Kale Doritos

Kale is out, collards are in? While I love collards, I, for one, am not over kale. Let’s keep it alive, people. Are you with me? Kale is not a trend!

Kale chips take up a ton of space on the grocery store shelves, but these are better than any store bought version I’ve tried. Not just for snacking, they offer up texture, color and flavor as a garnish, for example, on a pureed cauliflower soup.

IMG_3135.JPG

 

3-4 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 30-60 minutes until plump and soft, then drained
½ cup nutritional yeast
1 - 2 tablespoons curry powder, more or less to taste

1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more or less to taste
Sea salt to taste
1 bunch curly kale, ribs removed, leaves torn into 3-4 inch pieces


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Put all of the ingredients except for the kale, into the blender and blend for as long as it takes to get it as smooth as possible, about 1-2 minutes. Add water if necessary to get the blade moving. The mixture should be the consistency of thick cake batter. 

Place the kale in a large bowl and add the wet ingredients. Mix thoroughly by hand, making sure that both sides of the kale are coated, including all of the little nooks and crannies of each leaf.

Distribute the kale in an even layer on the baking sheets, making sure the leaves don't overlap.

Bake for 30 minutes, remove from the oven, flip the chips over and continue to cook for around 30 minutes, until well dried and crispy.

 

 

Winter 2015 Kale Salad

Kale's popularity may have reached its peak, but it's not going away, and I am happy it's here for keeps. I'm a fan of variety and love all dark leafy greens, but I remain most loyal to kale. It's always in my fridge or in my garden bed, waiting to be tossed together with whatever else I have on hand, which makes it fresh and interesting and keeps me coming back. 

The Winter 2015 Kale Salad was inspired by the clean-out-my-fridge chopped salad pictured below. Many of my favorite dishes are the result of throwing together whatever odds and ends are around.  Radish, beets, fennel, broccoli, sprouted lentils, walnuts, grapefruit…it worked.

This recipe is a template which includes some type of onion (green onion), citrus (pink grapefruit), herb (mint), nut or seed (walnut), creamy ingredient (avocado) and crunch (sprouted lentil & radish - I like crunch). It would be just as good substituting shallot, naval orange, cilantro, pepitas, roasted sweet potato, and tiny cauliflower florets. The particular ingredients in this recipe compliment each other beautifully, but since there are a lot of strong flavors, it would still work if you were missing a couple of ingredients. Kale, grapefruit and walnuts - yes. Kale, avocado, mint, radish - yes. Got it?

2 pink grapefruit
2 tablespoons roasted walnut oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 bunch Lacinato kale, finely chopped
4 small or 2 large radishes, sliced into thin half-moons
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 avocado, diced
1/4 cup sprouted green lentils (see infographic below)
1/3 cup roughly chopped toasted walnuts
tablespoons finely chopped mint
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

With a sharp knife, remove the skin and the bitter white pith from the grapefruits. Working over a small bowl to catch the juice, cut in between the membranes to release the sections. Place the segments in another small bowl. Squeeze the juice from the membranes into the bowl with the juice. Reserve ¼ cup of juice.

Whisk the oil, mustard and a pinch of salt into the bowl with the grapefruit juice. 

Place the kale in a large bowl. Add the dressing and massage the kale with your hands for 1-2 minutes, until the kale starts to become soft and tender.

Transfer the remaining ingredients to the bowl and toss gently to combine, adding salt and pepper to taste.

Super Nachos with Refried Beer Lentils, Quick Pickles & Radish Greens (Seriously.)

IMG_4968.JPG

Serves 6-8

Top these with your favorite nacho accouterments – salsa, guacamole, cheese, sour cream. And feel free to simplify. I got excited and went a little overboard, but I realize sautéing radish greens isn’t for everyone (maybe you’ll be a convert?), especially when it comes to nachos. But they’re nachos. They will taste good no matter what. For the lentils, you can do without all of the spices and use water instead of beer (gasp!). Don’t need to make the quick pickles, but if you do, I suggest your slice up more radishes and have those on the side.

For the lentils:

1 cup dried beluga or puy lentils (I used PNW Co-op Specialty Foods Spanish Pardina Lentils)
24 ounces beer (3 cups; two bottles)
3 tablespoons oil, divided (I use olive oil)
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (I use chipotle chili powder)
3 tablespoons lime juice

Sea salt 

Pour the lentils into a medium pot and sift through them, removing any debris. Rinse the lentils with water and drain, then cover the lentils with the beer. Bring the lentils to a boil over medium heat, taking care that the beer doesn’t spill over the sides of the pot, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes, until the lentils are tender and starting to lose their shape, and there is only a small amount liquid remaining. Turn off the heat and drain the lentils in a sieve or colander over a large bowl or pot, to catch the liquid. Set the lentils and liquid aside.

Place the pot back on the stove over medium-low heat. Once the surface is dry, add 2 tablespoons of oil, the garlic and the spices. Once the ingredients start to sizzle, stir continuously for a minute with a wooden spoon, then stir in the lentils, the remaining cooking liquid, and the lime juice. (There should be about ¼ cup cooking liquid. Add water if you don’t have enough.) Scrape the bottom of the pot to mix in any of the spices that may have stuck to the bottom. Using a potato masher or the back of the wooden spoon, mash the lentils, adding more water if you like a thinner, looser consistency. Add salt to taste.

For the quick pickled jalapeño peppersonions:

1 cup distilled vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup honey
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick

1 jalapeño pepper, sliced into thin rounds
½ small red onion, thinly sliced


Place all of the ingredients a medium pot. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Let cool in the refrigerator and allow the flavors to bloom.

The rest of the nacho ingredients:

1 bunch radish and their greens
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro
1 large bag tortilla chips


Remove the radish greens from the radishes and wash the greens and the radishes well. Slice the radishes into thin half moons and set aside.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a medium skillet over medium low heat. Add the remaining garlic and the radish greens and cook, stirring continuously for about 2 minutes, until the greens wilt. Remove from heat.

To assemble the dish, layer the ingredients on top of the chips (duh), with the radishes greens, radishes, pickled onions & peppers, and cilantro on top to show off their color.

 

NACHO GLAMOUR SHOTS

Apple Cider Pudding

This is one of my absolute favorite sweet treats during cold weather - not super sweet, but it hits the spot. With only four ingredients and less than 3 minutes to prepare, I love this warming and nourishing recipe for breakfast or when I'm winding down after dinner. Kuzu root starch, referred to as kudzu in Japan, is known to help ease belly aches and cold symptoms.  Find kuzu in the global aisle of your grocery store, near the packaged seaweeds.

Serves 2

1 ¼ cup apple cider, divided
2 tablespoon kuzu root starch
1 ½ teaspoons tahini 

½ teaspoons vanilla extract

In a small bowl, combine kuzu with 1/4 cup apple cider, mixing and mashing the kuzu with a fork until the kuzu dissolves.

In a small pot, bring the remaining 1 cup of apple cider to a boil then reduce the heat to low.

Add the kuzu mixture and simmer until the cider thickens, stirring constantly to prevent the kudzu from clumping together, until the milky white color turns clear. For a thicker pudding, mix together more kuzu with cold water (or more cold apple cider) and stir it into the hot cider. 

Once thickened, stir in the tahini and vanilla, then pour into two mugs and serve.

Variations:

  • Stir in a dash of cinnamon, cardamom, or any wintery spice when adding the tahini.
  • Add a slice of fresh ginger to the pot with the cold cider and remove it before serving.
  • Use almond butter, peanut butter or your favorite nut or seed butter in place of tahini.

 

 

Spiced Cider Cashew Cream with Persimmon

Spiced Cider Cashew Cream

Makes about 1 cup


2 cups apple cider
4 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
1 1/2 -inch coin of ginger
1 cup raw, unsalted cashew pieces (about 4 1/2 ounces)
squeeze of lemon
pinch of sea salt
Fuyu persimmons to slice for dipping or very ripe Hachiya persimmons to spoon on top

Pour the cider into a small pot. Place the cashews in a small bowl.

Firmly hold one end of the cinnamon stick and carefully and evenly char it in an open flame until it just turns color, then dip it into the cider to put the flame out and cool the charred end. (Be careful - when you burn the cinnamon stick, the heat can move through the hollow center.) Then hold the charred end and burn the other end, then drop it into the pot with the cider.

Add the cardamom pods and ginger to the pot, then bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat so the liquid gently boils and cook until the mixture has reduced to ¾ cup, around 35-40 minutes. (Keep a liquid measuring glass nearby to check the volume.) Let the sauce cool for a few minutes, then strain it through a fine-mesh sieve over the cashews. Discard the cinnamon stick and reserve the cardamom and ginger.

Soak the cashews in the reduced cider for 20 minutes, until they soften. Transfer the cashews and spiced cider to a high-speed blender and purée until smooth. Blend in the ginger and inner seeds of the cardamom to taste. Add a pinch of salt and squeeze of lemon to taste.

Serve with persimmon, apple, pomegranate or use as frosting for your favorite baked goods.

Cantaloupe & Sun Gold Tomato Gazpacho

Serves 6-8

This chilled soup is perfect on a hot summer evening when you don’t feel like cooking. Try out different garnishes – pesto or simply chopped basil or mint, lightly sautéed corn, or dried chili pepper, like the Turkish Urfa chili pepper pictured here.

6 cups roughly chopped cantaloupe
1 pint Sun Gold tomatoes
10 calyxes (the little stem at the top of the tomato)
1 -2 tablespoons lemon juice or champagne vinegar
¼ cup sparkling water
Sea salt to taste 

Put all of the ingredients except for the sparkling water into a blender and purée until very smooth. Add sparkling water to thin. Transfer to a container, cover and chill for at least one hour. Stir before pouring into bowls to serve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hazelnut Polenta Muffins

Makes 6 muffins or one 9-inch round cake

1 cup polenta
¾ cup hazelnut meal (or almond meal)
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped roasted hazelnuts, divided
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
1/3 c roasted hazelnut oil (or olive oil)
½ cup honey
1/3 c almond yogurt (plain, low fat Almond Dream works well)
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds whisked together with 6 tablespoons of water

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a muffin pan with paper liners and coat the liners with oil. Alternatively, line a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper, and coat the sides and parchment with oil.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the polenta, hazelnut meal, ¼ cup of the hazelnuts, baking powder and salt.

In another mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, honey, flax mixture and yogurt.

Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and mix to combine.

Fill each muffin liner 2/3 to ¾ full with batter, top with remaining hazelnuts, and bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Alternatively, transfer the batter to the cake pan, top with remaining hazelnuts, and bake until golden and a wooden pick or skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes. 

Let cool completely on a rack before running a knife around the perimeter and serving.

 

 

 

Radish, Fennel & Citrus Salad with Creamy Avocado - Radish Green Dressing

Serves 4-6 

6 small radishes (leaves reserved), thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
1 small fennel bulb (fronds reserved), halved, cored and shaved paper-thin (about ½ cup)
2 tablespoons minced red onion
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 grapefruit
1 orange 
1 ripe avocado
1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the sliced radishes and fennel in a bowl of ice water and let soak until they become crisp, about 15 minutes. Once they are crisp, drain and pat dry with paper towels, then toss them together in a medium bowl and set aside.

Place the onion and lemon juice in a small bowl and let soak 25-30 minutes, until the onion and the juice start to turn pink. Strain the onions over a blender so the blender catches the lemon juice. Add the onions to the bowl with the radishes and fennel.

With a sharp knife, remove the grapefruit and orange peel, including the bitter white pith. Working over a different bowl, cut the citrus segments free from the membranes and release the segments into the bowl. Squeeze the citrus juice from the membranes. Transfer the citrus into the bowl with the radish and fennel.

Add 3-4 tablespoons of the citrus juice, 1 cup radish leaves (thoroughly cleaned), and half of the avocado (use half if it is a large avocado, all of it if it is small) to the blender, and blend until smooth and creamy. Add more citrus juice to thin to your liking.

Gently fold enough of the dressing into the salad to coat the vegetables lightly and evenly. (Store the remaining dressing in an airtight container in the fridge and add to beans, grains, other veggies…) Add salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with the walnuts and small pieces of the fennel fronds. 

Smokey Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Kale & Hazelnuts

Serves 4-6

1 pound Fingerling potatoes, cut in half or quarters into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sweet smoked paprika, divided

1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup tahini
1 head of kale, de-stemmed and torn into bite-sized pieces

1/3 cup roughly chopped toasted hazelnuts
¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mound the potatoes on a large baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, 2 teaspoons paprika, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Spread the potatoes out in a single layer and roast them until just tender and brown, about 30 minutes, turning once. Set aside to cool.

While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the other ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, lemon juice, tahini, and remaining paprika. Place the kale in a large bowl and add the dressing, massaging it into the kale for about 2 minutes, or until the kale softens.

Fold the hazelnuts into the kale, reserving 1 tablespoon for garnish, and fold in the potatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Divide equally among plates and garnish with the reserved hazelnuts.