Sunday, January 15, 2012

It's Been a While...

It's been a while indeed. Throughout the hectic holiday season I cooked and I ate but I didn't set aside the time to blog about my shenanigans. Along with millions of others, the new year has me reflecting on my life, who I am, where I currently am and where I want to be. I've also been reflecting about Relish and what "life, food, culture, relish it all" truly means to me. I can be extremely conscious about what I eat, focusing on whole foods and paying attention to where ingredients come from and thoroughly reading labels to avoid unnecessary sugars, chemicals and bi-products. I can also fall into a bad routine of not preparing and eating whatever is easy, convenient and available. This typically leads to bad choices. Sound familiar to anyone else?

I went back to school in the fall of 2008 and hours of couch surfing while doing homework combined with working 50 hours a week at a desk job with an hour commute each way took its toll on my health. So what I've come to realize is that in order to "relish life" I need to take care of myself. While I tend to semi-ignore calories and fat for the holidays, special occasions and entertaining, I actually love to cook amazing healthy foods. I wasn't blessed with super model genes so I've dieted on and off my entire life which has led me to become obsessed with cooking food that packed with flavor while also healthy. It's true, healthy food can be decadent. No, really, I promise.

I'll continue to post my crazed and detailed culinary experiments into other cultures as well as family and special occasion recipes, but I'm also going to begin posting more "every day" recipes, like the one below. I believe healthy eating can be quick, easy and yummy without involving a lot of processed foods or a microwave.

Egg, Kale and Ricotta on Toast

source: Power Foods: 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 cups of fresh kale leaves, washed and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons fat-free or part skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 slices of whole grain bread, toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Crush the garlic cloves.
  2. Tip:

    I've gone through several garlic tools and this is the newest
    one
    , so far, I really like it, it's simple and easy to clean. It's
    made of stainless steel, so using it like a bar of soap under
    running water after you're done will wash away the garlic
    smell from your hands.
    Simply place the garlic under the holes and rock back and
    forth for perfectly crushed garlic.
  3. Heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet and add garlic, stirring for about one minute, until fragrant.
  4. Add kale and water and saute for about 8 minutes, until tender.

    1. Add salt and lemon juice and pepper to kale and stir to combine, set aside.

        Tip:

        I have various sizes of these angled
        measuring cups
         and I use these mini
        versions constantly for liquids. They
        make it super easy to see what you're
        measuring.
      1. Add the remaining teaspoon of olive oil to the pan and crack the eggs into the pan. Cook the eggs sunny side up, with the yoke still bright yellow and soft with the white cooked all of the way through. I lightly sprinkled the eggs with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.

      To Serve

      1. Divide the ricotta cheese between the two slices of toast and top with fresh cracked black pepper to taste.
      2. Top each piece of toast with half of the kale mixture and one egg.
      3. I paired the dish with a fresh halved grapefruit lightly sprinkled with unbleached sugar that I buy in our local hispanic grocery store.

        Tip:

        We found a great tool at a home goods store to easily cut
        grapefruit to eat this way. One end slices down either side
        of the membrane and the other cuts between the peel and
        the fruit with an angled serrated blade.