Friday, June 15, 2012

Summer Smoothies

Smoothie 4
I am on a total smoothie kick!  It’s 100% due to the HOT weather…after my morning run all I want is something icy cold! 

The smoothie scene in BR is so disappointing to me.  It’s nearly impossible to find a smoothie made from only REAL ingredients!  Whole Foods does a good job.  And I like the PB & banana smoothie from Red Mango (however, it’s a little sweet for my taste due to the frozen yogurt).

Smoothie 1

Smoothie King is a last resort for me, but when I do go there I always order it "skinny" which means it is only sweetened with honey and they don't add the turbinado (a type of sugar).  It definitely makes the drink less sweet (which I'm used to), but for a 20 oz smoothie it saves about 50 - 100 calories (depending on which one you order).  And I only get 20 oz smoothies...anything more is WAY to much.

One of my favorite smoothies from SK is Mangosteen Madness.

w/ turbinado: 383 cals, 92 g sugar

w/o turbinado: 283 cals, 69 g sugar

Honestly, even without the turbinado, that is too much sugar!  Even if some of it is natural and comes from fruit or dairy.  That's why I make my own most of the time (and why I NEVER get a 32 oz or a 40 oz).

Smoothie 2   

What I really want to encourage you to do is make your own!  I hardly ever follow a recipe.  I use about 1 cup of liquid (juice, milk, yogurt, coconut water) and 1 cup of fruit (usually frozen…sometimes I’ll add fresh as well as frozen).  Then I’ll add other ingredients to boost the flavor and nutrition:  chia seeds, vanilla extract, peanut butter, spinach, avocado, nutmeg, cinnamon.  I also add ice to thicken it up even more.

I just about always add a banana…a frozen banana makes a smoothie so creamy!  And it adds the perfect amount of sweetness so that I don’t have to add any other sweetener.  Coconut water is also a regular addition.  Using a whole cup of milk or juice can add extra calories…so when I want OJ in my smoothie I do a 1/2 cup each of orange juice (55 cals, 11 g sugar) and coconut water (22 cals, 4.5 g sugar).  Same with milk…in my banana smoothie these days I do 1/4 cup milk (whole) and 3/4 cup coconut water.

Vanilla extract is also pretty standard in my smoothies. 

Here are some other smoothie tips:  1) use frozen fruit to make the smoothie extra thick and icy (kind of like a milkshake), 2)  add the sugar (or other sweetener) may not need it...but if you do keep it to 1 tbsp or less…add 1 tsp at a time…3tsp=1tbsp, and 3) watch the calories...if it’s a snack, less than 250 calories. 

Smoothie 3

I've already written about my favorite banana smoothie, mango lassi, and green monster but here are some recipes to inspire you!  Be creative…if you combine ingredients that sound good to YOU and use what’s in season, you can’t go wrong!

Pineapple Coconut Frappe

Strawberry Banana Milkshake

Vanilla Honey-Nut Smoothie*

Fresh Cherry Smoothie

Peach Pie Smoothie

Blueberry Blast Smoothie

Peanut Butter Split Smoothie*

Cantaloupe Yogurt Drink

Fuzzy Navel Smoothie

Banana Peach Buttermilk Smoothie

Raspberry Smoothie (plus other variations)

Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie

* These smoothies are a little higher in fat because of the your serving size!

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Baked Eggs in Whole Roasted Tomatoes

Tomato egg 2

Eggs are more than often a go-to dinner for me.  They are a great source of high quality protein that cook quickly…which means it’s a perfect dinner for me when I get home late from the studioMidnight asparagus with creamy eggs are a staple in my diet, but these eggs baked in tomatoes are giving them a run for their money! 

I save time by pre-roasting the tomatoes.  Then, when I’m ready to eat them, I reheat the tomatoes (in the oven or micro) and continue with the recipe. 

Tomato Egg 3

This would be a great side dish for brunch, but I eat it as a meal (dinner)…so I have 2 servings.  A slice of whole wheat toast works perfectly to soak up the yummy juices from the tomato and the runny yolk of the egg (don’t over cook the yolk!).

As a sidenote…follow me on Instagram (@blairburas) and pinterest (@deliciouslygold) to see what I’m eating everyday and see recipes I can’t wait to try.

Tomato egg 1

Baked Eggs in Whole Roasted Tomatoes
adapted from Whole Living

makes 6 servings

6 large tomatoes 
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried) 
2 ounces of feta (6 tablespoons)
6 large eggs

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Slice the top off each tomato and use a small spoon to remove core and seeds (I used the spoon to scoop around the edges, then with my hands “twisted” the cut portion until it detached from the base).  Don’t cut too close the the sides…you need the outsides of the tomato to hold their shape during baking.

Arrange in a baking dish, drizzle each tomato with 1/2 teaspoon of oil, and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with thyme. Roast until tomatoes are tender and caramelized, about 30 minutes*.  Remove tomatoes from the oven.  If a substantial amount of juice has accumulated in the tomato, carefully drain it out (right into the baking dish is fine).

Crumble the feta into each tomato then crack an egg into each and season with salt and pepper. Bake until eggs are just set, 7 to 9 minutes more…pay attention to the white…you want it to turn white but the yolk to still be runny!

Notes – Some of my tomatoes didn’t hold their shape very well (the walls split)…so, before adding the egg, I propped these mis-shaped tomatoes against the wall of the baking dish for extra support…this way the egg didn’t run out…once the egg sets it will hold the tomato together; For better aim, crack the egg into a teacup first, then pour it on the tomato

* I used Italian seasoning (actually Zoe’s kitchen seasoning) in place of the thyme

Per serving – 148 calories, 8 g carbohydrates,  2.2 g fiber, 8.6 g fat (3 g saturated), 9 g protein (exchanges: 1/2 vegetable, 1.5 fat, 1 protein)