Sautéed Kale and Swiss Chard

 

 

CSA Confession: The lovely bunches of lush kale and swiss chard that come in my big csa bag every Friday afternoon … the same ones I oooh and aw about when I put them in the fridge … those are the same ones that I often toss the next week because they are last on my list of things to make for dinner. The leeks, broccoli, spinach – those all get used up in a flash but the nutrient packed kale and chard … they sadly wilt away. UNTIL NOW PEOPLE. UNTIL NOW. Andrew made this amazing sautéed kale and chard dish tonight and everyone, right down to wee miss Alice, ate it up like it was candy. Ok, maybe not candy. But you get my drift. From now on, the chard and kale will be the first eaten – promise!

Don’t let it cook too long, better to have a little crunch to it than too soft!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large bunch kale, stemmed, with leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock, white wine or water (we used chicken broth)
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and red-pepper flakes to taste
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

PREPARATION

1. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan set over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add garlic, and cook until soft.2. Add kale to the pan, turn the heat to high and add the stock. Use a spoon to toss the greens in the oil and stock, then cover and cook for approximately 5 to 7 minutes, until it is soft and wilted, but still quite green. Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until all the liquid has evaporated, another 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and peppers, add vinegar and toss to combine.

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Gluten Free “Paleo” Pumpkin Bread

Fall is in the air! Ok, no, it’s not. Here in the San Francisco bay area, fall is about 2 months away. But we can pretend! I harvested my butternut squash from my garden a few days ago (woohoo!), roasted it, and decided to cook up some fall. This is a fun recipe from Elana’s Pantry because the sugar content is low and there is no refined flours. Gluten and Dairy free!  I found this bread to be light and fluffy – unusual to find for almond flour baking.

Instead of stevia, I used a bit more honey. You don’t need to use a food processor if you don’t have one.  I just mixed by hand!  Cook in a mini loaf pan if you want the bread to form a “loaf” like shape.

Picture Credit thanks to Elana’s Pantry

Pumpkin Bread

  1. In a food processor combine almond flour, salt, baking soda and spices
  2. Add pumpkin, honey, stevia and eggs and pulse for 2 minutes
  3. Scoop batter into a mini loaf pan
  4. Bake at 350° for 35-45 minutes
  5. Cool for 1 hour
  6. Serve

Easy Peasy End of Summer Veggie Soup

This is such a simple and great recipe to toss together. It’s easy, I promise. You can’t go wrong with any veggie that you add!

Melt a few tbsps of butter in a large pot or dutch oven. Sautee onions and a clove or two of garlic until transparent and soft.

Add veggies. Here is where it gets easy. When bell peppers, zuchinni, carrotts, etc are in abundance in the summer, I like to chop them and freeze them. If you have these on hand, great! Throw them in with your soften onions and garlic. If you don’t have any frozen, look through your fridge and use what you have. Keep your “soft” veggies for later (like tomatoes and leafy greens). For a summer soup like this, I like sweet peppers, banana peppers, summer squash and zucchini as my primary veggies.  Frozen corn is also a nice one to add.

Sprinkle a generous amount of salt and other seasonings. I like to use a pinch of tumeric, hearty sprinkle of garlic salt, and a dash of Trader Joes 21 seasoning salute.

Here is the best part – take some fresh summer basil, slice, and add to the sauteed veggies. Add any fresh herbs you have – parsely is good too! Cook for a few minutes until fragrant.

Chop up several ripe tomatoes. Personally I think heirloom are the best and have the most flavor! They may be expensive at the store but if you grow them yourself they are super cheap and simple grow … but I digress, use high quality tomatoes if you can! There is nothing better!

Now add your chicken broth. Fill to a few inches above your veggies. To make life easy, and when I don’t have homemade broth on hand, I like to use the Costco chicken bullion that you “make” – so I add water and then mix in the amount of bullion that I need directly to the soup. Great for those times when you don’t want to open lots of cans of broth or measure cups of anything.

Bring to a boil, then down to a simmer.

Another easy tip – add Trader Joe’s frozen organic brown rice. I heat it up the microwave then toss in the soup. Sometimes I like to also add in already cooked chicken at this step – it’s even easier if you have the chicken pre chopped and frozen. Or you could do pre-cooked quinoa!  The point here is EASY.  Whatever you have on hand!

Last step – shred some kale, swiss chard, or spinach and add to the soup. Put a lid on your pot and let the leafy greens wilt and cook.

Now taste – do you need to add something? Salt? Garlic? Minced Onions? Dried Herbs?

Serve with a hearty loaf of bread and enjoy!

Thai Chicken Quinoa Salad

The best part of this salad is the dressing! Yum! Salads are great because you can pick and chose what to include based on what you have. I wanted to use up our leafy greens, so I added them – but didn’t have carrots, edamame, or cilantro. We didn’t miss those too much! The quinoa and chicken made this salad a hearty meal.

Thanks to Bites and Mel’s Kitchen for this recipe!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed well
  • 2 cups cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup shelled edamame
  • 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons canned coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 lime juiced, about 2 tablespoons
  • Pinch of ground ginger

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prepare quinoa according to package directions. I usually cook quinoa in low-sodium chicken broth: 1 cup quinoa to 1 1/2 cups liquid.
  2. While quinoa is cooking, combine all of the sauce ingredients together in a liquid measure and whisk to combine (or pulse in a blender). When the quinoa finishes cooking, scoop it into a large bowl. Stir in the sauce and mix well. Stir in the chicken, carrots, edamame, red pepper, green onions, peanuts and cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, room temperature or chilled.

Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

 

This is a great recipe because the prep is FAST! I was searching for something to do with pork tenderloin while my children melted down around me. Voila! Less than five minutes of work, pop it in the oven, and then leave the house for an hour. Come home to delicious dinner.

I layered sliced onions and apples on the bottom of my pan and cooked the roast on top. Don’t worry if you don’t have time to marinate.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons steak seasoning rub
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 lbs boneless pork loin roast

Directions:

Dissove seasoning in balsamic vinegar, then stir in olive oil. Place pork into a reseable plastic bag and pour marinade overtop. Let marinate 2 hours to overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place pork into a glass baking dish with marinade. Bake in oven until pork reaches 145 degrees, about 1 hour. Let roast sit 10 minutes before slicing.

 

Herbed Tomato Soup

Image

Our family literally excitedly waits for this soup every year.  With tomato season happily upon us, this recipe deserves a repost.  It’s summer in a bowl – super tasty!  We picked 30 lbs of tomatoes yesterday at our CSA farm’s u-pick.  I plan on making as much of this soup as possible!  It also freezes great!  Seriously, it’s better than any restaurant tomato soup.  The flavor makes my mouth water just writing about it!

And, I’m happy to report, it’s non-dairy, practically carb free, and could easily be vegan (just swap vege broth for chicken broth). Yay for fantastic healthy tasty meals!

Herbed Tomato Soup

Martha Stewart New Classics

makes about 8 cups

Ingredients:

1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
12 large garlic cloves
2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2 tbsp coarsely chopped lovage or celery leaves
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp coarse salt
6 lbs tomatoes, chopped
1 – 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup thinly sliced basil

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add onions, garlic, celery, parsley, lovage, and salt.  Cook, stirring, until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes and stock; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer until tomatoes are soft and mixture is slightly reduced, 15-20 minutes.  Stir in basil; cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes.

Pass the soup through the medium of a food mill set over a large bowl; discard the solids.  (we don’t have a food mill, so I pushed the soup through a fine mesh strainer with the back of a wooden spoon or potato masher).  Reheat if necessary and serve with crostini bread.

*Crostini

heat oven to 400 degrees.  brush several slices of rustic italian bread with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt.  bake until edges are golden, about 5-8 minutes.

Marinated Roasted Sweet Peppers

 

 

To be fair, red peppers aren’t my favorite. But I actually really enjoyed these! Make sure you look for sweet red peppers if you also aren’t a big normal red pepper fan.

Once made, you can use these in salads and sandwiches; chop or thinly slice and add to just cooked pasta or layer small pieces on crackers with chevre or other mild soft cheese for a terrific snack or hor d’oeuvre.

Ingredients:
4 large sweet red peppers, cut into lengthwise pieces, making about 4-5 pieces each
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

Directions:
1. Preheat the broiler. Roast the pepper pieces until charred, about 3- 5 minutes. Remove from the broiler and place them in a large bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let the peppers steam for a few minutes. Remove from the bowl when cooled a bit and peel off the skins.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk together the vinegar, oil, and salt. Add the garlic. Add the roasted pepper pieces, tossing to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.