Kale and Roasted Vegetable Salad: Hangover Cure

Happy 2014, everyone! Did anyone drink several one too many cocktails last night? If you’re like me, you are bumming around today, downing water and watching the Food Network whilst surfing Pinterest for yummy recipes. I call this hungry over.

And while we all want to reach for greasy, cheesy, high-calorie foods, I promise you, it will only make you feel worse. Instead, make sure you HYDRATE, not just with water, but also with fruits and vegetables, which are mostly water — along with vitamins and minerals, which will surely also help you feel better. This recipe for kale and roasted vegetable salad is delicious, will help your hangover and also get 2014 started the healthy way, because we all want to eat better this year, right?

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Recipe: Kale Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Blue Cheese

The flavored balsamic vinegar in this recipe isn’t crucial, but it’s definitely delicious. I am lucky enough to have¬† an olive oil and vinegar shop called Oh, Olive in my neighborhood, which has the most amazing infused oils and vinegars. Aged balsamic would also work nicely.

Makes: 2 salads

Ingredients:

  • 4 large, whole carrots
  • 1 medium red onion, cut in wedges
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups kale (arugula or spinach would be great too)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons flavored balsamic vinegar* (I used a yummy cinnamon pear from Oh, Olive)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place whole carrots and red onion wedges on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until carrots are soft. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cut carrots into match sticks (like those pictured).

Place 2 cups kale on two plates. Top with carrots and red onions, sprinkle with blue cheese and sunflower seeds and drizzle with balsamic.

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Here’s to a happy and healthy New Year! Cheers!

 

 

Pork and Pomegranate: Lucky Foods for the New Year {Recipe ReDux}

Christmas is only 4 days away!! Which means I’ve been holiday shopping like a mad woman and dreaming up what I’ll make this year for the festivities — LOTS of cookies, a roasted butternut squash and kale salad and some tasty cocktails, for starters.

But what to make next week for New Years? This month, Recipe ReDux tasked us with creating a recipe that includes “lucky foods” to get 2014 started right.

I won’t lie, I really wasn’t sure what foods were considered lucky. I asked my grandparents since I figured between the German, Czech and Armenian cultures, there had to be some kind of food that was considered lucky.

Nope — no ideas from the grandparents. I even asked my friends and the rest of my family, and nothing.

So I started searching for “good luck New Year foods” on the Internet (when all else fails, it’s nice to know you can google it) and found that many of my favorite foods — pomegranate, lentils, pork and greens — are considered lucky and enjoyed by various cultures to bring in a good New Year.

I figured, why not create a dish with a few of these ingredients? The more luck, the better! I think 2014 is going to be a good year!

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The Lucky Ingredients:

Pork. Pigs are thought to symbolize progress, either because they only move forward (not backward) or because when searching for food, they push their snouts forward. You say potato, I say patato…point is we all want to make progress in the coming year.

Pomegranate. In Turkey, pomegranates are considered good luck with their red color (often symbolizes life) and their many round seeds. And you guessed it, round foods are thought to bring prosperity (think coins).

The Recipe:

Spice-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Pomegranate-Balsamic Sauce

Ingredients:

For the pork:

  • 1 lb pork tenderloin
  • 2 cloves black garlic*, mashed
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (regular paprika would also work)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

For the sauce:

  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds (about 1 medium-size pomegranate)
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375.

Combine mashed black garlic, brown sugar, black pepper, rosemary, smoked paprika and salt. Apply the rub over the entire pork tenderloin. Bake on a greased or parchment paper-lined baking sheet for 45-60 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the center of the pork registers 145 degrees.

While the pork is cooking, heat small pan over medium heat. Add balsamic vinegar and pomegranate seeds and let simmer until the mixture is reduced by half.

Slice pork tenderloin and pour pomegranate-balsamic reduction over the pork. Enjoy for a prosperous — and healthy — 2014!

*Black garlic can be found at Asian grocery stores or a specialty store. I found mine at Trader Joe’s. Black garlic is actually fermented and has a milder, sweeter flavor compared with regular garlic. If you can’t find it, substitute with finely minced regular garlic.

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Want more good luck food inspiration? Check out these other yummy ideas from Recipe ReDux members. And have a very merry Christmas and happy New Year!