Sesame Kale and Brussels Sprouts Bowl

Heeeeeeey! Sorry I haven’t posted in a while- I keep cooking at night and all of my photos turn out like crap! But, I made this really easy bowl last week, and had enough leftover to snap a photo the following day for you to actually see what this looks like! I made this from ingredients that I had in my fridge, but really liked how it turned out, and hope you’ll enjoy it as well! If I had actually prepared to make this, I would have included some purple cabbage and sesame seeds. So, I’m going to include them in the ingredients for the recipe even though you won’t see it in the photo below. Lastly, I’m going to call this dish gluten free, but the recipe does have soy sauce which contains a scant amount of gluten- so I’ll leave that up to you no-gluten folks to navigate.

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Sesame Kale and Brussels Sprouts Bowl with Chicken and Forbidden Rice

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 rotisserie chicken
  • 1/2 cup black forbidden rice
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 lb brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds (raw or roasted)
  • optional- 1/4 red cabbage thinly sliced
  • For the dressing:
    • 1/2 shallot, finely chopped
    • 2 tsp honey
    • 1 Tbsp tamari soy sauce
    • 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
    • 1/4 cup sesame oil
    • 2 Tbsp grapeseed (or organic canola) oil
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • optional: 2 tsp sesame seeds

Instructions:

  1. Start by cooking the rice. I always cook rice like pasta, I add the rice to a pot and cover it with a lot of water, bring it to a boil, and let simmer until the rice is fully cooked. If this idea stresses you out, just follow the instructions on the package of the black rice. It takes a little less time to cook than brown rice, but at least 30 minutes, so give yourself time. And, don’t forget to generously salt the water!
  2. While the rice is cooking make the dressing and set aside. TIP- save a jam or mustard jar, and when you make dressings, just add all of the ingredients into the jar, give it a good shake, and you’re done- it emulsifies nicely and if you have extra dressing leftover you can just keep it in the jar and use it all week. If you don’t have a jar, use a small bowl and whisk, and start with the honey, soy, vinegar, salt and pepper and shallots, and stream in the two oils as you whisk it all together to emulsify the dressing.
  3. Rotisserie chickens are a staple in my refrigerator. I buy 1 or 2 a week and use them for a variety of things- salads, grain bowls (like this one!), soups, sandwiches, etc. Obviously, roasting your own chicken is ideal, but not always time-efficient, so using a rotisserie chicken when you can is a great substitute. For this recipe I just used half of a chicken and shredded the meat of 1 breast, a thigh, and the leg. If you just want to use white meat, you can use both chicken breasts and save the dark meat for something else- I leave this up to you.
  4. If you can’t find lacinato (or Tuscan) kale, it’s not the end of the world, but when I’m eating raw kale I really prefer lacinato because it’s more tender than curly kale. To clean it, rip the leaves off of the stem, stack the leaves, and roll them into a rough cylinder, and then thinly chop so you have ribbons of kale about the width of tagliatelle pasta. Throw the ribbons of kale into a salad spinner and clean as you would clean lettuce.
  5. To prepare the Brussels sprouts, trim the bottoms and discard the outer leaves. Then you can either thinly slice them with a knife, or if you have a mandolin, you can use that. IMG_2302
  6. In a large mixing bowl, combine the kale, brussels sprouts, thinly sliced celery, shredded chicken, dressing, and some salt and pepper to taste. Mix until everything is combined and set aside until the rice is cooked.
  7. Put the hot rice in a bowl, top it with a heaping portion of the salad, and top with sunflower seeds. Enjoy for lunch or dinner!

Roasted Cauliflower Salad

One of my new(ish) favorite cookbooks is Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi. So, when my friends came over last week for book club, I decided to make a few recipes from the book. I think that playing with new flavor profiles and using different spices is a great way to add variety in your daily meals. Middle Eastern flavors are some of my favorite, but the combination of spices does not come naturally to me because I didn’t grow up eating this cuisine. Even the most seasoned cooks get stuck making the same rotation of dishes because it is what comes naturally to them- it is what they are comfortable making. This is especially common in the winter months when there is not a wide range of fruits and vegetables available to us (locally that is.) So, I think it is especially valuable to use herbs and spices to add variety. The other two main reasons why I (and I think many people) don’t branch out more often is because there are often more steps involved, and I don’t have all of the ingredients readily on hand. Good news is, once you make a couple of new recipes you will have a more fully stocked pantry, and it will be easier for you in the future.

I changed this recipe slightly to take out some extra steps. This will save you some time with prep and with cleanup. So, I hope you enjoy this simple, but new take on cauliflower, and I hope it inspires you to try some new flavors, and experiment more! Also, buy this cookbook! You will LOVE IT! I am going to post another recipe from it soon after I re-test some time saving techniques!

Roasted Cauliflower and Celery Salad

Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem: A Cookbook

Yield: 4 servings (as a side dish) | Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 25 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced on a bias
  • 1/4 Cup celery leaves (tender light green leaves in center of celery stalk)
  • 1/4 Cup parsley leaves
  • 1/3 Cup pomegranate seeds (about 1/2 pomegranate)
  • 2 Tbsp hazelnuts, raw
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tsp sherry vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut the cauliflower into florets. Don’t know how? Let Martha show you how it’s done here.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with the olive oil, salt and pepper, cinnamon and allspice. Spread on a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper for easier cleanup) and place on top rack in the oven. This will give the cauliflower more color and make it more crisp! Roast for 25-30 minutes until cooked through. (Can test with a fork or cake tester.)
  4. Set cauliflower aside and let cool (the salad will be served with the cauliflower at room temp)
  5. Decrease the oven temperature to 325 degrees, spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 15 minutes.
  6. I always peel celery with a vegetable peeler because the strings annoy me- but you don’t have to do this. Thinly slice on a bias (angled cut) with your knife, or if you have a mandolin, you can use that too. img_1936
  7. When hazelnuts are done, let cool, and roughly chop.
  8. Pick leaves of parsley and celery leaves. The leaves inside of the stalk of celery are delicious, and most people just throw them away. Start using them more!
  9. Layer all ingredients in a serving bowl, cauliflower on bottom, then celery, pomegranate seeds, (I just buy them pre-seeded because it is WAAAAY too much of a mess to do it from scratch. But, if you want to do it, cut the pomegranate in half, turn it upside-down over a bowl, and smack it with a wooden spoon- here’s a video for that too!) parsley and celery leaves, hazelnuts, and finish with sherry vinegar, a little more good olive oil, some salt and pepper, and done!

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