Top Ten Ways to Enjoy Kale

You've probably heard about kale -
that thick, leafy green vegetable that
is supposedly a powerhouse of
nutrients. If you haven't tried it yet -
now is the time! Fall is the perfect...

read more

Sweet Baked Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes

If you think pumpkin only
belongs in pie - think again!
Pumpkin works wonders in
baked goods - adding moisture
while also increasing...

read more

Pumpkin Two Ways - Savory & Sweet

Pumpkin is indeed a magical food
- add some sugar, and you can
create a delicious dessert. Add
some veggies and a little protein,
and you have a savory...

read more

Chicken Chili Verde: Fix it and Forget it!

There are few things as satisfying as
coming home from a long, busy day
and smelling a delicious dinner
already cooked and ready to be
served. The secret, of course, is...

read more

Top Ten Ways to Enjoy Kale

You've probably heard about kale - that thick, leafy green vegetable that is supposedly a powerhouse of nutrients. If you haven't tried it yet - now is the time! Fall is the perfect season to give new fruits and vegetables a try and kale is a great place to start. Free of saturated fat and cholesterol, kale is an exceptional source of Vitamins A and C, as well as calcium and potassium. It is truly a super food and can be worked into your family's diet in countless creative and tasty ways.

First, be sure to select dark green bunches with small to medium leaves. Store kale in a plastic bag in the coldest part of the refrigerator. It should keep for 3-5 days.

So now that you have it, what should you do with it? Here are ten of our favorite ways to use kale.

  1. Kale with Noodles: Add chopped kale to soba, fettuccine or rice noodles when the pasta is about five minutes from being done. Season with sesame oil, sesame seeds and salt.
  2. Quick Kale Salad: Toss canned, sliced beets with cooked fresh kale, 1-2 chopped scallions, and a grated carrot. Top with your favorite balsamic vinaigrette.
  3. Sweet Kale Side Dish: Toast walnuts in a pan, remove, add olive oil and garlic, sauté, add kale and 1/4 cup water, cook till done. Top with toasted walnuts and raisins or dried cranberries.
  4. One-Pot Dinner: Braise kale in chicken or vegetable broth. Add garlic that has been sautéed in olive oil. Add cooked white beans to make a delicious one-pot dinner.
  5. Lemony Kale: Steam kale and season with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  6. Stir Fry: Add chopped kale to your favorite stir fry.
  7. Greens substitute: Substitute kale in any recipe that calls for spinach or collard greens.
  8. Healthier Meat and Potatoes: Roast sliced potatoes until almost tender. Add chopped kale and sliced turkey sausage. Cook until kale is tender and sausage is cooked through.
  9. Veggie Sauté: Sauté diced potato, acorn squash, mushrooms and onion in a small amount of olive oil until tender. Add chopped kale and cook until wilted. Season with sage.
  10. Soup: Add chopped fresh or frozen kale to vegetable or bean soups.

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Pumpkin Two Ways - Savory & Sweet

Savory Southwest Pumpkin Soup (courtesy: ASpicyPerspective.Com)

Pumpkin is indeed a magical food - add some sugar, and you can create a delicious dessert. Add some veggies and a little protein, and you have a savory main course. Here is a recipe that will show you how to get the most out of this multi-purpose gourd!

  • 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  • 1 whole Large Onion, Peeled And Chopped
  • 5 cloves Garlic, Peeled And Minced
  • 1 whole Jalapeno, Seeded And Chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 8 cups Vegetable Stock
  • 29 ounces, weight Can Pumpkin Puree
  • 15 ounces, weight Can White Beans, Drained
  • 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey
  • 1/2 cups Pepitas (pumpkin Seeds)
  • 1 cup French's French Fried Onions
  • Cayenne Pepper

Directions:

Place a large sauce pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil, onion, garlic and jalapenos. Saute for 3-5 minutes until soft. Stir in the cumin, oregano and salt. Saute another 2 minutes.

Add the stock, pumpkin puree and beans to the pot. Simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered. Then add the vinegar and honey and simmer another 3-5 minutes.

Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. (Note: You can also use a regular blender, but be careful! Open the vent in the lid and place a towel over it to protect from hot splashing liquid.)

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spread the pepitas and onions out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with a dash or two of cayenne pepper and a little salt. Toast for 3-4 minutes.

Serve the soup warm, sprinkled with toasted pepitas and onions.

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Sweet Baked Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes (courtesy of cravingchronicles.com)

If you think pumpkin only belongs in pie - think again! Pumpkin works wonders in baked goods - adding moisture while also increasing the nutritional analysis. Try this delicious recipe for a new way to enjoy pumpkin's sweet benefits.

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup canned plain pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • For the Coating:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven 350°F. Spray a 24-cup mini muffin tin with baking spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. In a separate, large bowl whisk together oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin and milk until smooth. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

While the muffins bake, melt butter in one bowl and combine granulated sugar and cinnamon in another bowl. Remove muffins from oven and cool for 2 minutes. Dip each muffin in melted butter, then roll in cinnamon sugar to coat. Serve muffins warm or at room temperature.

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Chicken Chili Verde: Fix it and Forget it!

(courtesy of SerenaBakesSimplyFromScratch.com)

There are few things as satisfying as coming home from a long, busy day and smelling a delicious dinner already cooked and ready to be served. The secret, of course, is spending just a little prep time with your slow cooker before you head out the door in the morning. Here's a slow cooker recipe sure to make your house smell amazing!

  • 16 whole Tomatillos, Peeled And Washed
  • 2 whole Jalapenos, Stem And Seeds Removed, Cut In Half Lengthwise
  • 3 whole Limes, Juiced
  • 1 whole Onion, Chopped
  • 5 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Diced
  • 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano
  • 3 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 pound Dried Great Northern Beans, Soaked And Cooked Until Tender
  • 2 whole Poblano Peppers
  • 1 bunch Cilantro
  • 2 whole Avocados, Peeled, Pitted And Diced
  • 2 cups Cheese Shredded (We Use Jack And Cheddar)
  • 1 cup Greek Yogurt Or Sour Cream

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 F. Place tomatillos and jalapenos onto a baking sheet. Roast them in the oven for 15-18 minutes, until the bottom of the jalapenos start to brown.

Place tomatillos and jalapenos in a blender with lime juice and puree until smooth.

In a large stock pot add onion, garlic and olive oil. Saute over medium-high heat until onions become translucent. Add chicken, sea salt, cumin, chili powder and oregano. Saute for about 5 minutes or until fragrant.

Add tomatillo puree, chicken stock and beans. Mix until combined. At this point put the mixture in a crockpot.

Place poblano peppers over an open flame of a gas stove or grill. Cook until outside is charred. Set poblanos aside and allow to cool for 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Remove skin and rinse under cold water. Remove seeds and stem. Chop. Add the poblanos to the chili.

Cook over low heat in the crockpot for 6-8 hours, stirring as needed.

Right before serving add chopped cilantro and stir well.

Serve topped with fresh avocado, cheese and Greek yogurt or sour cream.

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