Raw Kale Salad with Maple Tahini Dressing

Kale saladLast month I was in Chicago for a girls weekend that was filled with amazing people, food, and fun times (ladies, you know who you are).  One of the meals we had that I wanted to try to replicate was this raw kale salad.  It’s delicious and a great make-ahead dish if you plan to entertain as the kale benefits from marinating in the dressing.

Ingredients:

Dressing:
2 Tbsp Tahini
2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1/8 Tsp Celtic sea salt
1 clove garlic (grate with microplane)

Salad:

4 leaves of organic curly kale
A handful of brussel sprouts
A small handful of slivered almonds
Optional – a few pinches of Maldon Sea Salt flakes if you like the crunch of a little extra saltiness

Make the dressing and set aside.  Wash the kale and strip the center rib away from the rest of the leaf, bunch the leaves together and slice the kale into thin strips.  Next wash the brussel sprouts and cut off the ends and discard the outer bruised leaves – cut brussel sprouts into thin slices.  Add the kale and brussel sprouts to a mixing bowl and add the dressing – mix well and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour or 2 – even over night.  Add the almond slivers (and Maldon sea salt flakes if you choose) just before serving.

Enjoy!  Gxo

Brownies with Coconut Flour and Sea Salt

browniesI have been trying to eat gluten-free for over a year now and I still regard most gluten-free recipes with skepticism but I have to say these are pretty good.  Coconut flour has a distinct flavor and texture that I really love.  This recipe is easy to make and doesn’t require too many ingredients.  Texture is important in brownies and I would describe these as somewhere between fudge and cake-like but closer to the cake side.  There is a healthy amount of butter – I haven’t gotten savvy enough to figure out the best substitutes when baking but I will keep you posted on updated versions.

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup coconut flour
1/2 Cup cocoa powder
1/2 Cup butter, melted
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 Cup maple syrup (or more if you like sweeter brownies)
1 Tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt plus more for sprinkling on top of the baked brownies
Optional: pinch of cayenne pepper if you like a touch of heat  

Preheat oven to 300F and grease a 9X9 baking dish.  Mix all of the ingredients together and pour into the baking dish.  Bake for 30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  Allow them to cool before cutting.

Enjoy!

Gxo

Ginger Miso Dressing with Lime

Ginger miso dressingI always like to make my own dressings and I came up with this one when I was looking for ways to make steamed vegetables more interesting.  This ginger miso dressing is so full of bright fresh flavors and it can be used in so many ways.  I like it on salads, over fish or chicken, over steamed veggies, as a dip for veggies, a marinade….  Let me know what creative things you come up with!

Ingredients:
(this makes enough dressing for about 4 individual servings)

1 Tbsp finely grated ginger (I recommend using a microplane)
1/2 clove of finely grated garlic (again, I recommend a microplane)
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sweet white miso paste
1/2 Tsp toasted sesame oil
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro (optional)
Pinch of red chili flakes (optional)

Add all ingredients to a jar with a lid and when lid is firmly tightened shake to incorporate all ingredients.  This can keep in the fridge for a few days – the flavors will continue to marinate and get even better.  Enjoy!

Gxo

Roasted Vegetable Soup

There might Roasted veg soupbe an arctic blast happening outside but you wouldn’t know it in here.  This warming soup is just the thing to keep you cozy on a freezing and snowy winter day.  It’s also a quick and easy way to transform leftover roasted vegetables.  Any mix of vegetables will do and you can just as easily make this soup for one or a crowd.  I accessorized my soup with some kale chips lightly dusted with celtic sea salt and cayenne pepper.

Ingredients for roasting the vegetables:

1-2 medium sized sweet potatoes (I like to leave the skin on, cut into cubes – approx 1/2 – 1 inch pieces)
3 medium sized parsnips (peeled and cut into cubes – approx 1/2 – 1 inch pieces)
1 medium sized celery root (cut away the outside gnarly layer and cut into cubes – approx 1/2 – 1 inch pieces)
1-2 leeks (cut off the root end and green ends, slice in half lengthwise and rinse out any dirt/grit, cut into approx 1/2 – 1 inch pieces)
2-3 cloves of garlic (smashed with the side of a chef’s knife, remove paper skin)
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Heat oven to 425F.  Pile all of the  vegetables on a baking sheet and drizzle with a few table spoons of olive oil.  Then sprinkle a few pinches of salt and pepper.  Using your hands mix all of the veggies together with the oil, salt, and pepper so everything is evenly coated (feel free to add a touch more oil if the veggies need it).  When everything is mixed make sure the veggies are evenly spread out on the baking sheet and place in the oven.  They will need 30-40 minutes or so.  Check on them at 15-20 minutes and stir them around so they cook evenly.  They will be ready when cooked thru and soft on the inside while caramelized and browning on the outside – you can check by piercing the veggies with a knife or fork.

These roasted vegetables are delicious as they are OR for transforming them into a soup here’s what you need to do:

Ingredients for Roasted Vegetable Soup:
Roasted Veggies (see above)
Broth (Chicken or Vegetable are best and you can use homemade, store bought, or bouillon cubes)

Heat your favorite broth or stock in a pot (or you can even add hot water and a bouillon cube to a bowl for a super quick one-person meal).

When the stock is heated thru take it off the heat and add the roasted vegetables.  With an immersion blender mix all together adding more vegetables or thinning out with more water to get the exact consistency you like.

Enjoy!

Gxo

The Perfect Valentine’s Day Date

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Sending out lot’s of love to you all.  These are inspired by my mom – the marzipan dates are a Swiss tradition at our house.  These are so decadent and super easy to make.  No baking required.

Vday

Marzipan dates:

Medjool dates
Marzipan
Walnut halves

Make a cut thru one side of the date to remove the pit then add a piece of marzipan which has been rolled into a log shape to fit into the cut section of the date.  Finally add the walnut half on top and press into the marzipan lightly.  Voila!

Cashew nut butter and Coconut dates:

Medjool dates
Cashew nut butter (best when chilled)
Coconut flakes

Make a cut thru one side of the date to remove the pit then add a small spoon full of cashew nut butter (refrigerated cashew nut butter works best – if your nut butter is runny refrigerate dates after filling to let them set).  Finally dip the dates (cashew butter side down) into coconut flakes.  And there you have it!

You can play around with different combos of nut butters and ingredients – let me know what you come up with!

Gxo

Coconut Milk Curry

Cold, grey, and snowy and still a few more months to go before Spring!  One thing keeping me going are the warm bowls of soups and stews that deliver many meals out of one big pot.  These types of dishes have so much flavor and there are endless ways to keep them interesting by switching up ingredients.  My latest experiment is worthy of sharing – it’s SO easy and you can modify it based on whatever you have on hand or whatever your food preferences.  I also happen to love fish but I don’t love when my small apartment smells like fish so this is a great cooking method that solves for that issue (although it does now smell of curry).

Curry

Ingredients:

32 oz box of Coconut Milk (I used unsweetened but sweetened can work too)
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
Shallot – minced
2 cloves garlic – minced
3 inch stub of ginger – minced or grated with a microplane
1 Tbsp curry powder
3/4 Tbsp Turmeric powder
1/2 Tbsp Cumin
1 tsp salt
2 cups chopped vegetables (I used celery root, carrots, and kale – other great options: cauliflower, green beans, sweet potato)
1 lb wild caught cod fillet cut into 2 inch pieces (you can omit this or instead use chicken or tofu)
Cilantro – chopped
Lime
Rice – your choice of rice or grain, prepare according to package

Preparation:

In a Le Creuset pot I heated olive oil over medium heat and then added the shallot, ginger, garlic, and after a few minutes added the spices: curry, turmeric, and cumin.  When you smell the aromatic fragrance of the spices you are ready to add the chopped veggies and coconut milk and salt.  Bring to a boil then lower temperature and allow this to simmer covered for 30 minutes or so until all the veggies have softened and the flavors have developed – taste to adjust saltiness to your liking.  You can now add either fish or chicken if you choose.  Cooking time will vary – check after 8-10 minutes.  Fish should flake easily when cooked through and chicken should no longer be pink inside.  Another option: I prepped the veggie curry and then allowed it to cool, a few hours later when ready for dinner I reheated it adding the cod after bringing the curry to a boil and lowering to a simmer.  My cod was ready in about 8 minutes.  I added the chopped cilantro and a fresh squeeze of lime to finish and served over rice.

* This tastes even more amazing the next day!

Enjoy!

Gxo

P.S.  If you like it spicy you can add crushed pepper flakes or chop up your favorite hot peppers and add it at the point when you add the ginger.