Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Green Smoothie

In case you hadn't noticed (or haven't visited this corner of the world), Northern California has hills. Lovely, rolling hills that look deceptively friendly and gentle until you are peddling frantically up them trying to remember how to change gears on your bike after spending the past three years in the Midwest where there are no hills.

After such an invigorating morning workout, I was definitely in need of some refreshing fuel. Smoothies are light, refreshing, and can be packed with nutrition, perfect for someone like me who doesn't awaken craving something hearty for breakfast. My first thought when the alarm goes off is simply "coffee coffee coffee coffee," and once that need is met I can cruise quite happily into lunchtime without a second glance in the direction of the kitchen - and indeed I would if it wasn't for my dear friend Alyssa frequently reminding me via text message that subsisting off of a diet solely comprised of coffee beans and soymilk isn't the healthiest way to begin the day...

So as I was saying, smoothies. Usually my smoothies are rather slapdash, comprised of frozen fruit, spinach, hemp protein power, and whatever else might seem healthful and appealing at the time (yes, sometimes coffee winds up in my smoothies too... ;-). Today's smoothie actually followed a recipe, and since this smoothie was so delicious and filled with good nourishing things and was created by my college friend Rachel, I am going to send you to her awesome blog for the recipe! :-)

Speaking of wonderful blogs, I also highly recommend you visit the blog of my friend and coworker Kelli, who is a very talented registered Dietitian with lots of great nutrition advice and recipes to share!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Perfect Peanut Sauce (and a Carrot Salad)

I just discovered that my husband loves peanut sauce. Given that we have shared 8 very happy years together, one would think I would already be aware of this integral piece of information. Yet again, though, I had never made a really stellar peanut sauce until last week... This one is so simple, so absurdly easy to whip up, and yet it's perfectly balanced, just as a peanut sauce should be, and so delicious I could just eat it with a spoon. Which I may actually do sometimes. I confess.

I've also used it to dress a light stir fry of bok choy and mushrooms, and it's divine drizzled over udon or soba noodles.

Currently, I am obsessed with using this peanut sauce to make carrot salad... So very, very, very yummy. I even eat it for breakfast stirred in plain Greek yogurt... Sounds odd, I know, but perfectly luscious and refershing for a savory summer breakfast. I may have just eaten this salad for lunch too...

Perfect Peanut Sauce (and a Carrot Salad)

Adapted from http://ilovepeanutbutter.com/recipes/beef-with-udon-noodles-and-baby-bok-choy-with-peanut-butter-sauce/

For the Peanut Sauce
6 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup strawberry jam
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
~ To make the peanut sauce, simply whisk together all the ingredients and then season to taste with salt and pepper! So easy!

For the Carrot Salad
1/2 batch of peanut sauce
2 lbs carrots, grated or finely chopped
Dried cranberries
~ Toss all your ingredients together, and serve chilled or at room temperature!