Category Archives: greens

Farmer’s Market Kale Salad

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Every ingredient in this salad came from our Sunday farmer’s market, except for the dressing.   This salad radiates summer.   The yellow tomatoes have the perfect sweetness.  I am not usually big on tomatoes but I was popping these into my mouth like candy.  We tried to tell the kids they were nature’s version of a skittle in hopes that they would try one.   They were having nothing of it.   Big surprise.

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I could eat this salad everyday.   You can’t help but feel healthy after a salad like this.

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I am sure the Farmer’s Markets in California are going to blow me away.    In two weeks we leave Crested Butte with a little heaviness in our hearts for our year in Northern California.   We are ready.   I love change and it’s definitely something I got from my dad.  Even though it makes me a little uneasy, the new experience is always worth it.   I can’t think of a more fitting place to study natural and holistic cooking.    I look forward to writing about our adventures in California and teaching you what I learn along the way.

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My blog is getting a makeover and hopefully by my next post you will see a new and improved Greens and Sweet Things.

Enjoy!

Farmer’s Market Kale Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 3 minutes

Yield: 4

Ingredients
    • 5-6 Large Kale Leaves
    • 5-6 leaves of basil, chiffonade
    • 1 cup of green beans
    • 1 cup of  yellow grape tomatoes
    • 1/4 cucumber, sliced and quartered
    • 2-3 radishes, thinly sliced
Dressing
  • 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp Good Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • salt and pepper

Instructions-

Steam the green beans for 2-3 minutes and then place in a bowl with ice water.

Cut off the thick stem of the kale. Layer the leaves on top of each other and roll them up. Thinly slice the leaves.

Place the kale in a medium bowl. Add the tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, green beans and basil.

Add the dressing and toss.

Crispy Artichokes

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I watched David Rocco make a raw artichoke salad on his show months ago and my mouth dropped.   “That is so easy,” I thought.   He removed most of the outer leaves of the artichoke and then thinly sliced the remaining part, added some olive oil and parmesan and ate it raw.    I immediately tried it but his artichoke must have been a lot fresher than mine.   Probably picked that day from an artichoke plant in his yard.     I threw my raw artichoke salad into a skillet with some olive oil and garlic cooked it for about 5-10 minutes.  Viola, a wonderful salad.

It reminded me  of a late night meal I had in New York City a few years ago with my husband and a friend at a restaurant in lower Manhattan.   Our friend, Bryant, was just getting off work and was eating a late dinner.  Eric and I had just come from an earlier dinner with friends and weren’t the least bit hungry but before we knew it, we had ordered a couple appetizers.  We couldn’t resist.  They sounded too good.   And the two things we ordered from the menu both stick in my mind to this day.   Crispy Artichokes was one of them.   Best thing ever.   Fried of course.  And in thin strings.  I couldn’t put my fingers on how they actually made this.  Until now.   And the other item was pasta with onion sauce.   They must have cooked those onions for 2 days.  I have tried to replicate it and will continue to try.  I just never seem to have the patience to wait that long for onions to cook.

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These crispy artichokes are so quick and easy.   Gone are the days that you have to boil an artichoke for 45 minutes to 1 hour.   Although, dipping those leaves in butter is so comforting.   But this is quick and delicious.   Perfecto!

Here is a loose recipe.   A little of this, a little of that.   You need to peel away most of the outer leaves until you get to the softer center.   Eating those tough leaves will not be a pleasant experience.   And of course, the fresher the better.  If your artichoke has been sitting in the fridge for a couple weeks, turning brownish, don’t use it for this recipe.   I love how the parmesan gets crisp when it fries in the pan.   It’s like that part of a grill cheese sandwich where a little piece of the cheese is hanging over the bread and it gets fried in the pan,   That is the best part of the whole sandwich.

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Avocado, Grapefruit and Watercress Salad

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As the temperature warms up, we tend to crave more cooling foods.    This salad is a perfect summer salad.

Tomorrow Max graduates from Miss Jenny’s Friendship House Preschool.    Next Fall he is Kindergarten bound.  Luckily he gets to go to summer camp with the same kids and teacher, also a good friend of mine, or there might be lots of tears this week.    He told me the other day that he liked school better than TV.   Enough said.   Miss Jenny is pretty much a rock star in my house.   Jake is his best buddy and if we could just bring him with us to California next year, everything would be peachy in Max’s world.

Next week will officially feel like summer around here as school is out and camps begin, flowers start to bloom and flip flops and tank tops become the daily apparel.

This salad should be on the summer menu.   We have been getting the sweetest grapefruits lately.   If you are find grapefruits are more on the sour side, use can use oranges instead.

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This salad is refreshing and light with bursts of flavor from the sweet juicy grapefruit, the bitter watercress, the crunchy hazelnuts and the creamy goat cheese and avocado.     Watercress is so good for you and just  like parsley, it shouldn’t just be a garnish.   Hippocrates is said to have built his hospital near water so that watercress would be in abundance and he could use it to treat his patients.  It’s naturally anti-aging  and is a vitamin C powerhouse.

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Radicchio wrapped Quinoa, Fennel and Avocado

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I just got back from a two hour hike with my friend, Dina.   It was so nice to catch up and be outside.   We are only starting to experience spring in Crested Butte.

This is what it looked like outside last week…

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And this is what it looks like this week!  Ahh,  much better.

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I prefer to exercise outside but it’s not always an option.   From cold weather to my two little munchkins,  I often workout on my treadmill.    I will occasionally watch  a Grey’s Anatomy episode or John Stewart while exercising but more often than not,  I watch cooking shows.   It’s true.    Something about it doesn’t seem right but I do…From Giada De Laurenttis, to The Pioneer Women, to David Rocco’s Dulce Vita I get inspired to cook as I exercise.   David Rocco’s show takes place in Florence  so I get to reminisce about the amazing year I spent living in Florence- almost 17 years ago!   That can’t be right?  Gasp…

My kids will wander in from the playroom and look genuinely interested in what they are cooking on the TV.  Or else they just love TV and will take whatever show they can get.   I am going to stick with my first thought because I want them to love cooking.  I am trying hard to instill in them a love of cooking.   Max is always asking what my favorite this or that is.   He knows my favorite food is pesto and that it is made using basil.   He recently tried it (after some pleading and maybe a little bribing) and said he “sort of likes it but isn’t in the mood for it right now.”   I’ll take it but I am not sure what happened because  when he was one or two, he loved it.   Did anyone else have a pretty good eater and then suddenly they stopped eating anything with a complex flavor?

Anway, the other day Giada was making a chicken salad stuffed in pasta shells.   It looked delicious but I didn’t have all the ingredients and I wasn’t interested in making pasta.  So  I took portions of that recipe and turned in into this.  Read the rest of this entry

Tuna and Kalamata Olive Salad

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It’s been a while.   It is really nice to be back on the blog.   I  hope you are all enjoying Spring wherever you are.   I just returned from 2 amazing weeks at the beach and feel so refreshed and ready to go.   Early morning walks on the beach are one of my favorite ways to start the day.  I am going to miss that fine white sand on my toes.

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Spring at 9,000 feet is always interesting.  It was nice to see almost of all the snow melted from our driveway when we got home and a warmish sunny day to greet us.   The kids were a little disappointed that their sledding hill disappeared while we were away but they got over it pretty quick as we played soccer outside and played at the park.

So some of you might be surprised to see a recipe for tuna and wonder if you are on the right blog.  Well, you are.   Aside from being busy this winter in my ceramic studio and with the kids,  I also starting eating meat again.   I have been eating wild salmon for a while but expanded to other fish and meat.   I can’t really explain all the reasons except that I was listening to my body and well,  apparently it was craving chicken.   I was cooking chicken for Eric and the kids one night using salt, pepper and coconut oil on the stove and as I was cutting it up for the kids, I popped a piece in my mouth.   It was good,   Before I knew it,  I ate a whole piece!   And then slowly I starting eating it here and there.   We were driving to Denver one day and stopped for lunch and I was craving a tuna fish sandwich.   I hadn’t had one in several years but the craving was really intense.   So I decided to listen to my body and go for it.    That’s really how it came about.     Some of you may be surprised it wasn’t bacon that turned me.   Well,   I have enjoyed some of that too.

This blog will still be a mainly vegetarian food blog as that is what I mostly eat and cook but who knows where life and food will take me…

I am very conscious of where my meat comes from, just as I am about where my eggs come from and my vegetables and other food.   I look for non-GMO labels on food packages and I usually stick with vegetarian food when I eat out in order to avoid factory farmed meats.   I order a lot of our vegetables and meat from a nearby farmer so I know the source of my food and how the animals were raised.   I am still adamantly opposed to factory farming and think it is truly important to be aware of where our food comes from.

So there you have it.   And now for the recipe.

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This is quick and easy with lots of healthy ingredients.   I made some version of this several days while we were on the beach.  It’s great for a picnic lunch!  Parsley is not just a garnish in this recipe.  Parsley is packed with Vitamins C and B, it is great for inflammation, cleansing, and it packed with folates and anti-oxidants.   I have started to throw a handful of parsley in my morning smoothies.    The Kalamata Olives and Capers add a nice bite to this salad while the Currants and a touch of sweetness.

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Tuna and Kalamata Olive Salad (serves 2)

 5 oz. Can Wild Tuna in water

1/4 Cup Kalamata Olives (pitted and roughly chopped)

2 tsp Capers

1-2 TBSP Dried Currants ( or Raisins)

1/4 Cup Parsley (chopped)

1 Celery Stick (finely chopped)

1 TBSP Organic Mayonnaise

1/2 tsp Mustard

pinch of salt and pepper

Lettuce or crackers

To make: Add tuna and celery to a bowl and mix together.  Add mayo and mustard, salt and pepper and mix.  Add olives, capers, currants and parsley and mix well.

Enjoy over lettuce, in a sandwich or with crackers.

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Mixed Green Salad with Roasted Beets and Apples

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I remember walking around Soho with some friends about 10 years ago looking for a place to eat dinner.  We checked out the menu at this tiny restaurant, saw that it was a vegan eatery and kept walking.  I thought to myself, “Why would anyone ever be vegan and what in the world would you eat?”  I couldn’t imagine not eating chicken or cheese, eggs or bacon.  Fast forward 8 years and my thought became- “Wow.  Being  vegan makes so much sense to me.  Why isn’t everyone vegan?   It’s better for our bodies and better for our environment.”   And if you are a family member (and probably some close friends too), I certainly talked a lot you a lot about why you should be vegan.  While I still think eating a Plant Based Diet can be a very healthy eating model, I understand that it might not be the best diet for everyone.

Here are some common questions vegans are asked- Read the rest of this entry

Lima Bean, Kalamata Olive and Basil Salad

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I hope everyone has been enjoying their summer!  Mine has been great.  And busy.   Camping, picnics, music, guests,  birthday parties, shuffling kids to camps and activities, art shows, and finally, to really slow me down -back surgery.  It was long overdue and I am already feeling great.   No more hunching over in pain with a herniated disc while cooking over my stove.  I can walk with ease and it is such a great feeling!

So I am finally getting a new recipe on my site.     The kids are both in school and the transition I was worried about was almost too easy this morning!   Max is at his first day of Pre-K and has been really excited to start.   Cecilia has been less thrilled about going to school without her big brother but she was such a big girl this morning and there were no tears in sight.   Phew.

I don’t know where August went.  The first week was focused on Cecilia’s Birthday party which was all she could talk about this summer (she is so my daughter) . We had an Art Party and it was  a lot of fun and the finger painting was not as much of a mess as one might think.  But what are birthdays really about?   I mean you can have a great theme but what do the kids really want?  Cake.  It’s all about the cake.   And Cecilia talked about her birthday cake all summer.   If she was mad at Max, she would say, “your not going to get any of my birthday cake.”   That started in June!    She wanted a pink cake and she wanted a flower cake.   When I made her a pink cake in the shape of a flower, she asked, “where are the flowers?”  Sighhh.   “Honey, the cake IS a flower”   I made an ice box cake but instead of buying the Nabisco Chocolate Wafer cookies, I make my own using a variation of this recipe.  It  might be  my favorite cake ever.  Homemade chocolate wafers in between homemade whip cream.  I highly recommend trying this recipe. Read the rest of this entry