Friday, August 16, 2013

Sautéed Kale with roasted Tahini Sauce #GardenCuizine favorite!

Nutrient Dense
Sautéed Kale
with roasted Tahini Sauce
Back in the day, a favorite staple at my health food restaurant was Kale drizzled with tahini sauce. This was 15-25 years ago when Kale was not even popular in the main stream. Our health conscious customers would eat their kale and always comment "What was on the greens?" We sold many bottles of Helen's Pure Foods Michele's Sesame Tahini dressing back then. Michele's dressing is still available in the Philadelphia area if you want to check it out. Tahini dressing is high in fat*, so use it sparingly. *heart healthy monounsaturated fat from the pureed sesame seeds. You can whip up your own sesame tahini sauce at home too. All you need is some roasted tahini.

Many sesame tahini brands are on the market; look for roasted versus raw for best flavor. I often use Joyva brand. Having the highest oil content of any seed, sesame tahini will have a layer of oil on top even more than what you see with pure, natural peanut butter. It takes a little patience initially to cut into the settled brick of nut paste. Slowly cut and mix it to an emulsified consistency; it will be liquidy and much thinner than peanut butter. After mixing, store sesame tahini in the refrigerator and use as needed. Tahini adds flavor to homemade hummus recipes too.

Nutrient Dense Kale
Cruciferous vegetables include kale, cabbage, kohlrabi, cauliflower, collards, arugula, mustard greens, horseradish, broccoli, bok choy, watercress and Brussels sprouts. They are all cole crop members of the botanical genus Brassica. Kale (Brassica oleracea) has a long history and has been cultivated in kitchen gardens for over 2,000 years. 

Brassica veggies provide a wealth of nutrition and health benefits. Beneficial compounds may help prevent cancer. Boiling may decrease the bioavailability of beneficial glucosinolates, so steaming or sautéing is recommended as a preferable cooking method. Eat more of these vegetables as part of your healthy diet. To make Kale with roasted tahini dressing here's what you will need:

Serves 4 (with plenty of extra dressing to save for another time)
bunch Kale - from your garden or from the market - organic preferably

1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
clove garlic
1/8 teaspoon dried hot pepper - optional

Tahini dressing:
4 tablespoons roasted sesame tahini
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

splash low sodium soy sauce
splash hot chili sesame oil

Putting it all together

  • Rinse kale; no need to use a salad spinner to dry kale; any water on the leaves will help cook the kale
  • Pull kale off stems and break into bite size pieces using your hands; set aside in a strainer
  • chop the kale stems into small pieces
  • chop the onion
  • Mince garlic and if desired, pinch dried hot pepper from your garden
In a small bowl, combine tahini dressing ingredients and gently whisk until well blended. Taste and adjust seasonings to taste; add more or less water to desired consistency. Set aside.  

In a wok or large skillet, heat olive oil - sauté chopped onion and kale stems until onion is transparent and kale bits are tender. Add garlic, stir. Add kale and stir. Add a little (1-3 tablespoons) water, cover and simmer until tender.

Serve kale drizzled with tahini dressing and enjoy!

Grow your own Kale
Seeds are available from many providers. Look for heirlooms.

GardenCuizine Kale Nutrition Data:  approximately 2 cup raw/ 1 cup sautéed Kale (not including other ingredients)
Excellent source: Vitamin A, vitamin C, Vitamin K, Copper, Manganese, Isothiocyanates
Good source: dietary Fiber, Thiamin, Riboflavin, vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Potassium

Dietary Fiber 2.6g (10% DV); Protein 4.4g (8% DV); omega 3 fatty acids 242 mg; Vitamin A 20,604 IU (412% DV WOW!);  Vitamin C 160mg (268% DV); Vitamin K 1,094 mcg (1,368% DV); Thiamin 0.2mg (10% DV); Riboflavin 0.2mg (10% DV); Vitamin B6 0.4mg (18% DV); Folate 38mcg (10% DV); Calcium 181mg (18% DV); Potassium 598mg (18% DV); Copper 0.4mg (20% DV); Manganese 1.0mg (52% DV)

Related Links
Growing Cole Crops 
Crispy Kale Chips
Eat More Kale - but Make Sure it's Edible Kale
Photo collage and blog post Copyright (C)2013 Wind. All rights reserved.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

@TheDeersHeadInn Sautéed Diver Scallops w/ Spinach, Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives and Feta over Capellini #GardenCuizine

Mediterranean Scallops
The Deer's Head Inn
Elizabethtown, NY

What a pleasure it was to luck out and discover a restaurant in the gateway to the Adirondack High Peaks with a chef who is generous with nutritious garden vegetables. I'm not sure if it was Chef Matt Baldwin who prepared our meals that hot Saturday, July 20th, evening - the night of the Elizabethtown Day fireworks - but kudos to all who worked that night; we really enjoyed our meals.

The photo shows their Mediterranean Scallops dinner entree, which featured sautéed Diver Scallops with Spinach, Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives and Feta over Capellini served with a generous side of steamed asparagus.
The Deer's Head Inn is located in the Adirondack mountains in the home of the Essex County seat - Elizabethtown, NY. We stumbled across their historic Inn (est. 1808) and restaurant after having to go into E-town to get our car repaired. Our server couldn't have been nicer too. We will surely return the next time we visit this quaint and charming town.
photos Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Fabulous Folate: Beets * Spinach * Black-eyed peas * Asparagus * Brussels sprouts * Romaine lettuce #GardenCuizine

Fabulous Folate
An important water soluble 
B Vitamin

Take a look at which foods contain folate and be sure to eat them. When it comes to Folate - a natural, water soluble B vitamin - think of the word "foliage" since Folate is found in vegetables like spinach, turnip greens and Romaine lettuce. Folate is also found in other foods too, including: fruits,fruit juices, nuts, beans, peas, dairy products, poultry, meat, eggs, seafood, and grains. Brussels sprouts, asparagus, breakfast cereals, liver, black-eyed peas, rice, and yeast are excellent sources of folate.

Folate is needed by our bodies to serve as a coenzyme or cosubstrate in protein metabolism and in single-carbon transfers in the synthesis of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA). We need folate for proper cell division. An impairment in adults can lead to megaloblastic anemia, an indicator of folate deficiency. Folate is especially important for the prevention of neural tube defects in newborns.

The U.S. Public Health Service recommends that to reduce the risk of having a pregnancy affected by spina bifida or anencephaly, women capable of becoming pregnant should consume at least 400 micrograms (mcg) a day of synthetic folic acid either from a vitamin supplement, breakfast cereals or other fortified foods, in addition to eating a healthy diet that includes folate-rich foods. Folate requirements increase during pregnancy to 600 mcg a day. Folate is an important nutrient regardless of planning a pregnancy. In fact, men need folate too. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) by the Institute of Medicine for males age 14 to 70+ is 400 mcg a day.

Since January 1998, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required manufacturers to add folic acid to enrich breads, cereals, flours, cornmeals, pasta, and other grain products. Cereals and grains are widely consumed in the United States, therefore are important contributors of folic acid to the American diet.

Add some of these selected Food Sources of Folate
to your daily diet
mcg Folate
per serving
Beef liver, braised, 3 ounces
Turnip greens, boiled 1 cup
Spinach, boiled, ½ cup
Black-eyed peas (cowpeas), boiled, ½ cup
Breakfast cereals, fortified with 25%DV
Asparagus, boiled, 4 spears
Spaghetti, cooked, enriched, ½ cup
Brussels sprouts, frozen, boiled, ½ cup
Lettuce, romaine, shredded, 1 cup
Avocado, raw, sliced, ½ cup
Spinach, raw, 1 cup
Broccoli, chopped, frozen, cooked, ½ cup
Green peas, boiled, ½ cup
Kidney beans, canned, ½ cup
Peanuts, dry roasted, 1 ounce
Wheat germ, 2 tablespoons
Beets, one 2-inch beet
Endive, 1/2 cup chopped
Tomato juice, canned, ¾ cup
Crab, Dungeness, 3 ounces
* Percent Daily Value (%DV) is based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Watch for my next article on Dave's Gardens for more information on plant sources of B Vitamins ...coming soon! 
Related Links 
NIH Folate dietary supplement fact sheet
Photo and Blog post Copyright (C)2013 Wind. All rights reserved.