Those of you who are regular readers of Oui, Chef learned of one of my musical heros not long ago when I wrote our first "Meatless Monday" post inspired by one of my all-time favorite musicians, Paul McCartney. Today you get another peek into the dark recesses of my musical mind as I am dedicating today's treat to another one of my favorite bands, Van Halen.
I know, I know…..Van Halen and The Beatles are stylistically light years apart, but my musical tastes are nothing if not eclectic. When you add Pink Floyd, Steeley Dan, Mark Knopfler, Dave Mathews, Phish, and Maynard Ferguson to the mix of artists that round out the top of my charts, there is hardly any sense to be made of my tastes at all…..talk about a diverse bunch. If there is one thread that can connect all these disparate bands, it is simply this. From Maynard Ferguson, one of the best-ever jazz trumpeters, to Eddie Van Halen, these bands all boast virtuoso musicians. I will listen to almost any musical genre (rap and country are the exceptions) as long as I'm listening to the very best musicians practice their art.
So why am I now dedicating a recipe to Eddie Van Halen and company? Well, for those of you who don't follow the band (that would be most of you, yes?), Van Halen just released its first album in almost 30 years with it's original lead-singer David Lee Roth, and for me, that is cause for celebration. I could go on and on about how great the record is, but you didn't come here for an album review so I'll leave the praises to the folks at Rolling Stone.
When the news of the new album (and the tour to support it) hit, both my brother and my brother-in-law suggested I create a dish for the occasion. I considered a "Runnin' with the Devil" Chili, and even a "Somebody Get Me a Doctor" Burger, but both sounded a little scary. I've opted instead to name a dish after "Stay Frosty", one of my favorite songs on the new album. The song, a not too distant cousin to "Ice Cream Man" one of the hits off their first album, starts as a quirky acoustic ditty but half-way through explodes into a full-on screaming metal boogie. It's awesome, and certainly worthy of being the namesake of this tasty smoothie.
For those of you that don't regularly make smoothies, shame on you. They are quick, nutritious, and a great way to use up old fruit you may have laying about. When I teach my Cooking Matters classes, I always show the gang how to make a smoothie, and it fast becomes a favorite way for my students to use up left-over fruits AND veggies. That's right, you can totally add left-over veggies like carrots and spinach into a fruit smoothie, and as long as you don't add too much you won't even notice they're there, and neither will your kids!
The key to easy smoothie making is having some frozen fruit within reach, so the next time you have some sad and tired bananas on the counter, peel them, chop them into chunks and freeze them in a Zip-Lok bag. Same goes for strawberries, blueberries, peaches…..whatever you have laying about that is at risk of hosting a fruit-fly insurgency, chop 'em, bag 'em and freeze 'em. If you keep a variety of frozen fruits on-hand you are never far from a breakfast smoothie or a mid-afternoon snack for the kids. If you don't have any frozen fruit around and use fresh instead, just add a handful of ice to stay frosty!
Rock on! – Steve
Blueberry - Banana Smoothie
- 1 frozen banana, cut into chunks
- 1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
- 1/2 cup greek style vanilla yogurt
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 scoop (20 grams) Whey Protein Powder
- Chuck it all in a blender and process until the frozen bits are fully pulverized, about 30-45 seconds.