After having it on my mental “find a copy” list for ages, I finally got my hands on a copy of Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day, and it was well worth the (entirely self-imposed by busy-ness/laziness) wait. If you aren’t familiar with Heidi Swanson, you should stop reading this post and instead head over to her blog, 101 cookbooks, where you can drool over all her delicious, vegetarian, and beautifully photographed food, delivered to straight from the heart of San Francisco.
Super Natural Every Day is the follow-up to Heidi’s first cookbook, Super Natural Cooking. Every Day focuses on simpler recipes that you could make (as the title suggests) everyday, without a huge list of ingredients or too many complicated steps. The book divided partially by meal type (breakfast, lunch, dinner), and then has several chapters for extras (snacks, baked goods, drinks, accompaniments like dressings, sauces, etc.). As you might expect from the website, the photographs are lovely, focusing mostly on food but also with some nice shots of San Francisco and the surrounding area. And the pages have a nice matte (I guess? I don’t know a lot about printing.) finish that makes the book feel very organic and homey. Seriously, even if the recipes were all terrible, the book would still score major points for aesthetics.
Fortunately, however, the recipes are just as good as the presentation. The focus is on natural, minimally processed ingredients, many of which are fairly easy to locate in a reasonably well-populated area (i.e., you do not have to have access to a fancy San Francisco farmer’s market, though it will certainly help in some cases). Of the book chapters, Lunch and Dinner were the biggest hits for me–I have them both littered with scrap bookmarks at the moment.
For this show-off post, I decided to try out the kale salad (page 80, for those of you following along at home). I recently came across large flake unsweetened coconut at my local Sprouts market, and this salad seemed like a good excuse to break it out. Heidi suggests mixing the salad with 2 cups of cooked farro or another whole grain of choice. I didn’t have farro handy so I decided to go with a legume instead and tossed a cup of chickpeas into the baking pan along with the rest of the ingredients. Also, because I am a kale fiend, I messed around with the ratios a little, cutting back on the coconut and olive oil slightly to make the kale the real star. The result was a savory warm salad with a slightly sweet undertone from the coconut, a good mix of textures, and just the right amount of crunch.
Kale, Coconut, and Chickpea Salad (adapted from Super Natural Every Day)
serves 4 as a side
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
100 g kale, stems removed and torn into large pieces (I weighed mine after de-ribbing, 100g was almost all of a large bunch of kale from the market)
3/4 c. unsweetened large-flake coconut
1 c. cooked chickpeas
1. Preheat oven to 350F and have 1-2 baking sheets ready for use (I jammed everything onto one sheet, but mine are on the larger side and things were maybe a little cramped.
2. In a large bowl, combine olive oil, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Add kale and toss to coat with oil. Place kale on baking sheets.
3. Place chickpeas in bowl with remaining oil/soy sauce and stir around so that they pick up the remaining oil mixture. Mix in the coconut flakes. Spoon chickpea and coconut mixture onto baking sheets along with the kale.
4. Place sheets in oven and bake for 14-16 minutes, until coconut is turning a deep brown and the kale is slightly crunchy around the edges. Remove and allow to cool for a few moments before serving.
Nutrition information (assumes 4 servings): 228 calories, 16.5 g fat, 17.3 g carbohydrate, 4.4 g protein, 4.5 g fiber