My-Not-So-Green Monster Smoothie Take 2

I am re-posting this post because somehow it only half worked the first time! I apologize if you get this twice!

I am absolutely amazed at the amount of greens my garden has already produced! I actually had to thin my littlest kale plants, and ended up with a beautiful pile of baby kale leaves to try out in my Green Monster Smoothies. The larger kale and Swiss chard leaves (4 more bags full), I blanched for a minute or two in a wet, hot skillet, puréed, and stored in freezer bags for later use. I searched the Internet for the best Green Monster Smoothie recipes, and they all seem to have the same ingredients in varying amounts: Spinach or kale, honey, some kind of fruit (berries and bananas usually), yogurt, water. While I am not a proponent of supplements or “unnatural” (man-made, for lack of a better word) food, I did add some whey protein powder (Weider Fruit Splash) and PGX granules. I have been experimenting with protein powder and PGX granules, for the sake of feeling full without adding extra calories. I recently attended a diabetes conference in Edmonton (for my work as a diabetes nurse educator), and a dietitian from Vancouver actually condoned the use of PGX as she stated that it was one of the only supplements that has been scientifically proven to do what it says it is going to do. That said, it really is just concentrated “hyper-viscous” fiber, so I decided to try it, never having tried it before. I am not in any way encouraging anyone to use PGX themselves! The shake I made ended up being a nice golden color (from the peaches and protein powder), with flecks of green kale. I didn’t use honey. And I had tried various Green Monster smoothie recipes before that had too strong an earthy flavor from the kale, this one tasted ok, I think because of the strong artificial fruit flavor of the protein powder. The shake came out to about 300 calories. Now would I make it again? I’m not so sure. I’d rather have a 1/2 a vegetarian panini with kale chips on the side and a glass of milk, which would probably come close to the amount of calories that ended up in this drink! But here is the recipe I used in case you are interested. With the protein powder and PGX, it is quite filling.

Not-so-Green Monster Smoothie
1/3 cup milk (30 cal)
1 heaping Tb yogurt (33 cal)
1/2 small banana (40 cal)
1 peach (75 cal)
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups kale (50 cal)
1 scoop whey protein powder (90 cal)
1 single packet PGX granules(10cal)
Blend, enjoy.

Swiss Chard & Kale, Oh My!

I’m finally back from a long summer vacation! I’d like to thank all the people who have commented and followed my blog over the last few weeks, and apologize for not getting back to you sooner! But I planned a vacation completely unplugged, and was semi successful with it!

We spent the last two days on the road, trekking from the West Coast to the Prairies. Of course one of the first things we did was to check on the garden. Fearing the worst (dried up shriveled seedlings), we were overjoyed to find the garden lush and verdant. We immediately picked Swiss chard and Kale for tonight’s quick dinner. We got four grocery bags full, and the pasta I cooked pictured above contained an entire grocery bag stuffed with Swiss chard. I’ve posted the recipe below. It is adapted from the Food.com. Obviously, I added way more than one pound of Swiss chard, and it was still delicious! The children looooved it! I hope you do too!

Creamy Swiss Chard Pasta

1 lb swiss chard
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 cup onion, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup fat free sour cream or 1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup 2% low-fat milk
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
8 ounces fettuccine pasta, cooked according to package
salt and pepper

Directions:

Wash swiss chard, cut into small pieces.

Heat oil in large 2 quart saucepan over medium high heat, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add swiss chard, garlic and onion; cooking 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add tomatoes, sour cream, milk, parmesan cheese, cooked fettuccine, salt and pepper to taste; stir well.

Serve warm.