Kale Chimichurri

Zucchini Noodles with Kale Chimichurri and Toasted Walnuts

Serves 4

This week the hospital garden was flush with kale for the garden giveaway and I was feeling, truthfully, a bit ho-hum at the prospect of demo’ing another saute or raw salad. Suddenly chimichurri flew in to my head. Chimichurri is a fresh herb based, vinegary, spicy, Argentinian green sauce that is typically served with meat. In this version kale stands in for the herbs; and gets tossed with spiraled zucchini noodles and toasted walnuts. The class loved it! However don’t let the veggie forward use here dissuade you – this sauce is also delicious spooned over flank steak, burgers, chicken, roasted potatoes, and yes…eggs.

  • 1 medium bunch kale, ends trimmed then roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 6 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 zucchini, spiraled or shaved into ribbons
  • ¼ cup toasted walnuts

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add kale and blanch for about 1 minute. Drain over a strainer then rinse with cold water to cool. Using your hands squeeze the kale to remove as much water as possible. When it’s wrung dry, either chop kale very finely and put it in a bowl, or transfer it to the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped. Add the pressed garlic, vinegar, salt, black pepper, red chili flakes, and olive oil; tossing [or processing] until well combined. Set sauce aside to allow the flavors to mingle.

Prepare zucchini and walnuts as directed. Add the zucchini to the bowl with the chimichurri sauce and toss until well coated. Taste to see if vegetables could use another splash of vinegar or pinch of salt. Add the walnuts and toss again. Serve right away.

Catherine McConkie 2016, all rights reserved

Chef C’s cooking tips:

  • For delicious variations; add either ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley, cilantro, or mint or 2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano to the kale at the point when adding the garlic and remaining ingredients.
  • Wait until you are ready to serve before combining chimichuuri with zucchini. Otherwise the zucchini will begin to release its water and dim down the sauce’s assertiveness.
  • To bank flavor and nutrition for the future, don’t throw away the kale cooking water. It will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days or freezer for 6 months. Use it to make soups or for cooking grains.

 

Broccoli with Edamame and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Recent conversation came up around Eating the Rainbow so I thought it would be fun to develop a series of recipes based on color. This one represents one of my interpretations of green; a yummy one pan, veg-centric, dish that comes together in under 15 minutes.

2 Tablespoons pumpkin seeds, toasted

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 Tablespoon minced garlic [about 3 large cloves]

¼ teaspoon red chili flakes

8 ounces, about 1½ cups, frozen edamame beans, thawed

1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs blend

1 pound broccoli

½ teaspoon sea salt

4 Tablespoons water

2 scallions, sliced

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Place pumpkin seeds in a large skillet set over medium low heat. Toast, shaking the pan often, for about a minute, until seeds are puffy and lightly browned. Be careful to not let them burn. Remove seeds to a plate and set aside.

Increase heat to medium and add oil to the skillet. When the oil shimmers, add the garlic and red chili flakes, cooking and stirring until fragrant, 30-40 seconds.

Add the edamame beans, a pinch of salt, and dried Italian herbs, stirring to coat the beans. Saute for 1-2 minutes then add the broccoli and salt.

Cook, stirring often, until broccoli turns bright green and becomes just tender crisp, about 6 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of water at a time to the pan if it becomes dry before broccoli is done. [Note: The steam created also assists the cooking process]

Remove from heat and stir in scallions. Add the lemon juice, stirring to combine and top with toasted pumpkin seeds.

Catherine McConkie 2016, all rights reserved

Chef C’s Cooking tips:

  • Take color green to the extreme by combining leftovers with baby spinach or arugula and diced avocado for a fantastic lunchtime salad.
  • Substitute kale for broccoli
  • If you prefer fresh herbs, substitute 1 Tablespoon fresh for the dried and add when you add the scallions. Basil, parsley, thyme, a bit of oregano would all work.

Veggie and Cauliflower Fried “Rice”

Classic fried rice gets a refined carb makeover by swapping white rice for finely chopped cauliflower. Almost any seasonal vegetable add-in will do…simply toss in whichever veggies are on hand and in minutes you’ll have a colorful and nutritious, filling, one pan dish that’s perfect for any time of day…breakfast, lunch or dinner.

1 head cauliflower, about 2 pounds

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

2 Tablespoons minced ginger

3 cloves garlic, minced

¼ teaspoon red chili pepper flakes, optional

1 generous pinch sea salt

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1 small red onion, sliced

3 stalks celery, sliced

2 cups broccoli florets, snap peas, or snow peas

1 red pepper, sliced

2 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

1 teaspoon rice vinegar or fresh lime juice

4 scallions, thinly sliced

Using a knife or food processor, chop cauliflower into very fine pieces, about the size of a lentil, and set aside.

Heat a wide skillet over medium heat and add 2T of oil. When oil shimmers, add the ginger, garlic and optional red chili flakes. Sauté for about 30 seconds, until fragrant, then add cauliflower and a generous pinch of salt, stirring until well coated. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until cauliflower is tender, about 8 minutes. If pan becomes dry before cauliflower is cooked, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time and continue cooking. When just tender spoon cauliflower into a bowl and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium low and pour eggs into the skillet. Let them sit undisturbed for 30-40 seconds until they begin to set, then finish scrambling until they are cooked through. Remove eggs to the bowl with the cauliflower.

Return skillet to medium heat and add remaining tablespoon of oil. Add onions, celery, broccoli, red pepper and soy sauce. Sauté for 3-4 minutes until the vegetables are just tender, but still crunchy. Add the cauliflower and eggs back to the pan and mix everything together. Season with rice vinegar or fresh lime juice and top with scallions. 

Catherine McConkie 2015, all rights reserved    

Chef C’s Cooking Tips:

  • For an even heartier version try adding ground turkey. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil and cook the meat with the ginger, garlic, and chili flakes. Remove to a bowl and proceed
  • Another possibility is to omit the scrambled egg step and, when ready to eat, top the fried “rice” with a poached egg
  • Many veggies can be chopped in advance and stored in containers in the fridge.
  • Not enough time to chop? Simply toss in a bag of prepared stir fry vegetables

 

 

 

 

 

                        

 

Avocado Toast with Egg

A favorite breakfast or snack of mine is avocado on whole grain toast. Much of the time it gets topped with scrambled egg to which I’ve added shredded cabbage, scallion and a drizzle of sriracha. But diced pepper, zucchini, kale, almost any veggie and/or fresh herb works. Best thing is it takes less than 5 minutes to make. This picture is one of my uber fast home versions with egg and baby spinach. 

And… life happens. When I find myself in a bigger than ever, gotta get out the door NOW kind of hurry I just make the toast and schmear on the avocado, wrap that up, grab a handful of baby spinach or arugula, my portable sea salt and black pepper container thingie and a hard boiled egg. Later on the greens go down and the egg is sliced on top.

Either way it’s made avocado toast with egg is a delicious, sustaining, and nutritious treat!

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