Monthly Archives: June 2015

Alma’s Kale Smoothie

DSC_0012My daughter returned from college with a wonderful arsenal of recipes she developed over the school year. She treated me to this delicious and satisfying smoothie with lunch today. The recipe can (and should) be modified and played with so use it as a spring board. According to Alma, blueberries added will make a delicious smoothie but the color is “gross”.
This recipe makes 2 servings.

3 cups kale; rinsed and coarsely chopped
1 banana; peeled and broken into several pieces
1-2* apples; washed, cored and wedged
1 inch piece of fresh ginger root; peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup orange juice (or a whole peeled orange)

Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

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Black Bean Burgers; vegan and gluten free

A patty on a bed of spinach with “burger toppers” for vegans without the “glutenful” bun.

A patty on a bun with fresh mozzarella for vegetarians.

1 cup dry black beans; soaked 4-8 hours, drained and rinsed, cooked till tender, drained and rinsed OR 3 cups canned beans; drained and rinsed
1/2 onion; minced
1 celery stalk; minced
1 carrot; shredded
2 cloves garlic; crushed
3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro; minced OR 1 Tablespoon dry cilantro
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/8-1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 Tablespoon fresh pressed lime (or lemon) juice
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup gluten free flour (I ground oats/oat flour)

Cook dry beans in water till tender, about 1 hour. When beans are tender, or if using canned beans, drain and rinse. In a medium sized bowl mash beans (I use a pastry knife but you can use the back of a fork or a potato masher).

Add the remaining ingredients, combine well and set aside for 10 minutes. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with wax/parchment paper. Form 1/3 cup of bean mixture into a ball, press into a patty and place on wax/parchment paper lined baking sheet. Chill for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare toppings and any sides. I kept is pretty classic: romaine lettuce, onion, tomato and garlic sandwich pickles.

Preheat a heavy bottom skillet on medium high. Add extra virgin olive oil to generously coat the skillet and gently place patties into the pan leaving a bit of space between each one making it easier to flip. Fry until browned, flip and fry other side. Place burgers in a single layer on a serving tray (or baking sheet placed in 200 degree oven). Optional- put burgers on paper towels to absorb excess oil from frying.

Affordable Green Cleaning

My “ingredients” for keeping our bathrooms clean and fresh without chemicals are borax, distilled white vinegar and baking soda. All of these items are found in the grocery store. Tools of the trade? A spray bottle for the vinegar, paper towel, a sponge for wiping, a scrub brush for the textured bathtub bottom and a toilet brush. Truly, the worst part of this is the strong vinegar smell while cleaning, but that gives way to a fresh smelling, clean and chemical free bathroom. I recommend opening a window and turning on the bathroom fan. At least there aren’t chemicals flying through the air and into your lungs.IMG_0529
I am thoroughly embarrassed at the state of the tub- it usually doesn’t get to this point but one thing led to another and all of a sudden I just couldn’t stand the grime.IMG_0525
With distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle spray the walls and tub then sprinkled with baking soda. Repeat this in the sink. While that “fizzes” for a bit, sprinkle the toilet bowl with borax, scrub with the toilet brush and let the borax water sit in the bowl until the next “usage”. Sprayed the mirror with the vinegar and wipe with a paper towel (or clean lint free towel). What appears to be a film on the mirror disappears, just wait for it, and you will have a clean mirror. Then, with a damp sponge wipe the sink and faucet. For built up grime just add a bit more baking soda and scrub a little more. Rinse with fresh water. Moving over to the toilet, sprinkle the damp sponge with baking soda and smudge around to make a paste. Wipe down the toilet seat and all and rinse with fresh water on the sponge. By now, the tub grime will have had enough time to loosen.IMG_0526
I have a textured, non-slip surface on the tub bottom which is difficult to get clean. I found that using these simple ingredients and a scrub brush in a circular motion makes light work of even this grimy tub. Use the sponge, sprinkled with baking soda to wipe down the walls and side of the tub then rinse with fresh water. IMG_0527

Crab Cakes for Fathers Day

IMG_05141 lb fresh lump crabmeat (or 4- 4.25 oz cans)
2 Tablespoons minced onion
1 egg; beaten
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
3 Tablespoons fresh parsley; minced (or 1 Tablespoon dry parsley)
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme; rubbed between fingers (or pinch dry)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (or lime if using cilantro)
2 Tablespoons bread crumbs (for GLUTEN FREE option use oat flour; I grind my own gluten free oats)

bread crumbs/oat flour for coating

canola oil for frying

Pick through the crab meat for any shell or cartilage pieces. (Drain if using canned meat through a fine mesh sieve). Mix remaining ingredients then add the crab meat combining well without breaking apart the lumps. Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper. Sprinkle bread crumbs (oat flour) onto a plate. Scoop 1/4 cup of the mixture into your hand and form into a ball (squeeze excess moisture out gently) then press down onto the bread crumb (oat flour) covered plate to coat, flip and press down to coat the other side. Arrange patties on the was/parchment paper lined pan and refrigerate for 1-2 hours to “set” before frying.

Meanwhile, prepare the sides. I served the crab cakes with garlic slaw, roasted corn with black beans, a spicy barbecue sauce and fresh rolls. RECIPES BELOW

Preheat a large heavy bottomed skillet to medium high. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Add canola oil to generously coat the bottom of the pan and heat. Gently place each patty into the skillet leaving plenty of space around each one. (I used two forks to manipulate the patties.) Fry until golden (just before brown) and gently flip to fry on the other side. Remove from pan and place on paper towels to drain.

GARLIC COLE SLAW
1/4 green cabbage head; shredded or thinly sliced
2 carrots; shredded
2 cloves garlic; crushed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
pinch teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dill weed (or 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh)
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup mayonnaise

Place cabbage and carrots in a large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and toss together. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

ROASTED CORN WITH BLACK BEANS
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 lb bag of frozen corn
1/2 red bell pepper; finely chopped
2 cups cooked black beans (1 15-16 oz can black beans)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste, you choose the heat)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mixing well. Spread the corn mixture evenly on the pan. Preheat the oven to 400 when starting to fry the crab cakes and roast the corn for 10-15 minutes.

SPICY BARBECUE SAUCE
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon mustard
1/4 teaspoon ketchup
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon cumin
pinch thyme
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients.