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.

Ingredients:

  • 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

Steps:

  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.

Alternatives:

  • 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.

Ingredients:

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

Steps:

  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.

Ingredients:

  • 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

Steps:

  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!

April Absence

standard April 23, 2011 1 response

Yikes! April is almost over, and I feel like it just started! My lack of April posting (due to LOTS of travel for work) is coupled with a lack of running. And my parents are coming on Thursday so my mother and I can run our first half-marathon next Sunday. Next Sunday! Oh boy.

At least we’ve been eating well. Lots of salads. Lots of raw vegan meals, which was not intentionally planned, but my body is loving! Salad can easily become a filling meal if you build it right: start with a nutrient-dense leafy green like kale or spinach and add a protein, a colorful veggie, and a healthy fat. Easy as pie. I’ve been tossing chickpeas with broccoli and avocado, dressed with a little hemp oil and balsamic vinegar. Delicious and VERY filling!

We are now cutting our grocery budget in half, so we are definitely going to be eating more seasonal produce, and making more things from scratch so that we can keep eating well within a tight budget. Sprouting is something I started this week as an easy and cheap way to get more protein. I started with lentils, and it’s working! Now I can toss a handful of these onto my salad this weekend.

Banana ice cream is also a cheap yet healthy treat that we’ve been enjoying a lot of lately! Blended with some vegan chocolate chips and frozen strawberries – yum!

Mom is coming down early for our race so that we can get up absurdly early on Friday morning and watch the Royal Wedding. I  am going to try to get up to make us pumpkin scones. Definitely a delicious (and appropriate for the occasion) incentive to wake up at 3:30 am!

That was an eclectic roundup. New treats are definitely coming soon! Budget cutting equals creative cooking and (hopefully) fun new recipes. 🙂

Happy Easter!

Banana Blizzards

standard April 3, 2011 Leave a response

A long time ago I read about making soft serve ice cream from frozen bananas, yet I have never tried to actually make it! Now that I have a food processor, it was super easy.

The husband and I used to go on random dates to DQ whenever we would get buy one-get one blizzard coupons. Now those coupons just sit unused in my email, as I wistfully hope that a non-dairy version could be made. Then I saw someone actually create such a treat!

Tonight, after a LONG week traveling and conferencing and studying, I decided to try it out. After creaming the bananas, in went some  frozen vegan cookie dough balls for some more blending. A splash of almond milk and a sprinkling of cookie dough on top, and we had a healthy chocolate chip cookie dough frozen treat!  Fast and easy and delicious!