kale

lunchbox life: kale confetti salad

image1(21)School’s back in session, and so am I!

Welcome back to lunchbox life, my series of meal planning as a high school teacher. If you’re just joining us, I create five refrigerated meals for my school lunches each week. Sometimes I use a microwave to reheat the meal, sometimes I don’t; it depends on what I’ve prepared. My goal is to create a healthy, substantive lunch to help me power through teaching and the rest of my day, all while being mindful of using local produce when possible, focusing on protein and fiber, and fueling up for exercise.

I’m really excited about this school year. It’s year five for me, and while I know I have so much left to learn, I actually feel like I might know what I’m doing (shhh…at least I think I do). If you know any first year teachers, please be nice to them–their worlds are about to be rocked. Alex and I were engaged most of my first year of teaching (we married in late March), and he is a saint for listening to all of my tear-filled moments of agony and defeat. This year, I’ll be teaching US History (an old stand by that I love) and a new prep for me: Humanities. I moved classrooms, too, and now I’m across the hall from one of my work besties, Rachel, so I’m happy to have quips and convos during class changes with one of my favorites.

This week, I’m going to a couple of my go-to ingredients: kale and brussels sprouts. I wanted to avoid the microwave this week since the first week of school can get super busy, plus the oppressive heat has me craving cool salads in the middle of the day. The key to a kale salad is the quick massage with olive oil and salt: thirty seconds, tops. This allows the kale to slightly break down and become more palatable as a salad green. By now, I know how worn out I get during the first week of school, so I wanted to fuel up on my greens, folic acid, fiber, and Vitamins A and K. The combination of kale and shredded brussels sprouts is a great base for a hearty salad, and you can add whatever you like. I love adding raw sugar snap peas to salads for crunch and a natural sweetness. I’ve also added garlic stuffed green olives for a briny touch and organic sliced roast beef for protein (no added gross stuff–read your labels!). I’ll be topping my salad with Lemon Garlic dressing by Tessamae’s. I usually make my own salad dressing, but I started using this brand when I did Whole30 this summer at GHP where kitchen access was scarce. This family company focuses on all natural ingredients, and their salad dressings and sauces are pretty great. I spotted a few of the salad dressings in the produce section of Kroger in my neighborhood, but you can also order from the website.

I hope everyone has a fantastic Monday. For some of us, it’s the start of a brand new year–good luck!

Kale Confetti Salad

1 bunch kale (I used dino kale from my CSA box)

1 Tbsp. olive oil + pinch of kosher salt

1 lb. raw brussels sprouts

8 oz. raw sugar snap peas

1 jar green olives (I used garlic stuffed)

12 oz. all natural, deli sliced roast beef (I used Simple Truth from Kroger–no sugar or carageenan added)

Salad dressing of choice

Slice the kale into thin ribbons (about 1/2 inch in width) and remove the woodsy stems. Place all kale ribbons in a mixing bowl and pour in the olive oil and salt. Using your hands, gently massage the kale for about 30 seconds to break down some of the strong fibers of the greens. Keep on the counter. Next, slice the tough stems off of the brussels sprouts and either slice them thinly or use the slicer function on your food processor. When complete, add the shreds of brussels sprouts to the kale and thoroughly combine. Divide the greens mixture between five bowls. Slice all of the sugar snap peas in half and distribute equally between bowls. Slice all of the green olives in half and distribute equally between bowls. Slice all of the roast beef into 1/4 inch ribbons and distribute equally between bowls. Pack your salad each day with the salad dressing separate and add just before eating.

lunchbox life: triple green salad

image1(11)Spring has sprung! I have been so energized by the past several days of sunshine, and today was particularly spectacular. I decided that since the weather is warmer, I should try something cool and no-heat this week. We received our CSA box yesterday, and it was full of green goodness. I couldn’t decide which greens to use, so I started thinking about a flavor profile for a triple green salad: kale, green beans, and broccoli. All three of these veggies are raw in the salad, but since they’re so hearty, I dressed them this evening for the rest of the week. This is pretty necessary for the kale, but it will also slightly soften the broccoli and green beans, plus the acidity from the lemon and lime in the dressing will create a slight breakdown of of the veggies.

This salad is beautiful, and I could definitely see this becoming a go-to for spring and summer potlucks, minus the chicken. I love knowing that there are so many Georgia grown pieces to this salad puzzle, too.

I did a shortcut for the chicken in this recipe by buying a whole cooked rotisserie chicken at the Kroger deli counter, removing the skin, and shredding both the white and dark meat. I sometimes do this when I make chicken salad, too.

I don’t have the luxury of leisurely weekday lunches–mine are about 25 minutes long and eaten a student desk–but if I worked somewhere near a park or green space, I’d love to take this salad outside to soak up some Vitamin D.

Triple Green Salad

1 bunch kale, ribs removed and cut into ribbons

1 tsp. olive oil

three heads broccoli, stalks removed and sliced lengthwise

1 cup raw green beans, ends removed and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 rotisserie chicken, cooked

1 sweet potato

1 tsp. olive oil

4 radishes

4 oz. crumbled feta cheese

salt and pepper

for the dressing:

2 Tbsp. olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

juice of 1 lime

1 Tbsp. tahini

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Peel the sweet potato, then dice it. Toss the small pieces in 1 tsp. olive oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and roast for 20 minutes.

While the sweet potato pieces are roasting, prep the veggies according to the ingredient directions. Place the kale ribbons in a large mixing bowl with 1 tsp. olive oil and a pinch of salt. For about 30 seconds, massage the oil and salt into the kale, watching it shrink down. Next, add the sliced broccoli and chopped green beans and add to the mixing bowl. Prepare the chicken by removing the skin and shredding the white and dark meat with your hands, adding the chicken to your mixing bowl. When the sweet potato pieces have cooked, remove from the oven and remove the parchment paper and potatoes from the cookie sheet; this will allow for faster cooling. Thinly slice the radishes, discarding the ends, and add these slices to the mixing bowl. When the sweet potato pieces have cooled, add them to the mixing bowl as well as the feta cheese. Toss all ingredients. Next, add the dressing ingredients to a small jar, fasten the lid, then shake vigorously for about 10 seconds. Add dressing to the salad, toss to combine, then divide into five containers.

lunchbox life: kale and white bean enchiladas with goat cheese

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This week’s lunch is a great example of a vegetarian high protein meal. From the kale to the white beans to the high fiber and protein tortillas, you’ve got a winner with these enchiladas.

After two weeks of salads, I decided to mix it up this week with a warm and spicy treat. The goat cheese and cilantro add a nice flair to the hearty kale, onion, and bean filling. Speaking of filling, you won’t miss the meat or large amounts of cheese from this meal because the kale and beans will keep you full all afternoon long. Enjoy!

Kale and White Bean Enchiladas with Goat Cheese

1 bunch of kale, stems removed and chopped

1 red onion, peeled, halved, and sliced into thin half moons

1 14 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp. cumin

1 Tbsp. chili powder

1 Tbsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. coriander

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

10 high fiber, low carb tortillas (I like La Tortilla Factory brand)

19 oz. can enchilada sauce

4 oz. goat cheese

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

Heat the oven to 375 F. In a large pan, heat the olive oil and spices over medium high heat. After about 1 minute, add the sliced red onion and stir to evenly combine. When the spices begin to stick to the bottom of the pan, add the apple cider vinegar to deglaze the pan and scrape up all of the spicy bits on the bottom. Let the onions cook down for about 2 more minutes, then add the kale  and toss to combine. Let the kale cook and wilt for about 2 minutes, then add the beans and toss. Turn off the heat.

In a baking dish, pour half of the enchilada sauce on the bottom. Place the tortillas in the microwave for about 20 minutes to increase pliability, then begin assembling the enchiladas. Scoop about 1/2 cup kale mixture and place in the center of the tortilla. Fold in the left and right sides, then roll up from the bottom to the top. Do this for all ten tortillas and place them close together in the baking dish. Pour the other half of the enchilada sauce over the enchiladas, then use your fingers to pinch off 1 tsp. pieces of goat cheese and evenly distribute them over the enchiladas. Bake for 30 minutes, take out of the oven, add the cilantro, then let cool for about 30 minutes before dividing them up by two in your five containers.

lunchbox life: kale, roasted golden carrot, and chicken bowl with honey peanut sriracha drizzle

honey sriracha chicken

Happy New Year, readers! I hope you had a restful holiday full of friends, family, and relaxation. While some people returned to work this past Friday, many of us will make our triumphant returns tomorrow. Most of us have healthy eating on our minds, and while I hate to succumb to the early January health kick everyone seems to join, I offer a different view instead of eye-rolling or irritation: don’t we all want to correct our overindulgence from the holiday season? Isn’t that pretty normal? I think it’s pretty normal to consume a few extra snacks, desserts, and drinks in the month of December, just like it’s pretty normal to want to get back to healthy eating in January. So have no fear, healthy friends: I’m not judging you. I’m right there with you working to get back in my routine, and while I’m not jumping for joy to go back to work, I’m looking forward to getting back into my routines.

OK, sermon over. This week’s lunch shines with nutrition and is anything but boring. For the featured meal, I’ve relied on our awesome CSA box for inspiration. First, I was attracted to my favorite green, kale. I removed the stems, chopped up the kale leaves into bite size pieces and placed them in a bowl, drizzled it with about 2 tsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. black pepper, then massaged the kale for about 30 seconds to help break down some of the fibrous leaves.

We also  received some beautiful golden carrots, and when I peeled them, a bright, happy yellow flavor appeared. I quickly diced about five of the carrots, drizzled a touch of olive oil, and sprinkled some big flavors onto the pieces: 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp. chili powder, 1/2 tsp. onion powder, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, and few grinds of black pepper. After roasting them at 400 F for about 20 minutes on parchment paper, I turned off the heat and left them in the oven to stay warm.

Next, I took two large chicken breasts and cut them lengthwise, about 1/2 inch thick, to create about 10 chicken breast “steaks.” I heat 2 tsp. canola oil in a large, flat-bottomed pan, then sprinkled one side of the chicken steaks with salt, pepper, cumin, and garlic powder (use as much/little as you like). In batches, I cooked the chicken for about 6 minutes on each side, seasoning side down. While the first side cooked, I sprinkled the other with salt and pepper. When all of the chicken was cooked and cooled, I diced them and set them aside.

Now, for the dressing. Combine the following ingredients in a small jar: 2 Tbsp. PB2 powder, 2 Tbsp. Sriracha sauce, 1 Tbsp. water, 1 tsp. honey, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper. Shake vigorously, then stir with a spoon to ensure that all of the peanut powder is integrated into the dressing. Shake again. You could certainly use 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter if you like, but PB2 is lower in fat and calories and is all natural, so I like to use it when I can.

To assemble: fill five bowls with massaged kale, then evenly divide the carrots and chicken between the bowls. Using a spoon, drizzle the dressing over the kale bowls, then devour. Yum!

lunchbox life: slowcooker smoky chicken, sweet potato, and kale soup

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…with quinoa, red beans, tomatoes, and lots of spices. Once again, I ate too much over the weekend and was in want of something filling, yet nutritious for this week’s lunches. Let’s be honest, though–that’s always the goal. I don’t use our slowcooker as often as some people, but slowcookers are a great way to multitask if you have several chores around the house and don’t have time to do intricate cooking. This soup couldn’t be easier, plus it’s very adaptable–you could substitute a myriad of ingredients in or out. You don’t even cook the chicken or quinoa beforehand–they cook in the soup liquid! Here’s what it looks like going into the crock pot:

image(77)And here’s what it looks like after six hours of warmth and slowcooker love:

image(78)The protein from the chicken breast, quinoa, and red beans are a great pairing with the good carbs from the quinoa (again), beans (again), and sweet potato. The fiber from the quinoa, beans, and kale will keep you full all afternoon, too. I ate one serving of this, along with an apple, at lunch today, then ran 4 miles after school and wasn’t hungry until dinnertime.  Speaking of dinnertime, this would be a great weeknight dinner with a green salad!

Slowcooker Smoky Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Kale Soup

1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed

1 bunch kale, torn into bite-size pieces

15 oz. red beans, drained

1 cup quinoa, dry

28 oz. diced tomatoes

2 medium sweet potatoes, small dice

5 cups chicken broth

1 Tbsp. salt

1/2 Tbsp. pepper

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. ground coriander

Combine all ingredients in a slowcooker and cook on high for six hours.

meatless monday and lunchbox life duo: kale salad with roasted butternut squash, blue cheese, pomegranate, and pecans

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…and quinoa, and citrus vinaigrette. For both Meatless Monday and Lunchbox Life this week, the plan is to detox! Alex and I had an awesome time visiting New England this past weekend for my cousin’s wedding. We flew to Boston and drove to Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Thursday, explored coastal Maine on Friday, walked around the city of Boston on Saturday morning, and celebrated cousins Jessy and Doug on Saturday evening. We had a wonderful time, but after lobster rolls, clam chowder, airport snacks, and more locally brewed beer than I care to count, I’m feeling the overindulgence. What do I always crave after a vacation full of rich food? Broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, and other members of the cruciferous family.

Since today was a professional development day and I’ll be in Athens for a conference on Thursday and Friday, I just needed two school lunches this week, so I decided to make a double batch of this kale salad. There are many variations of kale salad, but this version is perfect for fall (despite the warmer-than-I’d-like temperatures this week). The kale is the base, the butternut squash is a great meat replacement because of its heartiness, the pomegranate seeds provide sweetness and a pop, the pecans provide the crunch, the quinoa is there for the whole grains and fiber, and the blue cheese is there for saltiness, tartness, and creamy texture. This is really a non-recipe since you can add or subtract anything you like, but I am proud of this combination and think that it really works!

Kale Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash, Blue Cheese, Pomegranate, and Pecans

2 bunches of kale, torn into bite-size pieces

2 Tbsp. olive oil, separated

1 butternut squash, seeds and skin removed, small dice

1 cup dry quinoa, prepared as directed (should yield 2 cups cooked quinoa)

2 navel oranges, zest and juice separated

1 pomegranate, seeds removed

4 oz. blue cheese

1 cup roasted pecans

for the dressing:

use the juice from the navel oranges

1/2 cup olive oil

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

Toss the butternut squash diced pieces with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper. Roast in the oven at 400 F for about 20 minutes. While the squash is cooking, massage the kale pieces with the other Tbsp. of olive oil and the orange zest. Add the quinoa, pomegranate seeds, pecans, blue cheese, and roasted butternut squash to the massaged kale and toss to combine. Whisk together the dressing ingredients, pour over the salad, and toss to combine.

Note: You can eat this salad right away and store it (already dressed) for lunch the next day. Kale is hearty enough of a green to not wilt under the weight of the dressing, so save this step the next day and enjoy your already dressed salad!

lunchbox life: slowcooker turkey and kale meatballs with whole wheat rotini

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Ah, Sunday: we meet again.  This weekend was full of disco fever due to Taste of the Arts: Studio 54, a disco party and auction benefiting Macon Arts Alliance.  Months of hard work by the committee and staff were all worth it when we saw Macon’s Terminal Station lit up in pink lights and booming with disco music!  Today we got to take it easy and sleep in a bit, although I do have to brag on my run buddy Renee and myself who both attended Taste of the Arts last night and ran six miles this morning–woohoo!

This week’s lunches are a partial request from friend and reader Jennifer Borage.  Jennifer and Jason have a beautiful new baby girl, Bethany, and Jennifer requested a slowcooker recipe to save time and energy as she adjusts to new mommyhood and going back to work full-time.  This recipe would be a great lunch or weeknight meal, so Jennifer, this is for you, Jason, and sweet Bethany!

The great part about these meatballs is that you don’t have to worry about baking the meatballs in the oven before you place them in the slowcooker.  You just mix the meat mixture, form the meatballs, place them in the slowcooker, pour the sauce over the meatballs, and cook on high for 4 hours.  These are super simple, healthy, and will change the way you think about the otherwise arduous task of meatball making.  I got a good bit of inspiration from this Skinnytaste recipe, but I added the kale and whole wheat pasta to make it a well-rounded meal.  Enjoy!

Slowcooker Turkey and Kale Meatballs with Whole Wheat Rotini

Serves 8

2 lbs. ground turkey

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 egg

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1 Tbsp. garlic powder

1 bunch of kale, stems removed, chopped, massaged with 1 Tbsp. olive oil

salt and pepper

for the sauce:

2 28-oz cans of crushed tomatoes (I like Muir Glen Organic brand)

3 bay leaves

5 cloves of garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 cup fresh parsley

8 oz. baby bella mushrooms

salt and pepper

2 cups dry whole wheat rotini (double this amount to match the pasta needed for all of the meatballs in this recipe)

For the meatballs: in a large mixing bowl, add the ground turkey, breadcrumbs, parmesan, parsley, egg, oil-massaged kale, garlic powder, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper.  Once the meat mixture is evenly combined and begins to take form, start forming the meatballs in golf ball sized shapes.  Don’t pack the meatballs too tightly; they’ll become too tough if you over do it.  As you form each ball, place them in the slowcooker.  You should have about 30 meatballs from this amount of ingredients.

For the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a medium sized pot and add the garlic, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper.  Cook garlic for about 1 minute until fragrant, then add the 2 cans of crushed tomatoes, bay leaves, parsley, and mushrooms.  Simmer for about 5 minutes, then pour the sauce over the meatballs in the slowcooker.  Cook on high for about 4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours, depending on when you’d like for them to be ready.

When you’re ready to eat, quickly prepare the pasta according the package directions.  Remove the meatballs from the sauce in the slowcooker, then when the pasta is ready, drain it and place pasta in the sauce; stir to coat and combine.  Add about 3/4 cup of pasta and sauce to a dish, then top with four meatballs for each bowl.  Top with grated parmesan.

hot off the press: cantaloupe jalepeno chicken roulade with Vidalia onion risotto

roulade

Note: this was originally posted on Macon.com on July 23:

Welcome back to our humble kitchen! This go round we wanted to share a way to utilize a few other seasonal ingredients in ways that are both slightly unconventional and also very easy.

Two of my favorite foods in the world are cantaloupe and Vidalia onions, but sadly they are often relegated to the realm of garnish or sides, not really the powerhouses of a dish. It really is a shame, because few things are better than the flavor these fresh ingredients.

Cantaloupe Jalepeno Chicken Roulade

Roulade Recipe:

4 chicken breasts, butterflied and pounded thin

Salt and pepper to cover

1 ½ brick Greek yogurt cream cheese

½ cantaloupe, cut into small pieces

1 whole Jalapeno, seeded and chopped

8 large sage leaves, chopped

Juice of ½ lemon

First, let’s start with the protein side of this equation- a nice chicken roulade with a light, flavorful cream filling. Roulades sound and look much fancier and complicated than they really are, making this method a great way to add flair and flavor to a dish without too much effort, especially if you use an outdoor grill as I did with this recipe.

To start the roulade, take the chicken breasts and trim any fat. Butterfly each breast by cutting it in half from the side, but not cutting it all the way through—essentially doubling the surface area. Season with salt and pepper and then pound with a meat tenderizer until each one is about ¼ inch thick. Go ahead and light your grill and heat to about 400.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whip together the cream cheese, jalapeno, cantaloupe and sage for about three minutes until well combined and has a light consistency.

Cover each chicken breast with the mixture, spreading even with a spatula. Roll tightly on the vertical axis and tie with kitchen twine. Squeeze lemon over each one.

With the grill ready, place the roulades over direct heat about 4 minutes per side. Reduce heat to 325 and cook an additional twenty minutes or until a meat thermometer reaches about 165. Let rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting into pinwheels about an inch thick. Serve atop the risotto.

Vidalia Onion Risotto

2 cups Arborio

4 cups chicken broth

1 large Vidalia onion, frenched

Salt to taste

1 stick butter

½ cup white wine

5 cloves garlic

6 leaves basil

Juice of 1 lemon

¼ cup fontina cheese

In a heavy bottom pot or dutch oven, melt ½ stick of butter until almost browned. Add the onions and cook until they are brown and soft in texture, about 25-30 minutes on medium low heat. Remove from the pot into a bowl. Heat the chicken broth over low heat in a separate pot.

 

In the onion pot, melt the next ½ stick of butter and stir in the Arborio. Toast the rice for about four minutes and then add the white wine. Stir until it is absorbed, and then add 1 cup of the broth. Stir and allow the rice to mostly absorb the broth until adding the next cup. Continue until all broth is used or the rice is tender. As the last dose of broth is being absorbed, add the onions, garlic, basil, cheese and lemon juice and stir until well combined.

Kale Salad

1 bunch kale, finely chopped

1 small cucumber, diced

1/2 cup dates, chopped

½ cup walnuts, chopped

1/8 cup olive oil

Juice of 2 lemons

1 tsp sherry vinegar
2 tbsp Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

Place the kale, dates, walnuts and cucumber in a large bowl. Whisk together the lemon juice, oil, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Toss the dry ingredients in the dressing.

All together this is a nice, bright summer dish that really makes a statement on a plate. The combination of ingredients creates a nice balance and it is an excellent way to re-imagine these “sides” into something bold.

lunchbox life: chicken spring roll wraps with kale + bok choy salad

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For this week’s lunches, I’ve yet again invoked the help of our CSA, The Dirt Farmer.  This whole wheat wrap, much like a spring or summer roll, is full of chicken, cabbage, and carrots, and the kale, bok choy, and baby swiss chard salad mix was an easy pairing with some extra carrot slices and a yummy peanut sesame dressing.  The peanut dressing on the salad includes a personal favorite product, PB2.  PB2 is an all natural ground peanut powder and, mixed with water, it’s the same as peanut butter but with 85% less fat and calories.  I’m a big fan of peanut butter, and I love this product!  You can find it at Kroger in the all natural and organic section of the store, and you can also find it here.  Bell Plantation, PB2’s home base, is in Tifton, Georgia, so I like the idea that this nationally-distributed product is created just and hour and a half down the road from me.

Chicken Spring Roll Wraps

1 lb. chicken breast tenderloins

1 tsp. Chinese five spice

1/4 tsp. cayenne red pepper

1/2 tsp. white pepper

1 Tbsp. garlic powder

1 Tbsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. cracked black pepper

1 Tbsp. canola oil

1 Tbsp. white sesame seeds

2 tsp. honey

1 small head savoy cabbage, chopped into 1/2 inch ribbons

1 Tbsp. canola oil

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. fish sauce

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. grated ginger

1 large carrot, peeled into ribbons

5 whole wheat tortillas

In a small bowl, mix the Chinese five spice, cayenne, garlic powder, white pepper, salt, and pepper.  In a medium bowl, add the spices, the canola oil, and the chicken breast tenderloins and let it sit on the counter for about ten minutes.  While the chicken is quickly marinating, heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat and add the canola oil and grated ginger.  After about two minutes, add the cabbage, soy sauce, and fish sauce.  Give the cabbage a quick stir-fry, tossing frequently, for about 3-4 minutes; set aside.  Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and add the chicken tenderloins.  Cook for about six minutes on each side, then chop the chicken into bite-size pieces.  Toss chicken pieces with sesame seeds and honey.

To assemble the wraps, lay out the tortillas and layer the cabbage, chicken, and carrot ribbons.  Roll up each tortilla and slice in half on the diagonal.

Kale + Bok Choy Salad

4 cups baby kale, bok choy, swiss chard, or a combination

1/2 carrot, peeled into ribbons

for the dressing:

2 Tbsp. PB2

1 Tbsp. water

juice of half of 1 lemon

1 Tbsp. canola oil

1 tsp. sriracha

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

Whisk or shake the dressing ingredients together and dress the greens and carrots.

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WW info: 1 wrap + salad = 7 PP

 

tasty tuesday: baby kale and arugula salad with herbed steak, sweet tomatoes, and blue cheese

Light and yum.

Light and yum.

The temperature and weather in the Macon area has finally become what I recognize as summer, so it was time to rock a nice summer salad. I am aware that this is the second tasty tuesday in a row with a salad, but these are totally different animals.

Today’s salad is with a nod to Smitten Kitchen who I went to for inspiration (still suffering from post New Orleans exhaustion and moving offices means my brain functions are lower than usual). Where she uses skirt steak (which is what I wanted to use in the first place), I used flank steak because my non-local grocer had no skirt steak. Flank steak works similarly, but it needs to be cut a couple of times to get to a proper thinness for a good char-doneness-flavor ratio. Another departure was the use of baby kale, something I’d not seen at the grocery before, but I found it to be delightful.

This meal was also fairly economical. The steak, which made more than enough, only cost five dollars and the rest of the ingredients were fairly cheap. Two could eat for 10-15 dollars.

Anyway, to the cooking!

I started this meal with a herb marinade for the steak. It was roughly:

3 cloves garlic
1 small shallot
2 tbsp fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp spicy oregano
2 tbs olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Process in a food processor until it forms a pastelike mix.

While that’s sitting, cut the steak into three length-wise thirds, essentially making three long, thin steaks. Place the steaks in a bowl and pour the marinade over the steak and stir to cover. Let sit for at least 30 minutes.

This is a good time to make a dressing. Using Deb’s recommendation I made a dijon vinaigrette consisting of:

1 tbsp dijon mustard
1tbsp pomegranate balsamic vinegar
1/2 lemon’s juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp worcherstershire sauce
Salt and Pepper.

Mix all ingredients and adjust to taste. Place in refrigerator until ready.

Grill the steak on a range grill for roughly 3 minutes on the first side and two after a flip. Remove and slice thin.

Assemble the salad by mixing the greens and lightly dress. Halve some small sweet tomatoes and top to taste. Place as much steak as you’d like and go to town with this:

Sweet Cheesus!

Sweet Cheesus!

All told, a nice summer meal. Quick, cheap, good. Happy Eating!