Slice Bell Pepper

Slicing a beautiful bell pepper: No seeds, no bloody fingers

Starting to Slice bell peppers

Bell peppers used to intimidate me. They were not a big deal when pre-sliced. But in their whole (beautiful) state, they made me freeze-up like seeing a beautiful woman.

So beautiful, vibrant, glowing.

But, bell peppers’ still scared me. The seeds, shape and handling were scary.

I learned while creating cashew queso. It’s easy.

With bell peppers:

  • Salads are sexier.
  • Fajitas are tastier.
  • Hummus is more enjoyable to snack on.

What took me to long to figure out how to slice bell peppers?

Steps to slicing a bell pepper

Step 1:

Like carving a pumpkin, but easier. Cut off top in a circular motion.

Like carvinv a pumpkin

Ditch the seedy top.

Peel top back carefully _Slice bell peppers

But be careful. There’s a ton of seeds that can fall off easily.

Closeup of bell peppers seedy top

Step 2:

Like removing a soup can wrapper. Slice once.

Opening red bell pepper like can of soup

Unravel all the way around.

Two half bell peppers

Step 3:

Like trimming the fat. Bell peppers don’t have actual fat. But when opened, they may still have a few seeds or a bit of white flesh. The white flesh is okay to eat. The seeds, not so much.

Trimming white flesh_ Slice bell peppers-6

Step 4:

Like giving it a bath. Remaining seeds fall out instantly.

Bathing pepper to get remaining seeds out.Slice bell peppers-7

Step 5:

Like making fries. Slice the long way. When I make cashew queso, I only cut it into a couple slices. For hummus, I’ll slice into many thin (Britney) spears. [not pictured]

Blood-free bell peppers

Use basic knife skills.

Specifically, the keys to cutting bell peppers are:

  • Small knife.
  • Flexible knife.
  • Non-cutting hand stays behind.

More tips? Post a reply in the comments!

Conclusion

Bell peppers are phenominal raw or cooked. But they’re best without seeds or bloody fingers. Follow the five steps for seedless and cut-free fingers when slicing bell peppers.

Approach bell peppers with confidence.

There’s nothing more delicious and beautiful you can add to food.

Cashews

Why cashews are not too fatty and how to avoid eating them by the handful

Cashews up close-1

Cashews are like the rye chips (Gardetto’s) of trail mix. They’re the first to get eaten in a bag of less-appealing choices.

But, there’s one big difference between cashews and rye chips: Cashews are actually good for you, assuming you get the right ones. Plus, no matter what kind you get, there’s a simple way to avoid eating them by the handful. Let’s get crackin’.

Cashew Nutrition

Here’s what you need to know about cashews how their affect your body.

Raw cashews not that fatty

In their raw form, they aren’t too fatty.

Yes, they’re nuts, so they have some fat.

But relative to other nuts, they have a lot less fat.

Raw cashew fat facts

Here’s a rundown on the “good fat” in raw cashews.

  • Mostly monounsaturated fat (54%).
  • Lost of omega-6 fatty acids (2.2 g / oz).
  • Signifacant portion is polyunsaturated fat (18%).

Bad fat” only makes up 16% of raw cashews. So there is some fat to be concerned about. And, therefore, you should enjoy with some moderation.

But most of the fat in cashews is the good kind — the kind that increases good cholesterol, reduces risk of cardiovascular disease, etc.

Raw cashew benefits continued

In their raw form are great in other ways. They:

  • Keep your metabolism going fast (minerals).
  • Protect nerve fiber (copper).
  • Maintain healthy blood pressure (hardly any salt).

And while there are no academic studies, making cashew queso makes you (and your guests) happy. :)

Roasted cashews

Roasted cashews still have many of the same benefits as the raw ones. Good fats, minerals, etc.

The problem with roasted cashews, however, is that they’re:

  • Higher in bad fat (roasted in oil).
  • More salty (salted).
  • More addicting to eat (see previous two).

While the roasted ones aren’t horrible for you, the “roastedness” makes them a lot less beneficial.

Eat less roasted

So, should you avoid cashews because they’re fatty? No way!

Should you eat less of the roasted kind than the raw kind? Yes. Absolutely.

How to avoid eating cashews by the handful

Raw cashews are great for you. Roasted cashews aren’t horrible for you. In moderation, both are a good, healthy snacks. Just remember that the former (raw) is far better than the latter (roasted).

So how the hell do you avoid eating them by the handful?

A tiny bowl

Put ‘em in a tiny bowl. No, not a small bowl. A tiny bowl.

Cashews in tiny bowl

The bowl should only be able to fit one golf ball.

Instead of eating them by the handful, you’ll eat one or two at a time. All it takes is a tiny bowl!

Plus, they make a great dog treat.

Conclusion

Now you can enjoy cashews without worrying about them being too fatty. Take comfort knowing they’re actually good for you, especially raw cashews.

And don’t eat them straight from the bag. Get a tiny bowl and eat your cashews like your Life is NOYOKE.

Chop onion

How to chop an onion without crying like a baby

Chop onion without crying using Vitamix demonstration still

Onions make most food more delicious. Often, onion powder will do the trick. But, there’s something about freshly chopped onions that can’t be beat. That is, assuming they’re served without tears. So how do you chop an onion without crying?

I chop an onion every time I make my buffalo turkey burgers. Every time I make lox omelets. Every time I can. And do I cry? Nope. I chop my onions with ease and without crying.

There are three steps to chopping an onion without crying:

Step 1: Cut off the ends of the onion. No explanation needed here. Just do it.

Step 2: Peel the onion. With the ends chopped off, peeling an onion is easy. Just poke a layer or two with your chef’s knife and the peel comes off in one swoop.

Step 2.5: Cut onion into quarters. This step is optional but makes for more evenly chopped onion.

Step 3: Drop it in your Vitamix.

That’s it!

Follow the simple tips on how t chop an onion in your Vitamix, and you’re done. It’s so simple, yet I somehow managed to screw it up on my first try. See the video below to see what I mean.

Vitamix onion chop

That headline sounds like a song or dance move.

Well, it basically is.

Chopping an onion in your Vitamix is like playing the bass guitar. How?

  • Pulse button: Like plucking the strings. Evenly and rhythmically.
  • Tamper: Like sliding up an down the frets.

Specifically, pulse your Vitamix on low speed 6-10 times. At the same time, use the tamper to push the unchopped pieces to the bottom.

If you do it right, you get perfectly chopped onions. And, they shouldn’t be covered in tears.

If, however, you put your face in the container afterwards, the no-crying part is not guaranteed.

Demonstration

Here’s my demonstration of how to chop an onion without crying. Assumption is that you do not put your face in the Vitamix container right after chopping!

Watch to the end to see me fail, big time.

21 Seasoning Salute

21 Reasons I Love 21 Seasoning Salute

21 Seasoning Salute

Let’s face it. Spices are expensive. And picking the right ones is a crapshoot, especially after a long day of work. Enter Trader Joe’s brand “21 Seasoning Salute.” It’s an all-purpose seasoning that’s good on everything. Plus, there’s zero salt!

So what’s is it?

Basically Onion Powder with a Kick

21 Seasoning Salute is basically onion powder with a kick. But if you’re looking for specifics, here’s are the 21 ingredients inside:

1. Onion.
2-15. “Spices” (black pepper, celery seed, cayenne pepper, parsley, basil, marjoram, bay leaf, oregano, thyme, savory, rosemary, cumin, mustard, coriander).
16. Garlic.
17. Carrot.
18. Orange peel.
19. Tomato granules.
20. Lemon juice powder.
21. Oil of lemon.

Citric acid is also an ingredient but not included in the 21 seasonings.

This little bottle is my go-to seasoning. I love that it’s perfectly NOYOKE:

  • Easy.
  • Healthy.
  • Quick.

Without further ado:

My salute to 21 Seasoning Salute

1. It’s super cheap. It’s only $1.99, people. Compared to all other spices on the shelf, 21 Seasoning Salute is a steal!

2. It’s salt-free. Not that salt is that bad for you. But since it’s salt-free, you are in control. Adding flavor doesn’t require adding more salt.

3. It’s great with anything that’s good with salt. Burgers, eggs, soups, etc. Pretty much anything you’d add salt to is made better with 21 Seasoning Salute.

4. Out-of-this-world eggs. Seriously. Wanna know the secret to making the tastiest scrambled egg whites on the planet? Sprinkle a little 21SS and prepare to be amazed.

5. Homemade dressings made easy. I have a few dressings in my repertoire. But, when I’m just making one up, I use the formula. Extra virgin olive oil, vinegar (balsamic or similar), and a few shakes of 21 Seasoning Salute.

6. Instant grill master status. Sprinkle some of this stuff on your grillables. Not just burgers, but grilled veggies, too. Then, let the compliments roll in.

7. No MSG. Not that it’s prevalent anymore, but it’s good to know.

8. Brings out flavors. Since there are so many seasonings, there is always something that perfectly accentuates the natural flavors of you food.

9. It travels well. Going camping or having a tailgate? Why bring a mess of spices? Salt and 21 Seasoning Salute is all you need.

10. Efficient cooking. Opening up spice jars, sprinkling, and closing ‘em up takes time. With this stuff, it’s one and done.

11. Less cluttered kitchen. Clutter brings stress. Stress brings all sorts of unhealthy eating habits. With 21 Seasoning Salute, my kitchen is much less cluttered. I’m much less stressed. And I’m more likely to make good eating decisions.

12. It’s enhanceable. Salt is not the only thing that enhances 21 Seasoning Salute. Crushing the mix into finer pieces actually unlocks some flavors and releases essential oils.

13. Food looks better. Your foods’ appearance is crucial for ensuring good taste. Why do you think the best chefs are called culinary artists?

14. It’s all natural. Except for a little citric acid, there are no additives in this spice. Just 21 of the best spices.

15. Consistent cooking made easy. Your signature dishes can be good every time you make ‘em. No more complaints about tonight’s batch being a little off.

16. Fresh hands. Adding fresh onions or garlic to your food is great. But what about your hands? Nobody likes onion fingers or garlic nails!

17. Grilled chicken goodness. People gush over my grilled chicken recipe. Here it is: 21 Seasoning Salute, Salt, crushed black pepper, sea salt.

18. Controlled spiciness. Cooking with 21 Seasoning Salute is like having a spiciness dial on the food. Since there is a lot of pepper in it, it doesn’t take long before your food gets a nice kick.

19. Good substitute to Sri Racha or Franks Red Hot. Add 21 Seasoning Salute to the list of stuff you’ll put on anything. It’s that good and that versatile.

20. Better soups. Standard chicken broth is so flavorful with a few shakes of this stuff. But other soups are better with it, too. Nearly all the boxed Trader Joe’s soups have room for a little 21SS.

21. An unforgettable name. Doesn’t it make you want to lineup at Trader Joe’s and literally salute the spice rack? Or, perhaps it conjures an image of 21 guns firing all the 21 spices into the air? Okay, maybe it’s just me.

Conclusion

Go get a $1.99 bottle of 21 Seasoning Salute today. You can thank me tomorrow.

Question: How else do you use 21 Seasoning Salute?

 

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

It’s also great on a sandwich with some roasted turkey or grilled chicken. You can modify this recipe to any flavor you want. Take out the red peppers and you’ve got plain hummus. Add more garlic, or lemon juice, or olives, or whatever Sabra flavor you like.

Just remember the secret to the smoothest hummus in the world: Whip the tahini first!

Ways to enjoy

Apples and Hummus

Quinoa Casserole (hummus instead of cheese)

Grilled Chicken Pita

Other noteworthy versions

Oh My Veggies: Edamame Hummus

A Beautiful Mess: Cilantro and Ginger Hummus

The Hummusapien: Kalamata White Bean Hummus

Green smoothies vs juicing

Differentiating green smoothies vs juicing: Are you new-school, old-school or just starting school?

Green smoothie _ Green Smoothies vs Juicing

What color is your drink? Chances are if it’s green, it makes you feel:

  • Fit.
  • Focused.
  • Energized.

Green beer, notwithstanding.

Making green smoothies and juicing are both very popular. Both are ways to get fruits and veggies into your diet. And if made right, both can be delicious. In fact, some don’t taste “green” at all.

Fans of green smoothies and juices are a similar crowd. But what does your preference say about you?

Juicing 101

History of juicing

People have been juicing fruits for ages. Pick the fruit, squeeze it, and drink. Good caveman.

But with the advent of juice extractors, vegetables could now be juiced, too. Carrot juice anyone?

In the mid 70′s, Jack LaLanne, the godfather of modern fitness, helped bring juicing to the mainstream. I wonder what he’d think about today’s juice cleanse craze, though? Hopefully, it’s not making him roll over in his grave.

How juicing works

Juicers are self-descriptive: They extract juice.

Juicing_Green Smoothies vs Juicing

Fruits and vegetables are passed through a blade and pressor. Then, the liquid component passes through a fine filter. All that’s left is juice. No pulp. No pith. Just juice.

Green smoothies 101

History green smoothies

Recently, green smoothies have become popular, too. Why weren’t they popular until now? Simply, the technology didn’t exist. Now that, green smoothies are easier than ever to make.

How green smoothies work

Green smoothies are made by pulverizing whole foods in a high-performance blender.

Making a green smoothies in my Vitamix _Green smoothies vs Juicing

The result is similar to juicing. Except with green smoothies, nothing is wasted. All the vitamins and nutrients are part of the drink.

Green smoothie people

Green smoothie people will say that green smoothies are:

More nutritious

The pith of an orange contains 80% of the nutrients and flavonoids. Green smoothies contain pulverized pith. Juicing, however, discards the pith.

Better for digestion

Dietary fiber is preserved in green smoothies. For example, apple peels are included in green smoothies. Juicing, however, discards the apple peel. “An apple-a-day keeps the doctor away,” only if you eat the peel.

Better for weight loss

The fiber retained in green smoothies helps you absorb  the sugar from the juice. With juicing, however, that sugar goes straight to your gut.

Better for muscle building

It’s easy to add protein to a green smoothie. I always do. You cannot say the same thing about juicing. Protein powder or liquid pasteurized egg whites don’t do well in a juicer.

Tastier

The taste of a fresh-squeezed juice from a juicer is great. But for many, drinks made with a juicer are bitter. Green smoothies, however, are usually sweet and rich from a (frozen) banana — an ingredient not allowed in a juicer.

Easier cleanup

If you’ve ever owned a juicer, you know. If not, here’s a picture.

Wasted food from juicing_Green Smoothies vs Juicing

Juicers give you juice and throw the rest in a basket. Plus, there are at least five distinct parts that need to be cleaned manually. Compare that to a blender that cleans itself.

Less expensive

Green smoothies require 20% less whole foods than a drink from a juicer. Plus, if you value the time spent shopping, there are savings there, too.

Green smoothies lovers’ favorites

There are million recipes on the web for green smoothies. Find some simple ones on the Vitamix website. Other great ones have been posted by fellow blogger, Tess Masters.

But if you are ready for the best green smoothies, try mine. They all have a secret ingredient. And they are all incredible.

My favorites are:

  • Apple Carrot Kale.
  • Mango Kale.
  • Super Green.

No matter the recipe, most green smoothies are similar. They use spinach or kale to make it green. And, there is some banana to make it sweet and smooth.

A juicer’s defense

Freshly squeezed, drinks from a juicer are delicious. They’re great over ice, unlike green smoothies, which are part ice. Plus, there’s nothing to get stuck in your teeth.

Carrot juice served over ice

Juicing has been around for much longer. Green smoothies, one could say, are just a fad. And, perhaps green smoothies aren’t even juice. Juice purists will say a Vitamix is not a juicer.

Yes, some juices have intense flavors. Some are even bitter. But that’s what makes them better than green smoothies, arguably. For a drink made with a juicer, bananas are not required. Nor are they allowed!

Green team united

Green smoothie and juice lovers are a lot alike. Often, one’s preference is based on which machine they have. Juicer owners like juicing. Vitamix owners like green smoothies.

But, green smoothie and juice lovers generally fall into three categories:

  • Newbies: To them, everything is a juice. These people go to Whole Foods and order a green drink. They have no clue if it’s a green smoothie or a juice.
  • Old Schoolers: These folks usually prefer a drink from a juicer. They also probably own a juicer.
  • New Schoolers: They are really into green smoothies.  They start with kale or spinach. They add some banana. Then, they throw the kitchen sink into their Vitamix and call it a day.

Of course, there’s the juice-cleanse crowd. They are in a category of their own: Fluctuators.

But your preference of green smoothies vs juicing is not important, actually. The most important part is that you share.

Share your drinks!

Sharing your love for green smoothies and juices makes the world will be a better place.

Life is NOYKE’s Preference

I like both green smoothie and juices. But, I think green smoothies make more sense because they:

  • Have more nutrients.
  • Easier to clean up.
  • Are better for weight loss and muscle-building.

Plus, I think green smoothies simply taste better.

CTA: Go grab a green smoothie recipe right meow!