Ok, ok, it might not be a shamrock shake but it’s delicious and so good for you. At least they’re making shamrock shakes of of real ice cream these days. I think when I was a kid they were made from minty ice cream flavored powder and milk. And sooooo good…
This morning I am feeling quite languid. I can’t decide if it’s the weather, not enough sleep, or perhaps lack of exercise. Tomorrow I’ll go to yoga, I promise. Actually I think it’s too many carbs! Yes, that’s it (homemade pizza and risotto recipes coming soon).
I love a green smoothie for a quick pick-me-up. If you’ve never tried one it’s really not as bad as it sounds (or looks). He’ll probably deny it, but even my husband has been known to suck down one of these drinks. I like using kale or spinach but I know from experience that Spring mix will work in a pinch. Experiment until you find a combination you like. Below is a basic recipe.
- 2 large handfuls of spinach or kale
- handful of parsley (optional if you don’t have any handy but it’s packed with anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals so get some!)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup strawberries
- 1 small banana
- handful of ice cubes
Puree the water and greens in a blender first to get the leaves as smooth as possible. Here’s where I shed a tear for my amazing Ninja blender. I can’t recommend the Ninja enough. It whips up anything you can throw at in in a flash. Except spoons. Apparently, it doesn’t like it when you absentmindedly leave a spoon in it and turn it on. RIP Ninja blender.
On Saturday night I had some major ambition for Sunday morning. I was going to get up early and make this amazing frittata for breakfast. I imagined the aroma of sweet potatoes roasting in the oven wafting upstairs to awaken all the sleepyheads.
Then I slept in. Until 10:30am. With the slicing, roasting, sauteing, and baking times combined, this dish takes an hour and a half to make. Brunch it is! This fritatta actually makes an excellent breakfast, lunch, or brunch. Serve it with a green salad and you’ve got dinner. If you’re expecting company for breakfast or you need to take something to a potluck, this is a nice idea. It can be served hot, warm, or cold and the layered orange potatoes make it look super pretty when sliced.
This recipes originates from the Moosewood Restaurant New Classics cookbook which is actually one of the only Moosewood cookbooks that I don’t have. Fortunately, everything is on the internet these days. The original recipes call for eight ounces of cream cheese so, of course, I had to lighten it up. I used four ounces and it’s still delicious. I was actually going to use cottage cheese until I opened the container and realized I had accidentally bought the pineapple kind. Oh my god. I’m turning into my mother.
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and sliced into 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick rounds
- 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1 large zucchini, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram (1/2 teaspoon oregano would make a fine substitute)
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup sharp cheddar, grated
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the sweet potatoes with the garlic, 1 tablespoon of the oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt until evenly coated. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, flipping them over halfway through.
While the potatoes cook, heat the remaining oil in a large skillet and saute the onions until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini, marjoram and remaining salt and saute until the zucchini rounds are soft and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Remove the potatoes and LOWER THE OVEN TEMPERATURE to 350 degrees F.
Spray an 8×8 inch baking dish with cooking spray. In a blender, puree the eggs, cream cheese, pepper, and milk to make a smooth custard. Layer the roasted sweet potatoes in the prepared pan and spread the sauteed zucchini on top. Sprinkle on the cheddar cheese, then pour the custard over all.
Adapted from Green Lemonade
Is it just me, or does every household have a pile of rotting bananas on the kitchen counter at all times? Someone tell me why I keep buying bananas. They have a very small window of opportunity for eating. We only like them when they’re pure yellow, with no green and no brown spots. For that reason I’m always on the lookout for new ways to use them up (without gaining twenty pounds).
I discovered the original recipe for this bread about a month ago and I’ve made it three times since then. I love that it’s relatively low in sugar and has no added fat in the preparation. The zucchini and bananas keep this bread incredibly moist and flavorful. You will never miss the butter or oil.
I also love how adaptable this recipe is. Since my kids are averse to anything “healthy”, I sneak in extra nutrients with the shredded carrots and ground flax seed. Chopped nuts give it a hearty crunch and dark chocolate chips take it to a whole ‘nother level. The one time I used chocolate chips the entire loaf was demolished before it even had time to cool off!
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup ground flax seed meal (or increase whole wheat flour to 1 cup)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 medium rotten bananas
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 medium zucchini, shredded
- 1 large carrot, shredded
choose one or two optional add-ins:
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used 1/4 cup pecans)
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray (an 8×4 pan would also work but you’ll have to extend the cooking time).
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the first seven dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, bananas, brown sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in the zucchini, carrots and optional add-ins.
Bake in the prepared pan for about 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Try not to slice it warm like I always do.
Adapted from Cinnamon Girl Recipes which is a great food blog. You should check it out.
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Soup weather is almost over. Amen to that! About the only thing I enjoy when the weather is rainy, cold and miserable is some good, hot soup. This soup has a bit of curried flair to it. It’s rich and creamy without having to add a drop of cream to it. I like to finish it off with a touch of Greek yogurt to make it even creamier (and protein-enriched!). You could certainly use sour cream, half and half, or just leave it as is.
For the roasted squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
Roughly 5 cups raw winter squash (butternut or similar)
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
For the soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 sweet onion, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
small garlic clove
4 cups chicken broth, plus more if needed
prepared roasted squash
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Peel your squash and cut into 1-inch cubes. I cheated this time and bought the ready to use cut butternut squash from the produce department. Let me just say, I don’t advise doing that. First of all, the freshness level was definitely questionable. Second, I just had to re-cut it all anyway. Who do they have chopping this stuff? There was a bunch of huge, rhomboid-shaped pieces in there. I digress. Toss your nicely cubed, 1-inch pieces of squash with the 2 tablespoons olive oil, coriander, tumeric, and Kosher salt. Spread into an even layer on a cookie sheet and roast for about 20 minutes.
Heat the other tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan. Saute the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic for about 10 minutes over medium-low heat. Add the broth, roasted squash and spices and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes so that the flavors meld. Puree the soup with an immersion blender, or do it in batches in a regular blender. Let it cool some before you use the latter method, so no scalding hot soup comes splashing out of the blender. Add more broth to achieve a consistency to your liking, add yogurt or cream (if desired) and enjoy!
Adapted from Michael Chiarello