Posts Tagged ‘kale’

Looking Back – 2016 My Food Year in Review

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017
making messes

making messes

spiraling

spiraling

avocado toast

avocado toast

cholula

cholula

kale salad

kale salad

price fix vegetarian

price fix vegetarian

going vegan – fake bacon

 

 

 

 

 

I realized I’ve been spending much more time on Instagram rather than blogging.  It’s quick and easy and I’m finally getting the hang of it.  That said,  I haven’t been able to share many recipes of what we’ve been making.  So here were some of our foodie highlights and family favorite of 2016:

Prix Fix Vegetarian – so a nice prix fix is fun and sometimes fancy.  This used to be for special occasions with my husband and I.  However now my kids appreciate these dinners as well.  Our favorites this year were vegetarian and vegan meals from The Whale Wins and Harvest Beat in Seattle. Also musician, Moby’s, L.A vegan restaurant, Little Pine.

Cholula – my son has always liked hot sauce and hot peppers, but since discovering Cholula it’s on the table at every meal from eggs in the morning to nachos and burritos at night.  My husband got into the act too.  Yes, the hottest trend at our house.

Tempeh Bacon and other vegan mysteries – this year marked the switch of my daughter from eating a vegetarian diet to going vegan.  We’re discovering more and more plant based foods and meat alternatives all the time.  My daughter loves when her aunt and uncle make fake bacon, however I never got the hang of it until recently.  This time I watched my sister and brother in law.  Basically you cook it in a pan in a bit of oil for much longer than the package instructions.  Then it gets crisp.

Avocado Toast – my daughter has always enjoyed avocado on everything.  However once I started working at Juice Girl, not only do I make avocado squares for others I make them at home too.  The bread is key.  I am also amazed at all the creative and beautiful looking toasts on Instagram.  Great inspiration.

Kale – like everyone else we are on the kale bandwagon.  Whether it’s sautéing in garlic and olive oil, chopping fine for a salad or adding to soups and smoothies.  Kale is here to stay in our fridge.

Spiraling – I didn’t think I needed another appliance but we’re having such fun with this.  Kids are eating lots more veggies and they love making the noodles.  They even shape the left-overs into interesting sculptures.  Our favorite is veggie noodles sautéed in garlic and tossed with spaghetti noodles.

Messes – I am very excited to have my kids cooking so much.  Also fun to see our Cook This Book! published and being used by friends and family. However in 2017, we’re going to work more on the clean up.  Teaching to clean up as they cook has been a challenge as dishes and ingredients pile up everywhere.

 

 

 

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It’s All in the Wrists – Massage Your Kale!

Friday, October 9th, 2015

kale

It’s on restaurant menus, snack advertisements and at your local farmer’s market.  You hear everywhere that you should should be eating more kale.  It is considered one of life’s most nutritious foods, packed with vitamins C and K plus calcium, fiber and antioxidants. I love kale but many do not.  While it can be bitter and that’s why some disguise it with fruits in smoothies or eat it in bags baked with cheese and chili flavor – I don’t think the taste is the problem.  It’s the texture.  Especially if you have it raw in a salad.  There are too many times when I order a kale salad in a restaurant and it is almost inedible because it is just too rough and I’m afraid I’ll choke or stab myself.  Also if it’s too wilted and I find myself chewing forever.

220px-Kale-Bundle

curly

220px-CSA-Red-Russian-Kale

red

lacinto

dino or lacinto

There are a few varieties of kale.  There’s lacinto or dinosaur kale while has very wide, flat, dark green leaves that are bumpy (far right).  There’s red kale with dark red stems and green leaves (center).  Then most popular is curly kale which is brighter green and more curly and spiky(left).  Thus a problem for raw salads if not prepared properly.  So the magic to prepping raw kale for a salad is…..wait for it…..the massage.  Yes.  You must massage the kale Leaves (after removing stems) in some fresh lemon juice and/or salt.  And this isn’t a little light pressure stir with some tongs.  This is a 3 – 5 minute deep tissue massage with your hands.  It makes all the difference in the world to being able to enjoy and chew the kale.  Here’s an adapted recipe we make at my house for a favorite kale salad from Picture Cook: See. Make. Eat. by Katie Shelly.  This book if fun because it’s all pictures and no instruction (but you kind of have to have some kitchen and cooking knowledge).  I use this preparation anytime I’m using raw kale.  However you an substitute dressings and veggies.  This is a great asian dressing that marries the sweet apples and spicy ginger and onion.

 

Chelsea’s Kale Salad

1 bunch kale, stems removed

1/2 lemon – squeezed

1 avocado, diced

1 apple, peeled and chopped into squares

1/2 cup almonds (optional)

a few slices of red onion (optional)

Dressing

2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

In a large bowl tear kale leaves into bite sized pieces.  Squeeze lemon juice over kale and massage with your hands for about 3 minutes until kale is pliable and not sharp.  Add avocado and mash with your hands to incorporate.

Prepare dressing in a small jar and shake to combine.

Add apples, nuts and onions to kale.  Drizzle with dressing and toss everything together.

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5 Essential Foods for Life – Outside Magazine

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

 

One of my assignments in a college writing class was to write an article for Outside Magazine.  If my memory is correct it was about rafting down the American River.  (It was a long time ago).  However when I was sent this article and slideshow from Outside Magazine about some important foods to have in your pantry I felt compelled to share.  For nostalgia sure.  But also because these are some of my family’s favorites and were always trying to get more of these items in our diets.  To see the entire article and slide show with recommendations for choosing and preparing these foods click here.

Here’s an excerpt…

You’re getting older. It’s time to accept the fact that you can’t stay out for last call, then make it up for a 6:30 A.M. mountain-bike ride. And enough already with your daily routine of coffee-and-bagel breakfasts, takeout lunches, and pizza-and-beer recovery meals. A study in the International Journal of Obesity found that the highest rate of adult weight gain happens between ages 25 and 35—roughly one pound per year.

And on top of your slowing metabolism, you’re producing fewer digestive enzymes, meaning you can’t absorb nutrients as easily. Here’s the good news: you can still run and bike like a 25-year-old—as long as you’re smart about what you put in your body. What’s more, quality food needn’t be expensive, and prepared right, it’s much faster than waiting for the delivery dude.

The key is simplifying your meal plan. Instead of spendy, ad hoc grocery runs, develop a set of go-to recipes and stock your pantry with all the ingredients you’ll need. More importantly, anchor those recipes with high-quality, nutrient-rich staples—these five. —Jen Schwartz

1. SALMON

For a day-to-day routine, there’s no better source of animal protein than salmon—just four ounces packs roughly 30 grams. That same fillet has more than 250 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin D, which is necessary for the absorption of calcium and protects against a range of cancers. It’s also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which are thought to boost brain function. Plus, this iconic fish is notable for what it lacks: mercury. Its levels are significantly lower than nearly every other popular species, including tuna, sea bass, cod, and halibut, which means it can be consumed regularly.

2. EGGS

No food is as misunderstood as the mighty egg. Eggs are rich in 13 essential vitamins and minerals, everything from A and E to B complex and D. They also contain high-quality protein, antioxidants, and the brain-boosting nutrient choline. “But the cholesterol!” critics shout, pointing to research on heart disease, including a 2012 study that claimed eggs were as bad for your arteries as smoking. But that study looked at correlation, not cause and effect—in other words, plaque buildup was observed to occur more frequently in people who regularly consumed eggs, but those people were just as likely eating their eggs with bacon, too.

Most agree that the human body absorbs protein from eggs better than from almost any other food. So embrace moderation. Six large eggs per week will give you roughly 36 grams of protein and as much as 1,500 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids—and still limit the fat that contributes to plaque buildup in arteries.

3. QUINOA

The United Nations declared 2013 International Year of Quinoa—and for good reason. The gluten-free seed contains sky-high concentrations of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, which tackle tissue-damaging free radicals. And unlike wheat, barley, and oats, quinoa is a complete source of protein. Compared with processed pastas, quinoa has roughly four times the amount of iron and twice the calcium, yet takes the same amount of time to cook.

4. KALE

No green compares with the nutrient-to-calorie ratio of this dark leafy vegetable. It has off-the-charts levels of vitamins K, A, and C and is a good source of fiber—one cup has nearly 25 percent of the daily recommended amount. Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef and more calcium than milk, and it trumps broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cabbage for its broad range of flavonoids, compounds that help prevent muscle inflammation and cancer. All of which are compelling reasons to stock up on it, but here’s the best: as a cooking staple, kale is endlessly flexible. Throw a shredded handful into soups, casseroles, or frittatas. You can even use it in smoothies and juices.

5. CHICKPEAS 

For the money, these little nuggets, also called garbanzo beans, are unbeatable. They’re rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber (the former makes you feel full and helps regulate blood sugar, the latter keeps you regular); you need both for a healthy diet, and two cups of these legumes pack 100 percent of the daily recommended amount. And just half a cup contains five grams of protein and ten different vitamins. Chickpeas are also wildly versatile. Just ask the guys behind the blog (and forthcoming book) Thug Kitchen, which offers profanity-laced recipes and kitchen tips that dispel the notion that healthy cooking is a realm of rarefied luxury. “Chickpeas, garbanzo beans, whatever you want to call them, they do all the heavy lifting in my kitchen,” says the site’s anonymous founder.

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Favorite New Smoothie with Secret Ingredient

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

So I’ve been absent from writing, I know.  I spent Valentine’s recipe testing for a cookbook for the State of California’s Snap program.  This was interesting as our Leah’s Pantry team of 4 made 44 recipes in two days.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed the tasters enjoyed and will accept the recipes.  They seemed to be enjoying themselves and eating well.  Most of these recipes I’ve made quite a few times, however there was one I tried for the first time and was so surprised by how good it was, I thought I’d share.

 

I think the name was just banana berry smoothie, which sounds pretty ordinary.  But the surprise ingredient is the addition of kale in there.  I figured I’d be upfront here.  But it’s surprising how you don’t notice the kale.  Any way to eat more kale is good for our bodies right?  My son had teeth extracted yesterday and the dentist gave him a Jamba Juice card – apparently the cold helps with the numbness.  Today when he comes home from school I’m making this one and see how he thinks it stacks up to yesterday’s.

Banana Berry Kale Smoothie

Makes 2 servings

12 ounces per serving

Prep time: 5 minute

Cook time: 0

 

1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (if you use frozen berries, you may not need ice cubes)

4 oz. vanilla low fat yogurt

1/2 cup 100% apple juice

1 banana, cut into chunks

1 cup kale, roughly chopped

4 ice cubes

Place the apple juice, yogurt, berries, kale and banana in a blender.  Cover and process until smooth.

 

 

 

 

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Hooray for Greens! with Chard and Kale Recipes

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Red Quinoa with Swiss Chard and Poached Egg

One of my 2013 resolutions is to eat and introduce more dark greens with my family.  My kids already love dinosaur (aka lacinto) kale chips – recipe below.  And we like sauteed greens with garlic (a little bacon helps sometimes for my son).  But I want to embrace a bigger variety of types, recipes and flavors.   I was inspired by Sunset Magazine’s January Eat Clean article and I started the new year by making a lovely recipe from the issue – Quinoa Bowl with Chard and Poached Egg.

 

My daughter and sous chef was really funny when prepping the chard for this recipe.  I took a few photos and a silly video of her using the leaves as pom poms.  I haven’t tried posting a video here.  However another of my hopes for 2013 is to embrace technology and change a bit more.  So here’s a video of my daughter cheering for …..chard.

.chard cheerleader video

 

Kale Chips

These are a great was to get crunch and nutrition into a side dish or healthy snack for your family.  Feel free to try various spices to kick ‘em up.  Be sure to keep an eye on the kale during cooking time to be sure leaves do not burn and turn bitter.

Serving: 4

1 bunch lacinto kale, washed and dried

½ teaspoon sea salt, garlic salt, or other spice

olive oil

 

Prepare two baking sheets with aluminum foil and cooking spray.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Separate outer leaves from center ribs of each kale leaf.  Discard ribs.

Lay leaves on prepared sheets and spray or brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt..  Bake in oven about 3 – 4 minutes.  Remove tray from oven and turn over each leaf.  Cook another 2 – 3 minutes or until crisp but not charred

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Cookbook Review – Raw Food for Real People

Monday, December 6th, 2010

I have to admit while I like a challenge in the kitchen sometimes I am indimidated by certain kinds of foods and cookbooks.  This was the case when I received Raw Foods for Real People; Living Vegan Food Made Simple by Rod Rotondi.  Raw foods are not new, it’s what most humans ate for centuries – nuts, fruits, vegetables, grains etc.  Basically whole foods not cooked above a certain temperature (118 F). 

My family eats vegetarian and even vegan sometimes, but when I think of raw I think of salads and veggies (good of course as a snack or on the side, but not a regular diet).  There is a thoughtful foreward for people like me that are not quite comfortable with the whole co cooking thing.  I mean I write cookbooks, not non-cookbooks.  He talks honestly about his road to raw (living and traveling all over the globe) as well as the health benefits and history of raw foods.

Of course I can do anything in moderation, which is Rod’s point.  He doesn’t necessarily set out to change everyone’s diet to raw, he’s giving the info and recipes and hopes you incorporate more raw food in your meals.  So I started off by making a few of the smoothies.  The Tropical whip with bananas, dates, pineapple and coconut milk was declared by my son as “the best smoothie I ever made”.  And we make a lot.  Some other things weren’t so off our usual like vegetable slaw and guacamole.  I made the Hale Kale salad to varying criticisms, but mostly a problem with texture (my daughter) and sour (my son).  I rather liked it and will experiment next time by adding tomatoes and olives and maybe feta, and less lemon juice. 

I like having this book in my collection.  It gives me some good inspiration and also rounds out my books to be something for everyone.  You never know when a raw enthusiast is coming to dinner.  And it may be the perfect gift for someone thinking about a diet change or in need of more healthy inspiration.

Pros: Healthy recipes and good diet information.  Some quick and easy such as dressings, salads and smoothies.  Using whole and organic foods, not only good for the body but for the environment as well.

Cons: Some recipes just too time consuming and not simple, such as soaking nuts to make “cheez” and require some unique pantry items such as “nama shoyu”.  Also can make more recipes if you have the right equipment such as a hydrator (I don’t have). 

And here’s a link to a TV interview / cooking demo (kale salad) that Rod did about the book when the hardcover came out last year:  http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=view_from_the_bay/food_wine&id=7077899
Note: the author is also a dad and has stuck to his prinicipals by feeding his daughter only raw foods – she’s 4.
(Hopefully he’s working on an interesting follow-up book once she starts going to school functions and birthday parties.  Those outside influences are tough.)
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