I like to focus on main dishes in this space– hearty, filling, flavorful conglomerations that satisfy all of the categories of protein, veg and carb. I’ve been struggling a little bit these days in deciding what to post because my idea about what constitutes a main dish has changed. The traditional combination still appeals to me, but lately I’ve been gravitating toward very easy-to-make, simple flavors and because they’re such a part of my routine, I haven’t thought to share them here. Today it dawned on me, as I was eating this truly delicious bowl and admiring its sheer beauty, that I should share the smaller, easier things that get me through the tougher days, when time is tight, light is short and patience is wearing thin.
At times like these, a more involved recipe might be lost on me. Things like this smoothie, and my other favorite smoothie, avocado toast, overnight oats and Mexican lentil avocado salad, have been getting me through mornings and afternoons. Or I’ll make my own peanut butter and fig jam and throw it on sprouted bread. For dinner I’ve been relying on simplified versions of my easy black bean mole chili, soba noodle bowls and this quick stew. These are the things that bolster me and set the stage for tackling it all.
I’ve been relying on incredible, easy sauces that I make in batches to have on hand for the quick meals. I’ve got a few really good mains in the works as well. I’m still in the reading, learning and testing phase of building flavors, but I’m determined to show how this transition to a more plant-based lifestyle has expanded my palate in the most beautiful of ways rather than restricted it as I had initially feared it would.
There are a few things that are taking up my time these days, but the biggest one is a pro bono case I’ve been working on. I usually don’t get emotionally invested in these cases, but this one involves a young family escaping gang violence in Honduras and the two kids stole my heart. I know that I can’t save the world, or their country, or our country for that matter, but maybe I can help save them. And so I’ve been researching the law like I’m back in law school, except I’m not anymore and have other cases to manage. I’ve been sharpening my story-telling skills and practicing my Spanish on my clients because they can’t communicate in English. People who enter my office ask if I’m leaving the country because of all the asylum and immigration tomes stacked up high and the articles about country conditions in Honduras on every free surface. The filing is almost finished and I will have my time back now until the hearing next month. But dedicating myself to this has really reinforced the notion that you can only help others if you take care of yourself.
On the weekends I’m still training for the NYC half marathon. My times are improving and the time alone where I’m not beholden to anyone or anything in the moment is active meditation. What we eat and how we perform are directly related and that’s where this smoothie comes in. Whether I’m running or not, I make a version of this almost every morning. There are enough things to worry about in life and with a smoothie like this, nutrition doesn’t have to be one of them. It’s an easy way to check off getting in your greens for the day and know that at least I started out strong. Even if the finish is in a bottle of wine or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at midnight. And it’s so good. Because it involves fruit and vegetables and you can vary the proportion to your liking, even the most fussy vegetable eater can enjoy it. The toppings are varied. You can drink it from a glass or dump it into a bowl like this and top it with superfoods like goji berries, chia seeds, coconut flakes, chopped nuts, more bananas, hemp seeds, etc. This is one good habit that I plan to keep and when they start to add up, it’s when the good stuff happens. Have a great weekend!
SUPER GREEN POWER SMOOTHIE
- 1 banana (the riper it is the sweeter the smoothie will be)
- 2-3 cups of chard, stems removed (you can also use any combination of kale or spinach here as well)
- 1 cup frozen mango, chopped
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup plant milk (I use almond milk)
- 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
- hemp seeds
- chia seeds
- gogi berries
- desiccated unsweetened coconut
Combine ingredients in a high speed blender and blend on medium to high until smooth. Pour into bowl or cup, add toppings and enjoy!