Monday, December 19, 2016

Tumeric Brain Boost

Jumpstart finals week with this superfood, mindblowing smoothie to tweak those brain cells to function at an optimum!


Packed with nutrients and sunshine, this libation features turmeric, omega-3-fatty acids, vitamins, flax, and walnuts not only beneficial to the rest of your body, but, in particular, beneficial to protecting your brain from from memory loss in your old age!

Turmeric is a tiny peppery, bright orange spice root from India that bursts with flavor and color when you grate the root--it will also stain anything it comes in contact with a beautiful yellow-orange hue...even metal! Curcumin is the actual compound, i.e. active ingredient, in turmeric responsible for both flavor and the color of this spice, and is touted for its powerful anti-inflammatory and strong antioxidant effects. 

Most of the major ailments in Western society stem from conditions directly related to inflammation, i.e. heart disease, Alzheimer's, diabetes, cancer, and other disease processes--several studies suggest curcumin counters these effects! 

If you can't find the actual root easily, a small container of the dried version will do!

(Disclaimer: If you are pregnant or breast-feeding; or, have other medical conditions requiring  prescription medications or over-the-counter treatments, please consult first with your physician before consuming turmeric regularly or at all!)

Turmeric Brain Boost
(Adapted recipe from Cooking Light's feature on Alzheimer's and 15 Brain Boosters article)

Nutri-Bullet or Magic Bullet

3/4 cup 2% Greek Yoghurt
1 tsp honey
1 cup ice cubes
3/4 cup chopped, peeled mango, frozen
1/2 cup fresh orange slices
1/4 cup toasted (or plain) walnuts
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 Tbls ground flax seed 
2 tsp of grated turmeric (or 1/2 tsp of dried turmeric)
Dash of kosher salt
Dash of cayenne
Dash of cardamom or nutmeg

1. Wash your hands.
2. Prep each ingredient.
3. Combine the first 11 ingredients into the blender until smooth.

4. Top it off with a splash of nutmeg or cardamom.
5. Share a glass or store it in your fridge for later.

  • No Money:
  • No Waste:
    • smoothies are great for leftovers and near-rotten fruit--know the difference, however.
  • No Equipment:
    • not everyone has a, ask for one over will serve you well.
    • ask for a grater or a zester
  • No Skills:
    • buy from the salad bar where multiple fruits are pre-chopped / -sliced
    • learn basic chopping skills
  • No Health:
    • packed with heart-healthy omega-3-fatty acids, i.e. healthy fats in flax, walnuts
    • packed with calcium in rich, creamy Greek yoghurt
    • packed with Vitamin C and other vitamins in mango and citrus
    • packed with turmeric containing curcumin to possibly enhance cognitive function
    • packed with flavor
Nutrition Info:
Servings: 2 (1 1/4 cup)
Calories 245 / Fat 13.1g / Protein 11g / Carb 25g / Sodium 91mg / Fiber 4g / Sugars 19g (honey extra) / Calcium 109mg

Friday, December 9, 2016

Stuffed Peppers

One of the best secrets for stretching your food budget is to decrease your overall meat consumption--easy! But what if you are not willing to go meatless or vegetarian or vegan? For that, my friend, there are other secrets like using just enough protein to satisfy your inner carnivore without making meats your main dish! 

Taking vegetables and turning them into vehicles of deliciousness and satiety can give you two for one--getting your protein and eating your veggies--all while stretching your dollars and feeling incredibly content!

Aside from that, there is a global environmental crisis for which we are, take some action and reduce the carbon footprint by consuming less meat which has been convincingly proven to be a major contributor to our environmental decline!

Other recipes featuring "meat as a side" or "stretching your meat dollars" are the 50-50 Burgers from last years blog recipes--check them out as well--but first...Stuffed Peppers or Zucchini or Tomatoes or Burritos!

Stuffed Everything

Small skillet or saucepan
Saucepan with lid, if making homemade rice
Pyrex baking dish (to fit as many peppers or zucchini boast as needed)

2 cups of brown (or white) rice, cooked
1 lb ground beef, browned
1/3 cup black beans
1/3 cup corn
1/3 cup diced tomatoes or salsa
1 onion, chopped and sautéed 
1 cup Colby Jack cheese (or any left over cheeses), shredded
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
2 eggs
1 tsp thyme, oregano, basil 
3/4 tsp Salt 
1/2 tsp Pepper 

4-6 large bell peppers, tops, inner ribs and seeds removed

1. Wash your hands.
2. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
3. Prep all your ingredients--cook rice, saute onions, brown meat, hollow peppers, etc.

4. Combine all ingredients (from rice thru salt & pepper) until well-mixed.

5. Salt & pepper the inside of each bell pepper.
6. Add a bottom sprinkle of cheese to each bell pepper.

7. Stuff peppers and top with sprinkle of cheese.
8. Line up the peppers in your baking dish and bake for 25-35 minutes.

9. Broil briefly for golden brown bake!
10. Remember this is a great filling for burritos or saving in the freezer for future use!


  • No Money:
    • don't use meat at all
    • by rice, bulgur, quinoa, farro in bulk--any of those might work just as well as rice
    • stock up on canned products when they are on sale, i.e. 2 for 1 coupons
    • use green peppers (ultra cheap) if mixed peppers too expensive
  • No Waste:
    • add any veggies, especially those no longer ideal for raw snacking
    • saute the veggies for extra flavor before adding to rice
    • great recipe for left-over rice
    • leftovers? freeze or wrap into burritos (which can be frozen as well)
  • No Equipment:
    • Saucepan with lid
    • Large Bowl
    • Baking dish
    • Skillet
    • Stove Top or Hot Plate
    • if you have limited equipment, then you will have saute onions, brown meat and make rice in steps
  • No Skills:
    • review some of my early blogs--How To Saute Mushrooms (can use for onions as well)
    • use Uncle Ben's One-Minute Rice--can you boil water?
    • otherwise, you need to learn some basic skills
  • No Health:
    • try using zucchini, tomatoes for other vegetable options
    • great way to reduce carbs
    • limit salt added--instead use spices / herbs / pepper / salsa
    • easy was to increase vegetables, minerals, vitamins and fiber
    • great way to have meat as "a side" 
  • No Time:
    • great for bulk prepping and freezing, especially the mini-burritos
    • saves time later, but up will need to invest on this one!