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Blueberry chocolate coconut protein smoothie

Blueberry chocolate smoothies

That’s right. You heard me. Blueberry. Chocolate. Coconut. And to make it all sound healthy, protein. Shake. We really could pretty much just stop now, because you’ve got the ingredients right there, every single one of them.

Hola, dudes. I know it’s been a while since I rapped at ya. You would not believe the backlog of photos I have (might) clogging up my Frankenmac (if I had one). It’s a food graveyard in there. What do you call that? Compost heap? Sure, but these foods don’t decompose. They just sit there looking eternally perfect in their perfect pixels, daring me to write about them.

Welp, blueberry chocolate coconut protein shake, you don’t get to glare are me anymore!


Yeah, Frankenmac. It’s building a computer and running a legit MacOS on it. I hear people do that. If I tell you more, I’d have to kill you. And I don’t want to kill you, at least not until you’ve had a chance to try this smoothie. It might kill you, I don’t know. If you were a dog, it might, what with the chocolate and all.

Do you like protein powder? Totally optional. I have this fancy stuff from when I was testing dairy. It’s brown rice protein, won’t mess with you if you have any dairy issues like whey might. Pricey though. But good. And adding protein makes this seem almost healthy.

Fancy brown rice protein powder

I know. You’re like that lady in Sam’s who I bonded with in the checkout line. (People always bond with me over my frozen blueberry purchases. Seriously. It’s the magic berry.) She adds greeeeeeens to her blueberry smoothies.

Chocolate almond milk + protein powder


You know what I add instead of greens? COCONUT OIL. TOTALLY THE SAME.

solid coconut oil


Mega size coconut oil!

It’s imperfect, though, like so many wonderful things are. You have to melt it first. Solid at room temp and all. But then the pouring in is fun. It’ll never blend in super perfectly. I mean, sure, it mixes pretty well when poured, but it’s still never going to be perfect. You’ll see what I mean. Like that sort of foam in the picture of the finished smoothies? I think that has a good deal of the coconut oil in it, on top there. Still yummy.

Pouring in the melted coconut oil

Yeah, sure, greens make it healthy. I guess that’s okay. I just don’t have fresh spinach or kale around much, for sure not much in winter, and if it was here, I’d be chomping that shit fresh, you know?

Blueberry chocolate smoothie in whir mode

So you know, it’s okay to be blue instead of green.

Pouring smoothies into cups

Welcome back to me.

Blueberry chocolate coconut protein smoothie

According to my Flavor Bible, the spice coriander complements the flavor of blueberries. I usually add a pinch of ground coriander to these smoothies when I have it around.

Yield: 2 large smoothies
Special equipment: Blender

    20 ounces chocolate almond milk
    1 scoop chocolate protein powder
    1 pinch of ground coriander (optional)
    2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
    2 cups frozen blueberries

Microwave the blueberries for 45 seconds. This will leave them very cold, yet not so frozen that your blender, if it’s a cheapo like mine, will have a hard time with them.

Pour chocolate almond milk into blender. Add scoop of protein powder and optional pinch of coriander. Blend.

Pour in melted coconut oil and blend.

Pour in partially defrosted blueberries and blend until smooth.

Pour into glasses and drink. May cover and refrigerate, but drink same day. Stir before drinking if it thickens in the fridge.

December 25, 2012 in cake, desserts, holidayleave a comment

Merry Christmas, everyone

Second Empire house from The Gingerbread Architect

And peace on earth.

Back of Second Empire house from The Gingerbread Architect

And good will towards everyone.

Penguins made from sugar paste, 100% edible

Including penguins.

Maggie aka Godzilla

And radioactive monster children.

Sugar penguin just chilling on a melted hard candy lake.

But especially penguins.

Recipe did NOT specify enough shingles. Bad recipe!

Merry Christmas, my little monsters and penguins.

February 13, 2012 in cake, desserts4 comments

Fairytale Gingerbread Cake

fairytale gingerbread cake

When I told Mom I was thinking of making gingerbread cake, she told me she wasn’t a fan. Which didn’t surprise me a bit. She’s very spice-averse, particularly the warm spices: cloves, nutmeg, ginger. (However, she doesn’t realize that in the past several years she’s become much more tolerant of them. Don’t tell her I told you!)

Then Mom said something that set off happy little bells in my head.

“My mom used to make gingerbread and it was the best thing ever with canned peaches and whipped cream on top.”

Speak of the fruit-devil! I had just opened up a jar of peaches the other day and they had me hooked. They have me hooked. We’d just canned peaches again last summer and I vowed to actually eat them this winter. Damn, nothing better than home-canned peaches in February.

Now, toss those luscious, home-canned peaches atop moist, whole-grain gingerbread? Spray some fun canned whip cream on top?

Where do I sign up? Oh, that’s right. Here! continue reading…

December 13, 2011 in main course, sandwiches, vegetarian1 comment

Yummy Black Bean Burgers

black bean burgers

“Naw, I don’t need anything,” I said.

Linda and I were in Panini’s Deli, a sandwich shop right in the middle of the Discount Health Foods store. I’d link you but, you know, they’re too cool to have a website. We were eating the best sandwiches you can find in this godforsaken restaurant desert of a town, but that doesn’t do them justice. These sandwiches are the bomb, made with fresh, semi-trendy ingredients like red pepper alioli or basil pesto mayo, with several vegetarian sandwiches that — surprise! — aren’t all variations of “avocado, tomato and bean sprouts.” continue reading…

July 22, 2011 in drinksleave a comment

Hot Days and Cold Ginger Tea. Cold Like Your Heart.

sweet ginger iced tea

Things are a bit out of sorts here at Casa Shiny Cooking. There’s been computer disaster, a late, somewhat lackluster garden, repetitive cooking, and a heat wave.

Through it all I’ve been documenting dishes with my trusty little Canon A75: continue reading…

Foodbuzz 24×24: Don’t Get Chocolate on My Cards! Game Night Featuring Non-messy Finger Foods

tropical trail mix

Greetings and hello from the lovely planet Venus, where it’s cloudy and rains all the time. For our purposes, Venus is also known as Michigan.

For this month’s Foodbuzz 24×24 event, I hosted a Game Night — that’s with a capital G and N — and made oodles of easy-on-the-expensive-games snacks. I’m here to show you just how easy it is to have people over and serve amazing finger foods like tropical trail mix (above), asparagus frittata bites, blueberry-vanilla goat cheese on polenta dolce, cantonese roasted vegetables, and much, much more!

dishes carnage

Err…just try not to make these foods all at once. These dishes dirtied themselves for your benefit in testing all the recipes out. I wouldn’t recommending doing this all at once!

At the end of this post you’re also getting the easiest recipe of them all: tropical trail mix. continue reading…

April 22, 2011 in garden porn, notfood1 comment

this earth day, stand up for science

wheat after an april rain

Holidays aren’t big on this blog. You won’t see me doing a week of Easter recipes, mainly because I can’t be arsed to make dishes beforehand. However, I’d like to put in a word for today’s secular holiday, Earth Day.

Nearly 20 years ago, I took a biology class. It was an introductory course, so we looked at everything from cellular reproduction to continent-wide habitats. One topic that loomed large was climate change. We saw the papers and the data. Even back then, it was undeniable that since the Industrial Revolution, the amount of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere has been rising exponentially.

For Earth Day, we split into groups to do a presentation project of our own choosing on the environment. No matter what topic the group chose, climate change affected it in some way — one group looked into rainforest destruction, another into the impact of melting polar ice on arctic flora and fauna. Our group looked at the unique lemurs of Madagascar; one part of that was their changing habitat.

That’s why it saddens and frustrates me to see the willful ignorance and often outright lying on the part of climate change deniers. Even 20 years ago, it was clear that something was going on. continue reading…

April 18, 2011 in desserts, vegetarian8 comments

Birthday Beignets, Anyone? A Whole Wheat Beignet Recipe


Sugar beets are a communal crop. It’s rare for one farmer to have both the specialized harvesting equipment and the manpower required to harvest all of his sugar beets by himself. It’s also a busy crop: as the beets are pulled from the ground by the mechanical harvester they are dumped into a truck driven alongside it in the field, and they need to be driven to the sugar plant ASAP. As a result, several farmers work together in the fall to get everyone’s sugar beet crop in on time. continue reading…

February 25, 2011 in photo of the day1 comment

photo of the day: seedsmen to the world

full text: funk's g hybrid. seedsmen to the world

Morning tea in a retro mug. My grandfather sold Funk’s seed and I’d guess the mug’s about 40 years old. Filled with Earl Grey from a health food store in Frankenmuth that disconcertingly advertises “ear candles” quite loudly on its sign.

The tea is good, though.

February 19, 2011 in main course, vegan, vegetarian2 comments

Dazed and Confused Sesame Peanut Stir Fry, with Bonus Babylon 5 Reference


Ever run into a recipe that is so easy and so tasty that you are dazed under its spell, obeying its command to make it again, and again, and again, until two weeks later you blink and say to yourself, “Damn, that was good.”


This recipe is why I bought the big honkin’ bottle of sesame oil.


Perfect for chlily nights when you have some time to cook, but not a lot of time, this sesame-peanut stir fry puts together pantry and freezer ingredients in about half an hour to create a comforting sweet-and-spicy assortment of veggies and rice. I love it for its…well, its heft. Vegetables and rice are so very light that they threaten to float away without something to anchor them down, and in winter that something is chunky peanut butter and luscious, dark sesame oil, anchored by onion, ginger, garlic, and lots of black pepper.


For a truly comforting experience, mix the rice right into the finished stir fry. We’re all at home here. If it’s late, we’re going to scoop some of this into a bowl and curl up on the couch with it, furtively, because we know we’re not supposed to.


And if we’re lucky, we have Babylon 5 in the DVD player, and it’s a Londo episode, with lots of Vir, because who knew Flounder could act?

Sesame Peanut Stir Fry

Recipe inspired by “Szechuan-style lo mein stir fry with broccoli slaw and peanuts” from The PDQ (Pretty Darn Quick) Vegetarian Cookbook: 240 Healthy and Easy No-Prep Recipes for Busy Cooks. I’ll often make this with a bag of mixed frozen vegetables — broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. It’s great with basmati rice and the great part is, you can start the rice when you start cooking the stir fry, and they’ll both be done around the same time. P.S. Sesame peanut stir fry doubles easily to feed a crowd or have extra leftovers.

    1 tablespoon canola oil
    ½ cup chopped onion
    1-2 minced garlic cloves
    ¼ tsp black pepper
    16-ounce frozen broccoli, thawed
    ⅓ cup water
    ⅓ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
    ½ teaspoon ground ginger or 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
    ½ tablespoon sugar
    1 package (approximately 14 ounces) firm or extra-firm tofu, drained and cubed
    2 tablespoon chunky peanut butter
    1 tablespoon toasted (dark) sesame seed oil
    ¼ cup unsalted chopped peanuts
    cooked rice (I like basmati)

In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook until softened, 3 minutes. Add garlic and black pepper and cook 1 minute.

Increase heat to medium-high and add broccoli. Cook, stirring occasionally, until warmed, 1 to 3 minutes.

Stir in water, soy sauce, ginger and sugar. Add cubed tofu, if using. Bring to a simmer.

Reduce heat to low and add peanut butter and sesame seed oil, stirring to incorporate; cook until heated through.

Serve on basmati rice. Sprinkle chopped peanuts on top.