Vegan, Jane Austen student, Minimalist, Reader, Librarian

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It's Easy Being Green

Music: Suzanne Vega, Songs in Red and Gray**

I'm still on a big excited high from my vegan retreat weekend in South Haven! I picked up Green Smoothie Revolution by Victoria Boutenko (per Susan Milliron's suggestion) at my library the other night and I've already read it cover to cover. Yesterday, I made my first batch in my blender. (Actually, I made 6 cups, split between Jim and I). I took 2 handfuls of baby spinach, 1 banana, and 1/2 of a cored pineapple, 1/2 of an avocado (to prevent foaming), covered it all with filtered water, then blended until smooth. It came out a pretty spring green color and was just sweet enough. I took it to work with me in a tall thermos and drank it all within one hour. It was delicious. I've always been skeptical of mixing fruits with greens but after tasting it in South Haven in Susan's seminar on raw foods and green smoothies, I was amazed how good it tasted! I'm not kidding in the least. Susan says soon I will crave them; can't wait!

So I'm going to take part in a 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge sponsored by Susan Milliron which officially starts on Monday, November 16th. If anyone is interested in taking part, let me know via email, Twitter, or Facebook and I'll be happy to forward the email instructions on to you. It's a guided instruction in how to do green smoothies. I'm so excited.

I consider myself improving all the time, but I could still use even more greens. I love food so I don't think I could ever go completely raw (but you never know), but a green smoothie a day is a good goal to work toward. And it's not hard to do, especially when they taste good. I've said it before: I won't eat or drink anything that doesn't taste good.

Today I made mine with beet greens, 1/2 of a banana, 1 apple, & water. I forgot the avocado half, but it didn't really foam up. It was darker green in color than yesterday's smoothie and not quite as sweet, but still I didn't add sweetener (though I could have added agave nectar). Next time I will add an entire banana.

From Green Smoothie Revolution, I've copied down several recipes to try. Susan Milliron says it's important to rotate the types of greens you use (but you don't have to rotate fruit). I've put Boutenko's first book, Green for Life on hold from the library because I want to learn even more about why these are so good for you.

In honor of the wonderful food I ate at the retreat, I recreated two of Jill Ovnik's salads.

Pretty Baby Spinach Salad
1 15-oz can chick peas (garbanzo beans), drained & rinsed
1 bag of organic baby spinach, rinsed well & dried
dried cranberries
sesame sticks (adds crunch!)
purple cabbage, shredded (if you used bagged, rinse well & dry)
1 avocado, diced
1/2 C walnuts, chopped
strawberries, sliced (optional when in season)
steamed broccoli, diced

A plate of two salads.

I've never been a fan of traditional coleslaw, served dripping wet in what's supposed to be mayonnaise. Tasteless or just plain bad! This salad uses vinaigrette instead. I also prefer my potato salads in a vinaigrette.

Jill's Coleslaw
1/2 head cabbage, sliced thin (or package mix ready-to-go, rinsed well & dried)
1 package of trail mix
Newman's Own Balsamic Vinaigrette

How's that for simple?

The coleslaw salad served with a hummus sandwich on multigrain bread Jim bought from Whole Foods.

**I've been a Suzanne Vega fan since college. I don't recall how I heard about her but I do know that I quickly realized I am a big fan of women singers who also write their own music (think also Edie Brickell and Natalie Merchant). I have also never met another Suzanne Vega fan, which is kind of odd when you think about it. I know they're out there, I've just never met one!

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