garlicky sautéed rainbow chard

Garlicky Sautéed Rainbow Chard

Each Saturday, as the days get warmer and warmer, I’m returning to my usual jaunt up to my local greenmarket in Inwood. While it can be slim pickins in the colder months, I really started to see signs of spring this morning as the usual produce was also peppered with hyacinths and tulips for sale.

garlicky sautéed rainbow chard

In particular, greens have started to make a comeback. This morning, one vendor was absolutely overflowing with various types of kale, lettuce, and other greens just begging to be bought! Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of the rainbow…chard, that is. Its thick pink and yellow stems always tempt me. I didn’t think twice before buying an impossibly large bunch. I couldn’t sauté it up fast enough; though not photographed, I topped some with a soft-boiled egg, and it was a quick vegetable-laden breakfast. Start to finish, this took be 15 minutes on the nose.

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Taste the rainbow definitely does not apply to just Skittles.

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Garlicky Sautéed Rainbow Chard
(Adapted from the New York Times recipe for Garlicky Swiss Chard)
(Makes roughly 4 cups, wilted and sautéed)

Ingredients:

– 2 large bunches rainbow chard, thoroughly rinsed and patted dry, stems trimmed
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
– Salt, to taste

Before We Get Started…

– Personally, I like to keep some stem on my chard when I sauté it; feel free to keep yours as long or as short as you prefer.

– Swiss chard can be substituted in an equal amount.

Directions:

1.) Stack rinsed and dried chard leaves on top of each other; this can be done in several small stacks, if preferred. Slice leaves into roughly 1/4″ strips, length-wise. Set aside.

2.) In a large saucepan or soup pot, add olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add garlic and (optional) red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds; do not allow garlic to brown! Add chard and stir until leaves are uniformly coated. Let sit for 2 minutes and allow leaves to slightly wilt. Cook for another 2 – 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

3.) Remove from heat. Add salt to taste. Serve immediately!

Sautéed Kohlrabi & Kale with Tangy Yogurt Sauce

Sautéed Kohlrabi & Kale with Tangy Yogurt Sauce

Ahhhh, the elusive kohlrabi. I’ve seen it at the farmers’ market many times. I’ve bought a few. I’ve huffed and puffed as I’ve tried to slice a knife through the larger ones. I’ve spiralized them and covered them with a creamy cheese sauce. But…I haven’t done much more than spiralize them or chop them up into matchsticks to eat them raw. After my friend Emilie and I got together last weekend to roast watermelon radishes, we had a kohlrabi and no idea what to do with it. After eating a few slices with cheddar cheese (low-carb cheese and crackers, I suppose!), I ended up wrapping the rest with cling wrap and throwing it into my crisper.

Sautéed Kohlrabi & Kale with Tangy Yogurt Sauce

Today, itching for some vegetables, I found those cling wrapped chunks and queried what to do.

Sautéed Kohlrabi & Kale with Tangy Yogurt Sauce

I just kind of pulled this recipe out of my (figurative) butt, thinking back on my last kohlrabi recipe while applying my knowledge that kohlrabi does well sautéed. The kale that was on its last limbs in the back of my fridge got its much deserved second life in this dish, and the plain yet tangy Greek yogurt, working with some melted butter and chicken stock, tied it all together.

While this would be great served as a side, you best believe I ate the whole bowl of this for myself!

Sautéed Kohlrabi & Kale with Tangy Yogurt Sauce

Of note: A few months ago, the kind folks at feedfeed and Ballarini sent me this wonderful frying pan. This was definitely a good meal to cook in it! It cooks the food evenly and cleaning it is a dream! Also, the Thermopoint Heat Indicator is definitely good for folks like me that question, “…is it hot enough yet? Is it? Is it?” 😉

ALSO of note: Most of my photos of this dish came out oddly yellow or pink; a good hour of photo editing did nothing, hence the lack of good overhead shots. The banner photo was the best overhead shot I got, and I still look at it and go, “…myeh.” I’ll have to make this again soon and hope I get that perfect photo I’m after. #foodbloggerlife, amirite? Haaa.

Sautéed Kohlrabi & Kale with Tangy Yogurt Sauce
(Makes 4 side dish servings / approximately 4 cups total)

Ingredients:

– 2 cups kohlrabi, peeled and cubed
– 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
– 3 tablespoons butter
– 1/4 cup chicken stock
– 2 cups kale, rinsed, de-ribbed, and sliced
– 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
– Salt, to taste

Directions:

1.) In a large deep frying pan or large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add kohlrabi and onion and cook on medium heat until onions are translucent and kohlrabi is tender yet firm, roughly 20 minutes. Keep an eye on the dish to make sure both the kohlrabi and onions don’t brown.

2.) Add chicken stock and kale; mix with kohlrabi and onions until kale wilts down. Add Greek yogurt and stir until combined with vegetables. If mixture seems too dry, add additional 1/4 cup chicken stock and stir until creamy. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir, add salt to taste, and serve immediately.

Roasted Watermelon Radishes

Roasted Watermelon Radishes

‘Tis the season for an annual tradition with my friend Emilie: Once a winter, we get together and cook; namely, we cook cheese grits. This is one of my all-time favorite foods, so creamy and comforting. We usually make a recipe that involves baking it in the oven with roughly 16 ounces (no exaggeration) of various cheeses…plus, we obviously nibble here and there. Would it be the first time I’ve consumed a pound of cheese in a day? Definitely not. Am I proud that I’ve consumed a pound of cheese in a day in the past? OH. YES. YES I AM. However, this time, I suggested me make the tried and true Alton Brown version, with only 4 measly ounces of cheese, but two cups of milk, so I still got my dairy fix. (Ha!)

Emilie, helping prep Brussels Sprouts, the radishes, and some kohlrabi.

Lucky for me, when she came up to my apartment, she also had plenty of vegetables to share, from Brussels sprouts to a kohlrabi roughly the size of my head. She also had three watermelon (or rainbow) radishes with her. These babies seemingly graced each and every Instagram salad photo I came across last summer, their insides truly mirroring a sweet summer watermelon. However, we queried what we wanted to do with them, as we had no salads to top. Hey, roasting is always a good “go to” option, eh?

Roasted Watermelon Radishes

I wasn’t sure what flavor to expect, but I was pleased with its mellowed-down flavor combined with some excellent caramelization from where the pieces had laid (<—proper usage? I hope so!) on the roasting pan. We dressed them quite simply: olive oil and Himalayan pink salt. BOOM. A few of these pieces are surprisingly filling, too. I had many the day we made them and manage to have enough to complement my lunch at work the yesterday and today!

Roasted Watermelon Radishes

The hue of the radishes got me amped! Goodbye dreary winter! Let’s bring on spring, y’all. Can’t wait to grab more at my local farmers’ market soon!

Roasted Watermelon Radishes

Roasted Watermelon Radishes
(Makes 18 pieces)

Ingredients:

– 3 watermelon radishes
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste (I used Himalayan pink salt)

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 375°F.

2.) Scrub radishes, cut off ends, and cut into sections; I yielded 6 pieces from each radish.

3.) Place radish pieces onto a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with one teaspoon salt, and toss thoroughly. Spread evenly across the baking sheet.

4.) Roast for 45 – 50 minutes. Check radishes at the 30 minute mark to insure proper roasting; radishes should be tender and caramelized at the bottom by the time they are finished cooking, but not overly browned or burned. Remove from oven and sprinkle with more salt to taste. Eat immediately; these do store well in the fridge for 2 – 3 days post-roasting.

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.

hello fresh product review

Product Review – Hello, Fresh!

If there is one thing that this blog and its accompanying social media outlets have proven, it’s that I know how to develop and create some great recipes. I’m not trying to be self-congratulatory (HA!), but I’m just stating a fact. Still, with recipe development comes the inevitable stages of trial and error. As much as I don’t want to admit this, I have definitely bought too many products that I have wasted. If I buy too much hamburger meat, I’ll wrap it up and freeze it, thinking to myself, “I can thaw this in a month and make some meatballs or toss it into some chili!” Six months later, I’ll come across that frozen aluminum-foiled covered brick beneath my pint of Sea Salt Caramel Talenti, heave a heavy sigh, and pitch it into my trash bin. So many zucchinis and avocados have met their unfortunate end in my kitchen, though I can only hope that my composting has given them a second life someplace else. I don’t like to waste food, and I’m sure I’m currently preaching to the choir. I try as hard as I can to buy what I use and use all that I have. Still…I’m not always perfect.

Hello Fresh, I welcome you with opened arms.

Hello Fresh is fantastic because it’s fool-proof and efficient. I recently received three meals from them: Steak and Brussels Sprout Stir-Fry, Spicy Pork and Kale Soup with Udon Noodles, and Cauliflower Pancetta Mac and Cheese.

hello fresh product review

Post-election, without getting too preachy, virtually all of my friends were feeling rather down and out about the state of our country. With all of these boxes of food and my stomach, unfortunately, not big enough to ingest it all by myself, I thought, “Wouldn’t a little potluck meal boost our collective spirits a bit?”

As for the Spicy Pork & Kale Soup, I kept that for myself. However, I decided to break out the Steak and Brussels Sprout Stir-Fry and the Cauliflower Pancetta Mac and Cheese to share with the masses, complemented with an array of roasted vegetables and additional jasmine rice on the side. Also…mimosas. We had a LOT of mimosas. Ha! (Hey, it was Saturday afternoon. It’s all good.) And should I mention the vegan apple cider donuts and (non-vegan) chocolate donuts I ALSO made? I think it goes without saying that my calves were killin’ me the next day! Cooking for multiple hours while entertaining is strength and cardio. *phew*

hello fresh product review

I am a very concrete person, so I loved two things about these Hello Fresh boxes. One, the colorful and informative instructions left little to question. I appreciate transparency and clarity in recipes. Hell, I’ve looked back at old recipes of mine on this blog and have edited them after thinking, “…wait? Does that make sense?”

hello fresh product review

Two, the ingredient portions were exact, so no ingredient was wasted. It was all down to a T! In the mac and cheese box, I literally got one tablespoon of flour to make the roux with! I appreciated exact vegetable and meat portions, especially. Nothing was wasted, which made me feel good.

hello fresh product review

As for the taste? Superb! Well-developed recipes with exact ingredients and precise directions beget a perfectly seasoned dish. If you follow what’s written, you’re guaranteed to consume a delicious meal!

hello fresh product review

My wonderful yet voracious friends ate all of the mac and cheese before I could photograph it, and I can’t even be mad at them. Ha! It was collectively inhaled! As for the stir-fry, everyone was very pleased, as well. The meat was tender, the vegetables obtained a nice smoky char, and it wasn’t overwhelmingly salty, even with the addition of soy sauce.

While I am all about making my own meals about 99.99% of the time, I don’t think I’d necessarily discount using Hello Fresh again in the future! Some of the meals they put together are unique and have ingredients that I can’t easily get at my well-stocked C-Town. (i.e.: My C-Town does not have a single udon noodle in sight. Ha!) As I type this, I’m perusing their menu for next week. I’m seeing gems like Pork Larb over Jade Rice and Tuscan Ribollita. Wow! Rather than search high and low for a single Thai chili pepper or waste money on an entire bottle of sesame oil that I’d rarely use, I could get it all, perfectly portioned, in one box.

Ahhhhh, wonderful simplicity! It doesn’t get much better than that.

hello fresh product review

A smattering of my friends digging into the Hello Fresh potluck, with mimosas and donut ingredients in the foreground, and one friend practicing her yoga n the background. It’s always good to stay centered prior to a big meal!

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DISCLOSURE: The fine folks at Hello Fresh provided me with complimentary meal boxes to cook and review. I’d like to thank them for their generosity and making the stomachs of quite a few people very full and happy. All opinions shared in this post are my own.