Warm Red Kitten Spinach Salad With Wasabi Arugula and Farm Fresh Hard Boiled Eggs from the Kitchen of Blackwell Smith

 My wife and I love warm spinach salad.
The Red Kitten spinach really holds up to the warm vinaigrette. That wasabi punch is damped slightly but still present. Farm fresh eggs add a creamy rich flavor. It’s perfect as a meal or side.
2 farm fresh eggs
1 bag Red Kitten spinach
1 bag Wasabi arugula
2 teaspoons diced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon diced fresh turmeric
1 medium shallot diced
2.5 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 table spoon Sherry vinegar
Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Hard boiled eggs
-place both eggs in small sauce pan and cover with room temperature water
-place pot on high heat and 2 tablespoons salt
-start kitchen timer for 15 minutes
-leave pot on high heat uncovered till timer goes off
-pour water off of eggs add cold tap water and let it rest for ten minutes
-crack then peel eggs in a bowl of water (this is very helpful)
-cut eggs into quarter wedges
-room temp eggs are best for this dish so cook just before service
Warm vinaigrette
-add olive oil, ginger, shallots and turmeric to cold small saute 7 inch saute pan
-place pan on eye turn on medium high heat
-slowly bring oil up til aromatics are bubbling and frying slightly not caramelizing 2 to 3 minutes
-place spinach and arugula in large mixing bowl season with salt and pepper (if more peppery arugula is desired add it after spinach is tossed)
-add honey and vinegar, pinch of salt and pepper
-bring vinaigrette back to a boil and pour over spinach lightly tossing with tong till all leaves are dressed
-place on plate garnish with quartered eggs
You could add mushrooms, nuts, cheese or dried fruits. Remember less is more. The spinach is the star of this salad. Fresh food is the best food!!

Apple Goat Cheese Collard Wraps from the Kitchen of Blackwell Smith

So I got these delicious and tender collards the other day. I tasted one. Crisp, fresh and delicious. Perfect for some lettuce style wraps only greener. This is really simple with no cooking time.

4 collard leaves
1 oz goat cheese
4 dates pitted
1/2 apple cut in 8th inch thick slices
Shallot cut into rings 8 to 12 pieces
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt and fresh cracked black peppercorns
Step one
Place collard on plate
Step two
Tear up each date placing one on each leaf
Step three
Place 5 apple slices over dates
Step four
Crumble goat cheese over apples
Step five
Place 2 or 3 shallot ring along the wrap

Step six

Drizzle olive oil and vinegar on wraps
Step seven
Sprinkle sea salt and pepper on wraps
This is a quick and delicious treat. Perfect for lunch, brunch or snack.
If you have other similar ingredients try those. Enjoy!

Kale and Potato Soup with Parmesan and Olive Oil. From the Kitchen of Blackwell Smith

This truly savory soup is great for those cold winter days and nights. This dish does contain bacon and anchovies. If these ingredients don’t fit your diet, don’t fret. Just substitute mushrooms, a little more salt and some more garlic. Not all bacon is the same. Some is very smokey. Some is very salty. So taste as you season and always have ingredients prepped before you start cooking.

1 bunch of kale cut into 1/4 inch ribbons leaves and stems (any variety will do)
1 medium russet potato cut into 4 wedges then slice each wedge into 1/4 inch sliced
1 medium sweet potato, prepare same as russet potato
1 tablespoon anchovies chopped
4 cloves of garlic chopped
1 large shallot julienne sliced
3oz favorite bacon sliced into 1/4 inch bits
6 cup vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese and olive oil for garnish
Preheat 6 quart stock pot over medium high heat
Render bacon (cook over low to medium heat) or substitute mushroom and olive oil
Add garlic, shallot and anchovies, stir into pan and brown (this step will create one of my favorite smells in the world)
Add sweet and russet potatoes, saute for a minute
Add veggie stock and bring to boil then reduce to simmer until potatoes are tender
Add kale and simmer until tender, about ten minutes
Season to taste with salt and pepper
Remember all bacon and anchovies have different salt content so taste before you season.
Garnish with Parmesan and olive oil.
Serve with a grilled cheese or toasted bread. You could add grains, red pepper flakes or fresh sage if you like. I sometimes add a squeeze of fresh lemon. Enjoy!!

Chard Onion Cheese Frittata from the kitchen of Blackwell Smith

  • 6 leaves of Ford Hook Swiss chard cut into 1/3 inch ribbons stems and all (you can use any greens for this recipe)
  • 1/4 medium red onion cut julienne
  • 3 tablespoons butter(split)
  • 15 pieces 1/2 squares slices of sharp cheese (Cheddar, Gruetli, Gruyere, Comte)
  • 4 farm fresh eggs beat and seasoned
  • Salt and pepper

Have all ingredients prepped.
Turn broiler on in oven.
Place 12 inch nonstick skillet over medium/ medium-high heat.

Add half of butter into skillet.
If it isn’t sizzling turn it up, if it’s burning turn it down, if it’s sizzling and browning slightly your ready to go.
Add onions. Saute until tender and sweet, season with salt and pepper.
Place chard in pan, turn it gently to wilt, don’t fully cook we want texture, season with salt and pepper.
Cover pan evenly with the vegetables.
Add rest of butter in little pinches around the pan.
Once butter is melted, pour in eggs over the vegetables and cover bottom of pan.
Don’t fiddle with it! Let eggs cook for about one and a half minutes.
Add cheese and place under broiler until cheese is melted and eggs are set.

You can serve hot or cold. Cut into squares or pie slices. Great for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Peppermint Patty Herb? Wow!

There are a variety of popular herbal mints and Chocolate mint is a decadent one. Chocolate mint has shiny dark green leaves with brown veins. These leaves are smaller than other varieties of mint, and when you rub the leaves between your fingers, you get the heavenly scent of chocolate mint. This variety grows 12-18 inches tall and has violet or lavender flowers throughout the growing season. To keep the leaves from getting bitter, cut off the flowers before they bloom. If you want to attract bees and butterflies, let the flowers bloom. Chocolate mint has a peppermint patty flavor that is a nice addition to desserts, beverages, syrups and more. It may be used fresh or dried.

Preserving Mint

Hang mint in small bunches in a dark, airy place until crispy dry. Or you may dry your mint in a food dehydrator or microwave if you need to quickly dry it.

To freeze mint, dip it in boiling water for a few seconds and then plunge it into cold water. Shake off excess water and pack lightly in containers and freeze. Use mint immediately after thawing at room temperature.

Culinary Uses for Mint

The culinary uses for mint include refreshing hot or cold teas, mint sauces, mint vinegar, simple syrup, jelly and mint juleps. Add fresh mint leaves to new potatoes, peas, fruit salads, drinks and punches, summer cold soups, fish, yogurt dressing, mix with chocolate, bake in cookies, breads and cakes. A delicious Near East salad combines spearmint, lettuce, chicory and a sesame seed dressing.

Add minty flavor to steamed vegetables by adding mint leaves to the water. Freeze mint leaves in ice cubes and use to flavor tea or lemonade. Adding it to sweet juices is amazing…

Cantaloupe and choc mint = the taste of a peppermint patty. Watermelon and choc mint = amazing yummy goodness!!!

Try it with everything sweet… it enhances the flavours so beautifully.

Medicinal uses for Mint

Mint has been used for its medicinal properties for well over 3,000 years! Greek and Roman herbalists prescribed mint for everything from hiccups to leprosy. The English herbalist Nicholas Culpepper listed over 40 medical uses and wrote “Mint is very profitable for the stomach!”

The Pilgrims brought numerous herb and garden vegetable seeds to America, and among them were mint seeds and dried leaves. During their voyage to America, the Pilgrims often mixed mint with other herbs to calm seasickness.

During the Middle Ages, people used mint to ward off disease and carried mint leaves in their purses to attract wealth and love. They also thought burning dried mint leaves helped induce a peaceful sleep. Dried leaves were also used for strewing throughout the house to reduce odors and insects.

During World War I when traditional drugs were in short supply, a resurgence of herbal healing began and mint or garlic was often part of first aid kits. Today, herbal remedies continue to make a revival as many patients look to alternative medicines. Always talk to your doctor before trying herbal alternatives.

Peppermint tea helps digestion and is a common home remedy for cold and flu symptoms because drinking frequent cups will promote perspiration and reduce fever. For relief of abdominal pains and gas, drink a peppermint-milk infusion.

In Mexico and the Southwest, spearmint tea is preferred as a general remedy for diarrhea, neuralgia, gargled as a mouthwash and used as an antiseptic on wounds and sores. Macerate spearmint and peppermint leaves in a carrier oil and massage area for migraine, facial neuralgia or rheumatic and muscular aches. When added to lotions, peppermint may help reduce pain and sensitivity.

Have fun with your Chocolate Mint!

Leafy Green Vegetables-Powerhouse of Nutrition

Leafy green vegetables are the greatest powerhouse of nutrition we can imagine and our rich in compounds that battle cancer. They are essential to our health and well-being. Some of the varieties are cabbages, turnips, beets, mustard and lettuces. They are all so versatile and easy to prepare. You can eat most every part of the greens.

In the South, there is an entire cuisine structured around collard greens. Don’t throw out the juice produced from cooking Collards and mustard greens. It is called pot liquor, it has a garden, tangy taste which illuminates the taste buds in a good way. Pot liquor is good for the skin and digestive system and is a natural laxative. What I love to do is dip a big piece of home-made cornbread in it, makes my mouth water thinking about it!

Leafy greens enliven any dish. Its like stirring sunshine into dinner. Leafy greens can be braised, simmered, steamed, sautéed, stewed, stir fried, grilled, roasted or when young eaten raw in winter salads. Greens have played a role on the world stage of cuisine for generations. While overlooked or used as garnish by most American chefs, in other cultures, the crunchy leaves inspire classic dishes like “caldo Verde”, a Portuguese soup of potatoes, white beans, and kale. In Brazil, kale braised and served with the gloriously smoky black bean stew “Feijoada”. And there is Red Russian kale with its flat purple tipped leaves, tender stems and added magnesium to keep our nerves from getting frazzled…..and mixed into stir fried dishes or salads will change your opinion of greens for ever!

Swiss chard, beet and turnip tops are rich in iron. Asian greens with brilliant colors, amazing flavors and a variety of textures make the perfect salad with a beautiful presentation. Pak Choi, which is the same as bok choy, can be stir fried with fresh garlic and sesame oil, so easy and quick, it is my new favorite vege!

We can not forget about green smoothies! You can add any of the fall and winter greens to your smoothie for that huge boost of nutrients in one glass. Will post more information on green smoothies in the near future.

Some easy winter meals to consider. Saute a variety of greens with onion and garlic and serve over a bed of pasta. Simmer a big pot of variety of greens and serve with your favorite beans and hot cornbread. Add 1 tbsp of Miso to your cooked greens for added flavor and nutrition.

Greens Rock! Have fun trying new greens and experimenting with new recipes. Thanks to Living the well life, Christinacooks.com for some good info and ideas!