Friday, September 30, 2011

Tangy Kale Salad

  Move over pomegranate, Kale is the superfood de jour.  This leafy green has a crisp nutty taste that lends itself well to stews, stir-fries, and salads. Kale is ripe with antioxidants and is high in vitamins K, C, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and calcium.  The best part about Kale, besides it's long list of body-do-good stuff, is that it is pretty tasty.
  Usually when a waiter points to the "Salad" section of the menu in response to my vegetarian requests, I have to fight back an eye-roll. But with this salad recipe, the only eye-rolling you'll be doing is in pure delight.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1.One large head of Kale (rinsed well, ribs removed, and torn into salad sized pieces)
  • ¼ cup of Lemon Juice or the Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 tbsps. of a good extra virgin olive oil.
  • 3 cloves of mashed garlic 
  • Red pepper flakes to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2/3 cup of grated Asiago or Parmesan Cheese (for a vegan version add 2 tbsp of nutritional Yeast at step # 2)
  • ½ cup bread crumbs (crushed croutons also work nicely)

Here's what you gotta do:

  1. Mix together the lemon juice, oil, garlic, red pepper, salt and pepper.
  2. Pour this mixture over the kale in a large bowl. Add half of the cheese and mix well.
  3. Let the greens sit for 5 minutes. (this allows the lemon juice & oil time to soften the kale)
  4.  Add the remaining cheese and bread crumbs.
  5. Toss and Enjoy!

This salad is flavorful "as is", but here are some things you can toss in when your feeling frisky:

  • Small marinated mushrooms
  • Sliced red or yellow bell peppers
  • Tomato slices
  • Black olives
                                                         Life is Delicious...Go taste it!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Thai Curry Green Beans

Classes have started again and that means I'm back to cereal for breakfast and lunch (sometimes dinner) but when I have a couple of minutes to spare; greens are king. The recipe below took me about ten minutes to make including prep time. I was able to utilize one of my favorite kitchen tools: the wok. Because stir fries are generally cooked at a high heat it is important that you don't use olive oil, I repeat do not use olive oil here. Olive oil has a low burn temperature and you'll have a kitchen full of smoke in no time. Not that I know personally, but I heard my friend had to crack every window in her one bedroom apartment to get rid of the smoke the first time she test drove her new wok. I mean that's what I heard.

Thai Red Curry Paste

Here's what you need:

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 red onion sliced
  • 16 oz package of fresh green beans
  • 2 tsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Thai red curry paste
  • 2 tbsp almonds slices

Here's what  you gotta do:

  1. Snap off the tops of the green beans. ( the branch looking parts)
  2. Heat oil to medium high  in a wok or large pan. Add onions and stir fry for 1 minute.
  3. Add green beans, soy sauce, and curry paste to the wok. 
  4. Stir to coat beans with sauce. Stir fry for 5 minutes.
  5. Add almonds and cook for and cook for 1 more minute.
Will serve 4 as a side dish*

**Go ahead and make it a meal by adding 8 oz of extra firm tofu seasoned or plain. Cut the tofu into 1/2 inch cubes and add to the wok in the last 2 minutes of cook time. Serves 2.

                                      Life is Delicious...Go Taste it!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Warm Quinoa and Fig salad

The end of summer marks the beginning of school and the end of vacations, but there is something to look forward to. The fleeting days of warmth bring about Fig season. The unique texture and subtle sweetness of a fig almost makes me forget the lingering triple digit weather of the desert. This dish not only looks good, but it's good for you. Quinoa ( pronounced "keen wa") was once refereed to by the ancient Inca as "chisaya mama" ( mother of all grains). Ironically it actually is not a grain, but rather a seed that contains 8 grams of protein per serving along with all eight essential amino acids in other words it is a vegetarian's bff. Since quinoa contains no wheat or gluten this dish also gets green lighted for those with gluten and wheat allergies.

Here's what you need:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup yellow peppers chopped
  • 6 large black figs quartered and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves chopped
  • 1/4 cup of feta (optional)

Here's what you gotta do:

  1. In a medium sauce pan add vegetable broth, quinoa, and bay leaves and bring to a boil over a medium high heat. 
  2. Lower heat and let the quinoa simmer for 25 minutes. (Liquid should be gone and you will see the white ring around the grain when it is ready.) Remove from heat and let cool for 3 minutes
  3. Remove Bay leaves and add yellow peppers and cilantro (and feta).
  4. Divide to mixture into four serving dishes and top with each dish with 1/4 of figs.

                                                      Life is Delicious...Go Taste it!