The Green Smoothie

This is a smoothie that brings you the best of both worlds- daily servings of fruit and veggies!  Feel free to add other fruit as well such as mango, strawberries, or blueberries.

1 large handful of fresh spinach, rinsed
1 cup of 2% or whole Organic milk
1 banana, coarse chopped
2 tbsp honey

Blend together spinach and milk until spinach is well dissolved.  Add banana and honey and blend until mixture is smooth.  Serve and enjoy!

Zulay Santana


Spinach Noodle Soup

3 cups water
1 chicken bullion
2 handfuls of fresh spinach
1/4 tspn garlic paste or 1/2 tspn garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
8 oz. Small egg noodles (substitute with whole wheat noodles of preferred

In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add chicken bullion, garlic and let simmer for 5-6 min. (Until bullion is diluted).

Add noodles and cook until tender (about 6 min.).

Add spinach and cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve immediately.

Zulay Santana


Meet Zulay Santana: Alumni Roundup Healthy Living Columnist

[Spotted on RoundupRussy’s Blog]

In the Fall of 2009 I decided that I wanted to lose at least 12 lbs.; weighed 162 lbs. By Winter of2009/2010 I managed to gain an additional 8 lbs. One of my best friends told me that as long as my jeans still fit that I’d be fine… Well, my jeans (even the “safety/fat pants”) didn’t fit well anymore… something really had to be done. And there was another issue, sometime last year I got the ambitious idea to run the ING marathon in 3 years. Yes, indeed, something really had to be done!


Chicken & Pasta Summer Salad

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts OR
4 thin sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 16 oz. box of tri-color Rotini (also substitute with whole wheat pasta, Penne, Rigatoni or Orzo)
1 bunch of fresh broccoli, chopped
3 lemons or
4 tbsp. lemon juice
4 tbsp. olive oil
1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 tbsp kosher salt
½ tbsp black pepper
½ tspn garlic paste or 2 tsp. garlic powder
½ bunch of flat leaf parsely (optional), finely chopped

1. Slice large chicken breasts in half, in thickness. Leave thin-sliced chicken as it is.
2. Place the chicken in a Ziploc bag or container and season the chicken with kosher salt, black pepper, garlic and lemon juice. For best results, let the season the chicken the day before and let sit in the refrigerator overnight. Heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil a large skillet on medium heat, stovetop grill (or counter-top grill) and cook chicken. Make sure to not let the chicken overlap. Brown each side (5-7 min). Remove chicken from pan once it’s cooked and let it sit on a plate and cool down.
3. Boil pasta in salted water until al dente (still slightly firm in texture). Drain and let cool.
4. Boil broccoli in heavily salted water for 4 minutes (until bright green). Soak the broccoli in cold water or ice water immediately after to maintain crispiness.
5. Place all ingredients in to a large bowl. Squeeze juice from the lemons over all ingredients. Season with remaining olive oil, kosher salt and black pepper. Toss all ingredients together with a cooking spoon, until completely mixed. Add additional salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.
6. Enjoy!!
Zulay Santana


Shrimp Poi Poi With Sesame Broccoli

Medium or large shrimp, deveined and tail off
1 bunch of fresh broccoli, chopped
2 rounds of whole wheat pita
2 1/2 tbsp Olive oil
2 tspn garlic powder
1 tspn dried parsley (optional)
1/2 tspn Kosher salt
1 tspn sesame oil
1 tspn sesame seeds
1 tspn paprika
1/2 tspn red pepper flakes
Your favorite hummus

Preheat oven to 350•

Season shrimp with pepper flakes, paprika, 1/2 tspn garlic powder, and 1/4 tspn salt. Let marinate.

Coat each piece of pita bread with 1/4 tspn salt, Olive oil and season each with 1/2 tspn garlic powder. coat well and evenly. Slice bread in to 2″ chunks and place on aluminum foil or cookie sheet. Bake for 8 min. Remove and let cool.

Bring approximately 3 cups of water to a boil and salt heavily. Cook broccoli until bright green in color, about 2 min. Drain immediately and let cool in a bowl of cold water.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium skillet. Add broccoli and season with salt & pepper to taste, sesame oil, 1 tspn garlic powder. Coat broccoli well. Remove from heat.

Heat remaining olive oil a medium skillet on medium/high heat. Add shrimp and cook on each side for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.

Serve shrimp alongside broccoli and pita chips with hummus.

Zulay Santana


Bowl of Comfort

Normally I love rainy days. They are cozy days. Thinking days. Today’s rainy day sucks because it has me inside a funky, sweaty car shop with thick-sole footed, oily uniformed men stomping about popping pistons and rotating wheels and doing all types of foreign things. This is the place where I do not speak the lingo and I feel very vulnerable. They spout things like “diagnostics” and “master cylinder” and I cringe and hide behind my purse. I say “Can you explain the problem to my car in pixels or PHP?” They furrow their brows. I try again. “Can you draw me a wireframe demonstrating the problem with my automobile?” They hand me a bill and I pay $500 to get my car keys back. I leave that linoleum floor world devastated and out of sorts.

This makes me want to eat milk chocolate in wholesale proportions. I need comfort. I need to eat my feelings. But alas after a weekend of gastronomic debauchery behind me already and Miami RoundUp Rendezvous bikini fitting on the horizon, I must find something to eat that is healthy, calorically-wise but also filling. So now bankrupt, I do what Jack did, I use my last pennies for magic beans. And they were put to such good use. Marth Rose Shulman’s recipe for Black Bean Soup with Cumin and Tomatoes was smoky, substantial and sensual. Everything a single girl needs after being monkey-wrenched at the local Midas shop on a soggy day. Hope you find good use for this recipe too:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

4 large garlic cloves, halved

1 cup dried black beans, washed and picked over

6 cups water

1 14-ounce can tomatoes, drained

2 teaspoons lightly toasted cumin seeds, ground

1 canned chipotle pepper, rinsed, or 1 serrano pepper, coarsely chopped (optional)

1. Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add half of the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, and add two of the garlic cloves. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, and add the beans and the water. Discard any of the beans that float, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours until the beans are tender.

2. While the beans are simmering, combine the remaining onion, drained tomatoes, cumin, chile and remaining garlic in a blender, and blend until smooth. Heat the remaining oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until hot enough for a drop of the puree to sizzle upon contact. Add the puree, and cook, stirring, for five to 10 minutes until the mixture is thick and leaves a canal when you run a spoon or spatula down the center of the pan. Stir in a cup of liquid from the beans, and simmer over medium heat for five to 10 minutes until thick and fragrant. Scrape into the beans with a rubber spatula. Season the beans with salt, and simmer another 15 to 30 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

3. Blend the soup coarsely using an immersion blender or in batches in a blender (cover the top with a towel to avoid hot splashes) or a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Return to the pot, and heat through, stirring. Serve with warm corn tortillas.

Yield: Serves four.

Advance preparation: The soup will keep for three or four days in the refrigerator.

Martha Rose Shulman can be reached at


Recipe from the ShoeBox Oven: Amor & The Samurai

"Amor and the Samurai" A Mexican-Japanese sweet and spicy chocolate treat
"Amor and the Samurai" A Mexican-Japanese spicy chocolate

Though the bakery has closed, it’s memory lives on and many people (especially in the DC area) miss the artisanal pastries of the “tiny very merry bakery.” But they do not miss the joy of the bakery as much as me, the baker and former owner. Though waking at 11pm and baking until 6pm every day is not missed at all the creativity and kick I got from coming up with new recipes, naming them, baking them and then seeing my customers smile with pleasure when eating them is a feeling I’ll never be able to replicate again. Always wanting to share and please, I’m sharing a ShoeBox Oven favorite and hope you will enjoy the recipes too.

Description: It must be noted that I equate chocolate with love. I’m not talking about God’s love or family love. I’m talking about sticky, messy, passion-sloppy, shipwrecking, x-rated, heart-breaking, flashing lights kind of love. The kind that burns when you touch it, but you just got to touch it. Thus I came up with a recipe that reflects my kind of chocolate love. I definitely did not come up with the idea of chocolate with chilis. But ShoeBox Oven can be credited for giving the genre a sense of style and depth.

Amor & The Samurai is an unusually extraordinary mexican chocolate steeped in ground japanese chilis. Inspired by Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Amores Perros and Akira Kurosawa’s Sanjuro… as well as one of our favorite cartoons… Samurai Jack.


Recipe: Delicious Lemon Angel Cake w Raspberry Syrup

angel food cake

Start out with this recipe for Angel Food cake from Food Network’s Alton brown, or pick up a pre-made cake from the supermarket or bakery.


    3 cups raspberries
    2 tablespoons sugar
    1 9″ angel food cake
    1/2 cup lemon curd (found near jelly or in the international section)
    1 1/2 cups of whipped cream (yours preferably)


    In a medium bowl gently toss together berries and sugar and set aside.
    Cut cake into thirds horizontally. Place bottom layer of the cake on the serving plate. Spread with half of the lemon curd and half of the whipped cream. Top with the middle layer of cake and repeat layers of curd and cream. Add top layer of cake.
    Cut into 12 slices with a sharp knife and plate.
    Add raspberries.