Barley, Beet & Kale Salad with Feta

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This salad is more than a salad, it is a meal. It has everything you would want in a meal and a salad;  protein to sustain your stomach for a while and, fiber and antioxidants (kale & beets), salty feta and a fresh orange zest to round out the flavors. Although I have made this salad/meal with barley (which is wheat free, not gf) you can sub out any grain, like quinoa or wild rice. It would give the same overall effect. This is a meal that gets better over time. You can prepare this a day in advance while the kale softens up from the rice vinegar dressing. Kale is not one of the wimpy greens that shrivels up and gets mushy with a dressing; it’s assertive at first and holds up but with time and maceration in a vinaigrette it absorbs the flavors and softens up a bit. It’s also one of the many reasons you can keep this in the fridge for a few days and grab it as a lunch in a packed container.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil; more for drizzling
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 bunch Tuscan kale, center ribs and stems removed, leaves cut into 1-inch squares
1/4 cup minced shallots

3 medium, trimmed
1 1/4 cups pearl barley or quinoa or wild rice
4 ounces feta, crumbled
2 teaspoons (or more) unseasoned rice vinegar

Directions

  1. Whisk 1/4 cup oil, white wine vinegar, sugar, and orange zest in a large bowl to blend; season with salt and pepper. Add kale and shallots; mix until completely coated. Cover and chill until kale is tender, at least 3 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°. Arrange beets in a small baking dish and drizzle with a little oil. Season with salt and turn beets to coat. Cover with foil. Bake beets until tender when pierced with a thin knife, about 45 minutes. Let cool completely. Peel beets. Cut into 1/4-inch pieces.
  3. Cook barley in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 45 minutes. Drain barley and let cool completely.
  4. Add beets, barley, and feta to kale. Drizzle salad with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons rice vinegar; gently to combine. Season to taste with pepper and more rice vinegar, if desired.

Rice & Kale with Yoghurt Za’atar

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I have been avoiding writing on my blog lately. I just did not know how to start again….
My father passed away on August 9th, while I was in London. I flew to Israel to bury him, and met with the remainder of my family as we sat shiva there for seven days. I felt whirl-winded to say the least.
A very sullen feeling came over me.
My father was the ultimate trooper and was an eternal optimist. I could hear his words in my ear, lingering… “Dahling, carry on with your life” AKA as darling, carry on with your life. Imagine that in an Afghan/Indian accent.
I am doing exactly that, and exactly what he showed me and how he lived. Nothing lasts forever, but cherish what you have and live to the fullest. He did just that.

The gift, and there are many, is that my family and my father’s family from Italy and Asia were all in Israel, coincidentally. We could share in stories of my father. He was a one of a kind – gentleman, leader, mediator, and always opened up his pocket and business to help anyone in need.

Now that I have left my father in his final resting place in Israel, there is a craving for Israel.
Interestingly, my son, who flew in from Thailand to be at the burial in Israel has decided to move to Israel for now. My niece and nephew who flew in from Miami for the burial wished they could study in Israel. I like to think that the grandkids are clinging onto my dad – his essence– but I know that I have his essence where ever I am.

While I am still in full CSA season mode, I received a bunch of kale. To bring some Mediterranean influence into a well known European vegetable, and a little feeling of my father in Israel into my food , I decided to use some za’atar and greek yoghurt for this Rice and Kale bowl. Love the hearty crunch from the kale, that almost has a charred feeling to it and pairs perfectly with the yoghurt, capers and za’atar.

Serves 2-3

Ingredients

olive oil
1 bunch of kale, destemmed and chopped
3 cups cooked brown rice or any grain you prefer

To serve:

capers, rinsed, dried, and pan-fried until blistered in olive oil
sunny side-up egg
dollop of salted greek yogurt
drizzle of good extra-virgin olive oil
za’atar, to taste
toasted sesame seeds

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet or pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the kale and a couple pinches of salt. Saute until the kale softens a bit and darkens.
  2. Stir in the cooked rice, and cook until the rice is hot. If your rice is on the dry side, you might have to add some water.
  3. Serve the kale rice topped with (preferably) all of the following: the capers, egg, yogurt drizzled with olive oil, and plenty of za’atar.

 

Kale & Potato Curry

We just celebrated Rosh Hashana in the sign of Virgo where attention to systems, health, details and routines are all up and in the lime light during this time. It is a time we renew ourselves and start over in this new year. Intentions and goals set during this time find energetic support by the newly born year.
I ended my year with submitting my manuscript to my publisher for my upcoming cookbook Silk & Spice: Mindful Eating for the Vegetarian from the Silk Road  due out in Fall 2013. It was a three year process to formulate and write my cookbook, and although I am ecstatic that it’s getting published, I am a bit sad that this project of mine is over. It was my companion for a long time. We cooked, tweaked and revised together until we got to perfection. I will write another post about the process of writing my cookbook.
For me, this Rosh Hashana is about introspection and food, and connecting them both in a way, where food can be used to grace ones life with Gods presence. I will be working on my next labor of love, Spiritual Kneading for Rosh Chodesh which is about taking the physical matter of dough and kneading it as a means to clear the mind and connect with God and your innermost goodness.

And speaking of goodness, I just made this Kale & Potato Curry dish utilizing Falls’ typical produce, which shines on your face like a warm summers day with these golden potatoes. If you want to make it ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze it, leave out the yoghurt and add it at the last minute, just before serving.

Servings 4

Ingredients

1 bunch kale
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 onion, halved and finely sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, minced
l ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
l ½ teaspoon ground cumin
l ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cardamom pods, smashed
4 medium potatoes, cut into bite size chunks
1 cup plain (full-fat) yoghurt
1½ tablespoons tomato purée
small bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
small handful of almonds, cashews or pistachios, toasted and chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Separate the kale from the stalks and roughly chop the leaves.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion and saute until just golden.
  3. Meanwhile, pound the garlic, chili and ginger together with a pinch of salt to a paste. Add to the onion and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Tip in the rest of the spices and stir for a minute or two.
  4. Add the potatoes and chopped kale and saute, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, so that they are well coated with the spice mixture.
  5. Pour in enough water to just cover the vegetables. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes until the potatoes are just tender. Add the kale, stir and cook until just wilted.
  6. In a bowl, whisk together the yoghurt, tomato puree and some of the hot liquid from the curry.
  7. Remove the curry from the heat, stir in the yoghurt mixture, return to the heat and warm through very gently (if it gets too hot, the yoghurt will curdle). Stir in most of the cilantro.
  8. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Scatter over the toasted nuts and remaining cilantro, then serve with rice.

Lemon Zested Kale Salad with Pecorino Cheese

I think kale is the quintessential vegetable that leads people to associate it with an organic lifestyle…. if that means meditating, chanting, vegetarianism- it’s just all healthy and environmentally friendly. Probably every vegetarian organic restaurant I have ever been to features kale on the menu- and it’s no wonder, as it has a strong dose of anti oxidants which has anti cancer properties.

Usually I eat kale steamed with potatoes and create a curry dish tossing some spices and onions together in the pan. However, this past week, my CSA delivered tender kale greens which forms the perfect background layer to this intense salad that is combined with the strong flavored ingredients of dry-roasted slivered  almonds, red pepper flakes, and a simple lemon with olive oil dressing. This has become one of my FAVORITE salads because it has all the things I love in a salad- crunch, cheese and mostly satisfying.

The salad calls for just a handful of ingredients, but they all deliver. Simple, but special- just use fresh and the best. It’s a salad I throw together for a light dinner, but also something I can make for friends or family when they come over on the spur.

This recipe has been inspired by Melissa Clark’s In The Kitchen with a Good Appetite

 Ingredients

1 bunch Tuscan kale
1/2 garlic clove or 1 garlic scape
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a pinch
1/4 cup (or small handful) grated pecorino cheese, plus additional for garnish
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for garnish
Freshly squeezed juice of one lemon
1/2 toasted slivered almonds
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Trim the bottom few inches off the kale stems and discard. Slice the kale into 3/4-inch ribbons. You should have 4 to 5 cups. Place the kale in a large bowl.
  2. Using a mortar and pestle or a knife, pound or mince the garlic or garlic scape and 1/4 teaspoon of salt into a paste. Transfer the garlic to a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup cheese, 3 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, pinch of salt, pepper flakes, and black pepper and whisk to combine. Pour the dressing over the kale and toss very well (the dressing will be thick and need lots of tossing to coat the leaves). Let the salad sit for 5 minutes, then serve topped with the toasted slivered almonds, additional cheese, and a drizzle of oil.

Lemon-Mustard Kale and Roasted Potatoes

Kale is considered one of the oldest forms of cabbage, and native to the eastern Mediterranean, researchers believe it may have been grown as a food crop as early as 2000 B. C.

Slice potatoes for roasting
Season potatoes with salt and pepper and layer with sliced onions. Drizzle with olive oil.

In order to properly prepare kale, make sure to remove the tough stem.  To do so, run your knife down either side of the center stem, pull to remove, and discard.  Then, coarsely chop the leaves into ribbons or pieces. Secondly, be sure to cook your kale until tender, but not overcooked.  This can take a little bit of getting used to, because kale takes a lot longer to cook than most greens due to it’s thickness. When it’s tender and turns a bright green, it’s usually done.

Saute Kale

Now to this salad – which is more like a meal with the potatoes gently tossed in olive oil and roasted with sliced red onions, giving it a sweet tinge. A perfect light lunch as the weather turns colder and you need the nutrients of kale to keep your immunity strong. The kale is tossed with the potatoes, forming hefty servings once portioned out onto your plate. I like how the potatoes are a little crisp on the outside, yet not hard like a potato chip – the insides were still moist and a bit fluffy. Mixing it with tender greens coated in that tangy lemon dressing is a nice way to round out the dish. Simple, clean and a fantastic way to get in utilize my CSA share.

Serves 4

Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds potatoes, sliced 1/4″ thick
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound kale
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh grated lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 large cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together potatoes, onion slices and 1 tablespoon oil – season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Spread mixture in a single layer between two baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Place into the oven and roast, flipping the potatoes and onions over halfway through, until the potatoes are brown and crisp, about 40 to 45 minutes.
  3. Trim kale and slice leaves into large pieces – rinse well and drain, leaving some water clinging to the leaves.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest and mustard.
  5. In a large skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high. Add garlic – cook, stirring constantly, until lightly golden, about 2 minutes. Add kale and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in mustard mixture, tossing well to coat – cook just until heated though. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Remove from the heat and toss with the roasted potato mixture to serve.

Kale Potato Salad with Mustard Dressing

So what happens when you have leafy Tuscan kale, and some small potatoes? You’re two-thirds of the way to an uncommonly satisfying salad. Some olive oil, vinegar and a dab of mustard, and a one-two-three dressing for them is done.
This salad was brought together by tossing the potato mixture with the kale, forming rather hefty servings once portioned out onto our plates.  Mixing the heartier potatoes with tender greens, coated in that tangy dressing, was a nice way to round out the dish. This is a simple, clean and a fantastic way to utilize produce of the season for a satisfying meal. This mustard dressing unexpectedly emboldens kale and potatoes with its creaminess and tart richness.

Ingredients

2 pounds small potatoes, scrubbed
1 pound kale, coarse stems discarded and the leaves washed well and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion

Directions:

  1. In a kettle combine the potatoes with enough water to cover them by 2 inches, bring the water to a boil, and simmer the potatoes 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are tender.
  2. Transfer the potatoes with a slotted spoon to a colander, reserving the cooking liquid, and in the reserved cooking liquid boil the kale, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the kale in a sieve, refresh them under cold water, and squeeze them dry in a kitchen towel.
  4. In a bowl whisk together the mustard, the vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste, add the oil in a stream, whisking, and whisk the dressing until it emulsified.
  5. Quarter the potatoes and add them to the dressing. Add the kale, pulling them apart to separate the leaves and the scallion and toss the salad well.

Crispy Green Kale Chips… That’s Right, You Read it the First Time- Kale Chips (Vegan, Gluten Free)


We have all head potato chips in our lives…. as a child I was a potato chip junky! Now once in a blue moon if I dare snack on chips, I would buy the organic baked sea salt kind, you know the one by Kettle. They have several different flavors… Chipotle, Sea Salt with Black Pepper and Barbeque. Now my son who is the fussiest chip eater will devour the Barbeque flavor.

Only who needs to spend money and bring in useless packaging into your home when you can make your own Kale Chips. Yes, you read correctly…. kale chips. Why kale chips you ask? Because over the course of the past three weeks since my CSA started up again for the season, I have been getting a lot of kale. Although I happen to be quite inventive with how to prepare kale, like Sesame Kale Salad, and Stir Fried Kale in Garlic…. I wanted to be a little more inventive with this thick, leather like green leaf vegetable.

It turns out that because of its tough leathery attribute, it make it perfect for baking into Kale chips. Can you imagine… healthy, I mean really healthy chips?? I love it. How can I not try it out? and did I love it.

I would never lie to you when it comes to chips, as I take crackly crunch quite seriously. Baking kale transforms it from the dense bitterness — into something impossibly light, with a nice depth of flavor from the oil and salt. This isn’t a stewy stick-to-your ribs kale braise and it is not something you eat because you ought to, it’s something you’d eat because you like it. Revolutionary stuff, people.

These are a low calorie nutritious snack. Like potato chips, you cannot stop at just eating one. They are great for parties and a good conversation topic.
This recipe comes from Lucy Del Ray on AllRecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt

Directions

  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Line a non insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt.
  3. Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.