Easy & Versatile Green Smoothie

I love Spring – wild flowers everywhere. Can’t resist taking pictures, they are so beautiful!

Bluebonnets
Bluebonnets – state flower of Texas.

Wild Flowers
Lady Bird Wild flower Center, Austin. TX

Spring brings gorgeous greens along with beautiful flowers. I found this easy and versatile recipe that can be made into smoothie or hot steaming soup!

I will post the link to Dr. John Douillard’s blog for more details on benefits of string beans, celery, zucchini and parsley along with the original recipe in the end of this page.

3 Easy Steps Recipe: takes only 10 minutes!

  1. Wash and cut up 2 celery stalks, 1 zucchini and 1 cup of string beans.
  2. Steam in 1-2 cups of filtered water for about 8 minutes.
  3. Add 1/2 cup of fresh parsley, a clove of garlic (optional), a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice (optional), 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt and blend with the steaming water!

The recipe can be enjoyed as a smoothie at room temperature or as hot steaming soup.

Veggies for steaming
Wash and cut up veggies…

Steamed Veggies
Steam…

Blended into Soup
Blend!

I have been enjoying it as hot steaming soup since we got a little “cold wave” in TX for last couple of weeks 🙂

I also tried frozen peas in place of green beans, and added some leafy greens (spinach, kale and Swiss chard) in the last minute of steaming.

Here is the original recipe and benefits link. 

Try the recipe and share your ideas in the comments.

 

How to Add Minerals in Your Food?

Cooking with home made veggie broth is one of the easiest ways to add more minerals in food. I feel the difference when I cook rice in veggie broth vs plain water – I feel more satiated with little rice when cooked in broth!

I save the odds and ends of my veggies for 5-6 days in my fridge to make veggie broth. Adding some onions, garlic, ginger, sea weeds, herbs and spices makes it mineral rich.

veggie broth 1

I use celery and parsley in my breakfast smoothie along with cucumbers, parsley, ginger, and lots of fresh greens; and save tough ends of celery and thicker stems of parsley.

veggie broth 2

Save other veggies like tough ends of asparagus, woody stems of leafy greens (chard, kale, collard greens) while making lunch or dinner  – so I gather a large bag full of odds and ends of these veggies within 5 – 6 days.

 

I take a large stock pot or dutch oven, half fill with almost a gallon (12 – 16 cups) of filtered water and add roughly chopped veggies on hand, for example:

veggie broth 4
Onions, garlic, ginger
Root veggies – carrots, beets, parsnips, sweet potatoes
Leafy greens – kale, collard greens
Other veggies on hand – broccoli, cabbage, peppers
Dried Seaweeds – 2 tablespoons of arame, 1 tablespoon of dulse, 2 strips of kombu
Spices – black peppercorn, bay leaves, whole coriander seeds
Fresh herbs from my garden or dried herbs – rosemary, sage, oregano, thyme, parsley, basil, dill etc.

veggie broth 5

Once it starts to reach boiling point I reduce the flame to minimum and simmer for 3 – 4 hours.

veggie broth

Strain and store in mason jars in fridge for 5-6 days. Discard the veggies or compost it if you like.

Tip: strain the broth as soon as you turn off the heat otherwise the cooked veggies will soak up most of the broth during cooling down! Trust me on that…I made that mistake once and learned my lesson 🙂

Using broth in cooking is simple – just replace water with broth while cooking rice, lentils, beans or soups! I like drinking the broth with little salt, pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon especially during winters.

Watch this short video by Jon Gabriel, it gave me fairly good idea to begin making broths!

 

Once you start making the broth you will develop your own recipe.
You can also download Jon’s veggie broth recipe here

Do you make broth at home? Share your ideas and tips in comments below.

Rainbow Quinoa Salad

Before cooking, quinoa must be rinsed to remove the toxic (but naturally occurring) bitter coating, called saponin. Saponin, when removed from quinoa, produces a soapy solution in water. Quinoa is rinsed before it is packaged and sold, but it is best to rinse again at home before use. Place quinoa in a grain strainer and rinse thoroughly with water.

To cook quinoa, place 1 cup rinsed quinoa in 2 cups of water and bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Let it cool down to room temperature before making the salad. You can see more on cooking quinoa here.

SERVES: 6     PREP TIME: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients

For Salad

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup red cabbage, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • ½ bell pepper (red, yellow, orange or green whatever you have on hand), chopped
  • 1 carrot, sliced into rounds
  • 2 scallions, sliced into rounds
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes cut into halves
  • ½ cup chopped parsley or cilantro

 

For Dressing:

  • ¼ cup organic extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar and/or lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • A pinch of black pepper or cayenne (optional)
  • 1 tsp. Maple syrup (optional)

 

1 Quinoa w prepared veggies Optm   Quinoa Salad Optm

Direction

  1. Mix all the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a smaller bowl.
  3. Pour dressing over salad and toss well. Adjust the seasoning.
  4. Leftovers will last in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  5. Experiment with different combination of vegetables and dressings of your choice.

 

 

Rainbow Salad

Rainbow salad Optm

SERVES: 4     PREP TIME: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients

For Salad

  • 1/2 cup red cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 cup carrots, grated
  • 1/4 cup beets, grated
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pit removed and sliced
  • 1/4 cup red radish, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fennel, sliced
  • 1 cup sprouts (mung or alfalfa)

 

For Yummy Ranch Dressing with a Twist

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (add a little extra water if using greek yogurt). Click here for Homemade yogurt recipe(you can leave out yogurt for the vegan version)
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro (or flat parsley) – roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp honey or maple syrup (optional)

 

Directions

  1. Mix all the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Blend ingredients of dressing and store in a small jam jar. Will stay fresh in fridge 4-5 days.
  3. You can use any dressing of your choice with this fresh and beautiful rainbow salad.

 

Cabbage Pomegranate Slaw

A quick dish for the beginning of spring! Winter is almost gone and now is the time to reduce fats and proteins, and start going for more raw vegetables and salads.

SERVES: 4     PREP TIME: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 head cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1/2 pomegranate, peeled and seeds separated
  • 1 navel orange, peeled and sectioned
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

 

Cabbage pomegranate Optm    Cabbage Pomegranate slaw1 Optm

Directions

  1. Mix cabbage, pomegranate, orange, carrot and cilantro in a large bowl.
  2. Add lime juice, salt and pepper. Stir to mix well.
  3. Refrigerate for an hour.
  4. This dish can be made a day ahead of time.

Variations: This is a versatile recipe. You can use any combination of vegetables like purple cabbage, cucumbers, onion, beets and jicama. If you like to make the dressing a little spicier try using olive oil and minced garlic or ginger along with some fresh lime juice.

Cabbage Pomegranate slaw Optm

Raw Chocolate Truffles

PREP TIME: 20 minutes    MAKES 15 – 25 truffles

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 cup cashews or macadamia nuts
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • Water (to mix)

Roll-in ingredients: shredded coconut, chopped nuts, chocolate nibs, raw sugar, cacao powder, ginger, or something else you love

Direction

  1. Mix cashews in a food processor until a powder, adding enough water to create a thick paste.
  2. Add maple syrup to cashews and pulse to process.
  3. Add cacao powder. Pulse to process.
  4. Refrigerate for four hours or overnight for best results.
  5. Form teaspoon or tablespoon-sized balls of dough. Coat balls in your chosen roll-in ingredients!

Raw Chocolate trouffles Optm