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Tag Archives: kale

Green Goddess Smoothie

Why this name? Simply because this is my absolute favourite green smoothie…

Green Goddess Smoothie - thespiceadventuress.com

I started having smoothies for breakfast way before the whole trend kicked in. The reason being, I dislike having breakfast. I know, it’s not meant to be ideal from a health perspective but I simply can’t bring myself to eat anything in the morning.

Since I dislike breakfast and couldn’t be forced to eat anything, my mom used to serve me rice gruel. It’s light and usually made from broken red rice so I could just drink it straight from the bowl. When I moved out of home for higher studies and then marriage, the initial idea was to skip breakfast which I did too for a while. But when I realised that this was not great for my health, I started looking for liquid breakfast ideas. And thus my relationship with smoothies took off…

Even the term ‘smoothie’ was a bit foreign, I would call it a milkshake as I often used milk as the liquid base to blend with the other ingredients.

Years have passed and I still have a smoothie for breakfast almost every single day, especially weekdays. I often post about my daily smoothies on my Facebook page as each one does not require a detailed blog post. So if you are looking for ideas, check out my FB page. Also if you are a smoothie fan like me, do share some of your favourite combinations too.

While I do make other green smoothies, this one has to be my favourite because it’s so delicious. Usually green smoothies have a bad reputation when it comes to the taste department but this one is packed with nutrients and flavourful at the same time.

Green Goddess Smoothie

Green Goddess Smoothie - thespiceadventuress.com

The reason why this green smoothie is so delicious is the addition of ginger, pear and lemon which really adds sweetness and a spicy citrusy zing. I like to add a handful of nuts to most smoothies; sometimes the nuts are on rotation and sometimes a handful of mixed ones. For this green smoothie, I added a paleo mix that I picked up from Aldi which has nuts, seeds and dried coconut flakes.

Usually milk is my preferred liquid base for most smoothies, but I used yoghurt for this green smoothie as it requires that extra creaminess with the slightly sour edge which adds to the deliciousness.

While I have provided a recipe, it’s important to adjust measurements depending on your taste preferences. Play around with the quantities till you get your favourite Green Goddess Smoothie.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup kale; chopped
  2. ½ cup baby spinach
  3. 1 small pear; diced
  4. ½ Lebanese cucumber; deseeded and diced
  5. ½ tsp grated ginger
  6. Juice of ½ lemon
  7. ½ cup plain yoghurt
  8. A handful of paleo mix (nuts, seeds and dried coconut)

Method:

  • Blend all the ingredients in a blender till smooth. Add more yoghurt if you like a creamier texture.

Green Goddess Smoothie

 

 

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WWFreshBox by Aussie Farmers Direct + a Recipe for Pasta with Kale, Bacon and Mushrooms

‘So what do I cook tonight?’

How many times in a week do you ask yourself that question? I do…almost every single day. Friends often assume that meal planning is something I enjoy and ace at, being a food blogger. Definitely not, at least not most of the time because in addition to the everyday food, I have to plan ahead for the recipes that are to be created for the blog, clients etc…..

It takes me two days to get my meal plans and grocery shopping list in order and there are weeks when the whole exercise freaks me out. So you can imagine my excitement when I get a mail from Aussie Farmers Direct asking if I would like to review the new WWFresh Box that has been designed and created by Weight Watchers. Yes please….bring it on!

Aussie Farmers Direct and Weight Watchers – two brands that we are pretty familiar with and so I am not going into the details here. There’s plenty of information on their websites for the newcomers. Instead, I am going to talk about the WWFreshbox; this perfectly packed box full of absolutely gorgeous and fresh ingredients that has been sourced from local farms and food producers. And also, the printed recipes that got me really excited.

Pasta with Kale, Bacon and Mushrooms - thespiceadventuress.com

So my choice was the Family Freshbox which includes ingredients and fresh produce to serve 5 meals for 4 people. I have been testing out and cooking from the WWFreshbox for the past couple of days using the Weightwatchers recipes that was included. And here is what I think;

(Aussie Farmers Direct has also offered a generous discount for all the subscribers of The Spice Adventuress. More details at the end of the post)

Pros:

  • No more meal planning – You don’t have to break your head wondering what you are going to cook each day and then shop around for ingredients. You get the ingredients delivered straight to your door with the recipes included. Definitely a time saver!
  • Choose from different types of WWFreshbox – there are plenty of choices when it comes to the size of the WWFreshBox designed to serve 2 or 4 people for 3 or 5 meals. Ensures zero wastage.
  • High Quality Fresh Ingredients – that are packed to perfection in a special temperature controlled box. Aussie Farmers Direct does a brilliant job at sourcing all the produce from local farmers which means that you not only eat healthy and fresh but also support the local community.
  • Free Delivery – Yup, you heard it right….free delivery to your door.
  • Excellent Packaging – Since all the ingredients are packed in a temperature controlled box, everything stays fresh till you reach home and put it away. The vegetables are packed neatly, in sealed containers where necessary and all the protein is in a special cover with gel packs. The gel packs inside can be reused and if you do not wish to keep it, you may leave it inside the box and place it outside on the day your next delivery happens.
  • Delicious and Healthy Recipes – I mean it guys, really delicious recipes. All the recipes are designed by the nutrition experts at Weight Watchers and includes the Smart Points so that you can keep track. And even if you are not watching your weight, you still can eat healthy. The recipes change every week so it doesn’t get boring at all. Every week’s recipes are updated on the website so you can check out that before placing your order.What I really loved about the recipes is that there is no compromise on flavour and taste as you can see from the dish I will be sharing with you guys shortly.

Cons:

  • Delivery can be an issue for those who live in apartments with unit numbers; the box will need to be delivered to a friend’s place or your business address. Also, delivery is currently not available in certain suburbs. Do check if your suburb is covered on the website.
  • No dry ingredients provided.
  • No exclusively vegetarian WWFreshbox.

Getting to my favourite part; the recipe that I tried out from the WW Freshbox and absolutely loved – Pasta with Kale, Bacon and Mushrooms.

Pasta with Kale, Bacon and Mushrooms - thespiceadventuress.com

We are not big on kale in our house. I don’t mind it but the boys are not very enthusiastic about it and the only way I have been able to make them eat it is in a lentil curry. So with this recipe, I was both excited and apprehensive. But went ahead anyway, hoping the bacon will work its magic even if the kale fails.

And let me tell you peeps, we loved it!

This pasta dish was a winner on all counts – it was light, refreshing, healthy, low on calories and super packed with flavour. From prep to finish, on the table in 30 minutes. All thanks to Weight Watchers, we have found our favourite kale dish.

Pasta with Kale, Bacon and Mushrooms - thespiceadventuress.com

Pasta with Kale, Bacon and Mushrooms

Serves: 4

7 SmartPoints® value per serve

Ingredients:

  1. 200gms dried pasta
  2. 5 tsp olive oil
  3. 125gms lean bacon (fat trimmed); chopped
  4. 1 red capsicum; chopped
  5. 200gms button mushrooms; sliced
  6. 2 medium garlic cloves; crushed
  7. 2 small fresh red chilli; finely chopped
  8. 200gms kale; chopped
  9. 2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
  10. 2 tbsp lemon juice
  11. Salt; to season

Method:

  1. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water as per packet instructions till al dente. Drain (reserve ½ cup liquid) and keep aside.
  2. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large pan and add the chopped bacon. Cook on medium heat for 4-5 minutes till the bacon pieces have turned golden and crisp. Transfer to a bowl.
  3. In the same pan, add 2 tsp olive oil and add the garlic, chillies and capsicum. Cook for 30 seconds and then add the mushrooms. Cook over high heat for another 2-3 minutes till the mushrooms have softened. Transfer to the same bowl as the bacon.
  4. Heat the remaining olive oil and add the kale. Season with salt and cook covered for 2-3 minutes on low heat. Then add ¼ cup water to the kale, mix and continue to cook covered for another 2-3 minutes or till the kale has become tender.
  5. Increase heat and return the bacon and vegetables to the pan. Also add the lemon rind and juice; season with salt if necessary.
  6. Add the cooked pasta, half of the reserved liquid and toss on high flame for a few seconds.
  7. Serve warm

I served this pasta dish with a fresh salad made from cherry tomatoes, red onion, coriander leaves, balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.

Pasta with Kale, Bacon and Mushrooms - thespiceadventuress.com

And if you would like to make this delicious recipe or make several like these, all that you need to do is place an order with Aussie Farmers Direct for the all new WW Freshbox.

Thanks to Aussie Farmers Direct, a special discount code has been offered to all the subscribers of ‘The Spice Adventuress’ (make sure you subscribe to my blog). Enjoy $25 off* with your first WW Freshbox. Use promo code ‘FRESHSPICE’ on checkout – T&Cs below.  

(Offer open to new customers. Minimum spend $65. For full T&Cs visit AussieFarmers.com.au. Valid until 31/08/2016. Order must be placed by 12 noon 30/08/2016.)

So go ahead, place your order today and enjoy fresh ingredients with healthy recipes, delivered straight to your doorstep. And if you prepare the above recipe, make sure to tag me #thespiceadventuress so that I may see it too.

Pasta with Kale, Bacon and Mushrooms - thespiceadventuress.com

Disclaimer – This post has been bought to you in collaboration with Aussie Farmers Direct. All the opinions stated in this review are mine; hope it helps you make an informed choice. 

 

Autumn Stew with Chickpeas, Potatoes and Kale

Autumn is officially here! Though we have experienced crazy weather the whole of March with rains, thunderstorms, winds, blazing sun and high temperatures. But then, that’s the beauty of Melbourne….four seasons in a day!

The idea of an autumn stew had been brewing in my mind for a while now though I had not decided if I should include meat or keep it vegetarian. Then a friend gifted me a bunch of Rocoto Manzano red chillies which I have never seen or used before in my life. The idea of the autumn stew slowly started to take shape in my head while fiddling with these chillies.

Rocoto Manzano chillies are native to Central and South America especially the regions of Chile and Peru. Being native to these regions, this chilli is used commonly in Mexican cooking. These chillies are medium hot (for me!) and the idea of an Indian inspired stew began to take form in my head.

Rocoto Manzano red chilli

This stew is healthy and nutritious….proteins from the chickpeas, carbs from the potatoes and a whole lot of nutrients from the red kale. I have also used a generous sprinkling of raw crushed almonds to add to the nutrition factor and texture.

I have used some spices to add a bit of oomph and flavour to the stew, mainly cumin, caraway, cloves and bay leaf. But the real flavour of this autumn stew comes from the chillies…just that right kick of heat to lift the flavours and keep you warm through the cold nights.

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Feel free to use any combination of vegetables that you enjoy to eat. Lamb would be a good choice if you want to make a non-vegetarian version; just make sure to adjust the spices accordingly.

So, let’s get cooking this delicious, comforting autumn stew with chickpeas, potatoes and kale with a generous dose of chillies and almonds.

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Ingredients:

1. 1 cup chickpeas; soaked overnight
2. 1 large potato, diced
3. 3-4 stalks red kale, shredded
4. 2 tbsp vegetable oil
5. ¼ tsp cumin seeds
6. ¼ tsp caraway seeds
7. 2 cloves
8. 1 dried bay leaf
9. 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
10. 3 Rocoto Manzano chillies; remove pith and seeds, finely chopped
11. 2 medium red onion, finely chopped
12. 2 tomatoes, freshly pureed
13. Salt, to season
14. ¼ cup crushed skinless almonds

Note – If you do not have these chillies, use any other type or add some chilli flakes instead.

Method:

1. In a cast iron pot or deep bottom pan, heat the oil and crackle the whole spices.
2. Add the finely chopped chillies and garlic; sauté for 4-5 minutes on low heat to get the flavours into the oil.
3. Next, add the chopped onions and sauté till light brown.
4. Then add the pureed tomatoes and sauté on medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat and cook for a further 5 minutes.
5. Add the soaked chickpeas, season with salt along with 2 cups of water; bring to boil and then reduce to low heat. Cook covered till the chickpeas are 75% done.
6. Open and add the potatoes; add more water if necessary. Continue to cook on low heat covered till the potatoes are just about done.
7. Finally, add the kale leaves and cook till done.
8. Add the crushed almonds just before serving.
9. Serve warm with bread. (I had it with freshly baked Afghan bread garnished with herbs and chilli flakes.)

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