Enter The Green

I've been having a love affair with green stuff for a while. One thing I have noticed, which I'm sure no one else suffers from, is that when I'm a little down I prefer chocolate. It just sort of emotionally does it for me. Problem, I'm not dealing with what I'm feeling. I'm just eating chocolate and then not sleeping so well and having energy issues. And let's not forget, feeling even more depleted. When I'm feeling like I could conquer the world I can't get enough green. It fuels me, excites me and honestly gives me so much super energy. Especially that raw stuff. Over the past couple of years I've learned a few tricks to help get the green in, even when you aren't feeling like it. Green smoothies are awesome. I sometimes take kale, strawberries and lots of water and blend it into a whole juice. It's not very sweet but just enough to taste clean and smooth going down. Blended soups also help when you are needing some comfort in the way of green.

Thanksgiving is coming and I'm gearing up for the Holiday Connecting Group. Brussel sprouts and fennel are looking so beautiful in the store even my kids are noticing. I am creating a special flour-less chocolate cake just for my group so I need to balance it out with some serious green! There seems to be this pact around the Holidays that everyone will eat too much, feel like crap, spend too much money and then pretend that it all feels really good. I'm not playing that game this year and neither are the women in my group. We are going to rock out the authenticity, family love and ritual/traditions for our families. (Can you tell I'm excited about this one?)

Ok, first brussel sprouts. Never liked them. Now I love them, even cold the next day as part of my lunch. Here is what you do. You shred them into little thin pieces like you would cabbage and give them a quick, very quick saute and that is it.

Shredded Brussel Sprouts with Lemon and Garlic

3 cups shredded brussel sprouts ** 1 Tb olive oil or grapeseed oil 2 cloves of garlic, chopped sea salt to taste pepper to taste squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Saute the brussel sprouts in oil with the garlic quickly for about 2 minutes. They will turn bright green, then stop. Do not cook down to a mush of brown soggy shreds. Not good. Add salt, pepper and lemon to taste. Serve immediately or refrigerate and eat cold for lunch the next day topped with olives.

**Cut the brussel sprout in half. Lay the flat side down and cut across the sprout making little shreds. Cut down until you get to the core, compost the core.

Creamy Fennel Soup

1 large fennel bulb, quartered, cored and roughly chopped 3 small golden beets, washed, roughly chopped 1 onion, roughly chopped 1 apple, roughly chopped 2 cloves of garlic 1 cup parsley (optional) water, sea salt and lemon

In some nice olive oil saute the vegetables (except parsley) for about 5 minutes. Add water to just under the top of the vegetables, don't completely cover it. You can always add more water, but you can't take it out. Simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes. If you are going to turn your soup green, add parsley now, otherwise leave it out. Puree soup to a nice smooth texture and return to pot. Add sea salt to taste, and a nice squeeze of lemon. If you leave the parsley out your soup will look more like that pictured on the top of this page. I know it turns it a weird color so if you prefer you can add some chopped parsley to the soup after blending. My kids ate it up though, color and all.