My hale and hearty kale super summer recipes – Part 3

My husband and I have an exercise routine in the morning that usually consists of running around our sofa ten times to catch my son just to change him when he is waken up…its just a big game to him. Then after breakfast, one of us need to run around the sofa another ten times just to change his nappy/diaper. Let me emphasise that this is before the real activity starts! For example, Saturday mornings involve approximately 20 laps around the sofa, followed by soccer and then swimming. This might put the little guy’s energy at bay for say half the day, but then there is the entire afternoon remaining!

So, sometimes my only remedy is to put my faith in food to deliver abundant energy sources and the addition of a little coffee (as you might have read from an earlier post).

For those days when you need to load up on energy stores or a little comfort in a hearty meal, here is a fiery dish to get your day underway.

The first is inspired by one of the best breakfasts I have had…ooh, going back about sixteen years or 5,840 breakfasts ago! It was in Budapest, Hungary and I was invited to a friend of a friend’s home for breakfast/brunch. It was a typical hungarian spread; crusty bread, scrambled eggs with the flavours of paprika, peppers, salami, tomatoes or should I say lecsó. Lecsó is a hot and spicy dish of tomatoes, peppers, onions, paprika, garlic, sugar, salt and there are many varieties. I was in heaven and this was so exotic compared to anything I had enjoyed for breakfast back home that it made an impression needless to say. It is though rather simple and really hits the spot.

I will just note though, that my breakfast is the ‘healthy version’ as the condition of my arteries is more important to me than it ever was in my early twenties! I have included something called ‘bacon dust’ in my recipe which all credit for this idea goes to Valli Little, Food Director of delicious. magazine again because she is well – AWESOME!

The other recipe is a no fuss canapé for summer entertaining. They are not only beautiful to look at but are light and almost guilt-free. You can prepare them ahead of time and serve them at room temperature or simply re-heat slightly for a crisper texture.

4. Kale lecsó and scrambled eggs (serves 4).

Ingredients

Lecsó (This can be pre-prepared a day or two in advance and warmed up. It is best to add the kale fresh though).

1 bunch kale (stems removed)

2 rashers of bacon with fat removed and cut into small pieces

1/2 small brown onion sliced

1-2 peppers (yellow and orange) sliced finely

2 ripe roma tomatoes finely chopped

3 tablespoons of tomato puree

1 garlic clove crushed

2.5 teaspoons of sweet paprika

1 teaspoon of sugar

4 pinches of salt

1 tablespoon of water

Scrambled eggs

6 large eggs

2 rashers of bacon

1/4 cup milk

1 tablespoon butter

Sourdough bread

olive oil

Method

1. Wash kale and leave to soak in warm water with some lemon juice. After 10 minutes remove and dry.

2. Add bacon to frying pan for a few minutes to soften on medium heat. Add onions and peppers for 15 minutes on low heat.

3. Add chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, garlic sugar, salt, paprika and cook over medium heat until peppers are soft and tender. Add a the water if a little dry before peppers are soft.

4. Add kale leaves to frying pan to soften for a few minutes, remove from heat and set aside.

Scrambled eggs

1. Place two rashers of bacon in frying pan on medium heat until crispy. Dry on paper towel to remove all moisture.

2. Place bacon in food processor until it resembles a fine consistency or dust.

3. Crack six eggs into a bowl and whisk lightly adding milk half way through.

4. Place butter into clean frying pan on low-medium heat.

5. Add eggs to pan and start with a wooden spatula, gently push outside edges into centre   until you start to see eggs looking creamy and thickening (approx 3 minutes). In the last minute, break up carefully and remove from heat.

6. Serve eggs with sprinkled bacon dust on top, kale lecsó on the side with lightly toasted sourdough bread. Drizzle some good quality extra virgin olive oil on warm lecsó.

5. Potato and kale nests with smoked salmon  (makes 24).

Ingredients

250gm white or yukon gold (starchy varieties) potatoes peeled

12 leaves of kale

1 egg

40gm butter, melted and cooled.

1/3 cup good quality mayonnaise (I use an organic whole egg variety)

1/3 cup light/fat free sour cream

2 tablespoons fresh dill

150gm cold smoked (lox) sockeye salmon

half lemon

sea salt and cracked black pepper

olive oil spray

dill fronds or coriander leaves to garnish

Method

1. Preheat oven to 390F/200C. Lightly grease a 24 capacity mini muffin tray with olive oil spray.

2. Using a mandolin, thinly slice potatoes (please watch fingers!) and then finely cut small matchstick size; about 4mm thick and 6-7cm in length. They certainly don’t need to be perfect match sticks, I just stack my slices and then cut lengthways into the strips.

3. Chiffonade the washed kale leaves and blanch them in almost boiled water for 15 seconds and then place in cold water, drain and dry with paper towel.

4. Place in a large bowl the egg, butter, potato and combine well adding some salt and pepper to taste. Add kale at end.

5. Press approximately a tablespoon into muffin tin to create a nest and bake for 25 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool.

6. Combine sour cream, mayonnaise and chopped dill in a bowl. Squeeze juice of half a lemon over salmon.

7. Spoon a small amount onto nests and top with smoked salmon. Garnish with coriander leaves or dill fronds.

Enjoy!

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My hale and hearty kale super summer recipes – Part 1

Ok, so I’m ready to glow for Summer! With the support of my loving husband who has seen much green fly around this kitchen lately, he might actually think I have gone Kale Krazy, but I have a result which will benefit all of us. I am going to publish them in stages, otherwise there might be some kale backlash in our household! You could prepare a couple of these recipes over the course of the week to ensure you are topped up with your recommended dose of greens!

Tip: How to shop for and prepare kale. Always look for rich deep bluish-green leaves, never yellow or with holes in them. There are many different shapes and varieties out there. The younger or smaller leaves taste better. You can consume the stems, however in some recipes the texture is better to remove them. Never store in fridge pre-washed, wash as you use it. It is preferable to eat within 2-3 days of buying however 5 days is usually fine. To wash, fill up a bowl or your salad spinner with warm water and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or another acid based product like apple-cider vinegar and leave for 5-10 minutes then rinse. To discard tough stems, cut out in a V shape style.

1. Kale smoothie (serves 2). This is a perfect pick me up or breakfast on the go, its delicious and filling as well. You can substitute dairy for non-dairy ingredients too. If you want to make this for children, it is better to use the dark berries that hide the kale, and exclude the flax seeds. Oh and one tip, check teeth immediately afterwards!

Ingredients – Two options (one is non-dairy and the other dairy)

1 cup coconut milk / 1 cup of organic milk

1 banana frozen chopped

3-4 Kale leaves chopped (must strip leaves, remove stems and wash well). I also prefer using a non-curly variety for this one.

1/2 cup packed mixed blackberries and blueberries (or any combination; raspberries, strawberries etc).

1/3 cup coconut yoghurt / organic plain yoghurt optional

1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup to taste

2-3 teaspoons of flaxseed

Method 

1. Blend all ingredients together in food processor or powerful blender

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2. Crunchy kale pesto (serves 6 portions approx). I have to make this every week as my toddler loves it! He thinks he is eating ‘green caterpillars’ as I add them to spiral pasta. It is dairy free so you can add shaved parmesan afterwards if you like that extra rich flavour. We all enjoy this family favourite and I feel good knowing my son has stuffed himself with green goodness.

Ingredients

2 1/3 cups kale or 1 big bunch of kale (choose any variety or a combination).

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup pine nuts

Lemon zest from half a lemon

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

2 small cloves garlic crushed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Method

1. Pre-heat oven to 180 C / 350 F. Once hot, place sunflower seeds and pine nuts on a tray and roast for 3-5 minutes and remove.

2. Chop kale and use leaves only which have been separated from the stem. Cut in a crosswise direction, roughly chopped. You do not need to pre-wash with this recipe.

3. Fill a bowl with iced water. In a saucepan of boiling water, blanch kale for one minute only and then drain and place directly into iced water. Once cooled, drain and dry kale with paper towel.

4. Add half of the kale, half the pine nuts and sunflower seeds, lemon juice, zest, garlic, sugar, salt and half the olive oil to a food processor to finely mix. Once mixed through, add remaining ingredients and process again

5. Add remaining oil, sunflower seeds, pine nuts and process again until fine throughout.

Note: Variations can include substituting half a cup of kale for half a cup of fresh oregano leaves which is wonderful too!

Serving suggestion:- Spiral pasta mixed through pesto with cracked black pepper and more lemon as desired.

Presto! Perfect crunchy pesto ready to eat; can be mixed through pastas, spread on bread toasted bruschetta style with roasted tomatoes, as a side with breakfast or brunch recipes. Store in refrigerator for 3-5 days.

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Ok, so back to the kitchen with my kale to work on the next few…Enjoy!