Thursday, January 3, 2013

Super-Charged Kale, Artichoke & Quinoa Soup!

Ever have one of those days where its time to cook dinner, and you open your fridge only to find that you’re out of … everything?
Yeah, that’s how today was. Good thing I always have certain Pantry Staples on hand!
don’t judge a book by its cover — this soup ROCKED!
So here’s what I had to work with:
In the Fridge: Kale, Celery, 1/2 onion
In the Pantry: Veg Stock, Quinoa, Garlic
I scratched my head for about 3 minutes. Mind you, I have a dad who won’t touch Kale with a 12 foot pole. So I had to disguise it — in form AND flavor. Enter: a delicious, creamy soup.
Scrumptious Dinner!
And let me preface this by saying that my dad was *raving* about this soup and said it was amazing!
Here’s what you need for the Super-Charged Kale, Artichoke and Quinoa Soup:
3/4 bunch of Kale, de-stemmed and diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 cup frozen artichokes, thawed
4-5 garlic cloves
4 green onions, sliced — whites & light green separated from the dark (for garnish)
3/4 bunch of celery, diced
3 cups veg stock
1 cup water
3/4 cup quinoa cooked in 1 1/2 cups veg stock
juice of 1/2 a lemon
dried oregano and basil – about 1 tsp each
salt and pepper
In your dutch oven, saute your onions in 2-3 tsp EVOO with salt, pepper, oregano and basil. Allow them to soften for about 4 minutes. Then, add in your celery and let it cook until it begins to soften – about 5 minutes. Then, stir in your garlic and let it cook for about 2 minutes. Next, add your artichokes, veg stock and water. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, add kale and stir so it all gets “in the pool.” Then, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the kale is tender. Once tender, add your lemon juice. Then, with a submersion blender (aka stick blender), puree the soup so it becomes smooth and creamy. (You can also do this with a regular blender, but do it carefully and in batches!) Once it’s pureed, stir in your cooked quinoa. Finally, stir in some final salt to taste — I added about 1+ tsp. Serve garnished with the dark green parts of the green onions.
gorgeously seared Ahi Tuna!
With this Super-Charged, Nutrient-Dense soup, I served Seared Ahi Tuna. This was amazing. And I had more, but the slices weren’t “pretty” enough for the picture:) Lobsta Bakes’ wild, ocean-caught Sushi-Grade tuna absolutely melts in your mouth. It is such a beautiful ruby red color, with a succulent, melt-in-your-mouth texture! It is seriously like buttah!
Now that I’m on the Body Ecology diet, I can no longer have sugar or soy sauce (among countless other things). Therefore, I could not marinate the tuna like I usually do. However, to give it a truly spectacular taste, I suggest to marinate it first. This is the marinade I {{used to}} use…….*tear*
2 T Tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
1 T grated fresh ginger
1 BIG garlic clove, grated
1 t fresh lime juice
1 green onion, thinly sliced
small squeeze agave
1 tsp EVOO (or sesame oil if you have it)
I combined these ingredients with the tuna steaks in a gallon ziplock bag.  I made sure they were all coated, and then put the bag (on a plate incase it leaks) in the fridge for about an hour.
Searing your fish: In a super hot, non-stick grill pan sprayed with olive oil spray, sear each side for 1-2 minutes. If you want it less rare, you can cook it longer, but I wouldn’t recommend it!
Gluten Free, Vegan, AND Body Ecology Friendly!
This meal was absolutely delectable! The soup was so luxurious — velvety and creamy! The flavor completely blew me out of the water – it had a deep, satisfying, earthy flavor, but it was complexly sweet from the celery, and beautifully garlicy. The addition of the quinoa provided a nutty flavor, plus a textural *pop* for the soup. It was out of this world! It warmed the belly and soul!
I got to use 2 of my favorite tools: my nonstick grill pan, which make grilling all year 'round a reality. And my immersion blender! This is such a convenient tool - you can blend soups without having to transfer it to a blender! Super simple! Here are the ones I use:

Until Tomorrow!

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