Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"Exotic Vacation in a Glass" So Delicious Coconut Milk Smoothie

It's always hard to kick start a week that begins on a Tuesday. I decided that my mind and taste-buds would stay on vacation!

I used to resent the people who posted Vitamix recipes. I wanted to know who these people were with $300.00 blenders!

No, I didn't buy one. Cheryl wanted a new tv and I said she could get it if she bought me a Vitamix. I thought I won that argument right then and there. Instead we have a new fancy TV and a Vitamix!

You can do most of what I can do in a home blender, just not as thick or as smooth. If that's not worth the money to you, don't get one.

I do really love mine though, so if you can get someone else to buy it for you make sure you do!

Part 1: Make the So Delicious Milk Turn Green

  • 2 cups Unsweetened So Delicious
    (Vanilla works well too** - just make sure to taste before adding sweetener)
  • 5 cups assorted baby greens and/or lettuces, loosely packed
    (I used red cabbage, chard, pea shoots, kale, and lettuce)
  • 4 large sprigs parsley
  • 4 large sprigs fresh mint
    (I used lavender mint)
Add all of the above to a blender and blend until it is just a green liquid with no (or very few) chunks. after all, you don't want to clog up your smoothie straw!

Part 2: Make It Thick and Sweet

I use all frozen fruit to get an almost ice cream texture. I like it very thick, but I also use a Vita-mix. If you are using a regular blender use the smaller amount of pineapple and you may need to up the liquid amount too.

You can use only fresh fruit or a combination of frozen and fresh depending on what texture you prefer.

  • 1/2 to 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1 heaping cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon orange flower water (food grade)
  • 1 teaspoon rose flower water (food grade)
** leave out sweeteners below if using vanilla So Delicious only add after tasting
  • 1/2 packet Trader Joe's stevia **
    (each brand is different - use a small amount and add a dash at a time)
  • 1/2 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon agave (optional)**
If using a Vitamix use the plunger to mash all of the fruit to the blades. Depending on your blender you may need to add extra liquid. Err on the side of caution if you have a more delicate blender. No one wins with a broken blender!

Part 3: The Transfer

Blueberries can be a dangerous thing in the morning. I've stained more than a few shirts doling these out before I leave to go to work.  Avoid that “oh crap” moment by wearing  an apron or stash a “smoothie shirt” in the kitchen to change in during  the transfer of smoothie from the blender into glasses. Trust me it’s really worth it!

Part 4: The Drive to Work

As you slip the smoothie into your cup holder there is no doubt you are getting your day off to a good start. It was worth the effort. Go ahead, enjoy feeling a little smug and self-satisfied for a minute or two. Your smoothie will never tell!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Spicy Seitan Flautas

Sometimes things just get away from me and my to-do list (and avoidance of it) finally catches up with me. So I've been doing paperwork and other dreaded tasks the past week. And I actually had something to reward myself for!

Of course that called for a dinner worth celebrating - without wearing me the heck out in the process. These flautas really exceeded my expectations. They were easy and tasted like a Mexican fiesta was going on in my mouth!!

If you are avoiding fat just add a splash of nondairy milk and some blended silken tofu to replace the vegan cheeses. I would recommend starting with half the amount called for and adding more if the filling needs it.

You could make these with refried beans or add cooked veggies if you want. I started planning my next batch while I was finishing these! 

Spicy Seitan Flautas
(see ** for gluten-free alternative ingredients)

Makes: 8 (can make 10 if you ration out the filling very carefully)
Cooking Time: about 15 minutes in a preheated 425 degree oven

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped seitan (**use pressed tofu for a gluten-free version)
  • 3 tablespoons salsa 
  • 2 tablespoons vegan cream cheese (or blended silken tofu)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup Daiya Pepper Jack Cheese, chopped fine (it's gluten-free!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • a few dashes Tabasco (Use Garlic Tabasco if you can find it)
  • 1 package small 6 to 8 inch flour tortillas (preferably whole grain or **gluten-free tortillas)
    I used the reduced carb ones form Trader Joe's - there are 10 in a pack

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Take out a large sheet pan or a couple of small ones and spray a very light coating of oil on them. This is just so they don't stick, so if you have nonstick pans you may be able to skip this step.

In a large bowl mix the seitan, salsa, cheeses, and spices. You want the seitan and Daiya chopped small so you can distribute it evenly on the tortillas.

On a cutting board lay out a tortilla, take about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons filling and spread it in a line in the first third of the tortilla. 

The Trader Joe's tortillas I used are super moist and easy to roll right out of the package. If yours are stiff you can either warm it a little in a saute pan (or in the microwave if you own one).

Start with that end and wrap the tortilla tightly (but not so tight you squeeze all the filling out). Place seam side down on your sheet pan. These can be fairly close, but don't let them touch.

Cook until they are slightly brown and mostly crunchy. This will take about 15 to 20 minutes depending on your oven and how moist your tortillas were to begin with.