This was my dinner tonight. I’m cutting out carbs for a month, so this creation, I call the “keto burger” (I’m sure I didn’t come up with the term) was a nice option for those with limited options. Two hamburger patties acting as buns to a huge pile of blue cheese, topped with thinly sliced, perfectly ripened avocado. Friends…. I was very happy for this as, while I don’t miss the bread, I do like the complexity of mixed flavors. If you are on any low carb or keto oriented diet, I recommend giving this one a try.
Hard boiled eggs are arriving at the stores more fresh than ever before, and because of this, you may have noticed that when they are hard boiled (or hard cooked as some say) the membrane in the egg tends to stick to the egg white, making the eggs difficult to peel. While fresh eggs are great, this annoyance can make breakfast (or an egg salad lunch) a distressing event. I have been known to lose half an egg just trying to remove the shell. There are, however two simple techniques that will allow you to easily peel hard boiled eggs in a flash, leaving you with perfect looking eggs. The first method makes peeling hard boiled eggs so unbelievably easy that they have become my staple breakfast, and is an incredible time saver
Add a tablespoon or two of baking soda to the water when you boil the eggs. This will increase the pH of the water, making it more alkaline, which will allow the membrane to slip off the cooked albumen (egg white) easily. You can pull the shell right off, or, if you want to make it interesting, crush both ends of the egg, hold it in your hand and blow. The egg will shoot right out of the shell and across the room.
Hard boil the eggs, remove from the water when cooked, and wait until they are room temperature. Do not put them in the refrigerator, just leave them on the counter. Room temperature cooked eggs are much easier to peel than hot or cold ones.
Personally, I prefer the baking soda method because I can’t wait and I like showing people the magic trick of the egg shooting out of its shell, but how you do it is your choice. Now hard boiled eggs are an easy meal!
It’s fiddlehead season again and if anyone is lucky enough to have access to them (farmers markets or grocery stores that are cool enough to stock them) I would recommend hoarding them right now. The season for them is very short, and these great veggies are a perfect introduction to summer. I’ve previously written up my favorite recipe to prepare them, which you can find here:
Flush with baby kale right now, this dish was probably my best improvised dish yet this year. Inspired by many a salad I have eaten I took something raw and turned it into something warm and hearty and so good you can make new friends just by sharing it. The key to this dish is that the beets and the onion are somewhat sweet, and while the aged balsamic vinegar is somewhat sweet as well, the acidity balances the dish so perfectly that I want this dish to be my final one on death row. I’m not there yet, but just in case, you know?
You really want to slice the beets thinly as they will be sauteing in the pan rather than being boiled. You also don’t want to over cook them as a little texture is very nice in this dish. The onions should soften and the kale should be cooked gently, for just a short period of time. You don’t want to turn them into a spinach like mush, they should retain some of their crunch, which the stem will provide.
6 cups of baby kale? yes, it cooks down, even after a minute or two. But it’s so darn nutritious that why not? 618% of the Vitamin A you need for a day! 411% of the Vitamin C you need for a day! Fiber galore! It can make you rich! Kale! Seriously, why the heck not? Plus, you can fill your tummy for 211 calories. Seriously, do I really need to convince you? Fat loss schools and Weight Watchers be damned, this doesn’t need to be a side dish. While it is great on its own, the aged balsamic vinegar gives it that ‘je ne sais quoi’ that makes me want to serve this at my next dinner party. It’s not inexpensive stuff, but one bottle will last you forever, seriously.
Kale is an extremely overlooked vegetable, and is best in early summer. Stuff your face while you can because kale is one of the most healthful foods you can eat, and it’s very filing as it is full of fiber. The good kind of fiber. Regular kale is a bit more tough, so baby kale is my personal choice, but you could certainly make this with regular kale as well. Just cook the kale a little longer. You won’t regret trying this dish. And you can thank me by sending huge bags of cash.
A lightly cooked kale salad, a new take on what has been a boring bistro salad.
6 cups baby kale
½ cup beets, sliced thinly
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium red onion
1 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar (w/ must)
Slice the beets into tin little discs.
Do the same for the onions.
Saute the beets for a few minutes to soften.
Add the sliced onions and soften as well, just a few minutes.
Add the baby kale and let wilt, but not cook to a mush.
Plate, and drizzle with aged balsamic vinegar.
This could easily be topped with pine nuts (pinoli) or goat cheese to great effect. Don’t hesitate to experiment.
-High in calcium
-High in dietary fiber
-High in iron
-Very high in manganese
-High in potassium
-Very high in vitamin A
-High in vitamin B6
-Very high in vitamin C
Spring is the season of garlic scapes. It is a short season, so take advantage of it while you can as these tender stalks of allium ether will be gone before you know it. Eating garlic scapes is like playing hide and seek with garlic, you know it’s there, but you are not sure exactly where.
This was the best meal I’ve had in a long time. And likely the simplest to make. You can really use any cut of meat, particularly if you are cutting it thinly. But the combined flavors of the three simple ingredients are enough to make me want to emulate a Roman feast, but those are details I won’t get into here. Garlic and beef go together exceptionally well. And the shoyu (Japanese soy sauce) adds that additional level of umami (the contentious sixth flavor, meatiness) to the dish. My dinner mates were blown away by this and we are actively seeking more garlic scapes tomorrow.
While some people like to cut the garlic scapes into small pieces, I prefer long ones, that look and feel like string beans, but unlike string beans they are not string beans, they are garlic scapes. Let’s move on. If cooked quickly at a high heat, they retain their moisture and flavor, and impart the perfect counter texture to the steak. During preparation, you should cut the tips off the garlic scapes as they are tough and don’t soften when they cook. The stem of the garlic scape is tender, juicy, and lightly redolent of garlic without that garlicky bite. They add a tremendous amount of flavor without a lot of punch, which is perfect for most people. As a side note, if you have a lot of garlic scapes, garlic scape pesto is a treat, and that will be a follow up post.
The steak is most easily cut when slightly frozen. I can cut perfect, almost comically rectangular slices of beef when I leave the steak in the freezer for about 30 – 45 minutes (depending on the size) and then start cutting while the steak is slightly frozen. Or mostly thawing a frozen steak. This is not necessary, of course, it’s just fun and makes slicing steak easier. This dish was honestly the best I have had in a long time, and if you have access to garlic scapes, I highly recommend trying this recipe. But you may have to share more than you would like. I often serve it with brown rice, by the way, as the sauce is too good not to be soaked up.