I do about half my work at a place we call VHQ or Vivian Howard headquarters. An old tire warehouse that my mother-in-law transformed into a loft-style apartment, VHQ has been my dream office for nearly two years now. Only 3 blocks from our restaurants, VHQ is where I test recipes, where I wrote my book, where I exercise, where we shoot portions of the show and more often than not, where I eat lunch.
Sometimes a made from scratch soup, sometimes a kitchen sink saute of leftovers from testing recipes and sometimes a salad so big a Whopper burger has fewer calories, Lunch at the Q is generally the highlight of our little team’s day. This blog is my account of some of the stuff we throw together in the name of a tasty, healthy lunch. Enjoy!
All measurements are only suggestions and are not true measurements. This is super casual cooking that anyone can do in their own kitchen.
• Frozen Blueberries – 1 cup
• Frozen Banana – 1 whole
• Almond Milk – 1/2 cup
• Greek Yogurt – 1/2 cup
• Barlean's Total Omega – 1 to 2 Tablespoons
• Orange Juice – 1/2 cup
• Strawberries – green top removed, quartered
• Mandarins – peeled and segmented
• Kiwis – peeled and sliced
• Coconut Chips (dried slices of coconut)
• Almond Slices - toasted and salted
• Viv's Addiction (jazzed up pecans - recipe follows)
1. Place all of the smoothie ingredients (not the fruit topping or the garnish) into a blender and puree until smooth. Pour smoothie contents into a bowl.
2. Top with nuts and fruit.
3. Lightly garnish with hemp and chia seeds - drizzle with honey.
• 2 egg whites
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 1 tablespoon ground chipotle
• 1 tablespoon ground cumin
• 2 teaspoons paprika
• 4 cups pecan halves or pieces
1. Preheat your oven to 350F. In your mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the whites till they are very foamy. Continue whisking and slowly add the salt and sugar. Bring the egg whites to stiff peaks. Then whisk in the chipotle, coriander, cumin, and paprika.
2. Using a spatula, fold in the pecans, taking care to coat them evenly in the egg-whites mixture. Transfer the egg-white-coated nuts to a baking sheet lined with either parchment paper or a Silpat. Spread the nuts out into a single layer so they cook evenly.
3. Bake the pecans on the center rack of your oven for 10 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and, using a metal spatula, turn them over and break up any nut clumps you see. Do this a couple more times over the course of 20 more minutes. The pecans will be dark brown and should sound dry and flat rather than muddled and moist when you tap them with your spatula. This should take about 30 minutes in total, but the freshness of your pecans will really determine their cook time. Just-shelled pecans will require more time in the oven than those from the grocery store.
4. Remove the pecans from the oven and let them cool on the sheet tray. Break them up once they're cool. Store the pecans in an airtight container for up to 5 days.