Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My New Breakfast (again- lol) The Green Monster

So, in my search for the new and improved breakfast (keeping in lines w/ being low carb and gluten-free) and wanting to get more veggies in my diet, I decided to try my own version of a green monster. My friend Jess said she drinks one every day for breakfast, and while I love my smoothies as an evening snack, I wasn't sure my stomach could handle them in the morning or that they would be filling enough. Thankfully I was wrong on both accounts! Keep in mind that this ends up tasting not like spinach or banana...just, yummy! I can't stand bananas in smoothies or bananas in the morning, but in this drink, it is like drinking pure freshness.

The first few days I did eat a coconut muffin to go along with the smoothie because I felt like I needed to chew something. Then I stopped, and I was fine! I also love the portability and if I'm running late it is no big deal to "eat" breakfast in the car. I did modify Jess' recipe a bit. Here's my version:

8 cubes ice
1 banana
2 handfuls spinach
1/4 c fresh or frozen blueberries (I did not add them in the pictures below but they add a nice touch of color and flavor.)
1 T flax
1 T chia seeds
1 T peanut butter or almond butter (although I prefer the flavor of the PB)
1/2-3/4 c water (I don't really measure this. I have used coconut milk and liked that as well. One day I tried adding coconut oil to it and HATED it. Which is weird because I love me some coconut oil.)

Step 1: Add ice to blender

Step 2: Add banana
 Step 3: Add spinach

Step 4: Add chia, flax and peanut butter.

 Step 5: Add water (pictured) or coconut milk.
 Step 6: Blend until smooth (I use my Magic Bullet) and pour into cute travel cup student gives you for a present :) The cup holds 18 oz and I usually have a little more left in the mixer.
Is it just me, or does my cap look a little crooked???

The biggest benefit of this drink is that it has sent me craving more veggies all day :) Something about having them to start the day, I can't quite explain it. So, I have re-vamped my lunches at school to include more veggies other than just carrots. I pack a week's worth of all ingredients but the salad. I keep them in my lunch bag at school so I don't have to think about most of my lunch each night. Then while I'm drinking my green monster I make the salad, which is easy since I already have the spinach out anyway :)

School Lunch

Baby spinach and romaine salad with one hard boiled egg, chopped, carrots, and 1 T dressing (I am really into raspberry vinaigrette right now)
One organic gala apple
One choco chip coconut muffin

If I need something after school I usually go for a handful of organic raw cashews. The taste is definitely different than the roasted but once you try it you will never go back and your body won't miss the salt, either.

For dinner I have been making sure to eat a salad along with small portions of everything else. Which, to be quite honest, ends up being popcorn and a fruit like watermelon or pineapple. That's my favorite dinner right now :) I'm a simple girl! And I love my popcorn!

Now I'm getting veggies in as the bulk of ALL of my meals, and my body is thanking me, I love it!

Garden Update

*Disclaimer* The first part of this post is from 2 weeks ago- I haven't had much chance to blog!

Wow, what a difference 2 weeks makes! Most of my babies have outgrown their eggshells and were upgraded this week to larger pots. I have also moved them to the garage in front of a window so they can get used to variable temperatures (although the last few days have been exceptionally warm here, but perfect for garden work!). I still have one egg carton left inside. Some of them are soon ready to move, while others (aka peppers) have yet to make an appearance! Last year they were stubborn and seemed to take forever to sprout, grow, and produce although we did pick 4 or 5 peppers from them.

I have spent the last 48 hours weeding all of my beds and ended up with a truck-load- literally! I filled the back of my husband's pick-up with them! It is amazing how quickly they will grow (especially some type of wild mum and nettle that take over our back bed). I also now have some stained nails and hands but it is worth it, and I have had more energy the last 2 days and I think it is simply because of playing in the dirt!

Still waiting to have my raised bed repaired before I can actually put any plants in. I also need to beef up the soil. I plan to mix in some of the organic soil from Sonnewald and also dig up some worms in other parts to add to it. Also still waiting for permission for a compost bin and rain barrels...

Here's how the babies look now:

And, because I have not had time to blog, here's what they look like now, with another flat of additions:

And quite honestly they are bigger yet since taking these pics! I had about 10 seeds not do anything from the first batch so I replanted new seeds and started an egg carton of marigolds and one of sunflowers. They are doing well also. I can't wait to actually get them in the garden!

This post is part of the link-up at No Ordinary Homestead.

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

We have a neighbor who occasionally shares the bounty of his home garden. In the past it might have been some asparagus or some tomatoes. But tonight he knocks on the door during supper with this in his hands:

Which turned into this:

And I just thought this one looked like a flower when I cut it:

Of course this meant shortcake was in order (there goes working on report cards tonight!).
I have a good shortcake recipe, but of course it is not gluten-free so I had to go digging around for one that is suitable. I came across this one, but for some reason chocolate shortcake did not seem appealing so here's my version:

1 1/2 c almond flour
1/4 c coconut flour
pinch salt
1/2 T baking soda
3 eggs
1/2 c maple syrup
vanilla to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Cream together vanilla, eggs and syrup in small bowl. Mix other ingredients in large bowl and add wet ingredients. Pour batter into muffin tin (I love using the If You Care muffin cups- nothing ever sticks to them and you don't have to grease them! They also make a great parchment paper.) You can also bake in a pie pan if you like. Bake 12-15 minutes, remove from oven and cool. Top with whipped cream and strawberries.

Now I typically add milk to my shortcake but since I had some whipping cream in the fridge, I figured I had to try it with whipped cream instead. Here's my whipped cream recipe so you don't have to go searching:

1 pint organic whipping cream
1 T organic sugar
1 T vanilla

Put all ingredients in large metal bowl. Whip with hand blender until stiff (I actually whip longer than it might need so it keeps longer in the fridge without separating).

And here's the finished product:
This was SO good, I could definitely have eaten 2. You would never guess it was gluten-free!
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