Organic Winter Wonderland with Kale, Squash Pears and Apples
Organic Winter Wonderland is far from the image conveyed by the popular song we hear this time of year blasting from speakers in stores, malls and the radio. That is a bright, shiny, white world, with words to make the cold reality appealing!
One of my favorite Carols during the Holiday Season is this, a truer picture of white winter:
“In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
That was long ago and far away; this is Florida and we have golden sunshine and fresh colorful, organic veggies, especially in winter!
Organic Red Kale was introduced into the US from Russia..it is a hardy winter vegetable that is available all year long. The red variety may have a few extra nutrients due to its color, but all kale is nutrient dense.
Try this recipe I have adapted from Bon Appetit for Grilled Kale and Potato Salad using your Organic Red Kale this week, and the adorable organic Fingerling Potatoes for a Red, White and Green meal.
Organic Grilled Red Kale Potato Salad
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 organic large potatoes or 12 baby, fingerling potatoes
1 bunch organic red kale, washed and stemmed
1/4 organic red onion, sliced
2 teaspoons organic Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons drained capers
2 tablespoons organic parsley, chopped
Boil the potatoes until soft. Peel them if using Russets, and cut into pieces. Red or fingerling may be left unpeeled and whole or cut as desired.
Slice the organic red onion and toss in about 2 teaspoons oil.
Cut the kale into pieces and toss in 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle with salt.
If you want to grill the potatoes too, cut in half and toss them in some oil with salt. (Optional)
Heat a grill pan or grill until very hot. Grill onions. Remove. Grill Potatoes if desired.
Grill Kale leaves. Caution: be sure to grill the kale until it is crisp or very wilted. Otherwise it will remain chewy. I grilled some crisp, like kale chips and let some wilt from the heat for contrast.
Whisk the remaining ingredients together for dressing.
Arrange the ingredients on a plate. Pour dressing over all and enjoy!
If you can resist simply eating those pretty crisp organic Pink Apples, try a brightly colored Carrot and Apple Soup.
Organic Carrot and Apple Soup
1 tablespoon grass-fed butter
3 organic carrots, sliced
1-2 organic apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 medium organic onion, chopped
1 stalk organic celery, sliced
4 cups organic chicken or vegetable broth
2 sage leaves, chopped finely or 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/4 tsp. pepper, pinch of nutmeg
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon pure Maple Syrup or Raw Honey
Cook the carrots, celery and onion together in the butter in a stock pot. Add the broth and seasonings and cook until veggies are tender. Remove the bay leaf. Stir in maple syrup or honey.
Puree in a blender or food processor. Adjust seasonings. Serve or put in refrigerator to deepen flavors. heat and serve later. Garnish as desired.
You might want to jazz this up with some grated organic fresh ginger…simple peel and grate about 1/2 inch ginger and add to the veggies while cooking in butter. One of my favorite flavor tricks is to add a touch of curry powder. This adds
One of my favorite flavor tricks is to add a touch of curry powder. This adds layers of different flavors which make it interesting, but with no one disticntive spice. If you add 2 or more teaspoons, you will have Curried Carrot Apple Soup, not a bad thing either! Serve that with a dollop of coconut cream and scallion! Yum! Hot or cold, Organic winterwonderland.
Organic Florida Butternut Squash is a unique vegetable. Related to the melon, its fragrance is similar and lovely. Simply roasted alone or with apples or other root veggies it is superb.
The following recipe is for organic butternut squash in a combination dish with kale, bacon and an organic sprouted quinoa blend. The blend has quinoa, brown rice and millet, all nutritious, gluten-free grains that are easy to digest.
Organic Butternut Squash,Kale and Bacon with Sprouted Quinoa
2 slices bacon
½ cup organic red onion, chopped
1 large organic clove garlic, pressed
2 tablespoos plus olive oil
2 cups organic butternut squash, cubed
2 cups, cleaned, stemmed and chopped organic greens
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 cup organic quinoa or quinoa blend cooked in chicken or vegetable broth
Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crispy and browned. Remove from pan and crumble.
Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the bacon fat in the skillet and saute pressed garlic and onion. After they have cooked and begin to be fragrant and softened, toss in the cubed squash.
Stir to blend and continue to cook until squash is almost cooked through.
Add the chopped greens (kalé, chard or spinach) and cook until slightly wilted but still green.
Stir the quinoa into the mixture until blended. Top with cranberries and crumbled bacon.
Adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and more oil if necessary.
Finally, here’s an idea for an Organic Pear and Mascarpone Tart to complete our White Picket Winter Wonderland this week.
Organic Pear and Mascarpone Tart
2 cups organic pecan shortbread cookies or graham crackers
1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup organic sugar
4 tablespoons grass fed butter
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1 organic egg
3 crimson or other organic pears
Preheat the oven to 350.
Process the almonds and cookies in a blender or food processor until fine. Add 1 tablespoon sugar. Melt the butter and mix with the crumbs. Press into a 9 inch tart pan or springform pan on the bottom and up the sides. Let chill a few minutes, then bake for about 10 minutes. Let cool.
In a stand mixer or in the food processor, process the mascarpone, egg and sour cream and remaining sugar until smooth. You may add some almond flavoring or vanilla if desired (1/2 teaspoon).
Pour the mixture into the cooled crust and bake until the cream is set, about 15 minutes. Cool and put into the freezer to chill.
In the meanwhile, peel and slice the pears into wedges and toss with orange juice and some sugar. Arrange them on the tart after it has chilled and serve.
For a really festive tart, poach whole, peeled pears in about 1 1/2 cups red wine with 1/2 cup sugar and a cinnamon stick and some cloves. Let them cook for about 10-15 minutes until slightly softened, but not mushy. Let the pears cool in the syrup, drain, and arrange them on the top of the tart.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Enjoy and Celebrate whatever Winter Wonderland Holiday you choose, Organically, With Blessings!