Piña Colada Green Smoothies

Another great version! Green smoothies are great for breakfast or a snack, as they will provide you with a lasting source of energy. Fruits are a good source of energy, but eaten alone will only provide short bursts of energy (they contain lots of sugars, which are quickly metabolized). Because of their high content of veggies, green smoothies have a balanced sugar content. They are also full of vitamins and minerals.
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple
  • 1-2 pieces additional fruit (banana, pear, apple, and/or avocado, for example)
  • 3 handfuls leafy greens (kale, spinach and/or collards, for example)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
Directions:
  1. Simply blend together. You can refrigerate all the ingredients beforehand so that the smoothie is chilled. You can even freeze the pineapple beforehand to make it even colder if that’s preferable.

Big Fat Greek Salad

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Ingredients:
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1 can or jar pitted black olives, drained and sliced
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced thin
  • 1 small bunch fresh  parsley leaves
  • 1 handful fresh oregano leaves, minced
  • 1 small block feta cheese, crumbled
 Dressing Ingredients:
  • 1 part red wine vinegar + 3 parts olive oil (i.e. 1/4 cup vinegar + 3/4 cup oil)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

 

Directions:
  1. Shake dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid. (Kids love to help with this part.)
  2. Chop tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Toss everything together in a large bowl.
  4. Enjoy chilled or at room temperature. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for a couple of days.

 

Beet Feta Fritters and Zesty Sour Cream Sauce

Beetroot and feta fritters
Ingredients:
  • 4 cups chopped beets (approximately 8 medium beets)
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 8 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 teaspoons each chopped dill and mint
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4-6 tablespoons canola oil (for frying)
Directions:
  1. Wash and peel beets
  2. Chop beets, either via food processor or by chopping finely with a knife
  3. Combine chopped beets, dill, mint, garlic, feta, eggs, salt, pepper, and flour
  4. Heat canola oil in skillet over medium to high heat
  5. Once the oil is hot, form patties from the beet mixture and carefully place in the skillet; cook until lightly browned (about 5-7 minutes on each side)
  6. Top with zesty sour cream sauce (see recipe below) or other sauce of your choosing!
Zesty Sour Cream Sauce
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
  1. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Add additional salt, lemon juice/zest, and garlic to taste

Vegetarian Sushi

Vegetarian sushiIngredients:
Making sushi is much easier if you have the right tools and ingredients.

  • Rice paddle or wooden spoon for “cutting” rice
  • Rice cooker
  • Sharp knives
  • Tall glass to clean knives
  • Rice rolling mat and plastic wrap
  • Large bowl for mixing and cutting sushi rice
  • SUSHI RICE -Look for “sushi rice” on the label, or visit a local Asian market for the best selection.
  • Nori seaweed wrap
  • Wasabi Japanese horseradish (optional)
  • Rice wine
  • Sugar
  • Soy sauce
  • Vegetables like carrots, cucumber, avocado, radishes. Thinly sliced.

 

Directions:

SUSHI RICE RECIPE:

  1. Add 3 cups sushi rice and 3 1⁄4 cups water, to the rice maker and cook.
  2. When rice is done cooking, prepare the sushi rice vinegar mix. This is what gives sushi rice its distinctive taste. Rice vinegar mixture = 1/3 cup rice vinegar and 3 TBSP sugar. Over low heat mix until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Let the mixture cool. Take vinegar mixture and sprinkle it lightly in small amounts over the rice, and mix.

 

WRAP AND ROLL:

  1. Place water and a splash of vinegar or water in a bowl so you can dip your hands when assembling your sushi. This will keep the rice from sticking to your hands, one of the biggest issues for rookie sushi makers.
  2. Cover your bamboo mat with plastic wrap to prevent rice from sticking to it.
  3. Position a half sheet of nori shiny side down on your saran covered bamboo mat.
  4. Dip hands in the vinegar water mixture to prevent sticking.
  5. Grab a small handful of sushi rice. Cover bottom three-quarters of nori sheet with thin layer of rice, leaving the top quarter of the nori sheet empty. (It is this empty section that will seal the roll together.)
  6. Make a groove along the length of the rice and lay a thin layer of vegetables on top of rice on the bottom third of the nori.
  7. Begin rolling your sushi roll by putting the tips of the four fingers of each hand on top of sushi ingredients to hold them in place while keeping both thumbs on the back of the bamboo rolling mat closest to you. Push the mat forward until the mat is completely around the sushi roll and until the top and bottom edges of the nori meet. Pull your four fingers out from the mat and roll. Continue to roll the sushi mat in a circle around the ingredients. Avoid pressing too hard. The mat can be used to shape your sushi into a nice long, round roll, but be gentle or you’ll have a heavy rice log. Seal the end of the roll by using a little bit of water to wet the nori.
  8. Set your first sushi rolls on a plate. Let them set for a few minutes prior to cutting.
  9. To cut your sushi roll, place one sushi roll on your cutting board. Using a very sharp knife, gently cut each sushi roll in half, cutting down and through. Wet your knife after each cut so it doesn’t stick. Place the two halves above and below each other, and cut each section into three pieces, leaving six bite-sized sushi morsels. Place the sushi on a plate.
  10. Repeat until all of your sushi rolls are cut into bite-sized pieces. Enjoy with soy sauce, wasabi or just plain!

Download this recipe.

Fun Facts:

  • Sushi dates back to at least the second century A.D., beginning as a method of preserving fish in fermented rice. See our “The History of Sushi” page for more details about sushi history.
  • Many sushi chefs believe that the customer eats not just with his mouth, but with his eyes. Preparing sushi is like creating a Zen garden.
  • The word “sushi” doesn’t refer to fish at all—it refers to rice that has been seasoned with vinegar, sugar, and salt.
  • Inside-out rolls are the mainstay of American sushi—and are an American invention. They didn’t exist in Japan until recently, when they were imported from the United States.
  • The knives used by sushi chefs are the direct descendants of samurai swords, and the blades must be sharpened and reshaped every day.
  • Japanese usually eat miso soup not at the beginning of the meal, but at the end—to aid digestion.
  • In Japan, an apprentice sushi chef spends two years learning to cook and season the rice, and another three learning to prepare fish, before he is allowed to work behind the sushi bar.
  • In the U.S., high demand for sushi chefs means that many work behind the bar after only a few months of training.
  • Chopsticks and fingers are both acceptable for eating sushi. Bite-sized sushi should be eaten in one bite. Never pass sushi from your chopsticks to someone else’s chopsticks. This is considered bad luck.
  • Japanese tradition calls for an odd — not even — numbers of ingredients, usually three or five items.

 

Puerto Rican Fried Plantains “Tostones” with Rice & Beans

TostonesIngredients:

  • 2 plantains
  • 1.5 cups oil for frying (coconut oil is a healthy and natural oil you can use at high heat. Coconut oil is much more resistant to oxidation than other oils at high heat. The body can process it more easily and quickly turn it into energy.)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup water
  • sea salt

Instructions

  1. Peel the plantains and cut them into 1-inch thick disks. Place the garlic in a bowl with the water and set aside.
  2. Heat enough oil in a large skillet so that the disks will be half way submerged in the oil. When the oil is shiny and a drop of water sizzles across the top, add the plantains. Fry for 3-5 minutes on each side until the plantains are lightly softened and browned. Remove and place on a paper towel lined plate.
  3. Place the plantains on a cutting board, smash with the back of a wooden spoon to make them half as thick, and let them soak in the garlic water for about a minute.
  4. Remove, dry and wipe off garlic pieces so they don’t burn, and return to the frying pan. Fry for another 2-3 minutes on each side or until they take on a deep golden color and a crispy texture. Drain again on paper towels, sprinkle with ground sea salt, and serve with rice, beans and optional herbs like cilantro.

Plantains are from the same family as bananas. Plantains are a starchy, low-sugar fruit and are used more like a potato. The outer skin is very thick and difficult to peel when the fruit is unripe. Plantains are eaten around the world but are most popular in Latin America and West Africa, where they are a staple.

Choose plantains that are firm and mostly green. The yellow and black ones are sweeter, which is also good and is usually called “Fried Ripe Plantains”. You can basically use any kind of rice and beans and just add whatever fresh vegetables and herbs you have available.

Download this recipe.

Tortilla Española

Tortilla espanolaIngredients for one large tortilla:

  • 5 eggs
  • 5 potatoes
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 handfuls of spinach (or another leafy green or vegetable)

Directions:

Step 1: Wash, peel and cut the potatoes in very thin slices. Cut the onion and garlic in small pieces. Saute the onion and the garlic first for 5 minutes. Then add the potatoes with enough oil so that they won’t stick. Saute until the potatoes are translucent or clear-ish.

Step 2: Separately, beat the eggs together with the leafy greens and a little salt. Aparte, se baten los huevos junto con las hojas verdes y un poco de sal. Quickly add the potatoes to the eggs, mixing well.

Step 3: Have the frying pan ready on low heat with two large spoonfuls of olive oil. Quickly place the egg/potato mixture in the pan. Cook on médium low heat on one side until the tortilla is firm enough to flip. Flip the tortilla with the help of a plate and ease it back into the pan so that you can cook it on the other side. Getting it fully cooked in the middle requires a bit of time and patience!

Soon enough you’ll have your Spanish Tortilla! It can be eaten hot, cold, in small pieces or even in a sandwich.

Download this recipe.

Historia: Tortilla española is a dish made with eggs and potatoes. The name comes from its form, like a cake or tortilla. There are many variations but this recipe above is based on the classic Spanish recipe. The potato has its origins in South America and was spread about the world beginning with the Spanish Conquest. It is documented in 1519 as a food known around Europe. Legend says that Spanish General Tomás de Zumalacárregui invented the tortilla as a quick, simple and nutritious meal during an era of war in Spain. Another versión of the legend says that it was invented by an anonymous housewife. Zumalacárregui passed by her house during the war, and since she was poor and only had eggs, onions and potatoes, she just made those into the first tortilla. The general liked it very much, named it the “tortilla” and helped it become popular.