Kale Pesto

We love kale and we eat a lot of it.  Our typical methods of preparing kale are either tossing it into a salad or sauteeing it with some garlic. I wanted to come up with a new creative way to eat this nutrient dense leafy green.

I just started a kitchen herb garden. As I was planting the basil, I thought, “Pesto”.

Kale Pesto.

What’s not to love? Pesto is a flavor packed condiment used for so many foods–pasta, meat, fish, veggies or sandwiches.

Pesto traditionally calls for pine nuts.  Walnuts were used as a substitute for pine nuts because I like the taste of walnuts paired with kale and walnuts are less expensive (bonus!).   To toast the walnuts:  Heat a dry pan over medium-high setting.   Add walnuts and constantly stir for about 5 minutes.  Walnuts are done when they become fragrant and toasted.

You will need…

1 cup kale (remove stems and tightly packed)

1 cup basil (tightly packed)

1/4 cup toasted walnuts

2 cloves of garlic

2/3  cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt & pepper

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Add kale, basil, walnuts, and garlic to a food processor.  Pulse the ingredients a few times before setting blender to mix.  Slowly add the olive oil while ingredients are mixing. Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in grated Parmesan. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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There are many ways to utilize pesto.  Below is one of my favorite ways to use it.

Kale Pesto & Canellini Bean Pizza

You will  need:

Pizza dough (store-bought or home made)

Kale Pesto

2 cups of shredded Mozzarella cheese or a shredded Italian cheese mix

1/2 cup Cannellini beans

Follow instructions for cooking pizza dough.  Spread a thin layer of kale pesto on the pizza dough and top with cannellini beans and cheese. Bake as instructed.

Note: Having mints on hand is advised when consuming garlicky foods.

 

Inspiration:

Our love of kale and garlic.

 

 

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Spring Quinoa & Barley Salad

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Spring Quinoa & Barley Salad

I have a very long and extensive list of must-go-to restaurants.  I was able to check-off one of those restaurants,  Terrain Garden Café in Glen Mills, PA.  The meals at Terrain are carefully crafted with local and organic meat and produce.  My husband and I just celebrated our one year anniversary and I asked that we spend the afternoon together and have brunch at Terrain.

It was a great idea because we had a brunch reception for our wedding.  Like most restaurants, Terrain only serves brunch on the weekends.  Our anniversary fell on a Monday. Boo.

That’s okay!  I made lunch reservations.  We dropped off Baby T with Auntie S, picked up some beer and vino and headed to our destination.  I was so ready and so excited to pour over the menu and feast on the bounty of the land.

Fresh, warm bread in a flower pot.  Yes, please.

Fresh, warm bread in a flower pot. Yes, please.

I was close to stuffed after devouring the adorable and scrumptious bread pot (yummy, warm bread baked in a flower pot) and the cheese board was of generous portions and nothing short of delicious.

This recipe was inspired by the main dish that I ordered, the dayboat scallop salad.  I rarely pass up the chance to order scallops a.k.a. candy of the sea.  The scallops were served over a barley and quinoa salad with “farmer’s market vegetables, pickled red onion, local micro greens, apple-honey vinaigrette”

We are huge quinoa fans in this family and I loved this quinoa and barley salad which included asparagus and sugar snap peas and lightly dressed with vinaigrette.  This was my best attempt to recreate this dish.  I swapped out the sugar snap peas for frozen peas (because that’s what I had on hand).  I purchased “10 minute barley” at Trader Joe’s which significantly cut back the prep time.  I created my own apple vinaigrette. This recipe is about assembling ingredients that you can easily be made ahead if needed.  This is a great side dish for a BBQ or picnic. Continue reading

Apple Vinaigrette

Just drizzled some of this tasty and fresh vinaigrette on a yummy and healthy Spring quinoa and barley salad.

In a blender, add…

1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c. apple juice
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 TB honey
1 TB Dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper

…and mix!

Add to salads, vegetables or use as a marinade.

Enjoy!

Spicy BBQ Kale Chips

 

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Last weekend, I headed to the rural part of North Jersey to spend some quality time with my parents while the hubby did some work in NYC.  My parents were thrilled to see us especially since it meant seeing their granddaughter, T.

The weekend was relaxing but short.  Most of the socializing was done at the table  –my favorite place to socialize.  Saturday I had lunch with my mom and her girlfriends, affectionately known as “The Bullies” at the local cafe.  That evening, we went to a friend’s home for dinner and drinks.  I tried uni, squid ink pasta and halva for the first time.  All interesting and delicious.

There was some snacking in between all of the feasting.  I raided my parents kitchen looking for nosh.  I found the perfect snack–Brad’s Raw Leafy Kale (Nacho flavored).  They were crispy and packed with flavor.

I have made kale chips before–an easy and simple recipe. I usually only lightly season it with salt and pepper.  I thought I ought to be more adventurous.  Inspired by Brad’s nacho flavored kale chips, I decided to seek my own flavor packed kale snack.

Spicy BBQ kale chips was the obvious answer. Continue reading