& crispy kale &

Health Diary || 12-06-17

What I ate

Breakfast: rice flake chia porridge topped with warmed berries, peanut butter, hemp seeds and buckinis

Lunch: macro bowl - roasted potatoes, smoked tofu, steamed kale, alfalfa, cucumber and sauerkraut with tamari, tahini and sriracha

Snack: dried peaches, coconut water

Dinner: macro bowl - roasted potato and sweet potato, tempeh, crispy baked kale, steamed broccolini, alfalfa and sauerkraut with tamari, tahini and sriracha

Dessert: two pieces raw mint chocolate


Exercise

45 minutes gym - 15 mins treadmill, 30 mins legs and butt


Healthy habits

Water: 2L

Tea: 1

Coffee: 2

Supplements: probiotic, B12

Rice bowl finished product: steamed brown Nishiki rice, crispy roasted kale, sautéed shiitake mushrooms, oven-roasted tofu, baked sweet potato, blistered shishito peppers, sesame seeds and a quick-pickled red onion (baby’s first quick pickle!). Each ingredient is individually seasoned and cooked in various fats (kale in olive oil, the mushrooms in ghee, etc) so it’s tasty over the plain rice, but the pickled onion just made it soooo much better. I can’t wait to make it again.

Capers & Salmon Pasta on Crisp Kale Bed

Hello followers! I’m finally back posting after a few hectic weeks! Hope everyone is doing well & Happy Lunar New Year! I wish everyone a prosperous year of the goat!

I’ve only cooked a few times recently and haven’t been making new recipes. Here is one of the few I came up with. I honestly love the tangy and citrus flavors of this pasta from the capers and lemon juice. The extra crispy bed of kale just amps up the texture of the dish so much.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • ½ lemon
  • ¼ cup small shrimp
  • 6-8 slices smoked salmon
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • ½ box of pasta
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced

DIRECTIONS:

1. Boil a pot of water and prepare the pasta by cooking it to al-dente. I used angel hair, which took about 15 -20 minutes to cook on a slow stove. Sprinkle some salt into the water while boiling. When done, drain the water, and mix in 1 tbsp of olive oil and toss.

2. In a pan, heat up 0.5 tbsp of olive oil, the minced garlic and saute. Once the garlic browns, add in small shrimp and saute till cooked. Sprinkle on some salt & pepper. Remove the shrimp from the pan.

3. Using the same pan, add in the rest of the olive oil. Then, add in halved cherry tomatoes and saute for about 3-5 minutes. Then, add in chopped capers and saute. Squeeze in some lemon juice. (If you don’t like it too citrus, use less lemon juice!)

4. Add about ½ cup of water and let it simmer. Add in the wine and mix well. Let it cook for a few minutes and add the shrimp back in to the sauce. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.

5. Add in a few slices of smoked salmon and sear it quickly. Add in the pasta and toss well with the sauce.

FOR THE KALE: 

1. Rinse the kale well under cold water. Then pluck the leafy parts off the stem and place onto a baking pan.

2. Sprinkle on salt and olive oil, coat well. Then bake at 300'F for about 30 minutes until they crisp.

Yesterday was a slug day and it was lovely. Today I kicked things into high gear and have already completed the last of the school forms, started laundry, cleaned the bathrooms and taken a coffee break. The rain has stopped but it’s still dark and damp in the house and I need to prep some tofu for tonight’s dinner, go to the gym, do my library returns and shop for clothes for the boy who suddenly admitted he has “no shirts” for school. He was just stalling because he hates to shop. We already did the back to school shopping thing but he swore he was all set. I will run out to get him a few things to save morning drama about clothes. I’m making vegetarian rice bowls for dinner tonight. Checked a great book on grain bowls out of the library this week and although I’m making my usual: tofu, crispy kale, roasted sweet potato bowls tonight, there were some inspired ideas in this book that have me really excited to try out some different options. The book is Bowls of Plenty by Carolynn Carreno and I may do a separate post about that because everything looks so good in it. And now the girl just called to say they’re coming home from school soon because something is wrong with the fire drill system. I swear, if I have plans for the day in any way it’s always the day that things don’t go as planned.

Click photo to read more.

Butternut Squash and Ricotta Gnocchi w Roasted Chanterelles, Kale, Almonds, and Parmesan in Thyme Brown Butter

I’ve never cooked with butternut squash before and I’ve only ever eaten and made potato gnocchi but I gotta say this was a subtly sweet and yummy surprise. I normally roll my eyes at things that “taste like fall” but the velvety butternut squash, its gorgeous golden color ~*like changing leaves*~ and the nice undertone of nutmeg actually really made this a beautiful dish. Fall: 1 — Cecilia: 0. Summer forever (but fall sometimes)!!!! Also, ricotta is not necessary, I just had some in the back of fridge and didn’t want to waste it. You do you.

Also, making this was a rather long and messy process. NOTHING wrong with buying pre-made gnocchi though I’m not sure you’ll find the butternut version. Throw some yellow-orange food-dye on em and call it done.

serves 8
INGREDIENTS:
1 butternut squash
1 large russet potato
I honestly don’t know how much flour I used. Start with 1 1/2 cups and go from there until you get the desired consistency
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup olive oil
1 large beaten egg
1 cup of finely grated parmesan
Pinch of salt

Table spoon of fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2 tbl good butter

1 bunch kale leaves, torn
2 cups of chanterelles mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 garlic clove, finely chopped
Optional: sliced almonds, ricotta, fresh spinach, goat cheese crumbles (leftovers)

EQUIPMENT: food processor/blender

Turn oven on to 400. Slice your squash lengthwise in half, remove seeds. Drizzle olive oil on both sides and roast, flesh side exposed. I heard it would take 1 1/2 hours to roast squash until fork tender and slightly browned. It took about 40 minutes for me. So check up on your squash every 20 minutes with a fork.

Meanwhile cook your potato in boiling salted water, 20 minutes or until for fork tender. When ready, skin and quarter your potato and pass it through a potato ricer or grate it. Let riced potato cool in large bowl.

Once your squash is ready, remove from oven and scoop flesh from skin using spoon (hold skin down with edged wooden spoon to keep your grip without burning yourself). Pass through food processor and then add to saucepan on med-high heat, stirring often letting steam evaporate. Add to potato with nutmeg, salt, egg, and ½ cup of parmesan and ½ cup of ricotta if you so desire. Mix well, adding flour handful by handful. This is where it’s tricky. Keep adding flour bit by bit until you get a uniformed rough but it needs to stay soft and pliable, you aren’t making pie crust. I probably used 2-3 cups but am not totally sure, I just went with what literally felt right.

Once you get a ball of dough together cut off dough by handful sections and roll them into ropes over floured surface. Using a sharp knife cut small sections of dough, about the size of the top section of your thumb. Press fork prongs length wise into gnocchi if desired. Toss onto a large parchment lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, sauté mushroom. Using a skillet on med-high heat, coat pan in olive oil, add shallot stirring until translucent, add garlic, stir for 1 minute. Add mushroom, stirring and allowing water to evaporate. Spread mushrooms onto a parchment lined baking sheet, in another section spread out almonds, and kale.

Bring wide saucepan or pot of salted water to boil. Add chilled gnocchi batch by batch and cook for about 4-5 minutes. When soft but slightly chewy, remove with a slotted spoon and drain.

Place kale, mushrooms and almonds in oven for 5 minutes, making kale crispy, toasting almonds.

Lastly, melt butter in heavy skillet, add thyme, gnocchi and accoutrements to pan, stirring and browning gnocchi slightly. Add extra parmesan to top of dish and serve. Pat yourself on the back and if it isn’t perfect just tell yourself it is because that was a lot of work. Clean the mess in the morning.

NOTE: these with a cheese sauce (simmer heavy cream, add your favorite cheese by the handful, stirring) was INCREDIBLE. Also, using a GF flour makes for INCREDIBLY tender gnocchi. I made a dairy and GF version so left out the parm and garnished with roasted mushroom, sugar peas and okra with a light home made pesto…delicious.
Lobster & Crispy Kale Pasta Here is a unique recipe for a pasta dish. Thank you to my dear friend who made this for me. :) I decided to post his recipe up to share! The preparation is quite long so it makes it a good date dinner with your other half or a dinner dish with your family. I highly recommend this dish though! It’s a lovely pasta dish with lots of flavors and lots of textures. INGREDIENTS:
  • 4 slices bacon - coarsely chopped
  • 2 lobster tails
  • 5 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 bunch kale
  • olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 ½ cups angel pasta
  • ½ cup grape tomatoes - halved
  • ¼ cup parsley - chopped

DIRECTIONS:

1. Boil a large pot of water. Then add in angel hair pasta until it is cooked to al dente. You can sprinkle in a pinch of salt as well.

2. Next, prepare the kale leafs. Put a piece of parchment paper on a baking pan, then spread the kale leafs on the pan. Sprinkle some olive oil, Parmesan cheese and salt on the kale leafs. Bake at the oven for 230'C for about 30-45 minutes. Do make sure they don’t brown, if they do you have to turn down the temperature.

3. While the kale cooks, we can prepare the sauce and the condiments. First, cook the bacon in a shallow pan. Cook the bacon until it starts to crisps. Once the bacon is cooked, keep the pan on the stove and now, pan fry the lobster until it turns red.

4. Set the lobster aside once it’s cooked. Drain out some of the bacon fat from the pan. Then reheat the pan at medium heat. Lightly saute the garlic until it browns, then add in cayenne pepper and red pepper. Stir around the pan.

5. Add in 2 tbsp of butter to the pan, and now add in the pasta and mix well with the cooked seasoned mixture. When the pasta is lightly cooked, turn down the heat to low and add in the halved grape tomatoes and chopped parsley. Mix well.

6. Plate the pasta along with the bacon (which needs to be crumbled) and lobster tail. Heat the remaining butter in the pan until it browns. Then pour the heated butter atop of the dish. Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese and baked kale before serving.

Vegan Macaro-No Cheese Recipe

Serves 2–4

The one thing I often encounter when people discover I’m vegan is an immediate lamentation for my cheese-less existence. It’s true that cheese is no longer a part of my life, and despite having previously spent most of my days as a total dairy fiend, even I can’t quite fathom why I simply don’t miss it. Perhaps in part it has a lot to do with dishes like this one, which perfectly replicates that ultimate comfort food feel—and something tells me you won’t be boo-hooing about the lack of cheddar either. 

1 x 1 3/4 pounds butternut squash, halved and seeded
¾ cup coconut milk
1 scant teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ vegetable bouillon cube
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
9 ounces macaroni

For the crispy kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 1/4 cups kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes 

Preheat the oven to 400˚F.

Place the squash, flesh side down, in a roasting pan and pour in about 1/2 cup water. Bake in the oven for 1 hour or until the flesh is completely soft. Leave the oven at the same temperature to cook the kale later on. Set the squash aside to cool slightly before scooping out the flesh with a spoon and blending with the coconut milk to a smooth purée in a blender.

Pour the purée into a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer before adding the Dijon mustard, crumbled bouillon cube, and cider vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and add a little water to loosen the sauce. Continue to simmer for another 20 minutes until it thickens and turns pale yellow.

Bring a large pan of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook for just slightly under the recommended time.

While the pasta is cooking, rub the olive oil all over the kale pieces. Spread out on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 8–10 minutes or until completely crisp. Sprinkle sea salt flakes over the top.

Drain the macaroni and transfer to the pan of squash sauce. Stir to combine and heat through gently over low heat for about 5 minutes. Serve in heated bowls and top with the salty, crispy kale.

https://www.yahoo.com/food/macaro-no-cheese-recipe-108105114741.html

(Pretty) Healthy Kale and (Optional) Kielbasa Soup

This soup is one of my favorite winter soups. It’s hard to go wrong and you decided just how healthy you want it to be. Add Kielbasa sausage or replace it with chicken or no meat at all. Make bacon kale or nah. On a scale of 1-10 I keep the health factor at about a 7.5. Usually opting for adding the kale tossed with bacon and leaving out the sausage as seen here. I try to make it a day in advance because like most soups, the full flavor really comes out about a day after it’s made. If you have leftover turkey bones from thanksgiving make a broth!!

Broth: 2 quarts water, chicken or turkey bones, veggies or veggie peels (I use veggie shavings from juicer, onion, leek, carrots) in a pot, bring to a boil and then simmer for a few hours until the liquid is reduced a bit and a darker color, strain veggies and bones but keep liquid.

Soup:
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp EVOO
1-2 bunches of kale, stems removed, leaves torn
4 slabs of bacon, chopped into 1 inch pieces (optional)
1 bunch of carrots, cut into half inch medallions
2 cans of white beans, rinsed and strained
6 stalks of celery, chopped
½ tbsp rosemary, chopped
1 bay leaf 2-3 links of smoked sausage such as kielbasa sausage (optional), cut into 1 inch medallions
Salt and fresh black pepper
3 cups of water
2 qt of chicken or turkey broth


Step 1: In a large pot, add EVOO, onion and garlic, stirring well until onion is translucent. Add broth/water. Add carrots, celery, rosemary, bay leaf and let it sit on medium heat.

Step 2: In a large pan on medium high heat, add bacon pieces and allow them to cook a bit without getting crispy. Add kale after about two minutes. Toss kale with bacon until leaves are bright green, turn heat to low and keep mixing. Drain bacon grease. Add bacon and kale to soup. If you opt out of using bacon, just add raw kale straight to soup.

Step 3: In a nonstick pan on high heat brown the sausage medallions. Drain the sausage over paper towels to absorb some grease. Stop eating all of the browned sausage and add it to the soup damn it.

Step 4: Add rinsed and drained white beans to soup. Mix everything gently and well. Leave on low heat for an hour or two total. Add salt and pepper to taste. I prefer to refrigerate the soup overnight and then heat and eat it the following day.

Started with a hashbrown stripe down the center & the when I flipped it I added frozen california blend veggies on the right & kale from my garden on the left a little later. dill & cilantro from my garden & parsley & a tomato. black sesame, red pepper flakes, red onion, braggs, white pepper, cumin seed, coriander seed, lemon, cumin powder, gomashio, all on lowest heat setting until kale is crispy

3
Spicy Fried Egg & Crispy Kale Breakfast Sandwich.

A year ago, I would never have made this sandwich. Because a year ago I didn’t like egg yolks. I mean, it’s not that I didn’t like egg yolks, per se, but more that I was afraid of them. So runny! So gooey! So…yolky! And then, somehow, I decided I needed to woman up and get into the yolk.

I can count the number of eggs I’ve fried in my life on two hands, and half of them were for people who are not me. But here’s the thing: When I started eating meat a couple years ago, there were just so many foods I’d never tried (bacon! hamburgers! hot dogs! lobster! the list goes on) that I was tired of being afraid of.

So I tried everything. Just a bite. And then more if I wanted it. I started with beef tartare (I know—go big or go home). And though most meat tasted good, or just ok, I never wanted whole plates of it. At heart, I’m mostly a plant eater. But yolks I liked. Yolks could stay.

This sandwich is my attempt to replicate my absolute favorite breakfast sando at Superba Food & Bread in Venice, California. 

Click through for the whole story and recipe, here!