I would post fewer dull, earnest, clean recipes in January and more luscious, yummy recipes in December, except the December recipes are really just “Put out some wonderful cheese and open a bottle of red wine” or “Get the leftover ham out of the fridge and let everyone saw at it with steak knives” or “Get your son to make you a maple-bourbon old-fashioned, then order a pizza.” Sigh. Those were the days!
|Michael is very funny with his leftovers labeling. Thanks, hon! Michael is actually cooking some for himself and the kids, which is another terrific silver lining.
Now it’s all very almond milk and kale and soaked cashews. We went to our favorite taqueria last night, and I heroically ate not one single tortilla chip, even though they were hot and I could see the salt glittering on them, could hear and smell their corny wonderfulness as my family crunched around me. I made everyone congratulate me on my discipline and stoicism. “Tortilla chips!” I said. “My second favorite food after cheese!” They were sympathetic, but also, I think, a little bit like, “So eat some.” Fair enough.
|More from the annals of my personal heroism: I made pecan sticky buns for a houseful of teenagers and guess how many I ate? You guessed it. I made everyone describe how good they were, though. It was like a bad creative writing exercise. (This is Smitten's recipe, and it seemed like they came out really great! Sigh.)
But I am eating well, too—I mean, deliciously—and I was just realizing that it’s because, while the content of the meals is abstemious (no alcohol, caffeine, dairy, gluten, meat, sugar), the form is incredibly decadent: I am cooking for myself, my own tastes. And I kind of love the freedom. So I can make my little dish of curried vegetables, and put tons of weird-tasting turmeric in it, which I love, and worry not at all about anyone else’s preferences and pet peeves and general dietary feelings. It’s kind of great.
This smoothie is a new one for me this year, and I love it’s bright berry flavor backed by the deep and almost incense-y aromatic cardamom. It’s a variation on the Strawberry, Coconut, and Cardamom Smoothie in AnnaJones’s lovely book A Modern Way to Cook, which, if you live here and are waiting for it at the library, I’m sorry about having for so long. She uses strawberries and agave. I use raspberries and dates. I also add vanilla, and I skip her addition of dried coconut because I feel like it adds more grit than flavor. You can do whatever you like! It’s just a smoothie!
|Fancy smoothie mise-en-scene
Note: I’ve stopped putting greens in my smoothie because I really like salad and I really like fruit smoothies, so why not just go ahead and keep them separate? Just my thought for the day, given that I’m not, like, in outer space with only the one smoothie to get all my nutrients from. Although I will say that on the very first morning of 2017, I made my first clean meal by opening the fridge, spying a week-old dressed salad in a Tupperware, and putting it in the blender. Thereby setting the bar so low that every meal since has felt like a small triumph.
|Real-life smoothie mise-en-scene
|This happened to us! His name is Snapper. More soon.
If you’re not trying to make a meal of this, please feel free to skip the almonds.
1 – 1 ½ cups coconut milk (the put-on-your-cereal kind) or another milk of your choosing, such as actual milk
2 tablespoons whole almonds, soaked overnight
½ cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1 teaspoon vanilla
The seeds from 1 green cardamom pod (or a large pinch ground cardamom)
2 small dates or 1 large dates or 1 cup of white sugar (Kidding! Not about the dates!)
Whir everything together until smooth and frothy, adding an ice cube or two if you want it slushier, or if your berries aren’t frozen. Enjoy your own blooming health and energy.