Breakfast: A smoothie of 1 frozen banana, 1/2 cup frozen mango, 1/2 cup frozen pineapple, 1 medium golden beet, 1/2 avocado, 1 medjool date, 4 leaves of purple kale, a handful of cilantro, 1 tsp lucuma, 1 tbsp hemp seeds, and 1 cup hazelnut kefir all topped with 1 cup brown rice puffs and 2 tbsp toasted walnuts.
For the past two days, I’ve experimented with blending a beet into my morning smoothie. Yesterday, a red one augmented a mixed-berry-based breakfast with carob powder whose bold flavors far outshined the beet’s earthy sweetness. The fruits in today’s smoothie, however, imparted subtler flavors and allowed the beet to nudge its way to the flavor forefront, resulting in an astoundingly complex morning beverage.
Breakfast Checklist: Protein—hazelnut kefir. Whole Grain—brown rice puffs. Fruit—banana, mango, pineapple, avocado, date. Leafy Green—kale. “Super Food”—lucuma, hemp seeds. Added Veggie Bonus!—golden beet, cilantro.
Local Ingredients: Golden beets from Driftless Organics.
Morning Tea: Organic Double Dark Chocolate Mate from the Republic of Tea.
Lunch Box: Mixed greens, alfalfa sprouts, “farmhouse mix” sprouts, 2 small purple carrots, and 1/2 cup black beans all tossed with Liquid Gold Dressing and topped with Creamy Seaweed Salad, 2 patties of a mushroomy variation on my Sprouted Green Burgers, and a dollop of kimchi.
Earlier this week, I prepared a batch of Desi’s absolutely delicious Creamy Seaweed Salad (using 3 tbsp of tahini and omitting the olive oil and sesame seeds). The salty oceanic flavor of the wakame along with its surprisingly hearty, chewy texture provided a strong base for the texturally contrasting celery and scallions as well as the smooth dressing.
Eager to employ the remainder of last week’s sprouted quinoa and buckwheat, I revisited my recent recipe for Sprouted (Almost) Raw Green Burgers and altered it slightly to accomodate the contents of my refrigerator by replacing the parsley with about 3/4 cup white button mushrooms and using dried basil instead of oregano, yielding tasty results.
Meal Checklist: Protein—black beans, tahini, sunflower seeds. Whole Grain—sprouted quinoa and buckwheat. Vegetables—alfalfa sprouts, “farmhouse mix” sprouts, carrots, celery, scallions, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, kimchi veggies. Leafy Greens—mixed greens, kale, wakame seaweed, cabbage in kimchi.
Afternoon Snack: 1 tall glass of NessAlla Kombucha in Raspberry flavor.
Post-Workout Snack: 1 bottle of Harmless Harvest 100% Raw Coconut Water.
Though I’ve previously attested to noticing an off-putting bitter/sour taste from the VitaCoco brand of coconut water, Harmless Harvest’s astoundingly refreshing brand of the tropical beverage has transformed me into a coconut water convert. Perhaps it’s the purity of their 100% raw and unprocessed promise, or their dedication to sourcing sustainably grown coconuts from small eco-farms, or their coconut water’s impressive nutritional profile (generous amounts of potassium, fiber, vitamin C, and magnesium all in an 8-oz bottle? Count me in!), but Harmless Harvest has undoubtedly cracked the code to producing impeccable coconut water.
Dinner: A bowl of Curried Cauliflower and Squash Soup accompanied by three Garlic and Curry Quinoa Flatbreads (both recipes courtesy of the Queen of Quinoa), and some lightly steamed broccoli.
Following the soup recipe to an absolute T produced less than stellar results, though I place the blame completely on myself for not reducing the amount of curry powder even though I’m well aware of my incredibly low tolerance for the potent Indian spice mixture. Difficult to consume an entire bowlful thanks to its intense heat level, this soup would have benefitted enormously from a less enthusiastic hand with the curry powder. I intend to attempt this recipe on another occasion to allow its gorgeous medley of winter vegetables to shine.
The flatbread, however, proved wildly successful, even after futzing with the recipe a bit. My box of quinoa flour contained about 1/8 cup less than needed, but I failed to reduce the amount of water in a silly culinary faux pas. I also replaced the psyllium husk, an extremely powerful binder, with the gentler flaxseed meal. Combined, both of these missteps resulted in a much too watery batter. Thus, I whisked in 1/2 cup chickpea flour to firm up the mixture and followed the directions as written. The slightly improvised flatbreads boasted a lovely, not overpowering, curry flavor complemented by the garlic powder, and a satisfying (dare I say…) breadlike texture with a crispy edge. I’ll certainly keep this recipe close at hand for future meals.
Meal Checklist: Protein—garbanzo bean flour. Whole Grain—quinoa flour. Vegetables—acorn squash, cauliflower, red onion, carrots, parsnip. Leafy Greens—broccoli.
Comment Provoking Questions: How do you feel about beets in smoothies? What is your favorite variety of seaweed? How about your favorite brand of coconut water? What is your heat tolerance level for curry powder? Have you ever ruined a dish by over-spicing it?
Until next time, Ali.