Sunday, March 3, 2013

Our vegan journey started with a smoothie!

It all started with a smoothie. I had been doing some studying on health issues and how what we eat correlates to how we feel. So I picked up a little book called Green Smoothie Revolution by Victoria Boutenko at a local bookstore. It was awesome! With over 200 smoothie recipes there had to be something that we liked. I tried to make several recipes in a "normal" blender but the greens just weren't cut down to size. With some persuading for an early anniversary present my husband purchased a Vitamix. I have to say that since this vegan endeavor I have faithfully used that piece of equipment daily, sometimes twice a day. I realize that a Vitamix is a big purchase, believe me we are still making payments on it. However, I have to tell you that it is sooooo worth the investment!

My favorite recipe thus far in this wonderful book is:

Lovely Green Goodness
2 bananas
1 Royal Gala apple
1 Bosc pear
1 cup kale
1/4 cup water

So yummy!

I have been very brave in trying my own smoothie concoctions every morning for the past 40+ days. Yesterday I tried a smoothie without the "greens", it was a very blue/purple surprise!

Smurf-ilicious (Appropriately named by my husband) :)
1-2 cups of vegan milk (organic soy was my choice)
1 cup of frozen blueberries
1 cup of frozen blackberries
1 TBS of agave
1 heaping tsp of spirulina
1 frozen blackberry (for picture taking if needed)

My Vitamix thought this little treat was supposed to be an ice cream or sorbet with all of the cold ingredients. What a nice treat and happy accident! My husband really liked this one. It made two very nice servings, hence the large amount of spirulina (normally it's just 1 tsp daily.)

Enjoy these recipes and I encourage you to read Green Smoothie Revolution. Victoria has a lot of wisdom on how to rotate your greens and so much more healthy insight!

Enjoy! Have a wonderful day creating smoothies. Post your recipes in comments or please email me your smoothie recipes and I will share with everyone.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Curried away with quinoa!

Sorry it's been awhile since my last post. I have been creating and taste testing recipes in the kitchen! I think I have a hit on my hands. I have made this several different times and my family loves it, even the picky eaters. So I thought I would post a pic and the recipe so you can share it with your family and friends.

Curried away with quinoa!
1-2 cups cooked quinoa ( I use red)
1 medium yellow or red onion
2 garlic cloves
2 cups of fresh spinach
1/4 cup of sliced almonds
1/4 cup of dried cranberries
1-2 TBS of olive oil
1 TBS of curry powder
1-2 tsp of garlic powder
1/2 tsp of pepper
1-2 TBS of Tamari or Braggs liquid aminos

I start off cooking the quinoa according to the box or bag instructions. It's usually 1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of water. Put both items in a pot and bring to a boil. Then continue cooking on medium heat for 15 min. or until all liquid has evaporated and quinoa is soft and the "germ" ring is visible along the edge of the grains. While this is cooking I begin to dice the onion into small pieces and finely mince the garlic. Add the olive oil to a large skillet and turn on medium heat.  Add chopped onions and garlic when oil is hot, then add the almonds and cranberries. Cook everything until onions are translucent then  add the Tamari or Braggs liquid aminos and the fresh spinach. Your quinoa should be finished cooking by now. Add 1-2 cups of quinoa to the mixture in the skillet with the garlic powder, curry and pepper. Toss everything together until it is mixed well. Serve to your happy family.

***additions*** if you are on an oil restricted diet use vegetable stock in place of olive oil. Also, I have added fresh cubed mushrooms in place of spinach, very yummy. Another variation would be to use finely chopped walnuts or pecans in place of almonds and add a little orange juice to this. Whatever quinoa didn't go into this recipe could be used cold in a salad the next day.

Enjoy!... and remember to "play with your food".  Find out what different veggies and spices you like to cook with quinoa. Make this recipe fit your taste buds!
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