Category Archives: lunch

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.

Quinoa Salad with Beets and Cucumbers

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Happy Fathers Day!   I hope you are all celebrating the amazing father’s and men in your life.  After a filling family breakfast and looking at all the cards the kids decorated for Eric, we sent him off for a long hike with some of his good friends.   The kids absolutely adore their dad, as do I.

I think about my father often, but especially today.  This is my fourth father’s day without him.   I picture him playing bridge somewhere and passionately discussing politics while eating chinese food, or maybe a big plate of onion rings.   To this recipe he would say keen-what?  And I would reply, Keen-WAH, Dad – Try it, it’s really good for you.  You’ll like it .  And by the way, you would have loved the hike I went on today.   The Lupine were just incredible.  If only I could tell him about it.   If only he could hike with me again.

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I am not sure if I had even heard of quinoa four years ago.

This is a great summer meal.  It is perfect for lunch, dinner or potlucks.  It keeps well so you could make it on Sunday and take it to work for lunch over the next several days.  Also great to take camping for the weekend.

I had just roasted some beets and hadn’t decided what I was going to do with them yet.  I looked in the index under beets in this fabulous cookbook called La Tartine Gourmande by Beatrice Peltre and came across a beet and quinoa tabouli, as she calls it.   Perfect.

Roasting the beets takes about an hour and the quinoa needs to cool down so this is not a last minute type recipe.   You need about an hour and a half- even though it’s really only 15 minutes of active cooking time.

I changed some of the ingredients, adding basil and cucumbers, and omitted a few others, but otherwise  followed her recipe.   This cookbook is truly one where every time you turn the page another delicious recipe appears after another.  I used red quinoa because it is what I had on hand but I think it would look prettier with white quinoa  (as Beatrice uses) and the beets would turn it a light pink.

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Enjoy!

Summer Quinoa Salad (serves 6)

adapted from La Tartine Gourmande Cookbook

1 Cup Quinoa (red or white)

2 Cups Water or Vegetable Broth

1 Large Beet, Roasted and diced

1 Cup diced Cucumber

1/4 Cup Feta crumbles

2 TBSP Pine Nuts (optional)

Vinaigrette

Zest of 1/2 lemon

Juice of 1/2 lemon

4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

2 TBSP Basil, chopped

1 TBSP Mint, chopped

1TBSP Parsley, chopped

Pinch of Salt

Pinch of Pepper

Wrap the beet (unpeeled) in tin foil and in a 400 degree oven and roast the beet for 45min.-1hour.   Let cool and then peel off the skin with your fingers and dice it. 

Meanwhile, rinse the quinoa well in a fine mesh colander.  Add it to a pot with 2 cups of water or vegetable broth and a pinch of salt.   When it comes to a boil, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, until all the water is absorbed.  Remove from heat, let it stand for 5 minutes and then put it in a bowl to cool. 

In a small bowl, add all the ingredients for the vinaigrette and stir well. 

Add the beets and cucumbers to the quinoa and stir well.   Pour the viniagrette over the salad and mix together.   Then add the feta crumbles and pine nuts on top.

 

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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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Cauliflower Rice with Artichokes

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I  was experimenting a little bit with being grain-free just to see how I felt and saw various recipes for cauliflower rice on Paleo websites.  It is one of my new favorite things of 2013- although just to be fair I don’t have many new things in 2013 yet.  But still.  All you do is put your cauliflower in the Cuisinart until it is finely blended and saute for a few minutes.  Genious.

Are any of you grain-free?  It is an adjustment but I do notice a difference in how I feel.   I have been wheat free (again) for the last few weeks and mostly grain free but not totally.   As someone who loves to bake, that poses a bit of a problem- until Almond Flour came into my life.  I was a little obsessed with almond flour this holiday season and cooked probably a dozen things from this cookbook- almond flour pizza crust, almond flour quiche, almond flour biscotti (dynamite!), almond flour pancakes…it’s good stuff and a great alternative to wheat flours and less healthy gluten free flours.

Anyway, now I have an alternative rice to add to the mix.   This is a quick and easy side dish – takes 15 minutes tops- and you can add whatever flavors you like.   Read the rest of this entry

Artichoke Soup with Polenta Croutons

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I have decided to let go of my goal to exercise in the early morning before the kids wake up.    I am tired of being disappointed in myself before I have even stepped out of bed.   Who am I kidding?     It’s hard enough for me to get up at 5:30 or 6am with a good night sleep so it’s highly unlikely when I have been up with my daughter half the night.

About a month ago, we stopped letting Cecilia crawl into bed with us in the middle of the night and instead I bring her back into her room, half asleep, bumping into furniture and mumbling things I shouldn’t be.    She used to climb into our bed and we would hardly realize she was there but then she developed a kicking, whining 3 year old habit that just wasn’t working for us.   So the rules changed.  Now it feels like we have a newborn and sleepless nights make mommy very unproductive and forgetful and not as sweet as I want to be.    I think my kids slept better as babies than they do now.   Last night (for maybe the first time) I was in bed last night at 7:55pm and asleep by about 8:05 which meant that I got a solid 4 hours of sleep before my daughter woke me up for the first of 3 times starting at midnight.   And that is why I am able to write today 🙂

Cecilia says things like, “Mommy, I’m little.  I’m not a big girl.  I can’t sleep in my room all night,” and  typical things like “I scared” and  “Just lay with me a little bit and sing one song.”   But her excuses are becoming more creative.   She has decals of little pigs and birds in her room and her latest reason for not being able to sleep in her room is that the animals on her wall are talking too much.   I moved one of the pig decals away from the head of  her bed so the pig wouldn’t be so loud.   She’s a funny one!

I think (desperately hope) things are going to start to look up.   Mostly thanks to a clock.  The clock and my constant talks with her throughout the day about sleeping, plus a little bribing and a sleep chart with fun stickers and a trip to the toy store if she sleeps in her room for 7 nights in a row.   Oh my goodness.  I told Cecilia that a  nightlight clock was coming in the mail for her and it would help her sleep.   I thought the clock would arrive the next day but it took a whole week.   So everyday she would ask if her clock was here and said “Mommy, when the clock gets here I can sleep in my room alllllll night.”  But that meant that since the clock wasn’t here yet, she wouldn’t be sleeping in her room all night.  It was a long week anticipating that clock.   And now we have had the clock for about a week and I have thankfully seen some improvements.   But it’s baby steps.     She earned a couple stickers on that chart but let me tell you, she did not like it when I put an X on the chart.   Although I like how early my kids are going to bed now with daylight savings, my five year old, Max now wakes up at about 5:30 every morning.   Oh boy.   The 8pm bedtime for Mom might become regular.

It’s been a while since I have written and now you probably know why.  Here is an Artichoke Soup that I hope you enjoy!

And if you have any tips for me regarding kids sleep I am all ears!

It’s pretty easy and quick to make.

Artichoke Soup with Polenta Croutons- 4-6 servings

adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

2 TBSP Coconut Oil

2 Celery Stalks – chopped

1 medium onion – chopped

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

3 Cups Vegetable Broth

1/2 Cup Coconut Milk

12 oz. package of frozen artichoke hearts (or use canned artichoke in water)

1 Cup Kale or Spinach -chopped

2-3 garlic cloves -minced (only if you like garlic!)

For the Soup- Heat Coconut Oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the celery, onions, salt and pepper and cook for about 4-5 minutes until soft.  Add the Broth, Coconut Milk, and Artichokes and bring to a boil.  Cover and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes.   Pour the soup into a blender one cup at a time and puree.  Add the chopped kale or spinach last and pulse a few times.   Return Soup to the saucepan and add addition broth if it’s too thick.   In a small saucepan with a 1/4 tsp of Coconut oil, saute the garlic for several minutes.  Add to the pureed soup.   Serve with Polenta Croutons.

Polenta Croutons

1 Cup Polenta

3 Cups Water

1 tsp Salt

Prepare polenta according to package- 1 cups of Polenta in 3 cups of boiling water (or broth), stirring continuously until cooked.

Spread prepared polenta onto a greased baking sheet so it’s about 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick.   Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes, until it is golden and crispy.  Cut with a pizza cutter and put a few pieces in each bowl.