kale

My Favorite Kale Salad

One of my favorite places to eat here in town is Seed To Sprout. They have this addictive massaged kale salad that I can't get enough of! I've asked the chefs what they use to make it, and they graciously told me, but I'm not lying.... theirs is still the BEST! 

Still, when it's 9:00 pm and you want this kale salad, here's as close as you're gonna get. If you do have a chance to stop in for lunch, you want to go to the masters!

4 big leaves kale, torn into bite-sized pieces (about 3 cups)

drizzle of olive oil

squeeze of lemon juice

few pinches salt

1-2 tablespoons really high quality nutritional yeast

Combine kale, olive oil, lemon juice and salt in a big bowl. Using your hands, massage the kale well until it starts to soften. The oil makes it soft, and the lemon juice and salt will start to break down the cell wall. Lastly, sprinkle with some nutritional yeast and use a fork to fluff up (if you massage it with the nutritional yeast, most of it will remain on your hands). Enjoy! 

Moringa Green Apple Smoothie Bowl

You wouldn't think all of these flavors go well together but they are like a coconut apple pie in your mouth and so so so good. I've offered this more as a template than as a stress test: if you can't find these superfoods, do not fret. Use what you have on hand! Spinach instead of kale, skip the tea and make your own chammomile or even mint! Get creative. If you don't know about sunwarrior, I prefer this protein powder since it's really clean and lean and is based on raw, sprouted brown rice protein with nothing fake. You can also use the original which is just: raw, sprouted, fermented, bio-available clean brown rice protein. That's it! How can you go wrong? 

Also, I should say, I typically use 2 cups of water, but I've posted 1.5 if you're looking for more of a smoothie feel. I like it as a morning soup, though, but go with what oyu like. For me, I like to slurp it up with a big spoon!

I use only green powders here: 

1. moringa (this is a beautiful new superfood on the market that is touted to be pretty much everything for eveyrone - I don't know if that's true but I've looked into it and it has great fiber, chlorophyll, protein and fats and even the stem, leaves and pods are used in many applications). 

2. matcha (which is essentiall green tea powder, a metabolism booster, but I go easy on the stuff especially if you are sensitive to caffeine)

3. spirulina (a seaweed which is a great detoxifier, great in protein, but the taste can be quite a challenge and aquired taste, so I feel that 1 tsp is just the right amount to sneak it in)

IF you have none of the above, feel free to just use 3 tsp of your favorite green powder (green vibrance is one of my favorites). 

This smoothie is packed with protein, fiber, chlorophyl, is low-glycemic and a great way to start the day. Dig in! Happy St. Patrick's by the way, and eat your greens!

 

1.5 cups water, (optional: brewed wtih "Get Burning" tea, cooled - this gives it a nice apple pie flavor) or brew your own tea of choice, then cool it.

1 tsp each: moringa, matcha, spirulina

1 handful kale

1 cap of Sunwarrior Liquid Light (optional)

1 scoop Sunwarrior Classic Vanilla Protein

To garnish: coconut, cacao nibs and green apple

Blend the first 5 ingredients together, taste for sweetness and perhaps add a few stevia drops if not sweet enough. Pour into bowl and garnish with chopped green apple, unsweetened coconut and cacao nibs. 

 

Marinated Collard Greens Salad

What do you do with overwintered collard greens in the spring? Use them up and love them dearly. The collards and kale we planted late summer to last us through the fall are still happy as can be, and we're enjoying their come back. This is why I love gardening so much, you never know what you're going to get, and you learn the natural season for things. Coming into summer, these collards won't last since it's not their season ~ their immune systems weaken and they often get white flies. Spring is one of the best times to use them up (you can also freeze them to use whenever), but this refreshing, slimming salad fits the bill right about now. It also comes with a story....

Years ago, before this house, we lived next to our wonderful neighbor, Mr. Jackson. He was in his late 80's, loved collard greens and daffodils, and told me stories about what the neighborhood was really like in the "olden days". He worked as a bartender for select private parties, and everyone knew and loved him. I'd bring him daffodils when they were in bloom, and I'd share collard greens from the garden and we would talk and enjoy simple moments together. One day, he took me by the arm and said almost in a whisper, "I love my food raw!" He didn't know I was a chef, and he didn't know I loved raw food either...how was this possible? I knew we had a special connection. 

Mr. Jackson passed away in his early 90's. I became very close to him and my whole family loved him dearly. Most especially, our young son was also close to him...when he was 7 or 8, he'd sit on Mr. Jackson's couch next to hime,  watching TV together....decades between them, and happy as clams. I'll never forget the picture that makes in my mind, and I'm eternally grateful for the kindness and care he showed us. 

This is actually his recipe, and I write it here in memory of him, and of that phrase he whispered which melted my heart. He told me he likes to slice the collards very thin (showing me how through hand gestures), and adds in garlic, and olive oil, and tomatoes and just lets them marinade until they're ready. I'm telling you...it's my favorite way to eat collards now. Thank you Mr. Jackson for your good taste in food and for your deep heart. 

Ingredients:

4 large collard leaves, de-stemmed and made into chiffonnade ribbons like this:

1 tomato, chopped

1 clove garlic, microplaned

drizzle of olive oil

salt and black pepper to taste

Combine ingredients in a bowl and allow to marinade at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Enjoy! 

Black Bean Pasta Mediterranean Plate

This is simplicity at its best: seasoned black bean pasta (which happens to be low in carbohydrates and high in protein), lightly steamed kale, a chunky lemony artichoke tapenade, and gloriously sweet cherry tomatoes. It takes just minutes to prepare, and it is quite filling, which is really all you need when you're ravenous. And I was.

I'm always looking for alternatives to regular pasta. Although pasta is one of my favorite foods (actually, all food is my favorite!), I'm religious about upping the nutrition wherever I can. Black Bean pasta (Found here) is soy free, organic and made just with beans and water. How easy is that?   If you're looking for something silky smooth, this isn't it: black bean pasta is hearty, dark and rich has a naturally al dente taste, with a rustic bite.

The artichoke heart tapenade is surprisingly simple but complex in texture and flavor: hints of garlic, fresh lemon rind, and a creaminess that is easy to love.  

You can easily make this even more robust by adding in more mediterranean flavors: olives, sundried tomatoes, basil...feel free to play. 

This recipe may look like it has a lot of moving parts, but honestly it's quite easy if you time things right: Two pots on the stove (one for the pasta, the other for the kale) and make your tapenade at the same time. For me, it came together in about 15 minutes. 

Ingredients for pasta: 

1/2 package Black Bean Spaghetti Pasta, cooked according to package instructions. After draining, lightly season with salt and black pepper. 

 

Ingredients for artichoke hearts tapenade: 

1 can artichoke hearts in water, drained

1 can artichoke hearts seasoned in oil and spices, liquid drained by half

2 cloves garlic, microplaned

the rind of one lemon, microplaned (just the top, no white pith)

sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

In a food processor, combine the artichoke hearts, garlic, lemon, a few pinches of ground black pepper, and sea salt. Pulse lightly so the texture remains chunky. Taste to check seasoning, and leave aside. 

 

Ingredients for Kale: 

2 cups kale, torn, and lightly steamed until bright green, about 1 minute

drizzle of olive oil

squeeze of lemon

sea salt

chili flakes (optional if you like the heat): I didn't add them but will next time.

Toss the kale with lemon and olive oil and season to taste with salt (and chili flakes). Leave aside.

 

Decoration:

1/2 cup sliced cherry tomatoes.  

 

Assembly:

Start by plating the pasta, then the kale, two scoops of the artichoke tapenade and some sliced cherry tomatoes on the side. Enjoy! And as pretty as it was all plated, when you get into it with your fork, feel free to make a mess of the whole thing.....like this....