kale

Did someone say tacos?

I have an affinity for Mexican food. It can get heavy or as Chrissy Teigen (John Legend's beautiful and hysterical wife) says, " bloaty mcbloatstown." But man oh man is it good. I like to keep it simple and quick in the kitchen. I am not the girl that likes to patiently stir the risotto but I do appreciate a good home cooked meal so I get creative. I was craving homemade tacos because this hilarious photo kept frequenting my Facebook newsfeed last week.

Guess what? YOU can have both!

Kale Tacos!

Here's what you need

1) Touch of olive oil, salt, pepper, and turmeric

2) Two handfuls of kale and mushrooms

3) 1/2 can of organic black beans

4) Corn tortillas

5) Beet hummus from Trader Joe's or slice some beets up

Cooking time (I so desperately just wanted to write HAMMER TIME)

1) In a pan combine olive oil, salt, pepper, turmeric, kale, mushrooms, and black beans. Sautéed on medium until done. I found it was between 5-7 minutes

2) Heat corn tortillas and spread beet hummus all over one side of them.

3) Place kale combination on top of the beet hummus or corn tortilla and voila it's time to EAT!

They left me feeling like this...

Kale Chips - Simply Salted

Simply Salted Kale Chips on Benner Fit

Happy Fourth of July friends! I'm about to fly on home to Florida for the long weekend, but I'm guessing many of you are heading out to BBQ's. If you need a super simple and quick snack to bring, that is also healthy (...and addictive) - here's an easy Kale Chip recipe that will be done in no time!

Simply Salted Kale Chips on Benner Fit

INGREDIENTS

10 oz. bag of kale (the larger the leaves and fewer the stems the better)

1/2 tbsp. of olive oil

salt & pepper (to your liking)

red pepper flakes (to your liking)

Simply Salted Kale Chips on Benner Fit

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Either in a plastic ziplock bag, or large bowl - toss kale with olive oil and seasoning. Make sure all the leaves are coated.

Cover a cooking sheet in parchment or tin foil. Spread kale in a single layer (you'll likely have to do 2 batches with 10 oz. of kale).

Bake in oven for 35 - 40 minutes, flipping the kale over every ten minutes to ensure crispiness.

Once done, add any additional salt, pepper or red pepper flakes to the bunch. (Also highly recommended - parmesan cheese!!)

Enjoy!!

Simply Salted Kale Chips on Benner Fit
Simply Salted Kale Chips on Benner Fit

Mother's Day Gift Ideas!

Mother's Day Gift Ideas!

Mother's Day Gift Ideas!

USANA 5day RESET High Fiber Cleanse

USANA 5day RESET High Fiber Cleanse

USANA 5day RESET High Fiber Cleanse

DC Part 2!

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Can you tell I'm in love with DC?! I believe I left off on Monday evening...

Ian and I went out with some of our coworkers for dinner at a restaurant called Founding Farmer's (love the name-www.wearefoundingfarmers.com). It's made up of 42,000 farmers that provide organic foods for the restaurant. How can one not support a business so fabulous? But ladies and gents the food...oh...my...word...AMAZING. The flavors they created in such healthy dishes were mind blowing! I could have kept eating if my stomach allowed it. I got a white bean cutlet stew and Ian got a vegetarian "meatloaf."

 

After a full and happy dinner we slept in the next morning ready to take on the day. Ian had to leave for work but I ventured into the Georgetown neighborhood and fell in love with it. The uneven cobblestone streets, the quaint Cafe's, and a great yoga class filled my freezing body (20 degrees outside) full of joy!

 

 

I popped into Lululemon in Gerogetown to ask them what fitness or yoga studios are around the area and they provided me with a great suggestion a yoga studio called Down Dog Yoga (www.downdogyoga.com). It was a hot and full vinyasa flow class that warmed me up and pumped up my heart rate. The instructors name was, Meg, and she did a fabulous job leading the class through a beautiful flow.

 

That night Ian and I dined at a local and delicious Indian Restaurant called Mehak (www.mehak.com). To all you vegetarian and vegans out there Indian food is a great option for good, filling, and healthy dishes. We had a romantic dinner and I wanted to cherish my last night in DC so we went out for a walk through the freezing cold yet gorgeous streets of DC...

My last morning in DC could not have been anymore perfect. It all began with a jog from downtown, to the national mall, to the capital, to the Washington monument, to the White House, and back. 5 miles later I could have kept going because I was just in awe of all the history I was stepping on and seeing.

 

Ian and I worked up a serious appetite so we decided to stop and grab some breakfast before I had to leave for Baltimore. There is a breakfast spot called Protein Bar (www.theproteinbar.com) that is only in Chicago and DC that a college friend of mine suggested. Boy was it delicious! Quinoa breakfast bowls with agave syrup, almonds, and fresh berries...a green tea smoothie with almond milk, egg whites, and fresh green tea...incredible! We ended my DC trip with a bang!

 

I'm in Baltimore now, working, and pretending I'm still in our nations capital. I couldn't have asked for a better 2 1/2 days! So thankful for our country and for each day of health I have here!

I hope this inspires you to travel and to know that wherever you go, you are able to find healthy foods, fitness studios or the outdoors, and amazing sites. Maybe instead of cabbing it somewhere in metropolitan cities, walk it or jog it so you get to experience the energy, the people, and actually touch the sites.

 

Kale! It's SO hot right now!

 

Almost six years ago I was introduced to "kale." I was sitting down on break from a dance rehearsal and my friend, Camille took out a container full of greens. They were no ordinary leafy greens, they had ruffled edges and sparked my interest so clearly I had to ask her, "what kind of salad is that?" I tried her delicious kale, cranberry, and pine nut salad and there began my LOVE for kale.

 

Farro, Kale and Coconut Craziness! A New Year's party in your mouth.

 

My sister Kristin was and has always been the cook in the family. She's pro. Like doesn't recoil when there is more than five ingredients pro. She makes her own bread, people...this makes her legit. So really the fact that I do any blogging about food creation is, I'm pretty sure, super weird to my family. I was the eater not the creator. I burned the Pillsbury cinnamon rolls every time. Every. time. That is fact. I couldn't cook a premade presliced cookie dough without somehow, something going terribly wrong. It took me years to perfect not scorching the popcorn in the microwave. (I hate to brag but I never burn popcorn now. Ever. Not since they invented the popcorn button...)

If I did not live 3,000 miles away from my sister I would probably be blogging from her place weekly, just letting her cook the amazingness that she makes while I mindlessly snap photos. But instead, I carry on - only imagining the disgrace in her eye from food frenzy chaos I create.

Since Kristin is so hip to the know with the world of food - she turned me on to food blogs and such gems as the Joy the Baker podcast ... which brings me to my point.

This Christmas we were back together again in Florida and she thought of the brilliant idea to make a meal for the family. And I wanted in (likely to her chagrin). Since there are so many fabulous creations on the Joy the Baker/Shutterbean blogs we decided to have a mini feast with a few of their recipes. (We also threw in one part PF Changs by making lettuce wraps which might be featured on here soon as well.)

My favorite course was the recipe that follows. Since my folks had never experienced kale and I had never had the chance to try farro she was determined to make us the crunchy kale and coconut bowl on the Joy the Baker blog inspired by Shutterbean and Heidi Swanson's Supernatural Every Day cookbook (So needless to say this recipe has gotten around. And with reason!)

Holy. Moly. Three days later I was back in LA on a mad hunt for farro because this deliciousness blew my mind. We didn't stray from the recipe at all so mad props on this amazing blend of flavors and textures. So here she is...in all of her kale glory.

 

INGREDIENTS: 

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon sriracha

A little less than 1/3 cup olive oil

5 cups dino kale (ribless and torn into tiny bites) or a half a pound of bagged kale (making sure they are fairly stemless and pre-cut)

1 cup unsweetened large flake coconut

1 cup uncooked farro

DIRECTIONS:

Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees.

The Sauce:

In a small bowl mix the sesame oil, siracha and soy sauce together. As you whisk these up, slowly drizzle that olive oil on in and make sure everything is emulsified.

The Farro:

Grab a medium pot and begin to boil several cups of water. Add your farro once boiling. Lower the heat and let the grain simmer for 17-20 minutes. If you were like me and perhaps never have had farro it will soften like rice but have a much chewier texture. So once it is softened drain this with a colander.

But while the farro simmers begin...

The Almighty Kale:

On a baking sheet covered in parchment paper spread the kale and coconut evenly. (You are basically making kale chips so keep the layer of kale thin so it can crisp.) pour half of the sauce you created over the kale and coconut and toss it all up to coat. Bake 12-18 minutes or until your blend has become crispy and brown.

 

Once the kale combo and farro are done cooking, divide both into bowls and top it off with the remaining dressing. Then get to eating!

(Sidebar: Does anyone have a blog called Emulsified? Someone needs to get on that. Stat.)

Enjoy Benner Fitters. It's a great way to start off your new year right. Happy 2013!