Happy WIAW! Jenn at Peas and Crayons is over the moon now that her husband, Paul, is back form deployment (hooray!) But she still had time to serve up gorgeous food photos, and even one of her ferret! Check out her blog to see the happy couple, happy food, and a bunch of happy bloggers sharing their midweek treats!

Summer staples from last week included some zucchini that have been producing nicely in my garden, and this week I’d like to include yet another prolific producer–cucumber!

I love the taste and crunch of a fresh cucumber, and if you also like yogurt then yesterday’s Easy Tzatziki recipe is right up your alley. Vanilla Cucumber Smoothie might sound like some kind of body cream, but it’s a real, drinkable smoothie that has the clean, refreshing taste of cucumbers and the smooth sweetness of vanilla. I had one for breakfast, and it was a delicious and light post-workout snack:

Vanilla Cucumber Smoothie

Refreshing, packed with nutrients, and low in fat, carbs, and calories–just around 250 for 30 ounces of deliciousness (this glass is only 12 oz…refills!)

Lunch was another fruit & veggie yogurt bowl:

Cucumber, apple, pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, and fat-free Greek yogurt mixed with vanilla protein powder & cinnamon. Celestial Seasonings Imperial White Peach tea.

Dinner was leftovers from the previous night, chicken tikka with biriyani:

Another good source of low-fat protein: chicken, yogurt marinade, brown rice and split yellow peas.

Dessert was an assortment of sweets, including some Dutch cookies sent by my husband’s grandma from the Netherlands (thank you, Omi!) We couldn’t eat everything, but it’s just nice to look at a bunch of assorted cookies:

Clockwise, top, L-R: spekulaas (traditional Dutch cookie, tastes like Xmas,) stroopwafel (“syrup waffle”,) roomboter bitterkoekjespencee (thick cookies filled with buttery, pasty filling,) Riesen chocolates, vanilla oreos, roomboter Fondantsprits (butter shortbreads,) fudge coconut oreos, Amarettini koekjes (tastes like almond cookies,) and gezouten drop (salted licorice.) Served with rooibos thee!

This smoothie recipe can be adjusted to your taste, and is yet another great way to use up all those extra cucumbers and zucchini piling up in your fridge. The mild flavors of the veggies add freshness, plus they provide fiber for bulk. The banana also helps thicken it up and gives it some sweetness. The vanilla protein powder gives it the creamy, vanilla flavor.

Vanilla Cucumber Smoothie
A thick layer of foam forms at the top, just stir gently to incorporate all the yummy goodness!

Ingredients:

12 ounces cold water
4 ounces almond milk (or milk, soy moo, more water)
1 1/3 scoops vanilla protein powder, or your favorite flavor protein powder
2 handfuls baby spinach leaves, rinsed and squeezed out
4″ cucumber, sliced thin
4″ zucchini, sliced thin (more cucumber is okay, too)
1/3 ripe banana, sliced
ice cubes (optional)

Directions:

In a blender, add water, milk, protein powder. Blend on low until combined, about 10 seconds. Add the rest of the ingredients except ice. Blend on medium to medium-high until veggies are chopped up, 15-30 seconds. Add ice cubes and blend on high for 10 seconds until crushed. Makes about 30 ounces.

Vanilla Cucumber Smoothie-2

The bulk from the veggies makes this shake thick enough for a straw to stand up

Any favorite post-workout smoothies? What’s the greenest smoothie you ever tried? :D

Happy Wednesday, everybody! It’s my third attempt at WIAW sponsered by Jenn at Peas and Crayons, and I’ve enjoyed reading all the other bloggers’ pages to get new ideas and inspiration for future meals.

This past week of eats has included more meats than usual. Chicken tikka, barbecued chicken and some grilled bison steak were served up and enjoyed immensely! I still include some raw veggies for breakfast and lunch, as well as with the meaty meals, so haven’t gone too overboard with the change in diet.

Breakfast was a bowl of VeggieNook’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Green Smoothie served outdoors (I’ve been eating this pretty much every day, it is that delicious, and my husband likes it, too! ) Next week, I promise I will post a different breakfast picture:

For contrast, I have to include a picture of my husband’s breakfast:

Fresh eggs from my sister’s hens, jalapeno cheese hot dogs and half a strawberry. :)

Lunch was leftover tuna fish-stuffed sweet peppers and salad. I started eating the salad before I remembered to take a photo, but here’s a pic of the stuffed peppers:

Dinner was done Hawaii-style with Furikake Panko-Crusted Ahi (I think Justa’s panko-crusted fish got me hungry for this crunchy dish!) I served it with Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce because the fish itself only had flavor on the coating, but you can also make a good dipping sauce with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise mixed with 1 teaspoon soy sauce. There was extra panko mixture so I cooked up some chicken, too:

Anything panko-crusted is hard to resist!

And dessert was a slice of gluten-free Sweet Potato Haupia Pie, freshly posted yesterday!

For the Furikake Panko-Crusted Ahi, you can use any fish that is suitable for pan frying. I didn’t know which brand of panko to get around these parts, so my sister recommended Sushi Chef Panko found at Weis Markets (it comes in a black cardboard box, about the size of a cornstarch box.) It stayed nice and crispy and tasted very much like the panko I used to buy in Hawaii.

Furikake Panko-Crusted Ahi, serves 2
Be sure to steam some rice before cooking the fish.

2 ahi fillets (about 6-8 ounces total)
2 tablespoons furikake
1/2 cup panko (Japanese style bread crumbs)
1 egg
1 tablespoon ice water
2 tablespoons flour
salt
oil for frying

Instructions:

Line a large plate with paper towels, set aside.

Place ahi fillets or pieces on a plate in single layer and rub with a pinch of salt on both sides. Set aside. Mix furikake and panko in a pie pan or dish. In another pie pan or small bowl beat egg and water. Pour oil into a large frying pan until 1/4″ depth and heat on medium high.

Meanwhile, dust fish with flour, coating all sides. Next, dip fish pieces into egg wash, one at a time, making sure all sides are coated. Transfer to panko mixture, turning to coat evenly.

To test if oil is hot enough, drop a small dusting of flour into oil,  it should start to bubble and sizzle. Add fish pieces one at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Cook fish pieces for 2-3 minutes on one side (or less if fish pieces are thin,) turning heat down to medium. Fry for another 1-2 minutes on the other side.  Transfer cooked fish to paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil. Serve immediately with sweet chili sauce or mayonnaise-soy sauce mix (1 tablespoon mayo to 1 teaspoon soy sauce.)

Eat well!