Miso-Roasted Vegetable Salad

Ingredients serves 2

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 sweet potato, about 1/2lb (Japanese sweet potato recommended)
  • 1 purple top turnip (8oz)
  • 2 scallions, white part only
  • 1/4 cup sweet white miso paste
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp spice blend that includes white sesame seeds, black sesame seeds, kibbled nori, and aleppo pepper)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Prep the vegetables.  Thinly slice the scallions on an angle, separating the white bottoms from the green tops. Remove and discard the kale stems; roughly chop the leaves. Cut the turnip and potato into 1/4-inch rounds.
  3. Mix together the miso paste and 1/4 cup of water.
  4. Place the  sweet potato and turnip on a sheet pan and drizzle with the miso-water mixture.  Toss thoroughly to coat.  Arrange in an even layer and roast, stirring halfway through, 20 to 22 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork.
  5. Combine the kale, sesame oil, white bottoms of the scallions, roasted vegetables, and spice blend.  Season with salt and pepper.

Original recipe from Blue Apron.

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Kale and Farro Salad

DSCF0001As the winter offerings at my local farmer’s market grow scarce, the bundles of kale grow bigger.  I think it’s a silent thank you for continuing to brave the winter winds to shop the market even after much of the color has vanished from the offerings.  There are still apples, cabbages, onions, and greens, but the vibrant hues of fresh produce has thinned.  In any case, I have an enormous quantity of kale in my fridge and so while I usually juice my kale, I thought I would try this unusual salad.

You must like coconut to proceed.  Toasted coconut flavor will dominate every mouthful of this salad and under that there will be a layer of Asian flare from the sesame oil and soy sauce.  I wasn’t certain after my first bite, but then I went for more, more, and eventually, a second helping.

This recipe, like so many of the ones I have been making lately, is from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day.

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 3 1/2 cups lightly packed kale, chopped (or a bit more, be generous with your kale servings)
  • 2 cups cooked farro
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut or 1 1/2 cups unsweetened, large-flake coconut (the first time you might want to go light on the coconut)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce (alternative suggested by Swanson are shoyu or tamari sauce, but I have never cooked with either of those)

Directions

  1. Cook the farro and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  3. Whisk together the olive oil, sesame oil, and soy sauce.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the kale and coconut.  Mix 2/3 of the oil mixture in and coat evenly.
  5. Spread the kale across a baking sheet or two.  Bake for 12 – 18 minutes, until the coconut is golden brown.  Toss occasionally and make sure the kale doesn’t become too brown.
  6. Mix in with the farro and add the remaining oil.  Serve warm.

Green Juice

I’ve been juicing for a few months now.  My favorite juices are vibrant green, sweetened with an apple or pear, full of spinach and kale, a pop of ginger, and a spritz of lemon.  I have them for breakfast or take them in a mason jar to work and sip between tasks.  They are super healthy, give me energy, and generally make me feel good about what I’m pouring into my body.

Recipes for juicing, I quickly discovered, are just general sketches of what can be thrown together.  When I first started juicing, I wanted specifics, but now I scour the farmer’s market and then my home fridge for ingredients.  On a weekend morning (or an ambitious weekday), this is my juice of choice.  Because of the number of ingredients, all of which need to be washed and prepped, it takes longer to make then a simple kale-cucumber-apple type juice, but the extra effort is worth it.

Ingredients

  • 1 Bosc pear
  • 1 apple (or half an apple if you don’t want the juice to be quite so sweet / full of sugar)
  • Several leaves of kale (3? Up to you)
  • A healthy handful of spinach
  • 3 stalks celery (leaves on)
  • A cucumber (or just half, again, up to you)
  • A plentiful palmful of parsley
  • A nub of ginger (cut off peel)
  • A lemon (peeled)

Throw everything into your juicer.  Serve with a few ice cubes.

A note about the greens: I usually run the spinach and kale through the juicer first, empty the fiber-catch basket back into the juicer, and run the pulp through a second time before adding everything else.

Healthy Muffins

Baking, they say, is a science, but in this case it’s more like a healthy science experiment.  These muffins are forgiving; stick to the general ratios and you will create a moist, sweet, and guilt-less snack.

I have been juicing (hence fewer recipe additions because many more of my meals are in vibrantly colored liquid form), but I hate the waste from juicing.  Juicers, if you are unfamiliar, separate the fiber and pulp, gathering the mushy, processed mess in a separate container. Some people compost this fiber, but I live in an apartment building without composting or an outside area, and I felt terribly guilty throwing out all this perfectly good bi-product. And then I found a recipe for these muffins! Melissa Clark’s original recipe does not involve juicing at all, she has you grate fruits and vegetables, but I found that a little adjusting produced excellent fiber-ful muffins and solved my juicing bi-product problem.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (be generous when pouring, a little more flour is useful if your ingreidients are very moist)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 apple juice (preferably freshly juiced and not store bought, cider would also work)
  • 1/3 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 generous cup (or a bit more) of juiced fiber / pulp.  This is where you can mix and match (science experiment, not exact science).  I usually include about 50% greens (spinach and kale are my go to) and 50% sweet stuff (apples and carrots work well). The original recipe called for butternut squash, parsnips, zucchini, and beets.  Generally, I use whatever is on hand.  When I’m saving the fiber from juicing, I make sure that the fruits and vegetables are really, really clean before juicing, remove stems, seeds, etc., and then freeze the bag of fiber until I’m ready to bake.  Honestly, most of the I’m not 100% sure what precisely is in the muffin, but they always come out moist and delicious.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease mini muffin tin.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, oil, honey, sugar, apple juice, and fiber pulp.
  4. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ones. Fold in the raisins.
  5. Fill muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes.

These muffins stay really well.  Pop them in the fridge and they’re good for about a week.