Your pathway to healthy food, ethics, beer, and how these things can (and should!) come together in daily life.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Banana Almond Shakes

Ahhh, more detox stuff.

So I was doing great on my detox diet last week, I lasted a whole five days, but I had to stop because we went out of town to visit my man's family. Since I didn't want anyone to have to make a special supper for me, I decided to quit for a little bit. It was also me and my man's four year anniversary this week! Thus, I wanted to be able to drink some beer and eat some not-so-detox-friendly Indian food (white rice, cream, and paneer, oh my!).

So I started up again yesterday. After the first five days, I felt a lot less bloated, a little slimmer, and more... errr.... regular. So the detox definitely helped. I think I'll continue on until the 18th. So what else have I been eating other than great chili and the soon to follow Banana Almond Shake recipe? Lots of things! Some breakfast items include fruit, yogurt, shakes, and oatmeal. Lunch could be avocado and whole wheat sandwiches, tuna fish sandwiches (mayo doesn't have dairy, even though I still feel like I'm cheating), salads with orange segments and mustard vinaigrette, and rye crackers with yogurt dip. Dinner is about the same, though I usually try to stick to filling soups, such as Curried Parsnip Soup, lentil soup, salads, rye crackers with tzatsiki, or even steaks!

The lack of dairy has been hard on this Minnesota girl, but these Banana Almond Shakes taste like the real thing! I've gotten a little sick of yogurt shakes, so these really hit the spot! Almond milk is a new thing to me, and I don't know much about it other than it is great! It's smooth and silky, with a little nuttiness. I have used soy milk as a milk substitute many times in the past, and though I really like chocolate soy milk, I hate regular. It has this weird aftertaste that I just can't stomach. I will use it for cereal, making a roux, or smoothies, but I just can not drink it alone. Almond milk seems like something that I could just drink.

Anyways, these shakes are awesome! I tweaked a recipe from the Bon Appetite Magazine's Food Lover's Cleanse. I didn't have any ice cubes in the freezer, but I did have frozen fruit! Here's the recipe for one (big!!) shake.

1 cup almond milk
1 banana
1 cup frozen blackberries (substituted for the ice)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 T brown sugar
a little shake of nutmeg

Add everybody to the blender and process for for about a minute, until everything is well combined.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Food Lover's Cleanse

After the holidays (and making too many truffles for my family) and getting REALLY sick with the flu after that, my system is now a little, errr, unhappy. It probably didn't help that I ate pizza for 3 days straight (on an aside note, The Rustler pizza from Luce's is the BOMB! Mock duck, banana peppers, pineapple, cheese and bbq sauce? Yes please!).

Now that all the leftovers and most of the junk food is out of the house, it's time for a cleanse. I came across the Bon Appetite Food lover's cleanse yesterday and thought I'd try it out! It pretty much consists of avoiding alcohol, dairy, sugar, coffee, and bread, drinking a lot of water, eating at least one salad a day, and regulating portion size. You can check it out here:

So today I've tried to stick to the diet. I've done really good so far. For breakfast, I had oatmeal and a little brown sugar, a glass of juice in the middle of the day, and for lunch I had a nice spring green salad with cashews and orange sections with a white wine and sesame oil vinaigrette. Obviously the first day is kind of difficult, so I'm allowed some small... indiscretions. We had some chuck roast defrosting, and that needed to be used. So I decided to make chili! It turned out pretty amazing! I got to use my new dutch oven too!

So the chili is following the cleanse because it doesn't have any of the bad stuff in it, and as a bonus, it will be a nice protein boost for going back to the gym tomorrow. Deal with it.

I wanted to make something really nice for my boyfriend, and since he wanted shredded beef, I gave him shredded beef. We roasted the chuck roast and shredded it before adding the beef to my favorite chili. Here's how I did it.

Mix together:
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup vinegar (I used white wine vinegar)
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T soy sauce
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp dried minced onion
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dried red chili flakes
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika

Salt and pepper the chuck roast (about 4 lbs) on all sides. Brown on all sides in a large dutch oven (mine is 5 Qt). Pour sauce over roast and toss in the oven. Bake at 325 for about 2 1/2 hours. I roasted for 3, and it ended up a little darker than I would have liked. Baste the roast about every 1/2 hour, and half way through cooking, flip it over.

When the roast is finished, take it out of the dutch oven and let it rest for 15 minutes to let all the juices redistribute. Scrape out any crud on the bottom of the pot. Next we'll work on the chili.

You will need:
1 medium red onion (diced)
2 green peppers (diced)
1 red pepper (diced)
1 jalapeno (I remove 1/2 the seeds)
3-4 cloves garlic (diced)
1 14 oz. can kidney beans (drained)
1 28 oz. can chili beans (drained)
1 28 oz. can diced tomato (reserve liquid)
2 chipotle peppers (diced)
2 cups chicken broth
1 T chili powder
1/2-1 tsp cinnamon (I like a lot of cinnamon, it adds a really different taste to the chili!)
1/2 tsp cumin
2 T brown sugar
1/2 tsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste

Shred the beef and set aside (it's probably best to get this out of the way before you start cooking everything, unlike what I did...)
Add a little oil and the onions to the dutch onion. Get them nice and carmelized. Add green, red, and jalapeno pepper and cook through. Add beans, tomato including the liquid, and chicken broth. If you want a less hearty, soupier chili, add a cup or two more chicken broth. Next add spices, brown sugar, and chipotle peppers. And finally, add the beef.

Bring everything to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes. You will end up with this fantastic-ness.
You get the awesome spicy broth, the little bits of carmelized pulled beef, and all the veggies. That is definitely the most important part of a chili to me, all of the veggies.

Well, hopefully I can add a few more recipes for this cleanse over the next two weeks.
Bon Appetit!