Tag Archives: vegetarian

Green Smoothie

green smoothie recipe from sass & veracity

Oh, the over indulgences of the weekend.  New recipes tried and sampled a bit too much.  Football season in full gear, so lounging more than we normally might, our comfies donned, windows snapped shut against chilly and unexpectedly damp breezes.  Projects stalled while we stay indoors making like house potatoes.

Thank goodness for Monday morning and snapping back to a schedule.  For thinking about all that might be accomplished in a week’s time.  Promising myself to get back to healthy eating.

Exercise?

Hmmm…maybe.

In the meantime, smoothies help.  I’ve become addicted to them — especially the green ones.

So very, very good.

What ingredients do you like in your green smoothies?

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Spicy Red Amaranth Stir-Fry

I don’t go to our farmer’s markets as much as I’d like, but when I do, I always seem to find something new to try.  I enjoy dark, green leafy veggies quite a bit, so I’m not a hard sell.  One vendor recently  noticed me admiring the beautiful magenta color at the center of the larger deep, green leaves lightly filling a bag.  “It’s red amaranth,” the young man told me, reaching for the bag I was focused on.  “Here, taste it.” And so I did.

Although somewhat like spinach in flavor, amaranth, or what some refer to as Chinese spinach, is more sturdy between my teeth as I chew on it, its flavor somewhat like fresh grass smells like if that makes any sense at all.  It’s not sweet, but not pungent, either, and leaves a pleasant, unbitter taste in my mouth.

But I thought amaranth was a grain — isn’t it?  And don’t I remember seeing annuals at the nursery with colorful plumes which also somehow reminded me of the tasty greens I was chewing on?

Evidently yes to all above — sort of.  It isn’t a true grain, but is referred to as a pseudo-grain.  Some varieties are cultivated for the leafy green vegetable, some for seeds to be used much like rice or corn are used. And although I did know that buckwheat and quinoa were very high plant protein sources, amaranth seeds are as well.  And, they lack gluten, so that makes them quite beneficial to those who are gluten intolerant.

Historically, amaranth was a staple of ancient Mesoamericans and has been enjoyed in Asia for centuries.  Why and how did our culture adapt to eating iceberg lettuce instead?  Evidently, amaranth became associated with religious rituals involving human sacrifice, so it was banned by the invading Spaniards who then came to North America.

So that explains how we ended up with ice berg lettuce.

This recipe spices things up a bit, perfect for lunch by itself or a dinner side.  Use spinach if you can’t find red amaranth.  Your body will thank you.

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Crusty Spinach Feta and Sun-dried Tomato Bread Rolls

Spinach Feta Sun-dried Tomato Rolls

Sometimes I’d love to skip dinner.

It’s beautiful in the evening just before the sun has set and I want to be on the patio enjoying the cool, dry air, watching the light against the the trees and houses change as the sun disappears into the Pacific.  I don’t want to waste one second of daylight at this time of year when the days are longest and sometimes, the temperature barely fluctuates between day and night.

Like right now.  It’s nearly seven and the sun isn’t quite ready to set.  Dinner is ready to prepare and won’t take all that long, but I’d rather be sitting in one of the chairs outside doing not much of anything.

All I’d need to complete the picture is some soft cheese — like burrata, perhaps some proscuitto, a handful of the sweet little sungold tomatoes my plant loves to produce, a nice crisp white wine, and good crusty rolls with a bit of something else added — like spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes.

If you’ve tried any of the recipes in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, then you know they’ll be good.  But do you know the secret to make them even more crusty?

I do.  And it works every single time.

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Vegetable Bean Soup

24.365

I’m not sure how many years ago we started the tradition of taking a long weekend trip late in January, but it’s one of my favorites.  I think it all began when I figured out that the holiday presents other than clothing my husband received were rarely used, so I surprised him with a trip to Solvang one year.  The next year it was Monterey, and from that point on, we tried to find somewhere to go just to get away.  Sometimes the boy accompanied us, but most often, it was just the two of us.  One year we may have taken a plane, and the next we’d drive.  We’d talk occasionally about stretching ourselves to go somewhere we hadn’t been before — Monterey, CA is still our favorite — but the whole point of getting away is to relax, and when you’re the semi-unadventurous people we are familiarity facilitates that relaxation.

We don’t go as often as we used to since life isn’t as hectic, but this year my husband charged me with finding somewhere to go within a reasonable driving distance.  I’m thinking it’s because the patio is torn up and figuring what to do with it is a far less attractive option than heading off on a Friday afternoon for anything unrelated to a DIY project.  I don’t blame him.

I asked the boy what he thought, and without hesitation he mentioned Julian.  You may remember me waxing over this small town early last month, and since I’d toyed with the idea of gifting my husband with a get away there before moving on to something else, my research had already been done.

We’re back now, and as much as we might have enjoyed some sign of wintery weather, there wasn’t a trace.  Clear blue skies, dry air, and highs of 65 during the day welcomed us.  The cabin was nestled against a mountainside beneath huge cedars, young pines in the undergrowth, and massive coastal live oaks.  The persistent rush of water from a stream nearby was the only sound to be heard.  We hiked, cooked a little, played cards and Yahtzee, and enjoyed the quiet, our books, and one another’s company.   I took Tessa Kiros’ breathtaking book Falling Cloudberries:  A World of Family Recipes which I finally treated myself to after seeing it for the first time about a year ago, and  read through it over the two days.

When I open it to make one of the many wonderful recipes from now on, I’ll remember last weekend and smile.

Here’s a simple, delicious vegetable soup adapted from one of Kiros’ recipes.  It’s light and full of bright, fresh flavor that will warm you through and through.

Perfect.  Just like our weekend.

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Green Chili and Cheddar Souffle

Eggs

One of the things I’ve learned over the years about food is that often, the recipes that have a reputation for being fussy are anything but.   Souffles are a great example of this.  Think of all the times you’ve seen a cook depicted making a souffle that failed to rise, or had fallen because of a loud sound.  Why would the average cook want to waste time and ingredients on something that temperamental?

Honestly, I’ve had more trouble with brownies and biscuits before, but I’ll chalk it up to approaching a common recipe with little or no thought and then blowing it when I least expected to.  The fussy reputation of a souffle keeps me in line, and so I pay attention when I’m making one.

If you’ve never tried one, you should.  They’re perfect for a light meal on a weeknight because you will nearly always have everything you need on hand:  eggs, milk, a bit of flour, and whatever you’d like to flavor it with.  If you’re like me, your cheese drawer is always in need of attention and the combinations are just about limitless.

Just remember — it’s all about the size of the dish.

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