Thursday, April 9, 2009

1 Recipe #49: SoloRunner's Infamously Addictive Kale Salad :)

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Yes, finally at long last, here it is. This is SoloRunner's legendary kale salad recipe you've been hearing me yammer on & on about on Twitter for the past several months now like some kale-crazed maniac. :)

You see, I've been making so much of this stuff lately, I think my blood probably runs green by now. :)

Yes, I'll admit it, I'm a kale addict. There could be worse vices. ;-)

Thanks A LOT, SoloRunner! LOL! :) No really, thanks a lot. It's an awesome recipe. :)

I won't tell you how many bags of kale I've gone through in the last month; that information would be too shocking to reveal here. LOL! :)

So, if you get addicted to the stuff, don't blame me, blame SoloRunner. I'm just the messenger. Hahahaha. JUST kidding.

SoloRunner, thank you for permitting me to post your awesome recipe here. In doing so, we are probably creating scores of new potential kale addicts, but since kale is really healthy, that'd actually be a good very thing indeed. :)

So what'd'ya say, SoloRunner, is our next mission to unite forces & save the world together, one leafy green stalk at a time?! ;-) I can see it now, SoloRunner & Cyberpenguin become the new breed of crime-fighting superheroes, the Super-Kale Queens, combatting cholesterol & banishing transfats in a single bound! Hahahaha. Presto-chango. No telephone booth needed. :)

And while you're at it, check out SoloRunner & Meechellee's fabulous running blog, Running Chicks in PDX. They are two awesome ladies!!!!!

So, without further ado, I bring you SoloRunner's sublime kale salad recipe. Enjoy!

Please note that, while the below recipe is 100% the creation of SoloRunner, I've added some of my own notes (i.e., to indicate my own personal preferences, etc.), which appear below in italics.


SoloRunner's Kale Salad Recipe

Ingredients:
1 whole head of Russian Kale or Red Kale (Both work, use the kind you like, or you can also mix the two kinds together. To save prep time, I like to use about a third of a 32 oz. bag of triple-washed, prechopped kale instead. The specific produce brand that I use is "Nature's Greens" by Walter P. Rawl & Sons, Inc.)
sprinkle of sea salt, to taste (SoloRunner prefers Celtic sea salt OR Himalayan crystal salt; kosher salt will also work quite well.)
cracked black pepper, to taste (This is my addition.)
1-2 Tbsp of olive oil (NOTE: I skip this step, because for me, there's more than enough oil in the avocado. ;-) )
1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted (NOTE: I use 2 ripe Haas avocados instead.)
2 large (vine-ripened) tomatoes OR a handful of baby plum/cherry tomatoes (I prefer to use Santa Sweet's grape tomatoes.)
1 -2 chopped scallions (I use 3-4 scallions.)
juice of 1 whole fresh lemon juice (I use the juice of 2 lemons.)

Directions:
1. De-stem kale and cut up into strips (or chop). (I don't de-stem kale; I use all parts of the kale, & marinate extra well. ;-) )
2. Add 1-2 Tbsps. of olive oil (if using) plus a small sprinkling of sea salt (or any type of salt you like) & black pepper, to taste to the kale. (Put into large 2-gallon plastic ziploc bag for less mess & easier mixing. ;) You can always remove the salad from the bag & put it into a bowl when you're ready to serve.) Massage well into the leaves until they are soft. If they need more oil, add accordingly.
3. Chop up avocado into small pieces, add to the kale and massage in well, coating the leaves. It is fine to leave pieces of avocado sitting amongst the leaves as well as coating them.
4. Chop tomatoes into small cubes or use cherry/grape tomatoes and cut in halves & add to bowl/ziploc bag. Chop & add scallions & lemon juice. Mix all ingredients well by hand make sure that all ingredients are spread evenly through out the bowl/bag.

Helpful Tip: If you put all of the ingredients into a large (2-gallon) sized ziploc bag, it'll make it a whole lot easier to mix all the ingredients together, while simultaneously saving your hands from getting gooey. :)

Optional Ingredients: Hemp seed, spinach, sunflower seeds, sun-dried tomatoes (i.e., the kind that's not packed in oil).

Yield: Makes 1-2 servings, depending on how hungry you are, & whether or not you're eating it as a main dish or not. ;-)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

3 Recipe #48: Salsa Roja (Tomato Salsa)

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Here's my original recipe for homemade salsa, which (also) originally appeared on my running blog as the second installment in the "Simple Healthy Meals" series:




Salsa Roja

Ingredients:

4 medium-sized vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped into quarter inch pieces
3-4 small red chilis (Adjust for heat preference. If you don't have fresh, you can use dried, but reduce amount to half. Dried red chilis tend to be much more potent & concentrated than fresh. I grow my own miniature red chilis & use these in salsa, as they have medium heat, as opposed to green/serrano peppers, which are larger & typically have more heat. An even milder choice is jalapeño peppers.)
1/4 large sweet yellow onion, diced
cilantro (If using fresh, use about 1/4 of a bunch, chopped. If using dried, use about 1 1/2 Tbsp.)
juice of 1 lime (If you don't have limes, you can use a lemon instead.)
1/2 tsp salt (Sea salt or coarse kosher rock salt are best, but table salt will certainly do.)

Optional ingredients:
Cooked corn kernels, tomatillo, cucumber, black beans, avocado, red &/or green bell pepper, radishes, jicama, mango, mint, basil, parsley.

Directions:
After you've chopped up all the produce & seasoned the mixture with lime/lemon juice & salt, mix thoroughly & refrigerate. It's important to let the citrus juice marinate the other ingredients for atleast 5-10 minutes before consuming, so that the onions & chilis don't overpower the salsa. Marinating mellows the stronger flavors, & will even out the flavor balance. Serve with tortilla chips, & "Ta da!", that's it! Now how easy is that?!

Chef's Notes:
If you're serving this as a snack, you can simply serve the salsa with tortilla chips. (My personal favorite are R.W. Garcia Special Recipe Flax (Flaxseed w/Soy) Tortilla Chips, which are not only tasty but are also an Omega-3 powerhouse as well!) If you'd like to make the dish a bit more interesting, you can add sides of chopped olives, low-fat or fat-free sour cream, &/or guacamole, for you & your guests/family members/friends to mix & match as they please. Or, if you plan to eat this dish as a main course, you might want to add some protein: Just melt a sprinkling of low-fat Mexican cheese blend on top of the chips.

Enjoy!
-C

Monday, April 6, 2009

0 Recipe #47: Corey's Gourmet Greek Salad

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The below recipe was originally posted on my running blog, "See Corey Run" as part of the "Simple Healthy Meals Series" featured there. (That original post can be viewed here.)

I don't normally like to replicate content, but due to multiple requests for my Greek salad recipe from non-runners and runners alike, I figured this blog would be a more logical & obvious repository for this type of content, should people be searching for the recipe. ;-)

BTW, just so you know: This salad certainly isn't "rabbit food." :) It's tasty & filling, & is guaranteed to satisfy even the hungriest of appetites. It's also one of the most popular recipes in our household/family. :)

Anyhow, hope you enjoy the recipe!

Καλή όρεξη! (Kali órexi!),
-C


Corey's Gourmet Greek Salad

Ingredients:

mixed greens (I really like Safeway's "Organic Spring Mix")
grape tomatoes ("Santa Sweets" are great!)
green bell pepper, seeded & sliced lengthwise into long strips & then halved
red bell pepper, seeded & sliced lengthwise into long strips & then halved
cucumber, sliced into rounds; or, you can cube them into 1/2" pieces if you prefer; my preferred technique is to score the outside peel with a fork all the way around & then slice, unpeeled. Leaving the skin will give you extra fiber & vitamins & will add an extra crunch as well!)
President brand fat-free feta (or any other brand of fat-free feta cheese), crumbled
red onion, thinly sliced
A mix of gourmet olives -- Greek, Kalamata, Manzanillo, Bella di Cerignola, etc. (Preferably pitted, or just remove the pits!)
Greek salad dressing* (see link for recipe)
freshly ground/cracked pepper (Pepper blends are better & more interesting to use than straight-out black pepper)

Optional ingredients:
sumac, a light sprinkling (Use sparingly; this stuff will definitely kick up the spice & saltiness factors.)
stringless sugar snap peas ("Mann's Sunny Shores" is a great brand; you don't even have to open them and remove the peas inside -- You can simply eat them whole!)
capers

Directions: Cut up veggies, pour dressing over top, & toss! Now, how easy is that!

Chef's Notes: I didn't feel like listing amounts of ingredients. After all, it's only salad, & this isn't a 7th grade Home Ec. class. ;-)

OK, so I'm an experienced cook, & truth be told, I tend to lose patience when I have to list those sorts of petty details for something so obvious. (If you do happen to visit my official recipe site/blog, you'll see that I do list exact amounts of ingredients for the more complex recipes. ;-) )

If you don't have a sense of how much of something you should put into a salad, then you probably shouldn't be making salads in the first place. ;-) Just use common sense, & don't overdo the onions or the dressing, & you'll probably be fine. The point is to lightly dress the salad, not drench it. ;-) Also, use olives & feta sparingly, and be sure to mix the salad really well. Enjoy!

*I'd recommend making the dressing a day or two in advance, to shrink the time between meal prep and serving time. :) Or, if you don't feel like making your own homemade dressing, you could use something really tasty like "Girard's Greek Feta Vinaigrette"; however, please note that it has 11 g of fat per 2 Tbsp., so use sparingly! If you only use 2 Tbsp for an entire salad for 2 people, it's only about 5.5 g of fat per person. ;-) ) Or, if you can't find this, the ubiquitous "Ken's Steakhouse Greek With Imported Olive Oil Salad Dressing" will do.

As a general rule, I typically don't like using the fat-free varieties, because they're typically full of made-made chemicals. Plus, they even taste artificial. It's hard to find a Greek salad dressing made without fat that actually tastes good and is also good for you!

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