Fall Smoothies, And Where Should We Go?

M and I are in the middle of planing our little fall getaway. We’re trying to decide whether we should just go north: Inverness, Bolinas, Point Reyes in search of delicious oysters and gorgeous views, or go down south, looking for warmer weather, and finally organize our fall picnic, we’ve been talking so much about. We usually hate planning, we just hop into the car and get on the road, but this time our getaway will be very short, so any ideas???

In the mean time, we’ve been also playing around with smoothies, a lot. Since our CSA boxes have been overflowing with apples, pears, carrots and oranges, more than we could ever eat, we decided to give our healthy summer sippers a little seasonal update.
So here are our three favorite recipes: carrot-apple for our nagging sweet tooth, spicy pear-orange for heat and energy, and heart healthy pomegranate-orange smoothie.

 

 

Carrot-apple smoothie is my healthy sugar fix. I usually use 2 small purple carrots, 1 apple, plum and freshly squeezed orange juice or cantaloupe, if available. Blend everything with plenty of ice until smooth. And, if I still want some extra fiber I also add flax seed.

 

 

Spicy pear-orange smoothie is my pick-me-up concoction. I mix pear with freshly squeezed orange juice and spice things up with a Thai pepper. I usually just use half of it, as it has a really strong “kick” to it. Blend everything with ice and enjoy it’s fiery flavor.

And just in case you missed it, here is the fall smoothie #1, pomegranate-orange:

 

enjoy!

Welcome Autumn

Fall is finally here, and I couldn’t be happier. I know it means, that winter is just around the corner, but if you live or ever been to San Francisco, you will know, it’s the time, when we get to enjoy our summer. We still get all the bounty of the harvest season and long awaited, gorgeous, warm weather. Life is beautiful and it makes me want to drag all of my friends to a fall picnic, eat lots of apples, pears and pomegranates. Indulge on sweetness of dates,figs and persimmons. Photograph even more, listen to Kate Bush. Take long strolls around the city and stop by any cafe, that has patio seating.
So, what are you doing this first fall weekend? Are you going to celebrate the season? Are you cooking anything special, making your fall-to-do list???

There is lots of yoga on my list, and as a reward some delicious smoothies.
I’m leaving you for the weekend with this pomegranate-orange smoothie recipe, it’s so easy to make and it couldn’t be more nutritious. Did you know that pomegranates are packed with fiber, vitamin C and lots of antioxidants? They are so good for your heart. Their season is just starting now, so head over to the farmers’ market this Saturday.

To prepare Pomegranate-Orange smoothie you will need:
*seeds of 4 pomegranates, free of any yellow pith, it has really bitter taste, click here for instructions
*freshly squeezed juice of one orange
*blender
Process pomegranate seeds with orange juice and some ice in the blender until smooth. Divide between two glasses and enjoy!

Have a beautiful weekend!

Herbed Goat Cheese Tart With Roasted Beets

How was your weekend? Were you fighting off the heat wave, enjoying almost-here-summer days, picnicking or hiking??? I did some of these things plus trip to the farmers market and some good cooking. I had this herbed goat cheese tart on my mind for quite some time now, was just waiting for a perfect summer weather as an excuse to make it…..just in case a  picnic dish was needed. It’s made with marinated roasted beets, whole wheat pastry flour, fresh herbs, goat and ricotta cheese, delicious. Perfect for a picnic at the park or day at the beach.

marinated roasted beets

  • 2 golden beets
  • 2 small red beets
  • 1 small Albina Vereduna, white variety (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2Tbs sherry vinegar
  • sea salt, fresh ground pepper
  • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme

for the pastry

  • 1cup whole wheat pastry flour and
  • 1 1/2 all- purpose flour or if you prefer use 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

for the filling

  • 10 ounces soft mild goat cheese
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mixed fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary, oregano

for garnish
fresh chopped herbs, baby arugula
fresh ground pepper, sea salt

directions

To roast the beets wrap them in aluminum foil, place on the baking sheet and bake for about 30-40 min in 425F oven, wait until cool enough to handle and use paper towels to slip the skins off. Slice thinly  and place red and golden beets in two separate bowls. Mix olive oil, vinegar, garlic, thyme salt and pepper, pour over each bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
In the mean time mix all of the ingredients for the pastry dough until smooth, flatten into a disc, wrap and refrigerate until ready to use ( at least 30 min).
In the food processor blend all the ingredients for the filling, until smooth.
Preheat oven to 350F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a 1/8-inch-thick rectangular shape( if you’re using this kind of pan) . Roll the dough around the rolling pin, and lift it over a tart pan with a removable bottom( I used 10.5×7.5). Line the pan with the dough, pressing it into the corners.You’ll most likely use only 2/3 of prepared dough. Prick dough all over with a fork. Transfer to  refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes. Bake for 10-15 min on the middle rack. Remove from oven, add the feeling and bake on the middle rack for another 30 min. Remove from oven, arrange the beets on top, garnish with chopped thyme, oregano and baby arugula, drizzle with some oil and vinegar mixture saved from marinating beets. Tastes great with mixed greens salad and sauvignon blanc wine.