When my mom called to tell me she had a birthday present for me (my birthday was at the end of January, but I’m terrible at figuring out something to ask for, so I put it off as long as possible and hadn’t yet picked anything), but that it was impossible to bring it on BART (that’s our subway) so I should come by her house with the car, my friend and I had a great time speculating what it could be. We ultimately decided it was a helper monkey that would scamper about and wash dishes for me.
When I unwrapped it, it would be an understatement to say my jaw dropped, I was stunned speechless, and my socks were knocked waaay off. (That last one is a turn of phrase. Socks stayed on in real life.) I was so proud of myself at Christmastime for actually having a list of things I wanted that I could pass on to my mom – that’s how I ended up with all those awesome cookbooks. I keep the list for myself, of wishes big and small, and when I emailed the list to my mom it was annotated, “And, just for fun: Vitamix 5200 blender (hahahahah, a girl can dream, right? I need to get married so I can register for one!).” I would never seriously ask my mom for a $500 blender for Christmas. That would be absurd.
But apparently last month the stars aligned when a friend asked if my mom wanted to use her very significant employee discount before she left her job, and Vitamix blenders were one of the items her company sold. And my incredible, loving, generous mom figured “it’s now or never,” picked the fanciest model they had (the Professional Series 500), and completely made my day, my week, my year. The next seven years, even (the Vitamix comes with a seven year warranty), and it even seems common for Vitamix blenders to last for decades.
I’ve just unpacked it and have begun to watch the enclosed “Getting Started” DVD, so I’ll write more at a later date about actually using it. Today it is my delightful project to plan a menu for the week that highlights my new toy, puts it through its paces, and lets me explore all that it can do.
This week’s Gluten Free Menu Swap is hosted by Cheryl, our organizer, at her blog Gluten Free Goodness. The theme she picked is “quick and easy,” and that’s one of the most enticing aspects of the Vitamix. You can make hot soup in the blender. The blades go so fast they can actually heat soup. I found a fun blog, Cindalou’s Kitchen Blues, with lots of vitamix recipes, and one of my favorite features is that she shows a picture of the ingredients in the blender before she blends them. Check out this post with a picture of the ingredients of a carrot-pear smoothie. Two whole carrots and a whole pear. You just put the carrots in the blender without cutting them, and the pear without coring it. Because the Vitamix blends with such strength that it makes everything perfectly smooth and you are just getting extra fiber? Even with pear core/seed stuff? This is somewhat unbelievable to me, but I am certainly excited to start experimenting! Considering that my current blender is iffy about frozen fruit and absolutely balks at ice, this is a huge step up for me in the field of blending.
For a huge compendium of menu plans from all over the web, check out OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday round-up. And without further ado, let’s get blending!
Spinach artichoke dip (so happy to find a recipe that doesn’t call for 1 C. vegan mayo and 1 C. vegan sour cream!) follow directions in Vitamix book, p. 135
Triple berry smoothie (Vitamix book p. 38)
Shopping list: Frozen spinach, TJ’s soy yogurt to freeze, 3 lb carrots, 1 C. cashews, 1 bunch chard, frozen fruit, 1 lb frozen corn (+ extra), romaine, 3 avocados, 1 C. sunflower seeds, 2 C. parsnip, cucumber/sprouts (for nori rolls)?, apple, kale, 2 cups spinach, green onions