Late to the (Vitamix) Party

September 30, 2016

Amazing that it has taken me this long. I've done the Ninja, and we had a tiny Nutribullet for tropical smoothies when we lived in the islands. My sister and I also co-own a vintage Champion juicer that we scored at our local thrift shop. We lug that veritable car engine out every so often to make the kids frozen fruit treats, the creamiest guacamole you can imagine, and the occasional batch of homemade hummus.

 

I had heard of the wonders of the Vitamix, eavesdropping on some soccer moms who swore it was the one appliance that lived on their counters because it got more use than even their toaster. I thought to myself, all of this, for a blender?

 

Then this year, for my birthday, J and the kids surprised me with a package in the center of the island, wrapped in red Christmas print kitten paper, because that's what's left at the end of birthday week, where 3/5 of our family celebrate. Inside, was a gorgeous new Vitamix!

 

 I was on my way to teach a class, but quickly blended up a fabulous green smoothie concoction of curly kale, cucumbers from the garden, ginger, lime, avocado and a handful of frozen peaches from my Dad's memorial tree, that all came ripe at once.  See the result below:

 

 

 

Oh, you had me at instant green smoothies, but there is no end to the fun I am having with this thing. A quick batch of sweet crepes for Pip after school, and then friends dropped by for a late summer dinner of basil-kale walnut pesto, and a tweak on the Vitamix recipe book's sun-dried tomato cream sauce that turned into the best second day soup ever. Our garden tomatoes are just finishing, and the dehydrator is busy, turning them into summer flashback taste packs to live in the freezer, so I see this soup finding its way into our winter dinner rotation:

 

 

 

 

SUN-DRIED TOMATO BISQUE with kale-basil-walnut pesto and Greek yogurt

 

2 cups whole fat milk

1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth

3 tablespoons pizza or other red sauce (we typically have Don Pepino on hand)

2 tablespoons cream cheese

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

1 cup sun-dried tomatoes in light olive oil

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

2-3 sprigs fresh basil (or 2 teaspoons dried basil?)

1 garlic clove, peeled, or more to taste

 

Place all items in Vitamix in order listed, select Hot Soups, and let the magic happen.

 

Garnish with kale-basil-walnut pesto, Greek yogurt and cracked pepper. Serve hot.

 

 

 

 

KALE-BASIL-WALNUT PESTO

 

1/2 cup virgin olive oil

1/4 Parmesan cheese

1/4 Asiago cheese

2-3 gloves of garlic, peeled

1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves

1 cup curly kale leaves, pulled off the spines

1/4 walnuts

salt and pepper to taste

 

Place ingredients in Vitamix in order listed. Blend at 1, turning up to 7.

I needed to use the tamper to incorporate all the leafy greens.

Makes just under 1 cup of pesto, enough to garnish soups and coat about 1 lb of pasta.

 

To round out a complete meal, make the bisque as your first course. Put a pot of pasta on to boil, sauté chicken or shrimp in olive oil and chopped garlic, and serve that over the pasta with the pesto as the main meal.

 

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