vegan

Kiwi, Kale & Apple Smoothie

Kiwi Kale Apple Smooth The Tasty Fork

Hi Everyone!! I’m so happy to back and sharing recipes with you. My bloggy break was a little longer than expected. My mother in-law passed away right after Christmas and I wanted to spend as much time as I could with my husband’s family. As tough of a time it was letting her go, we still managed to have fun as a family. We went to the movies, joined a gym, hosted a New Year’s Eve party and ate a ton of food.

I spent a lot of time with my sister in-law, Janet, during the past few weeks. She truly is one of my favorite people. She’s enthusiastic about everything and has such a great spirit! We probably stimulated the Fort Wayne economy with our daily shopping trips. (We both love shopping malls but rarely get to them since we live in big cities.) On one of our shopping trips, Janet was tempted to buy a Vitamix blender. This is partly my fault; I’m obsessed with mine and always talk about how much I love it. After not being able to find a juice bar in Fort Wayne, Janet was more than ready to buy it but her inner spending demon told her just to wait. Good Girl — because when she returned to Hoboken, Santa had left her a Vitamix underneath the tree.

I got home from Fort Wayne on Saturday and one of the first things I needed to do was make some healthy smoothies for the week. Only eating one food group (casseroles!) for the past 2 weeks, my body needed to get back to healthy eating. And since everyone is still into their New Year’s resolutions, I thought posting a green smoothie recipe would be great!

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Did you know you need 9 serving of fruits and vegetables a day?? 9!!! It seems pretty overwhelming. But when you drink your fruits & veggies, it makes it a lot easier. This Green Smoothie is vibrant in color and rich in healthy foods. It tastes great!! I like to make large batches and store individual servings in the fridge so I always have some on hand. This smoothie will keep in the fridge for 3 days in an airtight container.

Head to your produce isle and stock up on your produce. Getting your 9 servings of fruits & veggies just got easier.

meghan sig

 

Kiwi, Kale & Apple Smoothie

  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 pear, cut into chunks
  • 1 orange, peeled and halved
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 green apple, seeded
  • 2 kiwi, peeled and halved
  • 1 cup kale, ribs removed
  • 1 cup romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup parsley
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 2-3 ice cubes

Directions:

Put all ingredients into the blender and puree until smooth. If you don’t have a powerful blender, that’s fine, just cut the fruits and veggies into smaller pieces.

kiwi apple kale smoothie the tasty fork

Roasted Red Pepper & Basil Hummus with Baked Tortilla Chips

Hummus is a product I always have in my fridge. It’s pretty convenient since all stores carry it and they have a variety of flavors. After making my own hummus, I doubt I’ll ever buy it at the store again. This is a cheap & easy recipe — Paying $3-5 for an 8 ounce container of hummus is just silly. If you’re a hummus lover, please stop the insanity with me and just make your own!

I decided to make Roasted Red Pepper & Basil Hummus. I had both of the main ingredients on hand, but really, you can make any kind of hummus you want. The main ingredients you need to make hummus are chickpeas, tahini & olive oil. Tahini is a sesame paste and it can be tricky to find. The only store by me that carried it was Whole Foods. Tahini can be stored in your fridge for 6 months. If you’re like me and forget when you buy things, be sure to write the date on the container so you know how long you can use it. (I also do that with cheese!)

This recipe is so easy to make. Throw all of the ingredients in the blender and blend. That’s it.

Then you have this.

Roasted red pepper & basil go so great together. This hummus so thick & creamy. But the best part about it is how fresh it tastes! That’s the reason why I’ll never buy hummus in the store again. A store bought brand can’t compete!

How do you like to eat hummus? It really is a versatile food but I love it as a healthy dip. Veggies are great with hummus but sometimes I want some carbs. Instead of having calorie loaded chips & crackers, make your own baked tortilla chips. All you need are tortillas cut into triangles, cooking spray and your favorite spices. I really like cumin & a little salt. They bake for 10 minutes and then you have your own baked tortilla chips. The chips are super crispy! This is a great way to use up tortillas before they get too stale.

This recipe makes 3 cups and will last 7-10 days in your fridge. I hope after making your own hummus, you’ll never go back to the store bought stuff!

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

  • 1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas/garbanzo beans, rinsed & drained
  • 12 oz. jar of roasted red peppers, drained
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • Garlic, 2 cloves
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Basil, 8 leaves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Directions:

All ingredients go into the blender. Blend until smooth. Refrigerate for 3 hours before it’s served.

Baked Tortilla Chips

  • Tortillas
  • Cooking spray
  • Your favorite spices (I used cumin)
  • Salt

Directions:

Turn oven onto 350 degrees. Cut tortillas in half, and then each half into thirds. You should have a triangle shaped chip. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Place tortillas on the baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Season chips with salt & the spice you selected. Bake for 10 minutes.

Cleanse Wrap Up and Citrus & Ginger Smoothie

I’m happy to report I made it through my 3 day cleanse of only eating fruits & vegetables. Excluding the evening of Day 2, I felt great! I have a lot of energy and I feel lighter. I lost the 5 lbs I gained from the honeymoon, which is awesome so my jeans fit again. :)

I had some additional fruits & veggies in my fridge this morning, so I thought I’d give this cleanse one more day. Mr. Tasty isn’t coming home until this evening, so I probably won’t be cooking for us until tomorrow.

There are a few reasons why I succeed & stuck with my plan to cleanse.

  • I had no other food to eat in my house besides fruits & veggies. This is a huuuge element of my sucess. I think if I had different types of food around, I would of caved.
  • Mr. Tasty wasn’t home. Yes, it was sad to send him off on Sunday, but when he’s not home, I tend to eat a lot better.
  • I made a commitment and proclaimed it on the blogosphere. Letting others know about a goal you have makes you more accountable.

Has there been a time when you made a commitment to something difficult and you succeed?? If you didn’t succeed, what got in your way?

Alright, onto the last smoothie post I’ll make for a looong time. This morning, I made a Citrus & Ginger Smoothie. I also threw in a couple carrots. (Yay, no more green smoothies!) This smoothie is loaded with vitiman C and it tastes great. When I took my first sip, the smoothie reminded me of a Dreamicle… well, more like a Dreamicle who had an Asian cousin. The ginger gives the smoothie a little kick. I wish I would of made this recipe sooner in the cleanse. Ginger can help with headaches and I really could of used some help on Day 2.

I can see myself making this smoothie again. I think this would be a great smoothie to have when you’re coming down with the cold. The vitiman C and ginger can help aid colds. Overall, the smoothie is really good and I really like the zing from the ginger.

Citrus & Ginger Smoothie

* 2 oranges, peeled

* 1 cup pineapple

* 1/2 banana

* 2 carrots

* 1 tsp minced ginger

* 2 oz cold water

Directions:

Put all ingredients in the blender. Blend until completely smooth. Serve cold (you may want to add ice to the blender if you’re going to drink it right away) or store in an airtight container up to 3 days.

I hope you like this one as much as I did!

Bucket List 2012: 3 day cleanse, Day 3

Pineapple Green Smoothie

Here I am. On to-day 3 of my cleanse. I’m not gonna lie, last night was rough. I got the “cleansing headache” which wouldn’t go away until I went to bed. I tried eating some fruit and drinking more water, but nothing was helping my head feel better. I guess it’s good I don’t have any food in my house besides fruits & vegetables. I think I might have gone on a food binge just to make myself feel better….. but I can understand why I wasn’t feeling my best. I haven’t had any caffeine, meat, dairy or grains. My body is giving me a big WTHeck.

This morning I woke up feeling great, so I’m glad I stuck it out. I worked out first thing in the morning and I had a lot of energy. Mr. Tasty isn’t coming home until Thursday evening & I’m thinking I’ll do this cleanse for one more day.

Today I made a smoothie which reminded me of my honeymoon. While we were in Hawaii, we ate so much pineapple. I love pineapple but this was the best pineapple I’ve ever eaten in my life. Every place we ate had it. The pineapple scent was so strong, you could smell it before you even took a bite. The Pineapple Green Smoothie I made this morning was very tropical tasting. I plan on making it more often because it jump starts so many memories of our time in Hawaii.

This smoothie has a lot of fruit in it – Grapefruit, Kiwi, Banana & Pineapple. The green color comes from adding 2 handfuls of spinach. When blending, don’t stop until the smoothie is free from chunks. It took about a minute of blending in the Vitamix to make sure the mixture was completely smooth.

Pineapple Green Smoothie

1 Grapefruit, peeled & deseeded

2 Kiwis, peeled

2 cups of cubed pineapple

1/2 of a banana

2 cups (handfuls) of spinach

4 oz cold water

Directions:

Put all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Serve cold. Can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Bucket List 2012: 3 Day Cleanse, Day 2

One day down, two more to go. Honestly, it hasn’t been that bad. I thought I’d be calling Papa Johns last night while watching bad reality TV, but it turns out I have more will power than I thought. Go me!

Yesterday I finished off all of the Glowing Green Smoothie I had made for the day. I felt fulfilled and there are so many fruits & veggies in this smoothie. Plus, it tastes really good!

Today I was ready to try something different. I looked in my fridge to see what was in there. Granted, I haven’t grocery shopped since the week we left for Hawaii. I wasn’t expecting to find much but I did see some grapefruits in my crisper. I forgot I received 6 grapefruits from Harry & David. Since I’m the type of girl who believes in “use what you have,” I knew grapefruits would be incorporated into a couple of my smoothies.  Not a bad item to have on hand. Grapefruits have been known to regulate blood sugar, lowers cholesterol levels and aids in cancer prevention. Some studies have proven that grapefruits help people to loose weight.

This morning I made a Grapefruit & Banana Smoothie. The banana really cuts the bitterness of the grapefruit and gives it a smooth consistency. I really want all of the smoothies I make to have fruits & veggies in them, so I added 2 handfuls of spinach. It gave the smoothie a bright green color and spinach is a very nutrient dense food.

As with all citrus fruit, I routinely remove the seeds and peel them.  With grapefruit, you can leave as much of the pith on to get extra fiber and nutrients.  Always discard the outer peel.

So I put all of the ingredients in my Vitamix along with some water and I got this…..

 Isn’t it pretty??!! I really liked this smoothie. I’m glad I made enough for 2 servings so I can have some more later. Really, don’t let the sour taste of grapefruit steer you away from this smoothie. The banana really does sweeten the drink. I hope you try it!

Grapefruit Banana Smoothie

1 grapefruit, peeled and deseeded

1 banana, peeled

2 cups fresh baby spinach (or other leafy green)

4 ounces of water

a few cubes of ice, optional

Directions:

Put all items in your blender and blend. Drink immediately or store in an air tight container for up to 3 days.

Bucket List 2012: 3 day cleanse, Day 1

I’m back from Hawaii. I got used to having this view.

And this one…

And just because I want to torment you, this is a beauty too…

And now I’m back in Chicago. I won’t bother posting a picture. Just imagine nothing but gray skies, slushy streets and blustery cold. Depressing, isn’t it?

I did have a wonderful time and now that I’m back, it’s time for me to get back in with reality. There is nothing like coming home from vacation, trying on you jeans and thinking “WOWZA, these bad boys are tight!”  That’s my life right now.

When I was in Hawaii, I ate everything I wanted and drank every fruity drink you could think of. I figured its vacation and who knows when I would have the opportunity to eat this region’s cuisine again. So I went for it — all of it. And now I have to deal with it.

If you read one of my past posts about a cooking bucket list, you know one of the things I wanted to do in the kitchen this year is do a cleanse. Crazy? Sure, but now is no better time for me to accomplish this task and cross it off of my bucket list.

I haven’t done research on a specific cleanse, so what I post isn’t approved by a Doctor. I’m very luckily to have a Vitamix blender and I’m relying on that bad boy to do all of the work for me. For the next 3 days, I will consume only fruits & veggies mainly in smoothie form. If I feel good after 3 days, I might even try it for 5 days.

The reason behind this cleanse is not to lose a lot of weight. I put on 5 lbs from my honeymoon eating. That’s not the normal way I eat, so I’m sure once I get back into my everyday routine, the weight will disappear. I’m doing this cleanse because I want to see how my body reacts to only eating fruits & vegetables. Honestly I’m a meat girl, a cheese girl, a carb loving girl. I need a break from all of these foods. I feel sluggish. Fruits & veggies have great effects on people. I’m willing to see how it goes and I’m pretty excited to get this cleanse started.

Over the course of the next 3 days, I will only be eating fruits & vegetables. I will be drinking water and tea. That’s it. I will not be starving because I eat when hungry. You will wouldn’t want to be around me when I get hungry. (My husband describes me as Cranky.) I plan on making 3 smoothies/juices a day. Since I’ve never done this before, I may up my amount if my stomach starts to rumble. I’ll let you know.

This morning I made my first smoothie. I love the book, The Beauty Detox Solution by Kimberly Snyder. You may have seen her on TV over the summer promoting her book. That’s how I first heard about her and the Glowing Green Smoothie. She has many celebrity clients and they swear by the GGS to keep them feeling healthy. I remember the first time I tried it and thought to myself, “I can’t believe how good this tastes!” The smoothie combines fruits & vegetables. That’s it. Say goodbye to smoothies filled with processed juices and creams. This is as natural as it gets. I’ve never had a smoothie with veggies and I really like it.

I like to make a couple batches at once since they last up to 3 days in the fridge. I’ll be having the GGS all day today, and so far, I feel pretty good! No headaches and I’m not cranky. :)   Below is the recipe and link to Kimberly’s Official Glowing Green Smoothie. I dare you to try it. I’m sure you’ll love it and want to incorporate it into your daily routine.

Kimberly Snyder’s Official Glowing Green Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients (64 ounces / 2-4 servings)

  • 1 ½- 2 cups very cold, filtered water
  • 6 cups spinach, chopped
  • 5 cups organic romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 stalks of organic celery
  • 1 organic apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 organic pear, cored and chopped
  • 1 organic banana
  • 1–2 Tbs. fresh organic lemon juice

Optional Ingredients

  • Ice cubes (the extra coldness can help newbies with the taste)
  • 1/2 cup of organic cilantro
  • 1/2 cup of organic parsley

Directions

Add water, spinach and chopped romaine to the blender. Starting the blender on a low speed; mix until smooth. Gradually move to higher speeds and add the herbs, celery, pear, and apple. Add the banana and lemon juice last.