Kale Carrot Banana Berry Blast

Started the morning off right with a NutriBlast from my NutriBullet. We’ll call this one the Kale Carrot Banana Berry Blast with Red Macca.

From the bottom up, I filled my large NutriBullet cup with:

  • 1 leaf organic kale
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 carrot
  • about a handful of raspberries
  • about a handful of frozen blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon red macca powder

frozen banana blueberry raspberry kale smoothie NutriBlast NutriBullet

As with every NutriBlast, these fruits and veggies get covered up with water and then pulverized into a nutritious smoothie that looks like this:

NutriBullet NutriBlast recipe with banana, carrot, kale, berries

 

The more frozen fruit you can add to a blast, the better. I’m used to semi-warm, room temperature blasts made with filtered (but not chilled) tap water. Cold water helps, but when I started using frozen bananas a while ago, and it went from room temp to tasty. This week I’ve been adding frozen blueberries too, and the frozen fruit makes a huge difference.

It was a delicious, nutrient-packed start to the day, especially when paired with scrambled eggs and bacon:

breakfast eggs and bacon

 

Summer Squash, Scallops and Rice Pilaf with Balsamic Glaze

Nothing beats homegrown veggies straight out of the garden. Every time I’ve gone home to Indiana this summer, my mom – who inherited an impressive green thumb from her farming father, sends me back to Cleveland with a bounty of fresh produce, grown in the same rich soil my grandpa farmed for 60 years. This time, it was zucchini, yellow summer squash, cucumbers and tomatoes.
Zucchinis are classic – especially in grandma’s famous recipe for rice and zucchini, a common staple at our table growing up.  But some of my fondest zucchini memories have nothing at all to do with eating. See, when zucchinis would overgrow in the garden – sometimes more than a foot long and the circumference of a softball – they’d become too tough to eat. So we got crafty with our food and made Pickle Pigs – imagining the stem as the pig’s nose, and carving white lines into the zucchini’s dark green skin to make a face around it. We’d add little triangular slices of zucchini to resemble ears, and carve stripes, scales and other designs to decorate the body. The most fun was sticking in toothpicks as frail little pig legs, spikes of hair, or even a body full of spines – turning our Pickle Pigs into Pickle Porcupines.
Yes, I play with my food – which led to some experimentation with the yellow summer squash I brought home. Not to be confused with the golden zucchini (it’s OK, I’m a farm girl and I just learned the difference between yellow summer squash and yellow zucchini while writing this post), yellow summer squash joined rice pilaf and scallops in this experimental dish, adding some twists to my grandma’s old zuc & rice recipe. I’m sure grandma and grandma never ate squash this way:
Summer Squash, Scallops & Rice Pilaf with Balsamic Glaze
This is all the creation of my boyfriend/personal chef, who agreed to cook dinner if I washed the dishes. With the rice pilaf (box mix) cooking on the stove, he sliced and sauteed the yellow squash in olive oil over medium heat, seasoning with salt and pepper as they cooked. When they were cooked soft all the way through, he removed them from the stove top and covered them to stay warm while he moved onto the main attraction: the scallops.
He tossed thawed scallops in the skillet with a couple tablespoons of butter and began to sear them, then poured in enough milk to cover the bottom of the pan. He grated some Parmesan cheese into the skillet – making a mock Alfredo as the liquid began to bubble and cook any fishyness out of the scallops. When they were tender, he drained them, and began plating the plump scallops with the soft squash slices and the fluffy rice pilaf.
Over this, he drizzled a balsamic reduction, which I think gives a very artistic pizzazz to the final plate, and dresses up these summer squash to look like modern art. Bon appetit – I think Grandma would have been proud (as long as I didn’t tell her the rice came from a box).

 

Chicken Pear Protein Salad

The latest healthy meal in my recent kick was inspired by, well, the ingredients in the fridge that needed to be used up. When you stock your fridge with fruits and veggies, you get salads packed with anti-oxidants, protein and – most importantly – variety from boring ol’ greens.
You get something like:
Chicken Pear Protein Salad
chicken pear protein salad recipe
  • We start with the leftover Mango Salsa from the Meal of Mangoes, and add a heavy sprinkle of sunflower seeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds. This goes into half of a red, round bowl.
  • Into the other half of the bowl goes a leafy mix of spinach and kale, both organic, of course.
  • Meanwhile, the chicken breast left over from Enchilada Night grills on the Foreman. Then, sliced, it tops the salad.
  • Meanwhile, one sliced pear with a handful of dried cranberries saute in the skillet with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and wasabi powder. The fruit, along with any remaining ‘warm dressing,’ then top the chicken atop the salad.
  • For a final touch, some sliced scallions top the pears atop the chicken atop the salad. Ta-da.
Of course, variety is the key to any tolerable salad IMHO: fruits and veggies, nuts and berries, greens and reds and yellows. And here, even the cold crunch of chilled veggies contrasts with the warm tenderness of the pears and chicken for a variety of textures and temperatures that almost makes me forget I’m eating a salad at all – and, to me, that’s a good salad.

Garden-Fresh Stir-Fry

I came home from Indiana last weekend loaded. The haul I brought back with me included:
2 dozen brown eggs from my grandpa’s neighbor
5 lb. ground beef from the local butcher
2 cases Fat Tire, newly offered by select Indiana liquor stores (still not available in Ohio)
2 bottles Merlot made by my cousin
and from my sister and brother-in-law’s garden: basil, green peppers, red onions, yellow onions, garlic, zucchini, cucumber, tomato

With the exception of the Fat Tire (which, don’t get me wrong, is good no matter what), it was refreshing to finally have so much fresh, homegrown food stuff. So I got right down to eating it, starting with this Garden Stir Fry:

Warm 2 Tbsp olive oil in skillet over low-medium heat.
Start chopping any desired veggies. I used red onions, scallions, garlic, zucchini and green peppers.
Add onions and zucchini first. When they start to get soft, add everything else.
Sprinkle with garlic salt and freshly ground pepper.
Serve over white rice prepared according to directions.