Archive for July, 2012

Easy Spinach Soup

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

 

“Souper” Easy Spinach Soup

Serves 1 as a meal or 2 as an appetizer

 

 

  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup cucumber (peeled if not organic), chopped
  • ½ of an avocado
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice (about ¼ of a large lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons light miso, unpasteurized
  • 1 inch of ginger, peeled
  • ¼ cup fresh basil
  • 1 – 1 ½ cups filtered water
  • Few pinches of sea salt to taste

 

For an extra punch – sprinkle in a bit of cayenne pepper – careful though, a little goes a long way!

 

Put everything in a high speed blender ( like a Vitamix ) and  blend until smooth.  Eat immediately, but this soup is also good chilled.

Will keep for 1-2 days in refrigerator in an airtight glass container.

 

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Zucchini Noodles with Basil & Walnut Pesto

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Summer harvest is in full swing and we are knee deep in zucchini and basil. Here is a recipe to use garden goodies in raw style!

 

4 medium zucchini, washed and unpeeled
1 medium clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp. salt
1 cup walnuts
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups tightly packed basil leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ ripe avocado

Process garlic and salt into small pieces in the food processor.  Add nuts and process into small pieces. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth.

Spiralize the zucchini into thin noodles using a vegetable spiralizer.  Mix about ½ to 2/3 of the pesto into the noodles with your hands.  I like to serve the noodles over mixed baby greens lightly dressed with simple Italian style dressing.  Enjoy!


Fat Blast days 3 & 4

Monday, July 16th, 2012

The Fat Blast continues! I was worried this weekend would pose a real challenge because I was entertaining on Saturday, but  I came up with a few strategies to keep me from failing.

Once again, my Blast partner, Kathy, and I met to pre-assemble the recipes for the next 3 days. Putting the ingredients for each recipe in its own plastic bag or container worked very well for days 1 and 2, so we repeated the process for day 3, 4, and 5. Day 4 of Ani’s 15 Day Fat Blast marks the beginning of Phase 2, or the Melt Down phase. This phase introduces foods with probiotics, like miso, sauerkraut, capers, and nutritional yeast, and the flavor of the food does get more interesting.

The recipes are still easy, with only a blender needed, and some time washing and chopping produce. Kathy and I spent about an hour prepping for this phase. My favorite recipe from day 4 was the Easy Being Green Salad, hands down. I loved the combination of raw sauerkraut and capers!

Once again, I must confess to some cheating, or maybe I should call it “tinkering.” Because I was entertaining and wanted to sit down and eat with my guests, I skipped the two snack shakes on Day 3, and ate corn on the cob, a slice of watermelon, and zucchini noodles with pistachio pesto. Since the food was still raw and vegan, I figured it wouldn’t substantially hurt my progress. I also made a pitcher of my favorite mojitos, with sake, champagne, fresh lime juice, mint, and agave. Do be careful if you drink alcohol on this diet. One glass and I could definitely feel the effects.

If the first four days are any indication of the weight lose trajectory, it may be possible to lose 15 pounds on the Ani’s 15 Day Fat Blast. I weighed in this morning and I lost an additional three pounds over the weekend! That brings the total up to 4.7 pounds in 4 days. If I had followed the plan exactly, I’m sure I would have lost more. If I continue to lose about a pound a day, I’ll have to stop after Day 6, because I will have reached my optimal weight, but I will continue to try the recipes in the book for new ideas and twists on what I typically eat.

I’m off to enjoy my Pomegranate Blueberry Salad.  Have a great day!

Jennifer
 

 


Yummy Kale Salad

Friday, July 13th, 2012

This is one of our favorite salads.  It’s super easy to make and kids like it too.  It’s so colorful and is a great salad to bring to a party.  Enjoy!

Yummy Kale Salad

Makes about 8 cups

Serves 4 as a side or 2 as a dinner

 

 Salad

  • 6 cups chopped curly Kale
  • 1-2 plum tomatoes, halved and sliced thin
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries or cherries
  • ¼ cup Thompson raisins or currants
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cut sunflower seeds

Lemon Dressing

  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ tablespoon sea salt – I like Celtic Sea Salt
  • Ground pepper to taste

Green Vinaigrette

  • 1 small bunch scallions – green tops only
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup agave nectar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar

Chiffonade and chop the kale.  Put the kale into your salad bowl and massage gently to soften.  Add the tomatoes, cranberries or cherries and raisins.

To make the lemon dressing, whisk the lemon juice, sea salt and pepper together.  Then slowly add the olive oil while whisking.  Pour the dressing onto the salad and toss to combine.  Put in the fridge for a bit, and the kale will wilt a little more.  When ready to serve, add the pine nuts and sunflower seeds and toss.

When serving at a party, I like to use the green vinaigrette because it is pretty and decorative.  This is actually a great dressing on a lot of salads.  Put the scallions, agave, vinegar and olive oil in the blender.  Mix on high until completely blended.  Put into a bottle or squeeze bottle and pour decoratively on top of the salad.  You can even decorate with thinly sliced cucumbers!


Fat Blast, Days 1 & 2

Friday, July 13th, 2012

I enlisted my friend, Kathy, to do Ani Phyo’s 15 Day Fat Blast (look for it on our SHOP page, under the Books & DVD category). Always better to have moral support and accountability!  We got together and washed, chopped and measured all of the produce for the first two days of the Fat Blast. We put the ingredients for each individual smoothie in a plastic bag, leaving out the water and ice. This only took about half an hour, and we were ready for the next two days. That is fast food!

Yesterday, I woke up, dumped plastic bag #1 in the blender and added ice and water.  Done!  The Blueberry Blast is delicious, and the combination of fruit, nuts, coconut oil and cinnamon reminded me of granola.  I really enjoyed all of the smoothies and soups on the first day, except for the Spicy Bok Choy Soup.  It wasn’t bad, I’m just not crazy about bok choy, so if I make it again, I’ll use different greens.

Today is Day 2, and I weighed myself first thing this morning.  I lost 1.75 pounds.  Okay!  I have to be honest and fess up that I ate some raw granola on Day 1, and had a small glass of wine, but I still lost weight.  I’ll try to not cheat today!

This morning I made the Simple Strawberry Shake. Very good, and my daughter gave it a thumbs up as well.  Next up is the mid morning snack, Apple Green Mar-tea-ni.  Kathy and I are meeting again this afternoon to prep our food for the weekend.  I highly recommend this method.  It keeps me out of the kitchen and away from temptation!  I’m also drinking plenty of water to help with the “flush”.

Have a great weekend!

Jennifer


Ani Phyo for 15-Days

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

The July 4th holiday has come and gone and, after a week of celebration, I desperately feel the need to reboot! With Independence Day falling on a Wednesday this year, it seemed as though I had an abundance of party options, and I took advantage of them all! I didn’t eat terribly, but I certainly ate and drank much too much.

A few weeks ago, I bought Ani Phyo’s latest book, Ani’s 15-Day Fat Blast: The Kick-Ass Plan to Get Lighter, Tighter, and Sexier . . . Super Fast.  The 15-Day plan is divided into three phases, Shake It Up, Melt Down, and Blast Off.  The recipes look easy, with most of them requiring only a blender.  All the ingredients are fresh, whole, raw, and vegan. The idea is to speed up the fat burning process and weight loss by eating all natural ingredients.  Sounds good to me!  I lost 18 pounds in the first 7 weeks I went raw, nearly two and half years ago now.  I don’t know if 15 lbs. in 15 days is very realistic (the book says “up to 15 lbs.”) and I only want to get back on the straight and narrow, but I’ll keep track of my weight loss as well.

Since I need to get back on the wagon anyway, I’ll start the plan and see how far I get.  I eased in today by making my favorite green smoothie (kale, mango, and banana with a shot of E3Live hemp protein powder with maca powder) for breakfast.  For lunch I decided to try the Kreamy Tomato Gazpacho soup on page 144.  It isn’t a Phase I recipe, but since I’m not “officially” starting until tomorrow and I had tomatoes on the counter that are ripe, I decided to jump ahead.

It may be called soup, but I put it in glass and drank it like a smoothie.  The recipe makes about 2 cups, and adding in fresh jalapeño or cayenne powder is an option (I went with jalapeño, since I had one in stock).  The flavor of the soup was great, but I thought it needed salt (even though there is miso paste) so I added about a quarter teaspoon.  I would also cut down on the coconut oil, because coconut oil has a strong flavor to me.  Other people may not notice it or think its too strong, just a personal preference.

I’ll keep you updated as the week progresses.  Happy July 4th!

Jennifer