My Green Smoothie Variation!

Tired of my healthy blogs yet? Don’t worry, I’ve got a couple of restaurant food blogs coming up soon. My diet has loosened up considerably since I started, but I’ve lost a total of 10 pounds now! Yayyy.  It took me almost two months, but that’s because I pretty much stopped exercising about a month ago. I knoow, booo me. But, I have switched to a healthier (food) lifestyle. I don’t eat fast food anymore, and I’ve been drinking exclusively water for about two years now, save for the occasional tea or alcohol. But since moving away from Toronto, I don’t find myself drinking (alcohol) every weekend or every other weekend. I’m mostly a hermit.

I never thought I’d become one of those people, but I actually caught myself saying, “Ugh, is it organic though…?” the other day, and I found that weird. But I’ve been trying to buy organic food when my budget allows and when it’s available. I’m not too strict on it. I’ve heard people say that generally, the things where you don’t eat the peel (oranges, watermelon, etc) you don’t have to buy organic, but other things you should (lettuces, veggies, etc) or at least wash very very thoroughly before using.

So, in accordance with this healthy (food) lifestyle, I either have my oatmeal for breakfast or this smoothie that I’m going to share with you. For the last 2-3 weeks, I’ve been having this smoothie exclusively because it’s so darn tasty. This smoothie gives me tons of energy and usually keeps me full for 4-5 hours! I’ll have it in the morning before I go to work and then by the time my lunch break comes around, I’ll have just started to get hungry.

I first heard about green smoothies from one of my favourite vloggers, itsjudytime, on her daily vlog channel called itsjudyslife. Her husband, Benji, does a green smoothie/juice recipe on his channel, BenjiManTV. I made up my recipe by watching them make their smoothies, as well as doing my research on green smoothies (it supposedly makes your skin glooooow), and adjusting it to my own taste preferences. So without further ado, here we go!

Alright! This is what I put into my smoothie on a pretty regular basis. Well, except for the mixer.. that’s just what I use to mix them all together… jeez.

So I start off with half a banana (~50 cal.), as much spinach as I can fit (~10 cal.), and some almond milk (~25 cal), just so it’s not too thick. You can adjust the amount of almond milk to how thick or thin you like your drink. You can also substitute for water if you want to lower calories, or coconut water for a delicious flavour. I actually added fresh coconut water with some coconut flesh the other day, and it tasted super fresh! As you can see, after blending, the drink is a wonderful bright and alien green.

Please forgive my typography here. Next, I put in one stalk of celery and a few slices of apple in there (~15 cal.). I like to mix my ingredients in batches because it doesn’t overwork my magic bullet. If you have a full-size blender, it can probably handle all the ingredients in there at once, but I like how I just have to wash the “cup” I use after I’m done with it instead of a whole different container (I hate dishes).

Now this is where it gets… sludgy looking. I add in 1/4 cup of my frozen berries (~40 cals.) and 1/4 cup of my frozen fruits (~40 cals depending on the kinds of fruits). You can easily do this with all berries, or even no berries at all. I had a berries and mango mixture going on for a while. Yum yum yum!

I add some more spinach for good measure. A cup of spinach is only 7 calories, people! And you can’t even taste the spinach. You can also add kale, which is a known superfood, but I’ve never had kale before. Once, my brother bought me a spinach blend instead of just spinach, and it had radicchio and arugula in it. Usually, I love arugula, but I found its flavour in a smoothie much too overpowering.

I only add half a scoop of whey protein in to save calories. Also, if you follow my vlog, you will have seen that the first time I ever made a smoothie, I added a whole scoop, and though it made me very very full, I really disliked the sickly sweet flavour. I use the vanilla flavour from Kaizen 100% Whey Protein. For more information about protein, what protein he uses, and for more health and fitness information, check out my friend Edmond’s blog. Boy is cut as heck!

Here’s the nutritional information for the protein that I use:

So, half a scoop of protein is about 75 calories. You can skip it, but I feel like this is the thing that really keeps me full throughout the day. Though it’s a lot of calories for one ingredient, it keeps me from eating more later on. I mix everything up after adding the whey protein.

Next step you don’t really have to add, but I like to put in a third to half a package of plain oatmeal (20-25 grams) which equals 65-95 calories. I would usually add just bulk oatmeal but I had some packages leftover. If you’re watching your calories, I would exclude it, but I wanted to have more fibre. That’s about 25% of the reason. The other 75% is because with the berries, there are those really annoying raspberry/strawberry seeds that are left and you have to chew and get stuck in your teeth. So I add in the oatmeal (and shake, not blend!) so that I have something that I can chew and distract from the annoying seeds because I added the oatmeal on purpose. Plus, I like chewing something substantial in my smoothie. The best way to add oatmeal in is if your smoothie is relatively thick. If it’s too juice-like, it’ll just sink to the bottom. Ew.

So in total, this smoothie comes up to about 330 calories. About 250 if you omit the oatmeal, and 175 if you omit the protein too. Anyway, I like it because it’s healthy, tastes good, and you don’t even have to add any sugars because the banana, berries, and protein add enough sweetness. You even get some veggies in there without having to taste them! I completely recommend you trying it out! :)

Apartment Cooking

So, I have been doing some light cooking while at home. Man, do I love a great meal made with my own hands. Well, my own hands and the supermarket. One of the first recipes I made was this tomato-cream one from one of my favourite food bloggers, Ree Drummond. It’s so insanely easy to make, and so insanely delicious to eat, if you’re a fan of rosée ish sauces. Mmm. You basically just cook up some onions and garlic, then pour in some puréed or crushed tomatoes, cook till the tomatoes darken, then pour in some heavy cream. Mix it up, pour in parmesan cheese, and then mix in the noodles. Unfortunately, I don’t have my own photo to add here, too busy devouring. But it turned out more or less like that. So yummy. On non-lent Fridays, I’ll add some chicken breast in for more substance to the pasta, but even plain is good enough.

My first meal, with tomatoes tossed onto me from my friend Zizi after she cut up too much, I made some enchiladas. Just some taco beef and beans inside the tortilla, with melted Monterey Jack and medium Chedder, cilantro, and fresh tomatoes on top.

I do eat quite a bit of pasta, but only because I bought this one never-ending package of fettucini, 900g, and for 1.5 people, it’s lasted me a whole month. This one is an incredibly fresh pasta that is the easiest thing to make. There’s no cooking involved, aside from boiling the pasta. I basically took a bruschetta recipe that an italian mama taught me, but they’re a dime a dozen. It’s only 4 basic ingredients chopped and tossed in together with a bit of olive oil.

  • 2 small Tomatoes
  • 0.5 red onion (they’re sweeter, but you can use any, really. Depends on your preference)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic (a fuckton)
  • 4 leaves of fresh basil
  • Olive Oil
  • Red Wine Vinegar (I decided to add this on a whim, experimenting with your recipes is the fun part!)
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Salt and pepper

First, start boiling your water and cook your pasta. Remember to generously salt your water, as this is the only place you’ll be able to add some flavour to the inside of the pasta.

So, you chop up the first 2 ingredients. I only put a fuckton of garlic because I love garlic, so if you don’t like it, feel free to lessen it, but the garlic really does make a difference. These are the approximate proportions, but really, I go by what ‘looks right.’ If you don’t like that many onions, don’t put that many. The real workers of this recipe are the tomatoes, garlic, and basil. The onions are the least important ingredient, but is still kind of important.

I digress. Chop those first 2 ingredients. Mince the garlic. Chiffonade your basil aka cut it into thin-ish strips. An easy way to do this is to stack the leaves on top of each other, roll them up, and start slicing. Take all of that stuff, throw them together, lube them up with a bit of olive oil and a splash of red wine vinegar. The vinegar is optional. Add some salt and pepper to your liking, then allow this beautiful mixture sit for ten-ish minutes and the flavours will marry each other. A big, beautiful Italian orgy.

Make sure your pasta is cooked to however you like it. Strain the pasta. Let it cool a bit, but not too much. Then mix it all up together. Eat it. Die happy.

I cannot believe that I actually craved Vietnamese food. So I called my parents up to ask them how to make Thit Bo Kho (some beef dish), they explained it to me, and then I went to the grocery store and for some reason, bought pork. Ha! Luckily the recipe was interchangeable. First, I made some molasses-like substance (boiling sugar and water till it turns dark). This process is actually pretty delicate, so I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re clumsy or accident-prone in the kitchen. I basically dissolved a bunch of sugar in water, and then boiled the water out of the mixture. This potion turned into a caramel-like substance and then I put it aside for a bit in a small bowl.

I then boiled the pork to cook it slightly, sliced it up, then browned it in some shallots and garlic. Added some of the molasses, which had hardened slightly, into the pork for flavour and colour. Picked up the small bowl, without realizing that I had JUST poured boiling sugar into it. Boy was it hot. I picked it up with a cloth around it after that. Put in some salt and pepper. Didn’t have Nuoc Mam (fish sauce), but it was alright. It didn’t taste like how my parents made it but it’ll do in a pinch. I also hardboiled some eggs, tossed them into the pork mixture with some water and simmered it for a bit so that it would absorb the flavour of the pork.

The green beans are incredibly easy to make. Look at that heavenly glow. It’s something that my mom makes, and I could eat a whole plate of this by myself. So delicious. First, you cut off the ends of the beans. Wash them. Then blanche them. You just need to get a pot of water to a rapid boil and throw the beans in. The beans will absorb the heat of the water and the bubbles will slow down or stop. Keep them in there until the the rapid boil starts again. It is at this point that you want to drain the beans, they’re going to be so crunch and crispy. ^_^

Mince up some garlic. Throw it into a pan of some sort (people say wok, but I don’t have one so it doesn’t quite matter), with a bit of oil, stir it around for a bit (less than a minute), make sure the garlic doesn’t burn. Toss your green beans in, and stir it around. Careful if your beans are still wet because this might cause your oil to splash back at you. Stir around your beans and garlic. Add salt. Pepper if you like (I’m a pepper kind of girl). You can leave it at that or add some oyster sauce. This is rather salty so you’ll want to serve it with rice. But if you like salt, just eat as is.

Crispy inside-out grilled cheese sandwiches. The recipe (really, it’s just cheese and bread) and how-to is found here at Foodwish’s youtube channel. I highly recommend this. Again, I used the monterey jack and medium chedder that I had in my fridge. I had some slices left of the country loaf, so here’s to using what you’ve got on hand! I paired it with Campbell’s tomato soup, to which I added cream to make it .. uh .. creamier.

Mmm.. so that’s that for this post. I am quite pleased with my recent culinary adventures. Now, I’ve got to plan my next dinner. :D