Let’s skip the small talk and get right to this salad-as-a-meal.
1 cup quinoa
1 package of baby kale, or a bunch of any kale will do
2 portabello mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic, minced
5 basil leaves
about 1/3 cup olive oil
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey or brown sugar (or another sweetener of choice)
salt and pepper
- You’ll need to get your quinoa going first. Follow the package directions, or do it this way. I tend to use much less water than is recommended because let’s face it – soggy quinoa is gross: Boil 1.5 cups of water. Once it boils, add the quinoa, bring to a boil, and then lower to a simmer and cover for about 15 minutes.
- While that is happening, prepare your mushrooms. You can choose to scrape out the gills with a spoon (that’s what I like to do). Then, chop your portobello mushrooms into bite sized pieces. Toss it with a small amount of olive oil, the minced garlic, and some salt and pepper. Sauté over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until they are very soft.
- Now that you have your hot food going, it’s time prep the kale. Your kale should be washed and drained. If not, do that. Then, roll it up into a tube and cut it into slivers. Put the kale in your big serving bowl.
- For the dressing, it helps to have a mini food prep. Chop up the shallot and toss it in there with 1/4 cup of olive oil, basil leaves, dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, sugar or honey, salt, and pepper. If you do not have a small food processor, you can just mince your pieces up really tiny and give it all a good whisk.
- By now, your mushrooms are probably ready and that is great because you don’t want to use a million pans. You can rinse the same pan you used for the mushrooms and toast up some sliced almonds on low in it for about 2-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Just watch them or they will burn! Remove from heat.
- Time to put it all together! Make sure your quinoa is dry enough. If not, drain it. Then, add the cooked quinoa and mushrooms on top of the kale. Stir it all together while it is still warm, and the kale will wilt a little. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Top with toasted almonds.
To celebrate the historic SCOTUS ruling, let’s enjoy these rainbow fruit and vegetable pops. I love berry season, but fresh berries have such a short shelf life. This technique preserves the fleeting berrylicious flavors of early summer. As an added bonus, these are made with raw kale and carrots too. You can use any combination of fruits and vegetables that you happen to have around. Let me know if you have any favorite combinations! Here’s what you do: Put the following in a high-powered blender: -handful of blueberries -handful of strawberries -handful of frozen chopped kale -handful of carrots -1 cup of water Blend on high until smooth, adding water as needed until it liquifies. The consistency should be quite thin. Pour into ice-pop molds and freeze overnight (the ones pictured are made by munchkin and make the perfect size for little ones. However, we still cut the pop into little pieces for our little munchkin–its just less messy that way). Enjoy!
As a follow-up from yesterday, here is a flavorful and simple asparagus recipe. This makes enough for 4 servings. Thanks to Bev Cooks for this recipe. I discovered that green lentils make for a nice weeknight meal because the whole thing took less than 30 minutes.
- 1 cup green lentils
- 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbs. freshly minced fresh ginger
- 1 Tbs Indian curry powder
- 1/2 bunch asparagus, sliced into 1-inch pieces
- 1 bunch kale, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 lemon
- coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lentils and cook until tender, about 25 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium high. Add the onion and saute until it starts to soften, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds. Add the curry powder and a pinch of salt and pepper. Continue to cook the spices for another 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
- Add the asparagus and saute until bright green, 2 minutes. Add the kale and continue to saute until wilted, another 2 minutes.
- Drain the lentils and add them to the kale mixture. Toss to combine. Sprinkle with lots of cilantro and a good squeeze of the lemon juice. Add more salt to taste.
- Serve with more cilantro and lemon juice
Trade in your green beer for a green smoothie this St. Patrick’s Day!
I was a skeptic of drinking my greens until recently, and now I’m hooked. For the fellow skeptics, start with just a few greens and then slowly add more each time. We’ve been aiming for a ratio of half vegetables and half fruits, with most of the vegetables being leafy greens. Many people ask, “Why smoothies instead of juice?” I have two main related reasons: less waste and easier clean-up. I like knowing that I’m getting all the nutritional benefits of the whole fruit and vegetable. Also, I hate cleaning up. The vitamix blender I use has a clean setting, so all I have to do is rinse out the soap at the end. Any variation of this smoothie makes for a very filling breakfast or snack.
Today’s smoothie included the following ingredients, many of which were available at this morning’s farmer’s market. It’s fun and healthy to vary the ingredients daily, and pretty much any combination is good.
- 1 cup kale (assorted)
- 1/4 cup vitamin greens
- 1 carrot
- 1 green apple, peeled and cut into quarters
- 1/2 cup frozen peaches
- 1 banana, chopped
- Blend 2 cups of water with the kale and vitamin greens until you have a gorgeous green water.
- Put the rest of the ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.
- Drink right away, or put some in the fridge for later or the next day.
I have a funny feeling that you want more kale recipes. Here you go! I used curly kale for this one. Also, disclaimer that I didn’t measure anything, so please adjust amounts to make it the way you like it. Have a good variation of this recipe? Let me know!
- 4 cups kale
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
- 1 large parsnip, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place parsnips on a sheet pan and toss well with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes, or until soft.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-low heat. Cook the onions for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until evenly browned. You can add a bit of water if the pan starts to dry out.
3. Combine basil, garlic, mustard, lemon, vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper in a food processor. Blend until smooth, adding small amounts of water as needed until the desired consistency. Add salt to taste.
4. Now the fun part: Place the kale in a large bowl and gently stir in onions and parsnips. Use your hands to coat the kale evenly with the dressing.
This Epicurious recipe is a great way to use the vegetables you can find at the Farmer’s Market even after a week of below freezing temps. Thanks to LF for bringing this over for brunch and then leaving the leftovers so I could have it for dinner, too. It went well with a vegetable frittata and sourdough bread. Although this recipe calls for Tuscan, you can use any kale that is available.
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large bunches of Tuscan kale (about 1 1/2 pounds total), center stem discarded, leaves thinly sliced
- 12 ounces brussels sprouts, trimmed, finely grated or shredded with a knife
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/3 cup almonds with skins, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup finely grated Pecorino
This recipe comes from Food and Wine’s March 2012 issue. The kale, carrots, and garlic came from the Carroll Garden’s farmer’s market.
- 1 cup long-grain brown rice
- 1 cup red quinoa
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 1 carrot, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
- 1/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thinly sliced
- 1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
- 1 head of broccoli—stems peeled and sliced into coins, heads cut into small florets
- One 12-ounce bunch kale, large stems discarded
- 1/4 cup tahini, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 ripe avocado, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 cup mung bean sprouts (I omitted these)
- In a medium saucepan, cover the brown rice with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the rice is just tender, about 40 minutes. Drain and return the rice to the saucepan; keep covered.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the quinoa with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover the saucepan and simmer over low heat until the quinoa is tender and all of the water has been absorbed, 20 minutes.
- In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the carrot and cook until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the shiitake, cover and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the zucchini, season with salt and cook, stirring a few times, until tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet. Add the broccoli, cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring a few times, until deep green, 5 minutes. Add the kale, cover and cook, stirring a few times, until the broccoli and kale are just tender, 4 minutes. Season with salt. Stir in the other vegetables.
- In a small bowl, whisk the tahini with the lemon juice, garlic, warm water and crushed red pepper. Season with salt.
- Transfer the brown rice and quinoa to bowls. Top with the cooked vegetables, diced avocado and bean sprouts (if using). Serve, passing the tahini sauce at the table.