Monthly Archives: August 2012

Smoothie Love

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Who doesn’t love smoothies?? They are tasty, versatile, can be super healthy and they are even pretty to look at!

There are probably a bazillion recipes out there for smoothies (and I intend to try each and everyone, darn it!) but in my personal opinion, the best smoothies are the ones that are easy to make, have a variety of fruit, is super healthy, and of course, YUMMY!  I firmly believe that making a smoothie is a great opportunity to include as many food groups as possible, which means you can totally have one as a meal! I was able to include 4 major food groups into my smoothie.  When I come home late from work, I do not want to have a heavy meal for dinner, being so close to bed time, so my smoothie is my go to meal (aw, shucks!)

Shell’s Super Smoothie

Yields 2 servings

Ingredients

1 scoop Whey Protein Powder

1/2 cup Milk

1/4 cup Greek Yogurt (plain)

3/4 cup Frozen Berries Medley

1 Banana

2 TBSP Flaxseed Oil

10g psyllium husk (fiber)

Directions:

1.  Add all ingredients to a blender.

2. Blend.

THE END!

See how easy it is?!

Now, I know I have an ingredient or two in there that are making some of you scratch your heads and wonder what/when/who/where/ and why would anyone want to have that?!

Answer:  Because its healthy for you!

Flaxseed Oil

“Flaxseed and its derivative flaxseed oil/linseed oil are rich sources of the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, which is a biologic precursor to omega-3 fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid.”

Benefits:

  • aids in lowering cholesterol, hence reducing the risk of heart disease
  • increases integrity of the cell membrane
  • aids in alleviating symptoms of inflammation in certain diseases
  • improves skin integrity and aids in alleviating symptoms of skin disorders such as eczema
  • Milled flaxseed aids in bowel regularity

“Flaxseed oil contains only the alpha-linolenic acid component of flaxseed, and not the fiber or lignan components. Therefore, flaxseed oil may share the purported lipid-lowering properties of flaxseed, but not the proposed laxative or anti-cancer abilities.”

So make sure that you include both flaxseed oil and milled flaxseed into your diet to reap ALL of its benefits.

Psyllium husk is a great source of fiber.  Fiber is integral in maintaining a healthy weight (by providing a genuine feeling of satiety), reducing LDL cholesterol, thus improving overall cholesterol which means reducing the risk of heart disease, and aids in achieving optimal bowel regularity.

Folks, this is just the tip of the iceberg of the many ways you can make a smoothie super healthy and delicious.

What’s your super healthy smoothie?

The Mighty Stuffed Pepper

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Love when my creative juices start flowing…Last week I made a Vegan, Gluten Free Stuffed Pepper- created entirely by me!  This recipe is health, stuffed in a pepper! I feel like a scientist 🙂

I was able to get my hands on some Quinoa, one of my favorite “grains” that is becoming increasingly popular.  If you haven’t heard of it yet, allow me to introduce to you the “Mother Grain” that is Quinoa (pronounced:  Keen-wah).  To be clear, Quinoa is not a grain, it just happens to fall into the category of grain.  Its actually a plant crop that is grown primarily for its seeds, and it is the “seeds” that we cook and consume.

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Nutrients in
Quinoa, uncooked
0.25 cup (185.00 grams)
Nutrient%Daily Value

manganese58.5%

tryptophan31.2%

magnesium29.6%

phosphorus28.1%

fiber20.7%

folate19.4%

copper18%

Calories (222)12%

Check out this website for the history, origin, health benefits and nutrient analysis of Quinoa http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?dbid=142&tname=foodspice#nutritionalprofile
Or you can just let me sum it up for you and tell you that you NEED this food in your diet.  Its high in fiber, vitamins and minerals and contains a good amount of amino acids, antioxidants and even essential fatty acids.  Who knew such a small food could make you so healthy and strong?!
On to my recipe!
Vegan Stuffed Peppers (gluten free) (4 Servings)
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 small onion chopped
1 cup chopped broccoli
4 Red Bell Peppers
Fresh chopped Basil
Fresh chopped Cilantro
1 teaspoon of Cumin
Pinch of salt and pepper
  1. Get a large pot of water to boil.  Cut the tops of the red peppers and remove the seeds and linings of the pepper.  Place them in the boiling water pot for ~7 minutes.  ImageImage
  2. In another pot, start cooking the quinoa.  Add 1 1/2 cups water to 3/4 cup dry quinoa.  Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes, or until all water is absorbed (just like rice!).  Remove from heat for about 10 minutes and fluff with fork.   Image
  3. Meanwhile, in a pan, add some oil, sautee onions for about 5 minutes, followed by broccoli, mushrooms, and chopped tomatoes.  Sautee for another 5-8 minutes.  Image
  4. Once quinoa is finished cooking, add it to the vegetable mixture and toss until combined.
  5. Scoop the quinoa veggie mixture into the hollowed out red peppers until topped off. Image Grill the stuffed peppers until the sides are charred.  (You may have to turn them once or twice)  ~ 20 minutes.  Remove from heat, peel the charred skin off the pepper to expose the soft, tender skin underneath.
  6. Enjoy a gluten free, karma free dinner!

TIPS:  I realized that what really made this dish so tasty and delicious was the herbs that I chose to use.  its amazing how much flavor some fresh or dried herbs can give a dish.  Feel free to use your favorite herbs and explore. Remember, the beauty of most vegetarian dishes is you can use whatever veggies your heart desires- have fun with it and if you create your own variation of the MIGHTY STUFFED PEPPER, please feel free to share with us…it may even be tastier than mine! 🙂