What I Made: Eggs Kalentine (Eggs Florentine with Kale)

Sometimes, I have a brilliant flash of inspiration for a recipe, but then I search Pinterest and find out that someone has already invented and perfected the very same dish.  With the abundance of young kale I had this week, I thought I was a genius for substituting kale instead of spinach in eggs florentine for a fancy brunch.  Turns out, someone else had invented that.  So I gave it a cute name and moved on.  Presenting: eggs kalentine.

In practice, it’s much less fancy than its name. Sauté some chopped garlic and onion. Add baby kale and cook down, seasoning the mixture with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes to taste.  Put this mixture on a toasted English muffin and top with a poached egg.

PS. If you are completely mystified by poaching eggs like I was, I recommend this video by America’s Test Kitchen for the traditional method or these instructions for poached eggs in a muffin tin.

EggsKalentine

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What I Made: Stromboli with Salami, Cheese, and Banana Peppers

I LOVE what this CSA has done for my diet. I’m definitely eating healthier than ever and incorporating way more whole foods into my diet.  But I’ll be real: sometimes I just want to eat something that feels like junk for dinner. Enter the stromboli – a great way to fulfill your pizza cravings but without all the guilt, grease, and additives of frozen or delivery.

Sure, this recipe is light on the veggies with its salami, cheese, and banana peppers, but it would be great to add peppers and onions or even shredded kale to the fillings to bulk up this meal. This recipe includes homemade dough, but if you’re in a time crunch feel free to substitute pre-made pizza dough instead. After the dough is stretched into a rectangle, it’s layered with filling ingredients of your choice, rolled up, and baked until golden brown.

Stromboli

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What I Made: Icebox Pickled Banana Peppers

Do you ever long for a recipe where you mix all the ingredients and then forget about it in the fridge for a while?  These icebox pickled banana peppers are for you.  Great on salads, sandwiches, and pizzas, this is a six ingredient recipe for pickled peppers that are not too hot, but with the right amount of bite. The flavor develops with time in the chiller, so don’t worry about using them all at once.

Slice up peppers to your desired thickness and mince a clove of garlic. Dump them into a glass jar with a tight fitting lid.  In a pan, heat water and vinegar, and heat just until sugar and salt are dissolved. Pour liquid over peppers and garlic and after the jar has cooled, chill in the fridge for at least 24 hours.

PepperPickles

Pickled peppers pre-refrigeration.

 

 

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What I Made: Garlic Roasted Broccoli

I’ve gotten bunches of broccoli this summer, and I usually find the fastest and easiest way to fix it is to steam it and serve it as a side or mix it into a stir fry. This technique was a bit more difficult, but amps up the flavor.

 

The preparation is the easy part: toss broccoli florets in olive oil with minced garlic and place on a foil lined baking sheet in a 425 degree oven. However, It was hard for me to feel when the broccoli was done cooking, since it doesn’t soften externally like when steaming. I ended up overcooking this batch a bit, but if you test doneness by removing a floret and cutting into it rather than just poking pathetically with a fork, you’ll have much more success.BroccRoasted

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What I Made: Chorizo Skillet with Cauliflower and Cabbage

Let me start with an observation: you know a recipe was good when the only photo I have to show for it is in the form of leftovers!

It’s surprising, too, that I would find myself so fond of a recipe that features cauliflower and cabbage – two veggies I tend to avoid.  It’s the rich flavor of spicy chorizo that stars here, making up for the yummy taste that plain cauliflower and cabbage lack.

The recipe starts with Mexican-style chorizo.  A word of caution – I did not buy the pack labeled “hot” and still found this PLENTY spicy.  You could substitute a regular pork sausage if you want to be safely in the mild camp.  Removed the chorizo or sausage from its casing and brown it in a skillet, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks.  Add in all the vegetables of your choosing and some water and steam until the veggies are tender.  It’s a filling one-pot meal and is so tasty you’ll forget your fears of cabbage altogether!

CabbageSkillet

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What I Made: Sautéed French Breakfast Radishes

I’ve gotten a lot of radishes in my baskets, and for the most part, I unimaginatively chop them up and toss them in a green salad. This week’s variety definitely looked different than the little round, red radishes I had been accustomed to seeing, so I was excited when I learned that their mild flavor made them ideal for a cooked radish dish.

It’s a basic sautéed dish: halve or quarter your radishes, and cook in a pan with some butter and a little olive oil until the radishes are translucent, or even a bit browned as I preferred. They are crispy, but with a mellow flavor that doesn’t bite back.

SauteedRadish

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What I Made: Chicken Orzo Skillet with Peppers

Hearty, one-pot meals are my go-to during these season, both to cook up during the cool evenings and as microwaved leftovers to warm me up from my typical popsicle-like state in my office. This has pasta and chicken and uses s many of the peppers I’ve been receiving, along with the tomato sauce I made previously. It’s great served with a nice green salad on the side, along with some crusty garlic bread.

There’s a bit of chopping involved, but afterwards, the meal comes together pretty easily.  The chicken is cut into tenderloin-sized strips and orzo should be cooked and kept hot.  Half of the chicken is cooked in the skillet, then removed and set aside.  The remaining chicken, along with some peppers, shallot, and garlic are added and cooked until the chicken is done and the peppers have softened.  The reserved chicken is added back and given a toss with the cooked orzo, tomato sauce, and basil. Once the mixture is hot, season it with salt, pepper, and cheese and serve.

ChickenPepperOrzo

Sorry the cheese is in the way of the actual dish, but that shouldn’t be surprising by now…

Detailed instructions follow.

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What I Made: Spaghetti Squash with Gruyere Cheese

To someone who has never made it before, spaghetti squash seems so intimidating.  Somehow I’m supposed to take something that looks like a regular, unremarkable squash and turn it into something that looks like spaghetti? Turns out it’s not so hard after all.  Then tossed with cheese and some fresh parsley, it makes a great pasta substitute for those looking to go gluten free or just upgrade to a healthy option.

To get squash into cooked form, you just jab a couple of vents in it with a knife (to keep the thing from exploding inside your oven, the recipe explains!) and bake it for at least an hour until it’s soft, much like baking a potato in the oven. Next, cut it in half and scrape out the seeds, without removing too much of the flesh.  To create the “spaghettis”, just scrape the remaining flesh with a fork and scoop it out from the skin.  Toss it with some butter, gruyere cheese, garlic and fresh parsley, and season with salt and pepper to complete the dish.

SpaghettiSquash

You can tell a dish is really good when all I have is a photo of the leftovers ready for another day’s meal.

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What I Made: Chard Greens with Dill, Parsley, and Green Onions

When I have received chard in the past, I’ve tended to rely on my old standby recipe of chard baked with feta and egg. I’m a real dairy lover, but I’ve become conscious through writing these posts just how much cheese I use in these recipes.  The chard recipe I’m sharing today is lighter, but no less flavorful thanks to the fragrant punch from the herbs.

It’s an especially fast side dish, as well. Chop up the chard, cutting out any ribs larger than the width about your pinkie fingernail. Next, wilt the chard.  Leave it wet after washing and toss it for a few minutes in a hot pan. Cook some green onions, dill, and parsley in oil over medium heat in a skillet until wilted. Then, add chard and toss until warm.  Season with salt and pepper. Easy, right?

ChardHerbsOnions

As always, full recipe with detailed steps is below. Continue reading

What I Made: Rigatoni with Kale and Cream Sauce

I’ve been having fun trying my hand at homemade pastas, but let’s face it – some things are just way outside my skill level. Thankfully, with the easy substitution of some store bought rigatoni, the most labor-intensive part of this dish is slicing the kale and mushrooms!

First, cook pasta according to directions. Then, melt butter in a large pan and whisk in flour to make a light brown roux. Next, add milk and stir constantly until the sauce boils. Finally, mix in thyme, chopped mushrooms and chopped kale and pour over the cooked and drained pasta. For an extra kick (and to use up some leftovers), I added chopped prosciutto just before serving.

Don’t like mushrooms? Substitute cooked chicken instead.

RigatoniKale

 
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