Breakfast: A smoothie of 1 frozen banana, 3 stalks of celery, 1 golden beet, 1/2 cup frozen mango, 1/2 cup frozen pineapple, 1/2 honeycrisp apple, 3 large leaves of lacinato kale, 1/2 tbsp lucuma powder, and 3/4 cup almond kefir with 2 Coconut Muffins and 2 Carob Quinoa Fig Bars chopped up and stirred in.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve begun increasing the veggie:fruit ratio in my smoothies, including anywhere from one to three vegetables and two to five fruits. So far, my favorite smoothie vegetables are kale (a staple ingredient since the very beginning of my smoothie obsession), celery, beets, and carrots, while I turn most often to bananas (always a must), mixed berries, mango, pineapple, peaches, and apples to fulfill my fruity needs. Fresh herbs such as parsley and cilantro also work well in morning beverages, as does fresh ginger. Honestly, if you throw any combination of fruits, veggies, herbs, nuts, spices, and “superfood” powders into a blender with some nondairy milk and a smidge of culinary intellect, you’ll produce one heck of a nutrient-dense commencement to your day.
Breakfast Checklist: Protein—almond kefir, chickpea flour in muffins, almonds and hazelnuts in bars. Whole Grain—quinoa in bars, brown rice flour in muffins. Fruit—banana, mango, pineapple, apple, coconut in muffins, figs in bars. Leafy Green—kale. “Super Food”—lucuma, chia seeds in muffins and bars, flax in bars. Added Veggie Bonus!—celery, golden beet.
Local Ingredients: Golden beets from Driftless Organics.
Morning Tea: Cinnamon Plum from Rishi Tea.
Lunch Box: Mixed greens, “farmhouse mix” sprouts, 2 small carrots, and mixed bean sprouts tossed with Liquid Gold Dressing and topped with Popcorn Cauliflower as well as a mash of 1/4 avocado, 1/2 roasted sweet potato, and 1 tbsp dulse seaweed sandwiched between Kabocha Squash Flax Flatbread with alfalfa sprouts, and finally a dollop of “Ferment of the Month” sauerkraut.
All throughout my morning classes on Wednesday, I eagerly awaited the lunch bell to dig into this lunch box of supreme yumminess, which certainly did not disappoint my elevated expectations. I must admit that I’ve replicated this lunch box three times already this week. Hey, who can mess with perfection?
The beginning of March introduced a new “Ferment of the Month” from Fizzeology (a small lacto-fermentation business based in Viroqua, WI owned by Mike Bieser, who strengthened his immune system with probiotics to overcome Lyme disease. Pretty amazing, huh?), chock full of basically every winter vegetable fathomable. Just take a gander at the ingredient list:green cabbage, carrot, red and white onion, parsnip, daikon and red beauty radish, shallot, sunchokes, yellow and red beet, butternut and heart of gold squash, apple, leek, rutabaga, cumin, turmeric, and sun dried sea salt.Holy sauerkraut, that man will ferment anything! I’m surely not complaining, though, for his probiotic madness benefits both the efficiency of my digestive system and the deliciousness of my lunches. A win-win situation if I ever witnessed one.
Meal Checklist: Protein—flax seeds in flatbread (not a very protein-filled lunch, I must admit). Whole Grain—buckwheat flour in flatbread (nor a grain-laden one). Vegetables—“farmhouse mix” sprouts, carrots, mixed bean sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, cauliflower, sweet potato, kabocha squash in flatbread, sauerkraut veggies (but packed to the brim with veggies!). Leafy Greens—mixed greens, dulse seaweed, cabbage in kimchi.
Afternoon Snack: A tall glass of NessAlla Kombucha in Blueberry flavor.
Dinner: One of my new favorite recipes, courtesy of the always stunning (both in culinary endeavors and impressive photography) Roost blog, of Braised Chestnuts and Brussels Sprouts with Thyme augmented with 1/2 cup cannellini beans, served over 1/2 cup germinated brown rice, and topped with a spoonful of marinated mushrooms.
In regards to tweaking Roost’s original recipe, I used 1 cup chestnuts, 12 oz brussels sprouts, 1 tsp olive oil, 1 cup vegetable broth and no white wine, and 1 tsp dried thyme, as well as including cannellini beans in the braise and finishing the dish with a squirt of lemon juice for freshness.
As for the marinated mushrooms, I’ve developed quite the taste for the chewy, hearty, succulent fungi that soak up every ounce of flavor in which they marinate. Hooked by Cucina Libera’s Rosemary Marinated Mushrooms (a key ingredient in my recent bowl recipe), I played with my own mushroom marinade of equal parts coconut aminos, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and dried basil, yielding fantastic results. Marinated mushrooms will certainly remain a kitchen staple of mine for a long while, I’m sure.
Meal Checklist: Protein—cannellini beans. Whole Grain—germinated brown rice. Vegetables—mushrooms. Leafy Greens—brussels sprouts.
Local Ingredients: None. *Frowny face.*
Comment Provoking Questions: What are your favorite smoothie stir-ins? How about your favorite vegetables, herbs, and spices to include in smoothies? What’s a vegetable you never thought of pickling/fermenting before but would now like to try? How much do you absolutely adore chestnuts?
Until next time, Ali.