Monday, July 30, 2012

Juicy Monday -- Green-ish Juice

Happy Juicy Monday!

Sometimes vegetable juices don't turn out with the most appealing colors. Today's juice is one of those days. It would be a vibrant green color, but I used red swiss chard. So what I got was this.

And it also turned out to be a really foamy juice. I don't have an explanation for that.

Green-ish Juice
3 kale leaves
3 swiss chard leaves
2 celery
1 cucumber
1/2 green apple

As always, wash everything and run it through the juicer. Drink immediately.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sesame Noodle Bowl

There are so many ways to find inspiration these days. I love being able to find recipes on Pinterest. I also love Tastespotting. People are so creative with their recipes and so talented with their pictures. Hopefully I will be able to get better.

Today's recipe comes through Pinterest and is from the blog A House in the Hills. It is a Sesame Noodle Bowl. 

This looked beautiful, sounded filling, and (most appealing some days) had a short ingredient list. So I tried it.

My Changes:
1. I couldn't find completely buckwheat soba noodles. Even the ones that said 100% buckwheat had regular wheat flour in them. Lesson: Read labels carefully. So I used rice noodles instead.

2. I used regular white sesame seeds. It's what I had.

3. Instead of soy sauce I used Bragg's Liquid Aminos. And inadvertently used a scant tablespoon instead of a teaspoon and a half. If you use too much liquid aminos, I would suggest less salt. It wasn't horribly salty, but it was a little salty.

4. I started trying to use a peeler on my carrots, and then I decided it would be easier to grate them, so I did.

The Verdict:
Delicious! I served it at room temperature and thought it was a perfect light, summery dish for this perfect summer time.

I tried a few more "posed" pictures.

Is it funny that I have purple chopsticks?

And these are the chopsticks that I bought in Tokyo.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Juicy Monday -- Carrot Juice

Time for another Juicy Monday. I hope that juicing makes you feel as good as it makes me feel. Although sometimes it is a struggle for me to think about juicing and I don't love cleaning out the juicer, I do love the juice.

I hope that you can see that vibrant orange color, even in my travel mug. I juiced this up, poured it in my travel mug, and headed off to the gym. It's just long enough of a drive for me to drink the whole thing by the time I get there. I should rephrase that, it's a drive with enough stoplights for me to have time to drink the whole thing by the time I get there.

Carrot Juice
5 carrots
1/2 or 1 whole green apple
1 slice of ginger root

A flavor note: the ginger root will add quite a punch. You do not need much and it can get quite overwhelming if you use too much. Start small -- less than a half-inch piece of ginger. You don't need to peel the ginger at all, just let the juicer do the work.

As always, wash the produce and run it through the juicer. Drink it immediately.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Bars

As you can probably tell by now, I love to look at everyone else's food blogs. I have just a few that I read every day, but when I have some free time, I go scroll through several others.

One that I have mentioned here before is Chocolate-Covered Katie. Katie writes her blog about healthy desserts and I am always amazed at the ingredients she includes. I mentioned that I made her chocolate chip cookie dough dip here.

In my quest for new breakfast ideas (I mentioned the search here), I came across Katie's Deep-Dish Cinnamon Roll Pie, and thought that with a couple tweaks, it would be perfect for breakfast.

This was a more involved recipe than I realized on an initial read-through. Katie said "Blend all ingredients very, very well in a food processor."

My food processor is too small to handle a can of beans, let alone two and all the other ingredients.

So my modification was to blend each thing separately. I started with the oats, then dumped those in the bowl of my KitchenAid. Then I blended the beans, etc.

My Changes:
1. I used beans that I cooked and soaked myself. I used a cup and a half of garbanzo beans and a cup and a half of cannellini beans, for the grand total of three cups.

2. No sugar. I used 6 dates that I pulsed in the food processor. My dates were pretty hard (I might never buy that particular brand again), so I soaked them in water before I ground them up.

The Process:
As I said, I ground everything up individually in the food processor. Then I used my KitchenAid mixer to mix the ingredients together. I wasn't sure what kind of texture I was going for, so after I had everything mixed, I ran small batches through the food processor again until it was smooth.

The "batter" is really stiff and thick.

I actually had to press it into the pan to get it to spread out.

After I baked it, I let it sit in the pan for fifteen minutes, and then turned it out to finish cooling.

I sliced the 8x8 pan into 8 bars. Perfect breakfast size.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


I love summer. I love the sunshine, the warmth, the vacation time, flip flops, and how everything is just a little more relaxed.

And I love the produce! Oh, don't get me started on the beauty and bounty of the farmers' market. The colors, the flavors -- yes, a tomato that tastes like a tomato. I wait all year long for it. A cucumber with a smell.

So much of summer is about the simple things. Just a simple walk outside. The beauty of the sun.

And a big bowl of watermelon.

This is dessert tonight. (It might have also been second breakfast).

Monday, July 16, 2012

Juicy Monday -- Beet Red Juice

I wish you a Juicy Monday. Yeah, that title sounds a little inappropriate, but I'm having too much fun with it.

I am trying to have some good variety in my juices, so I have another one for you today. I must admit that I think last week's Salsa Juice is my favorite, but this one is also good.

I poured this juice into the turquoise travel mug, so I took a picture before I poured it in so you could actually see the color. This juice has beets in it, so it is a great vibrant red color. Beautiful colors are so healthy.

Beet Red Juice
1 beet with leaves (I had two teeny tiny beets, so I used both of them)
1 carrot
1 celery
5 dandelion leaves
1 bunch parsley
1/2 or whole green apple (Usually I just use a half of a green apple, but today's apple was a little small, so I used the whole thing)

Just a note: If you are new to juicing and eating a big variety of vegetables, use a whole green apple. It cuts the beet flavor of this juice and makes it much more palatable.

As always, the directions are to wash the vegetables and run them through the juicer. Drink immediately (this way you'll get the most nutrients.)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Grilled Romaine Lettuce

I'm loving a few things in my kitchen these days. Not because they are new, just because I am rediscovering how fabulous they are. 

Today, it's my George Foreman Grill. 

You might be thinking, what does a non-meat eater do with a George Foreman? The whole point is to drain the fat from the meat. 

Really, this little George Foreman is perfect for me, because it is a small size and it requires no preparation to be able to toss something on and grill it. Just plug it in, toss the food on, and enjoy. 

So what am I grilling?

Romaine Lettuce.

I saw a recipe pinned on Pinterest (are you on Pinterest? You can follow me) for grilled romaine lettuce. I looked at the recipe, but it had cheese and bread crumbs. I didn't even repin it, because that made it a no-go for me. 

And yet, I kept thinking about it. So I grilled some romaine lettuce, and it was delicious. 

Grilled Romaine Lettuce
1 heart of romaine, cut in half lengthwise
1/2 - 1 whole Tbs extra virgin olive oil

Wash the romaine lettuce and dry it really well. Cut it in half lengthwise, and drizzle it with the olive oil. I was able to coat both halves pretty well with just 1/2 tablespoon, but if you want or need more oil, go for it. Sprinkle with salt. 

Put the romaine on the grill until it gets nice grill marks. Because of the size of my George Foreman, I had to grill just one half at a time. 

Then I sliced up the romaine and put it in a bowl. It was light and summery, grilled, and delicious. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tomato Millet Salad

I went to lunch with a friend of mine recently. We went to a new restaurant in town that is vegetarian/vegan and a little hippie. Which was perfect for us!

As we sat and chatted, my friend remarked that she is working on going completely vegetarian. I was surprised by the comment. Not because she is a meat-and-potatoes kind of girl, but because she isn't. I figured she was close enough to vegetarian that she wouldn't be making a shift to completely vegetarian. But of course, I was completely supportive.

And she mentioned that she found a new blog that had some really good recipes that she was trying and loving. Of course I had to check it out. Emily Malone is a vegetarian chef who writes Daily Garnish and focuses on recipes and healthy living.

I surfed through the site for a little while and came across this post for Roasted Tomato Millet Salad. It sounded perfect, so I made it myself.

My changes:
1. No sugar. Obviously, I don't know what sugar would have added to the dish, but I didn't need it.

2. I didn't roast the tomatoes! I know, it's in the title. But it is 105 degrees here (and based on the news... it's probably 105 where you are). And I have a programmable thermostat that the electric company can override if there is too much power being used... and they chose to override my thermostat the day that I was making this dish. I'm sure that roasting the tomatoes would add delicious flavor to this dish, but I thought it was good anyway. And I added a few sundried tomatoes to substitute for the roasted flavor.

3. I soaked the millet. This is another change that my nutritionist advised. Soaking grains makes them more digestible. I soak the grain in a bowl of water with a tablespoon of lemon juice (apple cider vinegar will work too) for at least eight hours. Then I cook the grain in my rice cooker. I discovered (after a bit of trial-and-error) that if I measure two cups of grain, I just need to fill the rice cooker to the two cups water mark. The grain expands with soaking, but doesn't need extra water.

My verdict:
Delicious. I will definitely make this again. It also would be very good served over greens (lettuce, spinach, etc).

Monday, July 9, 2012

Juicy Monday -- Salsa Juice

I've decided that Mondays should be Juice days. Wouldn't it be cute if I came up with some kind of name for it the way everyone has a "Meatless Monday" or "Taco Tuesday"? Well, it's not alliterative, but let's call it Juicy Monday. Juicy Monday sounds so much more exciting than a Manic Monday.

And this is the perfect kind of juice to make it a Juicy Monday. This juice has all the flavors of salsa and is so bright and lively that it's a big wake up.

I'm not sure if you can tell from the picture, but this is a thick juice and it will settle fairly quickly. Just give it a quick stir.

Salsa Juice
5 Roma tomatoes
1 big handful cilantro
1 lime (peel the lime before you put it in the juicer. I use a paring knife and just cut off the peel)
1 cucumber

Just make sure everything is well washed and run it through the juicer.

It was delicious!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Mug Muffins -- Update

For this summer semester, I am not teaching classes on Fridays (because there aren't any classes offered on Fridays at all). And I like to have a little treat for the weekends. But don't worry, these are so easy that you can make them on any busy day. 

I've posted about Mug Muffins before. I still love them.

I mentioned in that post that Ashley at the Edible Perspective was the amazing creator of the Buckwheat Bakes. She mentioned (a while ago) that she had stopped using the flax egg, so I decided to try the Mug Muffin that way. 

The Ingredients:
1/2 banana, mashed
1 Tbs ground flax seed
1 tsp chia seed
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1 Tbs carob powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 Tbs water (or slightly more)

I use the huge mug you can see on the left in the picture above. First I mash the banana in the mug, then I add in all the dry ingredients and start to stir. Then I add the water and stir. The batter should be thick, but not dry. If it is too dry, I add a little more water. 

Then I put the mug in the microwave, cover it with a paper towel, and microwave it for 1 min 45 sec. When it is cooked, I dump it out of the mug and let it cool. 

Optional Add-ins:
You could trade the spices for other spices

For breakfast, I cut it into slices and topped it with almond butter. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Edamame and Bean Salad

It is full-on summer now, and from what I hear, it is hot everywhere. I love summer, but I don't really want to heat up the whole oven and bake stuff. So with my menu plan this week, I focused on salads and light and refreshing meals. 

Including this Edamame and Bean Salad that I found at Cooking Light. Ok, they gave it the longest name ever, but it really isn't as pretentious as they made it sound. And it is pretty perfect for a summer meal. 

My changes:
I cooked my own cannellini beans. This is another of the dietary changes I am making. If I cook my own beans, I can use organic and still afford it. 
I left out the jalapeno. 
For next time, I will steam the edamame a little longer. I was worried about cooking them too long, but they are still a little crunchy. 

And for lunch today, I served this Bean Salad on a bed of dandelion greens. Just a note on that, dandelion greens are pretty bitter, so if you aren't used to things like that, eat this salad plain, or serve it on a bed of spinach or romaine lettuce. 

Sorry about the photo quality there. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Breakfast -- Fail and Success

One of the things that is hardest for me is breakfast. Honestly, it doesn't matter how big my glasses are, green juice just does not fuel me for an entire morning -- or even 20 minutes.

I don't know if I ever mentioned it in the past, but I used to eat lima beans for breakfast. Every single morning. Weird, I know. My nutritionist pointed out to me that it isn't really a good idea to eat the exact same thing every day for years. I am now trying to have a variety of breakfast things to eat.

This is difficult because I have a large number of restrictions that basically eliminate all "normal" breakfast foods. And I know that my body works best when it gets some protein and fat in the morning. Here I am, sharing my quest for breakfast with you.

I love Ashley over at Edible Perspective and she loves breakfast. No better place to start the quest for breakfast.

She writes about popped (or puffed) amaranth. I am trying different grains (see above comment about all the same goods), so I thought that would be great.



Seriously, follow the link and look at her picture of how this is supposed to look. Mine popped a few ... kernels? Grains? Seeds? But burned everything else in the pan. I tried twice, and then decided that this was not for me.

I decided to have this beautiful bowl for breakfast instead.

This is Buckwheat Creamy Hot Cereal with lots of toppings.

I found this brand at Wal-mart (forever ago) and bought it on a whim. But I've been a little scared to try it. So I finally took the plunge.

Buckwheat Cereal with Toppings
1/4 Buckwheat Hot Cereal
1 cup Water
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Carob
1/4 cup Hemp Milk (or soy, almond, whatever you like)
1 tsp Almond Butter
1 Banana, sliced
Pinch of Salt

Cook the buckwheat cereal according to package instructions. Add the cinnamon, carob, and salt and stir to combine. Add the hemp milk and stir. Top with the almond butter and banana.