Sunday, March 17, 2013

3 Recipes Fit for St. Paddy's Day (coincidentally)

St. Paddy's day is here!!

I usually don't make a big deal about these kinds of holidays on my blog - Christmas and Thanksgiving are more important to me - but today I realized that my recipes as of late have coincidentally sported a LOT of green and orange. So I thought, why not make a post about St. Paddy's Day?

Today, I'm going to share three fantastic recipes for you. The first two were done weeks ago, and I had promised I would post them on the blog for my friends and family to enjoy. So here they are: Coconut miso- sauteed winter greens and a winter waldorf salad.

Oh man, you're gonna love that salad.

Here's the base I depended on for these two fabulous sides : Coconut cream from a young Thai coconut. One ingredient, and can be found at the nearest asian market, whole foods, or other natural foods store. Sometimes even a regular grocery store will carry them. 

Coconut Cream
Makes about 1.5 cups
* Meat of one young Thai coconut
* water of one young Thai coconut minus 1/4 cup (for your enjoyment and to keep it from being to runny)
Open young coconut and empty liquid out into a cup. Set aside. Scoop flesh and add to blender, then add the reserved coconut water. Blend until perfectly creamy and smooth.

Once you have prepared that, you can now quickly make some delicious gourmet sides!

Sauteed Winter Greens
Serves 3 as a small side
* Big handful Kale
* Big bunch of Swiss Chard
* Generous handful Carrot tops
* 2 green onions
* 2-3 leaves fresh sage, minced
* 1 tsp. coconut oil
* 1 tsp. miso paste
* salt and pepper, to taste (the miso does a pretty good job though)
* coconut cream, as desired (start with 2 tbsp.)
1) Chop the kale, chard, carrot tops, and green onions into small pieces. Add fresh sage.
2) In a large wok, melt coconut oil, add miso paste, and then throw in the greens. 
3) Stir this around for a minute or so, then let it sit 30 seconds. Repeat, this time adding the coconut cream, and stir a bit more frequently. 
4) When the greens start wilting and become very fragrant of coconut and savory goodness, you may remove them from heat. 

Tip: Cook no longer than 5 minutes. The less you cook this, the better it will be for you (and yes, it will still taste divine). 
~    ~    ~

Ok, now for the waldorf salad. Being that it's late winter/early spring, tangerines in my grandma's backyard are now fully ripe and at the peak of sweet tanginess.

These lovely little orange gems are what inspired my winter waldorf salad. You know what's funny? I don't think I've ever even made a regular waldorf salad before - but the idea of crunchy deliciousness from sweet apples, salty celery, and savory walnuts in a creamy sauce just completely won me over. I merged this idea with my desire to use citrus and maple syrup and crossed my fingers. 

So here's my result:

Sucky photo. I know. But many times the best recipes from bloggers are the ones where they are so hurried to eat that they just snap a quick, slapdash photo and devour the dish. So trust me when I tell you... this salad is GOOD. Very, very, good. It's so balanced - tart apples, salty celery, savory walnuts in a sweet glaze, citrusy sweet tangerines, and a creamy coconut blanket over everything.

I know, enough talk. Onward to the recipe:

Winter Waldorf Salad
* 2 large green apples, diced small
* 5 stalks celery, chopped small
* 1 tangerine, sliced, diced, and de-seeded 
* 3/4 cup maple-glazed walnuts 1)
* juice of 1/2 lime
* coconut cream - a lot
* pinch of salt (optional)
Combine all all chopped salad ingredients in bowl. Add walnuts and pour coconut cream over the whole thing. 

1) Tip: you can make your favorite maple-glazed walnut recipe or just do what I did: 3/4 cup walnuts, heat in a pan with maple syrup. Stir around until well coated, remove from heat, add powdered coconut palm sugar. Let it get sticky and hard, and then break up the pieces. 

Now for another great salad. Just made it today, actually. 

Do you see what I did there with that cilantro leaf?? Do you see that?? *snicker*
This, my friends, is a creamy salad inspired by the fresh mangos and in-season avocados I had on hand.  The salad itself is comprised of fresh organic spinach, purple kale, bell pepper, green onions, a squeeze of lime, and lots of fresh champagne mango. 
The dressing is avocado, celery, lime, ginger, dates, and sesame oil. 

The sesame oil and ginger are the most important parts of this dressing - they tie the whole salad together. 

Creamy Mango Avocado Sesame Salad
With a kiss of fresh ginger
Serves 4-6 people as a side, 1-3 as a dish
Salad Ingredients:
* lots of spinach, chopped
* Couple leaves of kale, finely chopped
* 1-2 mangos, diced
* 1 bell pepper, diced small
* 2-3 green onions
* Generous handful of cilantro, finely chopped
* Squeeze of lime
Dressing Ingredients:
* 1 Avocado
* 1 cup celery, chopped
* 2 medjool dates, chopped
* scant 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
* finger-size knob of ginger
* 1-2 squeezes of lime
* water as needed
1) Assemble salad ingredients in a big, beautiful bowl. Add a little lime juice, toss salad, and set aside.
2) In vitamix blender, blend avocado, celery, lime juice, and sesame oil. Add ginger and dates. Add some water as needed.
3) Blend until very creamy, like mousse (not runny like thousand island dressing)
4) Toss salad and dressing until thoroughly combined.


Check out how green this dressing is:

Yeah, that's the leftover. Delish!

Here's some more photos to convince you to make this salad:

I hope y'all enjoy these recipes. I know my family and I sure did! 

Peace, love, and salad!!

~ Natalyn 

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