A Word on Smoothies

Fruits and vegetables for smoothies
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day–or so they say. I tend to start each morning full of healthy resolve but find that it crumbles with each passing moment. After an entire day of running around the city cooking delicious meals for other people, dinner often turns into a free-for-all in which I succumb to every craving.

With this honest acknowledgement, I have learned that one of the most successful and simplest routines to fall into is to start each morning on the right foot, with a quick, low-maintenance and nourishing meal. My ultimate to-go meal is a smoothie.

Herbs citrus and ginger for smoothie

I love smoothies for many reasons. First and foremost, they are easy to throw together. Literally just toss the ingredients in a blender and whizz until it has reached a smooth consistency. Second, it is a great way to use anything in the fridge that may be on its way out. No discrimination against a slightly overripe banana or ugly avocado when everything ends up pulverized in the blender anyway. Texture trumps appearance. For example, avocados add creaminess to a smoothie, as does banana.

Carrot Mise en place

Most people are comfortable with fruit smoothies but are more hesitant to add vegetables to the mix. The key is to make sure that there is a good balance between some of the more strongly flavored veggies (such as kale or parsley) and the sweetness of the fruit. The addition of veggies provides an opportunity to get even more vitamins and fiber into one cup and cut down a little bit on the sugar and calories.

Fruit mise en place

When making a smoothie, the main components are as follows:

A Base – Water, milk, almond milk, coconut milk or juice, etc.

Vegetables – Spinach, kale, cucumber, beet, carrot, celery, parsley, ginger, cilantro, avocado, mint, etc. I’ve been known to throw kale stems in here but this isn’t for everyone:)

Fruit – Endless but my favorites are apples, oranges, bananas, mangos, pineapples, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, grapes, etc. Using frozen fruit is great for texture.

Additions – Protein powder, nut butter,  yogurt, dates, flax seed, chia seed, cinnamon, etc.

Yogurt milk oats chia seeds and dates

Combos can be mixed and matched from any of the above ingredients, and really the sky is the limit. If you are green smoothie/veg-fruit smoothie newbie, start with a lower veg:fruit ratio and slowly increase the ratio as your taste allows. I can’t begin to describe some of the more unusual results I have subjected my roommate Rian to sampling in the past. Laura won’t even try some of these but my tastes buds are happy. Below are a few introductory options that even the most green-smoothie-averse will enjoy. For our clients, we prepackage the italicized ingredients in ziplock baggies in the freezer and then they can simply dump them into their blenders and add in their other ingredients day-of for a quick, healthy, kid-friendly breakfast or snack option. They serve one person very generously or two kids.  I hope you enjoy them too!

With love,


Green Smoothie for health


Green Machine Smoothie


1 Banana

1 Cup shredded kale

1/2 Avocado

1/2 Apple

1 Tsp Chia Seeds

1 Cup Almond Milk (plus optional 1/2 cup plain Greek or regular yogurt)


Berry Green Smoothie


1 Cup Strawberries

1 Cup Blueberries

1 Cup Spinach

1 Cup Almond Milk (plus optional 1/2 cup plain Greek or regular yogurt)


Green Monster Smoothie


1/2 Cup Pineapple

1/2 Cup Mango

1/2 Banana

1 Cup Spinach

1 Cup Almond Milk (plus optional 1/2 cup plain Greek or regular yogurt)


Banana Date Smoothie (This isn’t a green smoothie but its such a big hit, I wanted to share in anyways.)


1 Banana, sliced

4 Dates, chopped

1 Pinch Cinnamon

1 Cup Almond Milk (plus optional 1/2 cup plain Greek or regular yogurt)


Method: Tumble into a blender and blend for consistent texture. Enjoy! We prepackage the italicized ingredients in ziplock baggies in the freezer. Each recipe serves one person very generously or two kids.

Winter Wild Rice Salad with Charred Broccoli and Pickled Raisins

Winter Wild Rice and Broccoli salad with pickled raisins and herbs

The holidays are officially over. With the grind of the new year in full swing and the harshness of New York cold weather setting in, everyone is buckling down for the next few months. I’m trying my absolute hardest not to let the winter blues get me down, and I am finding that more often than not, I turn to food to bring me comfort.

While winter conditions definitely make it difficult to find fresh produce, the season still provides for many delicious and hearty meals. In fact, my very favorite vegetable is easily accessible this time of year. That’s right. Give me all the broccoli.

Charred roasted broccoli or broccolini

Broccoli is so versatile and can be addictive prepared in any way! Steamed, stir-fried, roasted, or even eaten raw, the possibilities are endless. One can even thinly shave the stems and use them in a salad or sautéed for a meal, but that is a conversation for another day. Today I want to talk about my favorite preparation for broccoli: roasting. Super simple and with a huge punch of flavor, I like to toss the prepped broccoli with seasonings and oil and then blast it in the oven set to a really high temperature. This ensures that the broccoli gets a healthy char while still retaining some crunch. Nobody wants to eat something that can be described as “limp”. Toss with some lemon zest and voila, you have brought life to something in this artic tundra.

Broccoli on a sheet tray to roast

Over the years I have learned that my own personal preference in flavor combination is to combine sweet with savory. Therefore, I have found great value in the use of fresh or dried fruit in many of my dishes. There’s nothing like the subtle pop of flavor in every few bites when you encounter something sweet. As of late, one of my absolute favorite additions to a salad is the ever persevered, simple and basic (drumroll please….) raisin. This traditional ingredient dates as far back in my memory as “ants on a log” in childhood snacks, but has now been reinvented by the chefs at What We Eat. Though a raisin in itself is a tasty little burst of sweetness, we sometimes opt to re-hydrate the chewy little grape into something else. This can be done using warm water, or if you like, you can opt to add an acid to the mix for a pickling effect.

Pickling spices and apple cider vinegar boiling on the stovetop

Through experimentation, we have perfected a winning combination of spices to create an amazing pickling recipe for grapes and raisins. The result is an unbelievably sweet, tangy and slightly spicy treat. Think warm winter spices with a kick of heat from red chili flakes. Having this recipe in your arsenal is a sure-fire way to add surprise and curiosity to a salad or grain dish.

With love, Kristina

Winter Wild Rice and Broccoli salad with pickled raisins

For the Wild Rice:

1 cup wild rice, rinsed

Cook rice according to package directions.


For the Broccoli:

1 head broccoli, cut into large florets

½ tablespoon olive oil

1 pinch red pepper flakes

½ tsp granulated

salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

On the stove top, bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil. Blanch broccoli for 30 seconds and refresh in ice cold water. Dry completely.

On a large sheet tray, toss the broccoli with a good glug of olive oil, granulated garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Roast, undisturbed for 15 minutes. Take broccoli out of oven and flip (it should have a nice char on one side). Return to oven for another 15 minutes until crisp and caramelized. Remove and allow to come to room temperature.
Pickled raisins mise en place

For the Pickled Raisins:

2 cups golden raisins

½ cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup water

1 cinnamon stick

3 cloves

1 star anise

1 tablespoon fennel seed

½ tablespoon sugar

1 tsp salt



In a saucepot, bring the water, vinegar, spices, sugar and salt to a slow simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes. Once the sugar has dissolved, strain the hot liquid over the raisins and allow to sit until cool.

When you are ready to build the salad, drain raisins and mix with the charred broccoli and wild rice. Add in a large handful of mint/cilantro/scallions and dress with a few tablespoons of the pickling liquid and some olive oil. Enjoy!

Other Uses for Pickled Raisins:

Chicken salad

Grain bowls

Breakfast parfaits with granola and greek yogurt

Kristina’s Salsa Verde

Chickpea and farro salad with fennel radish and salsa verde

The more you cook, the more you develop your signature style. Anyone who eats our food knows that well toasted nuts, strategically placed cheese and tons of citrus are a few of the What We Eat team’s hallmarks. But if there is one thing that defines our cooking, it’s our ridiculously abundant use of fresh herbs.

There is no better way to impart explosive flavor than with fresh herbs. Mint, cilantro, parsley and scallions are constants on our grocery lists, but we also reserve a place in our hearts for tarragon, basil, sage and dill. Of course, there are many others, but having the above on hand at any given time is crucial to the success of any meal.

Smorgasbord with Salsa Verde

An added perk to our herb obsession is that we find ourselves with an surplus of odds and ends at the end of the week…a few stems sprouting sad broken parsley leaves, a handful of bruised cilantro or one lone sprig of rosemary. What to do with these little bits that are too often thrown away as casualty or waste? There is a simple answer, a lesson I learned years ago that has since been held close and always remembered. Let me paint a picture for you…

It was 2010. I was sitting outside at an Italian bistro, sipping chilled white wine, awaiting my meal, a perfect day. Then the roast chicken was placed in front of me. After savoring my first bite of the tender meat, I questioned aloud, “What is it that makes this simple meal so unbelievably amazing?” As they say, the secret is in the sauce.

Roast chicken with lemon zest and salsa verde green sauce

Drizzled across the crisp and charred chicken skin was a thin but vibrantly green dressing, the ingredients of which were so frustratingly mysterious and difficult to pinpoint that it warranted further investigation. My helpful waiter informed me it was salsa verde (aka green sauce), a mix of whatever herbs they had on hand. Herbs + olive oil + blender = magical sauce served as an accoutrement to any dish from red meats to poultry, fish or vegetables. This aha moment will forever stick with me. Salsa verde, the endlessly versatile little black dress of sauces, appears as a star in many of my meals. It’s my signature.

Therefore, it is finally time to share the recipe for my secret sauce. Keep in mind that certain ingredients may be omitted or altered, but that the recipe below is what I have found to be the tastiest. I’ve gotten Laura and Rian hooked on it as well, so next time one of them makes you something with an impossibly delicious green sauce, you’ll know who deserves credit.

With love, Kristina:)

Salsa Verde

  • 1/3 cup basil
  • 1/3 cup cilantro
  • 1/3 cup parsley
  • 2 tablespoons tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons chives
  • 1 tablespoon sage
  • 1 tablespoon dill
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1-3 anchovy fillets
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4th teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup olive oil

Roughly chop all herbs, garlic and anchovies and then place all ingredients other than the olive oil in a food processor. Pulse the contents of the food processor and then gradually stream in the olive oil. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

The end result should be a vibrantly green sauce in which the original integrity of some of the herbs is still apparent. This means that it should look like more of a rough chop rather than a paste or puree. We like to keep it rustic. Drizzle over any meal of choice and serve. Enjoy!

Roast carrot and egg salad with salsa verde