Monster Variations

standard August 5, 2012 Leave a response

Green monsters are a staple in my diet. Every post-run meal involves one, and the more I drink them, the more my body craves them. So much goodness packed into one glass!

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about how I make these shakes, so I’ve put together a few of my favorite variations. A traditional green monster includes spinach, or other greens, frozen banana, and non-dairy milk. From there you can add a variety of fruits, veggies, protein, and other goodies. I always add protein to make a complete post-workout meal. And as a bonus, the protein powder I use is also high in most vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and greens for optimal health (key for those on a plant-based diet).

Stephanie’s Classic Green Monster

Serves 1.


  • 1 c almond milk
  • 1 scoop protein powder (I like Vega One or Vega Sport)
  • 1 c ice
  • 2 c kale, rinsed and torn off the stem
  • 1/2 frozen banana


  1. Layer ingredients in order in a blender. Blend until smooth, usually about 2 minutes. Enjoy!

I’ve learned that by layering the ingredients in the above order, the blender can process the kale quickly and smoothly. This is especially beneficial, considering I have a Cuisinart that sounds like it’s on its last leg every time I use it. You really want to make sure the fibrous kale is smooth, or you’re going to have a funky drink.


  • Swap almond milk for any non-dairy milk (soy or hemp are good)
  • Swap kale for spinach, romaine, or swiss chard
  • Swap 1/2 c of ice for 1/2 frozen fruit
  • Add raw oats to bulk up the carbohydrates
  • Add peanut butter to thicken and add more protein
  • Add chia or flax seeds to thicken and add healthy fat

If you have plain protein powder, your choice of add-ins is unlimited. I usually try to keep it simple, but sometimes its nice to mix things up, since I drink one every day. Here are two of my favorite summertime variations:

Berry-Watermelon Green Monster

Inspired by this delicious recipe.

Serves 1.


  • 1 c almond milk
  • 1 scoop berry Vega Sport protein powder
  • 1 c spinach
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 c frozen watermelon


  1. Layer ingredients in order in a blender, and blend until smooth. If too thick, add more almond milk or water to thin.

Blueberry-Chocolate Green Monster

Serves 1-2.


  • 1 c almond milk
  • 1/2 c ice
  • 1 scoop chocolate Vega One nutritional shake
  • 1 T raw cocoa powder
  • 2 c kale
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 c fresh or frozen blueberries


  1. Layer ingredients in order in a blender, and blend until smooth.

For more ideas, check out my strawberry-pineapple green monster or the Green Monster Movement. Enjoy!

Perfect Vegan Pancakes

standard August 28, 2010 Leave a response

Dinners this week were each a big cooking FAIL. Except maybe the polenta pizza. The husband did not like it but the company we had over did – so maybe a half-success?

This is the first Saturday in a while where I have not had plans all day. And I was craving pancakes, so after my run, green monster, and shower, I made something I knew would come out right!

I’ve made these pancakes 4 or 5 times and they are EASY and PERFECT each time. This morning I contemplated mixing up a batch of the dry ingredients so next time I can just add the almond milk and go. These definitely made me feel better after my unsuccessful attempts at food during the week.

Buckwheat Pancakes with Berries (and Chocolate!)

Adapted from Vegetarian Times, May-June 2010


  • 1/2 c whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c buckwheat flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 3 T sucanat
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 c almond milk (or any non-dairy milk) + an extra Tbsp or two
  • coconut oil for cooking
  • Toppings of choice


  1. Heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat and coat evenly with coconut oil.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Add almond milk 1/2 cup at a time. Once batter is mixed you may need to whisk in another tablespoon if it is still too thick.
  4. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto skillet/griddle. Add any mix-ins of choice (I recommend blueberries, the husband recommends chocolate chips).
  5. Flip when ready. Cook about another minute and plate. Top with desired toppings.

The combination of the buckwheat and the fruit is delicious.  Especially when eaten outside. 🙂

Now it’s time for meal planning for next week and then an attempt at buckwheat granola bars!

Back In Action

standard August 7, 2010 1 response

Whew. What a busy summer! Do not worry – I did not forget about you! I’ve just been too busy to plan and shop and cook and write. And I think this blog is going to change direction a bit. Since meat and most dairy is now gone from my diet, most of my meals are coming from Vegetarian Times and other food blogs that I read rather than my cookbooks. Look for an update to my “about me” page soon to see where Neat and Nutritious is heading!

I finally went back to the farmer’s market this morning. There is SO much great produce available now. Good thing I had a list, or I would have walked away with way more than I needed!

I had company this morning, too! Patty just moved down here this week and was excited to check out the market. It was nice having someone to share that time – makes it more fun than just another errand on the list. Who wants to come with me next week? 🙂

Patty was also kind enough to show me how to use my camera! I had gotten this fancy new camera for Christmas (thanks, husband!) and had no idea how to use it. If you couldn’t tell from my awesome photography so far on this blog.

I think these shots are a little better. Still working on it. Might need some more lessons, Patty!

After the market, I braved the heat and went on a 3 mile run for my 10k training. It was HOT! Post-run fuel needed to be a green monster today for sure. So refreshing!

Strawberry Pineapple Green Monster


  • 1 c almond milk
  • 1 scoop rice protein powder
  • 1 T ground flax-seed
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/4 c frozen strawberries and pineapple


  1. Add almond milk, protein powder, flax seed, and spinach to blender FIRST. Then add frozen fruit and blend.
  2. Enjoy!