Colorful Kale, Apple, and Fennel Slaw with Tart Cherries

Recently we had another death in my parish and, like I often do, I decided to bring a salad to the funeral luncheon. I was looking for something that would hold up well with refrigeration and this recipe from the Love Real Food cookbook seemed to meet those needs. The sweet lime dressing was a great contrast to the cherries and slight spiciness of the fennel. The flavors all complemented one another quite nicely.

Colorful Kale, Apple, and Fennel Slaw

Colorful Kale, Apple, and Fennel Slaw with Tart Cherries

2 c packed chopped Tuscan kale leaves, tough ribs removed
2 c thinly sliced red cabbage
2 c thinly sliced brussels sprouts, tough ends trimmed
1 c thinly sliced raw fennel
1 medium-large Granny Smith apple, cut into 1/2 in cubes
1/2 c chopped dried tart cherries

3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp honey or maple syrup
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp sea salt

To prepare the slaw: In a large bowl, combine the kale, cabbage, brussels sprouts, fennel, apple, and dried cherries.

To make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, honey, vinegar, mustard, and salt until blended. Taste and adjust as necessary.

Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. For best flavor, let the salad marinate for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. This slaw keeps well, chilled, for 2 to 3 days.


African Peanut Soup

At the start of February, the temperature suddenly dropped back below zero and soup became an absolute necessity.  I had been planning to make this soup for some time — it’s a question where the recipe came from — and it seemed like the perfect night to make it.  The vegetables and chicken are nicely sweetened by the peanut butter and a little heat is added with the crushed red pepper.  I added some salt — the peanut butter I used was a low-salt organic peanut butter and it needed just a bit to help bring all the flavors together.

African Peanut Soup

African Peanut Soup

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped
2 red or green bell peppers, chopped
3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups cooked, diced chicken
2 quarts chicken stock or broth
1 can (28 ounces) Italian tomatoes, chopped, with juice
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme (for garnish)

In vegetable oil, saute onions, bell peppers, and garlic until soft. Add chicken, stock, and tomatoes with juice, crushed red pepper, and black pepper.

Stir in peanut butter until well blended. Simmer about 5 minutes. Serve in bowls or on top of rice. Sprinkle with fresh thyme.

Very Wild Rice Waffles with Dried Cranberries

Maybe I have been watching too many episodes of Parks and Recreation lately, but I have had such a hankering for waffles.  But I was looking for a waffle that was a bit more hearty than the average one and then I came across this recipe in Celebrating the Midwestern Table for wild rice waffles and knew that this was what I wanted to try.  With the blend of wild rice and craisins, the waffles were nicely sweetened with a tad of maple syrup.  They were more chewy than most, with a great nutty flavor that only wild rice can add.  I’d highly recommend them if you have a brunch where you are wanting to change things up a bit from egg bakes and pancakes.

Wild Rice Waffles

Very Wild Rice Waffles with Dried Cranberries

1/2 c flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 3/4 c well-drained cooked wild rice
1/3 c dried cranberries
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 c buttermilk
2 eggs
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Put the flours, wild rice, cranberries, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Mix until combined.  Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients; stir well.

Ladle the batter onto a preheated greased waffle iron.  Cook the waffles until browned and a little crispy.  The waffles can be kept warm in a preheated 200-degree oven while cooking the rest.

Devilish Eggs with Cheddar, Chipotle, and Chives

Sometimes I get to the point where I think, “I cannot handle one more sweet treat.”  Do you ever reach that point?  It’s almost like the thought of more sugar coats my mouth with a sense of slime and all I want is to bite into a different kind of snack that quenches the desire for something soft, while simultaneously is not sweet.  This is when I most frequently turn to a recipe for deviled eggs.  This, or when I want a quick breakfast as my go-to throughout the week, and something cold will fit the bill.  I was trying to put together something that strayed from my usual deviled egg recipe, and without the smoky flavor of my other recent deviled egg recipe.  This recipe from In My Kitchen: 100 Recipes and Discoveries for Passionate Cooks fit the bill and had a great kick to it for our next meal.

Devilish Eggs with Cheddar, Chipotle and Chives

Devilish Eggs with Cheddar, Chipotle, and Chives

1 dozen large eggs
1/2 c finely shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 c mayonnaise
1/4 c sour cream
2 Tbsp chopped chives
4 tsp chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
pinch of kosher salt

Put the eggs in a saucepan, cover with cold water by 1 inch and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes; then drain and immediately plunge the eggs in an ice bath to cool.

Peel the eggs, slice in half lengthwise, and scoop out the yolks.  Put the whites on a platter.  Pass the yolks through a sieve into a medium bowl, or just mash with a fork.  Mix in the cheese, mayo, sour cream, chives (reserving 1 teaspoon for garnish), chipotles, paprika, and salt.

Using a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch tip to pipe the filling into the whites, or, if you’re less fancy, use 2 spoons.  Sprinkle with the reserved chives.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving.

Savory Snack Mix

Part of my schtick on campus is to drive around on a golf cart once a month and pick up people wearing our school colors.  There have been times when I have asked them trivia questions and forced them to get out if they got one wrong (like Cash Cab); recently I took clorox wipes and had them clean their phones as we drove around; I’ve asked about institutional mission, expected them to tell me about ways they are experiencing abstract concepts like intercultural literacy or knowledge in their college experience.  Most recently, I handed out snacky treats in the form of this savory snack mix from the Fix It and Forget It: Slow Cooker Magic cookbook.

Savory Snack Mix

Savory Snack Mix

4 c corn chex
2 c wheat chex
2 c mini pretzels
1 1/2 c cheezits
1 c roasted cashews
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 Tbsp ranch dressing mix
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder

Place corn chex, wheat chex, pretzels, crackers, and cashews into slow cooker.  Gently stir in melted butter.  Whisk together remaining ingredients and sprinkle over mixture in the cooker, stirring once or twice as you sprinkle so all the pieces get some seasoning.

Cook on low for 1 hour, covered.  Stir.  Cook uncovered for 1 more hour.

Spread on a sheet pan and let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Thai Spice Holiday Nuts

Similar to the nuts I shared a few days ago, these were another gift for Meg’s brother’s family.  The original recipe called for Chinese 5-spice, but I couldn’t find that spice in my cupboard (I’m wondering if I used it up??), but I did have a thai spice mixture that I purchased at a farmer’s market in Indianapolis when I was there for a conference.  These were a more spicy nut mixture than the last recipe collection.  The recipe came from In My Kitchen and I thought they tasted pretty good.  I hope to make them with the Chinese Five spice in the future.

Thai Spice Holiday Nuts

Thai Spice Holiday Nuts

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Thai spice powder
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp sugar
2 c mixed nuts
1 tsp kosher salt

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly oil the paper.  Heat the 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick saute pan over medium heat.  Add the five-spice powder, curry, and cayenne, and cook until fragrant, about 10 seconds.  Stir in the sugar and then the nuts.  Stir until the mixture light golden brown and the nuts are completely coated, about 5 minutes.

Spoon the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, separating the nuts with a spoon.  Sprinkle with the salt, and let cool.  Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Roasted Nuts with Ginger, Soy, and Honey

One set of my neighbors have gotten a dog that is a sibling of my dog, Meg’s.  While they aren’t from the same litter, these two puppies run and chase each other and look overwhelmed by each other’s presence when they are running around.  And, when Meeko is not around, Meg lingers in front of his house, hoping he’ll show up and say hello from inside the recesses of the doors.  Meg will start to trot down the driveway or look at the back fence, seeking out her brother.  Well, around the holidays, I wanted to leave them a little snack as I left town and went to spend the holidays with my family, but I knew that there was at least one member of the family with a gluten allergy, so I landed on a couple kinds of nuts (the next two posts), which they could enjoy while also playing some games and hanging out.  This recipe, from How to Cook Everything Fast, was a great mix of salty and sweet and made for a great half of a gift to share with someone else.

Roasted Nuts with Ginger, Soy, and Honey.jpg

Roasted Nuts with Ginger, Soy, and Honey

1-inch fresh ginger
2 Tbsp honey
2 tsp soy sauce
Vegetable oil
2 c unsalted raw nuts
salt and pepper

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Put a large skillet over medium-low heat.  Peel and mince 1-inch fresh ginger.  Add 2 tablespoons honey, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, and the ginger to the skillet.  Bring to a simmer.  Grease a rimmed baking sheet with vegetable oil.  Add 2 cups of nuts to the skillet.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat.  Spread the nuts evenly on the baking sheet.  Roast, shaking occasionally, until lightly browned, 10 minutes.  Let the nuts cool for a few minutes before serving.

Variation: with smoked paprika and lemon

Skip the honey.  Substitute 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest for the ginger, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika for the soy sauce, and olive oil fro the vegetable oil.