Monday, April 29, 2013

Smoothie combination:

1/2 large orange, peeled
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1 cup spinach
1 Tbsp. chia seeds
1 tsp. flax oil (optional)
leaves from several sprigs of fresh mint
1/2 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen fruit (ie: blueberries, peaches, pineapple)

Blend!!  Light & refreshing.

Bitter Greens Salad with Walnut-Shallot Vinaigrette

(recipe from Christina Cooks)

3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. walnut oil
1 tsp. brown rice syrup (I used agave syrup, and also made with no sweetener - both fine)
1 shallot, very finely minced (I also used red onion, with success)
1 clove garlic, very finely minced
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2/3 tsp. salt
cracked black pepper

2 belgian endive, halved lengthwise, sliced into long ribbons
2 cups hand-shredded escarole
2 cups baby arugula
1 cup hand-shredded watercress
1 cup finely shredded radicchio
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, lightly pan toasted (optional)

Prepare vinaigrette:  Whisk together ingredients in a small bowl until emulsified (or shake in a small jar).  Set aside for flavors to develop.

Make salad:  Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl.  Toss gently with dressing to coat the leaves.

Makes 5 to 6 servings.

(Nice, substantial salad.  I find that the greens keep for several days if cut and tossed and stored in an airtight container, undressed.  I just love a simple, bitter greens salad!  I actually added an extra tablespoon of vinegar to my vinaigrette.)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Roasted Portobellos with Kale

(recipe from

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. honey
4 cloves garlic, divided
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
salt and freshly ground pepper
4 stemmed potobello mushrooms
1/2 thinly sliced red onion
pinch red pepper flakes
6 cups thinly sliced kale

Combine vinegar, honey, 2 chopped cloves garlic, and 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.  Arrange mushrooms in a baking dish.  Drizzle with vinaigrette, cover, and marinate, turning occasionally, at room temperature for at least 30 minutes (or overnight in the refrigerator).

Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion, 2 thinly sliced cloves garlic, and a pinch red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add kale, season with salt, and cook, covered, until bright green and soft, about 4 minutes.

Heat oven to 400F.  Roast mushrooms, flipping once, until tender, about 30 minutes.  Serve topped with kale.  Serves 2.

(This was delicious, though time consuming.  I marinated the mushrooms overnight, and they were very tangy.  Garlicky and tangy and delightful!)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Vellutata di Asparagi (asparagus soup with fried eggs)

(recipe from La Cucina Italiana magazine)

This recipe calls for a very detailed presentation involving toasts and eggs.  I am typing the recipe as is, but I did not use eggs or bread.  Instead, I just blended all of the asparagus and ate as a blended soup only.  Also, I used vegetable broth instead of water.

1 mini baguette
2 1/2 lbs. asparagus, trimmed
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, smashed and peeled
sea salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
freshly ground white peppercorns
4 large eggs

Cut 4 (1/3-inch-thick) slices from the baguette and lightly toast.  Save remaining baguette for another use.

Cut all but 8 asparagus into 1-inch lengths.  In a medium saucepan bring 3 1/3 cups water, onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt to a boil; add chopped asparagus and cook until tender, about 8 minutes.  In batches, carefully puree soup until creamy and smooth.  Return soup to pot and cover to keep warm.

Cut remaining asparagus in half, lengthwise, then cut in half crosswise; place in a large skillet.  Add water to come halfway up sides of pan, 1 Tbsp. oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Simmer until tender, about 3 minutes, then drain.

In a large nonstick skillet, fry eggs in remaining Tbsp. oil; sprinkle with salt.  Gently warm soup, stirring, then ladle into bowls.  Top with asparagus, fried eggs, and toasts.  Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with pepper.  Serve hot.

(This is a nice way to take advantage of the springtime sales on asparagus.  An elegant, subtle soup.)

Braised Napa Cabbage and Shiitakes

(recipe from Organic Style magazine)

12 small dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked, then halved
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 large clove garlic, peeled and minced
24 leaves napa cabbage, halved length-wise and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 scallions, trimmed, cut into 1-inch-long pieces, then julienned
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
salt and freshly ground pepper

Put shiitakes in a bowl, cover with hot water, and set aside until soft, about 30 minutes.  (Cover bowl to keep water hot.)  Drain; remove and discard stems.

Heat oil in a large pan or a wok over medium heat.  Stir-fry garlic until golden, 3 to 5 minutes.  Add shiitakes, cabbage, scallions, soy sauce, and sesame oil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and braise until cabbage is tender, about 20 minutes.

(I used fresh shiitakes, just sliced and added, so skipped the first step of the recipe.  I also didn't count out leaves of cabbage, just used one small head.  This is simple, but tasty!  The slow braising creates a slightly soupy dish, which tasted a bit like a bowl of ramen.  I've been cutting out grains, so, alas!, haven't eaten a noodle in a while - I may be exaggerating.  Anyway, a nice variation on cabbage.)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

A good smoothie combo:

1 orange, skins removed
1 meyer lemon, skins removed
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
fresh mint leaves (several stalks)
1 Tbsp. chia seeds
3/4 cup water


Braised Endive and Pear Slices with Lemon

(recipe from Christina Cooks)

2 tsp. olive oil
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. salt (or less)
4 Belgian endive, bottom trimmed, halved
2 ripe, but firm, pears (Bosc or red are best)
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Heat oil, vinegar, and salt in a flat-bottomed skillet over medium heat.  Lay endive, cut sides down, in the pan.  Cover; reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the endive wilts and the cut sides brown, about 20 minutes.  When the endive is about 80 percent cooked, halve pears and cut each half lengthwise into thin slices.  Lay pears on top of endive, cover and cook for 5 minutes more.  Remove from heat, arrange endive halves, cut sides up, with pears laced through the dish.  Drizzle with lemon juice.  Serve hot.

Makes 4 servings.

(Um, this is delicious.  It says 4 servings, but I couldn't stop eating it.  Really, really good.)