Kale Pesto on Whole Grain Pasta

IMG_6733

In an effort to bring health and wellness into your life we present another kale recipe to super charge your body with vitamins and nutrients that are particularly well sourced from this curly-leafed cabbage cousin. Not to brag about its fabulous benefits, but Kale is rich in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, calcium and the most impressive of all, an anti-cancer chemical called sulforaphane.  When chopped or minced, kale is at its most potent nutritional state.  

Lucky for you, this recipe is diced, sliced and ground down, releasing the very elements that make this have the greatest health impact.  So not only is this pesto tasty but unbelievably good for you. If we haven’t made it obvious that we adore Kale, this is our official vow to the beloved green leaf; we love you.

Here is the process for making Kale Pesto Pasta…

IMG_6636 IMG_6644 IMG_6645 IMG_6647

IMG_6652 IMG_6655IMG_6663 IMG_6676 IMG_6679 IMG_6689 IMG_6690 IMG_6692 IMG_6699 IMG_6703 IMG_6710 IMG_6715 IMG_6718 IMG_6726IMG_6742

Here is what you need…

INGREDIENTS

8 cups fresh kale, roughly chopped

1 Tbs fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup walnuts

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup olive oil

Whole grain penne pasta

Pecorino (garnish)

Grape tomatoes halved (optional)

RECIPE

Combine kale, lemon juice, walnuts and salt in a food processor and process until kale is finely ground. Slowly drizzle in olive oil as machine is running. Chill for one hour.

In a separate pot, bring 3 cups water to boil.  Add in whole grain penne pasta and cook for 15 minutes or until firm. Drain and combine pesto with pasta. Add pecorino and tomatoes, if desired.

Serve. Enjoy.

Simple Kale Salad with Radish and Daikon

IMG_5789

We often hear that kale is not the “most pleasant” tasting of greens. “Lacking flavor” says one, “verging on bitter ” says another; it is hard to not be persuaded by the out criers and persistent kale-haters. Yet we decided to tackle this cruciferous plant just to see if we could persuade some to give it a shot at your dinner table. It is a superfood and all! Packing a punch of vitamins and nutrients it is hard to get out of just one leafy green. So give it a try and let us know what you think!

What you need:

Kale Leaves (two bunches)

Radish

Daikon

Mint

Lemon

Olive Oil

*Homemade croutons optional*

And here is the process:

IMG_5751IMG_5757 IMG_5770 IMG_5772 IMG_5773 IMG_5775 IMG_5776 IMG_5777IMG_5779 IMG_5788 IMG_5824 IMG_5830

Roasted Beet & Potato Soup

IMG_5721Here we go 2013, and we are starting you off right! As your head brims with New Years resolutions, some changes you have wanted to do for a while, others that may verge on the impossible; we would hate to throw another idea out there for your mind to grapple with. However, we are bringing you a tasty idea, so maybe it won’t be too hard to swallow.

Take for instance our resolution to “Eat Consciously”.  Now this isn’t cutting out dairy (please don’t take away the cheese!) or dropping 10 pounds by Valentines. This is simply the notion to be conscious of your food. Glance at labels when buying something store made and secondly check to see if it is 1. made by another vendor organically 2. with less sodium or 3. altogether something you can make from scratch yourself.  A lot of us don’t have much time in our day, but slowly making habits out of REALLY knowing what you put in your pantry (and your body) is something we should all slow down for.

And to start us off, here is something simple to create with barely any sodium, a soup brilliant in color and decadent in flavor. We give you… Roasted Beet & Potato Soup.

IMG_5718IMG_5722 IMG_5730IMG_5724IMG_5726IMG_5738IMG_5735IMG_5740IMG_5801IMG_5807IMG_5816IMG_5835IMG_5818IMG_5843

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds red beets, scrubbed, peeled, and diced medium

1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and diced medium

2 shallots, coarsely chopped

3 to 5 sprigs thyme

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse salt and ground pepper

5 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water

1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar

Sour cream, (optional)

Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Thinly sliced scallion greens (optional)

RECIPE

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet, toss together beets, potatoes, shallots, thyme, and olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer and roast until beets and potatoes are cooked through, about 45 minutes.

Discard thyme. Add vegetables to a medium pot, along with broth. Bring to a simmer over medium-high. With a potato masher or back of a wooden spoon, mash some vegetables until soup is thick and chunky. Stir in vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, top with sour cream, parsley, and scallion greens, if desired.

ENJOY.

Mom’s (Healthy and Satisfying) Zucchini Bread

IMG_1550

If the holidays ingrained one skill set into the minds of the masses, it was probably baking.  It is Day One post-Christmas and our nerves are still firing at 350 degrees, our fingers still linger with the traces of white flour, and our memory still questions whether our pantry possess Baking Powder (or was it Baking Soda??)  Only problem with this scenario is that we are days away from New Years where resolutions fly of eating better, living better and potentially losing the extra 5lbs you gained eating (all of) your Aunt’s famous Pecan Pie. Here is a trick to fighting the baking urge and still retaining some semblance of health by serving this baked good to your household with confidence that it will a.) taste great b.) not count heavily against your daily intake of food.  Mom’s Zucchini Bread! As far as we see it, it is a win-win!

IMG_1401IMG_1425 IMG_1428 IMG_1445 IMG_1547

 

YIELDS

One loaf

INGREDIENTS

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 cups grated zucchini

RECIPE

Preheat oven to 300. Grease and flour one loaf pan. Beat eggs until foamy. Add sugar, oil, and vanilla to beaten eggs. Sift dry ingredients together and add to egg mixture. Blend.

Bake at 300 degrees for about 1 hour or until golden brown on outside and cooked throughout.

Simple. Easy. Delicious.

Cornish Hens Two Ways

IMG_5471

Nothing says it’s the winter season better than cornish hens. Just think of this meal as a warm up to the enormous turkeys and hams that will be gracing dining rooms everywhere. Not only are they easy and quick to cook, they are so beautiful to present when garnished with sage and look resplendent with colorful root vegetables lingering at their side. And did we mention delicious? Oh, that too. Tender, juicy, and as easy as 1,2,3, here is our solution for the tired minds of those stuck in the kitchen this holiday. 

Oh, these little cuties. I discovered them when I accidentally mistook them for roast chickens, but happy that I did! They are the perfect size to enjoy on your own if really in the throngs of hunger, or shared with a dining counterpart if not starved. Somehow they are always perfectly juicy and great to bronze up in a pan before you roast (they fit happily between a pair of tongs).  It gives them the best, crispy exterior. Have I mentioned that I love them? – Jenet

IMG_5385 IMG_5391 IMG_5398 IMG_5400 IMG_5402 IMG_5409 IMG_5415 IMG_5416 IMG_5426 IMG_5431 IMG_5440

IMG_5462 IMG_5458

YEILDS

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

2 Cornish Hens

4 Tbs unsalted butter, softened the

3 tsp crumbled sage

6 twigs of sage

2 tsp thyme

Paprika

Salt

Pepper

Assorted vegetables (squash, brussell sprouts, carrots)

DIRECTIONS

In a small bowl blend together well 2 tablespoons of the butter with the sage and the salt. Loosen skin covering the breast meat on each hen by slipping your fingers between the skin and the meat. Place the butter mixture under skin and  smooth the rest by rubbing the outside on outer skin. For the other hen, place 1 Tbs butter underneath skin and sprinkle paprika over top of bird. Season both the hens with salt and pepper.

In a large heavy skillet or small flameproof roasting pan heat the remaining 1 tablespoon butter over moderately high heat until the foam subsides, in it sauté the hens, breast sides up, for 2-4 minutes, or until the underside is golden brown.  Take them from pan and place them breast side up in large roasting pan. In the same skillet, use the last 1 Tbs butter with long sage leaves and cook until crisp, about 4 minutes. Drizzle butter and sage mixture over hens in roasting pan.

Take whole, cleaned vegetables and place in roasting pan. Salt and pepper to liking.

Roast in the middle of a preheated 450°F. oven, basting them with the pan juices every 10 minutes, for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted in the fleshy part of the thigh registers 180°F. Serve and enjoy!

Locally Grown: Farmers Market (Part Deux)

IMG_5504

With holiday parties in full swing, Christmas coming any day now, and the New Year around the corner, we wanted to remind everyone that your grocery shopping list can be filled at local Farmers Markets.  The notion of finding luscious fruits and vegetables abundant in one area is sort of a shoppers dream; plus there tends to always be homemade knickknacks, candles and other fun holiday gifts to swipe up for your relatives, friends and the like.  So take note, have Google help you find the next Farmers Market popping up this week or next and take a stroll to pick up all the fresh, organic goodness you can handle…all sourced from the beautiful community that surrounds you.

IMG_5497

IMG_5484

IMG_5488

IMG_5538

IMG_5483

IMG_5532 IMG_5533 IMG_5537 IMG_5526

IMG_5539

Crispy (Baked) Yam Fries

IMG_6582

The holiday season is often times synonymous with food that has the potential to be really unhealthy. The chocolates, the caramels and decadent snacks that fill our homes… all delicious, but not great for you. For a treat that is better for your cravings, try these crispy yam fries that will fill you up without adding much guilt to your life. Simple to make, here is what you need:

Whole Yam

Salt

Pepper

Olive Oil

Slice yam into rounds. Place onto a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Devour.

IMG_6520 IMG_6524 IMG_6528 IMG_6535 IMG_6541 IMG_6544 IMG_6547 IMG_6552 IMG_6561 IMG_6566 IMG_6573 IMG_6579

Berries, Acorn & Twig Centerpiece

IMG_6028Looking for a way to spruce up a table or shelf for the holidays?  Just grab the following things and you can have a vase bursting with life and color in moments:

Acorns

Berry Stems with leaves (minimum four)

Smaller accent (thin twigs, berry blossoms)

Hurricane Vase (preferred, but any wide vase will do)

Place smaller accent branches of your choice in vase, followed by berry sprays in front  positioned opposing directions. Lastly place acorn snug in middle of vase. Voila!

Acorn Squash with Black-eyed Peas

IMG_6497

For the love of squash, why are certain types of these winter varietals so darn tasty?  Take the acorn squash… buttery, hearty goodness, in this case, baked with salt, pepper and rich olive oil.  After heated to a crispy exterior, it is filled with deliciously simple black-eyed peas, and the combination forms such a magical coexistence, you will be making this recipe whenever you have a free range and oven handy. Let us present you with a very healthy and satisfying side dish (or meal). 

IMG_6500 IMG_6501 IMG_6510 IMG_6515 IMG_6517 IMG_6519 IMG_6586 IMG_6591 IMG_6593 IMG_6599

All you need is:

Acorn Squash

Black-eyed Peas

Salt

Pepper

Olive Oil

Take the acorn squash and remove the center seeds.  Cover in salt, pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Place face down on a tin foil lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until a knife can easily be inserted into the squash. Place black-eyed peas in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then simmer until soft, about fifteen minutes.

After squash is crisp on edges, remove from oven and turn over squash onto a plate.  Strain black-eyed peas and salt to taste.  Place inside interior of squash. Serve and enjoy.

Arugula, Feta & Quinoa with Pine Nuts

IMG_6461What is Quinoa…is it even English? Let’s be honest, most things in our daily vocabulary don’t start with Q, but this noun is something you should be familiar with on a very personal basis.  Not only is this food an amalgam of mostly vowels, but also a complete protein that is high in calcium.  So not only are you benefiting from its nutritional value, anyone that may need to be gluten-free can indulge in this fibrous sprout.  It is fluffy, delicious and is so simple to make, it may be a go-to side for your dinner table menu.  Here we give you a recipe using our favorite pseudo-cereal with other tasty accompaniments. 

IMG_6330 IMG_6340 IMG_6348 IMG_6351IMG_6349 IMG_6366 IMG_6369 IMG_6424 IMG_6425 IMG_6428IMG_6432IMG_6434 IMG_6435 IMG_6458 IMG_6471

INGREDIENTS

Two types of Quinoa (we used red & a black and white variation)

Arugula

Feta

Pine Nuts

Olive Oil

Balsamic Vinaigrette

Sea Salt

Lemon Zest

DIRECTIONS

Mix two types of quinoa together in a bowl and pour into boiling pot of water (roughly 3 cups).  Let boil down until all water is evaporated and quinoa fluffs up. In separate pan, toast pine nuts until golden. Set aside. Once quinoa is cooked, place in separate bowl, toss in arugula, feta and toasted pine nuts.  Combine olive oil, balsamic vinaigrette with sea salt and lemon zest and pour over salad.  Enjoy.