Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Green Juice!

So I watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and it made me miss my juicer.  A while back we had new siding installed on our house and I forgot to remove our juicer and food processor from a shelf that was attached to the wall.

Needless to say the shelf was knocked off the wall.  We lost the juicer.  However, the food processor survived the mighty fall.  Go Cuisinart!!

So I ordered a new juicer and it came today.  Here is the juice that I made with it.

Just look at that color!!!!  I don't know about you, but the greener a smoothie or juice is, the more nutrient rich it looks to me.  My heart actually starts to beat a little bit faster!

Here are the ingredients I used:

2 oranges (rind removed, seeds and pith in tact)
1 peeled, de-seeded asian pear
1/2 cup cut carrots that were already peeled (unfortunately)
1/4 of an English cucumber, peel left on.
A ball of spinach, about a handful worth

This was really tasty.  I actually loved drinking it!

My four year old's response was something along the lines of "BLECH! I do NOT like green juice!"

So I mixed it 1/1 with apple juice and he had two glasses.  My only reservation about that is whether or not that will digest well in his little body.  Next time I will make sure to dilute the juice a bit to protect his stomach.

So, there will be more juice recipes to come!  I also can't wait to start utilizing the pulp of these juices in other cooking and baking, and in my smoothies!  More to come!!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Refreshing Cranberry-Orange Green Smoothie

Winter can be a difficult time in terms of desiring green smoothies.  Most of us want something warm in the mornings, not something composed of ice and frozen produce.  However, I find that the idea of a refreshing drink, even if it is cold, is nice when facing a dreary day.  This smoothie takes advantage of the plethora of frozen cranberries available during the fall and winter months.

In this version I added two things that I would suggest you avoid if you aren't an avid green smoothie drinker- whole chunks of lemon and spirulina powder.  I say this because the whole lemon can be a bit strong and most people starting out with smoothies need something sweet.  The spirulina is also something I would avoid if you aren't accustomed to earthy flavors.  It does carry its own strong scent and flavor, although it is crazy healthy!  Additionally it really gives the smoothie that green color you see in my pic.  The spinach doesn't usually present that obviously.  If you, or others you may be sharing with, are affected by the aesthetic appearance of the smoothie, spirulina may not be for you!

The addition of ground cloves is also a matter of flavor preference.  Personally I associate orange and clove mixtures with this time of year.  Adding in the ultra nutrient rich cranberries gives this smoothie a nice holiday/winter feel.

Refreshing Cranberry Orange Green Smoothie


1/2 c. Orange Juice
1/2 c. Frozen Cranberries
1/2 c. Fat Free Cottage Cheese
1 Banana (Frozen or not)
1/2 c. Natural, no sugar added apple sauce
1 tsp. Bee Pollen
1 tsp. Spirulina Powder
1 c. Spinach
1/4 Lemon
1 c. filtered water
Pinch of ground cloves

Put all the ingredients into the blender and blend!

Overall, this is a rather tasty smoothie.  I have mentioned this before, but I will say it again, do not underestimate the value of cottage cheese in smoothies.  It is high in calcium, doesn't overwhelm with its flavor and blends completely so that it looses that signature texture that makes most people cringe when they read my recipes.

Nutritional Information (click on images to enlarge)


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Stuffed Peppers

I love the taste of sausage and peppers together.  But, I am not a big fan of really soft peppers.  This is my variation on stuffed peppers. 

Here is an approximate recipe.



Red, yellow and orange peppers-chopped
Healthy sausage-out of casing and crumbled

Green peppers for stuffing- tops cut off and set in a oven safe dish so that they are not falling over. :)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Take the casings off the sausage and saute it in a tiny bit of olive oil.  Once it is cooked add all the vegetables and cooked them until they are softened.

Once they are softened I add the shredded kale and let it get a bit soft.

Stuff the peppers with the stuffing and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Keep an eye on your kale to make sure it doesn't burn, and keep an eye on your peppers to make sure they don't get softer than you would like them to be. 

My husband is currently doing a diet which excludes grains.  If he weren't eating this dinner, or if I felt like adding grains tonight I would have included some barely or some wild rice.


Seafood and Chicken Stew

Oh man..... this soup is amazing! It has everything but the kitchen sink in it, but it all works together perfectly!


White wine
Chicken stock
Fresh tomatoes
Canned tomatoes
Clam Juice

Cooked or marinated in stock:
Chicken breast
Fresh kale
Fresh spinach

Sauteed in olive oil and a tiny bit of black truffle oil:
Baby portobello mushrooms
Red, yellow and orange peppers

Spiced with:
Smoked Paprika
Old bay
Wild Mushroom infused salt

Topped with Freshly chopped parsley.

I am not going to provide all of the nutritional info, or the detailed instructions, simply because of the time it would consume.  Hopefully this list of ingredients and basic description will inspire you to have some fun the next time you want to make some soup/stew!

Mocha Green Smoothie

Hello again!  

A lot of things have been happening in my life to keep me busy.  I was attending classes online to get my degree in nutrition science and now have six classes left until I am finished.  I worked hard on my classes until October when I took a break to concentrate on staying healthy during my pregnancy!  I spent four months being very ill and hardly keeping any food in my body, then around week 20 of my pregnancy I felt much better!  

Since then I have been renovating my house, travelling and taking care of my three year old and trying to keep healthy during the holiday season while wanting to eat EVERYTHING I SEE!  

I have continued to work on developing new recipes these last many months, but I have failed to post them here.  Instead they usually end up on my facebook profile for my friends to see.

But, today I made a wonderful smoothie that I couldn't keep from posting.  The sad thing is that I forgot to take a pic before I downed the entire two servings. It was that good!!!  So, here is a pic of the empty cup. :)

Here are the ingredients!

1/2 c. skim milk
1/2 c. fat free cottage cheese
1 c. decaf coffee (cooled down)
2 Tbsp. Hershey Chocolate Syrup with Calcium
1 c. of ice
1 frozen banana
2 tsp. of flax meal
1 tsp. of bee pollen
1 small handful of fresh spinach (close to a cup)

Put in the blender and mix!

This smoothie is surprisingly amazing.  While I do not feel that the coffee and chocolate are really healthful items, they do function as great vehicles for taking in some wonderful nutrients found in the rest of this smoothie.

This recipe makes two ample sized servings.

Here is some nutritional breakdown for two servings:
Click on the graphics to enlarge them.

Here is some additional information regarding some of the ingredients.

Bee Pollen:
"Bee pollen is a nutritional source for drone bees. It has been described as “nature's perfect food” and is a highly concentrated food source containing a complex supply of quality nutrients. A number of traditional Chinese herbal formulas contain bee pollen. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, trace elements, enzymes, and amino acids, and contains approximately 30% protein, 55% carbohydrate, 1% to 2% fat, and 3% minerals and trace vitamins. Vitamin C concentrations of 3.6% to 5.9% have also been found in some samples. Promotional literature lists up to 100 vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, antioxidants, and other identified compounds. However, the physiologic importance of many of these components is poorly understood. Bee pollen preparations often contain mixtures of pollens from diverse types of plants that vary with geographic origin."


Flax Meal:
"Flax contains several disease-fighting compounds, primarily the omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), fiber, and lignans. Flaxseed is one of the richest sources of ALA, a polyunsaturated fat that offers unique heart health benefits. Flax is an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, providing three grams of fiber per tablespoon. Flax also is packed full of lignans, natural cancer-preventative phytonutrients. Flax also is full of vital vitamins and minerals such as folate, vitamin E, vitamin B-6, copper, zinc, magnesium, and (dry ounce for ounce) more potassium than seven bananas. Flax has been shown to help prevent heart disease and lower its risk factors, reduce symptoms of inflammatory disorders, protect against cancer, reduce cholesterol, and even ease the effects of Type 2 diabetes. Learn more about the health benefits of flax and make it an important part of your daily diet."


"Among the World's Healthiest vegetables, spinach comes out at the top of our ranking list for nutrient richness. Rich in vitamins and minerals, it is also concentrated in health-promoting phytonutrients such as carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin) and flavonoids to provide you with powerful antioxidant protection."


Cottage Cheese:
"ne serving of cottage cheese is a good source of riboflavin with 0.2 mg, or 11 percent DV. It also contains 0.5mcg, or 8 percent DV, of vitamin B12 and 0.6mg, or 6 percent DV of pantothenic acid. Other vitamins include vitamin A at 3 percent DV, thiamin at 2 percent DV, vitamin B6 at 3 percent DV and folate at 3 percent DV. . . Cottage cheese contains 180mg, or 18 percent DV, of phosphorus; 11mcg, or 16 percent DV of selenium; and 68mg of calcium. Other minerals include magnesium, potassium, zinc and copper . . . Cottage cheese is a very good source of protein with 14g in one serving."

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sprouted Pasta Dish, 5 WW Points Plus, 310 Calories

Sprouted Whole Wheat Pasta Dish

So, I have been working on making healthy sauces lately. I have also been taking classes to get a degree in nutrition, hence the scarse posts!  So, back to the sauces.  I am sure that my ideas are not super original, but I am enjoying making them be a realistic part of my recipe collection.

So, here is the recipe for today's experiment:


1 serving of 100% Whole Grain Sprouted Flour pasta (57g uncooked)
1 Tbsp. Freshly Grated Parmesan
1/4 c. Skim Milk
1 c. Pureed Yellow Squash
1/2 Tbsp. Hemp Hearts
1 + Tbsp. Minced Fresh Tarragon
salt and white pepper to taste (easy on the salt b/c the parmesan is naturally salty)


Make the pasta as indicated (cooks very quickly)
Combine milk, half of the parmesan, half of the tarragon, and the squash in a pot 
to warm up and cook together
Add fresh pasta to warmed sauce
Put it on a plate and sprinkle with the rest of the tarragon, salt, pepper, and the rest of the parmesan


Ok, here are the nutritional facts about this dish. Click on graphic to enlarge.

I used this particular pasta, although I hear that Trader Joe's also makes a comparable pasta.

Here are the hemp hearts that I used:

Hemp hearts are a new addition to my pantry.  They are high in iron, and healthy fat and protein.  
If you want to check them out, go to this site:

The nutrient breakdown for 5 Tablespoons is this:

Calories: 340
Fat: 28 g
Saturated: 3 g
Cholesterol: 0 g
Sodium: 0 g
Carbohydrates: 4 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sugars: 1 g
Protein: 17 g
Calcium: 4% DRI
Iron: 60% DRI

There is a lot of information on this site, some of which I think sounds hokey, but I do like the nutritional qualities.

The pasta I used is supposedly digested in a manner similar to vegetables.  You can read more about that on this site:

Overall, I liked this pasta dish.  It wasn't amazingly filling.  If you want to make it more filling you could add more vegetables, or more hemp hearts at 2 pts. per tablespoon, about a 68 calorie increase from what I posted.  If I had some nice ripe tomatoes, I would have diced them and added them because they would have perfected this dish!!!

Yellow squash is wonderful.  It tastes incredible and has a great texture when pureed.  It is also one of the easier vegetables to cook and puree b/c you don't need to add water to puree it and you don't need to peal it.  
Just wash it, cut it up, boil it, let it cool, put it in the blender and blend.  You don't need a very high power blender to do this and this puree is amazingly versatile.  Yellow squash is not very expensive either, especially when it is in season.  You can puree it, freeze it in cubes and use it later, like I just did!

Notes on Tarragon:

Medicinal value of tarragon

Tarragon is mainly used to treat stomach disorders and also acts as a mild anaesthetic and sedative. Tarragon is also said to:
  • Stimulate the appetite and therefore can help treat eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.
  • Numb aches and pains due to its anaesthetic properties.
  • Act as a mild sedative and sleep inducement.
  • Treat hyperactivity and promote calmness, especially when taken as a tea.
  • Aid digestion, particularly the break down of meat fats and proteins.
  • Release and flush out toxins from the body.
  • Relieve stomach cramps, indigestion, wind and colic in babies.
  • Ease menstrual pains.
  • Alleviate rheumatoid and arthritic pain.
  • Act as a laxative and relieve constipation.
  • Help depression if taken with fennel.
  • Help people with heart problems and obesity if taken as a substitute for salt.
According to:

Notes on Yellow squash (click on graphic to enlarge):

according to:

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hydrating Smoothie

I was recently listening to a book on tape that talked about how your choice in food choices reflects your outlook on life.  It seems a little hokey, but I think there is some merit to the idea.  It made me think about my food and eating preferences.  The conclusion that I came up with is this: I must have a dissociative identity disorder when it comes to food!

Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything

One day I will think of the most healthy food that I can manage to make.  I'll make my own applesauce from apples I hand picked, and then dehydrate them to make fruit leather.  I'll create a smoothie that is so packed full of nutrients and flavor that it makes me beam with pride!

Then there are the other days where all I really want in this world is a perfectly created cupcake or a juicy cheesy burger topped with pickles and onions.

That being said, I think what it comes down to is this:  I do not focus on healthy food because I fear unhealthy foods.  I do it because I love them!  I have developed a taste for whole foods and I eat them for the same reason I eat the occasional donut.  They taste good!

A few people and I have had the "fast food" conversation. In no part of my mind do I recognize "fast food" as food.  I think of it more as "convenient, high calorie, high fat, emotion inducing grub".  When I was pregnant my brain craved fast food constantly.  Thankfully I didn't give in all the time, but the craving was there.  I liked the way that the food made me feel.

So my question here is:  Do you like food because of the way it tastes or because of how it makes you feel?

I am sure we all can agree that both reasons play a part in our daily food intake choices.

I recently went for a run that was strenuous for me.  It was further than I had run in a long time, and when I got back from it I was parched and sweaty.  My son's babysitter watched as I grabbed a few items and threw them into the blender.  Then she watched in horror/fascination when I actually drank the fluid I had concocted.  I asked her if she wanted to try the smoothie and, to my surprise, she said ok.

The main ingredient in the smoothie? Celery.

Here is why I choose to feature this vegetable in my smoothie:

Her reaction was interesting.  She said it was very "celery-y" and she didn't like it but it fascinated her.  I think that this experience was giving her an insight.  Sometimes we don't really taste a food until we really taste the food.  She kept drinking by the way.  She certainly looked confused by her desire to do so.

I created a smoothie this morning that I wanted to share with you.  It is not for the novice smoothie drinker, unless you want to amp up your tolerance and appreciation for the true taste of food that isn't altered by excessive fat, salt or sugar.

I like to drink this after a long run or when I wake up from a mid-day nap feeling groggy and blech.

Hydrating Smoothie

1 peeled cucumber
1/2 c. baby spinach leaves
1 large celery stalk
Fresh juice from 2 small limes or 1 big lime
2 tsp. of honey
2 cups of water
3 cups of ice
1/2 cup of natural applesauce (nice sweetener, huh?)


If you choose to make this smoothie, let me know what you think. I am on my second huge glass of it today.  It is amazingly refreshing!