Thursday, March 17, 2011

Green Day

How about, instead of food coloring to make foods green for today, you just eat some real green foods? Salads are great, fruits and veggies are great. Green smoothies are great.
Try mashing some spinach into your mashed potatoes, or make twice-baked green potatoes, like these from GreenSmoothieGirl.

Twice-Baked Green Potatoes

My sister-in-law Kelli makes this recipe, and even her vegetable-hating 3-year-old will eat it, even though she won’t eat broccoli. Of course, I’ve added even more greens.

8 large potatoes
1 large head broccoli
4 C spinach
8 green onions, diced (including the long green part)
¼ C grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1½ tsp. sea salt
freshly ground pepper to taste

Bake foil-wrapped potatoes at 350° for one hour, then let cool enough to handle the potatoes. Chop the broccoli into small pieces and steam for 15 minutes, adding the spinach for the last 5 minutes of steaming. Cut each potato in half and scoop out the potato “guts,” being careful to leave the skin intact with about ¼” of potato all the way around, to keep it firm to use later. Set the skins aside.

Use a hand mixer to blend until smooth the potato “guts,” steamed broccoli, onions, spinach, Parmesan, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Add a bit of water if the mixture is too thick to blend.

Scoop the mixture back into the potato skins. Optionally sprinkle with additional Parmesan, then bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately.

As for salads, try mixing it up from your usual if you are feeling salad burnout. Add some fruit, seeds, artichoke hearts, sprouts, different colors of peppers...make it beautiful and interesting! And to top it off (literally. ha.), make your own salad dressing. Ranch is a favorite, but if you want something else, try this:

Maple Syrup Dressing
¾ C extra virgin olive oil
¾ C red wine vinegar
6 Tbsp. maple syrup
½ tsp. sea salt
¼ C brown mustard
¼ yellow or white onion
½ tsp. garlic powder
Blend in a high-power blender until smooth.

(Feel free to cut the amounts in half. This makes quite a bit.)

Here's one more GSG recipe. A fun party salad that would really enliven your usual dinner salad and it's green, of course.

Spinach-Orzo Ensalata

This is my duplication of my favorite salad at Macaroni Grill, but nutritious and vegetarian—and I think it even tastes better. It’s a hit everywhere I take it.

1 C uncooked whole-wheat orzo pasta (boil it approx. 6-7 minutes and rinse well to keep grains
separate, then cool)
10+ C spinach (about 2 10-oz. bags), chopped
1 pkg. fresh basil, cut into ribbons
2 tomatoes, diced small
1 can black olives, sliced
2 oz. capers (half a 4-oz. jar), drained
½ C raw pine nuts
optional: shaved Parmesan to taste
Toss all ingredients except optional Parmesan. Add dressing to taste (the Tangy Dill Dressing on page 63 is perfect) and toss. Top each plate with shaved Parmesan if desired.

And here's the dressing for this one:

Tangy Dill Dressing
¼ C fresh lemon juice
¼ C fresh orange juice
½ C extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos (page 238)
¼ C apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. honey
2 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp. dried (or ¼ C fresh) dill weed

Blend all ingredients in a high-power blender.

Green not only has a lot of fabulous nutrition, it's essential for true health and cleansing our bodies of toxins. Eat up!

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