Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Fruit and Veggie Smoothie

It sure is fun cooking comfort foods that are high in fat and calories and heavy in butter and cheese but it can be just as fun and delicious to make nutrient rich foods that are easy on your waistline, super fast and delicious. I like to make smoothies for breakfast or even a quick nutritious snack. My husband is very health conscious and I try to be as well so he enjoys the fact that I can make him really healthy food that doesn't taste like health food.

This smoothie is one of my favorites and most of the fresh ingredients can be frozen ahead of time so that you can have it ready any time you have a craving for something sweet. This smoothie has some of my favorite fruits and berries as well as kale and spinach which add a ton of nutrients while their subtle flavor is completely hidden behind the huge flavor punch of the yummy fruit. I sometimes like to add protein in the form of egg whites or pea protein powder. (Yes that is pea as in two pea's in a pod)

Let's talk a little bit more about kale. This super green and gorgeous cruciferous  vegetable is packed to the brim with antioxidant rich vitamins A, C and K! Adding antioxidant rich foods to your diet on a daily basis can help reduce your risk of cancer. So many of the foods that we consume do just the opposite and are so full of carcinogens so it is great to fill your plate or in this case your smoothie with cancer fighting ingredients! I will have many more preparations of my favorite veggie in blogs to come so keep your eyes pealed. 

Let's get blending! 


  • 1 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup mangos (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 cup fresh kale removed from stem and washed
  • 1 to 2 cups almond milk (or any milk you have on hand)
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt (I prefer vanilla)
  • 1 T. honey or to taste
  • a handful of ice

  1. Get out your favorite blender and start layering the ingredients. I like to start with the wet ingredients and go from there pulsing a little as I go. Make sure that you replace the lid and securing each time BEFORE turning on the blender. I know it's not rocket science but I don't want to be responsible for a fruit and veggie explosion. 
  2. Keep adding the ingredients and blend until you reach your desired consistency. If you like it a little sweeter you can add honey and if not omit that ingredient. 
  3. If the smoothie is too thick add a little more milk and if it is too thin add more ice. 
  4. Fill up to four glasses with this recipe and enjoy! 
Of course any fruit combo will work and you can adjust the amounts to your serving requirement. This amount is perfect for my little family of four! It is o much fun coming up with smoothie recipes and this sure beats the super sugary and expensive smoothies you see popping up on fast food menus. This is so fast and so delicious! Enjoy!

Food is love and I love food! 

XOXO, Aimee 

Chile con Queso Mac 'n Cheese AKA Frito Pie Mac 'n Cheese

Well I am back after a year hiatus! What a year it has been too. We moved into and began renovation on a new/old house, traveled to New York City, San Francisco x 2, Disneyland by way of Los Angeles, Las Vegas x 2, Denver and of course Hawaii for my long awaited 30th birthday. We also FINALLY tied the knot! That's right I am now officially Mrs. Pilegrene, I am blessed to have married my very best friend who happens to love food just as much as "I do". We are truly a match made in heaven. But enough about me, let's get to the food!

This recipe for Chile con Queso Mac 'n Cheese was born the day I decided to throw a pot luck party in my new nearly finished and absolutely gorgeous kitchen. The idea's came from a few sources including all of the wondrousness that is Pinterest, my mother's most delicious chile con queso and my all time favorite pot luck staple mac 'n cheese. Of course this was my first time making this dish as is true with a majority of my recipe's and I have had some time to tweak it and make it even better than it already was. My goal is to provide delicious and healthful recipes however this particular recipe is only one of those things.

  • 2 cans Rotel drained (as hot or mild as you prefer)
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper diced
  • 2 jalapeno's seeded and diced
  • 1 lb. ground turkey 
  • 1.5 lb. colby jack cheese shredded 
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 T. oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups chicken stock 
  • 4 T. flour
  • 2 cups Fritos
  • 1 package of pasta cooked al dente and drained (I use cavatappi)
  • Salt and pepper as needed

Cavatappi Noodle
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease a large casserole dish.
  2. Cook cavatappi or pasta according to package directions to al dente and set aside. Also reserve a cup of pasta water before draining.
  3. Heat a large stock pot to medium high heat and brown the ground turkey then drain the fat from the pan.
  4. Add 1T. oil and 1T. butter
  5. Once melted add onions and bell pepper and saute' over medium heat until soft and the onions are semi-transluscent stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes. 
  6. Add the jalapeno's and if you have it green chile and saute' for about 2 more minutes. 
  7. Add the Rotel and continue cooking until the flavors have come together, about 2 minutes. 
  8. Add 1T. butter and 1T. oil as well as 4T. flour and stir together for about 2 minutes to lightly brown the flour.
  9. Add chicken stock a cup at a time and stir until incorporated. 
  10. Pour a little bit of the sauce into the milk before adding it in order to temper the milk. Now add the milk and cup of pasta water and heat through until simmering. (the water from the pasta contains starches that will help the pasta stick to the sauce)
  11. Add the sour cream and colby jack cheese and stir until the cheese is melted. Cook sauce for a couple of minutes to thicken. 
  12. Combine the cavatappi and the sauce in your casserole dish and stir together. 
  13. Pour the 2 cups of Frito's into a gallon sized Ziploc bag and crush into small pieces.
  14. Sprinke the crushed Frito's over the top and place in the oven uncovered for 30-45 minutes or until the sauce begins to bubble through the Frito's.
  15. Let stand for at least 10-15 minutes after removing from the oven to allow it to set and not fall apart when you serve it.
  16. Enjoy. 

I hope that you all enjoy this as much as we did and that it becomes a pot luck staple for you as well. I appreciate feedback and promise to upload more pictures as soon as I make this again. 

Food is love and I love food!