Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Food Diaries: Busy Busy Busy

Greetings Everyone! Life has been pretty crazy over the past couple months, it has been very difficult to stay on top of the blogging as of lately. We had a change in our contract at work, so our schedules and our responsibilities have been very topsy turvy! With working nights now, and recently moving into a new apartment, I haven't had a chance to get back into a good blogging groove. But I'm not here to make excuses, I'm here to blog about my cooking adventures and recipes on staying healthy!

So going forward, I plan on getting back into the blogosphere and getting things up and running again. I am very much looking forward to seeing all of you in the coming weeks!

Hope everyone is having a great summer so far!

~Mr. McLovin

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Q is for Quinoa

When I first accepted this blogging challenge, I was kind of worried about several letters that I might not be able to find an ingredient for. In itself, I think Q is a bit of a strange letter. Thankfully, I stumbled upon quinoa. I can't recall if it was something I came across in a grocery store or during my internet travels, but it seems to be the perfect fit for today's blog post!

Quinoa, pronounced Keen-wah,  has been given a "super food" status in recent years and is growing in popularity due to its list of health benefits. You could consider quinoa as a grain (even though it is just a seed), much like wheat or rice, but it is actually more closely related to spinach or beetroot. Since ancient times, this grain oddity has been grown by the Inca people and was referred to as "The mother grain". The Spanish colonists despised this seed, because it was associated with the native people. Due to Spanish law and active suppression of the plant, quinoa was almost banned into extinction. Little did the Spanish know, quinoa was prized by the natives for reasons that can only be fully understood in this current age.

To say the least, this super food packs a punch! Quinoa is a great source of manganese, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, zinc, and of course fiber. For all of you out there who are interested in boosting your protein intake, quinoa roughly contains 24 grams of protein in every cup! If you, or any of your friends have gluten allergies, quinoa might be just what you are looking for; quinoa is gluten-free because it is not related to wheat or other grains.

I have never actually used this seed before, but it sounds like I have plenty of reason to. Have you ever tried quinoa? I have heard that it is somewhat on the bland side, so I am rather curious to see how people usually eat it. Thanks for read, and I hope everyone has a great Easter!

Till next time,

~Mr. McLovin

Friday, April 18, 2014

P Is For Pomegranate

Pomegranates are an amazing fruit. They have a tantalizingly sweet, yet very sharp taste, a magnificent crimson red color and are full of all sorts of vitamins and minerals. I have loved this odd package of color and flavor since a young boy, and was rather excited to blog about it. The first thing I had originally planned on doing was talking about how this fruit got its nick name “Indian apple”; I have always called it this and became interested on the history behind it. It turns out, I couldn’t find anything about the name online or how it came about. I was so surprised! I thought everyone used the term Indian apple so I just assumed that it would have been a popular topic online. I was also under the impression that pomegranates originated here in the USA, which I was also dead wrong about.

Contrary to my popular belief, pomegranate is widely believed to have originated in Iran. Thanks to the ancient trade routes, the pomegranate made its way across the Middle East, through Europe and eventually Asia. The pomegranate wasn’t introduced to the fruit until about 1769, when Spanish settles visited California and Latin America.

In the United States, the pomegranate is largely popular for its acute flavor. In other parts of the world, the pomegranate tree is used widely for decoration as well. In Japan and Korea, the plant is used frequently in Bonsai for its unique bark
A freshly opened pomegranate
attributes. As for myself, I love cooking with it just as much as I enjoy eating it plain. I really enjoy using pomegranate juice in sauces and salad dressings that I make, and I love using the seeds with breakfast either in yogurt, a bowl of oatmeal or just in a smoothie.

Do you know the story behind the Indian apple name? Even though my search came up fruitless (pun intended), I would still love to know the origin of the name! Thanks for reading; I hope to see you tomorrow when I will be covering the ingredient “quinoa”.

Till next time,

~Mr. McLovin

Thursday, April 17, 2014

O Is For Oysters

There are two different kinds of people in this world: the kind that love oysters, and the kind that utterly despise them. If you're unsure on which side you may be one, it should only take you about T-minus 10 seconds after you slide your first half shell back. The first time I had an oyster, was about 12 years ago. I was about 14 years old and on spring break with my family down in Florida, the experience was traumatizing to say the least.

Doesn't this oyster look tasty??
Even at a young age, I have always loved trying new foods. While on vacation one Spring break, we met up with some family friends at an all you can eat Chinese buffet. I have never heard of oysters before this point, my parents despised them and refused to bring them anywhere near our home. Our friends were eating these oysters by the dozen at the restaurant, so I thought that they couldn’t have been all that bad. I have had stuff clams and other kind of shell fish before, which I have loved, so how could it be that much different? I asked my parents if they could pass me one over for me to try, and they eager obliged as they couldn’t wait to see the reaction on my face. All in all, I kind of choked on it… and then kind of gagged on it. Everyone had a good laugh afterwards, except for me, I thought I was going to be sick! Love them or hate them, oysters are widely popular around the world and will be here to stay; eating them has its benefits and I’m sure are better than eating something like fast food.

Surprisingly, oysters are actually pretty good for you. Like most other sea food, oysters are high in protein. With about 16 grams of protein per 6 ounce serving, they might be exactly what your bodybuilding buddy needs tonight after his hard workout. Oysters are also a great source of vitamins and minerals, such a zinc, calcium, iron and vitamin b-12. These bivalves are also known for being aphrodisiac, which some scientific research has backed to be true. Zinc has been linked closely to testosterone levels, so that might have something to do with it being linked to boosting your sex drive. The 2 major downfalls to eating oysters, besides being a fatal mistake for anyone with a sea food allergy, is the high sodium and cholesterol content.  If you already have issues with blood pressure or with cholesterol, then you might want to sit this food out.

I'm not sure why, but I have been seriously wanting to try oysters again this past month or so. It has been over a decade since my last oyster experience, many of my taste buds have changed since then so who knows if my adult preferences will like or hate this notorious shell fish. I am always kind of leery of trying them at restaurants because I don’t want a repeat of last time. I have heard that the best time of year to enjoy them is during the cooler months, so I might have to put off my next oyster experience until later on this year.

What have been your experiences with this slimy little shell fish? Do you have any advice for how I should enjoy my next attempt? Thanks for reading and I hope to see you tomorrow!

Till next time,

~Mr. McLovin

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Garlic Roasted Hummus

If you’re tired of eating unhealthy chip dip and are searching for a healthy alternative, look no further. Hummus is a delicious alternative that you can easily make and enjoy on the fly. Besides being easy, hummus is rather good for you! The main reason for this is because of its simple yet nutritious ingredients.

8-10 cloves of garlic
16 oz chick peas
4 Tbsp Tahini paste
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp pepper flakes
1/3 tsp salt


1)   The first thing we want to do is roast the garlic, so preheat the oven to 400° F. If you are going to roast the whole head of garlic, all you need to do is peel the outer most skin and then cut off the top ¼ inch from all of the cloves. I decided that I only wanted to make what I needed, so I removed and peeled the 10 cloves. Next you are going to lightly coat the garlic with about 1 tbsp of olive oil; make sure that the garlic is completely covered. Now, you are going to take your garlic cloves/head and wrap it in aluminum foil.

2)   Once your garlic is prepped and your oven is heated, you want to roast your garlic for about 20 minutes.

3)   While your garlic is roasting, you can take this time to get the rest of your ingredients ready. You will want to strain the chick peas and add them, including the rest of your ingredients to a blender or food processor.

4)   After the garlic is done roasting, carefully open the aluminum foil so the garlic can cool. Allow to cool for a few minutes. If you roasted the whole head of garlic, you will want to remove the necessary cloves. The individual skins on the cloves should be soft and pliable, so all you need to do is give the clove a little squeeze/push and it should pop right out. Now add the garlic to the blender.

5)   After all of the ingredients have been added, you want to blend/puree until it has a smooth texture. When I was blending, I had to stop the blender several times and manually push some of the ingredients around. Hummus has a thick consistency, so your blender might need a little help with getting things in the right place to properly mix together. You can always add a little bit of water or more oil if needed, so things get blended well.

6)   Now all you need to do is enjoy with chips or pita bread! It’s as simple as that!

Food For thought

I have been eating this like crazy for the last two days; I guess I am making up for not eating any over the course of the last couple years! I think next time, I might throw the whole head of garlic in there or maybe just a raw clove or two. My first batch was really delicious, but I am a huge garlic fan and I wouldn’t mind just a bit more garlic kick in there! I also used Milanese Gremolata as my olive oil, which I think made the lemon taste come out just a tad much. I’m not sure if I was looking in the wrong places, but it took me forever to find chick peas and the tahini, thankfully my searching paid off and a Meijer had some. If you are having issues finding the tahini, which is a sesame paste, you could always try making it yourself!

Thanks for stopping in, and I hope you enjoy this easy and delicious recipe! Please like, comment and share. I would love to hear what you think or what you might change.
Till next time,

~Mr. McLovin

N Is For "Natural Flavors"

So far, all of the ingredients this month have been things you would want to cook with and could be used regularly in the kitchen, today is going to be a different story. BE WARNED! Today's topic is not for the faint of heart, as the truth of the matter is rather disgusting. Today’s ingredient, “natural flavoring”, is almost an anti-ingredient and should never be used in the kitchen. Out of all the other tasty foods in the world that starts with the letter N, why would I choice this thing? Well, "natural flavoring" is actually pretty common in processed foods, the kind you might want to avoid in the store, so it is a more common ingredient than you think.

This is what the trappers harvest for the flavor...
To sum it all up, I think this video does a great job of explaining this ludicrous ingredient. It will only take a few minutes to watch, and I’m sure you will enjoy it as much as I have; Do you eat beaver butt? That’s right, the anal gland of beavers produce a secretion that is used in the food we eat and in other products such as drinks and perfumes. This secretion, known as “castoreum”, is primarily used in the food industry as a flavoring in some types of vanilla substitute, as well as raspberry and strawberries substitutes. They say the consumption is relatively low in the USA, about 300 pounds annually, but it makes you wonder what companies are allowed to put in their food as the term natural flavoring is so broad and generic…

The definition of natural flavor under the Code of Federal Regulations is: “the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional” (21CFR101.22).

Here is a lovely close up of our carmine friend.
Another fun additive companies will put in our food is called cochineal and sometimes carmine. Cochineal and its close cousin carmine (also known as carminic acid) are derived from the crushed carcasses of a particular South and Central American insect. When crushed these little bugs provide a lovely red hue to whatever we add them to, such as a strawberry milkshake or a brick red lip stick. Carmine can also be identified on food labels as Crimson Lake, Cochineal,  Natural Red 4, C.I. 75470 or E120, just in case you were interested in looking in the future. I am no food additive expert by any means, but if you ask me, that is quite a bit of leeway for what they can put in our food.

I’m sure the government wouldn't allow companies to put anything harmful into our food, but that doesn’t mean we necessarily want to be eating it. If anything, I hope today’s blog post makes you a bit more aware of the ingredients list on the packaging of the food you buy. It is good to be informed, that way we can make better decisions about our diet and our lifestyles! And maybe, just maybe, this new knowledge will spark a new desire to visit the blog more and to cook a bit better going forward! Thanks for reading, don’t forget to like, comment and share, and I hope to see you tomorrow!

Till next time,

~Mr. McLovin

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Food Diaries: Fancy Olive Oil

While on my way back home from a birthday dinner, I had to stop and pick up some olive oil for my hummus I wanted to make. I was planning on just stopping in at Kroger later to buy it, but I couldn't help but walk over to the international oil and vinegar store that was next to the restaurant. It wasn't the first time that I visited this establishment, I will usually drop by and just window shop when I go to the mall. They have great samples and a very friendly staff, so it is always a pleasure to walk around and taste their unique products. Since I actually needed oil this time, I thought it was a great opportunity to give them a sale.

The worst part of my visit, was that I was already stuffed from dinner. I had no intention of eating anything else for the rest of the night, so taste testing was out of the question. The courteous young lady, who was on duty, seemed to know plenty about the oil selection; I had to rely on here experience to get me something good. After chatting about flavor preferences and what I was planning on using the oil for, I ended up purchasing the Milanese Gremolata blend.

Milanese Gremolata Olive Oil
Overall, I would say I'm pretty content with my purchase. The Milanese Gremolata has a nice savory herbal aroma and flavor, but the lemon zest is just a tad bit much. After using it in my hummus recipe, I learned that I will have to reduce the amount of lemon juice as this oil brings the overall lemon flavor out a bit to much. The dip turned out good, but I will have to slightly adjust it for next time. I will have to finish up that blog post so I can post it tomorrow.

After my fancy oil experience, I have come to the conclusion that making flavored oil or vinegar might be something interesting to do. I already have a little herb and pepper garden growing, maybe I can use some of those plants to infuse some oil and experiment with flavors. I guess I will just keep it in mind and look back into it once my herbs are fully grown.

Till next time,


M Is For Muenster Cheese

Do you have any food memories from when you were a child? Maybe your afternoon snack between nap time and playing with your toys? That isn’t a question that I have asked many people, I’m not too sure of how common a food memory is from the someone’s youth but I have a couple that I can think of. The memory that sticks out the most revolves around Muenster cheese. When I was very little, my mother used to buy Muenster cheese from the local deli. Every afternoon, I would get a little slice to eat with some other little things for a snack. My favorite thing about this cheese when I was little was the orange looking skin around the outside edge. The first thing I had to do when I received my cheese was to nibble along the edge and eat away all the orange skin. I can thank those childhood memories for my overall preference to white varieties of cheese, as well as a continued love for the Muenster.
One cheese, to rule all other cheeses.

This may sound funny, but Muenster cheese is protected by an Appellation d'Origine Controlee (AOC). This certification places under control the main steps of the cheese process. The producers are required to rigorously observe the transformation of the cheese and what goes into it (Which I am totally fine with as long as they keep making it taste delicious!). Muenster cheese has a smear soft texture, with a slightly salty and buttery flavor that appears to almost melt on your tongue with each bite. If you were curious about that odd orange color, it comes from a brine wash that is brushed onto the exterior of the cheese while it is aging. As much as I love this cheese, I really don’t use it enough.

In recent years, I have been using swiss and provolone as my go to cheeses. I love them both, and they taste great on a sandwich, but they still are only second place in my book. My favorite way to use muenster cheese, is in a grilled cheese sandwich. Just thinking about indulging on a fresh one, with the warm, gooey, cheesy goodness of every bite, makes me hungry! Muenster cheese is also great in quesadillas and also can be enjoyed in a homemade Mac and cheese.

If you haven’t had a chance to try out this one of a kind cheese, you need to go out and buy some today; it might just change your life. If it doesn’t change your life, well I don’t know what to tell you, at least you can say you tried it and that I’m crazy for loving it. Do you have any food memories that you can recall from your early childhood? I would love to hear some, that way I know that I’m not the only one that remembers food from 20+ years ago! Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you tomorrow!

Till next time,


<< L Is For Lentils                                                                      N Is For Natural Flavors>>

Monday, April 14, 2014

L Is For Lentils

If you have ever been to a Lebanese or Middle Eastern restaurant, there is a good chance that you may have had a rich and creamy lentil soup. I love a good lentil soup. To me, it has a very unique flavor that I don’t get to enjoy too often. After doing a little digging about this legume, I learned to love it for much more than its flavor. Lentils have great nutritional composition, something that is always good to keep in mind while deciding what to eat, and they also have quite a history.

Lentils come in several colors
Lentils are one of the first domesticated crops near the Middle East; archeological research confirms that they have been part of our diet for roughly 9,500 to 13,000 years. With that being said, mankind may have been eating this legume before pottery was developed and used. They are referenced in the Hebrew Bible of being used, and also played a chief part in the ancient diet of Iranians. Fast forward thousands of years, lentils are enjoyed across the world and are seen as a staple food in many countries.

If you live an active lifestyle, you may want to consider adding more lentils to your diet. With about 30% of their calories from protein, lentils have the third-highest level of protein, by weight, of any legume or nut. In every table spoon, you are getting about a gram of protein. Besides being a great source of protein, they are also a great source of molybdenum,  folate, fiber, copper, phosphorus, manganese, iron,  protein, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, zinc, potassium, and vitamin B6. To sum things up, these little guys will fill you up and give you what your body needs to get through the day.

Now that I know how awesome this little bean is, I’m sure I can find new ways to use to in the kitchen. I learned a lot from writing today’s post, so I hope you learned a thing or two from reading it! I will be coving Muenster cheese tomorrow, my all time favorite cheese!

Till next time,


Saturday, April 12, 2014

K Is For Kale

 Man, how did we get to K so fast? This month is just flying by! Anyhow, today’s topic is kale! At first glance, this might sound like just another boring blog post about some green lettuce, but that’s where you’re wrong! You may not know this, but Kale might be just what the doctor ordered! The flavor can be fairly strong if you’re not accustomed to it, it also depends on how it is prepared and what else it is accompanied with, but the health benefits are well worth the effort!
Meet kale, your new best friend!

In recent years, kale has been given the nickname “queen of greens” because of its outstanding nutritional composition.  Kale is a GREAT source of calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, as well as many other minerals. This super food is also rich in antioxidants, flavonoids and carotenoids; don’t ask me what exactly those last two things are, but I have heard they are good for you! Maintaining a diet rich in antioxidants will help your body fight off many common ailments, so Kale is a great go-to vegetable to help cover your nutritional bases!

This isn’t the first time that I have actually talked about kale; this leafy green is one of the main ingredients in my green super smoothie. If you are looking for new ways to incorporate kale and other vegetables into your diet, I would recommend giving my smoothie recipe a shot! Besides the morning smoothie, I haven’t really used kale yet in main dishes. I know how good it is for me, so I really need to find new ways to incorporate into other parts of my day!

Do you have any kale recipes that you enjoy and would like to share? I would love to hear them! Thanks for reading; the next ingredient I will be blogging about is lentils! A low in calories and high in nutrition legume!
Till next time,


Friday, April 11, 2014

J Is For Jalapeno Peppers

Growing up, my parents would always grow Jalapeno peppers in our garden. These little bundles of spice would be chopped up and used in my mother’s homemade garden salsa. Salsa has always been one of my favorite snacks, I can thank all those years of eating homemade the concoction for my preference for mild heat. If you like a spice, but can only handle a little bit, Jalapeno peppers are what you are looking for; my family never liked to much spice so these peppers were exactly what they needed.

Jalapeno Pepper plant
On a scale between 1 and 5, I would say that the jalapeno pepper is a 2 at max. If you wanted to get a little more scientific, this pepper rates between 2,500 and 8,000 units on the scoville scale. Compared to a habanero pepper, which has a rating closer to 250,000, the jalapeno is mere childs play! If you are looking to add real heat to your dish, I would look into using a Serrano or cayenne pepper. But if you just want a noticeable heat that doesn’t make you run for water, I think you found the right pepper.

Even though I think jalapenos are perfect for any good salsa, I still prefer cooking with hotter peppers. I tried using habanero peppers for the first time last month and man were they ever spicy! They weren’t as bad as I had originally thought, but they kept you sweating for awhile after that initial bite. What about you? Are jalapenos your pepper of choice? Or do you also like to pack a little more heat?

Till next time,

Mr. McLovin

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I Is For Iceberg Lettuce

If you have ever eaten out at a restaurant and were served a salad, then you probably know all about this leafy green. Growing up, I was never one for salads. Whenever we would eat out, I always ordered the coleslaw, and I would never opt in for the salad at home if it was provided. Over the course of the last couple years though, that has all changed. Ever since I stayed at my aunt’s house for a bit, I now eat a nice salad with every meal. It seems like everyone loves to bash iceberg lettuce, I have to admit that there are healthier greens in the produce section, but it does contain some nutrients and it has its benefits!

Did you know that one cup of iceberg lettuce contains 53% of your vitamin A needs? Besides being a great source of vitamin A, this popular green also contains fiber, vitamin K and C. It also has great water content, which is perfect for those hot summer days when you may be slightly dehydrated. Of course the greener varieties of lettuce provide a better mix of vitamins and minerals, but we can’t deny the fact that iceberg lettuce is still the most popular choice for salads and sandwiches; probably because of its compact heads, crisp texture and semi-sweet flavor.

When it comes to salads, I have somewhat strange eating habits. While most people will start their meal with a salad, I prefer to finish with a salad. I have never been too keen on deserts, so a salad will suffice most days of the week. Also, I only like a little bit of dressing. My sister loves to have a bit of lettuce with her ½ cup of ranch dressing, I find that utterly disgusting and might be the reason why I only put enough to cover my greens.

So what would you say is your favorite condiment for salads? As much as I enjoy sweet vinaigrette, I love sprinkling shredded cheese on top. A salad is only as boring as your imagination, so I hope you never get tired of those tasty greens!

Till next time,


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

H Is For Horseradishes

I know very little about horseradishes, so today’s post might be an adventure for the both of us! Growing up, my family never had much of a taste for spicy food, so horseradish was none existent in our household. One thing that we do enjoy though is shrimp. With shrimp, comes cocktail sauce. Horseradish is what sometimes gives cocktail sauce that zesty bite, so I guess you can say that there has always been a tiny bit of horseradish in a our fridge. Through my college years, I have grown very fond of sushi. I can’t quite explain it, but there is just something delicious about a little piece of raw fish, seaweed and rice. Regardless of where you go for sushi, they will always give a nice glob of wasabi with your meal. 

Originally, this spicy condiment was made from the wasabi plant, which is like a foreign cousin of horseradishes, but is usually made now with horseradish due to the scarcity of the wasabi plant. I will usually have a bit of wasabi with my meal, but I feel like it totally overpowers the rest of the flavors. Despite my lack of experience with this spicy tuber, the one thing that I have always been curious about is how it got its name.

So what’s in a name? From what sounds like a telephone game gone horribly wrong, the horseradish developed its name from multiple mispronunciations over the years. It is believed that the first name that started the transformation was "meerrettich", which is German for “sea radish”. Many believe that Germanys English trading partner’s mispronounced the word “meer”, and interpreted it as “mare”. As you may know, “mare” is a term used for a female horse, so it didn’t take too long to go from “mareradish” to horseradish. I would have to say that “sea radish” is a much more appealing name than horseradish, but it might be a bit too late to change it back!

So that is about the extent of my horseradish experience! Are there any horseradish lovers out there? If so, what are your favorite ways to use this spicy root? I’m always interested to learning new ways to spicy up the kitchen and learn something new! Any and all tips and thoughts are all greatly appreciated! Thanks for reading and I hope to see you tomorrow!

Till next time,


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

G Is For Garlic

I LOVE garlic! Garlic is overflowing with flavor and has several health benefits that are linked to cardiovascular health. Even if you’re not a huge fan of this pungent herb, you only need to add just a bit to help enhance the dish and help bring out the rest of the flavors.

Have you ever tried FRESH garlic? Neither have I… But I am on a mission to get my hands on some this season! After reading online about how you should buy seeds and just pass on growing  garlic from your local produce section, I promptly grabbed the last few bulbs I had laying around and tossed them in some soil to see how they will turn out. Sadly, they didn't turn out very well. They grew pretty quickly at first, but it didn’t take long for them to wither away to nothing. I’m not too sure why they died, it might have been my inexperience with garlic that killed them or it very well could have been that store bought garlic is for eating and not growing. It seems like different sources tell you different things when it comes to growing garlic, but I plan on using a unique variety of seeds the next time I give growing garlic a shot. Why grow some boring store bought variety when you can grow something completely new and exciting? The world of garlic is a pretty big one, there is all kinds of varieties to choose from depending on what you love about garlic.

Garlic can be broken into two main subspecies, hard necked and soft necked. These two varieties have some subtle and some drastic differences, About.com does a great job of listing the differences between the two. It seems that soft necked garlic is the most commonly sold in stores, so I might have to try growing the hard necked variety to see what I have been missing out on.

Tomorrow, I will be covering horseradish… I have never actually used this spicy root, but I might be willing try it one day!

Till next time,


Monday, April 7, 2014

F Is For Flour

Yes, flour is a very boring ingredient. It isn’t exotic, nor is it expensive or some sort of hidden treasure that you have been missing out on. With that being said, many of our favorite meals wouldn't exist without flour! This basic ingredient is almost taken advantage of because it is such a common place item. This blog post is dedicated to bread and noodle lovers everywhere, whose favorite dishes would be devastated without this oh so boring powder.

Mankind has relied on bread, as a means of a portable and filling food source, for thousands of years. We can thank flour for making bread a reality; it has always been a key ingredient.  It is believed that the process of making flour, by crushing wheat seeds between milling stones, was discovered around 6,000 BC.  In almost every culture, some sort of flour is used to create a variety of staple dishes.

Can you imagine how drastically different our culinary culture would be without the use of flour? Things like tacos, chicken noodle soup, lasagna, banana nut bread, pizza, any kind of breaded dish that is fried, and bagels would all be out the window. Flour plays a HUGE part in how the world cooks. I’m sure we could find a way to get along without flour, but the world would never be the same.

The most common type of flour is derived from wheat seeds, but we have many other options available to us then just this. To name a few, we have rice flour, buckwheat flour, chickpea flour, corn flour, coconut flour, potato flour, rye flour, almond flour, and tapioca flour. Almost any cereal grain can be milled into a flour product, but as you can see, many other items can be used to make an assortment of flour products.

Out of all of your favorite dishes, which one do you think you would miss the most if we didn’t have flour? I think I would be pretty upset if Pad Thai, a rice noodle dish from Thailand, never existed. Those darn rice noodles are just so delicious! I plan on making chicken noodle soup in several days, so check back later this week to get my noodle recipe as well as the recipe for chicken noodle soup. Tomorrow I will be blogging about garlic! One of my all time favorite herbs, I practically use it in everything so I hope to see you tomorrow!

Till next time,


Friday, April 4, 2014

E Is For Eggplant

Did you know that eggplant is actually a species of Nightshade? I was very surprised to hear that one of my favorite vegetables was part of a family of plants that is known for their dangerously high level of alkaloids. Obviously, not all plants from that species are dangerous, but it was still very off putting! If that wasn’t enough, it turns out that eggplants are also related to both the tomato and potato plants. Strange, very strange.  Even though the eggplant has to be one of the oddest ingredients in my kitchen, I can’t help but to think about all of the tasty dishes that I can make with them!

I can thank a past coworker/friend for getting me hooked on eggplants; he would always bring in the most delicious fried eggplant. Thankfully, he would always bring in too much to eat and I was able to eat whatever he had left over. After getting my first taste, I had decided that the eggplant would make a unique soup that I just had to try. Every time I tried to talk to someone about my wonderful soup idea, I was either laughed at or shown signs of disgust. Despite all of my negative feedback, I was determined to make my soup vision a reality! Looking back, I can’t recall what exactly I put into my soup, but I remember it was pretty good. Now that it has been several years since I made my first batch, I might have to give it a second go; I’m sure I could make it even better now that I have even more cooking experience.

Even though I’m not much of a squash person, I really enjoy eggplant. A fried eggplant sandwich sounds really good right now, so I might have to write that down on my menu for next week. Monday’s blog post will be dedicated to bread lovers everywhere, so come back to see me if you think that might be you!

Till next time,


Coleslaw Crack

I love coleslaw. I love coleslaw so much; I have made a game of it every time that I eat out. Whenever I go to a restaurant, I will rate my meal based on how this insignificant side dish is offered to my trained taste buds. Is it spicy? Is it tangy? Are the pieces tiny and shaped like confetti or maybe like mini veggie straws?  I should have achieved some kind of achievement by now for how often I will try and get it on my plate. I think coleslaw ninja would be an acceptable title. Despite my love for this side dish, I have never actually made it myself.

While making dinner for my grandfather the other day, I figured it would be a great chance to give it a shot. I have been on a huge Greek yogurt kick lately, the far superior replacement for mayonnaise in my opinion, so this was going to be a great opportunity to not only feed my slaw cravings but to also prove to myself how awesome this funny white tasting goop really is. In my zealous attempt to make my first batch of coleslaw, I somehow created the best tasting side dish that has ever pasted my lips. I usually try and be pretty tough on myself whenever I make something, be it food, pottery, or otherwise, but I would be damned if I don’t give credit where credit is due! So here it is, the first and last coleslaw recipe that I will ever make.

Coleslaw Crack

New Favorite Coleslaw Recipe!
Grocery List:
1 medium carrot, shredded
¼ of a red onion, shredded
¼ cabbage, shredded
3 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar
½ tsp celery seeds
½ tsp salt
1 tsp pepper


1) The first thing you’re going to want to do is shred up your cabbage, carrot and red onion, if you haven’t done that yet.

2) Once all shredded up, you will to want to lightly mix/toss those veggies in a medium bowl.
3) In a separate bowl, you are going to mix the rest of the ingredients. Make sure there aren’t any clumps and everything has a smooth consistency.

4) Now take the sauce that you have just made and pour it over the cabbage mix. Thoroughly mix your master piece together so that everything is coated evenly with the dressing.

5) Now are going to want to enjoy your delectable side dish! Once you are convinced that this is the recipe for you, you are going to want to share this blog post with all of your friends and family so they can all enjoy it too! ;-) Sharing is caring!

I loved this recipe, and I really hope you do to. I would really hate myself if I took all this time to puff up this recipe to just have you make something that you hated. So I will be holding my breath while you try it for yourself and see what you think! Please like comment and share, and thank you for reading!

Till next time,


D Is For Dijon Mustard

D is for Dijon mustard

Almost all mustards are created from the same basic ingredients: mustard seeds, vinegar, water, salt and sometimes lemon juice. With that being said, not all mustards are created equal. Dijon mustard has earned its place in the hearts of mustard lovers everywhere; you don’t have to be a mustard snob to appreciate its zesty flavor. What sets Dijon apart from the rest of the condiment isle, is the use of brown mustard seeds and “wine verjuice” that is used in the place of vinegar. In current years, the verjuice has been replaced with white wine.

Originally, any product called Dijon mustard was only allowed to be made in Dijon France. This stipulation forced many copy cat recipes into being called “Dijon-style mustard”. Since its creation, ironically, most Dijon mustards are manufactured outside of the famous French city. The sharp taste and grainy texture of this yellow paste has become wildly popular across Europe and The United States, and the term “Dijon” is now just a generic term used for this type of mustard. Since becoming a mustard user, I think I prefer the zesty bite of Dijon. I feel like American style mustard, or just yellow mustard, is too… sour. There isn’t enough depth in the flavor for me, and the color is a bit off putting. The color of American mustard is just so bright, it seems largely artificial to me.

As I was writing this blog post, I made my first ever batch of coleslaw. I love coleslaw, like mild obsession must have it kind of obsession; I get it whenever I go out to restaurants. Now that I think about, I’m not sure why I haven’t made it before… Either way, this batch I just made is like coleslaw crack!  I kid you not, it turned out to be the best coleslaw I have ever had. You might be wondering, “why are you telling me all of this, this post is suppose to be about Dijon mustard…”, but it turns out, the main ingredient is Dijon mustard! Funny how things work out some times, you can find the RECIPE HERE if you are interested.

Growing up, I hated mustard. Looking back, I’m not even sure that I gave mustard a fighting chance; I was just a tried and true ketchup guy. Over the past three years, I have started loosening my grudge on this yellow condiment. I first started using honey mustard on my cold cut sandwiches, and before I knew it… I was putting mustard on my hot dogs, and even burgers (and now coleslaw)! This slight change in taste buds happened so subtly, I wasn’t even aware of it. Someday, I plan on trying to make my own mustard recipe, but Dijon mustard will have to work in the mean time.

My next letter will be about a species of night shade, which has to be one of my favorite purple produce. Drop by tomorrow to find out more about this freaky fruit!

Till next time,


Thursday, April 3, 2014

C is for coriander

C Is For Coriander

You won’t see coriander used very much in most American cuisine, but it is a staple in Indian and Middle Eastern dishes. Coriander has quite a history with mankind, the herb was discovered in the pharaoh tombs in Egypt and it is also referenced in the Bible as one of the bitter herbs eaten during Passover.  I have only had the opportunity to use ground coriander seeds in my culinary creations, but the entire plant can be used.

The seeds of the coriander plant are probably used the most in cooking, which can readily be found your local spice isle, but different cultures tend to use this plant in different ways. The stalks and pungent leaves of this herb are frequently used in salads, soups and other dishes in many parts of the world, such as The Middle East, Southern Asia and Mexico. In Thailand, the root of this herb is used frequently in curry dishes; it is said that the root has a more intense flavor than the leaves. Thanks to all of my kitchen adventures with my close friend Chris, ground coriander seeds became my first love in the kitchen. 

There is just something about this exotic spice that excites my palate and warms my heart. My favorite characteristic of ground coriander seeds is that you can never use too much of it. The flavor is very much a side show to any dish; it is always delicate and never overpowering. Coriander’s subtly sweet and savory flavor seems dance across your taste buds in the background as you are occupied with the more predominate flavors of the dish.  As described by my good friend, “Coriander is a light, lemony spice that brings a refreshing note to any dish”, and I can’t agree with him more!  We have used it on almost everything, especially his famous chicken noodle soup. I was hoping on sharing my own version of the recipe with you by now, but that will have to wait for another blog post.

If you haven’t had a chance to try this subtle spice, I would very much recommend picking it up at the grocery store and giving it a whirl. Ground coriander seeds are a great addition to many soups, stews and many other dishes. I’m almost certain that you will love it, so just do yourself a flavor and start using it in your cooking! If you were to use the seeds whole, I would recommend roasting the seeds a bit in an ungreased pan to enhance their flavor.

Till next time,


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

B Is For Basil

B is For Basil: One Of The Great Culinary Herbs

Did you know that there are over 20 different varieties of the basil? Yeah, that is a whole lot of flavor that you have been missing out on!! Basil is one of the great culinary herbs; the different varieties are used extensively across Europe and Asia in cooking. This little herb is loved by cooks across the world for its rich aroma and distinctively sweet scent and flavor.

You can buy dried basil in your local grocery store, this option is convenient, easy to use and basically lasts forever… but it isn't even close to the fresh alternative! You can usually buy fresh basil in your produce section, but you are going to be paying more. Instead of paying the premium, I would recommend is growing it yourself!

The best part of growing your own basil is that you are not limited to the selection at your local grocery store. With a quick visit to your local nursery, you should be able to find several different kinds to choose from and grow. If that doesn’t suit your fancy, you can always order seeds from the comfort of your home, online. With a click of a button, your choices will be limitless!

Harry Potter Fighting a Giant Basilisk
Fun Fact: Basil has both positive and negative associations that include love and fear, danger and protection, and life and death. The negative connotations probably come from basil’s Latin epithet basilicum, which links it to the basilisk; a mystical serpent that can turn you to stone with its deadly gaze.

Currently, I am growing two different kinds on a windowsill; a common sweet basil and a lemon basil plant. Once the plants become a bit more established, you can transplant it to a container outside (season permitting) or just keep it inside. I plan on keeping my herbs in the kitchen, they add a nice bit of green to the atmosphere and they will always be just an arm’s length away when you need them in your cooking adventures. Regardless of what kind you decide to buy or grow, using them is relatively the same.
My basil plants, started from seeds.

Whenever I have fresh basil to use, I will just pick a few of the leaves and roughly chop them into the required amount. Since fresh basil is more flavorful in comparison to its dried counterpart, don’t be too worried about cramming the exact amount onto that teaspoon.

Tomorrow, I will be blogging about one of my favorite spices from the Middle East. Stay tuned to see what you have been missing out on!

Till next time,


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A is For Artichoke

A Is For Artichokes

Artichokes are one of those foods that I can recognize and have tried at restaurants, but actually know very little about. Whenever shopping in the produce section, I always glance at these odd looking greens and murmur to myself something along the lines of “I think that thing is an artichoke…” and I will usually follow that statement with something about how I will one day attempt to use this funny vegetable in a dish… Well folks, today is the day that I will fulfill that half hearted dream!! In honor of starting this challenge off right, I decided to finally purchase an artichoke and to see how it tastes first hand.

My new artichoke!
The only time I can recall actually eating this ingredient, was in a dip from Apple Bees. It was pretty good, so I think I might try and make a dip out of this little guy. The problem is… Every recipe that I found seemed SUPER unhealthy, and nobody ever included the nutritional facts… As amazing as some of those dips may have sounded, I think I might have to try and make my own healthy master piece to enjoy. So… here… we… go!!  

And I’m back. After doing some research about this oddity and getting some hands on experience, the most critical point that I took away from the experience is that it is more trouble than what it’s worth. If I ever do decide to try again, I will be sure to just buy a bag of artichoke hearts. From my understanding, an artichoke is essentially an over sized thistle flower that is still in its bud form. The good stuff, the artichoke heart, is located underneath this undeveloped flower.  Cooking it wasn’t too big of a deal, but getting to the good part was a bit of a pain and there wasn’t a whole lot there to really enjoy. I have read online that you can eat the leaves, but all you are really doing is nibbling on the part of the heart that is attached to the leaf when you pull it away from the plant. If you do plan on using it, I would recommend just cutting the leaves off,  taking the choke out and using only the heart.   

I wasn’t too fond of my dip that I made from the artichoke, thankfully I made it at my aunt’s house. They loved my dip, so it was a win-win in my book. I could post the recipe, but I really didn’t think it was blog worthy.  I ended up roasting the artichoke, a red onion and 7 cloves of garlic until they were nice and soft. I then tossed the veggies in a blender with some Greek yogurt, 4 oz of low fat cream cheese, some feta and parmesan cheese and blended it all up. It wouldn’t blend very well at first, so I added in a splash of water and some milk. It helped get things moving… but then it was pretty soupy. So I threw it back into the oven and let it thicken up some.  The oven idea worked great, it turned out rich and creamy after about 10 minutes of baking.

If I want a healthy dip, I’m just going to grab some spinach and skip out on the artichoke. I’m glad I finally gave it a shot, but I don’t plan on cooking with them again anytime soon!  The ingredient of the day, for tomorrow, will be Basil! Check back here tomorrow to see what you have been missing out on.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Magnificent Muesli

Magnificent Muesli

Are you looking for an easy to make, filling and nutritious breakfast? Then look no further! This Swedish breakfast may sound too good to be true, but it is just what you are looking for! Read on to learn more about what this funny sounding meal is and see how easy it is to start the day off on a healthy foot.

While flipping through this past month’s issue of Bon Appetite the other night, I came across a strange breakfast recipe that I could hardly pronounce.  The name sparked my interest, but the super simple directions kept my attention. After scribbling down the  RECIPE, I decided to take to the web to get further details on what exactly I was about to make and see if it was as healthy as it appeared. The more I read about this intriguing food, the more I wanted to make it for breakfast for the next week straight!

It turns out, Muesli (pronounced mu-zli) is a Swedish dish that was invented by a physician around 20th century; he wanted to ensure that his patients had a healthy diet. Since then, this super easy and super nutritional dish has evolved into a variety of shapes and flavors. The primary ingredient is normally rolled oats, accompanied by fruits (dried or fresh), nuts, seeds, and some sort of liquid to soften the oats.

I would have to say that my favorite part about thisrecipe, is that it is made the night before; so you pretty much wake up and eat. I have loved oat meal ever since I was a kid, so this new variation allows me to easily change up my morning meals while still eating healthy and getting filled up before I take on the day.

Banana Coconut Muesli

Servings: 2
Calories: 592
Carbohydrates: 72.5g
Protein: 32.5g
Fiber: 10.5g
Fat: 8g
Note: These are my rough estimates that will vary depending on ingredients, so please don’t quote me!!

Grocery List:

1 cup old- fashioned Oats
1 cup coconut milk (I accidently purchased vanilla flavored, but they both work great)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Banana, sliced
1 cup Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1 tsp Honey

Putting It Together:

My not so pretty, but oh so tasty Muesli!
1) Combine old fashioned oats, coconut milk and cinnamon in a medium bowl, COVER and chill overnight.
2) The next morning, mix in the Greek yogurt and honey.
3) Finally, sprinkle on the almonds and top it off with the banana.

If you don’t have these exact ingredients, feel free to use what you have on hand instead. No coconut milk? Add in some apple juice instead. No almonds? I’m sure some flax seeds or toasted walnuts would work just fine in its place. I was thinking some vanilla extract or a bit of nutmeg would fit right in with this type of breakfast too, but I might have to save those for the next time I whip up a batch.  I bet you could get pretty creative with some of your favorite ingredients now that you know of this magnificent muesli and how to make it, so feel free to make your very own creation!

If you get a chance to try out my muesli recipe, please comment and tell me what you think! I would also love to hear about your own adventures in the kitchen with making your own original creation, so please share your experiences with making your very own recipe below as well!



Monday, March 17, 2014

Blogging from A To Z: A Daily Challenge


What Is Blogging From A to Z...
It all started in March 2010, when April Hosteam put forth a challenge to all bloggers for the month of April. The challenge read, "Can you post every day except Sundays during this month?  And to up the bar, can you blog thematically from A to Z?" Since there is 26 days in April (minus the Sundays), it allows for 26 unique blog posts that all revolve around a new letter of the alphabet. 

Originally, her intent was to just have some fun as she celebrated her 200th follower, but now this event has evolved into a way to make new friends and for fellow bloggers to become more active in the blogging community.

My "Topic" For This Challenge...
Since Fuel For The Furnace is about cooking and healthy recipes, I thought I could blog about a new ingredient each day of the month. I love trying new things, be it food or otherwise, so I thought this might be a good opportunity to review some of my favorites ingredients and some that I might want to try in the future. Its a pretty big world out there, with each culture using different plants, spices and animals in their dishes, I won't be able to cover all of them but I will do my best to pick from all of the regions!

What It Means To Me...
I have fallen in and out of blogging for a few years now, never really sticking with any one blog for more than a few months and never really putting the time aside to have more than one decent blog post every couple weeks. They say if you're going to do something, do it right... I'm going to do my best to dedicate myself to writing in this blog as much as I can and to provide great recipes and cooking stories from my kitchen. 

I truly hope you enjoy following my blog, as we take on this culinary adventure one meal at a time. Feel free to subscribe and follow along to see where we go next!

Happy cooking,


Monday, March 10, 2014

Easy Peazy Soft Boiled Eggs

Growing up, I used to go fishing with my dad and grandpa almost every weekend during the summer time. Since the best fishing seemed to always be in the early hours, we had to wake up VERY early to get out on the water before the sunrise. The last thing you want to do when you get up at 4 o'clock in the morning is to be fiddling around with breakfast, so it was important that we ate something fast and filling. Soft boiled eggs was our breakfast of choice, it is still one of my go-to breakfasts when I need something in a pinch.

Soft Boiled Eggs

What you will need:
2-3 eggs
2 Slices bread
Salt and pepper to taste


1) Fill sauce pan with water, just enough to barely cover the eggs.

2) Place your pan on your stove, covered with a lid, and turn the burner all the way on.

3) Set your timer for 8 minutes and 30 seconds. Note: This amount may vary depending on how many eggs you are cooking and how efficient your burner is. I would say increase the time by 30 seconds for every additional egg that you cook. If your stove isn't the best at boiling water, then you might also need to add a little extra time. The best thing to do is just give it a try and adjust the time from their!

4) While the eggs are cooking, you can use this time to toast and butter your bread.

5) After the 8 and a half minutes is up, remove eggs from heat and let sit uncovered for about 20 seconds.

6) Now that the eggs are done cooking, dump out the hot water and begin to pour cold water over the eggs
for about 10 seconds. This step prevents the eggs from becoming over cooked and to be at a temperature that you can handle them.

7)  Now all you need to do is peel and enjoy! I prefer eat my soft boiled eggs in a bowl with toast that has been broken up into pieces and a dash of salt and pepper. If your feeling adventurous, you can add in some garlic salt and some shredded cheese. :-)

What I love most about this meal is that it only dirties one dish, the bowl. Eggs are probably one of my favorite breakfast foods, and I can basically set it up and walk away until the timer goes off. When done right, the whites of the egg should be completely cooked, but the yolk should be runny. You could say that it is a cross breed between a hard boiled and fried egg, and it goes perfected served over a couple pieces of toast.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comments below!

Happy cooking,


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Green Super Smoothie

The other day, Entrepreneur.com posted an article on the "5 Morning Rituals to Keep You Productive All Day Long". I liked their suggestions and I thought that I might try applying them to my own life, starting with their smoothie recommendation. I wasn't too keen on the suggested recipe that they provided and after a little digging online, I couldn't really find a green smoothie that appealed to me. After my searching came up fruitless, I decided to make my own recipe from scratch. This recipe works great with a blender or with a juicer, so feel free to use whatever one you have on hand!

In addition to the recipe, you can find a break down of the ingredients and some of their characteristics that make them so darn good for you!. In the end, the smoothie only cost me about $2.50 a drink! Not bad for a smoothie that tastes great and is super healthy, especially since most people will pay twice that for a designer coffee each morning. The most expensive ingredient was the kiwi, which I am considering swapping out for some pineapple or honeydew melon to reduce the price and change up the flavor. 

The most important factor in drinking this smoothie for me, was the consistency and texture. I tried this smoothie recipe several times, once as a juice, another blended in a regular blender and then the last time in a nutribullet. Using the nutribullet was by far the best for me because it made everything a very smooth consistency; I plan on using it going forward in my smoothie making endeavors.

What You Will Need

1 cup Kale (about a good handful)
1/4 inch Piece of ginger
3 Stalks of celery
1.5 cups Apple juice
3-4 Ice cubes of green tea
1 Mint sprig or about a Tbsp
1 Kiwi
1/5th of a avocado
Honey to taste (about a tsp for me)


1) Place the heavier ingredients at the bottom of the blender, and finish off with the frozen green tea and juice. THOROUGHLY Blend into a liquid consistency.

2) Enjoy your fresh smoothie!!

Nutritional Breakdown

Green tea:
Green tea is considered one of the world's healthiest drinks and contains the highest amount of antioxidants of any tea. The natural chemicals called polyphenols in tea are what are thought to provide its anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic effects. Besides giving our smoothie a great boost in antioxidants and natural chemicals, it also provides a bit of caffeine to the drink and will help give a bit of pick me up in the morning!

For the tea I use in this recipe, I will take about 5 or 6 tea bags and let them steep over night in a pitcher of water. The tea will be a little bit on the strong side, but you can hardly taste it in the smoothie. You can either use this as is or freeze it to help thicken your smoothie. I prefer to freeze it, and just throw in a handful of ice cubes in each smoothie.

This super food has earned the nickname "queen of greens", and for good reason! One cup of chopped kale contains 33 calories and 9% of the daily value of calcium, 206% of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C, and a whopping 684% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Pound for pound, kale is a heavy hitter when it comes to its vitamins and minerals; they will help get you the vitamins you need to start the day off right. 

Besides tasting great, kiwis are full of foliate and potassium. Foliate plays a key role in the complete development of red blood cells and also helps with maintaining healthy circulation. Potassium is an essential nutrient used to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. The main reason why I wanted to include them was for the sweet tart taste, but I couldn't deny the fact that they fit right in with all of the other super foods!

This little herb has a lot more to offer than just flavoring your chewing gum, it has many health benefits that help cleanse the body and mind. Originally, I had chosen to add mint to this drink as more a way to help with flavor than anything else, but then I learned of all the health benefits of the plant. Mint is said to help with digestion, it relieves anxiety and depression and can even help with allergies by inhibiting the release of histamines! To read more on the herb, go ahead and check out the link posted at the end of the post!

When I was a kid, I used to love eating a stalk of celery smothered in Peanut butter, who would have thought that it is actually good for you! Celery has a plethora of healthy compounds, such as Flavonoids, phthalids, and butylphthalids, which may help with different health issues like lowing your blood pressure and helping with reducing your "bad" cholesterol.

These fruits get their rich and creamy texture from the "good" fats that they contain.They are packed full of vitamins and minerals that our bodies need, such as vitamin K, Vitamin B9, vitamin B6, vitamin B5 vitamin C, and vitamin E. A serving size is only about a 5th of a fruit, so you can make one avocado last for most of the week.

This legendary spice has quite a list of benefits; it has been used for hundreds of years in Asian culture and is still a staple in flavoring many dishes. One of gingers most well known attributes is its effects on the digestion system. This zesty little morsel helps stimulate digestion and the absorption of nutrients, and it also helps problems like nausea, appetite and gas. It packs a a lot of flavor, so a little bit goes a long way!

 Not yet convinced that these greens are what you need to start off you morning? Go ahead and keep reading from the links below! Most of us don't eat enough vegetables to meet our daily requirements, starting the day with them is a step in the right direction in eating healthier and meeting your bodies needs for veggies! If you get a chance to try my smoothie, please let me know what you think in the comments below!!

Celery information, http://www.care2.com/greenliving/11-super-health-benefits-in-just-1-celery-stalk.html

Kale information, http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/the-truth-about-kale

Ginger Inforamtion, http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/the-nutrition-of-ginger.html#b

Avocado information: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270406.php

Mint information: http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-mint.html

Green tea information: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/13-reasons-to-drink-green-tea.html

Kiwi information: http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/food-nutrition/natural-foods/natural-weight-loss-food-kiwi-ga.htm

Happy Blending,

~Mr. McLovin