Showing posts with label Ellie Krieger. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ellie Krieger. Show all posts

Friday, April 13, 2018

Ellie Krieger's Shrimp with Spinach, Garlic and Smoked Paprika

When cooking is the last thing you want to do on a Friday evening, healthy but delicious recipes like Ellie Krieger's Shrimp with Spinach, Garlic and Smoked Paprika. Once your shrimp is peeled and deveined and your garlic sliced and spinach chopped, it comes together quickly in one pan. I put rice in the rice cooker while my shrimp defrosted and had a low effort, high flavor and healthy dinner on the table and in my belly in about 30 minutes.

I made just a couple of small changes to the recipe--using smaller shrimp because that's what I had on hand and using a smoked paprika spice blend that contains garlic, chili pepper, and chives.

Shrimp with Spinach, Garlic and Smoked Paprika
Slightly Adpated from
(Serves 4)
1 1/4 lbs large shrimp (about 20 per lb), peeled and deveined, tails on (I used 31-35 size)
3 large cloves garlic
5 cups lightly packed baby spinach leaves (5 oz)
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp smoked paprika (I used a smoked paprika, garlic, chili & chive seasoning blend)
¼ tsp salt
pinch cayenne pepper (see above seasoning blend)

Rinse the shrimp and pat dry with a paper towel. Thinly slice the garlic. Coarsely chop the spinach.

Place the oil in a large non-stick skillet and heat over a medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is golden, about 5 minutes. Watch closely so the garlic does not burn. Transfer the garlic to a small dish using a slotted spoon, leaving the oil in the skillet.

Raise the heat on the skillet to medium-high, add the shrimp, paprika, salt and cayenne and cook until the shrimp turns pink and is nearly cooked through, about 3 minutes. Stir in the spinach and return the garlic to the pan and cook until the shrimp is opaque throughout and the spinach is wilted, 1-2 minutes more.

Nutritional Information: Serving size: 1 1/4 cups (about 6-7 shrimp)
Calories 260; Total Fat 13 g; (Sat Fat 2 g, Mono Fat 7.8 g, Poly Fat 2.1 g); Protein 30 g; Carb 6 g; Fiber 2 g; Cholesterol 215 mg; Sodium 410 mg
Excellent Source of: protein, vitamin A, vitamin B12, iron, phosphorus, selenium 
Good Source of: niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin C, calcium, copper, magnesium, zinc

Notes/Results: This recipe goes together quickly and tastes delicious. Smoked paprika, garlic, shrimp and spinach should always hang out. This is a recipe where you'll want to have all your components prepped and ready and then it comes together in under 15 minutes--in once pan--or another pan or rice cooker if you are adding rice. I was using up my partial bags of rice so this is part jasmine rice and part wild rice blend. I recommend using extra spinach as it does cook down a lot--I think it's a bit stingy divided among four--it made 2 healthy servings for me--even with the rice, but the calorie count is still reasonable if you eat more. I would happily make this again.

Linking up at I Heart Cooking Clubs where our it's our Monthly Ingredient/Dish Challenge and the theme is Healthy Meets Delicious--healthy but yummy recipes from any of our featured IHCC chefs.

Happy Aloha Friday!

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "Yesternight" by Cat Winters, Served with a Recipe for Crispy French Toast Fingers with Blueberry-Maple Sauce {#Yesternight}

Since it's Explorer's Day, let's explore a slightly spooky new October novel. On today's TLC Book Tour stop, I am reviewing Yesternight by Cat Winters and pairing it with a recipe for Ellie Krieger's Crispy French Toast Fingers with Blueberry-Maple Sauce. inspired by my reading.

Publisher's Blurb:

From the author of The Uninvited comes a haunting historical novel with a compelling mystery at its core.  A young child psychologist steps off a train, her destination a foggy seaside town. There, she begins a journey causing her to question everything she believes about life, death, memories, and reincarnation.

In 1925, Alice Lind steps off a train in the rain-soaked coastal hamlet of Gordon Bay, Oregon. There, she expects to do nothing more difficult than administer IQ tests to a group of rural schoolchildren. A trained psychologist, Alice believes mysteries of the mind can be unlocked scientifically, but now her views are about to be challenged by one curious child.

Seven-year-old Janie O’Daire is a mathematical genius, which is surprising. But what is disturbing are the stories she tells: that her name was once Violet, she grew up in Kansas decades earlier, and she drowned at age nineteen. Alice delves into these stories, at first believing they’re no more than the product of the girl’s vast imagination. But, slowly, Alice comes to the realization that Janie might indeed be telling a strange truth.

Alice knows the investigation may endanger her already shaky professional reputation, and as a woman in a field dominated by men she has no room for mistakes. But she is unprepared for the ways it will illuminate terrifying mysteries within her own past, and in the process, irrevocably change her life.

Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (October 4, 2016)

My Review:

It took me about 10 seconds flat to sign up for the Yesternight book tour, the "haunting historical mystery" description and 1925 small Oregon coastal town setting drawing me right in. And how perfect is the cover? The colors, the picture and the mood it sets make it perfect for a spooky October read. Thankfully, what is inside lived up to the self-hype in my head and it delivered an atmospheric story that kept me absorbed and turning the pages. I was reading it during a particularly warm and humid week here and so I had to turn on the air conditioning, pour a cup of apple-cinnamon tea, and set the right mood. 

Speaking of mood, Yesternight definitely sets a good, creepy paranormal tone from the start when young psychologist Alice Lind steps off the train and is immediately slammed to the ground from raging storm. It's clear that Alice has some issues and baggage, more than the two suitcases she travels with and brought along as she arrives to test the children in the rural community of Gordon Bay, Oregon for their IQ and aptitude. When she learns of young Janie O'Daire and about her mathematical prowess and her strange stories of growing up in Kansas as a young woman named Violet Sunday, she is set to prove them make-believe tales from a intelligent and impressionable seven-year-old mind rather than anything paranormal, but soon she can't deny that something strange is going on and that it may be tied somehow to her own childhood issues.   

The character of Alice is interesting and the book focuses much of the story around her--especially the second half. Finding reincarnation and spooky children to be fascinating, I wanted more time spent with Janie. Staying away from any detail, so as not to spoil the story, I will say that at times it felt as though Janie was a teaser to get into Alice's past. There are plenty of twists in the story--a couple I saw coming but some I did not and while I wouldn't call it scary, it left me me with a good chill. Had I read it in a creepy old hotel in the winter, I would have jumped more, but it definitely had that nice eerie, Gothic feel to it that made it a fun pre-Halloween book. Yesternight is my first book by this author and it is her second adult novel--based on this one, I'll be looking for more of her work. 


Author Notes: Cat Winters’s debut novel, In the Shadow of Blackbirds, was released to widespread critical acclaim. The novel has been named a finalist for the 2014 Morris Award, a School Library Journal Best Book of 2013, and a Booklist 2013 Top 10 Horror Fiction for Youth. Winters lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and two children.
Find out more about Cat at her website, and follow her on tumblr, Pinterest, InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.


Food Inspiration: 

There was some food to be found in Yesternight such as lots of ham and ham sandwiches with pretzels, a breakfast of hard-boiled egg, sausage patties, fruit, and coffee, almond drops candies, soft drinks like root beer, Orange Quench and LimeTone, clam chowder with a slice of thick sourdough bread, a dinner of chicken, potatoes, and boiled carrots and peas, gin, a bowl of snap peas, coffee tea and cinnamon rolls, cheese, crackers and roast beef, a hotel restaurant breakfast of grapefruit, French toast,and bacon, apple hot toddies, oyster cocktails and ham and egg balls, a dinner of venison, mutton chops and assorted vegetables that no one would eat.

I don't eat meat and Alice had "an infantile aversion to vegetables" according to her mother. With all manner of vegetables--even pickles, making her feel ill. For example; "Peapods always reminded me of plump green fingers that had wiggled their way out of cold garden dirt." So with meat and vegetables off the table (pun intended), I decided to go with the French toast Alice ate for breakfast. 

Hoping for a healthier option and multi-tasking or multi-posting with my weekly I Heart Cooking Clubs post, I found an Ellie Krieger recipe for Crispy French Toast Fingers that sounded tasty and since the peadpod "fingers" mention stuck with me, I thought French toast fingers would be fun. The Blueberry-Maple Sauce for dipping sounded delicious too. 

Crispy French Toast Fingers
Adapted from Ellie
(Serves 4)

1 cup sliced almonds
3 cups cornflakes
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup low-fat (1%) milk (I used coconut milk)
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
nonstick cooking spray

4 large slices firm whole-grain bread, each piece cut crosswise to make 5 fingers each.
1 recipe Blueberry Maple Sauce (recipe follows) or maple syrup for serving, optional

In a food processor, pulse the almonds until coarsely ground. Add the cornflakes, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and pulse until the cornflakes resemble the texture of oats. Transfer the cornflakes mixture to a shallow bowl.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, maple syrup, and vanilla until well combined.  

Spray a large nonstick skillet or griddle with cooking spray and preheat over medium heat. Working with one piece at a time, dip the bread into the egg mixture until completely moistened and coated but not falling apart, about 30 seconds each. Coat each slice of bread in the cornflakes mixture gently pressing it onto the bread. Place each slice of bread in the skillet and cook over medium-low heat, turning once, until the outside is golden brown and the center is warm, about 6 minutes total.

Serve with Blueberry Maple Sauce or pure maple syrup on the side for dipping, if desired.


Blueberry-Maple Sauce
Adapted from Ellie
(Serves 4)

2 cups fresh or frozen (unsweetened) blueberries, (10-oz)
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup, plus more to taste
1 Tbsp orange juice

In a medium saucepan, combine the blueberries, maple syrup, and orange juice. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender, or use an immersion blender, and blend until almost smooth. Add more maple syrup to taste depending on the sweetness of the fruit. 

The sauce may be made up to 4 days ahead of using and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Notes/Results: Crispy, nutty on the outside and soft in the center French toast--sweet and cinnamony--there is plenty to like about Ellie Krieger's recipe. The fact that it adds some fiber and protein with the whole-grain bread is a bonus and it is sweet enough to make your favorite kid or big kid happy. You could of course just leave it whole rather than cutting it into fingers, but the whole dipping it into the tangy-sweet blueberry sauce wouldn't be as fun. I don't crave French toast often, but when I do, this is a tasty one that isn't too terrible on the nutrition front. I would happily make it again.

I'm linking this French toast at I Heart Cooking Clubs where the Monthly Featured Chef theme this week is celebrating Ellie Krieger. You can see my roundup of favorite recipes from when we cooked with Ellie at IHCC here and you can see what dishes everyone chose to make by checking out the picture links on the post.
I'm also linking up this review and recipe to the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.

Note: A review copy of "Yesternight" was provided to me by the publisher, Harper Collins and TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.

You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.


Friday, May 27, 2016

Tender Green Salad with Strawberries, Cucumber, Pistachios and Basil (Served with Salmon) to Welcome Summer

This salad has been on my mind since I came across it in The Washington Post a couple of weeks ago and pinned in to make once I had some ripe strawberries. It comes from Ellie Krieger and I love the simplicity of it, how pretty it looks on the plate, and the combination of some favorite ingredients--strawberries, buttery lettuce, cucumber, chopped pistachios, and fresh basil, all tossed with a light dressing. 

I served this salad alongside a piece of simply cooked wild King salmon (lightly seasoned with salt and black pepper and cooked in a bit of coconut oil). Together it made a perfect light and healthy dinner that welcomes summer. 

Tender Green Salad with Strawberries, Cucumber, Pistachios and Basil
Adapted slightly from Ellie Krieger via The Washington Post
(Serves 4)
2 Tbsp walnut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp white wine vinegar (I used champagne vinegar)
1 tsp honey
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/2 head butter, Boston or bibb lettuce, leaves torn (about 5 cups, lightly packed) (I used local Manoa lettuce)
6 large or 12 small hulled strawberries, quartered if large, halved if small
1/4 English (seedless) cucumber, cut into thin half-moons
2 Tbsp shelled, unsalted pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped (see NOTE)
4 large or 8 medium fresh basil leaves, torn

Whisk together the oil, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper in a medium bowl to form a dressing.

Place the lettuce in a large bowl. Drizzle in about half of the dressing, and toss to coat.

Divide the dressed lettuce among individual salad plates. Arrange the strawberries and cucumber slices on top, then drizzle with the remaining dressing. Top each portion with 1/2 tablespoon of pistachios and some basil.

(NOTE: Toast the pistachios in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until fragrant and lightly browned. Cool completely before using.)

Notes/Results: This may be my new favorite summer salad--each bite made me happy. The sweet strawberries, crisp cucumbers and the slightly sharp and herby basil work well with the mild lettuce, toasty pistachios and the slightly sweet dressing. So simple but so good! It also paired well with the salmon--they complimented each other without one overpowering the other in flavor. I think this salad would partner well with any simple fish, seafood, or lighter protein option. It's definitely a keeper recipe that I will make again. 

I am linking this delicious salad up to I Heart Cooking Clubs. It's Potluck week, where we can make any recipe by the current featured chef, Curtis Stone, or any of the previous IHCC chefs like Ellie Krieger. You can see what everyone made by checking out the picture links on the post.

I am also linking it to this week's Souper (Soup, Salad, & Sammie) Sundays post here at Kahakai Kitchen. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich to share you can join in by linking your post up. Here's this week's picture linkup--details are on the post.

 Happy Aloha Friday and have a happy and healthy Memorial Day weekend!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Herbed Tuna (and Chickpea) Salad-Stuffed Bell Peppers and My Top Favorite Ellie Krieger Recipes

When I am in major work mode and busy on projects sometimes all that I can mange for lunch or dinner is to open a can of tuna or chickpeas, squeeze on some lemon and toss in some spices. This Ellie Krieger recipe is a few steps beyond that--there is some chopping involved, but well-worth it it terms of fresh herby flavor and getting something green on my plate. 

I made a few changes to the recipe--highlighted in red below. Ellie uses water-packed tuna, but I buy an Italian brand tuna at Costco that I love and it comes in olive oil--so I used it and reduced the olive oil in the dressing to compensate. I also made a half-recipe using one can of tuna and about a cup-and-a-half of chickpeas for extra fiber and because I love the combo of beans and tuna. The locally grown baby watercress in the produce section looked perkier than the baby arugula and still has a peppery bite so I swapped it in. Tarragon, which I adore, can be quite hit-or-miss to find here, so I made due with a mix of fresh mint and thyme that I needed to use up. 

The result--served on romaine leaves, was a fresh, healthy, satisfying, and yummy dinner and lunch the following day--and I think far prettier than the quickly-snapped pictures show.

Herbed Tuna (& Chickpea) Salad-Stuffed Bell Peppers
Adapted from So Easy from Ellie Krieger
(Serves 4)

4 red bell peppers, stemmed and sliced in half crosswise (I used red & yellow)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (I used 1 Tbsp due to olive oil in tuna)
3 Tbsp  fresh lemon juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard (I used Creole mustard)
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 (6-oz) cans chunk light tuna in water, drained (I used Italian tuna in olive oil)
(I added 1 1/2 cups no-salt chickpeas, drained and rinsed)
1 1/2 cups lightly packed baby arugula leaves, roughly chopped (I used baby watercress)
1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, minced
1 cup lightly packed fresh parsley leaves, minced
3 Tbsp loosely packed fresh tarragon, minced (I used mint & thyme)

Remove the seeds and white membrane from inside the pepper halves.

In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper and whisk to mix. Add the tuna, arugula, and herbs, and stir together.

Spoon about 1/2 cup of the tuna mixture into each pepper half and serve. Filled peppers will keep up to 2 days in an airtight container in the fridge.   
Notes/Results: Really fresh and good. The herbs, lemon and mustard work well with the tuna and beans--enhancing rather than overpowering--and the sweetness and crunch of the red and yellow pepper cups is nice and provides a big dose of vitamin C. I liked the baby watercress quite a bit--flavor wise it is pretty close to arugula. I did miss the tarragon and would add it the next time if I find it but the basil, parsley, mint and thyme combination was good. You could really use any combination of herbs you like here. This is a simple, no-cook meal that I will definitely make again.

This week ends our six months of cooking weekly with Ellie Krieger at I Heart Cooking Clubs. I always like to end our cooking time with our IHCC featured chefs by recapping some of my favorite dishes--the recipes I loved, made again, or keep thinking of long after I have made them. All of the recipes I cooked along with Ellie were healthy of course, but also colorful, easy to make, and tasty. 

If you think cooking and eating healthy is boring and flavorless, you have not spent time with Ellie Krieger. Here are seven of her recipes that I highly recommend.

I adored Ellie's Shrimp Salad with Cucumber and Mint from The Food You Crave and have made it several times now. It is fresh, light and delicious.

Thai-Style Halibut (or Mahi-Mahi) in Coconut Curry Broth with Spinach, adapted from The Food You Crave was amazing. Great flavors and perfect with with the spiralized turnip noodles that I added.

Ellie had two smoothie bowl recipes that I loved, her Cherry Berry Smoothie Bowl from

and her Tropical Fruit and Nut Smoothie Bowl with Chia Seeds from TodayFood. Both of these smoothie bowls were colorful, healthy and fun to eat.

Speaking of foods in bowls, Ellie's Very Vanilla Rice Pudding from The Food You Crave was gorgeously creamy with its use of aborio rice and made special from the fruit and nut toppings. Perfect for dessert or breakfast.

I am always a sucker for great dips and Edamame Hummus from The Food You Crave was light, lemony and excellent with bread, chips, or veggies.  

Finally, I made three different soups with Ellie the past six months, but my favorite was the Tomato-Tortilla Soup from The Food You Crave that I welcomed her to IHCC with. Lots of flavor and I can never resist the toppings and add-ins in a tortilla soup.

I think it is an interesting note that although I cooked from both So Easy and The Food You Crave, as well as some online recipes, five of the seven recipes I chose as my top favorites were from The Food You Crave. I guess the title of that cookbook was earned! ;-)

This post is linked to IHCC's Goodbye Ellie! post. You can see the final Ellie Krieger dishes that everyone made by checking out the picture links.
I am also linking this healthy salad up to my own weekly Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays event. Each week I am posting a new soup and inviting anyone with a soup, salad or sandwich-type dish to link up to the post. If you used to participate in Souper Sundays, or if you are new to it, I'd love to see the soups (and sandwiches and salads!) you have been making. Here's the link to this week's link-up

So while this post ends our weekly cooking along with Ellie Krieger at IHCC, I am sure she will be making some appearances in my monthly IHCC Potluck posts. Next week we start cooking with popular, Aussie-born-chef Curtis Stone for the next six months. Come join in the fun!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Ellie Krieger's Shrimp Salad with Cucumber and Mint: Green, Healthy & Delicious

I meant to have this post up for our Green Eating theme this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs before St. Patrick's Day, instead of late the evening of, but the best laid plans and all that... Oh well, it's not Irish and the theme nods to green-hued ingredients and healthy, green eating--of which there is plenty here, so it's all good.  

It's a crazy week again with competing work projects and I have had no urge to cook or even eat as absolutely no food sounds appealing. I started a new-to-me medicine on Tuesday, the Rx container boldly stamped with "May cause nausea dizziness" on the top. It does, thank you very much. So I'm left with an unsettled stomach, hungry but nothing sounding remotely good besides maybe Lay's Original Potato Chips, of which there are none in my house. As I lay awake, exhausted but feeling yucky and tense at 2:00 AM  for the second night (a combination of loud wind gust noises and, oh yeah..., another side effect I found for the drug at 2:30 AM--nervousness and trouble sleeping...), I even debated throwing on jeans and driving the half-mile to 7-Eleven in the middle of the night for a bag of Lay's just to settle my stomach. (You'll be happy to know I decided not to risk it.) ;-)

Anyway, I ramble about this stuff not for any pity--I am fine, just working with the doctor to get free from the effects of crud that morphs from a sinus infection-to bronchitis-to a cold-back to a sinus infection-repeat, since late December and it keeps popping up like an ugly Whack-a-Mole game. No, I tell you this tale because this simple little Ellie Krieger recipe with just 5 ingredients (not counting the salt and pepper and romaine hearts to serve) managed to break through my all food is yucky-ness and was absolutely perfect and delicious! The combination of the cooling mint, tangy lemon, crisp cucumber, and sweet shrimp was wonderful. It also smelled incredible, was quick and low effort to make, it's appealing to look at on the plate, and eating it makes me think of a relaxing sunny day at a fancy spa. 

I made a few small, mostly proportional, changes to the recipe--using a quarter of the shrimp quantity and the large wild shrimp I had in my freezer instead of medium shrimp, keeping all of the cucumber, and making all of the pesto but using half to dress the salad. (The other half will go on some zucchini noodles tomorrow I think.) My changes are noted in red below.

Shrimp Salad with Cucumber and Mint
Slightly Adapted from 'The Food You Crave' by Ellie Krieger &
(Serves 6 as Starter)

2 lbs medium shrimp, cleaned (I used 1/2 lb large wild shrimp)
1 cup fresh mint leaves
2 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 English cucumber, seeded & diced (about 1 1/2 cups) (I didn't seed cucumber)
1 lemon, zested (whoops--forgot to zest!)
salt and pepper to taste
(I used 1 romaine heart, leaves divided to make lettuce cup/wraps)
(I saved the baby mint leaves to garnish)

Cook shrimp in boiling water for 3 minutes, drain and cool in refrigerator. (I did this the night before.)

Put mint and lemon juice in food processor and pulse to coarsely chop the mint. Drizzle olive oil into processor while pureeing until mint is finely chopped. (I used my blender--it's on the counter--and left my mint and pesto a little bit chunky.)

In a serving bowl, toss shrimp, cucumber, pesto, zest, salt and pepper to combine. Serve on your favorite lettuce or greens or in lettuce cups if desired.

Pesto will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Notes/Results: As stated above, this was an awesome Ellie recipe--a great blending of flavors and freshness--neither the lemon or pesto overpower when combined with the shrimp. I think extra dressing is a must and would recommend you one-and-a-half the dressing quantity. I left the tails on my shrimp because it looks prettier in pictures but would probably take them off if serving to anyone else. I just licked my finger as I pulled them off before putting them on my lettuce cups, which is one of the joys of eating alone. ;-) Because of the few ingredients here, make them high-quality ones--good shrimp and olive oil and fresh, home-grown or locally-grown mint and cucumber if you can get it. You won't be sorry. This salad would be great at a luncheon, but is easy enough to be tossed together and eaten on the couch during Grey's Anatomy (face mask optional for that spa-like vibe). I will definitely make this again. 

You can check out the Ellie Krieger Green Eating dishes everyone made by checking out the picture links on this week's IHCC post.  

I am linking this yummy salad up to Souper Sundays!

It's back! Souper Sundays is back! If you are a long-time reader of Kahakai Kitchen and missed Souper (Soup, Salad and Sammie) Sundays, it is recently back (after a 9-month hiatus) as a weekly picture linkup. Each week I will be posting a new soup and inviting anyone with a soup, salad or sandwich-type dish to link up to the post. If you used to participate, or if you are new to it, I'd love to see the soups (and sandwiches and salads!) you have been making.

Get the details and join in this week's post here: (Links are open each week thru midnight Saturdays and a new link opens up each Sunday!)

***Book Giveaway!!!***

Hey, (if you are in the US or Canada) and enjoy great books I am giving away a copy of an excellent novel, North of Here by Laurel Saville. You can see my TLC Book Tour review and a recipe for Blackberry Chia Seed Jam inspired by the book, and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway on the review post here.  (Isn't the cover gorgeous?!)


Friday, March 4, 2016

Ellie Krieger's Tropical Fruit and Nut Smoothie Bowl with Chia Seeds

Time for a weekend smoothie bowl--satisfying, pretty to look at and full of tropical fruit and flavors. This is Ellie Krieger's Tropical Fruit and Nut Smoothie Bowl

Toppings are my favorite part of a smoothie bowl and this one is piled high with apple banana, mango, kiwi, coconut chips, toasted macadamia nuts, and chia seeds. Speaking of chia seeds, they date back to early Aztec and Mayan cultures and were thought to increase energy and stamina. Ellie says that nutritionally, "They are the highest plant source of omega-3s and fiber and they are rich in protein and antioxidants. Almost all of the fiber in chia seeds is the soluble type, like that found in oatmeal, which is why they gel when mixed with liquid. Besides making them useful in recipes, that gel-able fiber is credited for chia’s ability to help control hunger, manage blood sugar levels and prevent heart disease. While further research still needs to be done to fully support these claims, there are plenty of healthy reasons to enjoy chia. With only 55 calories in each tablespoon plus 2g of protein and 6g of fiber, they are certainly worth a try."

This is my second Ellie Krieger smoothie bowl recipe--the first being her Cherry Berry Smoothie Bowl

Besides having a tropical feel, this one is a little different as it has cashews in the smoothie along with the coconut milk, which give it added protein and healthy fats.

Tropical Fruit and Nut Smoothie Bowl with Chia Seeds
Adapted from Ellie Krieger via TodayFood
(Serves 2-4)

1/2 cup raw cashews
1 heaping Tbsp peeled, fresh chopped ginger root (one 1-inch piece) (I used about 1 1/2 Tbsps)
1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk, plus more as needed
2 cups frozen cubed mango
1 frozen very ripe banana

pinch ground nutmeg (I used cinnamon)
Toppings I Used:
apple banana 
coconut flakes
chopped toasted macadamia nuts
chia seeds

Place the cashews, ginger and coconut milk into a blender and blend until as smooth as possible. Add the mango, banana and nutmeg and blend until smooth. Add additional coconut milk by the tablespoonful as needed. You may need to stop the blender to stir with a spatula a couple of times, depending on the power of your blender. 

Divide the smoothie mixture among serving bowls, then top with various toppings. 

Ellie's Suggested Toppings: shredded coconut, chopped cashews, granola, chia seeds, chopped dates, sliced fresh banana, cubed mango, papaya, pineapple or kiwi.

Notes/Results: The mango flavor comes through with a nice pop of ginger--I added extra because I love ginger. With the healthy fats, this is a filling bowl, even divided into fourths as Ellie suggests. I like to put a layer of fruit in the bottom of my smoothie bowl, layer the smoothie on top, then sprinkle the toppings on. That way you get a little topping in every bite--which makes for a happy breakfast bowl. ;-) The Cherry Berry Smoothie Bowl is probably still my favorite--I love the cherry flavor, but this one was still really good. I would make it again

It's Ancient Grains week at I Heart Cooking Clubs where we are making Ellie Krieger dishes with any ancient grains like quinoa, kamut, farro, barley, spelt, chia seeds, etc. You can see what grains everyone used and what they made by following the picture links on the post.