Breakfast: A smoothie of 1 frozen banana, 1 tbsp hemp seeds, 1 tbsp goji berries, 1 tbsp carob powder, 1/2 tsp spirulina, 4 large leaves of lacinato kale, 1 heaping cup of frozen strawberries, 1 cup of almond milk kefir, and a bountiful sprinkling of my new recipe for Apricot Raisin Granola.
Breakfast Checklist: Protein—almond milk kefir, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds. Whole Grain—GF rolled oats, buckwheat. Fruit—banana, goji berries, strawberries, apricots, dates, raisins. Leafy Green—kale. “Super Food”—hemp seeds, goji berries, spirulina, flaxseed meal, lucuma, maca.
Ridiculously rife with antioxidants from the bounty of “superfoods,” the strawberries, and the kale, this mildly chocolately, incredibly creamy smoothie serves as a delicious jumpstart to anyone’s day. Generously sprinkled with crunchy granola clusters studded with plump raisins? Um…yes, please.
Morning Tea: Organic Double Green Matcha from Republic of Tea.
A vehicle for the “exquisite” (and astronomically expensive) matcha green tea powder, this subtlely sweet tea boasts a double shot of natural energy from all the green tea goodness.
Lunch: A fairly standard salad of mixed greens, mixed bean sprouts, “farmhouse mix” sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, a small carrot, a handful of cherry tomatoes, a couple leaves of lemon basil, and about 1/2 cup each of quinoa and sprouted lentil trio, all tossed in Liquid Gold Dressing, topped with a small dollop (this stuff sure clears out the sinuses!) of kimchi, and sprinkled with dulse flakes.
Lately, I’ve enjoyed throwing basil into most all of my lunch salads. It’s bright, slightly peppery tang boosts the quality and interest of any veggie bowl.
Meal Checklist: Protein—sprouted lentils. Whole Grain—quinoa. Vegetables—mixed bean sprouts, “farmhouse mix” sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, carrot, cherry tomatoes, kimchi veggies, lemon basil. Leafy Greens—lettuce, dulse seaweed, cabbage in kimchi.
Local Ingredients: Lettuce from Young Earth Farm, bean sprouts and alfalfa sprouts from Garden to Be, carrots from Driftless Organics, cherry tomatoes from Canopy Gardens, kimchi from Fizzeology, basil from my backyard herb garden.
After-Lunch Beverage: A tall glass of NessAlla Kombucha in Raspberry flavor (pardon me for constantly relying on this particular picture to display my daily afternoon drink).
Dinner: A superb summer meal, co-created between my friend Anna and me, of my classic recipe for gazpacho, Heidi Swanson’s Kale Market Salad, and Bon Appetit’s Charred Green Beans with Harissa and Almonds.
Photo credit goes to my wonderful dinner companion, Anna Lutz.
For me, summer truly arrives with the first bowl of gazpacho—a creamy blend of unbelievably ripe tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, basil, love, sunshine, and a couple other secret ingredients, gazpacho renders me reminiscent of my very first days of childhood, and remains a staple of our family dinners.
The kale salad underwhelmed me a bit. I substituted both sprouted lentils and brown rice for the farro, but ended up using double the amount for which Heidi calls after finding the original salad slightly ersatz. Needless to say, I’ve definitely experienced tastier kale salads.
However, the charred green beans gloriously pulled up the slack of the lagging kale salad, catapulting itself to heroism as the star of the meal. Crispy yet tender with a smoky blackened edge accentuated by the sweet, not overly spicy harissa paste and crunchy almonds, these green beans will certainly land on my dinner table quite often over the course of the summer.
Meal Checklist: Protein—sprouted lentils, almonds. Whole Grain—brown rice. Vegetables—tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, bell pepper, red onion, basil, green shallot, carrot, fennel, green beans, red chiles, garlic. Leafy Greens—kale.
Local Ingredients: Heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and red chiles from Canopy Gardens; sungold tomatoes from Young Earth Farm; red onion and carrots from Driftless Organics; basil from my backyard herb garden; green shallot from the Plahnt Farm; fennel, green beans, and lacinato kale from Harmony Valley Farm; garlic from Brantmeier Family Farm.
Dessert: A bowl of Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream from YumUniverse sprinkled with cacao nibs.
More of a sorbet than an ice cream, this intensely cherried frozen dessert did not adopt as much of the coconut milk’s creaminess as I had hoped, though the sweet, complex cherry flavor verily impressed me. I suspect that throwing this recipe into my nonexistent ice cream maker would have increased the creamy factor.
Local Ingredients: Cherries from the Door County Fruit Market.
Comment Provoking Questions: Do you splurge on the “real deal” matcha green tea? Do you find yourself adding more herbs to dishes during the summer? What’s your favorite kale salad recipe? How about your favorite non-dairy ice cream recipe?
Until next time, Ali.