Green Smoothie, Take 2

Glass of Green SmoothieI’m not prone to massive shifts in habits. Do not worry that I’ve gone vegan on you. As long as there are smoked briskets or cheddar fries with bacon in the world, that is somewhat unlikely. But one does occasionally start experiencing the dreaded too-snug-jeans, and in order avoid the inconvenience of having to buy an entire new wardrobe of larger clothes, one must relent and apply some moderation in habits.

Thus, you have noticed things like beans and roasted veggies with quinoa. You know you have put on the brakes when the quinoa shows up. At least beans have a good, down home, depression-food quality that causes an aura of comfort.

This smoothie/juice concoction absolutely reeks of trendiness and band-wagon hopping, kale chip eating, spirulina quaffing, fashion-vegan blather that usually gets me grumpy and headed for the nearest chopped beef sammie. And, as much as I love new kitchen appliances, I’m not buying a juicer. The acquisition of fun appliances must be moderated, too. Plus, if I need an honest to goodness, big, giant, amazing juice that captures a whole shopping basket of vegetables in a 12 ounce glass, I’ll just go over to The Gem in Preston Center. I think that is actually cheaper in the long-run. And, they have a disco ball. And, sometimes one just needs a little pick-me-up drink made by someone else while sitting under a disco ball. I can be hip for a moment. A friend of mine suggested that I could go pull her 15 year old juicer out of the garage if I wanted to. She said she bought one the first time they were hip (in the 70′s) and then bought another one the second time they became cool again (in the 90′s). Now she also just goes to the Gem and enjoys the peppy atmosphere and the disco ball instead of the work actually involved in feeding and running and cleaning a juicer. I’m with her. If I can’t do it in my Vita-Mix, I ain’t doin’ it. But, this, I can do in my blender.

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Lori’s “I Wish I Were On the Beach” Smoothie

Or, you could just call it a Pineapple, Coconut, Almond Smoothie…but that isn’t much more efficient word-wise, is it? So why not name it after a person I like?

Let’s just say that this tastes quite like a piña colada, but it is slightly more virtuous. The first time I wrote down the precise ingredients was to give the formula to my friend, Lori, who is, well…not on the beach right now…mostly because getting sand in a cast would be gross. This is the Lori of my Italy…La Tavola Marche expedition. In the five carefully chosen words of my daughter, Lori is “kind, awesome, loving, caring and happy.” Even if this were not so, which it certainly is, she would be worth knowing simply for the food that happens around her (by her, for her, and merely near her). Lori’s predicament caused me to write this down, which caused me to finally take a few photos of it, and share it with you…so there. Good food things always happen around her, incidentally and otherwise. She has good food karma, if you will.

Onward.

This is not exactly health food. But, then again, it is pretty neat. There is a lot of sweet stuff in this drink, but there is also a lot of Vitamin C and a lot of protein, thanks to the almonds. This has become a morning snack for me. I’ve been running around like the proverbial beheaded chicken and sometimes I find myself not having eaten until din din. Not smart. But, my mother, also an angel of a human, gave me a VitaMix blender, because she is, again in the words of Lily, “smart, strong, smiley, happy, and super.” This has upped my smoothie game considerably. In this recipe, you first blend the almonds with the coconut water to essentially create almond and coconut milk. Then you add the other things and run it through the “smoothie” cycle twice. If you don’t have a VitaMix, just process it for a nice long time until it is smooth. You will not really know there are almonds in this. If there is still almond grit, blend a little bit longer.

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Roasted Cranberry Sauce

Ah, Thanksgiving. It is that time of year when I come face to face with the fact that I really don’t like cranberry sauce all that much. In fact, I think it is fair to say that I make cranberry sauce for others, meaning that I never spent much time really tasting it and coming to terms with it. As it turns out, I have a sweet tooth. Nooooo, you say. Yes, I do. And, it appears that this extends to cranberry sauce. So this year, I just kept adding it and adding it, and finally, I like cranberry sauce.

Also adding to my desire for more sugar is the use of the orange zest. Orange zest can be a bit bitter, as it is in orange marmalade. Cranberries are a bit bitter to start with. So, for me, a full ¾ cup brown sugar was necessary to bring it all into harmony. But you should taste and adjust as you like.

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