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I had a plan for today’s blog post – Anne’s butternut squash, leek and ginger soup. But by 5:30 AM this morning, I was already off-task, side-tracked and on to something different.

Yes, I’m a touch ADD-ish, I will admit. Maybe a touch more than a touch if I really think about it. Thank goodness for my omegas or that constant stream of ideas and visual images ricocheting around in my head would resemble a cognitive tilt-a-whirl ride. I’m not complaining though, as I’m rarely ever bored.

I promise, this evening I’ll make the soup and work on my intended post because as luck would have it, after Anne so graciously left the recipe in the comment section of my Dia de los Muertos post, I received almost all the ingredients in last night’s CSA pickup box. And it sounds so good. But for now, I’d like to offer you a pre-dawn cocktail.

Imagine this – it’s 5 AM and I’ve been up for over an hour. I’m wearing plaid flannel jammie bottoms with little skiers on them, a Marmot black fleece turtleneck and Ugg boots. Hair uncombed and pulled back in a ponytail. Brown geeky reading glasses with lime-green trim.


Okay, so what should I have for breakfast? Something light as I’m going to yoga soon, but something substantial enough to get me through yoga and a meeting shortly afterwards. A nutritious, yet mellow smoothie.

Napa cabbage and beet drippings smoothie (hey, don’t pre-judge)
1 ripe banana
1 small apple, cored and chopped into blender chunks
4 big Napa cabbage leaves, washed and chopped
1/2 cup vanilla goat yogurt
1 celery stalk, washed and chopped
10 ounces or so of beet drippings *
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
4-5 walnuts

Place all ingredients in the blender and blitz well. Serve in beautiful wine glasses and enjoy your morning. Serves two, three – or maybe just one.

* I like to roast beets (which I did last night) in the oven in a shallow baking dish with some water. Once the beets are roasted, I let the water cool, pour it in a jar (using a funnel) and store it in the refrigerator to add to smoothies. It works great as some of the beet juice filters into the water and you end up with this delightful and nutritious power liquid. For detailed information about roasting beets (and a wonderful salad recipe), please check here.

Go forth and have a power cocktail for breakfast. Seriously, this was SO good and no one would ever guess it was made with beet juice and cabbage leaves.

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15 Responses to “can I offer you a cocktail”

  1. Alta says:

    Interesting! I’ve never roasted beets with water, so at first I was like “what are beet drippings?!?!?!” Sounds healthy! It’s certainly pretty. Boy, I’m craving beets now.

  2. Boy, I thought we were sisters until you got to the Ugg boots. LOL Maybe if I lived in Colorado, I’d be an Ugg girl. πŸ˜‰ I read this recipe and read “beef” instead of “beet” … silly me! Clearly, I forgot where I was. I’m lacking a few ingredients, but I’d love to try this recipe. I believe you that’s it’s wonderful. I use cabbage in my green smoothies all the time. Now if I forget and leave it out, I notice something’s missing. Never in a million years would I have thought that! I’d like a power cocktail right now. Trying to psych myself up into heading into town to pick up a must-have item for a presentation dry run tomorrow. Waiting for the cable guys to fix my internet. I’m on dial-up at the moment–can you believe that?


  3. lo says:

    Heh. We drink our beet drippings straight up. Also drink the liquid left from steaming greens… tastes OK, but the important part for me is that I’m getting all of those important nutrients that would have been otherwise washed down the drain!

    DH thought I was crazy when he first married me and I drank the water from blanching spinach… now he drinks veggie drippings right along with me!!

  4. Hey Melissa. These smoothies sound great! I love the color on them. (I also had to laugh at the “hey, don’t pre-judge” addendum to your recipe title :))

    Cheers, Pete

  5. Lauren says:

    Well I think they sound lovely =D. Great flavours!

  6. Cid says:


    I was just eyeing up some Ugg boots recently and would wear them with exactly the same ensemble as you describe…. what does this say about us Melissa? I think it says individual and confident… slightly eccentric perhaps and creative, yes definitely creative… and hot stuff πŸ™‚ Gentlemen of my acquaintance haven’t always seen it this way of course, but never mind, we can’t always be dressed in patent stilletos with plunging necklines, not in this weather and certainly not at 5am, making beet juice. Anyway, I digress…. beet juice is great combined with other fruit and veg although it does fly everywhere in my kitchen so always have a cloth handy unless you want fuschia pink walls, that’s my advice.

    Great post Melissa and loved the ‘images ricocheting around in my head would resemble a cognitive tilt-a-whirl ride’ part…. I’m just the same but later in the day…. 5am is a crushingly early start my friend.


  7. Melissa says:


    Well, I’m definitely a beet girl as I’ve probably rambled on about beets more than any other veggie on this blog. I don’t know, maybe it’s the high sugar content or maybe it’s the color — or probably both. I love beets!

  8. Melissa says:


    Dial up? I can’t imagine, although I just got my mom switched out to cable about 2 weeks ago. She’s been on dial-up since I got her a computer, set her up on AOL and connected her with her grandchildren who are global gadabouts. It’s taking her some getting used to — the speed of cable, that is. She’s an emailing queen and most impressive, although I so spend quite a bit of time “fixing” random things that she does. And she always says, “poke” rather than “click” which drives me a little nuts. I can’t tell you how old she is because she might see this and get totally upset with me.


    As for the Uggs — I’ve been wearing Uggs since they were weird and uncool. Now that Britney, Madonna, et al wear them, I don’t leave the house in them. I do, however, have some very cool Swiss ViaMala boots, similar to Uggs, but much cuter. I do wear those out in public.

    Good luck with your presentation. Man, you are one busy girl!


  9. Melissa says:


    I’m with you on all this, I do the same weird stuff. When I wash and spin my salad greens, I use that water to water my plants. They LOVE it. I also put steaming water in jars for vegetable stock.

    Here’s to you, I say raising a shot of spinach drippings!

  10. Melissa says:


    Thanks for the comment. You know, sometimes the sound of something doesn’t do justice to how good it tastes! I should probably spend more time on my recipe titles.


    I’m loving your new book! Artisanal GF Cooking.

  11. Melissa says:


    I love smoothies and this one is wonderful, despite the idea of drinking cabbage and beet drippings. Thanks for the comment!


  12. Melissa says:


    Well, first off, I wouldn’t make it more than a few feet in patent stilettos before an unfortunate miss-step sure to be followed by an embarrassing tumble. I’m much more secure in vibram soles. My Uggs can take me anywhere, although they’re now my favorite winter house slippers. A little clunky, I will admit, but warm and cozy. However, definitely not “hot stuff” material.

    But then again, drinking beet drippings and cabbage juice at the crack of dawn isn’t all that fetching either.

    I do clean up fairly well though, although it does take some effort.


    And Cid, 5AM isn’t “crushingly early” for me, but 10PM is definitely “crushingly late.” Power smoothies aside, I’m not all that exciting.

    Here’s to fuschia pink walls and vibrant imaginations!

    P.S. I think we may be long lost cousins. You may not be wearing Uggs around the house, but as I recall, you’re known for your non-skid leopard print slippers.

  13. Cid says:


    Ah yes the all terrain non skid leopard print slippers…. I’ve got them on right now with some fetching red fleece socks…. we are cousins indeed πŸ™‚


    p.s. Melissa, I’ve made some fab mincemeat, minus the suet (beef fat) and with my own apples. It occurred to me that it’s gf and slightly different to past attempts. This time with chopped brazils and Amaretto…. this kitchen is beginning to smell like Christmas!

  14. Melissa says:


    I’ve never made mincemeat. In fact, I’m embarrassed to say I don’t even know what mincemeat is. If it’s made from apples, Brazil nuts and Amaretto — count me in! Sounds wonderful. Yes, I can smell it from here. I’ll be right over. Wait, what time is it there? Must be about 2 AM. I’ll wait until tomorrow.

    Cheers! And sleep well.

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