Green smoothies are a somewhat new thing for me. I’ve mentioned before that BL gave me my BlendTec for our 1st anniversary together and I was less than pleased.
Meh. I wasn’t into smoothies then and I would have much preferred a piece of jewlery or a vacation at that point. Just another example of how well he knows me… my BlendTec and I have been inseparable ever since. I prefer my Green Smoothies over most breakfasts (except avocado toasts, of course) and I recommend them to my clients as well.
Don’t you love getting a serving of vegetables in before 7AM?
The beauty of these smoothies is that you can customize them to your taste and needs. Enjoying before a workout? Choose water or juice over milk/yogurt. Post-run smoothie? Add a scoop of protein power (Vega Vanilla is my favorite). If you’re just starting out with green smoothies, start light: lettuce & spinach have a lighter flavor than kale and broccoli. If you have extra herbs in the drawer- add in! Parsley and basil taste great in green smoothies, especially paired with berries.
For a thicker smoothie, I love a frozen banana. Just peel when ripe, break in 1/2 and add to a freezer-bag. My usual combo: spinach, frozen mixed berries, 1/2 banana, 1 scoop vega, unsweetened almond milk.
Things have been getting a little sweet over here. Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Cupcakes, Orange Chocolate Mousse. Mmmm.
While my taste buds aren’t complaining, I’ve had this overwhelming urge to eat more salads, specifically more kale to keep things a little more balanced.
It’s like my body is saying, ‘Put down the sweets, Pick up the greens’.
You know it’s bad when you start dreaming of kale salads.
This is one of my favorites. I use baby kale here, it’s slightly less bitter than regular kale but either will work. Add some peppers, corn, black beans, creamy avocado and your good to go!
The thing I love about kale salads the most? I can dress & toss it and it will still be good a day later. Make a big batch of this and eat it through the week! I enjoy it for lunch, dinner that night with baked BBQ tofu on top, and any leftovers are eaten the next day.
What’s your favorite kale salad?
5 cups baby kale
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup corn
1 cup black beans
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1 Avocado, diced
1/8 cup sunflower seeds
I admit, I am kind of glad the holiday’s are over.
Don’t get me wrong, I am loving my week off from work, catching up with family & friends I haven’t seen all year, but I’m a little over the excess that happens every November & December.
What is it about coming home that turns me into a teenager again? You would think I had never had my mother’s cooking before!
Since I only return to Virginia about once a year, I try to cram as many things into one week as I can. This notion also applies to food. Making sure I hit all of my favorite spots, all in one week, is no easy feat.
Somehow though, I manage to do it year after year.
Gah! I’m full just thinking about it.
And that’s about the time I return to green smoothies & kale.
I mentioned a few weeks ago the magic of kale, and it is just as fitting as I write this today. There is something so nourishing about this little leafy green that wakes me up from too much junk and snaps me right back into place. Better than any pill or cure-all tea, I feel instantly better after incorporating more kale salads into my diet.
The nice thing about this salad is while it’s so very healthy for you, it also feels a bit naughty. Almost like I’m easing back into my clean eating plan for January. Baby steps.
I call this my protein-kale salad because it is loaded with satisfying protein. Crispy bits of tempeh, sesame seeds, and lentils. This salad will keep you full for hours- perfect for lunch after days of grazing.
Make extra of the dressing, you will want to put it on tofu, brown rice, or as a dip for vegetables. I sometimes even make it a little thicker and smear it on sprouted bagels & toast.
Creamy Kale Salad
6 cups kale
1 cup shredded carrots
1/8 cup dried cranberries
1 avocado, diced
1/8 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup cooked french lentils
8 oz. tempeh, cubed
1 tbsp. oil
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp. dried sage
1/8 tsp. dried thyme
1/8 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. tahini
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp. white miso paste
2 tbsp. water- or more if you like a thinner dressing
To make crispy tempeh: Heat 1 tbsp. oil in large skillet. Add tempeh and spices. Stir occasionally, until most sides become golden brown and crispy. Line a plate with a dish cloth or paper towel. Spoon the tempeh onto the towel to absorb excess oil. Set aside until ready to use.
To make the dressing: combine all ingredients in a small blender or whisk by hand. Taste before serving- depending on the brand of tahini and miso you might need more/less salt.
To assemble: Combine kale, cabbage, & carrots for salad in a large bowl. Toss with dressing. With clean hands, massage the dressing into the kale. Don’t be afraid to get messy! Massaging by hand helps to break down the tough kale! Add cranberries, avocado, sesame seeds and lentils. Toss together and let sit for 5 minutes. Top with crispy tempeh and serve!
You know what is getting me through all the holiday treats?
No, that’s not a typo. I have been eating a TON of Kale the last few weeks and I love how energized and happy it makes me feel! Kale salad, kale stir-fry’s, kale smoothies, I can’t get enough!
And it’s a good thing too. Considering how many sweets, glasses of wine, and decadent food I have otherwise been enjoying. I feel like the healthiest dietitian before 5 PM.
After 5PM? Let’s just say I’m glad I had a lot of kale earlier.
I love all the holiday treats, drinks & sweets but hate the way they make me feel the morning after. I swear I get a sugar hangover if I eat too many desserts. But, they are there and tis’ the season for enjoying friends & food!
If you’re feeling the same way, try focusing on meals you can control during this time, typically our breakfasts and lunches. Consume lots of vegetables, greens, fiber, and nutrients during these two meals and give yourself a break for the rest. This kale salad lasts for a few days in the fridge, perfect for making on Sunday night and consuming throughout the week.
Kale salad with wild rice & vegetables. Tossed with a lemon-dijon vinaigrette.
1 cup cooked & cooled wild rice
4 cups kale, torn into pieces
½ cup shredded carrots
½ cup shredded red cabbage
⅛ cup dried cranberries
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
⅓ cup olive oil
1 large lemon, juiced and zested
Make the dressing: Combine lemon zest, minced garlic clove, lemon juice and dijon mustard in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Whisk for a few moments until the dressing comes together. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a large salad bowl combine the kale, carrots, cabbage, and cranberries.
Toss well with the dressing and let sit for 10 minutes.