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."