'Orange you happy you have a paper due tomorrow' smoothie:
Orange-carrot juice (with a bit of cinnamon) is actually one of my staples. I absolutely love the combo. However, as I’m starting to run low on carrots, I decided to put it in a smoothie instead of juicing them.
Juicing tends to require a lot more produce. That being said, being on a budget doesn’t mean I can’t juice at all, I just have to be smart about it. And I don’t feel too bad about juicing carrots and oranges because I can easily get both those things for less than a dollar per pound.
If you’re new to living healthily on a budget, check out this article. He gives great advice!
I love my morning green smoothies. Like.. really love them. But I don’t love how expensive they can get, especially during the winter.
I live in an area that hasn’t really been touched by the local or organic food movement, high up in the Georgia mountains. The fact that we even have a tiny little health food store at all is kind of mind boggling, but I think many of the people around here that support the store, and care about their food, grow much of it themselves - a luxury that I do not have (mainly because I have a black thumb.) Seriously.. I tried to grow spinach and broccoli once and they looked so bad people started using the pots as ashtrays.
At any rate, the few places I can get organic produce are expensive and at least a 45 minute drive away. So, fresh greens during the winter tend to be hard to find. (Not including the pre-packaged, expensive, baby spinach.)
All that being said, I didn’t want to give up my daily green smoothie. So, I started using other veggies. I’ve used cucumbers, zucchini, squash, celery, sweet potatoes, carrots (so many carrots) or whatever else I can find. I’ve gotten to the point now that even if I have spinach, I don’t feel like it’s sufficient ‘green’ smoothie until there are two or three different kinds of veggies in it. I’m not saying I put an entire carrot or squash in. I just usually have some veggies pre-sliced (using my AWESOME mandolin slicer) and stored in glass containers for easy cooking.
This may seem like a complete no-brainer to most of you, but it took me a long time to realize that I can literally put anything I want in my smoothies and it counts as a healthy complete breakfast (Read: I was a recipe nazi). But for those of you that don’t know, this should give you an idea of what my smoothies like (using my Tribest personal blender):
Note: Always blend your veggies with a little bit of your liquid first, so you don’t end up with little veggie bits.
Anyway, this post was intended to reach out people that stopped making their smoothies because the ‘greens’ were too expensive. You don’t have to!! Make an orange smoothie (carrots, sweet potatoes, oranges), or a light green smoothie (zucchini, cucumber, celery) or a mixture of all. A healthy smoothie can be many colors, not just green.
Just remember, when in doubt (or broke) make a not-so-green smoothie!
So, last post I told you that I bought corn tortillas. What I didn’t tell you was that I got like a MILLION in one pack. Therefore, I’ve been trying to integrate them into everything, but my options are slightly limited due to their miniature size (I tried to wrap up broccoli and other veggies in them and failed miserably).
So, I came up with the idea of ADORABLE little tortilla pizzas!! I mean.. I hope you’re as excited as I was. I felt especially clever.
Here’s what I did:
I toasted a tortilla on both sides in a dry non-stick pan, no oil or anything needed, then turned down the heat to low-med. If your tomato/pasta sauce is growing hair like mine was, don’t fret, you can use a bit of sriracha OR that awesome creamy jalapeno sauce or pesto or whatever. I used sriracha.
Then you just pile on the veggies! I cooked some frozen broccoli ahead of time and used that, along with leftover chopped squash and thinly sliced celery (which added a really nice crunch to it). I sprinkled some freshly grated cheese on top, but you could easily do without that.
If you use sriracha as the base, a little of the jalapeno sauce would probably taste amazing on top. :)
Did I mention sriracha? It’s magnificent. Eat it.
Guys, when I say ‘broke college-kid’, I mean it- skint, strapped, scraping pennies together level of broke. Therefore, when my little Taco Bell cheese quesadilla addiction was getting out of hand (moving from once a week to twice), I knew neither my wallet or my waist could afford it.
Let me first start off by saying that I never deprive myself of something I seriously crave, because it always ends up making the cravings worse. Which, in turn, leads to a binge (or at least it has in the past). That’s why I allowed my once-a-week, cheesy, creamy Taco Bell indulgence. However, when I started craving Taco Bell more and more (fast food addiction is very real), I knew it was time to cut it out. So, I opted to handle it like I do any other unhealthy food addiction: find a healthy(er) replacement.
I went to the store and bought myself some mini corn tortillas for less than two bucks (you can use flour, but corn is gluten free). I already had most of the other ingredients below, plus fresh spinach, yellow squash, celery, etc.
Hoping to create something CHEAP and healthy to replace my addiction. I found this recipe online from other, non-vegans that wanted to recreate the creamy jalapeno sauce that makes Taco Bell’s quesadillas SO FREAKING DELISH, and tweaked it a bit:
1/4 cup vegenaise
2 teaspoons minced jalapeno slices
2 teaspoons juice from jalapeno slices
3/4 teaspoon sugar (I used 1/2 tsp agave)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder (I used 1/2 clove of fresh garlic)
I used my little personal blender to chop up the jalapenos and garlic, then added everything else and blended it together.
HOLY MOLY was it good! I ended up just spreading about a tsp or so onto the tortillas and wrapping up chopped squash and spinach into a little burrito-type-deal, and heating it up in the skillet like that. Super delish.
Keep in mind that this is still basically mayo mixed with seasoning, but by using the mini tortillas and not too much sauce, it DEFINITELY beats the Taco Bell version.
Let me start out by saying that I usually have a weird hang up about carrots. I just don’t enjoy eating them most of the time. I will, however, drink the hell out of some carrot juice. Yeah, I’m strange, I know.. Regardless, since I made this, I’ve been eating a lot more carrots! (Especially now that they’ve been in my fridge for about a week and are a little softer.) And they taste UHmazing chopped up in a salad!
All that being said, make these. Just do it. They are flipping goooooood! I just used the seasoning I had on hand (dried rosemary, freshly ground pepper, and dried oregano), but you can pretty much use anything you think would go well with the vinegar flavor.
Homemade whole wheat crackers. Really, really easy. Like, for real. You don’t even need any fancy kitchen tools. (Though it’s a bit faster with the food processor.)
In my rendition, I used 1/4 cup brazil nut ‘flour’ (just ground up brazil nuts), 2/4 cup whole wheat flour and 1/4 all purpose flour, vegan butter and instead of olive oil- coconut oil. The coconut oil changes the texture a little (the dough is a little thinner), but either way, it works! And you can flavor any way your little heart desires!
Versatility. Now, that’s what I’m talkin’ about.
NOTE: I now get requests to bring these crackers every time I get invited to a dinner party. I also make a point to change up the flavor a little every time I make them and I still haven’t gone wrong yet!
BEST SALAD RECIPE EVER!
My Grandmother (who we call Toots) showed me this recipe and I was sold! It’s freaking delicious, easy and SUPER healthy! You can put your own spin on it, of course, but the important things are: Romaine lettuce, shallot (or whatever onion you like, I chopped up half of one), avocado (I used half for one serving), and some type of vinegar (I used rice vinegar here). I also chopped up a couple of pickled carrots (that I made last week, will post that recipe later), purple cabbage, and celery.
Note: One of the biggest reasons I love this recipe is the fact that you don’t need any oil for it! The vinegar (you only need a 1/2 tbsp-1 tbsp OR lemon/lime juice) reacts with the avocado to release its oils. The end result is very similar to a creamy, fatty dressing. Yum!!
Green Celery-Mint Smoothie
Sounds weird. Seemed weird even when I was making it. Tasted pretty freaking good!
You know the deal, at the end of the week, the day before the farmers market comes into town or your weekly shopping trip and you’re almost completely out of produce. Yep, that’s where this recipe started. I stared into my refrigerator, scratching my head, trying to figure out how the hell I was going to make a ‘green’ smoothie without any ‘greens’ when I realized my friend, god love her, left a bag of celery in my fridge the night before. I had juiced celery before, so I knew the flavor would be at least tolerable in a smoothie. I chopped some up, threw it into my blender, along with some sprigs of mint, soymilk, a frozen banana, some slices of frozen orange, a scoop of protein powder and some orange flavored green superfood powder.
-sip- Not bad…
-another sip- Actually, this is really good!
-looks at watch- Oh shit, I’m late for work! -chugs the rest and runs out the door-
No knead bread Let me first start out by saying that I don’t have a photo of the finished product because it was COMPLETELY consumed before it even had time to cool off. Haha. It was that good. My friends kept sneaking back and breaking off pieces until there was almost none left.
Also, this recipe is super forgiving. I used some whole wheat flour (followed her ratio for it) and I added a bit more yeast than the recipe called for. (I intended to let it rise for only 8 hours, and ended up leaving it for almost 23 hours..) And instead of a nice covered pot, all I had at my disposal was a crock pot and tin foil. BUT, it still turned out awesome!
She is right, though, about parchment paper making it MUCH easier, so that’s the only thing I would recommend making sure you have. Other than that, just get creative!!
NOTE: I started making my own bread and crackers just to save money. Bread really isn’t that difficult to make without a machine (I don’t have one), so don’t let people discourage you! Just go for it.