#lonelybfast #greensmoothie Sunday grab bag; finally used my Muscadine-Tomato gastrique

January 27th, 2013

It’s time to go to the grocery store. Since I don’t have time to go before breakfast, I’m just going to have to see what I have to make our green smoothie breakfast this morning.

Still have some kale. I also saved a little bit of red pepper from my dehydrated peppers yesterday. Have one sliver of a hot pepper left also.

We have a lot of kiwis that are ripening, and I just discovered yesterday that a less ripe Kiwi makes a nice peppery addition.

I also remembered an attempt this summer to make a Muscadine tomato gastrique. I took a container of muscadines, some fresh tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and reduced them together for quite a while. It was only okay, so I froze it until I could figure out what to do with it. I realized that might make a fine addition to a green smoothie.

So, this morning’s lonely breakfast, green smoothie is:

(Recipe for two)
4 cups kale
One frozen banana
Half of a fresh red pepper
One slice of hot pepper
Two medium kiwis
4 tablespoons flax meal
One scoop lecithin granules (for my hubby; I’m not really sure if this is important, but he bought ‘em so I’m using ‘em).
1 cup frozen Muscadine- tomato gastrique

This was a risky one, but it was really good. I give it a solid four stars. I don’t think the hubby liked the fact that the muscadine skins didn’t get well puréed, and you had to chew. That didn’t bother me; I simply thought it was healthy fiber.

#lonelybfast #greensmoothie Kick A** Curry Smoothie *****

January 19th, 2013

Yay for the weekend! Have a little bit of extra time, and with what I have left in the fridge, I decided to make an awesome curry smoothie.

The hubs is home today studying hard for the GMAT, so I’m doubling my recipe to make us both one.

Unfortunately I have only one cup left of the flax milk, and only a little bit of cows milk. So I’m thinking hard, and realize that I really prefer to make this with the coconut milk beverage if I could.

And the proverbial lightbulb comes on over my head: I have a can of light coconut milk in the pantry. I looked at the label, and it’s 50 cal per 1/3 cup. That’s about how much is in one cup of coconut milk beverage. So I decided to make my own coconut milk beverage with one can of light coconut milk and two cans of water.

It looked a little thinner than what you can buy in the stores, but it tasted slightly more coconutty, which I liked. Particularly when you’re making a curry smoothie.

I also have a whole lot of tumeric root. I saw it at whole foods and thought I’d try it. I don’t really know exactly what to do with it, but I’ve blended up a piece with a few smoothies. It’s really bitter, and it definitely stains your hands orange, but tumeric is really good for you, and it’s suspected to decrease the rates of several cancers.

Here’s today’s Curry Smoothie (for two):

1 frozen banana
1 cup flax milk
1 cup coconut milk beverage (or diluted coconut milk from the can)
4 cups kale
1 1/3 cups frozen mango chunks
2 inch piece tumeric root
1/2teaspoon rosewater
1 teaspoon white/unroasted curry powder
2 tablespoons shredded coconut flakes
Six pods of cardamom ground

This was pretty awesome! At first the rosewater was overpowering, then I added the curry, and then the curry was overpowering the rosewater. So I adjusted the recipe above to cut back a little on the curry powder. Hopefully you’ll taste more of the rosewater that way.

Now for my coffee…

#lonelybfast #greensmoothie Acai Guarana Kiwi=grand slam! Plus eggplant chips results.

January 17th, 2013

If you were reading yesterday you might’ve noticed that I was more than a little bit disappointed with my new dehydrator. Really I was disappointed with myself.

This morning is total redemption! My eggplant chips and simple dehydrated red, orange and golden peppers are awesome! Today is going to be a great eating day!

My city is also excellent as well. I’ve learned that berries and Kiwi go great with kale, better than a lot of other fruits. So today:

2 cups kale
1 smoothie packet açai guarana
One kiwi
One cup flax milk

Five stars!

I also opened up the special holiday coffee that is really just too pretty to drink. It’s called hullabaloo from Metropolis coffee.

Adventures in dehydrating: okay, so green beans, yeah not that great

January 16th, 2013

Perhaps I was a little naïve. Perhaps I could’ve done a bit of extra research before I made this purchase. I mean, I had it all worked out in my head, but you know what they say about hindsight.

So experiment number two was green beans, right? I was so excited about green beans. Who wouldn’t want some crunchy spicy curry green beans to snack on? After my arugula fail, I was sure I had hit a homer with this one.

Oh the best laid plans of mice and men…

Problem #1: it took for-ev-uh to dry. It did say it would take 8 to 12 hours to dry, which was much longer than the other things. I didn’t really believe it, so I set it on 8 hours. Sure ’nuff they were right. Eight hours later they were maybe two-thirds there.

So I just cranked it up again and let it run for another three hours. This morning I took them out, expecting an improvement. Which leads us to:

Problem #2: They are really durn hard and chewy. There ain’t no crunch here.

I mean, duh Lena, have you had dehydrated soup before? Don’t you remember that that’s what happens when you dehydrate things?

I was seduced by the crunch of the kale chips, and naïvely believe that all fruits and vegetables would dehydrate in such a manner. Now I am more than a little concerned about my next experiments.

Ever the optimist though, I soldier on. Next up: orange cardamom eggplant chips. I really hope this one is going to be better, or I’m going to have to get really creative with my dehydrator fails.


#lonelybfast #greensmoothie Strawberry Mango Kale

January 15th, 2013

This Morning:
2 cups kale
1/2 cup fresh strawberries
2/3 cup frozen mango
1 cup flax milk
1/2 scoop lecithin granules just for the heck of it
After initial taste: 1/2 packet Truvia

Verdict? Good! 4 stars

I’m working in my scoring system:
1 star : not drinkable requires fixing
2 stars : drinkable but takes effort
3 stars: passable
4 stars: good, I enjoyed it
5 stars: awesome, I slurped it up!

#lonelybfast #greensmoothie Strawberry Mango Kale

January 15th, 2013

This Morning:
2 cups kale
1/2 cup fresh strawberries
2/3 cup frozen mango
1 cup flax milk
1/2 scoop lecithin granules just for the heck of it
After initial taste: 1/2 packet Truvia

Verdict? Good! 4 stars

I’m working in my scoring system:
1 star : not drinkable requires fixing
2 stars : drinkable but takes effort
3 stars: passable
4 stars: good, I enjoyed it
5 stars: awesome, I slurped it up!

Adventures in Dehydrating: getting my feet wet (:

January 15th, 2013

Last week I got my personal Christmas present to myself- an Excalibur 9 tray dehydrator.

I’ve been eyeing these babies for quite awhile. I think it’s a natural curiosity when one on tries to resolve the need for portable, refrigerator-less food with the reality of an always-on-the-go-no-breaks-not-even-bathrooms culture of the hospital. I mean, there are only so many granola bars a girl can eat!

Many days I better have something in my work bag, or I’m eating nothing. More often I’m eating whatever is handy, hence the need for intelligent, healthy solutions.

I was giddy when it arrived. Visions of dried sugar plums danced in my head! Well, ok, maybe not sugar plums but more like peppers, greens, …

This weekend I opened it up. I plugged it in and promptly blew the circuits in my kitchen outlet. I think it had something to do with me freaking out it was shipped in the ‘on’ position and I didn’t know how to turn it off so I pulled the plug, which literally pulled the plug.

No matter. Several small appliance/ outlet tests and a circuit breaker later, I figured it out.

First up: 4 hr kale chips. Awesome, as are all kale chips.

Second: eight hour living raw arugala chips. Let me clarify: I hate arugala. OK, maybe hate is a strong word. I sincerely dislike arugala. Earlier, I had made a mistake buying two huge bunches of arugula at the store, thinking it was spinach. What a green rookie mistake.

I really didn’t know what to do, because I was out of the things to make an arugala and pear salad, but I did have part of a pear left.

I took some balsamic vinegar and puréed the pear, coating the arugula with the purée. It seemed like a good idea the time.

Needless to say, the dehydrated arugala is just as un-appetizing as normal arugula. So I ground it all into a powder and mixed it into a butternut squash soup. That worked really well, but it took forever to clean the trays, because I failed to have the foresight to purchase nonstick liners.

Today I went to the store to get some more appetizing veggies. I got eggplant, green beans, and colored peppers. Now this I’m really excited about!

Tonight I made a dry curry rub and coated the green beans. They are dehydrating as we speak. Wish me luck!

New (Hopefully) Series: Lonely #greensmoothie Breakfast (#lonelybfast)

January 10th, 2013

You may have noticed my earlier post on my foray into green smoothie land. This is an attempt to meet a personal health goal: eat more vegetables.

I love veggies, and I have no trouble eating them. I do have trouble finding prep time.

So, I’m trying this. It is also a way for me to connect with people who come to me asking about these new fads and trends in nutrition: I say don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. And researched it. Green smoothies is my first trendy nutrition habit to try.

Since I started trying to do this regularly, I have been pretty good about it. I don’t do it everyday, but 3-5 days out of the week I’ve successfully made this breakfast.

I’m going to try to tweet my smoothie recipes and my taste rating under the ‘Lonely’ bfast heading (#lonelybfast) I started writing about my ‘lonely’ meals when I lived apart from my husband and was dining solo. I’m usually eating workday breakfast solo, so it fits.

I can say my experiment is going pretty well so far, and I have been satiated until lunch. That makes me very happy, because I was really worried about getting ravenous in a few hours. I am also drinking 12-16 ounces of coffee, so that may play a role.

Unfortunately it hasn’t worked for my husband, just because he leaves the house so early, he never eats breakfast. To my vast amazement and delight, he actually likes the ones I’ve made for him. He can even tolerate ones that are more savory than I can. I think I’ll have to switch him to a ‘dinner and a smoothie’ plan to get him all the veggies he needs. We already try to have veggies for 1 or 2 side dishes at night, but he ONLY eats veggies at night, and that makes it hard to get his daily servings in.

How should I rate the taste? That’s an interesting question because I know that I may think something tastes really good but someone else (like oh, let’s say my dad) who is used to highly processed fatty/sugary foods will think it sucks. Anyone reading my recipes and ratings should take them with a grain of salt: my 5 stars may not be YOUR 5 stars.

So today I did the following:
1 1/2 cups kale
1/2 cup dandelion greens
1/8 large avocado
1 orange
1 acai/acerola purée smoothie packet (freezer section at Whole Foods)
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk beverage
2 tbs dried unsweetened shredded coconut

To be frank, this didn’t taste great. I’d give it 2 stars. I wasn’t looking forward to drinking it. I think it was the dandelions (stronger taste than the red kale), the avocado (I’m developing an aversion to using it in smoothies, not sure why but it’s too creamy I think), the acai/acerola (can’t taste it; frozen blueberries are better) and orange (too citrus, clashed with the avocado).

When I added a half packet of Truvia, it got a lot better, enough to make it a 3.

Tomorrow I probably won’t get to it (7am conference), so we’ll see what my next one will be.

Green Smoothies-OK, I’m curious

December 15th, 2012

I know the wonders of veggies, and I strive to eat as much as I can. Just like the rest of America, I struggle with the time it takes to prepare them. It’s not that I have difficulty with veggies in particular- I have difficulty with preparing my own food period. When you have a 70-80 hour a week job, when are you supposed to find time to cook for yourself?

I worry about my husband in particular. I have to force-feed him veggies. It’s a real struggle.

So I’ve been racking my brains trying to figure out how to incorporate more vegetables into our routine.

One potential answer? Green smoothies. Now before you start laughing, please note I am not a ‘nutrition freak’. I may be the Medical Director of Clinical Nutrition at my hospital, but I’m a Standard American, just like other Standard Americans (to play off the phrase SAD, or Standard American Diet). I eat crap just like the rest of you.

But I am trying very hard to keep my family’s eating habits in line, so as a generally curious person, I was intrigued by the idea of getting all my daily fruits and veggies served straight up in one convenient 16 ounce to-go package that reportedly tastes great.

I’m not a fan of the fact it’s a liquid (liquids generally produce less satiety because they empty out of your stomach more quickly), but I am a fan of how much great green goodness can be packed into just one green smoothie.

I mean, you people have NO CLUE the kinds of faces my husband makes when I serve Kale. It’s painful for both of us.

So, I frantically searched for a place near me that made green smoothies, just so I could give it a try. I do intend to try it at home, but the convenience factor of having someone else make it for me is huge for me right now while I’m drowning in work.

Thank heaven I found a place- awesome organic nursery with a REAL juice bar- these people ROCK! Good Earth Greenhouse and Cafe in River Forest, IL has an unbelievable list of fruit and veggie smoothies.

So, drum roll—–

My first green smoothie!

Brass Monkey with Kale (kale banana hazelnut milk almond butter raw cacao dates)


I decided to go all-in and get the Rock Me Amadeus too
Cucumber celery spinach romaine kale arugula cilantro jalapeno parsley

Yeah. I said it. ALL IN.

It’s not exactly awesome, but it’s the real deal green smoothie, and I’m proud of myself for going for it. It’s not bad, it’s just that I, as a card-carrying SAD eater, am not used to savory juices. It has such awesome stuff in it, though, I’ll learn to like it.

I hope to write more about my Green Smoothie experiences.

What’s not so great- this place opens at 9 and closes at 5 which essentially makes it impossible for me to get my daily green smoothie fix.

It’s also 7-8 bucks a smoothie. Wowie that’s pricey but if it is your entire meal then it’s not far off fast food prices for a full meal.




Not-So-Lonely-Dinner: Brown Butter Sage Cabbage

November 20th, 2011

I just tweeted about our current Sunday night dinner, but the hubby wasn’t as pleased with today’s offering.  He has a mental block against meat replacements (tempeh, tofu, quorn, morningstar in any form . . .)  It’s frustrating to say the least because a lot of these protein sources have a more favorable calorie-fat-protein profile.

So, I thought I’d try to remember what I did the first time that he loved so much.

Hmm, So I think I browned butter in my All-clad 4 in deep pan and then added a lot of sage.  Then I put in the cabbage and sauteed that.  At some point I added onion powder (cause I didn’t have any fresh onions), nutmeg (freshly grated), pepper, craisins, and celery seeds.  After it had sauteed for awhile, I put rice vinegar and water in until it was covered and simmering.  I let it simmer with some chicken sausage for about 30 minutes.  Most of the cabbage recipes I read simmered the cabbage for a lot longer.

The hubby loved this one.  I hope I can replicate it!

    About Me

    Professional Gastroenterology Fellow

    Amateur Martha Stewart/Bob Villa/Julia Child/Collette Peters