2014 Couscous (By Natalie)

Okay, so if you’re a Hangry Chicks reader (thank you for reading, BTW), you know by now that I am by no means a chef. It is what it is, folks. But I will say, my cooking skillz (yes, with a ‘z’) have improved greatly over the nearly 3 years of writing this blog (let me add another parentheses here and mention that we have been writing this blog for nearly 3 years! That sh*t cray). One of the recipes that has greatly improved is my couscous. Please refer to the lame couscous I made in 2011 here. Continue reading for the glorious couscous that is 2014! 2014 COUSCOUS!

Because my cooking is often times mediocre at best, I really like the idea of just throwing a bunch of sh*t into a pan, mixing it around, and then eating it. That’s what I did last night with my 2014 Couscous.

I was inspired by these beautiful, fresh, and delicious veggies I stumbled upon at the Farmer’s Market. It was like that moment you have at a bar when you meet a guy and you’re all, “Oh, hi, I didn’t see you there. (Giggle) Wow, your arms are so…big.” Seriously, these veggies were allowed to come home with me moments after our first encounter. I mean, they just smelled so good! 

photo 1 (2)I know this photo is a little larger than I normally post pictures. It’s so I can enable you to really take in the glory that are these vegetables. We have squash, cucumber, tomato, pepper, fairytale eggplant, green onion, and some olives for good measure (those I bought at the normal grosh). I just kept eating the fresh tomato as I cut it because it was just too good not to. Mmmmmm, memories….

Anyhoo, so yeah, I threw that shit in a pan and added some scrimps, too. It’s cooked with a bit of olive oil and seasoned with a little salt (be careful not to over-salt as the olives will add saltiness for you).photo 1 (3)

There it all is. Cooking away in deliciousness for about 6 minutes or so. You can cook the shrimp separately first by steaming or sauteing like I did here. Again, I just threw that sh*t in there, but cooking separately is a smart thing to do, too. 

Meanwhile, I cooked some tri-color couscous for about 8 minutes that I could throw this mixture on top of. When it was ready to serve, it looked like this:

photo 3 (1)You don’t need a lot of couscous, just enough to add some more carbs and chewy texture to your life. I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a carb-a-holic. If you aren’t, you can nix the couscous and just cook the glorious vegetables and shrimp together and you’ve got a great meal right there. It won’t be 2014 Couscous, but I won’t judge.

Here is the finished product, topped with some reduced-fat feta cheese (again, adding some saltiness so steer clear of adding extra salt).

photo 3 (2)Guys, it’s such an easy, quick, and healthy meal to end your day with. Serve with a glass of white wine and you’ll feel like you’re on the Mediterranean, overlooking the blue sea with the wind whipping through your hair and a robust, black-mustached Greek man playing footsie with you under the table. Am I right? 2014 COUSCOUS!

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A Love Connection: Chocolate & Tofu… in Mousse? Whaaaaaa? (by Greta)

You live to sleep until noon on weekends. Your significant other wakes up before the sun. Your dream vacation includes spas, lazy rivers and sipping margaritas on the beach. Your partner’s perfect getaway involves the Running of the Bulls, hang gliding and volcano boarding. Your idea of a lazy Sunday includes watching Sharknado and Snakes on a Plane, but your mate prefers an Ice Road Truckers marathon. Is it true? Do opposites attract? And if they do attract, is it a good thing or a disaster waiting to happen?

 

Being a lover of research and seeker of truth, I took these questions into our Midwestern Hangry Chicks kitchen, using the scientific method and a meticulously executed experiment to find definitive answers. The East Coast Hangry Chicks kitchen will replicate this experiment to validate results, and I encourage all Hangry Chicks followers to do the same in their own kitchens.

 

Cutting to the chase and driving to the bottom line: I humbly offer proof that opposites absotively posilutely attract. And when they do, strap on your lederhosen and bring out the Oompah band because you’ll be doing the dance of joy when you see – and taste – the results of this union.

 

To begin, I offer my proof in the construct of the scientific method.

The Scientific Method
Completing the requisite background research was effortless, thanks to eHarmony and its 29 Dimensions® of Compatibility System. In eHarmony’s database of 20 million registered users, all I needed to do was to find two subjects that were completely incompatible across the 29 dimensions. In a matter of minutes, I found our test couple: I am pleased to introduce you to Chocolate and Firm Tofu.

eHarmony Profile for Chocolate

eHarmony Profile for Firm Tofu

Without delving into the details of the 29 dimensions, suffice it to say that their profiles alone illustrate the high degree of differences between the two subjects. Despite Chocolate and Firm Tofu’s stunning lack of compatibility, three things told me these opposites would, indeed attract: (1) my intuition, (2) my gut and (3) Paula Abdul.

With my subjects identified, it was time to put their compatibility to the test with this strikingly simple, remarkably healthy recipe.

Title Chocolate Tofu Mousse Hangry Chicks

Ingredients for the Chocolate Tofu Mousse

Ingredients for the Chocolate Tofu Mousse

Yields 4 servings:

  • 16-oz. package of firm tofu
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I love the Ghirardelli brand)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 large, very ripe banana, sliced
  • ¼ cup unsweetened coconut, plus an extra ¼ cup to be used as a garnish
  • ¼ cup of Stevia in the Raw or Truvia (you may want to go with 1/3 cup to make it a little sweeter; adjust amount to suit your sweetness preference)
  • 3 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
  • Approx. ¼ cup raw, chopped pecans to be used as a garnish (or raw chopped almonds or walnuts or a combination of the three nuts)

 

Combine the tofu, cocoa, almond milk, banana, ¼ cup coconut, sweetener and vanilla extract in a blender, and blend until the texture is smooth and creamy.

Hangry Chicks Chocolate Tofu Mousse Ingredients in Bowl

With the exception of the pecans, put all ingredients in a blender (ideal) or a bowl (not ideal — I learned the hard way that hand mixers don’t yield the best texture).

Side note: If you have read any of my recent posts, you know that I am homeless, living in a hotel. Don’t cry for me, Argentina. The truth is I never left you. And the truth is I did not have access to a blender. I only had my Oster hand mixer, so I did the best I could to blend the ingredients without frying the motor. I have to admit, my mixture wasn’t as smooth as it should be – the texture was reminiscent of wet cement, but the flavor still took my taste buds for a joy ride.

Trust me on this one: Use a blender if you have one. The texture of my mousse left something to be desired, and the motor in my hand mixer almost seized up.

Trust me on this one: Use a blender if you have one. The texture of my mousse left something to be desired, and the motor in my hand mixer almost seized up.

Taste the mixture to ensure that it is sweet enough. If it needs a little more sugar, sprinkle another 1-2 tablespoons over the mixture, add then mix – briefly – again. Then use four of your cutest, little dessert dishes to enhance the presentation of the mousse. Given my limited resources at this fine establishment known as Candlewood Suites, the extent of my darling dessert-ware was restricted to little juice glasses. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not bitching about using juice glasses as dessert dishes. As I write, innocent civilians are dying in the Gaza Strip and members of ISIS are committing unthinkable crimes against humanity. So who gives a shit about dessert dishes? Eat this mouse directly from your blender – it will still knock the wool socks off your taste buds.

It doesn't matter what you serve it in: your body and your taste buds will love this Chocolate Tofu Mousse.

It doesn’t matter what you serve it in: your body and your taste buds will love this Chocolate Tofu Mousse.

Before serving – in your blender, your juice glass, or a Lalique Honfleur crystal bowl, crafted by French, chain-smoking artisans who despise Americans – you must complete one more critical step: very generously garnish the mousse with the coconut and pecans. Don’t skimp. These garnishes will offer a moment of interactive joy for the lucky people who get to eat it. By stirring the coconut and pecans into their mousse, your dining companions will feel like they had a hand creating this exquisitely nutritious dessert. Gift that feeling to them. Even if they don’t deserve it.

 

Now taste it. Smell it. Feel the texture of our two opposites – Chocolate and Firm Tofu – making sweet love on your tongue, like uninhibited, long-lost lovers in the light of a blue moon, rolling in wet sand on the shores of Seychelles, while listening to the song of a lone jazz flute in the distance. Awwwww yeahhhhhh. When Firm Tofu is in the sweet embrace of Chocolate’s strong, rich, sumptuous flavor, Tofu’s nondescript, forgettable taste is no longer an issue. And when the blender whips Chocolate and Firm Tofu together like a punishing dominatrix, the texture of Firm Tofu lends a light, airy, creaminess to this dish, making you forget that this dessert is actually good for you. Remember those garnishes that you lavished upon this union of Chocolate and Firm Tofu? The crunch of the coconut and pecans will excite your palate as the mousse melts luxuriously in your mouth.

 

After you finish your second helping of Chocolate Tofu Mousse, tell me what you think: Was my hypothesis correct? Did opposites attract? Was the whorish seducer Chocolate a harmonious match for plain, tasteless, boring Firm Tofu? Given the purity and goodness of all the ingredients, can you deny the healthfulness of this seemingly decadent combination? Final question: Hanger? What hanger?

My New BFF, The Air-Popcorn Maker (By Natalie)

One of the best things about getting married, besides sharing your hopes, dreams, and life with the person you love most in the world (awwww), is being able to register for the things you might not otherwise buy for yourself. My husband and I had a destination wedding, so we weren’t really expecting many gifts at all. We were more than okay with that. But the gifts we did receive really amped up our ability to cook better and cook more healthfully. Holla! So today, via one of our wonderful guests, I present you with one of my faves (drum roll, please)…THE AIR POPCORN POPPER! 

 Isn’t she glorious? Isn’t it weird that I called it a she? Yes, yes it is…photo (8) I’m sure that you’ve all heard that movie theater popcorn is horrible for you. Let me make it rain with the real facts about this, guys.  According to an article from WebMD, before the “butter” is even added (and that sh*t isn’t even real butter, ya’ll–it’s non-hydrogenated soybean oil topping that adds about 120-130 calories per tablespoon. PER…TABLESPOON!) you’re lookin’ at around “1,200 calories, and 60 grams of saturated, artery-clogging fat. That’s the equivalent of two Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pepperoni Pizzas, plus an extra two days’ worth of saturated fat.”

What. The. Eff?!?! That is NOT RIGHT. Can I hear an AMEN? Thank you.

Scott, my main squeeze, is a lover of movie theater popcorn. Whenever we go to the movies he’s all up in the waist widening stuff. Since we have been enjoying films a lot more via our couch these days, we make the popcorn instead, saving us many calories and many dollars. Because the popcorn is made via air and not oil, it’s the healthiest and most natural way to enjoy it. Also, a very small amount yields an ass load of popcorn. 

Here are 3 tablespoons (1 serving) of kernels: 

photo 4And here is how much popcorn it makes: 

photo 1 (1)It might be difficult to garner from this photo, but that’s about 6 cups of popcorn at 90 calories, 6 grams of fiber, and 4 grams of protein. Let’s compare that to 1,200 calories you will consume in a movie theater popcorn serving. Wowza! So not worth it.

After the popcorn is made, Scott and I will top with some salt, maybe a mist of olive oil from the Misto or we melt a little butter in a little cup atop the popper while the popcorn is being made. It’s a small pat of butter made organically from cows, not the orange stuff they call butter that you slop from a pump near the restrooms at the theater. Gross. 

Moral of the story, not only is this air-popped popcorn delicious, it’s also hanger busting. Because of the protein and fiber that this natural popcorn offers, it’s a deliciously healthy snack that you can fill up on; unlike feeling as if you just licked a salt block and wonder why you still want to snarf a whole pizza or a king sized M&M box after the movie theater stuff. So go out and get married, register for a popcorn popper, and then make some on your own to stash in your oversized bag when you go to the movie theater. Or you can skip the getting married and just buy one. I don’t think it’s that pricey. DE-HANGER!!!!

E-Z BAKE SALMON BURGER: SO E-Z THAT A DOG CAN MAKE IT (by Greta)

I am as far from being a cook as Kim Kardashian is from being a Nobel Peace Prize winner. So I think it is marvelously ironic that I watch the Food Network religiously, and my sister and I write a blog dedicated to testing and sharing recipes. Given my stunning lack of culinary training, I gravitate toward delicious dishes that are easy enough for a dog to prepare.

 
Or at least easy enough for a couple of intelligent schnauzers to prepare.

 
There are two reasons I am excited to share my recipe for E-Z Bake Salmon Burgers: (1) these burgers are supremely healthy and mouth-wateringly, lip-smackingly scrumptious, and (2) YOU CANNOT EFF UP THIS RECIPE. You could be sloppy drunk and still execute this dish with the flawless precision of an Iron Chef. Or you could ask reasonably smart dogs to prepare this recipe, and they will not disappoint you. Oh no. Especially if their names are Schnitzel and Schazam.

Introducing sous chefs, Schazam and Schnitzel.

Introducing sous chefs, Schazam and Schnitzel.

To demonstrate how easy it is to make these delectable E-Z Bake Salmon Burgers, I invited my schnauzers to serve as my sous chefs. They will show you that even if you do not speak or read English, lack opposable thumbs, or sniff butts as a way to say, ‘Hey, wassup,’ YOU STILL CAN KICK ASS IN THE KITCHEN.

 

E-Z Bake Salmon Burger Title
INGREDIENTS (yields 2 servings)

  • 5 ounces canned salmon packed in water (Don’t like salmon? Use canned tuna or crab. Or try this recipe with leftover cooked chicken breasts, fish fillets or shrimp, finely chopped. Get creative with the 5-6 ounces of protein you choose.)
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup raw nuts or seeds, chopped (For this demonstration, Schnitzel and Schazam chose a mix of raw pumpkin seeds, or ‘pepitas’, and raw walnuts. It’s worthwhile to also try raw sunflower seeds or raw almonds, Brazil nuts or macadamia nuts.)
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 medium mushrooms, finely chopped (I know too many people who do not like mushrooms. If you are among them, leave this ingredient out – it won’t disrupt the flavor profile of this dish. Nothing will disrupt the flavor profile. Not even saw dust.)
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Old Bay Seasoning to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil (to grease the baking sheet)
  • Two big wedges of lemon (to be served on the plate)

DIRECTIONS

1. Pre-heat your oven (or toaster oven) to 425 degrees. Then generously grease a baking sheet with extra virgin olive oil. If, like Schazam, your arms and hands are covered with hair, might I recommend wearing a rubber glove? Be sure to evenly spread the oil all over the baking sheet as these burgers like to stick.

Schazam, who is more conscientious about  sanitary cooking practices than Schnitzel, uses a glove when spreading oil on the baking sheet.

Schazam, who is more conscientious about sanitary cooking practices than Schnitzel, uses a glove when spreading oil on the baking sheet.

2. Finely chop your onions and mushrooms as Schnitzel is demonstrating here. Do you see how she is focusing all of her attention on the onion as she handles a knife that is the size of her leg? She is like a Samurai with a knife. Never cross her. Toss your chopped vegetables into a very large bowl.

Schnitzel has never met an onion that made her cry or a knife that she couldn't handle like a skilled surgeon.

Schnitzel has never met an onion that made her cry or a knife that she couldn’t handle like a skilled surgeon.

3. Add your choice of chopped nuts or seeds to the bowl. Schnitzel is fond of raw pepitas because they remind her of our much-loved Mexican housekeeper, Martha. ‘Pepita’ and ‘hola’ are the only Spanish words Schnitzel knows. Toss your quarter cup of nuts or seeds into the bowl.

Schnitzel carefully measures a mix of pepitas and walnuts, using a rounded quarter-cup for extra nutty crunchiness.

Schnitzel carefully measures a mix of pepitas and walnuts, using a rounded quarter-cup for extra nutty crunchiness.

4. Now dump two more items into the bowl: the egg and the canned salmon. Do not drain the salmon! Include the water as well. Schnitzel highly recommends licking the can. No bit of salmon should be left behind. Somewhat selfish, Schnitzel does not invite Schazam to lick the can with her. Bitch.

Schnitzel claims the alpha role when it comes to licking the salmon can.

Schnitzel claims the alpha role when it comes to licking the salmon can.

5. Look at that bowl full of healthy, delicious goodness! Now add the almond meal. Clearly, Schnitzel does not like to delegate responsibility to others. Here, we see her pouring the almond meal into the bowl as Schazam watches, wondering if her involvement began and ended with greasing the baking sheet.

Schnitzel shows Schazam that adding the almond meal is a one-dog job.

Schnitzel shows Schazam that adding the almond meal is a one-dog job.

6. Add the sea salt and black pepper, and then stir, baby, stir! Make sure all of the ingredients are very well mixed. Schazam recommended using a large, wooden spoon, which is why Schnitzel defiantly insisted on using a small, metal spoon. Naturally, it took Schnitzel a while to mix all of the ingredients with such a small spoon, but she completed this task with self-righteousness as Schazam heckled her.

Schnitzel stirs the burger batter like a pro as Schazam heckles her from down below.

Schnitzel stirs the burger batter like a pro as Schazam heckles her from down below.

7. This final, burger-shaping step should be completed with a pair of human hands. Not to marginalize the capabilities of smart dogs, but this step likely will take 3 to 10 hours if you leave it in the paws of the sous chefs. Divide the mixture in two, and shape it into two monster burgers. Then generously adorn the tops of the burgers with Old Bay Seasoning. Make it rain Old Bay! This seasoning is the star of your burger, so do not be stingy with it. Finally, let your sous chefs perform a quality check on the shape and girth of your burgers. Once they pass inspection, bake them in your preheated oven for 25 minutes.

Burger shape and girth are everything. Inspector Schnitzel gives her stamp of approval.

Burger shape and girth are everything. Inspector Schnitzel gives her stamp of approval with one request: add more Old Bay.

Look at this beautifully bodacious burger! Even if you accidentally left the burgers in the oven for 35 minutes like Schnitzel and Schazam did, they are still perfect – not even the edges are burnt! See? You can do no wrong with this mighty meal. Schnitzel served the burger on a bed of fresh kale and garnished it with tomatoes for color and a Meyer lemon, which should be squeezed all over the burger. When it was time to plate this meal, Schazam stole one of Schnitzel’s bones and scurried under the bed. I don’t blame her.

Final E-Z Bake Salmon Burger
The flavors of the E-Z Bake Salmon Burger will erupt in your mouth like fireworks on the Fourth of July. The mild yet meaty salmon is a perfect companion to the texture and flavors of the nuts and seeds. The almond meal pulls the taste into a gourmet stratosphere, and your taste buds will be delighted by the spicy sassiness of Old Bay and the sweet brightness of the Meyer lemon. Schnitzel, Schazam and I guarantee that you will be full, happy and satisfied after you finish the E-Z Bake Salmon Burger.

 
Finally, since this recipe yields two servings, I would be remiss if I did not point out one of its biggest benefits. If you prepare this dish for yourself, you can refrigerate the second burger. Here is where the true, hanger-controlling magic happens: it takes just 5 minutes to reheat the burger in a toaster oven. Referring to our handy hanger scale, we see that this second burger would be ready in time to satisfy hanger rated as high as a 9. Once I ate the second burger cold, as I stood in front of the open refrigerator door, because my hanger reached an alarming rating of 10. Even chilled down, that burger was delicious, proving again that from making it to eating it, the E-Z Bake Salmon Burger is one of the easiest, healthiest, dog-friendliest ways to tame the wildest hangry beast.

Hanger Scale with Burgers

Irresistible Chocolate Banana Coconut Smoothie (by Greta)

I AM IN LVE. Madly, deeply, addictively in love. Who, you may wonder, is the lucky object of my affection? Well, it’s not really a “who” – it’s a “what.” And that honor goes to an invention of my own creation: the Irresistible Chocolate Banana Coconut Smoothie.

“What?! Have you gone insane in the membrane, Greta?? Has hanger finally cannibalized your capacity for rational thought? You’re in love with a smoothie, you friggin’ nut-covered fruitcake?!”

Look. You needn’t resort to name calling. And yes, I’m in love with a smoothie. If my childhood role models – like Pee Wee Herman – have taught me anything, it is this: “IF YOU LOVE IT SO MUCH, WHY DON’T YOU MARRY IT?”  After witnessing Pee Wee’s marriage to fruit salad in 1987, I can say with confidence that the Irresistible Chocolate Banana Coconut Smoothie definitely is worthy of matrimony.


While I work on creating my save-the-date cards, I would like to properly, formally introduce you to my new love. My raison d’etre. My motivation to rise and shine before my alarm awakens me.

Title of Smoothie

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon hulled hemp seed
  • 1 Tablespoon raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 4 walnut halves (finely chopped)
  • 2 Brazil nuts (finely chopped)

Seeds and Nuts

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut (My brand of choice: Bob’s Red Mill.)
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (My brand of choice: Silk)
  • 1/2 ripe, FROZEN banana, sliced (see “Deep Banana Freeze” below)
  • 2 squares of Ghirardelli 100% cacao unsweetened chocolate, chopped (see “Chocolate Choices” below)
  • 1 Tablespoon almond butter
  • OPTIONAL: A handful of ice if you prefer a thicker, shake-like smoothie
  • OPTIONAL: Rounded teaspoon of Stevia in the Raw or 1-2 packets of Truvia (You may need to add this sweetener if you prefer sweet smoothies or you are used to eating sweet foods as part of your diet. If you follow a sugar-free diet as I do, the banana likely will lend enough sweetness to the smoothie.)

DIRECTIONS

1. Put the first five ingredients – the nuts and seeds – in a small bowl, and soak them in about ¾ c. water for at least 30 minutes in order to activate their enzymes. (I prep these ingredients before I go to bed and let them soak overnight in the fridge.)
2. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or large cup. (My blender of choice is a hand-held Oster mixer.)
3. Blend the ingredients for about 60 to 90 seconds.

LUXURIATE IN SMOOTHIE BLISS

The symphony of mouth-watering taste opens with bold notes from the banana, coconut and chocolate, blending harmoniously to offer a lusciously rich flavor. The earthy, chewy texture – courtesy of the nuts, seeds and chocolate – makes this smoothie as substantial and indulgent as a gourmet dessert. Pair it with a cup of freshly brewed coffee, and the Irresistible Chocolate Banana Coconut Smoothie becomes the most sublimely satisfying breakfast to start to your day.

ICBC Smoothie
CHOCOLATE CHOICES

Since I eliminated refined sugars from my diet, I only use 100% cacao chocolate. There is another, slightly embarrassing reason I use 100% cacao: I am a chocoholic. When I am in the presence of sweetened chocolate, which is more addictive than heroin mixed with crack cocaine, I can’t control myself. Put me next to sweetened chocolate during my special “lady time” of the month, otherwise known as PMS, and I look EXACTLY like Audrey Griswold in National Lampoon’s European Vacation.


Here’s the beautiful thing about chocolate made from 100% cacao: It is delicious in recipes but on its own, a 100% cacao bar is bitterer than 1,000 lemons coated with a mixture of pure quinine and old coffee grounds. Try 100% cacao chocolate, and that bitterness will linger on your tongue until you scrub it with a Brillo pad. The flavor will make your taste buds cringe and recoil, leaving them wondering what they have done to forsake you. Thanks to this bitterness, I could stand next to a box of Ghirardelli 100% cacao bars during a tsunami of pre-menstrual hormones, and I wouldn’t give it a second glance. So if you’re a chocoholic like me, go with 100% repellent cacao.

The "safe" chocolate preferred by 3 out of 4 recovering chocoholics.

The “safe” chocolate preferred by 3 out of 4 recovering chocoholics.

For the rest of you who can exercise restraint around sweetened chocolate, I would like to offer words of advice from Dr. William Davis, author of Wheat Belly, to help you make the healthiest chocolate choices:

“You want cacao with just enough sugar to make it palatable. The majority of chocolates sold are chocolate-flavored sugar. The best choices contain 85 percent or more cacao. Lindt and Ghirardelli are two widely distributed brands that make delicious 85 to 90 percent cacao chocolates. Some people need to get accustomed to the slightly bitter, less sweet taste of high-cacao chocolates. Shop around for your favorite brand, as some are winey tasting, others earthy. The Lindt 90 percent is my favorite, since its very low sugar content allows me to enjoy just a bit more. Two squares will not budge most people’s blood sugar; some can get away with four squares (40 grams, about 2 inches by 2 inches).”

DEEP BANANA FREEZE

I like smoothies to be so thick and creamy that the mere thought of using a straw to drink it is laughable. I like smoothies that are as viscous as wet cement, capable of holding pruning shears in their full and upright position. I like smoothies that have more rib-sticking power than a bucket of roast pork and potatoes. To achieve this caliber of consistency, YOU GOSTA GET YO FREEZE ON, SON.

There aren’t many ingredients in this smoothie that can be frozen ahead of time, so I recommend adding 5-6 ice cubes. I also highly recommend freezing your bananas in order to increase the smoothie’s viscosity. The best time to freeze them is when the banana skin is more speckled with freckles than an African spotted hyena. That’s when bananas achieve their highest level of sweetness. I peel them, cut them in half and then individually wrap them in cellophane before storing them in the freezer. When it’s time to incorporate these frozen beauties into a smoothie, I slice them up to prevent the hand mixer blade from seizing up.

Helpful Tip: Don't cut and freeze your bananas until the banana skin looks like a spotted African hyena.

Helpful Tip: Don’t cut and freeze your bananas until the banana skin looks like a spotted African hyena.

To give your smoothie a creamy, thick texture, cut, wrap and freeze bananas.

To give your smoothie a creamy, thick texture, cut, wrap and freeze bananas.

10 PERCENT RULE

If you have read other posts by Natalie and me, you know that we’re proponents of the 90/10 rule: Strive to make healthy choices to control hanger 90 percent of the time. What do you do with the remaining 10 percent? Whatever you want. Go nuts. Cut loose. Be naughty. Eat a slab of cheesecake dipped chocolate fudge, rolled in toffee. Or modify this I.C.B.C. Smoothie recipe thusly: Do not use the first five ingredients (chia, hemp and pumpkin seeds and walnuts and Brazil nuts); instead, replace those ingredients with five ounces of cold vodka.

You think I’m kidding. Please. I don’t joke about the 10-percent rule. And I would never share a recipe with you that I have not tested myself; therefore, I want you to know that as I type, I am enjoying this 10-percent variation of the I.C.B.C. Smoothie. IT IS OUT-FREAKING-STANDING. Given the contortionistic flexibility of this recipe, I think my marriage to this smoothie is imminent. Oh! Oh! And would you look at this! Our save-the-date cards just arrived! Don’t worry – you’re all invited.

savethedate