The Smoothie Chronicles, Vol. 2: Fruity Green Smoothie

Mango-Banana-Blueberry Smoothie

Another summer day, another stove-free recipe. While I’m sure a fried egg with bacon and toast would make an equally delicious breakfast, it is just too hot for that. Also? I’m lazy.

…Yeah, if I’m being honest, that’s probably the primary reason for the recent resurgence of my blender.

Anyways, this is actually the very first smoothie I made this summer. I wanted to incorporate lots of fresh fruit, so I combined chunks of ripe yellow mango and a handful of sweet, fragrant blueberries. I also had some baby spinach that I was trying to use up, so I tossed that in too. My fruity green smoothie was born.

The nutrients in this recipe are off the charts: it’s super high in calcium and potassium, as well as vitamins A, C, and B12. Plus it’s very low in saturated fat, with no cholesterol — something that definitely couldn’t be said for that fried egg and bacon! Keep reading to see how I make this super easy, super tasty smoothie snack. Read more…

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A Confession (and a Couscous Salad Recipe)

Lemony couscous salad, aka "Roll-Be-Gone"

I’ve fallen off the wagon a little bit lately.

I blame being happy and in love in the summertime. (Damn you, awesome new job and stable relationship!) The days are so long and beautiful — I just get caught up in all the fun I’m having, exploring new parts of town and all the exciting restaurants I’ve never tried before. Plus, there are so many potlucks! And you have to try everything, because to do otherwise is both foolish and rude.

Obviously.

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a good meal, of course. And because I love food as much as I do, I can’t reasonably expect to live my life any other way. What I’ve been forgetting lately is that if you’re gonna do the crime (read: eat the churros), you gotta do the time (ie, run a mile per churro).

If you don’t remember this oh-so-important rule, you won’t love how you feel or look in the morning. That’s where I am right now. It is not a happy place.

I’ve resolved to get myself back on track by reestablishing some good habits — chiefly, exercising regularly and doing my own cooking. Notice the lack of new recipes lately? It’s partially because I’ve been stuffing my face at restaurants instead of making healthy meals at home. Both my waistband and wallet have officially had enough. I’m cracking the whip.

This lemony couscous salad with raisins and white beans was my first step in the right direction. The ingredients are very similar to this salad I made not too long ago, but the flavors are totally different. The lemon juice and red onion make the salad incredibly sharp and bright. Everything in this recipe is good for you — it’s a great blend of protein, healthy fat, and inexpensive ingredients. I think I’m off to a pretty good start. Keep reading for the recipe. Read more…

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The Smoothie Chronicles, Vol. 1: Banana-Coffee Smoothie

Banana-coffee SmoothieOver a week since my last post?! Has it really been that long? Forgive me. There’s just been so much going on the last few weeks. The biggest thing? I got a new job! Between wrapping up things at the old job and figuring out this new gig, I haven’t had much time for cooking.

However, since the temperature outside is roughly “surface of the sun,” I have MADE time to keep ways to keep cool. Homemade smoothies are high on the list.

Why are smoothies my new favorite thing ever? Well firstly, like I said before, the heat outside is absolutely unholy. An icy, homemade smoothie is a cheap and delicious way to cool off. Secondly, I have a kickass blender that doesn’t see nearly as much action as it should. I love any excuse to play with all my kitchen toys. Lastly? If you do it right, a smoothie is one of the quickest, healthiest breakfasts around.

This banana-coffee smoothie is one of the blended concoctions I’ve been obsessed with lately. Sooo thick and satisfying, with that little jolt of caffeine to help get you going in the morning. I sometimes make it with decaf coffee at night for a jitter-free dessert.

Sweet, cold, and creamy for about 130 calories? Yeah, you want it. Keep reading for the recipe. Read more…

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Perfect for Potlucks! Cinnamon-Spiced Chickpea Salad

Cinnamon-spiced chickpea salad

There was a big potluck at my office this week. Now don’t get me wrong: I love potlucks. But I have to admit that they definitely give me a little anxiety. Sure, I’m a decent cook, but the stakes are raised when you’re making food for other people. Plus, I have a food blog! I can’t be making just any old thing! The dish needs to be both tasty AND interesting. I mulled over the options for days before I decided what to make: chickpea salad.

It was perfect — simple, no need to reheat, and a little unexpected. What’s the twist? The dressing. It features tons of cinnamon and cumin. The spices combine with the agave nectar for a warm, sweet flavor and aroma. The salad has great textural variety too: tender chickpeas, chewy raisins, and crunchy almonds.

I have a feeling this chickpea salad is going to become my go-to potluck dish this summer. Keep reading for the recipe. Read more…

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Kamille Bakes! Low-Fat Mango Banana Bread

Mango banana bread

I got a box of mangos on Sunday. Sixteen delectable yellow mangos, half of them already ripe and soft. I ate some of the plain in the morning, right out of the skin with Greek yogurt and toast. Some, I chopped and put in the freezer for smoothies and sangria. A few others I gave away.

And one, I turned into mango banana bread.

I approached this recipe as I approach most baked goods: with extreme trepidation. Fortunately for me and my baking confidence, the bread turned out wonderfully. I tweaked my recipe for classic banana bread and loved the results. This little quick bread rises beautifully — it’s moist and soft, not gummy or overly dense. And I mean, the additions kind of speak for themselves. Mangos, almonds, and bananas, with a tiny bit of Malibu rum for good measure? Tropical and deeelicious. For an extra treat, serve the mango banana bread warm with a little slow-churned ice cream or frozen yogurt on top. Mmm.

Bonus? I got to use my standmixer! It’s a VERY exciting time in my life, you guys.

Keep reading for the recipe. Read more…

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