Two Words: Ice. Cream.

Now don’t think I went all soft on you and started eating dairy again.

My good friend Ashley is pretty health conscious and has taken an interest in my new allergen free eating. She came across this little ditty and sent it my way….with a question mark. I too felt questionable about it. UNTIL, that is, I tried it. It MAY rival my chocolate green smoothie in the deliciousness department.

Is the suspense killing you?

Read it: Banana Ice cream.

Now…the best part about this treat: it is ONLY made from bananas. One ingredient. One. Talk about all natural and unprocessed.

If you’ve ever mashed up a banana, you know that it gets kind of sticky and gooey. Well, when you freeze it, and then blend it, it comes out like whole milk, custardy, ice cream. Because this is FRESH FRUIT…you can eat ice cream for breakfast. Or ice cream for a snack. Or ice cream as a post-run refuel. Or, of course ice cream for dessert.

What’s even easier than gathering the ingredients for this treat?

The directions for preparing. The teacher in me is also going to tell you to make sure you read ALL of your directions (this means to the end of the page!) before starting your work! Trust me, you will thank me later.

1. Freeze your bananas until solid.

2. Put your bananas into a food processor or blender.

3. Blend until desired consistency is achieved. Remember: I hate chunks and pieces.

4. Eat your delicious treat.

Really? Anyone can do this. ANYONE.

A few words of wisdom:

1. If you don’t like bananas, there really isn’t a way around this one. I am pretty good at making people believe they like things that they once thought they didn’t by masking flavors. But this has one ingredient: bananas. Thus, if you don’t like bananas, you should probably avoid this.

2. PEEL YOUR BANANAS BEFORE YOU FREEZE THEM!!!! I felt utterly defeated when I realized that a frozen banana wrapped in a frozen banana peel is NOT fun to try and remove.  I also advise you to chop your bananas into chunks to make your blending experience a little easier. You can do this before you freeze, or after you freeze.

3. Know your banana habits. I like my bananas to have a mild flavor…I prefer them still a little green at the tips. My  mom likes her bananas overripe with brown spots on the peel. Choose when to freeze your bananas accordingly. Your ice cream flavor will be a direct reflection of the stage of ripening your bananas are in when you freeze them.

4. Get creative! Mix in honey, peanut butter, or maple syrup. Top with chocolate chips (vegan or dark chocolate of course) or sliced almonds.  Share your creativity with a comment!

Cheers to breakfast ice cream!

For this recipe and others like it visit www.thekitchn.com

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Best. Burger. EVER.

Whoa.

I am still trying to wrap my head around how delicious my dinner just was.

As a child (ok, and an adult) if I could eat a hamburger every meal, I would. Thus, when I shifted to veggie burgers, I was a little skeptical. And, after trying a number of different brands, I still remained relatively unimpressed. The flavor was off, or the texture was too much (I have MAJOR texture issues and hate chunks or pieces in pretty much anything I eat).  Until…..

The Sublime Burger

This meal is so delicious, it is worthy of rocking out to this fitting tune….

1 cup dry green lentils soaked for 2 hours
1 ¼ cup wheat bran or 1 c wheat germ
2  tbsp  flax seeds soaked for 6 to 8 hours
1  tbsp tomato paste
1 medium onion
10 small cloves of garlic (about ¼ c)
1 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp oregano
¾ cup walnuts

As you can see…this is not a “throw together at the last minute” kind of recipe. BUT…if you can plan ahead, which you should absolutely do, it will be SO worth it.

In a blender, place fresh garlic and soaked flax seeds with their soaking water, if any. Add the tomato paste, cider vinegar, and toasted walnuts, and blend until all ingredients become a cohesive paste. Pour into a mixing bowl.

Put 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a skillet and sweat (goo.gl/bZIq) the onions with the oregano and a dash of black pepper if desired. Once they are soft and yellow, turn off the heat. Let cool a couple of minutes.

Pour the lentils in a blender, blend on medium high for 4 minutes, then stop the blender and add the onions. Blend until a crumbly mixture results: not completely smooth, but not chunky either. *Note: like I mentioned, I hate when things are chunky. Thus, I blended mine until completely smooth.

Pour into the mixing bowl with the garlic and walnut paste. Mix well. Add all spices and mix again until completely blended. Add the wheat bran and olive oil, and combine.

Make small patties and put into a hot skillet with oil to brown 2 minutes on each side. Once all the patties are browned, place on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 350° F.

I finished mine off by placing a patty on top of a bed of romaine leaves and smeared the top with half of an avocado and some Roma tomato slices. Then I paired it with a side of fresh, raw green beans.

You can serve them on hamburger buns, especially if you are trying to trick meat-lovers. But believe me, it will NOT be hard to trick them with this beauty.

This gem is ALL KINDS of yummy!!!

This recipe came from Zizania. For others like it, click the link on the left.

Stewsday

My dad has a tradition in his house that Monday is known as “Soup Monday.” He makes soup from scratch and has bread (and maybe salad?) every Monday for dinner.

My nutritionist sent me the following recipe, which she called Moroccan Stew. After eating, and falling in love with it, I had a brilliant idea. If Monday is Soup Monday….why can’t Tuesday be…..

Stewsday

(I have no picture! Picture to come later…I promise!)

1 cup lentils soaked for 2 hours

10-12 prunes (no pits!)

28 oz canned, diced tomatoes

1 can chickpeas

1 medium onion

1 cup water

4 crushed garlic cloves

1 tbsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp turmeric

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp canola oil

clean the lentils. Place them in a bowl, cover with water, and let soak for AT LEAST two hours. Heat the oil in a soup pot, add the onion and garlic and saute until onions are translucent. Add your cumin, paprika, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Stir vigorously so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot for about a minute. Add the canned tomatoes and a cup of water. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer about 7 minutes. Drain your lentils and add them to the pot. Add your prunes. Stir well! Simmer on low heat until lentils are fully cooked and soft (15-45 minutes). Once the lentils are cooked, add the chickpeas and simmer an additional 2 minutes. Remove the pot from the burner and let your stewsday rest for about 15 minutes before serving.

Partner it up with a nice green salad and some toasted, sprouted bread! SO yummy!

Brussels Sprouts?!

I think that we are trained as humans to be disgusted by the thought of brussels sprouts. But fear not fellow brave green eaters! I share with you…..

Brussels Sprout Poppers!

2 lbs brussels sprouts

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp kosher salt

red pepper flakes

1 tbsp lemon juice

Optional dipping sauce: 

3 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)

2 tbsp raw miso (refrigerated paste)

2 tbsp lime juie

1 tbsp agave nectar or sugar

1 bunch scallions

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse sprouts and cut off root. Slice the sprouts in half. Put halved sprouts into a ziplock bag with olive oil, salt, pepper flakes, and lemon juice. GENTLY shake the bag to coat the sprouts.  Be careful of their leaves–they fall off easily.  Pour sprouts onto a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned and soft. If using the sauce, mix together all ingredients in a small bowl. Remove sprouts  from oven and serve with dipping sauce. Yum!

Greens, Greens, Greens

I have a new mantra.

Ok, I never had an “old” mantra…but my new one is Greens, Greens, Greens. Eat as many as you can of them, as often as you can of them.

I really don’t think it’s humanly possible to overdose on greens. AND, they are calorie free!

In my shift from refined “easy” meals, I have moved away from eating pasta. I have since, however, learned that not all pasta is created equal.

Last night, I wanted to have some pasta, but was feeling guilty about my lack of green intake for the day. So, I had a brilliant idea to create a green pasta sauce!

Pasta With Red Peppers, and Greens and Tomato sauce

Although not my dish, this is similar to what it looked like!

1-2 Cups kale (ribs removed)

1-2 Cups spinach

1 can diced tomatoes (with juice)

1/2 of a medium onion, diced

4 garlic cloves

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp turmeric

1 tbsp olive oil

sea salt and pepper

Pasta of your choosing–whole wheat, whole grain, sprouted, veggie based, buckwheat

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

Heat your oil in a skillet on medium heat. Saute garlic and onions until translucent. Add your greens and saute until they are soft and release some liquid. Add turmeric and cumin. Stir to distribute evenly. Remove the skillet from the burner and add the contents to your blender. Add in the diced tomatoes as well. CAREFULLY (it’s hot!) blend together the ingredients until smooth. Pour over cooked pasta of your choosing (I LOVE the products from http://www.foodforlife.com/). Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Toss in raw chopped red pepper and enjoy!

Green Smoothies

Coming from a devoted cereal and milk eater, at LEAST once a day, I was not so convinced of the yumminess of a daily “green smoothie.” I followed this recipe for two weeks:

Basic Green Smoothie

1 bunch curly kale, ribs removed

1 apple

1 banana

frozen mango chunks

ground almonds

water (enough to assist in blending, so as not to destroy your blender like yours truly)

Place the fruit and water in your blender and liquefy away until your little heart is content. Add the kale (I suggest chopping it up first…) and ground almonds and blend until desired consistency has developed. I like mine as smooth as possible so I let my blender go on high speed for at least 5 minutes.

It was actually good. I ate it more like applesauce than a smoothie but I really enjoyed it.  After two weeks of monotony, however, I decided to switch it up a little bit. Here are my two favorites:

Purple Power Smoothie:

1-2 cups spinach or kale leaves (or really any greens you like)

1 black plum

3-5 sliced strawberries

a handful of blueberries

1 apple

Ground nuts or flax seeds (protein, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids!)

Water (same deal…enough to ease your blender)

You could use milk (if you eat dairy) or I like to use some vanilla soymilk instead of water…mmmmm!

As mentioned before, blend up the fruit and water, chop and add your greens and nuts or seeds, and blend until smooth. You won’t believe the color of this prize!

We’ve all heard about white chocolate, and milk chocolate, and semi-sweet chocolate, and dark chocolate, and even red (velvet!) chocolate…but how about….

Green Chocolate Smoothie

1 banana

8 oz chocolate soymilk (or milk if you eat dairy) OR plain milk/soymilk with 1 tbsp of cocoa powder and 1 tbsp of sugar or agave nectar

2 tbsp ground flax seeds

2-3 cups chopped fresh spinach

blend up your banana and milk. Add your flax seeds and blend until smooth. Add your spinach. Oh yes….this is for real…and it is ahhhhhmazing! You could absolutely trick your friends, kids, and husbands into eating greens this way!