[EL-LENd Me a Hand campaign update: Ellen listed my humble little self-published cookbook on her “Books Ellen Reads” page! I couldn’t be more thrilled–and I know it only came about because of all of you–so thank you, thank you! This quest also seems to have developed a life of its own. . . seems a few other bloggers/tweetershave started their own campaigns, too–wowzah! But I haven’t given up hope of being on the show! Today’s installment is my first ever video on YouTube. . . hope you (and Ellen) enjoy it! 😉 ]
[Your morning essentials. . . ]
A couple of nights ago I went out to dinner to Live Organic Food Bar, a fabulous café that was the first all-raw restaurant in Toronto (it has since introduced some cooked foods to the menu–and wine). Since my office mate at the college is retiring, I took her out to celebrate (or mourn–sniff! boo hoo! Where will I acquire my gossip from now on?).
I’ve always loved the food at Live. My dinner that night: a “Green Kick” juice (pear, kale, ginger, dandelion, lemon); raw pecan “tempura” sushi appetizer; “The Manwich” sandwich (Reubenesque, in a rice wrap instead of Ezekiel bread), and an individual pot of Japanese green tea. Sounds delish, no?
The restaurant’s story is an inspiring one: almost a decade ago, Jennifer Italiano, a self-taught chef, opened the first location of Live in the hip and grungy student haven of Dupont Street near George Brown College. The space she could afford was tiny, no larger than a phone booth (for those of you too young to remember phone booths, that’s about 100 times smaller than Kanye West’s ego). I had the honor of attending a cooking demo put on by Jennifer when she had just started out, and was blown away by how innovative and tantalizing her recipes were (sort of like my baked goods will be if I get on The Ellen Show!). In fact, that demo was the first time I tasted what is my still favorite way to serve dandelion greens: Bittersweet Salad.
In the same spirit, I thought I’d stretch my own culinary creativity a bit and try out something new with beets, the star player in the SOS Kitchen Challenge (which I’m co-hosting with the uber-cool and culinarily prolific Kim from Affairs of Living). Since the event focuses on either sweet or savory dishes, I thought I’d post a second recipe using this month’s ingredient, beets. And since my first submission was for savory beet burgers, today’s is for a sweet and refreshing beet-based smoothie.
This smoothie was fabulous. The leafy greens and deep magenta of the final product both herald spring, something of which we’re in dire need today (what?? April 17 and it snowed this morning???). And the gentle nudge of lime here creates a really light yet refreshing flavor, perfect for a quick breakfast. Unlike my typical smoothies, this one isn’t extremely thick; more like a light sunshower than a downpour (which, considering it’s still not snow, doesn’t even sound all that bad at the moment).
It’s not too late to enter the challenge! If you have a beet-based recipe that you’d like us to include, you can send it along until April 20th. Check all the details here.
Brilliantly Beet Smoothie
If you’ve got ready-baked beets in the house, this is an amazingly quick and nutritious breakfast. I’m sure raw beet would be equally (perhaps more) healthful; I just haven’t tried it yet. Let me know if you do!
1 medium beet, baked until soft, peeled and cut in chunks (or keep it raw for an all-raw smoothie)
1 cup (240 ml) mixed fresh or frozen berries (I used blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries)
3 large or 4 medium kale leaves (in keeping with the color scheme, I used purple kale)
1/2 medium cucumber, peeled and cut in chunks
juice of 1/2 lime
1 scoop of your favorite plain or vanilla protein powder (I used Vanilla SunWarrior)
1 cup (240 ml) plain or vanilla unsweetened alternative milk of choice (I like almond, rice or hemp)
5-10 drops pure plain or vanilla stevia liquid
Place all ingredients in a high powered blender and blend until smooth. (Note: if you use fresh berries, you may wish to add 1-2 ice cubes for a cold smoothie). Drink immediately. Makes 1 large or 2 small servings.
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Last Year at this Time: Anti-Candida Desserts: What Do You Eat?
Two Years Ago: Flash in the Pan: Kale and Hearty Salad
© 2010 Ricki Heller