Saturday, June 30, 2012

Recipe #62... Apple-Cuke Cooler... Hot outside but cool as a cuke on the inside

Note: Finding the state of "cool as a cucumber" sounds pretty OK right now, as it is pushing 100 deg outside.  If you are feeling clammy on the outside... as we enter into the Dog Days of Summer and meet July 1st, 2012... try blenderizing some cooling fluid for your internal radiator...

Apple-Cuke Cooler
Add the following to your mixer of choice...
Makes 2 healthy servings

1 c coconut water
2 handfuls loose spinach

2 tbsp loose parsley (fill your palm with leaves)
5 leaves of fresh mint
1 sweet apple
1/2 english cucumber
1 c Ice (big cubes usually 5 or 6) 

It's a little green, slightly foamy, but oh so refreshing... You'll be cool as a cuke in no time... Cheers to AC, ice cubes, and sprinklers... -A

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Recipe #61... Pineapple Coconut Juice... If you like pina coladas...

Got blender insurance?
Add rum here...
Note: Did you know that making coconut milk is as simple as blending together coconut water and dried coconut flakes?  Obviously I didn't, and I am thrilled to find out it is a DIY type of recipe.  It does involve some heating and some straining, so feel free to sub in store-bought coconut milk if you're having a no-thank-you to kitchen experiments kind of day. 

Pineapple Coconut Juice 
Add the following to your mixer of choice...
Makes 2 healthy servings

2 c Coconut Milk (however you choose to obtain it)
2 c cubed pineapple
1 c Ice (big cubes usually 5 or 6) 

Blend your way to a simple tropical transport to paradise.  For even greater transportative properties, add a splash of coconut rum... You'll be sippin' and smilin' mon...  -A

Sunday, June 24, 2012

More one-sentence wonders... learning to fly...

My mom sent me the following quote from Shawn Achor (he was referenced in a previous post on positivity)... It happens to be perfection in a one-sentence wonder... (thanks mama mia), and I am glad to share it along with another of my favorites...

"You can study gravity forever without learning to fly."
                                                         - Shawn Achor

"Faith is believing one of two things will happen; that there will be something firm for you to stand on, or that you will be taught to fly."                                  - Curly Girl Designs

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Recipe #60... Decadent Chocolate Milk... you don't have to drink from a sippy cup to enjoy this

Note:  If you proceed to blend up this next recipe, you might prepare by having a few french fries on hand.  This creation is a close cousin of the classic Wendy's Frosty for your own kitchen.  Be honest... who didn't dip their fries into the thin paper cup containing the thick chocolatey frosty?  French fries or not, this is a decadent icy treat that I can't believe we've waited this long to blend up.

Decadent Chocolate Milk
Add the following to your mixer of choice...
Makes 2 servings

2 tbsp hot cocoa mix (feeling sinful... check out contessa's blend)

2 c milk of choice
1 c Ice (big cubes usually 5 or 6) 

Nothing would be better than some chocolate shavings to grace the top of your home-blended frosty... except a thick cut, salty french fry. This is one dangerously positive pairing with its roots in fast food.  In health... -A

Monday, June 18, 2012

Recipe #59... Watermelon and Lime Agua Fresca... discovered by way of Yoga Journal

Note: It's officially summertime when people start bringing cut watermelon as a side dish to friendly shin digs.  While devouring my June edition of Yoga Journal, I was halted by this refreshingly summer recipe  in the "Eating Wisely" section.  Wisely take advantage of summer's bounty with this watermelon slushie.

Watermelon and Lime Agua Fresca
Add the following to your mixer of choice...
Makes 2 healthy servings

4 cups cubed, seeded ripe watermelon
3/4 c water
juice of 1/2 a lime, plus more to taste
Optional honey or agave syrup

Freeze this mixture until it is slightly slushie or add some ice cubes to your mixer and reclaim your inner cool... plop down on your beach towel and curl your toes in the grass... sweet summer wishes from the Midwest... -A

Friday, June 15, 2012

Recipe #58... Fresh Detox Juice... Imported from Toronto

Note: I traveled to Toronto for work, and while experiencing a bout of Vitamix withdrawal, I stumbled across Fresh; a local Toronto juice bar.  Work travel often asks that we eat on the go, if at all, and that we make do with whatever provisions are conveniently on our path between meetings or events.   Fortunately my path was sprinkled with Fresh, an espresso bar, a yoga studio, and a few charming cafes and restaurants.  It was quite refreshing to find myself in a city where I didn't need to choke down Chicken McNuggets with a smile...
Fresh Detox Juice 
Add the following to your mixer of choice...
Makes 2 servings

1 c water or coconut water (lime would be good)

1 c frozen kale
1 c spinach
1 bunch parsley
3 stalks celery
1 apple
1 c Ice (big cubes usually 5 or 6) 

Whether you are in your home country, home office, or kitchen table breakfast joint, you can summon a little Toronto Fresh piece of mind... Allow yourself to exhale...  -A

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Recipe #57... Terri's New Trick Mixture... A suggestion from my mama

Note:  Isn't it lovely to find unexpected messages in your inbox?  I know my mom reads my Mixed Up and Smoothed Out posts, and that she blends up her own versions with her Bullet Mixer.  She prefers bananas over avocado and doesn't always dig the "greens."  She also wrinkled her nose at the case of coconut water I packed for our last visit home.  So I was delighted to see an email from her suggesting the following recipe using coconut water.  Never say you can't teach an old dog new tricks... I bet that last line got a raised eyebrow!  Just kidding, Mom.  I'm only making sure you are reading the posts.  Wink. 

Terri's New Trick Mixture
Add the following to your mixer of choice...
Makes 2 healthy servings

2 c pineapple
coconut water
2 c honey greek yogurt
2 c frozen blueberries
1 c Ice (big cubes, usually 6 or more for an icier treat)

Thank you for the suggestion, Mom.  As you can see from the photo, this ol' dog was quite pleased to learn and share a new recipe.  Love and coconut water, your lucky dog daughter... -A

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Recipe #56... Basil Macadamia Nut Pesto... striking gold at the Kauai farmer's market

Trying to get every last bit!
Note:  We stumbled across this gem while perusing the Hanalei farmer's market.  I was magnetically drawn into the fresh goat cheese tent, where I happened to sample their macadamia nut pesto.   Fast forward to last Saturday at our local farmer's market, where I was introduced to pineapple balsamic vinegar.  What sweet summer luck... I bought fresh basil, had leftover macadamia nuts from Hawaii, and pulled out the Vitamix...

Basil Macadamia Nut Pesto

Blend for the makings of endless possibilities

1 c fresh basil 
1 c mixed loose spinach
1/2 c macadamia nuts
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil - drizzle more to aide blending 
2 tbsp white vinegar (hopefully you can procure pineapple balsamic)
salt + pepper to taste

This version is a little sweeter than other pestos I've blenderized; likely due to the pineapple balsamic vinegar.  It might partner splendidly with a dollop of goat cheese and a cracker... After all goat cheese did bring this pesto and I together... Happy transition to summer! Hats off to basil... -A

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Recipe #55... Pineapple Macadamia Muffins... A little bit of Hawaii in a pretty wrapper

The kayak tour "bail out" beach
Your choice after personal assessment
Kauai's Napali Coast
Note:  After kayaking 12 miles along the stunning Napali Coast (not sure which activity was more breath-taking... the paddling or gawking), our group arrived at a kayak-only accessible beach for a well-deserved and immensely necessary-for-survival lunch.  As we tore into our sandwiches and chips, our guides sliced fresh pineapple.  Their advice to get us through the final 5 miles: Eat plenty of pineapple because the fruit contains Bromelin which helps your muscles recover.  Now, why question the wisdom of a guy who leads 4, 17-mile kayak tours per week??  Brett and I let the information soak in during a little post-pineapple nap on the beach...

Pineapple Macadamia Muffins 

Makes 12 regular muffins 

1 cup millet flour
2/3 cup gluten-free oat flour
1/2 c chopped macadamia nuts
1 tsp baking powder
1 pinch of salt 

For the blender...
1 c fresh cut pineapple
1 carrot
2 eggs
1 tsp minced ginger 
1 tbsp to 1/4 c sugar
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin pan with baking cups.
2. Pour pineapple mixture into flour mixture and fold to combine.
3. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
It just occurred to me that a little shredded coconut would also be a delightful inclusion... Sweetly yours... -A

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Recipe #54... The Macadamia Nut Un-Milkshake... Thank you Hawaii

Jaw-dropping Hanalei Bay
Note: Brett and I just arrived home from our first Hawaiian vacation.  We're still figuring out the 5 hour time difference (poor us, I know)... While I did miss my Vitamix, I definitely did not go hungry.  I'd like to express my gratitude to Hawaii for so many things... unbelievable sunsets, the white pineapple, fish with a fashion sense, miles of breathtaking beaches, a curious 12 letter alphabet, and of course... the macadamia nut!  This un-milkshake is part of my upcoming "Ode to Hawaii" batch of recipes.  Note... poi will not be invited to this party!

The Macadamia Nut Un-Milkshake
Add the following to your mixer of choice...
Makes 2 servings... If you are feelin' generous, that is.

1 1/2 c almond milk (or regular milk to make an UN-un-milkshake!)
2 frozen bananas (important that they are frozen)

1/2 c unsalted macadamia nuts
1 c Ice (big cubes usually 5 or 6) 

Mahalo Hawaii!  Have I mentioned that I am absolutely bananas about macadamia nuts? They happen to be a high energy food... It's a nice way to say their chock-full o' calories... but oh so delicious! Aloha... -A