Two Smoothies: Green & Chocolate Banana

12 Jul

Green Kale Smoothie:

The trick to green smoothies is having the right proportion of greens to fruits so that it doesn’t taste like liquid grass.  I went through a lot of bad trials and errors before finding a good recipe, but this one is super yummy.

1 frozen banana (I usually unpeel it, slice it and freeze the slides on a cutting board with parchment paper)
5-6 frozen grapes (I used green)
1/2 a kiwi
LARGE handful of chopped, washed kale
a little water
chia seeds 

Add all to a blender and mix really well.

Makes one large serving.

Chocolate Banana Smoothie:

 1 large banana, frozen
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup almond milk, original
1 Tbsp each of chia seeds & flax seeds
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Mix in a blender, makes 1 large serving.

Beef & Broccoli

16 Jun

This isn’t really a recipe… because I didn’t follow one when I made this.  Basically all you do is…

Slice some beef into thin strips using a good knife.

Marinate the strips in:
white wine vinegar (or any vinegar)
a little oyster sauce
a little soy sauce
salt and pepper
red pepper flakes
a little sugar
ginger and garlic

Heat a wok or cast-iron skillet with a little oil and stir-fry some chopped up broccoli, but only a little, for a minute or two, not so that they are done yet.

Remove the broccoli, using a slotted spoon remove the beef from the marinade and stir-fry that.

When the beef is done add back in the broccoli.

Add in the marinade and a little water.

Cook until the marinade has boiled for a few minutes and reduced to the desired consistency and the broccoli is done how you like it.

Serve with jasmine or brown to white rice.

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies (base cookie recipe)

14 Jun

Adapted from Cooking on the Side

These aren’t necessarily my cookie of choice, but I ended up needing to make them this weekend and the recipe is one of the best I’ve tried for cookies.  It would be a great base recipe for add-ins like chocolate chip cookies, M&M cookies, or any other type of cookie.

** This version made about 3 dozen cookies for me, but I halved the recipe which originally makes about 5 dozen**

1 stick of butter, softened
very SCANT 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg, at room temperature
1 1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
add in-s like white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts, or chocolate chips, etc.

Preheat the oven to 350.

 Cream together the butter and the sugars with a beater, until fluffy.

Add the vanilla and the egg, beat together.

Blend in the flour 1/2 a cup at a time.

Beat in the baking soda and salt.

Stir in your add-ins, as much as you’d like.

Bake on parchment0lined baking sheets by the teaspoon-full for 10-12 minutes.

Let cool & devour.

Salmon in a Garlicky Tomato Sauce

14 Jun

Adapted from Bev Cooks

I modified this recipe slightly, by revving up the tomato paste, cutting out much of the oil to keep it a little healthier and reducing the spice level for my boyfriend.  We loved it!

1 Tbsp caraway seeds
2 salmon fillets
5 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 serrano chile, seeded
3 fistful of cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp tomato paste
lemon juice
salt and pepper
flour for dredging

Preheat a cast iron skillet with a little oil.

Season the fish filets with salt and pepper and dredge in flour, dusting off the excess.

Place the fish into the hot pan to brown on both sides.

In the meantime, in a small hand-held blender or food processor, add the caraway seeds, garlic,  some paprika, some sugar, some lemon juice, the serrano chile, tomato paste and enough water so that you can blend them all together.

When the fish is done remove them from the pan and set aside.  Add this spice mixture to the pan.  Add water so that it is the right consistency to boil a little (but don’t add too much water).

Boil the mix to cook the garlic, for about 3 minutes.

Add the salmon back into the mixture and finish cooking the salmon, for about another 5-6 minutes.

Sprinkle the cilantro over the fish and sauce.

Serve with rice.

Banana Cake, Or, The Healthiest Cake There Ever Was?

14 Jun

This cake is extremely easy, quick, and … healthy?  As healthy as cake can be anyways, with no added fat and little added sugar, adapted from this recipe.  It is perfect for tea and doesn’t even really taste like banana…  so it would be a great base cake.  Just add nuts, berries, or serve topped with fruit salad to make it extra special.  Also, this would be a good recipe to make cubed cake pieces for dipping in chocolate fondue, if that’s the kind of thing you’re into ; )

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup banana, mashed (about 1 medium banana)
3 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup yogurt (I used vanilla-flavored organic yogurt)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350.

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Whisk together the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.

Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Pour into a greased loaf pan.

Bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cumin-Spiced Meatballs with Couscous and Roasted Carrots

4 Jun

ground beef
1 onion
ground coriander
powdered garlic
salt and pepper
one package of Near East pine nut couscous
chopped green scallions
carrots, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces

Preheat the onion to 425 degrees.

Toss the carrots in a little olive oil and salt and pepper and spread o a baking sheet.  Bake for about 30 minutes.

In the meantime, chop the onion and place the pieces into a hand blender or food processor with the spices (and don’t skimp on the spices!).

Blend the onion until you get an “onion paste”.

Put the ground beef into a large bowl and add the onion paste.

Mix together and form small meatballs.

Fry the meatballs in a little oil in a cast iron skillet, until cooked through.

Meanwhile, prepare the couscous according to the package directions.  When done, add in the chopped scallion.

Serve all together.  This goes great with a tzatziki or other yogurt-type sauce. Also you can freeze the extra meatballs.

Spanakopita Bites

4 Jun

These are 100% awesome and very much worth the time to make!

16 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and strained of excess liquid
feta cheese (as much as you want, I use one package
1 egg
chopped garlic
3/4 of a large onion, minced
oregano, salt and pepper

In a pan heat up a little oil and sautee the minced onion and chopped garlic.

Add the translucent onion mix to a bowl.  Add in the spinach, cheese and spices and the egg.  Mix well.

Roll out a roll of phyllo dough, and place a damp paper towel over it to keep it from drying out.

Cut the layers of dough into 3 vertical strips.

Take one layer, brush with olive oil, and place a teaspoon of spinach filling on it like this:

Then fold like this:

Until you get something that looks like this:

I like to then lay these on a cutting board lined with parchment paper and then freeze them overnight.

After that I place them in a big bag and keep them frozen until I want to use them.

Then I’ll just pop a few out onto a baking sheet and bake at 300 for 30-or-so minutes, or until whenever they are browned.

They go great with tzatziki sauce!