Friday, December 20, 2013

Apple and Kohlrabi Salad with Caraway and Mint Vinaigrette

I found this recipe on the  Bon Appetit website.  I tweaked it a bit by adding some avocado honey and mint, omitting the oil for lower calorie. fat-free version.  The mint is perfect with the Honey Crisp apples.

Apple and Kohlrabi Salad with Caraway and Mint Vinaigrette 

(Click HERE for a printer friendly version of the recipe)

3 small to medium size Kohlrabi, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large Honey Crisp Apple (you can also use a Fuji or other sweet apples)
1 teaspoon Caraway Seed, lightly toasted and chopped
1 Tablespoon Grainy Dijon Mustard
2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tablespoons fresh Mint, roughly chopped (I used my Orange Bergamot Mint)
1 teaspoon Avocado Honey (any of your favorite honey will do here)

1. In a small skillet over medium heat, lightly toast the caraway seeds, then roughly chop and set aside to cool. You may want to use a small plastic bag and a mallet to do this because these seeds with 'pop' all over your counter when you try to chop them on a cutting board.  Roughly chop the Mint.

2. In a large bowl whisk together the apple cider vinegar, grainy Dijon mustard, honey and toasted caraway seeds. Set aside. 

A local Temecula Valley Avocado Blossom Honey
3. Using a Mandoline thinly slice the kolhrabi; you should have about 2 cups. If you don't have a mandoline you could also do this in a food processor or by hand. Just make them as thin as possible.

Thinly sliced Kohlrabi
Peeled Kohlrabi and Orange Bergamot Mint
Honey Crisp Apple
4. Core and slice the apples as thinly as you can.  I found that this was better done by hand than with the mandoline, since the apple was super juicy and I didn't want to lose all of that sweet juice onto the counter.

5. Toss together the apples and kohlrabi in the vinaigrette bowl. Toss in the Mint and gently mix together.  You can serve immediately or let the flavors meld a bit longer, covered and refrigerated for a couple of hours.

I didn't see the need to add the frisee greens, although it would look pretty.  I served it as a side dish to my Mushroom Barley Risotto. This is a super crispy salad I think you will love it and add it to your collection for a refreshing winter salad.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Forbidden Black Rice with Autumn Fruits and a Bit of Mint

This recipe is a wonderful vegan dessert.  Lightly sweet with just a bit of honey.

According to ancient Chinese legend, black rice was so rare that only the Emperors were allowed to eat it. 

Forbidden Black Rice with Autumn Fruits

Black Rice is high in antioxidants, it is rich in a class of flavonoid antioxidants called anthocyanins.

Serve this sweet, fruity dish for dessert, and wear your finest silk robe!  The dish is filled with jewel tone fruits to complement the royal red colors of the black rice.

Makes  4½ cups
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  • 1 cup Forbidden Black Rice
  • 2 Green Apples (Pippen or Granny Smith)
  • 1 Fuyu Persimmon
  • ½ cup sweetened, dried Cranberries
  • ¼ cup fresh Mint, chopped
  • 2 TB Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 TB Honey
  1. Cook the rice according to package directions.  (I used my rice cooker and it came out perfect, the rice is naturally dark red, sticky and chewy).  Allow to cool in a 2 quart mixing bowl.
  2. Core and dice the apple.  Remove the stem end from the Persimmon, then dice in the same size as the apple.  Add both to the rice. Mix the vinegar and honey together, stir in the mint.
  3. Roughly chop the dried cranberries if they are very large and add to the rice mixture.  Add the dressing and toss together, gently so as not to make everything red in color.

Fuyu Persimmons from our tree

Holding a slice up to the window to allow the sunlight to shine through.

Mother Nature provides us with such beautiful foods to eat!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Colorful Collard Greens and Brussel Sprout Slaw with Pomegranate Seeds

Super easy and healthy alternative to a oil or mayonnaise laden slaw.

Colorful Collard Greens and Brussel Sprout Slaw with Pomegranate Seeds

Serves 8-10
3 cups thinly sliced Collard Greens, stems removed before slicing
3 cups thinly sliced Brussel Sprouts
1 large Fuji apple (8 oz.), unpeeled, cored, cut in eights and thinly sliced (any sweet apple will work here)
¼ cup Golden Raisin, chopped
cup Pomegranate Aril's **
3 tablespoons Fresh Mint, minced
¾ teaspoon sea salt

Pomegranates (Punica granatum) on our tree

Juice from 1 to 2 large lime (you need about 4 tablespoons)
1-2 tablespoon Honey (I used an Avocado Honey which is a dark honey with bold flavors)
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard (I used a whole grain Dijon Mustard from Trader Joe’s)

Combine Collard Greens, Brussel Sprouts, Mint and sea salt in a large bowl, toss to combine. Add Raisins, Pomegranate and Apple, toss to combine.  In a small bowl mix together the Vinaigrette ingredients, pour over the salad and toss to combine.   

This salad will hold up for about one day before the dressing will “cook” the greens and wilt them.  I still enjoy it, but it looks best when served the first day.

We also love this in veggie wraps!

**Pomegranate Arils are the name of the juicy red covered seeds in a pomegranate.  Pomegranate trees are thought to have originated in Iran, and they were brought to Mexico and California by the Spanish in 1769.  

The first time I had a pomegranate was here in Southern California at the age of 10.  I have loved them ever since and am so fortunate to have a tree thriving in my backyard.

It makes a big bowl.

We only have about 40 this year since I pruned it back so much the year before. Next year I will have more than I can use.

The Scrub Jays have been pecking at these and the ants move in once they are open, rendering the remaining berries useless to me.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Peruano Bean, Red Kale and Tomato Soup with Parsley Pesto

Peruano Bean, Red Kale and Tomato Soup with Parsley Pesto 

2 cups Peruano Beans (Canary Beans), dry
4 cloves Garlic
4 Carrots, sliced
3 stalks Celery, diced
1 red bell Pepper, diced
1 med to large Brown Onion
1 bunch or Red Kale, washed and sliced
5 cups Tomato Juice (unsalted)
6-8 cups water, herb or vegetable broth ***
1 teaspoon Sea Salt (optional)
½ teaspoon Pepper
3-4 Bay leaves
2 tsp Smoked Paprika
¼ tsp freshly grated Nutmeg

Parsley Pesto

1 ½ cups Parsley leaves
⅓ cup Parmesan cheese
2 cloves Garlic
1 Tbsp fresh Lemon juice
⅓ cup Olive Oil

Place garlic in food processor and pulse until minced, add remaining ingredients and pulse until blended but not liquid.

Bouquet Garni

6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 sprig fresh sage
4 sprigs fresh marjoram
Tie herbs together with kitchen string, toss in soup.

Directions for soup:

Pick over the beans and rinse in cold water. Place beans and bay leaves in a 6 quart dutch oven or stockpot, cover with water making sure it is about 2 inches above the beans; about 6 cups should do it. Bring beans to a boil; turn off heat and let sit, covered, for one hour.   

Prepare your vegetables while the beans are resting. Add your vegetables, herb garni and spices after the one hour. Hold off on the salt until beans are tender, (and the Parsley Pesto may be salty enough with the Parmesan cheese). Add the tomato juice, sliced kale and enough water to cover everything by an inch or two. 

Simmer until the beans and vegetables are tender, about 1½ hours.  Check every 20 minutes to make sure that the vegetables are still covered in broth.  This is a thick, chunky soup but you will want some broth, you can use water or vegetable broth.  Serve soup in large bowls with a spoonful of the Parsley Pesto on top. 

***I often make an herb broth and let it simmer on the stove on the day that I am making soup., I make up an extra bouquet garni but without the bay leaves and add some onion scraps, potato peels and any other vegetable scraps that I have on hand. In this recipe I used the stems from the kale.  Wilted celery is another one you can add or use the celery leaves.  This broth is wonderful for just about any soup you are making and adds more flavor than water.

Don't toss these Red Kale stems, use them in your vegetable stock.
 My freezer Tomato Juice that I made in August.