Remember that song about “Summertime Summertime, Sum Sum Summertime?” Well, I must tell you that I not only remember it, I live for it. The hot weather suits me down to the ground and my old bones do not creak and I still get a tan. Oh, I know-that is no good any more, but I could care less. Heat is healing in my opinion.
So let’s all relax and make a smoothie-right?
Perfect and Perfectly Easy Fruit Smoothie
Take out your blender and put in a carton of your favorite yogurt, five ice cubes, and any fruits. I use blueberries, strawberries, a banana, and sometimes a little can of lite chopped peaches with liquid. I love peaches but they are very seasonal as you know. I guess I could freeze some. Maybe this year. Anyway, add you favorite juice, I use cranberry juice, and pulse until blended.
You can drink this, freeze it into pops, freeze it into “ice cream” or whatever. Just adjust the amount of juice. This is so simple and so flexible you will use it all summer.
Remember that old commercial that talked about the “Incredible, Edible, Egg?” Well, it is becoming more and more true as science finds better ways to treat chickens. Ha, Ha, you say-what does that have to do with actual eggs? Well, the “you are what you eat” saying is very true when it comes to chickens. Chickens that are vegetarian fed and free to roam produce eggs that are lower in cholesterol, lower in calories, and higher in protein! Whodda thunk it?
I use eggs in so many ways. Here are just a few:
- Scrambled 7. Egg salad
- Fried 8. Egg and bacon sandwiches
- Poached on anything from toast,English muffins, and spinach to a big green salad.
- Deviled eggs 9. Boiled eggs
- Breakfast casserole 10. Omelets
Eggs rule in the kitchen because they are so easy and versatile. Keep cage free, vegetarian eggs on hand in the fridge always. Put crushed egg shells around the base of house plants to hold in moisture too.
The newest thing coming down the pike nutrition wise is the avocado. I think this is a hoot, because the “new” avocado is about as old as it looks. They are about the ugliest fruit imaginable, aren’t they? I mean wrinkled, warty, greenish black-I won’t go on, but you know what I mean. Also, you either love them or hate them-no in between. Well, I happen to love avocados and this is one of my favorite ways to eat one. Cut an Avocado in half and dig out the flesh with a knife and simply spread it on a piece of toast.
This is big protein, essential oils, and just plain filling and yummy. You will see pictures of avocados in magazines now with a fried egg on top which boosts the protein of course, but I like it even better with a chopped boiled egg on top with a little salt and pepper. Somehow, a fried egg does not seem quite right to me.
Anyway, try it. Save the other half in the fridge unpeeled for a salad topping for lunch or dinner.
Yummy pears-Here are some good pear ideas. Pears are my favorite fruit and the first tip is the easiest. Do you ever make a smoothie? Try starting by pouring a can of pears in LITE syrup or water into the blender as the foundation/beginning of a smoothie. Add whatever else you like but may I suggest a frozen banana and a small tub of vanilla Greek yogurt? MMM-Yummy!
I love pears and in fact have a book titled “THE GREAT BOOK OF PEARS” that I use all the time. Fresh pears are yummy, of course, but canned pears are really good too. I use the pears packed in lite syrup rather than the ones packed in water. I guess the Iite syrup probably is not as healthy as just water, but the flavor retention is so much better I think it is worth it.
Did you know that there are over 2,500 varieties of pear? Of course, not all are readily available. I find the best around here (West Virginia) to be the Bosc and the Anjou which are not exotic, but easy to store and very versatile.
I like poached pears too and let me tell you, you can poach a pear in anything from red wine, port, and bourbon to simply it’s own juices or apple juice.
Have you ever tried pear soup? Easy yet so yummy.
- Seeded peeled and chopped pears (about 6) or use 3 undrained cans and less stock
- Stock-I use vegetarian stock but use what you like. (8 cups or so) then add 3 teaspoons honey
- Just a pinch of chili, nutmeg, cinnamon, and pepper and salt to taste
- 1 cup of fat free half and half
- A little grated cheese-your choice, but something strong, for garnish (optional)
- Boil gently until pears are soft. Blend in your food processor and serve cold or hot.
This is so easy, yet so unusual you will get rave reviews, I promise. Serve as a first course. or with a salad for lunch. Love, Judith
Two things came together for me this Christmas and what a hit. I got a cookbook called “The One Peaceful World Cookbook” and I got a box of Harry and David pears. This is my own recipe but their picture and idea, so give it a try. It fits the quick, easy, and delicious criteria!! This recipe is so easy and has so few ingredients I am almost embarrassed to share it, except that I use it so often with huge success!
Pears, apple juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, corn starch, red wine (optional)
- Peel and slice the number of pears you need for your number of people. I guessed at 1 pear per person and we could have had more.
- Simply place the sliced, peeled pears in sweet (not the unsweetened kind) apple juice and add a little cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg, and a little splash of red wine.
- The pears should not be completely covered by the juice as you will toss them a couple of times in the cooking process.
- Bake the pears at 350 until pretty soft-to your taste. Toss a few times in the process to be sure all of the slices are kept moist.
- Remove the pears to the dish you will use to serve then thicken the sauce with whatever you like. I use a bit of corn starch. Pour the sauce over the pears and serve either by themselves, with whipped cream, ice cream etc. Yum, Yum
PS-This is NOT just for dessert!!
Yes, we all use cookbook recipes and modify. So, that is what this is. I love the “One Peaceful World” cookbook, but sometimes their ingredients can be a bit exotic or not quite to my taste so I feel free to change a bit. Who’s to know-Right?
- Heat a little olive oil in a large pot. I used about 2 tablespoons.
- Add one small diced yellow onion and about 3 cups of chopped carrots. This is about 6 or so large carrots-peeled.
- Add your favorite broth-vegetable or chicken. Beef broth is not good in this recipe. It does not go well with the carrot flavor. If you have nothing else, just use water. That is not bad.
- Add ginger powder to taste. The original recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of ginger juice or sauted ginger, but the powder is just as good and very easy and on hand.
- Low boil for about 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Blend with an immersion blender or parse batches into your blender. If you make soup a lot, it pays you to buy an immersion blender. It makes life so much easier.
- Cool and taste and adjust salt, pepper and ginger to YOUR taste. Serve warm with crusty bread and real (yes, real) butter.
Remember, no recipe is worth a damn unless YOU like it!
PS-This freezes and also keeps well in the fridge. I put it in a screw top tupperware container.
After much trial and error, I have two recommendations. Yes, recommendations are made here! Remember that a recommendation is a personal opinion. I am a vegetarian but products containing meat or meat products containing meat or meat products have been tested by an independent panel-random members of my family.
Also, just a tip-you can use a can of soup and add to it. For example I like to make a can of split pea soup and add chopped baked red potatoes and bits of ham. I do this when I am cooking with my grandson and he likes to say he “made” soup. It also makes soup more hardy and lets you create a specific enhancement of whatever flavor you enjoy. Do not hesitate to use canned soup as your base.
As with all canned products, watch the sodium. Even things that do not taste salty may contain more sodium than you want. 2,400 is your max per day and that is based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet.
The Progresso Creamy Tomato With Basil is great as is, but try adding a can of Del Monte Italian diced tomatoes. The “Well, Yes” Tomato Carrot Bisque needs nothing but a big hunk of bread.
I love this recipe that I got from my daughter. It is sooo easy to modify and as you know, MODIFY is our middle name around here.
Butter Vegetable stock
Garlic Coconut milk ( I buy this canned and it is extremely useful and keeps well.)
Thai curry powder or paste
S and P
Pumpkin or butternut squash
Okay, here goes-This looks like it has a lot of ingredients, but trust me, you have most of them on hand. I do not like recipes with exotic ingredients that require 1/2 teaspoon of something and leave you stuck with the rest!
Saute in butter:1 medium chopped onion, leek both white and green chopped into small pieces, two stalks of celery chopped, crushed garlic, S and P to taste and curry powder or paste to taste. It is very important that you really do taste this as you go along. It can be too bland or too overwhelmed by the curry very easily. I used about 3 teaspoons of curry powder. Saute until soft but not too glassy.
Add as much vegetable broth as you think will make your amount. This uses about 10 cups. Judge by that. Peel and chop your butternut squash-I used a BIG one-or pumpkin and add to the pot. Boil until all is mushy. This is usually about 40 minutes at a soft boil.
Now you can pour it in batches into your blender and puree, but if you have a hand emulsifier do use this. It makes life so much simpler.
When this is done, put the soup into a tureen and add the warmed heavy cream and stir.
Serve with a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream. If you like cilantro, chop a couple of sprigs and sprinkle. This also adds a lovely touch of color.
Fall is the time for good hearty soups with a little salad and a chunk of French bread. Keep tuned in through the week for some yummy recipes many of which will be “lightened up” for lo cal, lo fat, and lo everything else except flavor. MMMM, Cauliflower sour, Turkey Soup, Vegie soups, and on and on. I also welcome YOUR favorite soup recipes. Let’s share! Love, Judith