I hope you had great holidays; it seems that all of us get some time off from the regular routine, no matter what we are celebrating. Personally, the whirlwind of the week before Christmas just about did me in. I had a huge amount of work due the 21st on a project related to my job, and a million other things to do. I’m glad that’s over. Now I feel peace…
Extra free time is such a gift, seriously. I have so enjoyed using my WordPress blog reader and checking out old and new blogs that I have not had time for. I’ve had time to delve into recipes without worrying about time requirements or rushing somewhere…
I received a new cookbook from my mom, which I love-Wild about Greens, by Nava Atlas. This is such a beautiful book. If you are a book lover, you will relate…pleasing green colors on dust jacket (color green enhances serotonin production in the brain, you know), nice feel to the pages, illustrations throughout that help me with identification of my greens, and easy to follow directions, with tons of tips. I made a few recipes already which turned out well. I think she has set me straight on kale chips…they definitely turned out better than my past attempts.
Here is a picture of her Kale Salad with Dried Fruits and Nuts in a fun container I found at TJ Maxx. This was still delicious 2 days later! In Wild About Greens, Nava gives basic directions for massaged kale salads and easy variations. I used Craisins and walnuts. Although I had made a variation of this in the past, she provided the best instructions I have seen. Click here for Nava’s quick video on making a massaged kale salad, which I got from her website VegKitchen.
I’ve also meant for a very long time to share the following recipe I developed. I can’t believe I found this picture of it too. Just before I started this blog in March 2012, I was building confidence with cooking quinoa and greens. I saw an email at work that our hospital was having a cooking contest for Nutrition Month. I think the top meal would be served in the cafeteria. I tinkered with this recipe a bit and submitted it, sure that I would be in the top few. It is a quick, well-rounded, gluten-free, plant-based meal. It was not meant to be, and I will admit I was disappointed that I never heard back from them. But here it is. I like to think at least one of the folks that judged the recipes took this one home and is using it…He, he, we all have our daydreams…
Easy and Colorful Spinach and Quinoa (Entrée)
1 c quinoa grain
2 c water
1 vegetable bouillon cube (use cube designed for 8 oz of broth) if desired to add flavor to the water–can be omitted if desired
1 TBSP +1 tsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2 tsp minced garlic from jar (approx 4 small cloves)
¼ cup pine nuts
8 packed cups washed and ready to eat fresh spinach (approximately 10 oz in weight). You can add in more if desired because it will reduce down significantly in cooking.
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup Original flavor Craisins (or any sweetened cranberries)
- Using small sauce pan, bring 2 cups of water to boiling, then add the bouillon cube and stir to dissolve. Add the quinoa, stir, and reduce to simmer. Cover and simmer according to package directions, until water is absorbed (usually 10-15 minutes). Fluff quinoa, remove from heat, and keep covered.
- As the quinoa is cooking, heat olive oil in large non-stick skillet on medium until hot. Add garlic and pine nuts and stir for 1 minute. Keep the skillet on medium for the remainder of cooking.
- Add about ½ of the spinach and stir constantly to coat and distribute the oil mixture.
- Once spinach is mostly wilted, move it to the outside of the pan and add the remaining spinach in the open “hole” in the center. Stir the fresh spinach in the middle for 1-2 minutes. Stir the entire pan as needed to evenly cook the spinach.
- Stir spinach mixture frequently and once nearly fully wilted, add salt, pepper and Craisins.
- Stir another 1-2 minutes to warm but do not overcook the spinach. Add more pepper to taste.
- Serve the spinach (with some of the toppings included) on top of a large spoonful of quinoa. Combine them if desired.
Recipe is easily adjusted to add more spinach, pine nuts, or craisins if desired.
Entire recipe takes 25-30 minutes.
Have you ever entered a recipe contest? Do you like to fix greens?
Have a great week!