Month: July 2012

Salad Series: Kale Salad in a Tahini Dressing

Salad Series: Kale Salad in a Tahini Dressing

There’s something very reassuring about eating kale salad.  Number 1, you know you made the right choice for your body that day.  Number 2, this leafy green is high in fiber and has zero fat.  Number 3, Kale is high in Calcium, Vitamin A, C and K, and has more Iron than beef.  Number 4, Kale is an anti-inflammatory packed with powerful antioxidents!  These are reasons enough for me to want to eat this salad again and again.

I always shake up my Kale salad by making different dressings.  Remember to make your kale salad a few hours in advance and allow it to sit in the dressing just to soften the roughage up a bit.


Kale Salad in Tahini Dressing:

1- bundle Kale

2 – large lemons (juiced) 

1/2 – cup Joyva sesame tahini puree

2 – garlic cloves (minced)

3- tablespoons of lime flavored soy sauce

1/4 – cup water

1/2 – cup pine nuts ( I like to toast mine)


Start by rinsing your Kale well.

Then place on a cutting board and cut into bit size shreds.  Place in a big bowl.


In a mixing bowl add lemon juice, tahini sesame puree, minced garlic, soy sauce and water.  Mix well.  At first the mixture will curdle then as you continue mixing it will go smooth.


Pour over chopped Kale and mix well to combine.

Next add pine nuts and cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for a few hours or over night. Enjoy!

 All photos taken by: Nicole Presley
Chile Colorado

Chile Colorado

Chile Colorado brings the familiar taste of my childhood rushing back to me. Flooding my mouth with my heritage and reminding me of my Mexican-American upbringing.  My Grandfather made it for our dinner time and time again.  He cooked his chile colorado in a cast iron pan and made his chile from scratch.  To this day he loves his steak chopped into cubes and drenched in red chile.  This dish had become so sacred in my mind that I had never even attempted to make it myself.  I wanted to leave it perfect in my memory  the way my Grandfather had always prepared it.  Well last week I was craving a plate of Chile Colorado and with my Grandfather now being 88 years old, I didn’t have the audacity to request he make it for me, knowing darn well that I would be able to get in the kitchen myself and bust it out.  That was it, I made Chile Colorado for the first time with the few tidbits I remember from my Grandfather and I was so proud of my final product.  It tasted just like I remember and maybe even a little better.  Is that awful of me to say?  Sorry Grandpa.

Ingredients for Chile Colorado:

1 – onion (peeled)

1 – package of New Mexico Chile (use entire bag 2oz.)

1 – package of California Chile (use entire bag 2oz.)

2 – dried pasilla chiles (reserve the rest for the next time you make this)

4 – garlic cloves (peeled)

1 – tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 – teaspoon dried oregano

1 – teaspoon garlic salt

salt and pepper to your liking

vegetable oil

4 – tenderlion steaks (about 1 1/2 pounds)

1 – heaping tablespoon of flour

garlic powder

3 – large Idaho Potatoes

Let’s start by making the chile.  Fill a large pot half way with water and add 3 tablespoons of salt and the entire onion.  Then place over a medium high flame and bring to a boil.  Once boiling add New Mexico Chile, California Chile and Pasilla Chile to water and cover with a lid.  Let boil for 30 minutes.


Then remove from flame. DO NOT DISCARD the water.  Save it.  Take all the chiles and place in a blender.  Remove stems from chiles.  You may have to do this in two batches.  Pour a cup and a half  –  two cups of the water (use the water you boiled the chiles in) into the blender along with garlic cloves, red wine vinegar, oregano, garlic salt, salt and pepper. Blend on high till smooth.

   It will be a bright red color.

Then place a sieve over a bowl and pour chile in.  This step will collect all the skin and seeds. Mix with a spoon till there is no liquid in the sieve.  Collect chile in bowl and set to the side.


Next take your steak.  Trim any fat (you may want to leave a little bit) and cube into 1 1/2 inch cubes.  Then in a dutch oven or cast iron pan over a medium flame pour a 1/2 of tablespoon of oil and allow to heat to hot.  Then add in steak cubes.


Cook just until browned.  About 3 to 5 minutes.  Then add a little salt, pepper, garlic powder…. Mix well.  Lastly add in flour and mix well to absorb any moisture in pan.


Next add in chile. You should have about 2 to 3 cups.

Lower the flame to low, cover with a lid and let chile and meat cook for about 45 minutes to an hour. Stir every 10 to 15 minutes.

While chile and meat are cooking….  Peel potatoes and cut into 2 inch cubes.  Boil some water in a medium pan and add potatoes.  Boil for 10 minutes.  Then remove from water.  In a large frying pan add a tablespoon and a half of vegetable oil and allow to get hot. Then add potatoes and fry on both sides for 7 minutes or until crisp. Then remove from flame and set to the side.

Once the chile and meat are almost done ( the sauce should look a little on the thick side) add the fried potatoes in.  Mmmmmm, my mouth just watered.

Mix well, serve in a bowl or plate.  Heat a side of corn or flour tortillas and shake your head in disbelief at how good your food is!  🙂  Enjoy!

AltaMed’s East LA Meets Napa

AltaMed’s East LA Meets Napa

Last week I stepped into Playa restaurant for a tasting of an exciting event that AltaMed is hosting later this month.  They are putting on an all out gala “East LA Meets Napa” at Union Station (800 N Alameda St in Los Angeles) Friday, July 20th from 6p.m. to 9p.m.  Bringing together the richness of Mexican food and success of Latino-owned restaurants and vineyards in California.  The ticket will allow you to sample some amazing dishes and taste all the squashed grapes from Northern California.  The preview proved to be very delish with samples  from Chef Rocio Camacho from Rocio’s Moles de Los Dioses, Chef Hugo Molina from Seta Dine: Lounge, Chef John Rivera-Sedlar from Rivera Restaurant and Playa Restaurant, and wines from Black Coyote, Alex Sotelo Cellars, and Gustavo Thrace.  This was just a sneak preview and it was just enough to wet my palate and leave me begging for more.  Wild horses couldn’t keep me from attending East LA Meets Napa this year after the gorgeous food I had.  This is NOT an event you’ll want to miss either.  Plus you’ll feel great knowing all proceeds from East LA Meets Napa will benefit AltaMed Health Services.


 AltaMed has also teamed up with author Sergio C. Muñoz, Jr. for a release of their new book “In Their Own Words II” where local Latino chefs and restaurant owners share inspiring stories along with traditional recipes.  On Thursday, July 19th from 6p.m. to 9 p.m. a fun book release party will be had in honor of the new publication.  El Cholo Restaurant in Pasadena will host this unique event.  The event will include a brief program featuring readings and remarks from the owners of El Cholo and the writer, Sergio C. Muñoz, Jr. of Intelatin along with AltaMed. Expect lots of food, wine and music.  Grab your tickets while you can.


To buy tickets for either or both events visit:

Here are a few pictures from the preview sampling:




Let me end by saying I am so proud of AltaMed for providing many underserved communities with quality care for the past 40 years.  This organization continues to prosper and grow bringing more people/families the health care they need.

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post just an amazing cause I believe in.
Grilled Corn on the Cob

Grilled Corn on the Cob

The idea of having a bar-b-que doesn’t exist if corn on the cob isn’t thrown on the grill.  I take pleasure in watching people eat their corn.  So many different ways to enjoy each kernel.  Some people eat it like a old typewriter on fast speed….very crickety.  All the way down one side and back at the top again for another go at it. Some people pick each kernel and savor it slowly. Some people just hack away at the corn taking big bites here and there with no rhythm or coordination.  I am a meticulous corn eater, I eat one side and then more on to the next….  never leaving a kernel untouched.  Then you have your funny people that bite a kernel and place them strategically in their teeth and leave them there to resemble messy mouth.  Maybe that last one just happens in my family, I don’t know.  Whichever the case, delight in this corn and eat it the way you know how.

All photos taken by: Nicole Presley

Ingredients for grilled corn on the cob:

Fresh corn on the cob

Kerrygold garlic and herb butter

basil infused olive oil

fresh lime juice

salt and pepper

aluminum foil


Take a piece of aluminum foil (7×7)and place down on  as a work space/wrapper. Place corn on aluminum foil and spread butter around entire corn to cover it.


Then drizzle with olive oil and squeeze with fresh lime juice.


Next season with salt and pepper to your liking.

Then wrap the corn in aluminum foil nice and tight, and start on the next one.  One you finishing wrapping all your cobs. Throw them on a bar-b-que grill and cook on each side for 5 to 6 minutes. A corn has 4 sides…. a total of 20 to 24 minutes.