My Perfect Green Smoothie!

I love this smoothie!  It’s light and has so much good nutrients.  I love to make it for myself and my husband.  Kids totally freak out with the green color.  They don’t know this, but I do add a little bit of green stuff in their smoothie, just enough so it does not turn green on them :).  Crazy mom!

I add strawberry, banana and water into the smoothie tumbler.  We recently bought the Ninja (blender/smoothie-maker/food-processor).  I’m loving the fierce speed of this machine – 1500 watts, and the box says, “Total Crushing Technology.” 🙂  

I add the GREENS!

I use my fingers to push the greens below that -MAX FILL- mark on the tumbler.  The blade-lid unit does not screw in otherwise.

I close the top with the blade-lid.  This top will be the bottom on the Ninja machine.

And, here it goes…the “Total Crushing Technology” at work!    

I take two deep breaths and voila!  The smoothie is ready for my husband.  He drinks it right out of the tumbler.  I love this part too; no extra cups or drinking glass to be washed.  I’m all set to make mine, now. 🙂  I love this drink!  image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Direction:

(1 – serving; Prep time: less than 5-minutes; total time: less than 5-minutes)

1/2 of  6″ Banana

1/2 Cup Frozen Strawberries

2 Cups Olivia’s Organic mix (can use any other spring mix, spinach or kale)

1 Cup water (more if the smoothie is too thick)

Place all four ingredients in the tumbler.  Close with blade-lid.  Blend.  Blend for 10 seconds and it’s done!  Enjoy.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 80 gram;  Carbohydrate: 21 gram;  Fiber: 4.8 gram;  Protein: 2.55 gram;  Sugar: 10.7 gram;  Fat: 0.17 gram;  Cholesterol: 0 gram;  Potassium: 281 gram

The salad gives me – Vitamin A 110%; Vitamin C 50%; Calcium 6%; Iron 20%.  The Strawberries give me – Vitamin C 45%, Iron 2% and Calcium 2%.  Banana and Strawberries are high in potassium.

(I eat lean meat/fish for my protein to balance my meal.  Sometimes I add protein powder in this smoothie and get protein that way).

…thank you for visiting my blog…until next time 🙂

Freeze Now, Use Later – Don’t Waste the Tomato Paste!

There are times I only need a little bit of tomato paste in my cooking.  So, what do I do with the rest?  I freeze the rest!  Why waste…freeze and use later 🙂

Here’s how:  I use ice tray (any ice tray would do).  This is a silicon one.  I scoop the tomato paste out of the can into the ice tray compartments,
image

then I flatten the tomato paste with a spoon. image

I know it kinda looks messy, but that’s okay, it freezes beautifully 🙂image

Next, I wrap the ice tray with plastic wrap.image

I lay the tray flat inside the freezer.  I leave it overnight.image

All frozen! 🙂image

Next day, I take the tray out and unwrap it.  I place a cutting board on the counter and then twist the tray over it.  And, down falls out the frozen tomato paste!image

Looking good!image

I place them in a freezer bag.  I seal and label the bag, then I put it back in the freezer until I’m ready to use them.  I take out one or two or however many I need, and save the rest for later. image

When I cook meat or veggies, I throw a couple into the pan!  I love the taste it gives to my food.  Plus,  I love to not waste.  I feel good about it.  Freezing is a good thing! 🙂

Enjoy.

 

…thank you for visiting my blog…until next time 🙂

 

Healthier and Happier – Working to be Fit Everyday!


 

image
My cheat sheet:) I love it.

My one page note!  My little helper:)

Small consistent changes to eating healthier and living an active lifestyle is what I did to get the results that I wanted.  And, I am still doing it.  I’ve been doing this for almost 15 years now.  I still motivate myself and do lots of self talk.  It has led me to live a healthier and happier life for me, my family and my friends.

IMG_8634
Walking in nature is a great exercise. Here my husband is walking our dog Dixie. I walk with our other dog, Sir Thomas, as you may know him.

People ask me if I can help them.  But I don’t have any certification.  I do, however, know how I did it!  My little note certainly helped.  I would love to help others, I’m thinking of getting certification in Personal Training so that I can help others.  In the meantime, I still wanted to share  my little photo-note in this post:)

IMG_0013
I made this yummy meal! It was filling and healthy, too.

I am regularly reading and learning from different websites.  I educate myself and filter information to fit my body and my given genes.  I fight and beat a few bad genes on a daily basis; but the rest I accept, and continue to move forward.  I, recently, read a good article on fighting bad genes titled, “6 Ways to Beat Your Bad Genes.”  You can read it on, http://www.prevention.com/fitness/fitness-tips/how-your-genes-impact-your-physical-fitness

Can’t emphasize enough – Being consistent and patient is what worked for me!  Small consistent changes to eating healthier and living an active lifestyle is what I did to get the results that I wanted.  And, I will continue doing it!

…thank you for visiting my blog…until next time:)

Freeze Banana Slices for Smoothie – 5 Easy Steps

 When bananas start to have brown spots like the ones you see in the picture below, you are left with two options:  1) Eat them as soon as possible, or 2) Freeze them.  Many people never think of freezing bananas, but I do it all the time.  Frozen bananas make the best smoothies.  Better freeze than throw away a good-looking banana:)

1.  I peel the banana and cut them into 8 slices.   I, then, arrange them flat side up in a single layer on the cutting board.  You can use a cookie sheet also.  

2.  I place them in the freezer for about 45 minutes.  They freeze nicely.

3.  Next, I place each individually frozen banana slices into a sandwich bag.    Freezing them individually, and then storing them in a bag keep these slices from sticking to each other.  

4.  Then I place the sandwich bag with frozen banana slices into another bag, a storage bag or freezer bag.   Just for extra protection!  I do this so that these banana slices won’t get freezer burn.  image

5.  And, that’s it!  I just throw in 2 to 3 frozen banana slices into the blender when I’m making my delicious smoothie.  Yum!

…thank you for visiting my blog…until next time:)

Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds – My Easy Recipes!

I really enjoyed making these.  They are fun to make and delicious to eat.
image

I roasted almonds in the oven (I used my little toaster oven).  The aroma of roasting almonds is quite good:).  That also meant it was ready to be taken out of the oven.  So that’s what I did.  And, I set them aside to cool.

 Time to melt chocolate:

image

Endangered Species Chocolate is what I used (the brown wrap one).  My daughter is an animal lover.  Her diet includes no animal products or by-products.  She is passionate about them and is determined to be their voice.   (I am making this for her.)

image

image

Next step:  I started my double-boiler.  I heated enough water in the pot so that it wouldn’t touch the base of the second pot with chocolate pieces to be melted.

image

I kept the heat on low because the chocolate melts fairly quickly.

image

All melted! Looked rich & creamy!  I turned the heat off.

Next, I added almonds into the melted chocolate and stirred the chocolate to coat the almonds.

image
image

image

Roasted almond & melted chocolate…irresistible!  I wanted to try one so badly.

I placed wax paper on a cookie sheet.  Then, I scooped out almonds from the pot and spread them in a single layer on the wax paper.  I got a spoon to start separating these guys.  After that, I placed these almonds in the fridge so that the chocolate around these almonds will solidify.

image

image

They stayed in the fridge for about 15 minutes.

It was time to coat them with cocoa powder.  You don’t have to do this part, but the cocoa powder adds to the flavor.

image

image

image

I mixed in a bit of raw cane sugar in the cocoa.

Then, I got the chocolate covered almonds from the fridge and dropped them in the cocoa powder mix;  I used a spoon to gently fold the cocoa powder over the chocolate covered almonds.

image

image

image

Last thing I did was to place the almonds from the bowl into a colander.  I shook the colander to get excess cocoa off the almonds.  And, then I stored them in a plastic container.  All done!

My daughter will love this.  She will be coming home soon from the animal shelter…I’ll surprise her!  This is one of her favorites!  I’m glad I made these for her.  I feel good!

 

Serving size of almonds from http://www.livestrong.com:

The USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory says that 1 oz. of whole, shelled almond kernels contain 163 calories and about 14 g of fat.  They’re also a nutritious source of protein and fiber, with 6 g of protein and 3.5 g of fiber.

1 oz. is standard serving of almonds.  That’s equal to one handful or about 23 whole, shelled nuts.

Endangered Species Dark Chocolate Bar serving size:

!/2 a bar, calories: 250; total fat: 18 g; cholesterol: 0 mg; carb: 20 g; Fiber: 5 g; Protein: 4 g

My recipe:

1 – Endangered Species dark chocolate bar (use any brand you like)

1 – Cup Almond

2 – Tablespoon Nestle Toll House Cocoa Powder (use any brand you like)

1 – Tablespoon raw cane sugar (option: use white granulated sugar or powdered sugar)

  1.  Heat oven to 300 degrees.  Place almonds in a baking pan and bake for 10 – 12 minutes.  Take out of the oven, and let them cool.
  2. Place wax paper on a cookie sheet and set aside.  In a small bowl add cocoa powder and sugar and set aside.  Have a colander handy.  Have a storage container set aside also.
  3. Break chocolate bar into pieces, and melt in a double boiler.  (Please refer to pictures above).
  4. Add almonds and stir to coat.
  5. Scoop them out on the wax paper and gently spread them in a single layer.
  6. With a spoon separate the almonds from each other.
  7. Place the almonds in the fridge for the chocolate to solidify.
  8. Break the chocolate almond pieces…thin chocolate layer breaks apart quickly.
  9. Put all of the chocolate covered almonds into the cocoa powder sugar bowl.  With a spoon fold the cocoa powder mix to coat the chocolate covered almonds.
  10. Place all the cocoa powder coated chocolate covered almonds in the colander, and gently shake to get excess cocoa mix off them.
  11. Place these coated chocolate covered almonds in a storage container.

Enjoy!!

…thank you for visiting my blog…until next time:)

Spaghetti My Way – My Easy Recipes

 

This is what I’m cooking tonight for dinner.  Yummy!  One of my husband’s favorites.  High protein meal, undoubtedly.

I get all my ingredients set up.  Then I boil the spaghetti noodles per package.  I cool it under cold running water and set it aside.

In a large pot, I add oil and the ground beef.  I turn the heat to medium and start browning the ground beef.  I stir frequently to keep the ground beef crumbly.  While it is browning I add the onion and sliced garlic because I really don’t like the smell of ground beef cooking.  The  onion and garlic cooking along with the ground beef works for my olfactory systems:0)  I drain the meat in a colander if there’s fat.  Then, I start adding other ingredients.

I start by adding the spaghetti sauce…

Then, I add everything else – fresh parsley,  ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, water, salt and pepper.
  

I cook this mixture on medium-high until it starts to boil.  Then I turn the heat to medium-low and cover the pot.  I cook this for about 20 minutes.  At this point the mixture should not be bubbling-in-a-hurry, but simmering-in-calmness 🙂. Stir every so often to see if sauce is thickening.  Once it reaches desirable thickness cut the heat off.  The sauce is done!

Spaghetti is served:)  

I add salad and garlic toast as sides.

My husband loves this recipe.  He does not even order spaghetti out in a restaurant, ever!

 

Ingredient: (Serves approximately 6)

1 box spaghetti pasta – cook per box directions  (I freeze what I don’t use)

1 tablespoon – Canola oil

2 pounds – ground beef (option: you could use ground chicken or turkey)

1 large onion – peeled and chopped

3 to 4 cloves garlic – peeled and sliced

1 bunch – fresh parsley chopped (option: you can add 1-teaspoon of dry Italian Seasoning)

1 – 24 oz spaghetti sauce (I used Herb Garlic Psst Sauce from Kroger)

2 tablespoon – Worcestershire sauce

4 tablespoons – ketchup

1 tablespoon – sugar

1/4 cup – water

Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Direction ( step by step):

  1. Boil pasta, drain and cool under cold tap water and set aside
  2. Add oil in a large pot.
  3. Add ground beef and start browning it for about 10 minutes on medium heat
  4. Keep stirring so the meat does not clump up, you want it crumbly
  5. Add chopped onion and garlic slices to the cooking ground beef
  6. Add chopped parsley, and stir to mix
  7. Drain fat (if there’s any) by dumping everything from the pot into a colander.
  8. Put drained mixture from the colander back into the pot
  9. Add spaghetti sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, sugar, water, salt and pepper
  10. Stir to mix well
  11. Cook on medium-high heat until the mixture starts to boil.
  12. Cut heat down to medium-low, and cover the pot
  13. Cook for 20 minutes or until the sauce is to the consistency you like.  I like mine thick.  (Proof is in the photos:)).   Serve over cooked spaghetti.

 

Nutritional Information (approximate)

Spaghetti noodles:

Calories 200; Total Fat 1 g; Saturated Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 0 mg; Carbohydrate 42 g; Fiber 2 g; Sugar 2 g; Protein 7 g

Ground beef sauce:

Calories 334.67; Total Fat 15.96 g; Saturated Fat 6.07 g; Cholesterol 97.5 mg; Sodium 750 mg; Carbohydrate 14.43 g; Fiber 3 g; Sugar 9.76 g; Protein 31.94 g

…thanks for visiting my blog…until next time.

Close Up … Cool Cucumber!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Close Up.”

image
See these cool clear water droplets oozing from this cucumber! They are tantalizing! I can practically feel them burst inside my mouth cooling me all over!

My Recipe: Buffalo Boneless Chicken Wing Balls 

These Buffalo Chicken Wing Balls are seriously yummy!  Sauces I used were Original Anchor Bar Wing Sauce and Tabasco sauce.  That’s it!

1. I chopped up chicken breast.  I chopped it when they were not thawed all the way, but still a bit frozen.  It’s super easy to cut and chop the meat when it’s not completely frozen.  Need a sharp knife for sure!  I, then, added the wing sauce and Tabasco sauce in the chicken, and marinated the chicken for an hour.

2. Then I filled an ice-cube tray with the marinated chicken and covered the tray with aluminum foil, and placed it in the freezer for an hour.  The chicken meat somewhat soldifies…let’s say semi frozen. Not rock solid!

3. After an hour, I took the ice-cube tray with the chicken out from the freezer, and unwrapped the foil .  I scooped out semi-frozen chicken balls one at a time and dropped them in the flour mix (recipe below).  Coated them well, shook off excess coating, and dropped them in heated oil.  Medium to low heat.  Fried 4 to 5 balls at a time.

      

4.  Fried them for 3-4 minutes until golden.  Put them on paper towel to soak oil.  Then for the grand finale…

  

5.  I dropped the fried chicken balls in the sauce mix, and gently stirred them in the sauce to coat well.  I arranged them on a plate and…

  

…It was time to eat them!  Delicious!

Ingredients for above recipe:

2 Chicken breast semi frozen, cut in tiny cubes (chopped)

1 Cup Original Anchor Bar Wing Sauce (use more if you want extra saucy wing balls)

1 Teaspoon Tabasco Sauce (optional). Use only if you want extra heat!

 Marinate for the chopped chicken breast:

4 Tablespoons Anchor Bar wing Sauce

1 Teaspoon Tabasco Sauce

Flour Mix:

1/2 Cup White Flour

1/2 Cup Corn Meal

1/2 Teaspoon ground black pepper

Mix all three ingredients and you have the flour mix.  I add no salt because the sauce has enough in it.

And there you have it!  It’s easy and yummy!!  These boneless wings are not as high in calories because the flour coating is not heavy as in store-bought frozen ones or the ones from the restaurants.  The coating is thin, you can actually see the pink chicken underneath before it’s fried.  Eaten fresh it’s light and crispy to taste!  I love this recipe…hope you will too.

…enjoy now! ..until next time.  Thank you for checking out my blog.

My In-A-Hurry-Fried-Rice

Super easy 4-step recipe. Took me less than 30-minutes to make!

I’m stir-frying all vegetables together

1.  In a large frying pan stir-fry mixed vegetables (I used frozen),  onion, frozen shelled edamame (or any type of kidney beans), tricolor bell peppers with garlic powder and salt & black pepper in pure olive oil. Already looking & smelling good!  Once the veggies start to char a bit, turn stove off.

2.  In a small pan, add roasted unsalted cashews in pure olive oil.  Keep stove heat at a low.  Sprinkle salt & black pepper over the cashews. Stir until the sides darken (this darkening is not uniform but will taste yum!).  Turn stove off.

Dropped cashews in the pan. See the low heat. They cook very fast. Keeping an eye on them!
Sprinkled salt and pepper – a pinch each
Browned…not uniformly. It’s done!

3.  Cook Uncle Ben’s Parboiled rice according to the package. Or any rice. I’ve made this with Basmati rice, Brown rice and Black rice.  They all taste great.  Serve each item separately like shown below on a plate.  I, however, mix it up in a pan on low heat until well heated.

Serve just like this or…
…Mixing it all together for a great tasting dish!

4.  Scoop the fried rice on a plate and enjoy!  You can always add fish, chicken, beef or tofu.  You can pan fry, bake or grill them!  My husband wanted the original version: vegetarian (this recipe is also vegan).  I, however, added 3-oz Rotisserie chicken breast to my dish.   And now, I’ll tell you a secret —  I added my favorite hot sauce to my dish!  Tabasco!  And, I loved it!

Ingredients for one serving:

(For cooking steps, please see above instructions with photos)

Frozen Mixed Veggie – 1/4 Cup

Frozen shelled Edamame – 1/4 Cup

Onion (roughly chopped) – 1/2 of a medium size

Garlic Powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Roasted Cashews Unsalted – 1/8 Cup (about 8-10  cashews) (do not add salt if using salted)

Rice – 1/2 Cup Cooked

Salt & Pepper

Nutritional Value (one serving)  without the chicken:

Calories: 257; Fat: 9.9 g; Carbohydrate: 33.4 g; Fiber: 3.7 g; Protein: 17.7 g

With 3-oz Rotisserie chicken added to this dish:

Calories: 392.5; Fat: 15.2 g; Carbohydrate: 33.8 g; Fiber: 3.7 g; Protein: 38.2 g

…Will be knocking on your door soon…hugs!  And, thanks for checking out my blog.

The Cool Cucumber!

Cool droplets!

If you came to my house any time during summer and opened my refrigerator, you’d find a cucumber in the vegetable bin.  No one in the family cares for it much, except my husband.  He loves eating them in his sandwiches.

Yesterday, as I was cutting a freshly bought cucumber to make a sandwich for my husband, I noticed tiny crystal balls oozing out of the cut end…I was totally amazed by these crisp, clear, round droplets.  I never quite noticed them this way before.  I got my phone and took a close-up shot of them.

These water droplets steered me to find out more about the vegetable itself.   After reading several sites I felt like cucumbers are not getting a good deal from us.  We definitely NEED to consume more of this fully hydrated vegetable!  They are HIGH in water content…obviously:).  See for yourself, buy one, cut it crosswise & you’ll see those droplets making its way out!

I found out that cucumbers are rich in phosphorus, magnesium, calcium and potassium.  Rich in vitamin K, too.  Only 8 calories in half a cup!  Good snack food, for sure! I enjoy getting my information from going to several sites, but I love http://www.livestrong.com.

To make this sandwich I start with one slice of a sourdough bread which I cut in half.  Then I spread lowfat olive oil mayo on each slice.   

Next, I thinly slice about 1/2 a cup of cucumber and arrange them on one slice of “mayoed” bread.  After that I sprinkle a dash of black peppers over them. 

Then I add 5 slices of gherkin pickle (sweet & salty cucumber pickle). Most grocery stores have them.  (I plan on learning how to pickle once I get the hang of this blogging😃!!)    I bought this one from Aldi.

 I add a slice of cheese: cheddar, parmasean, mozzarela or any that I have at home.  Here I have added Parmasean with black peppercorns from Trader Joe’s.  It’s deliciously buttery in taste.  

  

 Usually, my husband does not want any meat on this sandwich.  Lastly, I put the other slice of the sourdough bread over the layered side.  My husband’s sandwich is ready to be devoured:). Cool, light, healthy and delicious sandwich!  I serve a handful of chips and about 2 cups of salad with it.   

My husband thinks this is gourmet😃!

Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 Slice sourdough bread

1 Tablesoon mayonnaise (lowfat Olive oil mayo)

1/2 Cup cucumber thinly sliced

1/8 Teaspoon ground black pepper 

5 Slices Gerkin pickle slices
1 Ounce cheese, sliced or shredded

Slice bread in half.  Spread mayo on both halves.  Arrange sliced cucumbers on one half slice bread.  Sprinkle black pepper over cucumber slices.  Add the pickle slices.  Next, add cheese.  Put the other slice of bread with mayo side down over the layered bread.  Cut sandwich in half.  Enjoy!!

Nutrition:

Calories 315; Total Fat 16.5g; Saturated Fat 6g; protein 11g; carb 30g; Fiber 1g; Chlesterol 30mg  

“Food is for eating, and good food is to be enjoyed…I think food is, actually, very beautiful in itself.” — Delia Smith

Until next time…