I hate spinach – unless it is smothered in cheese in spinach-artichoke dip. I absolutely will not eat it cooked. And sometimes I will tolerate it in a salad if other greens are mixed in. But let’s face it, I am not a greens eater. Even though I know how GOOD it is for my body.
So when my friend Tracey mentioned a smoothie she makes every morning that includes spinach, my attention was grabbed. I really wanted to try it out. She insisted you can’t taste the spinach. I was afraid, I admit. She has some allergy issues, hence the non-dairy or soy ingredients.
I purchased all the ingredients at Kroger, but they didn’t have much of a selection on Protein Powder. So I got what they had and gave it a try. Next time, I will be getting that at Trader Joe’s because you all know how much I LOVE TJ’s!!
Here’s her original recipe with her suggestions:
- 1 cup frozen blueberries (the cheapest place to buy them is at TJ’s- I buy the 1.99 variety, pesticide free but not organic)
- 1/2-1 banana
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond breeze almond milk (1/2 gallon’s at Kroger’s are cheapest in the healthy living fridge section) you could also use rice, hemp or some other dairy/soy free milk
- 1 large handful of organic spinach
- 1 Tbsp flax oil (I use Udo’s 3-6-9 blend, it is very highly rated and pure); barlean’s is also good
- 1 scoop of “Life Basic’s” Vanilla Protein powder (sweetened)- I buy this a vitacost.com- you can use another kind, but I would AVOID soy or whey protein as they can be allergenic and mucous forming; TJ’s has a hemp protein that I have not tried, but I’m sure that would be fine; I would stick with a hemp, pea, and or rice protein powder- they are typically hypoallergenic
- Blend spinach and milk first, until it is a liquid, add the rest blend again
As I said, I didn’t get to go to TJ’s so I bought a different brand of protein powder and only had ground flax seed on hand.
I was a little worried that the spinach wouldn’t liquify. But following Tracey’s recommendation to blend the milk and spinach first, worked well. I do have a higher powered blender that has a “smoothie” setting on it – the Oster Fusion (affiliate link):
But it CAME OUT SUPER YUMMY!!! I would recommend this to anyone!! And even Jeremy said it tasted good. It even kept me feeling full until lunch time!!
The boys love smoothies, but they didn’t like it. But I think it was because my first attempt, I didn’t mix the protein powder thoroughly enough and it came out gritty. And besides Evan said, since it didn’t have strawberries in it (like I usually make him) he didn’t like it. BTW I did try it with strawberries today, and beside the color not being very appetizing, it was still very tasteful!
Found another great recipe on my recent quest to find family/kid friendly ground turkey breast recipes. This recipe caught my attention because I happened to have feta cheese (which is a rarity) and pitas and needed to use them up. This recipe is from Culinerapy (click HERE to see recipe). It called for Panko, which of course I needed to Google, because I had NO idea what it was. And if I needed to try to find them at a store, I would have given up on this recipe. Turns out, you can make them pretty easily with items I already had in stock (saltine crackers, dried thyme, dried basil and chili powder). Score! I found THIS recipe to try. And since they can be frozen, I made the whole recipe to keep for later. So next time, I won’t have to redo this step.
Here’s the finished product. We put the boys’ burgers on a Arnold Sandwich Thin – since *cough cough* someone used the pitas this week. There were only 2 pitas left. Which probably turned out for the best, since the pitas were hard to hold for little hands. Another recipe that the boys LOVED! This is another keeper! Jeremy said it was a great summer burger! And the boys finished theirs – which mean they must have liked them also !
Remember that boat load of ground skinless turkey breast I scored at a local turkey farm (Bowman & Landes). Once I got it home, I realized that I had to find some recipes to use all 8 pounds of it that my 3 males would eat! I wanted to find recipes that were actually meant for ground turkey breast, since I got the leanest type and I didn’t want too dry of results – you know what I mean? I threw it all in the freezer until I found some recipes I wanted to try.
This one we had tonight and let me just tell you that it was soooo good. So good, that Evan ate his first taco. He refuses to eat tacos and I make them often. He usually takes some of the filling out and eats a little bit of it. But every time he asks “what’s for dinner?” and I say “tacos”, he moans and groans and says, “but I don’t lllliiiiikkkkkeeee tacos.”
And this evening was no different. He wasn’t very happy about taco night.
But he was very pleasantly surprised and I was too. He ate all of his dinner! WOOT!
What’s the recipe you ask? Tonight’s recipe is from Gina’s Weight Watchers Recipes: Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps. Not that I was necessarily looking for “diet” recipe but I do subscribe to her website because she has some overall GREAT recipes – especially desserts. I don’t feel as guilty indulging in dessert, right? And this recipe seemed pretty simple and I like SIMPLE. Believe me, if there are too many steps or too many ingredients, I will not even attempt it, EVER.
Instead of making them lettuce wraps, I used Whole Wheat tortillas and made soft tacos. And I even noticed that after I started adding some of the seasonings, that the original recipe called for 1.3 pounds of turkey and I was only using a pound. But the flavor was excellent and not too spicy for the kiddos!!
I added a side of homemade guacamole (you know since I am a little obsessed lately!), Trader Joe’s Soy and Flaxseed Tortilla Chips and some fresh veggies and dip. Yum to the Yummy!!
Evan recently requested popsicles during a trip to the store. I grabbed a mixed box of popsicles and fudgesicles. Every kid loves a cool treat on a hot summer afternoon, right?
Well, I didn’t feel too bad until I got the box home and glanced at the ingredients. The fudgesicles first ingredient was corn syrup, then water. Now I’m not going to go all “corn syrup is evil” on you but, I assumed that fudgesicles were made out of milk? Maybe I assumed wrong, but either way, it got me thinking.
I could make my own popsicles and fudgesicles for the kids fairly easy and a lot more healthier! So I started the quest to find some recipes that the kids would enjoy.
Here is the first one that I have tried! And let me tell you that the kiddos LOVED them and so did I .
- Chocolate Pudding 3.4 oz box (I used Jello chocolate instant pudding)
- 2 cups of Milk (I used Organic Skim)
- 6 Oreo’s (I used Trader Joes)
- 1/2 cup of cool whip (I used Cool Whip Lite)
I have been trying to substitute organic or healthier version of staples when I can. So I used Organic Milk and Trader Joe’s Joe Joes which are made with all natural ingredients and No Hydrogenated Oils!
1. Crush Oreos (which I had an expert help me out!)
2. Mix pudding and milk together. Then add oreos.
3. add Cool Whip. Mix together until well blended.
4. Pour into molds
5. Allow several hours to freeze then enjoy!!
As promised from yesterday’s post...I finally got my mom’s recipe this past week, after making several loaves with a new recipe last week. And as I mentioned, it was okay, not spectacular! Now my mom’s on the other hand is SPECTACULAR!
Since it is Thanksgiving, I thought I would be generous and share with you the best tasting pumpkin bread recipe, ever! So here it is:
2 c. pumpkin
2 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
1/3 c. Butter
4 unbeaten eggs
3 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
scant 3/4 c. water (if using canned pumpkin)
Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease* 2 large loaf pans or 3 smaller loaf pans. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside. In mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time, add vegetable oil and pumpkin. Blend well. Add flour mixture, in small amounts, until well blended. If batter seems dry, add up to 3/4 c. water, little bit at a time. Pour into prepared pans.
Bake at 350ºF for 1 hour. Allow to cool on wire rack for 10 minutes.
* I use my own cake release recipe for anything and everything that needs to be greased. I have yet to have a cake or bread stick to the pan using this recipe. Here is the recipe (that my Wilton Class 1 Instructor gave us to use):
1 c. shortening
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 c. flour
Cream together ingredients in blender. No need to refrigerate. Will keep for 6 months. Mix well before use, because it tends to separate between each use. Store in an airtight container.
I made a large batch in July and keep it on hand for all my baking needs! I will grease pans (I “paint” it on the inside of each pan with a pastry brush) first and allow to dry while mixing the batter.
I am NOT turning into a baking blog, I promise! Besides the cakes that I have been working on, I have one other “speciality”. I have it in quotes, because to me pie is pie. But according to my father, I make the world’s best Apple pie – well second to my mom, of course. She has passed down the tradition to me and ever since I made my first one 4 years ago, it is my job to do it every holiday and sometimes – very rarely – my dad will get one out of the blue – just because.
This was one of those “out of the blue” times. My mom and I went to the local apple farm last week and I saw the Granny Smith’s and new what I should do. Besides I did just buy a Pampered Chef Pie Crust Shield which to me was a complete splurge, but none the less, I am now a Pampered Pie Baker! So on Friday, I made one of my famous Apple Pies from scratch!! The secret you may ask? It’s what you can’t really read in the above picture. My mom has a few things scribbled in the ingredients section that I will keep a secret too! Okay fine, I won’t keep it a secret because Thanksgiving is coming and with the season changing everyone enjoys a wonderful piece of apple pie.
My secret is to use all Granny Smith apples! The tart goes really well with the sugar and extra spices that are added! Along with that here is the rest of my Mom’s secret:
instead of 1/2 tsp. of nutmeg – change it to 1/3 teaspoon of nutmeg
keep the cinnamon the same at 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
And you’re adding 1/3 tsp. of allspice
My mom always made crusts from scratch, so of course I had to keep that tradition going also. Which makes it a little bit more time consuming but well worth it in the end to have a nice flaky, buttery crust that melts in your mouth!!