Breakfast Kickstart Juice

What is sweet and fruity with a boost of super greens? Breakfast kickstart juice!

Morning Kickstart in a Glass

Morning Kickstart in a Glass

This has become my favorite morning juice, sometimes replacing breakfast altogether. Tasty!

Breakfast Kickstart Juice

by Shelly Hokanson

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Keywords: juice beverage smoothie vegetarian vegan kale carrot cabbage pineapple

Ingredients (1 16oz serving or 2 8oz servin)

  • 1/4 of one pineapple
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 Golden Delicious or Royal Gala apples
  • 1 big handful of kale
  • 1 chunk of cabbage (approx 2″ x 2″)

Instructions

Prep

If your juicer is small, cut all ingredients into pieces that will fit into the chute of your juicer. Most juicers can handle unpeeled pineapple, so there’s no need to peel it first.

Juice

Place one apple into the juicer shoot, then the kale, then the second apple. Turn the juicer on and push all food through the shoot.

Then, juice the pineapple, carrots, and cabbage.

Stir and serve over ice.

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Looks Aren’t Everything

We’ve all heard that research shows when food looks and smells good, it is perceived to taste better. If I were trying to sell the idea of juicing on looks alone, this would not be my frontrunner candidate:

Looks aren't everything.

Looks aren't everything.

3 apples, a carrot, a bunch of kale – juiced – and 6 small frozen strawberries, blended in.

It was pretty tasty, though!

What can I say? I’ve reached the bottom of my produce stash. Gotta get to the store!

Yesterday ended up being only a half-juice day. I had forgotten about a celebratory dinner that followed my last meeting with the Arboretum Collaborative fellowship group. It was a fully vegetarian, all-local spread that was just amazing.

Local spread

Local spread

So, for dinner, I had a giant salad made with local arugula and pickled onions with an amazing local apple cider vinaigrette (which I must figure out how to replicate!), an asparagus and smoked gouda quiche made with local Piney River Farm eggs, local potato salad with roasted garlic mayo, and a vanilla bean creme caramel with local peach cider caramel.

I know, right?!

That surely makes up for the ugly (but tasty!) juice I had this morning.

Off to the market to stock up on produce!

Super Juice!

Super Juice

Introducing, Super Juice!

I’ve finally concocted a repeatable, yummy juice for my Breville Juice Fountain Plus. It’s meant to be a “healthy” juice, no doubt, but it manages to be pretty darn tasty, too.

Things to note:

  • I prefer to peel all non-organic fruits and veggies (as applicable).
  • I peel beets no matter what. They taste much less earthy when peeled first!
  • Since lemons are kind of a pain to peel, often I’ll leave them out of the juicer and just use my handheld lemon juicer for the lemon.
  • Zucchini can be substituted for cucumber. I’ve also added broccoli stems, with good results.
Super Juice!

Super Juice!

Super Juice
Recipe Type: Juice
Prep time: 5 mins
Total time: 5 mins
Serves: 1-2
A healthy way to drink some fruits and veggies!
Ingredients
  • 3 apples (Golden Delicious or other sweet variety recommended)
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 large stalk celery
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 beet
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 inch chunk ginger
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to juicer chute and process on high or per manufacturer’s instructions.
Notes

Spinach juices best when stuffed between two larger items in the chute (such as, between two apples).

Cranapple CC Juice

Cranapple CC

Yup, it has a name!

Cranapple CC juice.

I made that up.

Sorry to vanish for a couple weeks on ya’s! I am proud of my successful (albeit unofficial) completion of Vegan MoFo in October, but man – midterms attacked soon thereafter and I’ve been swamped (both student-me and teacher-me). Fear not, though, my pretties; I’ve been snapping photos all along to document the time we’ve missed together and soon you will be all caught up with my kitchen.

I’m still juicing, and getting better at it! I am almost ready to share a recipe that I’ve been repeatedly enjoying for a couple weeks now, but for today, please enjoy this festive Thanksgiving entry:

Cranapple CC juice, starring:

Apple, Cranberry, Cabbage, Carrots

Apple, Cranberry, Cabbage, Carrots

This was some sort of Virginia-native apple species that I have of course since forgotten. It wasn’t quite sweet enough for juicing; I’d recommend golden delicious apples instead.

I absolutely love juicing cabbage – mainly because it makes such awesome purple juice!

Attack of the Cabbage!

Attack of the Cabbage!

This one wasn’t bad at all – just a little bit tart. A sweeter apple would have balanced this juice.

Cranapple CC Juice

Cranapple CC Juice

Bottoms up!

Funnest juice ever!

School Spirit Juice

I had an absolute blast with this juice. Why?

CABBAGE JUICES PURPLE!

GO DUKES!!

I almost threw the whole head of cabbage into the juicer when I saw what an awesome color it turned into. But I digress.

3 Apples, 2 Carrots, 1/2 Lemon, 1 Ginger, 1/4 Cabbage, 1 Bunch Rainbow Chard

3 Apples, 2 Carrots, 1/2 Lemon, 1 Ginger, 1/4 Cabbage, 1 Bunch Rainbow Chard

This was another low-prep juice, thanks to organic ingredients. I did have to peel the lemon, but that was it (other than chopping a head of cabbage into wedges).

Ingredients: 2 carrots, 3 apples (a local Virginia variety – sorry, I forget the name!), 1/2 lemon, 1 hunk of ginger, 1 wedge of cabbage, and a bunch of Rainbow Chard.

Ginger is the secret ingredient here. This is a really sweet juice, but the ginger gives it a kick of spice that is just perfect.

It's a Purple Party!

It's a Purple Party!

This was when I was freaking out. Look at that JMU purple!

Funnest juice ever!

Funnest juice ever!

Come on. Tell me that’s not the funnest looking juice ever.

Sweet with a zing

Sweet with a zing

OK, so it doesn’t look as fun once you mix it up – but I promise, it’s delicious!

Green Lemonade Carrot Juice

Green Lemonade

Juice attempt #2! Green lemonade.

Ingredients for Juice #2

Ingredients for Juice #2

Lemon, celery, carrots, kale, cucumber, strawberries, and spinach.

OK, so I modified the original recipe. I added the strawberries and the carrots… I mean, strawberry lemonade sounds awesome, right? And, well, carrots go with everything.

Party Juice

Party Juice

The juice bucket always looks like a party to me!

Green Lemonade Carrot Juice

Green Lemonade Carrot Juice

I probably shouldn’t have added the carrots (it is my instinct to add carrots to just about everything); I suspect it killed the “lemonade” aspect of the recipe (and made the “green” in the name inaccurate).

Still, this juice was pretty good. I haven’t nailed the recipe yet, but I’ll get there! This one was much more immediately palatable than the beet juice. It tastes like a breakfast-y juice.

I’ve been storing my juices in Ball jars in the fridge. I figure, each will be consumed within a day or two, so it’s all good. Shake it up, then drink up!

I’ve got some oranges, plums, fennel, cabbage, and pears to find recipes for. Need to make room!

1 Apple, 3 Carrots, 1 Beet, and Kale

My Foray into Juicing

It has just been a foray-into kind of weekend over here!

For my birthday, I used a gift card to buy myself a Breville Juice Fountain Plus juicer (thanks, Mom!). Earlier in the week, I watched the movie Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, and decided that juicing would be a good way to get myself to consume the fruits and veggies that are less palatable to me, or that I don’t like to prepare based on the hassle (like beets!). I’m not going to try any sort of juice fast or anything like that right now – not while I’m training for this half marathon – but maybe someday. And I already eat 6-9 servings of fruits and veggies a day on most days, and don’t intend to replace that with juice. I figure, juicing will be a good way to incorporate more fruits and veggies into my diet. And more is good!

I loaded up on produce at Whole Foods (huge selection of organics) and got to juicing! First up: an ABC juice.

1 Apple, 3 Carrots, 1 Beet, and Kale

1 Apple, 3 Carrots, 1 Beet, and Kale

Mer, of course, had to help.

Merlin helping with juicing

Merlin helping with juicing

I washed the apple, carrots, beet, and kale (didn’t peel them – though if they were not organic, I would have). Stuck ’em in the juicer one by one, and ended up with about 10 oz of juice. I decided to double the recipe so that I could stick some juice in the fridge for later. (Might as well get a few servings out of the mess!)

The Breville at work.

The Breville at work.

The juicer has 2 speeds – low, for softer fruits/veggies and greens, and high, for harder fruits and veggies. I used high for all but the kale. I’m not positive that I juiced the greens quite right, as they didn’t seem to yield much juice – though I guess that’s typical. I’ll do a bit more reading. As far as kale goes, I think I might prefer eating it as kale chips – so spinach might instead become my go-to in juices.

I love the huge food chute on the juicer. I was able to drop an entire apple in there. It speeds up things to not have to cut and prep all of the produce first. Tossing food down the chute was FUN! And the resulting juice looked like a party!

Juice!

Juice!

The juicer was fairly quiet on the low setting, and – well, not as loud as my blender, but still a bit loud on the high setting. It was much easier to clean up than I anticipated. I had lined the pulp collection container with a plastic bag, so that part of clean-up was a snap. For the remaining parts, I just rinsed them in the sink immediately when I finished, and they all came clean. I figure, it will be a bit like using my food processor – I’ll be able to get away with rinsing/hand-washing for a week or so, then I’ll throw the pieces in the dishwasher. (They’re top-shelf safe).

The moment of truth….

ABC Juice - apples, beet, carrots, kale

ABC Juice - apples, beet, carrots, kale

I sniffed it. (Wine tasting flashback?)

Whoa. It smelled like…. earth.

*Gulp*

“Well,” I thought to myself. “Here goes nothing!”

I took a sip.

Hmm. It definitely tasted better than it smelled. It was a very mild juice – a little earthy (dang beets), but mildly sweet.

Oddly, the more I drank, the more I realized I didn’t mind the earthy taste. I suspect the appreciation would be lost on somebody that didn’t already eat a boatload of veggies every day – but my taste buds were OK with it. By the end of the glass, I was actually enjoying it.

I’m pretty excited about this new juicer! The one minor frustration is that I haven’t been able to find any good books on juicing, even on Amazon. There are a few with good reviews, but they tend to be extremely dated. I’m looking for something current, and something that doesn’t spend half the book preaching about all the diseases that juice will cure. Skip the preaching – I just want facts on the nutrients in the different juice-able fruits and veggies, and recipes for tasty combinations.

And maybe some how-to on prepping produce for juicing. I had a heck of a time figuring out what to do with the beets. I found information that said both the greens and the root are juice-able, but do they mean the leaves? The stems? The greens are supposedly the bitter part. I ended up only using the root. And, about juicing kale – is there a method to getting more juice extracted from it? Some secret trick to handling it as it goes down the chute?

Lots of newbie questions. While I may have to find my own way, it will be a delicious path!

Veggie Sushi

First Attempt at Sushi

I’m nothing if not ambitious, my friends!

Veggie Sushi

Veggie Sushi

My family’s Easter gathering is tomorrow, and as a vegan (and even as a vegetarian), if I don’t want to starve, I have to bring at least one dish I can eat. It’s all good; I don’t expect anybody to bend over backwards to make sure there’s something for me to eat. This holiday, I decided to try something new: veggie sushi.

I’ve never had sushi before. In fact, I spent the first 36 years of my life misinformed, thinking that “sushi” meant “fish.” (It doesn’t; sushi is actually the rice). What gets wrapped in that rice? Anything you want! Including veggies.

So I got myself a $4 bamboo sushi rolling mat, and set to work.

First, I prepped (way too many) veggies.

Sushi veggies

Sushi veggies

I had red peppers, sundried tomatoes, avocado slices, green onions, carrots, and cucumber slices. I also had some shiitake mushrooms and steamed asparagus on the side, and a small batch of buffalo tempeh and a small batch of ranch tempeh spread (inspired by PPK’s Spicy Tempeh Rolls).

I got to rolling. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be – though the rice is super sticky (keep your hands wet!), and it seems I was over-stuffing my sushi rolls a bit. Still, it all seemed to work out. I need more practice getting the rice to the ends of the nori sheets, though.

This roll was a simple avocado, carrot, and green onion roll.

Rolling up sushi

Rolling up sushi

My 10-pack of nori sheets only had 9 sheets in it! Gypped! That’s OK… since I was over-stuffing the rolls, I only had enough rice for 9 rolls anyway.

9 Uncut Veggie Sushi Rolls

9 Uncut Veggie Sushi Rolls

(Please pardon the “well seasoned” cookie sheet. I need new ones). I left some of the ingredients sticking out of the ends, because in the very first episode of the Post Punk Kitchen, Isa did that, and the end pieces looked cool with stuff sticking out. I’m not sure mine will look quite as cool, but can’t blame a girl for trying.

Next, I discovered just how not-sharp my formerly-awesome-sharp-knife is. Not so good for cutting sushi. I cut up one roll and taste tested it (pretty good!), but I’ll cut the rest up tomorrow.

The result: my very first veggie sushi:

Veggie Sushi

The result: veggie sushi, first try

Not so bad, eh?!
I made a couple buffalo tempeh & cucumber rolls, a couple ranch (actually, Sanctuary Dressing) tempeh and avocado rolls, and a variety of mish-mosh veggie rolls.

I feel like something in there probably needed some salt, but maybe that’s where the soy sauce for dipping comes in.

I’m definitely stoked about sushi now! Can’t wait till July for my Vegas trip, where I will be checking out some Vegas sushi.

What’s your favorite sushi filling?

Simple Lunch

I get really excited when I make a wrap and it actually wraps up nicely. Sometimes I stuff it too full. Sometimes I’m a clutz and just can’t get the thing to roll up without all of the guts falling out. Sometimes I do great, right up to the cut-it-in-half part, and then destroy the whole thing while trying to cut it.

Today, the stars aligned, and I made a pretty wrap!

arugula wrapI really could make a category here called “Adventures in Wrapping,” but it would be nearly empty because most of my wraps are nowhere near photo-worthy.

My first foray into the world of making wraps was based on the discovery that cucumbers make a pretty decent sandwich base. You see, I occasionally have a hankerin’ for a Jimmy John’s sandwich. When I went vegetarian, I had to change my normal sandwich order over to the #6 – the creatively named “Vegetarian” (sans mayo and tomato, please – I still can’t stand the texture of tomatoes). It basically amounts to a cucumber sandwich with a wonderful avocado spread.

I started using cucumbers in my wraps, and was really digging them. Then, I worked out my own version of a vegan avocado ranch spread, inspired by a dressing recipe in the You Won’t Believe It’s Vegan! cookbook.

Ever since, I’ve been using those two as the basis of many delicious veggie wraps.

arugula wrap 2Today’s concoction features, of course, cucumbers and avocado spread, along with a chopped up veggie burger, about 3/4 of a carrot (shredded), a handful of baby spinach, a handful of arugula, and a drizzle of garlic-infused extra virgin olive oil. (That’s my giraffe friend Milly pictured in the background).

I have tried a lot of wraps in my day, and finding ones without offensive ingredient lists can be difficult. Lately, I’ve been using Smart & Delicious Tomato Basil Soft Wraps from La Tortilla Factory. The ingredient list isn’t perfect, but it’s not terribly bad, and they’ve got 12g of fiber per wrap at only 100 calories. They’re nice, big 9″ wraps and are (as the name says) very soft and easy to stuff with goodies (even for a wrap-challenged soul like me).

I swear, wraps taste better when they look pretty.

Garden Lentil Burgers

Who needs meat when the lentil burgers taste this good?!

I’m sitting out of the GNOWFGLINS e-course this week, as they’re covering chicken and I’m now 3 weeks into eating vegetarian, but I still did some cooking in the traditional vein. I made a recipe from the GNOWFGLINS web site – garden lentil patties – which I made into garden lentil burgers! They turned out incredibly flavorful and filling. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

First, I soaked dried lentils overnight with some raw apple cider vinegar. (This helps to neutralize the phytic acid in them and improves the absorption of the lentils’ nutrients). I’m new to lentils – to my knowledge, I’ve never had them before, so I had no idea what to expect.

lentils soakingThen I drained and rinsed the lentils and put them on the stove with some fresh water to simmer. While they simmered, I prepped the veggies: carrots, celery, red pepper, and… dang it, I forgot the onion. Oh well. It made for a very colorful bowl of yum, though!

prepped veggiesOnce the lentils were done, I added the rest of the ingredients – some oats, some Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, tomato paste, extra virgin olive oil – and mixed it all up. My hands were way too messy to get any pictures!

I tried my best to mash the mix into patties, but I wasn’t having very good luck. Most of my patties fell apart on the baking sheet. I guess I’m not a very strong patty-maker. Maybe a little more oats would have helped hold them together? I’m not sure. Here’s what they looked like after their first half of time in the oven:

Lentil burgers cookingI then flipped them over, and only a few survived the flip. I had mostly lentil crumbles instead of lentil patties! A couple did stick together pretty well. Not sure what my magic trick was on those ones!

The recipe made 13 patties – I probably should have cut it in half, since I’m only feeding moi. I put one of the better-looking patties on an organic whole wheat bun (Rudi’s ftw!) and added a little veganaise and onion seasoning on top (since I forgot the onions). Served it with some organic spring greens with a little organic caesar dressing, and voila: dinner!

lentil burgersThey may not look pretty, but this burger was delicious! It will definitely make it into regular rotation in my kitchen.

Each patty has about 200 calories (assuming you get 13 out of your recipe, like I did), 6g fat, 29g carbs (8g fiber), 9g protein, and a boatload of vitamins – 45% of your daily Vitamin A, 32% Vitamin C, and 15% of your Iron, amongst others. Yum!

EpicOrganic.net