Vegetable Saute with Kale and Corn Pesto

Potato and Pesto Pics (9)

Everyone likes to talk about how pretty fall is and how awesome the leaves are, yada yada yada. Can we chat for a second about how EVERYONE IS SICK?

I can count the number of days I’ve felt healthy since the end of summer on one hand at this point. I feel as though every time I turn around, someone is sneezing or coughing, and two days later, so am I. It obviously doesn’t help that one day it’ll be 85 degrees out and the next day it’ll be 40.

As someone who is first to brag about how infrequently I get sick, I’ve certainly had to check myself this time around. Is anyone else experiencing this? If you are, please do not come near me.

Potato and Pesto Pics (11)To cater to my tissue-cough-drop-Robitussin dependency, I embarked on this meal with full intentions of completely mailing it in. I should know better though, that the way to truly mail it in is to either do nothing so Mike ends up taking care of dinner, or to just make pasta.

Well I didn’t. This is the result of more time in the kitchen than I intended.

What You Need for the Vegetable Dish:

  • 1 cup dry Jasmine or rice of choice, cooked according to package directions
  • 5 plum tomatoes or large cherry tomatoes.
  • 1/4 lb green beans, sliced in half
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 each: red bell pepper, green bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1/4 cup chives, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

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What You Need for the Pesto:

  • 2 cups kale leaves, roughly shredded
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • The corn from one cob (cooked and cut off) – or about 3/4 cup of cooked corn
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 3 small garlic cloves, minced (about 3 tsp)
  • A pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper

What You Do: Potato and Pesto Pics (12)

Cook the rice according to package directions.

While the rice is cooking, pile your veggies EXCEPT the chives, into a large skillet, cover and slowly heat on low-medium until they are cooked through and the tomatoes have burst and appear pinched.

While the vegetables are cooking, pile your pesto ingredients EXCEPT the oil, into a food processor or blender. Slowly add the oil as the ingredients are mixing together until everything is combined and has formed a loose mixture similar to the consistency of dip.

Scoop out a desired amount of rice, and cover it with the cooked vegetables, adding some of the liquids for flavor.

Top with a dollop of pesto and sprinkle the chives over the pesto. Viola!

Pro Tip: Don’t make this dish if you’re too sick to stand up for more than 5 minutes.

Potato and Pesto Pics (10)

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Healthy and Easy Crustless Summer Vegetable Quiche

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I have never been so determined to make a dinner from scratch as I was when I forged ahead and baked this quiche, even though I didn’t start it until 8pm on a work night, knowing full well it wouldn’t be ready to eat until at least 9:30pm; and that’s if everything went smoothly. (It did).

Perhaps a saner person would have looked at the clock and resigned themselves to leftover Annie’s Mac and Cheese, or even a fresh salad, but I would not give up the dream of quiche. It came out of the oven so late that Mike didn’t even eat it (he had already eaten the mac and cheese and a fresh salad with toast on the side, like a smart thinker).

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But I made sure to ooo and ahhh over this quiche as I helped myself to not one but THREE (small) servings, trying to savor it as the clocked ticked rapidly toward 10pm and my bedtime loomed near. I try not to eat close to going to bed, but quiche night was an exception.

It’s good. Good enough to wait well into the night for, and good enough to risk going to bed with a quiche hangover. I also need to note that the reason it didn’t maintain it’s pie-slice shape in the photos was because I insisted on eating it within a few seconds of taking it out of the oven. Let this thing cool – it’s worth it!

What You Need:

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  • 1/2 of a large yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 of a green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno or habenero pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chives, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup very finely chopped kale (spinach would work well too!)
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup almond milk (or any other milk of your choosing)
  • 1 cup shredded muenster cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp fresh black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6-8 very thin slices of zucchini
  • 6-8 very thin slices of tomato

Quiche (4)What You Do:

Preheat your oven to 375F.

In a lightly oiled medium skillet, heat the garlic and onion on medium heat until the onion becomes soft and translucent.

Add the jalapeno or habenero, and bell pepper, and chives, and stir.

Add the broccoli florets and stir well to combine with the onion mixture. Add a tablespoon of water if necessary to keep the pan moist, and cover, cooking on low-medium until the broccoli has reduced, about 7 minutes.

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While the broccoli mixture is cooking up, grab a small mixing bowl and combine the eggs, milk, cheeses, mustard, black pepper and salt, stirring well.

Set aside.

Before taking the broccoli mixture off the heat, add the kale and stir well.

Pack the broccoli mixture into a well-greased pie dish.

Pour the egg mixture over the broccoli filling, using a fork to gently nudge the broccoli around to let the egg mixture seep through to the sides and bottom of the pie dish. (There should still be a healthy amount of egg mixture over the top of the dish.)

In any pattern you like, place the zucchini and tomato slices around the top of the quiche. Make a happy face if you want!

Place the pie dish in the oven for about 40 minutes (check after 20-30 though – you want the egg cooked through and the top to be slightly browned and crispy but not burned, obviously).

Let cool for a few minutes before delving in, if for no other reason than to keep it in pie-slice shape 🙂

Enjoy!

Pro Tip: Have it for breakfast! Experiment with different cheeses too – I think Parmesan or feta would be absolutely delish.

Quiche (1)

Thai Peanut Tofu Stirfry with Kale

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For the FIFTH (but let’s face it, certainly not final) day of Five Days of Farmer’s Market Meals, I give you a ridiculously easy but totally delish vegetable explosion in a pan.

For the fact that I have this crazy amount of kale in my backyard, I realize I haven’t made nearly enough kale-involved recipes this week. So I’m making up for it right now.

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I have a not-so-secret addiction to Thai food – particularly Tofu Pad Thai. But a long time ago I decided it was silly to keep buying it when the ingredients are really so super simple. However, I’ve never been able to give my tofu that golden crispiness, probably because I cook them in oil and not in a fry-o-lator 🙂

This dish is a farmer’s market-friendly spin on Pad Thai, with homemade everything. Sometimes I make these meals to ensure I will have a lunch in the fridge at work the next day that I truly look forward to eating. No shame in that!

The Farmer’s Market ingredients used in this recipe are:

  • Kale (from my garden)
  • Garlic scapes
  • Red and green peppers
  • Bean sprouts
  • Scallions

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What You Need for the Stir Fry

  • 1 bunch kale (about 15 leaves) hand shredded
  • 1 package firm tofu, cut into small squares
  • 2 garlic scapes, chopped into small rounds
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 bunch bean sprouts, cut into 1-inch strands

What You Need for the Peanut Sauce

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger root, grated
  • red pepper flakes, to taste (about 1-2 tsp)

 

What You Do:

To make the peanut sauce, simply combine all ingredients. Easy!

Set aside.

In a medium skillet, heat a tbsp of olive or coconut oil and cook the tofu, covered, stirring often. It will be done when the tofu begins to brown and stick slightly to the pan.

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In a large wok or skillet, heat the olive or coconut oil and add the scallions. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes or until soft.

Add garlic scapes, cook for about 2 minutes. Add peppers, stir and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add the tofu and kale. Stir and cook for about 5-8 minutes or until the kale is soft.

Pour the peanut sauce over the tofu stir fry, mix well, and serve topped with bean sprouts, or add the bean sprouts into the mix just before serving.

Pro Tip: Substitute the tofu for chicken, beef or shrimp if desired. Also, you can spice up this dish quite a bit by adding some chopped jalapeno or serrano pepper.

Farfalle Pasta Salad with Italian Sausage and Dijon & Siberian Kale Maple Stirfry

For Day 1 of my Five Days of Farmer’s Market Meals, I made a dinner that can be thought of as two side-dishes, two main dishes, or one side dish and one main dish. It’s up to you. Or maybe I’m overanalyzing (typical) and it’s clearly a main dish with a side dish.

I’ve debated this enough.

Either way, it’s a summery meal with lots of flavor and it’s super good for you too!

The farmer’s market ingredients included in this meal are:

  • Hot Italian Sausage links
  • Siberian Kale
  • 1 Red Onion
  • Bunch parsley (freeze what you don’t use)

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Farfalle Pasta Salad with Italian Sausage Recipe

What You Need:

  • 1 box farfalle (bowtie) pasta or any pasta shape of your choosing
  • 2-3 large sausages
  • 4 tbsp Pub-style dijon mustard (with the mustard seeds in it)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

What You Do:

Boil salted water in a large pot and cook pasta according to package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a skillet on low-medium.

De-case the sausage links (if you desire – I always de-case them but I’ve been told that’s a weird thing to do), slice the links into pieces and place in the skillet.

IMG_4074 Cook the sausage, stirring it around often, until it’s browned and cooked through.

Drain the cooked pasta and run under cold water, stirring it around, until the heat is gone. Also rinse out the pot a few times with cold water to cool it down and remove the starch.

Place the pasta back in the pot, add the mustard, sausage and parsley and stir until well mixed. Keep covered and warm until ready to serve.

Recipe for Siberian Kale Maple Stirfry

What You Need:

  • 1 bunch Siberian Kale or just your favorite type of kale, coarsely hand-shredded
  • Half of a medium red onion, diced
  • 1 Serrano pepper, diced (optional)
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • Pinch of ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

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What You Do:

In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Add onions, and let simmer for one minute. Add garlic and serrano pepper. Stir continuously until onions become translucent.

Add the kale, stir and let cook until kale becomes soft and starts to reduce.

Add mustard seeds, cumin, and maple syrup. Stir well and serve.

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Pro Tip: The pasta dish can be served cold as a pasta salad, great for a last-minute cookout idea!

Vegetarian Polenta Stuffed Poblano Peppers

It’s that time of the month where I have to do a serious assessment of what’s in the fridge. I hate nothing more than reaching into the crisper drawer to grab the tomatoes I bought to make sauce and finding that some – or, GASP!, all – of them have gone bad.

My only consolation is being able to feed my rotten food to the worms in my vermicompost bin, but it’s still food I needed for dinner and no longer have!

My stray vegetable roundup this week resulted in this comfort food dish that was fairly quick to make and perfect after a long day at work.

Preheat Oven to 300F

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What You Need:

  • 5-6 poblano peppers
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Half a small onion
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 cups kale
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 cups water
  • 3-4 cups tomato sauce

What You Do To Make the Polenta:

Boil 2 cups of water. When it boils, add 1 cup cornmeal and immediately remove from heat as the cornmeal will thicken super quick in the bioling water. Don’t be alarmed, this literally takes a matter of seconds.

Stir until thickened and add additional water if necessary (I usually have to) to make it creamier. Your polenta should be creamy and easy to stir when complete.

What You Do To Make the Filling:

Slice the tops off the poblano peppers leaving as much pepper on as you can. Cut the pepper in half lengthwise and clean out the seeds and veins.

013Lay the peppers out on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. Flip them about halfway through and take out when the skin starts to pinch.

While the peppers bake, warm olive oil in a large pan on medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and simmer, stirring frequently, until translucent and soft.

Add any other veggies you want. I added 2 chopped serrano peppers for a little kick and the kale, stirring it until it was steamed and reduced.

Add the onion mixture to your polenta, stirring until well mixed.

Place each pepper in a baking dish with sides, and spoon the polenta mixture into each poblano pepper. Top with tomato sauce and goat cheese, and bake until cheese is melted.

Pro Tip: Consider adding cooked sausage or your favorite kind of bean to the polenta mixture for some protein!

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Potato, Leek and Kale Soup

So Mike has bronchitis. He’s not thrilled, for obvious reasons, but also because he’s been sick straight through some of the nicest days we’ve had in months.

The sun is out, the temperatures are steadily warming up, and there are legitimate flowers growing in our yard. It’s amazing! And on nights like we’ve been having, I naturally gravitate toward the grill. Except when my husband is sick. On nights like THAT, I gravitate toward soup.

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There’s been a leek in our fridge for more than a week, and unlike my interaction with most vegetables, I was kind of stumped on how to use it, and had forgotten why I bought it in the first place.

I know when people are sick, chicken noodle soup is the natural go-to, but I decided to switch it up and make a creamy potato leek soup – completely vegetarian, and completely daily and gluten free.

Leek Soup (1)

What You Need:

  • One large leek, top layer and leaves removed, sliced
  • 4-5 small to medium yellow potatoes, quartered (you can peel them if you want – I didn’t)
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 3-4 cups kale, chopped
  • 3 cups vegetable broth (I got mine this way)
  • 1/3 cup almond or soy milk
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper

What You Do: Leek Soup (5)

Fill a large saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook at a slow boil for about 30 minutes or until soft.

Drain the potatoes into a strainer and set aside.

Leek Soup (2) In the same saucepan, heat oil on medium. Add sliced l  leeks, chopped onion and chopped garlic and simmer for  about 20 minutes. Add the chopped kale about halfway  through (after about 10 minutes) and simmer all until soft  and kale has reduced.

Add the potatoes and stir. Then add the vegetable broth  and bring the mixture to a slow boil.

Add the black pepper and stir. Remove from heat.

Pour the mixture into a food processor. If you like your soup chunkier like I do, pulse  until just blended. If you want a smoother soup, blend for longer until creamy.

Add the soup back into the saucepan. Add the almond or soy milk (or any milk of your choice) and stir.

It’s ready to serve!

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Pro Tip: Make this soup a little spicy (you know I did) by adding a hot pepper of your choice into the mixture, or simply sprinkling some crushed red pepper on the soup once it’s ready to serve.

A Lovely and Filling Kale Risotto

There are a few things I am sure of in this life: A good meal in a pinch does not have to require a trip to the grocery store; a Sunday-night meal plan will invariably improve your week; and sometimes you just NEED chocolate cake.

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One important fact about me is that I like to run (like actually LIKE  it), and one of the biggest reasons aside from the obvious health benefit is that it makes me feel more comfortable about eating all of the foods I love in quantities that might scare average people.

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2-pound lobstah

But with winter in New Hampshire being a stubborn thorn in my side, it was easy to fall into a rut of not running as much, and instead eating the chocolate/cookies/leftover pie ruthlessly decorating our office kitchen table.

BUT I have a 20 mile race coming up at the end of March, so I’ve been making a much larger effort to make a healthy dinner every night and bring the leftovers for lunch so I don’t have an excuse to buy food out. Saves money and calories!

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Last night’s dinner needed to produce enough food to make two lunches, and since I didn’t get to start cooking until 8pm (ugh) it needed to be fairly quick. By 8:30pm we had this kale risotto, which was indeed both lovely and filling.

What You Need:

  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio (Risotto) rice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 of a large, red onion OR a large shallot (I don’t always have a shallot on hand)
  • 5 cups vegetable broth (need some in a pinch? check out this post)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups chopped kale (no stems – unless you like them!)

What You Do:

Heat a large wok or skillet at Medium to Medium-High and add the oil.

Add the chopped garlic and onion, and stir to coat evenly in oil.

Add the cup of Arborio rice and stir to mix.

One cup at a time, add the vegetable broth, stirring continuously between adding each cup. You want the broth to be at a low simmer in the skillet.

Once you’ve added the last cup of broth, add the kale. Stir to combine and lower the heat. Stir and cook until the kale reduces and cooks fully. Taste tests are always helpful! 🙂

Pro Tip: If you actually stir the Risotto the entire time, it will come out AMAZING. I don’t care if you have to hire someone to stand there and do it – I have made this dish so many times and when I finally ignored the mess and dishes and actually stirred it continuously, the end result was SO worth it.