avocado kale sauce

Avocado Kale Sauce

WOW. Funny story, and by funny, I mean devastating: I had this recipe posted with a great back story. The photos were gorgeous. The commentary was hilarious (as always). It all came together beautifully. As I hit “Publish”, went to the page, and said, “Oops! I forgot to add my Featured Image!” I went back to edit it and add it in. As I hit “Update”, I was brought to my newly updated page, which had the Featured Photo…but, inexplicably, deleted ALL OF MY TEXT AND PHOTOS.

*deep breath*

So, here are the photos of this luscious and delicious sauce (which can be made vegan-friendly!) served with sweet potato noodles, here are the ingredients, here are the directions, and I promise that my next post will have more humor and substance to it. Ha! I realize that this recipe riffs on a few prior avocado sauce recipes I’ve made for this blog, but, eh, I still post a third one proudly. 😉

avocado kale sauce

avocado kale sauce

avocado kale sauce

Avocado Kale Sauce
(Makes roughly 2 – 2 & 1/2 cups)

Ingredients:
– 1 ripe avocado
– 3 – 4 kale leaves, washed, de-ribbed, and roughly torn
– 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt or skyr or non-dairy yogurt or cashew cream (for vegan version)
– 1/4 cup room temperature water
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 clove garlic, peeled and left whole
– Salt, to taste.

Directions:

1.) In a blender, add avocado, yogurt of choice or cashew cream, olive oil, and garlic. Blend until smooth; if mixture is too thick, slowly more add water and blend until desired consistency is reached. Add salt to taste. Store in refrigerator if not using immediately; will keep fresh for up to 4 days.

Kale tomato white bean soup

Kale, Tomato, & White Bean Soup

Though I have little room in my freezer (due partly to roommates that have frozen vegetables and TV dinners…), I still love to cook pots of soup in the winter and freeze the leftovers for a rainy day (or, better, a snowy day). Soup is a comfort food to me; growing up, I ate bowls of my Nana Fracaro’s chicken soup with tubettini pasta, no matter if it was in the middle of winter or at 11:30 on a hot summer’s morning while we watched “The Price Is Right“. Whenever I go to a restaurant, if I see a good Soup Du Jour on the menu, I go for it. I’ll take my soups any way I can take them, though I tend to lean towards a good classic chicken noodle, gazpacho, vichyssoise, French Onion, or cream of tomato.

Over the years, I’ve been trying to lighten my recipes up where I can (such as with my plant-based Creamy Tomato Soup with Cashew Cream or my Tomato & Zucchini Noodle Soup with Veal Meatballs), and, well, here is another example! Trying to get back to my good veggie grind, I wanted a hearty vegetable-packed soup to last me a few work days.

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal

Between the tomatoes, kale, carrots, onions, garlic, and herbs, I felt as though I ate the entire garden. That is not a bad thing.

Kale tomato white bean soup

Kale, Tomato, & White Bean Soup
(Adapted from the New York Times recipe for Quick Tomato, White Bean, & Kale Soup)

Ingredients:

– 1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped
– 1 large carrot, chopped
– 2 large garlic cloves, minced
– 1 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes, with juice
– 1 medium Yukon Gold or Russet potato, peeled and diced
– 4 cups kale, stemmed, washed, and roughly chopped (roughly 1/4 pound of kale)
– 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
– 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
– 6 cups water
– 1 tablespoon tomato paste
– 1 teaspoon oregano
– 1 teaspoon dried thyme
– 1 teaspoon dried parsley
– 1 – 2 cups pre-cooked rice (optional)
– Salt and pepper, to taste

Before We Get Started…

– This soup tastes absolutely amazing on its own! That being said, after making and photographing my initial batch, I added some leftover rice I had from some Indian takeout I had a few nights prior. WOW. The soup was really enhanced by the rice. Though loaded with vegetables and beans, the broth is, well, brothy! It’s not creamy or fatty. The rice does add a tad of starch to the broth, as well an a little bit of bulk to the soup in general. It’s a lovely addition if you choose to go that direction!

Directions:

1.) Place a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or dutch oven on the stove. over medium heat. Add olive oil, allow to heat up slightly, then add add the onion, carrot, and a pinch of salt. Cook vegetables for approximately 6 to 8 minutes or until tender; be careful to not let vegetables brown. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for one minute.

2.) Stir in tomatoes and juice from the can and combine with vegetables. Continue to cook over medium heat for 8 – 10 minutes or until until the tomatoes have slightly reduced.

3.) Add water, tomato paste, oregano, thyme, parsley, and potato. Bring soup to boil, cover, and simmer until potato chunks are tender, roughly 10 minutes.

4.) Add the kale and simmer another 10 minutes, until the kale is wilted down but still holds some of its shape. Stir in the beans and heat through for 5 minutes; if adding pre-cooked rice, add and stir in with beans. Serve immediately or allow to cool slight before putting into storage containers for refrigeration or freezing.

turkey kale delicata squash bowl

Turkey, Kale, & Delicata Squash Bowl

Seriously, I am beyond confused as to how quickly 2016 has flown by! It’s already been a week and a half since Thanksgiving, so it’s only 20 days until Christmas, 19 until the start of Hanukkah, the new year will be upon us soon…

*pumps brakes*

Okay, I’ll try to slow down a little bit!

turkey kale delicata squash bowl

I’m pleased to announce that my second recipe on Yoga By Candace has been published today! This Turkey, Kale, & Delicata Squash Bowl is absolutely to die for. If you are a die-hard Thanksgiving fan, you’ll love the ground turkey. It melds well with the cruciferousness of the kale and the naturally sweet flavor and surprisingly creamy texture of the delicata squash. It tastes like a holiday meal without overwhelming your stomach. It’s truly the best of both worlds.

Head on over to Yoga By Candace to gank this excellent recipe!

turkey kale delicata squash bowl

 

green shakshuka single serving

Green Shakshuka [Single Serving]

One of the most popular recipes on my blog has been my single serve Shashuka. That posts gets hits every single day, and, every now and then, it just blows up if some other website picks up the link. I’m so pleased that y’all love this so much! Shakshuka is, largely, a dish for at least two people, though I have seen plenty of people down a skillet of it with no issues. (You do you!) As a person that cooks for herself nine times out of ten, I enjoy making individual-sized versions of traditionally larger meals. I figured it’d be fun to tweak my original recipe and green it up a lil’ bit.

green shakshuka single serving

I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I love vegetables for breakfast. People have questioned me when they’ve seen me eat leftover salads in the morning or if I sauté up a bunch of greens and root vegetables with some avocado or a fried egg. What rule is in place that allows vegetable consumption to be suddenly okay past noon, but not before, save for in an omelette or a smoothie? Vegetables in the morning make me feel so great! The nutrients within them sure beat any doughnut by a long shot, and the sugars that are in some fruits leave me feeling a bit lousy come late morning. Vegetables, with protein, sustain me the best.

green shakshuka single serving

You could surely switch up which greens you want to use in this dish, but I found this combination of Brussels sprouts, kale, and zucchini made me the happiest. Oh, and can we talk about the way the sprouts crisp up so wonderfully along the edges of the cast iron skillet? OH, BABY!

green shakshuka single serving

This meal is pretty guiltless, healthy, hearty, and endorphin-inducing.

Green Shakshuka [Single Serving]
(Serves One…if you were unable to deduce that)

Ingredients:

– 1 to 2 eggs
– 1/2 small yellow or white onion, diced
– 2 kale leaves, washed, deribbed, and torn into small pieces
– 5 – 6 Brussels sprouts, shredded
– 1/2 large zucchini, shredded
– 1 teaspoon garlic powder
– 1/4 teaspoon cumin
– 1 or 2 shakes of turmeric (optional, but highly suggested!)
– 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided into 1 tablespoon servings
– Cilantro, for garnish (optional)
– Salt and pepper, to taste

Before We Get Started…

– This recipe is best baked in an 8″ – 9″ oven-safe skillet. Though I tested my original shakshuka recipe in a skillet and a ramekin, I have not tested this recipe in a ramekin.

– When prepping the vegetables, it may seem like it all won’t fit in the pan; no worries! The kale will wilt down, much like spinach. Refer to Step #3 for more specifics.

– If you are vegan and want to ditch the egg, this recipe works just as well if you sauté and bake all of these wonderful vegetables and spices together!

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 375°F.

2.) In large bowl, toss Brussels sprouts and kale with garlic powder, cumin, turmeric (optional), and one tablespoon of olive oil. Set aside. Add shredded zucchini to colander and allow to drain for 5 minutes; press gently with clean dish towel or paper towel to expedite the process, if desired. Leave zucchini set aside.

3.) In an 8″ – 9″ oven-safe skillet, add one tablespoon of olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add onions and cook for two to three minutes or until translucent. Be careful not to brown them! Add half of the Brussels sprouts / kale mixture to skillet and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once vegetables start to soften and kale wilts down, add remaining half of the Brussels sprouts / kale mixture and cook until kale starts to wilt. Add in zucchini, stir to combine. and cook for an additional minute.

4.) Use back of spoon to create a shallow dent in the middle of the vegetable mixture. Gently crack egg(s) into dent. Place in oven and cook for 7 – 10 minutes or until whites are set and yolk is set to preference. Remove from oven and eat immediately!

butternut squash soup roasted kale

Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Kale

Autumn just came out of nowhere, both chronologically and atmospherically. I swear, it was May just a minute ago, and social media reminded me that this past Thursday, at 10:21 a.m., was the autumnal equinox. Two, I was walking around the Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy on Thursday night, sweating in a pair of shorts at 8 p.m., enjoying the extension of summer weather.

Less than 48 hours later, I was tromping to the Inwood Greenmarket in leggings and a sweatshirt, teeth chattering a bit as the temperature hovered around 56°F at 9 a.m.

I love autumn. It’s my favorite season. However, when the temps take a drip quick, it’s more than I can handle sometimes. Yeah. I’m a big baby for a day or two, guilty as charged. Ha!

However, I welcome the return of my two favorite sub-seasons of autumn: oven season and soup season! Turning the oven on will no longer cause my apartment to swell to temperatures close to 95°F! Also, I will soon start making soups en masse and freezing them in my freezer for future work lunches. I can only hope my roommates forgive me for the amount of space I’ll be usurping soon. (Then again, after more than a year of living with me, I am sure they are used to me annexing our fridge and freezer with many of my culinary creations.)

img_8513

Backtracking to my local greenmarket, the peaches and berries were sparser this morning while the fall squashes and gourds have been pushing their way through to the larger tables. Most of them were begging me to cook them. How could I deny their request to become my dinner?

butternut squash soup roasted kale

Needing some greens, I could not help but buy some crisp kale before I headed back home.

butternut squash soup roasted kale

And yes, I’ll be drinking some chardonnay along side it, thank you very much.

butternut squash soup roasted kale

Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Kale
(Serves 4 – 6)

Ingredients:

Soup:

– 1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped, seeds removed or 20 ounces pre-cut butternut squash (I use Earthbound Farm Organic butternut squash)
– 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
– 1 carrot, chopped
– 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
– 1 medium apple, peeled and chopped (I used a Macintosh, but a tart green apple also works well within this recipe)
– 3 cups broth / stock of choice
– 1 cup water
– 1/4 cup chardonnay (optionalI used the 2014 Chardonnay by Louis Jadot)
– Dash of grated nutmeg
– Salt and pepper, to taste

Roasted Kale:

– 1/2 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed and leaves cleaned and roughly torn
– 3 tablespoons olive oil
– Salt, to taste

Before We Get Started:

– The amount of roasted kale made will likely eclipse the amount you’d put on top of your soup. Leftover kale not used for garnish can be stored in an airtight container. (It makes for a great snack!)

– Keep this recipe vegan-friendly by replacing butter with oil and using a vegetable-based broth or stock.

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease or place parchment paper on a large baking sheet. Set aside.

2.) In a large heavy pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrot and sauté for 5 minutes. Add butternut squash, apple, broth, and water. Bring to boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover pot and continue simmer for 30 minutes or until the vegetables and apples have softened; add chardonnay 20 minutes into simmering time.

3.) While the soup is simmering, prepare the kale: Add kale to a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Thoroughly massage kale with olive oil. Toss with salt, to taste. Spread leaves out on baking sheets evenly; leave enough space around the leaves for them to bake and dry out. Place in oven and bake for 10 – 15 minutes, or until dark green with roasted spots, but not completely brown! Remove from oven and allow to cool.

4.) Using an immersion blender, purée the soup inside of the pot; if you do not have an immersion blender, work in batches to purée the soup in a blender.

5.) Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with roasted kale.

– – – –

Editor’s Note: This recipe has been entered into Louis Jadot’s Modern Meals contest. I would like to thank Louis Jadot and Elayna from EVINS Communications for their generosity towards this post!

butternut squash soup roasted kale