Tag Archives: kale

Pumpkin, Kale and Mushroom Supper

 

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Hungry and home alone was when I leapt out of my chair and threw this dinner together.

We have magnificent pumpkin supply that we’re enjoying and diced up in this dish made a delicious combination. I was sitting down eating  within twenty minutes of leaving my chair.

Crozier blue is an Irish sheep cheese which may not be available to you but any soft blue cheese or even fresh goats cheese would work just as well. Of course if you would like a vegan version leave the cheese out

 

Pumpkin, Kale and Mushroom with Orzo and Crozier Blue

 

1 small onion

50mls olive oil

300g pumpkin

1 large field mushroom – cut in half then into segments

Kale, sliced thinly

2 fatty garlic

150g orzo

a little crozier blue to crumble

 

Put a pot of water to boil to cook the orzo

Heat a heavy pan, add the olive oil then the onion.

Peel and dice the pumpkin – approx 1cm cubes

Add to the onion. Season with salt and pepper, Cook on a medium heat for 5 mins.

Add the field mushroom – slightly increase the heat.

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Put salt in the boiling water then stir in the orzo. Cook for the time specified on the packet then drain into a colander.

When the mushrooms begin to brown increase the heat a little more then stir in the kale. When the kale melts down add the garlic.

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Continue cooking for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Stir the drained orzo into the vegetables then crumble a little crozier blue on top

Yum!


Kale, Avocado and Orange Superblast Salad

It’s a sure sign that Xmas is over when the decorations come down and all that remains is a pile of lost property. We seem to have a lot of abandoned scarves this year. There’s a pile of them on the desk in the sitting room waiting to be reclaimed. This indicates not only that a lot of people received a scarf this year for Xmas but also that it wasn’t cold as they left our house without them. Spectacularly wet and windy yes, but not cold!

According to my mum the cold is on it’s way so best get prepared for the onslaught with plenty of vitamin C.

January brings the most delicious oranges. The big Spanish oranges are divine – juicy and bursting with flavour. Oranges from Spain are about as local as they get in this part of the world and worth seeking out.

I always look forward to the orange season and we consume vast amounts of them juiced, thrown into smoothies for breakfast or as general portable snacks. They also sneak into our lunch and dinners.

Oranges are great for brightening up winter salads.

They pair well with beetroots or fennel, with lentils and roasted vegetables and also with this recipe, a superfood blast of kale, avocado and orange.

Kale is well known to be the King of the supergreens, stacked with vitamins A, C and K, it is one of the most nutrient dense food available and avocados are right up there on the superfood list too so paired with orange this salad should up your odds on staying healthy this winter!

When choosing the kale for this salad go for small leaves rather than big and the avocados should be firm but with a bit of give, not hard, nor squishy.

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Kale, Avocado and Orange Salad

 

150g kale

1 big or 2 small ripe avocados

2 oranges

1 red onion

25g sunflower seeds

25g pumpkin seeds

1tsp tamari (optional)

1 tsp dijon mustard

1tbs cider or white balsamic vinegar + 1tsp for the onion

3tbs olive oil

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Wash the kale and shake off excess water. A salad spinner is excellent if you have one, otherwise resort to the old fashioned wrapped in a t-towel swing. Strip the center stem from each leaf then stack a few together and roll up like a cigar. Cut the kale into skinny ribbons and put them in a bowl.

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Juice half an orange, put 2 tbs of the juice into a cup and keep the rest aside. Mix the 2tbs juice with one teaspoon of dijon mustard, 1tbs cider or white balsamic vinegar then whisk in the olive oil with a fork. Season with a little salt and pour over the kale. Massage the dressing into the kale with your hands, leave aside for five minutes then massage again.

Peel the red onion and cut it in half. Slice thinly then sprinkle with a little salt. Toss them about and give them a quick rub to separate the rings. Put them into a bowl and drizzle a little white balsamic over them. Toss them well and put aside.

Heat a small frying pan, add the pumpkin and sunflower seeds and toss them together. Cook them on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, shaking the pan regularly so they don’t burn. When they are lightly golden take them off the heat and shake the tamari over, if you are using it, then tip them onto a plate to cool.

Peel the orange with a sharp knife, removing the skin and pith in one go.

Using a small sharp knife cut each segment of orange from the outer membrane. Do this over the kale so the excess juice falls into the salad.

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Cut the avocado in half vertically. Hold one half firmly with one hand then wiggle the other half gently with the other hand. The avocado should come apart. Remove the pip and the peel and dice into cm cubes.

Toss the avocado cubes in the reserved orange juice, this will prevent discolouration.

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When you’re ready to eat toss the avocado, onion and orange segments with the kale and sprinkle the seeds on top.

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Kale ‘n Pasta

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The longer days mean the green things are kicking back into action in the garden. I even found enough nettles last week to make a soup – admittedly I had to search – which is a funny thing to do with nettles as come another month and we’ll be tripping over the bloomin things.
Nettles apart, some green things soldier on through the winter here. The kale, spinach and chard have managed to quietly survive the colder months and now that there is more daylight the growth is taking off and we are out picking leaves again.

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We put kale in soups, salad and stir-fries, it’s a very versatile, it’s also one of those ‘feel good’ vegetables, so wonderfully green that you know it’s good for your nutrition

My new favourite way to eat kale is with some pasta. My pasta cooking skills have come along way since I left home. It was one of the first things that I cooked = Spaghetti buried in vegetables and sauce. The first time I went to Italy I thought they were very mean with the sauce and even meaner with the Parmesan cheese. I’ve since learnt to dress the pasta and use one or two key ingredients rather than everything that’s in the vegetable basket.

I have used orecchiette, which look like little ears and scoop up the sauce beautifully but you could use other pasta shapes.
Try to co-ordinate cooking the pasta with making the sauce.
Put a big saucepan of water to boil, blanch the kale and then use the same water to cook the pasta, just add more salt. The pasta cooking time varies from brand to brand and also from shape to shape so check your packet for cooking times.
The fried breadcrumbs are known as ‘pangratto’, which translates as breadcrumbs but it’s also known as Poor Mans Parmesan. They are easy to make and give an interesting flavour and texture to the dish.

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Orecchiette with Kale, Chilli and Garlic

500g kale, stems removed
3 cloves garlic
6 anchovies from a can
1 tap fennel seed
1tsp chilli flakes
2 slices old bread
200mls olive oil
25g butter
500g orecchiette
150g grated Parmesan to serve

Put a large pot of water to boil. When it’s boiling add 1tsp salt and the kale. Submerge the kale with the back of a spoon and when the water returns to the boil drain the kale and refresh under a cold tap.
Squeeze any excess water from the kale and slice into thin ribbons. Season with a little salt and put aside.
Remove the crusts from the slice of bread and buzz to crumbs in a food processor.
Heat a frying pan, add 25g butter and 25mls olive oil, when the oil and butter bubble up throw in the breadcrumbs and toss well. Cook the breadcrumbs on a medium high heat until golden and crispy. Put aside.
Peel the garlic and slice thinly, chop once or twice and put aside.
Bring the large pot of water back to the boil. Add 1dsp salt and the orecchiette. Give them a good stir.
Heat the frying pan, add 50mls olive oil and the garlic, fennel seeds and chilli flakes. Cook on a medium heat for a few minutes then stir in the anchovies. Stir the pan until the anchovies break down then stir in the shredded kale. Cook gently until the kale is heated through.
Strain the pasta into a colander. Tip the pasta into a bowl and then stir the kale through.
Drizzle over a little extra olive oil and sprinkle the crispy breadcrumbs over the top.
Serve with freshly grated Parmesan.
Enjoy!