Thursday, April 21, 2016

Crank the smoothie flavor up to 11!

Instead of using water when making a smoothie, use a bottle of orange juice instead. You will be glad you did. Why settle for a weak flavor when you can crank the flavor knob right up to eleven!

If you buy a case of these 10-ounce bottles at your typical warehouse store (or Amazon, if you click the image), you'll be ready for your next smoothie adventure. I found that if you are making a smoothie where you've filled a Four-Side jar up to the top with a mix of fresh and frozen fruits, one 10-ounce bottle does the job nicely. No more wimpy weak watered-down flavor.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

None dare call it "Vegan"

This is not cheese. This is not Velveta, or worse yet, that evil yellow wax-in-a-can known euphamistically as "Nacho Cheese". This is a suprisingly good (trying to avoid the word) vegan cheese-substitute sauce that in no way tastes "vegan", "substitute", or anything detracting at all. It is most excellent.
So anyhow, I got an email from Bendtec and it had the recipe in it, and you can find the recipe here. You'll also get the nutritional info, etc. there as well.
I did tweak the recipe ever so slightly; using Chinese hot mustard instad of Dijon mustard. So, without further ado, here is my tiny twist on the "Amazing Vegan Cheese Sauce" found at Blendtec.


  • 4 potatos, peeled and diced
  • 4 carrots, pelled and diced
  • 3 tbsp avocado oil (its what we had on hand)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Chinese hot mustard
  • 1 tsp Shoyu (aka "Soy Sauce" to you not-from-Hawaii folks)
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic


  1. Boil the diced up potatos and carrots, and two cloves of garlic and a bit of salt (use your imagination, I just pour a bit in the water) for at least a half-hour or more. I used a pressure cooker and blasted them for 20 minutes.  You're going to be blending this so its okay for it to be soggy. You do not want al dente potatos here. Worth mention, the salt I describe here is in addition to the salt used in the ingredients list.
  2. Get your Blendtec blender (because you have a real blender, right? If not, buy one here.) WildSide or FourSide jar, and put in all the other ingredients.
  3. Drain the potatos and carrots and add to the blender jar. When I did this, with my FourSide jar, the carrots and potatos went almost to the top of the jar.
  4. Blend on "Dips" cycle. When I did this, it only blended about the bottom 1/3 of the contents, so I used a wooden spoon to get it pushed down a bit, then did another blend. I ultimately did three cycles total before it all got nicely blended.
  5. Serve immediately. And soak the jar in hot soapy water or that garlic smell will eat into the plastic.
I served this sauce over baked asparagus, and it was just excellent. I found myself shamelessly eating the sauce as soup; and looking at the ingredients, there is no reason why you could not. Some celery sticks were used to sop up the remainder of the sauce. The original recipe suggests using this for mac and cheese; and I will certainly be trying that in the future with some rice pasta.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Banana Shake compatible with the 7-Day All You Can Eat Diet

If you are giving the 7 day all you can eat diet a try, you might find Day 4 with the bananas and skim milk a bit of a challenge. Day Four calls for five glasses of skim milk and five bananas. Some variations of this diet call for eight bananas. Either way, you are having skim milk and bananas on Day Four.

What if you don't like skim milk or bananas? No problem. First of, if you don't like bananas, you should have read the diet through before starting it. Day Four involves skim milk and bananas, it just does. Now that being said, let us go on.

Banana Shake


  • Two frozen bananas
  • 8 oz. skim milk
  • OPTIONAL: splash of vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp cinnamon


  • Add 8oz. skim milk to your Blendec blender
  • Get two frozen bananas and run them under hot water briefly
  • OPTIONAL: If you are so inclined, add a splash of vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Slice the bananas lengthwise and you will discover they peel nicely
  • Cut the banana into chunks and add to the blender
  • Blend on "Smoothie" for two cycles. The extra cycle makes it nice and frothy
The resulting banana shake is very tasty, and gets you a way of finishing off two bananas. If you do not like bananas, you can chug this down and get on with your life. If you do like bananas, you may drink at your leisure.

While the 7-Day diet doesn't make any specific mention about banning spices such as cinnamon, and the use of vanilla extract might be questionable, these optional ingredients really make this into a great drink, diet or not. The resulting taste is very reminiscent of eggnog; perhaps folks who do not like bananas might like this variation. Anyhow, I'll be making this drink regardless of any diet or not, it is quite good, and good for you.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Got too many bananas?

Got too many bananas? Or perhaps some bananas that are going all dark on you before you have a chance to eat them? Here is an interesting twist on freezing bananas. If you are going to use frozen bananas in a smoothie, and you're here at so I guess you are, well, here is what to do:

Place the whole unpeeled bananas right into the freezer. Freeze them, peel and all. Now when you want to use a banana in a smoothie, take a frozen banana out of the freezer, and run the banana under hot tap water for a few seconds. You will see the skin change from frosty to defrosty. It might peel off, or more likely, if you use a knife, you can separate the skin from the frozen banana.

While peeling the banana, you will likely experience the skin shredding off the banana instead of peeling off nicely. You will see long strands of fiber cling to the banana. Those strands of fiber are fine. Take that fairly-well-peeled banana, even if it has a few odd strands on it, and cut it on a cutting board into blend-sized pieces.

I've found this to be a great way to use up bananas without having to do too much work. The flavor is excellent, and you'll love the simplicity.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Crank up the flavor fast

Just a quick comment here. If you are willing to use a very "not-organic" ingredient, one way to really crank up the flavor intensity of a smoothie is to squirt in a little bit of Mio or some other concentrated drink flavoring into it. Just be careful on how much you use, or it can quickly overpower the natural flavors of the fruit.

Friday, January 25, 2013

A typical day's breakfast

So what you got here are four of those "Cuties" mandarin oranges, plus half the peel from one of the oranges, along with a diced Red Delicious apple. If you want a thicker smoothie, use three oranges instead of four.

In goes a spatula-full glop of Greek yogurt from Costco.

And a handful of washed spinach leaves.

One scoop of vanilla whey protein powder from Target.

Add in some frozen pineapple chunks, again from Costco.

And pile on frozen blueberries.

So after putting on the lid, of course, I  press the "Smoothie" button, which my finger is of course covering. Once that is done running, I hold down the "Pulse" button, which you do see, for about 15 seconds. Those pineapple chunks need it.


and After.

The yield is one typical glass, and a big blue Tupperware cup.

Cleanup is easy. I rinse out the blender body with hot water, and squirt in some dish soap.

Hit it on "Pulse" for 10 seconds, and it foams up crazy!

The resulting foam is fantastic for cleaning up everything from breakfast. Rinse it out and let it dry in the dish rack.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Pineapple Cherry Power Breakfast

Pineapple Cherry Power Breakfast,
with  Giovanni Cat in background
I really like this; as of late this has been breakfast. Note that this recipe, like most of the ones I put up, uses no water, and no ice. The fresh fruit provides the necessary liquid, and the frozen fruit provides the chill. You will end up with a very thick, intensely-flavored wake-up for your day.

Some folks might wonder what is up with the orange peel. Orange peel in a smoothie drink provides a more intense orange flavor, and there are purported health benefits to orange peel. You can feel free to omit the peels, but I've been using them since the first time I tried them. They add the "Bam!" to any smoothie.

Anyhow, here is the recipe:


  • 3 mandarin oranges ("Cuties"). Wash the outsides first.
  • 1/2 of the peel from one of those mandarin oranges
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 1 cup (or big ol' glob) plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 scoop vanilla-flavored whey protein
  • 1 cup (or big ol' handful) spinach leaves, washed
  • 1 cup or so of frozen pineapple chunks. Maybe 1-1/2 cup.
  • 1 cup or so of frozen cherries
  • 1 tablespoon Chao Thai coconut cream powder (optional)


  • Add ingredients in the order listed
  • Using your handy Blendtec Total Blender, run for two cycles on the "Smoothie" setting


  • If you use the classic Four-Side blender body, it should be filled up pretty much to the top. Three or four glasses, depending on the size of your glass.