Tuesday, January 10, 2012

On The Night Of The New Hampshire Primary, I Vote For Kale

Giada at Home with Giada DeLaurentiis

I LOVED Giada's kale and mashed potatoes a little while back, but I’ll get to that in a second…Today Giada is cooking healthy. We see her in some gorgeous paradise (her backyard?) doing yoga in a small group with a teacher. Back in the kitchen, Giada’s making her “Rise and Shine Juice”. She grabs a bag of baby spinach from the fridge.

I’ve mostly given up on bagged greens. They don’t taste that great to me and they get slimy really quickly. Now I buy lettuce and spinach in those plastic box containers. You would think that it’s more expensive, but there’s no waste. Why don’t I buy regular lettuce? Occasionally I do, but after washing and trimming and coring, I don’t think it’s that much cheaper and the stuff in boxes lasts longer.

Anyway, Giada juices one bag of spinach, 2 stalks of celery (I detest celery juice), 2 carrots (which I don’t like without apples)…and, oh, wait, 2 apples. Okay, this is looking up. She adds Gala apples, half a lemon and a piece of ginger. I’m happy about that, because I always add ginger to my all-time favorite juice, which admittedly isn’t as healthy as one with greens. It’s 2 Granny Smith apples (or use Gala, whatever), 2 carrots, 1 (or 2) thick slices of ginger and 1 raw beet. SO GOOD!!! You can leave out the beet and it’s still good, but it doesn’t have that amazing magenta color.

Giada pours her juice over ice. She pretends to really like it.

Next up is a turkey, kale and brown rice soup. When I made Giada’s kale with mashed potatoes recipe, it was the first time that I had sautéed kale without blanching it first, which is certainly a healthier way to go. The worst part about kale is that it overtakes your cutting board like kudzu taking over Georgia, but it does cook down so much that you have to start with a lot. The last time I cooked it, I sautéed the kale as in Giada’s recipe and then I added cubed, cooked sweet potatoes and some raisins. It was really good with a brown rice pilaf. 


Back to the soup, Giada chops shallots (a lot of shallots) and sautés them with chopped carrots and red pepper and then one pound of ground white meat turkey.

Next she strips the kale leaves off the stem and roughly chops them and adds them to the pan with a can of diced tomatoes, a tablespoon of herbes de Provence (ick), 1 cup of cooked brown rice and  4 cups of low sodium chicken broth, Giada simmers it for 15 minutes. Lastly, she adds lots of chopped parsley and a ¼ cup of Parmesan. “Light, but hearty,” she pronounces.

Now we see Giada in a gorgeous garden with a small but beautiful raised bed of herbs. She’s picking thyme for her frozen blueberry yogurt. She mixes 2 sprigs of thyme with a ¼ cup of blueberries, 2 tablespoons water and a tablespoon of honey in a small saucepan to make a syrup. Giada mashes the blueberries with a potato masher (a fork would work just as well) and brings it to the boil and then lets it sit.  

Giada adds more blueberries to a food processor with 1/3 cup honey and 1/4 cup agave nectar. She says agave is great because it’s a sweetener, but it’s “a natural sweetener”. But isn’t that (combined with the honey) kind of a lot of sweetener, no matter what kind she’s using?

Giada adds a few tablespoons of lemon juice to the blueberries in the processor. She adds 2% Greek yogurt to the processor. She removes the thyme and pours the (still hot!!!) blueberry syrup into the yogurt and processes it. She freezes it in a glass container for several hours. “Plastic makes it too icy.” I’m not sure what that means.

The next scene is adorable Jade eating the frozen yogurt out of an ice cream cone, while Giada coaches her on how to lick it. (I’m simply narrating the events, not commenting on them…well, not that one, anyway.)

The last dish is a quick fish dish. Giada chops chives and parsley and adds lemon zest. That will go on top of the fish. She puts 4 pieces of center cut halibut on a baking sheet with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. She spoons over the herb and lemon mix. It bakes at 375°F. for 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, she makes an arugula salsa ved-DAY, Yup, that’s what she said (over and over). She’s talking about a salsa verde. She puts one cup of baby arugula in the processor with capers, lemon zest and juice, salt, red pepper flakes and a quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil. She processes it and that’s all there is to making a salsa ved-DAY. When the fish is cooked, she tastes a small bite with the salsa ved-DAY and loves it. It looks great, but I wonder if she couldn’t cut down on the olive oil a bit and the overzealous pronunciation.

Next time, I'll report on Anne also cooking kale. It’s a trend!!!


Anonymous said...

"She pretends to really like it." That comment made my day!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

That does sound like overzealous talk. It's ver-DEH Giada!

I'm not fond of kale unless it's kale chips, but I'd take a head of kale over anyone in the NH primary!

Sue said...

I had to slow down the action to see Giada's reaction. She didn't actually grimace, but close.

Honestly, I love Giada and her fancy foreign talk, but THIS was over the top.

I'm becoming so fond of kale and it's far more appealing than the folks being voted for last night.

Emily said...

Ugh, I hate celery juice too.

Your juice sounds good. I've never tried juicing a beet.

I love kale! I think it's my favorite green.

This post was so funny. "Plastic makes it too icy." Hmm.