Every two weeks I pick up organic produce from a local farmstead here in Texas. The baskets of produce are always a surprise, as they compile whatever is in season, allowing you to eat the way the earth naturally produces – clean eating at its finest. Part of this week’s share included kale, an assortment of peppers, parsley, red onions, and swiss chard. So, here we go …
Starting Point: Full wine glass.
For me, this is an essential element of cooking. And by cooking, I mean drinking. Although, actually cooking with wine does make for a fantastic seasoning base and creative layers. Pinot Noir is my staple wine; however on hot days like today, try a Pinot Gris. A cold beer works great too – pair with the wine glass for maximum classiness.
Based on the veggie combination, I decided to make salmon burgers and grilled chicken as entrees.
Living in the “Land of Water Towers” that is Texas, fresh seafood is not very prevalent. Fortunately, I found a local market with fresh seafood flown in daily – pricey, but worth it. To save some time, I picked up these pre-made salmon patties for tonight’s feast:
Side note – If you’re interested in making your own salmon patties, it’s easy. Simply take salmon fillets and flake into a bowl. Finely chop onions, garlic, red peppers, your choice of herbs (parsley, tarragon, and dill are all great choices), sea salt, black pepper, and add to the flakes. Pour in some olive oil to give consistency to your patties, then pat away!
Now, for the chicken … I marinated some farm raised chicken breast in an organic Caribbean Jerk seasoning – check your local markets for the marinades of your choice. To give it some extra herbal goodness, I added freshly chopped parsley to the marinade and refrigerated for a couple hours.
Throw it all on the grill!
Next up … veggies. Chopping vegetables is seriously one of the most relaxing things I’ve ever done in life, so I prefer to dice onions and garlic heads on my own, rather than using powders or already chopped variations of the two.
Sides note – When you chop your own veggies, you get all of the fresh flavors, plus your house smells incredible. Just saying.
I cube-chopped one red, yellow, and green pepper and mixed together in a bowl. Then, I sliced three green chiles for some extra zing (pairs perfectly with the jerk chicken). I combined all of the peppers, splashed some olive oil on top, mixed, and let them marinate while I began chopping the onions and garlic.
When the peppers were nearly caramelized, I threw in the kale. I like to pre-shred from the stalk, as kale cooks quickly and you don’t want risk burning the kale while you’re flipping and shredding … oh, and drinking your wine.
Again, kale cooks quickly – 1 to 2 minutes should suffice. You want crispy, full-of-nutrients kale as your final product. It should look something like this …
Lastly, I made an organic black rice and lentil combination. You can get packaged steamer versions of these products, or boil yourself. Once combined, I like to add olive oil to soak in the flavors and create some depth to the texture. Stir together and serve on the side, or combine with the veggies – your choice.
Side note – Both are rich in proteins and anti-oxidants. In fact, one serving of this rice-lentil combination alone has 47g of protein. Yes, I said 47g of protein. You’re welcome.
And finally, here is the finished plated dish. Isn’t it beautiful? Who said clean eating wasn’t delicious and fun? Enjoy!