Going Green

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[Forgot to post this a while back!  Enjoy!]

Stop.

Before you scroll down, see the photo of my recent lunch and run for the hills, give me a second to explain myself.

It is spring.  Well, very nearly summer but we'll pretend it's just spring since I've been lax in my posting lately.  It is spring and it is allllmost farmer's market time.  This gets my insides all tingly and warm with visions of marinated tomatoes swirling about in my veggie-loving brain. 

Though I suppose a tomato is a fruit.  Whatever.

Anyway.  I love veggies.  A-dore them.  Honestly, I could go the rest of my life without fruit, bread, meat, coffee...but take away my greenery and I'm a cuh-razy woman.  Okay, I lied. I'd need bread.  But really, vegetables rank above all else in my book.

I lived in Africa for nearly a year post-college and loved most everything about the experience.  But the one thing I (honestly) couldn't handle was not having access to fresh greenery.  Don't get me wrong, we had many, many fresh fruits and some veggies but these were mostly potatoes, corn, and sukumawiki (I think that's how you say it, African friends correct me if I'm wrong!), which is a type of grassy green veg which only tastes good simmered in beef buillon.  Or chicken stock. 

So, yes, the green thing was rough for me.  I suffered many a day (and night) of, well, digestive issues.  But it's all a part of the experience.  On the flip side, their fruit was AMAZING.  I dream of African pineapple.  Dream of it.  And the mangoes, the papaya, the limes!!! 

But no greens. 

This was (I swear), extremely difficult for this vegephile.

I am one of those obsessed individuals who very nearly has to have something green at every meal (minus breakfast, but often I'll make an omelet with an array of veggies so I really do sneak them in the first meal quite often).  I do not go more than a day without broccoli or spinach, not more than a week without avocadoes, peas, green beans, or edamame.  I just love them all.

Every. Single. One.

Now.  The below lunch was the epitome of all that I adore.  Each bite savored to the very last.

It was a green goddess' dream.

I like to think of myself as a green goddess sometimes.  Don't judge.  We all have our quirks.

I have many.  Moving on.

So what is this blessed sandwich?

I like to call it The Green Goddess, a beautiful blend of spinach, cucumbers, and what I deem "Asian Hummus".  I made that last one up, but it's the best way to categorize this spread. 

Here she is:


 
This is the part where you may freak a bit.  Yes, I just said "freak".  Because all of you veg-haters, or even those who don't delve into the "weird" grains/produce/legumes world, might wonder what in the world I was thinking mixing this blend of odd ingredients together.

Just let me hold your hand, we'll go slowly, baby steps, my friends....

Okay- really, you have to just dive in with this one.  There's no other way.

So what is this Asian Hummus?

Mung beans. 

Uh-huh.  Mung beans and avocadoes, smashed together, with a fabulous blend of garlic powder, a few drops of sesame seed oil (I absolutely LOVE sesame seed oil- perfectly roasty and nutty and adds a BAM of Asian flavor) and Asian fish sauce- yep.  Have you TRIED that stuff?  Holy yum.  It's more salty than fishy and you just need a tiny bit to jack up the flavor of any sauce or spread.

Now before you run away screaming, let me defend myself.  Here was my inspiration (or PINspiration, rather, since it was found on Pinterest):



Yum yum.  Doesn't that look harmless? 
Or utterly divine??

This person used pureed, shelled edamame.  Another Asian bean.  So I'm not THAT weird.  Thankyouverymuch.  Some of you may not even be aware of what a mung bean is.

It's so good, that's what it is.

The Chinese call it a green pea, though I don't find it to be anything like the peas we are used to here.  It more like a pea-sized bean that boast remarkable flavor and has insane health benefits.  You can usually find them at your local Asian market, or a health food store.  You cook them like any other bean (soak, boil, simmer) and can use them in an array of dishes, sauces, soups, and spreads.

I was first introduced to the mung bean while in China one summer in college.  My Chinese friend said I just had to try this drink she loved.  She then bought me what looked like a green smoothie.  I, being non-judgy and adventurous decided, why not?  I took a sip and sure enough, a bean smoothie (ha) but a bit sweet and, honestly, very good.  I loved it.  I bought at least three a day for the rest of the trip and even delved into other mung bean items.  Like ice cream. 

Uh-huh.  Mung bean ice cream.  The Chinese love this little green guy, apparently. 

So, when in Rome...or China, rather. 

But really- the ice cream was fab.  Not kidding.  I've been converted.  I'm a believer.  So much so that I searched for the beans when I returned home, found them, and have now been cooking with 'em ever since.  They are that. good.

So anyway.  Here's to going "green"!  And yay spring!  Well, almost summer.

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