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Posts Tagged ‘pepper

We’ve been hunkered down all weekend and part of this week just trying to stay safe and dry form Tropical Storm Debby.    We’ve had torrential downpours, flooding and 60 MPH gusts of wind.  The girls wanted to watch Despicable Me while snuggling so I made a lunch to match.

The sandwich is Gru the so called villain of the movie.  He’s made of Rudi’s Nut & Oat bread.  His nose is the bread crust, his teeth are vegan cheese, his eyes are Florida grown lychee halves and the pupils and eyebrows are made from plums.  The stars and rocket are homemade biscuits from the weekend.  I made the minions from pineapple chunks and fruit leather for the goggles and eyes.

Our storm lunch is a lightning bolt made from the same Rudi’s bread.  Above it are more of our homemade crackers shaped like clouds and an umbrella.  In the yellow flower cup are plum sections with an umbrella pick.  Below in the oval cup are red seedless grapes.

And the sides for my husband today are a salad made from baby kale, spinach and arugula.  At the top right is edamame succotash with edamame, corn, tomatoes, white wine, garlic, parsley, basil, jalapeno peppers,  and pepper.  At the top left are lychee fruit unpeeled all packed in his Easy Lunch Box.

Tools I used to make this lunch:

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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!

What does the mother of all these cute lunches eat?  The honest answer from most of us is nothing that cute.  My lunch usually consists of leftover fruit & vegetable scraps that I cut from the girls’ lunches and maybe a Larabar on the run.  I carry my CamelBak water bottle just about everywhere to stay hydrated, but my lunches could be a LOT better.  I pick my girls up at lunchtime.  They have eaten, but I am usually running like a mad woman to finish errands before I get them

Today I made myself something healthy & a bit more organized than normal.  I took a piece of Ezekiel bread, spread guacamole on it, sliced a baby cucumber and laid the pieces on top of the guac.  Then I cut 1 heirloom tomato in slices then quarters and laid those pieces on top.  A bit of fresh ground pepper on top, and lunch is served!

Happy Thursday, everyone!


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