March 12, 2012

Transforming Colors

My mind must be somewhere else.  Dreaming up vacations, buried in books, bogged down in studying for midterms.  It's certainly nowhere near the kitchen.

Ridiculous things have transpired there, things that I know better than to do.  Like cooking red cabbage in a cast iron skillet.  I've been so into using mine for everything lately; for perfectly crusty grilled cheese, for big puffy german pancakes or a good deeply golden sauté of veggies, that I absentmindedly tossed some red cabbage in there without thinking.  Until about 30 seconds later when bits of blue started popping up. Fun if you're doing a science experiment, or fancy yourself a Dr. Seuss inspired meal, but I'm not too into eating unnaturally blue foods so I quickly grabbed the hot skillet and transfered it all over to a non-reactive cooking vessel.  Doh!

Then the other day I made some turnip and potato pancakes.  Just grated up the white starchy roots, mixed it with an egg, some flour and chopped green onions and got to frying (in my cast iron skillet, naturally).  But the batch was bigger than I anticipated and I just wanted to eat dinner so I only fried up about half and told myself to cook the rest up later.  Except, do you know what happens to raw grated potatoes when you just let them sit out?  They oxidize.  They turn black.  People, I know this.  I've fished out bits of oxidized grated potatoes from my drain before that look more like a hairball or something dead.  It's gross.  But set them aside I did, only to find an unappealing grey mixture left in the bowl.  These have not been my finest hours.

All things considered, a green smoothie doesn't seem so out of place then.  Except this was no accident.  And green smoothies/juices are everywhere these days.  This one is a particularly fine example with the addition of an orange and a frozen banana, and coconut water if you're into that sort of thing.  I packed in a bunch of spinach and a squeeze of lemon juice and let my (crappy) blender do the work.  It's bright and tasty and we pretty much drank it every day for a week until the giant bag of spinach I got from Mariquita Farms ran out.

Black potatoes?  Blue cabbage?  Whatever, I have my green smoothie to comfort me.

Greensicle Smoothie
Adapted from Puree Juice Bar via Tasting Table

I've given you the recipe using spinach, but kale (as it was originally written) and baby chard work just as well. I increased the amount of green from 1/2 cup to 3 - 4 cups because it seemed like so little, and putting more in hardly changes the flavor. If you use all spinach the banana and sweetness of the orange really come through. In the batch that I made with half spinach and half baby chard, I started to get hints of vegetable. Adjust according to taste.

2 (16oz) drinks
3 - 4 cups chopped spinach
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 oranges, segmented and chopped
1 frozen banana, cut into chunks
1 cup coconut water

Put all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth.

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