Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sweet Potato, Pineapple, Orange, Carrot, Ginger and Coconut Water Juice {Orange You Happy Juice}

Another post of an orange juice? Do I have a new favorite color? Maybe. While I was preggo I hate hate hated sweet potato juice. The husband LOVED it so he convinced me to try it again and SURPRISE! I like it! Sounds crazy, but paired with the right fruits and veg it is wonderful. Today's orange beauty was sweet potato, pineapple, orange, carrot and ginger topped off with coconut water to get my good and hydrated after this morning's doozy of a work out. I sipped on it while I cooled off and relaxed on my porch. 

Orange You Happy Juice
(makes two full glasses this size, perfect for breakfast or an after workout pick me up)
1/2 a sweet potato
2 med/large carrots
1/4 of a fresh pineapple
2 large oranges
a hunk of ginger
coconut water

Juice your fruit and veggies and strain. Pour into two glasses and top off with Coconut Water to fill your glasses. Chill and enjoy.

*No matter how much you strain this juice it is going to be slightly pulpy due to the orange and sweet potato. For juices like these I prefer to use the "blender cups" that have little wire ball that resembles a whisk in the bottom. When it settles you can shake it up and all is wonderful and no longer gritty feeling. 

**I don't think that using these juices as a meal replacement is a way of life however I do enjoy for breakfast often and lunch from time to time. They are filling and healthy. I give them to my my oldest to drink between meals. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Blood Orange, Carrot and Pineapple

I know, I know, a juice that isn't green, you must think I've gone nutty! And it is gooooooood! Of course I have been on a major blood orange kick recently, somethings never change. It was a bit too spicy for the Mr. but I like the major ginger kick. He only likes ginger since he started juicing last year, before that he HATED it. Now he loves it and will even drink ginger ale and I don't have to lie bout if it is in food now. But this juice might have been over the line for him, I just happen to really like the spice from it. Maybe its because my Grandpa used to sneak a very strong spicy ginger ale to me in my sippy cup. My Mom would get so mad at him but he kept doing it anyway. He was a rebel like that. Even though I rarely drink ginger ale now I still love that bright heat that you get from fresh ginger. If you think its too much either use less ginger or toss in a frozen banana and blend it up and make it into a smoothie. 

This juice makes 2 to 3 meal replacement servings
Blood Orange, Carrot and Pineapple Juice
3 large or 4 small blood oranges
5 carrots
1/3 of a pineapple
1 apple
a 3 inch chunk of ginger

Process everything through the fjuicer, or blender then strain and drink. Or refrigerate first, I often do.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Spicy Peanut Noodles {A lunch time favorite}

I needed comfort food today. I was making up for the lack of it yesterday, when I needed it most. Yesterday, no one and nothing would go along with the plan I laid out for the day. And just when I was about to explode, on the interstate with the Mr. and the boys our Jeep went comatose. There we were stranded in 80+ degree weather on the side of the interstate in rush hour traffic. Luckily my in laws came to our rescue and brought the boys and me home while the hubs waited for a tow truck. It could have been much worse so I am thankful, very thankful that it wasn't but I was/am stressed!!! So umm... Yeah, that happened but now back to the food. I don't crave your "typical" southern style comfort food when I'm stressed. While I love biscuits and fried chicken like any true southerner for me comfort food (other than mashed potatoes) includes soy sauce and rice vinegar. My quick and easy favorite is this spicy peanut noodle meal. I used to have this for lunch at least once a week but lately I've been juicing for lunch or eating raw fruit and veg. I've missed these noodles.

*This is not a true recipe because I never make them the same way twice. Adjust the ingredients to you're taste. I have also been known to through in left over veggies from the previous night.*

Spicy Peanut Noodles
For 2 people I use approximately
1/3 of a box of spaghetti noodles
2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup peanut butter
1-2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar or lemon juice
1/8 cup honey
1 raw carrot, grated
a small handful of peanuts chopped

Boil your pasta as you normally would. In a bowl whisk together soy sauce and peanut butter. Until well combined. Then add in your vinegar and honey. Taste to make sure you don't need more of something. Add a few drops of Sriracha, then stir and taste again.  Once pasta is done, drain and toss with your sauce. It should just coat your pasta, you don't want it swimming in sauce. Once coated stir in the carrot, the heat from the pasta will soften the carrots slightly yet still leave a crunch.  Portion into two bowls. Top with peanuts and add a few drops of Sriracha. Enjoy while warm. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Homemade Strawberry Syrup

While any kind of syrup in milk is not the healthiest thing to give my boy sometimes as a mom I have to get inventive to get good things in him. My oldest doesn't really like plain milk, he'll drink it sometimes, but rarely.
Can I just point out how adorable my Monkey is!!!
 And I know he sounds like any normal kid that prefers chocolate milk but I hate hate hate the taste of plain milk, in fact the only time I drink it is with a huge piece of chocolate cake or a brownie and then I rarely finish the glass. The only milk I drink untouched is Almond Coconut Milk. So when  Monkey tells me he can't drink it I don't push too hard. To get his some calcium I add a little chocolate or strawberry syrup. But lately I've realized how much junk goes into our foods so I try to make as much homemade as possible. This syrup is the same recipe I use for Italian Sodas as well. It's pretty versatile and easy.

basically toss everything in your pot then puree 


some seeds may sneak through

pour into your jar

let cool

then drink

Strawberry Syrup
2 16 oz containers of fresh strawberries
1 cup water
1/3 cup raw sugar*

Place all ingredients into a pot over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Boil 5 minutes, stirring regularly  making sure nothing burns to the bottom. Puree (I used an immersion blender) and return to a medium heat. Simmer for 5 minutes. Strain into a bowl. Let cool and pour into your jar. and refrigerate. Keeps around two weeks.

*Use whatever type of sweetener you prefer. I used raw sugar because I had it on hand. Truly I planned on using Agave Nectar but was totally out. Just remember to change measurement accordingly  Also these strawberries were fairly tart but you can lower or raise the amount for your taste.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Blood Orange Bars {Citrus Bars}

It can be said that I have an addiction to citrus. Although that can be said, I'd prefer to say I have a totally normal, non-creepy love affair with citrus. My husband is totally fine with that too , maybe because he likes everything citrus also, maybe because he thinks I'm a bit deranged and that he should stay on my good side. Whatever the case I bake and cook with lemon, lime and orange often. I came very close to making my tried and true lemon bars for Easter but at the last minute I changed my mind and went with my dear , dear sweet blood oranges. I ♥ them so! Blood oranges are my new favorite and the family all love them too.

 My mom has made lemon bars as long as I can remember. I love them and always have but it is hard to find a good recipe but I believe this one is near perfect. Often you find recipes that call for flour or sour cream and I feel that it muddies the flavor. I like the pure unadulterated lemon (or which ever citrus juice I use) zing. But the problem with the recipes that are without flour is they often don't set and become a runny gooey mess when you cut into them. Make sure you beat these with an electric mixer. They need to have some air beat into them for them to set properly. I found this out the hard way (more than once.)

It can also be said I'm like a Tasmanian Devil in he kitchen. This picture is proof of my messy baking skills.
Also my three year old destroyed my mesh strainer so dusting with powered sugar was a challenge.

Blood Orange Bars

{for crust}
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter (at room temp)

{for filling}
4 eggs
1 cup sugar*
1 cup of fresh squeezed juice, strained (I used 1 lemon plus three blood oranges)
1-2 tbsp of zest (if possible)

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Line a 9x9 pan with aluminum foil and spray with coking spray.
combine all ingredients for crust into a food processor and mix. It should look like sand. Press mixture into pan  making sure bottom is completely covered and as even as possible. Bake for 15-18 minutes until very lightly brown just around edges.While crust is baking combine all filling ingredients into a stand mixer and beat on medium speed for at least 3 minutes. I tend to go 5. (You can use a hand mixer if you don' have a stand mixer) Pour filling into crust and bake for 20 minutes or until filling is set and no longer jiggles. Let cool, cut and top with powdered sugar.

*you may want to consider upping the sugar by 1/3 of a cup for tarter fruit such as grapefruit or lemon.

Oh and I made these amazing cupcakes for Easter! Seriously follow the link and make them! LOVE that buttercream!