Tag Archives: greens

iPost

For Christmas, my parents asked if I might like a smart phone. I had been thinking about updating from my archaic flip phone, but also have been long contemplating the sad fate of my laptop, which sometimes is so slow it gives up on itself completely. These days almost anything is possible where technology is concerned. What do your get when you cross a smart phone and a computer? Why, a tablet! And so, without further ado, meet my Christmas/birthday present: an iPad.

This is a test post. The iPad has a camera, which is very convenient, but of course the pictures are not very high quality. It’s still a handy tool to tell a story, though.

Here is the short story of a smoothie (one of the many virtues of smoothies- shortness!). I have been on a green smoothie kick, especially since I was fighting a seasonal bug of some sort. Apparently the weather changes have been causing problems in respiratory systems other than my own… I have friends and coworkers who have reported congestion etc. over the past week. Well, to all those who ail, see below.

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Into the blender: baby spinach, pear, banana, blueberries, and avocado.

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Blended and topped with pomegranate seeds…

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…and blueberries…

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…and granola!

This was exactly what I needed. I credit it’s nutrition and the 10 minute nap I took that day for my speedy recovery.

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Quickadilla

My apologies for the unfortunate title. And for being a slacker blogger again…

Here’s a really quick lunch I made yesterday.

Squash some squash on half a tortilla.  (Okay, I guess it’s only quick if you have some squash already cooked…)

Sprinkle on some feta.

Then add some sauteed spinach and onion.  (Oh.  First saute some spinach and onions.)

Fold and heat in a skillet until squash is warmed and feta is melty-ish (feta doesn’t really melt..).

I could not get a good photo of this.  I decided to stop trying and eat, so here’s a terrible photo.  I promise the quality of the picture does not reflect the quality of the flavor.

Flying quesadilla?

No, just the worst of the pictures…

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7…6…5…4….

It’s the final countdown!  A week til the marathon…and it could be a pretty busy one.  Thanksgiving is a crazy time at the bakery, so I’ll be working an extra shift this week to help out.  I’m only working at Growlers once, though, so that means only one double, and I think I should have plenty of down time from Wednesday on.  Including Thanksgiving, which also happens to be the day I should really start increasing my carbohydrate consumption.  Convenient.  Gotta make sure I’m storing away some glycogen!

I have a recipe for you.  But, as of yet, no picture.  My parents went to a wedding and took my camera… so I used my brother’s to take pictures.  But then he went to St. Mary’s and I don’t know where the camera went.  So you’ll have to wait for a picture.  Or, just look at one of my green smoothie pictures, because the resemblance is quite striking.  But this time the recipe is for a more commonly accepted green-sludge-in-appearance food.  Soup!

We had spinach that needed cooking.  It was a tired, chilly Friday evening.  And I hadn’t cooked anything beyond an egg in quite some time.  Here is the result:

Loosely based on a Spinach and Pea soup from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone (one of the cookbooks I use most; her recipes often feature genius combinations of flavors).  I didn’t have green onions so I used shallot, and she didn’t call for garlic, but I added it, because why not?  At the end I wanted a little more warmth in the flavor so I added cayenne.

Savory Spinach Soup

  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 3 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 10 stalks of parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried basil (or 1 tbsp fresh)
  • salt and pepper
  • a lot of spinach (I used maybe… 8 cups?  loosely packed?)
  • 1 cup peas (frozen works)
  • lemon juice
  • cayenne

Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a large soup pot.  Add the onion, garlic, shallot, carrots, herbs, and 1/2 tsp salt.  Sautee for 5 minutes or so, then add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes until carrots are soft.  Add spinach and peas and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, until spinach has wilted.  Remove from heat and blend soup in two batches using a food processor, or using an immersion blender, which is about 4 million times easier.  Season with salt and pepper, lemon juice, and cayenne, all to taste.  Salt and pepper bring out the vegetable flavors, lemon juice makes the soup brighter and have a little more presence, and cayenne rounds out the flavors and gives the soup extra warmth.

False alarm!  I found my brother’s camera.

Could be a green smoothie in a pot.  Am I right?

Green soups are not very photogenic…

I’m about to go for my last “long” run of my training, which is 8 miles.  But first, let me show you my lunch.  I made a sort of pizza on a tortilla.  A tortizza…???

I started with a tiny smear of hummus (because that’s all we had left), Trader Joe’s Red Pepper Spread (a staple in our household), and feta cheese.

I added some sauteed onions…

And some collards that had been sauteed with garlic.  Then I put it in the oven for about 5 minutes at 400 degrees, just to heat everything through.

All done, topped with chopped cured black olives.

SO good.  The tortilla didn’t get very crispy, but I just cut it up in slices and folded them around the toppings.  What made this was especially good was the collards, which we got at the farmer’s market.  They are so sweet.  I sauteed the whole bunch and could easily eat it all right now, but I want to share some with my parents.

Okay, time to run!

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Green Power

Today was a bits and pieces (or, as my English aunt says, “bits and bobs”) kind of day.

Energized by green:

That’s banana, pineapple, and spinach.  I added pear later.  I love the texture pear adds, and of course the flayva.

Half way through eating I realized how many circles were involved in my breakfast.  Let’s see, from left to right we’ve got plum jam, green smoothie, water, cream cheese, Greek yogurt, raisins, green tea, sunflower seed butter and cinnamon.  I add to my toast on an almost bite-by-bite basis so that I can maximize the variety of flavors 🙂

Powered by green, I:

  • Did laundry
  • Made some phone calls
  • Finished making yogurt
  • Cleaned the bathroom
  • Ironed
  • Planned my 20 mile run (!!)
  • Made cookies

It felt good to spend a big chunk of the day getting some home things in order.  Now I won’t be ironing my shirt 5 minutes before I leave for work!  Doing it ahead of time makes for much more leisurely ironing.

Posts about the yogurt and the cookies coming soon…

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Oats De Novo

Yesterday at Growlers our newest beer went on tap: Thai One On.  It’s a beer inspired by the five flavors of Thai cuisine: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and hot.  The brewmasters used chili, palm sugar, lemongrass, tamarind, and ginger in this beer, and it’s amazingly innovative and delicious.  It’s interesting to observe customers’ reactions.  Some of them love it, some find it intriguing but aren’t interested in a glass of it, and some taste it, say “interesting,” and leave it at that.  When it first went on tap, I took a sample to two of my customers, who ended up being “interested” by it and getting something else.  I told them that I really liked it, but I like weird things.  I couldn’t really think of another way to express my taste in food.

I suppose weird is relative, but with some of the things I want to post I find myself wondering whether people will just be weirded out, wonder what strange mutation of the human species I am, and go look at something else.  It probably stems from the same instinct that had me sneaking mouthfuls of green beans in Elementary school when none of my tablemates were watching, and hiding my egg salad sandwich in my lunch bag in between bites.

So I am going to make this an exercise in self-expression, and take a “don’t knock it til you’ve tried it” attitude.  I’m sharing what I like, and people who don’t like it can go (to another) home (page).

The following are two variations on oats that I have used to fortify before my waitressing shifts.  One is sweet and the other is savory.  Have you tried savory oatmeal?  Oats are like any other grain: very versatile.  Just like serving corn grits (or polenta) with cheese or maple syrup, oatmeal can be a palate for any flavor you’re in the mood for.

Savory Greens Oatmeal

I cooked about 1/2 cup oats, then stirred in spinach to wilt and added salt and pepper .  You can adjust amounts and ratios to whatever your heart desires.

That’s the base, and the toppings are up to you.  I fried an egg and chopped some cheese.

Two of my favorites!

Then topped it all with some fresh arugula and a drizzle of olive oil.

It was a perfect mid-morning brunch before the lunch shift.

Sweet Peaches and Cream Oatmeal

This is more of your basic oatmeal with some fun mix-ins.

Cook 1/2 cup oats with chopped peaches, then mix in about 1/4 cup of cottage cheese, a splash of maple syrup or honey (a teaspoon or two) and a few shakes of cinnamon.

I topped it with ground almonds and plain yogurt sweetened with maple syrup, plus a few more chopped peaches. 

A fun way to make oats more satisfying with protein from the cottage cheese.

So, at this point I’ve either scared you away to a blog where oatmeal appears in more familiar guises, or inspired you to expand your oaty repertoire.  Or, you eat this kind of thing all the time and it’s no news to you… in which case, go ahead and share your favorite unconventional combo with me!

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Recovery is Key

First things first: my vibrant breakfast from this morning.

That’s a smoothie on top of soaked oats, with a dollop of plain yogurt.  The smoothie was half a frozen banana + blueberries + strawberries + a splash of almond milk. Oh, and if you look closely you can see sneaky evidence of the sunflower seed butter and peanut butter that are sandwiched in between the oats and the smoothie.

Now we can move on…

Sunday I did my long run on trails with Julia.  We went to Seneca Creek State Park and ran on the Greenway together, then she ran a mile of the lake trail with me before turning back (she wasn’t planning to run the whole thing since  she has a bunch of school work to do), and I finished the lake trail.  The whole run was about 14 miles, and I was only starting to feel tired at the end, so that’s a good sign!

I even felt good at work that night, even though I closed.  I started feeling really hungry around 9:30, but I had some almonds & dried fruit in my bag, so that helped me through.  My energy was probably sustained by my post-run feast:

Smoked Salmon and Sauteed Spinach Omelette (SS&SS!)

Served with an enormous salad with sweet potatoes, green beans, tapenade, and more.

I really love sweet potato on salads.   I topped it all with my new favorite speedy salad “dressing”: tahini and plain yogurt mixed together, with a little salt and pepper.

I also tried an ice bath for the first time after my run.  I was motivated by my experience in the Sierras: we swam in an alpine lake after a long hike, and the next day was the first day since we began the trip where my legs felt completely fresh.  Though the bathtub is way less cool (in both senses of the word) than an alpine lake…but it definitely felt good on my legs, and I haven’t had any soreness, so it seems to have had a similar effect!   (Of course, mere hours later I read in Runner’s World that ice baths decrease the storage of glycogen in your muscles during recovery… so it sounds like you can’t really win).

I went for a 4-mile run this morning and felt pretty good, so I think I recovered well from that run.

What I would really love, though, is if the weather would recover from this rainy/humid/blech system.  Bring on Fall!

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Life Soup

Another busy week.  I realized that I work almost full time; it’s just random, patchwork-style  full time.  It certainly keeps things interesting.  The patchwork schedule allows for a random sprinkling of fun activities, and also makes my running schedule pretty random.  I kind of like it like that, though.  At least, so far.

Saturday was one (I have four) of my Katie friend’s bachelorette party.  She’s getting married in three weeks!  We went and saw Chicago at Toby’s Dinner Theatre.  I was very impressed with the performance.  We finished the night by watching “The Proposal”– very wedding-appropriate.

Sunday was long run day!  My last run before that was a 7-miler on Thursday.  My legs were not quite sprightly for that run, though it wasn’t terrible.  But Sunday was great!  I think the two days off in between allowed for plenty of muscle regeneration.  Plus I went to yoga on Friday evening and worked out a bunch of tightness.

After my run I ate leftovers of this soup, which my mom made Friday night.  She said it was a lot of steps for soup, but as far as I’m concerned, it was worth it.  I love soup, and am delighted that soup season seems to be here a little early this year!

This photo is not just food, it’s ahhhhht:

That cheese on top is this:

Whole Foods sucked us in with its samples of irresistible cheese.  This one is definitely a winner: nutty, a little sharp, and with spicy black pepper edges.  I had it both on my soup and broiled on toast with Trader Joe’s Red Pepper and Eggplant Spread (another worth-it buy, if you’ve got a TJ’s nearby).

Then I went to visit Rachel in D.C!  So happy I did that.  We went to a drum circle with acroyoga and juggling and other hipster/hippie entertainment, then got self-serve froyo (one of the purest pleasures in life), then topped that off with some sauteed veggies.  (Note: we did not literally top the froyo with veggies.  The “topping” I speak of is proverbial.)

Monday I worked the dinner shift at the restaurant, then Tuesday was 8:30-2:30 at the bakery and 4-10 at the restaurant, and today I was up again for the 8:30-2:30 shift at the bakery.  Luckily now I’m freeee until Friday’s dinner shift.  Maybe that means you’ll see something interesting around here…

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