Category Archives: Fall and Warm Greens

Kale and Quinoa Salad with Apple Lime Dressing

This salad is a combination of so many of my favourite foods right now: kale, quinoa, carrots, fresh in-season fuji apple and lime….so delicious and, it is perfect served immediately or can be stored in the fridge for a day or two; it also makes a great potluck or party dish. I always make it with Lacinato or Dinosaur Kale but it would work with curly kale or any other variety too. I suppose you could use a different variety of apple as well but the Fuji apple has a nice balanced sweet and tart with a hint of floral flavour and, bonus, they are local and in season (here) right now. This recipe serves 4.

Apple Lime Dressing
1/2    large Fuji Apple, chopped
1         Lime, zested
1         Lime, juiced
1         teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2    cup Rice Vinegar
2         teaspoons Sesame Oil
1/4    cup Sunflower Oil
2         tablespoons Honey or Agave Syrup

Toss all ingredients in a food processor or blender and set aside.

Kale Quinoa Salad
1        large bunch Lacinato Kale, stems removed, coarsely chopped into about 1 inch strips then hand torn*
3/4   cup Quinoa, rinsed well then cooked in one cup fresh water
2-3    large Carrots, shredded
1/2    large Fuji Apple, chopped
1/2    cup raw or toasted Almonds

Hand tear the chopped kale into a large bowl. *Hand tearing bruises the raw kale making it softer and ready to eat without cooking, if you are planning on storing the salad in the fridge to serve later you could skip the hand tearing as marinating in the dressing will also soften the kale.

Add warm cooked quinoa, shredded carrot and the vinaigrette, toss until coated.

Add chopped apple and almonds, toss to combine again and add fresh ground pepper to taste.

Enjoy!

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Organic Chorizo Sausage, White Bean and Kale Soup

First time I made this soup I did it without the white beans and saffron but I felt in need something, my boyfriend suggested the beans – perfect, and I added Saffron; I think it’s about right now.  This soup would be great to get lots of super healthy kale into a loved one who might prefer lots of sausage =). The sausage I used is McLean’s Organic Chorizo Pork Sausage. If I need a processed meat that I can’t get from my butcher I like to use Mclean Organic Foods. Their deli line is made from meat that was produced without growth hormones, antibiotics, and from farms that meet an animal welfare criteria. Their products are free of common allergens, food additives and are organic too!

Large heavy bottomed soup pot
Large skillet
Potato masher
Paper towel
3           tablespoons Sunflower Oil
1           large Onion, finely chopped
3           cloves Garlic, pressed
2           lbs Yukon Potatoes, thinly sliced
10         cups Broth
1           can, White Beans
1           lb Chorizo Pork Sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1           tablespoon Paprika
Pinch Saffron Threads
1-2        bunches Lacinato/Dinosaur Kale, center ribs discarded and leaves cut crosswise into thin slices
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
Cook onion with oil in heavy bottom pot over moderate heat until translucent and just golden.

Add garlic and sliced potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally for 4 minutes.

Add broth and sea salt to taste and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, sauté chorizo in skillet over moderately high heat until browned. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Coarsely mash potatoes in soup with a potato masher. Stir in white beans, chorizo, paprika, saffron and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in kale and simmer until just tender.

Adjust seasoning to taste.

Sesame Carrot and Asparagus Stir-Fry

I make a lot of stir-frys with ginger, garlic and Braggs,  such a simple, flavourful combo.  Tonight I threw in some chopped up Swiss Chard (since my garden full on it is all frozen!) and had it with Quinoa.  Its also yummy with rice!

Looking for a protein? Try Thai-Peanut Chicken Skewers.

Vegetarian? Go with Thai-Peanut Tofu

-Click here for home made peanut sauce recipe-

Large skillet or wok, medium-high heat:
2              tablespoons Sesame Oil
1              clove Garlic, minced
3              tablespoons fresh Ginger, minced (one tablespoon reserved)
5              cups Carrots, thinly sliced diagonally
5              cups fresh Asparagus, ends snapped off and cut into two
1/3         cup Braggs (Tamari or Soy Sauce would work here too but use less)
1/3         cup Toasted Sesame Seeds

Add carrots, garlic and 2 tablespoons of ginger to hot oiled skillet and sauté till just brown but still crisp.  Add Asparagus and sauté for a minute or so more, until they are bright green but also, still crisp.

Stir in Braggs and remove from heat.

Toss with sesame seeds and serve.

Kale and Caramelized Shallots with Toasted Quinoa

I created this recipe a couple weeks ago and found myself craving it again already.  Its so simple yet so tasty and unbelievable good for you!  Kale comes in many different varieties, for this recipe I like dinosaur kale but you could use any really. All varieties are packed with cancer preventing compounds, vitamins, minerals and chlorophyll.  Submerging the whole leaves in boiling water allows the kale to retain more of its nutrients.

Medium pot
Large pot with boiling water
Large sauce pan
1          cup Quinoa, rinsed and drained
2          bunches Dinosaur (lacinato) Kale, rinsed and ends trimmed
8          large Shallots, thinly sliced
4          tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3          tablespoons Lemon Juice
Coarse Sea salt
Fresh Ground Pepper

Heat rinsed quinoa in pot on medium high,  shake/stir frequently until it takes on a golden tinge and begins to crackle.  Add 1 1/2 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce to low and cook until all water is absorbed. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in large sauce pan on medium heat, sauté thinly sliced shallots for 6-8 minutes or until very soft. Add lemon juice and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Blanch kale, 2-3 minutes, in boiling pot of water (in two batches if the pot seems too small). Should be bright green and just tender.  Remove, drain, and cut leaves into bite sized pieces.

Add kale to shallots and sauté for 2 minutes. Add cooked quinoa and remaining oil, sauté for another 2 minutes and season with salt and pepper.

Serves 6

Collard Green

The cholesterol-lowering ability of collard greens may be the greatest of all commonly eaten cruciferous vegetables. In a recent study, steamed collard greens outshined steamed kale, mustard greens, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cabbage in terms of its ability to bind bile acids in the digestive tract. When this bile acid binding takes place, it is easier for the bile acids to be excreted from the body. Since bile acids are made from cholesterol, the net impact of this bile acid binding is a lowering of the body’s cholesterol level.

It’s worth noting that steamed collards show much greater bile acid binding ability than raw collards.

Unlike broccoli and kale and cabbage, you won’t find many research studies devoted to the specific health benefits of collard greens. However, collard greens are sometimes included in a longer list of cruciferous vegetables that are lumped together and examined for the health benefits they provide. Based on a very small number of studies looking specifically at collard greens, and a larger number of studies looking at cruciferous vegetables as a group (and including collard greens on the list of vegetables studied), cancer prevention appears to be a standout area for collard greens with respect to their health benefits.

This connection between collard greens and cancer prevention should not be surprising since collard greens provide special nutrient support for three body systems that are closely connected with cancer development as well as cancer prevention. These three systems are (1) the body’s detox system, (2) its antioxidant system, and (3) its inflammatory/anti-inflammatory system. Chronic imbalances in any of these three systems can increase risk of cancer, and when imbalances in all three systems occur simultaneously, the risk of cancer increases significantly. Among all types of cancer, prevention of the following cancer types is most closely associated with intake of collard greens: bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer.

If you want to include collard greens and other cruciferous vegetables you eat on a regular basis to receive the fantastic health benefits provided then, at a minimum, have 2-3 servings per week, and make the serving size at least 1-1/2 cups.  Try using collard greens in place of spinach, like in egg scrambles, soups, stir frys even as wraps!  They stay much firmer and don’t have a very strong taste.

Cooking:
It is very important not to overcook collard greens. Like other cruciferous vegetables overcooked collard greens will begin to emit the unpleasant sulfur smell associated with overcooking. To help collard greens to cook more quickly, evenly slice the leaves into ½-inch slices and the stems into 1/4-inch pieces. Let them sit for at least 5 minutes to bring out the health-promoting qualities and steam for 5 minutes.