Creamy Green Smoothie Bowl

If you are on Instagram, you have surely seen millions of perfectly staged pictures of smoothie bowls.  Never once did the thought of pouring my smoothie into a cereal bowl and eating it with a spoon appeal to me.  Just drink it like a normal person!  But finally I realized a few good things about the bowl concept.  First, you can arguably make a lot more of the smoothie–never a bad thing in my book.  You can also put lots of crunchy, delicious toppings on it, making it feel like more of a meal than just a drink on the go.  This morning I decided to take the leap.  I made one of my favorite smoothie combos slightly thicker than usual and loaded on the toppings.  The result?  Absolutely delicious.  I’m a believer.

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Creamy Green Smoothie Bowl

-1 c kale (or spinach)

-1/2 avocado

-1/2 banana

-spoonful of peanut butter

-squeeze of honey

-1/2 c to 1 c almond milk

-toppings: shredded coconut, crushed plantain chips, toasted almonds (or anything you like)

Blend everything but the toppings and pour it in a bowl.  Place the toppings on–arranged in lines, obviously for Insta. 😉

 

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Healthy Tex-Mex Tostadas with Tomatillo Cilantro Lime Dressing

Surely by now my deep abiding love for all things Tex-Mex has been made pretty obvious.  It’s my go-to comfort food at any and all times of the year, but when it’s this sweltering outside, nothing sounds better to me than a spicy tostada with a nice, cooling margarita! If you want to keep things on the light side, I always suggest making things from scratch, but I just couldn’t resist serving these on top of pre-made tostada shells–yum!  If you’d like to sub these out for something slightly healthier, put corn tortillas in a 350° oven until crispy.  Then top with this amazing tomatillo cilantro lime dressing and all the fixings!


Tex-Mex Tostadas

-1/2 lb ground turkey (can use either turkey or beef or this combination to please everyone)

-1/2 lb ground beef

-1 tsp canola oil

-homemade taco seasoning

In a large skillet, add the oil, turkey, and beef and cook until browned.  Then add the taco seasoning.  Too easy.

  

  
 Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing

-2 tomatillos, husks removed, washed

-1 handful of cilantro

-1/2 of an avocado

-Juice of 1/2 of a lime

-1/2 of a jalepeno, seeded or unseeded depending on the amount of heat you want to achieve

-1/4 c. Canola oil

-1, two finger pinch of salt (or two small pinches)

 

Homemade Taco Seasoning

1 Tbs. Chili Powder

3/4 Tbs. Cumin

1/2 Tbs. Paprika

1/2 Tbs. Garlic Powder

1/4 Tbs. Kosher Salt

Several dashes of Cayenne Powder

The best part is that you only need to use a Tablespoon then you can guesstimate accordingly! The less to wash the better.

 

Toppings

-refried beans (we used refried black beans and highly recommend them!)

-chopped lettuce

-chopped tomatoes

-chopped onion

-chopped cilantro

-wedges of lime

-thin slices of fresh or pickled jalapeño

-cotija (white, crumbly Mexican cheese)

We like to serve this Make-Your-Own style.  Everyone gets exactly what they want and less work for you!

Enjoy!

Cali-Style Chopped Salad with Shrimp and Creamy Cilantro, Avocado Dressing

This salad was dreamt up last night based on the things that I had in my fridge, freezer and pantry. Living in Nashville fresh seafood is tough so I am a firm believer in buying the best Gulf caught frozen shrimp to keep on hand.

This is one of the easiest salads ever! Presentation is key, but even if everything were tossed together it would still look and taste amazing. Most importantly you only need to make two of the components: the shrimp and the dressing

Cali-Style Chopped Salad with Shrimp and Creamy Cilantro Dressing:

Shrimp –

    

I used apprx. 3/4 of a pound for two of us 

1 tsp Chili Powder

1 tsp Cumin

1/2 tsp Sea Salt

1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper

1 Tbs. Olive Oil

Thaw and Pat Dry then toss with spices and oil

Heat, non-stick pan; add shrimp; cook about two minutes per side

Remeber, shrimp cook SO very quickly and the worst thing you can do is over cook them. My shrimp needed just less than two minutes on each side, flipping once. Watch them fairly closely and once they start to turn white/opaque on the first side flip them over.

These would also be great on a grill pan or on the grill.

Truly these guys can be marinated and cooked in 5 minutes!

Creamy Cilantro Avocado Dressing – 

   

Plain, Non Fat Greek Yogurt – one cup/little carton

2 Tbs. Canola Oil

1 tsp. White Wine Vinegar

Two handfuls of Cilantro (1/2 of a bunch)

Juice of one lime

1 clove of garlic (or 1 tsp of minced garlic)

1/4 of avocado (not pictured bc I used the only bit of a very ugly avocado that was still green — make use of what you can, folks!)

1 tsp. salt

2 little pinches of sugar

Throw everything in a mini food processor and then you’re done! 

Dressing will make enough for 6+ salads.. I have put mine in a small Tupperware container in my fridge and it will keep until the expiration of the yogurt you used… Be sure to check that before discarding.

Salad –  

  
 
Chopped Romaine Lettuce

One can of black beans, drained and rinsed

One can of shoepeg corn, drained and rinsed

Chopped tomatoes

Feta Cheese

For a chopped salad layer your romaine first then add your rows of corn and black beans, tomatoes, dressing, feta and shrimp!

This salad is one that any guy is happy to eat because there is enough to it i.e. it’s satisfying and the flavors are great! Guys don’t have to know the base of the creamy dressing is Greek yogurt.

Side note, I have left over corn, beans and dressing since I only made two salads last night so I’m already looking forward to putting them to use somehow this weekend.

Enjoy this salad AND the LONG weekend my friends!!! 

Spicy Beef Bowls with Miso Dressing

It’s starting to heat up in Atlanta, which is definitely putting me in the mood for tropical flavors…or maybe I’m just jealous of Caroline’s trip to Jamaica!  Either way, a dish full of fresh mangoes, cooling avocados, and spicy marinated beef is sure to satisfy…and an ice cold rum cocktail on the side doesn’t hurt either!

Spicy Beef Bowls with Miso Dressing

The Beef:

-1 lb thinly sliced sirloin

-3 Tbsp tamari/soy sauce

-3 Tbsp brown sugar

-2 Tbsp rice vinegar

-2 Tbsp canola oil

-1/4 tsp garlic powder

-1/4 tsp ground ginger

-1/4 cayenne pepper

The Miso Dressing:

-2 Tbsp brown miso

-3 Tbsp canola oil

-1 Tbsp rice vinegar

-juice of 1/2 a lemon

-3 cloves of garlic

-1 inch of ginger

-1 Tbsp honey

-2 tsp tamari/soy sauce

The Add Ons:

-green onions

-mango

-cucumbers

-avocado

-cashews

-rice

Add all of the ingredients for the beef into a large Ziploc bag and wiggle it around until it’s well mixed.  Then let it marinate for several hours or preferably overnight.  Remove it from the fridge to allow it to come to room temperature while you get everything else ready before cooking it in a piping hot cast iron skillet.  The key to caramelizing your beef is to not over crowd your pan–you may need to cook it in stages.  You don’t want your meat to steam!

For the miso dressing, just combine everything in a blender.  Done.

   

 

Chop everything else and layer it all in a bowl.  This dressing can certainly be used for salad dressing, but why waste this dressing on lettuce when you can layer it on white rice and red meat instead?

-Julia

Tuesday’s Table – Spring Salad with Strawberries, Avocado and Feta

Often I need new ideas for good salads. Like salads that make me want to eat salads as meals. My friend Kate has made a salad similar to this several times while I have been around and lucky enough to have it, so I set out to make a version of hers. I loved it so much I made it as a side one night and again for dinner with grilled chicken the next.

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Spring Salad with Strawberries, Avocado, and Feta with Creamy Balsamic

**This is not a “real” recipe, but a great combination of flavors and textures, so you decide how much you want to make and add.**

Greens – Your choice, I used a combination of spinach and Spring Mix with Herbs (my favorite box salad ever from Kroger and I am sure other groceries too)

Chopped Red Onion

Chopped Strawberries

Chopped Avocado

Crumbled Feta Cheese

Fresh herbs – any that you have. Finely chop them and toss them with your greens. I have started doing this with almost all of my salads, and this adds brightness and flavor for no additional calories. For this salad I added flat leaf parsley and chives. Basil and dill would be great additions as well.

Chopped, Toasted Pecans (any nuts that you have on hand will be great – just toast them for about two minutes on the stove or in your oven, but be careful.  They burn so quickly! 5 minutes is max. When toasting nuts, I do a good bit at a time and then save them for later uses.)

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

 

 

“Creamy” Balsamic

1/4 c. honey

1/4 c. Dijon mustard

1/4 c. balsamic vinegar

3/4 c. extra virgin olive oil

For anyone paying attention or wanting to make more or less of this dressing, it is 1 part each of honey, Dijon, and balsamic with 3 parts olive oil. If I’m making a smaller batch of dressing I will do 1 tablespoon to 3 olive oil. But the dressing keeps well, so I usually make a bigger batch and save it for my next salad. I make this dressing often and use it for all sorts of salads. The recipe came from my friend Maggie, years ago and has been my go-to homemade dressing ever since. Bottled dressing is for the birds, and you will see that if you give this a try!

 

Thank goodness for dear friends who cook and inspire!

Enjoy!