Tag Archives: kale

Zuppa Toscana Soup

soup

It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

I love soup and here’s a classic Italian soup that is both delicious and fast. I like to use a spicy Italian sausage but you can also use a milder version if you prefer. Kale is my green of choice but spinach or beet greens are also tasty. Use whatever you like and whatever looks good or even use a combination of greens. All you need is some crusty bread and dinner is served.

ZUPPA TOSCANA SOUP

1 pound ground Italian sausage

1½ tsp crushed red peppers

1 red onion, diced

1/3 cup pancetta

4 garlic cloves, crushed

6 cups low sodium chicken broth

2 cups water

1 cup heavy cream

3 large red potatoes, skin on and sliced

1/4 pound fresh greens of your choice, I prefer kale or spinach

  • Sauté the sausage and crushed red pepper in a large pot, using a wooden spoon to crumble the meat into smaller pieces. Drain off the excess fat, move the meat to a separate plate and set aside.
  • In the same pan, sauté the pancetta, onions and garlic over medium-low heat until the onions are soft and translucent
  • Add the chicken broth and water to the pot, raise the heat to medium-high and cook until the mixture starts to boil.
  • Add the sliced potatoes and cook until soft when pierced with a fork.
  • Lower the heat, add the heavy cream and just cook until thoroughly heated.
  • Return the sausage to the pan then add the kale, let all heat through and serve.

Serves 4

 

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Butternut Squash & Kale Saute

kale

Thanksgiving is just a few days away but are you ready? The turkey and all of the traditional sides might be set but what about adding a healthy and colorful dish to the table? My new go-to dish and one that I will be serving is this kale and butternut squash dish courtesy of Simply Recipes. Because it is only lightly sautéed, the kale remains bright and crisp while the butternut squash adds color and a sweet flavor to the dish. And when you add in cranberries and pecans, this side dish practically becomes a meal unto itself.

It is so good that even the non-kale eaters amongst you will love it. And it will be a dish that you make over and over again long after the Thanksgiving leftovers have been eaten.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH & KALE SAUTE

4 cups 3/4-inch cubes of butternut squash

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, divided

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups sliced red onion

1 tablespoon minced garlic

6 cups thinly sliced kale

1/3 cup dried sweetened cranberries

1/2 cup slightly broken up pecans

Salt and pepper

  • Preheat the oven to 425. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Place the squash in a bowl and toss it with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, 1 teaspoon of the balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
  • Spread the squash on the prepared baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes or until the squash is cooked through and the edges have begun to brown.
  • While the squash is roasting heating the remaining olive oil in a large pot set over medium high heat.
  • Add the onion and toss to coat. Cook for 7 minutes or until the onion begins to soften. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add the remaining balsamic vinegar and the kale to the pot. Stir until the kale and the onions are combined. Let the mixture cook until the kale is just wilted, about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the roasted squash, the cranberries and the pecans.
  • Season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.
  • Serve immediately.

Serves 4

White Bean & Sausage Stew

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It is still winter in these parts and nothing takes the chill off better than a rich and satisfying stew. And if that stew is easy to make it is even better. So look no further as this bean and sausage stew from King Arthur Flour fits all of these requirements.

You do need to plan ahead and soak your beans overnight but once that is done your actual hands on time is minimal. (Don’t skip and use canned beans since dried beans simply have a better taste and texture). And while this is good eaten immediately I think it tastes even better when reheated the next day. So why not make a pot of this stew and enjoy it for the rest of the week?

WHITE BEAN & SAUSAGE STEW

3 cups white beans, soaked in water overnight, washed and drained

7 cups low sodium chicken broth

2 cups water

1 pound spicy Italian sausage, sliced

1 large onion, diced

4 stalks celery, diced

1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced

1 pound kale, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste.

  • Rinse the beans and place them in a large stock pot along with the chicken broth and water. Bring to a simmer and then cook for 50-60 minutes until the beans are soft, adding extra water if needed to prevent them from drying out.
  • While the beans cook, in a separate pan, sauté the sausage until cooked through.
  • Remove the sausage from the pan, drain off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat then add the onions and celery to the pan. Sauté until translucent.
  • When the beans are soft, add the sautéed onions, celery, sausage, diced sweet potato and kale to the pot and cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until the sweet potato is soft.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Serves 8-10

Rice Noodle Bowls w/ Sausage & Kale

 

 photo 2-195

It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

This soup from the Yankee Kitchen Ninja has become a staple in my family. It reminds me of the giant noodle bowls I used to live off of in graduate school when money was tight, time was limited and I always seemed to be hungry. There was a noodle shop in the basement of the student union that served the best bowls of noodles and broth. The servings were huge and you could add in whatever ingredients you liked. Because of the variety of options you could eat a noodle bowl every day during the week and it never got boring. (Not that I did or anything………..).

This soup is fast, flavorful and incredibly versatile. I prefer to use chicken broth but if I only have beef on hand that works too. Rice noodles are good but any type of pasta works; spinach, mustard greens or chard can be substituted for the kale. So use whatever you have on hand. And best of all, the soup is fast and easy. What more can you ask for?

RICE NOODLE BOWLS w/ SAUSAGE & KALE

1/2 pound hot Italian sausage
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 of a large bunch of kale, coarsely chopped
5 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces rice noodles

  • Combine the sausage, ginger and cumin in a large bowl making sure the spices are evenly distributed.
  • Heat the oil in a soup pot and add the sausage mixture, stirring to break up the chunks until cooked through .
  • Add the chicken broth to the pot and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the kale, green onions, soy sauce and fish sauce and cook until the greens are just tender, 4-5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • While the broth mixture simmers, cook the rice noodles according to package directions.
  • Drain and add the rice noodles to the soup pot. Stir well then serve.

Serves 4

Coconut Milk & Lemongrass Chicken

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Roasted chicken is the ultimate in comfort food. There is something about the smells emanating from the oven that makes everything better. I also love just about anything made with coconut milk. So when I saw this Thai inspired take on roast chicken from The Kitchn I just knew that it would be good. And it was. Bathed in coconut milk, the chicken was so juicy and flavorful that I made a second chicken the next day because I couldn’t get enough of it.

COCONUT MILK & LEMONGRASS CHICKEN

1 whole roasting chicken (3 to 4 pounds)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole pieces star anise
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro stems
1 large lemon, cut into eighths
1 stalk lemongrass, 5 inches of white part only, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
6 to 8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 (16-ounce) can coconut milk
3 cups torn kale
2 green onions, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
Chopped cilantro, to garnish
Cooked rice, to serve

  • Pat the chicken dry and sprinkle it liberally with salt and pepper.
  • Preheatt the oven to 375° F.
  • Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, then add the oil.
  • Put in the chicken, breast side up, and let it sizzle for about 30 seconds. Carefully flip the bird and crisp the other side for another 30 seconds.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, put the chicken on a plate, and pour off the the fat in the pot.
  • Transfer the chicken back into the pot, breast side up, and add the cinnamon stick, star anise, chopped cilantro stems, lemon, lemongrass, garlic and coconut milk.
  • Cook, uncovered, in the preheated oven for 60 to 90 minutes (depending on size).
  • Spoon the sauce over the top of the bird to baste every 20 minutes or so. The chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh reads 165° F.
  • Remove chicken from the pot and put it on a plate. Pull out and discard the cinnamon stick and star anise.
  • Put the pot with the sauce back on the stovetop over medium heat, add the kale and stir until just wilted, about 10 seconds.
  • Carve the chicken and serve each piece over rice with sauce spooned over the top.
  • Garnish with chopped scallions and cilantro leaves.

Serves 4-6

Greens & Potato Goat Cheese Tart

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Let me just say that whether they are sweet or savory, I love rustic tarts. Without a crust requiring fussy details or intricate rolling, they are just so simple and forgiving. I think quirkiness is part of their charm. So whether you are looking for a light dinner, an appetizer or even a brunch item, this rustic tart is for you. The basic recipe is from Cooking Light but I’ve tweaked it to make it my own (in other words, to accommodate the ingredients I could find). For my greens I used a combination of baby spinach and kale which when combined with the potatoes made for an earthy and satisfying tart filling. Any combination of hearty greens can be substituted. And the goat cheese? Who doesn’t love goat cheese.

The tart makes a perfect light dinner option when paired with a salad or it can be served either hot or at room temperature as an appetizer. Enjoy!

GREENS & POTATO GOAT CHEESE TART

1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1/4 cup water
5 cups leafy greens (spinach, kale, Swiss chard)
1 cup vertically sliced red onion
1 cup thinly sliced potatoes
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • Combine the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and baking powder in a food processor; pulse 2 times to combine.
  • Combine 1/3 cup oil and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl.
  • With processor on, slowly add oil mixture through food chute; process until dough is crumbly.
  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 1 minute; add additional flour, if necessary, to prevent dough from sticking.
  • Gently press dough into a 5-inch disk; wrap in plastic wrap, and chill 30 minutes.
  • Using both stems and leaves, chop the greens to equal 5 cups.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat.
  • Add the greens and the onion to the pan and sauté for 4 minutes.
  • Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, potato, and thyme. Remove from heat; cool.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°.
  • Unwrap the dough and roll into a 14-inch circle on a floured surface.
  • Place dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or lightly coated with non-stick cooking spray. Spread the greens and potato mixture evenly over dough, leaving a 2-inch border.
  • Fold edges of dough toward center, pressing gently to seal (the dough will only partially cover the greens and potatoes.
  • Sprinkle pepper and cheese over chard mixture.
  • Bake at 375° for 40 minutes or until browned. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting into wedges.
Yields: 12 wedges

Lemon Roasted Cod over Garlicky Kale

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It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

I love serving fresh fish for dinner. Not only is it incredibly healthy but it cooks quickly, making it the perfect weekend night meal. For me, the simpler the fish the better as a good fish doesn’t require a lot of additional seasonings or sauces. And this Cod dish doesn’t get much simpler; all it takes is a dash of salt and pepper and a bit of lemon juice and it is perfect.

I like to serve the Cod on top of a bed of garlicky kale. The strong and earthy flavors of the kale contrast nicely with the fish and provide for a satisfying meal. Cook the kale while the fish is roasting and you will have dinner on the table in less than half an hour.

LEMON ROASTED COD OVER GARLICKY KALE

For the Cod:

4 4 ounce cod filets

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 slices lemon

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Place the Cod filets on the baking sheet and sprinkle the salt and pepper over the tops of each filet.
  • Place one lemon slice on top of each filet.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Cooking time will depend upon the thickness of the filets.

For the kale:

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

6 cups kale, rinsed, dried and coarsely chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.
  • When it shimmers, add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add the kale and cook, tossing regularly, until the kale has wilted and is bright green.
  • Sprinkle with salt.

Serves 4

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