Thursday, December 5, 2013

Kale-Spinach-Grapes Smoothie

So while shopping at Costco, I walked past the vitamix counter and the lady was demonstrating how to make a particular smoothie and an ice cream using spinach. Of course, the greens stopped me in my tracks and I waited around to try out her samples. After trying both of them, I loved the idea of incorporating sweet fruits and greens together. I came home and was ready to make my own smoothie. That's when I came up with this one. If you've ever tried sugar cane juice in India or in a tropical place like Hawaii, this one will take you back to that experience.. guaranteed! It's umm-umm-umm-so-good. :D

You can change the amount of ginger per your liking. I tried using three tbsp once and it turned out little spicy so here I have cut it down significantly. 

Ingredients:

1 cup kale
1 cup spinach
1 cup red grapes
1 cup orange juice
1 tbsp ginger

Method:

Wash all the veggies and fruits thoroughly.

Put everything in the blender bowl and blend until it turns into smoothie. I used vitamix and blended everything on high for about 1.5 minutes.

Drink up the green goodness. Ah.. bliss!

This one makes about four cups of smoothie.



Ice cream: Alternatively, you can turn this into an ice cream by adding two cups of ice to the mix. If you decide to do that, please make sure your blender can cut through the ice cubes. Otherwise, they can kill it. Vitamix works fine with ice cubes. If you do add the ice cubes, the quantity will increase from 4 cups to 6 cups.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Pine Nuts

Over the thanksgiving holiday, I got to try out home-made Brussels sprouts made by one of the American relatives. It was the first time I tried that particular recipe, which had cream base and tasted pretty darn good. I knew of the main ingredients from when I first tried it so after having loved that one, I googled for the online recipes to find something similar. I found not one, but two recipes that were almost similar and I think the dish I tried had similar recipe. After reviewing both the recipes I found and collecting all the ingredients at hand, I made some changes to the recipe and am thrilled that my version turned out pretty darn good also. Here's what I used:


Ingredients:

1 lb. brussels sprouts, diced into halves
1 small red onion, diced
1 big clove of garlic, diced
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup almond milk
3 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp marjoram
1/4 tsp thyme
salt to taste

Method:

Heat a heavy bottomed pan, add 1 tbsp butter and pine nuts to toast them on medium heat for 3 minutes stirring constantly. Once done, set aside.

Keep the pan on the same heat level, add 1 tbsp butter and diced onions. Saute the onions for 3 minutes until translucent/golden brown. Add garlic and saute for another half a minute. Add remaining 1 tbsp butter and brussels sprouts, stir for 1 minute, then add almond milk, marjoram, thyme, and salt. Cook for 8-10 minutes uncovered until all the almond milk evaporates and brussels sprouts start turning light brown.

Add pine nuts to the pan as you remove it from the stove. Serve warm.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Kale, Spinach, Broccoli & Carrot smoothie

Recently, I got to know of these two websites that I've found to be of extreme importance. More because they include information about the most basic foods we eat and the information shared on there has enabled me to incorporate more of the good and reduce the bad in my daily diet.

First one is the world's healthiest foods and the other one NutritionData.com. If you are interested in getting familiar with it, you can start by looking at these example pages:

Broccoli: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2357/2
Banana: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1846/2
Dry-roasted pistachio with salt: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3181/2
Kale: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2462/2
Turmeric: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/spices-and-herbs/212/2
Lemon juice: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1938/2
2% reduced fat Milk: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/dairy-and-egg-products/71/2

Why Kale should be something to eat everyday? And why cooked kale is wayyyyyy better than uncooked one?

How is it that greens like broccoli and collard greens only have so much good and no bad things in them!?

Innovative ways to incorporate these in your diet could make you fall in love with the goodness and health benefits these vegetables bring to us. I personally find that drinking up the greens is much easier and enjoyable for the taste-buds than chewing on them in form of a salad so here's my first recipe for veggie breakfast smoothie.

Ingredients: 

½ cup Kale
½ cup Spinach
½ cup Broccoli
½ cup baby carrots
3-4 cups water for steam-cooking the veggies
2½ cups cold water
juice of 1 lemon
¼ tsp red/black pepper (optional)

Method: 

Thoroughly wash and clean the vegetables and steam cook them in a steamer for 5-7 minutes. Ensure the water in steamer is boiling before you put the vegetables on top rack to steam cook. 

Let the veggies cool for 2 min and then transfer them to blender. Add remaining ingredients including cold water. Blend until smooth. Drink right away. It tastes like the V8 tomato juice.


The above mentioned portions make 4 cups of smoothie.

If you don't have any one of the veggies, you can still make the smoothie without it as you're still getting to drink the rest of them. Alternatively, you can skip the lemon and pepper and instead add banana or any other fruit/fruit juice to make it a sweet smoothie. What I have found is if you eat foods without salt to begin with, you'll notice that you don't really miss it so I've skipped adding salt to this smoothie altogether.

In the past, I have also made smoothies with fresh pineapple chunks, green grapes, and spinach and that turns out pretty good too. I prefer the above mentioned version better because of less sugar in it.

Additional source for good recipes: 

Catherine at weelicious.com gives some great tips on how some boring vegetables can be incorporated in your child's diet (or may be yours too ;)) without making them feel bored about eating these so-called-boring and non-tasty veggies.

So what kind of smoothie are you going to drink today?