Kale Smoothie

Don’t even get me started on the word “man cave” but another of my linguistic pet peeves is the overused word “staycation”, even if that is exactly what lifted my spirits this past weekend.  It was an annual adventure with a group of gals in the D, as one calls it in these parts.  It’s amazing what a 45 minute drive, a room with a view and sparkly trees around an urban ice rink can do to beat away the winter doldrums.

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February, for many, is a month of hibernating, of repose and reflection (and occasionally a little depression).  For me, it’s that but this year there were dinner parties, concerts and of course, the culminating event, Norma’s Oscar party.  It all helped.

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Try not to be too envious when I tell you…(drum roll)…I won the chocolate Oscar!

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Unfortunately, I’ve come to realize that February is not a time for taking food photos.  I’ve experimented with a number of comforting and hearty winter recipes, all satisfying, but nary a photo to be had. Before this blog descends into oblivion due to my lack of photographic motivation, I’ll just call it a day and share some links.  These were the stand-out recipes of February, should you need a little comfort of the culinary variety. They are courtesy of my favorite magazine.

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Pork Shoulder Braised with Apples!  I did alter this a little because I didn’t have Calvados. I used a liqueur called Pommeau de Normandie (but I think a shot of Cognac might do the trick as well).  Also, I doubled the amount of cider required in order to maintain a strong apple flavor.  And don’t ignore the Cheesy Grits, as they are a must-have with this sweet and hearty dish.

La Mousse au Chocolat was the dessert at this particular dîner. I’d never made it before and I now ask, what’s wrong with me?! I guess I was intimidated by the number of steps (okay, only three, but still…) and maybe that whole “whisking of the eggs in a bowl over simmering water”, not to mention “folding”, had me in a cold sweat. What I found was that my absolute favorite dessert on the planet was actually fairly easy to put together. Homemade Chocolate Mousse is my new best friend. As I’ve been prone to do of late, I used Bon Appétit’s classic recipe.  One can’t go wrong.

And then there’s Kale.  I have a feeling that I’ve suffered nary a sniffle due to the abundance of this leafy green in my diet.  Joy’s smoothie was the inspiration here.  I doubled the kale and left out the spinach.  No matter.  A shamrock shake it is not, but at least I know what’s in it (and it was mighty tasty nonetheless).

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Kale Smoothie

Serves one.  Adapted from Joy the Baker.

In a blender, mix one handful chopped kale, a frozen banana, 2 Tbsp. peanut butter, 1 cup milk and a squeeze of honey. If you have it, 1 Tbsp. of flax seed makes it that much healthier but is completely optional.  Add a handful of ice and blend.

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About Liza M.

foodie, francophile, Ann Arborite, teacher, bookworm and self-professed latte-lover--come cook with me!
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14 Responses to Kale Smoothie

  1. Pommeau is nice to sip, but a lot sweeter and lighter in alcohol than Calvados, if I recall. The best semi-affordable substitute I’ve found for Calvados is a decent domestic apple brandy (sometimes labeled “apple jack”). I wish the real thing wasn’t so expensive in the US; I miss a nice café-calva now and then!

    • Liza M. says:

      I agree with you about Pommeau. I only had a shot of it left from a trip over 10 years ago! That’s why I doubled the apple cider, since I wasn’t using much apple liqueur. I couldn’t even find Calvados and couldn’t justify $25 for a bottle of “apple jack”. I have a solution: I just need to go back to France to get some Calvados and the delicious Pousse Rapiere! Have you heard of that one? It’s a fizzy liqueur made from Armagnac.

  2. La Torontoise says:

    Liza, thank you for sharing these links! Without your references to Bon Appetit, I would forget to check the site on regular basis and learn new things; my teaching got too busy, much overtime this year; at home, I got frustrated at the growing pile of recipes, all with beautiful pictures, that have been untouched for almost 4 weeks…
    At least, I went skiing last week with the family, in Austria and on the slopes life looked so beautiful…Glad to reconnect! I will make the mousse au chocolat this weekend (I think I badly need it, to go through my days: -)
    Also, I now eat kale salad on regular basis, and will try out the smoothie : -)

    • Liza M. says:

      Skiing in Austria?? Oh if only…
      Well, I hope you like the new recipes.

      • La Torontoise says:

        Liza, I live in Holland, near Germany, it’s a flat area, but it’s 600 miles to the mountains in Austria. And there was a mid-term vacation week, that I used to recharge my batteries. Was cold, but so sunny!! I miss the sun…

  3. La Torontoise says:

    PS. Liza, if you are into chocolate stuff and you’d go to Paris, here is the reference to a new place run by one of the most famous French chefs, Alain Ducasse:

    http://theprovencepost.blogspot.nl/2013/02/alain-ducasse-opens-parisian-chocolate.html

  4. Liza M. says:

    Thank you! Last year I used the book Paris, My Sweet but I only made it to Du Pain et Des Idees (which keeps showing up on television shows, so I’m glad I went).

  5. Daddio says:

    Liza
    Your post lifts my winter doldrums too!! Kale Rules!!
    Dad

  6. Wendy says:

    Kale smoothie? Hmmm…wonder if I could trick my non veggie eating 2 year old into trying it:) you always find good ways to beat the winter blues, this weekend we spring forward and then we are on our way to some sunshine and cheer, and of course the countdown to the end of another school year.

    • Liza M. says:

      Spinach instead of kale would be good too. Seriously, it tastes like a sweet treat. Add a couple of apple or pear slices to make it even healthier 😉

  7. Not so sure about the kale smoothie, though I have every faith that it tastes better than it sounds. 😀 I’m a huge fan of that chocolate mousse, though. And congratulations on the chocolate Oscar!

  8. Sara Louise says:

    Now that spring is upon us (any day now…) I feel like I should be making myself one of these every morning to shake off all of the winter comfort food that’s settled on my body 🙂

    • Liza M. says:

      I know, spring is totally being coy this year. Although today is the official “first day”, we have snow in the forecast! Better that than the 86 degrees we had last year which wrecked all our crops.

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