Tag Archives: orange

Kale Salad

Kale Salad - In Her Chucks

This summer I fell in love…with kale.

Since subscribing to my CSA 3 years ago, I have been slowly warming up to this leafy green vegetable.  But over the last few months, my affection for kale has reached a whole new level.  Whether I am munching on kale chips, drinking kale juice, or dipping some sliced cucumbers in kale pesto, I just can’t get enough.  But this salad is definitely my go-to recipe.  And I have been going to it A LOT this summer.

What makes this recipe so good is the bright and complex flavors.  There is something about the mixture of sesame seed oil and soy sauce that sends me over the edge.  Add a few squeezes of fresh citrus and minced garlic and the dressing is nothing short of a party in your mouth.  And then of course, who doesn’t love the extra texture of toasted sesame seeds and perfectly ripe avocado perched on top of these leaves of glory.  Do you catch my drift?  It really is a healthy slice of heaven ;)

Ingredients

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

3 tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 tsp soy sauce

1 clove garlic, minced and smashed into a paste (or use a garlic press)

4 tbsp toasted sesame oil

3 avocados, peeled, pitted and chopped

2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Place kale into a large serving bowl.  Add remaining ingredients (except for the avocado) and toss to coat.  Gently fold avocados into the salad and season with salt and pepper to taste.

This recipe makes a good portion of salad.  If you are anything like me, you might be able to scarf it all down in one sitting.  But if you find yourself with left overs, the good news is that it keeps well in the fridge overnight.  So feel free to enjoy it the next day for lunch.  However, if you plan on sharing it with friends for a bbq or potluck, you might want to double the recipe because I can promise you the salad will be gone within minutes.

I have to admit, I feel terrible that it took me so long to befriend kale.  But now that we are clearly BFFs I have no doubt we will be making up for lost time.

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What’s in the Box? #67

What's in the Box? We are busy getting ready for Easter around here, which includes dying batches of hardboiled eggs.  This year, I thought it would be fun to include Harper and her buddy Robin in this process.  However, our egg dying quickly turned into a color mixing experiment.

Dying Easter Eggs

Thank God I had the wisdom to set everything up outside.  I can’t imagine what my kitchen table would look like!  But that’s what hanging with toddlers is all about.  Lots of laughing, lots of learning and lots of messes.

In addition to hardboiled eggs, a proper spread will be in order for Sunday’s brunch as well.  So let’s take a look at last week’s party for some inspiration, shall we?

Last week we had 10 link ups.  And let’s hope none of you are currently on the Paleo diet because last week it was all about the carbs.  There was a nice variety of fresh pizza ideas including Asparagus with Prosciutto, Broccoli and Cheddar, and Mushroom with Caramelized Onions and Gorgonzola.  Yum!  But the fun didn’t stop there.  Lettuce Never Squash Our Love linked up a Pasta with Spinach and Butternut Squash.  Divine!  Yeah, it was a good week :)  Thank you to everyone who participated.  Your delicious and nutritious dishes never cease to amaze me.

Moving on to my farm fresh goodies for this week…

What's in the Box? #67

As I mentioned yesterday, in my sleepy slurred speech, I got my box on Tuesday this week.  They had to do a bit of rearranging with the routes which bumped my delivery up a day.  Yeah me!  Only time will tell if I will be able to change my blogging routine up a day earlier.  Stay tuned for that.

Upon opening my box, I immediately began to devour each and every item with my eyes.  For starters, the fennel, garlic, onion and orange were thrown into some Braised Pork with Orange and Fennel for dinner yesterday.  I had pretty much everything I needed except for the meat which made my trip to the grocery store quick and easy (and cheap too!).

After the success of the strawberry cake I bragged about last week (recipe coming soon…promise), I might have to go for round two.  We have plans to go to a few Easter gatherings this weekend and it is sure to be a real crowd pleaser.

I never got around to making any of my carrot sweets (these or these) last week because I was too busy stuffing my face with How I Ate My Box’s Chicken, Carrot and Leek Stew.  When I tell you this is the most amazing dish I have had in a long time…I am in no way exaggerating.  My whole family gobbled it up.  And then went back for seconds.  So you can be sure I will be making this again this week.  The hubby (who continued to ask me why I had never made this for him before) will be VERY pleased :)  And it will be even better served with a green salad on the side jazzed up with some of those lovely apples.

For the sage I am thinking about making my dad’s famous chicken.  I am pretty sure I owe you a recipe on this one I just never seem to be able to snap a pic before everyone digs in.  It’s just soooooo good :)  I will do my best to get it done this time around.

And finally for the arugula, I am thinking about some Grilled Steak Soft Tacos.  It has been a while since I have made this and after reminding myself of how good it looks simply from the picture, I can’t wait until dinner tomorrow night :)

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What’s in the Box? Best of 2012

boxquestionintrowhite

It’s hard to believe that 2012 has come and gone.  It was a wonderful year filled with birthday parties, special memories and of course lots of fruit and veggies.  The What’s in the Box? Link Party was born in 2012 and has been rocking ever since.  I am so grateful to all the participants that have shared their delicious goodies with the rest of us.  It’s been a blast to swap recipes with you and drool over your fresh produce.

Speaking of drooling, I am totally salivating over last week’s party.  With so many people’s CSA seasons ending, we only had 4 participants, so the party was small, but boy was it mighty.  Everything from mashed root veggies, to cranberry nut bread, to homemade pizza with spinach crust and a killer party dip.  Thank you ladies for making our new year bright :)

Now on to my favorite boxes of 2012.  To be honest, it was hard to pick a top 5 because they are all pretty awesome.  But after spending hours looking through the pics and checking to see what came of the produce, I was finally able to narrow it down.  So without further ado, here are the What’s in the Box? Top 5 of 2012…

#5: What’s in the Box? #22

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So many of my favorite fruits and veggies in one place, including the star of the show…blueberries!  But really, this week it was all about Mashed Red Potatoes.  They are the best you will ever have.  And when you serve them with a side of steamed broccoli tossed with lemon juice and a small portion of protein, you have yourself the perfect meal.

#4: Whats in the Box? #36

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Summer is my favorite time of year.  I love all the delicious fruits that come my way.  Nectarines, plums, berries.  They just make me happy.  I usually eat them for a snack, but after weeks and weeks of plums and pluots, I had to throw together a few Pluot Crumbles.  It is a great dish to whip up for a summer barbecue and is sure to impress your family and friends.

#3: What’s in the Box? #34

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I don’t think I have ever seen such a beautiful head of lettuce.  It was so gorgeous it made me want to throw it in a vase and display it on my table as a centerpiece.  However, after a few days of marveling its beauty I caved and made a huge Strawberry Salad.  One of my favorite afternoon treats by far.  Throw in some grilled chicken and you are good to go!

#2: What’s in the Box? #31

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One word…apricots!!  I can’t get enough of them.  I think I might be able to live on apricots alone.  Well, apricots and some Braised Pork with Fennel and Pork.  I am so grateful that getting a delivery of fennel helped me to think outside the box.  I would have never purchased fennel at the store but after some creative experimentation, I found one of my favorite recipes of all time.  Try it…I promise you will become a fennel lover too :)

#1: What’s in the Box? #45

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One of the highlights of receiving fresh produce every week, is that I get to share my love for fruits and veggies with my family.  It makes me happy when Harper dives right into the broccoli without any begging, coercing or bribing.  I also love that I can whip up a healthy and yummy meal in no time.  This Chicken with Tomato Herb Pan Sauce is so easy to make and delicious to eat you will want it on your table at least once a week.  That is, as long as you have some fresh cherry tomatoes sitting around.

So those are my Top 5 boxes of 2012.  Can’t wait to see what 2013 has in store for me.  I am counting down the days until my first box arrives.  T minus 6 folks…

Your turn:  What are some of your favorite boxes of 2012?  Feel free to add the links to the deliveries you loved the most.  Let’s take a walk down CSA memory lane shall we?

Linking up for the first time?  Click here for more info…and Welcome!  PS:  Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post.  Thanks!


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Seedy Orange Zest Muffins

Today I went on a baking spree.  I couldn’t help myself.  I had muffins on my mind.  I started with the intention of making a batch of Zucchini Apple Spice Muffins after receiving just the right ingredients in my box this week (which were absolutely amazing!).  And then decided, why not go for another round?

This past Wednesday I was introduced to a melt in your mouth, zingy delight.  I showed up at one of my music classes to the aroma of yumminess.  My girlfriend Cynthia was at it again, baking up another homemade recipe of healthy goodness.  I took one bite, and I was in heaven.  I had a craving for more.  So while we were out today, I made a pit stop at Whole Foods to pick up a few ingredients and dashed home to get busy.

These muffins hit the spot for a variety of reasons.  For one, they are incredibly moist.  No really, like buttah baby :)  Secondly, they have just enough zest to make them exciting.  A soft, subtle undertone of citrus that adds a lovely brightness to each bite.  And finally, the chia seeds not only help to create a crunchy texture, but they also add omega-3s, antioxidants and help to balance blood sugar.  Not bad for a simple baked good :)

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter, divided and softened

1 cup Sucanat

1 egg + 1 egg yolk

1/2 cup plain organic whole milk yogurt

1 cup sprouted whole wheat flour

½ cup almond flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

2 tablespoon chia seeds

1 tablespoon orange zest

3 tablespoons orange juice

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Grease 12 cup muffin pan with 1 tbsp softened butter.  In medium bowl, whisk together flours, salt and baking soda.  Using a stand mixer, cream remaining butter and Sucanat on medium speed.  Once combined, add eggs, and yogurt.  Continue to mix until blended.  Add dry ingredients and mix until just moist.  Finally add seeds, orange zest and juice and mix until combined.  Fill prepared muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the muffin comes out clean.

Oh, did I mention that this recipe is clean?  By using ingredients like sprouted whole wheat flour, almond flour and Sucanat, you can create a delicious snack without refined sugar or highly processed grains.  Which means I have yet another “naughty treat” that I can enjoy without the guilt :)  Love it!

PS:  Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!  Only 3 days left to get your entries in.  Remember to leave a comment on the original post letting me know that you have completed the tasks.  Your comment acts are your entry into the giveaway.  Good luck!  

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Clean Eating: Day 8

First day of Week 2, and I’m feeling good (I also can’t get this Michael Bublé song out of  my head).  I always love starting something new.  It inspires me and encourages me.  And even though I’m smack in the middle of my Clean Eating Journey, as I begin week 2 I am refreshed and renewed.

Here is a look at what the first day of Week 2 looked like…

Breakfast:

2 slices of Ezekiel Bread toasted topped with a mixture of 1/2 cup cottage cheese and 1 tbsp unsalted peanut butter and 1 banana sliced

Snack #1:

1 cup Greek yogurt topped with 1 cup sliced strawberries and 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds

Lunch:

Fennel & Orange Salad:  1/2 bulb fennel (trimmed and sliced), 1 orange (peeled and sectioned), 4 cups arugula, 2 oz deli turkey, 1/2 cup cannellini beans (drained and rinsed).  Drizzle with a mixture of 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp honey, 1 tsp olive oil).

Snack #2:

2 lightly salted brown rice cakes topped with 2 tbsp almond butter

Dinner:

Chicken and Tomato Sauce:  Saute 4 oz chicken breast (chopped) with 1 tsp olive oil, 1 clove garlic (minced) and 1 zucchini (sliced).  Add 15 oz diced can tomatoes and 1/8 tsp each of dried oregano and dried basil.  Cook until heated through.

Highlights:  Today it’s a tie between breakfast and dinner.  I was surprised at how much I liked breakfast.  The thought of cottage cheese blended with peanut butter sounded strange, but the outcome was delicious!  And it’s a great way to pack tons of protein into your breakfast.  Dinner was delightful.  It would have been even better atop some pasta, but I’ll take what I can get at this point :)

Lowlights:  No lowlights today.  Everything was pretty scrumptious!

While I was at the store today, picking up a few more items for meals this week and indulging myself in way too much Kleenex (I have a thing for the boxes…they are so pretty!), I happened along the new Clean Eating issue.  And let me tell you…it is jam-packed with deliciousness.  I am trying to convince my hubby to jump on board for another 2 week stint.  We would have to take a week of in-between because we have too much going on to be on such a strict meal plan, but I’m really enjoying this journey so far and think 2 more weeks would be fun.  Wish me luck on getting Freddie to join me for round 2 :)

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Carrot Cookies

The night before easter, my brother and I used to leave the Easter Bunny a plate of raw carrots to enjoy.  We used to get so excited the next morning when we would discover the scraps he left behind.

This year, I wanted to try something different.  After 29 years of serving him raw carrots, I think the Easter Bunny might be ready for something new.  And possibly something sweet.  So why not whip up a batch of carrot cookies for him instead?

I looked through a lot of carrot cookie recipes before I landed on this one.  They all looked good.  Some with nuts, some with raisins.  But the moment I set my eyes on these puppies, I began to drool…all over my keyboard.  They reminded me of little clouds, so fluffy and light.  I had to give them a try.  The result?  Absolute heaven.  Soft, moist, delicious.

Ingredients

Cookie

1 cup unsalted butter, melted

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 cup grated carrot

1 egg

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp lemon juice

Glaze

1/3 cup softened unsalted butter

2 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup orange juice

Zest from 1 orange

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the butter, sugar, eggs, carrots, vanilla, and lemon juice in a bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix well.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto the cookie sheet, a couple of inches apart.  Bake for 8 minutes.  Remove from oven, and let them cool for at least 20 minutes.

To make the orange glaze, combining the butter and the powdered sugar in an electric mixer.  Once combined, add a couple of tablespoons of orange juice.  Keep adding more orange juice until it reaches a nice, smooth, glaze-consistency.  Add the orange zest to taste.  Once the cookies have cooled, spoon a glob of glaze over the top of the cookie and enjoy!

Recipe slightly adapted from Lella Boutique

To be honest, I was hesitant about the orange glaze at first.  I am not a big fan of frosting and thought the cookies would do fine without it.  But since it was part of the original recipe I felt peer pressured to glaze at least one to see how it would taste.  After I devoured it in one big bite, I realized that the rest of the cookies deserved some glaze love too.  The glaze just brings a whole new level of goodness to the cookies.

So, why not surprise the Easter Bunny with something new this year and share the gift of carrots…in a cookie!

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Braised Pork with Orange and Fennel

Each time I receive fennel in my box, I get excited to make this dish.  It is one of my favorites for many reasons.  First, it is easy to make, with little prep time and only a few minutes spent over the stove.  You still need to allow time for it to braise, but the good news is that the oven does all the hard work.  Secondly, I love slow cooked meats.  They are juicy, melt in your mouth good.  Super comfort food.  Finally, this dish does a good job at featuring the fennel without it being too overpowering. My initial concern with fennel in the past was that the licorice like flavor was too strong for me.  Many of the recipes I had found were created around that flavor profile.  What is great about this dish is that, even if you are not a fan of fennel, you will still be a fan of this dish.

Ingredients

1 (1 1/2 inch) piece cinnamon stick

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

3 lb boneless pork shoulder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 large onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, smashed

4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices peeled fresh ginger, smashed

2 (4-by 1-inch) strips fresh orange zest

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/2 cup medium-dry Sherry

2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

3 fennel bulbs, stalks cut off and discarded, then bulbs slices lengthwise 1/4 inch thick

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Special equipment needed; kitchen string

Preparation

Put oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Wrap cinnamon stick and fennel seeds in a small square of cheesecloth and tie bundle closed with string.

Pat pork dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Heat oil in a deep 6-8 quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking.  Then brown pork, turning, about 4 minutes.  Transfer to bowl when browned.

Cook onion and garlic in same pot, over medium heat, stirring, until golden, 3-5 minutes.  Add ginger, zest, sugar and cook, stirring, 1 minute.  Stir in soy sauce, sherry, broth, pork with any accumulated juices, and cheesecloth bag.  Braise mixture, covered, in oven 1 hour.

Stir in fennel and braise, covered, in oven until fennel is very tender, 30-4o minutes.  Discard cheesecloth bag.  Stir in cilantro.

Recipe slightly adapted from Gourmet Magazine via Epirucious.com

Because this recipe yields 6 servings, it is an excellent dish to make for company.  It is easy to make ahead of time and reheats well.  Or, if you are a fan of leftovers, it is a great option to make over the weekend and pack for lunches during the week.  I like to serve this dish over a bed of Basmati rice.  I always make my rice in a rice cooker.  It is low maintenance and assures that it comes out perfect every time.  Adding a side of steamed broccoli or asparagus is a good way to get in some extra greens as well.

This meal is hardy and delicious.  The flavors are subtle yet complex.  It is a great way to introduce yourself to a new vegetable that you may not otherwise pick up at the market.  So go ahead and give fennel a chance :)

 

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