taste of october

hummus

For the second annual company “Pumpkin Party” this weekend, T and I made some exceptionally delicious hummus.  But not just any old hummus.  Roasted garlic, rosemary, pumpkin hummus.  Yes, yes, yes.  It was as amazing as it sounds, we will be making it again by the end of the week, and you can have the recipe.  You’re welcome.

keeks in the kitchen: kale chips

DSC02954

I’m starting to think I should change the name of this series to “Keeks Eats Kale”.  Seriously, you guys must be getting SO sick of all the kale recipes.  But alas, I cannot resist its delicious versatility.  So, without further ado, I give you the most surprisingly scrumptious, savory, snack-able kale (k)creation to date: the kale chip.  With just three easy ingredients, you too can munch and crunch on some yummy potato-chip impostor.  And if you have any lingering suspicions as to their tastiness, just take it from my boyfriend…after baking up my first batch yesterday and giving him a little sample, he requested another batch immediately, specifically stating that he’d like “a really, really, really, big batch, please!!!”  Of course I obliged, then my entire supply of kale magically disappeared before my eyes.  These things are GOOD, people.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Now all you need to do is remove the leafy greens from the thick stalk, wash and dry, and arrange kale on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with one tablespoon of good olive oil, sprinkle with some seasoning salt, and bake for 8-10 minutes,  until the edges are brown but not burnt.  I checked on my chips mid-way through and agitated the sheet a bit, not sure if this makes any difference…DSC02955DSC02960

…but they did come out absolutely perfectly, so I’m sticking to my method!  Bon appétit!

keeks in the kitchen: kale berry energy smoothie

DSC02792

When the temperatures outside are high, one of my favorite ways to fuel up and cool down is by making a yummy smoothie.  Not only are the blended concoctions deliciously refreshing and packed with natural sugars to satisfy your sweet tooth, but with add-ons like protein powder and chia seeds, the nutrition value is unbeatable.  Here’s how to make a mixed berry and kale smoothie, one of my favorites…

Start with 1/2 cup of frozen mixed berries (I used blueberries and strawberries), and about 1/2 cup fresh blueberries.  Throw in 10 almonds and 1/4 cup of ice water or almond milk.  Blend.DSC02789

Next throw in 1/2 cup of chopped kale and whichever powders and seeds you prefer.  Blend.DSC02797

Now, pour the contents into a glass and enjoy!  By the way, if you are worried that adding greens to your smoothie will make them taste weird, I assure you it won’t!  This was a major concern of mine prior to trying it out.  But no- you get all of the vitamins and none of the taste!DSC02798

Bon appétit!

keeks in the kitchen: kale salad edition

f18d1a3844221233f396cd820ddda228

As a dancer, being injured poses a lovely little collection of daily frustrations (3 consecutive months out of the studio really does a number on your psyche…whenever I hear classical music it’s an odd battle between tendu-ing and crying).  Hailing from the same genus as preserving those temporarily useless toe calluses and sleeping in the frog stretch several nights a week to remind your hips what torture turn out feels like, staying fit is one of the most important concerns an injured dancer can have.

Without the intense cardio that comes with 6 hours of rehearsal, maintaining that strong dancer’s bod is often even tougher than anticipated- and believe me, no one was expecting it to be easy over here!  With just a few short weeks left before the start of the season (who’s excited?!), I’m vowing to stick to a diet of healthy greens and protein.

So here’s my recipe for a delicious kale salad, packed with essential vitamins, proteins, and fiber to keep you feeling and looking good…

DSC02754

Start with some greens.  For this salad I chopped up some romaine and mixed it with kale, my new favorite superfood.DSC02760

Next I added a little steamed, shelled edamame.  These low-calorie little green soybeans are the perfect punch of protein!DSC02763

Chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans, are always a good addition to any salad, loading it up with their fiber, protein and healthy fats. DSC02765

To top it off, I added some juicy golden raisins, chopped walnuts and a bit of shredded carrot.DSC02768

Bon appétit!

merde macaroons

DSC01005

Last night I put all of my extra down time to good use, by baking up a batch of coconut macaroons to give the dancers as a little congratulatory treat in honor of the opening of Sleeping Beauty tonight.  The little confections were sticky, fragrant and fun to make, and the end result yielded a pile of perfectly golden brown, crisp, mini-domes of sweet coconut goodness.  To add an extra level of decadence, I decided to half-dip the airy little cookies in chocolate.  Is your mouth watering yet?

DSC00958 DSC00973 DSC00986 DSC00999 DSC00991DSC01002

So, my fellow dancers, my colleagues, my friends, my ballet family- Merde, and bon appétit!

keeks in the kitchen: quinoa salad improvisation

DSC00909

Last night, I decided to make quinoa salad, as part of my continued effort to develop skills other than pirouetting while I am on my ballet hiatus.  I didn’t have a particular line up of ingredients in mind, just a plastic cup full of uncooked quinoa and a fridge full of veggies!  So I got to work, and here’s what I came up with…

1 cup of quinoa (I used this cooking tutorial)

1/3 cup shredded carrots

1/2 can black beans

1/2 chopped red bell pepper

1/2 chopped red onion

1/2 cup chopped baby spinach

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

For the dressing, I used this amazing recipe (also where the inspiration for the salad itself came from), omitting the ginger and using agave instead of honey.  This dressing is AMAZING you guys, and I’m not the biggest fan of peanuts or anything remotely tahini-flavored.  This quinoa came out delicious!  Can’t wait to eat a little bowl of it for lunch today!

DSC00914

Bon appétit!

keeks in the kitchen

DSC00740

In an attempt to stay distracted busy during my “injured time”, I’ve decided to tackle some of my less-developed life skills that have since been overshadowed by ballet.  Par exaaample, I have never been a regular Top Chef.  I can make a mean grilled cheese.  Seriously.  My grilled cheeses should win awards.  But recipes longer than 3 steps (butter bread, stack [dat] cheese, grill) has always slightly intimidated me.  So, with some free time on my hands, a constantly-hungry tummy and some courage, I will take on the kitchen, one easy dish at a time.

For my first trying endeavor fun cooking experiment, I chose a Pinterest-inspired recipe for garlic roasted asparagus.  I do think it turned out pretty well, although next time I think I could ease up on the garlic just a bit.  I was having too much fun mincing it up, I guess!

DSC00746 DSC00753

In the end it only took about 20 minutes from start to finish, but I was so hungry by the end I wasted no time serving it up (to myself) over a bed of mixed greens with some of my rommate’s famous homemade salad dressing and a nice big glass of white wine.DSC00762

Ahh, nothing like freshly prepared veggies.  Until next time, bon appétit, mes amis!