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Posts Tagged ‘kale’

Chard

 

With the recent mad embrace of kale, other greens are getting lost in the fray.  I, personally, prefer Swiss chard to kale or any other green.  I find it sweeter with less mineral flavor and I cook it at least once a week sometimes with pasta or grains but most often in the following fashion –
I generally use 2 bunches organic chard which I chop into pieces.  I always use the stems too.  I heat about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil with a couple of mashed garlic cloves over low heat.  I add the zest of an orange and a couple of tablespoons of orange juice.  Then, I add the chard, cover, and steam for a few minutes.  Then, I uncover, raise the heat, and, using tongs, toss the greens until just barely cooked through.  You can also cook them until very dark green and soft but I prefer the chard to still be a bit fresh looking.

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Kale Salad_DSC_3373

I know, I know everyone is getting tired of being bombarded by kale, but it is so good for you, filled with vitamins and minerals, inexpensive, and versatile that I just have to add my voice.  At the moment, kale is high on our list because of its cancer-fighting properties.  My son, Mickey, is fighting lung cancer (no he never smoked, was a runner in the best of health until now) and kale contains sulforaphane which offers strong anti-cancer qualities as well as indole-3-carbinal, a chemical which seems to help in blocking the growth of cancer cells.  I’m not crazy about it raw, but to retain its amazing strength I often just wilt it by adding something hot to it as I did in this salad.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup quinoa (plain or multi-colored)
2 cups vegetable broth or water
Salt
1 bunch kale, tough stems removed and finely chopped
1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
Citrus Dressing (recipe follows)

Place the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear.  Set aside to drain well.
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until just beginning to color.  Stir in the quinoa and then add the broth and season with salt to taste.  Raise the heat and bring to a boil.  Cover, lower the heat, and cook for about 15 minutes or until the broth has been absorbed.  Remove from the heat and set aside to steam for about 5 minutes.
Place the kale in a large salad bowl.  Pour the hot quinoa over the kale and, using your hands (I use thick rubber gloves to keep my hands from burning) toss the quinoa along with the pumpkin seeds into the kale.  When just about totally combined, add just enough vinaigrette to season nicely and continue to toss and blend.  Taste and, if necessary, season with salt and pepper.
Serve at room temperature.

 

Citrus Dressing
Makes about 1 cup
5 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon mirin
½ tablespoon tamari
1 teaspoon ginger juice
Grated zest of 1 orange
2 tablespoons white miso paste
6 tablespoons canola oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine the vinegar, orange juice, mirin, tamari, and ginger juice in a jar with a lid.  Cover and shake to blend.  Uncover, add the orange zest and miso and, again, shake to blend.  Open, add the canola oil, recover, and shake and shake to emulsify.  Taste and, if desired, season with salt and pepper.

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FritattaWe had so much kale and almost one whole sausage left from dinner, so I let a couple of days go by and then reconstituted the mix in a dinner time frittata.  Had just enough mushroom-barley soup in the freezer to make a little first course and then the frittata and a salad made the complete meal.
All I did was chop the kale and sausage and sautéed it a bit in some olive oil.  I beat 4 eggs with a drop of milk and salt and pepper and poured the eggs over the hot leftovers.  I sprinkled the top with Parmesan cheese and popped the pan in a preheated 400ºF oven for about 12 minutes.
Served it straight from the pan on the table.  Altogether it couldn’t have been a more satisfying winter meal.  Of course, we had just a taste of Sauvignon Blanc with it!

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Sausage_Kale_IMG_0167

This is a quick winter’s dinner that was tasty and satisfying with minimal impact on our calorie intake for the day.  Very, very lean handmade pork sausage, sided with some nutritionally-laden kale, and a little pick-me-up from blood orange.  The sausage and orange slices were easily cooked in my nonstick Scanpan stovetop grill.  The kale was chopped and given a quick sauté with mushrooms, shallots, and a touch of blood orange juice and zest and seasoned with salt and red pepper flakes.  Took all of 15 minutes to put together and an hour to linger over at the table with heart-healthy red wine.

Instagram_Sausage_Kale_IMG_0949

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Collard_Greens_DSC_2555

After the last year or so of seeing kale lauded as the second coming, I’ve had it with that crunchy, earthy green and am switching my allegiance to other good-for-you leafy things.  A few nights ago I had a dinner request for fried chicken and whenever I made fried chicken, I always add collard greens to the table.  I sauté some onion and bacon (bacon ‘cause its always on hand, but if I am out and about I will pick up some ham hocks or pork belly to use) and then add the chopped collards.  Once seasoned with some salt and pepper and red chile flakes, I cover the pot and just let them cook away until they are juicy, soft and tummy-warming.  This can take a couple of hours or so.  Then, I add a good dose of vinegar and serve them with cornbread to sop up the “pot likker” and chopped onions to add some heat and texture.  Sooooo, sooooo good!  And, better than kale, for sure.

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            Cauliflower_IMG_3016

 

Within the last couple of years, every restaurant in New York City and every food magazine adopted kale as their go-to vegetable.  Kale was dried, sautéed, baked, drizzled, wrapped, and, primarily, served raw.  The latter is all well and good when the kale is young and fresh from the garden, but, for me, big tough raw leaves do not make a satisfying salad or side.  Cooked, that’s a different matter – once they are soft and unctuous anything goes, but garlic, lemon, and olive oil really do put icing on that cake.  By this past spring, I’d had it with kale and threatened to never, ever eat it again.

BUT, then last week I saw some deep green, curly leaves in the farmers market and I was hooked.  At the same time, I purchased a big, creamy white cauliflower and some yellow beets and somehow all of those fall wonders came together in my mind and I produced this salad which instantly turned into a “make that again” dish.

I pulled the cauliflower apart into little florets and roasted the whole batch in olive oil, lemon zest, salt, and pepper in a very hot (425ºF) oven until the florets were golden brown and crisp around the edges.

While the cauliflower was roasting, the kale was cut into ribbons and the beets into julienne and tossed together in a big bowl.  When the cauliflower was done I scraped the whole hot mess into the kale mix and tossed the salad together.  The heat wilted the kale – just enough to tenderize it nicely.  I added a light vinaigrette made with moscato vinegar and olive oil – gave a taste and added some sea salt and pepper.  And, what did I get – a delicious fall salad that was about as nutritious and satisfying as it could possibly be —- next time, I’m going to try tossing it into some hot pasta with some lemon zest and freshly toasted bread crumbs added at the last minute.

 

Yummy_Fall_Salad_R0011041

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Salmon Salad_9245

 

We have a dear friend who is battling a nasty illness and I keep trying to think of things that I can deliver to her that will entice her to eat and yet be healthy and healing.  Milk shakes always entice, but they sure don’t do the other tricks.  So, here’s what I did for lunch one day this past week.  I slivered a few leafs of organic kale and then blanched them very quickly in boiling water to soften slightly while keeping the bright green color.  I dried them thoroughly in the salad spinner and then tossed them with some slivered fresh red bell pepper and a handful of toasted almond pieces.  I removed the skin from a nice fatty piece of wild caught salmon and gave it a quick sear – just enough to cook it around the edges.  Then, I dressed the kale salad with a tiny bit of citrus vinaigrette and placed the warm salmon on top of it.  As speedy as a bunny I ran it up the block.  I stayed with her and got such pleasure watching her enjoy her lunch – can you think of anything better for you than salmon and kale and almonds – if only that alone could heal.  But, I know it does help.  (You will note that Steve was fascinated with my Global knife handle reflecting the salmon skin.)

 

Salmon_9233

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