Smoothies of the green variety

Obviously fruits, veggies and greens are extremely healthy for you. And I love them, but they can get boring and monotonous after a bit. And while I usually eat them for either lunch or dinner, I was challenged to try having greens for breakfast after reading the Beauty Detox Solution by Kimberly Snyder.

Raw vegetables and greens pack in way more nutrients then after they are heated and spiced into delicious oblivion. And rather than packing a bag of baby spinach to munch on throughout the morning, I decided to try green smoothies. That way I can avoid eating cereal and English muffins at work every morning or just ignore my growling stomach.

The first few times I made smoothies I tried the “Glowing Green Smoothie” from the Beauty Detox book.

Glowing Green Smoothie

  • 1 ½- 2 cups very cold, filtered water
  • 6 cups spinach, chopped
  • 5 cups organic romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 stalks of organic celery
  • 1 organic apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 organic pear, cored and chopped
  • 1 organic banana
  • 1–2 Tbs. fresh organic lemon juice

Optional

  • 1/2 cup of organic cilantro
  • 1/2 cup of organic parsley

That was good, but I got tired of it after a while. I figured whenever I combined some kind of green with some fruit, the result would always be pretty darn healthy and I wanted some more variety. I skimmed through Green Smoothie Revolution to get some more ideas. They have a huge list of ideas for delicious simple green smoothies.

Some combos:

mango – kale – water

peaches – lettuce – raspberries – water

strawberries – bananas – avocado – water – dinosaur kale

berries – spinach – water

peach – mint – spinach – water

spinach – mango – banana – pineapple – water

spinach – banana – OJ – blueberries – strawberries

parsley – blueberries – red grapes – cucumber

arugula – pineapple – banana – water

spinach – pomegranate

spinach – romaine lettuce – strawberries

water – blueberries – blackberries – pear – kale

spinach – berries – bananas – water

For my own green smoothies I usually make about 3 blenders at a time and put them in Ball jars to freeze. Then I grab one and drink it at work as its defrosting. I’d recommend drinking it cold and blending it smooooooth. If you do that and add a good amount of fruit, you won’t even taste the greens I promise! ( Though my coworkers don’t believe me) The one exception was dandelion greens. They were so very bitter that nothing I added could save the taste. So I avoid that green, but hey go for it if you want!

For my smoothies I use romaine lettuce, celery, some sprigs of cilantro and parsley, a banana and apple for my base. Then for one smoothie I’ll use arugula or spinach or kale with some strawberries and pineapple. Then the second I usually use raspberries or blueberries with maybe peach or mango. Then the third I use whatever is left.

green smoothie before

green smoothie after

Try it out! The worst that happens is you don’t like it and go back to cereal. OR! You love the taste and get in a big chunk of your nutrients for the day right off the bat.

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Soulwich

About a half mile away from the Evanston Farmer’s Market, past all the crowded chain restaurants is Soulwich.

Trying to find some “local flavor”,  I yelped “food” in Evanston and found a place that seemed interesting and had some good reviews.

Which of course could mean any number of things were in our future.

Gulp.

Menu Board at Soulwich

But Soulwich was delicious! They had vegetarian and vegan options, and all of their Asian inspired sandwiches had  a few solid, simple delicious ingredients.  The menu has 8 different sandwiches, a few salads and sides and some herb infused iced teas/lemonades.

A small place with about 8 tables, the place was very bright and colorful. We ate outside and waited about 7-10 minutes for our sandwiches to be prepared. We ordered 2 sandwiches and split them. So I ended up with half of the Paneer Fig (fig, goat cheese, fig spread and caramelized onions) and half of the Sesame Chili Tuna. Each of their sandwiches comes with julienne  carrots, cilantro and your choice of a side ( slaw or chips).  I loved the tuna! It was warm and had no mayonnaise which is a plus. It was a tad spicy and was cut thick and meaty. Very satisfying.  The fig sandwich was also good, though I think the ratio of cheese to everything else was a bit high. I do love the combo of goat cheese and fig, though adding carrots and cilantro took a couple bites to get used to.

Each sandwich is about $8 and includes a side. If you are in the mood for some interesting sandwiches for a nice satisfying, unique lunch in Evanston, I’d recommend trying Soulwich out.  Support the locals!

And yes, I believe a happy food dance did make an appearance.

Soulwich

Reading and Eating

Reading about eating. whoahhhh.

Over the past year I’ve tried to read a book connected to a  foodish subject every so often. Some were diet and detox books, some were factual about our current food situation in the world, some pro-vegetarian or pro- vegan. I read memoirs of a food critic, a middle-aged Le Cordon Bleu student, and a year at a small farm in central Illinois. I read a bit about the behind the scenes of restaurants and some chef’s talent for innovation for their meals. Since graduating into the real adult world I’ve missed education. Obviously, that doesn’t mean I miss homework and silly assignments meant to keep you busy. I’m not crazy. But I really missed learning.  Enter the Chicago Public Library where I can choose my subject, hours and get free textbooks!

Henry’s Farm

I loved reading “The Season’s of Henry’s Farm” about a family farm ( run by Henry of course) in Illinois. This book goes through one entire year and all the intricate knowledge, processes, early mornings, hot days and cold nights it takes to make a farm fruitful. Henry’s sister writes beautiful and cheeky descriptions of the hard work and seemingly innate knowledge that lies inside a farmer and the frustrations and joy that go along with the responsibility of growing food. What I love most about this book is its way of drawing you into intimate family situations and weaving it with the obvious love, dedication and pride they have for their livelihood.  The stories are interspersed with family recipes and the inside jokes and stories that go along with each one.

This book can definitely be read at your leisure,  maybe a chapter or two every so often. But once you finish, be sure to visit the Henry’s Farm stand at the Evanston Farmer’s Market and finally taste for yourself what you’ve probably been drooling over for a while.