Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Pink Smoothie

So - if you made the pink salad, from my last post, you'll likely have some very red water leftover from boiling your beets.  And if not, boil some beets!  Then you'll have one of the necessary ingredients for this AMAZING morning smoothie. 

Admittedly, I was somewhat nervous about using beet juice in a smoothie - but I had this leftover, blood-red liquid that i knew was loaded with goodness.  I couldn't just throw it out!

Beets are not only an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, sodium and iron - but they also provide vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and C.  The juice rendered from a beet is rich in choline, folic acid, iodine, manganese and potassium.  So many good things from one little plant.  

So here's what I did with our leftover beet water. 
A Pink Smoothie . . .

1 c. beet water
2 apples, peeled and cored
2 bananas
1/4 c. coconut milk 
1 c. ice

Combine all ingredients in a blender, a food processor or a smoothie maker.  Then drink it.  You will be surprised at how good this smoothie tastes.  It might have been the most tasty smoothie I've ever had.  My 2 year old asked for seconds and my 8 month old loved it too.  

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Pink Salad

I took a picture of this salad - but one of my kids deleted it before I could post it.  However - it really is a beautiful pink salad.  It may be a while - but when I make it again, I will post a picture of it.  Here's the recipe though - a VERY tasty little number.

3-4 large beets
3 organic romaine hearts - chopped
2 cans marinated bean salad (I buy it at Trader Joe's)
1 small chopped onion
4 oz. sliced mushrooms
2 Tbsp butter or oil
3-4 chopped carrots

To prepare the beets:  wash them and quarter them.  Then put the unpeeled beets into a pot of water.  Cover the pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and let them cook for an hour or so - until the beets are nice and soft.  Then remove beets and allow them to cool a bit.  Once they are cool enough to handle, use a spoon to separate the beets from the skins.  Then chop the cooked beets into bite-size pieces and put them in a large bowl.  Saute' chopped onion and sliced mushrooms in butter or oil - until soft.  Then add them to the beets.  Chop the romaine and the carrots and add them.  Then add the two cans of marinated bean salad and toss it all together.
This salad is amazing.  Full of great nutrients and so good.  And it is so pretty and pink.  I promise to post a picture soon.

Notes and Tips:
  • Save the water in which the beets were boiled to add to your morning smoothie.
  • If you want more "dressing" than the marinade from the beans, add a little balsamic vinaigrette.
  • Radishes are also nice chopped and added to this salad.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Friendly Stew

A good friend of mine sent me this fantastic Red Bean Stew recipe - and a great picture of it to post.  Enjoy this hearty recipe on a cold day.

Red Bean Stew
Serves 4

1 teaspoon canola oil
2/3 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon snipped cilantro
1 teaspoon snipped fresh oregano or 1/4 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon adobo seasoning
1 (15-ounce) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups hot cooked brown rice

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add red onion and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes or until onion is tender.  Carefully add water, tomato paste, snipped cilantro, oregano and adobo seasoning.  Stir in beans.  Bring to boiling; reduce heat.  Cook and stir over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until soup is slightly thickened, mashing beans slightly while stirring.
Serve stew with rice.  If desired, garnish with cilantro sprigs.
Per serving:  220 calories; 2 g fat; 427 mg sodium; 44 g carbs; 8 g fiber 11 g protein

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

We Have A Winner!

Congratulations to Chita73!  She is the winner of our Grand Opening Giveaway!  I used the true random number generator at to select a winning name from the list today.  Chita73 will be notified by email and will receive a jar of my very favorite savory spice blend. 
Thanks to everyone who entered the contest.  This is just one of many fun giveaways to come - so keep following for your chance to win something fabulous!


Monday, February 14, 2011

Sweet Potato Valentine

What is my Valentine getting today?  I'm making his very favorite treat. . . a sweet potato pie.  He will be so happy when he comes home from work tonight.  I know he will have had a busy day.  So I can't wait to see his face light up when he discovers his gift.

Here's the recipe.  You'll love this pie.

2 c. cooked sweet potato
1 c. milk (I like coconut milk or rice milk for this)
1/4 c. butter
3/4 c. agave nectar (can use cane syrup or honey)
1/4 c. cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice

Double wrap a few sweet potatoes in foil and poke some holes in them.  Bake at 350 for about an hour - or until soft.  While those are baking, make your pie crust from the earlier post.  Click here: no-roll pie crust.  When potatoes are done, unwrap them.  Use a spoon to remove the meat from the skins (it should come out easily).  Heat oven to 425.  Combine sweet potatoes with all other filling ingredients and blend in food processor until smooth.  Pour filling into unbaked pie crust and bake at 425 for ten minutes.  Reduce heat to 350 and bake for an additional 50 minutes or until done.

Remove pie and allow to cool a bit.  Then refrigerate for at least six hours or overnight.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Melt In Your Mouth Valentine's Day Cookies

So I had given up cookies for a couple of weeks.  And then I fell off the wagon.  Well - maybe I jumped off the wagon.  I just had a serious need for shortbread cookies.  I found an easy recipe - then adapted it to this.

1.5 c. flour
1 c. butter (softened)
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

1 c. powdered sugar

Preheat your oven to 350.
Then mix the butter, flour, sugar and vanilla together.  Roll the dough into small, 1" balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet or baking stone.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Put your powdered sugar into a deep bowl and take each cookie - right off the cookie sheet - and roll it in the powdered sugar.  Coat each cookie completely and put them on a plate to cool.  When cooled - roll them in the sugar again.  Be careful to save some for your valentine.  These are addictive.

Tips and notes:
  • To make these melt in your mouth even more - take out 2T of the flour and replace it with cornstarch. 
  • Use lemon juice, instead of vanilla - if you want a lemony cookie.
  • Add a little food coloring to the cookie dough to make these pink for Valentine's Day.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Giveaway Reminder

Just a quick reminder . . .
The drawing for my Grand Opening Giveaway is TUESDAY, February 15th.  All you have to do to enter is become a follower of this site.  There are other ways to get additional entries (listed on the original post).  Anyway - make sure to sign up for your chance to win a jar of my favorite seasoning blend!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Easy Nutty Spicy Thai Dish

So I LOVE Thai food. LOVE IT!.  I love a good Pad Thai.  Here's a very simple dish that combines the flavors of traditional Pad Thai with a peanut sauce and plenty of spice.  Don't be appalled by the ketchup in the ingredient list.  It is just a shortcut for tomato paste, sugar, vinegar & salt.  And, obviously - adjust the spice to your liking.  All the spices are optional - just use the ones you have on hand and improvise.  This is a recipe that is hard to mess up.  Try it.

1/4 c.crunchy Peanut Butter (heaping)
1/4 c. milk (I use Rice Milk or Coconut Milk)
3 Tbsp. organic Ketchup
1 Tbsp. sugar or agave nectar or honey
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder (or use fresh, minced or crushed garlic)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Combine all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan over LOW heat, stirring well.  Boil some rice noodles and drain them.  Toss the noodles with butter and a little salt and pepper.  Then combine the noodles and the sauce.  These measurements are just an estimation.  I normally just add a little of this and a little of that until it tastes the way I want it.  If I have lemons on hand, I sometimes add a squeeze of lemon juice.  Tamarind is also a great spice for this if you have some.  Adding cooked chicken, tofu and/or vegetables to this dish is great too.