Green Foods

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I showcase a lot of indulgent food, but I recognize the importance of having a well-balanced diet. After this past Thanksgiving (which involved nearly two weeks of overly rich meals), I needed a slight break from the heavy dishes before the annual onslaught of gingerbread and eggnog in December. Here are three simple green snacks that are a healthy complement to your normal routine.

Kale Chips

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Kale chips are a quick and flavorful snack, which you can season a number of ways. I love smoked paprika and this recipe showcases the spice nicely. One note, I turned my oven to 425° and baked the chips for 12 minutes (to get them really crispy.)

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Green Smoothie

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Admittedly, the number of juice bars in Los Angeles has reached critical mass, with a new one popping up every day, but that's not to say that green drinks are played out. I prefer mine to be have some pulp, so rather than using a slow-juicer, I simply toss everything into a blender (I use a Vita-Mix.)

Ingredients/Recipe

- 1 bunch of kale (washed with leaves removed from center stalk)

- 1 bunch of spinach (washed)

- 4 to 5 mint stalks (leaves removed from stems)

- 1 hothouse cucumber (medium chop)

- 2 celery stalks (medium chop)

- 2 green apples (medium chop)

- Juice of 1 lemon

- 2 cups of water

Place all ingredients into the blender, mix on on high until fully blended, serve over ice or at room temperature. 

Greek Green Goddess Dip/Dressing

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Creating a delicious dip shouldn't take more than a minute or two and it's a great way to trick your body into eating more vegetables (ideal for someone like me who typically avoids them entirely). I'm still a sucker for the classic Lipton Onion Mix + Sour Cream concoction and this take on a Greek Green Goddess dip is almost as easy. You can use any combination of herbs you like, but my version uses the following:

Ingredients/Recipe

- 1 pint Fage Greek Yogurt (full fat)

- 1 bunch (each) of dill, tarragon, parsley, and mint

- 1 garlic clove

- 1 tsp salt (or more, as needed)

- Juice of 1 lemon

- Olive oil (optional, drizzle)

- Fresh ground pepper (to taste)

Place all ingredients (except olive oil) into a blender and mix on high until fully incorporated. Pour into a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and serve alongside your favorite vegetables.