Friday, July 23, 2010

Calling All Island Lovers

This one comes from Erin. Neither of us has tried it yet, so who will be the first to provide a review? I can hear the waves crashing already!

Tropical Smoothie (from Natural Health Magazine):

1 cup frozen mango
1 cup frozen pineapple
1 cup frozen peaches
1.5 cups coconut water (See below for more info about this oh-so-good-for-you drink)
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoon agave nectar (Maybe not necessary with all that fruit? You could also add honey instead.)

Friends, meet Coconut Water: It's a good electrolyte replacement after workouts without the sugar and crap of sports drinks. Also, it's lower in calories and fat than coconut milk. Plus, it's a good source of MCFA (medium chain fatty acids), which are good for brain development. Aren't we all in need of a little brain developing? I just bought my first carton of coconut water this week...looking forward to giving it a try!

Surf's Up!

Cheers, Jean

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Soda Incident

Hi folks,

Remember these posts?

Erin sent me this as a reminder awhile back. For your reading pleasure:

Speaking of, I hear Erin's dad is still soda free, correct Erin/Erin's dad? Three cheers for Dad, everyone!

Cheers, Jeannie

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bangkok Coconut Rice and Black Beans

So, first and foremost, gambling is fun. Too fun, in fact. But, it’s the most fun when you are gambling with someone else’s money. Yep, love that. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean you automatically come out ahead; it just makes going home a bit easier. So sad.

Anyway, onto a new tasty recipe.

Try this one on for size. It’s easy, light, and flavorful. And it makes a crapload, so make sure there’s room in the fridge for leftovers.

Bangkok Coconut Rice and Black Beans
(from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vegan Living)

If you’ve ever wonder who buys the Idiot’s series books, that would be me. Sometimes, I just need things to be easy, k?

4 cups filtered water
2 cups brown basmati or jasmine rice
2 tbsp ginger, peeled, and grated (I used ground)
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
½ c canned coconut milk (I used lite)
Juice of 1 orange (equivalent to about 2 oz)
Juice of 2 limes (equivalent to 1-2 tbsp; I used two because I love the lime flavor)
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
½ c red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, and diced
½ c orange bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, and diced
½ c green onions, thinly sliced
½ c chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 c sliced almonds

1. In a large saucepan, combine water, basmati rice, ginger, garlic, sea salt, and black pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes or until all water is absorbed and tiny holes appear on top of rice. (Mile high folks, plan for 30 minutes.) Remove from heat, leave covered, and set aside for 10 minutes to allow rice to steam.

2. Transfer rice to a large bowl, and fluff with a fork to loosen grains. Add coconut milk, orange juice, lime juice, and toasted sesame oil; toss gently to combine. Add black beans, red bell pepper, orange bell pepper, green onions, cilantro, and almonds; gently fold to combine.

3. Serve plain or on a bed of chopped greens.

Idiot’s Variation: Chill rice mixture in the fridge for 1 hour or more and eat as a cold salad on a bed of chopped mixed greens.

Note: I reeeeally like rice cooked in coconut milk and was a little disappointed in how little coconut milk this recipe called for, so I added more to the mixture after it was all put together. In the future, I might half the amount of water and use more coconut milk to make up the difference. However, there is something to be said for adding coconut milk AFTER the rice has cooked in its liquid, so I would probably still add a little bit at the end.
PS: Check here to learn about the health benefits of coconut milk.

Overall, I really like this recipe and will definitely make it again. As an added bonus, your kitchen will smell like ginger for at least a couple hours. Mmmmm….Thanks Idiot’s!

Cheers, Jeannie

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Gimme a face card!

Hi friends,
I don’t have a recipe to share today because I was in Black Hawk late last night.

Details to follow.

But, I am trying a new recipe this afternoon. It involves coconut rice and black beans. Look in tomorrow for the recipe.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Veggie Meat

No, not Vege-MITE – that’s Erin's job. I’m talking about vegetable meat…the Portobello mushroom!

I have always loved burgers and Portobello mushrooms. Problem is I never made a mushroom sandwich for myself before a year ago. That’s because I’ve always preferred to make myself a beef burger.
I started experimenting with those big mushrooms when I committed myself to eating healthier. And, I learned that not only is it super easy to grill/sauté a mushroom, but it is super delish! Plus, here’s the cool part, I don’t feel so heavy and weighed down as I would after eating a burger! Thus, this meal has become a staple in our house. (Not sure the kids have caught on yet, but there's hope.)
Plus, here are some fun facts about mushrooms:
  • 1 medium Portobello mushroom contains more potassium than a banana.
  • Mushrooms are a rich source of riboflavin, niacin, and selenium. Selenium is an antioxidant that works with vitamin E to protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals.
  • Research shows that people who swap out beef for a mushroom consumed 400 fewer calories.
  • Mushrooms contain 80-90% water and are very low in calories.
  • They have very little sodium and fat, and 8-10% of the dry weight is fiber.
  • Mushrooms are the only known vegetable that contains Vitamin D in edible form.
  • Mushrooms provide you with lean protein.
  • They are rich in calcium and iron.
  • Do you need anymore reasons to give mushrooms a try?

    Whatcha need:

    -1 full Portobello mushroom or 3-4 mushroom slices (Depends how your grocery store sells them.)
    -1 whole grain hamburger bun
    -A slice or two of roasted red peppers (drained and patted to remove excess liquid)
    -A handful of greens (I like spinach or a spring mix)
Optional items:
-A spread (I often use Almond-Roasted Red Pepper Hummus.)
-A slice of mozzarella cheese (Despite my vegan tendencies, this is actually reeeeally yummy with it .)
Whatcha do:

1. Wash the mushroom and pull off the stem.
2. Brush both sides with ~1 tsp of olive oil.
a. Saute in a lightly oiled pan on medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side. (You can tell that it’s done when it starts to feel “soft” and gets a bit darker in color.)
b. Grill on the BBQ for a similar amount of time. (This is pretty tasty.)
4. Put all of the above ingredients together to make a sandwich.
5. I’ve been known to add the following as sides:
a. Grilled corn on the cob
b. Green salad
c. Sweet potato fries
d. Apple slices

Tip: Chopped Portobello mushrooms also make a GREAT pizza topping!

What is your favorite way to eat Portobello mushrooms?
Cheers, Jeannie
PS: So sorry that I've been out of touch with you all. I have been working more than usual and we had family in town for almost two weeks. I hope I can get back in the game this week! Stay tuned.