Quick Kale Sauté

I’m finally feeling functional after being quite sick the past few days, and I discovered a trick for feeding your family crazy healthy food: go to the store when you are feeling just enough better to be hungry. I stopped into Trader Joe’s this morning, and there was not enough green in the whole store for me. I could have gobbled down every last bite of produce in the place on the spot. I restrained myself from doing that, and came home and whipped myself up a heaping bowl of this delicious goodness. The inspiration is all from Joie, and this dish of green wonder can be modified a hundred ways, but this is how I made it today and it hit the spot. Also, it took less than 3 minutes, for real. (It would take more if you don’t buy prewashed kale.)


  • Coconut oil (or other cooking oil) — a couple of teaspoons maybe, you know, a dollop
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced or minced, as you prefer
  • 1 handful of raisins
  • 2 big handfuls of kale (I bought the prewashed and cut kind at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/2 handful pecans (toasted would be lovely; I couldn’t be bothered)


  1. Add the coconut oil and garlic to a skillet over medium heat.
  2. When the coconut oil is melted and before the garlic browns, add the raisins and kale. Cook until the kale is bright green and just starting to wilt.
  3. Add the pecans and toss everything around for 30 or 45 more seconds.


Just Like Chipotle’s Corn Salsa

My husband loves Chipotles’ corn salsa and now I think I might, too. This recipe, via how sweet it is, is delicious.

(Makes a big bowl)

1 12-ounce bag of frozen sweet yellow corn, defrosted and drained
2 medium-sized jalapenos, seeded and chopped (leave in some seeds for more heat if desired)
1/2 red onion, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
3/4 cup fresh cilantro, torn or chopped
the juice of 2 (juicy!) limes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix, mix, mix. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Add more cilantro, jalapeno or lime according to your tastes!

101 Salads: The One with Quinoa and Tomatoes

salad2I made this two different ways: once with lime juice and cilantro and again as written, with lemon juice and parsley. I much preferred the first version (with lime juice and cilantro). It may be that I just don’t care for parsley, but I didn’t finish even a small bowl of the lemon and parsley version. I would make this again if I wanted to use up some quinoa, but I’m not in a big hurry to.

Cook and cool quinoa. Toss with olive oil, loads of lemon juice, tons of parsley, some chopped tomatoes, and toasted pine nuts (optional).

Kohlrabi with Peas and Potato

Kohlrabi is a new-to-me vegetable, and when I got one in the CSA box last week, I turned to my Simply in Season cookbook for help. The flavors in this dish were delicious. I actually had a hard time telling the (very mild-flavored) kohlrabi from the potatoes, which makes me think the recipe would work as well with all potatoes (and no kohlrabi). 


  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 cup kohlrabi bulbs, peeled and chopped (about 1 bulb)
  • 1 cup potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped (I used canned, crushed)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • kohlrabi leaves, finely chopped (surely these are optional?)
  • 1/2 cup peas
  1. In a large soup pot, sauté onion and garlic in oil, about 3–4 minutes.
  2. Add dry mustard, cumin, turmeric, and coriander and stir-fry for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add kohlrabi and potatoes and stir briefly.
  4. Add tomatoes, water, salt, and sugar. Bring to a boil, then simmer until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 15 minutes.
  5. Add kohlrabi leaves and simmer 8–10 minutes.
  6. Stir in peas and cook until they are done.

Holiday Green Beans

It’s official: Needs More Butter has become my virtual three-ring binder. My original binder is practically obsolete and it’s high time I transfer a few tried-and-true recipes. Here is my favorite special green bean recipe. It’s a wonderful replacement for green bean casserole during the holidays.

2lb fresh green beans
2 T butter
1 C chopped walnuts
2 T walnut oil
2 T minced parsley
s&p to taste

Cook beans in boiling water until tender (approximately 5 minutes). Then rinse in cold water and drain.

Melt butter and oil in a skillet over high heat. Add beans and heat for 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add walnuts and parsley, toss together, then serve.

**I never use walnut oil and the recipe still turns out nicely because it’s so simple and unfussy. This dish travels well. You can cook the green beans at home, then complete the final steps once you’ve arrived for the big family dinner.

Cornmeal Pie

This is another recipe from Clean Living. Technically, this is Polenta Pie, but Jason hates the word “polenta,” so I had to change it if he was even going to try it. Simon ended up calling it Corn Pie.

Ingredients for the Crust:

  • 1 cup coarse cornmeal or polenta
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning blend (or 1/2 teaspoon each dried basil, dried thyme, dried rosemary)

Ingredients for the Filling:

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (I used less)
  • 4 cups swiss chard, rinsed, tough stems removed, remaining leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 cup black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed


  1. Rub 9-inch springform pan with a small amount of oil and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Prepare crust: Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a saucepan. Add cornmeal and salt, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 25 minutes or until cornmeal is soft and creamy, adding more water if desired or if cornmeal begins to look dry. Remove from heat and stir in dried herbs.
  3. Prepare filling: In a large skillet on medium heat, sauté onion in oil for 3 minutes or until onion just begins to turn translucent. Gently fold in chard and cook for another 2 minutes, then stir in peas and remove from heat.
  4. Add half of herbed cornmeal to springform pan, using a spatula to smooth it across the bottom. Spoon chard filling onto cornmeal, then finish with another layer of remaining herbed cornmeal. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until top begins to turn golden brown.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 5 minutes. Unlock sides of springform pan and use a flat spatula to serve portions of pie.

Cranberry Anything Muffins

One of the reasons I generally like cooking better than baking is that cooking tends to be a little more forgiving when it comes to experimentation and substitutions. Lately, though, I’ve been playing with quickbreads. For this recipe, I took elements from three or four recipes and hoped for the best. These muffins were good enough that I wanted to remember and repeat.

I specifically wanted these to be low fat and low sugar.  They ended up being vegan too.


  • 1 1/2 cups flour (you could use some wheat flour — I didn’t have any)
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (you could use any kind of milk)
  • 1/2 cup butternut squash puree
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar (you could use brown or white sugar)
  • 2 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1 cup cranberries (I gave mine a little whir in the food  processor)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper baking cups.
  2. Combine the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda,  cinnamon, and coconut in a large mixing bowl and stir. In a second bowl, mix the applesauce with the milk, squash puree, agave, and bananas with a wooden spoon. Add the flour mix slowly, stirring just until moistened. Carefully stir in the cranberries. Do not overmix — the batter is supposed to be lumpy.
  3. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake 18 to 20 minutes.