Friday, November 16, 2012

In My Kitchen

       Lately I have been going through some health stuff and have felt the need to take back control of my eating- pre babies I was not the healthiest but I ate elaborate salads every day for lunch at work- and I had a lunch hour where I sat and relaxed and mindfully ate my food. Then the babies arrived and I stayed home- I feel like my story is the story of many mothers- grabbing random slices of toast while standing by the sink. So four years into being a Momma and I am now facing doctor's orders to lower my sodium and loose the weight-  and this Momma wants to stick around for awhile!

   Enter in the salad as a meal- I do love my greens and am welcoming them back into my life as a key player on my road to good health. Last weekend in Portland I ordered a salad that I feel is going to change my life- it was delicious, filling and satisfying- Kale, beet and quinoa with candied hazelnuts and goats cheese. Yah it hit all the right notes- sweet and savory- just the way I like it! So today I tried to reproduce this wonder salad as best I could- and I gotta say I am one happy gal!

The Goods:
 Kale- washed and taken off the hard stock
beets- roasted, skinned and cubed
quinoa- about 1 cup cooked
goat cheese- I just used a bit
cranberries ( oh yes!)
candied nuts- I used walnuts

The Deal a.k.a. The Dressing
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 sprigs fresh rosemary- finely chopped
2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
2 sprigs parsley- finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt( I omit this)

- put everything in a mason jar and shake, shake, shake senora, shake it all the time....

      Now I suppose you want the candied nut recipe! I will give you fair warning- they are completely addictive- I made them for a bake sale once and was yelled at when I sold out! They make a great Holiday or hostess gift when packed inside a pretty and useful jar- and are fantastic on top of ice cream or in trail mix as a little somethin' somethin'.

The Goods:
1/2 cup white sugar
2 cup of nuts- pecans, walnuts, hazel nuts are all great
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon salt (again I omit this for myself)

The Deal:
in a pan ( I use cast iron) over medium heat add nuts, butter and sugar- let butter melt and then mix evenly to coat nuts in butter & sugar mixture. Stirring constantly until nuts are toasted and sugar is golden- and syrupy looking- about 15 minutes. Removed pan from heat and add vanilla- immediately spread out  evenly onto aluminum foil, sprinkle with salt and let cool.

Word: have everything set up before you start this- have your aluminum foil spread out onto a cookie sheet right beside you- have the vanilla with in arms reach- this is not a recipe to walk away from at any time!

    Thanks to my mom for sharing this recipe with me years ago- you helped me look gourmet and fancy even in university!

    Friends it is Friday again- already- that is what happens when you have a long weekend at the start of your week! I think we are just going to snuggle in this weekend- get caught up on some boring home repairs, start some Christmas sewing and have dinner with my Mr.'s Aunt and Uncle- they are always a hoot. Hope your weekend is creative and warm- see you Monday!


  1. Both the salad and nuts sound amazing! Ithik I'll be making both! Thanks again!

    1. FYI according to my dad this is not diet food- it was difficult to explain I am not on a diet- just taking better care of myself! The salad has enough going on that I didnt notice eating kale- which I find difficult to eat!

  2. Did you massage your kale? It makes it easier to eat. Also WECK! Jealous!

  3. I did not know about massaging kale- do you just scrunch it up sort of? How do you do it?


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