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Archive for the ‘Kale’ Category

The New Black

…is an ancient black.  Forbidden rice not only has all the nutritional goodness you find in brown rice such as a high fiber content and B vitamins, it’s also packed full of anthocyanins.  Bite per bite the rice contains more of these antioxidant flavonoid pigments than blueberries.  It’s satisfyingly chewy in texture like my beloved short-grained brown rice and tastes wonderful.  We have rice or grain bowls for meals on a regular basis and usually steam some kale and another vegetable [carrots in this example] and then add a wonderfully flavorful sauce to the mix.  Bowls also make fantastically easy and filling lunchbox meals.  Here is a quick and tasty gingered carrot sauce that’ll flavor up any bowl or steamed vegetable.

 

 

Gingered Carrot Sauce

Ingredients:

16 oz carrot juice

2 T sake

1 T light miso

½ tsp sesame oil

1 tsp chili garlic sauce

2 tsp freshly minced ginger

1 T cornstarch dissolved in ¼ cup cold water

Directions:

Reduce the carrot juice by half over medium heat.  Add the remaining ingredients and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.  Add the cornstarch slurry a tablespoon at a time, allowing the sauce to come to a simmer in between additions until you achieve the consistency you desire [1 T of the slurry was perfect for me].

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Kale chips have been the rage recently and with good reason.  Compared to the potato chip, kale chips knock the spud flat when it comes to nutritional value.  Dress them up with some healthy olive oil and sprinkle with protein-rich nutritional yeast and you have a brilliant snack!  I like to marinate mine overnight prior to baking so that they are exceptionally crispy and satisfy that potato chip craving completely because the olive oil has time to permeate the kale.

Kale Chips

Ingredients:

1 bunch green kale

2 T olive oil

1 T apple cider vinegar

nutritional yeast

garlic powder

Directions:

Cut kale into potato chip-sized pieces and put into a gallon-sized ziplock bag.  Add the olive oil and apple cider vinegar.  Close the bag while deflating it of excess air.  Massage the kale with the olive oil and vinegar until it is well dressed.  Place in the refrigerator overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Place the kale onto cookie sheets, making sure to leave space around the pieces so that you do not steam, but rather roast them.  Sprinkle with a desired amount of nutritional yeast and garlic powder.

Bake for ~20 minutes or until crispy.  Enjoy fresh out of the oven while they are still warm and crunchy!

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To my mind, kale is the rock star of all greens.  I integrate it into at least one meal a day and sometimes it’s as easy as simply stuffing a handful of it into our morning green smoothies.  Most times though I try and keep it intact in shape and form and celebrate its texture and flavor through both raw and cooked means.  I think it’s important to incorporate an abundance of raw foods into our diets, along with the cooked,  in order to provide the widest possible variety of nutrients so that we may not simply live but that we may thrive.    

 

Mediterranean Kale Salad

Ingredients:

1 bunch Lacinato/dinosaur kale, sliced into thin ribbons

¼ cup pine nuts [toasting optional]

¼ cup Kalamata olives, sliced

6 sundried tomatoes, rehydrated and cut into slivers

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

¼ cup olive oil [I actually use an omega 3-6-9 blend  for most raw dishes and/or salads that contains olive oil]

2 T fresh lemon juice and zest of one lemon

Freshly-cracked black pepper

Sea salt

Directions:

Thoroughly combine all ingredients in a large bowl or plastic bag and marinate at room temperature for at least 4 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator.  The longer it’s allowed to marinate, the softer the texture of the kale will be.

Bring to room temperature before serving.

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I have fallen in love with Tofu Shirataki noodles.  They’re packed full of fiber and calcium and have such a low calorie count they are almost an afterthought.  I’ve been using them lately in everything and wanted to spread the word to those of you who may be looking for interesting and less caloric pasta choices.  They have a somewhat squidgy texture, but they’re soft unlike kelp noodles which are crunchy and brittle-textured.  Here I tossed them with some quickly sautéed kale [we have to get in our daily cruciferious fix!], shiitakes and garlic in a really quickly freshened Asian-style sauce.

 

Orange and Mushroom Noodles with Kale

Ingredients:

1 bunch lacinato kale

2 cups sliced shiitake mushroom caps

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, sliced

½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice, plus the zest of one orange

¼ cup vegetarian oyster sauce [aka mushroom sauce easily found in Asian groceries]

1 – 8 oz package Tofu Shirataki, or noodle of your choice

Directions:

Add a couple teaspoons of neutral oil to a sauté pan and bring to a medium heat.  Add the mushrooms and onion.  Sauté until softened. 

Add the orange juice, zest and vegetarian oyster sauce to a small pan and bring to a low simmer.  Allow this to simmer and reduce slightly while the vegetables cook.

Put a pot of water on to boil to heat the noodles.

Add the garlic and kale to the pan containing the mushrooms and onions.  Once the kale has wilted down [should take about 10 minutes], add the sauce and set aside.

Rinse the noodles under running water and then add to a pot of boiling water.  Boil for 2-3 minutes.  Drain and toss with the vegetables and sauce.

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This is a wonderfully quick and delicious autumnal whole grain-based salad.  It can be served at any temperature you wish, but is very nice when warmed.  I like to serve this over a pile of soft butter lettuce as a side dish to my gyros seitan for a hearty meal on a cold night.

 

Warm Bulgur Salad

Ingredients:

1 cup coarse bulgur

1 cup diced green beans

½ cup toasted pine nuts

12 dried apricots, cut into slivers

¼ cup mint, chopped

¼ cup Italian parsley, chopped

1 leek, sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

6 leaves dinosaur kale, finely chopped

Lemon vinaigrette with oregano  

  • 1T lemon juice + 2T olive, flax or nut oil + 1 tsp oregano

Salt and pepper

Directions:

Bring 2½ cups of water or vegetable stock [If you want a more savory flavor] to a boil.  Add the bulgur, stir and cover.  Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Once the grain is tender simply drain off excess liquid and set aside.

While the bulgur is perking away, over medium heat, sauté the green beans, leek, garlic and kale in a small drizzle of olive oil until tender.  Add the apricots and pine nuts.  Toss to combine.  Transfer the drained bulgur to a large bowl and add the sautéed vegetables, parsley and mint.   Pour as much of the lemon and oregano vinaigrette over the bulgur salad as you wish and mix well.   Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

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This may seem like a rather odd combination on the surface,  but let me tell you, this was delicious.  Not only is this velvety sauce a snap to make, but it’s vibrant, healthy and a great way to rock your greens!

 

Creamy Avocado and Coconut-Dressed Greens

Ingredients:

1 lb dinosaur/lacinato kale, cut into thin shreds

1-1/4 cup coconut water, divided

2 cloves garlic, minced

 1 cup avocado

1 long strip of lemon zest

squeeze of lemon juice

1 tsp freshly minced ginger

pinch of salt

coconut oil

Optional:  sesame seeds, to garnish

Directions:

Add a drizzle of coconut oil to a large pan and sauté the garlic until fragrant.  Add the kale and stir through.  Add 1 cup coconut water and cover turning heat to medium low.  Braise the greens until soft.

Add avocado, ginger, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt to a blender.  Add coconut water a little bit at a time until a sauce comes together and has the consistency of tomato ketchup. [You want it on the thick side but still pourable.] 

Once the greens are soft, drain and transfer to a bowl.  Add the sauce and mix well.  Garnish with sesame seeds or lemon zest if you wish.

 

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We were in Trader Joe’s recently and picked up some whole wheat lavash.  It’s a bit thicker than a tortilla and far thinner than the traditional pizza crust Americans are used to piling toppings upon.  If you’re in a hurry, or want a lighter style pizza, this is the way to go.

 

Eggplant,  Zucchini and Kale Pizza with a Sun-Dried Tomato and Cashew Cheese

Ingredients:

one eggplant, peeled and cut into a medium dice

2 zucchini, medium dice

1 bunch kale, washed and cut into ribbons

1/3 cup dried apricots, cut into slices

1/2 onion, diced

1 head garlic

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

fresh oregano

For the Sundried Tomato and Cashew Cheese:

1 block extra firm silken tofu

1 cup raw cashews

1/2 cup sundried tomatoes packed in oil

1 tsp dried oregano

2 cloves garlic

a squeeze of fresh lemon juice [about a tablespoon’s worth]

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°. 

Lightly spray eggplant with olive oil and toss to coat.  Spread upon a baking sheet and place in the oven.  Cut the top off the entire head of garlic and drizzle with olive oil.  Wrap in foil and place in the oven.  Bake the eggplant and garlic for 45 minutes, tossing the eggplant halfway through.

While the eggplant and garlic are in the oven, sauté the onion in a bit of olive oil until softened.  Add the zucchini and sauté until the edges are caramelized.  Transfer to a bowl.  Place the pan back on the stove and, once heated, add another drizzle of olive oil and add the kale.  Toss until coated then add a cup of water and the dried apricots.  Turn down to a simmer and cook until the greens have wilted and the apricots are rehydrated.  Drain, if necessary, and set aside.

To make the cheese:  Add tofu, cashews, sundried tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice and oregano to a food processor. Pulse until incorporated.  Season with salt and pepper.

Once the eggplant and garlic have roasted, remove and add the eggplant to the sautéed onions and zucchini.  Place a lavash bread upon a baking sheet and pop into the oven for 4-5 minutes to crisp up a bit.  [You do not want the lavash to get gooey when you add the toppings.]  Spread the cheese onto the lavash using a spatula.  Top with the cooked vegetables and cloves of roasted garlic.  Bake for a few minutes until warmed.  Garnish with the toasted pine nuts and fresh oregano.

 

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