Green Juice

I’ve been juicing for a few months now.  My favorite juices are vibrant green, sweetened with an apple or pear, full of spinach and kale, a pop of ginger, and a spritz of lemon.  I have them for breakfast or take them in a mason jar to work and sip between tasks.  They are super healthy, give me energy, and generally make me feel good about what I’m pouring into my body.

Recipes for juicing, I quickly discovered, are just general sketches of what can be thrown together.  When I first started juicing, I wanted specifics, but now I scour the farmer’s market and then my home fridge for ingredients.  On a weekend morning (or an ambitious weekday), this is my juice of choice.  Because of the number of ingredients, all of which need to be washed and prepped, it takes longer to make then a simple kale-cucumber-apple type juice, but the extra effort is worth it.

Ingredients

  • 1 Bosc pear
  • 1 apple (or half an apple if you don’t want the juice to be quite so sweet / full of sugar)
  • Several leaves of kale (3? Up to you)
  • A healthy handful of spinach
  • 3 stalks celery (leaves on)
  • A cucumber (or just half, again, up to you)
  • A plentiful palmful of parsley
  • A nub of ginger (cut off peel)
  • A lemon (peeled)

Throw everything into your juicer.  Serve with a few ice cubes.

A note about the greens: I usually run the spinach and kale through the juicer first, empty the fiber-catch basket back into the juicer, and run the pulp through a second time before adding everything else.

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Snow Day Eggs Florentine

Every time I make Eggs Benedict or Eggs Florentine, I swear I will never make them again.  The level of intricacy and length of time are commitments that I like to avoid before breakfast.  And yet… here I am posting about Eggs Florentine.  This morning I woke up to a snow day (cue New York and general panic, also cue teacher delight) and decided that I would try this process once more.  I’m a morning eater and a slow cook, also, apparently a glutton for punishment.  The final product was quite good and maybe, just maybe, I’ll make these again (but grains are delicious and so easy in the AM, if only I wasn’t terrified by the hollandaise sauce found at so many brunch locals).

This recipe is from Deb Perelman’s The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.  I’m providing it more or less as printed, although in future I would reduce the amount of butter in the hollandaise (or perhaps serve without the sauce altogether– less time and a healthier breakfast).

Serves 4 – 6

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 lb spinach, stems removed, cut into ribbons
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • nutmeg, just a pinch
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 8 eggs

Ingredients for the Hollandaise Sauce

  • 10 Tbsp butter (consider reducing significantly)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1-2 Tbsp lemon juice (reduce if you’re not crazy about citrus– I really like it)
  • Salt to taste

You will also need

  • Ramekins for the individual servings (so much better than poaching eggs and layering, but, if you don’t own ramekins, you can poach away)
  • Blender

Directions

  1. I like to prep ahead (maybe this is why I’m such a slow cook), but before I really started I did the following:
    • De-stemmed, cut, and rinsed the spinach
    • Chopped the garlic and onion
    • Separated the yolks for the sauce
    • Squeezed the lemon juice
  2. Preheat over to 375ºF.
  3. Heat a large saute pan or pot over high heat and cook the spinach until wilted, about 2 minutes (the wet leaves from washing is all the liquid you need).
  4. Squeeze the excess liquid out of the spinach (I used a cheese cloth) and set aside.
  5. Wipe dry your skillet and melt 2 Tbsp of butter in it over medium heat.
  6. Cook the shallots and garlic for about 6 minutes.
  7. Add spinach, S&P, and a pinch of nutmeg.
  8. Raise the heat and add the heavy cream.  Cook for about 2 -3 more minutes.
  9. Butter the ramekins and distribute the spinach mixture into each.  Arrange the ramekins on a baking sheet.
  10. Break an egg (or two) into each ramekin and place in oven for 10 – 15 minutes (one egg per ramekin) or 15 – 18 (too egg dishes).
  11. While the ramekins are in the oven, break out the blender to make the Hollaindaise sauce.
  12. Melt the butter.
  13. Add the egg yolks, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt to the blender.  Blend for about 30 seconds.
  14. Add the butter slowly through the pour spout (while blender in running).
  15. If the sauce becomes too thick, add water or more lemon juice.
  16. Top ramekins with hollandaise.  Serve with English muffins.  Pretend that the spinach cancels out the butter and eggs.

A make ahead suggestion: You could make the spinach and divide into the ramekins a day in advance, then add the eggs and whip up the hollaindaise quickly.  This tactic might inspire me to try this again.  Otherwise, too much work for my morning meal.  Although, it does look quite fancy served in the individual ramekins.

 

Healthy Muffins

Baking, they say, is a science, but in this case it’s more like a healthy science experiment.  These muffins are forgiving; stick to the general ratios and you will create a moist, sweet, and guilt-less snack.

I have been juicing (hence fewer recipe additions because many more of my meals are in vibrantly colored liquid form), but I hate the waste from juicing.  Juicers, if you are unfamiliar, separate the fiber and pulp, gathering the mushy, processed mess in a separate container. Some people compost this fiber, but I live in an apartment building without composting or an outside area, and I felt terribly guilty throwing out all this perfectly good bi-product. And then I found a recipe for these muffins! Melissa Clark’s original recipe does not involve juicing at all, she has you grate fruits and vegetables, but I found that a little adjusting produced excellent fiber-ful muffins and solved my juicing bi-product problem.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (be generous when pouring, a little more flour is useful if your ingreidients are very moist)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 apple juice (preferably freshly juiced and not store bought, cider would also work)
  • 1/3 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 generous cup (or a bit more) of juiced fiber / pulp.  This is where you can mix and match (science experiment, not exact science).  I usually include about 50% greens (spinach and kale are my go to) and 50% sweet stuff (apples and carrots work well). The original recipe called for butternut squash, parsnips, zucchini, and beets.  Generally, I use whatever is on hand.  When I’m saving the fiber from juicing, I make sure that the fruits and vegetables are really, really clean before juicing, remove stems, seeds, etc., and then freeze the bag of fiber until I’m ready to bake.  Honestly, most of the I’m not 100% sure what precisely is in the muffin, but they always come out moist and delicious.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease mini muffin tin.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, oil, honey, sugar, apple juice, and fiber pulp.
  4. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ones. Fold in the raisins.
  5. Fill muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes.

These muffins stay really well.  Pop them in the fridge and they’re good for about a week.