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Entries in FitMamaEats recipe (53)

Thursday
Apr232015

Loving Matcha and Green Tea Smoothies

I've been drinking a few cups of green tea every day for the past few years. I do enjoy the taste but more than that I've noticed that since I began drinking the brew I've experienced fewer cold viruses. So now when I have a scratchy throat, instead of popping vitamin C pills I drink extra green tea. The tea is easy on my stomach unlike coffee. I recently discovered matcha green tea, which as you can see below presents as a vibrant green powder instead of tea bags. Matcha tea is ground whole green tea leaves, so you end up drinking a super strong concentration of its cancer-fighting plant chemical epigallocatechin gallate (up to 3 times more than is found in regular green tea), yet with only about a third of the caffeine in a cup of brewed coffee...so less stomach irritation and jitters.

To prepare a cup of matcha tea, you only need about a half to one teaspoon of the powder mixed into warm water (boiling water can destroy the tea creating a bitter taste) and then whisked briskly until the tea dissolves and a foam is created. It tastes like regular green tea but more intense. Matcha tea is all the rage now, added to smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, banana bread and even cookie dough. It adds that beautiful all natural grass-green hue (I have a feeling St. Patrick's Day recipes will pop up next year using matcha tea!). DavidsTea offers three kinds of matcha green tea and three more flavored matcha varieties. They'll prepare it for you hot or cold, and even sell a special tea bottle with a built-in wisk in the cover so you can easily shake up your matcha tea to go.

Below is my first try at an easy matcha smoothie incorporating my usual fave smoothie ingredients. It's mildy sweet, rich and filling. Enjoy!

Matcha Green Tea Smoothie 

Ingredients

1 cup vanilla soy or almond milk

1 small frozen banana

1/2 cup diced pineapple

1 tsp matcha green tea powder

2 tablespoons chia gel* 

Directions

Add all ingredients to a blender, and blend on high until mixed well.

*To make a batch of chia gel, mix 2-3 tablespoons of chia seeds into 8 ounces water and let sit for 15-20 minutes.


Thursday
Oct102013

Southwestern Eggrolls

"Eggrolls" by Skinny Body CareI've never been so bombarded with recipe ideas from blogs, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter. Usually I just blink through them because of ingredients overload, but my coworker Cheryl who is trying to lose weight has been sending healthy recipes to my inbox asking if they look ok. This one for "eggrolls" caught my eye because as a kid I was obsessed with these crispy appetizers. My Dad was very involved with our Chinese community and restaurant owners would send him home with food including bags of eggrolls. I stopped eating them when I realized how many calories they were pumping into meor maybe it was that I was eating 2-3 in a sitting! 

This recipe comes from Skinny Body Care, a company that sells supplements but has a Facebook page that showcases some pretty good-looking recipes. I adapted it to use ingredients already in my kitchen and changed the ratios slightly, but I was most interested to see if baking the tortilla would crisp up like an eggroll wrapper. 

The verdict: the flavors were delicious and the tortilla did crisp slightly because of the olive oil brushed on the outside (not as much as a deep-fried version of course, but not too bad!). The original recipe used white flour tortillas, which are lighter and may have crisped up even more. I love that this recipe is a super nutrient-dense complete meal in one roll. I made the full batch of filling but only prepared two rolls. I refrigerated the remaining filling so I could roll each one as needed for later meals to ensure crispness. You could also skip the tortillas and serve the chicken bean mixture over brown rice or quinoa. Definitely a keeper recipe...thanks Cheryl!

Southwestern "Eggrolls" (makes 4-5 rolls)

Ingredients

1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, diced

1 cup salsa

1 small red onion, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup frozen corn

1 cup seasoned black beans, rinsed and drained

2 cups baby spinach

1 T cumin

2 t chili powder

1 t pepper

4-5 whole wheat tortillas

Shredded Mexican-blend cheese

1-2 T olive oil

Instructions 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large skillet, cook chicken and salsa for 5 minutes on medium-high heat, stirring often. Stir in onion and garlic and cook until chicken is cooked through.
  3. Add corn, black beans, spinach, cumin, chili powder and pepper and cook until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat.
  4. Place about 1/4 cup of chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla, sprinkle with cheese, then roll up like a burrito. Brush each side with olive oil and place on baking sheet seam side down.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, flipping once, until crispy.

Monday
Jun172013

Bean Brownies

Keeping with the theme of unusual desserts, I found this recipe last week on Allrecipes.com and couldn't believe it: chocolate brownies made with black beans! This surprise ingredient adds moisture, fiber, and nutrients like protein and iron; other pleasant surprises included 1) no flour needed 2) the entire batter mixes up in seconds in your blender, and 3) they smelled and looked like the real thing. I deviated from the recipe only by increasing the cocoa to 1/3 cup and adding an extra teaspoon of vanilla extract. This pic shows the nice shiny surface after they're baked.

It was by far one of the easiest brownie recipes I've ever made and was highly rated by more than 500 users on the Allrecipes website. The downside is that they just didn't taste like chocolate brownies, even as I tried my hardest to pretend that they did with each bite. They were moist but not chewy as I prefer them. The cocoa, coffee, and chocolate chips added a nice intensity but I couldn't ignore the hint of bean texture (reminded me of the pastiness of hummus). 

The upside is that my husband who usually won't try any dessert categorized as "healthy" really liked themthis was the biggest surprise! Maybe because they weren't overly sweet. I'd like to try making these again but adding some flour, or a teaspoon of baking powder as suggested by a few Allrecipe testers, to produce a more cake-like texture. They're a gluten-free option and definitely worth testing once on the kids (without mentioning the secret ingredient!).