Lentils with Sweet Potatoes, Mushrooms and Kale

Lentils with Sweet Potato, Mushrooms and Kale

This is my go-to week night dish. I honestly think I end up eating it about once a week on nights where I don’t really feel like “cooking” or I get home late. It is super easy, tasty, filling and healthy! This recipe shows lentils but I have made it with almost every type of bean you can imagine: black, white, garbanzo… use whatever you have in the house!

Lentils with Sweet Potatoes, Mushrooms and Kale
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 1-2 tsp garlic
  • 1 package mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 – 2 bunches kale
  • 1 can (15 oz) or approx 2 cups of homemade beans of your choice (photo shows lentils)
  • Seasoning: I usually use a combo of spicy paprika, salt and pepper but I have also used taco seasoning when making with black or pinto beans or curry when using garbanzo. You need approx 2 -3 Tbsp of spice and then salt and pepper to taste.
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a pan. Add onion and cook until fragrant and then add sweet potato. Saute approximately 6 minutes or until sweet potato starts to become tender.
  2. Add in garlic and mushrooms and saute until mushrooms are cooked.
  3. Add kale, beans and spices and continue to cook until sweet potatoes are cooked through, mushrooms are tender and kale is wilted.
  4. Season to taste and serve.

Serving suggestion: Often times I serve this over a bed of arugula and put sliced cherry tomatoes on top 🙂

Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad

 I do have another Brussels Sprout Salad up but this salad actually tastes quite different due to the dressing and the addition of Kale. One of my all time favorite salads is the Dino Kale Salad at The Plant so I chose to add cherry tomatoes to this dish. It is quick, healthy and delicious!

Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp minced shallot
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt plus more for seasoning
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large bunches of Tuscan kale (about 1½ lb. total), center stem discarded, leaves thinly sliced – this cannot be a hard crunchy kale, it needs to be a softer kale in order for the texture to turn out right. TJ’s precut kale won’t work…
  • 12 oz brussels sprouts, trimmed, finely grated or shredded with a knife
  • 8 oz cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ⅓ cup almonds with skins, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup finely grated Pecorino (can omit if looking for a vegan version)
Instructions
  1. Combine lemon juice, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, ½ tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper in a small bowl. Stir to blend; set aside to let flavors meld. Mix thinly sliced kale and shredded brussels sprouts in a large bowl.
  2. Measure ½ cup oil into a cup. Spoon 1 Tbsp. oil from cup into a small skillet; heat oil over medium-high heat. Add almonds to skillet and stir frequently until golden brown in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer nuts to a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle almonds lightly with salt.
  3. Slowly whisk remaining olive oil in cup into lemon-juice mixture. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Add dressing and cheese to kale mixture; toss to coat. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Garnish with almonds.

Serving Suggestion: Dressing, kale mixture, and toasted almonds can be prepared 8 hours ahead. Cover dressing and kale mixture separately and chill. Cover almonds and let stand at room temperature.

Photo Credit: Bon Appetit

Get Your Juice On!

photo (63)

I had heard about juicing for quite a while before making it part of my daily routine. It seemed too time consuming, too expensive and too much for someone with a teeny tiny San Francisco kitchen. Well, after reading Kris Carr’s Crazy, Sexy, Diet, I decided it was about time to start juicing. Below are just a few of the benefits of juicing:

1. By removing the plant fiber during the juicing process, you get a direct shot of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, proteins and oxygen without your body having to do any of the work of digestion, which helps nourish your cells and restore the immune system.

2. When you juice, you use more fruits and vegetables than you could actually eat. As a result, you are drinking a densely packed amount of vitamins, minerals and other plant-based nutrients.

3. Vegetables are alkalizing and your body is designed to function at its best at a slightly alkaline pH level. Many of the things we do in our daily lives (certain foods and drinks, stress, etc) create an acidic environment (it is MUCH easier to become too acidic than it is to become too alkaline) so by juicing you help bring your pH levels back into balance. An acidic environment is a breeding ground for bacteria, yeast and lots of other yucky things that in turn make us feel yucky!

4. Lots of juicing means lots more vitamins and minerals which are responsible for all sorts of necessary chemical reactions promoting health and vitality and therefore lots more energy.

5. And just a few more: Juicing helps to slow the aging process, reduces inflammation, helps cleanse the body (which is especially important post-holiday season), improves the look of your skin, regulates digestion and can help peel off pounds… sold yet? If not, for some real motivation check out Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead!

Here is a simple juice to start with but as you become more comfortable with the taste of veggie juice, the produce isle will become your best friend. Rule of Thumb: At least 3 veggies to every one piece of fruit and the greener the better!

Get Your Juice On!
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2-3 cucumbers
  • 1 head romaine
  • 3-5 stalks of celery
  • 3-5 stalks of kale
  • small bit of ginger
  • Carrots, apple, pear or grapefruit (if you want to sweeten it up a bit)
  • Turmeric
  • Cinnamon
  • ½ lemon
Instructions
  1. Juice.
  2. Sprinkle with turmeric and cinnamon.
  3. Squeeze lemon on top. Enjoy!

 

Kale and Roasted Vegetable Soup

Roasted Veggie and Kale Soup

It is definitely becoming soup weather here in SF. This is your rainy Sunday afternoon kind of soup as it is a bit time consuming but definitely worth every minute of it!!!

Kale and Roasted Vegetable Soup
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
  • 2 large tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 large onion, cut into 8 wedges or 4 or 5 slices
  • ½ small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut lengthwise into ½ inch thick wedges
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cups or more of vegetable broth
  • 4 cups of finely chopped kale
  • 3 large fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 15 oz can of Great Northern white beans, drained or homemade beans!
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Brush rimmed baking sheet with a thin coat of olive oil. Arrange carrots, squash, tomatoes, onion, and garlic on sheet. Drizzle with more olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast vegetables until they are brown and tender, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.
  2. Cut squash and carrots into ½ inch pieces; set aside. Peel garlic cloves; place in food processor. Add tomatoes and onion; puree until almost smooth. Pour ½ cup broth onto the baking sheet; scrape up any browned bits. Transfer broth and vegetable puree to large pot. Add 5½ cups broth, kale, thyme and bay leaf to pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Simmer uncovered until kale is tender, about 30 minutes.
  3. Add carrots, beans, and squash to soup. Simmer 8 minutes to blend flavors, adding more broth to thin soup if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf.

Photo Credit: Simply Recipes

Delicata Squash & Tofu Curry

Delicata Squash and Tofu Curry

I’ve found curry recipes to be a little hit and miss… and I will safely say this one was a hit! After my post about butternut squash, I realized there are so many winter squashes out there I have yet to try. I found this recipe on Eating Well and was determined to try out this new squash. If you cannot find delicata you can replace with pumpkin, butternut or kabocha squash.

Delicata Squash & Tofu Curry
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 package (140z) extra-firm or firm water-packed tofu
  • 4 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 large delicata squash (about 1 pound), halved, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, halved and sliced
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 14oz can “lite” coconut milk
  • 8 cups coarsely chopped kale or chard, tough stems removed
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice, plus more to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine curry powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Blot tofu dry with a paper towel and cut into 1-inch cubes; toss the tofu in a medium bowl with 1 teaspoon of the spice mixture.
  2. Heat ½ the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and cook, stirring every 2 minutes, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat. Add squash, onion, ginger and the remaining spice mixture; cook, stirring, until the vegetables are lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add coconut milk; bring to a boil. Add half the kale (or chard) and cook, stirring, until slightly wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in the rest of the greens and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Return the tofu to the pan, cover and cook, stirring once or twice, until the squash and greens are tender, 3 to 5 minutes more.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in lime juice.

Serving suggestion: Serve over grain of choice

Baked Kale Chips

Kale ChipsSome people find kale to be too bitter but kale is filled with antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory effects, is loaded with vitamins and aids in the detoxification process so we have to find a way to like it, right? Well these kale chips are simple to make and incredibly delicious. There is no doubt that this healthy snack is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Eat alone, serve with dips and spreads, on top of soups… the uses are endless!

Baked Kale Chips
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and torn into bite size pieces (Trader Joes has a bag of kale already chopped and stems removed for an easier version)
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat over to 350.
  2. Place kale on baking sheet. Spray or drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  3. Bake for about 10 minutes or until edges brown but they are not burnt. Keep a careful watch here as they can burn quickly!