KFM: Red Cabbage

8 02 2011

If you like red cabbage, you’ll really like this recipe, if you don’t, try it, it might change your mind about cabbage. Red cabbage is so sweet and in a Calgary winter it is one of the few ‘close to home grown’ veggies besides root veggies that you can find. We picked up this big delicious red cabbage at the Kingsland Farmers Market last weekend and last Monday, the New York Times health section printed this recipe (a good link to follow on Twitter). Match made in heaven. I usually saute cabbage in a bit of olive oil and butter and fresh ground pepper or use it raw in salads in the summer. The NYT recipe was easy, sounded good so we tried it. It was the perfect accompaniment to our dinner on Saturday night.

Red Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable, and in the same family as broccoli, cauliflower, kale and radishes. It is high in vitamin C, fibre and phytochemicals, those chemical compounds found in fruits and vegetables that are cancer fighting. If I wasn’t so excited about the cabbage on Saturday night I would have remembered to take a photo of it :). It made for great left overs the next day, just warmed it up.

I have changed some of the ingredients based on taste. Next time I would use four eggs for that much cabbage. As well, I sprinkled some cheese on the top, or nothing would have ‘browned’ as it said. If you want the original recipe, it is in the NYT link above.

2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 small – medium Onion, finely chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper, diced small
6 to 7 cups shredded Red Cabbage (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 tbsp chopped fresh Dill or 2 tsp dried Dill Weed
2 tsp sweet or smoky Paprika (I used 1 tsp of both)
1/4 – 1/2 tsp of Cayenne pepper (add this for some zip)
3 Free Range Eggs
1/2 cup organic Milk
1/2 cup Gruyère cheese, grated
1/2 tsp Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 2-quart gratin dish. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy nonstick skillet. Add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about five to 10 minutes. Add the red pepper. Cook, stirring, until the pepper is tender and the onion is beginning to color, about five minutes. Stir in the cabbage, dill, paprika and cayenne. Add salt to taste, and cook, stirring, until the cabbage begins to wilt, about five minutes. Cover the pan, turn the heat to low and continue to cook for another five to 10 minutes until the cabbage is tender. Remove from the heat.
***If you don’t cool this mixture  and add the eggs, the eggs will cook, not good. I put the whole pot outside to cool it down to avoid this. Something the recipe didn’t mention

2. Beat the eggs in a large bowl, and whisk in about 1/2 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Whisk in the milk, and stir in the cabbage mixture and the cheese. Scrape into the baking dish.

3. Bake 35 to 40 minutes until the top is lightly browned. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool for 10 minutes or longer before serving. Add fresh cracked pepper to the top to serve.

Yield: Serves four to six.

Advance preparation: You can make this through Step 1 hours or even a day before assembling and baking. The baked gratin will keep for a few days in the refrigerator, and it can be reheated in a medium oven.

Eat well, Be well,

Nat





Spaghetti Squash Aglio e Olio

27 01 2011

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio. It is a very simple recipe, cooked spaghetti, garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes. We don’t eat a lot of pasta, especially at night, it is just to heavy. If we do it is usually brown rice pasta. The only way I like to eat regular pasta is if it is REAL Italian pasta, made fresh, then it’s worth the pound of dough in your belly 🙂

I picked up a spaghetti squash, a favourite, at the market last week. I made a version of this classic Italian recipe swapping out the pasta for the squash, it is delicious and a great accompaniment to your dinner plate. Squash takes a bit of time to cook, but it’s worth it. By the time you do everything else to prepare a meal, it is ready AND you can eat it for dinner or lunch through the week, just put in the fridge.

1 Spaghetti Squash
1-2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 clove minced Garlic (you can skip for sattvic)
2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 tsp fresh or dried Oregano (my edition)
1/4-1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the stem end off the squash and slice lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. In a roasting dish place them cut side down, add about 1/3 cup of water to the pan. Bake until they are tender, but not soft, about 1 hour. I check them at 45 min by removing the pan from the oven, turning one over and lightly scraping the squash and tasting a strand or two to check the consistency. You don’t want to over cook or it gets mushy, yuck. When it’s done, al dante, let it sit for a moment or put an oven mit on to hold the squash while you scrape the flesh out using a fork. Go right to the skin, lengthwise putting the stringy squash into a bowl. If using the garlic, then in a saute pan heat the oil, add the pepper flakes and garlic until lightly brown, add the squash and oregano, toss and serve. If you are not using the garlic, just add the pepper flakes, olive oil and oregano right to the squash and toss in the bowl, that’s what I did. Serve with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top, or toss together.

Eat well, Be Well,

Nat





Spicy Black Bean Soup

13 12 2010

Oh Hi, still there, it’s bean awhile, sorry, couldn’t resist the pun to the blog title. But it has been some time since my last blog, they say time makes the heart grow fonder, or in this case, the tummy hungrier 🙂

I have made this bean soup over and over again, Tony loves it, I love it, it is just so good. It is from a cook book that will remain nameless but I think with my edits we’re safe. I make it using Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce. You have probably seen this can to the right when perusing the grocery isles? I picked it up at Planet Organic awhile ago knowing an opportunity to use them would come along. Does anyone else do that, just buy different food ingredients in hopes to use them one day? My favourite thing to do when travelling is grocery shop, I have got some of the best stuff that way!

I tried this recipe for the first time last winter and when it asked for chipotle peppers, jalapeno peppers that have been smoked and dried, I was stuck. Until ‘Oh yeah, I have a can of chipotle in adobo sauce’! What’s adobo sauce? It’s a general Latin American sauce of tomatoes, garlic, vinegar and spices (so says Wikipedia). I thought, that’ll work. What I love about using these is they go a long way and I freeze the rest (not in the can).

  • 1 small Onion, chopped (I don’t skip the onion in this recipe, but if you want to make this sattvic, than skip, I’m sure it would be fine. I don’t add garlic, but you can do that too, 2-4 cloves)
  • 1 stalk Celery
  • 3 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce, chopped (if you don’t like spice, maybe try 1-2 peppers for first pot of soup; if you do have dried Chipotle Peppers, use them instead!)
  • 2 cans of Black Beans (about 4 cups)
  • 1 tsp white wine or regular white Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground Cloves (about 8 whole cloves)
  • 2 small Sweet Potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp ground Pepper
  • 6 cups Vegetable Stock (2-3 low sodium cubes and 6 cups boiling water)

In a soup pot, saute the onion and celery (and garlic if using it) in the olive oil until soft. Add everything else, including the vegetable stock, stir and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer and cook uncovered until the sweet potatoes are softened, about 10-15 minutes. Once sweet potatoes are soft, take it off the heat and puree with an emersion blender. You can use a regular blender but remember not to close the lid tight, better to let the soup cool and then blend, the steam can cause an explosion. Bad for hands and ceiling. I have also seen cooks put a dish cloth between the blender and lid so the steam escapes and is not trapped when blending. Whatever you do, be careful and if you make soup now and then, go get an emersion blender, the best kitchen investment you’ll make.

I like to serve this soup with diced tomatoes, red peppers or avocado on top with a splash of lime juice and tortilla chips.

Eat Well, Be Well,

Nat





Quick Thai Curry

22 11 2010

The theme around here continues to be comfort foods, and being so cold and snowy right now, this is an easy sell. We love curry of any kind, and for us it is a comfort food. As a wedding gift we received green and red Thai Curry bases purchased at Williams and Sonoma. Although I can’t find it on the website, I think they still sell it in the store, but it’s been a long time since I was there to see. It is the best Thai curry base I have used (including ones bought in asian markets). It is made from whole ingredients and you can see the lemon grass and lime leaves crushed up in it. I prefer making Thai curries from scratch, but when you are in the mood and don’t have all the ingredients, these bases are a comfort food saver. As for Indian curry bases, I tend not to use them. Unlike Thai, Indian curry ingredients are easy to keep around the house, lemon grass and lime leaves, key ingredients in Thai, do not keep well (unless you know a secret and want to share it with me).

Saturday night the weather was a mere -20 degrees Celsius, and this has gone on for a week now, so what to make for dinner? A warm Thai Curry. Here is an easy recipe and how I use the same recipe for a shrimp version and then convert it to a veggie dish for left overs. Always thinking ahead to lunch for the week 🙂

Quick Thai Curry

  • 1 cup of Jasmine or Basmati Rice (cook it with a few tbsp of dried or fresh grated coconut, we had some fresh coconut in the fridge, it was a great addition to the rice)
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Red Pepper, sliced
  • 3-4 Carrots, sliced on an angle
  • 3-4 Stalks Celery, sliced on an angle
  • 1 Large Zucchini, sliced in half rounds (I would use eggplant too, but couldn’t find any that night)
  • 1 can Coconut Milk
  • 2-3 tbsp Green or Red Curry Base, depending on level of spice
  • 12 large Shrimp, tail on
  • 1 package Snow Peas (hard to find organic, so I wash them really well, eh)
  • 1 can Chick Peas

Cut all of the vegetables so they are about the same thickness. While the rice is cooking, heat the oil on medium high heat in a wok or large pot. Add the carrots, celery and pepper, stir fry until the start to soften but are still firm, about 10 min. Add the zucchini, stir fry until the zucchini start to soften, 5-10 min, they might even caramelize a bit. Add the coconut milk and curry base, stir well. Add the shrimp and snow peas, continue cooking on medium heat until the shrimp are cooked and the coconut milk thickens, about 10 min. Shrimp are cooked when they are opaque and no longer pink. Serve over the rice, removing all of the shrimp. There should be plenty of veggies and some sauce left, add the chick peas to it, voila, lunch is served. Of course you can skip the shrimp completely and just add the chick peas, I do this with all sorts of veggies and curry through the winter.

Eat well, Be well (stay warm),

Nat





Lunch at Work v.1

17 07 2010

At work, not sure what to eat? I have said before that buying lunch while working is more of a treat then a necessity, at least that is how I approach it. I am not a fan of buying lunch every day especially if the choices are less than desirable and unhealthy. I do my best to pack food to work where ever I go. I eat a lot in the day and not so much at night, and this helps with sleep, digestion and getting up to practice.

I got a comment (thanks Heather) for ideas for packing lunch to work. For this I am going to start a blog series called Lunch at Work, with new versions as they come to mind. I eat a fairly ‘mono-diet’ so it might be awhile before the next one. The recipe i’ll share today can be changed so many ways so experiment! I started a new contract assignment two weeks ago and between friends in town, yoga workshops, Stampede and adjusting everything else I was doing and adding in an additional 8 hours of work a day, lunch preparations were tough, but I made it through. Here’s the low down on surviving a crazy two weeks and an idea for lunch.

Breakfast: This stayed consistent, green smoothie packed with me. 1 banana, 1 pear+1/2 cup of ice or 3/4 cup frozen berries, 2-3 cups of raw spinach or kale. Blend together until smooth, go.

Second breakfast (lately, sometimes eaten at lunch): 1/2 cup sprouted oat groats or kamut, cooked with a bit of cinnamon. 2 tbsp toasted nuts, drizzle of agave syrup. See previous post Kamut for Breakfast. I make two portions at a time, ready in the fridge, eaten cold, no need to stop and make oatmeal.

Lunch: The best thing I brought to lunch was a rice salad. I did buy lunch a couple of times. The deli/cafe at my client is really good. They have lots of healthy selections and soup options.

Rice Salad: Cook 1 cup of whole grain, brown or mixed rice. I love this one from Planet Organic bulk, it takes about 45 min to cook. You can keep the cooked rice in the fridge and make a fresh salad each night, or even add with some dinner left overs. It’s important to eat whole grains through the day, it is long-lasting energy and high in fibre = better metabolism.

To 1/2 cup of cooked rice I added 1/3 cup mixed beans (canned or pick up your favourite mixed bean salad from a deli, planet has a few good ones), diced veggies like carrots, red/yellow pepper, cucumber, halved cherry tomatoes, cilantro and sprouts. I had a few olives left over so I added those one day. Another day I added cubed goat gouda I had in the fridge. Toasted pine nuts left from a bean dish I made tasted yummy. For dressing, make it simple, olive oil and apple cider vinegar, fresh cracked pepper. Eat cold on the go.

Afternoon: Always, always, an apple. I love apples and I can’t wait to start buying delicious organic apples from BC this summer. As well I pack a ‘power cookie’. I make dozens at a time and keep in the freezer and in a jar on the counter. That recipe another time.

Eat well, be well,

Nat