Monday, January 27, 2014

Sunshine Smoothie with Mandarin, Coconut and Turmeric

We are all reaching the point of winter where we are sick of the cold weather and long nights. We are all wishing we could catch a few rays of warm sunshine. It warms up for a day and you think "Cool! Spring is right around the corner!" but then the next day your car is covered in frost (or snow God forbid!). Then you're back to wearing 2 coats and clutching your warm coffee in the car to keep your fingers from freezing solid and wishing it wasn't January. Bleak.... 

The good news is that, while in the comfort of your heated home (and layered sweatpants), you can enjoy a taste of warm weather! This smoothie recipe is from the Kitchn and highlights some of the best things that winter has to offer: Vitamin C rich citrus! I am sure I am not the only one who looks forward to "Cutie" season; that special time of year I eat so many mandarins that my tongue is sore and my fingers are stained orange.  It had never occurred to me to put actual citrus segments in my smoothie and on top of that I had never thought to freeze the segments so that they acted as ice cubes. This recipe has changed my smoothie life drastically! 

In addition to the mandarins, this smoothie combines two things I hadn't added to my smoothies before: ginger and turmeric. I used to think turmeric powder was used only be for coloring food until my Auntie Karen visited and made tea from the turmeric root. The tea not only tasted great but has anti-inflammatory properties as well. Then, I have always liked ginger so of course I would love it in a smoothie! 

If you're feeling the same way I am about January, why not put on an extra pair of sweatpants and a fuzzy blanket, make this smoothie, close your eyes and pretend you are beachside. 

Two years ago: Egyptian Curry

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Sweet Chili Brussels Sprouts - Erin

This is a faster version of Steamy Kitchen's Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Sweet Chili Sauce (here).  I had a last-minute craving for brussels sprouts one night, but the rest of dinner was almost ready, so I didn't want to wait for them to roast, so I threw them all face-down into a frying pan instead.  It worked out great, and in half the cooking time!  

Monday, January 6, 2014

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers -- Cathy

Here is a post for anyone looking for a new recipe for Meatless Monday (or Tuesday, or whenever it fits into your week...)  This is actually Caity's recipe, but I make it quite a lot because Kevin and I love it, so I thought I'd just go ahead and enter it for her.  

Our family really, really loves Spanish smoked paprika as you can tell from Erin's Paprika Shrimp Pasta, and probably others but I can't think of them right now.  Actually I make a simple Spanish-influenced salad that I should post sometime that uses a smoked paprika dressing.  And, oh! Erin needs to post her fabulous, addictive marinara sauce with Spanish chorizo and smoked paprika! But I usual...

Anyway, these stuffed peppers are a wonderful recipe that Caity came up with when she was still a college student.  She filled them with all sorts of wonderful-tasting things:  quinoa, tomatoes, zucchini, pine nuts, cheese, and ground beef.  This version is actually going to be a meatless one, but it's wonderful either way you do it, and I will give the meat option, too.

 I have changed the way the peppers are cut, just because I think they're prettier cut in half from top to bottom so that you can keep some of the stem on, and also easier to eat that way.  Also, I didn't grow up eating stuffed peppers, so I didn't know how they are supposed to look.  But I like them this way!  They are easy to balance, they cook faster and are easier to eat, and best of all they have a nice crunchy browned (and yes, cheesy) top.

One year ago: Chicken Pizzaiola
Two years ago:  Egyptian Kosheri
Three years ago: Spanish Tortilla with Chorizo