Back on the Bandwagon – With a Green Smoothie in Hand

Hello Friends, it’s been awhile since my last post because I’ve been crazy busy.

While I’ve been busy, I’ve been eating a mix of new recipes from cookbooks and blogs and also I’ve been avoiding cooking like the plague because it can be really, really hard sometimes! On top of that, the process of taking photos adds a great deal of time into the production process for me and there are easily 5+ photo shoots I have saved in my iPhoto files that never made it to the writing stage because I simply didn’t sit down a write.

This is a sadness to me. I like to cook, I like to explore, I value creative outlets and I like to share with others. This blog should be a top priority for me because it hits all the elements of a hobby or discipline that most satisfy me but it has fallen to the wayside.

To get back on the bandwagon, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’m eating and what makes me feel good. I know I love fruits and vegetables but I’ll admit, I’m not eating enough. This is a common struggle amongst us omnivores and I decided to tackle it with a popular solution, the Green Smoothie.

Green Smoothie Drinking

Generally I throw things into my blendtec that I know are good for me, I hit the smoothie button and then drink whatever comes out. My smoothies aren’t always delectable but they serve the purpose. Now…this is only half a solution to my problem. I want to eat things that make me feel good, and part of feeling good is enjoying the process of e a t i n g. I opened up my Blendtec recipe book and picked out a few recipes that were both green and protein focused. Along with rotating through the Blendtec Smoothie recipe rolodex and spending time with my good ‘ol friend Instaram which introduced me to Simple Green Smoothies, I’ve found some awesome recipes! My most favorite of favorite new smoothies is the SweetDream a spicy green adventure including cayenne pepper ♡

SweetDream

SweetDream Smoothie by Simple Green Smoothies

Ingredients

2 C Nut-Based Milk (Almond)

2 C Leafy Greens (Spinach)

2 C Mango (or other fruit)

1 Banana

2 T Nut-Butter (Almond)

1 t Cinnamon

¼ t Cayenne

Directions

Place in Blendtec blender in the ingredient order listed and select smoothie setting.

If not using a Blendtec or Vitamix – It’s suggested that you blend the leafy greens before you add in the full ingredient list. This is suggested to help finely chop up the greens for a smooth drinkable texture.

Note on the Cayenne pepper – It adds a kick to the smoothie that is quite desirable. There are known benefits to using cayenne pepper including stimulating the digestive tract, detox and possible weight loss support. If you don’t like spicy, skip this ingredient. If you’d like to try but don’t want to get too wild, put a smaller amount into the Smoothie than ¼ t, I won’t tell anybody ☺︎

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The SweetDream is super tasty and now a regular repeat in my smoothie mix up. It has 2 cups of leafy greens, which gets me one serving of vegetables right off the bat in the mornings and 3 servings of fruit (2 cups mango + 1 Banana). The Cayenne pepper adds an additional layer of flavor that is honestly, unusual in a green smoothie.

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Cheers – Here’s to getting back on the band wagon and eating my fruits and veggies with the help of a Green Smoothie. And always, here’s to eating well and often.

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Love & Food – S+J Anniversary 2

6.21.12 That was the day. Exactly two years ago yesterday, James and I got married. Last year, we threw our bikes into the back of the van and we drove to Navy Pier in Chicago. We left the van at the pier and rode our bikes all around downtown Chicago and ate whatever we wanted. It was perfect. Here we are:

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This year is a little tougher – James is in Indiana doing research and I’m here in Texas for my summer internship – but we made the most of it through a FaceTime movie date and eating a lot of great food for breakfast and dinner. We took it easy for lunch.

S. Breakfast: Green pancakes
J Breakfast: German pancakes

S Dinner: red potato & pork sausage hash
D Dinner: sushi at Majé

I know what you’re thinking – James really out did me on both accounts. I can’t compete with German pancakes but stay with me for dinner though, you gotta see this. It was so good! But first, we will start with breakfast.

German Pancakes

These are, no joke, my favorite kind of pancakes. They’re quick and easy to make and absolutely delicious. First time I tried German Pancakes was my freshman year of college. Meridith Marie Petty – a kindred spirit – introduced me to this family tradition of hers and it quickly became a forever favorite of mine.

Best part of german pancakes, second only to shoveling them in your mouth, is seeing them right when they come out of the oven. They’re so fluffy and buttery and crispy!! Mmm. James chose well.

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Ingredients:

1/4 cup of butter
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
6 eggs
Pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the butter in a 9×13 glass dish and place it in the oven while it preheats so the butter can melt.
  2. Meanwhile, place all the other ingredients in the blender. Blend until smooth.
  3. Once the butter is melted, pour the batter into the glass dish and bake for 35 minutes.

Now, if you’re anything like me and get excited about taking pictures with/of food, then you need to be ready and I mean ready. These beauties only stay puffy for a minute. Snap a few shots and then let it go. Serve with pure maple syrup or maybe fresh fruit.

Green pancakes

I have to apologize, I don’t have a photo of the green pancakes. I promise you’re not missing much though. They look like normal pancakes, but they’re green. Basically, they’re just another “creative” way to get greens into your mouth before noon. Brit showed the family this recipe a while ago and I’ve lightly adapted it:

Ingredients:

1 cup milk alternative (I use almond milk)
1/2 cup coconut oil (make sure it’s melted)
3 eggs
1 tbls agave nectar
1/2 tsp salt
3 large handfuls of Spinach (or whatever fits into the blender on top of the other ingredients)
1 cup wheat kernels

Directions:

  1. Put everything into your high speed blender (I use a Blendtec) in the order listed above and blend on the Whole Juice setting twice. Just make sure it’s well blended.
  2. Allow the batter to sit for 5 minutes to thicken.
  3. Drop about a 1/2 cup of batter into a heated pan. Flip pancakes when little air bubbles start to form on the top.

I recommend spreading some of your favorite nut butter on top and drizzling with pure maple syrup.

Fast forward 8-9 hours and dinner time it is! James had sushi. I’m sure it was good. But let’s talk about my dinner…

Fresh Garden Veggies & Pork Sausage Hash

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Evidently this a breakfast dish but I know very few people that wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to eat breakfast twice in one day. Just look at it. Isn’t it beautiful! This dish was inspired by Celeriac and Sausage Hash from the Against All Grain cookbook by Danielle Walker. You can check out her blog here.

Ingredients:

1 tbls coconut oil
2 cups red potatoes (leave the skin on, it’s good for you!)
1/2 lb breakfast sausage
3/4 cup finely diced carrots
3/4 cup finely diced zucchini
1/2 cup chopped cremini mushrooms
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp sea salt
black pepper to taste

Add-ins/toppings:

chopped radishes
chopped tomato
fried egg
chopped rosemary for garnish

Directions:

  1. Heat the coconut oil in the skillet over medium heat
  2. Place the potatoes in the skillet and cook for 5 minutes
  3. Add in the sausage and carrots, cook until the meat is fully cooked through
  4. Add the in the remaining ingredients and cook until the mushrooms and zucchini are tender
  5. Top with your add-ins: radishes, tomato, fried egg and rosemary.

Enjoy! I’m sure this would be good with a number of different veggies. Use whatever you have in your fridge at the time. I honestly could’ve gone without the sausage but my siblings really liked the flavor it added.

I rounded out the night with dessert, of course, because anything less than that would just be unacceptable. Luckily for me, Brit had this frozen little delight ready for me (recipe cred: Angela Liddon at OhSheGlows):

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I think it’s safe to say that James and I ate well this year for our anniversary, even if we weren’t able to eat together. It would have been nice to go on some sort of adventure but the delicious food and our FaceTime movie date (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty) made it manageable. 🙂

What do you and your significant other do to have fun when spread miles and miles apart?