Tag Archives: fruit

PB&J Smoothie

I made a really yummy smoothie yesterday morning.

I’m calling it a PB&J Smoothie. Ironically, it has neither peanut butter nor jelly in it.

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Work with me, here.

Instead, it’s fruit-based and has sunflower butter (my obsession!) in it.

PB&J Smoothie

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makes one smoothie

Into the mix went:

  • 3 ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup (ish) frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup (ish) frozen mango chunks

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  • 1/3 cup (ish) frozen chopped spinach
  • 1/3 cup (ish) Chobani vanilla 0% yogurt

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  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tbs unflavored whey protein powder
  • 1 tbs sunflower butter

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All blended up…

And then you get this!

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Wait. That’s sort of ugly. Not even just “sort of,” actually. That smoothie looks beaten by an ugly stick.

Is this better?

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You know what? Don’t worry about how it looks. That’s not important. It’s full of good-for-you ingredients, it tastes delicious, and it keeps you full for hours.

That’s what’s important!

And no, people, you cannot taste the spinach. I get this question every single time. 🙂

What healthy breakfasts have you been making lately?

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Strawberry Coconut Muffins

Remember how I said the other day, when I posted those Banana Walnut Muffins, how I made two different kinds of muffins?

Well, I wasn’t kidding! I did! And actually, I liked these a lot better (though I will say that banana walnut just isn’t my favorite flavor). And thankfully, because they came from the same base as the Banana Walnut Muffins, they are similarly low in fat and fluffy and light.

These were Strawberry Coconut Muffins and I thought they were just lovely. This is a recipe I never would have come up with on my own.  I came up with it because I was baking for a friend of mine and, while she doesn’t love sweet foods, she does love both strawberries and coconut.

(Look at all those strawberries! Yum.)

And thus, these muffins were born.

Strawberry Coconut Muffins

makes one dozen muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 6 oz fat-free vanilla yogurt (I used Greek-style)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable (or canola) oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • 1/4 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray.

Sift together dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt).

In a separate bowl, blend sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla yogurt, almond milk, vanilla extract and coconut extract. Combine with dry mix.

Use a spoon to mix in strawberries and coconut

Fill cups in muffin tin about 3/4 full with batter.

Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes.


And, as with the other muffins, these are best served cut in half, toasted, and slathered with a little Earth Balance or butter.

 

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Blueberry Oatmeal Happiness

I made THE MOST AWESOME bowl of oatmeal this morning.

Vegan oatmeal. I mean, it’s not hard to make oatmeal vegan, but it was vegan nonetheless and I feel the need to point it out because I’m doing that whole vegan thang right now.

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It was raining and really cold in LA this morning. By “raining and really cold,” I mean that it had drizzled during the night and it was 60 degrees, but don’t worry about it. LA has ruined me.

It was obvi dot com an oatmeal day, you know what I mean?

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I didn’t want to have just any old bowl of oatmeal, though. I wanted it to be special.

And oh, my friends, it was.

It was Blueberry Oatmeal Happiness.

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Into the mix went:

  • 1/3 cup 5 grain + flaxseed mix
  • 2/3 cups + 1 tbs water
  • dash salt
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 capful pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 banana (fairly ripened), smushed
  • a few dashes of cinnamon
  • pinch of brown sugar
  • handful of frozen blueberries
  • spoonful of sunflower butter

Directions:

Honestly, it was super easy. I put the grain mix in with the water and salt, brought it to boil, kept it on at a low heat for about five-ish minutes, added the almond milk/ vanilla/ cinnamon, let it simmer for a couple more minutes, added the banana, another minute, and then added the blueberries and brown sugar and cooked it for another couple of minutes to let the blueberries heat all the way through.

I then topped it with a spoonful of sunflower butter, AKA one of my new favorite foods.

I finished that ish real fast.

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It was amazing. Especially when I mixed the sunflower butter through it.

And I sort of loved that it was blue. Colorful breakfasts are more fun.

Biggest lesson in my vegan experiment so far: it does not have to be difficult at all. In fact, it has so far just made me a more experimental (and therefore better) cook.

Woohoo!

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Red & White Sangria (No Sugar Added!)

As you may remember from my Fourth of July post, I made both red and white sangria for the BBQ party Mark and I held. In the interest of keeping my diet to only naturally occurring sugar, I made both versions without any added sugar.

Admittedly, there is surely added sugar in both the Triple Sec and the coconut rum, but I did my best.

Please find the (very simple) recipes below!

Red Sangria

2 batches

Ingredients:

  • 2 bottles red wine (I used pinot noir)
  • 2/3 bottle sparkling water
  • 1 1/4 cup Triple Sec
  • 3 blood oranges, sliced
  • 2 sweet yellow peaches, sliced
  • 1/2 mango, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups pineapple, diced

White Sangria

2 batches

Ingredients:

  • 2 bottles white wine (I used pinot grigio)
  • 2/3 bottle sparkling water
  • 1/2 cup Triple Sec*
  • 3/4 cup coconut rum*
  • 3 blood oranges, sliced
  • 2 sweet yellow peaches, sliced
  • 1/2 mango, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups pineapple, diced

*Note: Next time, I think I’d do opposite proportions here — as in, 1/2 cup coconut rum & 1 cup Triple Sec. The sangria was good, but very coconutty.

Directions (for both red & white):

A few hours before serving, pour wine & liquor over the fruit into whatever receptacle you plan on using to serve the sangria. Stir and refrigerate. Add sparkling water just before serving and gently stir again.

That’s it!

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Summer Weekend

This weekend was packed full of events, many of which had to do with Independence Day. Before I get to a post entirely about the fourth, though, I’m going to share a little bit about my lovely long summer weekend.

On Saturday night, a group of us went to see Mark perform in King Lear, which was a production in the Shakespeare by the Sea program.

It truly was right by the sea, which was beautiful.

View of the stage from the same location:

The event itself was fun even before the show began, as it was another picnicking affair. People filed in throughout the hours before the show, while the actors were still rehearsing, to sit with friends and family and enjoy meals in the cool sea breeze.

We had originally planned on sitting on blankets, but we couldn’t help but to take advantage of the benches.

From our seats, we could see Mark “backstage!” Can you spot him?

Actually, you probably can’t. It’s kind of dark. Lame.

Anyway, Mark was phenomenal in the show and it was so fun to watch him perform.

Actually, a lot of the actors were really incredible. The show is full of a lot of talent. I’m  not a huge Shakespeare fan (I know, I know) and I thought I wouldn’t really enjoy the actual show, but I found that the actors were dynamic enough to make it fun even for a non-Shakespeare loving audience member like myself.

Back in college, when Mark and I met (actually, this is how we met), he was in four things that I directed during my senior year — three plays and one sitcom pilot. Kind of cool, right?

Hopefully this will be just the first of many things we get to see him in now that he’s professionally acting in Los Angeles!

I surprised/ embarrassed Mark with flowers after the show.

I’m telling myself he liked it.

Anyway, bright and early the next morning, Mark and I went to the Studio City Farmer’s Market for the first time.

It was such a great Farmer’s Market, and so big, too! There was lots of entertainment, which gave it a community event feel.

Oh, and we saw Jason Bateman, so… that was awesome.

The best part of the Farmer’s Market though, for me, was the FRUIT! I ended up finishing phase one of the SBD a day early because I needed to pick fruit out for the sangria I was making for the fourth and didn’t want to pick blindly.

And so I tasted, and tasted, and tasted, and tasted.

I was like a kid in a candy store. At least it was nature’s candy, right?

The blood oranges and country sweet yellow peaches were my favorite. A-mazing. Seriously. I’m drooling just thinking about them.

Rehab updates…

Rehab Day 17 (Saturday)

45 minutes strength training (arms & back)

Rehab Day 18 (Sunday)

Lots of walking (around the FM, around town, etc.)

Rehab Day 19 (Monday)

Rest Day

Anybody else go to any farmer’s markets this weekend? Was the fruit just as amazing everywhere? I swear, the fruit I tasted on Sunday was pure perfection.

Oh, and I really encourage any fellow Los Angelites to go see Mark in King Lear. They’re about to go on tour throughout LA County and I know Mark would love to meet any of you if you end up going to see the show!

Ask for his autograph. He’ll feel totally famous.

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Sunday Dinner

So on Sunday night, I had a dinner party. Except that I didn’t have it at my own apartment. My friend Marc and I hosted it at his apartment, which is also the apartment of my friends Josh and Aaron. So, really, I invited myself and a few other people over for dinner.

Ehh, don’t worry. Despite my lack of social graces, I think it all worked out.

We made the most delicious salad, which is a creation perfected over time by Aaron and Josh. There are so many contrasting yet complementary flavors packed into it. It truly is an art form.

I mean, can’t you just tell how good it was by looking at it?

That’s the salad, minus the chicken.

The Milus Salad


makes about 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • about 4 packages of salad mix (we used fresh greens from the farmer’s market combined with a baby romaine mix)
  • 8 chicken breasts
  • EVOO
  • rosemary-infused salt (I’m going to go ahead and guess you could also just use a little rosemary and a little salt)
  • lemon pepper
  • ~2 cups grapes, cut in half
  • 2 golden delicious apples, sliced
  • ~2 cups strawberries, sliced
  • 2 bell peppers (1 red, one green), diced
  • 2-3 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced very thin
  • ~1 cup candied walnuts
  • ~1 cup slivered almonds
  • ~1 cup crumbled bleu cheese
  • dried cranberries

Directions:

Really, this is more of a “preparation method” than a recipe. Whatever. Make it anyway.

Trim & prepare (whatever you do — I hate touching raw chicken) your chicken breasts. Marinate in EVOO, rosemary-infused salt and lemon pepper. Just eyeball what looks like enough to cover the chicken. Pretty sure that’s all we did (again, I didn’t touch this part).

While the chicken is marinating, cut the grapes in half, slice the apples, dice the peppers, slice the strawberries, dice the tomatoes, and slice the celery. Or, more simply, cut up the fruits and veggies.

Grill the chicken. We used one of those counter-top grills.

You can also toast the almonds in a pan on the stove.

Oh, and if you want to candy your own walnuts, you totally can! First, toast the walnuts. Then, melt brown sugar on the stove, stir in the walnuts, and then separate them (immediately!) on wax paper. This will take a little speed and elbow grease. Well, not really elbow grease, but it’s a little tedious. It’s worth it!

And then, when everything is ready to go, arrange your salad!

That’s Aaron, the salad-master (and co-creator).

All done! (Mostly.)

Top it with balsamic vinaigrette (and, you know, the chicken) and you’re ready to party.

My salad was kind of sad next to those epic salads, but it was worth it to stick to my diet.

I really didn’t want to break it for anything and I’m proud that I didn’t, even in the face of an amazing-looking fruit-filled salad. (Oh, and my walnuts were of the not-yet-candied variety).

Party people!

Hooray!

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Scrapping it Together

Due to my pouty weekend, my clean-out-the-pantry challenge, and a little bit of stubbornness, I have basically run out of food in my house.

Okay, that’s a total lie. There’s still an obscene amount of food in our pantry (Seriously, who needs 8 different kinds of nut butters? I have a problem.), but I am definitely low on that fresh produce that I so adore and prefer to subsist upon.

Wednesday night killed me. Though I’d just gone to on a mini-shopping trip (more on that later), I only picked up a few random things. I had already decided I was making an omelet for dinner, and, please, I had the ingredients for that at home. I mean, I always have eggs, cheese, and frozen spinach! So, I got home, started sauteing up some frozen spinach, pulled out all the rest of the ingredients to make my anticipated spinach & cheese omelet… and then found out we had run out of eggs.

Mark.


He’d used them for cookies, too (I could see the evidence), and… get this… he didn’t leave me any!

The nerve.

Anyway, I had to make do. I started just throwing a few other frozen veggies in (actually I just added more frozen spinach and some frozen pepper & onion strips), then added some leftover flavored rice Mark had in the fridge (Sorry, Mark. Am I allowed to say “That’s what you get?” No, just kidding, he never eats his leftover rice. That’s what I told myself when I stole it, anyway.), and then added the last serving of pinto beans that I had hanging out in the fridge, and, for good measure, some parmesan & romano (because parmesan & romano make everything better, of course).

That whole section above is a doozy. If you got through it, congratulations. And then maybe come be my editor.

Anyway, I then promptly decided that it would make a much better lunch, so I started over.

Oh, and that lunch looked like this:

Totally, completely, entirely random… but it worked.

Anyway, once I’d decided that this concoction was to be yesterday’s lunch, I was back to square one with dinner.

I realized, at this point, that I just didn’t care anymore. I was hungry. I grilled a Dr. Praeger’s California veggie burger and threw it on top of a heel of Dakota bread, which I’d smothered with a Laughing Cow cheese.

I didn’t take a picture, but now I wish I had. It was pathetic. It did its job, though. Actually, it was pretty good, for a non-dinner dinner!

Even though the dinner I had Tuesday night and the lunch I had yesterday were totally random, I’m grateful that I’m getting through my stash of food. And I’m still eating well, you know?

For instance, Tuesday morning, I treated myself to some OOIAJ (overnight oats in a jar, but you should really know that by now), as I had an appointment to attend right in the middle of my normal breakfast time. Everything in that mix, minus the yogurt, was something I’ve had for a while!

Into the mix (prepped only an hour before I took it out of the fridge) went:

  • the PB in the jar, of course
  • 1/3 cup oats
  • ~1/4 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
  • ~1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • a few generous dashes of cinnamon
  • dash of Splenda

On top:

  • 1/3 banana, sliced
  • 3 strawberries, sliced
  • handful of blueberries

I ate that at my desk once I got to work. I always feel like people look at me so strangely when I’m eating OOIAJ. Of course, I really only ever do that when I’m on the go, which means I should probably anticipate people being around me. I guess it is a little weird, if you don’t realize I’m not just eating spoonful after spoonful of peanut butter!

Breakfast yesterday morning was a little different. As in, I used new things.

Oh, and I cheated.

Trader Joe’s, I’m sorry. Fresh & Easy called to me. I hope you’ll forgive me.

I had to work these guys in ASAP.

Into the mix went:

  • ~1/2 cup TJ’s 2% plain Greek yogurt
  • four strawberries, sliced (so very on their last legs)
  • blueberries
  • big handful (maybe more) probiotic cereal
  • sprinkle granola

I’m not in love with the probiotic cereal, but I’m giving a big thumbs up to the granola, at least taste-wise. I just realized I never looked at the ingredients list. I think I kind of want to live in ignorant bliss.

Is there anything you eat that has nutritional stats you’re afraid to look at?

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