Monday, February 25, 2013

Petra's Green Smoothie

(recipe from Healthy Girl's Kitchen)

Handful of kale, especially the stalks
4 stalks celery
1 cucumber
2 apples or one ruby red grapefruit, or sometimes both


(I altered the amounts on this one to make a smaller portion: handful of kale, 1 stalk celery, 1/2 a cucumber, one apple, 1/2 a grapefruit (I also made one with just 1/2 a grapefruit, no apple).  It still made two good-sized portions.  Very tangy and vibrant!)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Chris-anna's Green Smoothie

(recipe from Healthy Girl's Kitchen)

kale or swiss chard
almond milk


(I just bought a Vitamix.  F-ing amazing!  This was the first smoothie I made in it, because I had some leftover chard.  I used coconut water in place of the almond milk, since all of the packaged almond milks have weird added ingredients.  Tasty and healthy green drink!  The celery and parsley add nice notes.)

Asparagus Vinaigrette

(recipe from Orangette)

1 bunch asparagus
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. white wine or champagne vinegar
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
5 Tbsp. olive oil
Scant 1/8 tsp. pressed garlic (or minced)
1 hard-boiled egg, finely chopped (optional)
Zest of half a lemon (optional)

For the hard-boiled egg, a new method:  Put the egg in a small saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  When it begins to boil, pull it off the burner, cover it, and let it sit for 12 minutes.  Then rinse in plenty of cold water.  The white will be tender and the yolk bright yellow, with not one single nasty bit of gray in sight.

Fill a 12-inch skillet with water to a depth of about 1 inch.  Add a good dose of salt, and bring the pan to a boil over high heat.  Add the asparagus, spreading them out in a single layer, and cook just until they turn bright green and yield to the tooth, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.  Drain into a colander, and briefly run cool water over the asparagus to stop them from cooking.  They should still be warm.  Dry them gently on a paper towel, and transfer them to a serving platter.  Set aside.

In a small bowl or jar, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, and salt.  Add the oil, and whisk well to emulsify.  Taste, and if necessary, add a bit more oil.  Depending on the flavor of the oil and vinegar you use, you might need a teaspoon or so more oil.  Add the garlic, and whisk to combine.

To serve, drizzle the vinaigrette over the asparagus, and top, if you like, with hard-boiled egg.  If you choose to use the lemon zest, sprinkle a couple of pinches on top.  Alternately, serve the asparagus plain, with the vinaigrette and other optional toppings on the side, so each eater can dress it to their liking.

(I tried this recipe a few years ago, and it has become my go-to asparagus dish.  The lemony, mustardy dressing is delish, and good used as a salad dressing, too.  The hard-boiled egg is not necessary, but creates a creamier dressing when mixed together.  So good!  I usually make this and eat the whole bunch of asparagus myself.)

Emerald City Salad

(recipe from

4 cups mixed greens (mix of dino kale, curly kale, chard), coarsely chopped.  Don't make this from one type of green, the mixture is important.
3 green onions, sliced thin
3/4 cup red pepper, diced
1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
1 cup fennel bulb, sliced thin
1 cup wild rice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt

Cook the rice according to directions.  Set aside to cool.

Prep the greens and other vegetables.  Toss in a large bowl, adding the wild rice when it is cool.  Drizzle with olive oil and mix.  Add the lemon juice and salt and mix again.  Serve chilled.

(Since I brought this to work for lunches, I simply mixed the veggies and rice in a large bowl and kept that in the fridge.  Then I mixed the oil, lemon juice, salt in a small jar and added the dressing to my small container of the veggie mixture at lunchtime.  Nice combination of flavors.  Dense, chewy salad with the raw kale and wild rice.  I'm not supposed to be eating grains on my cleanse, but made this exception for wild rice since it's not technically a rice, but an aquatic grass seed.  Yum!)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Creamy Broccoli Soup

(recipe from Martha Stewart Living)

1 Tbsp. coconut or olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
4 cups vegetable broth
1 head broccoli, trimmed and chopped (6 cups)
3 cups baby spinach
1 avocado, chopped, plus more for garnish
salt & pepper

Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic, and pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes.  Add broth and bring to a boil.  Add broccoli and cook, covered, until bright green and tender, about 2 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat, stir in spinach, and let cool slightly.

Transfer soup to a blender and puree with avocado.  Adjust seasoning.  Garnish with avocado and a drizzle of olive oil.

(So, since February 1, I've been following a strict cleansing diet.  No dairy, no grains, no legumes, no alcohol, no sugar, no junk food.  The only meat I eat is fish, occasional eggs.  Mostly fruit, vegetables, and nuts.  The recipes here have been reflecting this.  Really the only cooked food I've been eating are these simple blended soups that I bring to work for lunch.  Breakfast is typically fruit and nuts, dinner a salad.  My go-to salad of late has been a mixture of kale, radicchio, spinach, spring mix with chopped walnuts, shallot, pomegranate seeds, a tsp. of oil, several tsps. of balsamic.  So good!  I feel great.  It took about 10 days, then I woke up and felt amazing.  So this is only supposed to be for 30 days, but we'll see...  It's hard to imagine wanting to go back to not feeling this great.  This recipe blog may just become a whole lot of salads and soups!

Anyway, this soup is EASY and just tastes like veggies.  Broccoli and spinach are so good for you!)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Greens

(recipe from Martha Stewart Living)

1 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for drizzing
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium head cauliflower (about 3 lbs.), florets and stems cut into 1-inch pieces (8 to 9 cups)
4 1/2 cups water (or vegetable broth)
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
5 large kale or collard leaves, or a combination, tough ends removed and the leaves roughly chopped
salt and pepper

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat; cook onion, covered, until soft, 4 to 5 minutes.  Add garlic and a pinch of salt, and cook for 3 minutes more.  Add cauliflower and pour in water until it reaches just below the top of the cauliflower.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Add 2 Tbsp. dill.  Reduce heat to low and simmer until cauliflower is just tender, about 10 minutes.  Stir in greens, and simmer for 3 minutes.

Let sit for 5 minutes to cool slightly.  Stir in remaining 2 Tbsp. dill.  Puree soup in batches in a blender until very smooth, adding more water (about 1/2 cup) if it's too thick.  Return to pot and reheat.  Season with salt and pepper.  Garnish with dill and a drizzle of oil.

(A simple blended soup, better after the flavors mesh for a few days.  I used a ton of dill because I had a big bunch.  Enjoyed this taken to work for lunch.  Felt good to eat because it's so healthy.)  

Monday, February 4, 2013

"Health Starts Here" Spicy Vegetable and Potato Curry

(recipe from Whole Foods Market)

1 small onion, chopped
2 serrano peppers (remove seeds for a milder curry), chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 small cinnamon stick
1 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground turmeric
3/4 tsp. ground coriander
1 cup canned coconut milk
2 large tomatoes, chopped, or 2 cups canned diced tomatoes
1 small eggplant, diced
3/4 lb. yellow potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1/4 tsp. salt, to taste
1/3 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

In a blender, combine onion, peppers, garlic and broth and blend until smooth.  Set aside.

Place a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat and add cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, and coriander; stir constantly until fragrant and then add broth mixture.  Simmer for 1 minute and then stir in coconut milk and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil and stir in eggplant, potatoes, and salt.  Lower heat, cover the skillet and simmer until potatoes and eggplant are tender, about 30 minutes.

Stir in green beans, cover and cook until beans are tender, about 10 more minutes.  Remove and discard cinnamon stick.  Serve garnished with cilantro.

(As usual, this tasted better and better after a few days, when the flavors meshed.  I'm trying to eat only vegetables, no grains, so I basically ate this as is, though I'm sure it would be lovely served with rice or quinoa.  A hearty veggie dish, comforting.)