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GUEST BLOG – Alkaline Lifestyles by Julie of The Alkaline Sisters

I am a firm believer in eating an alkaline diet.  Fortunately eating a plant-based whole foods diet tends to be an alkalizing diet.  I know that this is a new concept for a lot of people, so I contacted my favorite alkaline blogging expert for a better explanation.  I am thrilled to introduce today’s Guest Blogger, Julie of the The Alkaline Sisters website.  Julie stumbled upon this way of life in an attempt to fix a back injury that despite her best efforts (chiro, physio, acupuncture, aqua therapy, osteopath, surgery, cortisone shots, on-line exercise programs and some serious medications for pain) would not get better.  Through the recommendation of a friend she went to a local alkaline lifestyle facilitator and her life was forever changed.  

I really enjoy all of the posts I receive from the Alkaline Sisters.  The posts are always packed with valuable information and Julie’s photography and styling is amazing!

I hope you take the time to read today’s post thoroughly…your body will thank you.

For more information please visit The Alkaline Sisters by clicking here.  

~Gretchen


You may wonder “what the hey” is an alkaline lifestyle? Maybe you ARE familiar with it but don’t know the specifics.  I call it a lifestyle cuz it’s NOT a diet, it’s a way of life.  Alkaline living is getting a lot of press lately and a Google search yields pages and pages of results.  But thinking back just a year or two, no one even knew “what the hey” I was talking about.  Now there’s alkaline water in grocery stores-amazing!  So it’s high time we spread the word about how to live this lifestyle and how to enjoy delicious food while you’re at it.

It’s pretty simple, really.  Essentially the goal is to bring your body’s pH –acid versus alkaline– into balance by consuming a higher volume of alkaline foods and fluids.  Ideally 70% to 80% of each daily meal should be alkaline foods combined with 2-4 liters of alkalizing water thru the day.  Super hydrating daily with water and adding powdered greens is very energizing and flushes unwanted toxins and is a super way to flush fat cells too.  The 70-80% portion for alkaline foods is basically vegetables, mostly raw-some warmed, either whole or juiced and low sugar fruits.  The 20%-30% acidic balance can be made up of cool or cooked foods such as whole grains, seeds, nuts, legumes, proteins-plant or animal-preferably organic turkey or chicken and the sweeter fruits in moderation. Some Alkavorians do consume a little tiny bit of dairy and eggs, many do not. The least processed food possible is key.  In a nut shell, one could easily transition to this lifestyle diet just by increasing their raw greens or gently warmed veggies to 70-80% on your plate at lunch and dinner and fresh veggie juice in the morning.

An Alkaline balanced body is healthy, vibrant, and energetic, free of sickness and disease. An Acidic body is one that is degenerating, breaking down, showing a myriad of symptoms of ill health from the simplest form being a cold or a rash all the way to diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.  We all know 1-5 people or more that are ill or dying of these or many other terrible diseases that can be solved with a change in their lifestyle and diet.  High levels of stress, negative thoughts, lack of exercise and poor shallow breathing (which most of us do all day long) all play a key role in this lifestyle and are acid forming.  Changing your diet will improve your pH and reduce your symptoms to a certain degree, but you must also manage and balance these other pieces of the puzzle to reach optimal health.  The most amazing thing about this alkaline lifestyle is that it is measurable because it IS a science.  If you have a live blood analysis done by a trained microscopist (where you can see your blood cells actively moving on screen) before you begin this lifestyle change, after as little as 30 days, you will see a change in your blood cells and the fluid that they live in.  It is utterly astonishing to see the yeast, parasites, (we all have them to some degree if you eat meat), stress indicators, pre-cancerous crystals, and many other unhealthy organisms floating around in your blood and how they change or disappear with only a diet adjustment and further more, with a healthy lifestyle.

I see the trend toward alkalizing growing in leaps and bounds because there is such a great awareness of how SAD the typical North American diet is.  Made up largely of meat, dairy, sugars, alcohol, saturated fats, highly processed foods and caffeine, we have become a very sick nation looking for quick cures from pills.  With the ever increasing rate of grim diagnosis’s of disease that we are surrounded by, I believe many of us are at a cross road.  Change your Diet …..or Die.The number of books being published on healthy eating is at an all time high and many of them are slamming the typical diets that many of us thought were “healthy”!  Instead of maintaining what we thought was a healthy body we have created a hostile acidic environment within our body that now needs correcting before we develop disease or before we die from one we’ve just been diagnosed with.  The beauty is that you CAN reverse the negative effects of an unhealthy diet if you sincerely have the will to do so.

There’s no doubt about it, change what you eat and the way you live to more alkaline choices and your symptoms will diminish and slowly disappear.  I am living proof and so are many others who have even reversed cancer and are living a vibrant life, well into their late nineties with very little degeneration.  It’s really been more than a 100 years that this model of healthy living has been buried due to the mainstream medical model that has been blind to it but finally….. the awareness of how to live a life of health and well being, free of disease, is surfacing.  I challenge you to try it for 30 days and see how much you like the gain of energy and the positive changes that happen.  A food chart to help guide you, showing the value of alkalinity or acidity, is right here.

Where to Start and What to Avoid
Identifying WHY you want to alkalize is a good place to begin.  What’s your motivation?  Is there a pain strong enough to make you stick with it?  How badly do you want to be healthy?  Are you choosing this or is someone else?  Are you craving energy and vibrancy?  Aren’t we all?  Then give it a go for 30 days and see how you feel, see if you are addicted to the feeling?  You might be pleasantly surprised and change your life forever!  I did!  Forever, no lie!

So a good way to begin is to decide- would I choose cold turkey or a slow go?  Cold turkey if you are not chronically ill can do wonders and work out the toxins fast which means you may feel lousy until they flush thru and then you’ll be ready to change the world.  A slow go means less pain but slower gain.  Either way, you will be WAY better off than not doing anything different at all.

I recommend reading a few books before or while you begin because knowledge is POWER.  It will inspire you to keep on trucking and you will develop a lifestyle habit that you will become addicted to.  For further reading I recommend picking up a soft cover copy for under $10 of the pH Miracle by Dr. Robert O. Young.  As a scientist with over 40 years of research, exploring and uncovering he shares the steps to gain control of your health again.  Another recently published book that I am devouring is Crazy, Sexy, Diet by Kris Carr who is a cancer survivor who alkalized to heal and has brought together a wealth of knowledge thru her own experience and that of many health experts that will inspire you to take the plunge.

The following is a list of things to begin eliminating or dump right off the bat.  After skimming the list it may seem to you like there’s nothing good left to bother eating but you’d be surprised.  If you haven’t looked at my recipe page then check it out cuz there’s some incredibly mouth watering ways to nourish your body that will leave you craving more and feeling more energetic after a meal than you ever have before.

Foods that Acidify:

  • Sugar
  • Dairy Products
  • Meat (aside from occasional coldwater fish)
  • Caffeine
  • Tobacco
  • Wheat (aside from sprouts or wheatgrass)
  • Fruit (apart from those mentioned above)
  • Bad fats (saturated, transfatty acids, hydrogenated)
  • Junk/ Processed foods
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Peanuts and Cashews
  • Pasta and White Rice
  • Condiments
  • Fermented Foods

If you really want to kick it up a notch the best way to kick the acid is a juice feast where you nourish and flush the body at the same time in order to alkalize and regenerate healthy new cells.  It’s possible to put you one year ahead in the healing process by beginning with a juice feast cleanse.  For the full details and recipes on a great way to jump start your alkaline journey see this post here.

All living things exist because of a balanced pH level.  In nature some “plant varieties” thrive in an alkaline soil where as others prefer a slightly acidic soil.  When these conditions are not ideal symptoms begin to occur.  Most inexperienced gardeners would head to the garden center and purchase a product recommended to cure the ailing plant and spray it on the leaves and the plant would perk up but shortly there after it needs another application.  However a well seasoned gardener knows that an adjustment to the soil in which the plant grows is what will improve the health of the plant.

The Alkaline Sisters

Our bodies that are all identically designed to function as the “human variety” require the same pH balance and treatment.  The terrain in which our cells exist is the environment that must be pH balanced just as the roots of the plant growing in soil.  Our inner terrain is everything.  When it is out of kilter we are out of kilter.

If we can clean up our systems, pair it with a healthy outlook on life, manage our stress levels, and incorporate daily fitness we can experience optimal health and a life of longevity and vibrancy.  THIS is how we were meant to exist on this planet and we should settle for nothing less.

If you require an alkaline coach to make this shift possible, I get it.  If you are seriously ill it’s the best way back to health and I highly recommend you reach out for support and guidance on this journey.  It’s a life changing path and having a coach will bring greater success and a confidence that will drive you to become the healthy You that you deserve to be.

Please contact me (click here) for further info and references for Alkaline Coaching so I can guide you based on your needs and your geographic location. If you desire live blood analysis Google it for your area or contact me in case I can help you locate a qualified professional.

If you’ve made it to the bottom of my long winded message for alkalizing I congratulate your earnest desire to make a difference in your health!

A BIG Green Smoothie Cheer to YOU!

Julie

Images courtesy of AlkalineSisters.com

15 Comments

Filed under Alkaline, Education, Guest Blog, pH, Vegan, Vegetarian

GUEST BLOG – Ezogelin Corbasi by Natalie of Cook Eat Live Vegetarian

I am in love with Spain.  Two summers ago my family and I spent a month in Southern Spain.  It was such an adventure.  I fell in love with the people, the food, and the general way of life.  When I came across the food blog “Cook Eat Live Vegetarian” I was so excited…great vegetarian food based in Andalucía Spain!  Every time a new post arrives in my inbox I turn into a giddy school girl because I know the food will be amazing and I know I will get to see pictures of my beloved Spain. 

Cook Eat Live Vegetarian is the brainchild of Natalie Ward. Natalie lives in Andalucía with her partner Allen (The Washer Up).  They used to own and run a restaurant there called Santiago del Calvario which they sold last year to their good friends.

When they ran the restaurant Allen was in the kitchen and Natalie was front of house. They designed the menus together and have always been slightly obsessed with food. Now that they sold the restaurant, Natalie is in their kitchen cooking every day and Allen does the washing up!

They started their blog to share their enthusiasm for fantastic food with a world flavor. Using seasonal produce, grown locally where possible, they aim to excite with global vegetarian cuisine. Their inspiration comes from the fruits & vegetables they see growing while walking the dog in the “campo” in the morning  and they hope to share some of the beauty of Andalucía in the process.  Although Natalie is vegetarian, The Washer Up isn’t, so occasionally she shares some recipes that can be adapted to include meat and fish but the majority of the recipes are for fabulous meat-free dishes from around the world that have even the most stubborn carnivores drooling and singing your praises.

 I know you will enjoy this soup…it is so tasty.  I was drawn to all of the flavors in this soup, but especially the sumac.  During my last trip to Northern California to see my parents we went to one of our favorite restaurants, Dish Dash, and they use a lot of sumac.  This inspired me to buy some sumac from Penzey Spices, however I had yet to use it until I made this soup.  My family enjoyed the soup so much that my five year old declared, “This dinner is awesome!”  This recipe can be a bit spicy for little ones, so I add extra broth (see notes within the recipe below).

I had to make this soup when I read the story behind it. It sounds like an ancient myth but is actually from the 20th century. I love a tragic love story that includes a recipe don’t you?……

Ezo-gelin translates as Ezo The Bride. The origin of this soup is attributed to an exceptionally beautiful woman named Ezo, who lived in the village of Dokuzyol near Gaziantep in the early 20th century. Legend has it that Ezo, with her rosy cheeks and black hair, was admired by travellers along the caravan route who stopped to rest in her village. Many men longed for her hand in marriage and Ezo’s family hoped to secure a worthy match for their daughter.

Unfortunately, Ezo the bride, didn’t have much luck when it came to finding marital bliss. Her first husband was in love with another woman and she divorced him on grounds of maltreatment. Her second marriage took her to Syria where she became homesick for her village and had to deal with a difficult mother-in-law who couldn’t be pleased. It is for her, the story goes, that Ezo created this soup. After bearing 9 children, poor Ezo died of tuberculosis in the 1950s and has since become a Turkish legend, depicted in popular films and lamented in folksongs. Her name lives on in this popular soup, which is now traditionally fed to brides to sustain them for the uncertain future that lies ahead.

It kind of reminds me of Princess Diana’s story with the husband in love with another woman and the very difficult mother-in-law. Maybe they should have fed it to Kate before her wedding to William!!

I love the idea of a tradition where the modern brides in Turkey are fed a soup with a story to prepare them for their married life ahead. It’s in stark contrast to the custom in the UK where the bride dresses up as a tart in a veil with  L plates stuck to her drinking as many shots of Tequila as possible while watching a slimy male stripper with a can of squirty cream. Give me the soup any day…..

The original soup contains bulgur wheat which I have replaced with quinoa to keep it gluten-free. Sumac is a crushed dried berry used in Middle Eastern cooking. It is sold in powdered flakes and has a smokey, spicy, lemony flavour. See picture below. If you don’t have any leave it out, just make sure you have the lemon wedges to squeeze over and fresh mint for the top.

EZOGELIN CORBASI- Turkish Red Lentil Soup with Mint & Sumac

INGREDIENTS – serves 4-6, vegan, gluten-free

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  • 3 or 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  •  1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 tbsp tomate frito (tomato paste)
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1  tbsp dried mint
  • 150 gr (1 cup) dried lentils, red lentils if possible
  • 50 gr (1/4 cup) wholegrain rice
  • 50 gr (1/4 cup) quinoa or bulgur wheat
  • about 1 1/2 quarts veg stock (or a mix of water & stock) – GRETCHEN USED 2 1/2 quarts
  • 1 tbsp sumac (optional)
  • salt & black pepper
  •  fresh mint leaves, chopped for garnish
  • sumac for garnish (optional)
  • lemon wedges, to serve

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over a medium heat. Cook the onions, carrots & celery with a pinch of salt for 4 or 5 minutes until softened and lightly golden. Then add the garlic, cumin seeds, paprika, chilli flakes, cayenne, tomato & tomato paste and cook for a further 5 minutes

Add in the lentils, rice & quinoa (or bulgur wheat) and stir to coat in the tomatoey spices. Add the veg stock/water, season well with salt & black pepper, add the dried mint and bring to the boil.  Turn the heat down, cover and simmer for 35-40 minutes everything is tender.  AT THIS POINT GRETCHEN TURNED OFF THE HEAT AND ALLOWED THE SOUP TO SIT COVERED FOR AN HOUR.  IT THICKENED-UP A LOT.  SHE THEN ADDED THE EXTRA QUART OF STOCK TO TEMPER THE SPICINESS AND ALLOWED IT TO COME BACK TO A BOIL.

If you like you can remove a ladleful of the soup and blend it until smooth, then add it back into the soup. This gives it a smoother thicker consistency. Add the sumac, taste for seasoning, add more salt or mint if necessary. Bring back to the boil.

Serve in warm bowls sprinkled with chopped fresh mint leaves, a little sumac and some lemon wedges to squeeze over.

I would think this soup could be a good hangover cure for the bride recovering from a few too may tequilas as well.  Just remember poor Ezo….

For a printable version of this recipe click here.

3 Comments

Filed under Beans/Legumes, Gluten Free, Guest Blog, Main Dish, Recipes, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

CROCK POT VEGETARIAN CHILI – Guest Blog By Catherine of Weelicious

Today we have another guest post from Catherine McCord of Weelicious!  We all loved her first Guest Blog for Veggie Grettie where she made Crock Pot Black Bean Soup and I know you will also love her Crock Pot Vegetarian Chili.  I personally always need to have a good arsenal of quick and easy recipes…life gets busy!  Enjoy.

~

In my quest for new and interesting flavors for Kenya, I focus in on one flavor and obsess about how I can introduce it to him in order for him to love it, but not be overwhelmed by it. At the same time, I’m always trying to create a dish the whole family can eat (plus leftovers for a few days). This week, chili powder was my focus.
It’s hot, smokey, a little spicey and delicious. Most people wouldn’t dream of a 10 month old liking something so intense, but I feel like babies palates are ready for anything as long as it’s not over powering.
There are 2 tablespoons of chili powder in the recipe which sounds like a lot, but the recipe also serves 16 people! When I say I like leftovers, I mean it. When the chili is finished, I put 2 cups in a Cuisinart and whiz it up for Kenya to have over the next few days. It’s packed with all the things he needs in his diet.

Vegetarian Chili (Serves 16)

1 16 Oz Cans Organic Chopped Tomatoes
2 32 oz Boxes Vegetable Broth
6 Cups Raw Mixed Beans (Lentils, Yellow Split Peas, White Beans) (If using large beans, soak the night before)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Onion, minced
5 Cloves Garlic, minced
6 Celery Stalks, chopped
6 Carrots, chopped
1 Bell Pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 1/2 Tbsp Cumin
2 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Sweet Paprika
1 Large Bunch Dinosaur Kale, chopped

1. Place the first 3 ingredients in the Crock Pot.
2. Heat olive oil over medium flame and saute onions for 5 minutes. Lower heat if they start to brown. Add garlic and continue to saute another 2 minutes. Pour the onion mixture into the crock pot with the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
3. Cook on high for 12 hours.
4. Serve.

**Allow to cool, place in appropriate container or Ziploc bag, label and freeze up to 4 months. When ready, defrost in fridge for 24 hours or place in pot and heat through under low-medium heat.

For a printable version of this recipe click here.

For more Weelicious recipes click here.

Photo courtesy of Weelicious.com

6 Comments

Filed under Beans/Legumes, Crock Pot, Gluten Free, Guest Blog, Main Dish, Recipes, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

CHEEZY HEMP NACHO SAUCE – Guest Blog by Kristen Suzanne of Kristen’s Raw

Kristen Suzanne

Kristen Suzanne

Today’s guest blog is by Kristen Suzanne, who is a leader in the raw food world.  She is an accomplished Raw Food Chef and former competitive bodybuilder. Through radio, television, books, classes, and her blog and email newsletter, Chef Kristen Suzanne helps people live life to the fullest with the healthiest cuisine in the world.  To learn more about why Kristen chose the raw food lifestyle click here.

Enjoy her post…

Cheezy Hemp Nacho Sauce

Cheezy Hemp Nacho Sauce

Hemp foods, now widely available in health food stores across the country, are taking the natural foods world by storm! A true “superfood,” hemp is high in protein, has excellent ratios of all the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids, tastes absolutely delicious, and is amazingly helpful to the environment due to its fast growth and lack of need for herbicides or pesticides.

Hemp is not your typical granola fare — it’s a subtle and delicious dream come true for foodies and connoisseurs of everything exotic and unique!

Let me tell you, this recipe is so good! I mean, like, really really awesomely delicious. I’ve made it every week for the past five weeks because we seriously cannot get enough of it. I’ve made it for lots of different people (non-Raw and Raw) and they all love it… I’m talking “lick-the-bowl-please-give-me-more” loving it. It’s perfect for showing off at the next party you attend or host. And, of course, it’s full of nutrition… hemp seeds (complete protein, essential fatty acids), red bell pepper and garlic (antioxidants, vitamins, minerals), and more. So, without further ado… here it is!

CHEEZY HEMP NACHO SAUCE

INGREDIENTS – Yield approximately 1 1/2 cups

1/3 cup water
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 red bell pepper, seeded, rough chopped (approximately 1 cup)
1 cup hemp seeds
2 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1 tablespoon chili powder*
2 teaspoons tamari, wheat-free
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan crystal salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder

*My favorite is by Simply Organic

Blend all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy. This can be stored in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. · Use this for dipping fresh veggies or corn chips (Raw or not – it’s up to you!)

Serving suggestions:
· For those eating cooked vegan foods, this is an awesome sauce on top of veggie burgers
· This also makes a delicious Raw vegan dressing on a hearty salad with romaine lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and cucumbers. You could even sprinkle on some Raw vegan taco meat and Fun Corn Chips for a tortilla type salad.

For a printable version of this recipe click here.

5 Comments

Filed under Cheese, Gluten Free, Guest Blog, Raw, Recipes, Sauce / Spread / Jam / Yogurt, Vegan, Vegetarian

KALE AND POTATO GRATIN WITH KALE PESTO – Guest Blog by Mission Delectable

 
 

Kirsten of Mission Delectable

Kirsten of Mission Delectable

Today we have a guest blog from Kirsten of Mission Delectable

Mission Delectable is a blog about delicious, homemade food, and about my eating adventures in San Francisco. My goal here (or, should I say, mission) is to make satisfying recipes that you can realistically cook on weekday nights after work—plus more involved recipes for when you’re feeling adventurous and/or have a little free time on the weekend. Most of what I make is seasonal and vegetarian. I’m not, however, a vegetarian. I just love fresh, seasonal vegetables, and also consciously try to eat less meat.

Kale Potato Gratin With Kale Pesto

Kale Potato Gratin With Kale Pesto

Back in December, I made a rich, hearty, and very delicious gratin with chard, potatoes, and caramelized onions. Sure, this dish also has potatoes and winter greens. And sure, this dish is also a gratin. But while last month’s gratin was super rich and creamy, this gratin is light and bright. This month’s gratin is last month’s vivacious little sister, on a diet.

Potatoes

Potatoes

Thinly Slice the Potatoes

Thinly Slice the Potatoes

Well, not a huge diet—we’re not trying to deprive ourselves here, people. But it does cut out the heavy cream, eliminates the cheese, and keeps the olive oil to a minimum, all while remaining delectable and satisfying. The result? Something you can make and enjoy—without guilt—any day of the week. Sign me up.

Kale

Kale

Chopped Kale

Chopped Kale

The genesis of this dish was an ill-fated—i.e., disastrous—attempt at making Gourmet’s Potato & Kale Galette a few months back. What can I say? The whole process of cooking this thing just did not work out for me. The worst part was when I came to this step:

“Wearing oven mitts, carefully slide galette onto a baking sheet and invert skillet over it. Holding them together, invert galette, browned side up, back into skillet.”

Make the Kale Pesto

Make the Kale Pesto

Kale Pesto

Kale Pesto

You’re literally supposed to dump this very loose, flimsy “galette” onto a baking sheet, and then perfectly invert it back in the pan. Does this work? Not very well. Not for me, at least. At the same time, the final result—which, I promise you, wasn’t pretty—was missing something. It needed some acid. Some texture. A whole lot less butter. I remember thinking that it would be way more delectable if it took a little inspiration from this gratin. Add a little lemon for acid. Red pepper flakes for heat. Bread crumbs for texture. Plus, a unique pesto (instead of all that butter) to add moisture and round the whole thing out.

Sautee the Kale

Sautee the Kale

Assemble the Gratin

Assemble the Gratin

And that’s how this recipe was born. Oh is it ever a good one.

Kale Potato Gratin

Kale Potato Gratin

KALE & POTATO GRATIN WITH KALE PESTO

Inspired by Gourmet and 101 Cookbooks

Serves 4

2 bunches of kale
2 lbs yukon gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
lemon (zest and juice)
3 medium garlic cloves
1 cup homemade breadcrumbs (approximate)*
1 tablespoon butter
red pepper flakes
salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Meanwhile, wash the kale, remove the tough stems and ribs, and coarsely chop. Reserve 1.5 cups of the chopped kale to make the pesto (see below). In a large nonstick skillet, over medium-high heat, add a couple slashes of olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic (minced), and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chopped kale to the pan, along with a couple pinches of salt, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and a couple grinds of black pepper (all to taste). Toss everything together, and cook until the kale is just wilted, about 3-5 minutes). Remove from heat, and set aside until you’re ready to assemble the gratin.

Make the kale pesto. In a food processor, combine 1 clove garlic, the reserved 1.5 cups of chopped kale, and some salt and pepper (to taste). Process until everything is coarsely chopped. Drizzle in a 1/4 cup of olive oil, and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Set aside.

Make your breadcrumbs (if you don’t already have homemade ones on hand). Remove the crusts from a few slices of day-old rustic bread; tear into pieces, toss in the food processor, and pulse until coarse crumbs are formed. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small pan. Remove from heat, and stir in the breadcrumbs, along with a pinch of salt, until the crumbs are lightly coated in the butter. Set aside.

Now you’re ready to assemble the gratin. Lightly oil your baking pan or gratin dish. Arrange 1/3 of the potato slices in a slightly overlapping layer, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. In this order, top the potatoes with 2-3 tablespoons of the kale pesto (approximately 1/4 of the pesto), and then 1/2 of the sautéed kale. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of lemon zest over the kale. Arrange another 1/3 of the potatoes on top, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with 2-3 tablespoons of the kale pesto, the last of the sautéed kale, and another teaspoon of lemon zest. Arrange the final layer of potatoes on top, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with 2-3 more tablespoons of kale pesto and, finally, the breadcrumbs. You should have several tablespoons of kale pesto leftover for garnish—stir approximately 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into the leftover kale pesto, and set aside until the gratin is done baking.

Bake the gratin at 400F for 40-50 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through and the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Top each serving of gratin with a drizzle of the kale pesto.

For a printable version of this recipe click here.

2 Comments

Filed under Guest Blog, Main Dish, Recipes, Sides, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian