grains

30 Days of Vitamix: Vert du Jour (Green of the day smoothie)

Green smoothie of the day - today's green smoothie has a smooth frothy texture, fiber, a bit of protein and lots of refreshing sweet-tart flavor. Sweetness comes entirely from the citrus and we get an antioxidant boost from the matcha and the mint. With a Vitamix you can blend oats and even seeds into a perfectly smooth drink. Enjoy! Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Granny Smith apple
  • 1/2 Sumo (or other) orange
  • 1 1/2 small Japanese (or English) cucumber
  • Two small frozen kale chunks*
  • two springs fresh mint leaves, stripped off stem
  • 3 TBSP oats soaked in water ten minutes
  • 1 tsp matcha
  • small handful fresh baby spinach
  • juice of one small lime
  • juice of half Meyer lemon
  • 1 TBSP pepitas (raw unsalted pumpkin seeds)

Directions:

Soak oats in cold water while you chop other ingredients.

Chunks of apple, citrus in bottom, then add cucumber. Sprinkle in matcha, seeds, mint. Add a handful of ice and about 1/4C of cold water.

Vert_du_Jour

 

Vert du Jour

With the greens and mint and oats I kept thinking of that very old children's ditty my father once told me about: "Mairzy doats" anyone remember it? ("Mares eat oats and Does eat oats and Little Lambs eat Ivy, a Kidd'll eat Ivy too, wouldn't you? or Mairzy Doats and Dosey Doats and liddle amzy divey a kiddly divey too wooden shoe.")

Pro-Tip

*Blanch and freeze mint, or greens like spinach or kale. Freeze in Mini muffin tin or small ice cube trays then pop into zip top bags. These portioned out ready to go ingredients in your freezer make a quick smoothie a breeze. Once blanched and frozen, greens are easy to add to pastas, soups, stews, as well as your next Vert du Jour.

Spinach_mint_tin

Mint leaves ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Baby Spinach

Thoughts on the Boston Globe Travel Expo

As a Globe Correspondent, I was invited to attend the 10th Annual Boston Globe Travel Expo at the Seaport World Trade Center last weekend. Cruises dominated the areas nearest the entrance and Aruba had a huge presence. All I could think was "Norovirus" and "Natalee Holloway". I moved quickly past both.

I wanted to see what companies might be offering different travel experiences - who would be using technology in interesting ways? Who would be talking about reducing the carbon footprint or eco-tourism? Who would speak to the traveler not looking for a family cruise bargain or an adventure trip for millenials?

Who indeed?

Tech disconnect

Nearly every booth I stopped at required you to fill out a form to enter a giveaway. By hand. Usually on one of many paper pads attached to a many clipboards.

And yet, the badge/registration was done electronically so EACH attendee has an electronic confirmation, a QR code designed to be scannable with any smart phone and a free scanning app. No paper. No handwriting. No clipboards. No manual entry later of all the probably illegible entries. I can't read my own handwriting these days, can you?

When practically everyone I know is concerned about reducing our carbon footprint, why completely ignore the technology in the palm of nearly every person's hand and waste all that paper? The cost and hassle of packing and carrying the paper and junk with it, the manual labor of data entry could all be avoided completely? Complete misfire.

 

Food Connects us to each other, memories

I had another two goals for the show: connect with any travel editors there (would Afar? Travel & Leisure? or any publications be there?) No and no.

Would I get to see Chef Pierre Thiam there to demonstrate a Senegalese dish with fonio - saw him but didn't get to actually say hello, sadly. He and I met at IACP years back when his beautiful book Yolele! was nominated for an award. Chef Thiam introduced the Travel Expo crowd to fonio, "the new quinoa", and described waking up in the Sahel to the rhythmic pounding of grain in large mortar and pestles. Immediately I could hear the gentle, bird-like singing of the women in this photo I took in Mali.

 

 

As we turned a corner in Tombouctou I saw what I'd heard in the distance: two women, gently pounding millet and singing gently, rhythmically as they processed the grain. Everywhere we went women carried large pots or bundles on their heads, babies wrapped around their midsection (heads bouncing unsupported) walking, carrying, pounding, fetching water from wells.

Pierre described fonio as the new quinoa, but better, because it is drought resistant and must be grown organically as it withers and dies under pesticides. Must find some of this fonio!

Connecting with your city, new cities

Walking to the seaport area, I crossed the icy channel. It was an interesting contrast to the salsa dancing, the beachy murals and the reminder of warmer places.

One of the great things was connecting "IRL" (in real life) with Max Grinnel AKA The Urbanologist. Max teaches, writes, and speaks on walking through urban environments. I'm a huge fan of this and of Max now, too. I love a walkable city (sorry, L.A. you leave me cold) and share Max's enthusiasm for looking up more overlooked gems in any city; in meeting locals and asking what THEY love, where THEY eat. Check out Max's site.

He share four tips for visiting a new city:

1. Slow down & look up. (I thought I invented the hashtag #lookup - turns out some Architects beat me to it...)

2. Ask Questions. (I love asking cab drivers and people at the bar, on the street.)

3. Do your homework. (Go beyond Yelp! Ever heard of Archive.org?)

4. There's always next time. (When I fall in love with a new place this is my mantra: "it's just reconnaissance for next time!")

Travel Expo Collage

 

Well, thanks to the Boston Globe for hosting. JetBlue, for getting how to use tech and Pierre and Max for inspiring me. It was worth that snowy schlep.

Allons-y!!

30 Days of Vitamix: Lemon Meringue Pie Smoothie

One of the best things about winter is citrus. Enjoying citrus on a cold, snowy morning is one of our digressions from "eating local." I have had lemon chess pie, lemon bars, and lemon meringue pie on my mind. Thanks to my in-laws, I have a big supply of beautiful, organic Meyer lemons. This is a delicious and healthy smoothie that evokes a lemon meringue pie, with a side of virtue.

Enjoy!

Lemon Meringue Pie Smoothie

  • Juice & zest of 1 lemon, preferably Meyer
  • 1/4 C plain soy yogurt (you can use any plain yogurt you prefer)
  • 2 Tbsp oats
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1-2 tsp ground flax
  • 1/3 C frozen banana slices
  • 1/3 C frozen mango chunks
  • 1 tsp honey, or more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • handful of ice

Lemon meringue pie smoothie

 

  1. Buzz up the oats in the Vitamix first, for a smoother texture.
  2. Add fruit, mango for sweetness and banana for custardy texture. Yogurt also adds protein and smooth tartness.
  3. Add ground flax seed, ginger, lemon juice and zest, egg whites. (If you're worried about raw egg whites or immune compromised, omit or use pasteurized cartoned egg whites.)
  4. Top with a handful of ice and set your Vitamix on smoothie.

 

 

 

Tips:

  • Did you know: heart healthy oats are a cinch to incorporate in smoothies? In this one, I buzzed up the oats first for a really smooth texture.
  • Egg whites are a good source of protein
  • Flax seed brings all kinds of nutrition- ALA or alpha-linoleic acid for one. Buy whole flax seeds and store in your freezer. I grind about a half a cup at a time and keep it in a shaker jar on the counter. Shake on/in smoothies, shake on oatmeal in the morning, salads at night.

30 Days of Vitamix - Say hello to Red!

I like red for so many reasons. It's lucky. It's life. It can pull me out of blue. It's the color of World AIDS Day, the color of Women's Heart Health. And it's just plain sexeh.

Meet Red

There's my early Xmas/Birthday present: a Pro Series Vitamix in Candy Apple Red. I'm calling her "Red." She's strong. Powerful. Occasionally loud. Gets the job done. I think we're going to be good friends. I hope she'll last half as long as my old handmixer did. (see Ode to a Handmixer.) That little Black & Decker handmixer, bought my first year of law school just died. I mean, like last week. The Waring anniversary blender a couple weeks ago. I thought I could make do with the food processor but I'm telling you, I'm a fool in love.

Red

There's Red. She's a beauty, isn't she?

 

As I registered her, I saw something about an affiliate program. Well, stay tuned on that.

#30DaysofVitamix

I'm starting a new series here: "30 Days of Vitamix". I'll be including posts on using the Vitamix. I'll cover techniques, ingredients to know, tips, and recipes, including some healthy and some boozy inspirations. Frozen Negroni anyone?  Here's a taste of just some of the things we'll be writing about soon.

 

 

Vitamix Collage

Thanks to my wonderful husband for this terrific gift! A great addition to the family!

Scones Fit for a Pascha - or Holiday Guests

Delighted to share another recipe I developed for Pascha Chocolates. Find the recipe here on their site. These are free of the top 8 allergens, free of gluten, too. You could make them with regular ingredients if allergens are not part of your family, too.

SCONES_FIN 006

 

These include blueberries but you could use cherries or even dried cranberries for a holiday treat. I also cut them into smaller squares for little hands. Please enjoy!

 

An Evening of Beer, History, and a Boatload of Oysters

  Well I'm on my way shortly here to a terrific event at Harpoon Brewery.

Imagine a giant Venn Diagram with Oysters, Beer, History, Culinary Geekdom all intersecting. THAT is where we'll be tonight!

 

CB

An Evening of Beer, History, and a Boatload of Oysters... Tickets, Boston - Eventbrite.

GGF Salad :: Grains + Greens + Fruit = Wonderful

This salad is a fantastic summer meal in itself, a great bring-with dish, and a side for barbecue. To make a quick version, use freekeh (cooks in 20 minutes!) or quinoa or barley. Barley and freekeh are quicker cooking grains, you could also use quinoa (not true grain) or bulgur (wheat) if you like a softer smaller quick-cooking grain . I particularly like the snappy chew of freekeh or wheatberries in this sort of substantial salad.

GGF salad Grains, Freekeh: Greens, Rainbow Chard; Fruit, Blueberries.

For this rendition, I got some beautiful Rainbow Chard, chopped and blanched the stems, chopped two small onions, half a red bell pepper, one mango. I made ribbons (chiffonade) of the chard leaves. No need to blanch unless they're really tough.

Dressing

I used the juice of one lemon. I added approximately two tsp grated fresh ginger, 2 tsp mild white miso, 1 tsp honey, 1 tsp dijon mustard. Whisked in Meyer lemon olive oil to taste.

Adjust seasoning with S & freshly ground black pepper.

 

Directions:

1. Make freekeh. Toast dry kernels in heavy bottom pot, just large enough to hold the completed amount. Add water when kernels begin to darken. I use a 3:1 ratio, draining off excess when it's all done. Pinch of salt. You can make ahead. Cool, cover, refrigerate.

2. Wash Swiss/Rainbow chard. Fold in half lengthwise, cutting along rib to remove it. Dice ribs. Make ribbons or chiffonade of leaves by rolling and slicing in about 1/3" ribbons.

3. Dice and blanch chard ribs.

4. Place chiffonade in dressing and massage. Set aside.

5. Prep your fruit and other vegetables. Here I sliced a bit of sweet white onion, rinsed and stemmed blueberries, diced a bit of red bell pepper, cut cubes of ripe mango.

6. If the freekeh has been made the day before and or cooled too much, heat it briefly in microwave. Add to dressing. Toss everything and sprinkle with crunchy sea salt (like Maldon) and fresh ground black pepper.

Garnish with Chinese 5 Spice nuts if you wish. Or simply zest a lemon over the top and toss.