Make some Spicy Collard Greens with a little broth, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. No bacon needed!
Use ‘em to hide sea vegetables in a salad. For reals. This Gingered Sea Vegetable Salad is full of a variety of vitamins and minerals because it contains arame (a sea vegetable) but it’s carefully hidden among collard greens in a sweet and gingery sauce. I promise you’ll love it.
And, for my newest collard green favorite: collard greens coleslaw. I love the texture of collard greens in this salad, especially when paired with fresh parsnips and carrots.
Most coleslaws add sugar or honey in the dressing to sweeten it, but I left out the extra sweeteners and opted to add a fresh grated apple into the mix instead. Whether you’re looking for some healthy options for a weeknight side dish or planning something special for the holidays this salad fits the bill! And you won’t have to be bored with your collard greens any longer!
Can I be honest and admit something to you? I don’t want summer to end. Ever.
Right now I feel like a toddler, kicking and screaming, and having a complete temper tantrum because the leaves are turning orange, it’s cold and foggy in the mornings, and there was a giant thunderstorm over the weekend that made me not want to leave the house the entire day. It just doesn’t feel right. Or maybe it does. But I still want to have a temper tantrum.
And in protest, I decided to it was time to round up the last bit of summer produce and throw it into an (end of) summer green bean salad to trick my tastebuds into believing that it’s still sunny and 80 degrees. A gal can dream, can’t she?
I’m currently planning a trip to Disneyland… (!!!!)
Since you’re sitting at your computer and can’t see me in person, just know that as I type this, I’m so ecstatic that I am literally jumping out of my chair. It’s scaring my cats.
In case you can’t tell, I am a huge Disney fan and I don’t get to go often so the fact that I am going this year is about as exciting as it gets. But, the fact that I am only going for one day? That just brings out my type-A tendencies.
I have our entire schedule for the day planned… along with timetables for rides, restaurant recommendations, and even the best spots to rest if we get tired. I mean, if I only get to visit for one day, I’m going to be there all day. Let’s be real here.
In addition to scaring my cats, I’m sure that my extreme overplanning might be scaring you a bit. It’s cool, I can scale it back. And, in fact, let me show you my Type-B side. The one that’s chill, and calm, and who usually writes this blog (kinda).
Type-B Sonnet likes lazy days in the kitchen when dishes come together without a lot of fuss or ingredients. Type B Sonnet made you this zucchini caprese salad. It’s easy to make and doesn’t involve cooking. After all, who has time to cook when there’s a vacation to plan?
Someday I’m going to write a book called 101 Ways to Make Tacos because tacos are what we have for dinner. Seriously. Every. Single. Night.
Okay, maybe not every single night, but certainly most weeknights. At this point, my partner has basically stopped asking what’s for dinner because it’s obvious: beans and something else that’s going to go inside of corn tortillas. Any questions?
Someday I’m also going to write a book called 101 Ways to Make A Salad because salads are what I have for lunch practically every single weekday.
The key to making a good salad is this: it has to have a good protein source (I usually opt for beans or lentils), a variety of vegetables with complimentary flavors and textures, and a good dressing. For most salads, I usually dress the leaves in a little plain balsamic vinegar, but the classic balsamic vinegar and olive oil mix is fabulous for almost any salad.
My personal challenge to enjoying salads is that I don’t typically crave raw veggies because Seattle is cold most of the year. However, I can get around this by roasting vegetables and adding them (while still warm) to a bed of cold greens. This salad is my newest favorite and it’s a fabulous meal during these cold, drizzly days of spring.
While you ponder that, let me share mine: having to watch as a teacher took kale away from a preschooler and made him cry. (Yep, ladies and gentleman, apparently I am so good at getting kids to love kale that they cry when it is taken away.)
Last week I was making my famous kale smoothie for kids with a group of preschoolers. One of the boys was so excited about getting to try the smoothie that he started eating one of the raw kale leaves that had been passed around the classroom for the kids to touch and explore. After taking a bite of the kale he liked it so much that he continued to gnaw his way through most of the leaf. (I was quite impressed!)
Of course, a child snacking on a germ-y piece of kale caught the attention of one of the teachers who promptly took it away from him. Sure enough, crying ensued. Which actually seems pretty fair because if someone tried to take my kale away, I would probably cry too.
Luckily, the nice thing about being an adult is that you can eat as much raw kale as you want. Especially if you massage it and turn it into a delicious salad. Just wash your hands first.
By now you might have heard of “massaging” kale and wondered what all the fuss was about. Massaging raw kale transforms it from a tough, somewhat bitter leaf into a sweet, delicate salad. And it only takes a few minutes!
Let me show you how!
Massaging kale only requires a few ingredients that you probably already have on hand. I typically use a simple mix of a little salt and fresh lemon juice to help tenderize the leaves and some olive oil for flavor. The salt and acid in the lemon juice helps to break down the cell walls in the kale, softening it while making it sweeter.
Once you’ve gathered your supplies, get to work! De-stem the kale and tear it into bite-sized pieces.
Add the kale to a bowl along with the salt and squeeze of lemon juice.
When you massage the kale, think of the motion used to rub someone’s shoulders. (Hey, even kale needs some love.) Get in that bowl and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.
In the photo below, the kale on the left has been massaged for 1 minute and the kale on the right has been massaged for 5 minutes. You can see that the kale has decreased in size and the texture is softer after being massaged for 5 minutes.
Test the kale as you go along. When the kale begins to taste sweet and you can see some kale juices (e.g. liquids extracted from the kale) accumulating at the bottom of the bowl, your kale is ready!
Add the olive oil, give it one more good massage, and it’s ready to eat!
What is kohl-rabi? Kohl…rabi? Is that how you say it? What does kohl-rabi taste like? Can you eat the leaves?
That’s a funny looking vegetable! I’ve seen kohlrabi at the store, but I don’t know what to do with it. How do you prepare it?
In my life away from this computer, I spend a lot of time talking to people about vegetables and encouraging kids and adults to eat outside of their comfort zones. Fall and winter brings us many vegetables that we are already familiar with and love, including: winter squashes, a variety of greens, and beautiful root vegetables. I’ve found that kohlrabi is one of the most unfamiliar veggies this season and most people have questions about how to prepare it and what to do with it.
Today I have a special treat for you… Check out the video below to learn how easy it is to prepare kohlrabi and see the cooking demo for this delicious recipe.
This recipe can be easily assembled in under ten minutes and is the perfect make-ahead dish for weekday lunches. The ingredients are very flexible so if you don’t have broccoli stalks, you can sub more kohlrabi or cabbage. And, if a sweeter version is desired, simply add some shredded carrots or apples to the mix!
large bunch of dill, roughly chopped (about 6 heaping tablespoons)
⅓ cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
2 cups cooked chickpeas/garbanzo beans
freshly-ground black pepper to taste
Peel the kohlrabi and broccoli stalks and grate or process in food processor, until finely shredded. Slice the cabbage finely into ¼-inch thick strips. Put kohlrabi, broccoli, and cabbage into a large mixing bowl.
Mix the lemon zest, lemon juice, dill, olive oil, and garlic clove together and pour over kohlrabi mixture. Add sea salt. Use your hands to massage everything together for about a minute so the flavors will mix and the cabbage will soften. Add the chickpeas and mix. Let sit for about ten minutes.
Top with freshly-ground black pepper and serve. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Do you know how hard it is to get a cat to make a cute paw print on a card? No, of course you don’t… because why would you? Why on earth would you do something weird and wacky like that? Things like this are best left up to me; then I can come back and tell you how crazy they are.
I got this idea to make a card “from our cats” for my partner for Valentine’s Day. Naturally my first concern was what medium to use that would be safe on their paws. Anything possibly toxic like ink and paint were most definitely out so I opted for fresh beet juice.
You should know that beet juice stains. Bad. Especially when there are tiny paws covered in beet juice that are running very quickly away from you. In the end, I didn’t even get a cute paw print on the card. All I got was a couple of red, ill-shaped blobs. I think the card ended up looking more like a threat than a gesture of one’s love and admiration. So, the lesson here is simple: don’t be like me when it comes to cats… or probably life in general. But, if you like good food, you are more than welcome to be like me when it comes to this salad.
Place daikon, carrots, broccoli, and cilantro in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine.
In separate bowl, whisk together apple cider vinegar, olive oil, sesame oil, maple syrup, and ume plum vinegar.
Drizzle dressing over salad and toss evenly to coat. Fold in chopped almonds and serve.
Adapted from Clean Start by Terry Walters
This salad is simple and easy to adapt depending on the produce you have on-hand. I love using daikon radish in this salad for its mild spice that complements the sweet carrots and broccoli stalks perfectly. Serve this as a refreshing appetizer or side dish to any entree.
I moved into my current place almost two months ago and for the first time in my life, I have a gas stove. When I realized this on my moving day, it felt like a dream come true. I think this is what fashionable women must feel when they find their perfect pair of shoes.
The unfortunate side of this is that every time I use my dream oven, it sets off the fire alarm. Every. time. No joke. And since I’m in the bottom floor of a house with other tenants above me, our fire alarms are connected. Meaning: when mine goes off, I make theirs go off too.
Wednesday at 9 pm: Sorry, just indulging in a late-night kale chip craving. Friday at 7 am: What? You’re not up roasting carrots for breakfast too? Saturday at 6 pm: Hey neighbor, sorry about the fire alarm. Maybe I can make it up to you by bringing by an extra casserole for you. Oh, you’re not even home? That’s cool too.
This casserole has quickly become my fall go-to dish. It’s hearty enough that it can easily become a one-dish meal and it’s versatile enough that you can fill it with whatever leftover veggies need to be used up in your fridge. Whether you need to appease a neighbor or please a crowd, this one won’t disappoint.
Lentil and Greens Casserole with Millet-Amaranth Crust
Recipe type: Entree
½ cup millet
½ cup amaranth
2 cups vegetable broth
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup french lentils
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons Bragg liquid aminos
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and chopped
1 bunch collard greens, de-stemmed and chopped
1 cup frozen peas
Add the millet and amaranth to a pot with 2 cups vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat and simmer until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, add lentils, 2 cups vegetable broth, and Bragg liquid aminos to a medium pot. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer and let cook until lentils are tender and liquid is evaporated, about 30 minutes.
While grains and lentils are cooking, add the olive oil, onion, and garlic to a pan over medium heat and saute for 5 minutes, until translucent. Add the kale and collard greens and cook for 10 minutes, until just tender. Add the peas and cook an additional two minutes.
Turn on broiler. When lentils and greens are done, mix together and transfer to a casserole dish. Spread the cooked millet and amaranth evenly over the dish. Drizzle with olive oil and broil 4 – 5 minutes to yield a creamy grain topping with a crisp crust. Remove from oven and serve hot.
I am an ugly crier. No really. Remember in Bridesmaids when Rose Byrne is crying and Kristin Wiig says that she is an ugly crier? She doesn’t even know what ugly crying is.
I suppose this wouldn’t be too much of a problem except that I tend to cry during movies… a lot. The Vow? Yep. Hunger Games? Check. Brave? Definitely. And don’t even ask me about the Finding Nemo incident of 2006. That was a legendary ugly crying moment.
Here’s the important thing that you need to know as an ugly crier: how to hide the signs. No one wants to go out in the world with red, puffy eyes. No one. So you quickly learn tricks like using chamomile tea bags and (my personal favorite) cucumber slices to calm the eyes.
If you’re an ugly crier, I advise you to keep cucumber on hand at all times. And, if you happen to have a cucumber and a peach handy, you might want to consider making yourself this salad. After all, you probably need a snack after all that crying.
This recipe is so easy and the lack of cooking makes it perfect for summer. I love packing it up for picnics because it also travels really well. If you find yourself stuck in a situation without a fork, this salad will be just fine as finger food.
Once in awhile a recipe comes along that changes my world. This happened a few months ago when I discovered the beauty that is pineapple fried quinoa. As a result of this discovery I think I ate enough pineapples over the winter to feed a small island. And then there was this tahini broccoli salad with cashews. After this my fridge has always been stocked with tahini, broccoli, and red onions. Always.
But then I recently discovered that you can roast cherries. And when cherries are roasted, their juices condense into the most intensely flavorful, sweet, cherry goodness that you can possibly imagine. It is utterly indescribable. If you are not a cherry person, I don’t know what to tell you to convince you otherwise. But if you are? This recipe is mandatory.
This salad was inspired by this week’s farmers market bounty. Fresh cherries and a bunch of mizuna, baby romaine, and baby kale. Mizuna is a green with peppery flavor, similar to arugula. Any mix of greens would work fine in this salad, but I especially loved the peppery and sweet contrast of the mizuna and cherries. If you can’t find mizuna, arugula would be an easy substitution.
Once you roast the cherries, the rest of this salad is kept simple. I added some raw cashews and a light drizzle of olive oil and balsamic glaze. Balsamic glaze is also called balsamic reduction, which is balsamic vinegar that has been cooked down to form a thick, tangy-sweet syrup. I used a storebought version, but there are plenty of tutorials out there if you want to make your own.
Mizuna Salad with Roasted Cherries and Balsamic Glaze
Recipe type: Salad
6 cups salad greens (I used 3 cups mizuna, 2 cups baby romaine, and 1 cup baby kale)
2 cups cherries, stemmed, pitted, and sliced in half
½ cup cashews (raw or roasted)
olive oil for drizzling
balsamic glaze for drizzling
coarse black pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper (to keep cherries from sticking) and add cherry halves. Roast for 15 – 20 minutes, turning once, until cherries are mostly dried and intensely sweet.
Divide salad greens among plates. Top with roasted cherries and cashews. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic glaze. Top with fresh pepper.