It occurs to me that there are a lot of greens in my house. I have a big bag of kale that I picked up at Wegmans two weeks ago (kale keeps forever), two bunches of Swiss chard from my Saturday farmer’s market trip and a bag of mixed greens that I grabbed at the store. The latter is a blend of kale, and turnip, mustard and collard greens. They were on sale and looked intriguing, particularly since I knew that this dish was on tap for this week.
I actually intended to make this last week, but The Wife’s digestive system fell apart (she would probably appreciate that I did not go into any further detail). This meant that my Meatless Monday plans were pushed to Tuesday, and we had a bland dinner of turkey sandwiches. Looking at all of the food I bought, this was the dinner that could get bumped until this week.
Continue reading Tuesday Dinner: Pasta with Mushrooms, Pancetta and Wilted Greens
In most parts of the country, autumn is a transitional season where summer slowly transitions into winter. Leaves turn colors, fields are harvested and turned for the next season, and our sleeves get longer.
Here in Central New York, autumn lasts about three weeks. September gets progressively colder, so much so that you think it is October already. By the time Halloween hits, parents debate whether snowsuits are necessary underneath the costume for trick or treating. Continue reading Meatless Monday: Kale-Quinoa Minestrone
The best reason I can come up with for why I don’t use more black-eyed peas is that I never really ate them while growing up. We all branch out and try new things, but when it comes to things like beans, I think we just lean on the familiar. Cannellini beans are popular in Italian cooking. Black-eyed peas are popular in Southern cooking styles and dishes like Hoppin’ John. So, maybe it’s not so unusual.
Anyhow, black-eyed peas are high in calcium, folates, protein, dietary fiber and vitamin A. When paired with kale, high in vitamin A, C, K and calcium, you can get a lot of nutrients out of a meal.
The original recipe included sausage, but it was easy to eliminate it for Meatless Monday purposes.
Continue reading Meatless Monday: Kale and Black-Eyed Pea Soup
Around here at Al Dente HQ, kale usually comes in the traditional curly form. It’s the most widely-found variety of the veggie at farmer’s markets and grocery stores, and usually the cheapest and easiest to work with. I’ve seen the red variety at the market before, but never ventured in that direction.
This week, I picked up a bag of Tuscan kale, known also as Lacinato or Dinosaur kale. From One Green Planet:
Lacinato Kale (also known as Dinosaur) is a kale variety that features dark blue-green leaves with a slightly wrinkled and firm texture. The hearty leaves of Dino Kale are tall and narrow and retains its firm texture even after it has been cooked. It has a slightly sweeter and more delicate taste than the curly kind with its flavor described as deep and earthy, but not so bitter with an almost nutty sweetness.
Continue reading Meatless Monday: Lemon Pasta with Kale and Goat Cheese
So, I had a problem here. Not something that would qualify for a “FAIL” tag, but significant enough that it interrupted my enjoying an otherwise fine meal.
There was a LOT of liquid.
I blanched the kale, drained the peppers, measured the milk…yeah, still a ton of water in the pan. And it wasn’t exclusive to the dinnertime product. I poured the liquid off and attempted to take the leftovers to work. Apparently, the resealable container didn’t seal or the seal doesn’t seal. By the time I got to work my lunch bag was full of frittata water. Disgusting.
So, I’m not sure what the deal is. My best guess is that after blanching the kale that you need to not only wring the hell out of it, but saute it over high heat to draw out any remaining liquid. I scaled the recipe down by half, but can’t imagine that had anything to do with it.
Continue reading Meatless Monday: Kale and Roasted Red Pepper Frittata
This will be a very short post. Time is a premium right now, what with the year wrapping up at work and the holidays creeping slowly towards reality. It’s a shame, really, because this dish was really good.
Serious Eats writer Yasmin Fahr does a tremendous job of matching flavors here, with shallot, saffron and cumin all intertwining with the lemon and kale. The beauty is well…
WHAT WORKED: The cooking process. One pot, quick and easy. Cook the chicken, set aside, brown the shallots, toss everything in the pan and walk away for 20 minutes. Does it get better than that?
WHAT DIDN’T: I didn’t cut my kale into ribbons, instead opting for the big bag o’ kale from Wegmans. I’m very lazy when it comes to such things.
Continue reading Thursday Dinner: Lemon Chicken and Rice With Kale
The dill is dead.
No, I haven’t been playing Abbey Road backwards. The dill really is dead. This is a surprise to me as usually my cilantro goes to pot very early and the dill fights for garden domination with the thyme. This year, the cilantro has gone to for, the thyme is explosive and the dill is dead.
This fact didn’t occur to me until I was ready to cut herbs tonight before dinner. As previously mentioned, I had already forgotten to roast the tomatoes for tonight’s dinner; a feat which I completed on Monday night. Instead of dill, I went with thyme. Yes, it’s a completely different flavor than dill, but it was a safe choice as it complemented every other ingredient in the recipe nicely.
Continue reading Meatless Tuesday: Roasted Tomato Pasta + Chickpeas
I’m a Mac guy.
I’m currently writing on a MacBook Pro. I have an iPhone and iPad. I’ve converted probably a half-dozen friends and more students than I can count to the Cult of Mac. That said, Google is one of those stories that intrigues me greatly, from their products to their corporate culture.
Catching my eye recently was an article in the March 2013 edition of Bon Appetit that focused on Google’s commitment to providing their staff healthy dining options. The underpinning was the idea that they demand a great deal from their employees and healthy foods in the cafeteria reduces absenteeism and maintains productivity. From the article:
Though the cafeterias feature their share of decadent offerings (like crispy pork carnitas and butterscotch-pecan-cookie pie), they’re also strategically designed to “make it really easy for people to make healthy choices,” says Scott Giambastiani, Google’s head chef. Borrowing from the field of behavioral economics, Google’s tactics specifically encourage healthy eating.
Continue reading Wednesday dinner: Google’s braised chicken and kale