Broccoli Leaf and Garlic Pasta Noodles

IMG_1084A couple of days ago, during a grocery store porous, I stumbles upon a produce item that I have not seen sold in stores before, Broccoli leaf. And I was kind of surprised  to see that they were selling bunches of the leaf,  organic,  at 2 bucks a bunch. I was very excited ! But wait.. You can eat broccoli leaves? Heck yes you can! Broccoli leaves  are fantastic. They taste kind of like broccoli, have a hearty texture like a collard, and can be used raw or cooked just like any other green. Its just one more super yummy green to add to your repertoire.  So when I bring home something that I find to be a good score, like a bunch of broccoli leaves, I feel like I have to share it with the mister. (I am so nice) And this dish was how I shared them…. Tossed into a bowl of garlic raging pasta. IMG_1044The stuff…. A bunch of broccoli leaves, lots of garlic, pasta, olive oil, salt and a lemon. Pretty simple right? IMG_1053Fist off, get your water boiling for the pasta. Once its ready, drop a pinch of salt into the water and stick pasta in for the amount of time recommend by pasta box people. While the pasta is boiling, mince up the garlic (I used my garlic press) into a skillet and add in the oil.  Stick on a burner on medium for a few minutes, stirring around to make sure the garlic doesn't stick and burn.  IMG_1069    IMG_1073Once you start to smell the garlic, turn heat onto low, chop up the broccoli leaves (stems and all)  and stir around until wilted and add in the juice of half a the lemon.When the pasta is cooked, remove a few tablespoons of starchy water and  strain the noodles. Add water and pasta right into the skillet with the other stuff.  Toss around, taste, season with salt and pepper.  Go ahead and add some chopped tomato and or parmesan cheese if you want.  IMG_1091And serve your amazingly amazing pasta.  And make sure that you are ok with really smelly garlic breath…Casue it's going to happen. Keep it good! -C


Broccoli Leaf and Garlic Noodles

  • 1 bunch fresh broccoli leaves (about 3 cups chopped)
  • 2 servings of your favorite pasta (spaghetti, penne, vegan, gluten free…..)
  • 8 or so fresh garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • lemon (optional)
  • parmesan cheese (optional)

Start by bringing a pot of water to a boil with a pinch of salt. Add in pasta and cook per instructions on box. While pasta is cooking, mined garlic and add to a skillet with the oil. Place on a burner on medium heat and cook and stir until the garlic becomes fragrant. Chop the broccoli leaves (stems and all) into bit sized pieces and add to the garlic oil and toss around to wilt the leaves. Squeeze in some lemon juice. Once the pasta is done cooking, remove a few tablespoons of the starchy water and strain the pasta. Add the water and the noodles to the skillet, toss to evenly coat the pasta and call it down. Serve in a bowl or on a plate, topped with freshly chopped tomatoes and parmesan cheese if you so shall please and another little squeeze of lemon juice if you like. Watch your mouth.. it will be breathing out garlic like whoa. 

Fresh Veggie Spring Rolls

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My contribution to last nights dinner at my sisters.... Freshy fresh veggies spring rolls.I had about 30 minutes between work and getting over to my sisters house to throw something together so it needed to be something fast, easy, and something I could make without going to the store. She was making the main course (some teriyaki situation and rice) so I was doing up the veggies.

I had just bought a package of spring roll wrappers…. Bingo! The perfect and logical choice. I grab the wrappers, a variety of veggies and after spending 12 of my 30 minutes trying to scrub the oil based paint off of my face and hands, I still managed to completely prepare, construct, and take pictures of these lovely tasty spring rolls. and get over to my sisters in time for dinner.

Impressed?  

Damn right!

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The stuff. Carrot, beet, asparagus, red cabbage, and kohlrabi, which all (except asparagus, which I just cut into thirds) got cut into matchstick sized pieces with my mandoiln. Then there are the rice spring roll wrappers that we need to make the veggies into rolls. Also a bit of red wine vinegar to drizzle onto the veggies for a little extra zing. And lastly, soy, fresh ginger, and a couple cloves of garlic for a spicy salty dipping sauce.Start by having everything set out and ready to assemble. Fill a large shallow dish or baking sheet with really warm water. Working with one at a time,place a rice wrapper into water and let sit for about 10 seconds or until the paper starts to soften. Remove from water and place on a damp surface (just splash a little water on the counter) Take a little bit of everything and and place on the lower middle part of the paper. Fold in the sides first, then tuck and roll the wrapper as tightly as you can without ripping the wrapper.

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Repeat until you have used up all you veggies.For the dipping sauce. Finely grate ginger and garlic and add to soy sauce. Stir… and it's done.Freshy, pretty and fantastically delicious. And for real, took about 8 minutes to make. (I even had enough time to wash the dishes before we left!)

I am so awesome!

Hump Day Pow!!!!!

-C

Fresh Veggies Spring Rolls 

Makes 8-10 but can easily be increased or decreased to desired amount 

  • 8-1o rice spring roll papers
  • Splash of Red wine or rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy or tamari sauce
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • teaspoon  freshly grated ginger
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 medium beet
  • 1/4 head of purple cabbage
  • 10 thin fresh asparagus
  • 1 small kohlrabi

Note… I used the veggies that I had in the fridge at the moment. If you have a bunch of veggies but not these particular ones, use what you have. Pretty much all veggies taste good inside a spring roll!

Gather your veggies and prep by either using a mandolin, a grater, or some sick knife skills, and julienne, shred, or slice you veggies into thin match sticks. Once all the veggies are prepared, sprinkle a little vinegar over the top.

For the rolls...Grab a large shallow vessel  (a rimmed baking sheet works great) and add in warm water. Working  one at a time, place the wrapper into the water for about 10 seconds or until the wrapper starts to soften. Remove and spread onto a clean, damp work surface. Gather a bit of each veggie that you are adding and place towards the bottom  middle of the wrapper. Now fold the sides in over the pile of veggies. Then with the side closest to you, tuck and roll wrapper away from you, trying to keep it tight, but not to tight that it rips.. (Hopefully that makes since.) Place finished rolls onto a damp surface to keep from sticking and if not serving right away, drape with  a damp towel or paper towel to keep from drying out.

For the soy ginger dipping sauce. Add grated ginger,  minced garlic, and soy into a bowl and mix together.  Serve with spring rolls. 

Eat one, two, or a plateful. It's nice to share but not a necessity.

Black Bean and Bulgur Sloppy Joe's

     IMG_0540 And that's how I know that this is a winner. IMG_0499As an awesome aunt, when I have any of my nieces or nephews,  I feel the need to make something special for dinner, something that the kiddos might not get very often, but also keep it on he healthy side. I have 2 littles for the night which gives me the perfect opportunity for a trash food recipe. You know trash food, things like boxed mac and cheese, beefaroni in a can, or, in this case, sloppy joes.

Sloppy yes, trashy, not so much. These are made with beans and bulgur. No meat.

And I figured it is nice enough out that I can make the kiddos some messy food and then just bring them out back and hose them off… I mean, why not right?

IMG_0475The stuff… We start with onion and green pepper, chopped into pieces. Black beans, bulgur, can crushed tomatoes. Chili powder, garlic powder, a bit o apple cider vinegar (which I forgot to picture) ,and some salt and pepper. Oh and cheese if you want… Plus a bun of some sort is necessary.IMG_0490     IMG_0493 Toss the chopped onion and peppers into a deep skillet or pot with a drizzle of oil. Cook on medium heat until tender and toss in the spices. Give a stir. Add in the beans, bulgur, and tomato, a splash of vinegar. Stir it all up, cover, and let simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the bulgur has absorbed the liquid and is nice and tender.

If you are a bun toaster… toast while waiting. If not, just get the buns readyIMG_0504 And Then dump a good heaping pile right onto a bun. Add some cheese, or not..and eat with wild abandonment,  making sure to get as much on your face as you get in you mouth. 

Fantastic Friday!! Live it up. 

-C


Black Bean and Bulgur Sloppy Joes 

  • 2 cups or 1 can cooked black beans
  • 1 16 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup bulgur
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt and pepper
  • a splash of apple cider vinegar
  • olive oil
  • 4-6 burger or bulky buns
  • cheese (optional)

Dice the onion and the pepper and toss with a drizzle of olive oil into a large skillet. Sauté on medium heat until veggies become tender. Add in the spices, stir in and let cook for a minutes, then add in the beans, the tomato,water and the bugler. Cover skillet and let simmer until bugler becomes soft.

When the slop is ready, either toasted or not, scoop a generous portions onto buns. If so inclined, add some cheese. 

Eat with hands… Sloppy is good.

Parsnip Thyme and Turmeric Soup

IMG_0207 I'll let you know now, I am a make and eat soup all year long person. I can think of few things better then sitting outside, basking in the sun, hopefully with a light wind, a book in hand, enjoying a nice big cup of some good homemade soup. (Doesn't that sound so freaking lovely?) This soup right here is perfect for just that. Parsnips are the best, kind of like a big white sweet, yet starchy carrots. And cooked together with a little bit of light and lemony thyme, rich earthy turmeric and a couple more chopped veggie….. you got yourself a nice thick and fragrant bowl of happiness that fills you up without weighing you down. It's food you can eat that fills you up, leaves you feeling cozy, yet still wanting to hop on a bike or lace up the running shoes.  Hearty without the feeling of all the heaviness.

A perfect soup for spring! (or summer, winter, or fall)

IMG_0156The stuff. Parsnips, carrots, onion and garlic. Thyme and turmeric, salt and pepper. the tinniest bit of oil and water (water not shown)IMG_0171Chop all the veggies and the garlic, drizzle a dutch oven or a pot with oil, toss in the veggies. Add the turmeric, the thyme, and 1/2 cup of water. IMG_0185Sweet sweating the veggies. Turn pot on medium and cook until the water completely cooks out. When the veggies start to brown and stick to the pot, deglaze with water. Give a good stir and keep cooking. Repeat the deglazing process until the veggies are super soft and ready to blend. (I did this 4 times.. it only took 10 minutes)IMG_0199Add enough water to cover the cooked veggies. IMG_0206And now blend the heck out of it.. Go as smooth or chunky as you want. I blended as smooth as I could get with this crappy immersion blender. (Blender on loan until I finally decide on, and buy a new one)IMG_0214And there you have it. Scoop into bowls, add lots of cracked black pepper, and go to town. I made enough to save a bowl for later…  it didn't last for later. 

Soup so good. 

-C


Parsnip Thyme and Turmeric Soup 

  • 4 large parsnips
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 whole onion
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric 
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • water

Dice up the parsnips, carrots, garlic and onion and place into a large dutch oven or pot. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil,  sprinkle on the spices, salt and pepper and add about 1/2 cup of water. Turn heat on medium and start cooking down the veggies. Once the water evaporates and the veggies start to caramelize, deglaze pot with about a 1/2 cup of water. Give pot a stir, and continue to cook until water evaporates.  Repeat this 2-3 more times until the veggies are super soft and fragrant. 

When the  veggies are ready, add enough water to the pot to submerge the veggies. Bust out the immersion blender or dump into a blending device and blend until smooth (or the consistency that you want) Have a cup of water ready to thin out if needed. When blended, taste for salt and pepper, add more if you want, and cook on low heat until you are ready to serve.

Garnish with a lot of good cracked pepper

Eat from a vessel, use a spoon

So Good Pineapple Dill Kale Salad

IMG_3986Last week pineapples were on sale everywhere……So I bought 5. Don't judge 

And I bet I am not the only one that got overly excited at $1.50 pineapple and bough themselves a few. We will just call ourselves opportunists.  Now we have plenty of pineapples and don't have to pay  the $4 a piece prices. (Justification)  

But if you don't have a pineapple laying around, you must go get one. (Maybe if your lucky, there might still be some sales going on) because you must make this salad. I am on a mission to make everyone I know eat it because, for lake of a better way to say it…….It will rock your world.

Dill and pineapple are a serious match made in heaven. Pineapple, with its sweet, tangy, citrusness  and dill with it's super fresh earthiness. Mixed together with a few other helpers to create a fresh, clean, chunky, tangy, over the top, flavor. I could stop right there, but toss in a handful of lentils, some creamy avocado and a bed of kale…It's like the best spring time, celebration on you tongue, happiness in you tummy, kind of salad.

A salad that will make you smile. (and maybe buy  5 pineapples) 

IMG_3941 Stuff for the goodness. We got the kale, some avocado because all salads should have avocado and some cooked lentils because, well, all salads should have lentils (or beans or nuts.. so you could totally something else) Then a few sprigs of fresh dill, a clove of garlic, red wine vinegar, salt and a bowl of chunked up pineapple. IMG_3962The pineapple, dill, garlic, red wine vinegar, a splash of water and a pinch of salt get blended in a blender or whatever blending device you use. Go as smooth or chunky as you like, I recommend going smooth, but leaving a little chunk, like half blended.

The prep is done, now compile.  Kale in bowl, top with lentils,. Toss on avocado chunks, and, last but not least, the blended pineapple dill mixture.IMG_3967So good……So so good.

Happy Friday!!

-C


So Good Pineapple Dill Kale Salad

Serves Two

  • 3 cups washed and chopped Kale
  • 1/2 a avocado, diced
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1-2 springs fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
  • Salt 
  • 1/2 cup cooked lentils (or any bean or nut will do)

Note. No fresh dill? You can use dried, just sub in 1 teaspoon for the fresh and after blending with the pineapple, let sit a little longer to really let the flavors meld together. 

Place pineapple, dill, pinch of salt, vinegar and garlic into a blender or whatever you own that blends and blend stuff together, leaving it a little chunky. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.

Kale goes into a bowl and add the lentils and diced avocado. Pour the blended pineapple on. Toss around. 

Now eat.

Spring Pea Pesto and Bow Ties

IMG_3773Peas scream spring to me. The bright green color with that nice bright fresh taste….. kind of like a fresh spring day. Ah spring, so lovely, so nice, so hasn't made its way here yet. So I guess I am left to eat my spring. And what better way to highlight those lovely spring tastes? A fantastic pesto my friends, and it can be made lickidy split.

Pesto is one of those things that I am constantly making, and not just the kind most people think of with basil and nuts, I pesto everything..peppers, greens, carrots, squash.  And yea, I used this post to make a pesto pasta dish, but pesto has so many other fantastic uses. Like as a sandwich or wrap spread or a dip for veggies and crackers. I have used it as a soup base, a pizza sauce, on roasted potatoes and marinated tofu with pestos. It can also be thinned down and used as a salad dressing. See, so many uses. 

And this pea pesto is no exception. It has such a great light, almost fruity, super bright taste. I mean, it's peas so it taste just like peas but somehow even better. It really works in my mouth. I could eat a bowl of this stuff and be happy. 

Whatever you plan on using it for, make the pesto. You will be thanking me later. 

IMG_3751Pesto Stuff. We got the peas, garlic, lemon, oil, cheese if you please, and salt.  IMG_3757Take a handful of peas and set aside for later. Juice the lemon and take that and the rest of the stuff and stick in a food processor and puree until smooth. 

Oh my, so green, so good.  I first made it without cheese and  scooped a little out for me. It was perfect. Like the most brilliant bright pea flavor ever. It made me happy. After I added in the cheese, the mister said it tasted even better…. so cheese or not, it's going to be good!IMG_3798The pesto is made, and it only took about 2 seconds, now boil up the pasta.  If you were a thinker, you could start the pasta and make the pesto while its boiling. (I wasn't being a thinker) I used bow ties cause they are super cute, but use whatever pasta you're feeling. Shells or the ones that look like little brains would be good options.

Once the pasta is cooked, strain, reserving about 1/4 cup of the water. Add that bit of water back to the pot, add in the pesto, give a stir and dump pasta back into the pot. Toss in a handful of peas, maybe sprinkle some cheese and give it a good crack of some pepper.

IMG_3776Into a bowl and served with a fork to eat it with.  A super green fresh springy meal of happiness. And all under 15 minutes in the kitchen.

Oh you want to thank me for this...

Hey, not a problem….not a problem at all.

-C


Spring Pea Pesto and Bow Ties

Makes enough pesto to coat a pound of cooked pasta and have some left over for sandwiches or to spread on crackers.

  • 1 lb. fresh or frozen peas (thawed if frozen)
  • 1 lemon
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 2 ish tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parmesan, really or vegan (optional)
  • salt
  • 1 lb (an average box) of bow tie pasta (use any whole wheat, vegan, gluten free variety)

Place peas, (remove a handful and set aside to toss into the pasta) garlic, the juice of the lemon, olive oil and the parmesan (if you are using) into a food processor. Blend until smooth. Taste and salt as needed.

Pasta… Boil per instructions on box. Strain pastas but save about a 1/4 cup of starchy water. Toss pasta, starchy water and pesto together, adding in the handful or more of the whole peas. Sprinkle with more parmesan and or cracked pepper ,if wanted, and serve in big bowls. 

Use a fork. Eat, smile and be happy. 

Creamy Kohlrabi Soup with Asparagus

IMG_1735    IMG_1809 I have never in my life seen, let alone received, a kohlrabi as big as the one I picked up from my farm share last week. It was, no joke, bigger then my head. (completely nuts)  If I didn't know the farm and the farmers of my CSA, I would have to question whether or not it was grown in radioactive sludge…(kind of like the dandelions in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie from the 90's)

What is a kohlrabi you ask? It's kind of a cross between a turnip and a cabbage that is usually the size of a baseball. It can be eaten raw (I like chunks dipped in mustard) or cooked. (roasted chunks dipped in mustard)  It pairs well with sweet stuff like apples and honey, or in any savory stuff. Its one of my favorite vegetables (I say that about them all!)

So now that you know about kohlrabi (if you didn't already) its time to get yourself some and make this soup. Because for real,  I am not kidding when I say that this is one of the best soups that I have ever made.  You really must try it. And do it soon because hopefully in the next few weeks the soup weather will turn into fresh pea weather and we might not want soup as much (I eat soup all year long)

IMG_1730A gigantic kohlrabi cut in half ( I only used one of the halts) A whole yellow onion and 2 large carrots. I also added in 4 cloves or garlic

Peel the kohlrabis tough skin off and chop up into chunks. Chop the carrot, garlic and onion as well .

IMG_1761   IMG_1768All of those chopped veggies get thrown into a pot with two cups of water and a good sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cover and place on medium heat for about 20-25 minutes. (give a stir ever now and then) Keep cooking until the veggies are fork tender. 

IMG_1790Once the chunks are all cooked up, its time for the  immersion blender. (or into a regular blender) Add in at least 3 cups of water, but more to thin out to your desired consistency and let it rip. Stop blending once the soup is nice and creamy. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. Leave on low heat to bring back to a good soup  eating temperature.

IMG_1794 Now the soup is done.. and you can eat it just as it is, but you should really add in the asparagus. It is just so f*ing good. Just grab a few spears, dice them nice and small, and throw into the soup pot. Let it cook for another 5 minutes and wa la.. IMG_1804Soup is done. Ladle into bowls and if you want a little fancy presentation, add a swirl of mustard (it's so good) and a whole cooked asparagus spear.

And eat one of the greatest soups ever!

Happy Day Wednesday!

-C


Creamy Kohlrabi Soup with Asparagus

  • 3-4 kohlrabi (or 4 cups chopped Kohlrabi)
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 or more cloves of garlic
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 4-6 spears of Asparagus (extra if you want to garnish)
  • Yellow Mustard (optional)

Peel outer layer of kohlrabis. Roughly chop the onion, carrot, kohlrabi and garlic and stick it all into large dutch oven or stock pot. Add water until veggies are half submerged . Add a good sprinkle of salt and pepper and place on burner on medium heat and cover. Check ever 5 or so minutes and give the pot a good stir. After about 25 minutes, all the veggies should be very tender and almost fall apart when stuck with a fork. With an immersion blender or regular blender, blend till smooth, adding water until soup is at your desired constancy. Return soup to medium heat. Small dice asparagus and add to pot. (I added 2 extra whole pieces and fished them put once cooked for garnish.) Keep on heat for another 5-10 minutes until asparagus is cooked. 

Scoop into bowl and squirt top with yellow mustard and top with a spear of cooked asparagus.

Eat with a spoon and lick bowl clean.

Lemony Garlic Lentils

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Yay Tuesday! Which means its lentil day in my house. Ok not really, because everyday is lentil day in my house. Why? Because they are pretty much the best.  And with the addition of lots of garlic and lemon…..whoa nelly!!! Eat your heart out.But for serious, not only are these little bits of happy legumes oh so tasty, they also are a nutritional whomper.  So much protein, iron and zinc, magnesium and a bunch of other good stuff. Low in calorie and fat. Shelf stable, cheap, and fast and easy to cook. They are fantastic in soups, sauces, casseroles and salads. Eat them warm, cold, plain or covered in mustard. There possibilities with these little guys are endless. If you do not have lentils in your pantry right now, you are crazy. Make it  priority to get some. Do it today, and make these fantastically yummy lentils for dinner. Trust, you won't be sorry.

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Lentils, water (not shown but I think you know what it looks like) lemon, garlic, and some salt and pepper. Cabbage and kale to make it that much better.

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Add a cup of lentils to a pot with minced or pressed garlic, the zest of the lemon and the juice of half the lemon. (save the other half to squeeze on top later) Add in 2 1/4 cups water , a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Place a lid on pot and turn heat down to low. Let cook for about 15 - 20 minutes or until lentils are just about done.

Now top the almost done lentils with  the cabbage and the kale. Add a splash of water and a pinch of salt  and replace lid. Keep pot on simmer for another 5-8 minutes until the veggies are wilted.  This gives you a slightly cooked, but still nice and crisp veggie. If you like you veggies a bit more soft, just add them into the lentils a little earlier or don't even cook them at all. It's whatever you want.

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After a few minutes take the lid off and…aahh. Smells like cozy lemony garlicy happiness. 

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 A big steaming bowl of everything that is good. Serve with an extra wedge of lemon to squeeze on top!

Tuesday Ah HA!

Make your day AWESOME!!!


Lemony Garlic Lentils 

  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 1 lemon (juice and zest)
  • Salt and pepper
  • some shredded cabbage
  • a few kale leaves

Add water, lentils, the zest and juice of 1 lemon and about a teaspoon of salt and pepper to a pot. Mince garlic and add that in too.  Bring to a boil then place a lid on it and turn down to simmer. After about 15 minutes, give lentils a stir. At this point the lentils should be a al denta, but just about done.( If you notice the lentils seem dry, just add a bit more water) Layer on the cabbage and kale, adding in a splashof water. Replace lid and let simmer of another 5-8 , or until lentils are cooked and the veggies are you cooked to your liking.