Cucumber-Pear Smoothie

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When I received small pickling cucumbers in my Boston Organics produce delivery, I knew I wouldn’t be making any vinegar-soaked, acidic pickles. Cucumbers aren’t my favorite salad addition, either. But they add a surprising flavor to smoothies without being strong enough to overpower the sweetness of the fruit.

This is one of the more unusual smoothie combinations I’ve tried. Since pineapples and most berries are too low in pH for the low-acid diet, I have to get creative! The cinnamon and ginger were a nice touch here, and the unexpected flavor combo worked for me. Try adding a spoonful of almond butter if you’re looking for a more filling, protein-packed snack.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pickling cucumber (or 1/3 of a normal cucumber)
  • 1 ripe Bartlett pear, cored
  • 1/2 a frozen banana
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond or soy milk
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground ginger

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DIRECTIONS

  1. Peel the cucumber, and use a small spoon to remove the seeds. Roughly chop the cucumber flesh.
  2. Add the cucumber, pear, banana, and milk to a blender or mini-chop. Blend for about a minute until smooth.
  3. Add cinnamon and ginger to taste. Pulse to combine and serve.
Serves 1. Active and total time 5 minutes. Adapted from http://www.queenofquinoa.me/2012/06/cucumber-pear-smoothie/

Baked Cod & Corn on the Cob

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Although Labor Day has come and gone, it’s still hot enough in Massachusetts for me to want a light, summery meal. White fish is so easy to cook, and the corn is still sweet this late in the season. This is a simple meal, but using fish instead of chicken makes it feel more special. Also, fish ends up being easier to cook and clean up after, as long as you put the wrappers in the outdoor trash immediately to keep your kitchen smelling fresh.

I served this with a side of Sesame Bok Choy Salad, but any vegetable side dish will work. Take advantage of your farmers’ market while it’s still flush with produce! Also, feel free to cover the side with cheese since the rest of this meal is so healthy.

 INGREDIENTS

  • 2 4-oz cod fillets, defrosted if frozen
  • 2 ears sweet corn
  • 1 tsp lemon olive oil
  • oregano
  • thyme
  • sea salt
  • ground coriander

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DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and set a large pot of water on high heat to boil.
  2. Shuck the corn, removing as many silks as possible with your fingers. Rinse, snap off the ends of the cobs, and set corn aside.
  3. Line a baking sheet with foil, and spray with olive oil spray. Place the fish on the sheet, and sprinkle with the spices to taste.
  4. Bake fish for 15-20 minutes, until the middle is warm and opaque.
  5. When the water comes to a boil, add the corn cobs. Cook for 5 minutes, bringing the water back to a boil during that time. Remove corn from the water after 5 minutes.
  6. Fill two plates with fish and corn (and a side salad, if you wish), and enjoy!

Serves 2. Active time 10 minutes; total time 30 minutes.

Apricot-Banana Oatmeal Bites

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I wouldn’t call these cookies, but they satisfy a sweet tooth and come in cute little packages. The texture is crispy on the outside and oatmeal-like on the inside. This is the kind of snack I would serve to my all-female book club, but it probably wouldn’t fit in as well at a Superbowl party.

Be sure to use Turkish apricots if you’re worried about heartburn. If not, any dried fruit will work here. If you want the bites to be more gooey and less oatmeal-like, try reducing the oats to 1 cup. This recipe is very forgiving, so throw everything in the bowl and bake!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups oats (gluten-free if desired)
  • 1/2 cup nuts (I used pecans and almonds)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 overripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup dried Turkish apricots, chopped

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DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and move the racks to the top and lower thirds of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the oats and nuts until finely chopped.
  3. Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. IMG_5924
  4. Scoop 1 heaping tablespoon of dough into your hand and roll it into a ball. Place it on the parchment paper and flatten slightly. Repeat with the remaining dough. IMG_5928
  5. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Then switch the cookie sheets and bake for 13 to 15 more minutes, until the bites are golden brown and the air in the kitchen smells toasty.
  6. Move bites to a cooling rack. Once cooled, store in the fridge or freeze for later.

Makes 20 to 24 cookies. Active time 15 minutes; total time 45 minutes. Adapted from http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/banana-oatmeal-snack-cookies

Sweet Potato-White Chocolate Cookies

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Who says nutmeg is a winter spice? These cookies have traditional fall flavors, but I’ve been eating them all summer. They’re so moist that each cookie feels like a piece of cake, and they always please a crowd.

This is a variation on pumpkin cookies with chocolate chips. I replaced the canned pumpkin with sweet potatoes because my farm share sends me piles of them; pumpkin would give you the same result, though.

I mixed in white chocolate and pecans to replace the chocolate chips so this recipe would be heartburn-approved. Both versions are delicious, but to be honest, I usually use semisweet chocolate when I make these for others! Total chocolate deprivation is not a sustainable lifestyle. These are some of the healthiest cookies around, so I don’t feel guilty about having a few bites of chocolate once in a while.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup whole-wheat white flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup mashed sweet potato (from 2 medium potatoes; directions below)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans (optional)

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DIRECTIONS

  1. Wash the sweet potatoes and prick them each several times with a fork. Put them on a plate and microwave for 7 minutes. Flip each potato and microwave for 6 more minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices together in a medium bowl and set aside.
  4. Use a dull knife to peel each potato (as shown here). Discard the skins, mash the flesh, and measure out 1 cup, setting aside any extra for another use.
  5. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and brown sugar until smooth and light in color, about 1 minute. Mix in the applesauce, oil, sweet potato, and vanilla until blended.
  6. On low speed, mix in half of the flour and then the other half after a few seconds. Work quickly, as the dough will form a sticky ball around the beaters. Finish mixing by hand if necessary.
  7. Mix in the white chocolate chips and pecans (if using) by hand. IMG_5905
  8. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop the dough onto the cookie sheets. You should have 14 to 16 cookies.
  9. Bake the cookies until the tops feel firm and a toothpick comes out clean, 15 to 16 minutes. Let the cookies rest for 5 minutes on the sheets; then move them to cooling racks to cool completely.
  10. To store, leave the cookies uncovered and unrefrigerated overnight. (Otherwise they will get soggy.) Move to an airtight container the next morning, and refrigerate if you haven’t devoured them all.

Makes 14 to 16 cookies. Adapted from http://baker-bookworm.blogspot.com/2010/11/pumpkin-chocolate-chip-cookies.html

Hummus-Avocado Veggie Sandwich

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Cold cuts make me shudder. Their slimy texture and uniform shape lead me to suspect that I’m eating fake food—and that’s probably true. But peanut butter sandwiches, to me, are for breakfast or for hiking, so I need lunchtime alternatives to deli meat.

This sandwich is simple, savory, and full of vegetables. You can substitute any veggies as long as they’re thinly sliced. I smeared each piece of bread with something creamy: avocado on one side and hummus on the other. A slice of cheese would be a good substitute for one of those, though.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pieces of whole-grain bread (gluten-free if desired)
  • 2 small carrots
  • 1/4 of an avocado
  • roasted red pepper hummus
  • dried oregano
  • handful of baby spinach

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DIRECTIONS

  1. Put the bread slices in the toaster. While you wait for them to toast, peel the carrots, and thinly slice them on a heavy angle. IMG_5941
  2. Spread one piece of toast with the avocado, and spread hummus on the other piece. Sprinkle oregano on the hummus.
  3. Fill the sandwich with carrots and spinach. Cut it in half and serve with any remaining carrot slices on the side.

Serves 1. Active and total time 10 minutes.