Summer with The Heirloom Chef
September 23, 2012
The Heirloom Chef Loves Kale-Part II
February 11, 2013

The Heirloom Chef Loves Kale

If you love kale as much as I do feel free to post tips, recipes, cultural fun facts below.

I wanted to share one of the most original uses for kale I have found in awhile, rosasted with tamari and coconut this makes a beautiful and delicous salad.

Coconut-Kale Salad

from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Everyday cookbook


1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons shoyu, tamari, or soy sauce
3 1/2 lightly packed cups of kale, stems trimmed
1 1/2 cups unsweetened large-flake coconut
2 cups cooked farro or other whole grains


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Whisk together the olive oil, sesame oil and shoyu. Toss with coconut and kale in a large bowl with 2/3 of the dressing.
Spread kale on two baking sheets and bake 12 to 18 minutes, until the kale is cooked and the coconut is golden, tossing once or twice along the way.
Once cooked, remove from the oven. Place your chosen grain in a large bowl and top with the kale adding more dressing if you feel it needs more. Serve warm or cold and Enjoy!

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The Takeout Window

  01/04/13 15:07, by Chef Maggie, Categories: art, food, community, local,

What has the founder and chef behind The Heirloom Chef been up to this fall and early winter? Check out her most recent art-food project:

What began as a community block party turned into a two-week collaborative food project that culminated with the unveiling of The Takeout Window.  In collaboration with 9 “neighbor-cooks” (people from the block who know their way around the kitchen), chef and artist Maggie Lawson converted her home studio in North Oakland into a one-day sidewalk eatery.  Complete with a stairs to walk up to the raised window and a seating area, the scene was set for day of story-telling, laughter, and of course, good eating.


The Takeout Window featured 9 dishes that ranged from Zeida’s amazing vegetarian tamale plates to Mario and Chris’s scrumptious wood fired pizzas.

The hungry and curious climbed the stairs to the Takeout Window where a once stranger shared a dish created from the heart. Friendly, instructive signs encouraged eaters to “Introduce yourself by name” and “Say see you all soon


Instead of setting prices, neighbor-cooks asked for a donation and the contributions became about the genuine exchange of gifts between neighbors.  Cooks and eaters alike connected deeply to this spirit of generosity and donations more than covered the cost of the food.


Next to the window stood an altar created by Angela Mictlanxochitl Anderson comprised of materials collected primarily from the nature in the surrounding area.

The alter stood to pay homage to the transformational quality of relating through the making and sharing food.  Each neighbor-cook put their food on the altar commemorating their participation.


Maggie’s Reflection:

I am an artist and food is my medium.  I coax the flavors and colors of the season’s bounty to create dishes.  But for me, food is more than entertainment for the senses—it is a part of the social fabric of our lives.  Cooking is one of the most expressive, creative things I do each day and it reflects not only where I have come from but where I am right now.  


When I enjoy someone else’s cooking, I am always interested in hearing about his or her unique relationship to food and its connection to his or her cultural roots.  The Takeout Window & Block Party became venues for a day of story telling about food and visiting in a new space that was neither home nor work but the “third place” as described by Ray Oldenburg: “Third places, are “anchors” of community life and facilitate and foster broader, more creative interaction.”


Noticing neighbors enjoying the sidewalk seating and each others’ company felt like a multi-cultural, inter-generational space reminiscent of the neighborhood’s historic roots when everyone knew each other. The Takeout Window & the Block Party became creative vehicles for more meaningful connections among neighbors.  Together we were all were a part of making that happen.

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