Archive | February, 2013

Going Green Metabolizing Machine Kale Smoothie

12 Feb

Kale, the other green meat…

So kale seems to be a pretty popular veggie these days, especially since it is one of the vitamin densest foods – super packed, which only means it will super pack you with vitamins when you consume it.  Plus, when put into smoothies, there are certain fruits to mix it with that almost cover the kale taste up.  Even kids will have no fear of its green color once they taste it ((as you will see below)).

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        The Going Green Metabolizing Machine smoothie is hands down, the most perfect mix, so that no flavor in the smoothie is more overpowering than any other.  It’s very energizing and filling from all of the nutrients, but even better… it has plenty of fiber, boosts your metabolism, and helps your system to be more “regular,” if ya know what I mean… and who wouldn’t want to be going regularly?

Servings: 1 large glass

Ingredients:
1 medium banana
2 branches of kale ((de-stemmed))
<1/8 of a fresh pineapple ((about 1 cup))
~ 1/2 cup almond milk

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Directions:  Make sure everything is washed thoroughly, then put it all in the blender. Blend it up!

        I usually like to use Italian Dino kale ((the broad leafed one)) since I personally find the flavor less potent, but in this case I only had curly kale which will do just fine.  If you find that the smoothie will not blend, just add more almond milk, or add a little bit of water or green tea for an extra energy kick.

PS:  Kale, kid tested, mother approved. FEED THIS TO YOUR CHILDREN!

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DIY Simple Stencil Reusable Shopping Bag – Create Your Grocery Style

11 Feb

        Our planet Earth is currently on the verge of destruction, so I am going to teach you all how to build a self-sustaining rocket ship…
       Gotchaaaa!…. I’m only going to show you how to fancy up a reusable shopping bag…

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        So to avoid more harm to Mother Earth, many people are doing various methods of Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling to slow the destruction down ((and maybe even one day reverse it)). 

        For those who are still using plastic and paper shopping bags, maybe this will motivate you to start reusing… and for those who already use reusable shopping bags, now you can use even better looking ones! Better yet, you can spruce them up yourself! – One thing I always recommend about reusable shopping bags, however, is that you be sure to wash them or disinfect them after every few uses.

        Stores are selling these bags like wildfire, but sometimes the idea is great, but the style not so great.  It may just be that the color and the design are not your favorites, or that you feel strange advertising a name brand everywhere you go shopping.  Whatever the case may be, here is how to turn a plain reusable shopping bag into a cute stenciled masterpiece.

 

        Okay, so this is very very simple.  Here is your list of materials:

Materials:Blank reusable bag
Ruler
Stencil of your choice
Folk Art or Fabric Paint
Round stencil brush or Foam Brush
Large piece of cardboard ((or something solid and flat))

ImageCaution:  Practice the stencil on a piece of fabric or paper before actually doing it on the reusable bag.  I learned this the hard way the first time…

What to do:
        1) Purchase:  If you do not have any, you can get blank reusable shopping bags at many websites, and can even order them in groups of 10 or 15 if you want to make these for various people for any special occasion – Christmas, bridal shower take-home, baby shower take-home, birthday, etc.  The stencil I chose is actually from a pack of 12 stencils by Martha Stewart Crafts.  Gotta love Martha <3.
        2) Prepare:  Put a large piece of cardboard or plastic sheet ((something you don’t mind getting messed up)) inside the bag under the area where you will be painting.  Measure to the center or corner, wherever you want the stencil to be on your bag.  I chose the center, but cute corner decorations would be nice as well.
        Make sure you tape the stencil down very firmly, as close as you can to the area being painting, but do not cover the part you will be painting.  Dip your brush into the paint and blot many times, you DO NOT want too much paint on the brush, or it will glob under the stencil.
        3) Paint:  Make sure the stencil is COMPLETELY FLAT against the surface of the bag.  Now tap your round brush or foam brush lightly covering all areas to be stencils.  Be careful not to accidentally stencil in an area not the part of the design you’re focusing on.  Take your time, relax, put some music on, and don’t be scared if it’s too light, you can always add more paint, but its hard to remove a blob.
        4) Let Dry:  Let the part you stenciled dry before moving on to another part of the design, so that you are not placing the stencil sheet over wet paint and smudging anything.

        Now you’re done and ready to shop in style, or have a great gift for a loved one.  If you want to make it even cuter, add some ribbon or a bow.

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        Always feel free to use any colors and styles you like.  You can even theme them for Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Easter, 4th of July, etc… but it’s usually nicest to have something you can use year-round.       

DIY More Chic than Shabby Statement Boots

11 Feb

So you have a pair of boots or booties that just sit in your closet, and they’re O K, but they’re just missing something

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Oh, but those boots are kind of cute, right?  WRONG.  They were purchased on a whim about 5 years ago, and look like unflattering Peter Pan boots when one is wearing them.  SOLUTION:  DIY More Chic than Shabby Statement Boots.

Yes, I know this has been done before on Pinterest and such, but it was such a neat idea that I wanted to do it myself ((DIM)) add my own flair to it because I find the ones on Pinterest either too shabby, or too plain and chic.  I wanted to create a more feminine version with a natural cozy feel to it.

Start out by going around your house, through your accessories in your room, picking out whatever seems natural, dainty, interesting, foreign, etc.  You can also go to a fabric store and purchase any kind of ribbon or fabric that intrigues you such as lace, feathers, etc.  It’s probably the simplest DIY project you can do.

So I used a feather headband I had previously made, a turquoise necklace given to me by my sister, beaded necklace, feminine looking ribbon, two Native American maskaipachas ((one Incan, one from a Cherokee woman)), and a skinny vintage tie.  I just tried to alternate the light and dark colors on the boot, and create the boots so that although they are completely different, they soooorta match in a quirky way.  And here’s what happened:

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If you want even chic-er statement boots, and you have the supplies, feel free to make both boots look exactly the same.  You can glue down the pieces if you’d like, but it’s also fun to leave them loose so you can try another design a different day for a different outfit.

This is a lot like my “What’s in the Refrigerator Vegan Quinoa Soup,” where you can just pretty much create whatever your little heart tells you, to your taste.  Even men can create statement boots by adding a belts, ties, headbands, etc. without the dainty stuff to their boots.  Here is an alternative version I made just for fun:

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Making these is almost therapeutic… Have fun!

Snow Day Superfood Smoothie with Acai

8 Feb

This seems to be a common meteorology mishap lately since hurricane Irene in 2011, and hurricane Sandy in 2012 which was a severe thunderstorm, then a hurricane, then a tropical storm, then a cyclone, then a drizzle etc, etc, etc…. So a few inches of snow today has turned into a snowstorm, then an icy mix, then a blizzard, now a Winter Storm Nemo here on the east coast.

First of all I would like to apologize if I have offended any meteorologists, I know it was National Weatherman’s Day ((now weatherperson’s… political correctness is taking over the world)) just 3 days ago, so thank you weather people for looking out for us.  I am a weather-check-aholic so I really do appreciate their hard work, even if they’re not always right, I love the feeling of thinking I know what kind of weather is to come.

Now onto the smoothie!

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The Snow Day Superfood Smoothie is a cozy smoothie with super acai berry ((Berry of the Gods ::with an echo::)) juice.  This smoothie is loaded with antioxidants and tons of vitamins to boost energy and help you get stuff done indoors or have energy to play outside on a snow day.  I actually drink this smoothie a lot, all year round, but since today is snowy, that’s how it got its name.

Servings: 1 glass

Ingredients:
1 medium banana
1 handful blueberries
3-4 strawberries
1 cup Sambazon Acai juice
((Optional – 1/2 cup Almond Milk))

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Directions:  Blend away!

If you want it to be a frothier smoothie, freeze the banana or juice before making the smoothie.  Sit back and watch the peaceful snowfall… aaahhhhh…

PS: Kids love this stuff!

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What’s in the Refrigerator Vegan Quinoa Soup

8 Feb

Alright, so once again you went overboard at the store, its been a few days, and you still haven’t used half the produce you purchased…. SOLUTION: What’s in the Refrigerator Vegan Quinoa Soup!!!  Plus my two-year old son loves this, so its gotta be good…

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Mmmmmm just look at it, this picture is before it cooked down, but it’s just so hearty, healthy and delicious.  So just go through your refrigerator and get together all the produce you can find ((caution: please, if there is produce in your fridge that has seen better days, just toss it or add it to a compost – I like to bring scraps to the back of my yard where there are woods for the deer and animals to stay bulky in the winter)).

I digress… so in this instance I used carrots, mushrooms, radicchio, swiss chard, celery, and red onions.  There are tons of varieties to make, you can add potatoes, sweet potatoes, diced up butternut squash, spinach, cabbage, whatever tickles your fancy. ((ps: if you’re not vegetarian you can toss in leftover chicken, turkey, etc.))

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Add garlic and great spices and you’ve got an amazing soup.  Here is my favorite version of this soup to make:

Serving Size: An army of 8? ((YOU CAN FREEZE THIS and heat it up one day you don’t feel like cooking))

Ingredients:
1.5 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion diced ((any color you like))
2 inch piece of fresh ginger ((diced into chunks))
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp thyme
couple shakes of oregano
1-2 bay leaves
2 fistfuls of quinoa
4 stalks of celery, diced
3-4 large carrots, sliced thin
1/2 head radicchio, chopped
1 small bunch kale, stemmed and chopped
1 medium head broccoli, chopped
~14 cups filtered water
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1.  Let the olive oil heat up on medium in a large saucepan.  Add the diced onions and ginger for about 7-8 minutes until the onions relax a little bit.  Add the garlic a minute or two, and once it becomes fragrant add the spices.  Mix around and cook another minute or two, it should look like this:
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2.  Oh my goodness it smells soooo good.  Am I right, or am I right?  Okay, so before anything burns… add about 8 cups of water and the quinoa, cover and bring to a boil on medium high heat to allow for the quinoa to loosen up a bit.

3.  Once boiling add all other ingredients, but DO NOT add the broccoli yet! Add more water until it seems to cover everything, and you appear to have a soup.  At this point add salt and taste until perfect.  I like to add salt while the vegetables cook so that they can absorb some of the flavor, and at the end it doesn’t taste like salty broth with bland vegetables.

4.  Allow the soup to come to a boil once again, then turn to medium heat and let the soup continue simmering for about 25 minutes, until the quinoa and all veggies are soft.  When the vegetable seem like they are beginning to get soft, add the broccoli and continue cooking for about 6-7 minutes, so the broccoli does not disintegrate.

5.  Taste again for salt, feel free to add more salt or water depending how soupy or salty you would like this.

Enjoy your delicious hearty soup, and your clean stress-free refrigerator.  I prefer to use quinoa ((Grain of the Gods ::with an echo::)) hehe, but you can use barley or pasta or whatever you have around for this recipe.

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I KNOW, I said it’s vegan soup and there’s an egg in it… I just forgot to add the quinoa to it this time, and needed some protein so I cracked an egg into it. That’s the fun with this soup, you can do anything. Anyway, the recipe above is vegan so have fun letting the hidden chef inside you go wild, and enjoy your soup.

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