Monthly Archives: February 2013

Easy Raw Kale Salad

I returned from yoga today — sadly, my first class in about 9 months — and wanted to treat myself for getting back on the horse with something healthy, filling and delicious. I had the idea to pop into Natural Food Patch in Ferndale to grab a packed kale salad the Detroit Zen Center sells there. Just before I got there, I realized I had only grabbed my ID on my way out the door — no money! Then I realized I had kale at home and could easily make a version of my own!

kale saladI’m happy to report, it is DELICIOUS. I used what I had on hand and tried to keep it simple. When I finally tasted it, I didn’t adjust anything. You see it make a full large Pyrex bowl of it (7 cup bowl, I think). It definitely filled me up for now (I’m anticipating a mid afternoon apple or something) and feels great to eat so clean after an hour of sweating and stretching.

Here are some of the benefits of the ingredients.

Kale: Considered a “nutritional powerhouse” and a “superfood,” kale is low calorie, high fiber and has zero fat. It’s high in iron, calcium, Vitamins K, C and A, and cancer-preventing antioxidants. It’s a great anti-inflammatory food, fighting arthritis and autoimmune disorders. It’s great for your heart and is detoxifies your liver. (Understand the whole “powerhouse” thing now?)

Pine Nuts: These small (and sadly somewhat expensive) and delicious raw nuts are rich in iron and Vitamins A, D and C, making them good for your circulatory and nervous systems, vision, bones and immunity. They contain something called pinoleic acid, which makes you feel fuller faster. They contain heart-friendly monounsaturated fat and, last but not least, their protein and magnesium makes them a great source of energy.

Tomato: These guys provide thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and… wait for it…fiber! Not a ton, but one serving gives you about 7 percent of your daily allowance. Not bad for a little ol’ tomato.

Red Bell Pepper: Red peppers contain a lot of what tomatoes do, as well as tons of vitamin C (like 200% of your daily allowance in 1 cup), B vitamins, folate, fiber, potassium and tons of antioxidants.

Sesame Seeds and Sesame Oil: These tiny seeds are said to prevent and benefit the following conditions, among others: diabetes, high blood pressure, gingivitis/dental plaque, MS, antibiotic-induced kidney damage, depression and cancer. So, why not sprinkle a few here and there, right?
I wasn’t necessarily thinking of all of this when I started throwing things into the bowl. Some was for flavor, some was to make it more filling or interesting. But here I am full, happy and feeling good. Here’s what I put into it.

• raw leafy green kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
• 1/3 of a large red bell pepper, chopped
• 1 small tomato, chopped
• 3 green onions, minced
• 1/2 to 1 Tbsp. pine nuts
• 1 tsp. sesame seeds
• sesame oil — less than 1 tsp. drizzled
• rice vinegar — two small splashes
• celtic sea salt

Place the kale into the bowl, sprinkle with a couple of shakes or turns of sea salt and massage kale until it becomes dark green and looks “cooked.” Usually takes about 30 seconds. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss to combine. Enjoy!

Cooking Club: Mardi Gras — Vegan Corn Maque Choux

If you’ve followed my blog in the last couple of years, you know that some girlfriends and I have a vegetarian/vegan cooking club. In the beginning, we went to a different member’s house every one to three months. We pick a random theme — from different types of cuisines to colors and more — each make a dish and bring it over, dive in, then share the recipes via e-mail the next day. Most times, we each try to make something new, so we all get to taste test several new recipes at once.

IMG_5374Since the club started in January 2010, the group has seen several weddings, three babies (Urban, our youngest member, left, was clearly unimpressed) and houses come and gone. We’ve all been very busy and the club just hasn’t come together (several of us did make it out to brunch once and a few of us did a mini club a few months ago). So, it was very exciting when I threw an e-mail out a couple of weeks ago and within 24 hours seven or eight of us committed and we had a host! T., who has wanted to be a part of our gang since she returned to Detroit from Toronto almost a year ago, threw out the idea of Mardi Gras and we ran with it!

IMG_5382We had a FEAST complete with smoky greens, rice and tempeh, beignets, a gigantic vegetarian muffaletta, black-eyed peas and rice, and the dish I made — vegan corn maque choux (pronounced “mock choo” as far as I know). Sadly, our host’s King Cake didn’t make it, but her delicious Sazerac cocktails did.

Maque Choux is a side dish I first had at our local Howe’s Bayou restaurant and bar. I grabbed the recipe of Mr. New Orleans himself, Emeril Lagassee, and veganized it. I don’t know about everyone else, but I loved it! It kept really well — I had leftovers a couple of times during the week after. It was really easy and quick to make. I think it would make a great side dish with all types of meals.

OH WAIT. Before I get to the recipe, I almost forgot. We also had sazerac JELLO SHOTS. Dangerous and delicious. Our host knows us well. Don’t you want to reach into the computer and grab one right off this plate:


OK, here’s how you make the maque choux.

2 Tbsp. butter (I used Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks)
4 c. corn (I used frozen, but it would be about 6 ears if you use fresh)
1 c. chopped yellow onion
1/2 c. red and/or green bell peppers, chopped (I used red)
1 Tbsp. minced jalapeno (I minced a whole Serrano pepper)
2 tsp. Emeril’s Essence (I made it per his instructions HERE)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. heavy cream (I used So Delicious plain coconut creamer)

1. Melt butter in a large skillet or sate pan over medium high heat.

2. Add corn, onions, bell peppers, hot peppers, Essence, salt and cook, stirring, until soft, for 10 minutes. Add the cream and cook for two minutes. Serve hot. Enjoy!

Raw Vegan Superslaw

IMG_5402I don’t remember where I got this recipe, but I know I made it about a year ago for the first time. I kind of forgot about it until a raw, vegan client of mine requested it this week. I made a double batch of it tonight (which may have been a mistake — it makes SO freakin’ much — I put the hat and the coffee mug in the picture for some perspective) and am so glad I did. It will feed me for several days and will make me feel great.

Here are a few reasons why:

Kale     Cabbage     Parsley     Lemon Juice     Carrots

AND, this salad is super filling, which is always a good thing. Here’s how it’s done!

1/4 head of red cabbage
1/4 head green cabbage
1 bunch parsley
1 bunch kale
2 carrots
4 green onions
1/4 c. raw cashews, soaked in filtered water for 2+ hours
1/2 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. olive oil
2 garlic cloves
salt and pepper to taste

Chop all of the veggies and parsley one at a time in a food processor (though I find throwing the onions in with the carrots works well), then dump into a large bowl. After all the veggies are chopped, use processor or a blender to blend the dressing ingredients. Mix dressing into veggies and enjoy! I’m sure you could add whatever veggies you have on hand that you need to use up too.