Category: Kitchen

Simple Smoothies

October 20
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Simple Green Smoothies

 

I get a lot of questions about the smoothies my husband and I make so I figured I’d make a post about our system.  Because it’s so easy we have no problem whipping them up before work in the mornings.  We blend in a Ninja blender with the personal smoothie cups.  This is mostly because someone broke the large pitcher and blade by blending a spoon while sick.  We won’t name names of course.  Anyways, we hadn’t used the personal cups much before so when we switched to them it was new.  Personally, (heh) I like them better as they seem to get a smoother blend.  Basically though, use whatever blender you have, I am not going to go tell you to spend $300 on one.

All of our smoothies are green smoothies.  This means we start with a hearty base of mixed greens.  Our favorites are spinach and kale.  We also use collard greens from time to time.  The kale is a little tart so we do a half and half ratio with spinach.  We purchase these in large bags pre washed and then stick them in the freezer.  You are also welcome to use fresh. The recipe we are going over today is for one 12 oz smoothie.  We use 1 cup of spinach and 1 cup of kale as this green base.

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We then add 1/2 to 1 cup water.  After adding the water you will notice that the greens kinda smoosh (yes, this is the official word) to the bottom.  This is good.  Now you have room for everything else. Make sure you put in enough water to smoosh them and almost cover the greens.  This isn’t a science to you may have to play with it.  You can always add more later.  Now this is always where I get asked about why we use water.  The simple answer is I’m lazy.  Water is free, its right next to the blender, and its 0 calories.  Why not use water?  I mean really.

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Next is your banana.  We use a whole banana in each smoothie.  You are welcome to use 1/2 or less, but this is what we like.  The banana gives the smoothie that good thick texture and its a great source of sweetness next to that kale.

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Now comes the fun part.  This is where you add your extra fruit for flavor. Today I used avocado and mango.  Strawberries, blueberries, peanut butter, and apple are other ingredients we enjoy regularly.

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We use chia seeds in all our smoothies as an extra umph.  Curious?  Here is a nice article explaining the benefits.  Around 1 Tablespoon is good. Whatever you do, don’t add these first if you’re using a small blender cup.  They will get stuck on the bottom and never get into the smoothie.

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Now we put on the lid and buzz!  Make sure you run your blender for long enough to get a nice fine blend. This is a smoothie, not a chunky.  Also, if your greens are bunching up at the top of the blender, go ahead and shake them down (with the lid on.)

 

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After you are done blending pour into your favorite up and enjoy!  If your smoothie is too thick add a little water and blend again and you’re good to go.

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So what do you think?  Do you make smoothies at home?  If so what do you do differently?  Any great ideas I need to try?

 

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Rice Cooker Jambalaya

September 16
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The Happy PlannerReview (2)

Today I wanted to share one of my favorite super easy meals.  I discovered this recipe after college when I purchased a rice cooker after my roommate who had one moved out.  After she left I of course knew I couldn’t live without perfect rice and snagged my own on Amazon.  After I got the rice cooker I realized it had so much potential and started researching other easy dishes.  This is one of my favorites and its always a crowd pleaser.

 

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What you need:

1.5 Cups rice.  (I use parboiled, but you can use whatever you like. If you use brown add more liquid.)
1 package kielbasa or whatever sausage you like.  (I prefer turkey)
1 can (15.6 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (8 oz)  tomato sauce or paste
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced bell pepper
1 clove diced garlic
2 TBS butter
1 cup water
1 packet chicken seasoning (or stock)
2 tsp ground pepper
2 tsp chili pepper

Chop kielbasa into slices or halved slices and set aside. Dice onion, pepper and garlic.  Place all ingredients into the rice cooker and turn on.  THAT  IS IT GUYS.

Easy rice cooker jambalaya

See? This is it!

 

Variations:

I am lazy, cheap, and hate buying chicken stock so I’ve been using chicken bullion.  If you’re a stock person substitute the bullion and water for a cup of chicken stock.

Picky eaters?  Try taking the tomatoes and veggies and running them through blender for a few seconds.  This will create a nice puree that they won’t even notice.

Like it hot?  Add cayenne pepper.  How much?   Consult an expert. (Not me.) This blogger says 2 tsp but as a non-spicy food eater I’m going to say I don’t know.

Cooking for a crowd?  Go ahead and add more rice.  You could do  2 cups rice and 2 cans of tomatoes if you’d like.  You could skip the sauce then.  It’s mostly for an extra tomato color and kick.

Not a sausage lover?  Add chicken or shrimp or both.  Cook them before adding to the rice cooker.

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Convinced you need a rice cooker now too? Try this one!

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Easy Turkey Chili

August 24
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I don’t know about you but I am always looking for easy, quick, reheatable meals (yes, reheatable is a word now) that don’t require special obscure ingredients.  So many things I see online and in cookbooks require some single use ingredient that I just plain am too lazy to buy.  This easy chili recipe is one of my favorites because it can be made from ingredients that are almost always available in my kitchen.  I enjoy regular chili but often times its a little heavy.  This chili is beef free and about as low-calorie/high protein as you can get.

 

Sometimes it takes two photos to get all of your ingredients in. 

This recipe is adapted from a dish found on @mealprepmondays on Instagram.

1/2  pound ground turkey (chicken or beef can work too in a pinch)

2 cans (16 oz.)  kidney beans  (I like to do light and dark for more color variation.)

1 can (16 oz.) tomatoes (we do crushed, but use what you like/have)

1/2 large onion diced  (more or less to taste)

1 clove minced garlic

1 cup water

1 cup corn (fresh, frozen, or canned)

1 can (8 oz.)  tomato sauce or paste

1 tbsp. chili pepper

1 tsp. cumin

Salt & pepper to taste



Serves 5-7 (Depending on if my father is coming to dinner or not.)

Start by browning your turkey.  Once cooked throughly drain and place the turkey in your large pot.  Sauté onions and garlic until soft or caramelized (Or until you get bored.)

Combine turkey, kidney beans, tomatoes, onion & garlic, tomato sauce and water on medium or medium-high heat.  Add chili pepper and cumin to taste.  I like things pretty mild around here but do what works for you and your family.

I like to cook this for about 20 minutes to let the flavors mush together and then I add the corn for the last five minutes.   This keeps it nice and crisp.

 

Wanna make it a meal?  Chili goes great with cornbread.  We love the Quaker cornbread recipe.

nom nom nom



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