Saturday, January 22, 2011

Kale with Raisins and Pine Nuts

Mmm, kaaaale.....

It's a vegetable recipe!

Kale. I must admit, Kale has tended to be one of my "last resort" vegetables. When I'm sick of the usuals (broccoli, spinach, zucchini, even chard), then I end up buying less desirable veggies, like kale. But I've never really tried cooking kale. It usually just gets thrown in a pan and boiled (gross), or sauteed with some oil and minimal seasonings (slightly less gross). But then I found this recipe in a Family Circle magazine, and it looked exciting and tasty!  ...and so it was. Kale has redeemed itself.


2 tbs olive oil

4 cloves garlic, mashed     ----> cook in a skillet over medium heat until garlic is golden, then add:
1 lb kale, cut into pieces   ----> saute 2 minutes, add:
1/4 tsp salt
1 pinch red pepper flakes
2 tbs raisins
2 tbs pine nuts                  ----> cover and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a little water if kale
                                                  gets too dry.

There ya go! The kale ends up tasting rather sweet from the raisins, and the pine nuts add a complementary savory flavor. Enjoy.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Chocolate Covered Waffle Sticks

Chocolate covered Waffle sticks, featuring the Sweet 'n' Savory Challenge ingredient of the month: Coconut Oil!

Coconut oil is one of my kitchen staples. Great for baking, great for a butter-substitute, it's all-around delicious and healthy. Plus, it has the unique property of a melting point around 76 F. This means that at warm temperatures, it is a liquid just like olive oil-- but at cold temperatures (aka, now) it is completely solid.

With all of the recipes in which I use coconut oil, for this month's challenge I wanted to pick a recipe that exploits the oil's high melting point. Really, no other oil can be substituted for this chocolate coating.

So, I present to you: Chocolate Covered Waffle Sticks-- a breakfast in dessert's clothing.  (...which obviously still makes it a breakfast.... right??)

Any type of waffle will due for dipping in this delicious chocolate sauce, but I opted for my trusty Cinni-Teff waffles.


Cinni-Teff Waffles:

1 egg or egg substitute equivelent
1 tbs extra light olive oil                        ----> whip
1 cup milk substitute (rice/soy/almond/coconut)
1 tsp vanilla (alcohol-free)                    ----> mix
3/4 cup teff flour
1/4 cup cinnamon (or more/less to taste... I like lots!)
1 tsp baking powder                           -----> mix
1/8 tsp salt

Bake on high in (Belgian) waffle iron, then let cool. (Try not to eat them all at this stage...) These proportions make about 4.5 x 5 inch waffles.

Chocolate Dipping Sauce:

3 tbs coconut oil
3 tbs cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp agave nectar (or to taste)

Melt coconut oil in a small pan over low heat. As soon as it is melted, remove from heat. Stir in cocoa powder, vanilla, and sweeten to taste with agave. Let cool until mixture just begins to thicken. To speed the process, luke-warm pan of chocolate can be placed in the fridge for short periods of time. Just be sure to check/stir it frequently to prevent the coconut oil from hardening prematurely.


Slice waffles into strips, or alternately cut bite-sized peices around each square. When sauce has begun to thicken, dip each piece into the chocolate sauce. If chocolate sauce thickens too much for dipping, spread with a knife onto waffle. If desired, roll in shredded coconut, nut pieces, or other small delicious item. Place on a waxed paper-lined plate/cookie sheet to harden. To speed hardening, place cookie sheet in fridge.

Long long ago, I used to eat chocolate covered waffles from Whole Foods. They were delicious. So are these. Really, absolutely the same. Which = success!

Also: in nine weeks, I am incredibly excited to report that I will be visiting a friend in Trinidad for Carnival 2011. This will involve parading through the streets in this costume, which will require looking phenomenal, which will require cutting back on the dessert (and all other food...) for the next nine weeks. Which, in turn, requires me to not bake any more desserts for quite some time. So, be prepared for a temporary dessert-hiatus-- yet I will try to post some veggie/entree recipes.

Anyway. Chocolate covered waffle sticks? These aren't desserts! They're just waffles. Good old, breakfast-certified, waffles.