Smoothie Bag and the Kale Cubes

Overripe bananas? Opened can of pineapple? Too much fruit salad? Costco sized tub of baby spinach? All of these are perfect candidates for the Smoothie Bag! Having smoothie ingredients in the freezer ready to go makes mornings easier and helps keep the fridge clean. In my freezer I have a 2 gallon Ziploc bag, full of quart sized bags, full of bananas and frozen cubes of fruit and veggies. I bought a silicone ice-cube tray that is just right.
Yesterday I used the last of my fresh baby spinach, but not to worry I have kale in the fridge. I have left kale in the fridge until it turned into a bag of green slime and I don’t want that to happen again. So, I decided to make kale cubes. It’s a bit like baby food, except that I didn’t cook the kale. (And I don’t remember ever trying to feed my babies kale.)

Kale Cubes

1/4 Cup orange juice, plus more for pulsing
fresh kale, rinsed and ribs removed

We’ve all watched Rachael Ray remove the stems from kale, right? Just lightly pinch the leaf and gently pull the stem. Rinse and drain the de-stemmed kale. Pour 1/4 cup of OJ into the blender, grab a small handful of kale and blend away. When the first handful is blended grab another and add it to the blender. Keep blending and adding more kale until you have added and blended all the kale (in the house).

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Pour the lovely green gunge into an ice tray and pop it in the freezer.

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Next morning you have perfectly portioned kale cubes to green up any smoothie!

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T-Tapp done. Goodness, how can I be glowing after only 15 minutes? I am perhaps a bit out of shape. I can’t even imagine trying to do a full hour workout.
Http://www.t-tapp.com

Now on to the smoothie.

Green Smoothie #2
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup pineapple tidbits in juice
1 Tablespoon Spirulina powder
1/2 cup strawberries (I use frozen)
1/4 cup blueberries (frozen again)
1 banana (frozen, unless you have an overripe one on the counter)
1 Tablespoon coconut spread (also called coconut cream concentrate @ Tropical Traditions)
1 cup baby spinach

Blend it all up and slurp down something that resembles wet concrete.
Color is the reason I usually add chocolate to smoothies for my kids. Plus, chocolate covers a multitude of flavors.

 

Day 1 T-Tapp and Green Smoothie Challenge

I have got to do something if I want to get through the holidays and still fit into my jeans.  My plan is to do T-Tapp 15 minutes each morning (unless I get super enthused and do 55 min) followed by a green smoothie.  I should also make sure to drink water throughout the day, no soda, no fast-food and NO SUGAR.  Well, let’s start slow.  I once gave up dessert for Lent, just dessert, I was drinking hot chocolate every day and eating cinnamon sugar toast and trying to get all the sugar I could, but no actual desserts, I lost 15 pounds!  I might have a sugar problem.  I know I have a sugar problem, but I can’t face the idea of giving up sugar.  Enough about the sugar!  I have done my T-Tapp and I better make a smoothie before I make myself chocolate waffles with coconut syrup (I’ll post a recipe later).

Green Smoothie #1
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup orange juice
1 ripe banana
1/4 cup pineapple tidbits in juice
1 cup baby spinach
1 Tablespoon coconut spread (Healthy Traditions)
Blend all together and then add 4-5 ice cubes and blend again

Dairy-free Tuna Noodle Casserole

The thing about traditional tuna noodle casserole is that it is easy.  Dump a can of tuna and a can of cream of something soup in a dish with noodles, bake and it’s done.  The dairy-free version takes a bit more time, but looks, smells and tastes better than something out of a can.

Dairy-Free Tuna Noodle Casserole                                                                 

Loosely adapted from Joy of Cooking

 

2 Tbsp dairy-free margarine or coconut oil

1 ½ C unsweetened coconut milk

¼ C finely chopped onion

2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

¼ C finely diced red or green bell peppers

1/2 to 3/4 C Daiya cheddar-style shreds (optional)

1 or 2  7-ounce cans white tuna

2 C cooked egg noodles

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

½ C crushed potato chips

Preheat oven to 375°.  Grease a 1 ½ to 2-quart shallow baking dish.  Melt margarine or oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add bell peppers and onion.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are just tender, about 5 minutes.  Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.  Add milk, whisk and cook until the sauce comes to a boil and is thickened, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and add cheese, whisk until melted.  If sauce is too thick add more milk.  Drain tuna, stir into the hot cheese sauce then add noodles and salt and pepper.  Stir together well and pour into baking dish.  Sprinkle chips over the top.  Bake until bubbly and browned on top, 25-30 minutes.

Fall French Manicure

Manicure

Before I became a mom (a lifetime ago) I went to cosmetology school.  I worked at an Aveda salon and I loved it.  Now when I get the kids in bed I play “Beauty Shop”.  I used CND Shellac for this manicure; Rubble and Studio White.  I used striping tape on my ring finger to make a nude channel for the amber gems.  I think this would work in a variety of colors.  Black and white, red and white, black and red, hmm I might need to redo my nails tomorrow.

I make most of my skin products myself.   I have cleared my cupboard of sulfates and parabens.  I prefer natural and organic and hippy-dippy weirdo stuff, but I don’t like naked nails.  I want my nails painted and my hair lightened (or darkened, depending on my mood).  People are complex.

Thyroid Support Smoothie

I might have a thyroid problem.  My mother had thyroid problems, my aunts and grandmother have all had issues with their thyroid.  I have been tested and my thyroid levels are within normal range.  Which is good because I don’t want to take medication anyway.  However, I do have symptoms that can be caused by low thyroid.  On several websites I found lists of nutrients that support thyroid function and I used those lists to come up with a smoothie.  Pretty sure if I exercised every day and drank one of these smoothies I would feel a lot better.  Hmm, I’ll work on that.

November Menu

The words my husband hates to hear: “What would you like for dinner?”  If I am ever foolish enough to utter these words to my beloved I will hear a sarcastic response involving “hazelnut crusted” or “lobster stuffed” something or other.  Every month I print out a new menu to hang on our fridge.  I may not follow the menu to the day, but it gives me some ideas of what to make for dinner.  And if nothing else, visitors might be impressed by the menu displayed on the fridge!