Archive for January 5th, 2012

January 5, 2012

Kale Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

I found my new go-to salad recipe! Who would’ve thought raw kale could taste so good…I had a similar salad at Brooklyn Winery during my winter vacation in New York this December (awesome place, btw. we won trivia night last week!), and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.

Solution? Some reverse engineering. Ok, so BKWinery’s salad still has some magical touch that makes it taste beyond amazing, but this recipe has passed my live-in New Yorker’s taste test, and he’s OK-ed it for our dinner rotation.


  • 1 batch of kale
  • 1/2 small butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup hulled barley or farro, cooked in chicken stock
  • 1/2 small apple, sliced
  • 1 cup candied walnuts* (adapted from SimplyRecipes)
  • ~1/2 cup of Apple Cider Vinaigrette**


  1. Soak barley over night or for several hours. Rinse and drain. Add to a small sauce pan with 1/2 to 1 cup of chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until barley is cooked through. Stir when needed to prevent sticking. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  2. Wash kale thoroughly. Pull stems off leaves and discard. Stack a few leaves on top of each other and roll like a cigarette. Slice from one end to the other. (aka chiffonade) This prevents bruising of the leaves. And it’s less messy and produces more uniform results than hacking at the leaves. Set aside in colander to drain.
  3. Peel skin off squash with a vegetable peeler. Dice into small cubes. Line a baking pan in aluminum foil. Add cubed squash and drizzle with olive oil. Toss. Spread out evenly across the pan, and bake on 400F until soft. ~2o min.
  4. Add kale into a large mixing bowl with the vinaigrette. With your hands, massage the kale until it soaks up the vinaigrette and softens a bit.
  5. Add apples, squash, grains, and nuts. Mix and serve! (I served it with a spicy pan seared white fish.)

*Candied Walnuts: 

Toast 3/4 cups of crushed walnuts in toaster oven on 350F, for about 5 minutes. In a small sauce pan, heat 2+ tbs brown sugar until it just begins to darken and caramelize.  Add a pinch of salt. Toss in walnuts, stir, turn off heat, and continue to stir, on and off the hot stovetop until walnuts are well coated and not sticking together. Spread out on a flat surface and let it cool. I like my walnuts to have little grains of crunchy sugar, so I dont wait for all of the sugar to melt. You can do that instead if you want glossy coated walnuts.

**Apple Cider Vinaigrette (adapted from Martha Stewart)

  • 1/2 shallot, minced
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4+ cup olive oil
  • salt/black pepper
January 5, 2012

Chorizo and Egg Breakfast Tacos

I promise I’m not under endorsement contracts, I just happen to be rather brand loyal. When I find something that works, I stick to it! Also, I promise I did not intend to create something with so many specific brands in the recipe, feel free to substitute. I just happen to particularly like the end result with this combination of flavors, so I’m including the brands for my own future reference.


  • 6 eggs
  • 1 package of Upton’s Naturals Chorizo Seitan
  • 1 medium potato, diced
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1/4 medium bell pepper, diced finely
  • paprika
  • chili powder (Mexene is my favorite brand)
  • cayenne pepper
  • 8 mini tomatoes (2 buches, still on the vine. )
  • 1 small avocado
  • 1 lime
  • salt/pepper
  • olive oil
  • 9-10 small corn/wheat tortillas


  1. In a skillet, heat plenty of olive oil on medium high. place tomatoes, still on the vine, flat on the skillet. Let them sit until charred on the bottom ~10 min. Flip and char other side.
  2. In a separate non-stick pan, heat another tbs or so of olive oil. Saute onions until soft ~5 min. Season with chili powder and a pinch of salt. Add bell peppers. Saute another 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  3. Add chorizo and break it up in the pan. Stir until heated through. Remove and set aside.
  4. Add another tbs of oil if needed, and brown potatoes, stirring frequently to avoid sticking. Season with a generous sprinkle of salt, lots of paprika, a pinch of cayenne, and another pinch of chili powder. OPTIONAL: add a dash of chicken stock and cover, letting the potatoes soften under the steam. This is my way of using less oil when the potatoes begin to dry out. Otherwise, add more oil and continue cooking until potatoes soften and brown on the outside. Remove and set aside.
  5. Toast tortillas.
  6. Beat eggs. Add onion/bell pepper mixture into eggs. Reduce heat to medium and pour eggs into pan and scramble. Set aside.
  7. Slice avocados and drizzle generously with lime to prevent browning.
  8. Serve everything in separate bowls/platters and let everyone make their own breakfast tacos.

I think the charred fresh tomatoes are rather paramount to this recipe. The taco is otherwise composed of rather dry ingredients. Other alterations to consider: keeping the eggs separate (or mixed with the potatoes) and making a sort of onion/bell pepper/tomato salsa. The reason i didn’t go with a salsa is because for some reason I had a very specific craving for charred tomatoes. On the vine. Drizzled in olive oil and with lots of black pepper. I think I’m gonna go open my left overs container now…