Kale-Artichoke Dip

12 01 2015

Here’s a simple and unique artichoke dip that features kale rather than spinach. This healthy dip whips up fast, and is great for diving into on game day!

Kale-Artichoke Dip

The following serves 6 (adapted from Girl Who Ate Everything):

  • 1 (14 oz) can artichokes, drained and chopped
  • 4 oz reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan
  • 4 cups fresh chopped kale
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Lemon zest from about a 1/4 of a lemon or so
  • Multi-grain chips and sliced veggies for serving

Preheat oven to 400. Spray a 1 and 1/2 or 2 quart baking dish with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, combine the artichokes, cream cheese, yogurt, 1/2 cup Italian cheese blend, parmesan, kale, garlic and lemon zest. Season with salt to taste and mix well until everything is combined.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Stir and bake, covered, for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and add the remaining 1/2 cup of Italian cheese blend. Bake uncovered, for another 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown.

Serve with multi-grain chips and sliced veggies such as celery and carrots.

And here’s one more idea for you….in case you have extras, try heating this up the next day and topping it on quick sautéed chicken!

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Creamy Squash Mac-n-Cheese With Chicken and Kale

8 01 2015

This comfy casserole will help keep you warm on a bitter cold night. There’s no flour, butter or excess cheese, so you can feel good about diving into this healthy take on mac-n-cheese!

Creamy Squash Mac-n-Cheese With Chicken and Kale

The following serves 4-6 (adapted from Food52):

  • 1 acorn squash, peeled, seeded and cubed, about 4 cups cubed
  • 1 and 1/2 cups unsweetened plain almond milk (or skim milk)
  • 1 and 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 small box (13 oz) whole wheat penne
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
  • Garlic powder
  • Red pepper flakes
  • 2-3 cups chopped fresh kale
  • 4 oz plain goat cheese
  • 1 cup grated parmesan, plus more for topping
  • Panko breadcrumbs

In a medium saucepan, bring the milk, stock and garlic cloves to a simmer. Add cubed squash and season with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and simmer until squash is tender, about 20-25 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350.

Cook pasta to al dente, according to package directions. Drain and add to a large mixing bowl.

Heat a medium skillet over medium heat with a little olive oil. Season chicken with a little salt, garlic powder and red pepper flakes to taste. Add to skillet and cook until just browned. Remove the chicken from the pan and add to bowl with pasta. Bake in the skillet, add 2-3 cups of chopped kale – add a little at a time, wilting slightly as you go. Remove sautéed kale from skillet and add to the bowl with pasta.

When the squash is tender, remove from the heat and transfer (carefully) to a high-powered blender. Puree until smooth.

Add the puree, a little at a time, to the bowl with the pasta, along with the goat cheese and parmesan cheese. Mix everything until well combined and the cheese melts. I added a little puree at a time as I didn’t need to use it all, and will save some for another sauce. You want everything to look really creamy with a little extra sauce mixed in as it will thicken in the oven.

Pour mixture into a 9×13 baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray. Top with panko and more grated parmesan.

Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and rest for a few minutes before serving.





Kale, Corn and Tomato Salad With Basil Pesto Dressing

29 07 2014

This is a tasty and easy salad to help enjoy the bounties of fresh summer produce. Here I’m featuring kale, tomatoes, cucumbers and shallots from our Fresh Fork Market CSA share. Serve with whatever protein looks good to you and dig in. I love easy meals like this that allow me to spend more time enjoying the beautiful day, and less time in the kitchen!

Kale, Corn and Tomato Salad With Basil Pesto Dressing

The following serves 4 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 4 small to medium ears of corn, shucked
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced in half moons
  • 1/2 cup sliced shallots
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto
  • 2 Tbsp champagne wine vinegar
  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat grill to medium-high.

Drizzle shucked corn with a little olive oil and grill until slightly charred all over, about 5-7 minutes. Remove corn from the grill and set aside until cool enough to handle. I picked the following trick up from Rachel Ray and it works like a charm – place a small bowl upside down inside a large bowl. Stand the corn up on the bottom of the small bowl and using a large knife, cut corn off the cobs. The kernels will easily collect in the big bowl. When all the kernels are cut off, remove the small bowl.

Add the tomatoes, cucumber and shallots to the bowl with the corn. Add the pesto and vinegar, and mix well to combine.

Add the kale to another bowl. Squeeze in lemon juice and a good drizzle of olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper to taste. Massage gently with your hands for a couple of minutes, ensuring the kale is evenly coated. Massaging the kale will help it break down a little and soften, making it easier to eat and enjoy, in its raw form!

To serve, divide the kale among plates. Slightly push kale to the sides, creating a hole in the middle. Divide the corn and tomato salad among plates, filling the kale hole. Serve with a protein of your choice. Pictured above is petite sirloin steak.





Asian Lo Mein and Snow Pea Slaw

7 07 2014

Lots of great Fresh Fork Market veggies featured in tonight’s meatless Monday supper including snow peas, cabbage, kale, green onions and garlic scapes! I love quick Asian dinners like this that can also serve as a fab potluck or picnic item. You can save yourself time day-of by doing most of the prep ahead of time, like all the chopping and shredding that’s needed. If you have leftovers, be sure to enjoy them for lunch the next day!

Asian Lo Mein and Snow Pea Slaw

The following serves 4-6 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat and taste love & nourish):

  • 1 quart snow peas, ends snapped and string removed
  • 10 oz package lo mein
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice (about 1 really juice lime) and zest of 1 lime
  • 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger (save time, use the minced tube kind!)
  • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2-3 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded kale
  • 1 cup shredded/matchstick carrots
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 2 garlic scapes, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup almond slivers, toasted

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add snow peas and blanch for 1-2 minutes. Remove with a spider or small strainer and set aside. Make sure the water is still boiling and add the lo mein (the water will be green from the peas, but no worries that just adds flavor). Cook according to package instructions. Mine took 4 minutes. Drain and run cooked lo mein under cold water. Drain well.

In a large bowl, whisk the soy sauce, lime juice and zest, ginger, vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, olive oil and salt. Add the snow peas, cabbage (start with 2 cups, if you end up having enough dressing you can add the last cup), kale, carrots, green onions and garlic scapes to a large bowl. Mix well. Add the cooled lo mein and toss everything together, making sure the lo mein is coated in the dressing. Store in the fridge 20-30 minutes.

Mix well and garnish with toasted sesame seeds and almonds before serving.





Grilled Kale, Quinoa and Cherry Salad

2 07 2014

Tonight we enjoyed this fabulous quinoa salad featuring Fresh Fork Market kale and cucumber. Pick your protein and enjoy it warm, at room temp or even cold – it’s that versatile. Serve it as a side dish, a salad or even an appetizer, making it perfect for summer potlucks too! I’ll be sharing this with friends and fam this holiday weekend! 🙂

Grilled Kale, Quinoa and Cherry Salad

The following serves 4-6 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat and A Beautiful Mess):

  • 1 bunch organic kale, large stems cut away, washed and dried
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • Reduced-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup dark cherries, pitted and chopped
  • 1 medium organic cucumber, cut in half, seeded and chopped
  • Chopped parsley
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Sharp provolone cheese, shaved

Preheat grill to medium.

Drizzle kale with a little olive oil and season with salt to taste. Grill over medium heat, 1-2 minutes on each side until a little char starts to form. Remove from the grill and cool. Once cool enough to handle, slice or tear into small pieces. Discard stems.

Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Mine called for 1 cup dry quinoa to 2 cups water. To add some extra flavor, I used 1 cup chicken stock and 1 cup water. I recommend using the pre-rinsed kind of quinoa to save yourself time. Once cooked, allow quinoa to cool.

In a medium bowl, combine the grilled kale, cooked quinoa, cherries, cucumber and parsley. Toss with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste. Season lightly with salt and pepper, and garnish with sunflower seeds and shaved provolone. You can enjoy this salad warm, at room temperature or even cold.





Creamy Tuscan Beans With Mushrooms and Kale

21 05 2014

This rustic Tuscan bean side dish is deliciously creamy and loaded with both flavor and nutrition! It whips up pretty quickly too. Get some chicken or steak on the grill while you prepare this, and before you know it you’ll have a lovely weeknight meal ready to enjoy.

Creamy Tuscan Beans With Mushrooms and Kale

The following serves 4 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Pinch kosher salt to taste
  • 1 (8 oz) package sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup of low-sodium, reduced-fat beef stock
  • Kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced in half
  • 2-3 oz fontina cheese, cubed (you want to use fontina because it melts really well)
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

In a medium saucepan, heat a few Tbsp of oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until beginning to soften, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring, a minute or so. Add rosemary, red pepper flakes and just a pinch of salt. Next add the mushrooms and cook until beginning to brown, 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans, stock, olives and cheese. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The cheese will melt nicely into the stock, creating a nice creamy dish.

Meanwhile in a large saute pan, heat some oil and saute kale until wilted and cooked, 5-10 minutes. You can make as much as you like, I filled the pan (remember it shrinks when it cooks). Transfer sautéed kale to the beans and finish cooking together the final 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Dish out beans, top with parsley and enjoy alongside a protein of your choice. I served with grilled chicken breasts.





Sun-dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Stuffed Burgers With Kale Pesto on Multi-Grain Ciabatta

6 05 2014

The hubster recently bought a StufZ Burger Press, and was excited to use this stuffing contraption tonight! It’s not a bad little gizmo, but sometimes the best tools in the kitchen are your own two hands. 🙂

These Mediterranean burgers are quite tasty! By using fresh kale pesto as the condiment, and multi-grain ciabatta as the bun, you’ve got yourself a healthy burger rendition too.

Sun-dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Stuffed Burgers With Kale Pesto

The following makes 4 burgers (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • Kosher salt
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Garlic powder
  • Lemon zest
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 cups kale, stemmed
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 2 Tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 loaf multi-grain ciabatta bread, cut into burger size tops and bottoms

Preheat grill to medium to medium-high.

Mix ground beef with salt, red pepper flakes and garlic powder to taste, along with 1/2 Tbsp lemon zest. Mix until just combined, being careful not to over-mix. Form seasoned meat into 8 small patties.

Combine goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and about 1 tsp of lemon zest in a bowl.

To stuff the burgers, use half the patties and add some crumbled goat cheese and chopped sun-dried tomatoes in the middle of the patty, about a heaping Tbsp or so worth on each of the four burgers. Be sure to leave an outside edge. Top each with the remaining patties and press to seal the edges firmly all the way around.

Brush stuffed burgers with a little olive oil on both sides and grill until desired temp. Grilling time will vary based on how large your burgers are. Once cooked to your likeness, remove burgers from the grill and tent with foil. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.

While the burgers rest, make the pesto by adding the kale, parmesan cheese, pine nuts, garlic, 1/2 tsp each salt and red pepper flakes and the zest of 1 lemon to a food processor. Pulse until everything is finely chopped, then stream in 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil and process until well combined and smooth.

Brush the ciabatta with the kale pesto, top with a burger and serve with a salad, like a corn and arugula salad.

To make the salad, grill 4 ears of corn tossed in a little olive oil over medium-high heat. Grill until charred on all sides and kernels are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the grill and cool until you can handle. Using a large knife, scrap the kernels off the cobs into a large bowl. Mix with some of the kale pesto, olive oil and lemon juice. Fold in a couple handfuls of arugula, top with some crumbled goat cheese and enjoy alongside the burgers.