Cleaning Out the Freezer — January 10, 2016

Cleaning Out the Freezer

imageI’ve been meaning to clean out my freezer for several months now and just haven’t gotten to it. It’s full of chicken carcasses, vegetable trimmings, leftover tomato sauce, and frozen fruit. While it’s clear I need to make chicken stock, I started this task much too late in the day to complete that. I decided I’d round-up the loose bananas, apple slices, IQF pineapple and strawberries, and coconut milk, and then portion the fruit into sandwich bags so I can easily make smoothies in the morning.

I made up six bags, so I’m all set for this week. I also needed a little snack today, so whipped up a smoothie this afternoon using one of my bags. I’ve seen so-called smoothie bowls cropping up on YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and in my Feedly feed and have been meaning to try out the concept. I took one of my bags and mixed in my NutriBullet with a bit of water. I poured into a bowl and topped with some cashews, dried cranberries, chocolate chips, and Mandarin segments. Not quite as photogenic as those Pinterest beauties, but I’m a believer! What a great, simple idea. I’ll definitely be making another smoothie bowl in the near future.

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Strawberry-Pineapple-Banana Smoothie Bowl

Serves 1 (scale up as you like)

Ingredients:

For the smoothie:
  • 1.5 fl oz frozen fruit juice (I used Damson plum, which I had in the freezer)
  • 1.5 fl oz frozen coconut milk
  • 1 wedge of frozen apple, skin on
  • 4.5 oz frozen pineapple (about 1/4 cup)
  • 4.5 oz frozen strawberries (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 frozen peeled banana (about 4.5 oz)
  • 1/2 cup water (approximate)
Toppings:
  • 1 tbsp cashews
  • 1 tbsp chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp dried cranberries
  • 1/2 Mandarin, peeled and sectioned

Directions:

  1. Combine all of the smoothie ingredients in a blender. Adjust the amount of water based on blender requirements and desired thickness. Blend and place in a serving bowl.
  2. Arrange Toppings as desired and enjoy!
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Simple Summer Salad — September 15, 2014

Simple Summer Salad

I subscribe to a CSA, and in my box in the early part of the summer, there is always plenty of arugula.14831213405_f155745b7a_o So much arugula, in fact, that I run out of things to do with it. When this happens, I feel compelled to abandon creativity and revert to simplicity.

This salad has two main ingredients, and only four additional items from the pantry: arugula, sliced strawberries, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and black pepper. That’s it. That’s all that’s necessary. Strawberries, balsamic, and black pepper are a classic combo. The peppery arugula amplifies the heat of the black pepper and complements the sweetness of the strawberries and balsamic perfectly. A little salt and olive oil completes the picture.

It doesn’t hurt if you let the everything sit for a bit before tossing with the arugula. I’d suggest slicing the strawberries and tossing with the salt, pepper, vinegar, and olive oil. Then wash up and spin dry your arugula and the strawberries will be perfect. The salt pulls some of moisture out of the fruit, which gets mixed into the vinaigrette.

Although strawberries work really well in this recipe, if I dare call it that, another fruit could be substituted. I’d consider tomatoes to take it more savory, or perhaps peaches, pineapple, or watermelon to keep it more on the sweet side. You can’t go wrong. If you felt like gilding the lily, some soft goat cheese would be lovely.