Garlic Ginger Kale Bowl With Cauliflower Rice

Garlic Ginger Kale Bowl with Cauliflower Rice| ourfourforks.com

It’s full on holiday season, which means food is everywhere; Thanksgiving leftovers all weekend, treats in the office, buffets at holiday parties (mine had a candy bar, ice cream bar and cupcake station), wine at countless happy hours. It’s all so overwhelmingly bad for you (sugary, fattening, delicious), so when I’m weeknight cooking this time of year, I crave simple, healthy meals. I love the idea of one bowl dinners – I’ve been making things like pork and butternut squash stew and quick pho – and this simple garlic ginger kale bowl couldn’t be easier to throw together after work.

 

Simply chop up some garlic and ginger, stir-fry with some ground meat or a can of beans, add kale and voila; flavorful, healthy comforting garlic ginger kale bowl. The most complicated aspect of this dish is the cauliflower rice (which is not complicated at all – just throw in a food processor and pop in the oven for 20 minutes), but any grain like brown rice or quinoa would work well. I just like the idea of putting vegetables on vegetables.

 

Garlic Ginger Kale Bowl with Cauliflower Rice| ourfourforks.comGarlic Ginger Kale Bowl with Cauliflower Rice| ourfourforks.com

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Acorn Squash With Gluten Free Cornbread Stuffing

Acorn Squash with Gluten Free Cornbread Stuffing | ourfourforks.com

The year my mom made wild rice stuffing instead of her traditional stuffing (the recipe for which is written on torn pieces of paper and impossible to recreate) the family was up in arms. She agreed to never stray from her bacon-sausage-liver-butter classic again, but her jump outside the box made me realize that stuffing doesn’t have to be paired with turkey on Thanksgiving. Her wild rice stuffing was great – and, though not rich enough for our holiday standards, would be perfect stuffed into peppers, sweet potato or just as a side.

 

This gluten free cornbread stuffing is savory and satisfying; healthy enough for those days where you want some Thanksgiving flavor without such heaviness. Here, I used it to stuff acorn squash, but I’ve also baked it in a pie pan and served it as a side. The key to this stuffing is the cornbread; it needs to be dried out in the oven so that it doesn’t completely fall apart in the stuffing. I also wouldn’t recommend cornbread that is too sweet – slightly sweet is ok (to get the sweet-savory thing happening), but some recipes use too much sugar for a stuffing recipe.

 

Acorn Squash with Gluten Free Cornbread Stuffing | ourfourforks.com

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Shredded Kale Salad with Tahini Miso Dressing

Kale Salad with Tahini Miso Dressing | ourfourforks.com

I’ve been crazy busy at work recently, which means work week meal planning is essential. Without healthy prepared lunches for the week, mornings become more rushed and workday lunch ends up being brown rice tortilla peanut butter and jelly roll-ups and string cheese. Lately, I’ve been trying to spend some time on Sunday preparing hearty salads that will hold up through Friday. This week I chose to prep shredded kale salad with tahini miso dressing; healthy, versatile and quick to prepare, this one’s a winner.

 

Kale goes perfectly with a creamy tahini miso dressing while pistachios, scallions, and sesame seeds give the salad dimension and crunch. This kale salad serves four as a side, but can easily be made a meal with the addition of avocado, a protein and/or rice, quinoa. etc.. For non-vegans, chicken or canned tuna would work well here. For vegans, try adding tempeh or chickpeas.

 

Kale Salad with Tahini Miso Dressing | ourfourforks.com

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Caribbean Empanadas with Mango Salsa

Caribbean Empanadas | ourfourforks.com

One of the things I miss most about living in Portland is the overwhelming presence of bulk bins (as also discussed here). In Portland it is assumed that everyone – not just health food shoppers – would enjoy bulk bin benefits: saving money and the ability to buy the amount of something you need when you need it. Needless to say, I usually went a little overboard. In cleaning out my pantry recently, I can across one of the more unusual bulk bin purchases: chickpea flour (also called garbanzo bean flour or gram flour).

 

These empanadas are made with a simple chickpea flour dough, but feel free to substitute any gluten-free flour you prefer to bake with. If you do try the chickpea flour, fair warning: the raw dough tastes weird. Chickpea flour has a bit of a strange flavor, but I assure you that this disappears after baking.

 

The vegan stuffing is full of caribbean flavor: lime, chipotle, cinnamon, nutmeg and cilantro. The mango salsa adds a delicious sweetness and spicy crunch to balance out the creaminess of the sweet potato filling. Add a dollop of cashew sour cream (or the real deal) and you’re good to go.

 

Caribbean Empanadas | ourfourforks.com

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Sweet Potato, Kale and Almond Salad

Sweet Potato, Kale and Almond SaladSweet potatoes, kale and almonds are three of those staple items that I always have on hand, especially at this time of year. Although I like to have salad for dinner most nights, when it gets freezing (it was 20 degrees in Boston this morning) I hate the idea of eating something cold. Enter warm sweet potato, kale and almond salad.

 

Roasted sweet potatoes and almonds are full of fall flavor. Kale is lightly braised so that it is warm but retains much of it’s raw nutritional value. Mustard, lemon and maple syrup add a sweet and sour tang that becomes more like a sauce rather than a cold dressing. The sweet potatoes add the comforting carbs and the almonds add the roasted crunch.

 

Finally, the apple and cheese combination; you can’t go wrong with sweet and savory. When I was living in London, Josh (kind of) came around to the whole fruit and cheese thing too. One night we went to St. John Bread and Wine, a farm to table restaurant across from Spitalfields Market, and I decided to order the Eccles Cake and Lancashire cheese for dessert. He hated it. What the f*&# is this? And then something happened. When we got back to my apartment, he wanted more. Although the Eccles Cake and cheese is not something we can recreate every day, this salad is. Cheap, simple, nutritious and seasonally appropriate. To add more substance to the meal, try with a side of  Vegan Gluten Free Cornbread. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Real Simple

Sweet Potato, Kale and Almond Salad Ingredients

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