Fried Rice with Scallions and Kale

My co-workers and I were discussing cookbooks that we love and this one that Gwyneth Paltrow wrote came up.


To be honest, I was not thrilled with the book overall, but this recipe stood out and became a perfect base for a weeknight Salmon with Kimchi recipe that I also recently found.  It’s very easy to make, and feels incredibly nutritious.



  • 1/2 lb kale, stems discarded
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly diced
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
  • about 1 tbsp soy sauce


  1. Cut the kale leaves in half lengthwise and then cut crosswise into 1″ chunks.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pan until hot, and then add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.  Toss in the kale and cook until the leaves are cooked down.
  3. Add the scallions, and cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add the brown rice and stir everything for about 2-3 minutes.  Add the soy sauce and stir for about another minute.

Adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow’s My  Father’s Daughter

Wild Rice with Celery and Pecans

I was never a fan of raw celery, thinking that it had to always be boiled to a mushy consistency for it to be of any interest.  While I have great admiration for people who can sit around and nonchalantly snack on raw stalks of celery, I’ve accepted that celery is just never going to make it into my easy, healthy, pack-it-on-the-go munchies rotation.  (Which is too bad since “ants on a log” always seemed so delicious in concept.)


However, I found that celery, when finely diced, is extraordinary in this recipe where it acts as the perfect complement to the soft texture of the rice, and a nice companion to the crushed pecans.

It also just looked beautiful in the dish, with the varied colors from the black rice, the green celery and the toasted pecans.  We will definitely be reaching for this for our next dinner party!


2 cups of wild rice
8 cups chicken or vegetable stock, unsalted
3 stalks of celery, finely diced
1 cup of crushed pecans
salt and pepper to taste


Cook the wild rice according to directions on the package, substituting the water with the stock. Generally rinse the rice, and then bring the rice and chicken stock to a boil in a pot. Once boiling, set the cover on the pot, and bring it down to a simmer, or until all the liquid is absorbed.  Take the lid off the pot and fluff the rice with a fork.

Put the crushed pecans and set the pan over medium heat; cook until the pecans look lightly burnt (you’ll smell that burnt toast smell and that’s when you turn the stove off.)

In a large bowl, mix together the rice, the crushed pecans, and the celery.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Adapted from Twenty Dinners.

Turkish Style Paella with Mussels

I love making a good paella in the large paella pan while watching it simmer for hours.


But sometimes I just don’t have that many hours, and I was looking for a new way to have dinner with mussels when I came across this recipe.


Not only was it extremely simple, but the mixture of sweetness from the dried cranberries with the mussels and the mint made for an eclectic and refreshing tasting dinner.


1 lb mussels
Grapeseed oil (or vegetable oil)
1 small white onion, diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 red chili pepper
Good pinch of ground turmeric
1 cup dry white wine
4.5 cups seafoods, chicken or vegetable stock
3 cups long grain rice
1/2 cup dried cranberries (or raisins if you can’t get cranberries)
Grated lemon zest and juice of lemon
1 small bunch of fresh mint, leaves roughly chopped


In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat enough oil to coat the bottom.  Add the onion and garlic and sweat until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the chile and turmeric.  Reduce heat to low and let the ingredients cook together for about 20 minutes.

Pour in the wine to deglaze, making sure to loosen up any ingredients that stuck to the bottom.  Bring to a boil and then down to a simmer, cooking until the wine has been reduced by half, about 5 minutes.  Add your stock, return to a boil, and stir in your rice.  Turn the heat down to a very gentle simmer, cover the pot, and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed almost all the liquid.

Next, add your mussels.  Cover the pot again and cook for another 7-10 minutes or until the mussels have fully opened.

Take the pot off the stove, stir in the currants and add salt or lemon zest if needed to taste.  Just before serving add the lemon juice and mint.

Adapted from Chris Taylor’s Twenty Dinners.