Lebanese Lentil-Spinach Soup

Lebanese Lentil-Spinach Soup

So yesterday I asked on Facebook whether you guys would prefer a soup or muffin recipe today… and somehow soup won. What?! You guys are crazy. But soup it is. Rest assured we’ll do muffins on Friday.

Speaking of choosing soup over pastries… I just found out that a donut shop is going in below my yoga studio. And I’m conflicted.

On the one hand, I like donuts. I can’t say I’m opposed to donut-y aromas wafting up into the studio as I lie in shavasana.

On the other hand, I don’t feel like yoga and donuts really go together. I can’t imagine I’ll want to pick up a donut on my way out of my power class at 8 pm… which is probably a good thing. Just cancel all those chaturangas right out, will ya?

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Super Sweet Spinach Salad

Super Sweet Spinach Salad from Coffee & QuinoaMy salad brings all the boys to the yard, and they’re like, it’s better than yours…

What? No?

Here is the thing about salad (and blogging about salad): It doesn’t exactly bring all the boys to the yard. You know what I mean? Now blogging about milkshakes, that’s another story.

Despite this unfortunate truth, I’m bringing you a salad today, because this is my blog, and on my blog I get to share the food I like to eat, boys in the yard or no.

Super Sweet Spinach Salad from Coffee & Quinoa

Well, like to eat is maybe a strong statement about salad.

To me, salads (and hard workouts, for that matter) are like classic works of literature: you want to have read them (or have eaten or have done them), but you do not want to read, eat or do them in the present tense. No, you want to look into your virtuous past and say “ah yes, I had a salad for lunch” with the same smug satisfaction you would say “ah yes, I’ve read Dostoyevsky.” Rarely could I say with any truthfulness, “I want to eat a salad right now.” (And I’m sorry, but the same goes for reading translations from the Russian.) In reality, I claim to want salad quite often, but it’s because I’m thinking of the present as the future past. And in the future, I will want to have eaten a salad.

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Warm Lentil Salad with Roasted Red Peppers and Spinach

 Warm Lentil Salad with Roasted Red Peppers and Spinach

At first, I wasn’t going to post about this meal. I started out following Grab a Plate’s lentil salad recipe for dinner one night, but turned it into something slightly different when I didn’t feel like making yet another roasted red pepper dressing. It came out amazing, but I still thought maybe I didn’t need to blog about it.

Then Nate went back for seconds. And in case you didn’t know, that is rare enough to qualify a recipe as blog-worthy 100% of the time.

Warm Lentil Salad with Roasted Red Peppers and Spinach

So here we are with this weeknight lentil salad. It fits the mold for what I’ve been making so often this spring (grain or green + roasted vegetables + sauce or dressing), but with one thing that sets it apart: To me this feels very much like a recipe rather than a loose set of suggestions (the opposite of my usual salad posts)… because I wouldn’t change a single thing.

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Baked Eggs with Tomato Sauce, Spinach & Quinoa

Baked Eggs with Tomato Sauce, Spinach and QuinoaIt’s been a long week in these parts. Monday was not the best day, obviously, and that set a heavy tone for the week. I also started off the week already excited for to our trip down to Moab today. And waking up on Monday morning looking forward to the weekend is NOT a way to have your week pass by quickly!

Thank goodness Friday is finally here! My hiking shoes are packed, my gas tank is full, and Nate and I are psyched to drive down to Moab after work/school this afternoon. The one slight issue: my enthusiasm for planning is trumped only by my enthusiasm for grocery shopping. Also, I tend to think that I can cook 5 or 6 dinners in a week. Wishful thinking. I cooked twice this week? But as always, I got a little overzealous in the produce section last Sunday, and forgot that I don’t have the weekend to cook up any odds and ends. Goodbye asparagus, avocado, and bell peppers. Good thing you aren’t like the three most expensive things I could have purchased.

Anyone want to come over and clean out my fridge? I’ve got some wilted asparagus for you.

I won’t be in the kitchen this weekend, but should you be inspired to whip up a tasty brunch, lunch, or dinner, may I suggest these baked eggs:

Baked Eggs with Tomato Sauce, Spinach and Quinoa

We don’t often have eggs for breakfast, since I will pick sweet over savory any day, but I did make these for lunch recently. I think they’d even make a great dinner (I mean, they have spinach!), especially if you’re in the mood for a breakfast-for-dinner-ish type thing.

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Strawberry Spinach Sunbutter Smoothie

Strawberry Spinach Sunbutter Smoothie

There’s nothing like a mug of strong French press coffee and a big, delicious smoothie to start your day off right.

Oh, and some birthday roses from your sweetie… and a couple smooches, too.

But sweet boyfriends aside, smoothies are the breakfast treat I’ve found myself looking forward to most lately. There are just endless combinations, and the fact that they’re sweet and frosty just makes them so much fun. Recently, I’ve been obsessed with making mine with sunbutter. Although I’m not a huge fan of sunbutter plain – as a spread, I prefer peanut butter – I love it in smoothies, especially with spinach, for some reason. It’s what makes this smoothie extra special!

Strawberry Spinach Sunbutter Smoothie

Speaking of spinach: I don’t really make green smoothies, but I do like adding spinach to my fruit smoothies. Especially if there are berries involved, the spinach doesn’t change the flavor much, although it does turn your smoothie kind of garbage-colored. (I considered naming this post “strawberry sunbutter garbage-colored smoothie,” but something about that just didn’t seem so appetizing… not sure why.) Anyway, it’s the flavor that counts, and the fact that you are eating green stuff for breakfast!

These are also my favorite way to recover from hot summer long runs. Those are a few months away at this point, but I’m looking forward to them lots! I have been dying a long, slow death by treadmill this winter. It has just got to stop.

Strawberry Spinach Sunbutter Smoothie

If you look at the ingredient list below, you’ll see an ingredient that looks a little out of place: apple cider vinegar. Weird, right? Well, I took Faith’s advice recently and added just a tiny bit of apple cider vinegar to my smoothie. And it totally made it more flavorful! So, odd though it may seem, definitely don’t skip the vinegar.

I like my smoothies so thick that they have to be eaten with a spoon. If you prefer a more slurpable smoothie, you could sub the Greek yogurt with more almond milk or just add another half cup of almond milk or water.

Enjoy this garbage-colored, I mean, green smoothie!

Strawberry Spinach Sunbutter Smoothie

5.0 from 2 reviews
Strawberry Spinach Sunbutter Smoothie
 
Hands-on time
Total time
 
Author:
Yields: 1 smoothie
Ingredients
  • 1 frozen banana, sliced
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 large handful spinach leaves
  • 2 Tbsp sunbutter
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (I use Fage 0%)
  • 1/2 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 Tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to blender or food processor and blend until smooth, scraping down sides and breaking apart chunks of fruit as necessary. Pour into a glass or bowl and enjoy!

 

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