Our internet was as slow as molasses this weekend, so I get to continue my tradition of posting seasonal recipes too late. Enjoy!
A lot of food bloggers do a St. Patrick’s day thing. Accuse me of jumping on the bandwagon, but I felt like posting about my own dairy-free version of the McDonald’s Shamrock Shake.
Green and Creamy
There are a bunch of other recipes out there, using bananas/spinach/protein powder/artificial sweetener/ice/milk/whatever. This is just what I’ve done, again with my mission to keep it cheap and keep it relatively healthy.
I used spinach to make it green. My no.1 tip for people who want to use spinach in smoothies, but don’t have a vita-mix, is to use thawed FROZEN spinach. Freezing and thawing breaks down the leaves, meaning it blends more easily. Freezing retains nutrients: 1/4 of a regular box contains 20 calories, 2g of protein, and 6% of your RDA of iron. Not bad, considering a box of spinach usually costs one or two dollars. I partially that the box, divide it into quarters, and re-freeze the lumps to store in a ziploc bag in the freezer. The night before I make a smoothie, I just thaw out a lump overnight in the fridge, or even microwave it for 20-30 seconds.
So, back to my recipe. The key is a long blending time, to really dissolve the protein powder and to get a smooth, milkshake-like texture.
- 1 scoop vanilla soy protein powder
- 1 cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)
- 1/4 package frozen spinach (75g), at least partially thawed
- 1/8 tsp mint extract
- 1 small, frozen banana
- Add powder, milk, and spinach to the blender in the order listed above.
- Puree on highest speed for 2 minutes, until spinach is in tiny flakes (think the size of dried oregano).
- Add the mint and banana.
- Pulse for 30 seconds (if your blender has an ice crushing button, use this)
- Puree for another 2-3 minutes until completely smooth.
I mentioned a few posts back that I’m trying to eat protein-packed, inexpensive meals all day long. I love eating oatmeal in the morning, but have had to tweak the recipe so that I don’t feel hungry soon after. I got the idea from Sprint 2 the Table to add TVP to my oatmeal for low-calorie, high-protein breakfast. TVP, or Textured Vegetable Protein, is dehydrated soy protein crumbles. If you’re a habitual oatmeal eater, and are familiar with the taste/smell of TVP already, this might taste a bit weird to you at first, so start by adding lots of fruit and spices (frozen blueberries are excellent). I found after a week or so of this, I got used to the taste. Mrs. Minty, wo doesn’t have oatmeal as often, didn’t even notice the addition when I made her a bowl of steel cut oats plus TVP.
Note: you can use rolled oats instead, but I find steel cut ones have a closer texture to the TVP and so everything blends together nicely.
Again, this is super cheap (about 50 cents per serving, not counting whatever fruit you might add).
While I won’t assume you’re incapable of figuring out how to make oatmeal, I’m going to post how I make it in case you’re curious:
- 3 Tbsp steel-cut oats
- 1 c water
- 1/4 c TVP
- pinch of salt
- 2 Tbsp ground flax seed
- shake of cinnamon and nutmeg
1. Combine the steel-cut oats and water in a small pot. Bring to a simmer.
2. Simmer for 10-15 muntes, until the oats are tender.
3. Add the remaining ingredients. Cool until the water is absorbed and the TVP is soft, 2-5 minutes. Stir frequently. You may need to add more water to prevent the oats from sticking to the pot.
4. Serve with fruit (in the photo above I have added a chopped apple), brown sugar, and almond milk.
This is also pretty good made the night before and heated up at work the next morning.
Diet FYI: the combo listed above (without milk, sugar, or apple) has 280 cals and 19g protein.