Three Smoothie Recipes to Brighten Your Morning

Hello Meatless Mavens!

I have a confession, back in the olden days I used to be a Breakfast Barbarian. I knew breakfast was the most important meal of my day, so I thought the bigger the better and the more carbs the merrier. Oh yes, my mornings were incomplete without a couple of eggs, bacon, maybe a pancake (or two), and white toast spread with butter and topped with blackberry jam. In fact, the blackberry jam was probably the closest I got to ‘fruit’ back in those days. But once I became a vegetarian I started actually thinking about the food I was putting into my body. I realized most the food I ate consisted of carbs and more carbs with an occasional vegetable or fruit. Ugh!

So about 5 years ago I replaced my carb-laden breakfasts with fruit smoothies. I will tell you my mornings are much brighter and I feel so much better than when I was eating the SAD breakfast. The greatest concern I had when I switched to smoothies for breakfast was that I’d be starving mid-morning. I was surprised to find that I could make it to 1 pm without feeling hungry. I think consuming such nutrient dense food was the key.

Now there are a lot of pre-made smoothies on the market looking pretty in their plastic packaging. Plus they’re such an easy and convenient way to get your recommended daily fruit intake. Why bother making your own? First and foremost when you make your own you know exactly what’s in it. Second, many of the pre-made smoothies contain added sugar, preservatives and artificial colors, and they can be expensive. Finally, when you make your own you can mix and match a variety of ingredients to suit your individual taste

The recipes below can be made with a blender. Which is a good thing ‘cuz you will retain more of the fruit fiber. I always toss in a handful of spinach for extra vitamins/minerals. The surprising thing about spinach is that it doesn’t really change the flavor. And about two weeks ago, I started adding cilantro…I know that may sound bizarre, but I’m telling you it is Super Yum

So here are three recipes I like. Try one won’t you? Tell us what you think. Or share your favorite smoothie recipe in the comments below.

RED BERRY- DELICIOUS

¼ cup strawberries (hulled and chopped)

¼ cup raspberries

¼ cup blackberries

5 oz apple juice

Place all the fruits and juice into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass over ice. Easy peasy! Note: if you are using frozen fruit you probably don’t need to pour the mixture over ice.

KIWI KICKER

2 kiwi fruit, peeled and quartered

juice of ½ lime

½ cup strawberries

4 ½ oz strawberry-flavored yogurt or soy yogurt

3 ½ oz non-dairy milk

Place the kiwi, lime juice, strawberries, yogurt and milk in blender and blend until smooth. Serve in a glass over ice.

GRAPE-PINEAPPLE MEAN GREENIE

3 cups spinach (Try it! The spinach doesn’t really alter the flavor.)

1 cup grapes

1 cup pineapple

½ cut water

Place all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth.

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July Gathering and…..Exciting News!

First, the “Exciting News!”

I had such grandiose plans when I started this blog a year or so ago.  As my blogging friends out there know, researching and writing posts could easily be a full time job. So, this blog sort of fell by the wayside and became somewhat neglected. That is about to change! The news? Well, we now have a fantastic writer who will be contributing new posts on a regular basis. She is a creative writer, an inspired photographer and shares my passion for great, wholesome and nutritious foods. We are blessed that she has offered her talents and her time. With her contributions, this blog may begin to live up to the vision I had when it was first conceived. Great things are in store for this blog. So Welcome MMH! Welcome.

Now, on to the food….Our monthly gatherings continue to grow. We welcomed new faces this month as well as some who returned after a short hiatus. The food…well, that goes without saying. None of the additives, preservatives, colorings, etc., but ALL of the flavor. Without meat of course. There are some creative cooks out there and the caliber of food that shows up month after month continues to inspire. My favorite this month…a tough call, but I loved the Tu-no Salad. Enjoy the pictures, try the recipes and we hope to see you next month!

The Raw Curried Cabbage Salad recipe can be found here. The Tu-no Salad recipe can be found here, and the recipe for the Bliss Balls can be found by searching this blog–they were included in an earlier post.

Chickpea- A Vegan Quarterly

This is going to be short and sweet, because the best thing I can give you, is a link. Chickpea is a quarterly magazine filled with vegan goodness. Cara and Bob, the duo behind the blog Hipsterfood, wanted to create a beautiful and inspiring food magazine to showcase the vegan lifestyle and bring together the vegan community. I think they have succeeded, not only on that level, but in creating a magazine that anyone who cares about healthy and nourishing whole foods will enjoy. The magazine looks great and is brimming with recipes and articles. They have published 3 issues so far, with a fourth on the way. I looked through the Spring 2012 issue—they are all available free online or you can order a print copy.  At 95 pages (yep!) you will have plenty of recipes to try and articles to read until the next issue arrives. Check out their blog too…it’s pretty cool.

May Gathering & Recipes

The most popular posts are by far the ones where I post recipes.  Why is that?  Well, I think because of the role that food plays in our lives. Yes it nourishes us, but more than that, most people enjoy coming together over a good meal–breaking bread, if you will, while sharing stories and uniting over the things we have in common.  And that is why we gather each month. To come together with old friends, welcome new friends and to enjoy great food that does nourish our bodies, but also our hearts and spirits. If you happen to live in the Hilton Head/Beaufort/Savannah area, or will be visiting, we invite you to join us.

In May we gathered at The Preserve around the pool.We were honored to have Cheryl McCarthy of Ageless Acupuncture as our guest speaker. Not only is she a dear friend, she is a bright light with a remarkable story and a wealth of knowledge.

Cheryl McCarthy of Ageless Acupuncture speaking to the group about the benefits of acupuncture.

Cheryl treats emotional, respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, neurological and other conditions. If you are in the South Carolina/Georgia lowcountry and would like more information, send me a message and I will pass it on to Cheryl.

The food again this month was outstanding. I’m running out of adjectives to describe the great food. One stand out for me was the Three Sisters Farm Arugula & Sorrel Pesto. I loved the peppery bite from the arugula and it was just so fresh tasting. I think that may have been my first introduction to sorrel as well. But there were many other fantastic dishes.  Eating without meat is never boring!…at least not with this group!

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In addition to the recipes posted, there were Almond and Pecan cookies; Squash with chickpeas and marinated with basil, mint, dill, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil…; Roma tomatoes with mozzarella cheese, balsamic vinaigrette, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and fresh basil…; and an amazing Chocolate-Almond Biscotti based off of the Chocolate-Hazelnut Biscotti found from Veganomicon. You can find that recipe here.

Enjoy and we hope to see you soon!

Recipes and Photos from March Gathering

Some of these pictures are not for the faint of heart.  I will be upfront with that. Chef C from delisheeeYo was at our March gathering teaching us how to make kombucha.  She brought a big jar of kombucha with the scoby mushroom intact and took us step by step through the process.  If you are a kombucha fan (I am), then you may be familiar with strands of the “mother” or scoby floating in your bottle. Nonetheless, the sight of a mature scoby pulled from a freshly brewed batch of kombucha can be a little disconcerting as these pictures show.

Unwrapping the kombucha

Initial reaction to the scoby.

Chef C makes delicious kombucha–not to strong, fresh and the flavor of this batch made with Yerba Mate was particularly enjoyable. Again, in the interest of full disclosure, making kombucha is easy, but there are a  number of steps involved.  Comprehensive directions for brewing kombucha can be found here. If you decide it is too many steps for you, it can be found in any health food store and some mainstream grocery stores.  If you are in the Lowcountry, Chef C sells it by the shot glass and in larger containers to take home.

Now, the food:  Yummy, Tasty, Delicious, Healthy…I have recipes or links to recipes for many of the dishes. If there is something you would like a recipe for and it is not posted or you need more information on a recipe, leave a message in the comments section and I will do my best to find it.

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I was too busy eating to take pictures of the wonderful Collard Green Chips that Barb made in the food dehydrator. There were also sweet and spicy Thai Peanut Butter Cups that were a big hit.  The recipe for Aloo Gobi can be found here. Also,  Kickin’ Chickpeas, The Best Lentil Salad Ever (really) and Louisa’s Cake.  

Hope to see you in April for Forks Over Knives.

Clean Recipes

If you are not familiar with the Clean Program, it is a program developed by Dr. Alejandro Junger designed to detoxify the body and restore health. That is a very simplified description to say the least. If you want more details about his program you can read about it on his website:  http://www.cleanprogram.com.

In my inbox this morning was a gift from the folks over at the Clean Program….recipes.  They look delicious and some are very creative. Since I know that people are always looking for yummy recipes, I am sharing this gift with all of you.  It is not the catalog/recipes in its entirety, but some of the standouts. Enjoy.

www.cleanprogram.com

www.cleanprogram.com

www.cleanprogram.com

Bill Clinton and The China Study

On Saturday, we met for our holiday gathering of Eating Without Meat of the Lowcountry.  Once again, the food was amazing (keep your eyes on this page for pictures and recipes). We met new friends, visited with old friends, laughed (and learned) with Dr. Michael Gregor and listened to inspiring stories.  The experiments performed by Dr. T. Colin Campbell and published in The China Study, have truly changed  lives. I hope that we will be able to feature some of the life changing stories that were shared here on this blog in the future.  In the meantime, I am posting an interview with former president Bill Clinton explaining how The China Study has changed his life.

Eating Without Meat gathering from 10/22/11

Last week brought another Eating Without Meat gathering.  I have been wowed by how good the food is month after month.  It truly just keeps getting better.  I think we all agreed that the indisputable hit of this feast was the African Sweet Potato and Peanut stew served over short grain brown rice.  Hearty…creamy…a touch a sweetness…I’ve already made it for my family! We had 4 new friends attend this gathering and by the end of the afternoon, I think we all truly felt nourished—in many ways.  Here is a sampling of the delicious food that was served. Links to the recipes or the actual recipe follows:

Rice Salad with Dried Fruit & Nuts

½ cup brown basmati rice, rinsed

1 cup Lundberg Wild Blend rice

(or use ½ cup each of brown basmati, wild rice, and short-grain brown rice  for a total of 1 ½ cups)

Combine rice in a pan with 3 cups water and ¼ tsp salt.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer for 40-50 minutes.  Meanwhile put in a large mixing bowl:

1 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup currants

½ cup dried apricots (cut in pieces—I use kitchen scissors for this)

When the rice is done add it to the dried fruit.  (The heat of the rice softens the fruit.)  While rice is still warm, pour over this dressing and mix:

¼ cup lemon juice

2 Tbsp olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

May be refrigerated when cool, depending on when you want to serve it.

Before serving mix in:

¾ cup whole pecans, toasted

½ cup chopped parsley

¼ cup chopped mint

¼ cup chopped basil

Serve at room temperature.

Other Recipes:

African Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew

Black Bean Salad with Mango & Kiwi (no recipe provided)

Vegetarian Chili Verde

Dan’s Special Salsa (no recipe provided)

The Light Body

For over 20 years, Marita studied the way in which food interacts with both the emotional and physical bodies.  She has worked as a nutrition and wellness counselor and operated The Traveling Gourmet School of Cooking. She created her cookbook, The Light Body, in response to the need for a comprehensive cookbook that would meet the necessary criteria for attaining optimal health.  In her words,

My philosophy on eating is not about denial, but rather an awareness of how fresh, whole foods can benefit us both in regaining, and maintaining, health and wellness.  I believe that what we put into our bodies has a direct effect on our health, our moods and the quality of our lives.

Fortunately for us, Marita attended last month’s Eating Without Meat gathering and brought with her a most delicious  Three Sisters Stew.  She graciously has agreed to allow us to share the recipe.

 

Three Sisters Stew

2 teaspoons expeller-pressed canola oil
1 1/2 cups sweet onion, coarsely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds butternut (or other variety) squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
4 large ribs celery, diagonally sliced into 1 inch pieces
1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon dried summer savory
1 cup dried Great Northern beans or black-eyed peas, cooked
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
In a large, wide-bottomed skillet, heat oil. Sauté onion and garlic until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add squash and next 6 ingredients with sautéed veggies. Cover and cook over medium heat until squash is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients, simmer 3 minutes. Serve warm with a side of cooked quinoa.  Serves 4 to 6.
The “three sisters”—beans, corn and squash—were more than just food to Native Americans. Daily life was steeped in magic and mystery to the early people of the world. These three staples were part of myth and religion as well as food and were revered as “gift givers and caretakers of the People”. Bursting with flavor, this dish makes a quick, satisfying meal, ready in 30 minutes. 
Thanks Marita!
Our next gathering will be this Saturday.  We hope you can join us for more wonderful and nourishing dishes.

Harvest Soup

 

Autumn is the time to incorporate some of the cold weather vegetables such as winter squash and carrots into this hearty, tasty and satisfying soup. The recipe is from the Organic Garden Cafe in Beverly, MA.

Ingredients1 ¾ cups blanched almonds
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups carrot juice
2 cups water
1 tablespoon fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons sea salt

Instructions1. Blend all ingredients in a blender to creamy smooth.

Recipe courtesy of Robert Reid, The Organic Café, 2011.

You can watch the chef talk about and prepare this soup here:  via Taste of the Trib – Harvest Soup with: Robert Reid.