Sans Meal Plan: 50 Shades of Smoothie

For this round of Sans Meal Plan, we decided to take a more alternative route and make a variety of smoothies. You could even say we made a four-course smoothie meal. These can be enjoyed for breakfast, as a snack, for dessert, or really at any moment that you’re craving silky frozen goodness and feeling blender-happy.

While we’d love to report that all four smoothies turned out spectacularly, we’re in the business of honesty. That being said, we’ll admit that one was pretty *controversial*. We will leave it to you to try them all for yourself and let us know what you think!

1) The Green Smoothie

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This is a classic and is so, so easy to make. The addition of kale in any smoothie makes it automatically nutritious (and #trendy). Even your skeptical friends will find it delicious – honestly, you can’t even taste the healthy!

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 frozen banana (peeled and chopped beforehand)
  • 1 cup of kale or spinach
  • A generous splash of almond milk (for a thicker consistency, add less; for a thinner consistency, add more)
  • A spoonful of nut butter (we chose almond)
  • 1 date, if you prefer a sweeter smoothie

Combine all ingredients and blend. How is easy is that?! That’s why we <33 smoothies.

We messed up so you don’t have to: We started strong and didn’t actually mess this one up. It was delish. You can also add ½ an avocado for a creamier texture and more filling breakfast, or frozen blueberries if you prefer a more tart smoothie. Be warned, though, that the latter addition will result in a scary purply-black color.

2) The Creamy Pineapple Berry Smoothie (from Roxy’s Kitchen)

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We decided to try this smoothie a) because it sounded yummy and b) because it looked so freaking pretty on the food blog. Unfortunately, we were not ambitious enough to make the smoothie exactly as our good friend Roxy instructed us to (no, we don’t know her), but it was still quite refreshing and definitely worth a try.

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Sans Meal Plan: Squaghetti

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Keeping with the theme of turning veggies into carb-y guilty pleasures (a la cauliflower-crust pizza), we decided to tackle squaghetti.

Squaghetti is exactly what it sounds like – squash spaghetti – and is made using a spaghetti squash (which is real vegetable). This squash is basically magical, in that if you heat it up (microwave or oven) and run a fork through it, you instantaneously create an entire bowl of angel-hair like squash strands.

This is an incredibly versatile recipe and can be garnished with as many or as few toppings as you like. The recipe that we used comes from Miranda Hammer of The Crunchy Radish blog, and calls for chickpeas, broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, and parmesan.

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Sans Meal Plan: Cauliflower Crust Pizza

For most people, cauliflower was not a popular vegetable growing up. It has a strange texture, very little flavor, and kind of looks like a bleached brain. Grossed out yet? Well don’t be. Cauliflower is actually an extremely versatile veggie — the transformer of food, if you will — and can be quite delicious. Try whipping up some mashed cauliflower, which tastes incredibly similar to mashed potatoes; if you’re feeling particularly daring, go for these insane triple-layer ricotta cauliflower mini cheesecakes. Below is one of our favorite renditions of the polarizing veggie – a surprisingly easy cauliflower crust pizza.

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We made two pizzas for a party of six, one with marinara sauce, mozzarella, and sautéed mushrooms, and one with pesto, sundried tomatoes, mozzarella, and artichoke hearts. The original recipe, adapted from Love & Lemons, makes two 8-inch pies, but we doubled the recipe and made 2 larger pies. This recipe can also be vegan-ized with the omission of cheese!

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups ground raw cauliflower flourettes (about 1 small head)
3/4 cup almond flour
3 eggs
pinches of salt
a few grinds of pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)

STEPS:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Wash and chop the cauliflower, discarding the leaves and as much of the stem as possible. Load the cauliflower flourettes into a food processor and blend until it has reached a “riced” fluffy texture. (Note: if you don’t have a food processor, you can use a blender like we did – you just have to work in small batches and use the “pulse” mode on high.) At this point, the cauliflower should not be sticking together.

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It should look like this, but less dense… oops.

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Sans Meal Plan: Egg white vegetable frittata and sweet potato wedges

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It’s a widely known fact that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is meant to provide the fuel that jumpstarts your day—whether it’s a meal to pregame a 9 a.m. midterm, or a bite at 11 a.m. before a Sunday spent in the Rock (Ed. Way too real.), it’s important that your body gets the nutrients it needs to keep you going. We love breakfast so much that we even made it for dinner.

This week, we whipped up an egg-white vegetable frittata accompanied by baked rosemary-paprika sweet potato wedges (we’ll call them wedges, but they’re really just fries). This is the perfect meal if you want to throw something together that’s quick, easy, and uses those veggies in your fridge while they’re still in their prime. There’s a lot of room for creativity, too—throw in any combination of vegetables, cheeses, or meats that sounds best to you. Yes, it might be considered breakfast, but who’s complaining? Check out the recipes after the jump.

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Sans Meal Plan: Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers

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We’re off meal plan, and when it’s gross and cold out (I’m sorry, what exactly was coming from the sky this past week?) we can’t help but hole up in our apartments and take to the kitchen. Cold weather is the perfect excuse to eat some hearty root vegetables, and our favorite is the sweet potato. There are several ways that you can transform sweet potatoes into the perfect, satisfying meal—we opted for this delicious Sweet Potato Quinoa Burger recipe.

Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers with Crunchy Guacamole (Serves 3):
(adapted from Made to Create)

What you’ll need:

Burger Ingredients

  •  1/3 cup quinoa
  • 2/3 cup filtered water
  • 1 cup cooked sweet potato (about 2 medium potatoes)
  • 3/4 cup white kidney beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon chipotle or chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic power (or 2 cloves minced fresh garlic)
  • 1/2 cup panko crumbs 
  • Olive oil for cooking

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A Cool Thing You Shouldn’t Miss: Sign up for a spring Market Share!

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Being on meal plan getting you down? Hungry for some fresh produce? Don’t worry, there’s STILL time to sign up for a Brown Market Share!

The Spring 2014 Market Share will run for 11 weeks, from February 6 to April 24. Distribution conveniently takes place every Thursday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Brown/RISD Hillel (the corner of Brown and Angell). Expect a variety of locally-sourced, farm-fresh produce every week. This includes root vegetables and wintergreens, as well as fresh bread, dairy products, and meat!

The deadline for sign-ups is this (UPDATE) Thursday, January 30 at 11:59 p.m . For more information, check out their website or Facebook page, and if you’re ready for a nourishing semester, click here to sign up.

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