Sunday, July 13, 2008

Garlic Ginger Kale with Portabella Mushrooms

(photo from

This dish was made with the Georgia grown Coleman River Farm's Lacinata Kale (also known as Black Kale or Dinosaur Kale), and came together in mere minutes. Loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, this is a fantastic side dish, or even a main course to whip together and enjoy.

Garlic Ginger Kale with Portabella Mushrooms
2" piece of ginger, peeled and grated
4 cloves garlic, minced
1# kale leaves, trimmed and roughly chopped
2 large Portabella caps, cubed
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 Tbsp miso tamari (or low sodium soy sauce)
1 Tbsp olive oil

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
Rinse and drain kale, leaving the leaves wet.
Add onions to the pan and cook until wilted, add all of the remaining ingredients, stirring well to distribute. The moisture on the kale leaves will cause a "steam-saute" effect. Cover if desired and cook for 10 minutes or until leaves are tender.

Simple Summer Mixed Pepper Medley

Substitute any of your favorite peppers to increase or decrease the spiciness of this condiment/side dish. It's loaded with flavor and antioxidants, and the short cook time makes this a fabulous condiment for fish, chicken, tofu or whole grains.

Simple Summer Mixed Pepper Medley
2 banana peppers, seeded and large diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and large diced
1/2 fennel bulb, small dice
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Add olive oil to a pan over medium-high heat and saute red onions until slightly caramelized. Add the remaining ingredients and continue to cook for 5-8 minutes or until just crisp-tender -- cook longer to stew down. Use as a condiment to top proteins, or incorporate into side dishes featuring whole grains or pastas.

"Food as Medicine" Recap

In the last Food as Medicine class held July 12 at Sevananda Natural Food Co-Op, we looked into Antioxidants and their role in an "anti-inflammatory diet." We shared an eye-opening revelation about the simplicity of healthful eating, and how many of the foods we eat daily contribute to our well being by acting as a buffer between ourselves and the toxins that invade our lives via biological, environmental and artificial stimuli.

Woah that's a mouthful, but it was all quite simply explained in class, then highlighted by these easy yet delicious dishes: Garlic-Ginger Kale with Portabella Mushrooms, Blueberry Melon Salad and a Simple Summer Mixed Pepper Medley.

The Blueberry Melon Salad not only highlighted the seasonal Georgia-grown blueberries, but also illuminated beautiful native Yellow-fleshed Watermelon and succulent Galia Melons with a touch of mint on a bed of tender organic green leaf lettuce, with a simple dressing of agave nectar and white wine vinegar.

The Garlic Ginger Kale with Portabella Mushrooms featured local Coleman River Farm's young and tender Lacinata Kale, also known as Black Kale or Kavolo Nero. Kale is packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. This dish also packs loads of ginger and garlic shoot the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties through the roof! Mushrooms carry mysterious properties that centuries of preparation have proven to bolster the body, mind and soul. This dish simply and quickly combines fantastic health promoting antioxidants and delicious Georgia grown tender kale leaves with the mystical, magical life-enhancing mushrooms to produce one tasty dish in a matter of minutes.

The Simple Summer Mixed Pepper Medley is one of those amazing dishes that can be altered in innumerable ways. I hope you're growing peppers of some sort at home in your yard or in a pot on the deck. Peppers love Georgia's climate and if you are growing them, then you'll find yourself up to your neck in peppers in very short order. This is a great dish, which with the addition herbs and spices, or complimentary ingredients such as tomatoes, white wine or even a pat of butter, can be transformed into a quick sauce for fish, tofu, brown rice or really anything. Feel free to add crushed red peppers, garlic, a splash of balsamic vinegar or whatever you fancy to modify this recipe to your tastes.