Friday, April 23, 2010

A Kind Dinner


My friend Allyson got me The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone for my birthday. I was so happy she found a copy for me since the book was sold out after Alicia’s appearance on Oprah. I heard about her book at least a year ago and was curious, but never made the purchase. Well, I am so glad I have it now.

On my drive home from work today I was tired and craving comfort food, maybe pizza? And then I remembered that I have a nearly full box of vegetables from my CSA delivery. How could I forget? I decided to see if I could use anything in the box and Alicia’s book to make a delicious dinner. No grocery store visits, just cook from what I have already. The result was wonderful: Sicilian Collard Greens with Pine Nuts and Raisins (only I used cashews and craisins) and Cuban Style Roasted Sweet Potatoes. I added in some roasted carrots and had a Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup for dessert…Alicia’s version that is. Thank you Alicia Silverstone for great vegan recipes. I can’t wait to try them all.

Sicilian Collard Greens with Pine Nuts & Raisins

1 bunch of collard greens, 2 tablespoons of pine nuts (I used cashews), 3 garlic cloves (peeled and chopped - I used a red onion from the CSA instead), 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 3 tablespoons raisins (I used craisins), 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Use a sharp knife to cut out the central rib and stem from each collard leaf. Rinse the leaves in a sink of cool water, lifting them into a colander to drain a bit (you want some water to remain on the leaves).

Toast the pine nuts over a medium heat in a dry skillet for about 5 minutes or until golden. Shake the pan often to keep the pine nuts from burning. Transfer to a plate, and set aside.

Place the garlic and oil in a large skillet, and saute over medium heat for 1 minute or until the garlic is fragrant. Add the damp collards and stir, then cover the pan and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add the raisins and pine nuts, and stir. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, cover and continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes longer.

Cuban-Style Roasted Sweet Potatoes

3 large sweet potatoes (peeled and quartered), 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, fine sea salt to taste, freshly ground pepper to taste, 1 large garlic clove minced, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.

Place the sweet potatoes in a medium bowl, toss with 2 tablespoons of the oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread the potatoes on the prepared baking sheet, and roast until they can be pierced easily with a knife but still offer some resistance, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes or so.

Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl, and toss with the garlic, lime juice, parsley, adn remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

If you want the chocolate peanut butter cup recipe, you’ll have to buy the book ;) Trust me, it is worth it.

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