ginger

Peach Carrot Smoothie

I love ordering things online. There's something about waiting a week or two in anticipation, and then felling like a kid at Christmas time when you finally hold that box in your hands. That's exactly what I felt like when my brand new NutriBullet arrived last week. It works waaaay better than my previous blender, and I have gone crazy with blended concoctions. ThisPeach Carrot Smoothie has been one of my favorites so far. With peaches being at their peak right now in Colorado, this smoothie is rich in flavor and provides a punch of antioxidants, vitamin C, aids in digestion, and stimulates detoxification. 

Peach Carrot Smoothie

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Yield: About 2 cups smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium sized carrots 
  • 1 Peach
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1/2 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger. Powdered ginger works as well, but I would start with less (about 1 tsp) and add more as needed.
  • 3/4 cup water, almond milk, or coconut milk.

Instructions:

  • Blend all ingredients in until smooth.

Notes:

Using water as the base makes it more like a fresh juice.Using milk creates more of a smoothie-like texture and "peaches 'n cream" flavor.

I hope you enjoy this sweet, summery smoothie!

Thai Spring Rolls with Plum Sauce

IMG_4156.PNG

Every Wednesday evening I teach a hip prehab class at the gymnastics gym where I coach. Right after that class is over, I have to haul ass out to Lakewood to teach a yoga class. If I'm lucky, and if my students don't chit chat too much, I have about 15 spare minutes in between classes that I often use for eating dinner. Totally not ideal, I know, but teaching works up a serious appetite. Or maybe it's just that I always have an appetite...

Anyway there is a Vitamin Cottage right next door to the yoga studio, and most Wednesday evenings I end up stopping there on my way. They have these Thai spring rolls with plum sauce that I love, and so that has become my Wednesday night go-to.

As with every good food find, I can't help but wonder if I can make it myself. And can I make it better than the source I found it from? In this case, I firmly believe I blew Vitamin Cottage out of the water. Try for yourself...

Thai Spring Rolls with Plum Sauce

Makes: about 4 rolls

Time: about 30 minutes

You'll Need

For the wraps

  • Rice Paper (I bought mine at Sprouts, Asian section)
  • Protein (I used shrimp on mine. Chicken and tofu are also great options)
  • Sliced veggies (I used carrot, cabbage, and red bell pepper. Other Asian-y veggies include bean sprouts, cucumber, lettuce, and snap peas)
  • Avocado 
  • Cilantro

For the Sauce:

  • 5 Plums
  • 2 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Sriracha Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1Tbsp apple cider vinegar (or rice vinegar)
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

Let's start with the sauce. Slice open the plums and remove the pits. Throw the plums with the other sauce ingredients into a blender or processor and blend until smooth. Pour mixture into a saucepan and simmer on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. 

If you haven't already, prepare your meats and chop up your veggies. Once that's done, you're ready to assemble your wraps. So, about rice paper. I found that you need two sheets, otherwise they are too thin and fall apart. We don't want that. Two sheets at a time, soak them in warm water for about 5 seconds. They won't feel soft at first, but by the time to get your fillings in there, they will have soaked up more water and should be flexible enough to roll up.

Strategically place your fillings, making sure not to overfill. Fold the edges in and roll it up, just like you would a burrito. The rice paper should be pliable and sticky by now, and should hold together easily.

Dip, devour, and enjoy this fresh combination of spicy, sweet, and sour!

photo-1

Green Chai Smoothie

photo 4

I realize that "green" smoothies are very much a thing in the health/fitness world, but I have to confess I'm not really into them. I have nothing nutritionally against smoothies, and in fact they're a great way to get in some extra nutrients for breakfast or after a workout, but I guess I would just rather eat my food. So in my last nutrition workshop when a student asked me what I do for my smoothies, I had to blush and admit that...well...I don't. 

Challenge accepted. I made a green smoothie this week!

I chose to go with a chai flavored smoothie for two reason; the first being that I just love chai. The second is that I don't care for sweet beverages (probably another reason why I don't drink smoothies), and this particular recipe has much more spice than sweet.

Green Chai Smoothie

Prep Time: 5 minutes (when chai is brewed ahead of time)

Yields: about 16 oz

You'll Need:

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup chai (keep in mind chai does contain caffeine, so be sure to buy decaf if you are trying to avoid the jitters)
  • 1/2 frozen banana 
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 2 cups spinach/greens (but honestly, who actually measures their greens? A couple solid handfuls should do it)
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Protein powder (optional)

Brew chai ahead of time by steeping a chai tea bag in 1/4 cup of boiling water for about 4 minutes. Let the tea cool in the fridge. The rest is cake. Everything goes in blender til smooth.  

Variations: Like I mentioned before, I like this recipe because it's spicy rather than sweet. For extra sweetness, make that half banana a full one, and/or add a couple tablespoons of honey/agave.  Also, if I'm going to drink a smoothie, it's gonna have to have some protein in it. Vega brand actually makes a chai flavored nutritional shake that has some protein in it, so there ya go.

I have to admit I really enjoyed the taste of this one. Will it convert me to a full-blown smoothie drinker? Probably not, but I hope you find it useful and tasty!

Salsa: Pineapple Habanero and Easy Tomato

CYMERA_20140313_135731

CYMERA_20140313_135731 Tomorrow is my 26th birthday, and you know what I really want to make? Something rich and chocolaty, smothered in frosting. Topped with bacon. Buuuut...I already decided to make salsas for tomorrow night's party, so I'm stuck with jalapenos and cilantro instead. No chocolate. No bacon. Seriously though, these are actually both really delicious recipes that I'm looking forward to sharing. 

Side note, I got hit with some nasty cold/flu earlier this week. I was freaking out a bit because I didn't want to be sick over the weekend. So I've been slamming this "immune juice" multiple times a day and am feeling almost 100% better already. (This is in combination with a couple 11-hour sleep nights as well!)

  • 2 small oranges, or one big one
  • 1 Tb fresh ginger
  • handful of spinach 
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 large carrot
  • little bit of water to help with blendingCYMERA_20140313_143931

    CYMERA_20140313_143754

     

Ok on to the salsas.

Pineapple Habanero Salsa

Roast time: 30 minutes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Makes about 5 cups salsa

You'll Need:

  • 4 cups chopped pineapple (about 1 medium sized pineapple) (I can imagine that mangos would be a great sub for this recipe....)
  • 1 cup packed cilantro
  • 2 habanero peppers (roasted) 
  • 1 yellow onion
  • sprinkle of cumin
  • dash of salt

Preheat over to 400 degrees. Dice the onion into small chunks, and place on a baking sheet with peppers. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until peppers begin to wrinkle, stirring onions once or twice along the way. Turn oven up to broil, and bake for 3-5 more minutes. You want your peppers to brown and even bubble slightly, but keep a close eye on them while on broil because they go from brown to black very quickly! 

CYMERA_20140313_135114

While peppers are baking, chop up pineapple into small pieces. A food processor does this nicely.CYMERA_20140313_135310

Once the peppers and onions are done roasting take just one cup of the diced pineapple, 1 cup of cilantro, cumin, salt, and the habaneros and blend them in a food processor or blender.

CYMERA_20140313_135549

Note on habaneros: Don't underestimate the heat on these little guys. I recommend removing the seeds. Remember, you  can always add them in later if you still want more kick. Stir this mixture in with the remaining pineapple chunks as well as onions. 

 

Easy Tomato Salsa

Roast Time: 30 minutes

Prep time: less than 5

Makes about 4 cups salsa

You'll Need:

  • 1 - 28 oz can whole tomatoes
  • 4 cups cilantro, packed
  • 1-2 roasted jalapenos (seeds included)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • dash of salt

Everything goes in blender. Done. 

This is a really easy go-to for salsa, and can be even easier if you buy the canned jalapenos rather than roasting your own. You can also add in onions, corn, or beans for extra flair.  

CYMERA_20140313_135945

Whew. I'm actually sweating a little bit just from taste-testing!