Sunday, June 27, 2010

Delicious Green Smoothie

When I buy the tub of organic baby spinach from Costco about half of it goes bad before I use it.
I'm really the only person that likes salads in my house.

But, everyone likes smoothies. So, I found and modified a smoothie recipe with spinach and aside from the color, my family loved it. If it wasn't green, you'd never know there was spinach in it!


2 cups spinach (packed down a little)
1 ripe banana (I peel my brown bananas then freeze them for easy use)
1/4 to 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
1/4 to 1/2 cup water (depending on how thick you want it!)

Use whatever fruit you have on hand: cantaloupe and grapes, and strawberries are great for freezing and make good smoothies. The banana and pineapple keep the color a pretty green. When I added strawberries and a few blackberries it turned darker, pea-soupish.

Blend and serve!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mint Berry Salad

At a feminist retreat I attended in March, my friend, Brooke, made this lovely fruit salad with blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Then, she topped it off with a minty syrup. It looked stunning and was helpful for a queasy, morning sick stomach.

For Father's Day, I tried to recreate the syrup. Recipe sites like and have suggestions for other fruit that would go well with the mint syrup. I followed Brooke's excellent example for mine, though.

Mint Berry Salad

1/2 flat of strawberries
3 pints of raspberries
3 pints of blueberries
3 pints of blackberries

Mint Syrup

1/2 c sugar
1/2 c water
1 plastic container of fresh mint leaves (mine said .66 oz)

Take 10-12 mint leaves and set aside. Put the rest of the mint (stems and all) with sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil until sugar dissolves.

Allow mint/sugar mixture to seep for 10 minutes. Strain and let cool.

Add 10-12 mint leaves and cooled syrup to blender. Pour to taste over mixed berries and serve within 10 to 20 minutes of adding syrup.

Eggplant Torta

I bought this cookbook, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison years ago when we were living in Boston. I have to confess I don't use it often because the recipes require a certain level of knowledge about seasonality of vegetables and access to high quality ingredients. The recipes are very minimalist, designed to bring out the flavors of each ingredient, which is great if one knows how to pick the best foodstuffs in the store (a skill I'm still working on). It's one of two cookbooks that sits on my shelf and doesn't get much use, not because it's not excellent, but because I'm still trying to figure out how to balance vegetarian meals.

Anyway, this is a recipe that I had in mind when I first started this blog, but I've never posted it because it's so long, which is why it's scanned. It's beautiful, delicious, and will satisfy both vegetarian and meat-eaters. But, it's time consuming (as you can see by the length of the recipe).

I made it last night for dinner when the swiss chard I planted in October decided to finally grow in May and was getting close to bolting (ok, it kind of did bolt--a little bitter than I cared for). And, I realized that I had about 1/2 of all the primary ingredients: 1/2 a large bunch of chard, and 1 eggplant (this recipe needs about 2 big ones). So, I halved those, but everything else I kept the same (except the saffron, I've never used it) and just made one layer of each mixture. Still tasty and much easier.