Today I am going to do a big old vegan food blog cliche by writing a post featuring salads and smoothies. I embrace it. I can’t help myself; I’ve been having so much fun with spring and summer produce!
I have the incredible fortune of living within 10 miles of 9 farmers’ markets and 36 farmstands (5 of them organic). The bounty of gorgeous, fresh fruits and vegetables coincides perfectly with my body’s craving for lighter, more refreshing meals. The result has been a total spree of salads and smoothies, with no room for boredom!
For example, two weeks ago, I bought the biggest head of lettuce I have ever seen in my life. It cost $2.50 and lasted me up until this morning. And it was organic!
On day one, I chopped several of the leaves and tossed in some apple, carrot, and toasted pecans.
I made a lemon-shallot vinaigrette to go with it.
It kinda looks like a raw egg yolk, but it tasted amazing! This was: 1/2 finely chopped medium shallot, juice of half a lemon, 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp. dijon mustard, 6 tsp. extra virgin olive oil, scant 1/2 tsp. agave nectar, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Last weekend, I bought a beautiful bunch of beets (how’s that for alliteration). On Sunday I roasted the bulbs, and used the roasted beets all week in salads.
Chopped farmstand lettuce, baby arugula, sectioned grapefruit, avocado, and roasted beets. And yes, the beets stain everything pink!
Chopped farmstand lettuce, baby arugula, cherry tomatoes, roasted beets, apple, carrot, radish, and avocado. Also, the radish was the cutest thing ever:
A very simple salad of organic baby arugula with organic raspberries and pine nuts, and a dressing of garlic-infused olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
I love that salad-making lets me incorporate whatever fruits and vegetables I happen to have on hand. This has helped tremendously with my goal of avoiding wasting food.
Today’s lunch: the end of the farmstand lettuce, organic baby arugula, cherry tomatoes, avocado, organic farmstand sugar snap peas, carrot, craisins, and hemp seeds.
Salads are obviously extremely portable, making them a great weekday bring-to-work lunch. I love that I can do most of the prep ahead of time, either on the weekend or the night before. It seriously saves me so much time and money.
The same is true of smoothies. They are the perfect vehicle for incorporating a rainbow of ingredients and ensuring that I make use of the insane amount of produce I buy each week this time of year.
Like native strawberries galore:
In the past I have not been a fan of smoothies for breakfast because, although they taste great, I find that they don’t keep me full for more than an hour or two. Since at my current job I don’t go to lunch until 1:00, I need something longer-lasting than that.
During my 3-Day Detox in May, I learned that using “chia gel” (1 tbsp. chia seeds soaked overnight in 1 cup of water) as a smoothie base is a way to stretch a smoothie’s ability to count as an actual meal, likely thanks to the absurd amount of fiber contained in a small portion of seeds.
So now I’ve been having smoothies for breakfast between 3 and 5 mornings a week. Each one is different from the next!
This smoothie contained 1 cup of chia gel, one fresh kiwi, one frozen banana, 4-5 fresh strawberries, and a big handful of spinach:
I love this picture of it blending all together, with the little whirlpool in the middle!
Another day, I tried a yogurt-based smoothie, using So Delicious plain coconut milk yogurt.
It contained 1 cup of chia gel, one frozen banana, 1-1.5 cups fresh pineapple, 3 fresh strawberries, a big handful of chopped romaine lettuce, 1/2 a stalk of celery, and about 1/2 cup of coconut yogurt.The color was kind of ugly but this may have been the best-tasting smoothie I’ve made yet! The yogurt definitely enhances the flavor and texture.
I have a lot more great seasonal dishes to share in an upcoming post, using farmstand treasures and more!