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Posts Tagged ‘pepitas

Wednesday is a perfect day for leftovers.  Mom’s feeling a bit under the weather so dump dinner in an Easy LunchBoxes container & voila.  Lunch is served.

Lunch today (dinner last night) is brown rice with mixed vegetables (broccoli, carrots, snow peas and onions) on top.  I packed a tiny sauce container of soy sauce.   In the top left container are grape tomatoes and in the top right are red grapes.

In her Happy Tiffin stainless bento, Miss G’s snack is a seckel pear, clementine sections, kiwi slices and a container of roasted pumpkin seeds.

 

Little Miss 2 year old has a LunchBots Quad for lunch.   From the top left are clementine sections with a star container of pumpkin seeds, red seedless grapes, star sandwiches with pumpkin pecan butter and a small Hail Merry brand chocolate vegan macaroon, and at the bottom left are mini carrots and sugar snap peas.

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I must admit that I’ve tried to eat kale many times in my life.  I KNOW how good it is for me, but like many vegetables can be it has a distinct and somewhat bitter taste.  I just couldn’t do it. Most people recognize it as the fake, dark green lettuce looking stuff they throw on plates at a restaurant as “garnish”.

Once we decided to give up meat as of January, I was committed to trying new foods and old ones that I had previously scoffed at in order to be the healthiest I can be.  I had to find a way to make them tasty.  This recipe that I found is what converted me.  This salad makes me eat kale and LIKE it each week, and I’m now eating kale chips too.  The lemon juice and honey (or agave nectar) soften the kale and take the bitterness out of it.

Reasons to eat kale:

*One cup of chopped raw kale provides more than 100% of the daily value of vitamins A, C, and K (Web MD)

*Kale is packed with antioxidants, and research shows that it can lower your risks of 5 different types of cancer: bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate.

*Kale contains lutein which keeps the eyes and vision healthy.

*Kale is a great resource for minerals such as copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, manganese, and phosphorus which control blood pressure and iron which controls red blood cell production.

The Food Network’s Aarti Sequiera posted this recipe on line.  Here is the link:

Massaged Kale Salad

Ingredients needed:

  • 1 bunch kale (black kale is especially good), stalks removed and discarded, leaves thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 mango, diced small (about 1 cup)
  • Small handful toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), about 2 rounded tablespoons ( substitute pistachios, sunflower seeds or whatever I have on hand.

You can also use other sweet fruits if you’re not a mango fan.  Peaches, strawberries or whatever is in season are also a great substitute.

I started with lacinato kale, also known as dinosaur kale that I found at our local King Family Farm and Market.

I had to look up the different kinds of kale before hitting the farmer’s market to re-educate myself on the different types of kale.  Here’s a link from Eco Localizer that might help you before you go shopping.

Photo guide to different varieties of kale

The salad will taste better if you cut off the branchy ends of the kale and remove the spines after washing it.  Then I just cut the pieces into bite size and toss in the bowl.

In large serving bowl, add the kale, half of lemon juice, a drizzle of oil and a little kosher salt. I minimize the oil because of calories from fat (100% of the calories in any oil come from fat).  Massage until the kale starts to soften and wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside while you make the dressing.

In a separate, small bowl, whisk remaining lemon juice with the honey (or agave nectar to taste) and freshly ground black pepper. Add oil while whisking until a dressing forms, and you like how it tastes.   Then top with the cut fruit and seeds of your choice and enjoy!

My girls are learning about Florida today.  Miss G was asked to dress like a tourist at preschool to celebrate things about our state.   Since I recently did two lunches showing where the state is, I decided to make things that they like & see often.   The mockingbird is our state bird.  We feed the birds at our house, and a mockingbird sits atop the large oak tree in our front yard and sings most days.  It imitates the songs of many other birds so it’s pretty to listen to.  They are also fierce protectors of their nests so if we (or the dogs) get too close, they will swoop down & chirp at us to give us a warning.

The mockingbird is made from Rudi’s Whole Grain bread.  And the wings and tail feathers are the heel of the loaf.  Its eye and beak are made from fruit leather. His leg & tree branches are made from pretzel sticks and the leaves are unsalted pumpkin seeds stuck on with almond butter.  Next to the bird is a mandarin orange peeled at one end to make a sun since Florida is the Sunshine State.  At the top left in an orange cup (the orange blossom is our state flower) is a cornbread muffin and at the top right are locally grown blueberries from King Family Farm and Market and organic raspberries with an umbrella pick.  Her lunch is packed in an Easy Lunch Box.

And Miss A gets a flamingo today.  Flamingo “stuff” is sold in every tourist shop in our state.  When I first visited Florida over 20 years ago, I was shocked to not see one flamingo.   They aren’t native here, but we see plenty of them at our local attractions.  If you’re visiting here, Sarasota Jungle Gardens is a fun place to visit in Sarasota.  They have many flamingos that walk around the grounds, and the kids can hand-feed them.  They are also at the Tampa Lowry Park Zoo where we spend a lot of time.  So even if they’re not native, we do get to see them often.  It is a rare thing if we see them anywhere in the wild, and in fact they are mostly in the Florida Keys and Miami area.  Other than that you won’t really see them here if you’re here for vacation.

Miss A’s flamingo was made of the same Rudi’s Whole Grain bread.  I stuck some pink sprinkles on with agave nectar.  The state tree of Florida is the sabal palm (also known as the cabbage palm) so her palm tree trunk is made from dates and coconut flakes, and the palm fronds are honeydew melon.  At the top left are orange blossom cups with blueberries and raspberries, and at the top right is a mini cornbread muffin with a flamingo pick packed in her Easy Lunch Box.


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