• island hopping in a glass

    July 31, 2013


    Summer in New York presents a complementary phenomenon for me–the craving for copious amounts of mangoes, and the frustration of being surrounded by water yet not being able to jump in it.

    I yearn, more than ever, to escape to a place where I can drink out of a coconut.  And so we have my wanderlust-infused kitchen concoctions. Here’s the latest:

    • one ripe banana
    • 1/4 ripe papaya (check out this quick video for how to know when it’s ready, and how to peel and cut)
    • 1/3 cup coconut milk (from a can–keep the rest in a covered container in the fridge)
    • about a cup of frozen mango chunks (Trader Joe’s, all the way)
    • about 1/3 cup water for consistency

    Speaking of Trader Joe’s (again), check out that orchid.  They bloom for a very long time and seem to like it in my apartment.  That, coupled with this smoothie and my new tower fan, and it almost feels like I’m on an island very far from Manhattan.  Almost.

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  • indoor bbq tacos

    July 23, 2013


    Baby, it has been HOT outside.

    There’s no better time to kick up the raw with smoothies and salads.  But summer spells barbecue.  So here’s one cool move when you want to do a little grilling without a lot of sweating:

    • the simplest tortillas you can get (I buy Trader Joe’s–made with just white corn, water, and lime)
    • zucchini/courgette, scrubbed and sliced on the diagonal
    • fresh, crunchy sprouts
    • pan-toasted sunflower seeds

    The critical ingredient is my favorite kitchen toy: the Lodge Cast-Iron Grill. This thing is fantastic.  I use it for paninis and tofu (with the matching press), and you can flip it to make pancakes on the griddle side.

    In this case, I turn on both burners under the grill, then put the zucchini slices on top–flipping after a few minutes.  When nearly done, throw the tortillas onto the back part of the grill for a few seconds, flipping those once as well.  Load the veg onto the tortillas, sprinkle with the seeds, and plop a big handful of sprouts atop.  Serve with One-Minute Guacamole.  (Oh, and if you don’t have a grill/griddle, you can also use a grill pan.)

    You probably didn’t even need those directions.  Or me to tell you how fast these go.

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  • tomatoes tonight, times two

    July 16, 2013

    I love alliteration to a fault.

    And the red, ravishing fruit that’s best picked at the height of summer.

    No, not that one.



    Which you can very quickly make into a snappy soup like this:


    …by blending whole tomatoes with a few spoonfuls of good pesto and simmering over a flame until broken up.

    Or raw and layered betwixt slices of grilled eggplant and fresh mozzarella like so:tomatotrio

    …with a requisite shower of torn basil, a slick of olive oil, a splash of balsamic, a sprinkle of kosher salt, and a scattering of freshly ground pepper.

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  • robby barbaro on plant-based diets and the protein myth (part 2)

    July 9, 2013

    As promised, here’s the rest of my conversation with Robby Barbaro, Operations Manager for Forks Over Knives–the documentary about how whole foods, plant-based diets can help reverse conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, not to mention increase our overall vitality and reduce health-care costs.

    He’ll answer these common questions:

    • Do you have to go 100% plant-based to see results?
    • Where do you get your protein?
    • What’s the science behind all this?

    Missed part 1?  Watch it here.

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  • 28 days to happy hormones

    July 7, 2013

    ***UPDATE AND SPECIAL OFFER:  Course launches July 15th.  Green Appetite readers get $20 off–just enter this code at checkout (but make sure you sign up before Monday, July 22nd):


    Are your hormones getting you all hot and bothered–and not in a good way?

    Women’s health coach Nicole Jardim of The Healthy Elements kicks off another round of her signature Fix Your Period home study program THIS WEDNESDAY.

    I really love Nicole’s natural, nutrition-centered approach to PCOS, boosting fertility, and simply making your monthly visitor a saner occasion. Ladies, get this area under control, and it’ll have a positive domino effect on everything else.

    And if you use the links above to join the course, you’ll also be helping this site month after happy month…so thank you!

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  • robby barbaro talks fruit, fitness, and finding compassion (part 1)

    July 2, 2013

    When I first started Green Appetite in 2009, I came across a lot of people in the healthy-eating world.  Nobody stood out to me like Robby Barbaro.  At 21, he was leading a movement to help people with diabetes control their insulin levels with one thing:  food.

    Fast forward until last week when he met me at Riverside Park in New York–me with two green smoothies in hand, him with a special variety of mamey he had shipped from Florida.  Robby now spends his days as the Operations Manager for Forks Over Knives–the highly-popular documentary about the benefits of a plant-based diet.

    In this interview, you’ll hear:

    • all about his 80/10/10 diet and exactly what he eats day to day
    • where he gets his fruit, and whether or not it’s organic
    • what he does when he’s out at restaurants
    • how he deals with peer pressure
    • his fitness routine (or lack of!)
    • the number one tip you need to know about changing your diet

    Make sure you watch until the end, when he talks about another concept he introduced me to:  Nonviolent Communication.  It has nothing to do with food–and everything to do with nurturing your connection with others.

    Stay tuned, because next week we’ll dive even deeper into Forks Over Knives, including tackling the common question:  “Where on Earth do you get your protein?”

    And in case you think real men don’t eat fruit, you should know that Robby is dating a model.

    More from Forks Over Knives:

    Forks Over Knives Presents: The Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue with Rip Esselstyn

    Forks Over Knives: The Extended Interviews

    All links above generate an affiliate commission that helps keep this site running green.  :)

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  • 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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