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.

Afghan Ratatouille

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Might seem odd to call a french dish, Afghan. After all, Ratatouille is a stew of simmered summer vegetables usually with tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and eggplant. Interestingly in Afghanistan, and really in the entire Central Asian region there are notorious for stews as well – all utilizing seasonal ingredients, excepting that the spices and herbs rule in the stews. My mother regularly made this version of Ratatouille and always called it Choresh, which basically means in farsi – stew. Probably the closet cousin to this dish is the Persian Eggplant dish called Choresh Badjeman. The emphasis on my dish is on the spices: cumin and turmeric, which gives it more color and more of an earthy, slightly smoky flavor that I love so much. Traditionally the french cook each vegetable in separate pots, tending to each vegetable’s needs before bringing them together at the end. I use one pot for everything, just like all Central Asian cooks. We cook everything in one pot and let it cook slowly over a low flame.  It’s not just that it’s easier, the results taste better because all the vegetables have plenty of time to get acquainted in the pot. I also don’t peel or seed the tomatoes. Generally speaking ratatouille needs time. Time for the garlic, onions and bell peppers to caramelize, making them sweet. Time for the thick-cut vegetables to soften, and of course time to illicit the essence from each ingredient, allowing them to mingle and reduce before being reabsorbed by the zucchini and eggplant. I like to serve this over basmati rice so that the rice can absorb the flavors and get soaked into each grain.

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 medium onions, sliced
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more to taste
6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 bell peppers,  (preferably sweet) cut into 1/4-inch slices
on the horizontal
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
3 ripe medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Sea Salt to taste

Directions

  1. Toss the eggplant cubes with a teaspoon or so of salt. Set the cubes in a colander to drain for about 20 minutes.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Stir in the onions and cook until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until the garlic starts to brown.
  3. Pat the eggplant dry, add to the pan, and cook stirring frequently, until golden. Add a bit more oil if the eggplant absorbs all the oil and sticks to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Sprinkle in the rest of the spices and adjust the seasoning with salt.
  5. Then stir in bell peppers. Cook for a few more minutes, then stir in zucchini. Cook for a few more minutes, then stir in tomatoes and cook for 10 to 15 minutes more, until all the vegetables are soft.

Fassoulyeh b’Chuderah ~ Syrian Bean Stew with Cinnamon & Tomato

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About a year ago I had the pleasure of having cookbook author and cooking instructor Jennifer Abadi come to home to learn how to make the Afghani Pilau. If you want the recipe, then you’ll just have to buy my book! Jennifer is writing a Sephardi Passover cookbook and she, herself travels all over the tri-state area to people’s homes to learn how to cook their traditional Passover recipes. Here is a photo from that tutorial I gave to Jennifer, who also interviewed me extensively on the history of the dishes for Passover of Afghanistan and Bukhara. We went to the Persian supermarket called A to Z near me and got a full history of the ingredients used in Central Asian cuisine.

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Jennifer, is the author of A Fistful of Lentils, a cookbook memoir about her Syrian Jewish family roots. Obviously, we have something in common. We cook to connect to our past and want the world to learn and taste of these ancient cuisines. Syrian cooking, which is considered Mediterranean and a bit off the beaten track from the Silk Road has certain characteristics that speak Syrian. That is…. beans, tomatoes and cinnamon. Arabs have had a long history with trading spices along the Spice Route. When ever I think of the fall season, for some reason I think of cinnamon. There is something very earthy and warm to cinnamon that just makes me feel grounded and home. Perhaps that is why I ventured out to make this bean stew that oozes cinnamon. The stew falls somewhere between a soup and a stew. It’s completely vegetarian, very satisfying, and–best of all–you may already have all of the ingredients in your pantry!

Ingredients

1 lb (2 1/2 cups) dried cannelini or navy beans
3 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes with juice
4 cups cold water or broth
1 tablespoon lightly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
cooked rice, for serving

Directions

  1. Cover the beans with cold water and remove any rocks, dirt, or other debris from the surface of the water. Let soak for 12 hours. Drain water and transfer to a 4-quart saucepan. Cover with water, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer vigorously until beans are just cooked but not soft, about 45 minutes. Drain water and reserve beans.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy soup pot over medium-high heat. Cook the onions, stirring, until translucent, about 7-8 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 additional minute; do not burn. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, water, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Return to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer over medium-low heat until beans are very soft and liquid has thickened considerably, about 1 1/2-2 hours.
  3. Serve in bowls over basmati rice.

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.

 

Bukharian Pilaf with Kidney Beans and Carrots

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Photo; Courtesy of Sari Kamin

Right before Passover, Sari Kamin of Honey + Shmaltz reached out to me for a lesson on Bukharian cookery. Sari is a vegan who originally started out her career as a struggling actress looking to make ends meat by waitressing. She was in restaurants so often that she fell in love with food. Subsequently entered the Food Studies program at NYU where she culminated her program with writing a thesis on foods across the globe. Sari found me and wanted to interview me on Central Asian cuisine to include into her thesis project.

With camera in one hand and a recording device in another, she took photos of me and the dish I prepared and recorded me on her website here. I spoke about my family history along the storied route of the Silk Road and my family travels all along the Spice Routes, and how it has influenced they way I cook. Her website is a recipe index of both celebrated and home cooks that she interviewed as an ongoing memoir of Jewish food.

Sari, then invited me to join her as a guest interview on her show, The Morning After (sounds like a pill, but not) which is part of Heritage Radio. You can hear the podcast here.

Back to this dish, and less PR. This Pilaf is the national dish of Bukhara, Afghanistan and Iran. With its variant spellings in all these countries, it also varies in ingredients as well. It can be made with chicken, beef or lamb. Mine is vegan and made with red kidney beans and in Bukharian fashion, with a big hunk of garlic head, and a dash of seasoning: salt and pepper. The caramelized onions and the slivered carrots form the undertone to the dish, while everything else just creates a perfect melange of flavors. Even the head of garlic, is not so garlicky, but rather like butter with a hint of garlic. The tastes do not seem forced, but just gentle on your tongue. Below you will find step by step photos on how to cut carrots for Pilau. While you can employ the food processor, the traditional way is by hand. This recipe is featured in my new cookbook, Silk Road Vegetarian. Hope you enjoy.

Bukharian Pilaf

Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 12 hours for soaking the beans and 1 hour for soaking the rice
Cook Time: 2 hours plus 1 hour 30 minutes for the beans

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 cup (200 g) dried red kidney beans
2 cups (450 g) basmati rice
3 cups (750 ml) boiling water
2½ teaspoons sea salt
½ cup (75 g) raisins
3 large onions, finely chopped
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
10 large carrots, cut into thin matchsticks
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
1 head garlic
2/3 cup (160 ml) oil
6 cardamom pods
3 cups (750 ml) water
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

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Peel carrots, and slice them on the bias

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Perfectly oblong sliced carrots

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You can place a few medallions on top of each other, and then cut into matchsticks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directions:

  1. Wash the rice until the water runs clear. Drain and pour the rice into a large bowl with 1 teaspoon salt and pour boiling water over it. Mix well and let it soak for 1 hour. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, plump the raisins in warm water.
  3. In a large saucepan set over medium-high heat, heat 4 tablespoons of the oil. Sauté the onion, stirring, for 7 minutes, or until softened. Then add the kidney beans, season with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pat down the mixture with the bottom of your spoon to form a fairly even layer.
  4. Make another layer with the carrots and season with remaining salt and cardamom. Make sure not to combine the carrots with the onions.
  5. Spoon the rice over the carrots, distributing it evenly all over the top.
  6. Bruise the cardamom pods: Place the pods on a flat surface, place the flat blade of a large chef’s knife on top of them and press down on it with the heel of your hand to crush them lightly until the outer husk cracks. Poke some holes into the rice and place the bruised cardamom pods into the holes. Pour 3 cups (750 ml) water and remaining oil over the rice in a circular motion.
  7. Drain the water from the raisins and season with cinnamon.
  8. With a spoon, form a pocket in the rice around the side of the saucepan, and place the raisins into the pocket. In the center of the saucepan, firmly push into the rice, the whole head of garlic.
  9. Place a paper towel large enough to cover the pan on the surface of the rice. The ends will extend outside the pot. Cover tightly with a lid. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 2 hours (f using brown rice) and 1 hour if using white rice, or until the rice is fully cooked. (The towel will absorb the steam, preventing the rice from getting too sticky.) Check the rice periodically to make sure that the rice did not dry up. If the water has dried up during the cooking process and the rice is still not done, add ½ cup (125 ml) water.
  10. When the rice is done, use a skimmer to gently transfer each layer onto a serving dish. First, remove the garlic and set to the side of the platter. Then transfer the rice, then the carrots, and finally the beans. Scatter the raisins over the top for a sweet accent.

Chickpea Curry

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Years before I was a vegetarian, I used to make this dish with chicken. My mother in law, Shirley introduced the Chicken Curry dish to me all the way from her homeland of South Africa. Durban, at the southern end of Africa, by the Indian Ocean has a large population of Indians that were brought over as slaves for cotton picking. As a result, there is a large influence of Indian cookery in South African cuisine. In typical South African manner, the chicken curry is served with embellishments –  topped with sliced bananas and shredded coconut. It is simply sublime. Subsequently, since I became a vegetarian several years ago, I transformed this dish using chickpeas. The chickpeas are simmered in a fragrantly spiced tomato mixture, and kicked up with the South African toppings, thereby creating a melange of sweet, spicy, and crunchy.

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup dried chickpeas or 2 (15 ounce) cans of chickpeas
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 heaping teaspoon curry powder
2 tablespoons grated ginger
1 small chili (seeds removed)
1 onion, diced
½ teaspoon chili powder
4 cloves crushed garlic
2 tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoon mango chutney (or any of your choice)
Sliced Banana, for topping (optional)
Shredded Coconut, for topping (optional)

Directions

  1. Soak the dried chickpeas overnight in a large bowl with plenty of cold water. The following day, drain the water and rinse again. Place in a large saucepan, and cover the chickpeas with cold water, one inch above the chickpeas. Bring to boil and simmer, skimming off any foam, for about an hour, or until tender. Drain and rinse and skin the chickpeas, preferable but optional.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a medium sized skillet over a medium high flame, add mustard seed, turmeric, curry powder, ginger, chili and chili powder. Stir for 2 minutes.
  3. Then add onions and garlic, stirring to make sure onions don’t brown. Cook until the onions are translucent, about 7 minutes.
  4. Then add tomatoes, and cook until the tomatoes have liquified, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the cooked chickpeas and let it simmer, covered for 30 minutes over low heat. Once cooked, add mango chutney. When ready to serve, top with sliced banana and shredded coconut with a side of basmati rice.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Looks like Brick Oven Pizza

Just to be clear, this is not a pizza with cauliflower on it. This is a gluten free pizza where the actual crust is made from cauliflower. Interesting?….. right. That’s what I thought when I first found this recipe and had to try it for myself. It is so simple to make.

I think everyone has a food weakness. What I mean is that we all have something we could eat day in and day out that could pack on the pounds, but then… we have to face the treadmill. I am so not into conventional exercising machines, and I do love my pizza. So I am here to introduce to you a really low fat, high fiber healthy pizza. If you ever thought pizza was just fattening, think again. It has been reinvented.

Actually pizza has been morphed quite a few times along the Silk Road. Although the origins of pizza are quite fuzzy, there is an agreement that it did come from Central or South Italy. Originally it’s thought that pizza was a focaiccia dipped in fresh tomato sauce. In North Africa, we can find many cuisines that dip their bread in tomato sauce – so my thinking is that pizza originally came from North Africa, maybe even Yemen who are known for dipping the malawach (fried pastry bread) into a tomato puree. There was a direct connection between Africa and Italy in Ancient Rome, where slaves were imported from Africa. I know… not Rome’s most stellar act in Ancient history.

Anyway, back to the recipe. The method for making this cauliflower pizza crust is by “ricing” the cauliflower. May seem like an odd term, but essentially what are going to do, is to process the raw cauliflower through a mill until it’s broken down into little rice resembling pieces. If you want to make use of all the tomatoes coming in for the summer season, then you might want to make a fresh batch of tomato sauce.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza


Serves 4; Adapted from Your Lighter Side.

Ingredients

1 large cauliflower, riced
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp dried oregano
3 cloves garlic, garlic
1/2 teaspoon Sea salt
olive oil,for glaze

1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
Fresh Italian Herbs, such as basil for topping
 

Directions

To “Rice” the Cauliflower:

  1. Take 1 large head of fresh cauliflower, remove stems and leaves, and chop the florets into chunks. Add to food processor and pulse until it looks like grain. Do not over-do pulse or you will puree it. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can grate the whole head with a cheese grater). Place the riced cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 8 minutes (some microwaves are more powerful than others, so you may need to reduce this cooking time). There is no need to add water, as the natural moisture in the cauliflower is enough to cook itself.

To Make the Pizza Crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the cauliflower, eggs and 1 cup mozzarella. Add oregano, crushed garlic and salt, stir. Transfer to the cookie sheet, and using your hands, pat out into a 12″ round pan. Brush olive oil over top of mixture to help with browning.
  3. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven. To the crust, add sauce, remaining mozzarella cheese and any Italian herbs of your choice. Place under a broiler at high heat just until cheese is melted (approximately 3-4 minutes).

Enjoy!
*Note that toppings need to be precooked since you are only broiling for a few minutes.

Cauliflower Peanut Curry

There are times, when not to judge a book by its cover. Sometimes looks are really deceiving and I think that could be a good thing. If everything looked as it seemed there would be no mystery. Mystery is needed to seduce and to entice curiosity. That being said, let me address this picture before anything else. I wish I could blame the appearance of this meal on my lack of camera skills, or that it was having a bad “vegetable day” (Ha, Ha… ok I thought that was cute) however it’s just no beauty.

In spite of its less then stellar looks (poor thing) this peanuty coconut curry cauliflower dish tastes divine on a bed of brown basmati rice doused with raita, lemon slices, toasted slivered almonds, fresh or toasted coconut, raisins and sliced cucumbers. Shew…. Try saying that all in one breath. Pick your choice. This time around I chose coconut flakes.

This recipe comes originally from The New Moosewood Cookbook. I have modified some of the ingredients and recipe techniques to not only give it more protein and less carbs, (I do like to watch my figure;-) but to mimic authentic Indian cuisine. Sauteing the spices before the onions, creates the foundation for this dish and intensifies the flavors even more. And I definitely like intensity.

Cauliflower Peanut Curry

Serves 6

Ingredients
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon Sea salt 
3 medium cloves garlic, peeled
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, minced

1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, reserve some for garnish
1/2 cup lightly toasted peanuts
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1/2 cup water (more, as needed)

1 large cauliflower, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 medium carrot, cut into coin medallions
1 cup cooked chick peas
Juice of 1 lemon

Directions

  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large, deep skillet and add the mustard seeds, turmeric, ground cloves, cumin seeds and cayenne pepper.  Once the mustard seeds start to pop,  (less than a minute) stir in the onions and salt. Saute for 5 minutes over medium heat, until onions start to become translucent. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant.
  2. In the meantime, in a blender puree the peanuts, sesame seeds and shredded coconut with water. If it’s too thick, add more water. This should have the consistency of a thick paste.
  3. Then add cauliflower and carrot and mix well. Cover and cook about 10 minutes, then add the paste. Mix well. Cook, covered, over low heat until the cauliflower is tender, stirring every few minutes. Add more water, if necessary, to prevent sticking.
  4. Add the chick peas, and lemon juice, and cook a few more minutes. Taste to adjust salt, and serve hot, with rice and condiments.

Cauliflower and Green Pea Curry

This is a variation of Aloo Gobi; a Punjabi classic made with potatoes (aloo) and cauliflower (gobi), however I have omitted the potatoes to lighten up on the carbs. I love Indian food because it’s inexpensive and relatively simple to prepare, but more importantly, it never fails to light up my eyes, nose and tastebuds with its piquant flavors and vivid colors. This dish is filling, without being a total carb bomb (sans potatoes) and the leftovers are good for a couple of lunches during the week.The combination of cauliflower and green peas may not sound like much, but they happen to be the perfect canvas to paint on the vibrant flavors of ginger, garlic and onions. The turmeric does it’s part by imparting a golden hue to the cauliflower contrasting to the green peas, making this dish look exciting. Indian food is all about the use and combination of spices for amazing flavors.  Even though there are a lot of spices in the ingredient list, you will find that they are staples to the Silk Road repertoire. Serve alongside basmati rice.
Serves 6
Ingredients
 
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 head cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets
1/4 cup water
2 cups green peas
1 teaspoon sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup fresh parsley, for garnish
Directions
  1. In a large skillet, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and turmeric and saute until they begin to pop, about 30 seconds. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 7 minutes. Then add the garlic and ginger, and saute until fragrant.
  2. Add the cauliflower and saute until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the water, peas, salt, pepper and red pepper. Cover, reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is fork tender, but not mushy. Serve in a bowl or platter, garnished with parsley.

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.