrots
1 mango, sliced
1 (6 ounce) tub Vanilla Greek yogurt
1 cup coconut drink
2 Tablespoons honey
2 cups ice cubes

18 July 2014

Ideas to Steal this Weekend, plus one recipe from me

This weekend I'm all about weeding, trimming, and harvesting in my vegetable garden.  It'll be a while before those prized tomatoes are ripe enough to eat, but here in Northern Colorado I have summer squash, radishes, the beginnings of beets and raspberries, and herbs galore.

Sunset magazine has some pretty, easy recipes to add a little variety to your summer squash-laden meals. The pattypan squash with eggs cooked inside looks so cute!

You Grow Girl's idea for pickling radish seed pods is genius.  I can't wait to try these.

I always do the same thing with herbs--chop various handfuls into salads, stir into cooked rice or other grains, and plop into soups.  And of course, there's pesto.  But Chow Hound, FreshHerbs.com, and Mother Earth Living have some great ideas for incorporating unexpected herbs into desserts.  I'm glad to know there's hope for my rosemary plant, which is starting to look like the crazy cat lady's hair from The Simpsons.

I never get sick of simple roasted beets, but these Dark Chocolate-Beet Brownies? Yes please!

Photo from http://thewaytomyfamilysheart.blogspot.ca.

I'm waiting for a special occasion to make this beautiful chocolate and raspberry tart.

From louiogbearnaisen.dk.

Honestly, though, I never get sick of tossing veggies with pasta.  This recipe, which I look forward to being able to make every summer, attempts to copy those fried, fatty zucchini treats on appetizer menus in a healthier way.  A little bit healthier...

“Fried” Squash Pasta

Serves 4

1 pound stick pasta (linguine, fettucine, spaghetti, whatever…)
2 medium summer squash or zucchini, cut into ¼” thick rounds
1 small yellow onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Olive oil
Zest and juice of one large lemon
Handful fresh basil, chiffonaded
Red pepper flakes and grated Parmesan cheese for serving

Bring a well-salted pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions.  

Meanwhile, place squash rounds in a medium bowl (this can be your future serving bowl) and combine with about 2 teaspoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt.  Coat well and spread in a single layer onto a baking sheet.  Place in a 375°F oven and bake 10-12 minutes.  When the undersides are browned, flip each piece of squash over, sprinkle the onion slices all over the baking sheet, and place back in the oven for another 8-10 minutes, or until onions and squash are golden. 

When pasta is cooked, drain and return to the pot.  Add the lemon zest and juice, minced garlic, about a teaspoon of olive oil, and salt to taste.  Stir well to “cook” the garlic.  Add the cooked squash and onions when done and stir well.  Serve the pasta in a nice bowl with the basil sprinkled on top and crushed red pepper flakes and cheese on the side.

14 July 2014

A Month of Smoothies: Week 2

Did you like any of last week's smoothie recipes?  I've got some kale and an overripe avocado sitting around, so here's hoping some of these will work...

Raspberry-Avocado Smoothie

1 avocado, peeled and pitted
3/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup raspberry juice
1/2 cup frozen raspberries (not thawed)

Green Smoothie

2 ripe medium bananas
1 ripe pear or apple, peeled if desired, chopped
2 cups chopped kale leaves, tough stems removed
1/2 cup cold orange juice
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 cup ice cubes
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

Banana Spice Smoothie

2 ripe bananas
2 cups vanilla kefir
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 cup ice cubes

Cucumber-Kale Smoothie

2 cups spinach and kale
1 frozen banana 
1 frozen cucumber 
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 tablespoon chia seeds

12 July 2014

Weekend Links

From Proud Italian Cook

It is oh, so hot here in Northern Colorado right now, which means I'm looking for new recipes that I can cook ahead and eat cold in the middle of the day.


This beautiful salad with squash ribbons is a feast for the eyes and only takes minutes to put together.

I love this clever way to use up kale in my garden from Eats Well With Others.  It has coconut, noodles, and basil--it might just be perfect! Might not make it too spicy until the temps cool off, though...

From Gimme Some Oven

Gimme Some Oven is a great blog, and I appreciate this slightly upscale version of an old Midwestern potluck classic, crunchy ramen noodle salad.  I always wanted my mom to make this for picnics...

I did manage to escape the heat this week with a quick trip up to Laramie, WY, where they have a fantastic new brewery called Coal Creek TAP.  Bree was very welcoming and knowledgeable about the beers, and she steered me toward some great choices: a lightly smoked porter, the hoppy Samurai, the super citrusy Laradise, and the Anodyne, named after a great old Uncle Tupelo song (and everyone knows that beer + Uncle Tupelo = extra awesome). I may just spend the rest of the summer sleeping on their sidewalk.