Welcome to Atara’s Kitchen!
With all the challenges we face today, it’s nice to focus on something positive and nurturing. One of my favorite ways to show friends and family my love is by creating dishes that are scrumptious, fresh, and nourishing. Cooking is definitely a family affair in our house. My kids and I love working in the kitchen together and we have turned many a “non-veggie eater” into raving fans!
Fresh Herbs + Greens
This season the name of the game is fresh herbs, colorful produce, and whole grains. As spring blooms into summer, our bodies crave these lighter, brighter, and higher water-content foods. If you are used to cooking with dried herbs, fresh herbs can feel like a foreign affair. But it’s well worth making their acquaintance! Nothing makes a dish taste better or boosts its nutrition level like fresh herbs.
When it comes to herbs and greens, this recipe is by far my most requested salad by guests and family members alike. Fresh organic parsley adds vitamins A, K, and C. It’s also a good source of the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. Kale is a nutrition superstar containing ample doses of vitamins A, K, B6, and C, calcium, potassium, copper, and manganese.
Atara’s Kale Salad Ingredients: – 1 full bunch organic parsley, leaves only (Whole Foods carries the best I’ve seen) – 1 cup extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil – 3/4 cup raw or roasted cashews – 2 large lemons, juiced (I strongly prefer Meyer lemons) – 4-6 large cloves garlic – 1 tsp sea salt
Instructions: Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. The Greens Mix in with fresh kale, purple or green, stems removed, ripped or cut into bite-sized pieces. (If you are nervous about checking kale for bugs, message me and I’ll tell you how I do it!)
Blueberry Basil Ice Cream
– 2.5 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen) – 1/4 cup water – 3/4 cup coconut sugar – 1 cup milk – 1.5 cups heavy cream – 5 egg yolks – 1 tsp vanilla – 1/8 tsp salt – 2 tablespoons basil, minced
Blueberry sauce: Place the blueberries, water, and 1/2 cup of sugar into a large saucepan and cook over medium-high heat. Mash up blueberries as they begin to bubble, and stir occasionally. You’ll want to cook this for about 10 minutes until the sauce is nice and thick. Set aside and let cool completely. Ice cream base: In a medium saucepan, mix together the milk and heavy cream. Heat slowly until it starts to steam, and small bubbles form. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the remaining sugar (1/4 cup), as well as the egg yolks. Very, very slowly, begin to add the warm milk mixture to the egg mixture, whisking constantly. You don’t want to cook the eggs! Return the entire mixture to the saucepan, and heat again for about 10 minutes over medium heat, until you can run your finger through the custard on the back of a coated spoon and it stays in place. Allow custard mixture to cool to room temperature or cooler. Mix in salt, vanilla, and minced basil. Then stir in the blueberry sauce. Follow the instructions on your ice cream maker to make your ice cream! Place in the freezer for a couple of hours afterward to firm it up before serving.
African Millet Salad with Corn and Peppers Whole grains are filling, nutritious and versatile. This summer recipe uses millet, an ancient African staple food, which is always served soft enough to eat with the fingers (but feel free to use utensils ;). Other seasonal ingredients in this recipe include corn, Roma tomato, and parsley.
INGREDIENTS 1 cup millet 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided 1 medium onion, julienned (about 1 1/2 cups) 2 tablespoons chopped garlic 2 tablespoons minced ginger 1 tablespoon paprika 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 teaspoon ground allspice 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (to taste) 1 1 ⁄ 2 cups water 1 teaspoon salt 1 ⁄4 cup lemon juice 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 (8 ounce) can extra crunchy corn, drained \1 small green bell pepper, chopped 1 whole Roma tomato, chopped ⁄ cup chopped parsley 1⁄4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
DIRECTIONS In a two-quart saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, heat one tablespoon of the olive oil, then saute the onion over medium heat until very golden and soft. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a minute, then add the paprika, black pepper, allspice, and cayenne and cook for a minute more. Wash the millet quickly and drain. Add the millet to the pan and stir, coating the grains and cooking until hot to the touch. Add the water and salt and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover. Simmer on low for 20 minutes before checking for doneness. When all the liquid is absorbed and the grain is tender, cover and take the pan off the heat for 10 minutes to steam. Scrape the cooked millet into a bowl and cover, then let cool. Whisk the remaining two tablespoons olive oil with the lemon juice and brown sugar in a small bowl. Stir the corn, bell pepper, tomato, and parsley into the cooled millet mixture, then drizzle the dressing over it and stir to coat. Serve topped with peanuts.