Kale, Apple and Pine Nut Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

On August 7, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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We are on vacation in Michigan enjoying not going out for every meal, so I’ve been making quick, easy vegetarian dishes that help us enjoy vacation even more.  Eating good, healthy food helps too.  This salad is a great example of something easy to make with just a few ingredients.

This morning was the Northport Farmer’s Market where I found some great purple kale for this salad and the bread too!

Kale, Apple and Pine Nut Salad with Maple Vinaigrette 
Serves 4

1 bunch purple kale
1 apple, diced into small cubes
1/2 red onion, diced into small cubes
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 tsp sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil

For Dressing
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon maple syrup
salt & pepper to taste

Chop kale into thin strips and place in bowl along with the diced apple and red onion. Meanwhile heat a saute pan on medium heat with the olive oil in the pan. Add the pine nuts and sugar and let it cook for a couple minutes just before they begin to brown. Remove from heat and add to bowl with kale.

To make the dressing combine the balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, and maple syrup in a bowl and add the olive oil a couple tablespoons at a time whisking each time to combine.  Continue until all olive oil is added and then season with salt and pepper. Taste to make sure you are good with the mix. If too acidic, add some more olive oil.

Pour the dressing over the kale salad and mix to coat.  Serve with some fresh bread.

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Barley and Herb-Stuffed Vegetables

On September 5, 2012, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Last weekend I spent some time making these creative stuffed zucchinis. The filling is quite simple and reminded me of how much I need to use barley more often in my vegetarian cooking.

The one modification I would make is to use bell peppers instead of the zucchini.  The filling needed something a bit more flavorful than zucchini. Use what is fresh and local, but if you have either option a crunchy colorful bell pepper is a better choice.

For the Recipe: Barley and Herb-Stuffed Vegetables.

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Arugula, Tomato, Feta Couscous

On October 30, 2011, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Every Saturday morning the boys and I head to swim class where they learn to navigate the water and I spend time figuring how I’m going to navigate my cooking for the coming week.  It’s a great 30 minutes to explore new cooking blogs.  One recent find is the blog The Kitchn (Kitchen – minus the “e”, because I’m sure thekitchen.com was already taken.)

I bought some arugula at the Farmer’s Market and was looking for something new to do with it. Thinking I had some orzo pasta at home too the Dinner Quick: Arugula with Orzo and Garden Tomatoes looked like a good choice for lunch today. When I arrived home, I was out of orzo pasta but had some Trader Joe’s Israeli Couscous I decided to substitute. I made a few other tweaks too, including added saute pine nuts.

Arugula, Tomato, Feta Couscous
Serves 4

1 cup Israeli couscous
1 bunch of arugula, large chop
Olive oil
1 Tablespoon dried basil
2 Tablespoons pine nuts
8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
2-3 ounces goat or feta cheese, crumbled
Salt and pepper

Cook the Israeli couscous per package instructions. While that is boiling, saute the pinenuts in a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Let them brown, cooking for about 4 minutes, turning often. Empty the pine nuts into a mixing bowl.

Add a little more olive oil to the saute pan that had the pine nuts and cook the chopped arugula till it just starts to wilt. Add it to the mixing bowl. Add some olive oil again and saute the tomatoes adding the dried basil, salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 3 minutes then add them to the mixing bowl.

Crumble the feta cheese into the mixing bowl once the couscous is ready.  Now add the couscous and add a tablespoon of olive oil and some salt and pepper to taste.

Serve.

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Boden is wonderful UK clothing website where we buy quite a few outfits for our twin boys. They have some great clothing and recently we picked up some fantastic swim trunks for the boys since we are spending a lot of time at the University Park community pool – one of the best benefits of our new home.

Boden has a blog that talks not only about fashion and their products but anything the
“Boden Community” wants to discuss. One day my wife sent me an email she received from Boden showcasing a fabulous looking taglionlini recipe that she wanted me to make. Wish granted.

Here is the recipe: Springtime Taglionlini from Antonio Carluccio.

I made a few changes switching out the noodles with fresh linguini and swapping the hazelnuts with something I already had – pine nuts.

This is a light, easy to make recipe that goes great with some fresh bread and a small side salad.

Enjoy! Oops I meant to say, Brilliant!

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Pasta with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter

On May 27, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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In our family’s quest to try to eat 3 to 4 vegetarian dinners a week, I have turned to blogs like Emily Levenson’s {Custom Made} Life.

Tonight I attempted a rather peculiar recipe that uses a lot of balsamic vinegar and butter (in this case Earth Balance) to make a pasta sauce. Of course with any recipe that calls for balsamic as a key ingredient for success a quality balsamic vinegar is necessary. For tonight, I went with an Organic local selection that we found at the Addison Farmer’s Market late last year.

The balsamic vinegar is made by Texas Hill Country Olive Company. Their Terra Verde Traditional balsamic is a really fruity, rich, thick balsamic that has such an amazing sweetness to it that it really made for an excellent choice for this dish which calls for a 1/3 of a cup of vinegar. Plus Terra Verde’s vinegar is reasonably priced at $16 for a 250ml bottle and can be ordered online too.

The only change I made to Emily’s recipe was using lumaconi pasta shells instead of whole wheat penne which I thought I had, but did not. The shell shape of lumaconi did great and the thick syrupy sauce adhered to the noodles nicely, only downside is lumaconi means “giant snails” in Italian so that’s not so appetizing. Also, I recommend adding some imported Parmesan-Reggiano to add to the dish’s nutty, rich flavor.

For the Recipe: Pasta with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter