Archives for posts with tag: healthy

smoothie

I’ve been gone a long time. But I’ve missed having an outlet for non-work creativity, so I’m back. I’m now working for a university and loving my job. Newton and I have been keeping busy, but there’s still been time for some great food.

In the past 6 months, I had the pleasure of eating at some delicious restaurants I’d recommend:

  • The Chicago Diner (in Chicago, where else?). An all vegetarian cafe. Highly recommend the seitan Reuben!
  • The Electric Cheetah (Grand Rapids, MI). I’ve been multiple times and always get The Jimmy Wah Salad with spicy tofu. They also have amazing freshmade vinegar chips and hand cut fries. Best part: If you order a cookie – they’ll bake it fresh while you eat your meal!
  • BruBurger (Indianapolis, Indiana). House made ketchup. I would eat it on anything.

I’m sure there were other amazing places – but those were my top three!

Anyway, I hope you are all keeping cool this summer. Here’s a favorite smoothie of mine… for those days when I feel like indulging, without indulging my muffin top!

Vegan Chocolate Smoothie

Blend until smooth:

  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 fresh banana
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp almond butter (or peanut butter)
  • Almond milk

Tips:

  • I add enough almond milk to cover all the solid bits… but less will make it creamier and more like a milkshake.
  • I keep bags of peeled and cut banana pieces in my freezer at all times. I use them for smoothies almost daily. I try to wait til they start to brown to chop and freeze them, that way they are sweeter.
  • Be liberal with the cocoa powder! Mmmm… chocolate.
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Creamy Mushroom Soup

When I was growing up, I had a love-hate relationship with mushrooms. At some point in my early childhood I really liked them until my older brother told me the dark lines inside of them were leftover from dead worms. Even though my mom assured me this was a lie, I wasn’t able to trust those little fungi for a while. In fact, I kept getting very mixed messages from my family for years about mushrooms. My mother loved them and ate them all the time, but my father hated them. The only time I can ever recall him using a curse word was the one day at the dinner table when I asked him why he didn’t like mushrooms and he said they were “from the pits of hell.”

Fortunately for me, I gave them a second chance and now I love mushrooms of all kinds. (Except shitake, because they make my tongue feel funny).

Here’s a lovely recipe for cold days like today. Inspired from another blogger. http://skinnyjns4me.blogspot.com/2011/05/vegan-mushroom-soup.html

My variation makes about 4 servings.

Creamy Mushroom Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound white mushrooms
  • 1 cup dried porcini mushrooms (or other dried mushrooms)
  • 15 oz garbanzo beans (softened)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 vegetable bullion cubes
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup almond milk (or other unsweetened, unflavored milk substitute)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish with goat cheese, chives and sauteed mushrooms, to taste

Directions:

  1. Chop onion and garlic and sautee in a large pot with olive oil.
  2. In a separate sauce pan, rehydrate the dried mushrooms with 2 cups boiling water for 10 minutes.
  3. Slice the white mushrooms, setting aside a handful to use as a garnish.
  4. Once onions are clear, add the white mushrooms and salt & pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Add the dried mushrooms and liquid to the soup.
  6. Add the almond milk, garbanzo beans, vegetable bullion and vegetable stock.
  7. Cook until fully heated.
  8. Remove from heat and let cool slightly, then blend soup in blender or food processor until creamy.
  9. Sautee extra mushrooms with olive oil and garlic salt over medium high heat. Use as a garnish with chopped chives and goat cheese. Serve soup hot.

Zucchini Tomato Goat Cheese Bites

Well, I haven’t been cooking much these last few months, as I’ve been busy with a very demanding and strenuous job. In the end, I decided the position I was in wasn’t a good fit for me, so I’m in a transitional stage, working part time with a previous employer and searching for something new. The upside of all of this is now I have plenty of time to be back in the kitchen, and I’m loving every minute of it.

This week, my roommate is busy studying for law school finals, and in the midst of all the stress, we figured it would be good to try to eat some healthier dishes. This is a recipe I found on Pinterest and immediately fell in love with. http://distractify.com/fun/humor/scout-is-the-single-most-composed-dog-on-the-planet/
They are light, fresh, savory and the perfect snack or holiday party appetizer. Warning – it is a little annoying to make.

Zucchini Tomato Goat Cheese Bites

Ingredients:

  • 3 small zucchinis, sliced
  • 3 oz goat cheese
  • 2 oz sundried tomatoes
  • fresh chives, chopped
  • olive oil

Directions:

  1. Slice the zucchini
  2. Top with a layer of goat cheese
  3. Sprinkle with chopped chives
  4. Add small chunks of sundried tomatoes
  5. Drizzle with olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. salt and pepper, to taste

Baked Eggplant Parmesan Dippers

I always want to make large portions of food that are good as leftovers, thinking then I can have an easy snack the next day. These make excellent leftovers – just pop them in the toaster oven at 400 degrees for a few minutes and they’re good to go. However, I should warn you that they are so good I never manage to save them until the next day.

This recipe was modified from one that I found through pinterest. I left out the parmesan cheese (which she adds to the breadcrumb mixture). Also, it can easily be made vegan by leaving out the eggs as explained below. The original recipe can be found here: http://www.pinottopampers.com/2012/05/12/better-than-fried-eggplant-parmesan-appetizers/

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1/2 – 1 cup Italian Seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten ****If vegan, substitute cornstarch paste mixture or milk alternative
  • Garlic salt or other Italian seasonings, to taste
  • Pam cooking spray
  • Marinara sauce, for dipping

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Peel the eggplant (optional) and slice into “fries.”
  3. Spray baking tray with pam, or brush with olive oil.
  4. Dip each eggplant piece in the egg, then roll in the breadcrumbs until fully coated.
  5. Place the coated pieces on the baking tray and spray with oil.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes, flipping once.
  7. Serve with marinara for dipping.

 

Homemade Applesauce

This morning I woke up early to study for class but wound up making applesauce instead! An easy, delicious breakfast with plenty of leftovers for snacks.

Ingredients:
– 8 medium sized apples (I prefer Granny Smith)
– 2 teaspoons cinnamon
– 2 tablespoons white sugar
– 1/4 cup water
– 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Directions:

  1. Peel apples.  Some people like chunkier applesauce with the skins left in, but I like to take them off.
  2. Cut apples in quarters and remove the cores.
  3. Slice apples and place in large pot.
  4. Sprinkle cinnamon, white sugar, and water over apple slices.
  5. Cover and cook 20-25 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally.
  6. Stir in brown sugar (optional).
  7. Stir apples until they break apart into applesauce.