You know, these days I can’t eat in peace because whatever I take there is 3 drooling mouths (No.1, No.2 and the dog) watching me carefully with those begging eyes. No.1 is very particular about the color or texture of her food. So if there is something that looks or feels suspicious (like green food) she won’t even try it.
That’s why this smoothie was meant to be mine.
I made it… … and I barely ate a few spoons before the kids got to it.
They just devoured it and were asking for more.
So here is the recipe to successfully sneaking some greens into your kids diet.
1 cup greek yogurt (honey or vanilla flavored)
1 TBSP honey
1 medium soft avocado
1/2 english cucumber
handful fresh baby spinach
1 tsp. coconut oil
Blend and Enjoy!
You might also like this green smoothie I made a long time ago. (click here for the recipe)
Using the little time off from our No.2, who is finally sleeping on her own, IN her own bed, I want to share one of my favorite cornbread recipes EVER.
This can be baked in 9 inch pan
or in muffin forms
For some reason I prefer muffins. I think, it’s because with those muffins I can limit myself more and control myself in eating them all in one sitting. No matter what shape this cornbread has it is still delicious.
The spinach kind has no spinach flavor whatsoever, I would say it’s even sweeter than the one without it, while you can surely taste the beets; not a lot, though.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
3 heaping tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup baby spinach, rinsed*
1 very small beet, steamed
If you want to make JUST spinach or JUST beet cornbread then double the amount of the veggies (1 cup of spinach, and 2 small beets or 1 medium).
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a blender, puree the butter, sugar, eggs and evaporated milk for about 30 seconds.
2. In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking powder.
3. Add the dry mixed ingredients to the blender and blend until just combined.
4. Pour half of the batter out leaving another half in a blender.
5. Add the spinach to the batter left in a blender and blend until the mixture is evenly green and there is no big pieces of spinach left.
6. Pour the batter into muffin forms to about 3/4 full.
7. transfer the remaining batter into the cleaned blender and add cut into small cubes steamed beet. Blend until well incorporated.
Fast and easy with not a lot to prepare before and to clean after… . That is my motto these days if it comes to food. If it tastes delicious it’s even better ;)
Having this motto in my mind I came up with a super delicious and creamy avocado-spinach-cucumber smoothie. I had no idea how good cucumberis for us and how much freshness it brings when blended into a smoothie.
Yesterday I fixed myself this smoothie for dinner.
I’m trying to lose my extra pounds that are seem to hold on to me for dear life. No wonder… if you look at those pictures below you’ll see not only the smoothie but a fresh-baked apple pie. I say, if it’s made with brown sugar and whole wheat flour it means it’s good for me and I feel less guilty eating it, untill I look at the mirror… .
btw, it’s a kid friendly dish with no questions asked.
I ate a whole jar of that smoothie and after I finished it I was THAT close to make another one but then I thought: “pie or another jar of smoothie”. Pie won.
This morning I couldn’t wait to fix myself the same smoothie with a few changes.
3/4 cup vanilla yogurt, (plain will do just fine, but using it you may want to add more honey or dates) *
1 big orange
1/2 medium english cucumber,
BIG handful spinach
2 Tbsp honey (or more, if you like) **
* if it’s too thick add a smal amount of pineapple juice (or whatever juice you like)
** the second time (today) I made it using dates (about 12) instead of the honey. Liked it better with the honey.
Blend it all together until creamy and smooth. It will take more time to get that consistency if you’re using dates. That’s why I didn’t like it that much as with honey because I ended up with very small, not blended very well pieces of dates in my smoothie.
… and that’s how we were working today in order to take those delicious pictures ;)
The weather is just gorgeous here, perfect for a green and refreshing treat like this smoothie!
Have a wonderful day, everybody. I should start getting ready for a date with my husband… (and the kids).
Don’t you think I’m getting tired of spinach smoothies. No.
I think those will stay in my diet forever. Love those green energetic morning shots. ALMOST better than a cup of black coffee… almost.
Last night I had a craving for something with spinach… but for dinner. A few weeks ago I spotted “Bake Spinach Balls” at Frugal Feeding blog. Since then I wanted to make them really bad. Finally it happened.
Looking for spinach in my fridge I saw one little and forgotten beet. And I had an idea. As a result of it I ended up with delicious spinach-beet balls. I was so excited and thrilled that I’m finally making it that I actually forgot to add cheese and to coat them with bread crumbs (as in original recipe). Despite that those were really good and didn’t fall apart.
Not having coriander and greek yogurt I fixed plain yogurt dip spiced with cinnamon, chili powder, herbs the provence and all spice. I know it sounds crazy and right at this point you would think… “gosh, she must be pregnant!”, but I can assure you that even when I am not pregnant anymore I’ll be coming back to this dip… and to this entire dish.
Recipe for spinach-beets balls:
2 handfuls baby spinach,
1 small beet, steamed, peeled and grated,
1/3 cup bread crumb (or more)
1 Tbsp butter,
1 clove garlic,
Original recipe calls for parmesan cheese. I forgot about it but even if I used it I wouldn’t have used parmesan. I’m not the biggest fan of it and every time a recipe calls for parmesan I use cheddar, jack or swiss and never feel bad about it ;)
Those 3 are always in my fridge.
Melt the butter in a pan add minced garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Add the spinach and sauté for about 2 minutes. Drain the liquids and transfer the spinach to a mixing bowl. Add grated beet, egg, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Mixed everything until you are able to shape a small balls. You might need to add more breadcrumbs for that purpose.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Place the balls on baking sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes.
In original recipe those balls are coated in bread crumbs before placed in the oven. I forgot and they were still delicious.
All of those pictures I took outside. I was dinner time and our apartment is way too dark to take a decent photo indoors. So I went outside… of course with our barefoot daughter who wanted to eat that dip right from my plate. She knew it’s a yogurt and she LOVES yogurt but she had to wait, so she sat next to me and started playing with dirt.
Ingredients for my weird dip:
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. chili pepper
1/2 tsp. herb de provence
pinch of all spice
Feel free to try it but if you don’t like it I won’t get upset ;)
Not every single night although I’m not sure. Maybe I just don’t remember.
In my dreams I create smoothies. I mix all kids of fruits and veggies trying to figure out what taste the best. It’s silly and absurd. Oh well, welcome to pregnancy – a period of the most craziest dreams in the entire life. I mean, dreaming about smoothies is nothing compare to what my dreams look like for the most of my pregnancy.
Sometimes I can’t wait for the morning to start so I can have my smoothie.
So far I’ve made many spinach smoothies but this one seems to be very tasty in my daughters’ opinion. The thing is that I prefer mine to be a little bit tart. Almost always I add lemon juice or very sour apple to achieve that taste… sometimes I avoid adding banana because its too much sweet for me.
Last week we went to Olive Garden – my husband’s favorite restaurant (and I have really no idea why). I wasn’t hungry so I ordered their strawberry smoothie… and let me tell you… that was one of the worst smoothies I have ever had. On the other hand my husband loved it. It was so sweet I could swear they use 1lb of sugar for this single glass.
Maybe it wasn’t that bad but me being so accustomed to not so sweet smoothies at all made it oversweet in taste.
Back to my green smoothie.
The last time I made it it was bitter-sweet and both me and my daughter loved it.
These days my daughter is so used to having those smoothies that everytime I’m taking pictures of what I just fixed (thinking it’s a good recipe to share on my blog), she stays very close to me hoping for a quick sip (or two). I don’t know if she really likes the taste of it or she just thinks that if I’m giving so much attention to this glass it has to be something good… Right!?
As long as she eats it saying “yummy” while massaging her belly I’m happy :) (yes, she really does that).
1/2 cup plain yogurt (more if needed)
1/2 cup strawberries
1 apple, washed, cored, with skin (granny smith for more tart taste)
lemon juice from 1/2 lemon (its about 1 Tbsp, depends on the size of the lemon)
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 big handful baby spinach
If that smoothie is too tart I would add a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup but for us it worked perfect without it.
Finally I know why I am so tired all the time. Why I breath like I 400 lb person trying to climb Mt. Everest every single time I’m doing more than just sitting. Why I want to sleep 24 hours a day (and it still seems not enough). Yes, first of all it’s called pregnancy, heading to the last month if it. Second of all it’s an iron deficiency.
On Monday I got a call that my iron pills are waiting for me in my pharmacy and I should go and get them.While I was trying to explain that I’d tried iron pills with my previous pregnancy and they did make me really sick (like vomiting, for example) and I had to stop taking them, the lady on the phone said: “You really must try it again”. She said if I won’t do it I probably will end up with blood transfusion during my c-section and there is not enough time to boost it up with iron rich food only.
So, here I am swallowing my pills twice a day like a good and reasonable woman. No sickness this time but mostly because I have it on VERY full stomach. I am not afraid to eat anymore because I got something stronger than milk and tums for my heartburn, as well. I wasn’t sure if I want it. My doctor said she’s going to give me the prescription anyway and I can do with it whatever I want but it’s not going to hurt the baby and I should use it because I look like I’m hurting A LOT (and she was right). So I got it.
And a miracle happened. Since yesterday late afternoon I haven’t have any pain and I am slowly forgetting what heartburn is and I’m learning how to enjoy my food again instead of being afraid of every single bite.
Despite what my doctor said about being too late to boost my system with rich in iron food I’ve decided to change my diet anyway. Finally I have the motivation to try to cook with kale, collard greens, spinach and all kinds of beans and lentils. They’ve always intimidated me so I never cook with it. I cooked with spinach a few times and I really liked it but never was motivated enough to do it more often, though.
The first night I didn’t have any greens at the house, so I fixed myself a bowl of beets and apples salad. I was actually planning on making beets latkas but at the end I decided to go with more raw (not totally, though) and less oily plate. Good that I am not afraid of beets. In Poland we eat them a lot. Boiled, baked, raw, pickled… . So it wasn’t really hard to come up with something fast and enjoyable to my taste buds.
4 small beets, boiled, peeled and grated
2 apples, cut into desired size pieces (I cut one apple into very small pieces, and one into big)
4 green onions (whole with white parts for spicy taste)
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into desired size pieces
Juice from 1 lemon
3 tsp. apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Mix everything together and chill in the fridge for about 1 hour.
Btw, I’m writing this post while sipping on my spinach smoothie.
Which is actually pretty delicious.
because if two year old eats a spinach smoothie it’s got to taste good. Right?
and if a dog’s looking at you like that while you’re eating your smoothie…
…it means something, too (that she actually wants to be scratched behind her ear.lol).
I made two versions of this smoothie.
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup canned pineapple with juice (additional 1/4 cup)
2 handfuls baby spinach
1 Tbsp. chia seeds
The first version wasn’t really my kind. I am no the biggest fan of the taste of banana in my smoothies. Their flavor always overpowers the rest of whatever you mix together.
So my second version didn’t have it. I mixed:
1 handful frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen pineapple
1/2 cup ice cubes
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1/4 pineapple juice
2 handfuls baby spinach
1 Tbsp. Chia seeds
1 Tbsp. honey (definitely not going to use it next time – smoothie was too sweet)
As with today I can say that my iron rich diet is pretty delicious. I am really excited to try a few of the ideas I got from my friend how to cook/eat greens :) I’m going to try them all!
Have a great day, My Friends… and do not forget about your iron intake ;)
Yesterday was a strange day and a strange comparison came to my mind when I was falling asleep last night.
Life is likecooking
At least in my case or in a case of yesterday’s day.
My cooking started early. While having breakfast I’d decided to make bread for lunch. As soon as I finished feeding our daughter and myself I started mixing all the ingredients for bread. I heated up water for the yeast. I put the yeast into the warm water and waited 15 minutes for it to have activated. Nothing happened. I had to throw it out. I started this part all over. After 10 minutes I saw a few bubbles but nothing more. I knew it’s not gonna work this time either. All together I had repeated it 5 times. After 4th time (and I don’t know why I thought about it) I decided to change the water I’d been using to activate the yeast. From tap water I switched to bottled water. It worked like a charm. The mixture got foamy and bubbly in 5 minutes.
By that time it was almost 11am and I knew I need to make something else for lunch because bread won’t be ready. In addition I was really mad and discouraged. I had thought that if that’s how it started then it means nothing good will come out from it, but I kept kneading. After I was done I left the dough to rest for about 2 hours or longer. I knew that at this point I don’t have to rush with it.
After those few hours the dough hadn’t risen enough, in my opinion but I couldn’t wait any longer. I added rest of the ingredients, rolled it up and left to rest for the second time.
For dinner I decided to make a chicken noodle soup for my husband and our Little Picky Eater. For myself I planned to make spinach souffle I saw the other day onJennifer’s blog. I didn’t have the cheese but oh well… sometimes you try to make the best from what you have not wishing you had more – one of my many lessons about life learned straight from my kitchen :) All of it would go perfect with fresh-baked bread.
I was so eager to try this souffle.
While I was making it almost everything seemed to be going wrong. I screwed up the sauce, separating yolks from the whites seemed to be so hard like I haven’t done it hundreds of times in the past. I coursed out loud like crazy while my daughter was watching me with a strange look on her face. Not enough, I noticed my bread is not rising as it supposed to. At this point I was ready to give up and ask my husband to order a take-out.
To make a long story short.
The dinner was delicious. It didn’t have to be perfect for us to enjoy it. Life is not perfect. Life not always goes as we plan. Life always brings surprises, obstacles, ups and downs, and there is many things missing now and then. We just need to make the best from what we have at the moment. We need to be patient and try to finish what we have started. If something goes wrong we need to rethink it.
Even if the dinner was awful I would be able to say that at least I tried and I gave the best out of me to finish it and to make it work.
At the end there is always somebody who won’t like your cooking anyway (even if the dish(es) is perfect in your opinion). On the other hand, you might be positively surprised when somebody who you thought from the beginning is not going to like it, eats up an entire plate. That happened yesterday with my Little One. She ate an entire plate of spinach souffle. She couldn’t surprise me any more than that.
The same happens in every aspect of our life.
I ate so much of everything I could barely move after all. The time and my heart I put in it paid back. After dinner it was great to enjoy a piece of chocolate my husband brought me from the store.
If you’re interested:
here is the recipe for bread. Instead of all-purpose flour I used half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose. In addition before rolling it into a shape I spread over the top flax seeds meal and fresh parsley. Yumm!!!
the recipe for chicken noodle soup still needs to be written down as I always make it from scratch and every time I improve it in something new. This time, for example, I discovered arrowroot, and I have to tell you all: “I’m in love in arrowroot”. That’s the next lesson from yesterday’s cooking. I don’t know if I’ll ever use corn starch again!!!
Yesterday I woke up with a dilemma. I wanted to bake something but I wasn’t sure if I prefer sweet over savory. I got a new recipe for oatmeal cookies but… I kinda crave good fresh bread (all the time). Then I remembered that my oven is terribly dirty from the day before. My potatoes casserole (the only word I can describe that dish with) overflowed and made an awful mess inside the oven.
I turned on the self-cleaning mode which takes 4:30 hours. My dilemma found a natural solution. I couldn’t bake anything… and I knew that after noon my energy level takes huge dive to the abyss but, it was still morning and I wanted to make something to eat for myself as my headache started to poking me a little. There was nothing special in the pantry or in the fridge that I wanted to eat… . With this pregnancy I am so picky with food it’s just crazy. I want very specific things and if they are not at the house I won’t eat anything else… . It wasn’t that way with my first pregnancy.
One thing, though, have called me every single time I opened the fridge (and even when it was closed). Spinach! It was a few days old spinach as I bought it with the plan to make stuffed with spinach and mushroom crepes. Days went by and I actually lost my craving for those crapes and didn’t have any “B plan” for my spinach.
So yesterday, while the oven was getting clean I decided to make spinach soup. I looked for a good recipe on google and I found this one. It was really quick to make.
This recipe calls for fat-free everything…, but I do not have those things in my kitchen. I do not like to spend my money on something that looks like milk but taste like water… .
For this soup I used whole milk, and regular vegetable broth. Instead of baby spinach I used 1 bunch of not so fresh regular spinach, and I substituted the onion for a few green onions. That’s it! Super delicious and creamy spinach soup.
I garnished it with extra green onion and plain whole milk yoghurt.
I ate two bowls… dreaming about having fresh baked bread with it…
…and my dream came true. After my oven was clean and ready to use I decided to make super easy french bread so I could enjoy my soup even more. Luckily I had some left overs for the dinner for my husband to eat because after making that bread I was done for the day!
Just a few minutes and the dough was ready.
For the full recipe go here. It’s a great tutorial (video) how to make it.
At the end I forgot to brush it with egg white and cut the top before baking… It still came out great, though.
Today I used it to make bruschetta with cheddar cheese, tomatoes and green onion for my husband’s lunch. He LOVE IT! I didn’t have the time to take a picture of it… but I assure you it looked and tasted (in my husband’s opinion) great!
Ah… and my daughter loved that bread. Fresh and warm… She ate 3 slices :)
Now is my turn to have a bowl of my soup and a few slices of bread. It looks like tomorrow I’ll have to bake another loaf ;)