Tag Archives: sesame

Coconut Sesame Kale Chips and Soy-Sesame Grilled Salmon

Sesame Kale

Coconut Sesame Kale

The other day I was standing in line at the grocery store, and I noticed packages of kale chips at the cashier stand — $7.49 for a little box!  I decided I needed to make these again at home ASAP.  I did a Miso Peanut Kale Chip post some time ago.  Remember these?

kale up close on plate darker

I began experimenting again.  I decided I wanted a lighter, crispier chip in less time.  So I used coconut oil, a bit of sesame oil, and soy sauce for flavor and sprinkled on sesame seeds.  Instead of 200 degrees, I roasted them at 375 for 15 minutes.  Then I turned off the oven, removed the already crisp ones, and let the not quite crisp kale chips roast in the residual heat.  I kept checking after 5 minutes and removed the crispy ones so they didn’t burn and let the others stay in.  The result was a really light, very crispy kale chip that kept for days in an air tight container and did not lose their crisp!  So this is the method I shall be using in the future.  The coconut oil gave it a real lightness and subtle coconut flavor.

Another soy-sesame based recipe I would like to share was inspired by the Weight Watcher’s 50th Anniversary Cookbook which I reviewed in my last post.  I used salmon instead of tuna and I grilled it on the stove, rather than on an outdoor grill.

This is good served with hot, white rice-- it is so good with some of the accumulated juices spooned on top!

This is so good with hot white rice with some of the accumulated juices spooned on top!


The flavor was incredible!  The texture was  flaky and moist! It was the best salmon I have made in a long time.  Even Jamie loved it and asked for seconds — and he’s usually not a big salmon eater.

I used Kirkland frozen salmon, which I thawed overnight in the refrigerator.  I marinated the fillets in a soy, ginger, lemon, sesame oil marinade for 30 minutes, then grilled on the stove in a cast iron grill pan.   Because I heated the pan for four to five minutes beforehand, it was piping hot — perfect for beautiful, crispy grill marks and a slightly caramelized flavor.  The crunchy exterior contrasted with the silky, richness of the interior meat.

I love that I was able to grill it on the stove, making this a dish I’m likely to repeat when it’s too cold to grill outside!

kale 2

Coconut  Sesame Kale Chips

Non-stick spray

One large bunch of kale, leaves torn up, thick stems removed and discarded

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

pinch of kosher salt (optional)

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with foil or parchment and spray with non-stick spray.

2.  Mix oils and soy sauce and sesame seeds together in a small bowl

3.  Place 1/2 of kale leaves in a large mixing bowl and drizzle 1/2 of oil and soy mixture on top.  Rub into kale with clean hands to coat well.  Spread seasoned kale in one layer on one of the baking sheets.  Repeat with the other half and kale and spread onto second baking sheet.  Sprinkle kale with salt to taste.

4.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Stir leaves in baking pan.  Remove any to a plate that are completely crispy.

5.  Turn off oven and return baking sheets inside, letting kale crisp up in the residual heat.  Check every 5 minutes, removing crisp ones to plate and letting others bake longer.

6. Cool completely before storing.

Soy-Sesame Grilled Salmon based on a recipe from The Weight Watcher’s 50th Anniversary Cookbook

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons dry white wine

2 teaspoons sesame oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 salmon fillets (I used Kirkland’s)

non-stick spray

1.  Combine all ingredients except salmon and non-stick spray in a large container or freezer bag.  Add salmon fillets.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes, turning once.

2.  Heat a grill pan on the stove until very hot – about 4-5 minutes.  Spray with non-stick spray.

3.  Grill salmon for about 1-2 minutes, until top is starting to look opaque.  Turn over and grill for another minute or less.  Transfer to a plate and let sit for a few minutes.


Filed under Appetizers, Dinner, Fish

Green as a Bean: Another Class Visit and Miso Green Beans

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I thought today it would be appropriate to share some green artwork and some green food. 🙂

Earlier this month, I did my third visit to the Kindergarten classes at PS 142 and read one of my favorite book that I have illustrated, called Green As A Bean.  It is based on a wonderful poem, written in the 60s by the late Karla Kuskin.  The poem was recast as a picture books and was published several years ago.  Written in lyrical rhyme, the verse asks the reader to imagine what they might be like if they were green, soft, loud, fierce, bright…

I painted this soon after my son was born, so I had to include him -- he's the hanging baby bean.

If you were fierce...

I loved painting the illustrations because the story is so open-ended.  It was such a pleasure to create the “world” of this book.

I read it to the children in class and spoke to them about “words that describe things” (i.e. adjectives).  Then we narrowed it down to colors, since they have been studying color charts during their regular class time.  I had them imagine if they were a particular color, what would they be?

It was a nice way to ease the kids into writing down their thoughts and illustrating them.  Here are some of their creations.

blue flowers

a purple princess

a green dragon

Getting back to the color green…
It is sometimes difficult getting my son to eat enough green food.  Today I made him some special green vanilla yogurt (with the help of food coloring, not scary spores!) and he gobbled it up.  But I’m talking about real green food, namely green veggies.

One of the very few green vegetables he’s been eating since he started eating solids, though, are green beans.  I think it’s because early on I developed a recipe he loved:  Miso Green Beans.  I use Trader Joe’s French green beans — they are so good and reasonably priced. (I just hope they don’t discontinue them, as they have a tendency to do with food I love!)I make a thin paste with miso and some water and season with a bit of sugar.

"shiro" (white) more mild than "aka" (red) -- the darker the miso paste, the stronger the flavor

Then I drizzle this over cooked green beans and saute them until they are slightly browned and a bit caramelized.

They have a nice sweet and savory flavor.  You can garnish with some toasted sesame seeds for added crunch.  It also brings out the nutty sesame flavor of the sesame oil the beans are sauteed in.

Miso paste can be found in Asian food stores and health food stores.  I also love to use it in salad dressing.

Miso Green Beans

3 cups of fresh or frozen French beans

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 ½  teaspoon miso paste

½ teaspoon sugar

  1. Steam green beans until crisp tender in steamer or microwave. Drain.
  2. Saute beans in oil until softened a little.
  3. Mix miso paste, sugar and about 1 teaspoon of water in a bowl.  Add to beans and saute vigorously until beans are slightly carmelized.
  4. Serve immediately.


Filed under Art Related, Children, Sides, Vegetables