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Naked Juice's new labels let it all hang out...

It happened like this: a well-meaning relative stocked the fridge with Naked Juice’s Green Machine variety and talked all weekend about how glorious it was. She insisted I try it (ok, fine. I read Green Eggs and Ham. I’m down with green juice) and like a braindead fooh, I took a sip and THEN picked up the bottle to read the label. Fourth ingredient: wheat grass. Bastard wheat-beast!

Needless to say, this opened my eyes to a while new section of the drink fridge to watch out for. Thankfully, Naked Juice has redesigned their labels to indicate whether or not their flavors are gluten-free. Scha-weee!

I’ve mentioned before that there are several wacky bean companies I order from online. Here is a recipe that utilizes Native Seeds SEARCH’s runner cannellini beans; large, white beans that are reminiscent of dried limas but about twice as big. If you don’t have these on hand, large limas or another white bean will work just fine.

Balsamic White Bean Dip

White Bean Dip

  • 2 c. cooked white beans
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 2 T lemon
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder or 1/2 a small garlic clove, minced
  • salt & pepper to taste

Combine the above ingredients in a food processor and mix until smooth. Alternatively, for a chunkier dip, you can mash the beans with a fork or potato masher in a bowl, then add the remaining ingredients and mix until combined. Serve with a rustic gluten-free bread, some fresh vegetables, cheese, and homemade olives for a fabulous lunch.

Oy, I’ve been slackin’! Actually, truth be told, I haven’t been slacking at all. We’ve had house guests every single week/weekend since April! So aside from being ‘zausted, I’m also not cooking when I don’t have to and when I do, I’m playing it safe. So no new recipes to post just yet. But! Three things have inspired me to hit the decks again:

  1. A brand, spanky new stove. Shiny in all the right places, it lights like a dream. How have I lived without a “superpower burner” for so long?
  2. Farmer’s market season! It takes farmers a while in Chicago, and then it takes me even longer to change my routine… but this morning I braved the threatening thunderheads and the (even more ominous) traffic to hit the Green City Market. Much to my delight the organic farmers were out in force selling all kinds of spring goodies: the sweetest carrots, delicate little strawberries, flamboyant garlic scapes, you name it. And there are even still CSA shares left to buy from Iron Creek Certified Organic Farms (cha-ching!) of LaPorte, IN.
  3. This recipe for Fennel Leek Gratin from the New York Times’ Recipes for Health. I’m not sure how the word “health” and “gratin” landed together in the same sentence, but we’ll go with it. I’ll be trying it this week. Will let you know how it goes!
  4. Life is good. I am ready to cook. Stay tuned!