Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Day in the Life Of . . .
What do you eat, Joyce? Well, some days, my meals look like this:

Hawaiian Punch for Breakfast?

No, it's not the customary punch - pink, but it's pineapple and that always says Hawaii to me even though lately I've been treated to home-grown, Florida pineapples. This green smoothie has a pistachio green hue and a light pineapple flavor from the cup of frozen pineapple chunks, with an undertone of the rich, green chard that I blended with a generous cup of filtered water.

Without the rich body that I usually experience by including a banana in my morning smoothies, this has more of a sherbet or Italian ice mouth-feel as opposed to the ice-cream like texture that adding a banana offers. And it's not as sweet. A room temperature, ripe banana would be a good addition. Talk about an energy drink. Local fresh pineapple and big, crisp, green leaves of Swiss chard. There is just an echo of the 'grassy' green flavor from the chard, nicely offset by the sweet pineapple. Starting the day with a big green drink is a good way to get a head start on ensuring that I'm incorporating enough fresh dark greens in my daily food intake.

A few soaked raw almonds for a snack mid-morning adds more protein, fiber and nutrients while satisfying the instinctive need to chew on something. Often the almonds are accompanied by slices of apple or a few grapes.

Then a big salad for lunch, filled with a variety of vegetables, is a great mid-day energy booster.

Mixed baby greens, sliced sweet onion, diced apple, raisins, toasted walnuts, snack sprouts and Gorgonzola crumbles all lightly dressed with a sweet balsamic vinaigrette.

If the urge for mid-afternoon munchies strikes, I often juice a few carrots with an apple or have a glass of Knudsen's Very Veggie juice, the 'spicy' variety with a celery stalk and a few almonds or walnuts. That usually is plenty to tide me over until dinner time.

Then how about a little eggplant salad for dinner? Fresh tomatoes, a mix of sweet bell peppers, sweet onion, feta cheese, and lightly roasted eggplant chunks tossed with a light vinaigrette made with olive oil, fresh lemon juice, capers, garlic and fresh mint leaves.

And to mop up the good juices? Well, occasionally I indulge in some whole wheat bread. I keep pita on hand and the other day, I tried my hand at a loaf of long-rise, no knead whole wheat bread.

This is a neat technique from noted baker, Jim Lahey, but it does require planning as the initial rise is 18 hours and then there's another 2 hours or so for a second rise and then another 45 - 60 minutes of baking time. This is not labor intensive. It just sits and does its thing (developing intense flavor and fantastic texture) and then the dough is baked in a pre-heated pot with a cover for the first part of the baking time, then uncovered for the remainder. The final product is a loaf with a crunchy top crust and a soft, dense flavorful crumb that makes it very difficult to limit oneself to just one slice!

So there you have it. "A Day In the Life Of. . ." Lots of tasty fresh fruit and vegetables. All whole foods, mostly plants, mainly raw.

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