Kale Caesar with Marinated Portobello Mushrooms – Kale Salad Challenge #5

I love all Kale Salads and this one was especially deelish. Not everyone is into sea vegetables, but this dressing manages to be chockfull of them without anyone being the wiser, super healthy goodness! They add such a great saltiness to this already super creamy dressing.

Kale Caesar with Marinated Portobello Mushrooms

Kale Caesar with Mar

2 heads of Kale

Chop up or tear pieces of Kale. Massage the dressing into the kale with your hands and top with mushrooms. Yum! Enjoy 🙂

Avocado Sea-sar Dressing (vegan, almost raw, gluten free, soy free)
Recipe from choosingraw.com
Yields over 1 cup

1 large Hass avocado
1 tsp vegan Worsterchire sauce
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Juice of two large lemons
3 tbsp mellow white miso
1 small clove garlic
1 tsp spirulina
1 tbsp nori, kelp, or dulse flakes (or a mix of all three, which is what I used)
3/4 cup water (or more if needed)
*2 tbsp olive oil (optional)*

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender till smooth. The olive oil is totally optional, but it lends a little added creaminess and richness to the dressing.

Marinated Portobello Mushrooms

3 1/2 cup portobello mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup agave
2 tablespoons  Nama Shoyu or Tamari
2 tablespoons Herbamere
3 tablespoons herbs of choice – I used oregano and bail

Blend all ingredients except mushrooms for about 10 seconds. Place the marinade, along with mushrooms, in a large plastic container or zipped bag and seal well. Toss around until well coated. Refrigerate and let sit overnight, tossing to coat from time to time. Strain the mushrooms out prior to serving, but reserve the marinade to use as a salad dressing for another time.

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Mashed Potato Quinoa Puffs with Sriracha Mayo

Happy Passover! If you celebrated the last two nights, I hope they were joyous ones!! We are stuffed, exhausted but had a great time!

This year I made a bunch of new dishes (and some old favorites!!)  and they all came out super deelish!! I wanted to concentrate on some kid friendly dishes that I knew the adults would love too. We had fun as a family cooking these up together. So sweet 🙂

This one was a perfect appetizer for Passover or really any party 🙂 It was a hit both nights and we are super happy to have some leftover! I doubled the recipe to make sure we would have enough and will do next time since they everyone loved them!

Mashed Potato Quinoa

Mashed Potato Quinoa Puffs with Sriracha Mayo
recipe adapted from http://brazenkitchen.com

Mashed Potato Quinoa Puffs

1 lb. potatoes
1 cup cooked quinoa
2 cups very finely chopped greens such as lacinato kale, swiss chard or spinach
1-3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or Earth Balance Soy-Free Spread
¼ cup almond milk or rice milk
Salt and pepper to taste
vegan mayonnaise
Sriracha
ketchup
lemon juice

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut the potatoes into 1 inch cubes. Steam or boil until soft. Drain.
  3. Mash the potatoes well or put it through a ricer.
  4. Once the lumps are gone, add all the ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  5. Using a tablespoon, form into 1 inch balls or using two tablespoons, form the into rough “quenelles” or oblong discs. (I used a mini ice cream scoop/cookie scooper)
  6. Drop into parchment lined cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the puffs and bake for another 15 minutes.

Sriracha Mayo

  1. Mix Sriracha and mayo to your desired spice level
  2. Kick up with some ketchup and lemon juice.

 

Kale Caesar – Kale Salad Challenge #4

Back to the Kale Salad! YUM! This one is so creamy and deelish it will please even people who think they don’t love kale. This dressing can be used with any other salad or even as dip!

Kale Caesar Salad

2 large bunches kale, stems discarded, chopped
Caesar Dressing
1 bunch red radishes, sliced super thin
3 tablespoons capers
1/2 ripe avocado, chopped

  1. Massage Kale and Dressing in a large bowl. Use your hands to massage and make sure to really get in there to soften the kale and evenly distribute the dressing.
  2. Add radishes, capers and avocado and toss.

Caesar Dressing
2 cups water
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup cashews
1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons dark miso
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon rice vinegar

  1. Place all the ingredients into a high speed blender and blend till creamy.
  2. Chill until ready to use and shake well.

Iron for Vegans & Kale and Lentil Soup!

We all know that Iron is super important in our diets. Iron transports oxygen to the blood, regulates the metabolism, provides energy and stamina, and supports other important functions. Besides hearing “how do you get your protein?” vegans and vegetarians also hear a lot of “where does your iron come from?” I thought this was important topic to cover especially now as I am not only cooking for my husband and me but also my two kiddos 🙂

“Some might expect that since the vegan diet contains a form of iron that is not that well absorbed (non-heme), vegans might be prone to developing iron deficiency anemia. However, surveys of vegans have found that iron deficiency anemia is no more common among vegetarians than among the general population although vegans tend to have lower iron stores.

The reason for the satisfactory iron status of many vegans may be that commonly eaten foods are high in iron. In fact, if the amount of iron in these foods is expressed as milligrams of iron per 100 calories, many foods eaten by vegans are superior to animal-derived foods. For example, you would have to eat more than 1700 calories of sirloin steak to get the same amount of iron as found in 100 calories of spinach.

Another reason for the satisfactory iron status of vegans is that vegan diets are high in vitamin C. Vitamin C acts to markedly increase absorption of non-heme iron. Adding a vitamin C source to a meal increases non-heme iron absorption up to six-fold which makes the absorption of non-heme iron as good or better than that of heme iron” (http://www.vrg.org)

We can eat iron rich foods with vitamin C foods which can increase absorption, ex. rice & beans, hummus & lemon juice, falafel with tomatoes and cucumber, and beans, grains and seeds combined with fruits and veggies. There are also plenty of natural combinations;  leafy greens, broccoli, bok choy and tomato sauce have both iron & vitamin C!

Here is a list of great non-animal sources of Iron.

  • black beans, kidney beans, chick peas, pinto beans, lentils, soy beans, lima beans, black-eyed peas
  • blackstrap molasses
  • tempeh
  • quinoa
  • spinach, turnip greens, swiss chard, kale
  • tofu
  • watermelon, cantaloupe
  • enriched pasta and breads
  • green beans, beets, broccoli, bok choy, brussels sprouts, peas
  • whole grains; millet, bulgur, oatmeal
  • prunes, raisins, apricots
  • peanut butter, almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, other seeds and nuts
  • potatoes that contain the skin
  • tahini
  • veggie burgers & hot dogs

Also:

Don’t drink coffee or tea or eat calcium supplements with iron rich meals.

Cook with a cast iron skillet, especially Vitamin C heavy foods!

Once you get into the swing of eating a balanced vegan or vegetarian diet, iron is not really a concern at all:)

Here is an iron-rich delicious meal!

 Kale & Lentil Soup

Thankfully my kiddos LOVE lentils as much as we do. It has been SUUUPER chilly this winter so that makes me think soup to warm us all up. I made a super tasty soup and added kale which not only increased the iron & nutritious content but also gave such a great bite & texture to the soup. I used a crock-pot, which I have always loved, but really understand now that it can be a busy mama’s best friend!! Since then we have also revisited the Crock-Pot Oatmeal. Just as good as we remembered!

IMAG1418

  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 2-3 onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups lentils, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 14 ½ ounce can of diced tomatoes

Super simple 🙂 Put all of the above ingredients in the slow cooker. Set it on low 8 hours or high 4 hours, if you need it cooked quicker.

IMAG1416

When done I like to use my immersion blender and blend it up about half way, this way there is still some good pieces but the soup gets thicker.

Next add and let cook for just 10-15 minutes longer.
3-4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
3-4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 teaspoon white pepper (optional)
1 bunch of kale, washed and chopped

IMAG1417

Serve and enjoy! Even better the next day!

Quick Mushroom & Kale over Brown Rice

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Quick, the kids are sleeping! This dinner was a perfect combination of healthy, delicious and fast! Leftover brown rice and a quick mushroom and kale stir-fry in the wok. Yum! The avocado was amazing on the side. First off, doesn’t avocado make everything taste better? and then with the sriracha in the kale the avocado was a nice cooling element.

Quick Mushroom & Kale over Brown Rice

  • 8 ounces mushrooms any type, sliced (I used cremini mushrooms)
  • bunch of kale, destemmed and chopped
  • cooked brown rice
  • olive oil, 1-2 tablespoons
  • mirin, 1/4 cup
  • rice vinegar, 1/8 cup
  • white cooking wine, 1/4 cup
  • sriracha, a few dashes depending on how spicy you like it
  • 1 avocado (optional)
  • salt, to taste

In a wok or large frying pan heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the kale, mirin and white wine. Using tongs toss to coat and keep cooking kale to cook it down (3-5 minutes). Add the mushrooms and cook another 3 minutes till they become soft. Add sriracha and salt to taste. Plate over brown rice and slice avocado on the side.

Enjoy and if possible sit down and relax by the fire your amazing husband built while you cooked dinner 🙂 Image

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Avocado Kale Salad #3

I recently had a not so great Kale Salad at a restaurant. The menu ingredients sounded fabulous but with Kale you need to massage it a bit with your hands so it “wilts” and this one wasn’t. Here is my take on it, yum!!

We like a lot of kale salad and it keeps really well for a few days. But if you don’t want as much just half the recipe.

Avocado Kale Salad 

  • 3 heads lacanato kale, chopped
  • 1 avocado
  • 3-4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3-4 tablespoon Braggs, tamari or nama shoyu
This is just a base…Combine and Massage the avocado, lemon juice and braggs into the kale. Then add whatever is fresh, you have in the house or love in a salad.

The Base - before adding the toppings

I added — raw sunflower seeds, diced raw red onion, shredded carrots and diced red pepper.

One Pot Kale and Quinoa Pilaf

I love one pot meals! SO easy! This one uses quinoa and kale; two of our favorite foods ever makes this one even more perfect! YUM!

One Pot Kale and Quinoa Pilaf
adapted from Food52
Serves 2-4

2 cups salted water
1 cup quinoa
1 bunch (any type) kale, washed and chopped into 1″ lengths
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 scallions, minced
1 tablespoon toasted walnut, grapeseed or olive oil
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
salt and pepper

  1. Bring the water to a boil in a covered pot. Add the quinoa, cover, and lower the heat until it is just enough to maintain a simmer. Let simmer for 10 minutes, then top with the kale and re-cover. Simmer another 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow to steam for 5 more minutes.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, take a large serving bowl and combine half of the lemon juice (reserving the other half), all of the lemon zest, scallions, oil, and pine nuts.
  3. Check the quinoa and kale when the cooking time has completed — the water should have absorbed, and the quinoa will be tender but firm, and the kale tender and bright green. If the quinoa still has a hard white center, you can steam a bit longer (adding more water if needed). When the quinoa and kale are done, fluff the pilaf, and tip it into the waiting bowl with the remaining ingredients. As the hot quinoa hits the scallions and lemon it should smell lovely. Toss to combine, seasoning with salt and pepper, and the remaining lemon juice if needed.

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