Glowing Green Ice Pops

Glowing Green Ice Pops
It’s getting hotter and hotter out there. It’s important to stay hydrated and refreshed…two things these ice pops satisfy.

Additionally, it’s always good to have solutions to excess fruits and veggies that are on the brink of spoiling. It feels like an accomplishment when you finish off ALL the spinach in that bag or blow throw ALL the apples in that sack. Coming up with the right combination for a delicious ice pop will certainly help to fulfill your produce’s destiny!

Ice Pops in Food Processor

The recipe requires an ice pop mold and food processor. If there is one kitchen gadget to invest in, it’s a good food processor. There are countless healthy things one can produce with it so it’s best not to settle for a cheap, small one. 

Ingredients: 2 Granny Smith apples, 2 small Haas avocados, half of a honeydew melon, half the juice of a lime, bunch of spinach and kale, 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, 1 cup of coconut water. 

Directions: place all fruits and veggies in food processor. Add coconut water and chia seeds. Blend until the desired consistency. Some prefer a bit of texture but these are pretty smooth. Pour into mold. Freeze for about 5 hours (overnight is ideal). 

frozen ice pops
The two key ingredients are the avocado and coconut water. Avocado gives the pops a creamy consistency which a banana will also do. The coconut water provides a sugary component as opposed to a bland, watery taste (it will give the same effect for a protein shake). 

frozen ice pops
These will make the perfect treat for a pool day or as a dessert without any guilt attached. Happy summer!

Blazin’ Burgers over Coolin’ Quinoa

Coolin' Quinoa and Blazin' Burgers
Happy Memorial Day! MDW officially kicks off summer, so that summer body better be ready! It’s kind of ironic: we kill ourselves in the gym and with keeping a healthy eating plan, only to spend the summer eating fatty cuts of processed meats, nutrition-less fried startches, and washing it down with adult beverages. Then, it’s a sleigh ride into the holidays and their indulgences so we can start over again next January. Vicious cycle. 

But there are ways to stay on track even when attending fun events like BBQs and beach parties: BYOS (Bring your own sides). While hotdogs and hamburgers aren’t exactly tofu, the proteins aren’t the biggest culprits. Mayonnaise based sides like potato salad and cole slaw and heavily processed potato products like chips and French fries are the real culprits for the extra belly fat. Well, that and the beer (we’ll let you know when we find a comparable substitute for that one ;).

Cilantro Lime Quinoa Salad
Quinoa: 1 cup of quinoa, 1 cucumber, half of a large tomato, quarter of a red onion, bunch of cilantro, 1 lime

Quinoa is usually described as a good fill-in for rice, but it’s actually more flexible in that you can serve it either warm or cold. In this case, we are using it as a nice, cooling base for our sizzlin’ hot burgers.

To cook, 1 cup of the quinoa was combined with 1 1/2 cup of water in a pot and boiled until all the water was absorbed. Quinoa does not have much of a taste on its own, so normally we heavily season it to give it a flare. In this case, we added a quarter of the lime and cilantro into the boiling water to add some zest to it. Once cooled, diced tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, cilantro, and the juice of the remaining lime were added. Put in refrigerator to chill. 

Cilantro, Lime, Tomato, Red Onion, Cucumber
burgers on grill
Burgers: For our meat, we choose 1 lb organic, grass fed beef (makes about 5 burgers). It will give you all the flavor of a regular hamburger without the nasty, processed extras. 

To compliment the chilled quinoa, we went extra spicy with our seasonings. Cayenne, chipotle, cumin, black pepper, salt, a pinch of raw sugar, and a dizzle of balsamic vinegar for moisture were added, so these bad boys are anything but flavorless. They were cooked on a stove top grill for about 10-15 mins each side. 

Blazin' Burgers over Coolin' Quinoa
Garnished with avocado and green peppers, the meal has a southwest yet All- American feel. This goes to show you that BBQ food doesn’t have to be fatty and repetitive. Happy summer!