I’m not a fan of overly bitter tastes. I’m also not a fan of overly sweet tastes but that’s another blog entry. I find kale super bitter. Somehow, this recipe takes the bitter taste out of the kale. This recipe is from Cheryl, a friend of mine.
3 cups kale, rinsed and chopped
1 leek, cleaned well and sliced
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
1 c. milk
1 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Place kale in a large pot of boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Drain, rinse and set aside. In the meantime, saute the leek in 2 T. butter in large skillet on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add 2 T. flour and 1 c. milk to leek – butter mixture and cook until thickened. Add cheese and kale to the white sauce mixture. Pour into a large casserole dish and bake, uncovered, at 350 for about 30 minutes.
- Kale with Bacon & Mushrooms (thepaleoparamedic.com)
- 10 Days of Kale: Day 4 (skiptheburger.wordpress.com)
- Asparagus Leek Soup (yesiwantcake.com)
- Secret Recipe Club: Leek and Cheese Tart (bewitchingkitchen.com)
- Curried kale chips-Warning very addicting! (applesandginger.com)
- Apple Walnut Kale Salad (pickfreshfoods.com)
- Kale Pesto (basikhomehowto.com)
It’s asparagus season. Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables — if fresh, young, and prepared properly. Old asparagus that’s tough and woody or that awful, mushy, asparagus-from- a- can is very unpleasant and nearly inedible. We’re able to purchase local asparagus (a crop not normally grown in Alberta) from the farmer’s market. Edgar Farms has perfected growing asparagus — a cool climate vegetable — along with other great vegetables. For more information, visit their website: http://www.edgarfarms.com/
1 bundle asparagus
1/4 c. oil
2 – 3 T. good quality balsamic vinegar (if your balsamic vinegar is quite reduced, thin it by adding an equal amount of water)
1 – 2 T. spice blend
Wash asparagus and trim ends. Place in a container. Mix oil, vinegar and spices together and pour over asparagus. Marinate for an hour or two, turning the asparagus at least one to ensure as many of the pieces are covered in marinade.
Grill on your indoor grill on mid-max for 4 – 6 minutes. Barbecue on medium until a bit brown but still tender-crisp.
- Spinach and Asparagus Salad (juicybites.net)
- Pickled Asparagus with a Twist (bearygoodstuff.wordpress.com)
- I Forgot the Balsamic: Imperfection is a Gift to Ourselves and Each Other (kimthedietitian.wordpress.com)
- Roasted asparagus, radicchio and pineapple with balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese (charlotte.news14.com)
I was feeling tired and uninspired the other day. This soup came about from a combination of fatigue, ground beef and what was in the pantry.
2 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 cans sliced mushrooms, drained
1 lb. ground beef, browned
1 onion, chopped
Brown onion and ground beef in a bit of oil in a skillet or large pot. If using a large pot to brown the beef and onions, add the soup and mushrooms. Otherwise, transfer the beef and onions to a large pot and add soup and mushrooms. Stir well. Place on the stove over medium heat until heated all the way through. Serve with buns or bread and a green salad.
I’m suspecting I have some form of anemia. I’ve had iron deficiency anemia in the past. Update: The doctor thought my symptoms were consistent with hypothyroid, even though blood tests show my TSH as within normal limits.
What are the effects of untreated anemia?
Long-lasting deficiency of vitamin B6, folate, or vitamin B12 can result in anemia. With folate and vitamin B12 deficiency, anemia often causes symptoms such as fatigue, poor appetite, weight loss, and diarrhea. The earliest symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency may be weakness, poor coordination, and numbness or a “pins and needles” feeling in the hands and feet. Mild irritability and forgetfulness are other early signs. A severe untreated deficiency can result in serious damage to the nerves, spinal cord, and brain.
How do I know if I have anemia?
Symptoms usually develop when anemia is moderate to severe, and can include fatigue, weakness, pale skin, chest pain, dizziness, irritability, numbness or coldness in your hands and feet, trouble breathing, a fast heartbeat, and headache. It is important to see your doctor on a regular basis in order to be tested for possible anemia.
I’m definitely dealing with a lot of these symptoms. I’ll be asking my doctor for bloodwork to check all levels – B12, folate, and iron. For iron levels, I’ll ask for a CBC (complete blood count) as well as a serum ferritin test, which measures the amount of iron stored in the body. Sometimes, levels are too low to correct with diet and pills may be necessary.
There are two sources of iron in food – heme and non-heme iron. Examples of heme iron would be meat, poultry and seafood and is more easily absorbed. Non-heme iron sources would be grains, vegetables, nuts, and beans. To increase absorption of iron from all sources, including iron pills, take with a vitamin C source such as fruit juice. Excellent sources of iron are beef, liver, clams and Cream of Wheat cereal. Good sources of B12 are animal products. Folic acid is found in green leafy vegetables.
Here’s a recipe from Apple magazine that is high in iron. Serve with a spinach salad with strawberries for more iron, vitamin C and folic acid.
Zesty Clam Linguini
2 T. olive oil
3/4 c. onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or 1 tsp. dried garlic
3/4 c. red pepper, chopped
1, 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
5 oz. can whole baby clams, drained
1 tsp. no salt added herb seasoning
1/4 c. chopped green onions
13 ounce (375 g) package whole wheat linguini
Heat oil in medium sized pan on medium. Saute onion until tender. Add garlic and saute slightly. Add red pepper and saute two more minutes. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil. Simmer 10 – 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, make linguini according to package directions. Add clams and seasoning to tomato sauce and heat through. Serve on linguini. Garnish with chives. Serves four.
Some foods and beverages that interfere with iron absorption include tea, coffee, fiber, eggs, soy and dairy products, according to: http://www.truestarhealth.com/Notes/2870003.html
For information on iron-medication interactions, check here: http://www.truestarhealth.com/Notes/3181009.html
The weather has hardly been spring-like here recently, more like winter. Soup was called for to take the chill out.
1 onion, chopped
1 T. oil
1 28 ounce can tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
1 large can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups cooked, chopped roast beef
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 – 2 T. chili powder (depending on your heat preferences)
Brown onion in oil in large pot until soft. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Turn heat down so that soup is simmering and simmer for about 10 minutes or until heated through. Makes about 4 – 6 servings. Serve with taco chips and a dollop of sour cream.
1 lb. ground beef
3 cups spaghetti sauce
2 tsp. each oregano, garlic, rosemary and basil
2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 small container (1 pound) cottage cheese
1 large egg
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
Brown ground beef in large skillet over medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce, spices and pepper. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine cottage cheese, egg, Parmesan cheese, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Shred mozzarella cheese. Spray a 9 x 12″ pan with cooking spray. Add a little of the sauce in the bottom of the pan. Top with three lasagna noodles. Add about 1/2 the remaining sauce on top of the lasagna noodles. Spread around to cover noodles. Spread cottage mixture on top of tomato sauce mixture. Add three more lasagna noodles, remaining tomato sauce, and top with mozzarella cheese. Cover tightly with tin foil. Bake covered at 400 F for 35 minutes. Remove from oven, uncover and return to oven for another 5 minutes to brown the mozzarella cheese a little bit. Remove from oven and let stand 5 – 10 minutes before cutting. Serves 8.
2 lbs. ground beef
2, 28 ounce cans diced tomatoes
1 c. salsa
1 large can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp. each oregano, garlic, cumin and cocoa powder
1 – 2 T. each chili and curry powder (depending on heat preference)
Brown ground beef in large skillet adding a little oil if necessary (our ground beef is extra lean so we need to brown it with a little oil). Place in large (7 quart) slow cooker. Chop onions and peppers. Add to slow cooker along with the canned tomatoes, salsa, beans and spices. Don’t forget to plug the slow cooker in (like I did once). Cook on low 6 – 8 hours or on high for four hours. Serves approximately 10 – 12 (or more if part of a potluck, as this was).
Instant Coffee. Coffee drinkers the world over cringe at those words and shudder at the thought of drinking it. Although I daresay Starbucks has revolutionized the genre with their line of instant coffee. Here’s some things you can use instant coffee for:
- Add a tablespoon or so to tomato based stews and chili’s to deepen their flavor
- Combine one tablespoon instant coffee with one teaspoon each of paprika, oregano, garlic and cumin. Add two tablespoons oil and mix well. Use as a rub on meat before grilling
- Add one or two tablespoons (to taste) to a pint of good-quality vanilla ice cream. Blend well (you may need to use a mixer) for delicious coffee ice cream
- Make mine a mocha: add a tablespoon to brownies or other chocolate-based desserts
- Mocha Dip Or Spread: Mix some finely ground instant coffee or a little bit of brewed coffee or espresso with one tablespoon of brown sugar into cream cheese
- Start slow with adding coffee to your cooking as it’s flavor is intense.
- It may work better to dissolve the coffee in a bit of hot water before adding so there are no undissolved grounds adding a grainy texture to your cooking.
Some information for this post gleaned from: http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/810001/cooking-with-coffee and http://www.vanhoutte.com/en-ca/c-the-coffee-blog/coffee-tips/cooking-with-coffee
I had a surplus of fresh oranges.
I Googled around and adapted this recipe http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipes/orange-olive-oil-cake/recipe.html?dishID=5506 by Anna Olson. I wasn’t making the cake at the same time but, as I still have oranges left, will likely make it soon. As my orange salad wasn’t being served with cake, I adapted her recipe to incorporate some salty and spicy tastes to balance the sweet.
I peeled and sectioned quite a few oranges – naval and clementine – probably about 8 in total. An simpler, pain-free way would be to buy several cans of mandarin oranges and drain them and put in a bowl. Add about 1 cup crumbled feta cheese, 2 T. each olive oil and sugar, and 1 T. curry powder. Stir. This is good either served immediately or the next day after the flavors have blended a bit. It was quite a tasty salad and doesn’t get much easier.
1 c. quinoa, rinsed
2 c. water
Combine quinoa and water in a medium sized pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables.
1/2 c. each broccoli, cauliflower and pepper, chopped into large pieces
1 medium sized carrot, peeled and chopped into chunks
2 garlic cloves
Place vegetables and garlic on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Drizzle with olive oil. Roast at 450 for 15 minutes.
Combine quinoa, vegetables 3/4 c.crumbled feta and 1/2 c. chopped pastrami in a medium sized bowl.
In a jar or other covered container combine the roasted garlic cloves that have been smashed up with 1/3 c. olive oil, 1/8 c. rice vinegar, 1/8 c. maple syrup and 1 T. of mustard and 2 T. of a spice blend for the dressing. Chill.