Tag Archives: green

Green Recipe Fail and Success: Perfect Green Coconut Chocolate Protein Ice Cream

My attempt at a green dosa

My attempt at a green dosa

I’m sharing with you a recipe (semi) fail today.  Sometimes life is not perfect.

I ate my first dosa from Dosa Royale eaten at the Brooklyn Smorgasburg.  I wish I had a photo to show it — it was huge and delicious!   A dosa is a savory crepe made from a fermented batter of rice flour and black lentils.  I was inspired to try making a savory zucchini one at home

zucchini batter

Zucchini batter

I don’t have a crepe pan — but that shouldn’t be the cause of my fail because I’ve made many crepes on a regular non-stick skillet.  Bu this time, nothing stayed together when I tried to flip it. 😦   Maybe I need a new skillet?  Or perhaps there wasn’t enough oil?   Wanting the salvage the remaining batter, I decided to try baking it in the toaster oven.  I had better luck with this, but who bakes a crepe!?  Anyway, here is the result.  It is crepe-like and similar to the dosa I had, but with a nice tea green shade:

zucchini crepe

I used it to make a breakfast burrito (with beans, egg, cheese, salsa, and onions).  The flavor is wonderful, even though it is not very “pretty”.


These days, I am so busy with my artwork, I don’t have as much time to noodle around experimenting in the kitchen, but it is a nice way to procrastinate!  For breakfast, I’m sticking with my perfected Green Coconut Chocolate Protein Ice Cream.  It is similar to my Green Coconut Chocolate Spinach Smoothie, but instead of psyllium husk (I know, I’m losing out on the extra fiber…!), I use a pinch of xanthum gum which I picked up at the health food store.  It gives it a really nice smooth and creamy ice cream feel.

AH... dessert for breakfast! I garnish it with toasted unsweetened coconut and sliced almonds and chia seeds.

AH… dessert for breakfast! I garnish it with toasted unsweetened coconut and sliced almonds and chia seeds.

This is the perfect light breakfast on a hot summer day.  If you can find xanthum gum, try it out — a little goes a lo..o.o…o..ng way!



In other news, my son, Jamie and his friend have recently started blogging.  For a peek at what ten year old boys and girls are writing, check out their blogs at:

http://storiesonclouds.wordpress.com/ and his friend, P’s http://hefordandmelly.wordpress.com/ blogs.  Both are creative writing blogs. It is pretty obvious which one is written by the boy and which is written by the girl!

Perfect Green Coconut Chocolate Protein Ice Cream

2-3 ice cubes

1/4 frozen banana (I slice them and freeze, so this is about 4 slices)

1 cube of frozen coconut milk (or 2 tablespoons)

About 1/2 cup frozen fruit — I use blueberries and strawberries often

1 pinch of xanthum gum

1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

a little less than 1/4 cup milk

teaspoon of toasted coconut and almond for garnish (optional)

1.  Crush ice cubes and coconut milk in blender.

2.  Pour in remaining ingredients and blend. Use a tamper to press everything down — I use a Vitamix.  If you don’t have a tamper, I would just keep stirring it every now and then by hand to remove clumps, and blend again.

3.  Pour into a  bowl and top with crunchy toasted coconut and almond topping if you desire!

Here is my semi-fail recipe if you are interested — still needs work!

Zucchini “Dosa”

1 medium sized zucchini

1 egg

2 tablespoons pancake mix (I used TJ’s multigrain)

1 tablespoons grated parmesan

salt to taste

about 2 tablespoons water to thin batter

non-stick spray

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Cut eight  5 x 5 inch squares out of parchment paper and lay four of them on top on baking sheet.  Spray paper with nonstick spray. Set aside.

2.  Blend ingredients in a blender.

3.   Spoon batter onto parchment and spread into circles or squares.  Bake for about 10-12 minutes.  Cover each square with paper then flip pancake so that the cooked side is down.  Bake for another 5-7 minutes until pancake is done.  Cool and store in refrigerator or eat immediately.


Filed under Breakfast, Desserts, Uncategorized

Green Egg and Avocado Salad and Saint Patrick’s Day Reunion

My friend, Jennifer, came to visit us on Saint Patrick’s Day this past weekend.  We hadn’t seen each other since 1993!  That was many lifetimes ago when we were both graduate students of Linguistics at Stanford. We had a wonderful morning together catching up and reminiscing.

The year I met Jennifer, my second year of grad school, was the lowest point in my life. I realized I was on the wrong path.

The day I actually made the concrete decision to leave academia was when I was staying with Jennifer and her family in Los Angeles during an LSA (Linguistic Society of America) conference.  Surrounded by brilliant scholars passionate about their work, I felt like an impostor and completely disconnected.  During one of the conference days I cut out and met my dad and his wife for lunch.  We had a long heart to heart talk.  They were amazingly supportive and told me to “go for it” — to pursue my dream of illustrating and writing children’s books.

I also took it as a “sign” that Jennifer’s mom, Caroline Arnold, was (and still is!) an amazing award winning children’s book author and illustrator of over a hundred books.

I dropped out of my program at the end of that year (my department was nice enough to grant me an MA!)  I went to art school in Pasadena and later came to NYC to pursue a career in children’s books.

Jennifer continued successfully at Stanford and eventually became a professor of Psycholinguistics at University of North Carolina.  We had lost touch for many years, but reconnected recently on Facebook.

If you told me nineteen years ago during my “life crisis” that I would someday be having brunch with Jennifer in Brooklyn in 2012, happily married and having my dream career (even sharing a publisher with her mom!), it would seem TOO good to be true.  It is also surprising and wonderful that we both have sons just months apart in age!

Her visit made me remember how blessed I am.  In a visceral, tears-of-joy kind of way.  I am SO lucky to have such supportive people in my life and to have had the opportunity to pursue my passion–no matter how crazy and out of reach it seemed at the time.

This Saint Patrick’s Day was more like a second Thanksgiving Day for me — as corny as that sounds!


Green egg salad in Romaine lettuce leaf--it looked "greener" in person!!

Here is a belated green dish to commemorate Saint Patrick’s Day that I had made the day before.  I used my whipped cottage cheese for extra nonfat protein, but you could substitute mayonnaise.

Unwhipped new container of cottage cheese.

After processing -- silky smooth!

Green Egg and Avocado Salad

3 hard boiled eggs, chopped

3 tablespoons whipped cottage cheese (or mayonnaise)

1 tablespoon minced onion

kosher salt to taste

pepper to taste

1/2 ripe avocado, mashed

1.  Mix together and use as a dip, as a sandwich spread, or as part of an hors d’ Oeuvre.

On pita chip

Pita Chips

1 pita

non-stick spray

kosher salt or other seasonings

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.  Cut pita in half, then fourths, then eighths.  Split each triangle into one layer.

3.  Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil.  Spray with non-stick spray.  Lay pita triangles in a single layer and spray again.  Season with salt or other seasonings.

4.  Bake, watching closely (thinner triangles brown faster) for about 6-9 minutes.  Cool.


Filed under Lunch, Snack, Uncategorized

Green as a Bean: Another Class Visit and Miso Green Beans

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I thought today it would be appropriate to share some green artwork and some green food. 🙂

Earlier this month, I did my third visit to the Kindergarten classes at PS 142 and read one of my favorite book that I have illustrated, called Green As A Bean.  It is based on a wonderful poem, written in the 60s by the late Karla Kuskin.  The poem was recast as a picture books and was published several years ago.  Written in lyrical rhyme, the verse asks the reader to imagine what they might be like if they were green, soft, loud, fierce, bright…

I painted this soon after my son was born, so I had to include him -- he's the hanging baby bean.

If you were fierce...

I loved painting the illustrations because the story is so open-ended.  It was such a pleasure to create the “world” of this book.

I read it to the children in class and spoke to them about “words that describe things” (i.e. adjectives).  Then we narrowed it down to colors, since they have been studying color charts during their regular class time.  I had them imagine if they were a particular color, what would they be?

It was a nice way to ease the kids into writing down their thoughts and illustrating them.  Here are some of their creations.

blue flowers

a purple princess

a green dragon

Getting back to the color green…
It is sometimes difficult getting my son to eat enough green food.  Today I made him some special green vanilla yogurt (with the help of food coloring, not scary spores!) and he gobbled it up.  But I’m talking about real green food, namely green veggies.

One of the very few green vegetables he’s been eating since he started eating solids, though, are green beans.  I think it’s because early on I developed a recipe he loved:  Miso Green Beans.  I use Trader Joe’s French green beans — they are so good and reasonably priced. (I just hope they don’t discontinue them, as they have a tendency to do with food I love!)I make a thin paste with miso and some water and season with a bit of sugar.

"shiro" (white) more mild than "aka" (red) -- the darker the miso paste, the stronger the flavor

Then I drizzle this over cooked green beans and saute them until they are slightly browned and a bit caramelized.

They have a nice sweet and savory flavor.  You can garnish with some toasted sesame seeds for added crunch.  It also brings out the nutty sesame flavor of the sesame oil the beans are sauteed in.

Miso paste can be found in Asian food stores and health food stores.  I also love to use it in salad dressing.

Miso Green Beans

3 cups of fresh or frozen French beans

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 ½  teaspoon miso paste

½ teaspoon sugar

  1. Steam green beans until crisp tender in steamer or microwave. Drain.
  2. Saute beans in oil until softened a little.
  3. Mix miso paste, sugar and about 1 teaspoon of water in a bowl.  Add to beans and saute vigorously until beans are slightly carmelized.
  4. Serve immediately.


Filed under Art Related, Children, Sides, Vegetables