Sweet Pepper and Kale Pasta

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Yep, another kale recipe! I found this recipe on Allrecipes.com while searching for new and different kale recipes. Husband LOVES pasta (seriously, he would eat it for every single meal and be perfectly happy), so mixing kale and pasta is a great way to eat more kale and also make Husband very happy (tho he does like kale, just not as much as pasta). As always, my recipe was slightly altered. Also it served 2 very hungry people, or 4 people with normal appetites.

Sweet Pepper and Kale Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 ounce) package uncooked farfalle (bow tie) pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup roughly chopped kale
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (or fresh, if you have them!)
  • 1 pinch dried basil
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in red pepper, yellow pepper, kale, tomatoes and garlic. Season with basil, salt and black pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender. (as always with kale, don’t cook until it’s pea-green and mushy. That makes it quite gross)
  3. In a large bowl, or the pasta  pot, toss cooked pasta with skillet mixture. Sprinkle with feta cheese to serve.
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Strawberry Rhubarb Sugar Cookie Crisp

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Strawberry rhubarb pie is one of my favourite things. I had it for the first time only a few years ago, and just fell in love. So the other day I saw rhubarb for sale at the grocery store, so I grabbed some! Last night I made a really yummy new twist on the pie I have had in the past. It’s a bunch  of fruit in a dish, topped with sugar cookie dough and baked. YUM!!!! Despite it’s almost all fruits, don’t be deceived, there is nothing healthy about this. Enjoy in moderation ^_^

I found this recipe on a site called Heather Christo Cooks

Strawberry Rhubarb Sugar Cookie Crisp

Ingredients:

For the fruit filling:

  • 5 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 3 cups rhubarb, diced
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 Tbs flour

For the sugar cookie topping:

  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt and pulse together. Add the butter and pulse to a fine crumb. Add the yolks and pulse until you have a smooth dough. Form into a disc and wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate while you prepare the fruit. (I was out of wax paper, so I just put the whole food processor bowl in the fridge. It worked fine)
  3. When you have cut all of the fruit, combine it together in a 9×13” baking dish.
  4. Toss the fruit with 2 Tbs flour and the ¼ cup sugar.
  5. Pull the dough out of the fridge and using a little powdered sugar or flour, roll out the dough into a roughly 9×13” rectangle while still on the wax paper.
  6. Use the wax paper to turn the dough out onto the top of the fruit.
  7. Sprinkle the top of the dough with the sugar.
  8. Bake the sugar cookie topped dish for 30 minutes, or until just golden around the edges.

Enjoy!

Kale Salad with Pomegranate and Almonds

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You may have caught on by now, but I LOVE kale! At our house, we have kale about 5 nights a week. So I need lots of different styles and flavours to keep it from getting boring. Tonight I made a salad with almonds and pomegranate. Yes, pomegranate seeds can be a pain to get out, but it’s  so worth it!

Kale Salad with Pomegranate and Almonds

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound kale
  • 1 1/2 cups pomegranate seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds (I didn’t have any on hand, but they would be wonderful!
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (optional)

Directions:

  1. Wash and shake off extra water from the kale. Remove the center ribs and stems; discard. Chop the leaves until fine but still a little leafy.
  2. Combine the chopped kale, pomegranate seeds, sunflower seeds, and sliced almonds in a large bowl; toss to combine. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar, and olive oil over the kale mixture while continuing to toss. Enjoy!

Minty Coconut Rice

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This is a recipe that, as far as I know, Husband just came up with  one day by working off a basic coconut rice recipe. He’s one of those sickeningly awesome people who can smell something and just know what it goes with. So he took coconut rice and added mint and marjoram. It is so yummy!

 

Minty Coconut Rice

Ingredients:

  • jasmine rice
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • mint to taste
  • marjoram to taste (1/4 – 1/2 as much as mint, usually)

Directions:

  1. Pour the coconut milk into  a pot. Add 1 cup of rice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed.
  2. Add mint and marjoram to taste. Butter, too, if you wish.

Ta da! Simple and very tasty. We get compliments every time we make this =]

Blackberry Lemon Parmesan Kale Salad

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There are a lot of wonderful ways to prepare kale. I usually saute it with onions and garlic, but tonight I thought I’d try something a little different. I like raw kale, so I found a recipe for a Lemon Parmesan kale salad. So, I tossed in some blackberries and tada! It was excellent.

Blackberry Lemon Parmesan Kale Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups chopped fresh kale
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • pinch of salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly-grated Parmesan
  • a handful of blackberries (as many as you’d like)
Directions:
In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, thyme, salt and pepper.  Add kale, blackberries and Parmesan, and toss until the kale is evenly coated.  Serve immediately.
Yum!

Butter Pecan Sweet Potatoes

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I wanted to make a healthy dinner, but also one that tastes good. I am good with salad or kale most evenings, but husband prefers a bit more… substance. So tonight we had a blackberry and kale salad, brown rice, and butter pecan sweet potatoes. Here’s the potato recipe! Easy, yummy, and healthy. What’s better than that?

Butter Pecan Sweet Potaotes

Ingredients:

  • 8 medium sweet potatoes (5 lbs.), or one per person
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup pecan pieces

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel potatoes and quarter lengthwise; slice crosswise 1/2 inch thick. On a baking sheet, toss potatoes with olive oil ); season with salt.
  2. Cook until potatoes are tender, tossing occasionally, 25-30 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle with butter, brown sugar, and pecan pieces, dividing evenly. Bake until sugar is carmelized and hard, about 10 minutes. Toss gently; serve immediately. Serves 8.

Cheddar, Beer and Mustard Pull-Apart Bread

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So Husband is really big into home brewing, which is awesome, but it also means we have a lot of beer sitting around. We drink it, give it away to friends/strangers, and still it piles up! So I have started cooking with it more often. I found this recipe while browsing Pinterest (to quote Husband “What DON’T you find while browsing Pinterest?!). It. Is. Amazing! I cannot stop eating  this wonderful bread. And it wasn’t that hard. So delicious and rich and the flavours meld perfectly

This came from a site called The Smitten Kitchen. The recipe suggests using a bread maker, but since I do not have one, I did not use it. I will include both sets of directions. =]

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Cheddar, Beer, and Mustard Pull-Apart Bread

Ingredients:

For the bread:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup beer (I used Husbands Agave Wheat Beer. Light and just a bit sweet)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/3 cup rye flour (use additional a-p flour if you don’t have this) (I did not have any, so I used my fresh ground flour)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature

For the  filling:

  • 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon or a mustard of your choice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Several grinds black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar

Directions:

To make the  dough:

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the 4 tablespoons butter and 1/4 cup of beer, just until the butter has melted. Remove from heat and add the remaining 1/3 cup beer. Set aside to cool down slightly. You want the mixture warm (110 to 116 degrees), but not steaming hot.
  2. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together 2 cups of the all-purpose flour, sugar, yeast and table salt. With the mixer on low, pour in the butter-beer mixture, mixing only until the flour is moistened. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined. The batter will look lumpy, but will become smooth in a moment. Add the remaining 1/2 cup all-purpose flour and all of the rye flour, mixing until just combined. Replace paddle with a dough hook and let the machine knead the dough for 3 to 4 minutes on low. (Or, if you aren’t using a machine, knead with your hands for about 5 minutes. Heads up, I had to add about 3 cups of flour to my dough to keep it from sticking to my hands and the bowl and everything else!)
  3. Oil a medium/large bowl and transfer dough to it. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside for 50 to 60 minutes, until doubled. Meanwhile, prepare fillings.

To make the filling:

  1. Back in the same small saucepan you used for the butter and beer, melt the 3 tablespoons butter. Remove from heat and whisk in mustard and Worcestershire until smooth. Set aside.
  2. In the bottom of a medium bowl, stir together mustard powder, paprika, table salt and several grinds of black pepper. Add shredded cheddar and toss until grated strands are evenly coated with spices. I like to keep this in the fridge until needed so it doesn’t get soft and clumpy, making it harder to sprinkle over the dough in a bit.

To assemble the bread:

  1. Either coat a 9-by-5 loaf pan lightly with butter or a nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. Turn dough out onto a well-floured counter and roll the dough into a 20-by-12-inch rectangle, making sure it doesn’t stick to the counter by lifting sections and re-flouring the counter as needed. Brush the butter-mustard-Worcestershire mixture evenly over the whole surface, right up to the edges. Cut the dough crosswise into 5 strips; each should be 12-by-4 inches. Sprinkle the first one evenly with a heaping 1/4 cup of the grated cheese (which is now fine to leave out at room temperature). Gently place another strip on top of it, coat it with another heaping 1/4 cup of cheese, and repeat with remaining strips until they are stacked 5-high and all of the cheese is used.
  3. With your very sharpest serrated knife, gently — so gently! The lightest sawing motions the weight of the blade will allow! — cut your stack into 6 to 7 2-inch segments (each stacked segment should be 4-by-2 inches). I say 6 to 7 range because while your 12-inch length should clearly yield only 6 2-inch segments, I find that the soft dough stretches so much when you lift and stack it that I end up with 7. Either amount will fit; this is totally not something to fret over.
  4. Arrange stacks of dough down the length of your prepared loaf pan as if filling a card catalog drawer. I make this easier by standing my loaf pan up on its short end to make the next part easier. If, when you finish filing all of your dough stacks, you ended up with less than needed for the dough “cards” to reach the end of the pan, when you return the pan to rest flat on the counter again, just shimmy it a little so the dough centers. It will all even out in the final rise/oven. If you ended up with toomany dough cards, before you add the last stack, simply press gently on the dough already filed to make room for it.
  5. Loosely cover the pan with more plastic wrap and set it aside to rise again for 30 to 45 more minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Bake loaf for 25 to 35 minutes, until puffed and brown. Transfer it to a wire rack and let it cool for 5 minutes before flipping it out onto a serving plate/cutting board. Serve warm with cold beer.
  7. Loaf “pulls” apart the easiest when it is hot or warm. If it has cooled beyond the point that the layers wish to easily separate, simply serve it in thin slices. Wrap leftovers in plastic and keep at room temperature for a day. I bet the leftovers would be fantastic reheated with scrambled eggs.