Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Green Pea and Pesto Soup, and other green things

I'm obsessed with green drinks. It's true. I know the green color really messes with people and drives them away (most especially my dear, dear husband...)
So I have divided humans into 2 groups:

1. "Green people"
2. Non-green people


-Green people understand green drinks and appreciate them. They are not bothered by color. They constantly try to convince non-greenies to convert to greenism.

-Non-green people do NOT understand the beauty of green colored foods and are frightened by the idea of their food being green. Also, they think green people are weird.


I haven't ever really been bothered by green colored things, and I'm not sure why. Am I the weird one? Not sure. But all I know is I like these smoothies, I like how they taste, and I like how they look. Their smooth, vibrant green is irresistible to me. Let me try to convince you if you aren't already "green":

The bits of green are there because my blender cost $40 and not $400, like the one used to make this one:
"If I were a rich man..."

I am a "Green person".
My favorite color is green.

Oh, how I love my green drinks.....
(And money!)

With that being said, I will now share with you a delightful Blender Pea and Pesto Soup, which is also green:
Ingredients:
3 C boiling water
1/2 t salt
3 C frozen peas
1 big squirt of lime juice
2 green onions
1/4 C prepared pesto

What you do is cook everything but the pesto on the stove until the peas are tender (about 5 minutes or less). Remove 1 of the green onions, then blend everything to a puree with the pesto. Then you have to drink it all up because it's most delicious when it's piping hot! Store whatever you don't drink in pretty jars and give it to other "green people". Or in the back of your fridge where Non-greenies won't see it and sneak sips because they know it really is delicious but won't admit it.


Frozen Treats

It has been SOOOOO hot lately here in Oklahoma!! I'm talking... last Saturday our car said this:

I’m sure you’ve heard on the news about the heat wave that is occurring here in the Midwest. Here is proof of the immense heat and lack of water:

This poor tree is located right in front of my porch. It looks like it’s fall with all those leaves dead and falling to the ground!! And the yellow, dry grass... I wish there was something I could do for it….. :(

(Hey, there's our apartment!)

It’s so funny… Anytime anyone goes anywhere where they have to be outside for more than 3 minutes and then enters an air conditioned area, there is a sigh of relief “aaahhhhhh” from the heat. That’s what I do every time I come home. And then I go straight to the freezer where I keep myself well stocked with homemade popsicles and other icy treats. Here are my favorites:
  • Frozen Hot Chocolate/Fudgsicles (Mark’s family doesn’t pronounce the “s” in there for some reason, so it’s just “Fudg-i-cles”. It’s kinda catchy)
  • Frozen Lemonade
  • Lemon Blueberry Yogurt Popsicles
  • Any fruit blended with yogurt and put into popsicle molds (popsicle molds for $1 at Target was my best purchase EVER)
  • Milkshakes - Go big or go home, yes?

Now I will provide you with the recipies:


Lemon Blueberry Yogurt pops

1 Cup vanilla greek yogurt (Okios)
3 T Honey (the amount depends on how much sugar is in the yogurt. Okios has low sugar AND is fat free, so it's basically like you're eating nothing if you use that brand :). So just taste it.)
A bunch of fresh/frozen blueberries - leave them whole or blend them in
A few drops of Lemon Extract

Mix everything together, put in molds, freeze, and partake. Can add lemon juice :)

Me, ulgly. It's probably past midnight


“Fudgicles” or Frozen Hot Chocolate

  • 1 C soy milk
  • 2 T cocoa powder
  • 1 t or so sweetener (honey, agave, sugar, stevia…)
  • A dash of salt

Heat everything on the stove to melt the cocoa in & whisk it really well. The hard part is getting the cocoa dissolved. Then put it in molds and freeze.


Frozen Lemonade:

Just mix one of those concentrated frozen lemonade containters with a ton of ice and a touch of water and BAM you’ve got yourself a dessert for 6 that cost you $1.50!


Any other popsicles: just blend together your favorite fruit with yogurt and you’re done! You might want to add some sweetness though, because it’s summer and there’s no holding back! Other add ins might include but are not limited to: lemon extract, lemon juice, pinch of salt, honey, fresh grated ginger, etc.


Milkshakes

  • Chocolate Revel Ice Cream (That's just a vanilla and chocolate swirl type flavor)
  • Marshmallow Creme
  • Milk

Blend whatever amounts of the ingredients that meet your liking, then top with toasted coconut and chocolate chips, if you dare!

Thank you, Maren, for modeling :)

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Yep. This it's a winner. This is in my top 10 favorites! Also, it's REALLY easy. I'm loving Rachael Ray's June/July magazine... I've been getting tons of recipes and ideas from it, and this is one of them.


Sweet and Sour Chicken
Ingredients

  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1 can (20 oz.) pineapple chunks, drained, 1/2 cup juice reserved
  • 2 tbsp. white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 4 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp. ketchup
  • 2 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 1/4 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 Onion, cut in 1 inch pieces (That's my addition!)
  • Toasted sesame seeds to top

Directions:

1. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 3/4 cups water and 1/2 tsp. salt to a boil; stir in the rice. Cover, lower the heat and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the pineapple juice, vinegar, soy sauce, 2 tsp. cornstarch, the ketchup and ginger. In a bowl, toss the chicken with the remaining 2 tsp. cornstarch, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.
3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes; transfer to a plate. Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring, until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in the pineapple chunks and reserved chicken.
4. Whisk the pineapple juice mixture into the chicken mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Serve over the rice with sesame seeds.

Spanish Roasted Potatoes with Dressing