Beet and Berry Smoothie

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A few weeks ago, Adam was out of town, and I had all these vegetables that needed to be used up.  Cooking vegetables for a toddler is always a gamble, so I ended up throwing them into a smoothie.

It was delicious, creamy, and bright pink and, unsurprisingly, the toddler fell in love.  So much so that he has been asking for a smoothie every other day since then (although his pronunciation is "smoomie," which makes my mama heart melt).  I keep throwing veggies in it, and he keeps drinking it.  It is a win-win!

A few notes about the ingredients:
-Use really sweet fruits.  The vegetables are not sweet enough to make this a legit sweet smoothie, so sweet fruit is essential.  I often like to throw in a clementine or three into the smoothie instead of an orange, because they tend to be sweeter.
- Zucchini makes the smoothie creamy without adding sugar (I learned this thanks to an insta-friend). You could add a banana instead, or an avocado with good results, I imagine.
- Cut the vegetables into pieces no longer than an inch in length, and blend for a long time.  I typically blend them in my blendtec for 60-80 seconds to ensure a creamy texture and no chunks.
- Adding a raw beet to the mix makes the shake SUPER pink.  I love that, because it makes it much more appetizing to eat.  I have recently recovered from a super dislike of all things smoothie (as of two or so years), so I am still a little wary of green smoothies.  Adding a beet means I can add spinach or other greens, all while enjoying a nice, pink smoothie.

Beet and Berry Smoothie

serves 3-4

2-3 small carrots, tops and bottoms chopped off, cut into 1" pieces
2 oranges (or 3 clementines), peeled and seeded
1 small beet, peeled, tops and bottoms chopped off and quartered
2" long piece of zucchini, tops and bottoms chopped off
1 cup or two large handfuls of fresh spinach leaves
2 cups frozen mixed berries
2-3 cups whole milk (or nut milk, if you like)

Put carrots, oranges, beets, berries, and the zucchini in the bottom of the blender, top with spinach leaves, then pour milk over the whole thing. Blend for 60-80 seconds. Works best in a really powerful blender (I have a Blendtec).

Sugar-Free Cinnamon Popcorn

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

We are aaaaalmost done with our sugar-free month!  Hurrah! It has been a great exercise in self-control, but I am SO ready to be able to eat ice cream again.  I wanted to share another more tasty sugar-free recipe that I created.

Of course you could just eat chips instead, but I thought this was a nice way to feel like you are eating something sweet without actually eating something sweet. Cinnamon is a tricky way of telling your tastebuds that there is sugar in something without actually adding sugar.

Sugar-Free Cinnamon Popcorn:

6-8 cups of popped popcorn (I use this method to pop mine)
1-2 Tbs melted butter
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp high-quality cinnamon (I used Frontier Co-Op)

In a large bowl, combine your popcorn, and carefully drizzle the butter over the top, and toss with a fork.  Add the salt, and toss again, then sprinkle the cinnamon on top.

Weekly Menu Plan #9

Monday, January 16, 2017

This winter has been kind of bizarre.  We have had a roller coaster weather pattern that has topped out in the 80's and then promptly dropped to the teens for a week.  It has been very strange, and a little difficult to keep up with.

I usually try to make food based on what is seasonal, as well as what the weather is like (salads for hot days, soups for cold days), but I just can't keep up right now.  I will plan a gorgeous soup, and it will be 75 degrees, and we are all wishing for a picnic with sandwiches instead.

Are you snowed in?  I feel like all I am seeing is photos of freezing places on social media, and it is making me grateful that I live in a mostly warm place.

And now, on to the menu!

Vegetables to use up:
*Some of these were from my CSA box, and others were purchased at my grocery store.


Sweet Potato
Bell Pepper

Weekly Menu:

Rainbow Power Salad - This was fun to make (I used my spiralizer, because I love it), but I was not totally impressed with the flavors.  It was fine and super fresh, but not amazing. Granted, it might have been better had I been able to toss the veggie noodles with fresh basil... But I didn't, so maybe it was all my fault.
Vegetarian Thai Pizza - I love the original pizza, but this was quite a good vegetarian version.  I used thinly sliced sweet potato, zucchini, carrot pieces and cilantro leaves.  I faked the sauce (because I only had curry powder), and it was truly magnificent.
Black Bean Mexican Bowls - This is my favorite meal of late.  It is filling, healthy and just dang delicious.  I am planning on posting this one really soon.
Red Pepper and Chickpea Curry - This is a tasty one. I used onions, left out the sugar snap peas (they are SO expensive!) and used curry powder, but it was delicious.
Asian Veggies and Noodles with peanut sauce - This was quite tasty, but I wish I had used this peanut sauce instead.  It is a little more flavorful.  Also, we have church at 2PM now (which means we don't get out until 5), so quick meals have become my favorite.  This meal took about 25 minutes, which was perfect.  
Carrot Soup with Focaccia Bread - This soup is about as simple as they get, and it is delicious!  Dip a little homemade focaccia bread in it, and you are in business!  

Have you been making anything fun lately? 

Sugar-Free Pear Yogurt

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Some days, our no-sugar challenge is totally fine, and other days it is SO hard.  On days like that, I have to try to get creative and throw whatever I have sitting around together to try to make something somewhat sweet and tasty.  

This was a surprisingly good combo.  Pears, cinnamon, pepitas and yogurt.  It is very simple, and if you get a sweet pear, it is good enough to satisfy any cravings you might be having.  It isn't a chocolate bar, but not a bad sugar-free replacement.  

We still have 11 days to go, so if you have any suggestions for sugar-free treats, I am all ears (I am avoiding natural sweeteners as well)!

Sugar-Free Pear Yogurt

1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1/4 pear, diced
1 Tbs toasted pepitas
1 or 2 shakes of high quality cinnamon

Raiding My Sister's Closet: Momiform Shoes

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

I rarely shop for clothes online (except for Thredup). It is usually too stressful for me to buy new clothes when I can't try them on first.  The thought of getting a return figured out, or running the package by the post office is enough to keep me from ordering clothes.  

But these shoes were from an online only boutique. I won a gift card from an instagram giveaway, hosted by Janssen, but had a hard time finding something that really fit with my style, and didn't want to waste the gift card on something that I didn't love.  

Then one day, these popped up (I was looking at their new arrivals almost every day, because I am kind of insane like that), and I loved them.  I ordered them almost instantly, and I have hardly taken them off since that day (which was last February or March, I think).  I really wear them about 4 days a week, all year long.  

They are comfortable, cute, they can be dressy or casual, and they match with every dang thing in my closet.  I should have bought two pairs, I love them so much.  They have held up very well, even with extensive wearing.  Also, they slide on, which is the most amazing thing ever when you need to put shoes on with a toddler on your hip.  

They are basically the perfect mom (or not mom) shoe.  Really, they are the best.

I actually really like the whole outfit, even if it is incredibly simple.  This jacket (that is no longer available) is my favorite winter jacket, This shirt is fabulous and is responsibly made and these jeans are my latest purchase from ThredUp and I can't stop wearing them.  Happy Tuesday! 

jeans: madewell via thredup// belt: target (similar)// shirt: c/o everlane//jacket: guess outlet(similar)// shoes: The mint julep boutique// earrings: gift from a friend 

Check out the shoes that Merrick and Janssen like most as a mom: 


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