Eat Yer Greens!

September 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

Hey, I’m back! This time, I am going to share with you couple of my own original recipes – I made them up myself! I cook these as side dishes with dinner on a regular basis. 

I don’t know about you, but it has always been a chore for me to get enough green, leafy vegetables in my diet. Until this past year. To my relief, I no longer have to force-feed myself spinach and kale. Now, I can enjoy them as a part of a yummy dinner! Below are two recipes I created in search of a more nutritious diet. But, con cuidado: the recipes aren’t necessarily low-fat.  

One recipe uses kale, the other spinach. The kale recipe takes a little technique, but is super delicious when the garlic is perfectly pan roasted, the dates are tender and warm, the kale crispy and the avocado ripe and creamy. Heaven!!! The spinach recipe incorporates the flavors of sesame and pumpkin spice with creamy goat cheese. Mouth watering. 

These dishes should be cooked when everything else is ready to be eaten or almost ready because the process is fast and the greens taste best when hot. The kale recipe can be made vegan.

Kale with Garlic, Dates & Avocado 

Kale with Garlic, Dates and Avocado

 

Ingredients 

  • 4-5 Stocks of Kale
  • 1/4 Tsp. Crushed garlic
  • 1-2 Pats Butter (or coconut oil to make vegan)
  • 2 Medjool dates
  • 1/4 Ripe Avocado

Method 

Pit the dates and cut them into tiny pieces. Melt butter in a saute pan. Tear pieces of kale off the stalk. Add the kale to the pan and saute until hot. Add the garlic and dates, turn burner down to low. Saute until kale is wilted and the garlic is light brown. Don’t burn the garlic or the butter. Burnt garlic is bitter. Cube avocado and place cubes over kale. Serve hot. 

      

Sesame Spinach with Goat Cheese and Pumpkin Butter 

Sesame Spinach with Goat Cheese and Pumpkin Butter

Ingredients 

  • Large pan full of Spinach (always buy organic – I get it super cheap at Costco)
  • 1 Tbsp. Sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Sesame Seeds
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Goat Cheese (I recommend Trader Joes – a good price & taste)
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Pumpkin Butter (I recommend Kozlowski Farms @ QFC)

Method 

Turn burner to medium-high. Pour sesame oil into saute pan. Put spinach and sesame seeds in the pan. Saute quickly as the spinach wilts. Take off burner. Spoon goat cheese onto wilted spinach, being careful to avoid getting it directly onto the pan.  Transfer to a plate and spoon pumpkin butter over. Serve hot. (Good served accompanied with beef, chicken or fish).

 ********************** Hugs! ***********************

Eat crêpes. All the time.

September 12, 2010 § Leave a comment

Crêpes

Crêpes are one of my all-time favorite foods. I’ve made them so many times, I have the recipe memorized and I usually don’t even use measuring cups. Just a few eggs, a little flower, some sugar, salt, and milk. Fry them in real butter and top them with some granulated sugar.  Done. Simple. Sweet. Buttery.    

Another delicious way I like to eat crêpes is with a thin coating of lemon curd (Trader Joe’s) and a whisp of homemade lavender simple syrup. Makes my mouth water!
 
If you haven’t had much luck with crêpes, don’t feel angst about it. They are just thin, eggy pancakes. Nothing mysterious. If mine are a little too thick or a little too thin, I don’t worry. They are still going to taste good. There is always next time!

 Helpful tips:

  1. I like to bust-out the hand-beaters on the batter. I find that a wire whisk leaves too many lumps and there is really no need to get out an electric mixer here. A hand-beater is fun because it is a little kitsch and does the job, too.
  2. If you find the batter too thin, add some flour. If it is too thick, thin it out with some milk.
  3. Use real butter for frying. Yum!
  4. To flip crêpes perfectly (and look cool), try flipping them up in the air a tad and over. Make sure there isn’t a ton of loose batter or butter in the pan when you do it. You don’t want it to splatter and burn you. Otherwise, use a spatula.
 
My recipe: 
 
Ingredients:
3 eggs
3/4 cup – 1 cup flour
3/4 cup – 1 cup milk (can use soy milk)
2-3 tbsp sugar (to taste)
dash of salt
 
Method:
Heat at medium a mid-to-large round non-stick pan. Combine dry ingredients together.  Add eggs and beat until mixed. Add milk and beat until completely smooth – no lumps! Melt butter in the pan. Drop a ladle-full of batter into the pan until the batter runs to the edges of the pan, all the way around.  Once the edges of the crêpe look dry, flip it over. It should be golden and brown on the other side, just a tad crispy. Cook until the raised edges begin to lower a bit and remove. Keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.

24 Carrot Gold

September 7, 2010 § 4 Comments

Apricot Glazed Carrots with Mint and Cherries

I made this for the first time over the Labor Day weekend. My friend Karrie invited me to a party at her dad’s house in Wenatchee. I like to call her dad Papa Jenks. I made this dish for them and their guests at the party. What a hit! The glaze was sweet, but not overly so; it tasted super fresh and light, even though I used a canned apricot purée instead of fresh apricots. The carrots had just the right amount of crunch and the other flavors were perfectly complimentary. 

I obtained the recipe from O Magazine while I was getting my hair done a few weeks ago. The recipe grabbed my attention because it incorporated my new favorite combination: apricot & mint. This combination is sweet, but also incredibly light and refreshing.    

Here are my tips for making this recipe:
  1. I left out the sherry vinegar.
  2. I cooked the carrots just a bit, but took them off the heat before they completely lost their crunch.
  3. I used more than 3 tbsp. pine nuts, because I like them.
  4. Since apricots are out of season now, I used a product, called “Apricot Yum” from Rock Island Red at Pipitone Farm. It is organic and is pretty much puréed apricot.
  5. I chopped up the mint and sprinkled it over the carrots.
  6. I also pitted and halved dark cherries and sprinkled those over. Cherries go well with apricot and mint flavors.

Here is a link to the recipe:  

http://www.oprah.com/food/Glazed-Carrots-and-Apricots-with-Pine-Nuts-and-Mint 

Here are some places where you can find Apricot Yum

 http://www.greenpeople.org/listing/Pipitone-Farm-3602.cfm 

 Or I believe they are at the Ballard Farmers Market and University District Farmers Market, University Way Northeast and 50th Street (seattlefarmersmarkets.org).  

Hugs! 

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Lemon Thyme Bars

August 30, 2010 § 2 Comments

Lemon Thyme Bars

The very first post on my food blog! These lemon thyme bars came from a recipe by Giada De Laurentiis of the Food Network. Giada’s recipes are usually rich; she often balances sweet and savory flavors just the way I like them.  The Food Network online is great because of the videos and user comments and reviews.  

It can take a long time to sit and read the reviews, so one feature of this blog will be well-vetted recipes with helpful hints, gleaned from reviews. I will do my best to try all the hints and provide them upfront so that my readers don’t have to do a ton of homework.    

Here are the helpful hints you should keep in mind when making these bars:  

  1. Don’t use too much thyme – use about half or it will overpower the lemon.
  2. More vanilla doesn’t make it creamier, so don’t go there.
  3. Quadruple the recipe to make even a small pan-full.
  4. After spooning the dough into the pan, use very wet fingers to press it down. Re-wet your fingers as often as needed to keep the dough from sticking.

Here is a link to her recipe:  

www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/lemon-thyme-bars-recipe/index.html  

Hugs!  

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