Tequila Apple Spice

This time of year always inspires the cinnamon, clove, apple, pumpkin flavored anything!  I wanted to make a cocktail that tastes like hot apple pie with flavors of the classic old fashion and a twist of mexico in the fall.  Voila “Tequila Apple Spice”

Tequila-Apple-Spice-

 I’m not a big “let’s do shots of tequila” girl but a good anjeo or reposado tequila can be amazingly delicious

Tequila-Apple-Spice

Making the fruit syrup will inspire you to put this on anything; waffles, gelato even wonderful with brie or probably a creamy goat cheese (if you like goat cheese ;P)

Tequila-Apple-Spice__

I like the Don Julio 1942 tequila for this drink although any reposado or anjeo tequila will be good especially with the highly addictive syrup

 Recipe:  Makes 3oz Cocktail                                      Profile: Strong/Sweet ~ Original Recipe

  • 1oz *Vanilla Apple Syrup
  • 2oz Don Julio Reposado 1942 Tequila
  • Dash Angostura Bitters
  • Bruleed, Dehydrated or Fresh Apple Slice

Glass: Old Fashion                                      Garnish: Bruleed or Dehydrated Apple Slice

*Vanilla Apple Syrup

Recipe: Makes 1/4 Cup

  • 1/4 Cup Purified Water
  • 1/4 Cup Raw Turbinado Sugar
  • 1/2 Vanilla Bean or 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Peeled Red Apple Chopped
  • 1/8 Teaspoon of Pumpkin Spice or 1/8 tsp Ground Cinnamon & Dash of Ground Nutmeg

Instructions: 

First to prepare the vanilla apple syrup; In a small saucepan on med low heat add water, heat then add sugar.  Stir sugar until dissolved then add all other ingredients. Stir and cool

Measure tequila, vanilla syrup and bitters into a mixing glass, add 3/4 full of ice, and stir with cocktail spoon for 12 seconds

Strain with Julep strainer over large cube of ice.  Add apple garnish

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Hearty Vegetable Tomato Basil Stew

This is a heartwarming comfort stew for those soup-eating days.

Vegetable-Stew

Robby asked me to make a vegetable stew, so I rose to the challenge.  I’m normally not a fan of stews.  However, I discovered how tasty it can be when you put it under the broiler with some gruyere cheese bubbling on top.  I guess you could call it a Italian style stew with the tomato and basil, which really adds a whole new dimension to it.  Stews and soups are so versatile, get creative and use whatever veggies you like to make it your own!

Hearty-Vegetable-Stew

This hearty stew goes great with a nice red wine like a Sangiovese, Cabernet, Merlot, Tempranillo, Red Rioja or Pinot Noir.  The follow whites would be great as well; a white; a Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, White Rioja or a Rueda.

Hearty-Vegetable-Stew-with-Fresh-Basil

Recipe: 8 – 10 Servings

  • 5 Large Tomatoes  - Blanch tomatoes remove skin and puree then set aside
  • 2 1/2 lb Yukon Potatoes – cut in to bite size cubes
  • 1 Leek (about 2 1/2 Cups) - cut in half and sliced
  • 5 Carrots – thinly sliced
  • 3 Stalks Celery (about 1 Cup) – sliced length wise in 3 slices,  then thinly sliced (small piece)
  • 1 Red Onion – diced
  • 5 Cloves Garlic – minced
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Vegetable Bullion Cubes – unsalted
  • 1/3 Cup Red Wine
  • 4 Cups Filtered Water
  • 2 Teaspoons Sherry Vinegar
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 2 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme – pull leaves off stems
  • 1 Tablespoon Paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon + 2 Teaspoon Sea Salt or to taste
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Basil – minced + extra for garnish - chiffonade
  • Gruyere Cheese (optional)

Instructions:

Blanch and puree tomatoes (set aside)

Dice the potatoes and set aside in a bowl of water

You want to wash the leek really well.  There is always dirt on the inside.   Watch this how to video if you have never cooked with leek before. Slice and set aside

In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat add garlic, onions, celery, carrots and olive oil

Heat for about 8 minutes or when the onions are soft then add leeks stir and cook for a couple more minutes then

Add the bullion cubes and wine and desolve the bullion in the wine.  Reduce the wine until syrupy.

Add the water and bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook until carrots are fairly soft. (about 15 minutes)

Add the tomato sauce, potatoes and spices (not basil) and vinegar.

Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer, covered for 20 – 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender

Stir occasionally while cooking, add the basil at the end, remove and discard the bay leaf.

Garnish with basil

Option: Shred gruyere cheese on top and put under broiler for a minute or two until it becomes bubbly and golden.

Hearty-Vegetable-Tomato-Basil-Stew-

 

Health benefits:

Yellow Potatoes – Yukon gold’s content of potassium is higher than many foods and can help reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke.  They have twice the amount of vitamin C as a Russet, which helps protects your cells from free-radical damage. Yukon’s are rich in B6 and antioxidant properties. It has a bit of Iron but the C helps the body absorb it.  They contain fiber that helps reduces cholesterol, stabilizes blood sugar, helps prevent constipation and aids in weight loss.

Tomatoes are great for the heart due to the extreme antioxidant support, niacin, folate and vitamin B6 that help the reduction of heart disease.  They are also high in vitamins A, C, K and potassium.  The choline in tomatoes helps assist the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation.  It also helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory.  Tomatoes are high in Lycopene the antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red color.  Cooking tomatoes breaks down the cell walls, which helps to release the lycopene and is better absorbed by the body with a little bit of fat like olive oil.  The Zea-xanthin in them helps filtering harmful ultra-violet rays, which protect eyes from “age-related macular disease.”  They are also a powerful blood purifier and great for skin and bone health.

Fresh Basil has anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.  The herb contains exceptionally high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin A and is rich in zea-xanthin an anti-oxidant that helps protect age-related macular disease.  It has a good amount of Iron and also helps to detoxify the liver.  It contains phytochemicals that may lower cortisol, a hormone secreted when you’re stressed that causes weight gain, so add some fresh basil to you water or tea.

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Tomato Quinoa topped with Roasted Red Bell Pepper Basil Sauce, Roasted Basil and Toasted Almonds

This is such a delicious dish with all of it’s varied textures from the grain, sauce, crunchy basil and almonds!

Heirloom-Tomato-Black-Quinoa-topped-with-Roasted-Red-Bell-Pepper-Basil-Sauce

This is a perfect fall side dish.  I like to serve everything separate so everyone can add as much or little of the sauce, basil and almonds.  You can also leave the basil leaves whole or crumble them up on top.

Heirloom-Tomato-Black-Quinoa-topped-with-Red-Bell-Pepper-Basil-Sauce

Try this with a nice crisp glass of white Rioja, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Petite Sirah or Merlot.

Heirloom-Tomato-Black-Quinoa-topped-with-Roasted-Red-Bell-Pepper-Basil-Sauce-and-Toasted-Basil-and-Almonds

Recipe: 2 – 3 Servings

Instructions:

Wash the basil, but dry them completely or they won’t get crispy.

 Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Pick the basil off the stems and only use the same size leaves or check on them early and take out the small leaves and return the others to the oven.

On a baking sheet spread out the basil leaves in a single layer and sprinkle with little olive oil and lightly salt.  Gently toss the leaves with your hands to cover them in oil.

Put in the oven and bake for 6 - 9 minutes or until leaves turn dark green and become crispy.  Make sure to keep checking on them so they don’t burn.   Remove from the oven, let cool and set aside

 Roast the peppers and start the sauce.

While the peppers are steaming pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Toast almonds by spreading out on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes on the middle shelf.

Puree the peppers and the onion mix in a food processor or blender until smooth

Pour the sauce back into the pan and simmer

While the almonds are toasting and the sauce is simmering, start the quinoa.

Assemble on individual plates or bring everything to the table separately.

*Top with almonds just before eating otherwise they will get soft

Serve with a salad and bread : )

Heirloom-Tomato-Black-Quinoa-with-Roasted-Red-Bell-Pepper-Basil-Sauce

Health benefits:

Quinoa is a super food that is extremely nutrient rich and it is a complete protein source and high in fiber, which helps digestion heart heath.   It contains more antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients than any other grain. Unlike most grains quinoa has a significant amount of gamma-tocopherol of the vitamin E family, which helps some inflammatory issues.  It is a good source of magnesium (helps metabolism, cardiovascular, and blood vessel function, which is helpful for migraine headaches). Quinoa contains the antioxidant flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol even more than in cranberries.  It is helpful in regulation of blood sugar and also reduces your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

Red bell peppers help fight off free radical cells and help prevent inflammation in the body as well as eye disease.  It’s great for keeping the skin healthy and youthful. Red bell peppers are extremely high in the antioxidant vitamins C, A, and  beta carotene. They are also a good source of lycopene and high in fiber.  Red bell peppers contain 1.5 times more vitamin C, 8 times more vitamin A and 11 times more beta carotene than green bell peppers.

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Baked Roasted Poblano Kale Falafel

These falafels are simply outstanding!  What I really love about these and my plain falafels are that they are perfectly moist on the inside and full of flavor.

Kale-Roasted-Poblano-Falafel

 Robby and I eat a lot of falafels.  They are one of our favorite meals because it is so versatile and vegan, unless of course, you add the tzatziki or jack cheese to it.

 Robby likes it in a pita and I like it as a salad.  They are even good the next day.  I just put them in the toaster oven and add some diced tomatoes on the side of the baking sheet to heat up as well then top the falafels with them.

Kale-Falafel

Serve with a glass of white Rioja, Sauvignon Blanc, Cava or a Mexican beer.

Kale-Poblano-Falafel

Recipe: 10 – 12 patties

  • 1 Cup Dried Garbanzo Beans (2 Cups Soaked)
  • 1/2 Red Onion
  • 1 Shallot
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Jalapeño
  • 2 Small Roasted Poblano Pepper – dried with paper towel
  • 1 Cup Chopped Kale
  • 1 Cup Cilantro
  • 1/2 Cup Garbanzo Bean Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
  • 1 Teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/2 Teaspoon  Chili Flakes
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Serving options:

Instructions:

Soak the garbanzo beans over night for at least 12 hours, rinse and set aside

In a food processor mince the onion, shallot, garlic, jalapeño, lime juice and spices, scrape the edges one time and pulse a few times

Add the cilantro, kale, poblano and half the garbanzo beans and pulse about 15 times, you want it a bit chunky

Add the flour and the rest of the garbanzo beans and pulse a few more times making sure to incorporate all the flour and leaving it with small pieces of garbanzo beans

Put in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes

Put some parchment paper on a baking sheet

Pre heat oven to 375

Form into golf ball size balls and press flat to form a disc and place them on the baking sheet.  Brush each one with olive oil using a pastry brush or carefully rub on with your fingers.  Then with a spatula carefully flip them over and do the same to the other side

Bake for 15 minutes then flip over for 15 more minutes or until golden

Health Benefits:

Garbanzo beans are are super high in protein and extremely high in fiber, just one cup provides 50% of the Daily Value.  Because of the fiber they are great for your heart, lowering blood cholesterol levels and the risk of heart attack as well as help prevent constipation and digestive disorders.  Just one cup provides 84.5% of the daily value of manganese, which is a antioxidant that acts as a monitor of the free radicals in the body.  If you are low in energy the high iron content will help and will transports oxygen from the lungs to all the cells in the body.  They also help to balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow-burning energy. Garbanzo beans are helpful for weight loss as they keep you full longer.

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Tomato Tahini Sauce

What a great twist on a classic tahini sauce.

Tomato-Tahini

I made kale and roasted poblano pepper falafels the other day and this lovely tomato tahini sauce to go with it.  It’s a nice addition for Mexican inspired falafels.

Tomato-Tahini-Sauce

Recipe: Approx. 1 Cup

  • 1/2 Cup Roasted Tahini
  • 1 Small Heirloom Tomato – cored and blanched (regular tomatoes are fine)
  • 1 Garlic – minced
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt

Instructions:

Bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil, enough to cover the tomato.  Add the tomato for about 1 minute or until the skin cracks.  Drain in a colander and when cool remove the skin

Measure all ingredients In a bowl of a food processor or blender ands the tomato and measure all the remaining ingredients.  Puree for about 1 – 2 minutes, you just want to make sure the garlic is purred.

Health Benefits:

Tahini is one of the best sources of calcium and a good source of methionine, which aids in liver detoxification. It is high in alkaline minerals helping in weight loss and high in vitamin E, which promotes healthy cell growth and maintain healthy skin and muscle tone.  It is super high in iron helping to prevent anemia.  It’s high in protein, lecithin, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B15.

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Sage and Toasted Walnut Pesto Mashed Potatoes

What can I say, these are extremely tasty and full of sage goodness!

_Sage-and-Toasted-Walnut-Pesto-Mashed-Potatoes-

It is officially fall and it’s time for comfort food!  Regular mashed potatoes are a perfect side dish to a fall inspired dinner, but adding the sage pesto to them gives it an extra kick.  It is exceptionally great with my shiitake mushroom gravy and some petite peas.

Mashed-Potatoes-with-Sage-Toasted-Walnut-Pesto

Enjoy them with a nice glass of Rose wine, Albariño, Chenin Blanc or a Verdelho.

Mashed-Potatoes-with-Sage-and-Toasted-Walnut-Pesto

Recipe: 4 – 6 servings

  • 1/2 Recipe Sage and Toasted Walnut Pesto
  • 2 Pounds Yucon Gold Potatoes – cut in small cubes
  • 1 1/2 Cups Milk or Half and Half or both
  • 4 Tableblesoons Butter
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt or to taste
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper

Instructions:

Start by cutting the potatoes into cubes, place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with filtered water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until very tender.  Use a timer and check at 15 minutes

While the potatoes are cooking, make the pesto.  When the potatoes are ready, drain in a colander.

In a bowl, add the potatoes and butter then mash well.  When the butter is all the way melted add the pesto, milk, salt and pepper; beat until fluffy.

Mashed-Potatoes-with-Toasted-Walnut-Sage-Pesto

Health benefits:

Yellow Potatoes – Yukon gold – content of potassium is higher than many foods and can help reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke.  They have twice the amount of vitamin C as a Russet, which helps protects your cells from free-radical damage.Yukon’s are rich in B6 and antioxidant properties. It has a bit of Iron but the C helps the body absorb it. They contain fiber that helps reduces cholesterol, stabilizes blood sugar, helps prevent constipation and aids in weight loss.

Sage helps to enhances concentration, attention span and quickens the senses.  Its effects help deal with grief and depression.  It is useful for all types of bacterial infections.  Helps detoxify and cleanse the blood.  The herb reportedly restores color to gray or white hair.  It is also high in antioxidants. Sage is exceptionally rich source of several B-complex, it contains a very good amounts of vitamin A, beta-carotene, and C It is a rich sources of minerals like potassium, zinc, calcium, iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium *Those with epilepsy, high blood pressure, or kidney disease may be adversely affected by the thujone content and should avoid large doses of sage

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Sage and Toasted Walnut Pesto

 This is a very velvety, unique and earthy pesto.

Sage-Toasted-Walnut-Pesto

I thought this pesto would have a strong flavor but it is in fact very mild.  I love it on artisan bread topped with tomato and cheese, toasted or cold!  Yummmm

Sage-Pesto

This goes great with an Albarino, Spanish Rueda, Spanish Rioja, Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé or a light Pinot Noir.

Sage-and-Toasted-Walnut-Pesto

Recipe - Approx: 3 Cups

  • 2 Cups Fresh Sage
  • 1 1/2 Cup Toasted Walnuts
  • 1 Cup Asiago Cheese
  • 3/4 Cup Toasted Walnut Oil or to taste
  • 1 – 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Teaspoons Sea Salt or to taste

Instructions:

Toast the walnuts.  While the walnuts are toasting, shred the cheese and pick the leaves off the sage stems then measure and add them to a food processor or blender along with the cheese, oil, garlic, lemon juice and salt.  When the walnuts are completely cool add and puree until desired texture

Health Benefits: Sage helps to enhances concentration, attention span and quickens the senses.  Its effects help deal with grief and depression.  It is useful for all types of bacterial infections.  Helps detoxify and cleanse the blood.  The herb reportedly restores color to gray or white hair.  It is also high in antioxidants. Sage is exceptionally rich source of several B-complex, it contains a very good amounts of vitamin A, beta-carotene, and C It is a rich sources of minerals like potassium, zinc, calcium, iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium *Those with epilepsy, high blood pressure, or kidney disease may be adversely affected by the thujone content and should avoid large doses of sage Other posts

French Style Tarragon Shallot Roasted Potatoes topped with Chèvre Cheese and Scallions

These potatoes are flavor packed and full of deliciousness!

I call these “French Style” due to the tarragon, shallots, fennel and the topping of fresh chèvre cheese.  Robby and I love my Greek style potatoes and we eat it quite often. The Greek style potatoes gave me the idea to do one in a French style, similar to my French Tarragon Shallot Vinaigrette. The French style potatoes are great on their own but they are especially delicious with the chèvre cheese and green onions!

 They are great as a main meal or served as a side dish.  I usually eat them with a salad topped with French Tarragon Shallot Vinaigrette and some toasted French bread.

French-Style-Tarragon-and-Shallot-Roasted-Potatoes.jpg

They pair well with a nice crisp Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Viognier, dry Rosé or a Beaujolais.

French-Style-Tarragon-Shallot-Roasted-Potatoes

Recipe: 4 – 6 Servings

 

  • 2 1/2 lb. Yellow Potatoes - cubed

Marinade

  • 2 Medium Shallots – minced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic – minced
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 1/4 Cup Champagne Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt or to taste
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
Vegetable Mixture
  • 1 Fennel Bulb – quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 Cup Fennel Stocks -  thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Tarragon Leaves – packed
  • 3 Cloves Garlic – minced

 Top with chèvre cheese and green onion (it depends on you how much of each you want.  I mixed 4 oz. chèvre to 2 thinly sliced green onions)

Instructions:

Cut the potatoes into small cubes and place in cold filtered water until marinade is made

Marinade:  Mince garlic and shallots and add to a small bowl.

Pre heat oven to 400 degrees

Measure the olive oil, wine, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper and add to shallots.

In a 9′ by 13 inch glass baking dish mix the marinade with the potatoes, stirring to coat all the potatoes

Place in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 30 minutes (always use a timer)

While potatoes are baking; cut the stocks off of the fennel bulb, then cut the bulb in half, then cut out the core, then slice each half in half and then slice as thin as you can.  Thinly slice the fennel stocks, measure and mix the fennel bulb and stocks together with the lemon juice, olive oil and tarragon leaves and set aside and wait for the potatoes to finish cooking

When the timer goes off carefully take the potatoes out of the oven and stir well then put back into the oven on the middle rack and bake for 30 more minutes

When the potatoes have cooked the full hour take out of the oven

Mix the fennel mixture into the potatoes and put back into the oven on the very top rack and bake for 20 more minutes.

You can also prepare the potatoes the day before and bake the last 20 minutes when you plan to eat them (You may need to bake for 30 minutes if they are fresh out of the refrigerator to get them hot enough).

Top with the Chèvre and Green Onions

Health benefits:

Yellow Potatoes – Yukon gold – content of potassium is higher than many foods and can help reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke.  They have twice the amount of vitamin C as a Russet, which helps protects your cells from free-radical damage.Yukon’s are rich in B6 and antioxidant properties. It has a bit of Iron but the C helps the body absorb it. They contain fiber that helps reduces cholesterol, stabilizes blood sugar, helps prevent constipation and aids in weight loss,

Tarragon herb is one of the highest antioxidant value food sources.  It helps lower blood-glucose levels, which helps with low blood sugar.  It helps in the production of bile by the liver thus making it a great digestive tonic.  It is a mild sedative and can help with insomnia anxiety and stress. It is great for the health and function of the eyes. It helps prevent clot formation inside the tiny blood vessels of heart and brain protecting from heart attack and stroke.  It is rich in vitamins C, A and B-complex.  An excellent source of minerals likes calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, and zinc.  Tarragon should not be used while pregnant or nursing.

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Cilantro Lime Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

I came across these cute mini bell peppers at the farmer’s market.  I discovered they are called Holland Peppers they work perfect for stuffing since they hold up well.  I really like the sweet peppery flavor they are a bit different than a regular bell pepper

QuinoaStuffedPeppers2

Peppers are a great source of vitamin c.  These little morsels of goodness would be fantastic with a bit of manchego in the mix as well if you are a cheese lover.  I made these vegan style but they are kid approved, my son Avien loved them especially with the crunch from the kale

QuinoaStuffed Peppers Recipe: Makes 2 Cups

  • 2 Poblano Peppers - roasted & diced
  • 6-8 Holland Peppers (or Mini Bell Peppers)
  • 2 Cups Quinoa – cooked
  • 2 Tablespoons Cilantro – chopped
  • 1 Garlic Clove – crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 6-8 Kale Leaves
  • Dash Paprika

Instructions: 

First roast the poblano peppers then dice into small pieces

Then cook the quinoa and set aside

Chop the cilantro into small pieces, crush the garlic clove

Next you will add all ingredients except the kale and paprika to the quinoa.  Stir in ingredients mixing together well

Preheat oven to 350

Cut the tops of the holland peppers off and set aside

Then using just the ends of the kale leaves gently place inside the peppers with a little of the ends hanging out.  Next with a small spoon stuff the quinoa mix inside the peppers, pack the quinoa it so they are well stuffed.  Finish with a dash of paprika on each pepper.

I placed my peppers in the smaller muffin tins so they stood up when cooking but I am sure you can place them on a cookie sheet as well.  If you are using a cookie sheet make sure you turn the peppers half way through the cooking time so they evenly cook.

Bake for 20-25 minutes on the lowest rack so the kale does not burn and the peppers cook through

Let them cool for 5 minutes before eating.

Health Benefits:

Bell Peppers are very high in vitamin C but also several recent studies have taken a close look at the presence of enzymes in bell peppers called cysteine S-conjugate beta-lyases and their role in a sulfur-containing metabolic pathway called the thiomethyl shunt. These enzymes and this pathway may be involved in some of the anti-cancer benefits that bell pepper has shown in some animal and lab studies. They may serve as the basis for some of the anti-cancer benefits shown by green, yellow, red and orange vegetable intake in recent studies, including a recent study on risk reduction for gastric cancer and esophageal cancer.

Poblano Peppers are extremely high in vitamin C;  just one pepper has 95% of your daily value. They are great for your immune system; poblanos help reduce inflammation like in arthritis and asthma. They contain lycopene (a powerful antioxidant, giving many fruits and vegetables their color, especially tomatoes), which is great for the prevention of cancers in the bladder, prostate, cervix and pancreas. They are also helpful with increasing oxygen so the body can burn more calories 20 minutes after eating peppers.

Cilantro is an immune-booster that helps detoxify the body by loosening them from the tissue, binding to and pulling out toxins and heavy metals.  It helps promote a healthy liver function and is an overall digestive aid.  It is a powerful anti-inflammatory that may help symptoms of arthritis and joint pain. It also helps with insulin secretion and lowers blood sugar. It is rich in antioxidants, essential oils, vitamins (one of the richest herbal sources for vitamin K), and dietary fiber.

Kale Bell Pepper Salad with Manchego and Piquillio Pepper Pesto

I absolutely love the flavors and crunchiness of this salad; it is out of control delicious!  It would make a perfect side dish to any Mediterranean inspired meal but it is also great as a meal all in itself!

Kale-Salad-with-Piquillo-Pepper-Manchego-Pesto

I get so inspired by the colors of vegetable and the combination of them together.  It is important to eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables in your diet.  They provide a variety of vitamins and minerals for the health of your body.

 Red is rich in the antioxidants lycopene and anthocyanins.  Orange and yellow are rich in beta-carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A.  Green is good for your eyes, bones and teeth.  Blue and purple contains anthocyanin a natural plant pigments with powerful antioxidant properties and they also contain flavonoids and ellagic acid.  White is high in dietary fiber, helping to protect you from high cholesterol, and antioxidant-rich flavonoids, such as quercetin.

Kale-Salad-with-Piquillo-Pepper-Pesto

This salad pairs well with most dry white wines like a Spanish White Rioja or a Sauvignon Blanc.  For a red I like it with a nice Pinot Noir or even a Rosé.

Kale-Bell-Pepper-Salad-with-Piquillo-Pepper-Pesto Recipe: 2 – 4 Servings

Dressing

  • 1/2 Cup Piquillio Pepper Pesto or to taste
  • 1 Cup or more Toasted Almonds – roughly chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Champagne Vinegar
  • 1 Clove Garlic – minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 Teaspoon Hot Paprika
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt or to taste
  • Dash Black Pepper
  • 1 Head Kale – thinly chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper – diced
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper – diced
  • 1/2 Cup Red Cabbage – minced
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Basil – minced
  • 3/4 Cup Manchego Cheese – finely shredded

Instructions:

 Make the pesto (you can make a half batch or make a whole batch and use the extra pesto on toasted French bread alongside the salad!)

Toast almonds – spread out on a cookie sheet bake for 20 minutes on the middle shelf on 350 degrees F.

In a bowl, mix together the pesto, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper and set aside

Wash the kale and tear off main rib by holding the end of the stem and sliding the leaves off, then chop into thin strips

Put the kale in a large bowl with the olive oil and massage the oil into the kale

Mix the dressing into the kale then add the bell peppers, cabbage, basil and cheese, mix well

*Top with almonds just before eating otherwise they will get soft

Health benefits:

Kale is low in calories, high in fiber and it is a loaded with antioxidants which helps detox the liver. It is also an anti-inflammatory with omega-3 fatty acids, which is helpful for arthritis, joint pain and asthma.  Kale has more Iron than beef and more calcium than milk which helps prevents osteoporosis, joint flexibility and helps maintain normal bone health. It is great for cardiovascular support that helps in lowering cholesterol.  It is really high in vitamin A, C, and super high in the powerful antioxidant vitamin K (anyone taking anticoagulants should avoid kale because the high level of vitamin K that may interfere with the drugs.)    More on kale 

 Bell Peppers are super high in vitamin A which helps to support healthy eyesight, especially night vision and are extremely high in vitamin C, so much so they have twice as much as an orange which makes it really good for the skin.  Red peppers are one of the highest veggies in lycopene, and have been successfully tested in the prevention of many cancers.  They have a good source of the antioxidant mineral manganese and B-complex and vitamin E.  They help reduces ‘bad’ cholesterol, helps controls diabetes and helps reduce pain.  They are also a good source of fiber, folate, vitamin K, molybdenum and manganese.

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