Kitchen Confidential

At the Free People home offices we have so many amazing things available to us. One that I’m sure many employees will tell you that they’re grateful for, is the amazing food. You can either head over to our dining hall called 543 or stop at the café Jharoka – both of which offer menus that are stocked with gourmet ingredients and creative pairings. The offering includes some of the freshest ideas in the culinary world today: smoked tofu and pear chicken salad with blackberry jam and arugula on a brioche, or, for the non-vegetarians, how about a grilled flank with balsamic mushrooms, horseradish mayonnaise and spring mix on semolina hero? The people behind these masterpieces are talented chefs, baristas, sauciers – they each have a reputable background and an artistry to share.

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Meet Corbin – our 543 drink specialist who’s prepping up his magical Hangover Smoothie. FP Jemma will tell you that he steams the best cappuccino, and he’ll humbly profess that it’s what he loves to do. We talked to him while he got to work at the blender, learning all about his love of drinks and how he uses vitamin B12 to cure our post party pains.

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Where did you work before this? Before this I worked at various coffee shops, always making drinks.

And how long have you been with the company? About a year now

How did you develop this hangover recipe – was it out of necessity? Ha – not so much…I mainly just researched ingredients. It’s about trial and error – getting to know ingredients and what they’re good for. I then combine things with similar benefits to make a power house recipe with a specific benefit, like weight loss or energy.

How does this smoothie help to cure a hangover? Bananas, spinach, and B12 have a lot of potassium which will give you a big kick and make you feel good. The B12 also has great added energy benefits. The Kale is just good for everything – it’s so nutrient-rich.

Where do you get inspiration? Are there any sources you often use for research? I mainly just talk to people, I visit other juice bars, and the internet – I look a lot of things up on the internet…

What’s next? I’m going to be adding supplements to the cleanses more. So far I’ve just been making combinations with the juicer like carrot, ginger, and lemon – no water or anything added. I’m going to start putting in supplements like Spirulina and Echinacea. For the New Year there will be a whole cleansing regiment offered. Employees can pick up a package of 6 juices each day to either use as a liquid diet or to add on top of a healthy eating regimen.

Here’s how to make the hangover smoothie:

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Ingredients (Serves 2)

One handful (approx 1 cup) of Washed Spinach

4 Leaves of Washed Dinosaur Kale

2 Bananas

1 Cup of Soy Milk

4-5 Drops of Liquid B12

¾ Cup of Chopped Ice

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Directions

Put it all in the blender & drink!

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He left us with a bottle of the first batch. It was full of banana-y flavor, and although not hungover, it definitely put some pep in our step.

Chilled Lentil Salad

Most people do not eat many lentils, but they’re a great food to try and incorporate into your diet more often. Technically legumes, they are high in protein (especially great for vegetarians), and have a multitude of vitamins like magnesium, iron, zinc and vitamin B.  They’re also good to lower cholesterol, but perhaps the best part is that these little guys are extremely filling which isn’t always the case with healthy foods.

I’ve been trying to eat lentils more often, and this week’s recipe is my first stab at a chilled lentil salad. I used to think that lentils were hard to cook, and generally stayed away from them. After reading up a bit, I realized I was wrong – they’re just about as easy to cook as rice. Some might think lentils can get a bit bland, but that’s why I’ve added some kick with Serrano peppers for this recipe. The onions throughout help to add a bit of crunch, and the spinach is just plain tasty. This is a great to-go lunch or side dish for dinner.

photo incorporates tomatoes which aren’t in this recipe, but feel free to add them in! (via the grub daily)

Ingredients:

2 Cups of Dried Green Lentils

6 Cups of Hot Water

5 Cups of Spinach

3 Serrano Peppers

1 Red Onion

½ Tbsp Cumin Seeds

½ Tbsp Minced Ginger

2 Tbsp Grapeseed Oil

Directions:

Pour dried lentils into a strainer and pick over for any bad looking bits.

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Rinse a few times, mixing around with your hand to be sure every piece gets rinsed well.

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Throw into a pot, with 6 cups of hot water, and let cook for about 25-30 minutes.

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Slice onion and peppers, mince ginger, and throw into a saucepan with grapeseed oil to sauté.

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While that is sautéing mix cumin seeds into your lentils, and then begin to stir in spinach. You’ll have to stir it in bit by bit as bulky spinach moistens and wilts, creating space to add more.

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Once onions begin to appear transparent, mix everything in the sauce pan into your lentils. Let sit until they reach room temperature, and then stick them in the fridge to chill overnight.

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Okay, it’s not the prettiest food out there, but it sure is delicious – and good for you!