💚💚💚 Spring Smoothies 💚💚💚

💚💚💚 Spring Smoothies 💚💚💚

Smoothie love!
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A non-negotiable for me is drinking up a green smoothie every. single. day. I see the smoothie as a vehicle for the nutrition I want to be SURE that I get each day: a variety of anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals (depending on the ingredients), the living enzymes from raw plant foods which aid digestion, and loads of fiber to keep the small intestine scrubbed and my intestinal villi buoyant (so  my nutrient uptake is top notch).

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The Basics of Indian Dal

I recently shared this recipe at Chuck's Produce, where I do F R E E  monthly seasonal cooking demonstrations. This is a go-to recipe for myself throughout the winter and early spring, because is is simple to make, warming, satisfying and nutrient dense. Plus, Dal is a fantastic source of proteins for a balanced vegetarian diet.

Most Dals favor lentils as a the bean of choice, though other beans can be used. Dal suggests that the beans have been skinned and split, it can also suggest that the beans will be braised resulting in a stew-y delicious dish.  You can produce Dal's with whole beans as well. I like to use small tender beans like mung, adzuki or peas if I am not using lentils. Though, you could use the same cooking method described below to make a stewed bean dish with chickpeas, or bean of your choice. You will simply need to adjust cooking times as most beans require 1.5 - 2 hours to cook. 

Here is a handy dandy guide to soaking and cooking beans! Image courtesy of  Active Vegetarian - a great plant based diet resource!

The other reason I wanted to share this recipe is that it is endlessly versatile. You can change the beans, the veg, the broth or cooking liquid, and/or the spice profile to make a wide variety of simple bean dishes. I offer a few tips below for ways to Change it up!

I hope you enjoy this one--let me know if you try it, and how you make it your own!


Simple Indian Dal Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed well
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 4 tsp Coconut Oil or Ghee
  • 2 inch fresh ginger root, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground coriander seeds
  • 1 bunch chopped cilantro

DIRECTIONS

  1. Sauté the ground coriander, chopped onion, carrots and fresh ginger in the coconut oil until sizzling and releasing a fantastic smell.
  2. Stir in the lentils and add 1 cup water. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Add the coconut milk and simmer for an additional 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and add the cilantro leaves, scallions, lime zest and juice and salt and pepper.
  5. Leave to stew for 15 minutes, before serving.
  • Serve with sautéd greens or over a cooked grain of your choosing. 
  • You could also thin this some with water or broth to have a soupier dal.
  • This stores beautifully, so make a big ol’ batch.

Change It Up! 

Here are a few variations that are simple and delicious. Dal is sure to become one of your go-to meals!

Add spice!

This recipe would is delicious with a variety of different spices. Instead of coriander try: your favorite curry blend, garlic + turmeric, dried or fresh basil, lemongrass + chili pepper. If using a white bean try omitting the coconut oil + milk,  and use water, stewed tomatoes + thyme or herbs de provence.

Use Your Favorite Vegetables

You could sub out the carrots for your favorite seasonal veg. Winter squash, potato, parsnip,   cauliflower, celery, red pepper,  summer squashes, or tomatoes (fresh or stewed) and many more. Apples would even be delicious! Simply sub sub out in step 1. Check to make sure veg is cooked through-if not, cook a bit longer.

Try Different beans

The cooking time will be longer, but you could use a variety of beans to make Dal. Try different lentils, mung beans, adzuki beans or even navy beans. You will need to adjust cooking times, 45min - 1 hour. You will also want to be mindful to add a bit more liquid when necessary. See the Handy Dandy Bean Cooking Chart (also linked above!)

Garnish!

If you know me, you know I love to garnish! Garnishes add fresh elements to your dish, pops of color and different textures which can simply transform a meal. Good garnishes for DAL:

  • load up on chopped herbs: cilantro, parsley, mint, scallions, basil, etc.
  • slices of radish or tomato
  • toasted nuts and seeds: walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, almonds, cashews
  • stir in cold butter, ghee, olive oil,  coconut milk, or plain yogurt , or honey when serving
  • Different Sea Salts and Black Pepper
  • Squeeze of lemon or lime
  • Your favorites!!!!!!

Enjoy!

Gathering # 1: D.C. Birthday, A Linfieldian Affair

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Gathering number one! It was the first real spring like day in Washington D.C. and what better way to celebrate than to gather a bunch of Linfield Alum for a delicious healthy picnic.  Oliver and I traveled to DC to celebrate the birth of a dear friend as well as take in a cherry blossom or two.

Conversation meandered from from short shorts, the invention of debt, eating for energy, and  “the good ol’  Linfield days”. Not to mention the handful of oddities to be observed in the park: music makers with loads of bling, amateur acrobats scaling park walls, and a suspicious group celebrating an “engagement party”. Needless to say, many laughs were had.

Conversation was fueled by a vitality boosting feast. The menu was inspired by birthdays, the inbetweeness of the seasons (a clinging winter meets a barely there spring) and the fact that I would be traveling with said feast and wanting to spend every last minute laughing with the birthday boy!

The Menu:

Roasted Radishes in Balsamic Radishes are already kicking around the farmers market, and birthday boy is a balsamic fan! Boom—a roasty salad that is happy to be made the day before.

Bloody Orange and Beet Salad with Tarragon I knew these two beauties would look like jewelry in the sun—plus beets are still prevalent at the farmers market and citrus is still at its absolute peak right now. I guess a long long winter is good for something.

Baby Greens with Sprouts, Daikon and Fennel — baby greens are banging right now and nothing makes greens feels fresh, clean and springy that sprouts, fennel and the crisp spicy coolness of a daikon radish.

Springy One-Pot Parsley Pesto Pasta  This pup is bursting with spring veggies and a parsley pesto! Plus it is one of those one pot wonder dishes that you can set and forget while drinking champs with your buds!

The Chocolate Enigma Tart Nothing says "celebration" like a rick chocolatey (healthy!) pie. You’ll have to click to the link to see the enigmatic ingredient list!

The days was a delight, we swooned over food and laughs and and tootled home sun kissed and soul nourished. And then we went to a super cool roof top toga party. These are the days!

 Enjoy!

***A million thank you's for the video DC GATHERING by oliver ogden on Vimeo.

***Music by  Arielle Dollinger, "The Dream"