Cook | No fancy-shmancy appliances, just greens and juices

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The bane of my marriage is the Vitamix, a super blender known for its ability to pulverize fibrous leafy greens and demolish fruit. My husband, Alex, wants one. I don’t. My reasons are simple: 1) counter space 2) the cost of the thing 3) the cost of the produce it would take to feed the thing.

We debate about whether to get one every eight weeks or so.

This whole ongoing “conversation” is our friend David’s fault. David is deeply committed to yoga and kale shakes. He and my husband used to share deep and meaningful conversations over cycling, artisanal tequila and the merits of blending produce. Now I catch them bonding over sleep training the babies. Interspersed, David texts Alex ammo for the Vitamix campaign. Like, per calorie, kale has more iron than beef — “Let’s drink kale!” And pasteurization kills nutrients — “Think of the children!”

In my attempts to counterattack, I’ve developed recipes that utilize whole greens and feature delightful, fresh-squeezed juices in meals that you can actually chew.

We’re Jewish, I tell my husband. If God meant us to drink our supper, he would have sent us wandering for 40 years in a place that had better produce. Perhaps with a communal blender or two.



Kale & Parmesan Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Serves 4
1⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
2 Tbs. fresh orange juice
1 tsp. lemon zest, grated
1/2 tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 cups kale, stems removed, leaves torn
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1⁄3 cup dry-cured Moroccan olives, pitted
1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts
In a pint-size glass jar or sealable container, combine olive oil, lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Shake vigorously. Place kale in a large salad bowl. Toss with dressing to taste. Add 1⁄4 cup Parmesan cheese and Moroccan olives. Toss. Garnish with remaining Parmesan and the pine nuts.



Super Simple Five-Spice Chicken

Serves 4
3 Tbs. olive oil
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder*
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
plenty of fresh black pepper
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 orange, juiced (3-4 Tbs.)
2 Tbs. parsley or cilantro, coarsely chopped
In a large, shallow bowl, mix together olive oil, chili powder, five-spice powder, garlic, salt and pepper. Add chicken breasts and flip to coat.
Heat a large, heavy skillet, griddle or outdoor grill over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking hot. Place chicken on cooking surface. If using griddle or skillet, allow excess marinade to moisten the pan. If using outdoor grill, shake off excess marinade before cooking. Regardless of cooking method, cover and cook over medium heat 7-9 minutes per side or until chicken is cooked through.
Let chicken rest on cutting board 3-5 minutes. Slice on the diagonal. Transfer to serving platter and squeeze fresh orange juice on chicken. Garnish with parsley or cilantro.
*If you can’t find five-spice in the store (McCormick makes a good one), substitute equal parts ground anise, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground fennel seed and then a half portion of ground Sichuan peppercorns.


Josie A.G. Shapiro won the 2013 Man-O Manischewitz Cook-Off, is the co-author of “The Lazy Gourmet” and works at the JCC of San Francisco. Her columns alternate with those of Faith Kramer. Her website is

Josie A.G. Shapiro

Josie A.G. Shapiro won the 2013 Man-O-Manischewitz Cookoff and is the co-author of “The Lazy Gourmet.”