Category: Meatless Mondays

Garlicky Kale and White Bean Stew

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A lot of people have been asking me lately what I eat on a daily basis. To be perfectly honest, most of it is too boring to blog about. Or perhaps I should say “simple”.
This Garlicky Kale and White Bean Stew is a perfect example of the humble food I often eat. If you are someone who doesn’t have a lot of time to mess about in the kitchen, this is the stew for you!

When I was in school for nutrition I went back home to live with my mom. (Understatement of the year to say she was happy about this.) This is when I began really cooking for the first time in my life. Every night was an experiment: knives blazing, spices flying, pots and pans getting some serious exercise. We always sat down to something special and, despite my insanely busy schedule, I found that cooking dinner for us was the most relaxing moment of my day.

Sometime during those months, I came up with this stew. On a particularly busy night when I was cramming for an exam, I threw together what we had in the fridge–amazing how cleaning out the kitchen can result in such deliciousness! This dish quickly became a staple and my mom, although now living without her live-in chef, has mastered it as well.

I am always trying to get more kale into my diet. Why? Because it packs more nutritional punch per calorie than almost any other food on the planet. Seriously. It is chock-full of vitamin K, an essential vitamin for preventing bone fractures, postmenopausal bone loss, calcification of your arteries, and has even been shown to protect against liver and prostate cancer.

Kale is the richest source of carotenoids in the leafy-green vegetable family, making it a top cancer-fighter. Kale helps to regulate estrogen, protects against heart disease, and regulates blood pressure. The calcium in kale is more absorbable by the body than milk (and ounce for ounce, contains more calcium than milk)! This makes it an excellent choice for both prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, arthritis and bone loss.

Garlicky White Bean & Kale Stew
Serves 3-4

Ingredients:
Knob of coconut oil or ghee
2 medium onions
6 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional, but really delicious)
5 bay leaves
Pinch chili flakes
Sea salt
Cracked black pepper
2- 2 ½ cups cooked white beans (lima, butter, navy, cannelini…)
2 cups packed shredded kale leaves
2 cups vegetable broth
1 can (14 oz.) organic whole tomatoes
Cold-pressed olive oil to garnish

Directions:
1. Heat a knob of oil in a large stockpot. Slice onions and add to the pot with a couple pinches sea salt, chili, bay leaves and paprika. Cook for a few minutes until the onions have softened, then add sliced garlic. If the post becomes dry, add a little juice from the tinned tomatoes.
2. Add all other ingredients, bring to a boil, season to taste, and serve with a drizzle of olive oil (since everything is cooked, you don’t need to heat it long). If you are going to let it simmer for a while, add the kale about 5-10 minutes before serving so that it retains more of its nutritional value.

Meatless Mondays with Martha Stewart – Stoplight Tomato Sandwich with Herbed Goat’s Cheese

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Seeing as I still don’t have a kitchen, I am eating a lot of things that don’t require much attention. Raw foods? Yes. Bread? You bet. Sandwiches have become part of the almost daily menu around here, and I can’t say that I am too torn up about it. I love a good sandwich.

Tomatoes are kind of old news this time of year as we move on to root veggies and squashes, but you must realize that I have been waiting for good tomatoes to arrive in cool-weather Copenhagen since I got back from North America. Tomatoes are at their height in late September/early October instead of July, which means that tomato-lovers can enjoy the fabulous fruit well into the fall. This sandwich has been in heavy rotation for the last few weeks because we are finally getting some decent-tasting heirloom varieties in the markets now.

I clearly remember the day when I realized that there was a world of tomatoes much larger than the grocery-store one in which I grew up. I saw a tomato that wasn’t red; it was yellow, in fact. With a delightful, sugar-sweet tang and almost creamy texture. Finding tomatoes in nearly every color of the rainbow may require a venture to a farmers’ market or natural food shop, but it’s worth it.

stoplight3

For this sandwich, I liked the idea of slicing the tomatoes into rounds and making a stoplight pattern (just for fun), but you can, of course, use any variety of tomato you find that look’s delicious. The contrast of the sweet tomatoes with the tangy herb-y cheese is amazing. You can purchase affordable chévre at most grocery stores now, and it’s as simple as adding a handful of herbs to elevate ho-hum cheese into something totally elegant. I would recommend doubling this recipe if you are serving more than 2 or 3 people (also because you will want to eat most of it in one sitting – trust me). No basil or chives? Any fresh herb works: tarragon, rosemary, oregano, thyme.

stoplight2

Stoplight Tomato Sandwich with Herbed Goat Cheese
Serves 2

4 slices whole-grain bread
1 clove garlic
3 heirloom tomatoes, sliced thick
Herbed goat cheese (recipe follows)
Extra-virgin olive oil
Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Herbs, for garnish (optional)

Directions
1. Toast bread until golden and crusty. Halve garlic clove and rub the cut side on top side of each toast.

2. Spread toast with herbed goat cheese and layer tomatoes. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with herbs, if using.

Herbed Goat Cheese
3 oz (80 g) chévre (soft goat cheese)
Zest of 1 organic lemon
1 tablespoon minced chives
1 tablespoon minced basil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper (or red pepper flakes)

Directions
Combine ingredients in a bowl and stir. Season to taste. Store leftovers in the fridge.

ps – I finally got a phone that can actually take photos, so I am on Instagram now. My username is mynewroots.

xo, Sarah B

 

Meatless Mondays with Martha Stewart – Massaged Kale Salad and Grapes with Poppy Seed Dressing

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Everyone enjoys a good massage now and again. As it turns out, so does kale.

I first heard about massaged kale at Cru, a restaurant in Los Angeles. The menu described the kale as “rubbed,” and having no idea what that referred to, I ordered the salad out of curiosity. Once the dish arrived, I noticed something right away: the kale was nearly a different color and texture. The soft and delicate, tender and deep dark green leaves were a far cry from the thick and rubbery, silvery-green kale I knew. Instead of eating it because I knew how good it was for me, the kale was, dare I say it? Enjoyable.

I began experimenting with massaged kale at home and yielded amazing results. The stiff, bitter leaves relax into buttery-soft ribbons that keep in the fridge for days. It was a revelation, all from just a little rub-down.

When kale is massaged, its cellulose structure breaks down and wilts, so the leaves that were once tough and fibrous become silky. The kale reduces in volume by over half and the leaves take on a subtle sweetness.

The massage itself is simple. Once you wash and stem the kale, dress it and start rubbing the leaves together. Vigorously. Think of yourself as Sven the Swedish deep-tissue masseur and go to town on those leaves. After a couple minutes the kale should have submitted to your brutal, bone-breaking power and will have turned into delicate, dark green and tender foliage.

Massaged kale obviously makes a great base for salad, but you can also add some to sandwiches, stir-fries, even pesto.

Massaged Kale Salad and Grapes with Poppy Seed Dressing
Serves 2-3
Ingredients:
For the massaged kale:
1 bunch kale, stemmed and sliced into ribbons
1 lemon
Cold-pressed olive oil
Sea salt

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, dress kale with lemon juice and olive oil onto kale leaves and add a pinch or two of sea salt. Roll up your sleeves and massage kale until it’s deep dark green, soft, and tender, 2 to 3 minutes.

2. Add anything you like: fruits, veggies, cooked or sprouted grains and legumes, nuts and seeds. Get creative. Once you’ve massaged your kale, store it in a tightly sealed container for up to 4 days in the fridge.

Here’s what I added to my massaged kale:

A couple handfuls each red and green grapes
1 ripe avocado
¼ cup toasted pine nuts

Poppy Seed Dressing
¼ cup cold-pressed olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ shallot, diced
1 tablespoon poppyseeds
Pinch sea salt
1 teaspoon honey

Whisk all ingredients together. Store leftovers in a glass jar for up to one week.