For my second month involvement in Amanda's Secret Recipe Club (where one receives an assigned blog to secretly write about) I eagerly anticipated my assignment email. Would I bake? Would I grill? With our 3 weeks of on and off vacation completed I was ready to head back into the kitchen and pull out my mixing bowls.
Clicking with excitement the link to The Mommy Bowl, my stomach did a bit of a drop when I read that the author blogged about gluten free eating. Gluten Free?? Heck... I live on gluten. And to top that, Deanna has recently gone raw... not that there's anything wrong with that. ;)
Understanding more of who Deanna, The Mommy Bowl, was I began to peruse her posts in search of a recipe to try. Caught up in her writing, I spent over an hour pouring over post after post and enjoying her special and enticing way with words. Smiling frequently along the way, recipe after recipe caught my eye. Who knew you could make a Triple Chocolate Cherry Pie not only raw, but vegan and grain free as well? And get this... it sounds and looks awesome.
With 18 recipes printed I headed to the kitchen and almost immediately my teenaged son popped in proclaiming extreme hunger (it had been nearly an hour since his last Trader Joe's frozen burrito). I offered, "How about a Blueberry Banana Smoothie?" He pondered for a few seconds, said, "Yeah", and headed outside.
Admittedly, we do understand intolerances. Last year my son suddenly became lactose intolerant and Liv struggles with her own lactose issues. As such do I occasionally search vegan recipes knowing that they will be dairy free. Frequently I adjust them adding eggs or grains, but with a dairy free base I've got a head start.
Deanna's Blueberry Banana Smoothie uses a few simple ingredients which we had on hand. Vitamin rich frozen organic blueberries, a banana and coconut milk are enhanced with a handful of spinach for a nutrient rich smoothie packing a flavor enticing punch.
Keeping the handful of spinach a secret, I whizzed the brightly hued ingredients in the blender and served up a beautiful blueberry smoothie with a tropical twist. Two smiles greeted the first tastes quickly followed by raised eyebrows as I explained that they were indeed drinking blended spinach in their sweet smoothies. Pausing for a few seconds, both kids shrugged and then continued drinking, draining their glasses within a few minutes and even asking for more.
It seems Deanna is on to something.
Next I thought about myself. With my husband out of town and the kids no longer hungry, Deanna's Raw Pesto Guac Salad caught my eye. As eating with abandon on our Trip to San Francisco was quickly followed by Pineapple Rum concoctions on the beaches of the Bahamas I'm a bit over food at the moment. Even I have been craving good, healthy veggies and a huge reduction in carbs and grains.
Again, all of the required ingredients I happened to have on hand. Brilliant avocados, bright tomatoes and fragrant basil found their way into my blender along with the juice of a lemon from my dads tree, garlic and a pinch of salt. I prefer "chunkiness" in my salad, and therefore added additional diced avocado and more chopped tomatoes to the salad part. But here's where I did alter the recipe a bit... I grilled my zucchini along with a thick slice of onion (I'm just not a raw zucchini girl). And then I did it, I changed the whole dynamic and added pasta. I just couldn't help myself, but trying to stick close to the raw/gluten free theme I did only add 1/2 cup of cooked pasta for my serving.
Stirring the brilliant veggies with the whizzed pesto had my mouth watering as the aromas melded together into something special. Setting myself at the table I dug into my healthy salad and sighed. Yes... this was the life! The antidote to eating with abandon and occasional rum drinks was right there in front of me and I loved every part of it. I topped off the meal with a few nuts (raw and salt free even!) and I was one happy and very content girl.
While I don't think I'll be switching to a gluten free or raw diet anytime soon, I'd really like to thank Deanna for spurring me to explore another healthy way of eating. My post vacation mode has me filling my plates with a greater percentage of veggies and in an effort to reduce my vacation pounds I've even put away my own cereal bowl. Well, maybe not every night, but I am cutting way back.
Deanna, I'm your newest fan! I will be following eagerly and feeling better along the way. Thank you!