Tag Archives: breakfast

Superhero’s Smoothie

It’s been a rough week in the world.  The type of week that makes me wish there were real live superheroes to come save our planet and people when we need it most.
 
Captain Planet…can you head to Japan for a bit?

 

Instead of just focusing on how horrible everything is in Japan, I think it’s also a good time to sit back and think about why you should be happy today.  Here’s my reasons for why I’m smiling this week…

  • RemixYourHealth has an AWESOME March Madness-themed food bracket:  The Belly Buster!  It’s interactive, gives you info you probably didn’t know about your favorite fruits and vegetables, and also provides links to easy recipes.  Just click the link to the bracket (or go to www.remixyourhealth.com) and cast your votes for the produce you think will win.  Very fun.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say Team Spinach all the way!
  • I’m attending a training class this week that focuses on growing leadership skills and learning how to leverage them for the better in your work and personal life.  It’s always fun to meet new people, learn new skills, and get out of “the office” for a while (a.k.a.– the dining room).
  • Flowers, flowers, everywhere.

  • Warmer weather means smoothie time!  My blender has received some quality attention from me lately, and last week I remembered that I used to live with a superhero…  

I worked in Vegas for a summer and during that time lived with a roommate who had a three-year-old son and six-year-old daughter.  These two were quite entertaining, particularly the little boy who tried to convince me that his name was Batman Spiderman and that he could fly and scale walls.  I successfully assisted his mom on multiple occassions in talking him down from bookcases and fireplace mantles that he had climbed atop of, ready to take flight into Gotham City.  One of my tricks that worked like a charm?  This smoothie.

The picture and ingredient list may throw some of you off, but I dare you to try it.  I don’t think I’ve steered you wrong yet with a recipe, so just trust me on this.  And if a three-year-old asks for seconds, I’m hoping you will, too.

Superhero’s Smoothie
Serves 2 

1 frozen or fresh banana
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup fresh spinach leaves (if using frozen, you’ll need ½ to ¾ cup)
½ of a ripe, small avocado
1 cup skim milk of choice
¼ to ½ cup water
10 or so ice cubes
sweetener of choice (such as 1 tsp. sugar or ¼ tsp. vanilla extract)

 

Place first 5 ingredients in a blender and blend on low until smooth (depends on your blender speed, but about 30 to 45 seconds).  Add in ice cubes, water, and sweetener if desired, and blend on high for about 45 seconds.  Once blended to a smooth consistency, split into two glasses and enjoy!

 

If after consuming you feel the need to climb walls or jump from tall objects, please refrain from acting on your impulses. 

And in case you want to be a superhero to someone else, here’s a list of charities you can donate to in order to help those in Japan.

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Baked Chocolate “Donuts”…Oh My

“How bad is it if my dinner consists only of chocolate donuts?”

After conducting a quality control test of the batter (always a necessary step) and then the final product of my experiment, I was so incredibly satisfied that I had to send the above text message right away.  Partly because I was ecstatic that I baked something that didn’t feel as hard as a brick when finished, and partly because I knew that if I didn’t keep my fingers busy with something besides these donuts, there wouldn’t be any left to take pictures of.  Oh my, my, these are fantastic. 

I have to warn you that these are not your typical donuts.  If you are envisioning steamy Krispy Kreme glazed beauties to pop out of the oven…stop.  These looked more like cupcakes (I don’t own a donut pan and didn’t really want to go buy one) but they taste just like cake donuts from Dunkin’.  Nutmeg is the key ingredient to this flavor, so don’t leave it out!

If you have a donut pan, go on and use it.  But by no means is it necessary.  Once topped with a quick and easy chocolate glaze, you will see the beauty in these giant, baked donut-holes and will probably wish to make them your dinner, as well.  Seeing as it’s Valentine’s Day, I think chocolate for dinner is perfectly acceptable.


Baked Chocolate Donuts
Makes 9 to 10 “donuts”

Adapted from King Arthur Flour recipe

7/8 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 ¼ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. kosher salt
dash of ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp. plain non-fat yogurt 
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1. Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl and set aside.
2.  Using a hand mixer (or just a whisk), mix yogurt, eggs, and oil in a small bowl until well combined and foamy.
3.  Add the wet ingredients into the dry, and mix until just combined.  Batter will be thick and very gooey.

4.  Heat oven to 375 F, and grease muffin pan (or donut pan) with butter or cooking spray.
5.  Fill cups half-way with dough.
6.  Bake for 7 to 10 minutes.  Check every minute once they reach the 7-minute mark (all ovens are different).  You know they’re ready when you gently touch the tops and the dough springs back without sinking. 
7.  Let rest for 5 minutes before gently removing from muffin cups and placing on a cooling rack.


Quick Chocolate Glaze
1 Tbsp. butter or margarine
¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. milk

1.  In a small saucepan, heat butter and chocolate chips over medium-low until chips are melted.
2.  Beat in sugar and milk.  Until just combined.
3.  Drizzle glaze over donuts while still warm.  Let rest for 5 minutes to harden.

“All I need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” – Lucy van Pelt, from Peanuts by Charles Schulz

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Nuts About Nutella

Today is World Nutella Day!  Which means that I spent a good portion of my morning fantasizing about flaky crêpes filled with the rich, gooey, chocolate hazelnut spread and banana slices.  I fell in love with that in France, and rarely have had the combination here in the States.  Not that it’s hard to re-create, but there’s something about eating thin, messy pancakes while walking by l’Arc de Triomphe that just can’t be matched on this side of the Atlantic.  The closest thing to the Eiffel Tower in this country can be found in the holy land known as Las Vegas at the Paris Hotel and Casino.  It’s easier to find craps there than crêpes. 

But here’s a little slice of Paris for you.  Much easier to make than a crêpe, and almost as delicious:  a Nutella and banana sandwich.  I swear that me making this tonight has everything to do with it being World Nutella Day and absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I have 4 overly ripe bananas sitting on my kitchen counter right now. 

Nutella and Banana Sandwich

2 slices of whole wheat bread
1 Tbsp. of butter
2 to 3 Tbsp. Nutella (or more…no one will know)
½ banana, sliced

1.  Heat a pan over medium heat and spray with cooking spray (or use butter).  While heating, spread one side of each slice of bread with butter.
2.  Carefully flip over one of the bread slices and spread Nutella on opposite side.
3.  When pan is hot, place the bread with both butter and Nutella in the pan (butter side down).
4.  Spread banana slices over the Nutella and top with the remaining slice of bread (leaving the butter side up).

Hello, Lovely.

5.  Cook for 4 minutes until the bottom slice has browned to a nice golden color.
6.  Flip carefully, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
7.  Remove from pan, slice in half, and enjoy with a big glass of milk. 

Much cheaper than a flight to Paris.

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