Friday, June 25, 2010

Peach and Almond Smoothie....Well, Sorta

My friend, Stephanie, sent me this recipe the other day and I tried it yesterday morning. I had to make some variations based on what I had on hand. Danny seemed to think it tasted like egg nog, but I didn't think so.

Overall, a good, healthy smoothie, but it wasn’t sweet enough for me. (Although, I did like the nutty flavor from the almonds - yum!) Maybe because of my substitutions? Try the original recipe and tell me what you think!

4 large dates, pitted and chopped
2 cups hemp, soy, or almond milk (I used soy)
2 tbsp Agave Nectar (I didn’t use this….maybe I should have for more sweetness)
¼ tsp vanilla
8-10 almonds, chopped
3 cups chopped fresh peaches (I had one small peach, so I added two large bananas)
1-2 ice cubes (I added more because I like to ensure that my smoothies are COLD)
¼ tsp nutmeg
I also added half of a large mango because I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough for all four of us. That may have messed with flavoring a bit. But, we ended up with four full glasses!

Blend and enjoy!
Cheers, Jeannie

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Speaking of Avocados.......

Okay, so I'm a little in love with avocados! This idea is similar to yesterday’s post, but with a slight twist.

Guacamole isn’t just for chip-dipping anymore. Try it as a sandwich filling and instead of an appetizer, you’ve got a meal!

Three ripe avocados
Three Roma tomatoes
Lemon juice
Salt and Pepper
Fresh cilantro
Red onion (optional for this recipe)

1. Spoon out the avocados (To make guacamole, you would mash the avocado, but cut into chunks for this one)
2. Dice tomatoes
3. One-two tbsp lemon juice
4. A dash of salt and pepper
5. A half handful of fresh cilantro, chopped (I strongly recommend adding this. In my opinion, it makes the recipe.)
6. A half handful of diced red onions (optional)

Mix it all together and spread it onto one slice of toast to make a sandwich. Add a slice of cheese for more flavor and texture. To round out the perfect summer-fresh lunch, add a bowl of fresh berries! Yum!

Cheers, Jeannie

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Avocado Toast

My friend, Stephanie, introduced me to this yummy snack. It’s perfect for fighting off those mid-afternoon/post-lunch hunger grumblings. Plus, there are several health benefits associated with avocado.

About 75% of an avocado's calories come from fat – stay with me, okay? Those are the “good fats." Avocados also have 60% more potassium than bananas. They are rich in B vitamins, as well as vitamin E and vitamin K. They have a high fiber content among fruits. And - as if it couldn’t get any better - it’s known to promote health skin and hair! (Thanks for the help, Wikipedia!)

Oh, and have I mentioned that this is one EASY recipe? Really, it couldn’t get any easier.

Two slices of whole grain bread, toasted
One ripe avocado (It’s ripe if it’s dark – no green showing on the skin, and soft to the touch)
Natural honey
Sea salt

Spread one half of avocado onto each slice of toast (it’ll be chunky)
Sprinkle some honey across each slice
Pinch of salt on each slice


Evening eating update: Sorry, friends. With a late evening date with hubby, a birthday dinner party, and a wedding this past weekend, I failed miserably. BUT, I ate some reeeeally good food. You understand, right? Starting again tonight.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Grazing: It's Not Just for Cows

We know that one of the best ways to manage a healthy weight and sustain our energy throughout the day is by eating smaller meals more frequently. Grazing on healthy foods throughout the day stabilizes our blood sugar, keeps us satisfied and energizes us for whatever the day throws our way. It's the best way for us to eat but did you know it's also ideal for your toddler?

Being a picky eater is synonymous with being a toddler so how do you get your picky pint-sized person to eat a balanced diet? For starters we need to understand that toddlers are unlikely to sit still long enough to eat a full-blown feast. Snacking their way through the day is more compatible with their busy lifestyle and their tiny tummies.

Dr. Sears developed 17 tactics to tempt little taste buds and minimize mealtime hassles. When you get a chance read the article in its entirety, which also includes a list of wholesome, nutrient-dense foods that most toddlers enjoy.

The first tactic Dr Sears lists is to offer a nibble tray of healthy foods that your toddler can graze on throughout the day. I just purchased this one for the twins and they really love it. I put various fruits, vegetables and whole grain goodies in each compartment and plain yogurt and/or unsweetened applesauce in the dipping tray and then I let them go to town. Even my picky little peanut has been chowing down with her new tray. The tray, and assortment of foods I use, are fun and colorful but I think they mostly like the independence of feeding themselves and deciding which food to dip into which condiment.

Keep in mind that your toddler will still go on self-imposed hunger strikes or fixate on a singular food for what seems like days at a time. Fret not. Dr. Sears says to look at the entire week in determining if your kid has consumed a balanced diet, not a particular day.

He also reminds us that our job is simply to buy the right food, prepare it nutritiously (steamed rather than boiled, baked rather than fried), and serve it creatively. Leave the rest up to the kids. How much they eat, when they eat, and if they eat is mostly their responsibility so we should take neither the credit nor the blame.

Bon Appetite Tiny Tots!

p.s. For those interested in a personal update ... I don't really have one. We are in NoVa enjoying time with family while we *patiently* wait news regarding the status of the work visa. And so we wait. And wait. Our guess is we will still be *patiently* waiting for much of the summer :)
Tra la la.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Having an Organic Panic?

Do you want to buy organic, but fear it’s too expensive?
Don’t fret! Not everything has high levels of pesticide contamination.

The Daily Green recently published a “dirty dozen” list of foods that are recommended to be purchased organic along with a list of foods that are okay to buy conventional. Check it out here.

Here is one interesting fact from the article:

"If consumers get their USDA-recommended 5 daily servings of fruits and veggies from the 15 most contaminated, they could consume an average of 10 pesticides a day. Those who eat the 15 least contaminated conventionally grown produce ingest less than 2 pesticides daily."

In short, buy these organic if you can: (It’s more than a dozen. Don’t ask me!)
Coffee beans
Bell peppers
Leafy Greens
Tomatoes (but this one is iffy – read more on the above link)

The following don’t need to be purchased organic:
Sweet Corn
Sweet peas
Sweet potatoes
Tomatoes (see above)

For the most part, I use the general rule that if the skin if hard (melons, avocados, mangos, etc.), I don’t buy organic.

Regardless of whether you are buying organic or not, keep in mind that it is a good idea to wash all fruits and veggies well (ideally with a fruit wash), especially hard skinned items. This is because the bacteria could spread into the fleshy area of the food when you slice it.

How much of your produce do you buy organic?

Friends and Monkees, I'm off to the mountains for a long weekend. See you back here on Tuesday. (Erin, give us an update on your journey to Australia when you can!)

Cheers, Jeannie

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sweet Potato Fries

Who doesn’t love sweet potato fries!? (If you are ever in the Denver/Boulder area, you must, I repeat, MUST go to the Oskar's Blues Brewery. Their SPF are da bomb....but not as healthy as this one.)

This recipe is so easy, it’s become a staple in our house. And with summer here, this makes a great side at any BBQ.

2-3 medium sized sweet potatoes
Olive oil
Dried thyme and rosemary
Salt and pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Skin potatoes (optional)
Cut potatoes to desired thickness and size
Drizzle olive oil to coat fries
Add rosemary and thyme
Add salt and pepper if desired

Line in a single layer on a greased baking sheet(s).
Bake for 20-22 minutes.
Flip and bake for another 20-22 minutes.

I’ve also made beet fries and they are yummy! You could really try this recipe with any root veggie.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Late Night Villians

Does anyone else have the problem of late night eating?

Seeing as I love to put food, and lots of it, in my mouth at all hours, I decided to challenge myself to not eat anything after 7 pm. Here is a typical night for me:

NW Denver, 8 pm: I’ve had a healthy, scrumptious dinner with my family and I’m so proud of myself for making it through the day having eaten well. I put the kids to bed, finish up with some last minute chores, then plop myself on the couch for a book or to watch some ridiculous reality show (most likely the latter…Bachelorette anyone?).

Then it starts.

The grumblings that very quickly turn into screams for SWEETS, SWEETS, I WANT SWEETS! or GIVE ME SOMETHING SALTY, DAMMIT! I’ll spare you the gory details, but once it starts, it’s hard to stop. The other night it was SIX OREOS and a half bag of a king size bag M&Ms. (I hear you. A half bag, that’s not so bad right? It was only a half bag because I had eaten the first half that afternoon.) Not kidding.
As you may know, late night eating can lead to weight gain. In fact, a synopsis of a study was highlighted recently in the New York Times. Check it out here.

When I give in, I not only feel bloated when I get into bed, but I feel the same the next morning. I really notice a difference on those nights and mornings where I’ve avoided eating. (A cup of hot herbal tea has helped me ward off cravings.) And it’s hard, people!

So, I’m going to see if I can make it an entire week without consuming any calories after 7pm. Let’s see, that would put me at June 22….and I have a wedding to attend this weekend. Crap! Does alcohol count?

Who is with me? Come on, I need some support and I’m happy to provide it too!

Cheers, Jeannie

Monday, June 14, 2010

Tofu: Friend or Foe?

Tofu can be yummy and here is one easy recipe that proves it.

This is yet another delightful dish from Dreena Burton. I've made it several times and each time it leaves me wanting more.

Believe it!

Orange Sesame Tofu


2 tsp arrowroot powder

1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (or, let's face it, pure OJ from a carton works just as well, people)

1 tsp orange zest

3 tbsp tamari (I've used soy sauce as a substitute)

2 tbsp pure maple syrup

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 medium cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

1/8 tsp sea salt

1 pkg extra firm tofu, sliced 1/4-1/2 in thick squares, and patted to remove excess moisture

1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced for garnish

1-2 tbsp sesame seeds for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In an 8x12 inch baking dish, combine arrowroot with 2 tbsp orange juice and stir until fully dissolved. Add remaining juice and ingredients, except tofu, green onions, and sesame seeds, and stir to combine.

Add tofu and turn to coat both sides. Cover and refrigerate to marinate for 1 hour or more, or bake immediately.

To bake, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Turn over tofu, gently stir to cover tofu with sauce, and bake again, uncovered, for another 6-9 minutes, or until sauce thickens and is bubbling at edges.

Remove from oven, sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds, and serve.

I like to serve this with brown basmati rice (cooked in coconut milk with a splash of lime juice) and a sauteed green (spinach or chard). Enjoy!

What do you do with tofu?

Cheers, Jeannie

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Start Your Day with a Bang!

Greetings everyone! I am so excited about this opportunity to share some of my favorite recipes and tips for eating and feeling healthy with you. Thank you, Erin!, for inviting me to co-blog with you. I certainly don’t expect to do half as good a job as our fearless leader - no crazy expectations here! But, I hope you’ll stick with me anyway.

First, a message to our Erin:
Erin, I am sooo excited for you to experience the adventure of moving your family to Australia. Excited and insanely jealous! And as Chimmy said, I’m looking forward to getting some good Aussie recipes. What those might be outside of spreading Vegemite on everything, I have no idea. We will be waiting to hear from you when you get settled moving yourself, your husband, and your two 17 month old twins across the globe. (NOTE: If you eat a few more sweets than usual in the process, we understand. Shoot, I get stressed moving myself 10 miles to work.)

Now, let’s be clear on a few things first….I’m not a professional chef, nutritionist, personal trainer, writer…in fact, I’m not much of a professional at all. (Just ask my coworkers.) I’m just someone who is interested in feeling and looking healthy with the main purpose of having enough energy to handle my two kids day in and day out AND sticking around long enough to show any grandkids I might have someday the world. And I guess it would be nice to look good in a bikini and feel confident and sexy for my husband every once in awhile. More on that later….or not.

If you’ve been around the Full.At.Last shop for awhile, you may remember my guest post earlier in the year. This is a good introduction to my “journey” to eating a plant-based diet. I’m happy to report that my cravings (most of which are given into) are still going strong. Let’s not forget Full.At.Last’s golden words: Progress. Not perfection. It literally has become my motto everyday, but I could always use a good reminder.

In addition to a good cup o’ Joe, I can’t start the day without a tall smoothie. (I’ve often wondered, do you think they just cancel each other out?) In my opinion, it’s a great and easy way to get a good amount of your fruits and veggies for the day. I don’t know about you, but fruit is easy for me to eat. Veggies, not so much. So, as long as I start the day with some veggies, I at least feel like I got something.

Welcome to Jeannie’s Smoothie Series! Because most of the recipes I will share with you come from real chefs, I figured I would start with sharing my own smoothie concoctions; I am a slave to other people’s recipes otherwise. Today, I’ll start with sharing my base for most smoothies. Then, every few posts will be a different smoothie.

1 cup plant milk (I use soy, but have also used nut milks)
A handful of ice
2 ripe bananas
1 pear
2 tbsp of ground flaxseed
A couple handfuls of kale

[Remember Erin’s past posts about kale? It’s a superfood! I NEVER ate kale before reading Erin’s blog, so I started adding it to my smoothies. PS: Don’t be scared. You won’t taste it. Promise.]

Then, I add whatever else I’ve got in the kitchen, at least one or two other fruits and veggies.

The great thing about smoothies is that you don’t have to follow specific measurements. Experiment! You will learn what you like!

A little bonus: The kids LOVE them! So, I don't feel so guilty if I end up serving frozen fish sticks for dinner.

Do you have a favorite smoothie recipe? If so, please send it to Either I or Erin will respond and will share it with our fellow FALsters.

Cheers, Jeannie

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Quinoa Summer Salad

Here it is. The salad I currently salivate for each and every day. Mel posted it in the comment section of the previous post but I felt it deserved a day all to itself. So here it is. Make it. Eat it. Love it.

The Perfect Quinoa Salad

3 Cups Quinoa Cooked & Cooled

3 Sweet Potatoes - diced in 1/4 inch cubes
1 Tbls Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

Toss potatoes in olive oil & Salt & pepper. Roast in the oven on 425 degrees for 30 minutes or until done/golden brown. Remove from oven, cool & add to quinoa.

4 Fresh Corn on the Cob--husks removed
1 TBLS Olive oil
Salt & Pepper

Mix olive oil, salt & pepper in a bowl. Paint corn on the cob with the mix. This is a super fun activity to get the kids involved. It's fun & they can't really mess it up! Roast in the oven with potatoes about 20 minutes or until done. Rotate half way through. Remove from heat, cool & cut off the cob. Add to cooled Quinoa.

2 Bunches of Green Onions - chopped
3 Jalapenos--seeded & chopped
1 tsp olive oil
Salt & Pepper

Sautee green onions & jalapenos on the stove top with a bit of olive oil & salt & pepper until golden. Remove from heat, let cool & add to quinoa.

1 Bag Baby Spinach coarsely chopped
1 cup Pine Nuts

Add spinach & pine nuts to quinoa.

2 TBLS spoon Olive oil
3-4 limes juiced
1/2 cup chopped Cilantro
salt & pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a food processor & pour over the salad. You can always substitute water for the olive oil to make for a lighter version.

Toss it all together & serve either at room temperature or cold. Experiment with all sorts of other ingredients like mango, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, pecans etc.

Enjoy all Summer long!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Vegemite is a dark brown Australian food paste made from yeast extract. It is a spread for sandwiches, toast, crumpets and cracker biscuits, and filling for pastries.

Vegemite is one of the world's richest known sources of B vitamins, specifically thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and folic acid.

I also have a strong suspicion that it does not taste very good. That is just a hunch though as I have never tasted it. However, since we are moving to Australia later this summer I will likely have ample opportunity to try it.

That's right, I said we are MOVING TO AUSTRALIA. Western Australia. Perth to be exact. Eric has a wonderful career opportunity and the twins and I have an equally wonderful opportunity to live in a Mediterranean climate. I'm already planning my wardrobe and considering what my new beach-friendly hair style will look like. Thankfully my husband is concerned with more practical matters like finding housing, shipping our goods, learning to drive on the other side of the road and other minor details.

With that said, we are very busy packing up our home in Steamboat and temporarily relocating back East while we wait for the work visa and the rest of the details to fall into place. The actual move to Australia should take place later this summer.

As such, our very own Jeannie is going to start contributing recipes, tips, tricks and the like to FullAtLast on a fairly regular basis. She's going to keep the torch burning while I attempt to keep my head above water. I will still be posting, as time permits, but we will be hearing more and more from Jeannie which makes sense since so many of my recipes and ideas are "liberated" from her anyway.

I also encourage other readers with a taste and flair for healthy living and cooking to share your recipes and ideas with us. You can still email with your thoughts, inspirations and recipes and either Jeannie or myself will get back to you as soon as possible and/or publish your guest post on the blog.

Finally, I need Mel to send the recipe for the most amazing salad she whipped up this weekend. My mouth waters for this salad. It's a medley of baby spinach leaves, fresh corn, sweet potato, avocado, quinoa and I forget what else, in a tangy little vinaigrette. So delicious. So nutritious. So satisfying.

And, it's another use for quinoa which should make Kelly happy since she has a very large bag of it in her pantry just begging to be used.