Coconut and Crispy Kale Millet Bowl

I’ve had Heidi Swanson’s Supernatural Every Day on my reserve list at the library for months. Unfortunately, the one time it became available I didn’t make it in the allotted 7 days to pick it up and haven’t gotten a second chance yet.

I was thrilled back in January when Joy posted the recipe from Heidi’s book for the crunchy kale and coconut bowl. (I call mine ‘crispy’ because it seems more appropriate for my rendition.) Back in January when she posted the recipe, I immediately made it twice in the same week. And though I’ve thought about this dish every single time I’ve had kale in the house since, I’ve only just made it again, for you loyal readers. Since that day was today, I can say with authority that it is definitely worth turning my oven on for (even on crazy March days when the temperature reaches 80 degrees outside).

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Coconut and Crispy Kale Millet Bowl

serves 2 as a main, from here and here

Ingredients:

  • 2 T tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 t rice vinegar
  • 1 t sriracha
  • 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 c lacinato kale, ripped into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 c shredded coconut
  • 1/2 c millet, uncooked
  • 1 1/2 c vegetable broth (or water – for cooking millet)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare baking sheet with parchment or tin foil. Begin cooking your millet (or other grain). Lightly toast millet in saucepan over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and allow to cook (without stirring) for 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Don’t stir the millet, it will get mushy if you do (I know this from experience!) When it’s done, lightly fluff it with a fork.

In a small jar, or bowl, mix tamari, rice vinegar, and sriracha. If using a jar with a lid, add olive oil and shake vigorously until mixed. If using a bowl, pour in olive oil and whisk to emulsify. Put aside.

Tear clean kale off stems and rip into bite size pieces. Add coconut and about 1/2 of dressing. Toss and then spread onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes (check every few minutes after 10 to prevent burning – it happens fast!) Kale is done when it is crispy to the touch, if still soft, keep it in the over for 2 minute intervals until crispy.

Serve kale atop prepared millet and top each portion with 1/2 of the remaining dressing. Enjoy!

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Strawberry-Avocado Wheatberry Salad

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A couple of weeks ago we were in the midst of a heatwave here in Boston. Turning the oven on to cook dinner was out of the question. Enter the cold salad. I’ve made many cold salads with quinoa and was interested in trying the wheatberries that I’ve had in the pantry for awhile. This salad came together pretty quickly using things I had in the refrigerator and was as refreshing as it was delicious.

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{Strawberry-Avocado Wheatberry Salad}

Ingredients

  • 2 c uncooked wheatberries
  • 1 c fresh strawberries, chopped
  • 1 avocado, peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 c crumbled feta
  • 1/4 pecans, chopped and toasted
  • 1/2 c chopped fresh basil
  • 2 T sugar
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 4 t honey
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • 1 T cider vinegar

Start by putting wheatberries and 4 c of water in a pot and bring to a boil. Let simmer 30-40 minutes or until the wheatberries are cooked to your liking (I like them a bit chewy).

In a bowl, whisk together sugar, olive oil, honey, lemon juice and cider vinegar. Put aside.

In a small pan toast pecans over medium heat. This doesn’t take very long. Once they start to become fragrant give them another few minutes then remove from heat.

Once wheatberries are cooked, let cool for about 10 minutes. Add dressing to wheatberries then strawberries, avocado, pecans, basil and finally the feta.

Put entire salad in the refrigerator to cool for about 30 minutes. Serves 4-6.

Enjoy!

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Spring Cure-All

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New England folks, what is with this weather?! Enough already, for serious. I’m so ready to disobey dress code and wear my flip-flops to work. Can we at least get a warm-up? Home girl does not like to walk the dog in mittens… in May. Work with me mother nature.

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I guess it goes without saying that this weather has me down. I think even more so than the winter blues. At least winter weather is a given. Crappy May weather is just mean. But in any case, I have been feeling under the weather. I thought it was allergies and now I’m thinking it’s a sinus thing. To be frank, it feels like my eyeballs could pop out of my head at any moment. Better hope you aren’t the person I’m in front of should that happen.

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Given my current condition I wanted something hearty yet healthy for dinner. And yes I feel crappy but yes I’m also being a bit dramatic. I have this theory that eating massive amounts of vegetables when I’m getting sick will keep it away. Who knows, but I guess it can’t hurt. Last night I ate about a pound of roasted vegetables and tonight I made a pasta dish with roasted peppers and creamy hummus. This one’s a keeper, albeit simple. It’s satisfying and delicious… even if I did have to have a bowl of blueberries with balsamic right after, for the antioxidants of course.

{Spaghetti w/Creamy Hummus and Roasted Peppers}

Ingredients for one

  • 2 oz dry spaghetti, I used Ronzoni Garden Delight
  • 2-4 fire roasted peppers, I used jarred
  • 2-3 T hummus (recipe to follow)

Cook spaghetti according to package. Go ahead and chop peppers while your pasta is cooking. When pasta is done, drain and put into bowl for serving. Mix hummus until fully combined. Stir in peppers at end. Eat entire bowl – you will never get sick again!

{Creamy Hummus}

  • 15 oz can chickpeas, drained with 3 oz liquid reserved
  • juice of one medium lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4-1/3 c tahini
  • cayenne pepper sauce, I used Frank’s
  • Salt & Pepper

Drain chickpeas of all but 3 oz of liquid. Put liquid aside. Rinse chickpeas and remove skins. This is important for creaminess, if you don’t want to bother – then don’t. Your hummus just won’t be as creamy. Transfer chickpeas to food processor. Add garlic. Pulse until roughly blended. Add lemon juice, tahini, cayenne pepper sauce and s&p. Process to smooth, adding reserved liquid through feed. Refrigerate leftover hummus and consume within 3 days.

And I lied, I cannot promise you will never get sick again if you eat this dish. But you’ll like it, I guarantee that.

>A Flavorful Trio

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In the event of snow, make sure you have lots of great ingredients hanging around the house. And a copy of Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. Or just have a great imagination. I suppose this meal was a combination of Bittman’s and my own imagination and I’m pleased to say that it was the perfect I’ve-been-couped-up-all-day-meal. I’m not really complaining, a day off is nice… however, a day off that is basically forced upon me due to inability to get to work, kind of sucks. It sucks in that “I’m-using-vacation-time-to-shovel-my-driveway” sort of way. But when all was said and done, it was a good day.

DSC06422 Meatless Meatballs with a Soy Sesame-Lime Glaze

DSC06426 Bittman’s Millet Mash with Carrot and Ginger

DSC06425 Sautéed Chili-Lime Bok Choy with Crushed Red Pepper

Recipes

*Meatless Meatballs with Soy Sesame-Lime Glaze*

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Soy “Ground Beef” (I used LightLife’s “Gimme Lean”)
  • 2 T Lime Juice
  • 3 T Reduced-Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 4 t Sesame Oil (divided)
  • 1 T Rice Vinegar
  • 2 t Sugar
  • 2 T Water
  • 3 t Cornstarch (optional)
  • 1 t Toasted Sesame Seeds (optional)

Form “meat” into 1/2 balls by rolling. Cook in 1 t Sesame Oil in saucepan over medium-heat, until browned. Remove from heat.

In a bowl, whisk together remaining 3 t of Sesame Oil and the rest of the ingredients. Put meatballs into mixture and let sit for a few minutes. Sprinkle Sesame Seeds on top, if desired. Serve with additional glaze on top.

*Bittman’s Millet Mash with Carrot and Ginger* (adapted)

Ingredients:

  • 1 c Millet
  • 2 T Fresh Ginger, chopped
  • 2 T Oil (I used Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  • 6 oz Carrots, chopped
  • 4 c Vegetable Broth, divided
  • Soy Sauce
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds
  • Salt and Pepper

Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add millet and ginger. Cover pan. Let toast for about 3 minutes. Add 2.5 c vegetable broth and chopped carrots. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat so mixture is slightly bubbling. Let the millet continue to cook for about 30 minutes. Add additional broth as it becomes absorbed. Once the liquid is fully absorbed, you can either use an immersion blender to puree it or let cool and transfer to a food processor. Serve warm garnished with soy sauce and toasted sesame seeds.

*Sautéed Chili-Lime Bok Choy with Crushed Red Pepper*

Ingredients

  • 2 Heads of Bok Choy, ends removed and chopped
  • 1 T Lime Olive Oil (or combination of olive oil and lime juice)
  • 2 t Chili Powder
  • 1 t Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 T Crushed Red Pepper

Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add Bok Choy and remaining ingredients. Continue to sauté until leaves of the Bok Choy are wilted and the stalks have softened.

I guess there are few better ways to end a snow day than with a feast, and a flavor-packed feast this was. Bring on the next storm.

Just jokes.

I’m submitting this to Meatless Mondays over at My Sweet and Savory.

>Light-Box Adventures

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DSC06285Upon realizing I forgot my sneakers at home, which meant I wouldn’t be going to the gym as planned, I decided to finally make the light-box I was hoping to make over my vacation. I won’t show you what it looks like yet because it isn’t pretty… and it’s not quite finished. As in, I need to make some improvements before it will be a complete success… but so far, not so bad!

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These pictures are taken using one lamp with a soft white bulb filtered through white tissue paper. I need to get a couple of additional lamps and some indoor light bulbs but the difference is already noticeable.

DSC06288 My first subject?

Vegetarian Slow-Cooker Chili (serves 4-6)

Into my crock-pot went:

  • 3 small Sweet Potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can Fire-Roasted Tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup frozen Tri-Colored peppers
  • 1/2 Sweet Onion, sliced
  • 2 Jalapenos, seeded and chopped
  • 1 TBSP Chili Powder
  • 1 TSP Ground Cumin
  • 1 TSP Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 1/2 Cups Vegetable Broth
  • Dash of salt

I turned the crock-pot on low and left going for about 7 hours. I reheated (from refrigerator) to eat the next day by simmering on the stove for about 5 minutes.

Top with Greek yogurt (or sour cream), cheese (if desired) and pair with corn-bread (with Goat Cheese and Jalapenos if that’s your thing!).

>Veggie Cocoa Quinoa

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Last time I was up visiting home (Maine), my grandparents gave me their steamer/rice cooker.

I’ve never used one before, thought about using one before, or really even known what one does with a steamer/rice cooker. Well okay, the name makes it kind of obvious but I’ve always steamed my veggies on the stove and cooked my rice in boiling water. Why mess with something that works just fine?

Did you know you can cook chicken in this thing? Yup. It says so on the box.

So, here’s the deal, I knew I wanted to make this tonight. I had fully intended to make it stove-top but when a rice cooker was mentioned I thought, I have one of those.

After ripping the box open like a child on Christmas morning, I discovered that there were no instructions. After some serious google-ing, I found a pdf file of the manual, phew. There was nothing about quinoa so I did some more searching and found a site that said to cook it for 20 minutes in the rice cooker. Well, it took mine nearly 40 minutes to absorb all of the liquid and I used the 2/1 ratio instructed. So keep that in mind…

Anyway, into my rice cooker went 1 cup red quinoa (rinsed), 2 cups vegetable broth, one cinnamon stick, 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/4 tsp chili powder, 1/4 coriander and 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper.

IMG_2576 These are the add-ins. Black beans, yellow onion and super sweet baby bell peppers.

IMG_2581 While my quinoa was taking its sweet time in the rice cooker, I cooked up the onion (chopped) and the peppers (also chopped) in about 1 tbsp Roasted Garlic Olive Oil. I cooked the onions until golden then added the peppers. Since the quinoa was still cooking, I removed them from the heat and set aside. I also rinsed the black beans and set those aside too.

IMG_2589 Once the quinoa is done (liquid is completely absorbed and you can see the grain), add it to pepper and onion mixture. Then add the black beans. Salt and pepper to your taste and if you want, add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.

This dish is SO hearty. If you don’t like things that have a bit of a kick, reduce the cayenne (though I thought there was the perfect amount). Next time I will also be going back to my stove-top method…

But, I’m sure the steamer/rice cooker will get put to good use in the future. Chicken perhaps?

Quinoa on Foodista

>Veggie Enchiladas

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I took a look through my pantry this morning to find dinner inspiration. There it was, hiding behind a can of Rotel, green chile enchilada sauce. With no meat thawed, I decided on a quick and easy dinner of veggie enchiladas.

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Into a pan went: white corn, mixed bell peppers. I then added the can of green chile enchilada sauce and a can of black beans. Oh, and of course, cheddar cheese.

I let the whole thing simmer for a bit, pretty much as long as it took for the sauce to thicken a bit and the cheese to melt.

Meanwhile, the oven was pre-heated to 400 degrees and a baking pan was sprayed with cooking spray.

 

With the filling ready to go, I divided the filling (about 3 cups) between 6 tortillas. I used whole wheat, high-fiber tortillas. I covered the enchiladas with some shredded cheese and put it in the oven for about 15 minutes.

IMG_2546 IMG_2550 IMG_2551 I plopped a bit of sour cream on top and devoured. The best part? Between all the veggies and the high-fiber tortillas, these two enchiladas filled me right up.

Okay, so I’m not so filled up that I can’t enjoy some Ciao Bella Blood Orange Sorbet while I do some more studying. Goodnight!

>A new ignition?

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It’s my first day of vacation and I’m already up and at ‘em. The car dealership called and informed that I will need a new ignition which means new programmed keys and all the locks in my car have to be changed. So I will NOT be driving to Maine today. Fortunately, mom wanted to see us badly enough that she is on her way down here to pick puppy and I up.

While we’re patiently waiting, I thought I’d talk about the awesome pizza from the other night. There were two pizzas, in fact, each one very different and tasty. The first was a roasted vegetable affair with a light brushing of olive oil and balsamic rather than a sauce. It was topped with green tomatoes, sweet peppers, onions, sundried tomatoes and a hearty portion of goat cheese. There are no photos because it just didn’t stick around long enough for that to happen.

Enter pizza #2. This one, a buffalo-sweet potato-blue cheese pizza, I discovered here. It was SO good. I essentially followed her recipe but I only used half a ball of whole wheat pizza dough.  This picture is a strong argument for my need of a new camera.

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I’m off to pack for the trip and give puppy a quick bath!