• frozen peanut-butter cup

    June 25, 2013


    Last week I got a Facebook message from a friend and longtime Green Appetite follower — turns out she had a “weird reaction” after trying the lucuma shake in my Milkshake Hacking post.  Oh, no!

    I’d never heard of this happening before.  Then again, lucuma isn’t exactly headline news.

    My friend sweetly offered to send me her unused lucuma (thank you!), and I promptly told her about another shake combo I have nearly every day. Then I realized I’d have to fess up to you, too.  So here it is:

    • almond milk to fill 3/4 of a glass
    • frozen banana (I keep a bunch in the freezer — always remove the peel first)
    • 1 heaping tablespoon peanut butter (the kind they grind out fresh at the health-food store)
    • 1 heaping tablespoon cacao powder
    • splash vanilla extract

    Alternatively, you could use 2 tablespoons cacao nibs (instead of the cacao powder) and throw in a date or two (I buy the Israeli ones) — making sure, of course, to remove the pit first.  But I find that cacao nibs are a little tough on my stomach.  And we don’t want any more negative reactions.

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  • the pasta playground

    June 17, 2013


    I’m obsessed with this combination:

    • orecchiette pasta (I only buy De Cecco after reading long ago that it’s the highest-quality dried pasta outside of Italy.  And it really does have a perfect bite given how reasonably priced it is.)
    • a scattering of pine nuts (dry-fried in a pan until lightly browned)
    • a bunch of baby broccoli, washed and chopped
    • really good pesto (I have my NY spots as I find it makes more sense — time and cost-wise — than making my own)
    • a shake or two of crushed red chili peppers
    • crumbled in sheep/goat feta (Roussas brand from Greece is my pick)
    • coarse kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

    There’s no need for detailed instructions here: just add the broccoli a minute before the pasta’s cooking time is up, drain, and mix in everything else.  Seriously addictive stuff.

    This is the first time I’ve ever posted anything with dairy or wheat on here. When I first started Green Appetite back in 2009, I decided to only include vegan, gluten-free recipes — because I didn’t want my recipes to exclude anyone.

    But here’s the deal: this site is about creative ideas to get more veggies into your day, not an attempt to get you to take things out.  Pasta is a great playground for veggies, and you’ll notice I have more veggies than pasta in this picture.  But you could also use quinoa instead and/or leave out the cheese.  And of course if you’re doing that, you’ll also want to make sure your pesto is dairy free.  By the way, that’s a good way to make sure store-bought pesto is the real deal: authentic pesto should not contain cheese to begin with.  Mangia verde!

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  • morning cocktails, tiny habits

    June 11, 2013


    After a full night of sleep, your body needs a drink.   Here’s mine:

    1. squeeze 1/4 lemon into a tall glass
    2. add a splash of Bragg apple cider vinegar
    3. top off with a squirt of honey
    4. fill with water and stir

    That’s enough to get me through my morning workout and before I have a green smoothie.  It took me about a month to make this a routine, and now I do it without thinking about it.

    Try it for a week and see how you feel.  The most important thing is to put it on auto-pilot, and it becomes a habit. Have the lemons, cider vinegar, and honey on hand and do it right after you do something else — like brushing your teeth.  Ditto for the smoothie.

    BJ Fogg, a researcher at Stanford, calls this an “anchoring behavior.”  He has a free one-week program called Tiny Habits, which I did a few weeks ago.  The coolest thing I learned is that, if you think about it, companies like Facebook and Google are successful because they create habits in people.  We can use that same logic to create behaviors and success in ourselves.  Cheers!


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  • eat better naked

    June 3, 2013


    There are generally no rules, but here’s a good one:  when the weather calls for stripping down, do the same with your food.  In this case:  in the buff is the way to go.  See here these beautiful spears of asparagus at a BBQ I went to this weekend.  Standing over a foot tall, they were grown by one of the guests at her home in Howell, New Jersey.  They were as juicy as a peach and required no dipping at all.

    That’s the trick with local and seasonal — it really needs no dressing up. So get thee to a farmer’s market if you don’t have a bountiful backyard, and eat these in their birthday suits.

    And if you’re feeling especially frisky, there’s always this.

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