Saturday, April 14, 2012

Today's Afternoon Pick-Me-Up: The Muddy Banana

I joke that my husband likes to do yard work until "black dark" once spring and summer roll around, and because I'm a morning person in a household of night owls, I'm often ready for an early supper long before others are.  So a late-afternoon snack is a real boost to get me through to suppertime, usually 7 or later.  Today  I wanted a bit of stimulant as well, so I made up this blender drink:


The Muddy Banana

1 large banana, frozen
1 small handful of fresh kale (about one large leaf)
1 rounded tablespoon cocoa powder (I used the good stuff from Penzeys Spices.*)
1/2 - 1 cup water

Blend all ingredients in a Vita-Mix, ideally, and serve over ice with a straw.  It's a terrible shade of dark brown, sure to keep the kids away, but it's rich and satisfying, and only slightly sweet.  About 170 calories, with over 6 grams of fiber and almost 6 grams of protein.

Verdict: Very Good. I'd say Excellent except for the aesthetics. :-)

*The Penzeys store in the Strip District in Pittsburgh is a real joy to visit. I could spend a lot of money there fast.  I'm relishing their cardamom in my morning oatmeal with apples and walnuts and just gave someone one of their little gift boxes of four small jars of spices.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Creamy Cilantro Dressing/Sauce

I've been really busy lately working more than full time, when I initially planned to work about 2/3 time this year, but a friend's circumstances made it the right thing for me to take on the extra work to ease her burden and her mind.  But in the midst of that busy-ness my health has suffered, and I need to re-establish my glowing nutritarian lifestyle.  So I had a good day today, and it was actually the taste of a commercial dressing that sent me to make this variation on a well-loved standard you've seen here before. This is today's version . . .

Creamy Cilantro Dressing/Sauce

1/3 - 1/2 cup tahini
juice of one lime
1 clove garlic
2 coins fresh ginger
small handful fresh cilantro (mine was a puree from the freezer)
1 - 1-1/2 cups warm water

Whirl everything in the blender and adjust elements to taste. (I used a sprinkle of sugar, but a date would provide the same balancing sweetness.)

Verdict:  Excellent, as I expected.  I had a little of this on some water-sauteed turnip greens, and I look forward to it on salad tomorrow.