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Archive for the ‘beverages’ Category

Cheers to a fun and picture-worthy 2013! May 2014 be filled with people you love and unimaginable adventures!

Happy New Year! xxo!

PS I posted a similar (shorter) video on Instagram a few days ago…maybe you saw it there; if not, follow me over there!: stephaniebrowngoat.

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St. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow. In honor of the holiday, I thought it time to share our recipe for the smoothies we drink each morning, being that they are green.

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Our smoothie ritual was born after I watched Dr. Wahl’s TED conference presentation on how she uses nutrition to overcome her MS. If you haven’t already seen the video, it’s definitely worth a watch (click here). While I am not completely onboard with all of her nutritional theory and advice- going gluten and dairy free to reduce food allergy risk- (yet, I am dying to see more published research), her idea to eat more fruits and vegetables, particularly green leafy vegetables, is one I completely support.

Have you ever tried counting the number of fruit and vegetable servings you eat in one day? The USDA recommends that we eat between 5 and 9 servings, with a serving defined as a 1/2 cup. That’s 2 1/2 – 4 1/2 cups per day. Dr. Wahl doubles the high end of the USDA recommendation to suggest that we eat 9 cups! of vegetables and fruit every day in order to optimize brain function and reduce risk of excessive inflammation. She even defines it further by recommending we eat 3 cups of green vegetables, 3 cups of sulfur-containing vegetables,and 3 cups of fruits and vegetables of color to ensure we get enough B vitamins, minerals (sulfur, iodine, magnesium), and antioxidants through our food. Nine cups, my lovelies, is a lot…and, it’s difficult to do. So, I decided that a way to attempt to come close to the ultimate goal of 9 cups is to start our day with a green smoothie.

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It’s part of our morning breakfast routine and Jack and I, in particular, look forward to it every day. For Jack, it’s typically paired with a breakfast bar or a piece of nut butter toast. For me, I have it with a piece of toast spread with either nut butter or mashed avocado sprinkled with cayenne pepper and kosher salt or with a bowl of plain non-fat yogurt and homemade granola. It’s a lovely and tasty way to start your day and it provides 2 cups of colorful fruits and 2 cups of greens, leaving only 5 more for the day!

I have to apologize for not being able to provide the exact quantities for most ingredients…instead of measuring, I just eye the amounts, but my guess in parentheses is pretty close. Go with your instinct and you likely can’t go wrong!

GREEN BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE

1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
(1/2 cup) frozen organic raspberries
(1/2 cup) frozen mango chunks
(1/2 cup) frozen pineapple bits
1 banana
(4 cups) kale
Squeeze of honey

Liquefy in blender. Drink…to your health.

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And, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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Before I jump into new posts with new photos and new recipes for 2012, I thought it’d be fun to look back through my food photos from 2011. I have to admit, I got better and better at shooting my food as the year went on. Perhaps I’m getting better with my camera. Or, maybe I’m more comfortable staging the shot. Or, perhaps the lighting is better in our Seattle home.
I’m not sure what it is exactly, but I do know I still have a lot to learn. I’m inspired every day by photos from other bloggers and I have my goals set high for 2012. I think I’m saying goodbye for good to the weekly menu…it’s way too time consuming and I think the pressure of a daily food post was robbing me of my creativity a bit. So, I plan to devote more time to the recipe development and, especially, more time to quality photos this year. I have big plans for my blog and hope you continue to join me on this fun, creative journey.

My favorite food photos from 2011, with a link to their recipe:

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Winter Farm-Fresh Stir Fry

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Grilled Peanut Butter and Jelly

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Grilled Salmon with Fennel and Lemon

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Ruby Red Grapefruit Sour Cream Pancake

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Blueberry Ginger Mojito

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Blueberry Whole Grain Buttermilk Pancakes

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Grilled Naan Pizza

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Vegetable Ratatouille

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Watermelon and Mint Skewers

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Slow Cooked Pinto Beans

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Roasted Tomato and Black Bean Salad

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Pumpkin Muffins

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Slow Cooked Lentils

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Pea Pesto Pasta

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Blackened Catfish

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Cheers! And, happy Friday! I thought it appropriate to kick-off labor day weekend with a perfectly summery and festive cocktail. If you don’t peel your fruit before blending, you not only retain it’s fiber, you also create a little party in your drink glass with what looks like confetti from the fruit skin!

Toss 3 plums and 1 peach (just cut the fruit in half to remove pit), 2 large shots of Jim Beam, and a spoonful of simple syrup into a blender. Press button and pulverize.
Pour beverage into a tumbler over several cubes of ice, top with a splash of San Pellegrino for a little fizz, and garnish with a lemon wedge.
And…you have a refreshingly healthy cocktail (bet you thought you’d never hear the word healthy used to describe a cocktail, especially from a dietitian!) to toast the long weekend!

I’m going to take next week off from menu planning so I can enjoy my parents’ visit. I do have a fun post planned mid-week, so don’t be a stranger. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and week. Be back soon. xxo.

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Am I the only one who hasn’t been cooking with quinoa on a regular basis??! I’ve cooked with it several times previously, but its never been part of a regular rotation. I adore it…it’s nutty flavor and fun texture adds a lot to a dish and it’s incredibly simple to prepare. When I make it, I feel like I’m stepping it up a bit from brown rice or pasta, when really it’s easier to cook than either of those foods!

20110730-021333.jpg About an hour before dinner, you will want to stick your chopped veggies into the oven to roast at 375 degrees. To toast to summer’s lovely vegetable bounty, I roasted a pound of mini heirloom tomatoes, 4-5 small zucchinis, and 1 small onion. Cut all of the vegetables to about the same size so they roast evenly, toss with a coating of olive oil and some kosher salt. The vegetables will roast on their own so that you can enjoy the night outdoors, but I do recommend stirring once or twice during their hour of cooking for even browning.

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Before you head outside, make a round of mojitos. They don’t exactly go with the dinner theme, but we had tons of fresh mint and, wow, they were good! Note: The simple syrup should be made earlier in the day so it has time to cool down. It will last for weeks in the refrigerator in a sealed container making future mojito or other cocktail nights even easier!.

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Fifteen minutes prior to eating, you will have to tear yourself away from the outdoors to start the quinoa. Add 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of water to a medium pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until water is gone. Seriously. That’s it!

Mix the quinoa into the roasting pan with the vegetables. Serve with some fresh summer fruit…we enjoyed it with figs and mangos. Oh, and you can add sparkling water to the mint and limes left behind in your mojitos glass for a refreshing and hydrating dinner beverage.

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We had friends over for a fun Mexican supper of avocado, mango, and lime guacamole, delicious Emerald Valley salsa (one of my new local obsessions), spicy black bean enchiladas, a yummy baked zucchini, onion, and tomato dish shared by our friend, citrus margaritas, and an ice cream and sorbet dessert with honey, pistachios, dark chocolate chips, and butter cookies.

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Besides the dessert, I think Jack and Johanna’s favorite part of the meal was helping themselves to the chips and guacamole appetizer. Look how into it they are!

A note about the spicy black bean enchiladas, if you decide to make them (and I think you should, which is why I’m sharing the recipe and my notes!). They are probably perfectly yummy made as described by Andie, but I made a few tweaks. Of course, I used slow cooked black beans instead of canned and, then, skipped the sautéing of garlic and onion steps since I added those ingredients to the slow cooker. Also, I used a Walla Walla white onion instead of red, a can of regular diced tomatoes instead of fire roasted, and omitted the sugar and cilantro.

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Having a good time using the lawn mower to push each other.

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It was a fun evening and think we may have perfected this margarita recipe, making it our go-to. I’m already craving another round! Cheers and happy weekend!

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Perfectly Citrus Margaritas
Combine 1 1/2 cups of white tequila, 1 1/2 cups pulpy orange juice, the juice from 8 limes and 6 lemons, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and 1 1/2 Blue Moon beers. Stir to combine. Add slices of lime to the glasses or pitcher for garnish. Pour over lots of ice and serve with a slice of red pepper, just because it’s festive and pretty.

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