Vegetable Love

Getting a healthy serving – or two – of veggies doesn’t have to be boring! Try one of these recipes for a refreshing change from whatever your “go to” vegetable is. Both kale and tomatoes are touted as “superfoods” because of their high nutrient content.

According to Time Magazine, “A cup and change [of kale] comes with 14% of your daily calcium, 659% of daily beta-carotene and more than 900% of your daily vitamin K! The vibrant green should clue you in about just how nutrient-dense it is,” says Wahida Karmally, registered dietitian and director of nutrition at Columbia University’s Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. “Dark green vegetables are powerhouses of nutrients,” she says.

So put away your preconceived notions of what “healthy” tastes like. This recipe was inspired by a salad that I had at The Shores Restaurant in the La Jolla Shores Hotel. This is kale like you haven’t tasted it before. It’s not tough. It’s not grainy. And a big bonus is that, unlike other more delicate greens, kale keeps in the refrigerator for more than a week. Don’t count on this salad lasting that long though! You can serve it as a side dish with your favorite entree. Or go big – pile a bunch of salad on a plate and top with a serving of sliced grilled chicken breast, flank steak, or salmon for a complete meal.


Kale, Apple, and Goat Cheese Salad

  • 1 bundle Lacinato (also called Dino or Tuscan) kale
  • 1 small Granny Smith apple
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries or cherries
  • 2 ounces crumbled goat cheese
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, walnuts, or pecans
  • ¼ cup bacon crumbles
  • Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey Vinaigrette

Rinse and dry kale. Remove the stems then stack kale leaves. Slice into thin strips. Quarter, core, and cut the apple into matchsticks. Toss all ingredients in a salad bowl. Dress with enough vinaigrette to lightly coat. Serves 4.


Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey Vinaigrette from 

  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp fresh ground pepper


Combine vinegar, water, honey, salt and pepper in a blender. Drizzle olive oil into blender until combined. Store in pint-size Mason jar. Makes 1 ¼ cups.




The tomato is the epitome of a cancer-fighting superfood. Not only do tomatoes contain lycopene, the antioxidant phytochemical that also helps prevent heart disease, but they’re a good source of beta-carotene, C, and E — all enemies of cancer-friendly free radicals.

This is a great recipe for a cool autumn evening, a cold winter lunch…actually anytime of the year! I make a batch, sometimes even double it, and store it in the fridge. It can also be frozen! This is a fantastic way to get a healthy dose of veggies and is a nice change from a green salad.


Oven Roasted Tomato Soup

  • 2 28 oz cans whole peeled plum tomatoes
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • half-and-half or heavy cream, optional


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Put all of the ingredients in a large roasting pan. Stir to combine. Place the pan in the center of the oven and roast for 30-40 minutes, until the soup is bubbling and the onions have browned. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes. In batches, spoon the soup into a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer to a storage container and stir all the batches together. Reheat in a saucepan or in individual bowls in the microwave. Serve in a bowl with a dash of half-and-half or heavy cream, if desired.


Oven-Roasted Tomato Soup


“I like a cook who smiles out loud when he tastes his own work. Let God worry about your modesty; I want to see your enthusiasm.”—Robert Farrar Capon

By Monica O’Connor