Indian Curry Adventures

Heyy!

Our adventure started Saturday when we decided to make home made curry… from scratch…. like even making our own curry powder from the whole spices. So in the morning Sean and I stopped by the local Chinese Grocery. These ethnic markets are some of the best places to explore. This market in particular was deceiving in a good way, it was a lot bigger than it appeared to be from the outside and had isles for each Asian country. The whole spices available at inexpensive prices were incredible. We were in heaven. They had fresh Thai chilies for $1 for a small bag (at least 75-100 in the bag). Bags of whole spices for a couple of dollars versus $5 plus dollars at an American grocery store.

During our shopping it donned on us that we needed a spice grinder, so off to Bed Bath & Beyond we go. We get home and go to use the grinder, only to find out that the grinder isn’t powerful enough to pulverize any of the spices we purchased. So I made the executive decision to turn the dry container for the Vitamix into a spice grinder. Forever dying it yellow from turmeric. At least the container has a use now 🙂

We cooked the curry today with chicken and vegetables. The recipe still needs to be tweaked a little bit before I post it, but for our first time making chicken curry from scratch it came out delicious. A couple of the things we will do differently is grind the curry powder finer and add more fresh chilies to the dish.

I can’t wait to experiment with the next dish we make using our home made curry powder.

The spices we used were:

  • whole fenugreek
  • cumin seeds
  • whole corriander
  • cardamon
  • cinnamon
  • whole cloves
  • whole turmeric
  • mustard seeds
  • black pepper
  • dried chilies

Then we added fresh garlic, fresh ginger, and fresh chilies to the pan along with the curry powder.

I hope everyone has a good week, and if you live in New England… good luck digging out from yet another 12-18 inches of snow for the third week in a row! Where is all the snow going to go, nobody knows.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Protein Fudge Bars

Hey!

So i’m sitting here listening to Christmas music and still can’t believe its only a few weeks away, actually only a couple of weeks…Yikes! I feel pretty good about it though, I have my mom’s present and Sean’s present just got ordered last night so I guess I’m half way done. I just have my dad, my mom’s boyfriend Bobby and Sean’s parents left. Now on to this fudgey (this is not a word according to spell check but I’m a rebel and using it anyways) chewy and delicious peanut butter concoction.

I was talking to my aunt over the holidays and she was talking about a protein bar recipe that was really delicious, so of course I wanted to try it. She sent me the recipe and I turned it into this. If it wasn’t for my vitamix I probably would have just followed the recipe. But that beast of a machine lets you be lazy and mix everything together without any effort. Win. I suggest not trying this recipe in a regular blender because it will probably not mix well or burn it out. Nobody wants that. Who knows when you’ll want a frosty drink. So the base of the recipe is peanut butter, oats, flax seed, and honey.

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Fudgey and Chewy Peanut Butter  Protein Bars

1 cup oats

3/4 cup peanut butter or other nut butter

1/2 cup honey plus another tablespoon if you feel like it (I did. although i’m sure it would be plenty sweet without the extra tablespoon)

1/4 cup flax seeds or 1/2 cup ground flax meal

dash of salt if you wish (it helps brings all the flavors together)

1 teaspoon vanilla or more if want

1/2 a milk chocolate bar but you can use up to half a cup of chocolate chips if you’d like

5 scoops of protein powder (mine is a 10 gram scoop and for every scoop there are 9 grams of protein)

I also added a couple tablespoons of water to help everything come together.

***The protein powder I use is called Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides. I love it because it is completely unflavored, to the point where I’ll add it to my tea in the morning and not be able to taste it at all. I LOVE it. I’ll include a picture of it at the end of the post.

Instructions:

1. Blend the oats and flax together to be more like a flour if you’d like a smooth consistency. If you’d like the texture you can skip this step.

2. Add all of the ingredients into the blender and pulse and blend until it is a thick almost gooey texture.

3. Then dump into whatever sized pan you’d like. I used a 9 inch cake pan because it is what I had on hand.

These bars almost remind of caramel in a way but peanut butter flavored. If you like a stronger chocolate flavor feel free to add more chocolate or cocoa powder to your mix. I’m also interested to see how these would be with dates in the mix.

My favorite protein powder.

My favorite protein powder. And the one I have found to be completely flavorless. To the point that you can barely taste it in water and it is flavorless in juice or another beverage.

I hope you enjoy these bars as much as I do!

Kelly 🙂

Coconut Sunflower Seed Butter. Yum!

Hi!

So today I felt like experimenting with unsweetened coconut flakes. I started out trying to make coconut butter but did not have enough coconut for it to blend up in the blender well… but I did have sunflower seeds. It dawned on me that I could make a coconut sunflower seed butter concoction. So there you have it. It is sweetened lightly with honey and coconut sugar. This recipe is very loose and you are definitely able to mix it up the ratio and quantity.

Coconut Sunflower Seed Butter

1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

1 cup or so of sunflower seeds

1 tablespoon coconut oil

2 tablespoon coconut sugar

2-3 tablespoons honey depending on your preference

dash of salt

Put it all in a high powered blender or food processor and whirl it up until it comes together.  This recipe makes about 2 cups.

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Chocolate Smoothie madness

Hi! 

This afternoon I concocted a smoothie that is FULL of fiber, protein, and healthy fats that will keep you satisfied for hours. It has a variety of ingredients to it and is one of my favorites yet. I have to mention that it is not a very sweet smoothie/shake but if you like dark chocolate and berries you will appreciate this recipe. I like this smoothie because it also has a hint of coconut flavor to it. 

Chocolate Berry Smoothie Recipe 

2 tablespoons chia seeds

2 tablespoons hemp hearts

2 tablespoons coco powder (i use the trader joe’s brand and find it has a pleasant taste) 

2 medjool dates (for added sweetness and 3 grams fiber) 

1/2 tablespoon sunflower seeds

1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil

1 teaspoon or so of cinnamon

1/2 cup frozen spinach

1/4 cup frozen cranberries

1/4 cup frozen blue berries

1/4 cup frozen dark cherries

and finally 1 cup of cold water and 4-5 ice cubes

Usually when I am finished making the smoothie it results in about 2 cups of smoothie and then I add some water to the blender and top off my 24 oz cup with the blender remains. You don’t have to add extra water but I prefer a thinner smoothie 🙂 

Here’s some pictures and the nutritional stats of the smoothie. Just a side note, this smoothie is high in calories so if your watching them I would suggest having half the smoothie because it is equivalent to a meal or more. The full recipe is a total of 653 calories.

ImageImageImage   It looks like sludge water thanks to the spinach, cocoa powder, and berries; but it tastes delicious! 

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I calculated these stats from using the app called MyFitnessPal. I’m thinking that on a weekly basis I’ll feature my smoothie of the day. Until next time, have a great week!  

Some Random Spring Break Adventures!

Hey everyone!

So last Friday there was an unexpected & decent sized snowstorm to cause me to have a snow day! Woo! Oh how I love New England! Instead, I thought I would fill you in on what my spring break has been like. Oh and a seedling update from a visit to my internship today!

My weekend started with a house warming party Saturday night for a friend I haven’t seen in ages so it was great to see her again and meet some new people. 🙂 For the house warming party I made a COOKIE DOUGH DIP which was a big hit…. The best part is that people had no idea it had CHICKPEAS in it! I also made infused vodka with pineapple, cantaloupe, clementines, and a few strawberries. It was delicious mixed with orange juice. If you’re interested in the cookie dough dip head over to http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/05/23/want-to-eat-an-entire-bowl-of-cookie-dough/. You can google vodka infusions for hundreds of recipes if that is your fancy too. (But in the US only if you are at least 21 y.o.)

A picture of my friend and I reunited after months of not seeing her! Yay!

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Now onto some cooking adventures! This past week I made a roasted vegetable pureed soup. It was absolute heaven in my eyes, so warm, creamy smooth, and rich without even a drop of cream added. Oh how I love blended soups. I’m pretty sure I roasted everything but the kitchen sink and then popped them in the oven until they got nice and golden&tender. Here’s a picture of everything that went into the soup!

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I roasted a head of cauliflower, ~1 cup broccoli, a few asparagus, pearl onions, sweet peppers, carrots, 5-6 garlic cloves, and used an already cooked sweet potato. The roasted veggies all had a drizzle of olive oil on them as well. Super easy, so healthy, and very filling! After the veggies were roasted I tossed them in the blender and added a quart of chicken broth. A minute later, the soup was done! I wish I remembered to take a picture, it resembled a butternut squash color from all of the carrots and sweet peppers. So pretty.

Next on the agenda this week was a trip to my favorite cafe in Salem called Gulu Gulu. The staff is awesome and it’s just a really unique place to hangout. It is also a great people watching cafe. I love going with one of my friends to get lunch along with their new dessert….wait for it…chocolate fondue! It wasn’t an excessive amount and perfect for 2 to split. You probably had about 2-3 tablespoons of fondue for each person. It was served with apples, strawberries, bananas, and a few graham crackers. Again, delicious! Image

Today I stopped by my internship site for a little bit to touch base with my preceptor. While I was there I also checked out my babies.(Yup, I just referred to the seedlings as my babies) They are already sprouting and doing well. ImageImage

The seed disks seem to be doing the best due to having so many seeds in an area, but even some of the lettuces are sprouting right up! I love gardening and feeling the satisfaction of making something grow. I do have to say that this is my first experience with starting from seed. So it will definitely be interesting to see what happens.

Well, on that note I’m ending this post with a picture I found via pinterest and believe to be so true, near, and dear to my heart.

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Happy Early St.Patrick’s Day!

Sunflower Seed Butter Mishaps and Dreamy Berry Smoothies!

Hey!

Before I get to the mishap of my day yesterday involving homemade sunflower seed butter, lets talk about my awesome day on Friday! So on Friday I had my internship at Marblehead Charter School where I got to feel like a kid again and play in the dirt. In other words, I had to plant seeds to be started under the grow lights. There is something therapeutic about gardening. I planted all kinds of herbs and lettuces that my preceptor hopes to be able to just pick from when ever she needs them for a recipe or the salad bar. I wish I remembered to take a picture of them. Maybe I will next week and they may just be sprouting up by then?

Later in the day I helped with a cooking class where the kids made French Toast Wraps filled with fruit and yogurt. They were a big hit! It was really funny to hear the kids be like, “I like yogurt but I don’t think I’ll like this with yogurt in a wrap with fruit.” and then after they tried it they are all “Oh my gosh these are so good!” Kids are too funny when it comes to food. You never know what their reaction will be. Oh, we also made smoothies with the left over fruit and yogurt and added some kale! A few said they could “taste” the kale while others said they didn’t know what kale tasted like so they wouldn’t have even known it was in there. They all liked the smoothies too, regardless of kale being in there!  (French Toast Wrap idea found on http://www.preventionrd.com/2013/02/fruit-filled-french-toast-wraps/ incase you’re interested!)

Now onto my mishap. Yesterday I was all excited to make my own sunflower seed butter with my new Vitamix blender. So I began by adding the sunflower seeds, a dash of cinnamon, and a dash of salt. Well, things started great…until I decided the tamper needed to be used to help out the sunflower powder on the side of the container. Bad choice!… The tamper was too big for the container. EEK! Two seconds later and POOF! There is no longer a bottom covering on the tamper and little pieces of black plastic were running through my sunflower seeds…Oh no! Whoops!  But I saved the day and dumped the container of sunflower seeds out and started all over :(. I added a bit of canola oil to the seeds the second time around and that made it come together very nicely. Not to mention using the end of a wooden spoon to push down the seed powder that climbs the side of the container (With the machine STOPPED). The results were so worth the trouble though, there is nothing better than homemade seed butter straight from the mixer eaten by the spoonful! 🙂

 This morning I made myself a delicious berry smoothie! Such a healthy breakfast to start my day. It is high in protein, fiber, and full of vitamins and minerals!

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I used a 6oz container of pomegranate Chobani Greek yogurt, about a cup of 1% milk, about a cup of frozen mixed berries, about 2 tablespoons homemade sun butter, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, about half a tablespoon flax seeds, a dash of cinnamon, a few ice cubes, and about a cup of water. It was delicious, satisfying, and filling!

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I recycled my old sunflower seed butter container to store my new homemade batch for pure convenience.

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(The picture above is before I added the cup of water to the smoothie, when I was done it equaled about 22oz or a medium sized Dunkin Donuts iced coffee cup)

This recipe is definitely not a “snack” sized smoothie and could be considered a meal with the nutrition facts coming in at  553 kcalories, 30g protein, 24g total fat [4g saturated fat, ~4g mono unsaturated fat(increases HDL cholesterol levels), ~15g polyunsaturated fat(helps lower LDL cholesterol levels)], 7g fiber, and 429mg sodium.

My weekend consisted of a trip to Trader Joe’s, reading a book called “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down” for my Clinical Dietetics class, answering essay questions for said book, and a case study for Medical Nutrition Therapy about someone who had an MI (aka. heart attack). So exciting I know, ohhh the life of a student. But I love it!  🙂 Have a great week!

Question: What are some of your favorite smoothies?