*No relation to the band of the same name, of course.
[Holy shamrock! That soup really is rather green!]
After being on the ACD for a full year now, I must admit to feeling a bit like a basket case (my, time sure does fly when you’re [not] having fungus). Having cut out poprocks and coke–not to mention all sugars, molds and fungi–it seems my body is now just a minim closer to reacting normally when faced with gastonomic excess. Whereas pre-ACD, I might have mindlessly polished off an entire pan of brownies in one day (who am I kidding? more like one sitting), nowadays, I start to feel full after barely four squares of ACD-friendly treats. Just call me a walking contradiction.
And so, lately, I’ve been feeling my body’s warning to take it easy. I suppose I could blame it on too many experiments in the kitchen (cheese bread? Fudge? Brain stew?). Or I could blame our recent trip to Florida, where the locals beckoned, “welcome to paradise,” inviting me to eat all manner of slightly questionable foods (such as Butternut and Edamame Hash, likely bathed in maple syrup). I might just blame it on my current holiday from the college (Oh! Please wake me up when September ends!). Should I blame my dysfunctional childhood, with its boulevard of broken dreams? Or should I just blame it on the rain (hey! how the heck did those guys get in here?).
Whatever the reason, I’ve been feeling a need to cleanse, to refresh, to–yes, detox–lately. Not that I’m jaded, you understand; but I did think it would be fun to spend a whole day eating green foods, as a way to gently cleanse the system. What better way to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day than an entire day of green? (Okay, perhaps not 100% green–but, at least, foods that contained a majority of green. Which, I suppose, puts me in the minority).
[This is what wheatgrass juice looks like frozen. Don'tcha wish you had some?]
Why green? Well, as we know, greens are the healthiest foods out there. (Even Michael Pollan has a rule to that effect: eat more plants; mostly leaves). Also, they contain chlorophyll, which is a great blood detoxifier and cleanser. Furthermore, greens contain incredibly high proportions of minerals and Vitamin K. And let’s not forget a whole whack of antioxidants. So, taking a longview on health, and given their wonderful nutritional profile, I opted for a Green Day.
[This is what wheatgrass juice looks like defrosted. Now I bet you really wish you had some!]
As usual, my day started out with a hit of wheatgrass juice (I have it whenever I can get it at our local market; I juice enough for about 2 weeks’ worth, freeze in ice cube trays, and defrost overnight in the fridge) along with my daily flax/chia mix with spirulina (or, as the HH affectionately calls it, “Green Slime.”)
[Green Slime--with lots of affection.]
An hour or so later, I followed up with a green “pudding”/smoothie, based on this with a bit of this. With all that energy, I could have run a Macy’s Day parade (but decided against it, since we all know nice guys finish last).
[Avocado, cucumber and lettuce made this so green, I felt compelled to add some carob.]
I whisked up a steaming cup of matcha green tea, which I sipped as I finished some work on the computer.
[And yet more green!]
Lunch was a quick raw wrap–romaine lettuce with homemade nut cheese, grated carrots, cucumber and the other half of the morning avocado. Deelish!
[Fresh, crisp, and green as a four-leaf clover!]
And finally, for dinner, I opted for a lovely green soup. I discovered this recipe entirely serendipitously, one morning as I trod the treadmill (don’t you just love that word, “trod”?). For some reason, my soap opera hadn’t been recorded, and there I was, watching a blank screen like an American idiot, waiting, waiting. . . until I finally realized I was soapless. Well, good riddance, I say–and on to Food Network, where you can have the time of your life!
By chance, Laura Calder’s show was on, and her theme was “foods kids will like.” In contrast to her usual flesh-centric, cream-and-butter, weighty recipes, this soup was light, smooth, rich, and mildly flavored. The soup was incredibly quick and easy to make, and a hand-held blender was perfect to purée the final product. In less than 30 minutes, I had the emerald ending to my day of green.
Whether you opt for green soup, green beer or just some green-themed cheer, hope you all have a happy St. Patrick’s Day on the 17th!
(I know, I am a total nerd. I mean, who else would feel compelled to fit 20 greatest hits into one blog entry? But for now, I guess you’re just stuck with me.)
“Mum, we have to agree that yes, you are a nerd. But at least you’re not a geek stink breath. Now perhaps you’d like to give us a Greenie in honor of the day?”
Green Soup with Spinach, Lettuce, and Peas (ACD Phase I and beyond)
adapted from French Food at Home
Quick and easy, this soup is a perfect first course to a light dinner. Or add some cheesy bread and call it a meal.
2 large leeks, cleaned and sliced (white and light green parts only) or 3 medium yellow onions, sliced
2 Tbsp (30 ml) coconut or extra virgin olive oil, preferably organic
3 cups (720 ml) vegetable broth or stock
1 small bunch (about 2 cups/480 ml) baby spinach leaves
2 cups (480 ml) cooked green peas
2 cups (about 4 large leaves) shredded romaine lettuce
1/2 to 1 cup (120-240 ml) unsweetened soy or almond milk
1 Tbsp (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
fine sea salt and pepper, to taste
In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat; add the leeks and cook, stirring, until they are soft, 5-10 minutes. Add the broth, lower heat, cover and simmer until leeks are tender, about 15 minutes.
Add the spinach, green peas and lettuce, pushing the leaves to submerge in the broth. Continue to cook until leaves are soft and wilted, about 5 minutes.
Using an immersion blender, blend soup to desired smoothness (Calder suggests straining it, but I prefer to consume the excellent fiber in this soup!), then add the milk, lemon and seasonings to taste and stir well. Heat just until warmed through, and serve. Makes 4 servings. May be frozen.
Last Year at this Time: The Nerd Makes Good: A Double Ode to Okra
Two Years Ago: Maple-Walnut Cookies