Quinoa & Kale Pitas with Tahini Dressing

QuinoaKalePitasThese are packed with some of my favorite ingredients! Quinoa is loaded with protein and the kale is well . . . it’s kale! We all know kale is high in iron, calcium and several vitamins. Check out these 10 Health Benefits of this super green. I also threw in some pepitas, which are rich in vitamins, beta carotene, and protein. I made a pretty big batch so that I can nosh all week (especially post workouts), but feel free to halve the recipe if you’re fearful of getting quinoa’d out. (Inconceivable! ;-) )

INGREDIENTS

Filling

2 C tri-color quinoa
4 C vegetable broth or water
1 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 C red onion, diced
3/4 C green onion, sliced
2 C mushrooms, diced
1 bunch kale, leaves removed and chopped (stems discarded)
3/4 C pepitas

Dressing

2 large cloves of garlic
1 Tbs tahini
2 Tbs yellow/light miso
1/4 C nutritional yeast
1/2 C unsweetened almond milk
1/2 C cold water
2 Tbs chia seesds
1/4 tsp black pepper

The rest

Pita pockets
Avocado slices

DIRECTIONS

I recommend making the dressing first. It’ll be a little runny, but letting it sit for 20 minutes or so, will allow the chia seeds to do their thing and thicken up the dressing. In a food processor or blender, combine all of the dressing ingredients and blend until smooth. Set aside.

DSC08213In a large soup pot, combine the broth (or water) with the quinoa. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover, and cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed.

DSC08214Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and garlic in a large skillet. Add the red and green onions. Saute until softened and a tiny bit browned. Add the kale and mushrooms and saute until the the kale is bright green, about 5 minutes.
onionskaleFold the veggies and pepitas into the cooked quinoa.
DSC08215I placed a little dressing inside the pita,  along with a slice or two of avocado, then added the filling, and topped with some more dressing. Enjoy!
QuinoaKalePitas

Quinoa Pasta with Kale and Mushrooms

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This is a very quick and healthy lunch. It’s also a good idea to munch on if you’re feeling under the weather since it has immune-boosting ingredients like kale, mushrooms, garlic, and pepita seeds. Regardless, it’ll hit the spot!

INGREDIENTS:

8-oz quinoa pasta, veggie curls (I used Ancient Harvest brand)

2-3 C chopped kale (I used red kale)

2 C diced or quartered mushrooms

1/2 C green onions, sliced

1/2 C pepitas seeds

1 Tbs olive oil or 2 Tbs Earth Balance

2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed

Salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Cook the pasta according to package instructions. You don’t want to overcook quinoa pasta, as it tends to get mushy if you do. Drain and set aside.

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Using the same pot, heat the olive oil or Earth Balance and add the garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the kale, mushrooms, and green onions and cook 5-7 minutes, or until they soften.

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Once the veggies are cooked down a little, stir in the pasta and pepita seeds. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!

Immune-Boosting Salad with Baked Tempeh

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Whether or not you’re fighting a cold or illness, this is the perfect salad to eat to boost your immune. No one wants to be sick during the holidays. It also doesn’t help that we tend to not eat or drink as healthy during these yuletide times. Instead of throwing back some harmful meds with a measly glass of OJ while you’re sick, head for the fridge (or ask someone politely) to fix this cold-fighting bowl of awesomeness. If anything, steam some kale, eat a raw orange bell pepper, and a bowl full of white mushrooms. Then repeat.

INGREDIENTS:

1 bunch of kale, torn from stem and chopped small (high in iron, vitamins C, A & K, antioxidants, omega-3s (anti-inflammatory), fiber, and calcium)

1 small bunch of spinach, stems removed and chopped small (1 C=337% of the RDA of vitamin A!! vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, beta-carotene, manganese, zinc and selenium)

1 orange bell pepper, chopped small (vitamin C and B-6, fiber, and antioxidants)

10-12 white mushrooms, stems removed and chopped, (great sources of potassium, riboflavin, niacin, and selenium. They’ve also been proven to reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancers)

2 large carrots, shredded (beta carotene, vitamin A, cancer-preventing properties, and alpha-carotene and lutein, which fight heart disease)

6-7 green onions, sliced thin (Quercetin, an antioxidant and anti-histamine, chromium, vitamin C, fiber, manganese, vitamin B6, potassium, and copper)

1/2 C pepitas (high in vitamins C, D, E, and K. They are rich in beta carotene (that is converted into vitamin A in the liver),  rich in the eye protective carotenoid lutein. A handful of these will deliver 9 grams of protein, along with manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, copper and zinc. They are also rich in omega-3 fats and are also shown to reduce inflammation. Definitely a super food!)

Dressing:

2 cloves garlic, cut in half (boosts hydrogen sulfide production=protects against various cancers, including breast, prostate and colon cancer and protects the heart. Raw garlic’s antimicrobial fights viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi. Its also helps fight asthma, bronchitis, inflammation, rashes, bug bites, tooth aches, ear infections and other infections i.e. Staph and MRSA. Unlike antibiotics that weaken your immune system, garlic actually boosts your immune system)

1/3 C sunflower seed butter (calcium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, copper, manganese, and magnesium. Also a great source of B vitamins: thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin, and  B6, folate, and pantothenic acid. Folate is also essential during pregnancy for proper fetal development. Let’s not forget protein and the healthy, unsaturated fats)

1/4 C tahini (Packed with B vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5 and B15, protein and calcium)

3 Tbs lemon juice

1 Tbs light miso (Protein, has probiotics, B vitamins, especially B12, fights cancers, high in antioxidants, and can even help lower cholesterol)

1/4 C nutritional yeast (TONS of B vitamins, protein, and fiber. It’s also low in sodium)

1/4 C chia seeds (Omega-3 and 6 oils, protein, and antioxidants. Considered a super food, chia seeds not only support the immune system, they balance blood sugar levels, support the cardiovascular system, give you energy, aid in weight loss, help detox the body, and provides fiber, iron, calcium, niacin (B-3), phosphorus, and magnesium. Did I mention brain-boosting, too?!)

1 C water

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Tempeh (optional)

8-oz pkg. tempeh, cut into small cubes (high in fiber, easy to digest, low sodium, and contains antioxidants. It also helps balance blood sugars)

1/4 C soy sauce

1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed (see above)

1 Tbs olive oil

Salt and pepper

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Whew! Did you get all that?! Talk about a loaded salad!

DIRECTIONS:

If you’re adding tempeh, you’ll want to start that now. Combine the tempeh with the soy sauce (preferably low-sodium),  Worcestershire sauce, oil, garlic, and salt and pepper in a large ziplock bag; coat the tempeh thoroughly. Line a baking sheet with foil and pour the tempeh on the sheet. Bake at 375 for 5 minutes, stir around, then bake another 5 minutes.

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 Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl, then chop up the tempeh into even smaller pieces; add to the salad.

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To make the dressing, combine all of the dressing ingredients in a blender and blend 2 minutes, or until completely smooth. It makes about 2-1/2 cups.

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You can pour the dressing over the entire salad and blend well, or keep it separate. If you store it separately, keep in mind that it will probably set up in the fridge; you’ll need to add some water and/or lemon juice to it to thin it out some more. I hope all of you are staying healthy and continue to do so during these oftentimes stressful days! Enjoy!

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Red Quinoa Pilaf with Kale and Corn

This is another excellent recipe from Vegan Holiday Kitchen. Kale and quinoa together?! Talk about a super, nutrient-packed salad. This was easy to make and served warm, it made an excellent side dish on Thanksgiving.

INGREDIENTS:

1-1/2 C red quinoa

3 C vegetable broth

1 bunch (8-oz) kale

2 Tbs olive oil

4-6 cloves garlic, minced

4 green onions (white and green parts) sliced thin

2 C fresh or frozen corn kernels

2 jarred roasted red peppers, chopped

2 Tbs lemon juice

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp rosemary

Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Combine the quinoa and broth in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15-20 minutes. If the liquid isn’t fully absorbed by 20 minutes, but the quinoa is done, drain it using a fine mesh strainer. The recipe says to strip the kale leaves from the stem and slice the leaves into narrow strips. I found that to be difficult and time consuming, so I just chopped it. In the end, it doesn’t really matter anyway. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and saute the garlic until it begins to brown. Add the kale . . .

 . . . and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cook, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Vegan White Lasagna

So there are moments in history where you want to slap your forehead and say, “Seriously?” The OJ Simpson acquittal. . . Lady GagGag’s meat dress . . . the recent attacks on Sesame Street . . . Oh, and the terrible call that cost cost the Green Bay Packers the game against the Seattle Seahawks a couple of weeks ago . . .(that’s for you, Jessie)! I had a moment of forehead-slapping-followed-by-a-REALLY? when I forgot a key ingredient in this meal. Pesto. See . . . I even made it:

But I made it earlier in the day and forgot to use it. Wheresma pesto? In the fridge. For those of you unfamiliar with “wheresma,” let me give you a brief history. My dear and wonderful husband apparently earned the nickname, “Wheresma” because he often asked, “Where’s my (this)?” “Where’s my (that)? Enduring, right? No. Wheresma makes an appearance every once in while . . .

Anyhoo . . . I have to admit, the lasagna just wasn’t the same without the pesto. I highly recommend you don’t forget this ingredient. It was still tasty and leftover-worthy, but it didn’t have the flavor I was hoping for, so don’t forget the pesto!

INGREDIENTS:

Ricotta:

1 12-oz extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
1/3 C nutritional yeast
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 Tbs lemon juice
1/4 C vegan mozzarella

Pesto:

4 C basil leaves
1 C Italian leaf parsley
1 C pine nuts
4 cloves garlic cut into small pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 C lemon juice
2/3 C olive oil
6 Tbs vegan Parmesan cheese

White sauce:

3 Tbs Earth Balance
1/4 C flour
2 C almond milk
1/2 C white wine
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
Dash of nutmeg
1/3 C nutritional yeast (this is in the ricotta, so if you can leave this out, otherwise, I think it’s a great addition)

The rest:

12 lasagna noodles
5 C kale, cut into 1-2″ pieces
2 C sliced mushrooms
1 C onion, diced
olive oil
Vegan mozzarella, optional

DIRECTIONS:

Save yourself a headache by making the ricotta and pesto a day ahead, or at least earlier in the day. (Just don’t forget about them). For the ricotta, combine everything but the vegan mozzarella in the food processor. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cheese. To make the pesto, combine everything but the pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. Blend until smooth. Add the nuts and Parm and blend well.

I like using traditional lasagna noodles, as opposed to the no-boil variety. The trick is to not boil them too long. They’ll cook the rest of the way later on in the oven. I also made a small batch (8″x8″) pan, which meant cutting 2-3″ off the noodles in order to fit the pan. I ended up with 4 layers, but feel free to make 3 layers in a 9×13″ pan. So . . .to begin, start the noodles. Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook 5-7 minutes, or until the onions get tender. Add the mushrooms and kale and cook a few more minutes, until the mushrooms soften and the kale wilts.

To make the sauce, melt the Earth Balance. Slowly whisk the flour, a little at a time until you reach a thick paste.

Whisk in the milk a little bit at a time until there aren’t any clumps left. Stir with a whisk over medium-high heat until thickened, about 7 minutes.  Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Preheat the oven to 350. Drain the pasta and rinse it with cold water. Pour about half of the sauce mixture on the bottom of an 8×8″ baking dish. Lay 3 lasagna noodles (you’ll need to cut the noodles to fit) on the bottom of the pan. Spread on about 2 Tbs of ricotta on each noodle, then a layer of the pesto. Top with a thin layer of  the mushroom/kale mixture.

Repeat layers, ending with the final three lasagna noodles. Pour the rest of the sauce on top. Sprinkle with some vegan mozzarella if you’d like.

Cover and bake for 40 minutes. Enjoy!

Pasta & Kale with Lemony Cashew Cream

This makes a great summer dish! If you don’t have any kale on hand (why wouldn’t you?!) you could use any leafy green such as chard or spinach. I also think sliced mushrooms, sauteed asparagus, or zucchini would also work well in this. The sauce isn’t overly rich and has just a hint of lemon, plus it’s a breeze to make.

INGREDIENTS:

4 C pasta

2-3 C kale, chopped

Cashew Cream:

2 C raw cashews

water

The rest:

2 tsp yellow miso

1/4 tsp black pepper

2 Tbs lemon juice

Salt, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Soak the cashews in water for a few hours, preferably overnight. Drain and rinse the cashews, then place them in the blender. Add 2-1/2 cups of water and blend until smooth. The results will resemble heavy cream. This makes about 4 cups. You’ll only need 1-1/2 cups for this recipe, so I store the rest in a mason jar in the fridge. It will also keep in the freezer for a couple of months.

While the pasta is cooking, whisk together 1-1/2 cups of the cream sauce, miso, lemon juice, and black pepper in a small sauce pan. The sauce will already be thick, so it’s just a matter of heating it through.

Just when you’re about to drain the pasta, add the chopped kale to the pot and let it cook 1 minute, then drain.

Serve the pasta with the cashew cream drizzled on top. If you’d like, season with a bit of salt. Enjoy!

Kale & Cabbage Salad with Lemony-Almond Butter Dressing

Ok, this is probably my favorite dressing I’ve made so far. Love it! It has just a hint of lemon and with the ginger, goes fabulous with the almond butter. There’s some prep work involved here, but if can, make this the night before and you won’t be able to wait for lunch!

INGREDIENTS:

Salad:

2 large bunches of kale, stems removed and chopped

1/4 of a red/purple cabbage, diced

1 bell pepper (red, orange or yellow), diced

1 C carrot, shredded or finely chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

1 small red onion, diced small

1/3 C sunflower seeds

Dressing:

1/4 C tahini

1/3 C + 1 Tbs almond butter

1″ piece of ginger, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2-3 Tbs lemon juice

1 Tbs miso (light, yellow or red)

1/4 C nutritional yeast

1/8 C water

DIRECTIONS:

In a large bowl, combine all of the salad ingredients.

Combine all of the dressing ingredients in the blender—except the water—just start with a little and add more as you blend it to reach the consistency you want. You may need more than the 1/8 cup. It also depends on how lemony you want it—you can thin it out with more lemon juice if you’d like. Blend until smooth.

You can pour the dressing over the salad, just a little at time to coat the salad, or serve on the side and mix into individual servings. Yields about 1-1/2 cups. Enjoy!

Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing

This is a great salad to take to work for lunch, a mid-day snack, or even for a picnic. I typically steam kale, but if I’m not careful, it’s easy to deplete it of nutrients if I steam it too much. Raw kale can be awfully bitter, but chopped and served with other veggies and this tahini dressing, it tastes amazing. The dressing recipe is for 2 large bunches of kale, making at least 4 good-sized salad servings. Like any salad, you can throw in your favorite ingredients and actually be excited about lunch! (and be sure to read about kale’s super powers)!

INGREDIENTS:

Dressing:

1/2 C tahini

1 Tbs miso

1 tsp tamari

1/2 tsp lime juice

1 tsp agave

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

2 tsp garlic, minced

3/4 C water

Variation: You can use almond butter instead of tahini, in which case, I’d leave out the agave since almond butter is sweeter. I also sometimes add some chia seeds.

The rest:

2 large bunches of kale, chopped

I diced up: cucumber, mushrooms, red onion, and green onion. I also threw in some Craisins and slivered almonds.

DIRECTIONS:

Put all the dressing ingredients in a blender and combine until smooth.

Combine the chopped kale with your other salad ingredients and toss well to combine.

(This is just one bunch of kale)

Pour the dressing over the salad and massage into the kale with your hands. Enjoy!

Pasta with Kale

I was on my own for dinner the other night, so after staring blankly at the cupboards, then the fridge, I decided to combine some of my favorite ingredients for dinner: tri-color pasta, kale, mushrooms, and miso. For some added crunch (and protein) you could throw in some pine nuts or chopped cashews.

INGREDIENTS:

8-10 oz tri-color rotini

1 bunch kale, chopped

5-6 mushrooms, sliced

2 Tbs Earth Balance margarine

1 Tbs yellow miso

1 tsp garlic, minced

DIRECTIONS:

Cook the pasta until al dente and drain. Meanwhile, steam the kale and mushrooms 3-5 minutes—just until they’re tender. Usually, once the kale turns bright green, it’s ready. Using the same pot you cooked the pasta in, melt the margarine and garlic. Stir in the miso and blend it in. Add the kale and pasta and combine well. Enjoy!

Zucchini and Kale Breakfast Frittata

I haven’t made a breakfast frittata/casserole in a while and I was craving one. Plus, I had veggies that needed to get eaten before they went beyond the  point of recognition. Loaded with some of my favorite veggies,  I could have eaten the entire pan.

INGREDIENTS:

1 Field Roast sausage, Italian-style, thawed and crumbled

4 green onions, sliced

3-4 C torn kale (I used a red boar kale)

1 small zucchini, sliced thin

6-8 mushrooms, sliced

1 C crackers

1/3 C Daiya cheddar shreds

1 small tomato, diced

1 Tbs olive oil

1 tsp garlic, minced

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and garlic. Add the Field Roast, zucchini, and green onion. Cook until the zucchini begins to soften, 3-4 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and kale; cook another few minutes, or until the kale begins to wilt. Because kale is a heartier green, it doesn’t cook down as fast as spinach or chard. Crumble the crackers into the bottom of a pie plate and sprinkle half the cheese on top.

Pour the veggie mix into the pie plate . . .

Top with remaining cheese and the diced tomatoes.

Cover with foil and bake for 12-15 minutes. If you want crispier kale, cook uncovered. Enjoy!

Feast On This!

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve done a Feast on This! post, but seeing as it’s cold season, I thought I’d repeat some information from a previous FOT post from a year ago.

A Veggie A Day Keeps The Colds (and Cancer) Away

It’s that time of year. Cold season. Although we can’t always avoid getting the traveling crud, there are ways to boost your immune and shorten the length of the cold or flu. And guess what? They’re all plant-based. No surprise there. Experts tend to agree that it’s best to avoid supplements and go straight for the real thing. For example, eat an orange rather than popping a supplement since you’ll also get magnesium, potassium, folate, B6 and antioxidants.  Fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants that are also key in fighting many cancers.

When I feel a cold coming on, I reach for kale every time. I steam it for no more than 5 minutes and enjoy it with just a smidge Earth Balance.

Works every single time! I also pair it with some Kick-Ass Immune, an herbal supplement that lives up to its name. It tastes pretty awful, but it’s worth it.


Vegetables:

  • Leafy Greens–Spinach, Swiss Chard, Mustard Greens & Kale: are loaded with antioxidants. Steam some kale and spinach and add a little Earth Balance, which has lots of Omega-3.
  • Broccoli, Green Peppers & Cauliflower: High in Vitamin C.
  • Orange Veggies–Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Squash and Pumpkins: are loaded with Beta carotene which turns to Vitamin A, that is rich in antioxidants (which is also cancer-fighting).

Fruits:

  • Apples: contain antioxidants and insoluble and soluble fiber to help the bowels run smooth (always a good thing)
  • Kiwi, Oranges, Grapefruits & Cantelopes: High in Vitamin C and A and oranges and grapefruits are actually cheaper in the winter.
  • Blueberries and Raspberries: Rich in antioxidants and Vitamin B.
  • Strawberries: 8 berries supply 160% of your daily value of Vitamin C, as well as 170 mg of potassium.

Other Good Stuff:

  • Onions, Garlic, Leeks, & Chives: loaded with Vitamin C, potassium, chromium and selenium.
  • Ginger: Strong in antioxidants and helps with digestion and circulation.
  • Whole Grains, Quinoa, Barley & Amaranth: packed with fiber, zinc, and B vitamins.
  • Seeds: Lots of Vitamin E

Tips to Staying Healthy

  • Stick to organic: free of chemicals and contain more nutrients.
  • Avoid processed, canned or frozen food (With the exception of vegetables—steam or microwave them) but even avoid canned soups–they’re not fresh and are full of sodium.
  • Keep away from excess sugar. If you need a sugar fix, eat some strawberries.
  • Make some soup with vegetable broth, ginger, spinach, and green onions.
  • Eat some hot salsa or sprinkle some cayenne on steamed veggies to clear the sinuses.
  • Chew (and swallow) a garlic clove to cure a cough—some people swear by it. Just don’t breath on anyone.

Bottom line, stick with fruits and vegetables, preferably organic, and avoid hard-to-digest and processed foods. Don’t forget to drink tons of water and only 100% juice with a low sugar content. Then boil some fresh ginger, pour it through a strainer into your favorite mug, add a bit of fresh lemon juice and settle in with a good book!


Meat consumption is just as dangerous to public health as tobacco use… It’s time we looked into holding the meat producers and fast-food outlets legally accountable. 
-Dr. Neal Barnard

Potato, White Bean & Kale Soup

 

We received about 10″ of snow yesterday. The day before was up in the ’70s. That’s Colorado for you. And I am not a fan of Old Man Winter, but I do love to make soups, which are a staple during these cold, snowy months. This soup not only warms you up, but it’ll heal what ails you. Kale is a powerful veggie. It’s packed full of antioxidants which are essential in fighting chronic illnesses including heart disease and cancer. It works as an anti-inflammatory, helping those who suffer from joint pain to fibromyalgia. Loaded with calcium, vitamin C, Vitamin B6, folic acid, and potassium, kale is one of the best weapons against a cold. Let’s not forget the power of mushrooms, too, which are rich in potassium, riboflavin, niacin (B3), and selenium. Mushrooms have been shown to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as breast and prostate cancers. They’re your immune system’s best friend. So load this soup up with lots of kale and mushrooms—your body with thank you.

INGREDIENTS:

1-2 Tbs olive oil

1 Tbs garlic, minced

2 large leeks, chopped

1 large bunch of kale, stems removed and discarded, leaves chopped

2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced

2 C mushrooms, sliced

1 15-oz can Great Northern Beans

2 carrots, peeled and chopped small

8 C low-sodium vegetable stock

1 sprig rosemary

A dash or two of cayenne

Salt and pepper

We brought the rosemary inside just in time. The basil, however . . .

 . . . has seen better days. My neighbor suggested cutting it down and placing it in our sunroom. Operation Save Basil has commenced.

DIRECTIONS:

I recommend having all of the ingredients chopped and ready to go before you start. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and garlic. Add the leek and carrots and saute for about 5 minutes, or until the leeks starts to brown. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes, cayenne, and rosemary sprig; cook for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are softened. Stir in the beans, kale, and mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper. Let simmer another 5-7 minutes, or until the kale is wilted.

Remove and discard the rosemary sprig and enjoy!

 

Kale and Cream Cheese-Stuffed Sweet Chilies

Geez . . . it’s been a while since I last posted. The Sixth Grader (or should I say, soon-to-be The Seventh Grader) was on a week-long field trip so me and The Husband ate out a lot this week. Produce in my refrigerator, however, was feeling very neglected, so last night I decided to make these. They were delicious! We threw them on the grill, but you can also bake them in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes. Use this stuffing for small chilies and serve them as appetizers, too.

INGREDIENTS:

3 large sweet chili peppers

10-oz Tofutti cream cheese

3 Tbs lime juice

1 tsp cumin

1 C fresh cilantro, chopped

6-8 sun-dried tomatoes, diced

1 bunch of kale

6-8 green onions, sliced

1/2 C vegan pepper jack cheese, shredded

2 tsp garlic, minced

2 tsp olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

Using a food processor or mixer, cream together the cream cheese, lime juice, cumin, and cilantro.

In a large saucepan or skillet, heat the olive oil and garlic. Add the kale. One bunch may seem like a lot (5-6 cups) but it will cook down quite a bit. Cook it over medium heat, constantly stirring it. I found that tongs work great for this. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until nice and wilted.

In a large bowl, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, green onions, and cheese. Mix in the cream cheese mixture, then stir in the kale.

To prepare the chilies, there are a number of different ways to do it. First, slice the tops off and pull out the insides–as much as you can. You can either stuff them from the top, or slice them in the side. You can also slice them lengthwise, stuff them, then put them back together. I sliced into the side of it and found that that just worked better for the size of these chilies.

Preheat the grill to a medium-high heat. Wrap the stuffed chilies in foil and place on the heated grill. Cook them for about 10 minutes, turning them often. Once the filling starts to drip out from the foil, remove them from the grill. Unwrap from the foil and enjoy!

Potato and Kale Enchiladas

It’s a damn good thing these came out SO DELICIOUS because they were a bit labor-intensive (and that was after I simplified the recipe)! The Husband picked out this recipe from Veganomicon and even though they sounded amazing, after I read the instructions, I put off making these until I knew I’d have plenty of time to devote to them. Finally, last night I cracked open the cookbook and got to work. I made some alterations to simplify the recipe and to cut down on some of the time required to make this. I LOVE the enchilada sauce and frankly, that portion is pretty easy. I would definitely use this sauce recipe for all enchiladas I make, and even lasagna. I will list the original recipe and add show my alterations. Overall, I’m so glad I made these—they’re wonderful!

INGREDIENTS:

Enchilada Chile Sauce:

2 Tbs grapeseed oil or olive oil

1 onion, diced

3 large green chilies (such as Anaheim or Italian-style long green peppers), roasted, seeded, peeled and coarsely chopped (Yeah, I used a 7-oz can)

2-3 tsp Ancho chili pepper

1-1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp marjoram or Mexican oregano (epazote) I used regular oregano

1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, roasted preferred

1 tsp sugar

1-1/2 tsp salt

Potato and Kale Filling:

1 lb waxy potatoes (Yukon gold or red) I used russet

1/2 lb kale, washed, trimmed and chopped finely (Use the food processor! It will save you. Plus, I added another 1/2 lb)

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 C vegetable broth or water

3 Tbs lime juice

1/4 C toasted pumpkin seeds, chopped coarsely, plus extra for garnish. (First, I had no desire to grab a pan and toast these, especially since I didn’t notice they had to be toasted until it was time to add them. I didn’t bother chopping them, either).

1-1/2 tsp salt, or to taste (Seemed like a lot, so I just did a little)

12-14 corn tortillas (These are my favorite: a cross between a flour and corn tortilla. They roll up beautifully without having to steam them at all first) : La Tortilla Factory Hand Made Style

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375. Use a 11.5″x7.5″ casserole dish. To save yourself a headache: first, get the kale washed, trimmed and chopped, and peel and dice the potatoes.

To prepare the sauce, saute the onion and oil in a large skillet over medium heat, about 4-7 minutes. Add remaining sauce ingredients, bring to a simmer.

Remove from the heat, let cool, then taste it to adjust seasoning, if necessary. Puree in an immersion or regular blender until smooth. (I used the food processor).

To prepare the filling, boil the potatoes until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside. (This next step, I recommend doing while the potatoes are cooking) Cook the grapeseed oil and minced garlic in a sauce pot (I used the same skillet from the sauce–just washed it out) over medium heat until garlic just begins to brown. Add the kale, sprinkle with some salt and stir often. Partially cover the pot and steam the kale about 4-6 minutes. Then add the potatoes, broth (or water), lime juice, pumpkin seeds, and salt. Mash the potatoes a little bit with a spoon. Cook another 3-4 minutes.

To create these fabulous enchiladas . . . finally. . . the recipe says to ladle some sauce in a shallow dish and a heated griddle. Seriously?! My kitchen already looked like the Swedish Chef had made a 10-course meal in it and adding another pan to my already-crowded workspace just wasn’t going to happen. Plus, the tortillas I used are perfect for rolling—they’re soft enough already that they won’t crack. So if you wish to torture yourself, this is what the original recipe says: Ladle a bit of sauce onto the bottom of the casserole dish (ok, I did do that). Take a corn tortilla, place it on the heated griddle for 30 seconds, flip over and heat until soft and pliable. Drop the tortilla into the sauce and cover it completely with sauce. Place it in the casserole dish and layer it with another heat, sauce-covered tortilla (or use one. Or don’t do it that way at all). Seriously, too messy and labor-intensive. Fill with potato filling and roll up. Ok, I took the easy epicurean vegan way. After adding a layer of sauce on the bottom, I scooped some filling into my already soft and wonderfully pliable tortilla, rolled it up and placed it in the pan. That easy. Continue until the pan is filled.

After reserving about 1-1/2 cups of the sauce, pour the rest over the enchiladas. Now, I can’t imagine enchiladas without cheese, so I sprinkled some Daiya cheese shreds on top.

Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10-15 minutes. Top individual servings with the extra sauce (that you’ve warmed up). You may not recognize your kitchen once these are in the oven, but at least while they bake, you’ll have time to reclaim your space! Enjoy!

Sweet Potato, Kale & Black Bean Fajitas

I’mmmm baaaacckkk! And boy, does it feel good. I had an amazing conference experience that you can read about at Folsom’s 93 and then a fabulous respite up in the mountains where we got to spend time with some great friends and just relax. It was the perfect opportunity to try out a new recipe from my friend at Tried and Tasted Recipes and it was absolutely delicious! I will be making this again and again. It makes quite a bit, as we fed about 8 and still had leftovers.

INGREDIENTS:

3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/4 inch cubes (I used 2)

2 red bell peppers, diced

1 large red onion, diced

10 cloves garlic, minced, divided

1 large bunch of kale, rinsed and roughly chopped

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained (I used 1-1/2 cans)

2 tsp ground cumin, divided (I recommend more)

1 tsp ancho chili powder (again, I suggest adding more)

Freshly ground salt and pepper

8 tortillas

Optional ingredients: Cilantro, Tofutti sour cream, vegan shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheeze, guacamole

DIRECTIONS:

In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add 6 cloves of minced garlic; saute 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and peppers, and saute another 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 tsp of the cumin and the ancho chili powder. Turn to medium heat and cook for 10 minutes, then season with salt and pepper.

In a smaller saucepan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and garlic. Add the beans and kale; stir once and cover for 2-3 minutes, or until the kale has cooked down. Season with the rest of the cumin and more salt and pepper.

Serve a scoop or two of each mixture onto warmed flour tortillas with Tofutti sour cream, cilantro, cheeze, and guacamole. You won’t be disappointed—they are outstanding!

Eggplant Parmagiano Stew

It’s soup season and this chili-like stew is delicious and satisfying. It also comes together rather quickly, so from start to finish, it takes only about 35-40 minutes. The stew and Parmesan recipes come from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook, which is shaping up to be my latest obsession. The Husband and Sixth Grader even rank this as one of their favorite soups. And the Parmesan?! It’s fabulous—ideal with this stew as well as with pastas and anything needing Parmesan cheese. It’s also a great source of protein and B vitamins with the almonds and nutritional yeast.

INGREDIENTS:

Stew:

8 C vegetable broth (I used 4 C of low-sodium broth to not overdose on the salt)

1-6oz can tomato paste

1 Tbs crushed garlic

1 medium eggplant, unpeeled and diced

2 C finely chopped, packed kale

1 large onion, chopped

4 C drained cooked or canned white beans (2-15 or 16oz cans)

1/2 C nutritional yeast flakes

2 tsp oregano

2 fresh tomatoes, chopped

Salt, pepper, and cayenne

Parmezano Sprinkles:

1/2 C blanched almonds

2 Tbs nutritional yeast flakes

1-2 tsp light miso

Heaping 1/4 tsp salt

The beautiful eggplant I got from Green Buffalo Food Co. on Tuesday.

DIRECTIONS:

I made the Parmezano Sprinkles earlier in the day, so I’ll start with those. To blanch the almonds, place them in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil for 1-2 minutes, then drain them; rinse with cold water. When pinched between your fingers, the skins will slide right off. Dry off with a paper towel and place the almonds in a food processor; grind to a fine powder. Add remaining ingredients and pulse several times to incorporate everything. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator; will keep for a month or so and can be frozen. (This is fabulous on steamed veggies, particularly kale)!

To make the stew, combine the broth, tomato paste, and garlic in a large soup pot. Add the eggplant, onion and kale. The kale has to be finely chopped, so I recommend using your food processor for a real time saver. Bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the eggplant is tender, but still firm.

Transfer 2 cups of the broth, 2 cups of the beans, nutritional yeast, and oregano in a blender and process until smooth.

Pour it into the soup pot and mix well. Stir in the remaining 2 cups of beans and tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne and simmer uncovered until the beans and tomatoes are heated through. Garnish with the Parmezano Sprinkles and enjoy!

 

Field Roast Breakfast Tarts

Happy New Year!

I love when The Husband and I collaborate on breakfast, especially on lazy mornings like this. “These were nothing shy of brilliant,” he says as we savor each bite in between sips of coffee. What I love about these is that (much to my dismay ;) ) The Sixth Grader and Husband don’t always like the same veggies and ingredients that I do (I know. . .can you believe it)? So these tarts (or pizzas) make it easy to come up with your favorite creation. One ingredient we all agree on are hash browns, so he fried those up while I threw together the dough. The only hard part was getting the kid out of bed—it was almost 10:00! (I guess that’s what Christmas vacation is for).

INGREDIENTS:

Dough: for 6 tarts

1-1/2 C flour

3/4 C Earth Balance margarine

1/4 C – 1/3 C ice water

The Rest:

1-16oz bag frozen hash browns, cooked

1-2 C kale, torn into pieces

4-5 mushrooms

1 Field Roast Chipotle Flavor, crumbed or ground

1/2 C- 3/4 C Dayia shredded cheddar or mozzarella flavor

Other ingredient ideas: diced potatoes, tomatoes, scrambled tofu, olives, spinach

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. To prepare the dough: Combine the flour and margarine in the food processor until crumbly. While the machine is running, gradually pour in the water until a slightly moist dough forms. Knead just a couple of minutes. Divide into 6 equal pieces and roll out. Gently line the tart pans with the dough, then press the excess along the edge to cut it off. Prick the bottom of each tart and bake for about 7 minutes. Add your favorite ingredients. We started with the kale . . .

. . .then went with the hash browns, mushrooms, Field Roast and cheese.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until they begin to brown. The crust is so flaky (and thin—depending on how thick you roll it out) and doesn’t take over the other ingredients; it’s the right amount and combination of ingredients. Enjoy!

 

Mushroom and Kale Stroganoff

I saw this recipe this morning from Healthy Exposures and I knew I had to make it. It calls for some roasted red pepper hummus and I actually had some in the fridge, so it just had to happen. It also has two of my favorite ingredients: mushrooms and kale. I was sold. I doubled the recipe, as originally, it’s for 2 servings. The fennel, I believe, was key. It gave the dish that stroganoff-beef taste, which surprised me, as I’ve only used fennel in chai flavoring. Be sure to check out Healthy Exposures’ yummy vegan recipes, (plus this original recipe),wonderful photography and her beautiful horse, Teddie. :)

INGREDIENTS:

14-oz whole wheat pasta

1 large onion, chopped

2 tsp garlic, minced (I added this)

1 Tbs olive oil

3 C sliced mushrooms

6 large kale leaves, thinly sliced (I tore them up)

1/2 tsp  fennel seed

salt and pepper, to taste

2 C  reserved pasta water

2 Tbs white bean flour (I used garbanzo flour since that was all I had)

4 Tbs roasted red pepper hummus

1 Tbs pub-style Dijon mustard

2 Tbs  nutritional yeast

Cook pasta until al dente. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and add the garlic and onions. Saute until the onions begin to brown. Add the mushrooms, kale, fennel, salt, and pepper.

Ok, I went a little nuts with the kale, but I LOVE kale so much, I could not be stopped.

Add 4 Tbs of water and cover until kale cooks down. In a small bowl, whisk together the pasta water, flour, hummus, Dijon, and nutritional yeast. Once the kale mixture has cooked down, add the liquid mixture to it and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until it thickens.

I then served this over individual servings of pasta and seasoned with a little salt and pepper. It was phenomenal! We all loved it. Enjoy!

Cheezy Kale and White Bean Soup

Vegan MoFo, Day 10

Kale is my drug. I love it. This soup is great for fall (or even a cool summer evening) and easy to throw together. It’s hearty without being overly filling.

INGREDIENTS:

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbs olive oil

1 large leek, chopped

2-15 oz cans great northern or cannellini beans, drained

8 C vegetable broth (or 6 cups broth, 2 cups of water)

1/2 C white wine

1/2 C fresh parsley, chopped

2 Tbs lemon juice

4-5 C fresh kale, torn or chopped

1 C vegan cheddar, shredded

White pepper, to taste

Salt, to taste

I just filled my 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup of kale to the top–so about 5 cups

DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and leek and saute until slightly browned. Add the beans and parsley and saute 4-5 minutes.

Add the broth, kale, lemon juice, and white wine. Let simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Season with salt and white pepper. 5 minutes before serving, add the cheeze. This is strictly an optional ingredient—you can also just sprinkle a little cheeze on individual servings. Enjoy!

Colorful Kale and Potato Casserole

Oh my gosh, this was delicious!! The flavors of the Field Roast sausage and Vegan Rella, really made this dish. This was the first time I used Vegan Rella’s cheddar flavor and like the mozzarella variety, I was in love at first bite. It is truly the best-tasting vegan cheese out there and it melts like it’s nobody’s biz. Combined with the Field Roast, there’s no need to add any other seasonings, which is always a time and money saver!

INGREDIENTS:

Olive oil

1-1/2 C red potatoes, diced small

1-1/2 C kale, stemmed and chopped

1 Field Roast sausage link, Mexican Chipotle flavor, crumbled

1 C cracker crumbs

1 large tomato, diced

1-1/2 C Vegan Rella, shredded

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375. In a large skillet, heat some olive oil and cook the potatoes until they begin to soften and brown. Add the Field Roast and kale and cook a few minutes more, covered, until the kale starts to wilt. Layer the crackers on the bottom of a pie plate and sprinkle some cheeze on the crackers. (Vegan Rella can be pretty sticky, so don’t knock yourself out trying to spread it too much).

Transfer the potato mixture to the pie plate and spread evenly.

Sprinkle on the rest of the cheeze and then the diced tomato.

Cover and bake for 10 minutes. Let sit a few minutes before digging into it. Enjoy! (And btw, thanks, Field Roast for the FB shout out–as you know, I LOVE your products and I’m hoping to get my local health food stores to carry more of them)!

Kale, Chard, and Tofu Calzones

When I said I was making calzones tonight, The Husband joked, ‘Oh, yeah, those nine pounders?’ Ok, yes, these calzones typically run a little big. I should call them “No Joke Calzones.” They’re a little different than the other calzone recipe I’ve made by adding the same tofu mixture that I use for lasagna and stuffed shells. I had some leftover tofu mixture so I just threw in the freezer—I’ll use add it to a batch of lasagna at some point. This is also a great recipe for sneaking in some extra veggies, especially for the kids—they’ll never know!

INGREDIENTS:

Dough: (from Vegan Planet)

1-1/2 tsp active dry yeast

3/4 C warm water ( I found that I needed another 1/2 cup)

2-1/4 C unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

Pinch of sugar or natural sweetener

1 Tbs olive oil, plus more for spreading

The Tofu mixture:

1-14 oz pkg extra firm tofu, drained and pressed

1/3 C nutritional yeast

1 C fresh basil (I also threw in a tablespoon or two of fresh rosemary)

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

2 Tbs lemon juice

The rest:

4 C chard and kale, chopped (you can also add in some spinach)

1-3.8 oz can of sliced black olives

6 mushrooms, sliced

1-1/2 C vegan mozzarella cheese

1 jar marinara sauce

DIRECTIONS:

To make dough: Place yeast in a small bowl. Add 1/4 C of the water and stir to dissolve. Set aside for 5-10 minutes. To make the dough in the food processor (like I did), combine the flour, salt, and sugar, pulsing to blend. With the machine running, add the yeast mixture through the feeding tube, along with the olive oil and as much of the remaining 1/2 water (I needed another 1/3 C in addition to the 1/2 C) as necessary to make the dough hold together. To make the dough by hand, combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Stir in the yeast mixture, olive oil, and remaining 1/2 C water until well combined. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large oiled bowl. Spread a small amount of oil on top of the dough, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Use immediately or store for up to 8 hours in the refrigerator or for 3-4 weeks in the freezer. Make sure it is tightly wrapped in plastic.

To make tofu mixture: Add tofu, basil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and lemon juice to a food processor and process well until the mixture resembles ricotta cheese.

Preheat oven to 375. Punch the dough down and divide it into fourths. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece into a 1/4″ thick circle. Divide the filling equally between the dough circles, leaving a 1″ border around the edge. I layered on some tofu mixture, greens mix, olives, mushrooms, and cheese.

Fold over one side and roll up the bottom part and press with a fork to seal the edges.

Place on a baking sheet lined with foil that is slightly greased. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

In the meantime, heat the sauce in a small saucepan. Ladle a scoopful on top of each calzone and add a bit of cheese. Enjoy!

Sweet Chili Lime Tofu

This recipe is tofu-licious! Even though the recipe has a long list of ingredients and you’ll need 3 pans and a bowl, it was extremely easy and it was done in about 25 minutes. I recommend doubling the sauce. As it is, it makes a great glaze for the tofu, but I would have liked it a little more saucy. It made about 5 servings and as I was eating the final pieces of tofu, I was thinking that these would be great toothpicked (minus quinoa and kale) and served as a hot appetizer. Yum!

INGREDIENTS:

Quinoa:

3/4 C quinoa, rubbed/rinsed, drained

Zest from one lime, divided in half and slice lime for garnish (use 1/2 the zest)

2 bruised cardamon pods (optional–I used a dash or two of dried cardamon)

1/4 tsp salt

1 tiny cinnamon stick (optional)

1-1/3 C water

Sweet Chili Lime Sauce:

3 Tbs sugar

3 Tbs tamari

1-3/4 Tbs lime juice

1/2 zest of the lime

1/2 tsp red chili flakes (I didn’t have this, so I used 1/2 tsp of Ancho chili pepper)

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 tsp salt

4 mint leaves, sliced thinly

The Greens:

1 bunch collard greens, washed with middle veins removed (I used kale)

2-3 Tbs water

1 tsp lime juice

1 pinch salt

The rest:

14-oz extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed

Lime slices for a garnish (optional)

Mint leaves for a garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Combine the quinoa, 1/2 the lime zest, cardamon, cinnamon stick, salt, and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes, then remove from heat and don’t remove the lid. Let steam for 10 minutes.

Sweet chili lime sauce: Whisk together the sugar, tamari, lime juice, lime zest, red chili flakes, garlic,  salt, and mint until the sugar and salt and dissolved. Set aside.

Tofu: Slice the tofu into 7-8 rectangles:

Then cut each rectangle in half to make two squares, and then each square into four triangles:

I sauteed the tofu in a dry skillet for about 10 minutes on each side. The recipe says to add it a “well-seasoned” skillet.  Add the chili lime sauce and stir to coat the tofu. Turn off the heat.  The sauce will bubble up, reduce, and form a glaze.

While this is happening, slice up the kale. In a wok (which I didn’t have, so I used a small skillet) add water, lime juice, and salt. Cover with a lid and steam  until tender. (The other thing to do, is just add the greens to the quinoa and steam them that way).

To serve, layer plate with  a scoop of quinoa, kale, then tofu. Garnish with lime slices and mint. Enjoy!

Recipe source: Vegan Yum Yum

Crispy Kale Leaves

“They’re weird, but I can’t stop eating them.” This is what my husband said. It’s so true–they’re like paper thin potato chips! They kinda just melt in your mouth but certainly have a crunch–and so good! And did you know…kale is considered an aphrodisiac? Just so you know! ;) This recipe comes from Vegetarian Times.

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb kale, rinsed and patted dry

2 Tbs olive oil

1/2 tsp kosher salt

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 325. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray (I used foil). Tear kale into 3″ pieces, removing tough stems. Transfer leaves to a bowl. Toss kale leaves with the oil, until well coated.

Spread on a baking sheet and bake 15 mins. (I did 10). Turn kale with tongs and bake another 10-15 mins (I did 7 more mins) or until edges are browned and leaves are crispy. Sprinkle with salt. Serve warm or cold.  Enjoy!

Red Wine Vinaigrette and Salad with a Kick

So long to boring salads! Between the mustard greens and the Dijon and shallots in the dressing, this salad is anything but tame.


INGREDIENTS:

Vinaigrette:

4 Tbs red wine vinegar

2 Tbs shallots, chopped fine

3 tsp Dijon mustard

4 Tbs olive oil

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Salad:

2 large leaves mustard greens, chopped into 1″ pieces

2 large leaves of kale, chopped into 1″ pieces

2 big handfuls of spinach, chopped into bite sized pieces

8 mushrooms, sliced

2 small tomatoes, diced

1/2 cucumber, diced (not tiny diced–bite sized)

1 big handful sunflower seeds

2 big handfuls craisins

croutons

DIRECTIONS:

Dressing

Whisk together all ingredients, serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate. Makes about a 1 cup

Salad

Combine and toss–I’ll bet you know how to make a salad!

Enjoy!