Breakfast: A smoothie of frozen pineapple, a baby cucumber, a frozen banana, 1/2 a small bunch of red russian kale, a couple sprigs of nettle, 1/2 tsp wheatgrass powder, and 3/4 cup Just Greens Juice (a blend of celery, cucumber, spinach, mustard greens, kale, collards, and parsley) from Columbia Gorge, topped with a heaping 1/2 cup of Citrus Summer Lentil Granola from Healthful Pursuit.
Using vegetable juice as the liquid in smoothies provides another avenue by which to impart even more nutritional richness—this particular bottle of Just Greens Juice offers a staggering two pounds of veggies’ worth of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Gotta love that juicing!
In regards to the granola, I’ve never tasted such a bright, summery blend of whole grains, nuts, and seeds before. The orange zest and cardamom truly sing, transforming an average cereal into a stunning, flavorful morning treat. On second thought, I couldn’t quite call this granola recipe “average.” Featuring sprouted lentils, quinoa flakes, and puffed amaranth, Leanne’s unique breakfast utilizes a plethora of whole grains and legumes to create an intensely crunchy, satisfying wake-up meal. I did, however, tweak the original recipe a bit (what a surprise) by substituting GF rolled oats for the brown rice crisp cereal and replacing both the honey and 2 tbsp coconut oil with a mixture of 1/4 cup applesauce+2 tbsp almond butter+1 tbsp coconut oil.
Breakfast Checklist: Protein—sprouted red lentils, almond butter (both in granola). Whole Grain—quinoa flakes, GF rolled oats, puffed amaranth (all in granola). Fruit—pineapple, banana, applesauce in granola. Leafy Green—nettles, kale. “Super Food”—wheatgrass powder, flax meal in granola. Added Veggie Bonus!—cucumber, green juice.
Morning Tea: Organic Vanilla Rooibos from Equal Exchange.
Lunch Box: A large handful of gorgeous mixed greens, alfalfa sprouts, bean sprouts (including chickpeas, lentils, and beluga peas), “farmhouse mix” sprouts (including pea shoots, buckwheat sprouts, and microgreens), a scant 1/2 cup black beans, a super sweet carrot, and a couple cherry tomatoes (so succulent you wouldn’t believe they grew in a greenhouse!), all tossed in Liquid Gold Dressing and topped with a large dollop of kimchi as well as three of Heidi Swanson’s Sesame Almond Brown Rice Balls.
Somehow, I managed to exactly follow Heidi’s original recipe for the brown rice balls…okay, I made an incredibly minor change by using sweet, sticky brown rice (aka mochi) instead of regular short-grain brown rice. So sue me. As per Heidi’s suggestion, I opted to tuck small cubes of tofu into the middle of the adorable whole-grain parcels. Nutty, crunchy, sticky, smooth, and chewy all in a three-bite orb of yumminess.
Meal Checklist: Protein—black beans; tofu, almonds, and sesame seeds in rice balls. Whole Grain—mochi brown rice in rice balls. Vegetables—alfalfa sprouts, bean sprouts, mixed sprouts, carrot, tomatoes, kimchi veggies, scallions in rice balls. Leafy Greens—mixed greens, cabbage in kimchi.
Local Ingredients: Mixed greens from Jones Valley Farm, alfalfa sprouts and bean sprouts from Troy Gardens, “farmhouse mix” sprouts from Garden to Be, kimchi from Fizzeology, cherry tomatoes from Canopy Gardens, scallions from JenEhr Family Farm.
Afternoon Snack: A tall glass of NessAlla Kombucha in Raspberry flavor.
Dinner: One of the most visually spectacular and stunningly complex salads I’ve experienced in a long while—the Asparagus & Zucchini Ribbon “Pasta” Plate (I used carrot instead of zucchini) from Addicted to Veggies, augmented with chickpeas, atop a bed of purslane and cooked buckwheat, drizzled in Creamy Miso Garlic Sauce (also from Addicted to Veggies).
My changes to the original recipe: substituted carrot for the zucchini since the latter is not in season yet, replaced the fresh dill with basil and parsley, omitted the chopped almonds, added a can of chickpeas.
Holy medley of intense flavors, Batman! Every single ingredient in this intricate salad packs a punch of deliciousness and proves integral to the dish as a whole: the slightly dehydrated carrot and asparagus provide a subltely toothsome base of veggies, the dry dill/pumpkin seed mixture coats the vegetable ribbons with a mysterious savory taste sensation, the bell pepper as well as the raisins offer a bright pop of flavor and a juicy texture, the sundried olives and tomatoes provide a satisfying salty-savory component, the shallot lends a hint of sweet oniony personality, the chickpeas add protein and a creamy-smooth bite, and the herbs…well, who doesn’t love a hearty dose of herbs in every dish? Drizzled with a succulent sauce of cashews and miso, this salad launched me into pure gastronomical bliss.
I also want to quickly mention purslane—my new favorite salad green. Supposedly favored by none other than Ghandi himself, purslane contains a bounty of omega-3 fatty acids, powerful antioxidants (including vitamins A, C, and E), and plenty of iron, magnesium, and potassium. Purslane has a delicate, incredibly refreshing flavor and shimmery leaves that initially provide a smooth mouthfeel yet succumb with a slight crunch.
Meal Checklist: Protein—chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, cashews in sauce. Whole Grain—buckwheat. Vegetables—asparagus, carrot, bell pepper, olives, sundried tomatoes, shallot, basil, parsley, garlic. Leafy Greens—purslane.
Local Ingredients: Asparagus from Sutter’s Ridge Farm, bell pepper and basil from Canopy Gardens, shallot and parsley from the Plahnt Farm, purslane from Jones Valley Farm, garlic from Brantmeier Family Farm.
Comment Provoking Questions: Have you tried using prepared juices in your smoothies? What sorts of flavorful additions take your granola recipes to the next level? Are you familiar with mochi rice? Or purslane?
Until next time, Ali.