Tag Archives: greens

raw kale salad

Kale is my most favorite vegetable. We usually eat at least two or three big bunches of it a week. Now that it is summertime and I really don’t want to turn the stove on, we eat a variation of this kale salad more often than I care to admit. After all, I am suppose to be running a food blog and trying all of these new recipes all the time, right? However, when it is summertime, especially in the Pacific Northwest, I generally eat a lot of fresh and raw foods and about 75% of my diet is berries.

This kale salad is way tastier than you think it will be. Lemony, cheesy dressing, crispy breadcrumbs, and pleasantly chewy kale? Yes, please.

A Raw Kale Salad

1 bunch of lacinato (aka dino, tuscan, or black) kale, washed, stems stripped, and sliced into think ribbons

1 clove of garlic, peeled and grated with a microplane

1 lemon

2 tbsp (or more) grated parmesan cheese OR nutritional yeast (this is a fairly common vegan ingredient and can be found at whole foods or similar stores, and it really tastes sort of cheesy)

big pinch of crushed red pepper

olive oil, salt and pepper

fresh bread crumbs, well toasted and crispy

Make the dressing:

In the serving bowl, grate in the garlic and the zest from the lemon. Add the lemon juice, red pepper, cheese/nutritional yeast, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk in olive oil, a couple of tablespoons, until the dressing is thinned out. If you need more liquid, add a bit of water or vegetable stock. Toss the kale in the dressing. You can let the kale marinate and break down a bit or just serve it as is. Top with the toasted bread crumbs and enjoy!

Note: Sometimes, I add a ripe avocado to this, by mashing 1/3 in with the dressing and cutting the rest into small cubes and add it to the salad with the kale. The acidic dressing will keep the avocado from browning.

Oh, and I have starting making this summer’s jams! Today i made this delicious vanilla rhubarb jam. Yum.



Filed under cheesy, greens, quick

a typical dinner

when i was cooking dinner tonight, i thought about the types of foods that i have been posting.  sadly, as only one person, i can not eat a whole round of cornbread by myself before it starts to turn dry and stale or can i eat a whole pot of soup before i get sick of it.  even though i have been trying to cut back on portions so i wouldn’t have to eat butternut squash and chickpea salad for 4 days straight, sometimes you just can’t make a tiny, single tiered birthday cake (that would be ungenerous.)

this is a very typical weeknight dinner for me.  i usually roast a huge batch of vegetables on sunday after i get home from the farmers market to eat throughout the week (on a salad for lunch, dipped into ketchup, on top of some grains) and often have some sort of leafy green and a piece of toast.  my dinners are smaller because i get home later since i run or go to the gym after work and don’t really want to have a huge dinner to digest right before going to sleep.  sometimes i just have a large smoothie (banana, frozen berries, small scoop of protein powder, almond milk, and a very, very large handful of spinach (which you DO NOT TASTE AT ALL!)) for dinner, especially if i do a long run at night.

tonight i had some roasted aspargus with lemon, roasted parsnips with parm, and these very tasty swiss chard cakes.  i bought a huge bunch of red swiss chard (this accounts for the color) at the civic center farmers market for $1 and wanted to cook it a different way then my usual sautee with garlic and balsamic finish.  i listened to an episode of the splendid table (which i love as much as this american life, radio lab, and the new yorker outloud) where a caller asked what to do with an abundance of swiss chard from her garden.  lynne rossetto kasper suggested this little swiss chard cakes or fritters.  they turned out crispy and delicious and shocking red in color.  they are pretty fast to make as well and good for school nights.

swiss chard cakes

1 large bunch of swiss chard, cleaned well and leaves and stalks sliced into thin ribbons

2 large garlic cloves sliced thinly

1 bunch of scallions slices in 1/2 in segments, on the diagonal

small handful chopped olives or maybe capers

salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar to taste

1 tsp smoked paprika


2 eggs

generous grating of parmagiano

heat a large saute pan over medium high heat with a bit of olive oil.  add the garlic and scallions and saute until golden brown.  add the swiss chard, season with salt, pepper, and paprika, and cover.  when the greens have wilted down, remove the lid and turn up the heat to try to evaporate off some of the moisture (aka pot likker.)  when the greens are just tender pull them off the heat in dump them into a mixing bowl.  let them cool for a bit and add just enough flour and egg and parmagiano to bind them into small patties.  wipe out your pan and heat it up with enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan.  when the oil starts to ripple and smoke a little bit, place the patties into the pan and let them crisp up on both sides.  this should not take too long.  make sure that you do not touch them after you place them into the pan for several moments so a crust with form.  otherwise, everything will just stick to the pan.  crisp up all of the patties and serve.  i had mine with a small spoonful of goat cheese and a bit of hot sauce.  you can also make them into an actual veggie burger with a bun or, for lunch the next day, on top of a salad.

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coconut sweet potato and kale soup

continuing the soup and stew pattern, i made this fragrant soup a couple of weeks ago.  this is both incredibly delicious and nutritious!  this has a really warm scent that is intensified by the vanilla extract that is stirred in at the end.  if the thought of using vanilla in a savory application (like ferran adria’s vanilla whipped potatoes or lobster with a vanilla sauce) sounds strange to you, this is a good recipe to start out with and you can always leave it out.  the soup is naturally pretty sweet from the sweet potatoes so the vanilla is a natural match; the same is true with the whipped potatoes and lobster.  i am pretty into “garnishing” my food these days but that is mostly an excuse to add more flavors and textures. here i sprinkled some unsweetened shredded coconut and toasted chopped walnuts but, as with many other soups that i make, a spoon of plain yogurt would be a good match with its creaminess and acidity.

coconut, sweet potato, and kale soup

adapted from kath eats

several large sweet potatoes, washed and cubed.  i left the skin on for nutrients, but you can also peel them if you wish.

1 tbsp canola oil or other neutral oil

1 small to medium red onion diced

2-3 cloves garlic minced

about 1 can coconut milk.  i used lite.

1+ cup unsweetened soy milk.  you can use a dairy milk if  you wish.

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp curry powder

1/4 tsp ground coriander

generous sprinkle of cinnamon

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1 bunch of kale cleaned, steams removed, and torn into bite sized pieces

generous handful of golden raisins

1 tsp good vanilla extract

salt and pepper

your choice of garnishes

in your soup pot, heat the canola oil over medium heat and add the onion.  sweat the onion until soft and add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute.  add the sweet potato and cook until they start to brown a bit.  add all of the spices and season.  after the spices toast for a bit, add the coconut milk and other milk and maybe about 1 can of water or stock.  lower the heat and simmer until the sweet potato is soft.  mash the sweet potato or for a finer texture puree in your blender.  depending on the amount of sweet potato you have, you may or may not need to add more liquid, either in water or stock form or in additional soy milk form.  when the puree is at your desired consistency, add the kale and raisins.  simmer until the kale is tender and the raisins are plumped.  taste and season and possibly add more liquid.  turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla.  serve and garish to your liking!

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Filed under greens, soups

(southern) collard greens

as we are steadily moving through winter, the variety of vegetables in season is reduced to greens, cabbages, and root vegetables.  not that i mind, of course.  i would take dark leafy greens over most other vegetables any day, especially kale and collard greens.  southern style greens are usually boiled with some porky product for hours until they are meltingly soft with an ample amount of pot liquor remaining.  since i do not eat meat, i wanted to make a vegetarian version without the pork, but with all of the savory flavor.  a vegan version for this style appeared in herbivoracious. the use of shitake mushrooms and good soy sauce or tamari is just the right ingredient needed for that umami flavor.  the smoked paprika gives these greens an additional layer of flavor.  i ate these on a sunday night with some cornbread and baked beans.

veganized southern style collard greens

from herbivoracious

1 large bunch of collard greens, cleaned, with the center rib removed and sliced into ribbons

1 small handful of fresh shitake mushrooms, cleans and sliced thinly

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 small onion thinly sliced

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 large pinch red pepper flakes

2 tsp or so good soy sauce or tamari

salt and pepper to taste

heat the oil over medium heat in your biggest pot.  add the onions and the mushrooms and cook until they start to color.  add the collards, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, soy sauce, and about 1/4-1/2 cup of water.  reduce the heat to low and cover and let everything simmer until tender, maybe 30 minutes at least.  check periodically to see if the greens need more water.  when the greens are cooked, uncover and turn the heat up and cook off some of the excess water.  check the seasonings and adjust.  it will most likely need more salt or soy sauce.  yum.

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swiss chard and bread crumbs

I used to make pasta dishes about once a week.  these days, i seem to be cooking and eating lots soups or roasted vegetables.  this sort of simple pasta dish is perfect before or after a long run.  Use any green that you have on hand.  the swiss chard was very tender in the end so i might use a sturdier green next time, like kale or rapini.  chickpeas or other beans help bulk up the pasta with some protein.  the bread crumbs provide a really nice texture against the softness of the pasta and the goat cheese gives a tiny bit of acidity that is needed.

swiss chard, chickpea, bread crumb, and goat cheese pasta

whole wheat linguini or other pasta (i used maybe 1/3 of a standard package)

1 medium onion diced

2 cloves garlic minced

1 large bunch of greens (swiss chard, kale, rapini, etc.) washed and sliced into ribbons

1 can of chickpeas or other bean

red pepper flakes

wine or stock for deglazing

balsamic vinegar

fresh breadcrumbs (make them yourself with old bread and a blender or food processor)

goat cheese and parmigiano to taste

parsley, finely chopped

set a large pot of water to boil, salt the water and add the pasta.  in a large sautee pan, heat a spoonful of olive oil and add the onion until translucent.  add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.  add a healthy pinch of red pepper flakes and the drained chickpeas.  deglaze the pan with some wine or stock and add the greens.  cover and cook until tender.  meanwhile, toast the breadcrumbs with a bit of butter.  when the greens have wilted, add a swirl of balsamic vinegar and toss.  drain the pasta and add to the greens.  make sure everything is well seasoned and add some pasta water so the sauce comes together.  serve with crumbled goat cheese, parmigiano shavings, breadcrumbs, and parsley.

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Filed under greens, noodles, quick, vegetables

pantry soup

this past sunday, i was trying to use up some veggies that were on their last leg.  it is soup weather in sf right now so i thought that this would be the perfect thing to make and eat throughout the week.  this sort of soup is actually one of the very first things i ever cooked for myself in high school.  back then, i rally had no idea what i was doing so i tossed everything into the soup pot.  now, i have learned enough about flavor profiles and textures to come up with soups that work well while i am cooking.  this is really, really variable so use what ever you have on hand.  if you wan to make it more minestone style, just add some pasta.  if you eat meat, add some bulk sausage (sweet or spicy) while you are sauteeing the veggies.  this is most excellent with a good piece of bread with melty cheese.

pantry soup or mushroom, kale, and white bean soup
1 medium onion chopped

2 stalks celery diced

1 large carrot diced

2-3 cloves of garlic sliced thin

large handful of mushrooms sliced or quartered

several smallish potatoes diced

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 bunch of kale, cleaned and center rib removed, in small pieces

1 can of white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 box or so vegetable broth

generous splash of wine (whatever you are drinking)

2 sprigs of thyme

handful of chopped parsley

the rind of your parmigiano reggiano cheese (please save this!  it is so flavorful!)

parmigiano for serving

heat a splash of olive oil in your soup pot and sautee the onion, celery, and carrot until the onion becomes translucent.  add the mushrooms and cook until they start to brown a little.  add the potatoes and cook for several more minutes.  add the tomato paste and stir to coat the veggies.  add the drained beans and deglaze the pan with the wine.  add enough vegetable stock to cover and dump the kale and thyme into the pot.  bring to a simmer and add the parmigiano rind and season well.  simmer for at least 15 or 20 minutes and keep tasting and adjusting the seasoning.  right before serving, toss in the chopped parsley.  ladle out generious portions and top with grated parm.  sit in front of your fireplace or space heater and enjoy.

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Filed under from the pantry, soups, vegetables