February 28, 2012

Fresh Mango Banana Smoothie

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 So as some of you might have picked up on, I am kind-of a smoothie junkie.

Green ones, black ones, blue ones pink ones, even secret ingredient ones. They are all amazing.

I try and have a smoothie every morning and pack it filled with fresh or frozen fruits, healthy milks, a few vitamin and mineral additives and every so often a nice handful of green. The best part about smoothies is that they taste amazing and you can have endless varieties so each and every day is different.
I have been getting a lot of "looks" at work when I bring in my green smoothies and every day I am asked... "ok, so what's in today's green monster"... well I wanted to turn the tides a bit and make a smoothie from one of my favorite fruits that I don't always get my hands on.

 I love mango, but to be honest, I don't have it as much as I would like because it can be a nightmare to cut up and peel to get to that delicious fruit. So most of the time I just do without unless the grocery store has already done the hard part for me.

{I really need to add a mango slicer to my Pinterest wish list.}
So the other day Trader Joe's had some freshly cut mango and they looked so bright and juicy, I had to get them. The next day I was blending up this sunny smoothie and can I just say it was fabulous.

Refreshing, light and full of flavor. 

You can add flax or chia seed, protein powder or even coconut oil if you wanted to have a little extra fiber  and boost in your smoothie for a heartier breakfast or leave it as is for the perfect afternoon snack.

Have a great day!
Mango Banana Smoothie
Servings: 1 lg (or 2 small)
1 over ripe banana
1 cup mango chunks
1 cup vanilla coconut milk, light or regular
1/4 cup plain low-fat greek yogurt
1 tbsp honey

a few ice cubes

Add all ingredients to the blender and mix on high until smooth.

Recipe and photos by A Healthy Jalapeño 


February 27, 2012

Wilted Asparagus with a Grapefruit-Shallot Sauce {Secret Recipe Club}

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Boy do I have a treat for you all today... and sticking with last week's theme of two ingredients never thought to be together {avocado and banana}, today's recipe is just as deliciously surprising. 
We had the holidays off for a month but now the SRC {Secret Recipe Club} is back in action and boy have I seen some amazing stuff already come out from the other groups.

This month I had the pleasure of stalking around Jbean aka Jill, the author behind the blog JBean Cuisine
Jbean has a fabulous blog with some really interesting recipes to say the least. She is very adventurous in the kitchen making different recipes from all over the world. Greek, Middle-Eastern, Japanese, oh and of course "Normal? North American? Comfort? Whatever you call it...", are all just a small glimpse into Jill's world of cooking.

A few recipes that jumped at me right away were these quesadillas and beet risotto both made with goat cheese. 

A girl after my own heart.

She also had made this beautiful mango salad and broccoli-cheddar soup, both "curve-friendly" that looked excellent. 
Well after searching around for a couple of weeks {because I did get some extra time to think about what I really wanted to make} I still kept coming back to this asparagus dish.

The vibrant colors, the healthy factor and the sheer curiosity for such a strong bitter fruit combined with a green stalk. 

I mean don't you want to know??
This is actually round two of this dish that I made.

No I didn't "screw it up" the first time... I just loved it so much, it was quick to make and the flavors were so wonderful together, why not?

We absolutely loved this grapefruit and asparagus combination, two flavors I wouldn't ever think to put together and of course it was delicious. The shallots in the champagne vinegar really carry such a marinading flavor to the dish and act as the bridge to these two main ingredients in perfect fashion.

This was such the perfect choice for my SRC revel and I hope you all love it just as much. Go visit JBean's blog and send her some One Year Blogiversary love {just 2 days ago} and let her know how fabulous her Asparagus was!
Wilted Asparagus with a Grapefruit-Shallot Sauce
Servings: 2 (4 side-servings)

1 large pink shallot
3 tbsp white champagne vinegar
1 large grapefruit (well ripened)
1 tsp grainy dijon mustard
3 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste
20 spears of green asparagus, trimmed
parmesan or asiago cheese, shredded for garnish

Mince the shallot very finely and place in a small dish. Pour the vinegar over the shallot and stir to coat. Set-aside for 5 minutes, or while you prepare the other ingredients.

Wash the grapefruit. Using a fine grater, zest about 2/3 of the grapefruit. Set aside.

Juice the grapefruit (cut in half and squeeze!). Place the juices in a small saucepan and heat over medium. Boil the juices down until about 3 tbsp remain. Remove from heat and place in a glass bowl.

Add the grapefruit zest to the warm juices and slowly whisk in the mustard. Drain the shallots, discarding the vinegar, and add shallots to the grapefruit mixture. Slowly, 1 tbsp at a time, whisk in the oil. Season with S&P, taste and adjust seasonings (you may need a pinch of sugar to balance it out – just depends on the sweetness level of your grapefruit).

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and then add the asparagus and cook until tender-crisp (around 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of your asparagus).

Drain asparagus and immediately rinse with cold water to set the color and stop the cooking. Pat the asparagus dry with paper towel and place on a platter.

Spoon the dressing over the warm asparagus and grate fresh parmesan on-top!
Photos by A Healthy Jalapeño
Recipe adopted by JBean Cuisine


February 26, 2012

Oscar Night: Cranberry & Pistachio Brie Crackers

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It's Oscar Night!!!

So many amazing films up for nomination this year... and I am shameful to even say that I still haven't seen 'The Help' and I am dying to see it.

I know, after tonight were going to get "Netflix happy" and add a bunch of movies to the queue. 

Any suggestions?
So when I get back from a Sunday afternoon of working, I fulling intend to cuddle up on the couch and getting into The Oscars with a few of these delicious bites.
Creamy brie with the nutty sweet added flavors of cranberries and pistachios.

Bright, colorful, and deliciously tasty crackers perfect for your Oscar night get- together. The other idea to really fix that sweet tooth, try my Avocado and Banana Ice Cream that is #2 on Foodbuzz's Top 9 today. This faux ice cream will really impress your guests.
Have fun tonight everyone and may your favorite film win!
Cranberry and Pistachio Brie Crackers

20 whole wheat crackers

1/4 lb soft spreadable brie, thinly sliced or 1/2 cup goat cheese
2 tbsp pistachio
3 tbsp cranberries

Spread cheese on crackers and then shower cheese with cranberries and some pistachio pieces.

Arrange on platter and serve.

Recipe and photos by A Healthy Jalapeño 

February 24, 2012

Vanilla Avocado & Banana “Ice Cream”

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Friday Friday Friday! 

The weekend is so close I can almost smell it. It's going to a relaxing weekend at that too, so excited!

Plus I have to say 'Thank You' to everyone who took the time to click on my little hot pancakes picture yesterday on Foodbuzz' Top 9 to come check me out... I hope you enjoyed my little corner of the internet and even more so I hope you try my pancakes... they are seriously our of this world.
So onto today's indulgent treat...It's Ice Cream. Well, kinda.

I am talking avocados and bananas.

Now I really wasn't sure about this combination but unknown to me, it's actually Banana and Avocado Month. Who knew?!
Ok, so the combination get's its own month on the food calendar, that's ok but it wasn't until I saw Averie's amazing recipe on her adorable blog that made me just jump off the couch and into the kitchen for my blender.

I mean how good does this look {and even better, you don't need an ice cream maker which is perfect because that item is still on my wish list}.
So I of course snuck a few nibbles before it was actually fully frozen because, well, I had to. 

Then I really put this ice cream to the test... Paul. 

My boyfriend is by far the largest ice cream fanatic I know. He can devour an entire container of Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby ice cream in one sitting. No joke. I too like ice cream but I am becoming very aware of just how lactose I have become in the past year so I steer clear of as much dairy as possible these days.
The best part about this ice cream is that it's not just healthy, it's dairy-free, vegan and gluten-free... amazing!!!!
This "ice cream" took little to no effort and just a little waiting before you can dig in if you really want that hard ice cream texture but you can absolutely dig right in once it's blended. It has an amazingly light flavor and is deliciously satisfying. 

Garnish with a little mint and I am a happy girl.
Vanilla Avocado & Banana “Ice Cream”
Servings: 8


1 ripe avocado
1 medium frozen banana (in chunks is optimal)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c vanilla coconut milk (vanilla flavored nut milk, milk, cream, or water)
1/2 c amber agave (add/reduce/omit as desired, or use raw sugar or truvia)
1 cup ice cubes (optional)

Blend everything in a blender until smooth.

Store in container in the freezer. Mixture will freeze solid in the freezer and if so, let thaw for 5 minutes on countertop until you can scoop it out.

Note: After a week, this ice cream had not turned brown even though avocados tend to oxidize rapidly. And, the flavor still tasted spot-on.

Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free

Photos by A Healthy Jalapeño 
Recipe adopted by Love Veggies and Yoga 


February 23, 2012

Black & Blue Banana Berry Smoothie

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Ok, first let me preface this post with a shout out to....


Today I made my very first Top 9 on Foodbuzz!!!!

The best of 7,241 posts from the Foodbuzz Community, as chosen by our editors and users. You're looking at #2!
When I rolled over in bed this morning and started scrolling through my emails and saw an email from Foodbuzz, I thought Oh, let's see who I know that hit top 9. Nope, it was an email from the editors letting me know I was in Top 9... WHAT!!!

I am so happy. I started screaming to Paul down stairs, which he absolutely thought I was hurt or in pain and came running up and I had to harness my excitement to get through explaining what Foodbuzz is and how long I have been waiting to "make the cut". 

This is great day! {well, kinda}
It's been a short week with having Monday off but let me just say that it hasn't been short enough, and somehow in the mix I have been fighting a stomach bug for the last 9 hours. I have been up since close to 1am feeling worse than awful and only around 5:45 did I try to actually lay back down in bed after sitting up all night with my Callie pup and Pinterest to keep my mind off my stomach. 

It's been a full sleepless night and my stomach hasn't let up so today is going to be a sweatpants and napping {hopefully} day with lots and lots of fluids.
After I decided I wasn't going to be sleeping at all this morning and finally just headed downstairs to start my day, {before my genius decision came to call in sick} I chugged so much water and moved on to thinking about what I could eat to get my electrolytes back to normal.

Paul has these CeraSport Electrolyte Drink Mix packets that he got from his ARMY Air Assault School where they were told to drink one packet before, during and after their 20 mile ruck march and throughout the whole training school to stay hydrated. I won't get into the details on what else it helps but Paul told me to take down one of these packets this morning to correct my hydration from the night and I have to say I am already starting to feel a little more normal.
So what to eat?

Liquid breakfast today! I have been dying to try a really high antioxidant smoothie and what better morning to do so than today. I packed this smoothie with fresh blueberries and blackberries that I threw in the freezer overnight with the sweetener of a banana and a little honey... delicious.

One of my better smoothies yet. I thought about adding spinach but I was afraid the roughage of the greens wouldn't sit well with me to I went with my superBerries and yummy almond milk. I made mine a little thicker cause I knew it would take me a little while to finish it but it was amazingly refreshing.

There is something about smoothies that make my day start off on a such a better note, and with being #2 on Foodbuzz I have to say that stomach bug or not, it's a great day.
Black & Blue Banana Berry Smoothie
Servings: 2

1 cup frozen blackberries
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 banana
10 oz (1 1/4 cup) 2% almond milk (lactaid, regular or coconut if desired)
1 tbsp honey

Blend until smooth. Add more/less milk for a thicker or thinner consistency.

Recipe and photos by A Healthy Jalapeño

One Year Ago: Roasted Edamame Salad
Last Post: Hot Apple Pancakes

February 21, 2012

Hot Apple Pancake

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It's pancake week!

There have been some really delicious pancake recipes surfacing all over Foodgawker, Foodbuzz and Pinterest that I have been drooling over that I just had to jump in and contribute. Having made some pumpkin pancakes in the fall, {which were phenomenal btw} I really liked the incorporation of all the spices and flavors to really add character to the pancakes.
I also got an exciting message from a good friend and fellow blogger, over at Our Tiny Place, requesting something AMAZING for her and Lovebug {her insanely handsome little boy} who both are massive pancake lovers. 

Hmm, now I really can't mess up, I don't want to let Lovebug down!
I had an idea of what I wanted to make but I asked my girlfriend if she had any ideas of what type of pancakes she and the little man were looking for. Right away she answered with apple stuffed pancakes. 

Umm, yummm!

I totally took her idea and ran with it. I found a mouth watering recipe and of course the pictures really drew me in {those marketers over at FoodGawker really knew what they were talking about}.
I really liked this recipe because the cardamom and nutmeg give a nice zip to the pancakes, and the soft-cooked apples absolutely smell up the house of sweet apple pie... what's not to love.

The original batter recipe was slightly less in quantity than I expected so I doubled the recipe. My recipe here is with the recipe already doubled and it makes 4 large pancakes or 6 slightly smaller ones.

They’re fluffy, pie-flavored, and delicious! Add a little syrup and a dollop of whipped cream and you have a perfectly tasty breakfast that you and the kiddies will love.

I hope Lovebug and Mama enjoy these just as much as I did. Next step, Mickey Mouse Pancakes {ears attached}!
Hot Apple Pancakes 
Servings: 2

2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp cinnamon 
1/4 tsp cardamom* 
1/4 tsp nutmeg 
1/4 tsp salt 
2 t brown sugar 
1 1/2 tsp baking powder 
1/2 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk) 
1/2 cup applesauce 
1/2 tsp vanilla 
1/2 apple, sliced thin 
sprinkle of cinnamon 

Heat a nonstick pans over medium heat, sprayed with cooking spray. 
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, then add wet and mix until just combined. 
Drop 1/4 of the mixture into the pan, spread, and cook until bubbling and fluffy. 
Flip and cook another minute or so. Repeat with the remaining batter. 

Spray your pan again (I actually spray between pancakes too). Apply a generous sprinkling of cinnamon to the apple slices and place in pan, cinnamon side down. Sprinkle cinnamon on the other side. 
Cook 3-4 minutes and flip. Cook until the apples are easily pierced with a fork. 
Pile apples on top of the pancakes, top with maple syrup and whipped cream, and devour! 

*If you don’t have cardamom (I totally understand, it’s expensive!), try using ground allspice instead. 

Photos by A Healthy Jalapeño 
Recipe adopted by Tie Dye Files

February 20, 2012

Fresh Blueberry-Lime Margarita

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Happy Monday... or should I say Happy National Margarita Day!!!!

Today is double-y exciting {yes, this is a word} because thanks to our fabulous Presidents, I have today off from work. I love long weekends because Sunday becomes Saturday all over again. I can sleep in, relax and run all the errands that I couldn't run yesterday because the malls were too packed and crowded with holiday savings shoppers.

Getting back to the point, it's a holiday, and I don't just mean Presidents Day. It's National Margarita Day, a day filled with tequila happiness and frozen cocktails... and I thought of just the right one to blend up...... a Blueberry and Lime concoction. 
The lemon and blueberry combination has been a favorite of mine, well, since forever. This galette was one of the biggest hit's last Easter and I absolutely plan on making it again... it was just that good. This goes the same for lime, it's citrus flavor brings out the freshness in so many delicious recipes.

So when I thought about the whole blueberry and lime pair, the flavor combination of the tart juices from a lime and sweetness in blueberries was just too good to pass up.
Now onto the bigger love... Margarita's!!!

I love margarita's! 

Everything about them is refreshing, delicious and perfect on a thirsty Thursday after work when I am meeting up with a few girlfriends for cocktails. I haven't made that many margarita's at home yet but I did make an outstanding Margarita Granita for a family dessert over the summer and it was so refreshing with just the right tequila pop.
 Well, I also found out from this amazing website all these different food and drink holidays. That's how I discovered National Wine Drinking Day this past Friday, this week, the 19th to the 25th, is Pancake Week and that this month is Avocado & Banana Month... aren't you mind-blown!!!!

I think food holidays are the best. All fun without any stress. Relatives are coming to stay in masses, there are no presents to buy... it's just flipping on your blender for a nice Sunday night cocktail with your beau and sharing the love the next day with all my foodie friends.

{I heart the food calendar}
So, onto today's fabulous cocktail... I made these insanely light and refreshing blueberry and lime margaritas last night to celebrate me not having work today and of course the double-y fun holidays. Paul and I are normally not fruity drink people being that those overly sweet drink mixers can give you such a sugar headache, but knowing the ingredients that I put in this, it had to be delicious. I actually cut back on the blueberry nectar sweetener from the original recipe because I knew it would still be sweet enough without overdoing the super-sweet factor.

It was amazing! I had no intentions of Paul actually drinking his but before I knew it his was gone and he was looking for another. Oh and did I mention yet, they are only 125 calories per serving... Are you serious?!?!?!?!

I can absolutely live with that. Plus, no brain freeze or sugar rush, just natural fruit and juice flavors for an outstanding finishing sip. 

Just fabulous!
Fresh Blueberry-Lime Margarita
2 servings
Total Time: 10 minutes


2 cups ice
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup blueberry nectar
1/4 cup seltzer water
2 tbsp frozen limeade
1 tbsp lime juice
3 oz tequila, optional {kinda}
1 lime wedge
Coarse salt

Combine ice, blueberries, blueberry nectar, seltzer, limeade, lime juice and tequila, if using, in a blender and blend until smooth. Rub rim of 2 glasses with lime wedge and dip in salt. 

Divide the margarita between the prepared glasses and serve.

Per serving: 125 calories; 1 g fat ( 0 g sat , 0 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 29 g carbohydrates; 0 g protein; 2 g fiber; 14 mg sodium; 147 mg potassium.

Recipe adopted by Eating Well
Photos by A Healthy Jalapeño