Tag Archives: greens

it’s greeeeeeeen

24 Aug

{Thanks for your participation in my poll below! I think it stands that I’ll be playing around with cheesecake!}

While I love to talk about food and about all of the delicious vegan feasts we enjoy, I can get tired of the questions. You know the kind, where the inquirer doesn’t actually care what the answer is, they just have to ask in that pointed way, to try and make a spectacle of you.

What are you eating?”

Most people are decent when it comes to the workplace lunch room, but I do work with a couple of these people. The people who stop their conversation when I pull out my lunch to start inspecting what I’ve brought. The people who would never be willing to try the bites I offer up, but can’t help playing 20 questions to figure out what’s in it and how I made it, all while turning up their noses. The people who complain that I never bring in any cake and then won’t even try it when it’s sitting on the lunchroom table.

Whew. Apparently I needed to vent.

Anyway, those questions get old. However, there are some things I eat that I love to rub back in these people’s faces.

The greeen smoothie is alive and well in our home. I often have one for breakfast and pour them into a Mason jar so I can take it to work and enjoy it at my desk, in lieu of morning coffee. But in the world of Hot Pocket breakfast sandwiches and frozen bagel sticks piped full of cream cheese (can they produce more disgusting things?), this Hulk-inspired drink never fails to turn heads.

And you know what, while I tire of having my quinoa/salad/hummus wrap/tofu lunch selections dissected, I never tire of sucking down a delicious green smoothie and detailing all of the ingredients. I think it’s because to many people it’s the most revolting thing I consume at work yet it’s probably the most dessert-like (next to the cake they won’t touch). It’s amazing how badly we judge books by their covers.

When did green become such a bad thing?

Green Meanies Smoothie

3 full kale leaves, with stems, washed*
1 inch square patch of wheat grass, washed*
1-2 handfuls of spinach, washed
1 frozen banana
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1 tbsp. coconut oil

Place ingredients in order listed into the container of a high power blender (tear the kale a bit). Process on high for 1 minute, scraping down the inside of the container if necessary.

Serves 2.

*If you don’t have a high powered blender (Vita-Mix or BlendTec), I recommend removing the kale stems and omitting the wheat grass.

a review and vegan baking on the tv…

30 Dec

I’m in love.

I adore Portland. I love it so much that even thought Seattle has superior Asian cuisine and Mighty O Donuts, I am still always happy to see the Portland skyline when we arrive back in town, home of my beloved Blossoming Lotus, Proper Eats, Black Sheep and many, many others.

Enter Thrive, a newish (1 year old, maybe?) vegan restaurant in Seattle, conveniently located in our family’s neighborhood. It’s primarily a raw restaurant, with it’s only cooked food being some grains included in some recipes. The decor is warm and inviting. You can purchase some of the ingredients in bulk while you’re there. The service is incredible, so friendly and warm you’d think the workers were on something.

And they are! They are on their incredible, crave-inducing food that almost created an embarrassing When Harry Met Sally scene, as I had to keep shushing Jim as he exclaimed and made yummy noises with concerning gusto. It’s that simple kind of food, healthy and whole foods based, that explodes in your mouth upon contact. Lots of places can make food healthy, but to make a nutritious meal borderline (food)pornographic takes talent and they’ve got it at Thrive.

The pictures aren’t so hot, as I was more concerned with stuffing my face than photographing the food, but you’ll get the drift.

Boutenko’s Best smoothie- not quite as green as it normally is (I’ve had it twice now) as they were out of kale, but SO delicious and refreshing. Made, of course, in a Vita-Mix. Vita-Mix represent!

This is the Awaken Bowl, a base of Bhutanese red rice and quinoa with raw zucchini, carrots, scallions, veggies, marinated spinach, avocado and nori with a side of sesame-ginger sauce. This meal is so amazingly satisfying and complex, it blows my mind.

Okay, I know this picture is terrible, but we got dessert to-go and it was taken under the dome light of a 24-year-old car. So all things considered, it’s a great photo. 😉

This dessert… there are no words. Jim likes really traditional desserts, a piece of cake or a cookie. He’s not much a “fancy” dessert person. This is a slice of chocolate strawberry swirl mousse pie. All raw. MIND-BLOWING. I don’t normally like to share desserts, but the slice was generous and very rich, so I was happy to split it with Jim, who was eagerly spoon-fed as he tried to keep it cool while consuming said mousse pie while driving and keep us on the road. This was literally one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten. Period.

So while Portland is where my heart is, Thrive has lodged itself firmly in there and I’m gladly making space.

And in other news… I’m going to be on TV next week! A local morning show, AM Northwest on KATU news, will be featuring little ol’ me on a morning segment next Tuesday on vegan baking as a New Year’s resolution to a healthier and friendlier lifestyle. I will post the link to the show once it’s up. Horray for vegan baking!

fruits and little labor

2 Jul

The Foodie Fights results are not up yet, but I will update when they come in.

Jim and I are working on a bunch of stuff for the cooking show. We’ve got some exciting plans up our sleeves, so expect a new episode in a few days and some surprises this summer.

Well, summer is truly here. It’s supposed to hit 95 today and I’ve got produce coming out of my ears! Between the farmer’s market, stores and friends, I can barely keep up with the bounties of summer. If you’ve managed to avoid eating well and getting in shape before summer rolled out, there is no time like the present. Plus, it couldn’t be easier when the weather is great and fresh food is abundant.

My lovely friend, Sandy, gave us some goodies from her garden, including these beautiful flowers.

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With some fresh lettuce from her garden and berries from the farmer’s market, we made an awesome salad including walnuts, chickpeas, mandarin oranges and a raspberry vinagrette.

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Sandy also gave us some basil and arugula, which I turned into a yummy pesto.

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I cooked up some tricolored shell pasta and sauteed some veggies- asparagus, zucchini (leftover from the challenge), bell pepper, Walla Walla onion, garlic and chickpeas. Yummy…

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Tossed together with the pasta and pesto, this made a wonderful dinner after a long workout. Plus, leftovers never hurt. I also had some leftover raw crackers from Blossoming Lotus, which topped off our dishes perfectly.

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Paired with our new nightly ritual- a Vita-Mix smoothie. This one was kind of sickly colorwise, but tasted great. It included a whole apple (including the core), strawberries, kale, spinach, Very Green powder, raspberries and almond milk. Yum! I’m really loving having Edgar around. We’ve gotten into the habit of having smaller dinners and giant smoothies- perfect for warm summer nights. Or post-workout I throw in a big scoop of hemp protien powder and call it good. All hail the Vita-Mix!

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I’m on a new nut kick with pistachios. So underutilized are these delicious nuts! They cannot simply be confined to holiday nut bowls. They are so fragrant and beautiful. I am working on a bundt recipe some ground up pistacios in it. I tossed in some fresh raspberries for good measure.

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It was pretty darn good, but still needs some tweaking.

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Have a Happy 4th and I’ll be back with episode three of the cooking show early next week!

an affair to remember

22 Jun

I’ve been married for 6.5 years, but it’s taken less than a week for me to fall in love with another. I know, I know, a fickle heart is nothing to boast about… but wait until you see us together.

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Meet Edgar. Our love has been a long time in the making. Lengthy visits online to the Vita-Mix website, drooling over recipes, babbling on to friends and family about how “it’s not just a blender” while they pretend to care. Over the course of our marriage I have ruined 3 blenders and 2 food processors, and I knew it was time to step up. So on my monthly trip to Costco for organic quinoa and evaporated cane juice, when I came across a man demoing the Vita-Mix, I stopped dead in my tracks. I sampled some delicious juice made from red grapes, a slice of lime (with rind!) and ice cubes. I gazed at the Vita-Mix with love and longing. When the man confided in me that you don’t need the dry blade container to grind flour, thus saving me about $150 from what I had originally planned to pay, coupled with the bargain price, plus not having to pay with shipping… I was sold. And so Edgar came to join us.

So far we have made juice, soup, smoothies and ice cream. Everything has turned out beautifully and I am in complete awe of the ease of use with this machine, especially clean up! It seems like some too-good-to-be-true dimension, where I can deliciously eat the whole fruit or vegetable, whip up food in a matter of seconds (literally), and clean up just as quickly.

For example, as part of our dinner tonight we had smoothies.

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A banana, some soy yogurt, soy milk, frozen mixed berries, frozen strawberries, baby spinach and green powder from Trader Joe’s. With the help of the tamper, in under 1 minute it went from the above picture to this:

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Ah, heaven. So, for you green smoothie folks, did you ease yourself in to them or did you just take the plunge? I’m a little scared of drinking all of those greens, raw.

The other part of our dinner tonight was my take on one of my favorite entrees at Blossoming Lotus.

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Kale, sauteed with olive oil and garlic, under some Soy Curls that I hydrated with veggie broth, coated in a mixture of nutritional yeast, dried basil and sea salt and then lightly pan fried. On the side, sauteed asparagus. I can never come close to the simple complexity that is Blossoming Lotus, but it tasted pretty darn good.

More adventure with Edgar to come!

yikes…

10 Jun

So, I’ve had some stuff in my personal life sidetracking me from blogging, so excuse my absence. Things will be back to normal soon.

In the meantime… reminder:

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The Portland contribution to the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale is in less than 2 week, on June 20th, at People’s, so please come and eat some yummies for the kitties!

With the warm weather we had in Portland recently (90 in June? Unheard of!) we have taken to eating pretty lightly, which has been refreshing.

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This was a quick dinner, trying to use up some produce, as I have a tendency to over-purchase vegetables… chickpeas sauteed in a little EB with some nooch, asparagus, garlic broccolini and our standard issue quinoa. Simple, satisfying and yummy.

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A bed of baby greens, topped with black beans that I cooked with some garlic and a little cumin, sweet corn, zucchini, avocado and some chips and salsa on the side. The chips are these new little corn chip “dippers” from Trader Joe’s that are like Fritos but a million times better. Well, I was never a fan of Fritos, so I’m a bit biased.

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I wanted to make some Italian cookies with pine nuts in them and came across this recipe by Giada on the Food Network. I’m not one to normally have much faith in the Food Network, but the recipe was basically vegan, it involved chocolate (always a plus) and it seemed pretty authentically European, using little sugar, so my interest was piqued. Being skeptical of our American palettes accepting something that tastes less sweet, I added my new topping du jour: demerara sugar mixed with a pinch of fleur de sel. I’ve found that 1 tbsp. of sugar to 1/4 teas. of salt is a great mix for dipping cookies and it gives them a nice, slightly sweet crunch accompanied with the occasion tang of salt. The topping definitely helped. They were a little crumbly, more like a biscuit-type cookie, and the flavor was greatly aided by the chocolate chunks. I really like pine nuts, but they didn’t really do it for me in this recipe. Can’t win them all.

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While I worked on these cookies, Linus made himself comfortable on the blanket that he pushed off the back of the couch. Spoiled kitteh…

More stuff to come, including some yummy reviews… it just might take me a week or so. Cheers!

eat yer greens!

10 Mar

It feels good to detox a little. It feels great, actually.

A little bit of background, to explain why we are doing the lower carb diet right now. Partly, it’s to detox after months of having cookies, cakes, pies, etc in the house non-stop. Sure, it’s been fun, but it’s also made for many days where the idea of eating sweets sounded unappealing. And then you feel the sugar blahs, your pants start getting tighter, it all goes downhill from there. It’s all about moderation.

Aside from that, right after starting on the cookbook this fall, I had full blood work done and found out I am pre-diabetic. Yikes. Last year Jim and I really fell into a cooking slump, as my job became more demanding, I started school again, we were constantly on the go, so we fell to eating a lot of convenience foods, and I know that didn’t help. Plus, I have some weight to lose and I have a good handful of people in my family with Type 2 diabetes and there is no way I’m going down that road. Had I been living a normal culinary life, it wouldn’t have been hard to start adjusting accordingly but still enjoy some cookies here and a piece of cake here, but I was just starting on the book, so I decided to put diet woes on the back burner until all of the baking is done.

And it’s done, all but a few loose ends that I am rapidly wrapping up (the manuscript is due April 1!) and so it was time to start the cleanse!

One resource that I think is amazing, but that I have never fully utilized is sparkpeople.com. Think of it as kind of like Weight Watchers online, but without the points. You track what you eat via their database of thousands of foods, foods submitted by others (I’ve been pleasantly surprised with some of the things I’ve found other people already input) as well as by entering foods you eat yourself. You track your water consumption, exercise and weight in. There are tons of resources with recipes and forums to meet others and it’s free. Why haven’t I continued using this even though it has fifty million pros and no cons? Because I’m lazy. But they just created an app for the iPod Touch, so I’m thinking it might be easier for me now. I always like the system and layout when I use it because it’s really user friendly, so here’s hoping on that. Having to actually see what I am consuming and own up to it later in this format always causes me to pause before shoveling something in my face.

This weekend we geared up and made our way through the madness that is Costco where I got a 4 pound bag of asparagus for $3.99. The people there are crazy, but the deals can be worth it. I had been fantasizing about ways to eat the pesto ricotta that didn’t involve noodles. Yes, tofu ricotta is what I fantasize about. Don’t judge.

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Asparagus, broccoli and snow peas smothered in pesto ricotta with a slice of toasted bread (which Jim and I shared) to mop up the cheese with. SOOOO good and having a big, beautiful plate full of green never hurt anyone.

Again, I made a giant pot o’ food on Sunday for us to have for lunch this week. Whole wheat and flax penne from Trader Joe’s, tossed with some sauteed red bell pepper, a can of roasted tomatoes, chickpeas, asparagus, and snap peas.

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We’ve been eating it topped with a dollop of the remaining ricotta… num. I apologize for the “over the pot” shot.

Ravi is our shy kitty and other people rarely get to see. You wouldn’t know that right now, because he’s persistently yelling at me to play fetch with him and dropping his little pom-pom balls, sopping with spit, at my feet, but normally he’s quiet and timid. But he felt left out from not being in any posts yet on this new blog. Sorry, Ravi! Here he is, stopping by to say ‘hi’ in his Ravi sort of way, unknowing and asleep. 🙂

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