Thursday, August 13, 2009

|what up, vivanno?|

So, I pretty much can make a chocolate banana Vivanno at home. It's awesome and every time I do it, I smile because I'm saving 4 bucks. Also, it's faster than going to Starbucks.

MAKE YOUR OWN VIVANNO

Combine in a blender:
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup light vanilla ice cream
1 banana, previously frozen and cut into large chunks
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon protein powder

Blend. Eat. Smile.

NOTES:

  • I use the ice cream to help with the consistency. I also think you could probably add a second frozen banana and get the same thing.
  • If you don't have protein powder, I'm sure it wouldn't affect the taste. I just add it to help with my protein consumption. I use the big canister kind in all my smoothies/milkshakes. It helps.
  • To freeze bananas, just take ripe ones, peel them, cut into thirds and put on a cookie sheet in the freezer overnight. In the AM, take them off the sheet and put into a plastic baggie. They make your smoothies have a fabulous consistency. This works with pretty much all kinds of smoothie fruits (berries, peaches, nectarines, pineapple, mango, etc).

|crockpot cheesy potato soup|

This is a recipe from a lady who went to my church when I was growing up. Actually, I think it was her grandmother's. When I got married, my mom gave me a recipe card box full of some of my favorite recipes. This was definitely in there.

CROCKPOT CHEESY POTATO SOUP

  • 4 cups veggie or chicken broth (or 4 cups water and 4 cubes of bouillon)
  • 1 cup water
  • small onion, diced
  • 8-9 potatoes, cubed (you can peel if you prefer)
  • 1-2 carrots, diced small or shredded
  • dried parsley, salt, and pepper to taste
  • 1 can fat-free evaporated milk
  • 8-12 slices deli-style American cheese (these are the thick slices that come in a big block but aren't individually wrapped)
Combine broth, water, onion, potatoes, carrots, and seasonings in a crockpot. Cook on high 3-4 hours or low 8-12 hours. About an hour before serving, cool it down a bit (just take the lid off and put your crockpot on warm). Add the evaporated milk (the cooling is so it doesn't curdle the milk). Take the slices of cheese and slice them into little strips (or just pull them apart). Add to the mix and stir. Just before serving use a potato masher to mash up the potatoes a bit. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Makes about 6-8 servings.

NOTE: This isn't the world's healthiest recipe (especially with the amount of bread I prefer to dip into it) , but it's not horrible. It's also AMAZING comfort food.

Friday, August 7, 2009

|still working on that lentil soup recipe|

There is a Turkish restaurant in our town that has a lentil soup that is AMAZING. It's super minty and just wonderful. I keep trying to re-create it - usually with no luck. This time, I didn't get close to their recipe, but I at least ended up with a good end product, so I thought I'd post it.

ALMOST THERE TURKISH LENTIL SOUP

  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 4 cups veggie broth
  • 1 cups water
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 1 1/2-2 cups peeled, diced potatoes
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 t. cumin
  • 1 t. coriander
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 2 T finely minced fresh mint leaves
  • 3-4 T. lemon juice
  • Plenty of salt and pepper
Combine all the ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on high for about 5-6 hours. Mash the soup with a potato masher (or blend - but you'll have to cool it first if you want to do that). Add about 2 T more mint and garnish with about a tablespoon of good olive oil.

CHANGES:
Next time I make this, I will change the following things....still trying to get closer to the Turkish restaurant:
- I really do think I need to go ahead and buy the red lentils - they just have a different flavor
- This soup was MUCH thicker than the one they have, so I'm going to use only 1/2 cup
- I will use about twice as much mint (I was running low outside)