Marinated Collard Greens

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I absolutely love finding a new twist on an old favorite! Living in the south, collards are a stable, but “how” you cook them is pretty standard. Imagine my surprise when my boyfriend and I stumbled across marinated collards at the market. I envisioned this flavorful explosion of flavors that matched the bright colors! NOT! The greens were very very firm and while the colors were great the flavor was lacking.

If you don’t know me by now I am the queen of “I can make that at home”! So here we go!

Ingredients:
• 1 pound fresh collard greens, cleans and sliced
• 1 C. carrots, julienned
• 1 red onion, julienned
• 1 red bell pepper, julienned
• 1/2 C. rice vinegar
• 1/2 C. olive oil
• 2 tbsp honey
• 1 tsp dried mustard
• 1 tsp celery seed
• 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
• 1/2 tsp kosher salt
• 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

Directions:

1. Clean and slice the collards removing the tough stalk.
2. Add the julienned carrots, peppers, and red onions.
3. Combine the vinegar, oil, dried mustard, salt, pepper, celery seed, and honey in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
4. Pour the sauce over the fresh veggies and toss.
5. Place the salad in a heavy place deal bag and force all the air out of the bag.
6. Marinate the salad for as little as 24 hours or up to 2 days.

Mexican Street Corn

SUMMER! I think I have a love hate with summer. On one hand living in the South I loath the summer humidity, constant evening pop up storms, and a cosy low of 80 degrees 😒. On the plus side, I love, love, love the music in the parks, lazy days with family and friends, holiday celebrations, my birthday, and most importantly SUMMER FRUITS & VEGGIES!
Armed with an array of summer herbs, I’ve been experimenting with flavorful recipes so here we go!

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Ingredients:
4 ears fresh summer corn ears
4 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 C. Mexican queso cheese, chunked
Kosher salt
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
Aluminum foil

Directions:
1. Pull back the husk of the corn ears, remove the silk from the corn.
2. Rub the pads of butter on the ears of corn and sprinkle with kosher salt.
3. Pull the husk over the corn and roll the corn in aluminum foil.
4. Place covered corn on medium-high grill grates for 30 minutes rotating periodically to cook evening on all sides.
5. Remove the corn from the grill then removing the aluminum foil and husk.
6. Smooth mayonnaise over the ears of corn.
7. Break the queso into small chunks and sprinkle over the corn.
8. Top the ears of corn with chopped cilantro and serve.

Traditional Kimchi

As an Army brat, I grew up with an extremely diverse group of friends and a lot of exposure to international cuisine.  My love of Korean food stems from my cousin and her husband who is biracial and part Korean. So one day they decided to take us out to dinner to a Korean grocery store that was also a restaurant (insert side glare). Needless to say, I was SCARED! That was the day I fell in LOVE! From bim bim bap(vegetables over rice with a sunny side up eggs)  to bulgogi (marinaded beef or pork), I love it all. I usually gather my goodies from our local Asian market. I’m there so much, I should know how to speak the language, but alas I’m stuck with pointing and googling titles 🙂

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My natural progression was to try my hand at making Kimchi and it was much easier than I thought! Kimchi is fermented vegetables with a variety of seasons. I will say there are many recipes for kimchi, but I prefer to make mine with more of a sauce versus a slurry. The slurry mixture makes the mixture a bit more thick, I prefer the sauce because I like to use my kimchi several different ways. It can be used as a side dish, stirred into fried rice, or added to make a kimchi pancake(kimchijeon)! I know trying new foods is a bit scary, but step out of the box with me and give it a try.

Let’s get started!

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Ingredients:

Sauce:

  • 8-10 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 heaping tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 grated daikon radish*
  • 1 C carrots, julienned
  • 1 C water
  • ¼ C salted shrimp*
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups Korean Red Pepper Powder
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 1 grated asian pear*
  • ¼ C. salt
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 3-4 canning jars

*These items can be found in your local Asian market; however, I have found the asian pear and daikon radish in local markets.

Directions:

  1. Cut the napa cabbage and quarter it length wise keeping the base in tact.
  2. Make sure the leaves are still connected at the base, gently separate the leaves and sprinkle salt between each section placing more salt close to the base than the tip of the leaf.
  3. Place the quartered napa cabbage in a container that’s deep enough to cover the cabbage with water.
  4. Place a heavy object on top of the cabbage and let the cabbage sit for at least 1 hour but preferably overnight.
  5. Next combine all of the sauce ingredients in very large bowl.
  6. Once the cabbage is brined, rinse, drain, and chop the cabbage.
  7. Toss the cabbage with the sauce mixture until coated.
  8. Place the mixture into the  fermenting vessels and cover with lid.
  9. Make sure not to over pack the jars, leaving at least 1″ of space at the top. If you pack your jar too full you will have a very stinky kitchen.
  10. Let the jars sit on the counter top for at least a day and then place into the refrigerator.
  11. Use the kimchi within 2 weeks. After that you will want to discard it because it will get too strong for use.

Quinoa Tabbouleh

So I love finding eclectic foods and giving them a whirl! This recipe starts off with a couple of definitions because I know trying new foods can sometimes be a bit intimidating (yes as adventurous as I am there are some foods even I am afraid to try).

Let’s start with Quinoa! Yes,  it looks unusual and not many people have tried it, but it is a DEFINITE power house food! Quinoa is categorized as a grain, but it’s actually an edible seed.  It’s lower in carbs than most grains, loaded with protein, and the same caloric value as brown rice.   With all of these benefits, why not give it a try?

Then there’s tabbouleh! Tabbouleh is an arabic salad traditionally made of bulgur although sometimes bulgur has been substituted with couscous.

If you’re looking for something new to try that’s absolutely healthy give this recipe a try as a main vegetarian course or a healthy side dish!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 C. quinoa, rinsed
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ C. olive oil
  • 1 large English hothouse cucumber, cut into ¼ inch pieces
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ C. flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • ½ C. fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 scallions, sliced thinly

Directions:

  1. Place the quinoa, ½ tsp kosher salt, and 2 cups of water to boil over medium high heat in a medium saucepan.
  2. Lower the heat, cover the saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes and fluff with a fork.
  4. After fluffing, spread the cooked quinoa on a large baking sheet to cool throughly.
  5. When cooled, placed quinoa in a large mixing bowl.
  6. While the quinoa is cooling, mix the lemon juice and minced garlic in a bowl.
  7. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and season the dressing with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Add ¼ C. of the lemon dressing.
  9. Add the vegetables, herbs, and scallions to the quinoa. Toss.
  10. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Drizzle with the remaining dressing.

Serves 6

Adapted from Bon Appetit

 

Corn Caprese Salad

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Doesn’t this salad SCREAM fresh, vibrant, and delicious? Ok so just a quick confession… I LOVE CORN! Cob, creamed, steamed, in pancakes (you’ll get that recipe later), in salads, you name it, I LOVE IT..whew ok I’m better.

I ran across this recipe 5 years ago by Cuisine magazine, and after a couple of tweaks, it has been my FAVORITE HANDS DOWN. I decided to share this recipe during a “‘Girls Night In” and after a couple of bottles  glasses of wine, the ladies not only cleaned their plates, but I believe they may have been licking of the plates as well. Take a few minutes to create this easy breezy masterpiece, I’m sure it will be your favorite too. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 c. fresh or frozen corn (fresh is always best)

2 c. grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

1 c. fresh mozzarella, chopped (you may also use shredded if you’re in a pinch)

2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped

2 Tbsp white wine vinegar

1 Tbsp olive oil

pinch of sugar (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Blanch the corn in boiling water for 3 minutes drain and cool.  Combine tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and corn in a large mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk vinegar, olive oil, sugar then toss with the corn mixture. Salt and pepper to taste and serve.

201 calories per cup

Glazed Carrots with Dill

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If you have a can of lemon-lime soda and a carrot, you have the beginning of an unexpected side that’s perfect for a busy week night or an elegant meal. As a lover of vegetables, it doesn’t take much for me to eat my veggies. A recent trip the farmers market in Charlotte lead to long conversations over the different types vegetables from India, how they look, and how to cook them. Any who…back to the carrots and soda. If you love glazed carrots, but you never master the art of the perfect sugar or honey ration to water, lemon-lime soda is the answer! Take a peek at this gourmet recipe made easy and leave your comments! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 lbs. carrots, sliced

12 oz. lemon-lime soda

1 Tbsp butter

¼ tsp fresh dill weed

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Slice the carrots uniformly to promote even cooking. I prefer a mandolin, yes this is one of my favorite kitchen tools ♥. In a medium sauce pan, add the carrots and lemon-lime soda over medium-high heat cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and continue to eat for 10 minutes. Uncover the pan and continue to cook until the carrots are tender and the liquid is almost evaporated.  Add the butter stir until melted and add seasons.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 4 cups. 110 calories per ½ cup

 

Vegetable Melange

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I never knew quick and easy could be so DELICIOUS and I’m sure you will agree.  I stumbled across this wonderfully simple recipe on a quest to take simple common ingredients, but make them spectacular. The thinly shaved veggies sautéed lovingly with butter and olive oil then sparked back to life with lemon!  5 ingredients later, the plates were clean and smiles were on the faces of everyone. Enjoy

Ingredients:

1 large zucchini, shaved

1 large carrot, shaved

2 large leek (white part only), cut into strips

1 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

Shave the zucchini and carrot into ribbons using a vegetable peeler to make long thin strips. A mandolin may work but it’s more difficult to control the thickness of the strip. Heat a medium saute pan over medium high heat and saute the leek in the butter and olive oil mixture for 1 minute.  Add the zucchini and carrot and continue to cook for 3 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and toss the vegetables with the thyme and the fresh lemon juice.  Serve immediately.