garlicky sautéed rainbow chard

Garlicky Sautéed Rainbow Chard

Each Saturday, as the days get warmer and warmer, I’m returning to my usual jaunt up to my local greenmarket in Inwood. While it can be slim pickins in the colder months, I really started to see signs of spring this morning as the usual produce was also peppered with hyacinths and tulips for sale.

garlicky sautéed rainbow chard

In particular, greens have started to make a comeback. This morning, one vendor was absolutely overflowing with various types of kale, lettuce, and other greens just begging to be bought! Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of the rainbow…chard, that is. Its thick pink and yellow stems always tempt me. I didn’t think twice before buying an impossibly large bunch. I couldn’t sauté it up fast enough; though not photographed, I topped some with a soft-boiled egg, and it was a quick vegetable-laden breakfast. Start to finish, this took be 15 minutes on the nose.

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Taste the rainbow definitely does not apply to just Skittles.

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Garlicky Sautéed Rainbow Chard
(Adapted from the New York Times recipe for Garlicky Swiss Chard)
(Makes roughly 4 cups, wilted and sautéed)

Ingredients:

– 2 large bunches rainbow chard, thoroughly rinsed and patted dry, stems trimmed
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
– Salt, to taste

Before We Get Started…

– Personally, I like to keep some stem on my chard when I sauté it; feel free to keep yours as long or as short as you prefer.

– Swiss chard can be substituted in an equal amount.

Directions:

1.) Stack rinsed and dried chard leaves on top of each other; this can be done in several small stacks, if preferred. Slice leaves into roughly 1/4″ strips, length-wise. Set aside.

2.) In a large saucepan or soup pot, add olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add garlic and (optional) red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds; do not allow garlic to brown! Add chard and stir until leaves are uniformly coated. Let sit for 2 minutes and allow leaves to slightly wilt. Cook for another 2 – 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

3.) Remove from heat. Add salt to taste. Serve immediately!

how to make garlic powder

How To Make Garlic Powder

One night, at home, I found myself Googling “How To Make Garlic Powder“. Why? One, I was curious. Two, I was out of it and didn’t feel like running down to the bodega to get a new bottle; when you live in 4th floor walk-up apartment, once you’re up at the end of a long day, you usually don’t want to go down again.

I use garlic powder on anything that needs salt, if only to keep me from using too much salt! (Damn…I love me some SALT.) Garlic, in general, is my favorite seasoning, hands down. I’ll add it to anything savory. My food feels naked without it.

I decided to take a shot at making my own, simply because why not?

how to make garlic powder

(Note: On that previously mentioned evening, my roommate Sally ended up buying garlic powder, because she is one of the best humans in the world. Clearly.)

how to make garlic powder

This was an interesting experiment in spice making, to say the least. With recipe development, you certainly don’t know until you try, amirite? I used a full bulb of garlic, which equated to 10 cloves for me; this was an odd bulb that had a lot of big cloves with virtually no tiny cloves, hence the 10 I used. The slicing of 10 cloves of garlic wasn’t too hard, just a bit tedious. The dehydration of the garlic slices in my oven was shockingly simple; I was happy they, indeed, dehydrated instead of roasted or burned. The grinding of the garlic into powder was fun, as I don’t use my mortar and pestle nearly enough. The end result…well…that’s where the shock came in.

how to make garlic powder

Those 10 cloves of garlic equated to a large heaping tablespoon (or 1 & 1/2 tablespoons, leveled) of garlic powder!

how to make garlic powder

Conclusion? I will likely continue to buy garlic powder en masse at my local grocery store. Ha! The brands I buy are organic and free of additives, so I do feel okay using them. Still, now that I experimented, I might attempt to dehydrate 3 or 4 bulbs of garlic on a rainy day and see how much more I can make. It may go without saying that the flavor of freshly-ground garlic powder definitely trumps any store-bought brand I’ve bought, hands down. It has that quintessential fresh garlic tingle to it, even post-dehydration! The oils are absolutely preserved during this process.

Regardless, knowing that I can make garlic powder is a wonderful trick to have up my sleeve. Why not share it with the rest of y’all?

Garlic Powder
(Makes…*sigh*…approximately 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of garlic powder)

Ingredients:

– 10 cloves of garlic, peeled

Before We Get Started…

– If you are on a kick and want to make this en masse, remember that 10 cloves makes approximately 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of garlic powder. Yes, this is the third time I’ve mentioned it. I just don’t want you to be surprised. Ha! So, obviously, if you are thinking to yourself, “You know what? I want to make precisely 3 tablespoons of garlic powder, just for the hell of it!”, slice yourself 20 cloves of garlic.

– After researching this recipe, I have found many recipes stating to dehydrate at 150°F – 200°F. Of course, everyone has a different oven. I am basing this recipe on my experience; my oven’s lowest temperature is 170°F, so that is what I dehydrated at.

– I did attempt to slice the garlic with a mandolin; slice it as you may, but I found using a knife to, surprisingly, be faster, as the garlic was getting squished a bit in my mandolin.

– Parchment paper must be used in this recipe! Greasing the baking sheet to make sure garlic won’t stick will result in it being cooked rather than dehydrated.

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 170°F. (See note in Before We Get Started…). Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper and set aside.

2.) Peel cloves and slice garlic as thin as possible.

3.) Place garlic slices on parchment paper-lined baking sheet; make sure to not overlap slices.

4.) Place in oven and dehydrate for 90 minutes; at the one hour mark, check garlic’s doneness. It should not be browned or roasted, but dry and brittle to the touch. Crush one slice between your fingers to ensure that it crumbles. Dehydrate for no more than two hours.

5.) Remove from oven and grind garlic with a mortar and pestle, food processor, or spice grinder until uniformly granulated / powdered.

6.) Store in an airtight container or plastic bag. Shelf life should be approximately six months.

dirty chai chia pudding kohana coffee

Dirty Chai Chia Pudding

I am not a coffee drinker. This revelation is usually met with a variety of reactions, including but not limited to shock and disgust. I live in NYC, surrounded by lovers of drips, cold brews, and Chemex brewers. As a supertaster, I find the taste of it as a straight beverage to be too bitter, and as an anxious person, I find the high amounts of caffeine – especially in cold brews – send my heart racing like a hamster on a wheel. It’s pretty much a lose – lose situation for me.

HOWEVER…I love coffee in things! Coffee ice cream, chocolate-covered coffee beans (go figure!), coffee milkshakes, you name it!

dirty chai chia pudding kohana coffee

In an effort to test the bounds of my coffee consumption while making a relatively nutrient-dense breakfast, I came up with this little number. While a dirty chai typically uses espresso in its mix, I’m flexing my favorite muscle: creative license. Ha! I used Kohana Coffee Cold Brew Concentrate to create this special recipe, and I have to say, I am impressed! The coffee mixed with the milk mellows it out a bit, though the flavor still shines. The chai tea and the cinnamon add a spice that plays off of the coffee flavor beautifully. Plus, do I have to get into how good chia seeds are for you? Google it if you don’t know, I feel like it’s almost common knowledge at this point. 😉

dirty chai chia pudding kohana coffee

NOTE: This recipe was entered into Kohana Coffee’s recipe contest! Please click this link to find my recipe and vote for it before April 15th, 2017! Thanks in advance for your support!

Dirty Chai Chia Pudding
(Makes 3 – 4 servings, roughly 16 ounces in total)

Ingredients:

– 6 tablespoons chia seeds
– 1 cup milk of choice (dairy or plant-based)
– 1 – 2 chai tea bags
– 1/2 cup Kohana Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate
– 1/2 cup cold water
– 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
– 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup

Directions:

1.) Place chia seeds in a large bowl and set aside. Over medium heat, bring milk to a slow simmer; it should not be brought to a boil. Turn off heat, add tea bag(s), and allow tea bag to steep for 5 minutes. Use a spoon to press on the tea bag(s), if desired, to release more of the tea. Allow milk and tea mixture to cool down for 10 minutes.

2.) Add milk tea mixture, Kohana Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate, and water to chia seeds and gently whisk until thoroughly combined. Add ground cinnamon, vanilla, and honey or maple syrup and whisk again until combined. The mixture should start to thicken by this point.

3.) Place plastic wrap over bowl and place in fridge for no less than 3 hours. Remove from fridge and stir to unify the consistency of the chia pudding. Serve immediately or return to fridge until you’re ready to consume it! This pudding, refrigerated as directed, will remain fresh for up to five days.

how to make plant-based milks

How To Make Plant-Based Milks

Another month, another recipe done for Yoga By Candace! This one, however, was one of the most fun ones to develop for her site. (Well, so far!)

I was given the opportunity to use nut milk bags!

(Get your giggles out now.)

homemade almond milk

I used Havesome Goods Nut Milk Bags by Clever Yoga, and they truly are superior. In terms of ease of use, quality of product, versatility, and cleaning. Since creating these nut milks, I’ve made multiple batches of coconut milk, and I have even used the bags in place of cheesecloth for other projects I’ve done, such as straining custard for an upcoming pie recipe I worked in.

how to make plant-based milks

Head on over to Yoga By Candace for the full recipes, including almond milk, coconut milk, and, yes, banana milk!

how to make banana milk

avocado kale sauce

Avocado Kale Sauce

WOW. Funny story, and by funny, I mean devastating: I had this recipe posted with a great back story. The photos were gorgeous. The commentary was hilarious (as always). It all came together beautifully. As I hit “Publish”, went to the page, and said, “Oops! I forgot to add my Featured Image!” I went back to edit it and add it in. As I hit “Update”, I was brought to my newly updated page, which had the Featured Photo…but, inexplicably, deleted ALL OF MY TEXT AND PHOTOS.

*deep breath*

So, here are the photos of this luscious and delicious sauce (which can be made vegan-friendly!) served with sweet potato noodles, here are the ingredients, here are the directions, and I promise that my next post will have more humor and substance to it. Ha! I realize that this recipe riffs on a few prior avocado sauce recipes I’ve made for this blog, but, eh, I still post a third one proudly. 😉

avocado kale sauce

avocado kale sauce

avocado kale sauce

Avocado Kale Sauce
(Makes roughly 2 – 2 & 1/2 cups)

Ingredients:
– 1 ripe avocado
– 3 – 4 kale leaves, washed, de-ribbed, and roughly torn
– 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt or skyr or non-dairy yogurt or cashew cream (for vegan version)
– 1/4 cup room temperature water
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 clove garlic, peeled and left whole
– Salt, to taste.

Directions:

1.) In a blender, add avocado, yogurt of choice or cashew cream, olive oil, and garlic. Blend until smooth; if mixture is too thick, slowly more add water and blend until desired consistency is reached. Add salt to taste. Store in refrigerator if not using immediately; will keep fresh for up to 4 days.