Archive for the ‘ Vita-Mix 5200 recipes and experiences ’ Category

Great green smoothie this morning

Similar to yesterday good green smoothie, and possibly even a little better:

Great Green Smoothie v1.1 (★★★★☆)
Definitely easy drinkable, and something I found myself craving more of once it was gone.

100g of fresh spinach leaves
1 fresh Jonamac apple, quartered with seeds and stem removed
1 frozen banana
a splash of orange juice

blend on high for 60 seconds.

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My first Sunday with the blender (Dal Curry Soup, Good and Bad Green Smoothies and Hummus)

So today was a pretty busy day for my new Vitamix 5200 blender.  In fact, I’ve used it far more this weekend than I thought you could use a blender in a weekend.  What can I say?  I like my new toy, and when clean up is as easy as putting a few drops of dish soap in with water and turning it on again, it’s not like there’s much reason to not use it.

The first thing I made this morning was Banana Milk, again.  I figure I’ll list out my recipes today, in case anyone’s interested in the details:

Banana Milk (★★★★★)
This simple combination is amazing in any blender strong enough to sufficiently blend up a frozen banana

1 frozen banana
milk

Adjust the level of milk to taste, blend for a creamy, milkshake-esque drink.  (Edit:  The best technique is to break the banana into two or three parts before putting in the blender, then blending with the tamper in, slowly raising the speed to just below whatever speed the banana bounces out of control at.  Use less milk than needed, and then add milk for the desired consistency after the banana is blended in already.)

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, this morning’s banana milk had a piece of frozen banana that kept being bounced up above the rest of the contents, and I just could get it out at high speed.  Maybe I cranked up to 10 and then high too fast?  Maybe it needs to be done at a lower speed until the banana is blended?  Maybe the quantity was too little?  I’ll figure it out.

I had a toasted frozen waffle and the banana milk for breakfast, but we were going to a Sunday Japanese language program my son is in, and I knew I’d be hungry before lunch if I didn’t have something more, so just before we left, I made a Tasty Green Smoothy.

Tasty Green Smoothie (★★★★☆)
Seriously, it’s pretty good

100g of fresh spinach leaves
1 fresh Jonamac apple, quartered with seeds and stem removed
12-15 frozen raspberries
a splash of orange juice

blend on high for 60 seconds.

It was surprisingly good.  The best green smoothie I’ve had so far to be sure.

That afternoon, after we returned home, I figured I’d make some Hummus to tide us over until dinner, since we’d had a very light lunch.  The recipe was pretty much straight from the cookbook that came with the Vita-Mix, and it was pretty good:

Hummus (★★★★★)
Hummus tastes good.  This tastes great.

2 Goya cans of Chick Peas/Garbanzos (15.5 oz), one strained, one with all the water from the can
¼ cup of raw sesame seeds
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup of lemon juice
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 teaspoon cumin

Now, the original recipe called for some salt, to season to taste, but it was pretty darn good without any salt, and we enjoyed it on naan bread and celery sticksMy wife lamented the lack of pita chips in the house, which would have been a nice way to enjoy it.

Since I was on a good streak, I figured I’d make another green smoothie, the Worst Green Smoothie Ever.

Worst Green Smoothie Ever (☆☆☆☆☆)
I award this no stars, and may God have mercy on those who try this.

1 bunch of mustard greens
1 frozen banana
1 fresh Jonamac apple, quartered with seeds and stem removed
way too much fresh ginger

Mustard greens probably don’t belong in green smoothies at all, but potent ginger combined with it to really keep it from being something anyone would want to drink.  I watered it down and cooled it with ice cubes, and cold and diluted enough it was merely bad and actually drinkable.  Now I’m trying to figure out what to do with the rest of the mustard greens I’ve got.  I don’t think belong in green smoothies.

For dinner, I slightly altered the Vitamix Dal Soup that’s in the Vita-Mix Whole Foods cookbook, and was pleasantly surprised with the result.

Vitamix Dal Soup (★★★★☆)
Too watery to be curry, but really thick for a soup.  The fine red chilli pepper powder gives it the kick it needs.

1 cup dried lentils
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
6 cups (total) of hot water (from my Zojirushi water boiler*)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
4 cardamom seeds
½ teaspoon curry powder
1½ teaspoons salt
¾ cup tomato puree
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 baked potatoes with skin
4 sprigs of cilantro
fine red chilli pepper powder

1. I washed the two potatoes and then wrapped them in aluminum foil and put them in the oven at 400°F.  I would have put them in at 350, but I wanted them ready when everything else was done.

2. I washed the lentils several times with cold water until the water stopped clouding, then added the lentils, 1 garlic clove and 3 cups of hot water, and put them on the stove at medium heat.

3. While the potatoes cooked and the lentils absorbed the water, I added all the spices and tomato puree to the blender and turned it on for long enough to chop up the cardamom seeds.  While doing this, I was stirring the lentils.

4. I peeled my onion, cut it into pieces and cut up the other garlic clove, then I put them in a 2-quart pot with the olive oil and sautéed them.  While doing this, I was stirring the lentils.

5. Around this time, the lentils were finished, so I turned off the heat, and poured the spiced tomato puree into the pot with the onions and garlic, added another three cups of hot water and brought it to a boil before turning the heat off.

6. I put everything (potatoes, cilantro, lentils, etc.) in the blender, started on variable 1, cranked it up to 10 and then blended it on high.

7. After pouring bowls for my two kids, I added some red chilli powder, poured my wife a bowl, added a bit more red chilli powder and pour myself a bowl.

I added less water than the recipe called for, as I realized it’d be more watery than I’d originally imagined, and the red chilli pepper was another improvisation that I think turned out very well, as I like spicy Asian food.

Everyone enjoyed the soup, and the hummus was brought back out, even if it was a bit of bean overkill. It’s probably the only homecooked meal I’ve had in my life that qualifies as vegan, and that wasn’t intentional.  It tasted great, and that’s what I was hoping for.

All in all, four successes and one failure today, and I continue to be very pleased with my blender. 🙂

(*That link is there because I figure otherwise some people won’t know what I’m talking about)


My first Saturday with the blender (Part 3 – Mochi Rice and Green Smoothies)

Today, after we finished lunch, we went to the Asian supermarket where I picked up a number of things I thought would be fun to put in the blender, including もち米 (mochi rice).  The thought process was that if the blender can make peanut butter, it can make mochi…and it can.

I made the mochi basically the same way as I’d make white rice, using our Zojirushi IH rice cooker.  That said, it seems that you’re supposed to use slightly less water when making mochi rice.  I didn’t know how much slightly less would be, so I just used the same measurements.

When the rice was done, I scooped it into the blender and ran it on Variable around speed 5 or 6.  That didn’t seem to be the most efficient method, so I checked out the peanut butter recipe, which called for running it on High.  I tried that, and using the tamper, had a lot of luck turning to rice into mochi, albeit with a bit more water than it normally has.

Now, if the scrambled egg clean up was a small amount of work, this was a large amount of work.  But since I’m not getting fresh mochi anywhere else while we live in America, it was totally worth it.  I put some あずき (red bean) on top of the mochi and ate it with a spoon and a smile.

I also continued to experiment with green smoothies, putting the rest of the kale, the rest of the tomato puree and a frozen banana and some water together in a blender.  As with the other green smoothies I’ve tried, it’s drinkable, but it’s still not something I’m about to get excited about drinking.  That said, between the green smoothie, apple sauce, soup, mochi and eggs, I’ve eaten a huge amount of fresh fruit, vegetables, greens and grains today, and my Vitamix blender has impressed me with it’s blending abilities.

My first Saturday with the blender – Part 2 (Applesauce and Soup)

After making scrambled eggs successfully, I decided to try out a few other things:  Applesauce and soup.

For applesauce, I quartered four apples, leaving the skin on, removing the seeds, stems and fuzzy bottoms, and put them in a pot.  I used my Zojirushi water boiler pot to fill the pot with enough water for all the apples to float, and then let it boil for a few minutes.  I dumped the apples into a strainer and threw them in the blender with some ground cinnamon, turned the blender on, quickly dialed up to 10, and then threw the blender into high mode, and watched the apples get turned, pretty much instantaneously, into applesauce.

Since no one wants to eat hot applesauce (at least no one I know), I put it into a bowl and found space for it in the fridge away from the dairy and other, more heat sensitive, foods.

Then I got started on the soup.  The Whatever Half-Used Vegetables And Spices You Happen To Have Soup.  Basically, we had half a cucumber, half a green pepper and half an onion in the vegetable drawer.  I threw them in, liquified them and then figured I’d open a can of tomato puree and throw some of that in.  Since I was probably closer to V8 than soup at this point, I put in some hot water, curry powder, rosemary leaves, chicken broth powder, salt and pepper.  I probably threw in a few other things too, but that’s what I remembered.

It tasted decent enough, but it was still pretty mild and had a pass resemblance to V8, which my wife is not a fan of.  To give it some flavor and make it takes more like a tomato based soup than a vegetable drink, I opened the fridge and took out some cilantro and a nearly empty bag of “Finely Shredded Taco Style Cheese”, which was natural cheddar and asadero cheese with taco seasoning.  (I’m guessing my wife bought this for Taco Rice with no clue that the cheese had a small amount of taco powder.)  I put the cheese and cilantro into the blender and turned it back on.  By now steam was coming out of the top, which seemed like a good sign that the soup was ready to eat.

It was surprisingly good.

My wife said it tasted like Tortilla Soup, and I don’t disagree with that appraisal.  We ate it all, and knowing what went into it, I’d gladly have it again.  Hopefully the half used vegetables lying around next time I want to randomly throw things into the blender taste this good.

The applesauce still wasn’t cold or as hard as I’d have liked, but we took it out after the soup was done and ate it all.  Knowing it was made with fresh apples made it pretty easy to eat guilt-free, and it smelled amazing.  It wasn’t that different from normal applesauce, but I’m guessing it was better for me.

Update:  Here’s a newer post of the applesauce recipe.

The first two days with my new blender

Two days ago I got my Vitamix 5200 blender.  It’s a refurbished Vita-Mix 5200 blender, so the front actually reads “Creations”, but the front could just as well read, “I saved a good chunk of change by getting this refurbished”.  I was assured on the phone that it would be a 5200, regardless of what it was labeled as, and it seems to perform as a 5200 hundred should.

The first day I got this blender, I had to break out the most common use for my blender in Japan:  Banana Milk.

The recipe is simple, you freeze a banana in the freezer, and then blend your frozen banana with milk in a blender for an amazingly good drink.  (It’s basically a decadent banana flavored milkshake.)  The Vitamix passed this test with flying colors.  While there was no magically huge change in texture, it definitely blended this up quicker and easier than any blender I’d owned in the past, and still tasted delicious.

I also experimented with making green smoothies, which is basically any smoothy in which you’re blending up green leaves to make them easier to eat (hidden in the smoothy) and easier to digest.  I blended up some celery with frozen strawberries a banana and a bit of milk.

Drinkable.

Yesterday I went shopping on the way home from work and picked up some fresh kale, mint, cilantro and spinach, as well as a tote bag of apples and some canned vegetables.  That gave me many of the ingredients that I needed for my experimenting today, but as far as yesterday’s blends went, used the rest of the large celery stalk on a similar green smoothy during lunch and in the evening I tried mixing the kale with an apple, frozen raspberries and lemon juice.  Again, they were both drinkable, but not great.  Then again, they weren’t a reason I bought the blender.

As for today, I’ve already done some really cool things with the blender that I’ll detail later today, but for now, I need to get in the shower and then out the door, as we’ve got things we need to do today.

My first Saturday with my blender – Part 1 (Scrambled Eggs)

Alright, I’ll admit that I was looking forward to my first Saturday with the blender maybe a bit more than is healthy.

On Friday I’d picked up a lot of fresh and canned greens and vegetables, and I had big plans for breakfast.

The first thing I made, which I find physically impressive, is scrambled eggs.  I say “physically impressive”, because the physics involved, the friction creating enough heat to cook the eggs, is not something that’s ever been possible with the blenders I’ve been able to use until now.  The basic idea is that if you put the eggs in the blender on high long enough, the heat generated by the friction of the movement in the blender is enough to cook the eggs.

Here’s the recipe I used:

Scrambled Eggs
Yield: 3

6 eggs
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
1/4 cup (60 ml) milk
salt and pepper to taste
nonstick cooking spray

1. Spray blades generously with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
3. Select Variable 1.
4. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
5. Blend for 8 minutes or until sound of the machine changes and egg will stick to sides of container. Eggs will have a custard like consistency. Serve immediately.

Now, I didn’t actually follow that verbatim.  I didn’t have nonstick cooking spray, so I dumped some of our cooking oil in the blender, turned it on low for a few seconds, and then held it upside down to pour the cooking oil back into the cup we keep used, but still usable, oil in.  I then used a paper towel to wipe any excess oil off the sides.

I also didn’t pay attention to the order I put the ingredients in.  I took hot water from our Japanese water boiler and threw that, salt, a pinch of pepper and the milk into the blender before adding the six eggs.  I don’t think the order really mattered.

I turned on the blender, and let it go on high for a while.  About four minutes in, foamy egg was escaping from the lid and the eggs weren’t showing any signs of having changed.  I put a clean washcloth over the lid, followed by a bowl that was the right size to add pressure to the lid and an acorn squash on top of that to hold some weight on the lid and keep the washcloth in place.  Sure enough, about six minutes into to blending, the sound changed, and all the egg inside the blender was cooked.

They were the fluffiest scrambled eggs I’ve ever had in my life.  As in, maybe they were too fluffy.  My wife wasn’t crazy about them, I didn’t mind them, but my two young kids both liked them and ate a lot more than expected.  That alone is reason enough for me to make them again in the future.

As for clean up, the oil probably helped a bit, but did take scrubbing around the blade with a sponge to clean the blender.

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