Ginger Green Smoothie

2013-12-30 09.59.14

I have finally gotten my hands on a Vitamix and I’m never letting go.  In the two short weeks that I have had this little beauty in our house I have used it every day.  The best part about this blender, aside from the obvious amazing ability to liquefy everything it comes in contact with, is the fact that my husband loves it too.  Eating healthy has never been so easy and delicious.  I have had the Vitamix for about 2 weeks now and have used it at least once a day since then.  Every morning involves a smoothie, I make my own almond milk to put in my coffee, I make dessert, sauces, and of course a spectacular soup.  I am still getting used to the power and temperament of the blender, so my recipes will take a little time to perfect for public use.

I do have to say I was not a true believer in the Vitamix until I actually put it to use.  I thought our old blender was great, it blended things and if I left it running long enough the contents would be smooth.  Apparently I didn’t know what smooth was, because the vitamix makes everything so smooth it actually becomes creamy.  Okay, enough bragging about my new toy, lets get to the smoothie of the day.

Today I made a green smoothie with a small chunk of fresh ginger to give it a nice little spice/kick.  I am of course not reinventing the wheel here, a smoothie is a smoothie.  Green smoothies are all the rage as they are said to break up greens such as spinach and kale into small enough pieces to digest all the nutrients.  Something about breaking up your food into liquid form has made me really look more closely at what I am buying as well.  If I am releasing hidden nutrients, I am probably releasing hidden chemicals as well.  So not only have I jumped on the Vitamix wagon, I am looking around inside the organic wagon as well.  I have chosen for a long time to believe that if I wash my fruit/veggies well enough that it’s totally fine, but in reality those chemicals are likely penetrating into every bite.  So I have started to switch to organic greens and slowly switching out my fleshy fruits/veggies as well.

2013-12-30 09.06.56Ingredients:

1 Clementine, peeled
1/2 Red Delicious Apple (seeds and all)
1 handful of Kale
5-6 frozen Strawberries
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
1/2 inch piece of Fresh Ginger
1/2 cup of water

Directions:

1. Add all the ingredients to the blender in the order listed above and blend on high for 45 seconds.  Add more water or ice as needed for consistency desires.

Enjoy and stay healthy!

Advertisements

One Pot Curry Chicken and Rice

2013-11-07 19.46.38

This is an easy and very flavorful one pot wonder that is great for a last minute dinner party.  I have substituted various vegetables into the mix, so you can use whatever you on hand.  I used boneless and skinless chicken breasts, but you can use any cut of chicken you have on hand.  I imagine this being good and even cheaper using chicken thighs.

Ingredients: 

1 cup of Rice (not instant)
3 tsp oil (canola, olive, or coconut)
4-6 skinless chicken thighs (or breasts), trimmed
2 cups finely chopped onion
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced (or 1/2 tsp ginger powder)
2 Tbsp curry powder (red or yellow)
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)
2 cups chicken broth
1-15oz can of chickpeas, rinsed
1-14oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups chopped zucchini (as shown) or frozen peas, thawed
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. Heat 1 tsp oil in dutch oven over medium heat, add chicken and cook until browned on all sides ~8 minutes.  Remove and put on plate.

2013-11-07 18.29.543. Reduce heat to low and add more oil, cook onions until golden brown ~15 minutes.  Stir in garlic, ginger, curry powder, coriander and ground red pepper.  Cood until fragrant ~2minutes.

4. Increase heat to medium high, stir in broth, chickpeas, tomatoes, zucchini and rice.  Season with salt and pepper, bring to a simmer.  Nestle chicken into the rice, cover, and cook in oven 20-25 minutes.

2013-11-07 18.42.20

5. Serve with a small wedge of lime if desired.

Enjoy!

Spicy Pork

2013-11-19 19.35.53

I recently saw a recipe with a sriracha sauce drizzled on top of salmon, and it got my wheels turning.  Tonight for dinner I made some quick marinated boneless pork chops and topped it with a sriracha drizzle to spice it up.  AMAZING!  I imagine this would be good with chicken, beef, shrimp, or even salmon.  I served this with a side of garlic broccoli, but it would also be good over a bed of rice as well.  I will definitely make this again, I think it would be great as an appetizer with the meat skewered and sauce on the side to dip.

Sriracha drizzle Ingredients:

3 Tbsp of mayo
1 Tbsp sriracha (more or less to taste)
1 1/2 tsp of agave

2013-11-19 19.04.59

Marinade:

1/4 cup of soy sauce
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ginger powder

2013-11-19 19.24.41

Directions:

1. 30-60 minutes before you want to cook dinner, get your marinade ready.  Combine marinade ingredients in a ziplock bag and shake to combine, add 2-4 boneless pork chops to bag and allow to marinate for at least 30-60 minutes.  You can marinate the meat longer, but I was short on time and it ended up being the perfect match for the sriracha drizzle after just 30 minutes.

2. Make your sriracha drizzle by combining sriracha, mayo, and agave.

3. In a medium-hot skillet heat a generous amount of olive oil.  Cook marinated pork chops ~4 minutes on each side until cooked through.

4. Remove from heat and top with sriracha drizzle.

Enjoy!

Teriyaki Marinated Pork Tenderloin

2013-10-27 19.57.39

Making your own marinade is a great way to know exactly what you are eating.  This is an easy recipe that brings a sweet teriyaki flavor to a nice cut of meat.  I am sure there are different proportions that can be used and other ingredients that make a more teriyaki worthy marinade, but this combination tasted wonderful and cooked well.  Add a vegetable side or two and you have a full meal.

Ingredients:

2 lbs of pork tenderloin
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
1/2 cup diced onions
2 ” slice of ginger, minced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp cracked pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 lemon, juice
1/2 cup water
1 tsp sugar or agave nectar
3 tbsp oil (sesame oil if you have it)

2013-10-27 18.23.52

Directions:

1.  Mix together all ingredients for marinade into a large ziplock bag.  Add pork tenderloin and allow to marinade in the refrigerator for at least 6-12 hours.  If you are able, shake the bag to re-mix several times while marinating.

2. After the pork has had the opportunity to marinade, remove from fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking.

3.  Arrange in small baking pan 2-3 inches deep with a small amount of marinade.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour, or until internal temperature reads 145 degrees.  Allow to rest at least 10 minutes before cutting to serve.

2013-10-27 19.54.16Enjoy!

 

Roasted Carrots and Fennel

Easy but healthy sides are an important part to every meal.  Roasted vegetables are a great part of winter weather cooking when grilling is not an option.  For tonight’s meal I kept it simple, and the fresh garlic and ginger make it taste like a much more complicated side than it really is.

2013-09-26 20.12.09

Ingredients:

– 6 carrots

– 1/2 bulb of fennel

– 3 cloves of garlic

– 1 Tbsp ginger sliced

– grape seed oil

– salt and pepper

2013-09-26 19.23.42Directions:

1. Slice carrots and fennel, mix together with garlic and ginger.

2. Drizzle with grape seed oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Spread out on cookie sheet and roast in oven for 15 minutes at 350, then mix and turn temp up to 450 to finish roasting about 10 more minutes or until fork tender.

Enjoy!

Ginger Glazed Pork

It was feeling a little crisp in the air, so I decided it was time for a “fall” meal.  Obviously I turned to pork and root vegetables, standard.  For the pork I searched around for a recipe that I have used in the past that I got from a friend.  It was something to do with maple syrup, shallots, and mustard, but I couldn’t find it.  I ended up using a recipe I found on the food network site and loosely following it.

2013-09-05 20.10.42-2

Ingredients:

-4 to 6 pork loins about 1 inch thick

-1 heaping Tbsp fresh grated ginger

-2 garlic cloves, minced

-1/2 cup maple syrup

-2 Tbsp mustard

-salt and pepper

-olive oil

Directions:

1. Start by seasoning the pork with salt and pepper, generously.  Try to do this about 30 minutes before you want to put it on to cook.  If it’s closer to room temperature it helps it to cook more evenly (or so says the internet) and not get a ring around the edges (like mine).

2. Heat a large skillet and add olive oil to the bottom to coat the pan.  When it’s nice and hot with little waves in the oil, sear the pork on both sides for 3-4 minutes.  I wasn’t sure if this was the exact amount of time, but you want it to sear and start cooking without being totally done.   Remove and set on a clean plate.

3.  In the hot skillet add more olive oil if necessary to coat the bottom of the pan, then add the garlic and ginger.  Let this cook for 2-3  minutes before adding the maple syrup and mustard.  Stir for about 2-3 minutes before adding the pork back to the pan to simmer for 5-6 minutes, flipping once.

I was having issues with splattering oil and maple syrup, so I put a lid partially over the skillet…this may have interfered with the thickening of the sauce, so I had to cook it a little longer to thicken up.

2013-09-05 20.05.49

For the final plating I used some of the left-over coleslaw from BBQ night and made bacon roasted cauliflower and beets (recipe to come).  I think in the future I will try to marinade the pork in some kind of ginger and and white wine concoction to infuse a little more flavor to the center of the meat, but the glaze makes a nice coating of flavor.