There’s something about starting the day with green food that makes me feel like I’ve got my shit together. I finally found a go-to green smoothie that dupes my tastebuds, dazzles my mind, and delivers nourishment to my body: 1 cup of coconut water, 1/2 cup baby spinach or kale, 1/2 cup frozen mango, 1-2 tsps chopped fresh ginger, 1 TB flaxseed meal, 2 TB roasted cashews, 2 TB vanilla protein powder. It tastes like mango vanilla ice cream but looks like a holier-than-thou health concoction. Feel free to turn your nose up at those who gawk at the green stuff, you know that looks can be deceiving.
Blood oranges started popping up at our local Whole Foods so that’s been my mid-morning snack for the past couple of days. Slightly less acidic than normal oranges with overtones of red fruit flavors, this snack is a unique way to procrastinate that email you have to send before noon.
Since it’s January, I’ve been treating my body like a temple and my lunch this week has me feeling blessed: shredded beet, carrot, and apple tossed with lemon juice and olive oil, served with lentils over salad greens. Topped with shelled, roasted sunflower seeds for an extra salty crunch and I’ve got a colorful, refreshing lunch that belies the stark, monochromatic winter outside.
If I get hungry again in the afternoon I’ll have a handful of mixed nuts. There’s a new trail mix at Trader Joe’s that contains a generous amount of mini peanut butter cups…hey, I had a freaking beet salad for lunch after all.
Since I’m cooking dinner for people over the age of sixty, they give less fucks about treating their bodies like budding flowers and just want something that tastes good. That’s where Bon Appetit’s Healthyish Feel Good Food Plan comes in. Their recipes are unique and modern enough to inspire me, but delicious and filling enough to please the parents. Everyone loved the One-Skillet Crispy Chicken Thighs with Harissa ; they tasted like fancy buffalo wings with a secret, healthy twist. Most of the other meals in this plan are not family friendly (nor particularly weeknight friendly), but the updated cooking techniques (shredded tofu! cooked and uncooked veg!) and obscure ingredients (white miso paste in literally everything) inspired me to take risks with my cooking this year. You can’t be afraid of North African chili paste if you ever want to become a better cook, right?