Kale can be a scary vegetable for a lot of people. It’s quite tough and bitter, which aren’t exactly crowd-pleasing traits. However, as massaged kale salads have become trendy in the past couple years, many have realized that this little step of rubbing the kale down can make a big difference in both the texture and flavor departments. Now, kale is never going to be like a spring green, because it isn’t! Rather, it’s hearty and much more substantial, which is exactly what we need this time of year. As a bonus, this salad holds up well in the fridge, unlike more delicate greens. At our house, we’ve been doing a lot of kale salads, so I thought I would share a recent creation with you. Strangely enough, Lisa Leake over at 100 Days of Real Food recently put up a similar recipe , so, if you want a slight variation on the same idea, be sure to check out her recipe for Kale and Apple Salad as well.
I love hummus. It’s great for dipping vegetables and also the secret to a killer veggie sandwich. I’ve tried a lot of brands in the grocery store (and I definitely have my favorites), but I’ve been on the search for a good homemade recipe for a while. You guys know I like to make everything myself that I can, plus homemade things usually taste better right? On my hummus search I’ve tried a few recipes and none were inedible, but they still never tasted quite as good as what I could buy in the store. Part of me said just suck it up! It’s cheaper and better for you and it doesn’t taste bad, just not great. Stop being whiny! But, when you’re already doing a lot of cooking, it can be hard to find the motivation to put the time into making something that doesn’t even taste that amazing. So, after some experimenting, I’ve come up with a recipe that, in my opinion, in the best one out there.
The secret is extra tahini.
This easy summer salad has been a go-to for us for the past couple weeks. We most often eat it with falafel. With only 5 ingredients and minimal preparation, it makes a yummy addition to any meal and a great choice for a summer partay. As a side note, you don’t have to seed the tomato if you don’t want to (or feel like it), it just helps to reduce the liquid in the finished product. If you do decide to go ahead with the seeding, don’t throw that stuff away! You did pay for it after all and it is delicious. We usually collect it in a bowl, add a little salt and pepper, and then fight over who gets to eat it.
While I love creating my own recipes, I’m equally enthusiastic about finding great recipes from others. Today I want to share a favorite at my house, tabouleh. This is a dish from the Middle East which highlights an herb often relegated to a garnish, parsley. I love this dish because it is quite versatile. It can be served warm or cold (as suggested in the recipe) and can be upgraded to a main dish with the addition of chicken or chickpeas. Even better, it is my 15-year-old brother’s favorite meal. This would also be a great option to take to a cook-out or picnic.
I’m happy to say that grilling season is officially here! The sun is shining, the pools are open, and everyone wants to do some outdoor cooking. One of my favorite things to make on the grill are kabobs. Not only do they cook quickly, but they are quite versatile and make it easy to create a large spread with something to please every palate. I like to make mine using a product called the Fire Wire. The long wire allows you to pack lots of food on to one skewer and they have a handle at the end that you can grab with your hand (burn-free) when it’s time to flip. They are also nice if you have a round grill because you can snake them around, giving you a much more efficient use of the cooking space. I find they work better with meats than veggies, as the vegetables tend to spin around when it’s time to flip, but it’s still doable.
Now for the food! I cooked chicken, zucchini, yellow squash, red bell peppers, red onion, and pineapple. The pineapple was cubed and grilled au naturale. For the veggies, I brushed them with a little olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Both simple and simply delicious. The chicken was cubed and marinated in a mixture of yogurt and spices which gave it lots of moisture and great flavor. Try this out at your next cook-out or for dinner with the family and you won’t be disappointed. I know I”ll be making it all summer long! Continue reading
Making a grain salad is a versatile method for preparing and serving your favorite whole grains. They can include fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs, beans, and meats and can be served hot or cold. Also, you can use them as your main dish or a side and they work great as leftovers because the flavors meld together even more while it hangs out in fridge. I came up with this recipe as my last hurrah for winter, incorporating some of my favorite cold weather veggies. Enjoy! Continue reading