Tag Archives: recipe

Post-run mango smoothie

Since I’ve been getting more serious about running lately (that first half marathon? DONE!), I’ve started to pay more attention to pre- and post-run fueling. One thing I keep reading is that following a hard run, it’s important to eat quickly (within 30 minutes) and ideally to eat a roughly 4:1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein. So after my long Saturday run, I’ve been whipping up a smoothie with lots of fruit (carbs)!, spinach (potassium keeps muscle cramps at bay!) and some protein powder (protein!). One of my favorites is this green mango smoothie:

With just one fruit, this smoothie comes together quickly–most weekends I even have time to prep it before I leave for my run, so I come home to a nice cold smoothie on the top shelf of the fridge. Absolute bliss after a few hot and sweaty miles. I actually used not to be a big mango fan, but I’ve come around to them big time this year as our local market kept popping up with these great deals on mangoes by the box. I’ll try anything once if it’s a bargain, you know?

I’ve also experimented with making this smoothie a full-on meal replacement by adding a little more fat, my two favorites are coconut milk (makes for a really creamy texture), or a raw nut butter (almond and cashew are particularly nice). This smoothie also keeps in the fridge for a day or two, so I sometimes like to make one on a weeknight and split it in two for part of an easy weekday breakfast. Or, after an especially grueling run, it’s the perfect side to something more substantial:

My hacked version of Kumera + Kale latkes with poached egg, using frozen spinach (instead of kale) and mashed sweet potatoes (instead of grated).


Green mango smoothie
Serves one tired runner

1 large mango, peeled and cut into rough chunks
1 tbsp each pea and rice protein powder (or 2 tbsp protein powder of choice)
2-3 large handfuls baby spinach
2 tbsp flax meal
1-2 c. water
Optional add-ins for a meal-sized smoothie: 1/3 c. full fat coconut milk, 1-2 tbsp raw almond or cashew butter.

Combine mango, protein powder, spinach, coconut milk or nut butter (if using), and 1 c. water in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Add additional water as needed to achieve desired consistency. Drink immediately or allow to chill in the fridge. If you leave the smoothie to chill, the flax will soak up some of the water and you may get more of a mango pudding. Enjoy the thicker version, or thin out a little by stirring a bit more water into the mix.


Sugar-free chocolate banana pie

Anyone who’s seen me cook from a recipe can attest that I am always making substitutions. Especially when I get it into my head that I want to make something now. So it was with this chocolate banana pie. I had just gotten a copy of the Paleo Chocolate Lover’s Cookbook and was flipping through it. A picture of chocolate hazelnut mini-tarts caught my eye and I just had to make them. Except that I was out of hazelnuts, I wasn’t quite sure where to find coconut butter locally, and (perhaps most crucially), there was no chocolate in the studio. Cocoa powder only. And a bowl of bananas. Not to be denied my desire for a chocolate dessert, I started experimenting.

In the end, the crust in this pie is a fairly close copy of the one used in the inspiration recipe, a mix of walnuts and coconut flour. I used a fresh apple instead of applesauce, and added a little orange zest to brighten things up. This crust is a little finer and lighter than the coarse ground almond crust I have used for tarts in the past (such as last summer’s recurring peach and blackberry), it tastes less obviously “alternative”, which may or may not matter to you. I was initially a little concerned about using walnuts in the crust–I thought there might be a bit of an aftertaste. However, multiple rounds of baking have laid my fears to rest.

The filling for this pie is incredibly easy: just dump everything in the food processor and go. The result is creamy, dark, and chocolatey. It sets up very quickly also, making this a great semi-last minute dessert (assuming, of course, that you have all the ingredients to hand!).

Chocolate Banana Pie
Makes 1 10″ tart, enough for 6-8

1 c. walnuts
1/2 c. coconut flour
1 apple, cored and coarsely chopped
2 tbsp coconut oil
grated zest of 1 orange

4 bananas, peeled and cut into 1-2″ pieces
3/4 c. cocoa powder
1 1/4 c. almond milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. In a food processor, combine the walnuts and coconut flour. Process to a fine meal. Add the apple, coconut oil, and orange zest, and process until the mixture has reached a uniform consistency. The result should be a slightly moist dough.

2. Preheat oven to 350F. Press crust into a 10″ tart pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool while you make the banana filling.

3. Combine all filling ingredients in a food processor, and process until smooth. Depending on the size of your bananas, you may wish to add up to 1/4 c. additional almond milk.

4. Pour the filling into the crust and spread evenly. Place in refrigerator and leave for at least 15 minutes to allow filling to firm up.

White bean and butternut bake (gluten free)


M. and I are back on the west coast, after a relaxing week visiting family and old friends back in NC. We woke up on New Year’s Eve at 4AM, hopped a non-stop flight, and arrived home just before midday. Needless to say, we were completely knackered and did not stay up to ring in the New Year. But we did manage to polish off the last of this casserole (stored in the freezer after the November batch cook day) for our final meal of 2013.

M. and I both love cheesy baked casseroles and lasagnas, and this dish was devised as a healthier twist on that favorite theme. I blended ricotta with white beans to create a creamy filling, layered it with sauteed onion and slices of butternut squash, then topped with parmesan and put the whole concoction into the oven. I also used this recipe to experiment a bit with the sage + squash combination I seem to find popping up everywhere these days. I was initially dubious, but after having made this casserole a few times, I’m definitely realizing I should have gotten over those doubts earlier! It’s an unexpected but delightful taste pairing.

I made this casserole using our 12″ cast iron skillet as the baking vessel, but you can also use a 13 x 9″ covered baking dish as a substitute if you prefer.

White Bean and Butternut Bake (gluten free)
serves 8-10

1 butternut squash (~4 lbs), peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2″ slices
2 c. cooked white beans
1 c. ricotta cheese
1 tsp salt
8-10 twists of freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, cut into 1/4″ dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp dried sage leaves
4 oz. parmesan cheese, grated

1. Place squash slices in a microwave safe dish with 2 tbsp water, cover, and microwave on high power for 6 minutes.

2. Combine white beans, ricotta, pepper, and salt in a food processor fitted with the metal s-blade, and process until smooth. Taste, and add more salt or pepper if needed.

3. In 12″ skillet, heat the olive oil. Saute onion for 12-15 minutes over medium heat, until beginning to brown and caramelize slightly. Add the garlic and sage and saute for 3-5 minutes more. Remove onions from pan and begin oven preheating to 400F


4. Lightly oil the skillet or baking dish, then arrange a layer of squash on the bottom. Top with 1/3 of the bean and ricotta mixture, and 1/2 of the onions. Repeat this layering twice more, omitting the onion on the final layer. If there are any remaining squash slices, arrange them on top of the dish, then top with the grated parmesan.

5. Bake, covered for 45 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until parmesan is beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.