Pretty Healthy!

“I’m so busy! I don’t have time!” These are the excuses I use for my less than stellar eating habits. But we all know what excuses are; and as my Mother would say, “You make time for what’s important to you.” And she’s correct. With this in mind, about a month ago I committed to three healthy lifestyle/diet changes.

  1. Drink more water. The benefits are endless; and I’ve done a good job with my daily intake. What I found is that I prefer my water room temperature, and consequently, I drink more.
  2. Stop skipping breakfast. It’s been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but I never made the time. So, I incorporated a daily bowl of oatmeal and brown sugar into my schedule. Oatmeal is a quick fix, tastes good and helps lower bad cholesterol.
  3. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Now, this was going to be my challenge. I’m not the type to eat fruit and veggies all day. I’m allergic to peaches and don’t like bananas; and that’s putting it delicately. What to do?

Last week, while scanning my favorite daily blogs and websites, I came across a recipe for a Greensicle Smoothie; and there was my answer. I’d try drinking my fruits and vegetables in a once or twice daily smoothie.

In my excitement, I headed out and purchased a new blender ~ yes, I really did need a new one ~ and all of the ingredients for my Greensicle Smoothie.

This morning was my first attempt at making the smoothie. Again, I don’t like bananas, but decided to try the recipe and see if the taste was overwheliming. I even poured my Greensicle in to one of my prettiest crystal goblets, as if it would somehow mask the banana taste.

What I learned ~ nothing beats a failure but a try. While the smoothie tasted pretty good overall and I finished the entire glass, still too much banana taste for me. Again, what to do? I called my “go~to” Doll on all things health and fitness, my cousin Susan, to find out what I can substitute for a banana. She suggested Greek Yogurt.

Once again, I headed to my local Whole Foods store for my substitute ingredients. I even consulted with “Eric” the Whole Foods employee, who according to the young lady passing out avocado and black bean salad tastings, “knows everything about juicing and smoothies.” Eric agreed with Susan, and Greek Yogurt it is.

Tomorrow morning brings day two of my quest for a healthier diet. I will try my Greensicle Smoothie sans bananas, but with Greek Yogurt. Here’s the recipe if you are interested in joining me in adopting a more healthy lifestyle/diet. Feel free to leave a comment with your favorite smoothie recipe. Even if it includes bananas! (This is not all about me.)

Greensicle Smoothie

INGREDIENTS

½ cup chopped kale

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 cup chopped orange segments (from about 3 oranges)

1 cup chopped frozen banana (about 1½ bananas) OR 1/2 c Greek Yogurt

1 cup coconut water

1 teaspoon coconut nectar (optional)

DIRECTIONS. In a blender, combine the kale, lemon juice, orange, banana, coconut water and coconut nectar (if using). Purée until smooth, pour into a glass and serve immediately. Yields: 2 drinks/Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Recipe adapted from Steve Mekoski, Purée Juice Bar, Bethesda, MD

I’ll check back in tomorrow to let you know how I feel about the new recipe.

Until Then,

~ L.

The Pretty Domestic

You Are Cordially Invited to Champagne Sundays!!!

It’s hot! Better yet sweltering! Every time I look at the weather report for “my neck of the woods” the temperature is approaching 100+  degrees. When it’s hot, I’m not much for “cocktailing.” My main goal is to keep cool and hydrated, and nothing does the job better than a bottle of agua!

However, I don’t want to put “Champagne Sundays” completely on the back burner during the summer months. Try a Mimosa Sorbet for a cool and refreshing cocktail alternative.

Mimosa Sorbet

Ingredients

2 1/2 c. water

1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c. orange marmalade

Zest from 2 large oranges

1 c. fresh squeezed orange juice (about 2 large oranges)

3 tbsp. lemon juice

Your favorite champagne

Directions. Combine the water, sugar, marmalade, and zest in a large saucepan. Heat over medium heat until it bubbles. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Mix in the orange and lemon juice and process in your ice cream maker according to manufacturing directions. Transfer to a container and freeze until set. Scoop sorbet into champagne flutes and pour champagne over the top. Serve immediately. Makes 1 quart.

Recipe: Cooking Light

Here’s to you, and a relaxing and cool “Champagne Sunday!”

Until Then,

~ L.

The Pretty Domestic

Strawberries & Cream … AND ….

I’m not normally a fan of milky or creamy drinks, particularly in the summertime, but I recently tried a Chocolate Strawberry Bliss at a soiree, and was sold. Probably not something you would drink in the middle of the day, but could be a nice cocktail for a girls night in. Let me know what you think.

Chocolate Strawberry Bliss

Ingredients

Directions. Pour ingredients in an ice filled shaker and shake for 30-45 seconds. Pour into a martini glass garnished with a fresh strawberry.

Consider serving it with chocolate covered strawberries from your local chocolatier; or if you are feeling brave, make them yourself.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces milk chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries with leaves

Directions. Insert toothpicks into the tops of the strawberries. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and shortening, stirring occasionally until smooth. Holding them by the toothpicks, dip the strawberries into the chocolate mixture. Turn the strawberries upside down and insert the toothpick into styrofoam for the chocolate to cool.

Bon Appetit!

Until Then,

~ L.

The Pretty Domestic

Summer Salads & Sweet Tea

Being “pretty domestic” means being pretty practical; and with the sweltering weather, the kitchen is the last place a doll wants to spend her time, slaving over a hot stove. Yet, we still have to eat. That said, this is the perfect time for a wonderful salad. I’m not talking about throwing some iceberg lettuce in a bowl, with a few tomatoes and a slice or two of cucumber; but savory, healthy salads that leave you wanting more!

BERRY DELICIOUS SUMMER SALAD

Ingredients

  • 8 cups mixed salad greens
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • ½ cup crumbled Gorgonzola or blue cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped and toasted walnuts or pecans
  • Bottled vinaigrette

Toss together first 4 ingredients; drizzle with desired amount of vinaigrette, tossing gently to coat.

LEMON~BASIL SHRIMP SALAD

Prep: 20 min., Chill: 8 hrs. Don’t skip the fresh lemon rind and juice in the marinade–it’s what makes this recipe special. These shrimp also make a terrific appetizer. The shrimp and dressing, as well as the Parmesan Baskets, can all be made a day ahead.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. unpeeled, cooked shrimp
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 16 cups salad greens
  • 8 Parmesan Baskets (optional)
  • Fresh Lemon Vinaigrette ~ Ingredients: ¼ cup fresh lemon juice; 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard; 1 large garlic clove, pressed; ¼ teaspoon salt; ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper; ½ cup vegetable oil

Preparation: Whisk together first 5 ingredients. Gradually add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking until blended. Note: To prepare ahead, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature, and whisk before serving.

  • Lemon-Basil Marinade ~ Ingredients: 1 cup vegetable oil; 1 cup red wine vinegar; 2 tablespoons grated lemon rind; ¼ cup fresh lemon juice; 3 tablespoons sugar; 2 tablespoons hot sauce; 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard; 2 garlic cloves, pressed; ½ teaspoon salt

Preparation: Whisk together oil and remaining ingredients in a bowl.

Peel shrimp, and devein, if desired. Place shrimp and next 4 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag. Seal and chill 8 hours or up to 24 hours, turning bag occasionally. Stir in basil 1 hour before serving. Drain and discard marinade just before serving.

Divide greens evenly between Parmesan Baskets or serving bowls; arrange drained shrimp mixture evenly over lettuce. Serve with Fresh Lemon Vinaigrette.

SUN SWEET TEA

Tie 14 tea bags together. Place in the bottom of a 4-quart clear container. Slice a lemon and squeeze in the juice from both halves. Put both lemon halves in your container. Fill the container with cold water, put the cover on and add three hours of strong sun.

Bring inside and take out tea bags. Add a cup of sugar, more or less depending on your taste. Chill for a couple of hours or pour over ice & enjoy!

If you want to make this your “Champagne Sunday” cocktail of choice, and for an extra kick, add 1 cup Bacardi 151 or other high-proof golden rum.

IMAGES & RECIPES: Linda Wagner Blogspot & Southern Living

Until Then,

~ L.

The Pretty Domestic