Kale Salad with Togarashi

Kale Salad with Togarashi, Apple, Sweet Nuts, and Cranberries

Kale Salad with Togarashi, Apples, Pecorino, Sweet Almonds and Dried Cranberries

This is one of my favorite salads. With Kale being one of the highest nutrient rich foods (and ANDI score of 1000), I try to squeeze this in my dinners as often as possible. The most important thing with kale is that you can’t have it dry, it really needs a lot of love, which translates to oil! First you needs to make sure your kale is washed, which sometimes, takes wiping down the front and back of every leaf. You then need to completely dry it, because as well all know, oil and water don’t mix. Next you have the remove larger ribs that run down the center. Then you cut all of the leafs off. Try to keep them in large pieces. You then stack a series of leaves and roll them, like rolling a cigar. You will have a tightly wound up spiral of leaves. You then cut ⅛” thick (or thin) so you have small strands of leaves, like in photo above. Once all of the leaves have been nicely cut into thin and long pieces, place them into a bowl. Now you give it some love, pour in the EVO Oil into a bowl and toss around so that all of the pieces get a nice coating of oil, this is what softens it up. Next add apples, dried cranberries, chopped sweet almonds, pecorino and toss well to cover all ingredients in oil. Your last step is to add the Japanese red pepper (Togarashi). I would add this slowly, then toss around and see how much is enough for your individual taste. Some people love the red pepper spice, others have less tolerance for hot foods (like my husband). It does contain a bit of salt, so just keep tasting to see if you need additional salt in your salad.

Ingredients:

  • Large bunch of Curly Kale
  • 2 tbsp EVOO (olive oil)
  • 1 Gala Apple (thinly sliced)
  • ⅓ cup Dried Cranberries
  • ⅓ cup Sweet almonds (chopped)
  • ½ cup of shredded pecorino cheese
  • ½-1 tsp Togarashi (Japanese Spice)
  • ¼ tsp salt (optional)
IMG_0560
Curly Kale
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Kale with ribs removed
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Rolled Kale leaves rolled

I also found some interesting information about Kale from Dr. Perlmutter (author of Grain Brain). I have included it here, but you can also visit this link to read the rest.

Kale, a member of the cabbage family, is power packed with vitamins A, K, C, with meaningful amounts of B vitamins as well as trace minerals. It’s low in carbs and calories. Kale is rich in a chemical called sulforaphane, and this may be one of kale’s most important health attributes.

Sulforaphane is a sulfur-rich chemical that activates a gene pathway in animals as well as humans called Nrf2, and when Nrf2 is turned on by consuming sulforaphane rich foods, several important health-promoting mechanisms are accentuated. These include a reduction in inflammation, enhanced antioxidant protection, and powerful amplification of our ability to detoxify potential damaging chemicals.

Asian Cole Slaw

Asian Cole Slaw with Sesame Oil and Cilantro
Asian Cole Slaw with Sesame Oil and Cilantro

Okay, I’ve honestly had enough of this summer heat! With 90+ degree weather for the past couple of months, I thought I would share a light, refreshing coleslaw recipe, to cool you down. This dressing is a little sweet and pungent. Pairs nicely with a Panko Crusted Tuna.

Ingredients:

  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp fresh pureed ginger
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 4 tbsp Mirin*
  • 2 tbsp Toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ cup Organic Canola Oil

* Mirin is a rice wine, similar to sake, but with a lower alcohol and higher sugar content.

Directions: In a mixing bowl, place soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and Mirin and whisk until brown sugar dissolves. Slowly whisk in the oil to the mixture in a slow stream, waiting for the oil and mixture to begin thickening before adding a little more oil. This is to ensure emuslification. Add to the slaw and refrigerate, this can be made a few hours before serving.

For the Cole Slaw:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup thinly sliced napa cabbage
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green cabbage
  • 3/4 cup julienned carrots
  • 2 tbsp. cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tsp black sesame seeds

Directions: If you don’t have the patients to hand slice/chop all of the ingredients, you can use a food processor with the slicing or julienne blades. Mix the cabbages and carrots into a bowl, slowly add in the dressing, tossing to cover. Add in the cilantro and sesame seeds and toss. This can be served with a nice panic crusted seared tuna and sushi rice. You can also make a bit more of the above dressing and add it to the Tuna and rice.

Mare Chiaro – “Clear Sea” Salad – Arugula, Tuna and bean salad

arugula-bean-saladLast year, while dining at one of our favorite Italian restaurants in Boulder, Pizzeria Locale, we ordered their Mare Chiaro (“Clear Sea”) salad. But unfortunately, it is no longer on the menu, so I surprised my family, and tried to recreate it at home. This salad is a great combination of bitter, sweet and salty. I purchase this incredibly authentic Italian jarred Tuna, which is the belly cut of tuna in oil giving it a rich tuna flavor with a little added salt. The dressing is one that I have made for my arugula bean crostini. I used the Eden organic brand cannellini beans (white kidney beans) as they pack them in bisphenol-A (BPA) free can linings.

Ingredients:

Dressing:

  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Salad:

  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • 1 can of organic Cannellini Beans (or white kidney beans)
  • 1 jar of Tuna Ventresca
  • ½ cup sliced Parmesan Cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the dressing, mix the lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper into a mixing bowl, stirring so the sugar dissolves. Then Slowly whisk in the olive oil, ensuring it doesn’t separate. Split the dressing in half.  Add in arugula to one large bowl lightly toss. Add the beans, tuna and parmesan into the second bowl of dressing and toss. Add some salt and pepper to the bean and tuna mixture. Place a bunch of arugula on to each plate, then add 2 heaping tablespoons of the tuna and bean mixture. For decoration you can also add one slice of the parmesan on top of the tuna mixture.

Crostini with Arugula, Cannellini Beans, and Chicken

crostini with beans and chicken

If you are looking for a healthy protein appetizer for the holidays, here is a fun little crostini with some lemon dressed arugula, cannellini beans (white kidney beans), organic chicken breast and slices of parmesan cheese. I actually mainly use organic ingredients for most of my dishes, including this one. I used the Eden organic brand beans as they pack them in bisphenol-A (BPA) free can linings. I also found a great canned organic chicken breast by Valley Fresh Organic White Chicken Breast or you can also use the breast from a baked chicken.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 tsp of sugar or ½ tsp of raw honey for the Paleo fans
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • 1 can of organic Cannellini Beans (or white kidney beans)
  • 1 can (12.5 oz.) of organic chicken breast
  • ½ cup sliced Parmesan Cheese
  • 16 crostini (Make sure they are not too thick)

Mix the first 4 ingredients into a large bowl. Split the dressing in half.  Add in arugula to one bowl lightly toss. Add the beans, chicken and parmesan into the second bowl of dressing and toss. Add some salt and pepper to the bean and chicken mixture. Place a pinch of the arugula onto the crostini, then add a heaping tablespoon of the chicken and bean mixture. For decoration you can also add one slice of the parmesan on top of the chicken. If your crostinis are too thick or hard, I tried spooning some of the dressing on them before stacking ingredients, as it softens up the bread a little. (Be sure to account for additional dressing if you do this). Test it out to see what works best for you before you serve this to your guests.

Roast Beef and Arugula Wraps

arugula-beef-parm

For all the Paleo lovers out there…here is a great little wrap for you!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • pinch of sugar or ½ tsp of raw honey for the Paleo fans
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 thinly sliced roast beef (8 oz.) halved crosswise
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • 1 oz. of Parmigiano-Reggiano, shaved

In a large bowl, whisk together lemon, sugar (or honey) salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the oil. Arrange roast beef on a work surface. Add arugula to dressing and toss. Taste to see if it needs more salt or pepper. Divide arugula among the beef slices with a few leaves extending beyond edges of the roast beef. top with shaved parm cheese and roll into cylinders and serve.

Homemade Caesar Dressing

Homemade Caesar Dressing

Here is a simple recipe I found for homemade Caesar dressing. It’s really easy to make and this batch can last in the fridge for a few days. It’s not too fishy or garlicky.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Cloves of minced Garlic
  • 1 tsp of Anchovy Paste
  • 2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp of dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise (favorite is Hellmann’s Real)
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

In a medium bowl, whisk together garlic, anchovy paste, lemon juice, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Add in the mayonnaise, cheese, salt and pepper and whisk until well combined. I normally add the croutons to the lettuce before adding the dressing, as it softens them up a bit. When adding dressing to your romaine lettuce, start with a small quantity. A little goes a long way, and you want to make sure your salad does not get too soggy or over dressed. You can then add thin slices of parmesan, and your sliced chicken to each plate. (I’ll be sure to include my favorite breaded chicken milanese recipe for you to try next).

Marinated Salmon

Salmon with Arugula salad

Here is a simple and easy marinade for a tasty baked salmon.

  • 2-3 lbs Wild Caught Salmon*
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • Large bunch of dill
  • 2 tbsp. of dig on mustard
  • Juice if 1 lemon
  • Rock salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • ⅓ cup EVOO

Purée all ingredients in a blender with an “S-shaped” blade, until ingredients are well chopped and it forms a paste. Add marinate and to salmon in a ziplock bag, let most of the air out. Be sure to massage the mixture around the salmon so all areas are well covered. Place in the refrigerator for 3 hours. Take out and let sit at room temperature for ½ hour before baking. Bake Salmon in a baking dish covered with tinfoil or sealed tinfoil at 350 degrees, for 20 minutes or until cooked to desired temperature.

If you prefer a crispy outside and skin, you can sauté the salmon in a pan with olive or butter on high heat, this only takes a couple of minutes per side, which gives you a nice crunchy skin. Great paired with an Arugula salad, tossed with EVOO, balsamic vinegar, goat cheese crumbles and tomatoes.

*I’m not a fan of farm raised as they are “rumors” that they are fed GMO pellets!

Tilapia with Arugula Salad

Tilapia goes great with prosciutto and Sage, by adding lots of flavor to this mild fish. Here are the list of ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs. Tilapia filets
  • 2 tbsp Butter (1 tbsp at a time)
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • ⅓ cup chopped Shallots
  • 5 slices of medium thick Prosciutto chopped
  • ⅓ cup chopped Sage leaves
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions: place 1 tbsp butter in pan on medium high heat, add prosciutto. Cook prosciutto for approximately 5 minutes or until crispy, remove and place on a paper towel to drain additional fat. Leave the liquid in the pan, add the 2nd tbsp of butter and oil, and add the shallots and sage. Cook until both shallots and sage are crispy. Strain them leaving liquid in the pan, and place on paper towel. Turn heat up to high and add tilapia filets, searing each side to make it crispy, approximately 3 minutes on a side. (Add more butter if liquid does not cover base of pan). Cook until fish is flakey, but do not over cook. Remove fish to a plate. Quickly warm up prosciutto, sage and shallots, approximately one minute, then place on top of fish. Serve with Arugula salad (below).

Arugula Salad ingredients

  • 4 cups Arugula
  • 1 ripe Anjou pear
  • 5 strips of bacon chopped in ½” pieces
  • ⅓ cup feta cheese
  • 3 Tbsp. EVOO (oil)
  • 1 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt

Toss the arugula with olive oil, then add salt. Add other ingredients and toss again, add in the balsamic.

Serves 4 people