Kale, Cauliflower and Pea Salad

Where do you draw your inspiration? It could be restaurant menus, online recipes or ingredients in your kitchen. Whichever it is (or maybe it’s a combination of several), there often comes a time when you discover a new ingredient and fall in I’ve with it. For me, that was peas, green peas. The first way I introduced them into my recipes was in a salad, and to come is in a soup.

Kale, Cauliflower and Peas Salad

Ingredients:

> 1 cup kale
> 1/2 cup cauliflower, bite-size pieces
> 2/3 cup green peas, steamed
> 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
> 1 tablespoon orange champagne vinegar
> salt and pepper
> 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, roasted

Instructions:

Combine kale, cauliflower and peas. In a small bowl, whisk together mustard and vinegar to make dressing.

Toss vegetables in dressing and season with salt and pepper. Top with sunflower seeds.

Makes 1 serving.

Original recipe.

 

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Skillet Beans and Greens

Making a flavorful dinner can seem like a challenge when you have limited ingredients in your fridge and cupboard, but the right seasoning can make all the difference. The recipe below requires few main ingredients and several spices. It was originally created as an appetizer to top toasted bread, but it works just as well without the bread and as a main course or side dish.

Skillet Beans and Greens

Ingredients:

> 2 tablespoons olive oil
> 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
> 1 teaspoon chili powder
> 1 can black beans, drained
> 4 cups kale, bite-size pieces
> 1/2 cup water

Instructions:

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and add garlic and chili powder. Cook for 30 seconds.

Add beans and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to blister, about 3 minutes. Using a spoon, lightly mash the beans until about half are mashed.

Add kale and water, and cook until kale is wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Makes 3 servings.

Adapted from Bon Appetit.

White Bean and Kale Soup

Vegetable soup is like chicken noodle soup — light yet filling for your body and soul. It’s a homey food that no matter what mood you’re in, it always makes you feel better. The best part is vegetable soup is so easy to make. This white bean and kale soup requires chopping of the vegetables and then everything else takes less than half an hour for cooking. Feel free to play around with different vegetables that are in season. White Bean and Kale Stew Ingredients:

> 1 tablespoon olive oil
> 1 onion, diced
> 2 cloves garlic, chopped
> 3 carrots, peeled and diced
> salt and pepper, to taste
> 1 lb cherry tomatoes, sliced
> 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
> 1 lb kale, stems removed and torn into small pieces

Instructions:

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat, and add onion, garlic and carrots. Season with salt and pepper, and cook until vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Increase heat to medium high and add tomatoes. Cook until mixture begins to caramelize, about 3 minutes.

Add 7 cups water and beans, and bring to a boil. Cook for about 10 minutes, then stir in kales. Cook until tender, about 2 minutes, then season with salt and pepper.

Makes 4 entree-sized servings.

Adapted from Whole Living.

Farro with Roasted Squash and Kale

As various grains get their five minutes of fame, farro has come into the spotlight — although others such as quinoa and couscous are more popular — and is best known for its nutty texture. This farro salad combines the flavors of winter and features a variety of colors that bring life to the table. The dish can be eaten by itself or as leftovers atop a bed of greens.

Farro with squash and kale

Ingredients:

> 1 kabocha squash, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped out, cut into thin slices
> olive oil
> 1 cup farro
> 1 bunch kale, roughly chopped
> 3 garlic cloves, chopped
> 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
> roasted cashews
> salt and pepper

Instructions: 

Preheat the oven to 4oo°. Toss the squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast on a baking sheet until browned, 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the farro until tender, about 20 minutes, and drain.

In a large pan, saute the garlic in 2 tablespoons olive oil for one minute, and add the kale. Toss until it starts to wilt.

Toss vinegar with farro, and spoon kale and squash over the grains. Serve with roasted cashews.

Adapted from 5 second rule.

Baked Quinoa Casserole with Kale and Chickpeas

Quinoa is a super food that has become loved by not just the health nuts but everyone as a substitute for classic rice. Yet, often times quinoa is prepared the same way — in a salad or with vegetables or grilled chicken. Here’s a twist on quinoa: let’s bake it!

This recipe is a simple crowd-pleaser with tons of flavor. Plus it can be adapted for vegans (by excluding the cheese) and for meat lovers (by including sausage).  Enjoy!

Quinoa Casserole

Ingredients:

8 ounces kale, chopped
> 1 tablespoon olive oil
> 6 ounces crumbled feta
> 1 cup quinoa
> 1 can chickpeas
> 1 lemon
> salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions: 

Heat oven to 450°. Toss kale with olive oil and spread in an even layer on aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Roast until crisp and lightly browned at edges, 6 minutes.

Rinse quinoa and chickpeas and combine with roasted kale in a 8-by-8 baking dish. Season with salt and pepper. Squeeze lemon juice and 1 1/2 cups boiling water over mixture. Cover dish tightly with double layer of foil.

Bake until quinoa is tender and no liquid remains, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with feta and continue to bake casserole, uncovered, until feta is heated through, about 6 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Adapted from YumSugar.

Acorn Squash with Kale and Chickpeas

Recently I’ve been experimenting with cooking stuffed foods, and this week’s is stuffed acorn squash. One of my favorite winter vegetables is squash, regardless of the variety. Some types, like acorn and butternut, are sweet enough that they could almost be dessert. This recipe has many different flavors and textures that combine for a perfect vegetarian entree.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Ingredients:

1 medium acorn squash, halved and seeds removed
> cooking spray
> 2 teaspoons olive oil
> 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
> 1 medium onion, finely chopped
> 4 cups tightly packed kale, torn
> 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
> 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
> salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

Heat oven to 375°. Sprinkle acorn squash with salt; coat with cooking spray. Place squash flesh side down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake about 30 minutes, or until golden and tender. Remove from oven and set aside.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and onion. Cook for 3 minutes, then add kale. Cook for 5 minutes, or until kale is sautéed. Add chickpeas and cook for 1 minute.

Divide kale-chickpea mixture among squash. Sprinkle squash with feta cheese. Broil about 3 minutes.

Makes 2 servings plus extra kale-chickpea mixture.

Adapted from Self.

Kale-Chickpea Mixture