Well, the theme for this week's Favorite Ingredients Friday is Healthy Eating. I try to lighten up most all of my everyday recipes, so I really couldn't decide what to share. I finally decided to share two recipes, one for fruit smoothies/shakes and one for roasted vegetables.
First, here is a basic recipe with many variations for a healthy fruit shake/smoothie. I have tried several of the flavor variations and have enjoyed all the ones I've tried. Although a frozen banana is vital to the consistency of this shake, you really don't get much of a banana flavor in the variations. They just taste good -- and of course are very healthy. You can freeze the bananas whole (in ziplock bags) anytime you have overripe ones on hand -- or anytime you find a good deal on overripe ones. It is an easy thing to do with overripe bananas rather than feeling you must make muffins, banana bread, etc. every time. The recipe makes 1 tall glassful.
BASIC FRUIT SHAKE
1 frozen banana
1 cup liquid (as specified in recipe)
additional fruit or flavoring (as specified in recipe)
optional sweetener (as specified in recipe)
Break the frozen banana into chunks and put in blender. Cover with specified liquid up to the 1-cup mark on the blender container. Add any additional ingredients. Blend until the mixture reaches "shake" consistency, usually 30-40 seconds. Serve immediately and enjoy.
Now for the variations.
VANILLA -- use 1 banana, 1 cup milk, 1 tsp. vanilla extract
CHOCOLATE -- use 1 banana, 1 cup milk, a few squirts of chocolate syrup
STRAWBERRY -- use 1 banana, 1 cup milk, 1 handful fresh strawberries, washed/sliced (or use unsweetened frozen ones -- works fine); pinch of sugar if desired
BLUEBERRY -- use 1 banana, 1 cup milk, 1 handful fresh or frozen blueberries
PURPLE COW -- use 1 banana, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup grape juice
PEANUT BUTTER -- use 1 banana, 1 cup milk, 2 tsp. peanut butter. May also add some chocolate syrup for a "Reese's" effect. (This one is yummy!)
PINA COLADA -- use 1 banana, 1 cup milk, 1-2 tsp shredded coconut, 1/4 cup crushed pineapple
APPLE -- use 1 banana, 1 cup apple juice, 1/2 of an apple, peeled & chopped, cinnamon & nutmeg to taste
KEY LIME - - use 1 banana, juice of 1 lime placed in a 1 cup measure and milk added to the 1-cup mark
TROPICAL -- use 1 banana, 1 c. orange juice, 1/4 cup crushed pineapple
Now, moving on to my second recipe:
SIMPLE ROASTED VEGETABLES
Vegetables of your choice:
Mushrooms, zucchini, summer squash, green, red, yellow or orange sweet peppers, baby carrots (or use regular ones), onions, eggplant, etc.
1 to 2 Tblsp. olive oil
Herbs or spices of your choice -- I use either pizza spice or Italian seasoning
A gallon-size zip-top plastic bag
Line a large shallow pan with foil.
Cut the vegetables into bite-size pieces. (Baby carrots may be left whole.) As you cut them up, place them in the zip-top plastic bag. Add 1 Tblsp. olive oil to the bag. Seal the bag and shake vigorously to coat the vegetables with oil. Dump the vegetables out on the foil-lined pan. Spread them out evenly.
(If you have more veggies than will fit in a gallon-size bag, then re-use the bag after dumping out the first batch, and add another Tblsp. of olive oil to the bag.)
Roast the vegetables at 425º for about 25 to 30 minutes. You can sprinkle the seasoning on either before or after roasting.
Yield for this recipe will depend on how many vegetables you use, but 1 pan should be enough for about 4 people.
This is a recipe I developed myself after some trial and error. The blend of roasted vegetables is just beautiful with all of the different colors. It goes well with grilled meats, or alongside pizza or sausage subs.
Happy healthy eating, everyone!