Monday, April, 01, 2013
You know, I’m a bit Crazy for Kale. Maybe more than a bit crazy, a whole lot crazy!
Last fall I planted around 300 kale plants with my friend Renee. I did this because kale changed my life. Really, it did! Eating several servings of an extremely nutrient-dense dark leafy green has made me much healthier. And juicing kale? Watch out! It’s like rocket fuel for my body and gives me an energy boost that is unrivaled. I’m currently twiddling my thumbs, waiting on Mother Nature to cooperate so I can get the spring crop of kale in the ground. In the meantime, I’ve been cooking kale in lots of fun, new ways and have an original recipe to share with you today.
But first, I want to tell you about a new e-book that you NEED. I got a sneak peek at this one and it gets my kaleaholic stamp of approval. It’s a steal at just $5.99. Packed with 40 recipes (33 that are grain-free, 31 that are vegan or have veg-alternatives), Hallie of Daily Bites has created a kale masterpiece that will motivate you to get into the kitchen and cook with my favorite dark, leafy green!
Click on over to Hallie’s site to read about her new e-book and join us for the Crazy for Kale e-book Launch Party. You’ll find links to many more kale recipes from bloggers who like kale as much as I do!
Oh, a recipe. Right. I’ve got one and it’ll knock your socks off. This is my take on spinach artichoke dip, but without the spinach. And dairy. And I’ve used kale instead of spinach. So really it’s not like the classic spinach artichoke dip at all, except that it tastes amazing, it’s a whole bunch better for your body AND your tastebuds will love it.
This recipe uses Japanese sweet potatoes. Combined with non-dairy milk and nutritional yeast, they make a creamy cheese sauce that comes together in mere minutes in the blender. I’ve chosen to use Japanese sweet potatoes in this recipe to get the lighter color. If you can only find regular sweet potatoes, they will work just fine. Your dip will be a bit more orange and slightly less sweet. I’ll share more variations on this “cheese” sauce soon using regular sweet potatoes.
Kale Artichoke Dip, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free
- 1 1/2 cups baked, mashed Japanese sweet potato (about two medium potatoes)
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or other non-dairy milk
- 3/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped kale
- 3/4 cup rough chopped artichoke hearts (I use frozen)
- dash of salt
- In a 400 degree oven, bake Japanese sweet potatoes on a baking sheet until soft. This is usually between 45 minutes to an hour depending on the size of the potatoes. You may use regular sweet potatoes, but it will make your dip orange.
- Mash the baked sweet potatoes with a fork. Add to high speed blender along with milk, nutritional yeast and garlic. Blend until smooth.
- In a medium baking dish, add chopped kale, artichoke hearts and a dash of salt.
- Pour mixture from blender over the kale and artichokes. Stir to combine.
- Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until bubbly and just starting to brown around the edges. Serve with tortilla chips.
Thanks for dropping by today to read about my kale craziness. Don’t forget to head over to Daily Bites for even more terrific kale recipes in the Crazy for Kale E-Book Launch Party!
Thursday, February, 21, 2013
Brrr! We’re having a snow day here. There’s really nothing better than a crockpot full of chili on a cold, snowy day!
Last month I shared this post with you about my calendar project. I brought a calendar home from my favorite little grocery store in Key West and am re-making each month’s featured recipe to fit my dietary style.
This month the calendar features Turkey Pumpkin Chili.
This didn’t require a lot of modifications on my part. I really could have just subbed tempeh for the turkey. But that would have been too easy. I’ve upped the phytonutrient content in addition to subbing out the meat. I knew you were over there googling “chili high in phytronutrients,” right? To do that, I added a bunch of kale. If you have picky eaters in your house, you can chop the kale up into teeny tiny pieces or even chop it until it’s almost a puree in your food processor. We’re big kale fans here, so we just give it a rough chop.
A quick note about the tempeh: beyond making sure it is gluten-free (not all are, some contain barley, read the labels carefully as always), it is a very forgiving protein, super easy to work with. You may choose to grate it on the large side of a box grater so that it is crumbled like ground meat, you can cut it into cubes or break it by hand into pieces. I broke it into pieces by hand in the batch pictured here. I used a variety that contains flax seeds, but any gluten-free variety is fine.
Pumpkin Kale Chili in the Crockpot
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 package tempeh, gluten-free
- 1 bunch, 6 to 8 stems, kale (remove from stems, chopped to desired size)
- 4 cups vegetable broth, gluten-free
- 1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
- 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes with chiles
- 1 T. chili powder
- 2 t. ground cumin
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1/2 t. black pepper
- Heat a large sauce pan until droplets of water poured into the pan will sizzle and dash across the pan. Once the pan is that warm, add 2 Tablespoons of water, the chopped onion and garlic. (This is water sauteing.)
- Once onions are transparent, add tempeh. Cook, stirring occasionally, to brown the tempeh just a bit. Add kale, cooking until kale has softened a bit.
- Add this mixture and all remaining ingredients to crockpot. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.
Monday, February, 18, 2013
It’s grey here today, the sun hasn’t peeked out yet. Add to that the usual challenge of getting moving on Monday and I needed a boost to get going.
Sparky Juice to the rescue!
This is a more savory juice than most that I drink but I have to say I love the spice. When I started drinking green juice, I tried to hide the green, bitter flavors with sweet, fruit juices. This juice has helped me add a different flavor profile to my juice repertoire. It’s also loaded with folic acid and magnesium, plus lots of phytonutrients, all things that give me a BIG boost in energy and mood. Take that, grey Monday!
New to juicing? There are a few resources here, including another juice recipe, in a post I wrote about juicing last year. Green juice has been a vital addition to my diet and has helped me over several health hurdles. And now I actually crave it! How about you? Do you juice? Scared to try it? Curious? I’d love to hear your thoughts on green juice!
- Handful of cherry tomatoes, 9 or 10
- ½” piece of ginger root
- ½ to 1 jalapeno, adjust to your taste
- 2 stalks celery
- ½ cucumber
- 1 lemon
- 1 bunch kale, 6 to 8 stems
- Dash of smoked paprika
- Dash of sea salt
- Juice all ingredients and strain if desired. Adjust the heat of this by adding part of an jalapeno or make it super spicy using the entire jalapeno, seeds and all!
Monday, January, 07, 2013
Brrrrr! It’s too cold for my liking here in Missouri. While it seemed like a good idea to spend the holidays in southern Florida, coming home to snow, ice and single digit wind chills has me questioning it. Either we should have stayed where it is warm or we should have never left the cold.
Thanks to the cold and short daylight hours, I’ve entered full-on hibernation mode. That means lots of hours in the kitchen cooking warm, comforting foods. And when I’m not in the kitchen, I’m curled up in a corner of the sofa with a mug of hot tea in my hands. It’s hard to get warm and stay warm!
One of my favorite soups for this time of year is Creamy Cauliflower Kale Soup. Packed full of nutrients and veggies, it’s so creamy you’ll think it has thick, rich dairy in it. It reminds me of a hearty cream of potato soup, except without the ingredients I feel guilty eating this time of year when I’m such a sloth. Plus it has kale in it. Like an ever-growing number of folks, I’m convinced kale is about the best thing I can eat. I juice it, saute it and even blend it up in creamy soups. A kale cupcake can’t be too far off…
Creamy Cauliflower Kale Soup, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil (extra for drizzle if desired)
- 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium to large head of cauliflower, stems and florets cut into 1" pieces
- 8 stalks kale, stems removed, greens roughly chopped
- 2 T. fresh parsley, roughly chopped (I use Italian flat parsley) plus more for garnish
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat oil in large soup pot. Saute onion until soft. Add minced garlic and cook for a couple more minutes.
- Add cauliflower, kale and parsley. Pour water over the top. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once at a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until greens and cauliflower are both soft.
- Puree soup in high speed blender. This may work best in two batches depending on the size of your blender carafe. You may also use an immersion blender, however the soup will not be quite as creamy.
- Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprig of parsley.