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Posts tagged ‘kale’

A Green Smoothie-Fiesta Friday Healthy Recipe Challenge


Every Friday Angie, you all know Angie right, hosts the virtual party Fiesta Friday.  We all link our recipes on her site and you can bring whatever you want,  well this is a little different, she gave all of us that participate in Fiesta Friday a challenge. She listed two ingredients, leafy greens and pineapple and asked us to make something using them. This recipe has never posted on the blog before only a photo. I found this on Williams Sonoma website and searching it’s no longer there but luckily I had posted it on Instagram,  I put my own spin on it, adding some different ingredients and it turned out great, it’s delicious and healthful and uses both leafy greens and pineapple. I am so glad that Angie gave us this challenge because this smoothie hadn’t been on my radar and I am happy to have rediscovered it because it’s delicious, easy to make, nutritious and such a pretty color green.  There will most likely be dozens of green smoothies and they will be very similar but thats ok, here is mine and I love it. You can use whatever leafy green you like. I actually mixed kale and spinach. You get great results when you freeze your pineapple and banana, the smoothie is cold and thick and creamy. Oh I also should add that there are GREAT prizes for the winners of this challenge, yes first, second and third place winners will be chosen by a panel of judges. How exciting is this! You can submit as many recipes as you like. Hope you all enter.

A Healthy Green Smoothie

adapted from a recipe on Williams-Sonoma

makes 2 generous portions

1 cup cleaned baby spinach

1 cup kale, leaves only and tender stems – discard the tough ones

1/2 ripe avocado

1 cup frozen cubed nicely ripe pineapple

1 ripe banana cut into chunks and frozen

1-1 1/2 cups coconut water (freeze your coconut water in ice cube trays for a colder creamier smoothie) start with one cup and add more if you like a thinner smoothie

1/2 cup full fat coconut milk or 1/4 cup of the coconut cream scooped off the top of cold canned coconut milk

1 tsp fresh ginger grated or finely chopped

1 tbs fresh mint leaves chopped (or just throw in a few mint leaves)

juice of half a lemon

1 tsp matcha powder (optional)

Put all of the ingredients into your blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Enjoy immediately.










Zucchini Pesto Lasagna And A Kale Lentil Salad


Here are a quick couple of recipes that I have made that turned out well and I wanted to share them with you. We had 2 days where the temps were under 90 woo hoo!! We are back up almost at 90 again but I have seen the light at the end of the tunnel. I harvested my basil from the garden and made a big jar of pesto, also working on harvesting my herbs and drying them so I have for the winter. The lasagna uses some of the pesto and the zucchini I got at the farmers market. It’s so simple to make and really delicious. I haven’t been eating meat lately, I can’t bring myself to eat it right now. The Kale and lentil salad provides protein from the lentils and cheese and pistachio a very nice substitute and delicious. The lighting was weird on the photo of the lasagna, it was daylight but I guess the natural light wasn’t sufficient, the pan is sitting on a white cloth that looks purple or blue.

Zucchini Pesto Lasagna

Serves 2

1 or 2 large zucchini cut into thin strips approxmately 1/4 inch thick

roasted tomato (you don’t need much it’s only for the bottom of the pan)

2-3 tbs pesto



grated parmigiana or romano cheese

olive oil

Heat oven to 375, brush the zucchini strips with olive oil, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and roast until lightly browned, it only took about 20 minutes. If you don’t have roasted tomatoes you can make those at the same time. I used an oval roasting pan and placed some tomato at the bottom, add a layer of zucchini, spread some of the pesto on each zucchini slice, dollop on some ricotta, a little grated or sliced mozzarella and sprinkle with grated cheese. Repeat and top with mozzarella and grated cheese. Bake at 375 for approximately 30 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.

lentil and kale salad

kale and lentil salad

Lentil and kale salad

Serves 2

1 cup dry lentils washed

1 carrot cut into pieces

1 shallot

3 sprigs of thyme

water to cover the lentils

salt and pepper

In skillet sauté the shallot and carrot, add the lentils and water, salt and pepper and cook until lentils are al denté, add more water if you need to during the cooking. Rinse the lentils and set aside.

Assembling the salad

Kale leaves washed (as much as you want)

some crumbled feta (again as much as you want)

handful roasted pistachio chopped

tomato chopped.

Place the kale in a large salad bowl drizzle with olive oil and massage until softened. Add the lentils, tomato pistachio and feta. To dress just whisk a little honey, thyme leaves and white wine vinegar together and pour on the salad. Keeps beautifully even until the next day.

In closing I made another parfait, I love eating them, they are delicious and for me guilt free. This is just Carr’s whole meal biscuit, greek yogurt, peaches and blackberries. Thats it!!



Fall Harvest Salad And Meeting A Friend


I honestly didn’t know what to call this salad. The name is sort of an accurate description. I saw this amazing Fall Panzanella salad on Susan Pridmore’s blog The Wimpy Vegetarian. I immediately knew I had to make it it just sounded so good, kale, butternut squash, bread, apples, onions. I fell in love, then I had lunch at Speedy Romeo’s, a fantastic restaurant in my neighborhood that makes the most amazing brick oven pizza in incrediblely creative ways.  They also have some awesome salads,  I ordered a kale, apple, pomegranate, goat cheese salad that rocked my world. I have to add that I went there with Patty Nguyen, she is an very talented photographer and has a beautiful blog of the same name that I have been following for several years now. This is not the first time we met, whenever Patty comes to NYC we get together. I had the pleasure of meeting her family this time and we had a wonderful time.

Pizza with Patty and family at Speedy Romeo's Brooklyn

Pizza with Patty and family at Speedy Romeo’s Brooklyn photo by Patty Nguyen

Back to the salad as I explained Susan’s Fall Panzanella grabbed me and then the salad at the restaurant was incredible, they have similar flavor profiles. I need to eat more salad, but for me it has to be super flavorful and very interesting. Lettuce and tomato are great (on a BLT) but not that interesting. I decided to take both salads and take a little from each, add my own touch and see how it comes out. It had to have kale that was a must, I wanted it to be seasonal so I added butternut squash that was roasted in the oven, apples,  some toasted pumpkin seeds and pine nuts and grated aged Asiago cheese.  I used Susan salad dressing which is made with apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and apple.  I massaged the kale for a long time, a good 15 minutes I wanted it to be really relaxed, 10 minutes with a little olive oil and another 5 minutes with dressing, added chopped apple, butternut squash,nuts, seeds and grated cheese, another splash of dressing, season and voila, a delicious, nutritious fresh salad, bursting with flavor.


Fall Harvest Salad

1 head green curly kale cleaned, leaves torn from stems and chopped chiffonade

2 apples cleaned, cut into bite size pieces

2 cups cubed butternut squash

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds toasted

1/2 cup pine nuts toasted

approximately 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese

Pre heat oven to 375 degree’s. Place butternut squash pieces on sheet pan lined with parchment, drizzle with olive oil and toss to make sure every piece is covered in oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for approximately 30 minutes or unti squash is tender and lightly browned.

Remove the squash and set aside, place the pumpkin seeds and pine nuts on the same piece of parchment and toast in the oven for about 15 minutes watching carefully so they do not burn. Remove nuts and set aside.

Grate cheese and set aside.

Place chiffonade kale in large salad bowl, drizzle on a little olive oil and massage the kale really well, I worked on it for about 10 minutes. Add some of the dressing and massage another 5 minutes. Cut the apple into bite size pieces and toss into the kale, add the squash, nuts and seeds, toss to combine, add the grated cheese, season with salt and pepper, add more dressing if you like (I did). You can serve immediately but this salad keeps really well in the refrigerator for hours so it can be made ahead of time.

Dressing- Apple Vinaigrette

Recipe by Susan Pridmore- The Wimpy Vegetarian

1/2 apple peeled, seeded and diced

3 tbs apple cider vinegar

1 tbs maple syrup

3-4 tbs olive oil

1/4 tsp kosher salt

Mash the apple in a small food processor, if you don’t have a small processor heat in the microwave for about a minute and mash using a mortar and pestle. Whisk mashed apple into the vinegar, salt, maple syrup and olive oil.

Cannellini Bean,Kale And Bacon Soup For Fiesta Friday #51

Bean and Kale Soup

Bean and Kale Soup

It’s cold out and a big pot of steaming hot soup is in order. I tend to be short on time and sometimes patience so a laborious process during the week is not in the cards for me. I used canned beans for this soup. there I said it, no soaking dried beans overnight, waiting hours for them to cook, good old canned cannellini beans and you know what the soup is delicious. This is really a simple rustic soup, one I had growing up, white bean soup with some sort of green in it and usually ham hock or bacon is a wonderful childhood memory. The soup is substantial and really no recipe is required so I will list the ingredients and amounts that I used but you can tailor the soup to your own taste. It is also delicious without the bacon for our lovely vegetarian friends. I made another loaf of sour dough bread and am serving it toasted with some melty delicious raclette. Bon Appetit!!

I am bringing a big pot of soup to Fiesta Friday #51, it’s so exciting we are almost at the 1 year mark and Angie@The Novice Gardener and her lovely co hosts Jhuls @The Not So Creative Cook and Juju @cookingwithauntjuju promise another fantastic party, how could it not be with so many great cooks.

Soup, bread and Cheese

Soup, bread and Cheese

Cannellini Bean, Kale and Bacon Soup

Serves 6-8 generously

6 cans (15 oz) cannellini beans drained

2 cloves garlic (minced)

1 onion diced

2 thick slices of bacon cut into small pieces

1 head kale (I used Tuscan) chopped

32 oz stock (chicken or vegetable)

2 cups (approximate) water

2 sprigs fresh thyme

In large pot add a little olive oil, heat on medium high and add onions, saute until softened and add garlic, continue to saute until the garlic softens, add the bacon cook for another 5 minutes and add the kale, let the kale wilt. Now add the liquid (stock and water), beans and the thyme. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium, continue cooking for about an hour to an hour and a half  or longer until the beans break down a bit and the kale is soft.  I like to mash some of the beans to thicken the soup, I just use a big spoon and mash on the side of the pot, leaving some beans whole. Serve hot.




2 Recipes Eating Clean And Special Walnuts For Fiesta Friday #33

Fiesta Friday

Fiesta Friday

Eating clean, I’ve heard the term but never really grasped what it means, it’s quite simple really, read about it here in an article on Cooking Light, in a nutshell you eat unprocessed whole foods, nothing new really we should all eat like that, the term is new but not the concept.  I receive emails from Martha Stewart living and really love some of the recipes from her site, I always have admired Martha’s business acumen and respect how she has built her empire and she also has some amazing recipes. This particular email had recipes that focus on eating clean, the recipes are always simple and are prepared on video by Shira Bocar.  The salad contains Tuscan Kale (use tuscan its more tender when eaten raw), apples, beets and walnuts with a dressing made from avocado, white wine vinegar,  dijon mustard and oil. I don’t have a mandolin which is what you are supposed to use to cut the beets paper thin, so as a result my beets were a bit too thick and raw beets really need to be thin, next time I will roast my beets for a little while and then slice,or get over my mandolin phobia and get one of those.

In the same email there was a recipe (I guess you can call it that) for broiling broccoli rabe and chick peas. This was a revelation for me, I always steamed it and the florets become overcooked while the stems are still hard and stringy, I wanted to give this a try, the key is for the broccoli rabe and chickpeas to be dry so plan in advance and let your vegetables and chickpeas drain and dry completely. I must say I love Martha’s clean eating video’s here is the one with the broccoli rabe. Shira serves with some fresh ricotta drizzled with olive oil and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes.

The walnuts in the salad were a gift from Patty Nguyen, I love her blog, she is a photographer and a great cook, she also has the most adorable little dog. She came to NYC to visit her brother and we met at the Brooklyn Flea, These walnuts (Chandler walnuts)  were hand cracked and are amazing, fresh and delicious.  I told Patty I would use them in a recipe and post it, so Patty,  here it is. Thank you for the delicious walnuts and I so enjoyed meeting you.

Chandler walnuts

Chandler walnuts

I am bringing both of these healthful vegetable dishes to the party, Angie@The Novice Gardener is hosting this gathering of friends and great cooks, imagine the line up with so many great and talented cooks preparing the food, The co hosts this week are Andrea @Cooking with a Wallflower and Sylvia @Superfoodista enjoy the clean food my dear friends.

Creamy kale salad

Creamy kale salad

Creamy Kale Salad

1 ripe avocado, halved, seed removed
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (You could also use lemon juice) I added an extra tbs of vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons walnut oil or extra-virgin olive oil (I used walnut oil)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 bunch kale (8 oz.), stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 small red beet, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a golden beet also)
1 sweet, crisp apple, cored and cut into thin wedges
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
Combine avocado, vinegar, mustard, and oil in a food processor. Pulse until smooth. (It will be thick.) Season with salt and pepper.
Combine kale, beets, apple, and walnuts in a large bowl. Toss with avocado dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Suggestion: Add Farro, freekeh or some whole grain to the salad, it will be filling and delicious.



ready for the broiler

ready for the broiler

Broccoli Rabe and chickpeas

1 bunch broccoli rabe cleaned and trimmed (Be sure to keep the leaves, they crisp beautifully in the broiler)

1 can chick peas drained and dried

6 tbs olive oil (If you use 2 small sheet pans 3 tbs per tray)

thinly sliced garlic 2 cloves


Really important to make sure your broccoli rabe and chick peas are dry, moisture is the enemy for this dish Place dry broccoli rabe on sheet pan, don’t over crowd. Add the chickpeas and garlic. Spoon or drizzle oil and massage into the broccoli rabe and chick peas, sprinkle with salt and place in heated broiler for 2 minutes, take out of the oven and turn the broccoli and place back in the oven for another 2 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.NOTE: I washed and dried my broccoli rabe and chickpeas the day before I made the dish, just bagged and refrigerated and they were perfectly dry. I think it depend on your oven how long you leave in to broil. I found that after the prescribed 4 minutes in the broiler the broccoli rabe was still quite raw a bit too crunchy, it is probably my oven, I’m sure in the Martha Stewart test kitchen they have commercial grade ovens that have more BTU’s than mine. So I put it in an extra 6 minutes. It was done perfectly, a little toothsome but still tender. So the cooking time will vary.

ready to eat

ready to eat

Hearty Kale Salad With Kabocha Squash,Pomegranate Seeds And Toasted Hazelnut And An Award

Kale Salad

Kale Salad

I love healthful food, I really do but my style of cooking isn’t really super healthy. I try, I really do but unfortunately I fall short most of the time. Incorporating raw foods, salads into my diet is challenging sometimes. A friend and I hosted a dinner party the other night and we wanted to do a low carb, healthful meal. I found this recipe on Food52, Gena Hamshaw is vegan and has some amazing, balanced healthful dishes. I took one look at this salad and knew it would be on the menu that evening. What does it contain? Lots of super foods, Kale, pomegranate, hazelnuts and Kabocha squash. The kale is massaged with a little of the dressing to soften, then you toss with the rest of the light lemon dressing. It’s delicious, honestly, really really good. I had everything for the salad except the squash so I subbed sweet potato which I prepared in exactly the same way as you would the squash.

Serves 4-6

  • 1 Large bunch curly kale, stems removed and discarded, torn into bite sized pieces, washed, and spun dry
  • 1 Small kabocha squash (Japanese pumpkin), halved and seeded and cut into 1.5 inch pieces ( I used 1 medium size sweet potato using the same method as described in step 1)
  • 4 tablespoons Olive oil, divided into 1 tbsp and 3 tbsp
  • 3/4 cups Pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup Skinned hazelnuts
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sea salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Toss the squash in 1 tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper on a baking sheet. Roast for 30-35 minutes, or until golden, stopping halfway through to stir.
  2. While squash is roasting, place the hazelnuts in a shallow baking dish (or a pie pan) and toast in the oven for 4-6 minutes, or until they are golden. Check them frequently and remove them the moment they start to get brown. Once they’ve cooled a little, chop them roughly and set aside.
  3. Whisk together the remaining olive oil, mustard, lemon, maple syrup, sea salt, and pepper. Pour 3 tbsp over the kale to begin with, and “massage” the kale well with your hands, till it’s coated in the dressing and taking on a soft, almost wilted texture. Add the remaining dressing as needed and according to tastes. Add pomegranate seeds and hazelnuts.
  4. Once the squash has finished cooking and has cooled for 10-15 minutes, add it to the salad and serve.

I am so thankful that Cambios de humor nominated me for the Shine On Award. Thank you so much, I am so honored to have been included in your list of nominee’s. Please visit her blog, you will love the honesty and humor in her posts.  Thank you again!!


Featured Recipe- Kale and Apple Salad

For this weeks Featured Recipe I wanted a fresh and delicious salad. We all need our fresh vegetables and fruits every day and I am always searching for a tasty recipe. I love salads and my new best friend is Kale, it’s packed full of vital nutrients and whether you eat it cooked or raw your body will thank you for it. This salad is a meal in itself, think about it, kale, apples, cabbage,fennel, wild rice a delicious citrusy dressing, your taste buds will do the dance of joy. I love this salad on it’s own, but it can accompany a protein also, there are so many different things you can add to this if you want, some grilled chicken or tofu would be fantastic. I am making this salad again with some Himalayan Red Rice instead of wild rice, quinoa would also be a wonderful addition. Try it in pita bread and take it to work or school.  The possibilities are endless. Check out Hannah’s beautiful blog Blue Kale Road, its packed full of healthful delicious recipes that are family friendly and in my opinion are a celebration of fresh, natural foods.

Photo by Blue Kale Road

Kale and Apple Salad
Inspired by PCC’s Emerald City Salad
Serves 4-6

1/4 – 1/2 cup lemon juice (depending upon taste and amount of kale)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 large crisp apple, diced (my favorite variety is honeycrisp)
3/4 cup fennel, thinly sliced and chopped
1 cup red cabbage, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 bunch organic kale (lacinato or curly green – I like to use a combination of both), ribs removed and finely chopped
1 cup cooked wild rice

Whisk 1/2 cup lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and salt in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients to the bowl and toss (use your hands – it’s fun and will distribute the dressing more evenly). Taste for additional lemon juice, salt or pepper and add as desired.

The salad can be made a couple of hours ahead and chilled.