It's true, I've been (sadly) delinquent here at Enlightened Cooking for two months. Mea culpa. It was a decision I had to make for sanity's sake. A looming deadline (January 15th) forced me into self-imposed exile at my computer to finish the final elements of my next cookbook.
But the deadline was met, I'm almost caught up on sleep, and I'm happily savoring the calm, as well as the chance to get back to reading, writing, and cooking. Last night, for example, I finally got around to reading Molly Wizenberg's (aka Orangette) article in the February issue of Bon Appetit. I say "finally" because I typically flip to her column immediately upon removal of the plastic wrapping on said magazine (i.e., on the walk back to the house from the mailbox). She is the finest food writer out there; there, I said it. Laurie Colwin has topped my list for the past two decades, but Molly, with her wit, wisdom, hilarity, and ever-engaging prose has succeeded her.
In addition to making me laugh out loud as I read here latest work (all while eating the crusty of Nick's peanut butter jelly sandwich and loading the dishwasher), her topic hit home. Her topic is the irony of eating random odds and ends (often culminating with packaged cookies and television at the end of a long day) despite owning and operating a fine dining restaurant.
I'm not in the restaurant business, but the same scenario applies to food writers (or, at least, this food writer). Although my mind was steeped in food from morning to late night, my body was sustained by power bars, raisins, Quaker cinnamon oatmeal squares (they don't make crumbs as I nibble--critical for computer food).
But I did make the time for smoothies. Many smoothies. They are a perfect way to incorporate so much goodness in a delectable, portable, and incredibly easy glass-ful. I had to train myself to set the glass on the floor (for fear of knocking over onto the keyboard), but other than that, a smoothie is hands-down fabulous fare for hungry and stressed-out souls. Enjoy!
Banana, Date, & Cardamom Smoothie (no added sugar)
I've taken to using 1 or 2 dates to naturally sweeten smoothies--first for 3-yr-old Nick, but now for me, too--but you can use any sweetener (e.g., agave nectar, honey) you like here (including other chopped dried fruit; dried apricots and golden raisins are also great).
Makes 1 serving
1 cup plain nonfat or lowfat yogurt
1/3 cup nonfat or lowfat milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 medium-size ripe banana, peeled, sliced, and FROZEN
2 dates, chopped
Optional: pinch of cardamom
1. Combine the yogurt, milk, vanilla, banana, dates, and (optional) cardamom in a blender.
2. Blend until smooth.
3. Pour into a large glass. Yum.