kiwi kale smoothie recipe and this week’s meal plan

What did you eat over the holidays? In Japan it’s traditional to prepare an elaborate collection of osechi ryōri in advance and pull them out for oshogatsu (New Year’s day) celebrations – and then for easy meals over the next few days, rather than cook on a day meant for resting. I like the idea, but don’t love all of the classic osechi flavors so we decided to go rogue this year and skip it altogether.

Instead I took comfort food requests from mochi and the kiddo, which ended resulted in big pots of white chili and creamy chicken soup, as well as a veggie frittata to supplement our holiday meals.

Overall, the effect was the same – I spent did one big shop, spent a few hours cooking, and then was able to put meals together with minimal effort for several days. We definitely wasted less food than when we buy prepared osechi and everyone enjoyed the full meals, but we did miss the feeling of participating in the New Year’s festivities. Aside from a bowl of ozōni soup and our toshikoshi soba (year-end soba), there was nothing about our food that felt specific to the holiday. I’m planning to put together a post that discusses osechi in more detail and will update here once that’s ready.

Menu aside, it was a great week to relax and hang out as a family. The kiddo was happy to use the bike he got from santa and we visited our local shine for hatsumode (the first visit of the year). But today everyone is back to work / day care and we need to readjust to our usual rhythm.

this week’s meal plan

It’s been a while since I posted a meal plan – we got a bit off the routine during the holidays – but I’m getting back to it this week. We did a big Costco run and got a bunch of goodies, so the challenge now is to use them all up!

Here’s what I have in mind:
Monday – salmon with kale chips and quick pickles
Tuesday – mochi’s night (probably leftovers or quick rice bowls)
Wednesday – a peas and alfredo sauce pasta from one of the Smitten Kitchen cookbooks
Thursday – beef stir fry over brown rice
Friday – veggie pizzas (either brussel sprouts or asparagus, depending on which looks better)

We got a lot of fruit at Costco and though I tossed 2/3 of the blueberries and raspberries into the freezer right away, we have quite a bit of kiwi and kale to use so I’ve been making smoothies. After searching for recipe ideas, I kind of mixed the proportions from several places together for a texture and amount that works well for us.

recipe: kiwi kale smoothie

There’s enough here for 2 full adult-size glasses or 3-4 smaller portions that can be shared with the family as an accompaniment to other breakfast foods.

ingredients:
– 2 ripe bananas (mine were frozen and cut into 3-4 pieces each)
– 2 kiwis, peeled and quartered
– 1 packed cup kale (mine was baby kale)
– 2-3 tbsp honey, depending on your preference and how sweet your bananas are
– 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

method:
– toss it all into your blender and blend!

ideas for customizing:
– I don’t like it to be too thick, since that makes it harder for the kids to drink, but you could add a couple ice cubes if you prefer a heavier consistency
– you could substitute maple syrup for the honey; this would make it vegan and avoid botulism concerns if sharing with little ones
– regular milk should work in place of almond milk
– some unflavored protein powder could make it more of a meal

Do you have a favorite green smoothie? I’m always looking for new ideas!

I hope you have a great week!
kuri xx

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