Monthly Archives: August 2013

Mean-Green Smoothie

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I think my mind is subconsciously trying to tell me green is my favorite color. I have been eating so many green things.

Pistachio nut butter

Guacamole

Kale

And now this new smoothie I created! I mean I’m sure people blend these fruits all the time, but these proportions I used seemed to work 😉 plus, it’s super huge (liiiike 25-28 ounces?) but low calorie. Which is nice. I like low calorie food not for the fact that I am not eating as much; I like low calorie food because it means I can eat MORE food. For example- would you rather have half a cup of ice cream, or a whole cup of froyo when they taste exactly the same? I have made my point.

ANYWAYS this smoothie is also very high in potassium, protein, and vitamin A. These benefits will keep you properly hydrated, energized, and boosts your immune system.

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 2/3 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 2 cups raw baby spinach
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • ice cubes: optional. I actually forgot about them hahaha. But honestly, it really didn’t need them. It was very creamy, but pretty thin for a smoothie. If you want a thicker, colder smoothie, add about 6 ice cubes.

Procedure: Blend until desired consistency is reached. I did the “mix” version of my blender, the did “liquify” for about 30 seconds.

Enjoy! Nutrition Stats below

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Happy Healthy Huge Cookies

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I’m happy.

Do you want to know why? I’ll tell you.

My mother made guacamole. That’s not what you were expecting, huh. Well it’s true that as I am writing this I am sitting in my kitchen with the bowl she made it in and a spatula, spooning off the leftover guac as a late afternoon snack. Think that’s gross? I don’t care. I love guac almost as much as I love chocolate.

Almost.

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I’m also super thrilled about my newest creation, adapted from http://www.healthfulpursuit.com. It’s a cookie, but not my typical chocolate filled artery clogging cookie recipe. No, no. It’s a healthy cookie. YES. It has been done. I was actually tasting the batter and I was thinking “oh dear I don’t know if these will work out…” but they DID and they are AWESOME. As previously mentioned, I found the recipe for “Runner Repair Cookies” on Leanne Vogel’s healthy food blog, healthful pursuit. I decided to make them because I had almost all of the ingredients needed, and with school starting up soon, I usually get hungry around 10am-ish for a snack. These cookies literally taste like a pumpkin muffin, and I didn’t even use that much pumpkin! It’s the perfect balance of sweetness, with a light cakey texture with chunks of pepitas and cranberries. The protein powder, almond butter and chia seeds also bring a much-desired nutritional aspect to the the table (or rather, to the desk): protein! Then of course, being a coconut lover, I included some flaked coconut on top.

Let’s get to it!

Ingredients-

  • 1/2 banana
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup nut butter
  • 1/2 protein powder
  • 2 tbs pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 oz pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/4 cup cranberries
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbs ground chia
  • 2 tbs no sugar maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • optional: flaked coconut for garnish

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Blend the banana, eggs, and dates in a food processor until dates are thoroughly chopped. Transfer to bowl.

Stir in everything else, except for the optional coconut.

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Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking sheet. Scoop the cookies out onto the baking sheet, probably 6 or 7 per pan. Garnish with coconut. I did these dudes in two rounds because I only had one silicon baking mat and was too lazy to butter another pan. Stick them in the oven for 6-8 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle of a cookie comes out with moist crumbs attached. Let cool on pan for a couple minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy! Nutrition facts are below 🙂

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Here is Leanne’s original recipe for her version of these cookies as seen on her blog-

http://www.healthfulpursuit.com/2011/02/runners-repair-cookies/

Peanut-butter Banana Protein Shake

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Look at that.  That’s like…more than 25 ounces. It’s HUGE. It’s filling. It’s energizing. And it’s simple. I originally came up with this recipe because I always loved having this “Almond Buzz” protein shake from this place called Embody. It’s a little fitness gourmet shop that has awesome juices, protein shakes, and even some snazzy little food items. However, it’s crazy expensive. Like $7 for a 16 oz shake. And the shake itself is rather thin. Hence, my version that is made at home, similar in calories, and much bigger/more filling!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 Tbs better ‘n peanut butter
  • 1 scoop (approx. 28 grams) vanilla soy protein powder
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder

Combine all in blender. Blend to desired consistency. I usually do the mix option, then the liquify option to make sure all the ice is completely smoothed over. Enjoy!

I calculated the calorie count myself because my little spark recipes tool was giving me some trouble-

Total calories: about 295

Total protein: about 27g

Pistachio Nut Butter

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It’s not easy being green. And unfortunately, pistachios are extremely underrated! Pistachios are lower in fat content than most nuts, but they are still packed with protein! And this pistachio butter I made (inspired by Alyssia from mindovermunch.com) is probably the best butter I’ve ever made. It has that sweet and salty element that I just can’t resist. And, of course, it’s simple and healthy!

Ingredients-

  • 2 cups shelled pistachios, salted if you want the kick ;D
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • stevia to taste

Procedure:

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Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth and creamy. It’ll take a while and it’ll go through various stages: bits of nuts, ball, then eventually it smooths out. Don’t worry if it takes you like 10 minutes. it’ll get there.

This recipe makes about 1 3/4 cups. Nutrition info is below! 1 serving=1 TBS

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Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Vanilla Cream-Cheese Filling

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Oh. My. Gosh.

Whoopie pies.

You don’t know what they are? Let me enlighten you. They are basically two cakey cookies, with a light, creamy frosting in between. There are many variations of whoopie pies; I even have a full recipe book of them. However, I just wanted some chocolate cream-cheese whoopie pies. Plain and simple. Yummy. Warms the soul. Ya know. I also figured doing something outlandishly crazy would probably not be the best idea when I’m not even eating the majority of the product. Indeed, these were not for me to merely munch on in my spare time. They were for my wonderful team in “celebration” of the end of rowing preseason. The sport is hard enough on the water, so when you give the coaches two weeks to torture us with land-training, it’s very…let’s just say I couldn’t quite feel my legs for the first couple of days! So as a last hoorah with school starting Tuesday and all (there goes my time for experimenting in the kitchen. It’s really bumming me out, actually) I decided to make whoopie pies for the team. It also worked out perfectly because it was a nice reward at the end of practice after a surprise test (think of a rowing test as a time trial, except much more monotonous and much more detailed in every single thing you do). So. Yay chocolate whoopie pies. Also shout-out to Georgia who let me take a picture of her whoopie pie, as seen above. ;D

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I found this recipe on Food Network.com. I actually used (and modified) one recipe for the pies then used another for the filling. I’ll post the original links and the end of the post. I modified the whoopie pies by first of all halving the recipe (the original recipe would have made 76 individual whoopie pies. Sorry, but I don’t have the time or budget to do that, nor do I have 76 people to whom I can give whoopie pies). If you go to the original recipe, you will also see that 1 1/2 tbs of baking soda are said to be needed. This is a typo. It should be 1 1/2 teaspoons (tsp) not tablespoons (tbs). So I also adjusted and halved that. To give the pies more of a kick, I also added some instant espresso and some chocolate chips for taste and texture.

This recipe makes about 36 whole whoopie pies that are about the size of a baseball.

Adapted from Moody’s Diner featured on Foodnation with Bobby Flay and Food Network Magazine.

Ingredients:

For pies:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup veggie oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

For filling:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temp
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise and seeds scraped

Possible add-ons if you’re feeling adventurous:

  • Crushed vanilla wafer cookies
  • Crushed graham crackers
  • Crushed Oreos
  • Chopped nuts (pecans would probably be best)
  • Toasted coconut
  • Sprinkles of any sort
  • Mini chocolate chips

No, you do not need all of these toppings. I actually just used the vanilla wafer cookies. Use however many or however little you want.

Let us begin.

First, the cakes-

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, or preheat a convection oven to 315 degrees F.

In a separate bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder).

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter until creamy and fluffy. And eggs and beat until well combined. Add the oil and vanilla and beat again. (I feel like singing Michael Jackson’s “Beat it” because of the number of times I said “beat” in the past sentences)

.Add half of the dry mixture to the egg mixture and beat or stir to blend. Add 3/4 cup milk and beat again. Add the remaining dry mixture and beat until incorporated. Add the remaining 3/4 cup milk and beat until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips

With a spoon, scoop out the batter onto baking sheets. I did about a tablespoon per pie, maybe a little more. With these sized whoopie pies, I was able to get 12 pies on an 11ishx16ish baking sheet. So unless you have a super huge oven and a gazillion baking sheets, you will need to do multiple rotations for baking them. But it’s worth it. Bake for about 6:30-7 minutes, or until a knife stuck in the middle of a pie comes out with moist crumbs attached or clean. Really be careful with the baking time; they go from nice and moist to overbaked and dry in the matter of a minute.

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Once out of the oven, let cool slightly on the baking sheet, then transfer to wire rack to cool COMPLETELY before filling

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Speaking of filling….

Procedure for vanilla cream-cheese filling

Beat the cream cheese and butter with a mixer until smooth. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla seeds. Sandwich a tablespoonful of filling between 2 cookies; repeat with the remaining cookies and filling. Roll edges in add-ons. Refrigerate 30 minutes before serving.

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Enjoy!

pie: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/foodnation-with-bobby-flay/whoopie-pies-recipe/index.html

filling: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/red-velvet-whoopie-pies-recipe/index.html?ic1=obinsite

Blueberry Muffins

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So in case you didn’t see my previous post about blueberry pie, I went blueberry picking. And picked 12 lbs of blueberries.

Hence the abundance of blueberry posts.

Hence Blueberry muffins.

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In my opinion, they are the best breakfast muffins. Not to sweet, but not too tart. And honestly, you can adjust them to however you like yours. More sugar, less, more salt, less, etcetc. In my opinion, when it comes to flavor, you can mess around a teeeeeeny bit. Just don’t mess with the flour.

Seriously.

So my cousin Cooper gave me this recipe. So I don’t really know where it came from. But it’s yummy!

By KRUSTY on January 10, 2003. Makes around 18 muffins.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine, at room temp
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries or 2 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
  • For Topping 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, mixed with 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions

1. Heat oven to 375°.

2. Grease 18 regular-size muffin cups (or 12 large size muffins).

3. In bowl, mix butter until creamy. Add sugar and beat until pale and fluffy.

4. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each.

5. Beat in vanilla, baking powder and salt.

6. With spoon, fold in half of flour then half of milk into batter; repeat.

7. Fold in blueberries.

8. Spoon into muffin cups and sprinkle topping onto each muffin.

9. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and springy to touch.

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Enjoy!

 

Alton Brown’s Frozen Blueberry Pie

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I went blueberry picking!

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…I picked a lot of blueberries.

12 lbs to be exact. It was extremely fun (even though my mom told me to wear a black shirt so I wouldn’t get stained by blueberries. Bad idea. We were in the sun the whole time) AND extremely rewarding. Blueberries are awesome because you can eat them fresh or frozen, in a muffin, in a pie, in a coffee-cake, in pancakes, in waffles, as a jam….you get the picture. So I made a pie with my grandma’s versatile pie crust recipe and Alton Brown’s frozen pie recipe. The reason it is frozen is because you make it let’s say the night before an occasion, then you pour the filling into a pie mold then you let it freeze for 6-8 hours or over night THEN you pop it out and bake it! It’s awesome because it’s easy and it’s able to be made in advance.

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And it. Was. Amazing. The filling didn’t do any unnecessary oozing when cut; it’s actually easy to cut a slice! And beside a scoop of vanilla ice cream…

You must try this. And no, you don’t need to go blueberry picking and get 12 lbs of blueberries to do it. Without further ado:

Ingredients-

For Pie Crust:

  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup Crisco, cubed
  • 2 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 tbs ice water

For Filling

  •  4 cups of blueberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 tbs of tapioca flour/starch
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 egg yolk whisked with 1 teaspoon water

How to:

For the filling-

Wash the berries and pat dry. Mash up half of the blueberries in a small bowl.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, salt and tapioca flour/starch. Add the mashed blueberries, orange juice and orange zest and stir to combine. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes. Fold in the whole berries.

Line a 9-inch pie plate with aluminum foil. Place the blueberry mixture into the foil and place in the freezer until solid, approximately 6 to 8 hours.

Once the filling is frozen, remove from the aluminum foil and wrap in plastic wrap and store in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.

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For pie crust and baking-
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

For the pie crust-

Combine the flour, salt, crisco, and butter in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Add the water and process just until a ball forms. Remove from processor and wrap dough in saran wrap and put in the fridge for at least 15 minutes, or until workable. When ready, make sure you have a lot of wax paper and a lot of flour. Rip two big pieces of wax paper and put them on top of each other so that you have a square surface. Lightly flour. Get the dough out of the fridge and unwrap. Cut a third of it off and place back in the fridge. Pound down the remaining dough with a rolling pin until its a bit flatter to work with. Lightly flour the surface and rip another piece of wax paper and place on top. Roll out the dough in a circular fashion until it is about 3/16 of an inch thick. Or until you know that when you invert it into the pie pan, the dough reaches the lip of the pie pan. Which brings me to the next task: Place a 9 inch pie pan face down on the dough. Slide one hand under the dough to the center of the pie pan. Invert the dough into the pie pan. Once flipped, make sure dough is pressed down against pan in all places. Trip excess of crust and throw in the fridge with the remaining dough. Now, this is the important part: stab all of the dough with a fork. Seriously. My Grandma says she NEVER uses pie weights; just stab it to death with a fork.

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With the remaining dough, roll it out in the same fashion, but more lengthwise so you can cut 6 equal strips of dough to form the basket-like structure. Remove the frozen pie filling from the freezer and place into the prepared dough in the pan. Lightly brush the edge of the crust with the egg yolk. Lay 4 strips of dough across the top of the filling horizontally, leaving an even amount of space in between each strip. Fold back 2 alternating strips and lay down another strip in the middle of the pie, perpendicular to the other strips. Return the strips that are laid back to their original position. Next, fold back the other 2 strips and lay down a strip to the left of the center perpendicular strip. Return the strips that are laid back to their original position and repeat on the other side of the perpendicular strip, folding back the same 2 strips as you did on the other side. Once you have a lattice, brush all the strips of dough with the egg yolk, trim excess dough and pinch strips and edge of crust in order to seal. Place on the bottom rack of the oven and bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes. The pie should be bubbling lightly around the edges. If the lattice is not browned enough in the center, place under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes.

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Place the pie on a rack and allow to cool to room temperature before serving, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

 

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Place the pie on a rack and allow to cool to room temperature before serving, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Devour with vanilla ice cream.

Here’s Alton Brown’s original recipe!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/frozen-blueberry-pie-recipe/index.html