Thursday, January 17, 2013

Juice for Breakfast

Click here to get an idea of what I'm up to for the next 3 weeks... This magazine just showed up the other day, and I thought it's New Year "action plan" looked pretty good. Today's breakfast was supposed to be a Mango-Tahini Smoothie, but the green grocer was out of mango this week, and I don't fancy a trip to Trader Joe's today.

Have I mentioned Washington's Green Grocer before? I'm sure I have. If we've spoken in person about food, then I know I have. They have a new local-only box that we recently switched to; then I just add on whatever else we need for the week. Since we joined a couple of years ago, they've greatly expanded the selection. If they sold paper goods & toiletries, I might not go to the store at all!

Anyway, back to breakfast! I opted to adjust tomorrow's scheduled breaky for today: 

Pears, cucumbers and ginger from the original recipe are a check, but I also added some mint, a beet and a few carrots that were screaming for my attention. (That's the great thing about juicing - even if a juicer seems expensive, it'll probably save you lots of wasted produce dollars over it's lifetime. It doesn't care if the carrots are a bit limp-ish.)

I peeled/cored and chopped all ingredients because our juicer works better that way, and it was good. I tossed it in a blender with a handful of ice and blueberries and strawberries (juicer's not so efficient with soft fruits)... and it was GREAT.

P.S. The orange thing on top of the mason jar is a cuppow. As long as I'm recommending things, I love that, too!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Start Fresh!

Well, somebody must've gotten me a subscription to Whole Living magazine for Christmas... Was it you? I really don't know who! If it was you, then Thank You. The feature article in this Jan/Feb edition is "Reboot Your Body." Page 40. And I think I'm going to give it a try! What I like about this plan is it's simplicity and it's non-craziness. I won't be eating pulverized kale 3 meals a day for a month. Instead, for the next 21 days, I'll stick to "cruciferous vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins."

During week one, that means lentils, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. A bit more variety, including fish, gluten-free grains and eggs are introduced in weeks 2 and 3. I'll modify the menu a bit here and there for what we've got in the fridge, and I. will. not. cut. coffee. But I will opt out on dairy and sugar, so I'll drink my coffee black. A personal goal is no coffee past noon, with hopes of sleeping a bit better. And tax on my liver be damned, I may opt for a glass of red wine here and there. Let's just be honest.

Not counting book club last night, which was at a yummy wood-fired pizza joint that has Bell's Two Hearted Ale on tap, I've really limited refined grains and dairy, and have pretty much cut beer and sugar (well, excessive sugar) so far this year already.

I think my chances for sticking to this (only slightly modified) reboot/detox are pretty good. Won't you follow along? Do you have a favorite detox plan or something you do to get healthy after the holidays?

Tomorrow's menu = smoothie for breakfast; French Lentil Salad for lunch and Creamy Broccoli Soup for dinner. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Basic Granola

Happy New Year all! Yesterday, I woke up moved to make a batch of this:

Not a bad way to start the year. Actually, I go through phases where yogurt & granola is my set breakfast, for months at a time. And I'm not complaining! A daily dose of probiotics from yogurt is great; nuts provide long-lasting energy and a bit of get-up&go from sugar & honey doesn't hurt, either (in my opinion). 

If you've never made your own granola before, then may I suggest 2013 be the year you begin. I'd wager you don't go back to the store-bought kind, if for no other reason than making your own -- and experimenting with endless add-ins and substitutes -- is so much fun!

I've tried a lot of granola recipes. Some use a bit of water, and this is supposed to aid in clumping; some warm the wet ingredients before combining with the oats. Some use a million spices. Peanut butter... agave nectar... bran... wheat germ: endless combinations, and none of them bad. But this recipe here is my current go-to, and I rather like it. If you prefer a less clumpy granola, skip the pressing part. 

Try this recipe as a jumping-off point. Experiment, then enjoy your unique creation w/ berries and yogurt (my fave) or on top of ice cream or all by itself. Hippie! ;)

2 c. rolled oats (not quick-cooking; I used Trader Joe's gluten-free)
1 tsp. cinnamon
pinch fresh grated nutmeg
pinch (no more than 1/2 tsp.) kosher salt
1/8 c. cacao nibs or flax seeds or combination of both
3 TB plus 1 tsp oil (I used Trader Joe's coconut oil; vegetable oil or even extra-virgin olive oil works, too, though it does impart some flavor)
1/4 c. honey or pure maple syrup 
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 c. nuts (I used half sliced almonds, half chopped pecans)
2/3 c. dried fruit (I like sour cherries)