Remember when we all resolved to eat healthier last January? Same. Remember how easy it was to cheat on that resolution, swaddled in forgiving sweaters and coats? Same.
But now that it’s almost summer – and those layers are falling away – it’s time to face the healthy-living music. That’s where Love and Lemons comes in.
This lovely food blog by husband/wife duo Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews renders healthy eating a delicious adventure. Most of their recipes are vegetarian, with vegan and gluten-free options, too. And these recipes are so delicious that, soon enough, you’ll find yourself voluntarily choosing wellness-minded eats over the heavier stuff. Try these two out for size, and you’ll see what we mean.
Photos courtesy of Jeanine Donofrio.
Spring Kale Panzanella
serves 2 – 3 as a side; scale accordingly
2 cups chopped kale
1/4 cup thinly sliced fennel, plus some chopped fronds
1/2 cup cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups stale bread (ciabatta or similar), cubed
1/4 cup peas
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled or cubed (omit if vegan)
A few toasted pine nuts, optional
2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil
Juice & zest of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon (or so) dijon mustard
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt & pepperInstructions
In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing.
In a large bowl, place the kale and fennel. Pour in some of the dressing and a bit of salt. Using your hands, massage the kale together with the dressing so that the coarse kale leaves become a bit tender.
Toss in the fennel and white beans, and let that all marinate together for 15 – 30 minutes.
Toss everything else into the bowl, including the remainder of the dressing. Taste and adjust seasonings. This is best if you let it sit at room temp for 20 (or more) minutes.
Note: Jeanine and Jack suggest to serve at room temperature because the zucchini noodles are best raw. You could just as easily serve this warm if you used rice or pasta noodles.
2 medium zucchinis, cut into noodle shapes with a vegetable spiraler or julienne peeler.
(Or use any kind of noodles you wish – rice noodles, regular pasta, etc.)
2 cups kale, chopped & sautéed
(Sauté kale in a separate pan with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon, then cook for a few minutes over medium heat until wilted. Set aside.)
1 cup baked tofu (optional)
(Chop tofu into cubes, and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake in a 400° oven for 20 – 25 minutes.)
Tahini sauce (this makes extra)
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 tablespoons tahini
1 – 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 clove of garlic, minced
4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey (not honey if you’re vegan)
3 teaspoons soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
1/2 teaspoon dried turmeric
Salt & pepper, to taste
1/4 – 1/2 cup water (start with less, gradually add more)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup micro arugula sprouts (optional)
A few pinches of red chile flakes
Blend all sauce ingredients together in a blender. Taste and adjust, keeping in mind that (especially if you’re using zucchini noodles) the flavors will dilute. I found the best way to taste accurately was to dip a few noodles in it. Stir in water, as needed, to create desired consistency.
Toss together the noodles, kale, and sauce, starting with a little sauce and adding more as you go. You will likely not need all of it. Toss in the rest of the ingredients and serve at room temp.
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