I scream, You scream…
June 5, 2014

 

crankin-logo

 

That’s right, it’s that time of year again. ICE CREAM!! It’s ok, go ahead, scream it!

If you live in the Nashville area and have never been to Miss Martha’s Ice Cream Crankin’, you’re really missing out.  It’s a local tradition, going strong for 29 years.  Hundreds of homemade ice cream crankers will be churning up delicious frosty treats.  Everything you could imagine from the classic vanilla to exotic combinations of flavors.  There are prizes for best chocolate base, vanilla base, and other, but the most coveted prize is for Best Of Show.  The winner of Best Of Show will be produced as a new Purity Ice Cream flavor.

So get down to the Crankin’ on Sunday, and maybe you’ll get a chance to taste the next greatest ice cream flavor on the shelves next year.

I’ll definitely be down there.  What else is the point of training for an Ironman and burning thousands of calories a day if you can’t indulge in all you can eat ice cream?

When: Sunday, June 8, 3pm-5pm
Where: First Presbyterian Church (4815 Franklin Pike)
Tickets: Advance tickets are $10 for adults ($13 after June 6) and $8 for children ($10 after June 6); children under two are free. Buy your tickets here.
Parking: Parking is free at Franklin Road Academy, Judson Baptist Church and Overton High School, with regular shuttle service to First Presbyterian. (like your own personal ice cream truck!)

Tips:
* My friend Lesley has some fabulous tips for making your Crankin’ experience perfect.
* Come ready to taste from more than 500 gallons (!) of ice cream.
* Bring comfortable, flat shoes, because it all takes place on the lawn of the church (no heels) .

My favorite part about the Crankin’ is that is benefits the Martha O’Bryan Center, which provides a cradle to college to career continuum of integrated services for families living in Cayce Place, Nashville’s largest and oldest public housing development, and the surrounding area. The Center supports children, families and individuals as they work to achieve greater self-sufficiency through education and sustained employment.

Portable Protein
June 10, 2013

I’m in the heaviest load of my training for my first Half Ironman.  I make a lot of jokes about training and eating, but I love food.  No seriously I really love food.  Partly why I exercise so much is so I can eat all the delicious things the world of gastronomy has to offer.  But the cycle is vicious, because when I train at these extraordinarily high volumes (burning twice my daily caloric intake in one workout at times!) I find myself needing to eat extraordinarily high volumes as well.  Seriously, you might be appalled at the tonnage of food this petite redhead can put away.  Often triathletes are accused of “hoovering” their food, it’s not pretty.

All jokes aside, I do need to make sure I’m getting enough calories, especially protein for muscles and sustained energy, throughout the day to get me through to the next workout.  I started making these “Egg Muffins” a couple years ago when I was working a flex schedule, arriving at the office at 6:30am, working 10-11 hours, and running or working out at lunch.  I needed something that would give me enough calories to get through the long morning.  I’ve become addicted since then.  They’re very easy to make, don’t require a lot of special ingredients, portable, and very satisfying.  Best part, you make 1-2 weeks worth in advance!  I pack them in my lunch and eat them at work, or as a quick protein snack on the go any other time!

Egg Muffins
(see notes below)

1 muffin tin
10 eggs
milk
salt and pepper to taste
“mixers” (any veggies or meats will do)
Cheese mixers (whatever you have on hand)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Crack eggs in a large bowl.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add milk or whatever you usually add to scrambled eggs.  Whisk eggs thoroughly.  Add mixers.   Add cheese mixers if you like.  Mix well.  Grease muffin cups if they are not nonstick.  Pour or ladle eggs into muffin cups about 2/3 full.  Top with extra mixers or cheese mixers.

Bake 25-30min.  The muffins will puff up as you bake them.  When time is up and they appear to be puffed, turn off the oven.  But leave the muffins in the oven to cool down with the oven!! If you take them out and let them cool at room temperature, they will sink in the middle.  Once cooled enough to handle the tin, remove from oven and allow to cool before storing.

To reheat: Microwave for 30-60 seconds depending on microwave strength.

mushrooms, spinach, monterey jack

mushrooms, spinach, monterey jack

NOTES:

Storage:  Muffins can be stored in containers or sandwich bags in fridge for 1-2 weeks.  They can be frozen for quite a good bit of time too.  I do recommend allowing them to thoroughly cool before freezing to avoid any frozen condensation and allowing to thaw before reheating to prevent extra moisture.

Muffin tins:  I prefer the oversized tin with 6 cups instead of 12 for larger muffins.  But when I’m not in heavy training, I use the 12 smaller ones instead.

Eggs:  I pick 10 eggs because it’s not quite 2 eggs per each muffin (it’s actually 1 2/3), but any amount will do.  Decide how much or little protein you want and go crazy!

Mixers:  Don’t over think this.  I take stock of whatever I have in my fridge/pantry that needs to be used.  I love mushrooms so I usually cut up mushrooms very small and add them.  If I have spinach on hand I add that for the potassium, just tear it up into tiny pieces.  The key is adding everything finely chopped so it distributes evenly.  Fresh herbs from the garden are lovely in the summer, or any other kind of seasoning you like.  You can also forego mixers and go natural.  I like regular egg muffins too.  Also, sometimes I wait to add the mixers until after I’ve put the egg mixture into the tins.  There is no wrong way to do this!

Cheese mixers:  I just check what I have on hand in the fridge. Then I sprinkle, cut up, grate, dollop whatever cheese or combination of cheeses I want into the mixture/tins.  I like to sprinkle some kind of shredded or grated cheese over the top of the muffins so it bakes in on top.  Parmesan or regular shredded mozzarella or cheddar is great for this.  But also like to cut up chunks of other cheeses like havarti into the eggs.  A nice herby goat cheese chevre bakes up lovely too!

Not the prettiest food, but so delicious.

Not the prettiest food, but so delicious.

 

Thoughts on a long bike ride
March 22, 2013

Last weekend I went out on my longest bike ride ever. 45 miles.  For most Ironmen and ultra-cyclists, that’s a warm-up, but for me that’s 3+hrs of my life by myself and alone with my thoughts.  I thought I’d take you on that journey.

  • Alright let’s do this.  It’s so nice out, it’s going to be a great ride.
  • Ok, just get through these next couple intersections.  Please, nobody hit me.
  • Dammit missed the light,  stupid sensors don’t pick up bikes.  I’m turning anyway.
  • Wow my legs are feeling really good!
  • Ooh cows. (at this point you hear me audibly yell “MOO!” at the cows. Yes, I’m that person)

cows

  • Ew cows, definitely smell them this time.
  • It’s really rural out here.  Wait did I just hear gun shots?
  • Ok, cue sheet says turn left here.  And that’s the direction of the gun shots.  Is it hunting season?
  • I have no idea where I am.  I really hope I don’t get a flat.
  • Time for a Gu break!
  • More cows.  MOO!
  • Oh goody a train.  Stopped on the road.  How am I supposed to finish my ride? I don’t even know where I am.
You shall not pass!

You shall not pass!

  • Train is still not moving.  Guess I can walk around it to get to the other side.
  • Dammit, it started moving again (as I’m halfway down the side of the train)
  • Ok, back on the road.
  • OMG what is that SMELL?!!!!  Don’t puke!
  • Ooh look goats! Hey buddy how’s it going?

goat

  • What the? Chickens?
  • Time for a Gu break!
  • What was the name of that town?  I have no idea how to even get here in my car!
  • Hm, what am I going to destroy eat when I get back home. Maybe I should have another snack.
  • OMG.  STOP.  BRAKES.  That’s an alpaca farm! Shut up!

alpacas

  • Ok, back to a part of the course I recognize.  Getting closer to civilization.
  • Legs are starting to get a little tired, but still feeling surprisingly good.
  • Ooh, a Dr. Pepper on the side of the road.  I could really go for a soda right now.
  • 39 miles? Man, am I ever ready to get out of this saddle.
  • Ugh, I still have to run 2.5 miles after this.

So yeah, all that “legs feel good” nonsense was no help on my 12 mile run the next day, especially not on the big hill 2/3 of the way through the run.

Sally’s 2012
January 1, 2013

I love reading everyone’s year-in-review.  But I never feel that I have anything particularly interesting to share myself.  However looking back at where I’ve come since January 1, 2012, my year reads like the elevation profile of the 11.2 mile run through Percy Warner Park.

January
On New Year’s day I wake up with pain in my left shoulder.  It becomes very severe over the next few days and I begin many painful and expensive tests to diagnose it.  I eventually lose most of the strength and mobility in the arm altogether.  It is not for several months (see below) before we are able to diagnose the mystery condition.  But I take my first Caribbean vacation to Jamaica with my good friend Sara.  It is fantastic and just what we needed to thaw the dreary winter grays.  I also start training to Hoop the Half Marathon again.

February
I take a trip to Chicago to visit the city and see friends.  I begin planning my race calendar for the year.  But 2/3 of the way through the month I became very ill and take a brief stay in the hospital.  This sets me back physically and race and training-wise.  I eventually end up having to miss out on 4 different races this month and the next month due to illness and recovery.  I also support a friend during a difficult trial and witness that sometimes the judicial system doesn’t always work out the way it’s supposed to.

March
I miss out on the Triple Crown races due to the previous month’s recovery and post my first DNS ever, unfortunately it’s a 3-for-1.  I come up with an Athletic Bucket List and start working towards a plan to check off the items.  I tour the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and hit 7 distilleries in 2 days.  I attend an Olympic soccer qualifying tournament game.

April
I apply for the Nuun Hood To Coast team, though I don’t get picked, I still make a funny video.  I post some really high mileage with our hoop walking.  And eventually complete the Hooping the Half Marathon.  Many thanks to everyone who donates to the cause.  I finally really start training again in all 3 sports.  I also have my first swim lesson and find out that my self-taught freestyle form really isn’t that bad.  I also meet my Coach for the first time in a different swim lesson.  I witness my amazing friend Kira become ordained as an Episcopal priest.

May
I do my first open water swim ever, which also happens to be my first wetsuit swim ever.  I manage to survive both.  I compete in my first triathlon of the season and learn an important lesson of mental tenacity.  I have another minor surgery unrelated to my two previous medical issues earlier in the year.  I get a new fitting on my tri bike.

June
I make another trip to Chicago for a wedding and to visit friends.  I begin training with my Coach.  I go through a little bit of heartbreak.  I revise my race schedule for the year and really buckle down and distract myself with training.  I compete in the Du Run Run duathlon again and walk away with my first podium finish!  I also finally get back to the doctor for my left arm, and get a diagnosis of Parsonage Turner Syndrome.  I compete in the Muddy Buddy with a friend and have a great time, and once again somehow manage to never really get muddy in a mud event.  It’s a special talent.  I witness more heartbreak at the loss of a friend.  I also go to see Tenacious D with Sara and we have a lot of rocking out silliness.

July
I do a LOT of running, biking, swimming during the hot month, and put down more mileage than I ever imagined.  I compete in my first Olympic distance triathlon.  And I go to the Forecastle Festival after my race and get to see my favorite band play.  I volunteer at a major triathlon in my city and really get a chance to give back for all the racing that I do.  I run in a cape for beer.

August
My Coach comes to town and I get in another swim session.  I work on riding the course for my next big race, but the course keeps changing and I learn my lesson on some hills.  I get up way too early (even for me) to watch the Olympics for marathon and triathlon.  I compete in a Women’s super sprint tri and get misdirected on the course by a volunteer.  They throw out the run times and I end up with a podium finish, but maybe not the one I planned.  I begin physical therapy for my arm and shoulder.

September
I compete in my second Olympic Triathlon, in a torrential downpour.  This is my last tri of the season, but I don’t let that stop me because I sign up for my first Half Ironman race for the next year.  I attend my first Nashville Rollergirls bout and love it.  I buckle down on my running to train for my next few running races of the season.  I run my first 5k in probably 5 or 6 years, and walk away with another podium finish, once again a second place in my age group, which makes for a hat trick of podium finishes for the year.  My best friend has another baby, once again with a dramatic entrance.

October
I run in the Boston Half Marathon.  I get to visit my old friends and meet new ones, and see my best friend in a play.  I tour the Sam Adams Brewery finally.  I try Eritrean food, and of course eat lots and lots of lobstah!  I walk the Goo Goos Jog N Hog due to a painful injury.  That injury turns out to be peroneal tendonitis, and I also find out (on my 3rd Xray and MRI of the year) that I have a cyst in my heel, but the doctor doesn’t think it is affecting me.  I attend a Vanderbilt football game and watch them actually win!  I take a Motorcyle class.  I watch the Kona Ironman championships online and am amazed by the athletes.  I do the Color Run with a couple friends.

November
I make a road trip to tour the Calfkiller brewery and fall more in love with their beer.  I try to talk them into selling me a bike jersey with no luck.  I run in the Ragnar Tennessee relay race and tick off another Athletic Bucket List item.  I volunteer at the Flying Monkey Marathon and witness some truly hardcore runners.  I run the Boulevard Bolt and get another PR.  Coach comes into town again and we have a little team dinner and recap of the year and discuss the next year.

December
I start the month off with my first 12k, the 12 South Winter Warm Up, and finish the day with the 12 South Winter Warmer, one of my favorite beer fests.  Running and beer, what a perfect day!  Then I announce I’m doing something really crazy for my birthday.  I document all of my runs here, and follow it up with beers with friends.  I do one more Yazoo Barely a 4k Beer Run and earn a Yazoo Santa hat.  I find out I qualified for the USAT national championships for Olympic distance triathlon based on that Women’s race in August, which redeems the unfortunate results of that race.  I bake a monstrous cake and swear off buttercream forever.  I take a little New Year’s vacation and got to see my alma mater play in a bowl game.

2013
And what does 2013 hold?  I’ve already started working on my race schedule for next year.  Who knows what else it holds?  I’m hoping for a happy, healthy, and injury-free year.  Looking forward to ticking off more Athletic Bucket List items and maybe clawing my way to more podium finishes?  I’d also like to start trying to race more duathlons.  What are your plans and goals?

Goo Goo Clusters Jog ‘n Hog
September 18, 2012

That race name is a mouthful isn’t it?  Well it’s not just the name that’s a mouthful!  Keep reading to see how you can participate!

First, let me start with the basics.  Some of you (especially if you’re not from around these parts) may not be familiar with Goo Goo Clusters.  Goo Goos are something of a local delicacy around here, and used to be pretty hard to find outside the Southeast or even the Middle Tennessee area.  I used pack my suitcase full of them to take as gifts when I traveled outside the country.  It’s more than a candy bar, it’s “The Original Southern Confection” with a perfect combination of real milk chocolate, roasted peanuts, caramel, and marshmallow nougat…mmmm so yummy!  Goo Goos have been a tradition in Nashville and they’re celebrating the 100th birthday in October!  When something’s that good, it stands the test taste of time!

So, what is Goo Goo doing for it’s birthday?  Having a race of course!  See you knew I had a reason for this post.

Let’s see, chocolate and running…my 2 favorite things!

Which brings me to the Jog ‘n Hog.  You’ve heard of beer races, but who wants to have beer slosh around in your stomach when you can have sweet candy goodness?  The race is pretty simple, run about 2 miles, stop, eat 6 Goo Goo Clusters, then run/waddle about 2 miles back to the start.  But this race isn’t just about running on a Goo Goo filled stomach, you also get a race shirt and a commemorative “Hog Tag.”  I’m all about the swag and bling in races, and especially the race food!  This race has it all!!

What: Goo Goo Clusters Jog ‘n Hog Race
When: October 13, 8:30am
Where: Shelby Bottoms Park, Nashville, TN

And here’s the best part, the lovely people at Goo Goo Clusters have given me a discount code for you to register for the race!  Aw yeah, I love my readers and I want you to love some Goo Goos too!  All you have to do is go to www.jognhog.com and register for the Nashville race, and use the following code for a $5 discount on the entry fee: JOGNHOGBLOG.   Registration closes at midnight on October 7, so don’t delay!

But if the mouthful of chocolate or the discount isn’t enough of an incentive to get you to join me (yes I’m running this race too!), then how about this? A little birdie told me that somewhere among the Goo Goos, will be a “Golden Goo Goo” that will entitle the racer who finds it to receive a $100 gift certificate to the Goo Goo online store!  There are some pretty sweet (pun intended) items in the store, and not just more Goo Goos!  So what are you waiting for…go register for the race now!

Oh and don’t forget to wear your extra stretchy running shorts for this race!

Not only do I love Goo Goo, but they love me too! The folks there gave me a sweet incentive to run the race – a free entry! So I’ll see you there!

Pasta Surprise
July 23, 2012

I have to admit, that before I made threw together this dish, I would have read this recipe and completely turned my nose up at it.  But I guess necessity really is the mother of invention.  When I have very little time between training and work and sleep, but still need to eat excessive quantities of healthy food I struggle to come up with something that doesn’t take much time, but can serve all my protein, carb, taste, etc fueling needs.

Too exhausted and hungry to think hard, I just grabbed the first things I could out of my pantry caveman style.  Protein – fish.  Carbs – Pasta.  Fiber – frozen veggies.  Grunt.  Cook.  Eat.  Fully expecting this to be gross, I was prepared to either choke it down or throw it out.  But the surprise was that this was actually pretty good, hence the name.

Pasta Surprise

1 packet of Starkist Tuna Creations (Herb & Garlic Flavor)
1/2 box of penne pasta
Zesty Italian salad dressing to taste
parmesan
1 bag frozen veggies of your choice, cooked your favorite way.

Cook pasta according to directions on box.  Drain and return to pot/sauce pan with heat on low to medium.  Add Tuna, mixing well and breaking up with fork.  Add Zesty Italian dressing to taste and to help mix the pasta and tuna together.  Add some parmesan to taste.

Serve with veggies on side (or mixed in with pasta) and top with parmesan.

I cannot believe how easy (and fast!) and tasty this was.  I was actually craving it the next day.

Feed your Sugar Fiend
October 19, 2011

If you know me in person, you would agree I am a bit of a sugar fiend.  I admit I have an addiction affinity for all things sweet!  And if it’s chocolate, then that’s better.  And if it’s dark chocolate, even more better!  I keep a stash of chocolate in my desk at work.  I used to call it “emergency chocolate” à la my friend Lesleyeats, but when you eat it every day and restock it regularly, it just becomes “maintenance chocolate” at that point.

So some evil person the fabulous people at Her Nashville Magazine and The Nashville Scene are putting together an event that makes my pre-diabeetus kick in just from reading it called “Sugar Rush.”  If you’re in Nashville next week, you should really get your ticket (they’re selling out fast!) and get your sugar coma on!

These are really some of the best of the best of Nashville’s (and the country’s!) confectioners!  Here’s the best part, you get to try them all, then vote for the best!! And tickets are only $10! And that includes 2 drink tickets, that’s worth the price of a ticket for 2 drinks in this town alone, much less for the sugar overload you can experience.

So get your ticket now, and feed your sugar fiend!

 

Vito’s
August 3, 2011

I don’t normally do product or restaurant reviews.  But maybe I should.  And although I have several other posts in draft format waiting for final touches, I just had to share this one with you.  If you don’t live Nashville, disregard, but if you planning to visit, read on.  And then come visit.  We love tourists’ money vistors!

At the intersection of Italian restaurants from my past, I have discovered Vito’s.  After promising some of the guys at work that I would go to lunch with them (and drive us in my convertible), it took me a while to finally get around to scheduling it.  I had limited time for lunch so I asked them to pick somewhere quick.  They suggested Vito’s.  I had never heard of it (shocker I know!), but they said it was buffet (quick) and Italian (yum!).  So I pointed my car towards 19th Avenue and Hayes Street.

I quickly discovered that Vito’s is in the old DaVinci’s location.  Oh how I fondly remember eating pizza at DaVinci’s back in high school and college.  A Mona Lisa please. Or maybe a Bella Vita.  But DaVinci’s closed at the end of last year.  Sigh.  But I admit I haven’t been there in years.

After entering Vito’s, we were quickly seated and greeted by a waiter who took our drink and salad orders.  In addition to the buffet, you get either a field greens salad or a Caesar salad.  But this is no ordinary Caesar.  It has the standard romaine lettuce, shaved parmesan, dressing and croutons.  But it also comes with Kalamata olives (no pits yay!) and sun dried tomatoes.  But the kicker was dollops of goat cheese also spread throughout the salad!  Brilliant!  Oh the creamy surprises hiding underneath the crunchy lettuce.  That salad alone was worth the drive down there!  I can never have a Caesar anywhere else again!

The buffet was modest, but delicious.  There were various pizzas to choose slices of pepperoni, veggie, sausage, supreme.  There was some kind of beef dish (sorry, I didn’t look closely since I ignore the meat dishes) that looked like pepper steak or some sort, as well as what appeared to be chicken fettuccine alfredo.  What caught my eye most was the stuffed shells and another chafing dish of garlic bomb rolls.  If you’ve ever been to a real Italian restaurant here, you know what I mean.   Oh wow, those rolls.

So, as soon as I saw the buffet offerings I was immediately reminded of the old Caesar’s Italian Bistro.  Caesar’s also closed back at the beginning of this year (maybe a month after DaVinci’s).  Caesar’s had the best lunch buffet with very similar offerings, fairly quick and reasonably priced.  I mentioned this to my coworker and guess what?!  It’s the same family!  Now I can have my Caesar’s in the old DaVinci’s location (a much more convenient location to my work).  A fantastic find!

I only made one trip to the buffet with my small sized plate and that was more than enough for me (a rarity).   But I think I could live on the salad and rolls alone and be happy!  The entire bill was $7 with a water for drink.  Not a bad and very fast lunch!!  I’ll definitely be back.

They also have a full menu at lunch with the traditional Italian fare and pizzas.  Their dinner menu looks fantastic and they have quite the wine list as they also bill themselves as a wine bar.  Today’s lunch was my first visit, but I do plan to go back for lunch and to try out the dinner sometime.  Their menu also states that they have carry out, delivery, and catering options as well.  I’m thrilled about this new addition to midtown Nashville.

Vito’s Ristorante & Wine Bar
1812 Hayes Street
Nashville, TN
www.vitosristorante1812.com

The omg omelette
July 7, 2011

My garden has really been humming along.  Every day I pull off several fruits of my labor, usually cherry tomatoes.  No really, every day I have a huge handful!  I recently pulled quite the bounty and as it was filling up the shelves in my fridge, I was trying to decide what to do with it all.  In particular I had my first shiitake mushrooms I harvested, some poblano peppers, onions, and more cherry tomatoes and herbs than I know what to do with.

Hm, how can I get all of those flavors together.  An omelette!  Little did I know it would turn into an omg, so good moment!  I made enough for 2 full servings.  I may have eaten the entire thing.  All of it.  Could not get enough!  But I biked 20 miles that morning, so I was replenishing carbs and protein right?

Feel free to add other seasonings.  I had intentions of using several different kinds, and partly forgot to add them, and partly decided it just didn’t need anything else.  The feta and the dill really added so much to really flavor everything.  Plus, add in the mild heat of the poblano and the smoky, earthiness of the shiitake and it’s such a surprisingly wonderful complement of flavors!

OMG Omelette
2 servings (unless you’re me)

3 eggs
1 small poblano pepper, diced (they don’t grow to full size here, so about the size of your palm is good)
2 shiitake mushrooms sliced into short strips
1/2 cup (or so) of yellow and purple cherry tomatoes, quartered from the stem side
3 small onions (like scallions), sliced
fresh parsley, chopped
fresh rosemary, chopped
fresh dill, chopped
olive oil
salt
pepper
soy milk
sundried tomato feta, crumbled
shredded parmesan/asiago/romano cheese mixture

In a very small frying pan, heat a teaspoon of olive oil over med-hi heat.  Add the onions, peppers, and mushrooms. (Save the tomatoes until last!)  Lower temperature to medium or med-low and continue to cook until mushrooms just start to brown.  Do not overcook any of the veggies.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs with salt and pepper and add milk just as you would for any omelette or egg dish.  Then whisk in the herbs.

In an omelette pan or medium sized frying pan, heat a couple teaspoons of olive oil over med-hi heat.  Add the egg mixture.  Watch this carefully, you may need to lower the temperature.  You do not want the eggs to cook on the bottom too quickly.  I am not a master omelette maker, so I recommend you google omelette cooking techniques.  I certainly made some mistakes this time.

Once the omelette is mostly cooked through (will still be a little runny on top), and you are able to slide a spatula around the edges and up under it, place the cooked veggies, the tomatoes, and the cheeses on half of the omelette on the side closest to the handle on the frying pan, adding the cheeses as well.  Holding the handle angle the pan downwards and use the spatula to flip the other side over the veggies and cheeses.  Allow to cook a little longer and to heat up the veggies and melt the cheese.  If you’re really talented you can flip the whole thing over to cook some more on the other side so you don’t get too brown on one side.

When cooked to your desired amount, serve with some extra tomatoes and feta on the side.  omg so yummy!

(As you can see, mine was not pretty, nor is my picture, but damn it was good!)

Fresh easy smoothie
July 6, 2011

I’ve been saving up some food posts forever.  And I’m just giving in and posting them now.  Last weekend I made the best smoothie from scratch.  I love smoothies, but they are actually not as healthy as most people think. They’re usually loaded with sugars, calories, fat, protein (adding on more calories), etc.  The best way to avoid that is to keep it as simple as possible and make your own.  At a smoothie store, you don’t know what they are putting in it, how fresh the fruits are (or if they’re even using real fruit), or what kind of additives and supplements they include.

So, keep it simple.  Keep it as close to just fruit and ice as you possibly can.  Keep in mind a banana can add a lot of body and substance to a smoothie without loading it down with milk and powders.  The basic ingredients are ice (duh), fruit (berries work well, but just any soft-ish fruits are great), banana (if you’re so inclined), and then you can add juice or water to make it more liquid and if you’re inclined include some milk/soy milk/or yogurt.  For this smoothie, I was in a hurry to run some errands, but needed to eat my morning yogurt, get some other food in me since it was pushing past lunchtime already, and I wanted something cold because let’s face it, July in Nashville = purgatory heat!  So this is a great way to do all those things, especially beat the heat.

Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of this lovely pink strawberry banana smoothie.  It was so delicious, I sipped it down before I could get a picture.  Plus you don’t want it to melt right?

Strawberry Banana Yogurt Smoothie

1.5-2 cups ice (adjust to your frozen preference. I like mine pretty icy/crunchy for more texture)
6-8 medium to large strawberries (adjust to taste)
1 large banana
1- 4oz. container of strawberry fat free yogurt.
3/4-1.5 cup of Pear Cinnamon Cider (this came from Trader Joes but regular apple juice or cider would work)

In a blender, add 1/2 of the ice, capped strawberries, banana cut into pieces, yogurt, 3/4 cup cider/juice.  Pulse to break up ice and blend ingredients.  Add more ice and cider to taste and more strawberries if necessary.

Tip: Pulsing will break up the ice and move it down to the bottom, rather than leaving it on one setting where the bottom gets blended more than the top and wears out the motor of the blender.

Pour and enjoy!!