Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Kale Salad

This salad was inspired by a restaurant in Buffalo, NY and The RQ's desire to include more nutrient rich foods in her daily diet. Merge is a restaurant that offers a mouth watering healthy menu. It is also a gathering place where people find connection and community. 
The key to this salad is allowing the kale to sit in a mixture of citrus juice, olive oil and salt before assembling the salad. It only takes a sprinkling of salt, drizzle of oil, and enough lime/lemon juice to lightly coat the leaves. Toss the kale with your hands and set aside. Then prepare the remainder of the salad while the greens soften.

The RQ created this salad from kale, Macintosh apples, and Chèvre cheese snapped up at our local farmer's market. A healthy sprinkling of sprouted dehydrated sunflower seeds (packed with nutrients) on-hand was also added. The salad was then tossed with a homemade dressing of lime juice (1/2 of lime/lemon), honey (2 t.), olive oil (1/4 c.), salt & pepper to taste.

Maple Syrup Vinaigrette (alternative dressing)

2 Tblsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tblsp apple-cider vinegar
2 tsp maple syrup
1/1/2 Tblsp Dijon mustard
salt & pepper to taste

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Linguine with Sardines

This summer CC guided The RQ to adding more vitamin D rich foods to her diet to keep her bones healthy as she is nearing 50! This brought The RQ to explore more about the health benefits of SARDINES! These little guys are power packed with nutrients. Vitamin D for bone health is only one of the many beauties provided by the sardine. B12 is at the top of the list followed by a whole host of beneficial vitamins and minerals! Click on the link to learn more! For those of you that are skeptical, give it a try! Canned sardines taste like a cross between anchovies and tuna fish. They are not as strong flavored or salty as anchovies and not as bland or dry as tuna.

Today The RQ sautéd an onion, grated some lemon zest, added capers and fresh parsley, and browned up some fine bread crumbs. Sardines aside, the remaining ingredients are often on hand and versatile! The cook can compliment this dish in as many ways as she cares to create. To add some color to this meal Portman whipped up a tasty salad with fresh local tomatoes and goat cheese!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Summer Sandwich

Roasted red peppers, fresh avocado, local goat cheese, freshly made tapenade on garlic ciabatta provide a delicious summer lunch!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Asian Bean Salad

A cool salad on a hot summer's day is refreshing! With the addition of beans it makes for a very satisfying midday meal.

The cook can include any fresh salad vegetables. The goal to keep in mind for this salad is the higher the water content provides more crunch and quenches the thirst! Today's salad includes: red bell pepper, carrots, onion (grated), sun dried tomatoes, and garbanzo beans. Remember to include your favorite fresh herb. Italian parsley can be a subtle yet pungent addition. Toss the veggies in the dressing below and place on a garden fresh bed of your favorite lettuce. And as always, Enjoy!

The dressing is fabulous and from a health and wellness conscious chef. For anyone interested in the  relationship between the foods we eat and the way we feel check out Annemarie Colbin


2 Tblsp whole-grain mustard
1 Tblsp lemon juice
4 Tblsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tblsp Tamari
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Bread Machine Baking Take II/Cinnamon Swirl

WOW! Look at that rise ~7 1/2 inches!

The excitement of the height of this delicious cinnamon-raisin swirl breakfast bread was quickly deflated upon cutting the first slice of bread. Goodness, look at that air pocket! That said, the bread was delicious, texture and flavor excellent. Any advice on the "hole?"

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Bread Machine Baking

Baking Bread with a machine....

When Cream Puff was just a tot, The Red Queen baked bread by hand with freshly ground grains from the local health food store. Wanting to get back to the wonderful art of bread making, Cream Puff encouraged Portman to gift The RQ a bread machine. Well, it's been slow going. A new acquaintence brought new energy to try again. 

After several attempts, reading, and advice from Cream Puff The RQ managed to add two inches in rise and finally achieved a soft crust. Now, to get the rounded fully risen top of the loaf! Any suggestions from bread machine users would be appreciated!!!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Dhal Makani (Black Lentils)

Where does the time go...?

(Nicole...we're back!)

These slow-cooked black lentils are creamy and tasty when stewed with Indian spices! The cook can vary the intensity of the flavors by adding more or less spice: fresh ginger, chopped garlic, bay leaves, cumin seeds, turmeric, cayenne, and black pepper (salt to taste added near end of cooking). Add a healthy scoop of tomato paste to the pot during cooking. Serve over bulgar wheat and sprinkle fresh cilantro or mint over each serving for a healthy meal. Include some fresh tomatoes from summer's bounty, and as always, Enjoy!