Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Creamy tropical green smoothie

This is my first green smoothie with coconut milk in it. I used all the tropical fruits I had, plus some kale, and it was pretty darn good. Not too much to say about it, really. This would probably be good with mint or cilantro, or maybe even Thai basil, but I didn't think of it until after I drank it. Maybe next time.

Creamy tropical green smoothie

1 banana
1/2 cup orange juice
3/4 cup frozen mango
1/2 cup frozen pineapple
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 kale leaves


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Farro cakes on a bed of kale

I've been wanting to make a farro-based main dish for a while, but usually I just use it in salad, and it's been too chilly for me to get excited about a cold dinner. I played around with the idea of this farro cake for a while before going for it. I've made grain cakes before, and I just kind of made this one up. It's awesome, if I do say so myself. The farro is nice and chewy, and the liberal use of parmesan gives them a really nice deep cheesy flavor. It took me a little fiddling to get them to hold together. First, I just added one egg, but it was kind of just a dry-ish mash. I added a second egg, and it was too wet, but then I threw in some Panko crumbs, which absorbed just enough egg to get the cakes to hold together well. The kale complements the cakes nicely, but I have a pro-kale bias.

Farro cakes on a bed of kale
Makes about 10 cakes. I had 2 at dinner, and Jon had 5. So it serves 2-5 people, I guess.

1 cup farro (or a little less; you want 2 cups cooked in the end)
2 cups vegetable stock

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
8 grape tomatoes, quartered
1/2 tsp ground marjoram
1/2 tsp dried thyme

.65 oz grated parmesan or asiago cheese (I just got an electronic kitchen scale! If you don't have one, it's probably 1/3 cup grated by a microplane.)
2 eggs, well beaten
1/4 cup Panko or bread crumbs

4 kale leaves

Cook farro by combining farro with broth in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, and cook for about 25 minutes, or until water is absorbed and farro is tender. Set aside.

Heat oil in a medium frying pan. Add onion, then a few minutes later, garlic, tomatoes, marjoram, and thyme. Saute until everything is soft. Set aside.

Place 2 cups farro in a medium mixing bowl. Add vegetable mixture and cheese. Stir in eggs and Panko or bread crumbs.

To cook the cakes, heat a crepe or nonstick pan over medium heat until it is very hot. (Add a little oil if your pan needs it; ours doesn't.) Take a big spoonful of farro mixture, plop it on the pan, and mash it down with the back of the spoon so it's even and fairly flat. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the bottom is golden brown. Carefully flip it and cook on the other side until that side is done as well. The cakes didn't seem very liable to burn, so you don't need to be too worried about them getting overcooked.

In the leftover oil from the vegetable pan, saute the kale. Serve farro cakes on top of a bed of kale.