Archive for the ‘food’ Category

summer linguine

September 17, 2012

Several months ago I came across a recipe in a little insert to the Sunday paper called “Relish.” It looked interesting, and I didn’t take the time to read it, but tucked it away for the future (as I do so often – my Pinterest behavior before Pinterest ever came along!)

Mid-July I finally took the time to peruse it and came across an interesting recipe I wanted to try, but knowing my family would balk at me adding blue cheese to anything, I made a few changes.

original recipe

I loved the concept of cooking the dish in one pot plus it included ingredients I already had on hand (minus the blue cheese) so I gave it a try one evening. It was a hit!

I substituted a few cheeses I already had on hand – feta and parmesan instead of the blue – and I don’t think it deterred from the flavor one bit.

I’ve got a mini Cuisinart that made chopping the almonds a snap!

Here’s a pic of the final product – doesn’t look nearly as good as it tasted. I’m going to make it again tonight!

my rendition

my rendition

Here is the original recipe; you can alter it as you like!

Linguine with Greens, Yogurt, Almonds and Blue Cheese

This Greek inspired one-dish meal embodies the Mediterranean diet. You can use almost any greens and substitute feta or Parmigiano Reggiano for the blue cheese.

1    pound linguine

1    pound mixed greens or spinach leaves, coarsely chopped

4    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2    garlic cloves, minced

2    ounces Roquefort, Gorgonzola or Stilton, mashed with a fork

1    cup creamy Greek yogurt or whole-milk yogurt

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

freshly ground black pepper

2/3 cup coarsely ground unskinned almonds

fruity extra virgin olive oil for drizzling (optional)

Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. One minute before the end of cooking drop greens into the pot. Drain pasta and greens, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid.

In the same pan, warm olive oil over medium heat Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Add pasta and greens, cheese, yogurt and about 1/2 cup or more cooking liquid, enough to moisten pasta. Add salt, pepper and almonds and toss well.

Serve in a warm bowl or platter. Drizzle with fruity olive oil if using. Serves 8.

Recipe by Aglaia Kremezi. Reprinted with permission from K. Dun Gifford and Sara Baer-Sinnott’s The Oldways Table: Essays and Recipes from the Culinary Think Tank (Ten Speed Press, 2007).

Per serving: 396 calories, 17g fat, 11mg chol., 369mg sodium, 47g carbs., 4g fiber, 14g protein

Smoothies

July 23, 2012

I’ve been making smoothies a lot this summer! I kind of got into the habit when I was working out with a trainer who always urged me to eat some protein right away after each killer session. Once it got so hot, I started going to a nearby smoothie place and ordering a fruity drink with protein added.

Well, that gets expensive, and they really weren’t all that healthy for me. I mean, compared to a Snickers Blizzard, they were amazing, but as I’ve been becoming more health conscious, I couldn’t justify the sherbet and yogurt. (I mean, is it frozen yogurt? Is it non-fat or full fat? How do I really know what’s in them to make them so yummy?) I’ve been trying to do less dairy and more organic, especially with berries. So, I decided it was time to buy a blender and start making my own. I got online and started researching blenders.

I really wanted a powerful blender because I’ve thrown away my fair share of junky ones over the years. I read about the VitaMix and decided that was the one I was going to buy. There were testimonials! People’s lives were changed when they bought a VitaMix! How had I lived all these years without one?! I had to get one now! Then I checked out the price! Yikes! I could by my own smoothy franchise for what one of those costs! (okay, a slight exaggeration!)

So, back to the smoothy place I went. But I launched out and started getting the yummy chocolate and peanut butter drink. OHMYGOODNESS was it ever delicious! How could I ever go back to plain old fruit now?! Besides, peanut butter had lots of protein, and I was even adding extra protein. This had to be waaaay better than a fruit smoothy anyway!

It doesn’t take long to start chubbing out when you get a giant choco-peanut smoothy after every workout! This was an expensive habit in more ways than one!

I decided it was time to give up the VitaMix dream and just go get a blender already! I bought a gorgeous charcoal colored KitchenAid blender at Target, took it home and made my first smoothy – of course with yogurt, peanut butter powder and Hershey’s chocolate syrup! Thankfully it tasted awful and I vowed to never do that again!

My first few attempts at smoothies were pretty dismal. I was relieved to not have spent the big bucks on a VitaMix. I didn’t know how I’d justify owning the Bentley of blenders as I watched it collect dust on the counter!

I looked up smoothy recipes on Pinterest and found one that sounded good. The “Superfood Smoothy” by Heather Kneisler. I’ve made some adjustments to it, and I’m satisfied that I’ve made the switch from expensive fast-food smoothies to homemade, delicious, nutritious ones! Now I’m getting more fruits and vegetables and cutting back on the sugar and extra calories I really don’t need! I mean, I never ate veggies in the morning! I feel healthier each sip I take!   smoothy recipe

Oh, and I found some protein powder that I really like. I don’t do soy protein powder (which is in nearly everything!) because I’m a breast-cancer survivor (estrogen-driven type) and soy mimics estrogen in the body. Whey is supposed to be a good alternative, but it’s a by-product of cheese production and I’m trying to do less dairy . . . so when I came across this at Whole Foods the other day, I had to read the label and make sure it wasn’t too good to be true! It’s incredible! This protein powder is made from sprouts – and they are all organic! Brown rice, amaranth, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, garbanzo bean, lentil, flax, and so on.

Protein Powder

protein powder

It wasn’t cheap, but no protein powder I’ve seen is. It also has live probiotics and enzymes, no fillers or synthetic nutrients and the best part is that it doesn’t make my smoothy taste funky. And, let’s be real here, if it doesn’t taste good, it doesn’t matter how nutritious it is, I’m not going to eat it more than once!

Here’s the recipe:

Superfood Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 1/2-3/4 c. orange juice
  • 10-12 baby carrots
  • 1/2 ripe banana
  • 1/2 c. plain non-fat greek yogurt (I use goat’s milk greek yogurt from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 c. frozen blueberries or mixed berries
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1/2 T. raw honey
  • 1 cup crushed ice

Method:

  1. In a reliable blender, puree spinach and orange juice until only small flecks of green remain.
  2. Add carrots and chop, then puree until tiny flecks of orange remain.
  3. Add all other ingredients. Blend until smooth.

Drink and enjoy feeding your body the nutrients it craves!