Kale Salad

19 Dec

Well now.

This is awkward. Do I pretend that I didn’t just ignore this blog for an entire year? Or do I acknowledge my absence? I’m really not sure. Sooooo I guess I’m just gonna do what I do best…

…talk about food. Let’s be honest, it’s kind of ALL I do.

So there’s this strange curly green vegetable that I’m currently in love with. It’s called kale.

Isn’t it gorgeous? I know. We met at the Whole Foods Market in Princeton, where my friends convinced me to buy a small tupperware of their famous “Whole Earth Kale Salad” (aka pure deliciousness in a plastic snap-top container). It was absoluuuuuuuutely amazing. So delicious.

It had the slightly bitter taste of kale, accentuated by the crisp taste of red onions, the crunch and subtle flavor of sesame seeds, the chew of brown rice, the savory hit of roasted almonds, and these delicious little nuggets of roasted tofu, all swimming in a tangy lemon-dijon-garlic dressing. I was rendered speechless.

(Side note: another thing I have a strange and inexplicable love for is red onions. Sometimes, when people ask me my favorite food, I say red onion. That always throws them for a loop. But it’s true, my friends…red onions, chocolate, and root beer floats. I need nothing more in the world.)

I decided: I MUST eat this salad consistently for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, Whole Earth, although a wonderful place that fills my soul with light, can err on the side of pricey. And if I had to buy this salad from them every time I wanted it, I would probably end up a hobo living under a bush in their back parking lot with ten cats and two large ugly coats. Solution? MAKE THE SALAD MYSELF.

I’m so smart.

I did research.

I did some googling, and I examined the salad itself.

And I must say, I really hit the nail on the head with this one. It tastes and looks SO similar to the original. I would say it’s better, but that would be a lie. Because you can’t get better than the Whole Earth Kale Salad. There is no such thing. But this is every bit as good.

Making this salad made me confront tofu, with which I have a love-hate-weird relationship.

(Background jar of peanut butter and Christmas tree bokeh optional, but recommended.)

Tofu is so…..squishy. And wet. And….I just don’t even know.

WHY does it come swimming in liquid? WHY? ew.

And I absolutely RE-FUSE to use a tofu press. It’s creepy, like a tofu torture device. I have had nightmares.

I would rather employ the paper towel method. Give it a squeeze over the sink, in my opinion, you’re golden. No torture necessary.

But at the same time as it being weird, tofu is also kinda cute. Take, for example, this solitary little chunk that somehow didn’t make it into the marinade with all its friends.

Awwwwww.

Don’t worry, I tossed him in. He got just as roasty-toasty and lemony scrumptious as the rest of his family. Have no fear.

I’ll shut up now–but ONLY BECAUSE I KNOW that you’re about to drop everything and go make this salad.

Kale Salad

Serves 5-6

Ingredients:

1 bunch kale (the curlier the better!)

1/2 red onion, sliced

1/2 cup almonds

1/4 cup sesame seeds

3/4 cup uncooked brown rice

1/3 cup bagged sliced cabbage, with carrots (optional)

1 recipe Soy Sauce and Citrus Baked Tofu (below)

1 recipe Lemony Dijon Dressing (below)

Directions:

Prepare the baked tofu. While it’s roasting, cook the brown rice according to package directions. Remove both the tofu and rice to bowls and allow to cool while you do everything else. Tear the kale into small, inch-size pieces, removing the stem. Wash and place in the largest bowl you own. Slice the red onion and add. Add the bagged sliced cabbage. Toss to combine. Now add the cooled brown rice, the sesame seeds, and the tofu chunks. Very roughly chop (we’re talking each in two or three pieces) half of the almonds (half would be 1/4 cup, for the math-impaired) and add them to the party. Toss again. Make the dressing and drizzle over the top to taste (I use virtually all of it, but you can do whatever your little heart desires), and toss thoroughly.

 

Soy Sauce and Citrus Baked Tofu

adapted from Young, Dumb, and Vegan

Ingredients:

1 lb extra firm tofu

2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 cloves of garlic, minced small

Directions:

Cube the tofu into 1/4 inch chunks. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and toss to coat. Set oven to 400 degrees, and while it warms up, let tofu marinate for at least 20 min. Spread on a cookie sheet with a lip, and pour extra liquid and garlic over the top. Roast for 40-50 minutes, stirring halfway through.

 

Lemony Dijon Dressing

also adapted from Young, Dumb, and Vegan

Ingredients:

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard

3 teaspoons soy sauce

3 cloves garlic, minced very small

1 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Whisk to combine all ingredients thoroughly. Done.

Nom nom nom nom.

Advertisements

The BAKED Brownie

11 May

One of the most popular bakeries in New York, the Baked bakery, is really well known for their brownies.  For a bake sale at my brother’s school, I decided to give their sweet and spicy brownie recipe a try and it turned out great.  The brownies were rich, dense, chewy, and they looked great.  With a dusting of cinnamon sugar on top, they didn’t even need frosting. 

The recipe speaks for itself.  So do the pictures.

The Late Night Hunger Problem

16 Mar

Do you ever finish dinner and think “that was really good, but I’m still kind of hungry”?  If not, feel lucky. I personally am often plagued with this problem. I don’t want to make some fancy dessert, because I’m tired and lazy.  Well, tonight I found a dessert that is quick, easy, and quite delicious.  Tonight I made my very first Dulce de Leche Coffee milkshake.
Ingredients:
Some instant coffee
Whole Milk
Ben and Jerry’s Dulce de Leche ice cream (you can use other brands, but Ben and Jerry’s happens to be a brand that treats their cows humanely).
In the blender, put a scoop of ice cream.  Then add about 1 tablespoon of whole milk.  Next, boil about half a cup of water, and add about one and a half tablespoons of instant coffee (if you’re having it late at night, decaf might be advisable).  Pour about 2 or 3 tablespoons of the coffee into the blender as well, and blend!  I happen to have a small blender, but if you have a bigger blender, you can double the recipe and save some for later.
Happy slurping!!

Woah…

2 Feb

Slightly terrifying, if you ask me.

But maybe pretty.

All I know is that I would not want to be the postman for the next few weeks.

Our mailbox may be pretty, but I’m pretty sure it’s as good as soldered shut.

(Unless you have a hairdryer on hand.)

Wait, is that a coconut macaroon? How did that get in there? Boy, that sure looks light, fluffy, sweet, and delicious. I wish I were eating one of those right now!

OH WAIT.

I AM.

Not that I’m trying to make you jealous or anything.

Mochocolate

22 Jan

 

OH. MY. GOD

Today I wanted hot chocolate, like usual. But instead of my normal hot chocolate, I decided to add a little twist to it. I really like a coffee and chocolate combo, so I added some instant coffee powder to my hot chocolate and voila! Wonders! So, I thought I would share my recipe to you all who love hot chocolate just as much as I do.

Fill a mug 2/3 of the way full with milk (any type) and heat in microwave for 1 minute. Add 2 tsp of cocoa powder, 1 tbsp of sugar (depending on how sweet you like it) and half a tsp of instant coffee (or more if you like it stronger). Fill rest of the way with milk and heat for another 30 seconds. Top with whipped cream and a pinch of instant coffee powder and ENJOY!!!!

 

yummy 🙂

How Sweet It Is

17 Jan

So, I was on the Web the other day, procrastinating, when I decided to log onto the blog How Sweet It Is (I would have hyperlinked it, but technology is beyond me, so the website is howsweeteats.com). Bad idea. My history homework sat on my desk while I perused chocolate-dipped clementines, vanilla lime pound cake, and many other delicious treats. Basically, everyone should check out this food blog. It’s my favorite, and a great way to pass your day off 🙂

HAPPY MARTIN LUTHER KING JR DAY!! 😀

Chocolat (Covered Peanut Butter Rice Krispie) Balls

12 Jan

I’m a little late, considering that these cookies are holiday cookies, but they’re good any time!  I was at my grandmother’s house, three days after Christmas 2009, and having my annual tradition of eating all of her leftover cookies from Christmas.  She had at least 8 different kinds of cookies, and most of them were familiar to me.  Then, however, she took out another Tupperware, containing three spherical chocolates.  Of course I tried them before even asking what they were!  I bit through the chocolate shell to find a sweet center with peanut butter and crunchy rice krispies! She gave me the recipe and I’ve made them a few times since

I made them right after New Years this year, and entirely by myself for the first time, which was scary.  Usually I let someone else do the dunking part, since I’m really not very good at that.  My grandmother’s recipe makes around 88 cookies, so I always cut it in half, although for some bizarre reason, this time I made them, it didn’t seem to make 44, which was especially strange since I made them small.  What? Are you accusing me of eating an excessive amount of the cookies before they were finished?! Ok, maybe a little 😉

My favorite cookies tend to be ones that you can snag little pieces of throughout the process, and these really are!  Ok ok, enough talking, more FOOD

Why yes, I do have a heart shaped cookie sheet 🙂

Chocolat Balls:

Serves 88

1 stick of butter (melted)

2 cups of peanut butter

3 cups of rice krispie cereal

1 pound of confectioners sugar

11 ounces of milk chocolate

16 ounces of chocolate chips

Directions: combine sugar, peanut butter, and cereal in a large bowl–mix with hands!  Roll into small balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Refrigerate for an hour.  Melt the milk chocolate and the chocolate chips together in a bowl, and dip the chilled cookies into the chocolate (trick: the colder the cookies are, the easier this is).  Refrigerate again until the chocolate forms a hard shell–approximately another hour.

AND ENJOY