Pepper Jack Roasted Poblano Pupusa with Curtido Slaw and Salsa Roja

These Pepper Jack Roasted Poblano Pupusas can be served as an appetizer or main dish.  The vibrancy of the curtido slaw is the perfect balance to the heartiness of the pupusas and the salsa roja spiciness brings it all together.
I have attempted to make these pupusas a few times but I felt that they were too dense for my liking.  Most pupusa are made with masa but some are made with rice flour.  I decided I would try combining both masa and rice flour.

Pepper Jack Roasted Poblano Pupusa Have you ever tried pupusas before?  They are a well-known Salvadoran street food that is out of this world.

I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of Pupusas prior my moving back to Venice in 2007.  My friends Beto and Brian took me to Lidia’s Pupuseria on Westminster right off of the Venice boardwalk.  It was literally a hole in the wall on the side of a building.  I ordered the jalapeno with cheese and I was in heaven with my first bite.  It was a decent sized pupusa for only $2 served on a small paper plate with a curtido slaw and a small plastic bag of salsa roja.  They had no tables so the three of us would stand while eating these gems.

Brian and Beto had a chocolate business that I was involved with at the time and at least three times a week we would jump on our bikes and ride to the boardwalk for Lydia’s pupusas.  After inhaling them, we would jump back on our bikes, cruise around the boardwalk, checking out the waves and the skate-park and then we would head back to make more chocolates.  It was always a fun time!  Unfortunately, Lydia’s has since closed down; I am sure it was do to all the crazy rent increases that have been taking place in the Venice Beach area.

Pepper-Jack-Roasted-Poblano-Pupusa I love a sparkling wine like a Prosecco or a Cava.  They are also great with a Pinot Gris, white Rioja, Rueda or a Sauvignon Blanc.

Pepper Jack Roasted Poblano Pupusa Pepper Jack Roasted Poblano Pupusa Recipe:

Makes 10 Pupusas

Curtido Style Slaw – best prepared at least 4 hours in advance or even better, the day ahead.
  • 1 1/2 Cups Red Cabbage – thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 Cups Green or Savoy Cabbage – thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Red Onion – thinly sliced
  • 3 Cups Filtered Water – boiling
  • 1 Carrot (1/2 cup) – grated
  • 1/2 Cup Radish – thinly sliced – cut into matchsticks
  • 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 – 2 Jalapeño or Serrano Peppers – thinly sliced or minced
  • 1 Garlic Clove – minced
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Black Pepper
Salsa roja – can be made the day ahead
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 White Onion – 1/2 cup – diced
  • 1 Small Garlic Clove – minced
  • 2 Jalapeño Pepper – sliced – roughly chopped (leave seeds in for a hot salsa or remove for a mild salsa)
  • 1 Large or 2 Small (about 1 1/2 cups) Tomato – diced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Mexican Oregano (can sub regular)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
  • Dash Black Pepper – or to taste
  • 3 Tablespoons Filtered Water – or to taste
Filling
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Large Onion – diced
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 2 Garlic Cloves – minced
  • 1 Cup Jack Cheese – shredded
  • 2 Large Poblano – roasted – diced
Dough
  • 1 1/2 Cups Masa Harina
  • 3/4 Cup White Rice Flour
  • 1 1/2 Filtered Water
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt

Other options

  • Black Beans
  • Roasted Poblano
  • Avacado
Instructions:
Curtido Style Slaw
Place the cabbage, carrots and onion into a large bowl. Pour the boiling water over, cover, then set aside for about 5 minutes.  Drain in a colander, pressing out as much liquid as you can.  Add the cabbage and carrots back to the bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients.  Let set at room temperature for a couple hours.  Then chill.  It’s even better the next day.
Salsa
Add the oil into a saucepan over medium low heat. Add the onion and cook for 4 minute then add the garlic and jalapeño sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent and garlic becomes golden.
Stir in the tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper and simmer for about 8 minutes. Remove from heat.
Puree the salsa in a food processor or immersion blender until smooth then stir in the water.
Filling
Roast the poblano peppers on the stovetop on medium high heat.  A gas stove works the best but it will work fine on an electric stove. Char the peppers on all sides turning with a pair of tongs.  When good and charred, steam them for 10 minutes in a covered dish or a paper bag rolled shut to hold in the steam.

Take a paper towel and rub off the char.  It’s ok to leave a little of the char.  Slice in half, remove the seeds and stems and dice.

Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a large nonstick skillet on medium low heat.  Add the onions and saute for about 5 minutes then add the garlic and salt then saute until the garlic just starts to become golden.  Add the onions to a medium sized bowl and mix together with the poblano and salt then mix in the cheese.  Set aside.

Dough and Assemble
Combine the masa, rice flour and salt together in a medium mixing bowl then mix in the water.  Knead the dough into a smooth, moist sticky dough.  If it is too dry you can add one teaspoon at a time of water.  Wet your hands to form 10 round balls about the size of a golf ball.  (I used a kitchen scale and each ball weight was 2 1/4 ounces) With your hands, press a ball into a flat disk by a bit bigger than your palm.  Add 2 tablespoons of filling in the center and form the dough around the filling.  Pinch the edges together, roll it into a ball and then flatten the ball to about 1/2 inch thick.  Try your best to repair any holes.
Place the pupusa on a large nonstick pan with some olive oil and cook on medium high until each side is golden brown.  About 3 -5 minutes on each side.  Don’t worry if some cheese leeks out.
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Here are two other recipes that include the curtido slaw that you might like.  One is my empanadas and the other is this appetizer.
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  Pepper Jack Roasted Poblano Pupusa Health benefits:

Poblano Peppers are extremely high in vitamin C; just one pepper has 95% of your daily value.  They are great for your immune system and help to reduce inflammation like in arthritis and asthma.  They are also helpful with the increase of oxygen helping the body to burn more calories 20 minutes after eating peppers.  They are full of vitamin A, vitamin K, and potassium.

Cabbage is really low in calories, fat and high in fiber. It’s high in vitamin K that helps with brain function.  Red cabbage is the highest in vitamin K than other cabbage.  It’s high in sulfur keeping your hair, skin and nails healthy.  If you have arthritis, rheumatism, skin diseases or gout, cabbage can help with its high vitamin C and sulphur content.  Cabbage is higher in vitamin C than oranges and is a natural antioxidant that helps with premature aging and also helps detoxify the blood and liver.  Cabbage helps protect bones from becoming brittle with its high potassium, magnesium and calcium content. Potassium is also great for reducing high blood pressure allowing the blood vessels to open and the blood to flow freely. It is also high in beta-carotene needed for eye health.  The pigment in purple cabbage helps lower blood sugar levels and boost insulin production.  It helps your body fight off cancer with the powerful antioxidant anthocyanin.  Cabbage is good for your heart, blood pressure, brain, nervous system, immune system, digestion, bowels, bones, eyes, skin, hair and nails.

Roasted Anaheim Pepper Pesto Farinata (socca) Appetizer with Curtido Slaw

 This “Roasted Anaheim Pepper Pesto Farinata (socca) Appetizer” is a blending of nationalities; Anaheim peppers from Mexico, Manchego from Span, curtido slaw from El Salvador and farinata (socca) from Italy.  The combination of these ingredients is loaded with flavor!  Apparently, this delicious flatbread originated in Genoa Italy.  They are called “farinata” in Italy and “socca” in France.

Roasted Anaheim Pepper Pesto Farinata (socca) Appetizer When I was 5 years old, my mom decided that she needed to get out of L.A.  She was 27 at the time and had just broken up with her boyfriend.  She decided to meet up with my uncle Glenn, her brother, who was living in Italy with his girlfriend Terry at the time.  Unfortunately my mom didn’t have any savings so she had to sell her car to come up with the money for the airfare.  So, she sold the car, bought us tickets, packed two large suitcases and off we went.  We flew into London and stayed the night at my uncle’s friend’s house.  The next morning we arrived at the train station and to my mom’s horror, there was a huge bridge and stairway that we had to cross to get to the correct side of the tracks to catch our train to Rome.  There was no way that she could get two large suitcases and a 5 year old over at the same time.  So, she dragged one of the large suitcases while holding my hand over to the other side and left it there.  We then went back to get the remaining suitcase.  It was quite the ordeal.

Roasted Anaheim Pepper Pesto Farinata (socca) Appetizer My mom had made arrangements to rent a room in Rome from a really nice family who took care of us as if we were part of their family.  The grandmother made me a very special birthday cake for my sixth birthday.  It looked like a bunch of cinnamon rolls stuck together with a cream cheese frosting (most likely mascarpone) and large colorful disk shaped sprinkles.  I will never forget it!  I also remember losing one of my front bottom teeth down the drain while brushing my teeth.  Since we didn’t know how long we were staying, my mom decided to enroll me into the local school.  They wore blue and white uniforms, so my mom cut up some old drapes and made me a uniform.  I was mortified at first because I didn’t speak Italian and I had to sit at the front of the class next to the teacher facing the other students. I ended up making friends with a few of the kids and it didn’t matter that we didn’t speak each other’s language. We spoke the universal kid language of gestures and facial expressions.

Four months later, my uncle was picked for a starring role in a spaghetti western film that was going to be filmed in Spain.  We all packed up into my uncle’s classic green VW van, including two dogs and a cat and we drove off to Spain. I absolutely loved this experience!  We ended up camping out in Madrid for a whole month and then we moved into a triangle shaped house, which had floor to ceiling glass windows on one side.

Roasted Anaheim Pepper Pesto Farinata (socca) Appetizer After two months in Spain, my mom decided that we needed to get back to LA because she was running out of money. She called my grandma, her mother, to see if she would lend her some money to purchase tickets home and she refused to lend her the money.  So crazy!  Terry’s mom ended up loaning my mom the money. We flew into Boston and stayed with Terry’s mom for one night before catching our next flight home.  My grandmother must have felt bad because she called Terry’s mom to see where we were. Terry’s mom wasn’t sure if she should tell her that she lent my mom the money so she said we hitchhiked.  My grandma got so concerned that she ended up calling the state police.  Haha, what a story! Am I right?  We made it home safe and sound.

My mom didn’t want me to tell the last part of the story because she thought it would make her look like a bad mother. Actually, to me she is a badass and way more gutsy than I would ever be.  My mom always taught me to just go for it in life. Her motto has always been to feel the fear and do it anyways!  Sorry mom!  Hehe.  Italy will always hold a special spot in my heart and I hope to visit again someday!

Roasted Anaheim Pepper Pesto Farinata (socca) Appetizer This appetizer goes great with a White Rioja, Rueda, Cava or Txakoli.

Roasted Anaheim Pepper Pesto Farinata (socca) Appetizer Roasted Anaheim Pepper Pesto on Farinata (socca) Appetizer Recipe:

26 pieces

Curtido  Slaw – double if you want some on the side
  • 3/4 Cup Red Cabbage – thinly sliced
  • 3/4 Cup Green or Savoy Cabbage – thinly sliced
  • 1/4 Red Onion – thinly sliced
  • 3 Cups Filtered Water – boiling
  • 1 Small Carrot (1/3 cup) – grated
  • 1/4 Cup Radishes – thinly sliced – cut into matchsticks
  • 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Jalapeño or Serrano Peppers – thinly sliced or minced
  • 1 Garlic Clove – minced
  • 1/4 + 1/8 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
  • Pinch of Black Pepper – or to taste
Roasted Anaheim Pepper Manchego Pesto – for whole recipe
  • 1/2 Cup (about 2) Anaheim Peppers – roasted
  • 1/2 Serrano Pepper – or whole for spicier
  • 1/2 Cup Manchego Cheese – finely shredded
  • 1/2 Cup Raw walnuts
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoons Lemon Juice – fresh squeezed
  • 1 Small Garlic Clove
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt
Farinata
This recipe is adapted from David Lebovitz
  • 1 Cup Garbanzo Bean Flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 Cup Warm water
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Serrano Pepper – minced
Garnish
  • 1/4 Cup Anaheim Pepper – roasted – cubed
 Instructions:
Curtido Style Slaw
Place the cabbage, carrots and onion into a large bowl. Pour the boiling water over, cover, then set aside for about 5 minutes.  Drain in a colander, pressing out as much liquid as you can.  Add the cabbage and carrots back to the bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients.  Let set at room temperature for a couple hours.  Then chill.  It’s even better the next day.
Pesto/Roasted Peppers

Roast all the peppers for the pesto and garnish.  Place the peppers on the stovetop on medium high heat.  A gas stove works the best but it will work fine on an electric stove. Char the peppers on all sides turning with a pair of tongs.  When good and charred, steam them for 10 minutes in a covered dish or a paper bag rolled shut to hold in the steam.

Take a paper towel and rub off the char.  It’s ok to leave a little of the char.  Slice in half and remove the seeds and stems.

While the peppers are cooling, measure all other ingredients and add to a food processor or blender.  Add the pepper to the food processor and blend well.  If you like it hot, you can leave the seeds in the Serrano peppers.

Farinata

Add water, olive oil, serrano and salt into a bowl and whisk in chickpea flour until combined.  Let sit for at least 30 minutes up to 4 hours.

Heat a large, non-stick pan over medium heat, add a little olive oil and let it get hot.

In batches, add a tablespoon of batter, leaving space between each one.  Cook for 1 minute or until bubbles appear, then turn and cook for another minute.  Gently slide onto a plate and keep warm in a low oven or cool to room temperature.  Repeat with the remaining batter.

*Note – If you want them as perfectly round as you can (they will most likely never be totally PERFECT) use a round cookie cutter for a mold.  Pour in the batter and wait a few seconds carefully twist and lift up the cutter.  I used an oven mit incase the cutter became too hot.  Wipe off any batter that sticks to the cutter and repete.

Roasted Anaheim Pepper Pesto Farinata (socca) Appetizer Health benefits:

Anaheim pepper are an excellent source of vitamin C, only a 1/4 cup provides you with the daily amount recommended for adults.  They are also very high in vitamin A, which is good for your eyes, skin and hair. Peppers are high in fiber and they are rich in phytonutrients that may help prevent disease and keep your body working properly. They are high in Vitamin K that strengthens bones and helps protect cells from oxidative damage. They also have a significant amount of B vitamins, thiamine, niacin, iron and riboflavin.

Cabbage is really low in calories, fat and high in fiber. It’s high in vitamin K that helps with brain function.  Red cabbage is the highest in vitamin K than other cabbage.  It’s high in sulfur keeping your hair, skin and nails healthy.  If you have arthritis, rheumatism, skin diseases or gout, cabbage can help with its high vitamin C and sulphur content.  Cabbage is higher in vitamin C than oranges and is a natural antioxidant that helps with premature aging and also helps detoxify the blood and liver.  Cabbage helps protect bones from becoming brittle with its high potassium, magnesium and calcium content. Potassium is also great for reducing high blood pressure allowing the blood vessels to open and the blood to flow freely. It is also high in beta-carotene needed for eye health.  The pigment in purple cabbage helps lower blood sugar levels and boost insulin production.  It helps your body fight off cancer with the powerful antioxidant anthocyanin.  Cabbage is good for your heart, blood pressure, brain, nervous system, immune system, digestion, bowels, bones, eyes, skin, hair and nails.

 

 

Charred Broccoli Cheddar Potato Soup

This Charred Broccoli Cheddar Potato Soup is my kind of comfort food.  What’s not to love? It’s creamy, chunky, cheesy and full of charred broccoli goodness.  I added a little twist with the addition of fresh basil that complements the charred broccoli nicely.

Charred Broccoli Cheddar Potato Soup Have you ever heard of Servas International?  It is one of the coolest non-profits organizations ever!  It’s an international network of hosts and travelers.  As a host you provide hospitality to travelers from all over the world and as a traveler you can look up hosts in the country you plan to travel through.  They provide a booklet that lists all the hosts that are available by country.  The host tells a little bit about themselves and the maximum number of days they will provide lodging per traveler.  If they really like you they may allow for longer stays.  The traveler sends the host an email or letter telling them about themselves like their interest, if they are vegetarian etc.  Then the host will ok the traveler if they feel they are someone they would like to host.  The coolest thing about this is that you get to meet local families and experience their culture instead of staying in hotels.

My mom and I were traveling in the south island of New Zealand for two months and we used Servas as travelers.  We stayed with three families, one was an awesome elderly couple named Ann and Tom who lived in Christchurch.  We stayed with them for three nights.  They were so sweet and they made us breakfast every morning.  I returned the favor by making my famous lasagna, salad and garlic bread the evening before we left.

The next morning, we traveled to the north side of the south island to stay with our next Servas family, the Sanders who lived on a kiwi farm in Blenheim in the Marlborough Region (The home of some of best Sauvignon Blanc).  They had a pig named Murray, some chickens, a couple of deer that I was able to pet.  I was 20 at the time and one of the host’s son was named Tristan who was 18.  Tristan took me along with him to a crazy game called Laser Wars, where we met up with 8 of his friends. It was a really fun experience!  Tristan later invited me to his friend’s birthday party, which was on the Marlborough Sounds.  A few of us cruised around the Sounds in a small rowboat.  It is so incredibly gorgeous that words cannot do it justice! It was really great to hang out with some local teens and to see their lifestyle.

The third host lived in the town of Picton.  They made us a really nice dinner that New Zealanders call tea.  After tea, they took us on an evening walk through a trail that ended up at the top of a hill overlooking all of Picton.  It was stunning! Then we hiked down and walked along the beach.  We left the next morning and went to back to Blenheim and stayed at a really nice campground for a few days.  I called Tristan and he came and picked me up to go hang out with his friends again.  The whole Servas experience was phenomenal!  What do you think?  Would you try it?

Charred Broccoli Cheddar Potato Soup This soup is perfect with a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough Region of New Zealand.

Charred Broccoli Cheddar Potato Soup Charred Broccoli Cheddar Potato Soup Recipe:

8 – 10 servings

  • 2 Large Heads Broccoli – 10 Cups – florets roughly chopped – stems peeled and sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Dash of Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 White Onion – diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic – minced
  • 1/3 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 Vegetable Bouillon Cube – unsalted
  • 6 Cups Filtered Water
  • 1 1/2 Pounds (about 3 medium) Yellow Potatoes – 1/2 inch cubes
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons Brown Rice Flour (or regular all-purpose)
  • 2 Cups 1 % Milk or Half and Half (I used 1 cup of each)
  • 8 oz. (2 1/4 cup) Cheddar Cheese – shredded (make sure it’s a high quality cheese)
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt or to taste
  • 1 Cup Fresh Basil – packed – minced
Garnish
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – drizzle
Instructions:
Charred Broccoli
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Toss together the broccoli, oil, salt and pepper. Spread out on the baking sheet and place on middle rack.
Roast for 20 minutes, then stir pieces around for even cooking. Roast for another 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure and check on them every 5 minutes, until broccoli is as crisp as you like it.
Potatoes

 Add the onions to a 5 1/2 quart pot with the olive oil and saute on medium-low heat for 5 minutes, add the garlic and continue cooking for 5 – 7 more minutes until the garlic starts to brown.

Add the white wine and bouillon cube, mash the bouillon, cook until wine is reduced and syrupy.  Add the water and potatoes to the onions then turn on high heat, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft.

Cheese Sauce

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a sauce pan on medium heat, then add the flour and stir for about a minute.   Slowly whisk in the milk little at a time to avoid the flour from clumping and mix in well.  Bring the milk to a boil and turn the heat down to medium-low and slowly add the cheese a little at a time.  When completely melted, add to the soup.

The Rest

Add the broccoli, basil, salt and pepper.  You can leave it chunky, puree half or puree it all.  I roughly pureed half.

Charred Broccoli Cheddar Potato Soup Health benefits:

Broccoli has cholesterol-lowering ability and strong impact on our body’s detoxification system.  It is also rich in both forms of dietary fiber, soluble and insoluble.  It is very high in vitamin C & K.

Roasted Poblano Cilantro Empanadas with Curtido Style Slaw

These Roasted Poblano Cilantro Empanadas are full of roasted goodness!!!  The poblano adds the yummiest roasted pepper flavor and the combination of poblano, cilantro and cheese is one of my all time favorites.  The slaw becomes a beautiful bright pink and adds the much needed fresh crunchy quality to the mix.  The beauty of empanadas is that they are easy to reheat, which makes them great for when you’re on the go.  You can serve them as an entree or as an appetizer.  Empanadas are from Argentina and the slaw is from El Salvador.  I like to mix it up.

Roasted Poblano Cilantro Empanadas As you may know from reading my prior post, Robby and I have been on a mission to clear out the old and unused stuff from our house to remove the stagnant energy.  One of the things that I have been contemplating is to sell the majority of my beads that I used in my jewelry line many years ago.  I have been carrying these beads around with me from move to move.  Just like my clothes, they are hard for me to part with because of that voice in my head that keeps telling me “but I might get back into jewelry making”.  I first got into jewelry making when I was 16.  My friend Maggie and I use to make earrings with vintage glass beads.  Later, my friend Malina taught me some basic seed bead techniques that I continued to develop.

Crutido Style Slaw

 I loved seed beading so much that I brought them with me when my mom and I went traveling.  You have to realize that I had a full size backpacking pack and a small school size backpack.  So, it was kiiinda crazy for me to be hauling these beads around with me.  Well, one day we were in Nepal checking out Kathmandu’s outdoor markets to buy some jewelry, hand woven blankets and clothes and I had stopped to look at some really cool blankets when my mom called to me to come and see something.  I remember getting annoyed saying just a minute I’m busy!  (Brat!)  She called me again and said you’re going to want to see this.  She was standing in the space between two buildings that was just wide enough for us to squeeze through.  When I stepped through, my jaw dropped to the ground in utter disbelief at what I was seeing.

 There were walls and walls lined with hanging strands of seed beads.  Every color and size you could imagine and they were cheap!  I was in heaven!  Needless to say I bought a ton!  I don’t think I’ll ever part with them unless it’s to someone/something special.  I couldn’t figure out why there were so many so I asked one of the venders who told me that Napoli grooms give a necklace called “Pote” made up of multiple strands of seed beads with a golden hollow tube pendant called “tilahari” to their brides. I am now in the process of cutting up all my old silver jewelry I had many years ago.  I will sort through those beads and sell the silver to a goldsmith who will melt it down.  What’s cool about that is that I bought the silver for about $7 an ounce and now it’s worth at least $17 an ounce.  I have a ton of beads to sort through and I will see what I end up doing with them.

Roasted Poblano Cilantro Empanadas I paired these empanadas with a Alberino, which was lovely.  They would be perfect with a Mexican beer as well.

Roasted Poblano Cilantro Empanadas Roasted Poblano Cilantro Empanadas Recipe:

8 Empanadas

Dough
  • 1  1/4 Cups Oat Flour + 1 tablespoon for rolling dough
  • 1 1/4 Cups Chickpea Flour
  • 1 Tablespoons Chia Seeds – ground into a powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup + 1 Tablespoon Warm Filtered Water + extra for sealing empanadas
  • 1/2 Cup Butter – melted
Filling
  • 2 Large Poblano Peppers (about 1 1/2 cups) – roasted – diced
  • 1 Garlic Cloves – minced
  • 1 1/2  Cups Jack Cheese – shredded
  • 1 1/4 Cups Cilantro – roughly chopped
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Black Pepper
Curtido Style Slaw – best prepared at least 4 hours in advance or even better, the day ahead.
  • 1 1/2 Cups Red Cabbage – thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 Cups Green or Savoy Cabbage – thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Red Onion – thinly sliced
  • 3 Cups Filtered Water – boiling
  • 1 Carrot (1/2 cup) – grated
  • 1/2 Cup Radish – thinly sliced – cut into matchsticks
  • 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 – 2 Jalapeño or Serrano Peppers – minced
  • 1 Garlic Clove – minced
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Black Pepper
Garnish
  • Curtido  Slaw
  • Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
Instructions:
Curtido Style Slaw
Place the cabbage, carrots and onion into a large bowl. Pour the boiling water over, cover, then set aside for about 5 minutes.  Drain in a colander, pressing out as much liquid as you can.
Add the cabbage and carrots back to the bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients.  Let set at room temperature for a couple hours.  Then chill.
Dough

Add the two flours, pepper and salt into a large bowl and mix together.

Melt the butter and mix with water, add a little to chia seeds, whisk, then mix in the rest of the liquid.  Stir in the the flour.
Mix until the dough forms a slightly sticky ball.  It will firm up as it sits.
Place the dough on a piece of parchment paper, form into a disk and wrap tightly then place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
While the dough is chilling, prepare the filling.
Filling
Dice the poblano peppers for filling.  When cool, mix in the cheese, cilantro, garlic, salt and pepper.
Assemble
Preheat the oven to 375°.
Sprinkle a little flour onto a piece of parchment paper and roll out the dough fairly thin.  Use a 5 inch round cookie cutter to make 8 circles.  Or use a plate and cut with a knife around the plate.
Once you have each circle of empanada dough cut out, fill them with 3 tablespoons of filling.
Spread some water around the edges and fold over to seal. Use a fork to crimp the edges.  Gently poke a fork on top to let steam escape.
Place on a baking sheet and into the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden.  It’s ok if some cheese comes out while baking.
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Roasted Poblano Cilantro Empanadas Health Benefits:

Poblano Peppers are extremely high in vitamin C; just one pepper has 95% of your daily value.  They are great for your immune system and help to reduce inflammation like in arthritis and asthma.  They are also helpful with the increase of oxygen helping the body to burn more calories 20 minutes after eating peppers.  They are full of vitamin A, vitamin K, and potassium.

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.

Cabbage is really low in calories, fat and high in fiber. It’s high in vitamin K that helps with brain function.  Red cabbage is the highest in vitamin K than other cabbage.  It’s high in sulfur keeping your hair, skin and nails healthy.  If you have arthritis, rheumatism, skin diseases or gout, cabbage can help with its high vitamin C and sulphur content.  Cabbage is higher in vitamin C than oranges and is a natural antioxidant that helps with premature aging and also helps detoxify the blood and liver.  Cabbage helps protect bones from becoming brittle with its high potassium, magnesium and calcium content. Potassium is also great for reducing high blood pressure allowing the blood vessels to open and the blood to flow freely. It is also high in beta-carotene needed for eye health.  The pigment in purple cabbage helps lower blood sugar levels and boost insulin production.  It helps your body fight off cancer with the powerful antioxidant anthocyanin.  Cabbage is good for your heart, blood pressure, brain, nervous system, immune system, digestion, bowels, bones, eyes, skin, hair and nails.

Black Lentil Kale Broccoli Salad with Charred Broccoli Pesto

This Black Lentil Kale Broccoli Salad is so satisfying and nutritious!  The charred broccoli pesto is super flavorful and out of this world!!!  The char of the broccoli adds a beautiful dimension to this salad.  The salad recipe only calls for about half of the pesto, so you could cut the pesto recipe in half but I don’t recommend it.  The pesto is so good that you will want to use the extra on toasted crostini or French bread.

Black Lentil Kale Broccoli Salad Lately I have been on a mission to clear out clothes that no longer serve me or my style.  It is actually harder than you might think.  Clothes have always been a big deal to me.  It goes back to my youth when I was about 14.  I remember being embarrassed that I didn’t have all the cool new expensive clothes.  Each year for back to school, my mom would buy me basic clothes that consisted of three pairs of pants and a few new tops, while all my friends had all the latest in fashion styles.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t afford them.

It was music that saved me.  My friends and I had gotten into punk rock, mod, ska and reggae.  It was no longer about expensive clothes but it was all about thrift store and vintage clothes.  My mom would give me lunch money and I would spend it on thrift store clothes.  I could get a whole bag of clothes for super cheap.  My friend Maggie and I wore the same size, so we would each fill up two hefty trash bags full of clothes and swap them with each other every two weeks or so.  We were into being as funky as we could and we never wore the same outfits twice.  It was a way to express my creativity and boy did I have fun with it.  Believe it or not, I still have some of those old thrift store clothes.  Nowadays, I wear maybe twenty percent of my wardrobe.

My current approach to clearing out my old clothes is to divide my closet into two sections.  One section contains the clothes I wear all the time and the other section contains the clothes I can’t seem to part with but will probably never wear again.  I have actually gone into the section that I don’t normally wear and have started to wear some of my old clothes again and I have also been able to part with some as well.   Another thing that has made it easier for me to let go is to give clothes to friends that I know will love them.  My friend Alison is in a bluegrass band called “Sugar by The Pound” and she dresses so cute in mostly vintage clothes. I have some great vintage clothes that I think she will love.  Is it as hard for you to let go of clothes you are no longer wearing as it is for me?

Black Lentil Kale Broccoli Salad I like to serve this salad with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region of New Zealand.

Black Lentil Kale Broccoli Salad Black Lentil Kale Broccoli Salad Recipe:
Approx. 6 – 8 servings
A hearty dish that is great served warm or cold.
  • 1 Cup Dried Black Lentils
  • 1 Vegetable Bouillon Cube
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • Filtered Water
  • 1 Head Kale – deribbed – thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons Champagne Vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Radish – thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Red Cabbage – minced
  • 3 Cup (6 cups raw) Charred Broccoli
  • 1 Cup Charred Broccoli Pesto – recipe below
  • Filtered Water – to thin out pesto if desired
Charred Broccoli
  • 2 Large Heads Broccoli  – 8 Cups – roughly chopped – (charring the broccoli literally halves in size)
  • 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
Charred Broccoli Pesto
  • 1 Cup Charred Broccoli
  • 1/2 Cup Raw Walnuts
  • 3/4 Cup Pecorino Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice – fresh squeezed
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
Instructions:
Lentils

Sort lentils to make sure there are no rocks then rinse and drain.

Add the lentils and bouillon then cover with 2 inches of water in a medium pot.  Bring to a boil then reduce to medium low and simmer.

Cook until just tender approx. 20 – 25 minutes, you don’t want them to soft or they will be mushy so check them at 15 minutes.

While the lentils are cooking, start the broccoli.

Charred Broccoli
You’re going to char the broccoli for the salad and the pesto at the same time.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Toss together the broccoli, oil, salt and pepper. Spread out on the baking sheet and place on middle rack.
Roast for 15 minutes, then stir pieces around for even cooking.  Roast for another 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure and check on them every 5 minutes, until broccoli is as charred as you like it.
Pesto
Measure one cup of the charred broccoli along with remaining ingredients to a food processor or blender.

Blend until desired texture.  Pour into a bowl and stir in the vinegar and oil.

Salad

In a large bowl, add lentils and stir in the vinegar, 2 tablespoons of oil, salt and pepper.  In a large bowl, massage 1 tablespoon oil into the kale and then add to the lentils.  Mix well.  Sprinkle the veggie on top and serve the pesto on the side.

Note * I tend to like the pesto with just a touch of water to thin it out a little.  This salad is great with a light vinaigrette in place of the pesto as well!

Black Lentil Kale Broccoli Salad Health benefits:

Lentils have very high levels of soluble fiber and a good amount of insoluble fiber, which is a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels giving you a steady stream of energy.  A half-cup provides about a third of the daily requirements.  Not only is the fiber good for your heart the amount of folate and magnesium is very beneficial for cardiovascular health. Lentils provide a steady stream of glucose to your brain.  Glucose is a sugar and key source of energy for cells in the body, and is the only fuel your brain can use.  The high fiber regulates the release of the glucose, providing a steady stream of fuel that powers your brain cells, and is a key component in keeping your brain in excellent shape. They are loaded with an impressive amount of blood-fortifying iron and when paired with a food containing vitamin C, like citrus fruits or peppers the iron is enhanced, which can also increase your energy.  They are also a good source of potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin and vitamin K. They are truly a nutritional fountain of youth. Lentils originated in Southwestern Asia along the Indus River have been eaten for over 8000 years.

 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