Tag Archives: Ninja Kitchen Systems

Apple and Kale Salad

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  • 1 Bunch Purple Kale
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple
  • 1 Red Delicious Apple
  • 1 Small Yellow Onion
  • 2 TBsp Apple Cider
  • 2 TBsp Lemon Juice
  • 4 TBsp olive oil
  • salt, Pepper, Cinnamons
  • 1/4 Cup raisins
  • Fall is a really exciting time for recipes. I find myself lightyears more inspired by fall flavors. Sure, Summer is full of fruits and colorful veggies, but my heart stays in the cooler months. Apple season is starting up, so I felt inspired to create a recipe based on a tried and true combination of delicious, healthy, goodness: Apples and Kale. Raisins, and a touch of apple cider, add some extra sweetness. Remember, apples are part of the dirty dozen, so always try to buy organic (and even better if you pick them yourself!)

    After rinsing the kale, I tore it into small pieces, smaller than I normally would for salad. I tossed the thick stemmy parts to my dog (optional of course), then I Tossed about a quarter of the kale leaves in my food processor, along with the apples, onion, and liquids. I pulsed until everything was very finely chopped. You can skip this step if you don’t have a food processor, but then remember to chop everything up pretty small. I poured it into the bowl with the kale, added the raisins and seasoned, and then stirred with a rubber spatula until everything was combined.

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    Green Gazpacho

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    I love gazpacho, especially in the summer. It’s super easy to make, and served cold, so it’s perfect for a hot day. It’s also a great way to get a bunch of veggies into your day! Traditionally gazpacho is made with pieces of bread included in the mixture, and I’ve seen gluten-free versions made with rice, however I don’t think you need it, and instead I added an avocado for some creamy richness. Most gazpachos are tomato based, and this one DOES have tomato included, but I used a yellow, and a green heirloom variety, so it stayed a nice green color. I also went heavy on the other veggies, so it really was vegetable based rather than tomato based.

    • 1 red onion – quartered
    • 2 large tomatoes – red, yellow, green heirloom, doesn’t matter, quartered 
    • 8 large radishes – halved
    • 2 bell peppers – seeded and quartered
    • 2 cucumbers – halved lengthwise and cut into thirds
    • 1 avocado
    • 1 bunch celery hearts
    • A generous amount of basil and mint (I used A Lot – but season to taste)
    • Some oregano, thyme, and cilantro (season to taste)
    • 1/3 cup olive oil
    • 1 tbsp lime juice
    • salt, pepper

    After lightly prepping the ingredients, the rest couldn’t be any simpler! Add all ingredients to a blender, and blend!

    Please note, if you don’t have a high powered blender like a Ninja Kitchen Systemor a Vitamix, you might have too chop things smaller. Chances are you will have to blend a little anyway to make room as you go.

    Blend until everything is liquefied and well combined. Chill and serve.


    Butternut Squash and Root Celebration

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    Here is a super easy and flavorful side dish. For a vegetarian option, omit the turkey bacon. You can also use regular pork bacon, but I tend to use Applegate Turkey Bacon because Mike doesn’t eat pork. Once again, the food processor (Yay Ninja) comes in super handy, and makes all the chopping a breeze. Just a little peeling and light chopping, and then the food processor, makes this a quick side dish for a busy weeknight.

    Ingredients:

    • 1/2 a Butternut Squash Cubed
    • 1 Sweet Potato Cubed
    • 2 Carrot
    • 1 Parsnips
    • 4 Stalks Celery
    • 1 Onion
    • 6-7 Cloves Garlic
    • 3 Tbsp Coconut Oil
    • 1/4 cup Light Coconut Milk
    • Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, Salt
    • 3 slices Applegate Turkey Bacon

    Prep:

    1. Add all the vegetables to a food processor and pulse until they form small-medium cubes. You might have to do this in a few batches, depending on the size of your food processor.
    2. Melt coconut oil in a pan over medium-medium high heat and add the veggie medley, as well as the coconut milk, and seasonings. Stir and cover.
    3. After a few minutes add the Turkey Bacon, breaking it up into small pieces with your hands.
    4. Cook, Stirring occasionally, until everything is cooked through and tender.

    Paleo Harvest Chestnut Stuffing

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    Ah, chestnuts! Nothing quite gets Christmas carols and holiday cheer in your head like a bag of raw chestnuts. Well, actually it all started when I picked up a bag of organic roasted and peeled chestnuts the week prior. I forgot how amazing they are. They’re starchy, almost bready, and have a subtle and wonderful nutty sweetness. Naturally, since this was the week before thanksgiving, the wheels started turning, and I decided to make my stuffing with a combination of chestnuts and sweet potatoes. I figured I’d pimp it out with sausage and fall flavors, and make a bunch of it to bring to our respective families houses, not only to share the love, but to give myself a paleo option. Actually, my parents made a pretty-much-paleo feast, since they’ve been starting to go in that direction, and everything was at least gluten-free, since my mom has a grain intolerance anyway. She made stuffing with gluten-free bread, and I did have a spoon of it to taste, but stuck to mine mostly. There were all sorts of yummy veggies, roasted carrots, brussels, kale salad…Even the desserts were paleo-fied. I brought some of my Paleo Pumpkin Pie Balls, and the stuffing, which disappeared by the end of dinner.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup Pecans
    • 1 bag/ lb Chestnuts
    • 2 Apples
    • 1 Onion
    • 1 carrot
    • 3-4 stalks Celery
    • 1 large purple Sweet potato
    • 2 lbs Ground turkey / beef (or sausage)
    • 1 pt duck broth.
    • Cinnamon, sage, thyme, rosemary, pepper, salt

    Instructions:

    1. Mix your sausage meat the night before so the flavors have a chance to combine. I use a pound of turkey and a pound of beef. Mix them together with generous amounts of cinnamon, sage, thyme, pepper, and salt. Cover with plastic wrap.
    2. Chop all the vegetable ingredients in a food processor, or if your don’t have one, just make sure they are small and evenly sized. Add to a bowl with the pecans and Set aside.

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    3. Roast the chestnuts. Cut an X into the flat side of each chestnut, and roast at 425 degrees for 30 minutes or so. The cut part will peel back. You want to peel them while they’re still warm, because they get harder to peel as they cool. Honestly, you can use the bagged pre-peeled and roasted chestnuts if you want to save time, but I think roasting them from scratch is more festive, plus you can get the rest of the family to participate and help peel. Break up the chestnuts into pieces and combine with the veggies.
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    4. Brown meat and then mix together with the rest of the mixture. Add some more seasonings and mix. pour into a 9×17 glass pan and bake uncovered about 30 min. Add duck broth and return covered to oven. Bake for another 30 minutes or so, until the sweet potatoes and carrots are soft.

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    It’s fairly easy, and super yummy. The chestnuts give it a nice starchiness that is a totally different texture than the sweet potato, and definitely pays a respectful flavor homage to some of the stuffing I’ve encountered.  Next time I might use a different variety of apple, but overall it came out great. I might just use the packaged chestnuts though, because it was very labor intensive to peel them all, and the packaged ones I’ve tried are all fantastic.

    I made A LOT of this stuff, enough to bring to both parties, and I still had my own batch of leftovers coming out of my ears…..definitely not a bad thing. One of the things I used it for which I loved, was breakfast the following morning.  I put some eggs over it, and it kept me full for hours. It’s one of those versatile dishes that makes a great snack or side dish, breakfast or dinner. I ate it in some way, pretty much every day until it was gone, and never got tired of it.


    Like a Ninja! : Homemade Cashew Butter, and a Smoothie to try out my new Ninja Kitchen System!

    Please note, I am in no way affiliated with Ninja, or any of the brands mentioned in my blog posts. I also do not get any money from you going and buying their products. I’m just sharing my own personal experience.

    How have I gone this long without a blender/food processor? I have no idea. I’ve been using a hand blender for select things up until now, all while looking enviously at high powered Über blenders like the Vitamix, while sobbing at the price tag, and waiting for the day that I could bring one home. Then yesterday my parents decide to get me the Ninja Ultra Kitchen System 1200 for a gift, to congratulate me on another successful challenge completed, and for all my healthy efforts and success. Best – Parents – Ever! It’s not a Vitamix, but it’s seriously an awesome and waaaaay more affordable option. I couldn’t wait to try it out! It comes with a 72 oz Blender, a 64 oz Food Processor/Dough Mixer cup, and 3 single serve containers. My brain was racing with possibilities all the way home. Here’s a link to the Ultra Kitchen System on Amazon

    http://www.amazon.com/Ninja-Ultra-Kitchen-System-1200/dp/B00FROKCI4

    If you are a member at Costco, it’s also available there for considerably cheaper.

    http://www.costco.com/Ninja%C2%AE-Ultra-Kitchen-System%E2%84%A2-.product.100056570.html

    The first thing I wanted to try, was making my own nut butter. In my house we LOVE Artisana’s Cashew Butter, but it’s definitely a luxury at $15-$19 a jar. We picked up some Raw Cashews at Trader Joe’s and decided to start with that! Then, being that I’ve never made nut butter from scratch, I did some research on the inter-webs.

    In the end, I soaked the cashews for 3-4 hours, drained the water, and put them in the processor still a little wet. I didn’t dehydrate them or roast them first like some of the blogs. I also decided not to add any extra oil. The only ingredient I added was a little sea salt at the end. It wasn’t as sweet and creamy as Artisana, but I think it was pretty awesome for a first attempt! It definitely has a creamy smooth texture, and a nice flavor. I think it came out lovely, especially considering how EASY it was.

    Raw Cashew Butter

    • 2 cups Trader Joe’s raw cashews (Soaked)
    • A few shakes of sea salt

    The first link I listed outlines the process pretty well. You really just have to keep processing until it gets creamy. It takes longer than you might expect, and it definitely goes through different stages. It’s the same process for making nut meal and nut flour, but you leave it in longer to get nut butter.

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    This morning, I decided to try the single serve containers, and make smoothies.The containers are built well, and have a clear “Max Fill” line. The top with the blade screws on securely, and when you’re done, they also have tops with a hole to drink out of, so you don’t even have to take it out of the container. They are also super easy to clean.

    Nutty Cocoa Berry Smoothie:

    • 1 cup light coconut milk
    • 1 heaping tablespoon cashew butter
    • 1 pitted medjool date
    • 3-4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries (approx.)
    • 1/2 cup frozen cherries (approx.)

    I put everything into the containers, starting with the coconut milk.

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    Then I hit the “Single Serve” button until everything was blended.

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    That’s it, super easy! I am so psyched to try more things in this. It’s a really solid machine and performs wonderfully.  It’s new, so time will tell how long it lasts, and how it handles in the long run, but I definitely am prepared to keep testing it!

    While I was making the smoothies, I also got the rest of breakfast ready. I cooked some Portabella Mushrooms on the griddle, and topped them with heated Applegate Herb Turkey, Applegate Roast Beef, and Two Eggs. YUM! (Note, I know the Applegate roast beef is compliant for the WLC, but the Herb Turkey has Carageenan so it is NOT compliant)

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