Tag Archives: kale

Alma’s Kale Smoothie

DSC_0012My daughter returned from college with a wonderful arsenal of recipes she developed over the school year. She treated me to this delicious and satisfying smoothie with lunch today. The recipe can (and should) be modified and played with so use it as a spring board. According to Alma, blueberries added will make a delicious smoothie but the color is “gross”.
This recipe makes 2 servings.

3 cups kale; rinsed and coarsely chopped
1 banana; peeled and broken into several pieces
1-2* apples; washed, cored and wedged
1 inch piece of fresh ginger root; peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup orange juice (or a whole peeled orange)

Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.


Broiled Blackened Salmon and Sides

DSC_00012 lbs salmon fillet
1 Tablespoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (up to 1 teaspoon depending on how hot you like it)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 clove garlic; crushed
2 Tablespoons red wine
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Brush a baking sheet with olive oil. Cut salmon fillet into (roughly) 1/4 lb sections, rinse, pat dry and set aside. Combine remaining ingredients in a food processor and process until well combined and pureed.  Pour the paprika and spice puree into a shallow dish. Dip each salmon fillet section covering both sides in the spice puree and place on prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Preheat oven to 400. Change oven to broil and place salmon under the broiler for 8-10 minutes (depending on the thickness) until cooked through.

Serve with your favorite sides. Pictured here with zucchini and summer squash with dill, lightly dressed green beans, Puerto Rican style rice and pigeon peas, massaged kale with carrot salad and marinated cucumbers.

Puerto Rican Style Rice and Pigeon Peas
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion; diced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 green pepper; diced
1-2 cloves garlic; crushed
¼ cup olives; optional
½ cup diced fresh tomatoes or sauce
1 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4-1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups frozen pigeon peas (found in the frozen Goya section)
2 cups brown rice (I used jasmine); soaked in water 3-8 hours, rinsed and drained
3 1/2 cups water

Preheat a side bottom pot over medium heat, add olive oil, onion and salt and sauté until soft and transparent, about 5 minutes. Add peppers and garlic, sauté for 3 more minutes. Add optional olives, tomatoes and spices. Simmer for 1-2 minutes. Add pigeon peas, rice and water. Bring to a boil, stir and turn down heat bringing the rice mixture to a slow simmer. Simmer without a lid until almost all the water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Do not stir as this can make the rice sticky. Cover, turn heat to low and allow to slow cook/steam until rice is tender and all of the water is absorbed, another 10-15 minutes.

Massaged Kale with Carrot Salad
1 large bunch kale
4 small/2 large carrots; shredded (about 1 1/2 cups
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup sunflower seeds; optional

Rinse kale, pat dry and tear the leaf part off of the thick center stem. Tear the kale into pieces no larger than 2×2 inches. Grab handfuls of the kale and massage– crunch in handfuls and rub between both palms to break up the cellulose and place in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients, toss and serve.

Marinated Cucumber Salad
1 cucumber; thinly sliced into circles
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
pinch white pepper
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar

Combine all ingredients, toss and set aside for 5 minutes. Toss and set aside for another 5 and repeat a few times. The salt will remove some water from the cucumbers and they will also be coated nicely with the tang of the vinegar.

(The green beans and zucchini and squash are sides brought by friends, sorry no recipes.)

Meze Inspired Lunch

MENU (clockwise starting at 9 o’clock)
Chili and Lime Broiled Shrimp
“Zucchinoush” (zucchini dip inspired by Baba Ganoush)
Massaged Kale and Carrot Salad
Labneh (yogurt cheese)
Quinoa Tabouli
Olive Salad
Dolmas (stuffed grape leaves)
Fresh Garden Salad Greens
Whole Wheat Pitas
Feta Cheese

Start the night before straining the yogurt for the labneh, soaking chickpeas for the hummus and taking the shrimp out of the freezer. First thing in the morning drain the chickpeas, rinse and cook till tender (2- 2 1/2 hours); cook quinoa; check the yogurt, pour off whey (this can be saved in a jar to cook with) and return to the refrigerator. Prepare the cold dishes and let them chill in the refrigerator.

DSC_0046Chili and Lime Broiled Shrimp
2 lbs shrimp; defrosted, peeled and rinsed
1/2 bunch cilantro; chopped
juice of 1 lime
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chili pepper paste
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin

Place shrimp and cilantro in a bowl. Mix remaining ingredients in a small bowl, pour over shrimp and cilantro, mix and spread onto a baking sheet. (or place in a bowl in the refrigerator until ready to broil) Place under broiler for 10 minutes, check to be sure the shrimp is done and some edges start to crisp, remove and serve hot or cold.

“Zucchinoush” (zucchini dip inspired by Baba Ganoush)
2 medium zucchini
2 cloves garlic; crushed
2 Tablespoons tahini
2 Tablespoons fresh pressed lemon juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

Preheat oven to 375. Cut ends off of zucchini, slice in half lengthwise and place on a olive oiled baking sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the zucchini is soft to the touch and just starting to brown on the edges. Blend together with remaining ingredients until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

DSC_0037Massaged Kale and Carrot Salad
1 bunch kale (purple used but any will work)
2 carrots; shredded
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts (optional)
1/4 cup raisins (optional)

Wash kale, remove stems, tear into bite-sized pieces, massage (just squish in your hands or rub between palms) and place into glass or ceramic bowl. Add remaining ingredients, stir and refrigerate until ready to serve.

DSC_0045Labneh (yogurt cheese)
1/2 cups plain yogurt (or greek yogurt)
sea salt to garnish
black pepper to garnish
smoked paprika to garnish
extra virgin olive oil to garnish

You will need; cheesecloth, wire mesh sieve, plain yogurt and bowl. I make the labneh the night before or first thing in the morning depending on how thick I am making the cheese.
DSC_0113DSC_0114Line a wire mesh sieve with folded cheesecloth so it does not flow over the edge (it will eventually drip and create a mess). Place the lined sieve over a bowl. Pour yogurt into lined sieve, cover lightly and refrigerate overnight. The longer the yogurt drains the more solidified the “cheese”.


Lift the “cheese” by holding the corners of the cheesecloth and gently squeeze out any excess whey. Turn out onto a plate or into a bowl. Serve as is or drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with herbs, salt and pepper. Reserve the liquid for making chapattis, Indian flat bread.

1 cup dried chick peas; soaked over night, rinsed and boiled till soft (or you can use 2 1/2 cups canned chickpeas)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup water
1-4 cloves (to taste) garlic; pressed
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
if necessary- add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time for consistency
Traditional hummus uses tahini but my family prefers it without. If you like the traditional style add 2-4 Tablespoons tahini.

Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender and process until smooth and creamy. At this point you will see if more water is needed for consistency. Add more water one tablespoon  at a time as you process. Taste and add more salt if needed. To add a kick you can add some cayenne pepper. Serve hummus with vegetables and/or crackers for dipping (gluten intolerant or celiac will find that tortilla chips dipped in hummus is delicious). To make this into a light summer meal add cheese and fruit.

Quinoa Tabouli
3/4 cup quinoa
2 clove garlic; crushed
1/4 cup fresh pressed lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper
1 tomato; chopped
1 cucumber; chopped
large handful parsley; chopped
1/4 cup red onion; minced OR 1/4 cup scallions; diced

Cook quinoa- bring 3/4 cup quinoa and 1 1/2 cups water to a boil, reduce heat and simmer till water is absorbed (about 20 minutes), place into a glass or ceramic bowl/casserole dish and add the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, stir, cover and set aside to marinate at least 1 hour. Add the remaining ingredients just before serving and stir to combine.

DSC_0038Olive Salad
2 Tablespoons minced onion (red pictured but white is fine)
1/4 cup Kalamata olives; sliced
1/4 cup Manzanilla olives with pimiento; sliced
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Mix ingredients together and refrigerate till ready to serve.

Dolmas (stuffed grape leaves) bought from store (yes, I cheated)

Fresh Garden Salad Greens

Whole Wheat Pitas bought from store (yes, I cheated some more)

Feta Cheese

Sautéd Kale and Salad Turnips over Pasta

The slowly sautéd vegetables are surprisingly sweet and the tangy salt from the cheese is a nice compliment. To make this as a vegan dish eliminate the butter and cheese and increase the salt by 1/8-1/4 teaspoon.


7-8 (3/4 cup) shallots; thinly sliced
9 (2 1/2 cups) salad turnips; thinly sliced
1 large bunch (12 cups) kale; stem removed and coarsely chopped
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt
dash fresh ground black pepper
1 cup Pecorino Romano cheese; shredded

3/4 lb (12 oz) pasta (I used whole wheat penne for Xav and brown rice fusilli for myself)

DSC_0015 DSC_0016 DSC_0017
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Put water on for pasta. Melt butter and olive oil together in a large skillet or wide bottom stock pot over medium heat. Add shallots, stirring occasionally and sauté until golden, about 10 minutes. Add turnips and kale and cover, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and leave covered. Finish with salt, pepper and cheese stir and serve over pasta.
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Hearty Breakfast; Kale, Tomatoes, Potatoes and Eggs

DSC_00032 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 onion; minced
5 kale stalks; core removed and coarsely chopped
4 cups tomatoes; cut to 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste

2 potatoes; boiled (cold left over works best) cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
sea salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste

eggs (depending on how many are eating and how many eggs they want, the vegetables are good for 3-4 people)
sea salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Start with the large pan adding olive oil and onion and sauté for a couple minutes. Add the olive oil and potatoes to the medium pan. Add the kale, tomatoes and salt to the onions. With a spatula, flip the potatoes as they begin to brown to cook on another side. Add olive oil (or you can use butter) to the small pan and fry eggs 1 at a time. Stir the kale and tomatoes, flip the potatoes and keep frying eggs. Serve up and enjoy.

Ginger Lentils with Kale, Carrot Salad and Mustard Dill Shrimp Salad

1 cup brown rice; soaked at least 1 hour, rinsed and drained
1 3/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Cook rice till tender (place rice, water and salt in a pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes) and leave covered until the rest of the meal is ready to serve.

1 cup brown lentils
2 1/2 cups water

Cook lentils till tender (place lentils and water in a pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes). Do not drain liquid.

DSC_00252 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small Italian pepper; diced
1/2 onion; diced
2 plum tomatoes (or 1 large tomato); diced
1 inch fresh ginger; pealed and minced
1 teaspoon sea salt
bunch kale; rinsed, stem removed and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons fresh licorice basil; minced

DSC_0026 DSC_0027 DSC_0028 DSC_0029Preheat olive oil in a 3 quart sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion, pepper, tomato, ginger and salt, cover and simmer for 2 minutes (until the tomatoes break up and the other ingredients are tender. Add the kale, lentils with water and pepper and stir. Simmer 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat, add basil and stir. Serve over brown rice.

DSC_00241 small head butter lettuce; rinsed and stem removed
1 plum tomato; cut into 1/8s
1 large carrot; shredded
2 Tablespoons lemon basil; minced
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon good quality extra virgin olive oil (I use California Olive Ranch)
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

In a small bowl combine the carrot, basil, vinegar, olive oil and salt. Arrange lettuce on the edge of a plate. Place tomatoes on the ends of the lettuce leaves. Place the carrot salad in the center.

DSC_00302 cups salad shrimp; defrosted, rinsed and drained
1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon prepared mustard (Grey Poupon)
1 teaspoon dried dill weed (or 1 Tablespoon fresh if you have it)
pinch sea salt
dash fresh ground black pepper


Combine all ingredients except the shrimp to make the dressing. Toss the dressing with the shrimp. Store in refrigerator until ready to eat.

Creamy Kale and Celery Soup

DSC_0015The day started gloomy and wet with the rain becoming increasingly steady. Since it is Friday we are down to bare bones in the kitchen until I can restock with fresh produce at the farmers market. A forgotten bunch of kale reminded me of a soup that my cousin’s fiancé, Camilla, mentioned as a traditional Swedish meal. There are as many versions of “green cabbage soup” as there are families that prepare it (like many traditional daily dishes handed down through generations). I decided to use what I had on hand as a starting point. I prepared a vegan soup so if you want to keep it that way omit the cooked egg which Camilla said is served on top of the soup. This soup is surprisingly hearty and delicious! I had mine with gluten free crackers while Xav made a sandwich of yesterday’s leftover tempeh with mushrooms and onions.


DSC_00142 Tablespoons grape seed (or canola) oil
1/2 large onion; chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 stalks celery; chopped
1 bunch kale; stalk removed and chopped
4 small (2 large) potatoes; cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
4 cups water

4 hard-boiled eggs*

Preheat a 3 quart pot over medium heat. Add oil, onion and salt. Cover and saute a few minutes. Add celery, stir, cover and saute a few more minutes. Add kale, stir, cover and saute an additional minute. Add potatoes, pepper and water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Use a submersible blender (mine is stainless steel since I don’t like the idea of heating plastic) or allow to cool and use a regular blender and reheat before serving.
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*Place eggs in a small pot, cover with water and sprinkle with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 7 minutes. Drain, cool in cold water baths and peel. Cut egg in half and place in the soup.