Morning Juice

_MG_1891

Am I weird for wanting to bro out every so often? Go camping for 4 days without showering, call everyone “dude” and let them call me that right back?

Girls do that, right? Because I definitely do that. Often.

For one thing, I’m a sucker for action movies. Give me a pair of 3D glasses and a fistful of popcorn and I’m all set for the next 2.5 hours. This is the first summer since childhood that I’ve made it a point to watch nearly every blockbuster that comes out.

Except Fast & Furious part 1289494. Why do those exist?

I think bro-ing out is important to keeping a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Sure, there’s running a 5K, practicing yoga, and cutting out processed foods — but sitting down for a few evenings with a cheap can of beer, a blazing fire and conversations amid farts? It reminds me that there’s a chunk of me that doesn’t care about nail polish, brushing my hair, or that parachute pants are back in style (Seriously, when did that happen?).

But don’t worry guys, I’m still here. By Sunday morning, I’m looking up recipes for kale salad and pulverizing vegetables into juice.

_MG_1884

Kale, celery. I’m really sorry for what I’m going to do to you. It’s going to be loud. It’s not going to be pretty. It’s borderline plant murder.

Also, hey, I know not everyone has a juicer. They’re expensive, bulky, and you really have to be willing to deal with a single-purpose contraption, unlike blenders, which make smoothies, margaritas and salsa. But the juicer I just bought was $100 and it’s probably the best thing I’ve bought all year. Actually, here’s a list of my favorite kitchen things.

So nix that end-of-summer clothing shopping spree and invest in something with a little more sustenance.

_MG_1898

I’ve made four different kinds of juices thus far without using a recipe. I’ve yet to make a bad batch because a) vegetables taste delicious and b) it’s all about balancing the greens with the sweets.

For example! If you’re packing in 4 cups of spinach or kale, make sure you complement it with sweet beets and pears. Apples are also spectacular sweeteners and give you an energy boost in the morning similar to coffee.

Oh, and ginger. In everything. Please.

_MG_1907

I should paint my nails in that color.

Morning Juice.

4-5 stalks lacinato kale
1 large pear
2 large carrots
1 chunk ginger, about a 1″ cube
2 small beets
6-7 stalks cucumber
1 large cucumber

Shove the ingredients in the blender in the order listed above. It’s always good to start juicing with leafy greens.

Serve with ice or at room temperature. You can make a large batch at night and drink it in the morning so you don’t wake up your roommates with what sounds like an alien spaceship hovering in the kitchen.

Makes about 20oz of juice.

Advertisements

Autumnal Vegetable Soup

Exercise and I go way back.  We’re like the friends I had in elementary school.  You know, hanging out everyday for the summer (because we’re neighbors), then pretending we don’t even know each other during the year.  Or like in high school, when we hung out way to much and our relationship exploded with a hip fracture.

I can always rekindle my bond with exercise.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve begun to treat my friendships with great care.  I have to take my friends on dates.  We have to pencil each other in.  I have to pay the bill.

Unless my workouts are blocked into my calendar, we probably won’t hang out.  I’m too cheap to pay for the gym.  Exercise is pretty reluctant to get back into my life right now.

But I did 60 squats the other day.  And stretched for half an hour.  I still won’t buy a gym membership, but as soon as I create a workout calendar, we’ll be biffles once again.  I hope.

It might go without saying, but working out won’t work out unless I’ve got the diet to go along with it.  Aside from the occasional cobbler, cookie, and cake, my diet is outrageously healthy.  Whole wheats.  Ryes.  Teas.  Beets.  Sweet potatoes.  Greens, greens, greens.

And sometimes the-pumpkin-I-carved-into-an-owl-turned-vegetable-soup.

Demolished.  Is it weird that I just pulled the pumpkin from its outdoor refrigerator, chopped it up, and threw it in a soup?  Am I going to get botulism?

To be perfectly honest, there was little to no measuring for this soup.  I also don’t really remember what I threw in.  I hope that doesn’t make you nervous.

Autumnal Vegetable Soup.

1 1/2 cups dry white beans
6 cups of water
1lb pumpkin meat, cubed
bunch of beet greens, chopped into 1in pieces
3 celery stalks, chopped into 1in pieces
5 medium carrots, chopped into 1in pieces
4 cloves of garlic, minced
4 vegetable bouillon cubes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard seed
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of ground sage
pepper, to taste

Soak the beans in water in a large pot overnight, or at least 8 hours.  Once soaked, drain the water and replenish with another 6 cups.  Bring the water to a boil and add the bouillon cubes.  Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes, until the beans are al dente (slightly firm).  Add the spices, garlic, celery, and pumpkin and cook for 20 minutes, until the pumpkin is soft.  Turn off the heat and add the beet greens (just to blanch).

Wait for it to rain and it’ll warm at least 8 pairs of cold hands.  And fill as many bellies.