Thursday, May 27, 2010

Still Craving Fresh….and Fresh!

Tuesday night we had a court of honor at our scout meeting, with a pot luck dinner.  Each patrol is assigned a “category” of food to bring. 

Last court of honor our patrol was assigned dessert so that is what I brought.  But at dinner that night, nobody had brought salad or veggie side dishes and I ended up with almost nothing to eat!

This time I was taking no chances!

I was assigned a main dish and I was making sure it would be something I could happily eat if there was nothing else available!

So lentil  salad it was.  Now I totally expected (based on past experience when I bring healthy stuff) to have most of it left over.  But I didn’t care! 

I LOVE my lentil salad!

I planned ahead for this one, ordering an available add-on from my organic produce buying club that included a bunch of scallions and two bunches of cilantro.

Warning #1:  I was such a lousy photographer for this day!  I was too busy trying to get everything together and rushing around to get work done, food done, kids picked up, and to the ceremony on time!

Warning #2:  This is one of my “throw everything together” recipes with no measurements…it probably comes out differently each time I make it!

First I soaked a bag of lentils in water for most of the day, and then boiled them for about 15 minutes to soften them up.  I rinsed them off in cold water.DSCF3730Then I grabbed three (which later turned into four) scallions, a gorgeous tomato, a couple of carrots, and a handful of cilantro.  The scallion, even though fresh, was rooting already! (of course no picture of that!)  Gotta love those organics!DSCF3729I had FabTeen chop everything up and add it to the lentils.  Then we used red wine vinegar, some olive oil, and S&P to taste.  We placed it in the fridge for a few hours for the flavors to meld, although this lentil salad is delicious served warm as well.

Honestly it could have used a little more vinegar…but I hadn’t done a taste test towards the end and I was rushing.  I also meant to add a can of kidney beans…but that slipped by me too!

Needless to say the salad was a big hit!  Several people even asked me for the recipe!  It was soooo good! 

I absolutely love this salad and have been making a variation of it since FabTeen was born, but it has been a while since I have made it.   I think it is my new vegetarian (and vegan) Go-To potluck recipe dish though, as it is perfect for a side dish..but robust enough for a meal.

Of course that is where the pictures ended…no completed salad…no buffet picture, not even a picture of my plate!  Although at least I did manage to remember to take the more important photo of FabStepson receiving his merit badges!  (He is the not so hairy one)DSCF3731

Another major salad craving I have been having is for Sweet Annie’s massaged kale salad. 

Last week we had curly kale in the box and I was soooo craving it!  Sometime during the week I went to make it, and when I was washing it, I found some extra protein in my kale!DSCF3655 After four days in the fridge they were still wiggling away!  YUCK!

I picked through, soaked in vinegar, and rinsed the kale to death after that…but I just couldn’t bring myself to eat it raw.  I was satisfied that they were gone we had it sauteed for dinner that night.  But that still didn’t satisfy my kale craving.

So this week I also ordered the $5 leafy add on from the buying club, which included a big bunch of kale and an extra head of lettuce.  With all of my salad cravings lately we have had to buy extra lettuce anyway, so I may as well get it from the buying club!

Finally this week I was able to make my kale salad.  This kale salad is a veritable powerhouse of superfoods!  I feel so healthy when I have it for lunch!

The superfoods include kale, raisins, garlic, walnuts, and honey.  The only nonsuperfood in the mix is the olive oil!

I add everything into the bowl, and then massage all the ingredients together for about ten minutes to wilt the kale and make it soft.  It is a messy job!  But Oh So worth it!         DSCF3734 We have been storing up ripened bananas in the freezer…I like to use them for the Green Monsters, but FabTeen has been wanting to make banana soft serve for a while, so he finally remembered to do it when we had time. DSCF3736It has been a long time since we have had this!   I had forgotten how thick, smooth, and creamy this is…so much like ice cream only totally guilt-free!  Definitely something we need to make more often.  It disappeared way too quick!

Finally, dinner was a total throw something together to use up my organic veggies sort of event.  I needed to use up some yellow squash….a bunch of fresh spinach…onions (we have several bags of those!), garlic, and a beet!DSCF3737

What I started out making turned into something totally different.  I was tired and feeling like I was coming down with something, and just didn’t feel like doing anything!  FabHubs said he would take over…but he was going so ssssllllloooowwww and at the rate he was meditatively chopping the veggies, I was worried we wouldn’t be eating before  10 p.m. and I wanted to get to bed!

So I took over some of it…and then  he took over again with a little more hurry in his step!

I sliced up the  squash and added the onions and garlic that FabHubs had minced into the big bowl and tossed with some EVOO, balsamic, and S&P.  I am not a big fan of yellow squash but this made them very yummy!  I also peeled a head of garlic with some giant cloves on it…and tossed the cloves  whole into the mix so they would roast as well.  I LOVE roasted garlic cloves!

I sliced some more onions and rough cut some garlic, and had FabHubs sautee them in some coconut oil.  Then I had him add the spinach that  I had washed and separated.  Finally, I gave him a can of garbanzo beans to add to the mix.DSCF3739 Kind of impromptu and totally thrown together…but the end result was so good and  filling too!  When I don’t have a clear source of meat-like protein for FabHubs, you never know if it will pass muster.  Usually I can make beans fit the bill in some way…so I try to add them often to our meals.

In this case it worked!  It was flavorful, healthy, and satisfying!

Plus…the lentils from Tuesday, spinach, and chickpeas were filled with much-needed iron for me…to see if I would pass the test.  I will you about that tomorrow!

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