much of a juicer. Never have been. I’ve always been a little down on what I see as a glorified consumption of sugar. That might sound a little harsh, and I admit that it is. But more often than not I’d rather drink a smoothie with all of its fiber, or just eat a piece of goddamn fruit.
But, last week, there I was. I felt a tickle in my throat. Oliver had just finished reading me a news story about how the flu was out of control this year. And I decided I needed a boost. Green juice.
Have you been there? The “please, please, please don’t let me get sick,“ feeling? That’s what this juice is for.
It is SUPER high in Vitamins C, A and K. Like nature’s Emergen-C! But, 100% natural.
I drank that green juice down (and loved it, citrusy, with a touch of ginger). The next morning, The tickle at my throat was gone, but two days later Oliver complained of a sore throat too, so there I was again making green juice again--the same green juice I had made for myself just a few days before.
Now, I’m still not that into juice. You'll find no recommendations on juice cleanses here. But this juice is like a multipurpose vitamin... like an insurance policy. You drink it with a wholesome breakfast and you get all those extra vitamin packed in.
So far, I'm still flu free: maybe it had something to do with this juice, or maybe not. Either way, I fell in love with green juice somewhere along the way. At least this green juice. The insurance policy.
The day you read this, it will be the fourth day of 2018, and I will be headed to Monterey, California, but as I write it's only a few days after Christmas.
My office closes for the holiday, and I have the entire week to do whatever I want. A week ago I had tried to corral friends into organizing a trip to Red Rock Canyon (we went last year, and it was so so beautiful), but I had been late to the punch and it seemed everyone already had other things going on. Still, I didn't give up on my wanderlust: even early on Christmas eve, and I pieced together a half-baked plan to go to Santa Fe. Drive time, a place to stay, and a list of possible climbing spots. And of course, swooning over images of turquoise doors, cliff dwellings, and desert sun.
I could almost feel the heat, even there sitting at my computer. But instead of warming in the sun, hot air was blasting from the vents as our thermostat worked to combat the dropping temperatures outside. Wanderlust had me riveted, and begged me to go. Visions of a simpler time, when I was ten or so, floated through my mind: I had dreamed of being a National Geographic photographer, but at some point convinced myself that it wouldn't work. I liked traveling, sure, but I like being home too. I knew I would tire of being on the move. Plus, adults had bills to pay, and art wasn't stable...even my overly mature ten-year old self knew this. But right then, looking at images of Santa Fe, regret poured over me. I wanted--no, needed- to go.
My bubble deflated as the coffee set in and I came down from the clouds: a six-and-a-half hour drive on icy roads and in a foot of snow? "Fun" isn't the right word for a road trip like that. And I had been craving snow, fiercely. So instead we bundled up (long under wear, wool socks, snow pants, down coats, snow boots, gloves, and hats) and made our way through the white winter wonderland just outside our door, to hike through the foothills.
The cold preserved individual snowflakes, creating the fluffiest snow possible: not a spot of slush or sludge. Overcome with a childlike happiness, wanderlust momentarily forgotten, I wanted to plunge straight into the snow and make snow angels. Frozen pine needles glowing in the winter light; sparkling hills; the smell of winter in the air. Such beautiful things, right here under my nose. Besides, in just one short week I'd be in the California sunshine.
This smoothie takes the freshest, brightest flavors of winter and throws them all into a jar. The result is a gradient of pinks and magentas--a bold spot of color on a winter morning. When you're stuck looking at images of exotic places, or find yourself wishing for some adventure, try this smoothie. It's a rejuvenating splash of bright and bold that reminds you that there's no where better to be than in the now.
Serves: 2 | Total Time: 10 minutes
- 1 banana, frozen
- 1 grapefruit, peeled, plus two grapefruit wedges of garnish (optional)
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated on microplane
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup 100% pomegranate juice
- Combine first four ingredients in a blender (affiliate link) and puree until smooth. Divide evenly among serving glasses.
- Slowly pour half of the pomegranate juice into each glass. It will sink to the bottom, creating a gradient effect.
- Garnish with grapefruit wedges and serve immediately.
This green chile smother sauce was created for a good friend after we went to a Mexican restaurant and fell in love with their smother sauce. The Mexican restaurant is a little hole in the wall across the street from the DMV. You wouldn’t think much of that little restaurant if you were just driving by, but those that know it love it. The burritos come stuffed full of ingredients, making them bigger than anyone person could ever really need. And key to this story, each burrito gets coated in smother sauce.
What is smother sauce, you ask? Well, it’s a sauce, for smothering. But it can be used in a kajillion ways (I’ll share some ideas later in this post). Mostly, it’s a spicy sauce that you can pour over burritos, tacos, eggs—really anything.
After eating at this restaurant, we realized smothered burritos didn’t have to be restaurant-only food. Why not make our own smother sauce? That’s how this happened. Introducing Green Chile Smother Sauce.
This green chili sauce is really similar to what you would use in my Pork Chile Verde. The difference is that this smother sauce can be used in 1,000,001 ways. It is a dip for chips when you want something zesty and tangy. It is the drizzle your eggs need in the morning. It is the sauce to smother every burrito, tamale, and taco with. Basically, it is everything. Still need ideas for how to use it?
Green enchilada sauce (do you have leftover turkey still? Enchiladas are the answer)
Green eggs in purgatory
A hot sauce for your breakfast (fried eggs or omellete)
Serve as a salsa
Slow Cooker Pork Chile Verde (use this sauce in place of the tomatillo, onion, garlic blend that the recipe calls for: they are pretty much the same thing)
A starter for guacamole
A smother sauce for burritos
...just to name a few.
The secret to making the sauce is roasting the tomatillos, onion, and garlic before you blend it up. That gives it a slow cooked smoky flavor that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to achieve. It cuts some of the tartness of the tomatillos. Then all you have to do is throw it in the blender and purée it. I use this blender (affiliate link)! And then you eat it, however you damn well please. That’s it! Easy peasy.
Serves: 6 | Total Time: 20 minutes
- 8 medium sized tomatillos
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 2 cans hatch green chiles (I use the hot ones, but feel free to use mild if you prefer)
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- Preheat your over to 475°F. Peel the papery outer skins from the tomatillos, wash them, and slice them in half. Cut the onion into 4 to 6 large wedges. Arrange them all on a sheet pan along with the garlic cloves. Brush with 1 tablespoon avocado oil, and place in oven. Roast until the tops of the tomatillos are browned, 10-15 minutes.
- Add roasted tomatillos, onions, and garlic to a blender along with canned green chiles, cilantro, lime, spices (cumin, coriander, oregano, and optional cayenne), salt, and pepper. Puree. Mixture should be similar to a less chunky salsa.
- Store sauce in jars until ready to use. Stays good in fridge for 1 week.