I’m sort of a salad freak. I’ll put pretty much anything in a salad, and I rarely make exactly the same salad twice. Here’s a new one that I just love.

spinachsalad1

I love the mild flavor of baby spinach as well as the simplicity of using it- there is no chopping required. And as far as spinach nutrition goes, it’s quite high in antioxidants (lutein is one that is often mentioned), B vitamins, and minerals including calcium, potassium, and zinc.

In this salad, I combined the spinach with parsley because I love its nutritional profile (it is also very high in minerals as well as vitamin C), as well as it’s characteristic fresh taste. Toasted hazelnuts add depth and crunch, the pear adds a little sweetness, and the shaved parmesan lends it’s salty richness.

I strongly recommend using Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese here (it’s pretty expensive but a little goes a long way), but any hard Italian cheese will work. I like this dressed with just a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon; feel free to use your favorite healthy vinaigrette recipe, if you prefer.

spinachsalad3

Baby Spinach Salad Recipe
Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

7 cups baby spinach (more or less), preferably organic
1 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup shredded red cabbage-optional
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted in a 350°F oven for appox. 5 minutes
1 pear, shaved with a vegetable peeler
approx. 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings (I use a vegetable peeler for this)
Good olive oil and fresh lemon juice or your favorite healthy vinaigrette dressing
Course sea salt and fresh ground pepper- to taste


Directions:

Mix all ingredients in a medium-large bowl. Compose salad on plates and drizzle with olive oil and fresh lemon juice or your favorite vinaigrette. Sprinkle with a little course sea salt and fresh ground pepper if you like.

spinachsaladabove

whblogoThis spinach salad recipe is my contribution to Weekend Herb Blogging.

WHB was founded by Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen and it is currently managed by Haalo of Cook Almost Anything.
Maninas is the host this week!

The January 2010 DC challenge was hosted by Cuppy of Cuppylicious and she chose a delicious Thai-inspired recipe for Pork Satay from the book 1000 Recipes by Martha Day.

satay2

Since I am still making my way through the 40 pounds of grass-fed beef I purchased as part of a cow share program, I used beef instead of pork in the satay recipe. Feel free to change it up and use another meat such as chicken, or use fish, seafood or tofu instead.

Satay (aka sate) is a Southeast Asian specialty of spicy skewered meat that is typically cooked over a charcoal fire. According to the book Savoring Southeast Asia by Joyce Jue, food historians believe the idea for satay originated in Indonesia. It was most likely inspired by early the Arab traders’ kabob.

Satay is a popular “street food” all across Southeast Asia. The ingredients used to make satay vary from region to region, but turmeric, which gives satay its distinct yellow color, seems to be ubiquitous as a marinade ingredient. There is a definite Indian influence in the marinade we used for the Daring Cooks’ recipe (hello cumin and coriander), but the peanut coconut sauce recipe is probably closer to what you’d find in Thailand.

satay1

Grass-Fed Beef Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce

The key to a flavorful satay is the marinade, so do this part 6-24 hours before you plan to eat.

Satay Marinade

Ingredients:

*1/2 small onion,finely chopped
*2 garlic cloves, finely crushed
*1 Tb. ginger root, finely chopped
*2 Tb. lemon juice
*1 Tb. soy sauce
*1 tsp. ground coriander
*1 tsp. ground cumin
*1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
*2 Tb. vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
*1 pound grass-fed beef, preferably skirt steak, flank steak, or sirloin tip steak, cut into 1-2 inch strips (you could also use chicken, pork, fish or tofu)

Cuppy mentioned that if you’d like a more Thai flavor in your marinade, you can try adding a dragon chili, an extra Tb. of ginger root, and 1 Tb. of fish sauce.

Directions:

Mix all marinade ingredients together in a medium bowl. Cover beef with marinade and refrigerate for 6-24 hours.

Cooking Directions:

If using wooden or bamboo skewers, soak your in warm water for at least 20 minutes before preparing skewers.

Gently and slowly slide meat strips onto skewers. Discard leftover marinade (though if you’re grilling or broiling, you could definitely brush once with extra marinade when you flip the skewers).

Broil or grill at 290°C/550° F (or pan fry on medium-high) for 8-10 minutes or until the edges just start to char (I actually cooked mine on a panini press, so it cooked much faster). Flip and cook another 8-10 minutes.

Spicy Peanut Sauce

Ingredients:

*3/4 cup coconut milk
*4 Tb. peanut butter (I used tahini instead as it’s healthier than peanut butter)
*1 Tb. lemon juice
*1 Tb. soy sauce (I used wheat-free tamari)
*1 tsp. brown sugar
*1/2 tsp. ground cumin
*1/2 tsp. ground coriander
*1-2 dried red chilies, chopped, with seeds (I used 2 tsp. of sambal oelek/Indonesian garlic chili sauce instead)

Directions:

Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl. Add soy sauce and lemon, mix well.

Over low heat, combine coconut milk, peanut butter and your soy-lemon-seasoning mix. Mix well, stir often. Add chilies or chili sauce. Cool before serving.

Cucumbers and onions are traditional condiments for satay. I served mine with a small bowl of rice-vinegar drizzled cucumber slices and some steamed sweet potatoes and broccoli to balance the super seasoned satay. Both the meat and the vegetables were wonderful dipped in the sauce. If you’ve never made satay at home, do try it.

sataysquarecropped

It is often said that the secret of a great soup is great stock; this flavorful lentil soup with rosemary is no exception.

lentil soup | healthy green kitchen

After Thanksgiving, I used my turkey carcass to make a huge pot of turkey stock from which I was able to freeze about 15 quarts. Having homemade stock in the freezer is great for when I want to make soup. In this cold weather, it’s pretty often.

Making stock is quite simple. Here is how I make chicken stock (I made the turkey stock pretty much the same way). If you don’t have homemade stock on hand, use organic store bought chicken or vegetable stock (or you can use water, though the soup won’t be as rich).

I love lentils because they are high in protein and they cook so quickly; this easy lentil soup comes together in under an hour, and it makes a great appetizer, or a nice lunch or light dinner with crackers or a slice of homemade bread and a salad.

Read more