Thursday, September 30, 2010

Our Green Monster Duo

I can't thank my friend Jaime enough for introducing me to these green monsters!  I was very very...very hesitant to try these because a green drink doesn't exactly scream "taste me! taste meee!!!"  Ha Ha if anything it made me run the opposite direction.  The fact that my anti veggie hubby doesn't mind drinking these is proof you cannot taste the spinach in them.  They might be green but as far as I'm concerned green is the new black.  I guess that saying only counts in fashion, because there are no tasty black drinks I can refer to...but you get my point.  They are the shiznits!!  They originated from Angela who created these delicious nutritious smoothies and you can find all sorts of recipes on her site. She said once she started drinking these her face cleared up, her nails and hair grew stronger and seriously ladies, who does that not sound appealing to???  Sign me up! I started out with the virgin green monster which they say is a good beginners smoothie for someone who hasn't had one.  I added a splash of vanilla in mine and it was a tasty vanilla smoothie. You can find that recipe here.  You can pretty much mess around with this and add anything you think sounds yummy.  I made one adding peanut butter and honey and it is satisfies my sweet tooth along with giving me nutrients.  My hubby does not like peanut butter in smoothies so I make his with strawberries and a banana.  Hope you guys give these a try. They're perfect for on the go or when you're in a hurry.  Me and Hubby drink one before we do Cp to 5K and they fill us up and keep us energized!!

Ingredients for peanut butter banana green monster with raw honey:
(Put these ingredients in your blender in this order)
2 C spinach
1 banana
1 Tbsp peanut butter
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp both flax seeds & chia seeds (optional)
1 1/2 C almond milk (you can sub skim milk)
Keep 1 cup ice cubes to the side for later.
Sorry for the weird alien sticker on the honey, had to cover the farm it's from so my location is kept a secret. muahahahahaha!! 
 Here are the flax and chia seeds I use. Again, totally optional.
 Everything layered and ready to go!
 Blend ingredients together on highest setting about 2 minutes until fully blended. Then go ahead and add your 1 cup of ice and blend another minute until no more chunks rolling around.
 Serve in glass and enjoy! This makes 1 serving in a huge cup.  I just put it in a pretty cup for pictures. :)  I just think of how proud I'm making Popeye right now. har har har.

Ingredients for Strawberry Banana Green Monster:
 (Place ingredients in blender in this order)
2 C spinach
1 banana
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 Tbsp of both chia and flax seeds (optional)
1 1/2 c almond milk (you can sub skim milk)
1 C ice kept to the side for later
 All layered and ready to go!  I sometimes add 1 Tbsp of honey to this before I blend it.  Hubby likes both ways.
 Blend for about 2 minutes on highest setting until fully blended, add your 1 cup of ice for another minute until chunks aren't flying around anymore.
 Pour in cup and Enjoy!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

super simple chicken,mushroom and onion quesadillas.

 An easy dinner for those lazy days.  I just pulled out what I thought would be a good combo.  You can add anything else you want.  I kept the flavors simple because I was using the homemade whole wheat tortillas and they we're already super flavorful with oregano and garlic.  I didn't want flavors to try and compete.  If you're not using flavored tortillas then maybe add some garlic or some cayenne powder for an extra kick. 
1 1/2 cups cheese of your choice
2 Tbsp butter
2 cups mushrooms sliced
1 quarter red onion thinly sliced (more to your liking but hubby's not a big fan of onions)
Chicken (I didn't weigh it but I used about 5 tenders)
6 tortillas
recipe yields 3 quesadillas.

 Salt and pepper both sides of chicken and cook until no longer pink in the center.  I used my nuwave and they we're done in about 10 minutes.  You can make them any way you want it..Just like Burger King, have it your way.  When done, dice into small pieces.
While the chicken is cooking add 1 TBSP butter to the pan over medium heat.  Add red onions and saute until opaque, tender and a little browned. about 3 minutes
Remove onions from pan, add another TBSP butter and saute mushrooms about 5 minutes until done.
Remove mushrooms from pan.  
Over low heat spray the same pan with cooking spray.  Place tortilla in same pan, layer with cheese, onions, mushrooms, chicken.  I also put more cheese on top after I took the picture.  Place another tortilla on top and press down with spatula.
let the tortilla get hot and the cheese melt about 1 minute then flip over carefully so the other side can melt and get hot as well. 
Cut into slices and enjoy. 

 Yummm cheeeeeeese!!
Next time I'll add BACON!!!!! but we we're out.

homemade whole wheat tortillas

 I have always wanted to make homemade tortillas and after seeing my friend Jaime make them I thought "Ooo I CAN make those!!"  To be honest I've never looked up a tortilla recipe, I guess I just assumed there was more to it, but they we're a piece of cake and I won't be buying store bought again.  Enjoy.

Flour Tortillas 

  • 2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup oil (I used EVOO oil, but you can also use canola or vegetable)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water (heat in the microwave for 1 min)
 I used 1/2 tsp oregano and 1/2 tsp garlic powder and they we're very flavorful although since it's just me and Mike I made some breakfast tortillas the next morning and he didn't like the oregano tortilla with eggs and bacon. I'll have to find a way to only season a few of them.  They we're delicious with the chicken quesadillas I made when the tortillas we're fresh!
recipe adapted from The food illusion

In the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer set with a dough hook, pour in the flour, oil and salt. Beat with the paddle until crumbly, about 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape the sides as needed. If your hand-held mixer comes with dough hooks those can be used as well.

With the mixer running, gradually add the warm water and continue mixing until the dough is smooth, about 3 minutes.

Take out the dough and divide it into 12 equal sized pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and flatten it out on a baking tray or board. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes or up to one hour.

Heat a cast iron skillet, griddle or 12-inch skillet over med-high heat. The pan should be fairly hot before you begin cooking the tortillas. On a lightly floured board or countertop, roll each ball into a 8 to 10 inch circle (measure against your recipe if printed on a 8.5X11 sheet of paper). Be careful not to use more than a teaspoon or two of flour when rolling out each ball of dough because too much excess flour will burn in the pan.

Spray the pan with cooking spray (I recommend Canola oil spray) and then carefully transfer each tortilla, one at a time, to the pan and cook until puffy and slightly brown, about 30 to 45 seconds per side. Set aside on a plate to cool slightly. Eat within an hour, refrigerate or freeze.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

low fat whole wheat banana nut pancakes.

I have a habit of routine when I'm dieting and then it gets boring and I tend to want what I used to eat which was varieties of fattening yumminess!!  So since me and the spouse decided to start eating healthy.....(well ...more like me, and he doesn't really have a choice if he doesn't want to die of starvation)  we are...ahem..let me rephrase,  I am going to make the things we used to eat, but in a healthier way.  My old  routine would seriously be to eat the same few rotations of breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, last 2 weeks and fall off of the wagon.  This is a lifestyle change we're attempting and we want nutrients in our bodies along with the satisfaction of scrumptious food hitting our palettes.  I want him to take a bite and not cringe because it's healthy but realize that healthy food doesn't have to taste bad and think "You know what? This healthy food stuff just might be all right."  and you know what? It worked!  I think the key to making him want to eat it is how I plate the food.  It's all about presentation.  He looked at the plate and said it looked good, took a bite, said "Are these whole wheat?" I replied hesitantly with "yeeeees" and he said "wow, these are really good."   We're doing baby steps people.  lol, I wanted to just pour some agave nectar on top because there's no sugar in the pancakes but I knew if I want him to stay on board I can't just cut him off.  I drizzled it with about 2 tbsp of pure maple syrup and gave it a few dashes of powdered sugar so he thinks he's eating our normal bad fatty food.  We had 4 pancakes each and it was less than 350 calories and we we're FULL!! I really hope if you're trying to eat healthy you give these a chance.  They're no IHOP.  But you're also not helping that muffin top form! ;)

Adapted from Gina's weight watcher recipes
Banana Nut Pancakes
Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 2 pancakes • Points: 3 pts
Calories: 145.7 • Fat: 4.0 g • Protein: 6.7 g • Carb: 22.1 g • Fiber: 3.1 g

WITHOUT NUTS: Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 2 pancakes • Points: 2 pts
Calories: 129.1 • Fat: 2.4 g • Protein: 6.3 g • Carb: 21.8 g • Fiber: 3.0 g
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 large banana, very ripe, mashed
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp chopped walnuts (optional) (I used sliced almonds because that's all I had)
  • butter flavor cooking spray
Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.
Combine milk, egg white, vanilla and mashed bananas in a bowl and mix until smooth.  

Combine wet ingredients with the dry and mix well with a spoon until there are no more dry spots. Don't over-mix.

Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Spray oil to lightly coat and pour 1/4 cup of pancake batter.
When the pancake starts to bubble and the edges begin to set, flip the pancakes. Repeat with the remainder of the batter.

 Serve on plate drizzled with syrup of your choice, nuts and bananas.  I bet chocolate chips would be tasty but that would add more calories. ;)   As the pancakes we're done I spread some smart balance fat free butter on top and covered them with foil to keep warm while I cooked up the rest of the batter. ENJOY your healthy breakfast!!

Makes about 3 cups of batter which yields 12 pancakes.  I don't know why my pancakes look more "wheat like" and more "fluffy" then Gina's picture but they we're still yummy none the less.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Baingan Bharta (Eggplant Curry)

Nom Nom Nom!! My husband chowed this dish down which was surprising because he's a wicked carnivore and this was a meatless dish!  I was ready to have a jamaican beef patty on standby in case this was an epic fail...But no patty was needed. Success.  I knew he would try it and he does like curry but he's SO anti veggies as a lot of you know.  But man oh man, the dishes I have been finding that mask veggies so well is fantabulous!!   I have been wanting to use up my eggplant from the farmers market so I hunted down an indian dish called Baingan Bharta on   I found a bunch of other curry recipes online but I had majority of the ingredients on hand for this recipe.  When Mike went on deployment years ago he brought home spices from india.  I was so excited to use them and I go through and not ONE of them is what I need. lol. Go figure!
 You'd think out of all the spices he brought home, one would surely make curry... nope. maybe another time...It will probably be another 4 years before I reach for those spices again.  This dish is very low calorie.  Of course I added a few potatoes and we ate it with rice but still healthy none the less. Probably less then 400 cals. Hope you like it too.

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil ( I also used 1/2 cup chicken stock)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (used cumin powder)
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste (used 1 tsp minced garlic, 1 tsp ginger)
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (used a little more for my tasting)
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 fresh jalapeno chile pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • I added 3 diced potatoes

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
Rub eggplant with a little oil and score each side with an "X" shape.  Place eggplant on a medium baking sheet. Bake 20 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until tender. Remove from heat, cool, peel, and chop. 
 All baked
Peel when cool then chop.
Now I don't know what the official way is to cut an eggplant but
I'm going to show you how I did it because it works for me. ;)
Cut the eggplant in slices but making sure not to COMPLETELY cut the other end
Turn it on the opposite side and do the same thing, don't cut to the very end.
hold with one hand and chop with the other...obviously I had to take the photo. 
TA DA!!!! 
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Mix in cumin powder and onion. Cook and stir until onion is tender. 
Mix ginger, garlic, curry powder, and tomato into the saucepan, and cook about 1 minute. ( I put my jalapenos and cilantro in during this step too.  The cilantro is meant for a garnish but I like we'll just throw it in. )  Season with salt and pepper to your taste.
This is where I added the chicken stock, my pan was drying out.

Mix in eggplant and potatoes. Cover, and cook 10 minutes over high heat. 

Remove cover, add yogurt (which I completely forgot to picture.  My friend blogged about chobani yogurt and it is quite tasty so I used it in this dish.)  stir, reduce heat to low, and continue cooking about 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro to serve.