Rabbit Food Smoothies

My dad hates eating salad. He calls it “rabbit food.” He’s never been very good at forcing himself to eat something that’s good for him. I mentioned that my mom would make a salad to accompany pizza at our house, but in general I don’t remember eating a whole lot of salad at home.
Confession: I didn’t really know what kale was until a few years ago.

But I know kale is good for me and so I’ve dutifully tried to eat it at home. Every time I’ve tried to cook it on the stove it has tasted less than delicious. A kale fail – for the twitterfolks #kalefail (To be fair I know I still need to try making kale chips.)

What happens when something doesn’t go right in the kitchen? Well, if you are less than ambitious like me then the bad experience in the kitchen is not reinforcing and you just stop shopping for that food.

After a brief appearance, kale was swiftly removed from the shopping list.

That was until I started thinking about doing some kind of detox after my year of school food. I never went ahead with a detox diet because it seemed like a lot of work — not to mention I was sick and tired of messing with my diet.

I was still interested in eating non-inflammatory foods though. So I started an internet search. That’s where Nourishing Meals comes in. I met Ali and Tom at BlogHer Food. When I noticed that their website and book contained information about a 28 day elimination diet, I was intrigued and bought their book. This month I decided to be bold and try to make their minty green kale and spinach smoothie.

Kale has never tasted so good. Even my husband remarked that he had never enjoyed kale until he drank this smoothie.

Ali and Tom share a lot of smoothie recipes on their website so I’m not going to share the exact recipe from their book that I used and loved (I don’t have their permission). However, you can watch a video of them making a green smoothie with their twin two-year-olds. The video could not be any cuter and you can see just how quick and easy it is to make a green smoothie.
Here’s to rabbit food smoothies! Cheers!
My smoothie tips:
Get a blender or dust off of the one you’ve got Considering my audience, you probably already have a blender. We have a terrific blender, which was a wedding present. Before that we used a blender my husband got at a garage sale for $5 when he was in college. It served us well for many years. In fact, my husband loved that blender so much that he disassembled it and turned it into a lamp. He recently bought us an immersion blender so we are now fully equipped.
Don’t be afraid to experiment Try new fruits and veggies. Use what’s on sale at the grocery store. Change up the smoothie base. I had never really tried a water-based smoothie until I made their green smoothie. I didn’t miss a milk base at all.
Kids love being involved Most kids like to push buttons and see what happens next. My kid thinks what’s happening in the kitchen is fun and cool, but he is scared of the blender and will run to the couch and bury himself under a cushion. We have gotten him to taste and drink some of the green smoothie, but he doesn’t enjoy it like we have been.
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19 Responses to Rabbit Food Smoothies

  1. Celloluv February 25, 2011 at 4:04 am #

    I too have just discovered kale. I like it sauteed in soy sauce. And in smoothies as well. The other night I made mashed sweet potatoes and mixed in some cut up steamed kale. I've also used some cut up kale in soup, throwing it in just before the soup is done. I don't mind the stem but I think that's the hardest part to get used too. Many recipes suggest removing the stem so that might make it 'taste' better. I need to check out these green smoothies!!

  2. Uly February 25, 2011 at 4:11 am #

    My nieces *adore* kale. Kale chips are something we have to hide away if we want any for ourselves!

    The trick to stovetop recipes, btw, seems to be to add a lot LESS water than the recipe specifies. Kale recipes often require something like a cup of water. I find that it comes out better if I put a quarter cup, at the most, and cook only a short time, so the kale is still bright and not squishy, barely cooked down at all. We have a very big pot we use to cook the kale in, and the water should JUST cover the bottom of the huge pot when I put it in.

    Otherwise it just gets soggy and icky.

    Our favorite recipe is kale with chorizo. Get a dried chorizo sausage (not the fresh type, the dried type – the ones I get say on the package that they're gluten free) and slice it thin. Put it in the huge pan on med-high with a coarsely chopped onion. Cook a few minutes, then add the kale, torn up into little pieces. Stir it all up, add a tiny bit of water and put a lid on it so the kale gets steamed. After a short time open it, stir, add two chopped tomatoes (or several halved cherry tomatoes) and some salt. Lid back on for a few, until the tomatoes are cooked a bit.

    It never makes leftovers.

  3. Mallory February 25, 2011 at 4:25 am #

    I have made a kale, potato and sausage soup–my recipe actually called for chorizo, but I didn't have any. There were some big chunky pieces that I didn't enjoy too much, but I found if I slice it smaller and cook it a little longer I enjoy it more.

  4. Cait February 25, 2011 at 4:33 am #

    just came across your blog 🙂 ohmygosh its so cute! this looks awesome and i def am going to be reading more!

  5. Anonymous February 25, 2011 at 5:15 am #

    I LOVE Kale. It is hands down my favorite veggie. In fact, if I could live off kale, I would. Gladly.
    This may be because I have never steamed kale. And I save the stems for my stock pot rather than trying to eat them. My killer kale recipe:

    Strip kale leaves from stems. Tear kale into bite-sized pieces, rinse in colander. (Shake to remove excess water, but do not dry it completely)

    Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2-3 squashed garlic cloves (you know–whack it with the flat side of your knife to crack the garlic, remove the peel) and saute in olive oil until the garlic is golden brown. REMOVE BEFORE THE GARLIC BURNS

    Now that you have lovely garlic-infused olive oil, throw in the kale and toss with tongs until kale is wilted, about 3 minutes.

    REMOVE FROM HEAT, add a *pinch* of crushed red pepper flakes and salt/pepper to taste. Cover and allow to steam for a minute or two (the heat left over in the pan will suffice. If you turn the stove back on the kale can burn). Top with a squeeze of lemon juice before serving.

    Nom!

  6. Penny February 25, 2011 at 10:57 am #

    I'm not a big fan of kale, although my fiancé actually uses it in soups with chorizo (he likes spicy things, I get easily ill from too much spices).

    I've actually used a product called MethoDraine Detox (comes in a variety of flavours, this was just one of the few English language product links I found straight away) for detoxing about twice a year. This time I tested their "slim" product, as I'm trying to get my body burning fat and cellulite more efficiently… (I have a wedding dress I fit into, but I'd like to think I can take it in by an inch by the time I get married.)

    I have this terrific e-book at hand, that's called a "complete handbook of natural cures", where a majority of the instructions for improving your health are presented in the form of instructions in the style of (I'm winging it, this would in reality be 2-3 pages filled with a massive block of text), for example female hormonal imbalance… "Start off with a fast and only take fruit or vegetable juices for 7 days (more specific instructions on what fruit and veg follow), then move to eating mostly raw food and dairy for the protein needs for 1-2 weeks. After this, slowly return to a more "normal" diet, avoiding the following foodstuffs…"

    I use that book and my knowledge of herbs and healthy living to keep myself healthy, and friends do consult me for both recipes and diet outlines. I always go by a moderated version, so nothing extreme like telling people to fast for a week, but I try to always figure out what foodstuffs are on the "to be avoided" list. One of the important tips is to only eat high fibre content grains, and rye, if you have the choice. Rye bread (or my favourite, rye porridge with dried lingonberries) can according to Finnish scientists help prevent type 2 diabetes.

    If you want to try something, go by a week of "50+% of food intake raw food, like salads, fruit, smoothies, juices, slaw and the other 50-ish % of the food vegetarian low gluten low lactose sugar free, and leave out coffee…" I've found that to be a good formula. 🙂

  7. The Table of Promise February 25, 2011 at 11:26 am #

    LOL! Love this! I recently started sneaking kale into my kids regular smoothies. If kids don't like the green color I hae found that it goes really well with frozen blueberries. The green from the kale only intensifies the purple blueberries.
    At first my three year old didn't like the idea of 'salad' in his fruitie smoothies. But that's also because he doesn't know that the 'orange ice cubes' I use are actually frozen squash puree! Ha!!

    I think smoothies are awesome and can be made very healthflly. Way better than juice because they can be made with whole (raw) foods!

  8. CB February 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

    I am very, very disappointed that in a blog that is concerned about proper nutrition you are talking about a detox diet. There is a lot of evidence that they are at best useless and at worst damaging.

  9. Jenna @kidappeal February 25, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    hilarious! i just wrote a post about how i finally fell in love with kale after two years of experimenting. my problem too was cooking it. i like it better raw in a salad mixed with other lettuces.

    i think your dad needs to sign up for my recovering picky eater challenge. changing my mindset about food and my approach to food allowed me (uber finicky eater in childhood) to adopt nearly all the things i used to gag on. challenge him to give him a shot 🙂

    http://tinyurl.com/4f9pq3z

  10. Colin February 25, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    Try this for kale: http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/spicy-sausage-escarole-white-bean-stew.aspx

    I sub in kale for the escarole, and both my kids eat it (some days they won't eat the kale, some days they won't eat the sausage, but it all averages out in the end). The trick is lots of grated cheese. The saltiness really brings out the flavors and pulls it all together.

  11. Viki February 25, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

    I love Kale! I never steam it, EVER! saute it in olive oil with garlic & red peper yes! I also but it in bean soups.

    In smoothies yes! I've been doing green smoothies a few times a week since last Summer. Works really well for a work lunch. Water based, I sometimes add a bit of coconut oil. I switch up the greens, it isn't good to use the same greens all the time particularly if you are having a green smoothie every day. I like to use spinach and collards too. Switch up your fruits as well. I dream of owning a blendtec, but any blender will do.
    Cracks me up that your husband made a lamp out of your old blender.

  12. Waverly February 25, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    Our family loves smoothies. They are healthy and easy for breakfast and snacks. Green smoothies in particular have become a personal favorite. I recently read the book, Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko who has researched greens and why their many benefits are absorbed best when they are blended. With a frozen banana and some frozen organic berries, you cannot pick up the taste easily.

  13. Lindsay February 25, 2011 at 4:20 pm #

    I LOVE Green Smoothies! They're such a great way to start the day. I think Kale is the most nutrient dense food there is!

  14. Steph(anie) February 25, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

    My smoothie tricks: iced tea instead of water base for caffeine and non-fat cottage cheese for protein.

  15. katlogan February 25, 2011 at 8:58 pm #

    Off topic: Mrs. Q -you would have been proud this morning. I was taking my 7 yr old daughter to school and told her that she would need to buy lunch today. (It had been THAT kind of morning…) She asked what the school was serving (grilled chicken salad) and then proceeded to tell me why she just couldn't eat salad at school. She really loves salad & chicken, so I was surprised. But she had many reasons for not wanting to eat it. Then she told me in exact detail what she wanted me to pack in her lunch (apples, turkey roll-up, yogurt). How could I deny her? I dropped her off at school, went home & packed her lunch, and got to work late:)

  16. Anonymous February 26, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    I recently had kale as the base of a caesar salad at a restaurant. It was amazing, with a delicious dressing and shredded parmesan.

  17. Anonymous February 26, 2011 at 8:00 pm #

    Sauteed kale is a hit in our house. Not so crazy about it steamed or boiled, but heat some oil in a pan and let the kale caramelize ever so slightly on at least one side (if not both)–it takes on almost a popcorn flavor. Be sure to season it with some nice coarse salt. Delicious! If I make a huge bunch of kale this way, my 9 year old son will bogart almost all of it.

  18. Jill in Chicago February 28, 2011 at 7:23 pm #

    Mrs. Q, you must try kale butter! (I discovered the recipe in the Engine 2 Diet Cookbook by Rip Esselstyn, but I bet (wink wink) if you google "kale butter" you might be able to find it online.)

    It has the consistency of spinach dip but tastes like walnut butter (like peanut butter, but with walnuts.) I love it as a dip for fresh veggies, as a salad topping instead of dressing, and spread on toast. It sounds weird, but really, try it!

  19. Anonymous March 1, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

    baked kale chips are a favorite at our house. tastes like chips – but healthier. we sprinkle with a bit of salt before baking. ours only take about 10mins @ 350 as opposed to what's noted in the recipe.

    http://weelicious.com/2010/03/31/kale-chips/

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