Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Detox Soup (and 3 day plan)

Detox Soup
I am not one who likes to throw around the word detox.  As my mom asked me when I told her I was doing this homemade, mostly liquefied, diet for 3 days before Thanksgiving, "what are detoxing you from?" Honestly, it was just the best word I could think of for a simple plan full of only real, whole foods, that would help clear out my digestive system before the beginning of the Holiday Season.  It's not a juice fast, or a cleanse, or a minimal diet at all.  Just a simplified, hydrating meal plan full of nutritious organic fruits and vegetables, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and plant based proteins. Besides the kefir drink in the morning the "diet" is completely vegan as well, and gluten free, and incorporates no questionable (in my opinion) protein powders.  It is not low in calories or fat however, so if you are looking to lose weight, simply modify the amounts of each smoothie to fit your body's needs.  I am extremely active, and worked out, coached my son's basketball team, etc. while on this detox. The 10am breakfast smoothie has about 700 calories in it, if you drink 2/3 of it, (saving the rest for after dinner) and is loaded with healthy fats (40g), fiber (10g), and protein (25g). The lunch smoothie has over 600 calories (25-30 grams of fat from the avocado, almost 20g of fiber, and 5g of protein). The soup at night is much lighter, and if you are worried about calories you could easily omit the green drink or the extra serving of the chocolate smoothie in the evening.  I just found this to be a fun, simple way to get myself on track before Thanksgiving, and I was honestly full and satisfied the entire time.  I did miss chewing a bit by the end of the third day, and celebrated the next morning with a delicious New York City whole wheat bagel. Let me know if you try this, or a version similar to it, and how it makes you feel!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Whole Wheat Pound Cake

Whole Wheat Pound Cake
Birthdays are definitely an occasion when healthy eating is not the first thought that comes to mind.  This cake is not necessarily a health food that you should eat every day, especially when covered in frosting and jelly beans, but I love the simplicity, richness, and old fashioned nature of this recipe.  I first remember hearing the term "pound cake" while reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder series as a young child, although I am sure my mom, an avid baker, had made me one without me even knowing it before then.  If you are a regular on my blog, you know that I like rich, dense desserts, so of course this type of super heavy pound cake is an all time favorite.  If you prefer light, fluffy cakes, then this recipe is definitely not for you, but if you want to feel like a pioneer woman, and bake a cake that you can really sink your teeth into, then this is perfect.

I made this corn cob cake for my son's 11th birthday this past fall when he had his party at a corn maze. It was a huge hit with the kids and the parents, and it wasn't just because of the jelly beans that took me almost two hours to place.  Crazy, I know, and as one of my mom friends commented, "you have way too much time on your hands."  Definitely not true, I just chose this cake as a priority one afternoon and made sure I got it assembled in time.  Of course, in the name of nutrition, I used more than half whole wheat flour, and all organic ingredients to make this, so it's definitely better for you than something you would buy in a store, or the "pound cake" that comes in a box and lasts for months on a shelf.  Definitely not the same thing.  I have been meaning to make a chocolate version of this recipe, and promise to post it as soon as I get around to baking it. Just remember to eat this dessert in moderation so you don't end up gaining a pound too!  ;)

Monday, January 11, 2016

Habanero Cranberry Sauce

Habanero Cranberry Sauce
Move over canned cranberry, this recipe is HOT! :) We've all seen it, and most of us have tasted it.  That tubular cranberry "sauce" that comes out of a can, and holds it shape while you slice it and serve it alongside a turkey on Thanksgiving day. Luckily I grew up in a family that preferred the real stuff, made with fresh cranberries, simmered with sugar on the stove.  Although to be honest, I've never been a huge fan.  Something about combining sweetness with meat never tasted right to me... until I found this recipe. Depending on how spicy you like things, you can adjust the heat in this recipe with the ratio of cranberries to habanero peppers.  I made it a couple of times over the past Holiday season, once for a Thanksgiving celebration with friends, and once for the actual day with a large group of extended family.  Both times it was a hit, and people kept raving about it and asking for the recipe. So for those of you who have been waiting, I am sorry it has taken so long. All I know is that when people are all grabbing for left overs and you barely have any to take home yourself, you know you have a hit.  A HOT one! ;)