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My SuperSauce of the Moment

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When it comes to dressings and sauces, I typically maintain a close and strong relationship with mustard.  Any savory food + mustard = better tasting food, I feel, and I usually construct my salad dressings and dipping sauces around it.  However, just because I have monomaniacal tendencies doesn’t mean I’m a total bore, and lately I’ve been very into tamarind.  In the past I’ve bought whole dried beans and soaked them, but I’m often unsatisfied with the flavor and texture of that, so I tend to get jars of tamarind paste instead (which has no other ingredients, just the fruit).

Tamarind, in all its goodness, doesn’t particularly get along with mustard, so my sauce experiments of late have had different bases.  Through the trial and error of fridge and cupboard random ingredient exploration, I have come up with a salad dressing/dipping sauce/stir fry sauce, aka SuperSauce, that is rich, creamy, sour, sweet, salty and spicy.  The only thing we’re missing here is bitter, and I pretty much hate bitter, so this to me is a perfect combo of flavors that I have been using in everything from salad to spring rolls. It also works for basting veggies or proteins with before baking, or as a sauce for noodles (kelp, brown rice, soba, or if you’re totally retro, flour) or other grains, and can be thinned with water if desired.

Tamarind SuperSauce: (makes enough for 6-8 servings)
1/2 cup almond butter
3 tbls coconut nectar or honey
3 tbls tamari or nama shoyu
1 1/2 tbls tamarind paste
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
pinch of cayenne pepper
5-8 drops liquid stevia

Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Ratios can be changed depending on your preference, though too much more tamarind will make it unpalatably sour.  (As is, the tamarind flavor is quite prominent.)  For a more typical Asian-sauce flavor, you could substitute almond butter with peanut butter.

Tamarind SuperSauce dressing a winter salad of dino kale, shaved carrots, apples, and radishes.

 

Drink Your Purples

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Everyone always talks about kale being one of the healthiest foods on the planet, but for some reason, you don’t tend to hear nearly as much about colored kales, like purple and red.  Something many people don’t know is that while greens are EXCELLENT for you, and very vital to health, red and purple foods actually contain MORE antioxidants.  In fact, what gives purple foods their color is actually the antioxidant anthocyanin, which fights heart disease/cancer/stoke/diabetes and boosts memory.  Dark red fruits also contain anthocyanin, and have lycopene too, which helps eyes and immune systems.  SO when you take a vitamin-powerhouse veggie like kale and add the properties of a red or purple food to it, you get some serious healthy power.

I tend to make smoothies with red and purple kale because after years of murky green and brown shakes, I want ones that look appealing these days.  The smoothie I made this morning is a perfect example of a breakfast that is both beautiful AND beautifying.

Purple Protein Shake:
2/3 cup blackberries (I used fresh bc they’re in season right now, frozen is fine)
1 peach
1 1/2 cups purple kale
1/2 cup strawberries
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1-2 scoops protein powder
Optional: 1/3 dropper grape stevia. If you add this, the smoothie will have an overall grape-ish flavor that marries perfectly with its purple color.

Chessie decided to take a break from my neuro-rehabilitation notebook she was napping on and give a good sniff to this deliciousness.

Pretty Pretty… Smoothie?

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Recently I heard about adding beets to smoothies, so since I had some cooked ones in the fridge this morning I decided to try it.  And WOW, do beets gorgeous up a drink! I also added chia kombucha to this for extra fruitiness and tang.

This is the smoothie I made:

And this is how I made it:

1 1/2 cups purple kale leaves
3/4 cup frozen raspberries
1 small cooked beet
1 white nectarine
a 1 inch piece of frozen banana
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup black chia kombucha
1 scoop protein powder
1 tsp camu camu powder
stevia to taste

Camu camu intensifies the sweet tart fruitiness, coconut milk mellows it out a little, and I swear, you can’t even taste all that kale! I prefer purple kale for red smoothies because besides the additional antioxidant benefits of purple foods, it’s nice to sometimes to have normal looking/not swampy smoothies.

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