Tag Archives: kale

The secret to a great green smoothie

ottogreensmoothieThanks to my friend Kevin downstairs at The Cook’s Companion, I now know the secret to making a perfect green smoothie–and one that Otto happily drinks, and even requests. That’s quite an achievement, given that the only greens he willingly eats are peas and avocado. So, what is it? Continue reading

A winter salad: farro with kale, squash, and ricotta

kale squash farro saladThis salad was inspired by a few things. Number one being a kale salad I had at Craftbar last month. I know kale salads are one big culinary cliché these days, but I don’t care. I always feel amazing after I eat one, and that’s reason enough to continue riding the kale bandwagon. Just had to get that out of the way. And ps, this recipe for a sweet, salty, crunchy kale salad is what I’ve had on repeat since Thanksgiving. The other factors: warm winter salads that are as comforting as they are healthy. And last, my desire to de-clutter my pantry cupboard. Today, it’s farro (leftover from last year’s 101 salads challenge). Stay tuned to see what I do with sardines, barley, and a lot of lentils.

The salad at Craftbar was basically this, minus the farro. I had no idea how good smooth ricotta could be in a salad! It also had some delicious pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds, I think, right?) sprinkled on top, but I didn’t have any on hand for this. I put it all together and left it unrefrigerated through lunch, so the temperature was just right (something about the through of cold spaghetti squash isn’t so appealing, right?). If you’re making it at home, though, just warm up the squashes and farro a bit before assembling everything.

I think there will be more of these sorts of winter salads. It will be a mix of one grain (ha…lots of quinoa I need to use up too) tossed with a leafy green, a couple of roasted root vegetables (when I’m good and organized, I find roasting vegetables one day a week is a great for quick meals later on), and cheese, of course. Because what’s a hearty salad without cheese, right?

This isn’t really a recipe, but just some instructions on how to assemble. If you have everything ready, treat this like you’re at the salad bar at Whole Foods. And be a bit generous if you’d like, because there’s no $8.99 a pound rule that will leave you feeling robbed at the cash register!

Farro, kale, squash, and ricotta salad

First prepare your kale. Cut kale of your choice (I like Tuscan best) into thin strips and rinse. In a bowl that will fit both hands, toss the kale with some olive oil and a bit of salt. Then massage it until it gets bright and soft (just a minute will make a difference).

If you don’t have your farro cooked, these instructions are helpful.

Time to assemble. Toss about half a cup of farro with a big handful of kale. Add in some chopped roasted butternut squash and spaghetti squash. Then add your ricotta cheese. Toss everything together just before serving.

Shamrock shakes re-imagined

Remember Shamrock Shakes? Do they even exist anymore? The last (and only) time I had one I must have been 6 or 7 in my Hladio cousins’ living room over March Break. I still remember the excitement on my cousin Annie’s face when she told us that she and her boyfriend Pete–now husband of 20 years!–would be back with Shamrock Shakes.  I can’t remember the taste, but I knew this was something special.

Now I have a new green shake to get excited about. I was googling ‘healthy green smoothie’ today and came across this lovely mix of apple, kale, avocado, and ginger. I feel healthy just looking at the recipe!  And the blog, by food stylist/photographer/green living&cooking extraordinaire Winnie Abramson (that’s her photograph above) is another discovery I was happy to make. Today, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, she posted  a recipe for Irish oat broth with leeks–something I’ll be saving for a rainy day breakfast sometime soon.

(Image via Healthy Green Kitchen)

Tuning up the Meatless Monday lunch

I’m full of good intentions on Mondays. Since January, I’ve started my week by rolling out of my cozy bed and getting to the gym for my favorite class (it’s hard getting there, but I never regret how amazing I feel by 7:30!). I get to the office an hour early and through my day, I’m setting goals for the week and checking things off my list. By dinnertime, I’m working on something fun and meatless to (hopefully) blog about afterward. I’m in bed by 10 with ginger tea, and out cold about 15 minutes later. All very good, right?

The thing I need to work on, though, is lunch. While dinners have gotten healthier and more creative, I’m in a bit of a slump with either egg salad on toast from the office kitchen, or something either unhealthy or expensive (or both) from a place nearby. I have a new goal for my well-intended Mondays: homemade meatless lunches to get excited about.

This is something I whipped up last night and it reheated nicely. I boiled up 1/2 a pound of whole wheat penne and added bite-sized pieces of kale (I love love love kale) for the last 3 minutes of cooking. I tossed this with a can of drained/rinsed chickpeas, a handful of pitted Kalamata olives, just a little bit of feta, and olive oil. And since I made so much, Tuesday will be as good as Monday. This has me thinking about other pasta/legume/vegetable/scant bit of cheese combinations. Maybe pasta with cannellini beans, a bitter green, and parmesan? Or navy beans, shredded beets, and goats cheese?

Kale for Caroline

This post is for Caroline, one of my very best friends that I’ve known since the first day of university almost 15(!) years ago. That’s her with the delicious poutine we got from a truck last week in Toronto. She lives in London with her fantastic cyclist boyfriend Graham, and every week they get a box of organic produce delivered to their flat. But Caroline is a bit mystified by the kale that appears in the box now and then and only knows how to make soup with it. I promised a few recipes to broaden her horizons. Here they are. (And hopefully she’ll return the favor with her recipe for garam masalaed celery root, yes?)

This recipe for garlicky greens is great with pasta and cannellini beans.

For something completely addictive, make these kale chips. The cider vinegar is really what makes this recipe better than others out there.

I came across this recipe for a kale, spinach, and pear smoothie and can’t wait to try it. And how lovely is Joy’s blog?!

This marinated kale salad is beyond healthy and raw. There’s a neat technique (massaging the kale, something I recommend for all raw kale dishes) that makes it easier to digest, and it’s delicious on a steamed sweet potato.

Here’s another super-healthy recipe: spicy lentil sweet potato patties with kale. I haven’t tried this one yet, but I’m tempted by anything falafelish.

And just in case you want to make a little vegetarian thali with those cute little metal cups and plates, Indian-spice kale and chickpeas might go well with the celery root dish. Just don’t forget the raita and naan, because isn’t that what thali is all about?

Meatless monday recipe: Antonia’s soul stew

Now and then I come across something that makes completely perfect sense. Meatless Monday is one case in point. The purpose of this non-profit initiative is to reduce meat consumption by 15% to improve the health of people (see a long list of benefits here) and the planet (the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions…that’s more than transportation!). That 15% can easily be achieved if we all go vegetarian on Mondays. Simple steps together make for significant results, right?

So here’s my promise. From now on, I’ll have share a favorite vegetarian recipe with you every Monday. This is something I’m really excited about because I don’t really love cooking meat, but I always have fun with vegetarian dishes. And if I can get even just a few of you on board with Meatless Monday, I’ll feel accomplished. Continue reading

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