White Beans and Kale with Parm, Nutmeg and Walnuts

Remember when you thought the only thing you could make with kale was some variation of a kale, sausage and bean soup? Oh, just me?  It’s true, but what a difference a couple years makes. I use kale all the time now, and it’s such a great base for sides, quiches, smoothies and – okay, soups. You could throw this together in about 15 minutes and it’s a perfect little snacky dish or a substantial side for whatever else you’re making for dinner. The nutmeg is perfect in this, adding a little sweetness, and the beans get kind of crunchy on the outside while still remaining soft and creamy on the inside. Serve this with some good bread or just on its own.
– 1 can large beans – butter beans are really good for this
– 3 cups kale, stems removed, washed and chopped
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 tbsp. EVOO
– couple grinds of nutmeg
– 1/4 c. freshly grated parm
– 1/4 c. toasted chopped walnuts
– kosher salt & pepper, to taste
1. In a large pan, warm the EVOO over medium-low heat until shimmery. Add chopped garlic and stir for approx. 30 seconds, until fragrant.
2. Add the beans (drained and rinsed). Let these kind of sit on one side for a little bit before flipping to the other side. You want the outsides to get a little golden brown color.

Continue reading “White Beans and Kale with Parm, Nutmeg and Walnuts”

Black Bean, Acorn Squash, Kale & Cheddar Jack Quesadillas

Let’s say that you and your boyfriend are going to a city council meeting one night, and you’re both working basically right up to the time it starts. Do you A. Go to the grocery store and buy things for dinner which would probably consist of pasta, and a jar of sauce B. Pick up something on the way to the meeting or C. Think about the hodgepodge of ingredients in your refrigerator on your drive home from work, throw this together in 45 minutes and then watch your boyfriend inhale an entire quesadilla in the 5 minutes he’s home before you both have to leave for the council meeting, knowing that it’s made of almost completely healthy things? 
C. If this town could run itself as efficiently as this recipe came together, it would be a whole new world. 
– 1/2 an acorn squash, sliced
– 1 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
– 2 cups kale, ribs removed, torn into pieces
– 1/2 vidalia onion, really thinly sliced
– 1/3 shredded jack cheese
– 4 flour tortillas
– 1 tbsp. butter
– 1 tbsp. EVOO
– kosher salt & pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 400. 
2. Carefully (these are really hard), with a serrated knife, cut the acorn squash into strips. Rub the cut sides with a little olive oil.
3. Place acorn squash on a baking sheet, roast for about 30 minutes, flipping sides around halfway through.

4. Thinly slice an onion, then cook it over medium heat in 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp. EVOO until it soften and starts to caramelize. Continue reading “Black Bean, Acorn Squash, Kale & Cheddar Jack Quesadillas”


Guys, sorry I’ve been the worst at writing lately. We’re moving on Monday, so everything is packed away in the kitchen. In the meantime, here’s what we made as our last full home-cooked meal in the old place: Roasted Chicken and a Kale, Apple & Roasted Butternut Squash salad.

I’ve loved this apartment but I’m really excited to move into the new place with Bren and really make it “ours.”  Also, two words: Gourmet. Kitchen.

Be back soon!

Breakfast Bake: Egg, Baby Kale, & Feta

Baby kale!  Who knew? I was so excited when I saw this in the grocery store.  Kale is great for you, but traditionally it’s really hearty and kind of tough.  Baby kale is so much more delicate, doesn’t require any prep work, and can be used in place of spinach leaves for just about anything, so I started with this. Throw this “breakfast bake” together in 15 minutes, bake it for 30-35, and you have a super filling breakfast that gives you the added benefit of another serving of veggies for the day.  We ate this over the next 2 days, and it was still delicious.

BREAKFAST BAKE: EGG, BABY KALE, & FETA (makes 6 servings)
– 1/2 a container of baby kale (I used Olivia’s Organics, so approx. 6 oz.), or regular-leaf kale, “ribs” removed, and chopped roughly
– 1 tbsp. EVOO
– 3 shallots, thinly sliced
– 1/2 – 1/3 C. crumbled feta
– 8 eggs – 4 with yolk, 4 egg whites only
– 1/4 c. milk
– 1 tsp. Herbamare, which is the greatest seasoning ever, or just regular salt & pepper if you can’t find it
– 1/2 tsp. fresh chopped dill (optional)
– Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 375.

2. Rub a little olive oil in an 8 x 8 (or similar) casserole dish.

3. In a large sautee pan, heat the 1 tbsp. EVOO, then add the shallots and cook until they soften, approx. 2 minutes.  Add the baby kale and sautee until wilted, which shouldn’t take longer than a minute.  If you’re using regular kale, it’ll take about 2 minutes until it’s just wilted.  Add the tsp. Herbamare and the dill, and stir to combine everything.

4. Remove from heat and spread the kale/shallot mixture in the casserole dish. Top with the crumbled feta.

5. Lightly beat the eggs and milk.  Add however much salt & pepper you would typically add for scrambled eggs.

6. Pour the egg mixture over the kale/shallots/feta.  Use a fork to gently sort of poke the egg mixture down into the kale & shallots, so that the eggs get evenly distributed.

7.  Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until the eggs are set.  Remove from the oven and let stand 5 minutes.

8. Cut into servings and enjoy, then save your leftovers (if there are any!) for a quick breakfast over the next day or two.

Chicken, Black Bean, Kale, Roasted Butternut Squash, & Avocado Enchiladas

Say you have friends over on Monday, and you make an enormous roasted chicken. Then let’s say you have a ton of leftovers, since apparently an 8 lb. roast chicken is way too much for 4 people. And let’s also say that you would like Mexican food, but not turkey tacos, since although they are delicious, you make them all the time.  

Enchiladas??  Okay.

These were so tasty, and so filling, and I was able to convince myself that the kale, squash, and avocado made them healthy (enough). I thought the roasted butternut squash might add too much sweetness, but it ended up acting as sort of a binder for the filling, and lending just a little bit of flavor. This recipe uses a  tomatillo sauce that I found in the store, so if anyone has a tomatillo recipe they love, I’m all ears. These keep, and reheat, really well. I think they might actually even be good cold.


– 1 lb. shredded chicken
– 2 cups kale, “ribs” removed and roughly chopped
– 1 15.5 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
– 1/2 roasted butternut squash
– 1 small avocado, diced
– Mexican cheese – I was able to find a small wheel of “quesadilla cheese” in the grocery store which was perfect
– 2 cups tomatillo sauce
– Smaller-size flour tortillas
– 1 small onion, diced
– 2 tbsp. EVOO
– kosher salt or Herbamare
– Fresh-squeezed lime juice
– Sour cream, for topping

1. Roast your butternut squash. This is really easy but takes a little time. First, heat the oven to 400. The just take the whole squash, with a couple of holes poked into it, into the oven for about 15 minutes.  The squash will soften, and make cutting it a slightly less terrifying experience.
2. After 15 minutes, cut off the bottom of the squash, then cut it down the middle and scoop out all of the seeds.

3. Rub a little olive oil on the cut side of each half of the squash, then place cut-side down on an ungreased baking sheet.

4. Cook at 400 for approx. 30 – 45 minutes (depending on the size of the squash). Remove from the oven and let cool a bit.  The skin of the squash will peel right off, and you can then cut the squash into chunks for this recipe, or salads, or soup, or whatever.

5. While the squash is roasting, dice an onion.  The easiest way to do this is to cut the onion in half, then make vertical cuts along the onion’s natural lines.  When you then cut the onion, it will dice itself naturally.

6. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, add 2 tsbp EVOO, and when hot, cook the onion until soft. 

7. Add the rinsed and drained black beans, chopped kale, and chicken. Stir to combine.
8. Add about 1/2 C. of the tomatillo sauce to the bean/kale/chicken/onion mixture for some flavor. Taste and adjust seasoning.

9. When the mixture is cooked, add the roasted squash and the avocado. Stir gently to combine.

10 Lower oven heat to 375.  In a microwave, heat the tortillas (4 at a time) in paper towels, for approx. 45 seconds.

11. Spread approx. 1/2 C. of the tomatillo sauce over the bottom of a large baking pan.

12. Assemble your enchiladas – spoon filling into the middle of a warm enchilada, grate some mexican cheese over the filling, and squeeze a little lime juice over it as well.  Roll up the enchilada and place in the baking pan seam-side down.

13. Step and repeat.

14. When all the enchiladas are in the baking pan, pour the remaining cup of tomatillo sauce over the top of them, then top with approx. 1/2 C. of shredded Mexican cheese.

15. Bake, covered with aluminum foil, for approx. 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

16. Serve with lime wedges, sour cream, salsa, etc. Ole.

Kale, Carrot, and White Bean Blend

I had a sleepover at my sister’s the other night, and she brought out this deliciously filling “snack” that could have been dinner if it weren’t for the Grotto pizza we were already sharing. This is one of those super easy recipes that you can just throw together with ingredients you already have, and in no time at all you have a hearty, healthy dish (to go with the pizza that you’re eating).

KALE, CARROT, AND WHITE BEAN BLEND (serves 4 as a side or 2 as a main dish)

– 1/2 a bunch of kale, “ribs” removed, washed and roughly chopped
– 3 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/8 inch rounds
– 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
– 2 cloves garlic, chopped
– 1 tbsp. EVOO, 1 tsp. butter

1. Wash your kale and carrots. Even though you’re going to peel the carrots, you should wash them anyway. Any dirt on the skin will get dragged into the carrot itself when you peel them unless they’re clean.

2. Remove the “ribs” from the kale, and roughly chop.

3. Cut the peeled carrots into 1/8 inch rounds.

4. In a large saucepan, bring enough water to cover the carrots to a boil. Add the sliced carrots and boil until just tender (approx. 5 minutes). Drain the carrots and return the saucepan to the burner, now lowered to medium heat.

5. Add 1 tbsp EVOO and a smidge of butter to the saucepan and, when hot, add the garlic and stir until fragrant – appox. 90 seconds.

6. Add carrots to the pan and stir to cover with the EVOO/butter/garlic mixture.  Then add the chopped kale, and stir together with the carrots until slightly wilted.
7. Finally, add the can of rinsed and drained white beans, and combine with the kale and carrots until beans are warmed through.  Both the kale and carrots will continue to soften during this time, so make sure the kale isn’t too wilted in the step above.

8. Add seasonings if necessary – kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, garlic powder – to taste and serve warm. This is even good cold as leftovers the next day.

— Happy 64th birthday to my mom, who would love this recipe! xoxoxo

Kale, Roasted Butternut Squash, Apple & Parmesan Salad

This salad is all fall. The sweetness of roasted butternut squash and thin slices of apple blend perfectly with the kale dressed in a simple lemon vinaigrette, and topped with curls of parmesan. We had this alongside a tuna chickpea salad for a filling, healthy lunch. Kale is incredibly good for you on so many levels, and I try to work it into as many recipes as I can while it’s available in abundance at our Scranton Farmers’ Market (my favorite grocery place in town, BY FAR. Have you found your local farmers’ market yet?).

– 1/2 head of kale, “ribs” cut out and discarded, leaves torn into pieces
– 1/2 butternut squash, roasted
– 1-2 apples (gala, macintosh, etc. Any sweeter apple will work)
– shaves of parmesan cheese (thin pieces of fresh cheddar would also work)

Lemon Viniagrette
– Juice of 1/2 lemon (approx. 1 tbsp)
– 2 Tbsp EVOO
– Kosher salt and pepper to taste

1. Get the squash roasting. The easiest way to do this is to punch a couple of small holes into a whole squash (with a fork, or similar) and throw the whole thing in an oven at 400 for about 20 minutes.  After this time, the squash should be soft enough that you can cut off the bottom without any trouble, then slice it in half and scoop out the seeds.


2. Rub a couple of drops of olive oil on each cut side of the squash, then place cut-side down on a baking sheet. Roast at 400 for approx.30 – 45 minutes, depending on the size of the squash.

3. Meanwhile, prep the kale. After washing thoroughly, cut out the “ribs” and discard, then roughly tear or cut the kale into similar-size pieces.

4. Wash the apples, then cut them into thin slices. Delicate slices as opposed to larger chunks will give this salad a refreshing little bite with every forkful.

5. When squash is finished roasting, remove from oven, peel the skin (this should come right off if the squash has been fully roasted), then cut squash into chunks.

6. Whisk together dressing, then add to the kale and massage into the kale pieces (kale can be kind of tough, so massaging the dressing into the leaves will make them a little more chewable). Add squash, apples, and gently stir to combine. Top with parmesan (or cheddar) and serve as either a side or a main dish.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale “Au Gratin”

It’s butternut squash season!!  I look forward to this every year. Butternut squash is the basis for some of my favorite fall recipes, from soup to sides to main dishes. This side is savory due to the roasted squash and a light dusting of parmesan cheese, and has an added punch of health benefits with the addition of the kale. I could have eaten this on its own instead of as a side. It was great.


– 1 large butternut squash, roasted and cubed
– 2 cups kale, de-stemmed and chopped
– 2 cloves garlic, diced
– Freshly grated parmesan, approx. 1/4 cup

1. Cut the butternut squash in half. I’ve learned that the easiest way to do this is to poke a couple of holes in the squash while it’s still whole, and throw it in the oven at 400 for maybe 15 minutes.  It should soften enough in that time that you can cut it in half, lengthwise, without feeling like you’re going to cut off your fingers accidentally.

2. Scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff at the bottom of the squash. Rub each half with a little olive oil, and place cut-side down on the baking sheet. Roast for approx. 30 – 45 minutes (depending on the size of the squash). Peel and cube squash – it should still be a little firm, but if not, don’t worry about it too much. Lower oven temp to 350.

3. In a saute pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil, and add chopped garlic. Stir until fragrant, approx. 90 seconds. Add chopped kale and stir to combine until wilted. Set aside.

4. Lightly mist a baking pan with olive oil, then add kale/garlic mixture and cubed squash. Stir to combine, then top with the grated parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for approx. 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Ground Chicken, Kale, and Sweet Potato Patties

Brad came home for lunch the other day as I was making these, and couldn’t believe how good the house smelled. I couldn’t believe that something with kale, almost zero flour, and sweet potatoes could be so delicious, and filling, too. I guess these were meant to be served as a burger, but I upped the kale and sweet potatoes, and made the patties a little bigger, so 2 plus a side salad were more than enough for a lunch (or, for that matter, a dinner).

CHICKEN, KALE, & SWEET POTATO PATTIES (makes 8-10 patties)

– 1.5lbs ground chicken (I got this at the farmers’ market, but apparently you can just grind up chicken breast in a Food Processor – which should then be cleaned really well, because, ew.)
– 2 shallots, chopped
– 2 green onions, chopped
– 1 sweet potato, cut into tiny cubes
– 3 cups kale, de-stemmed and chopped roughly
– 4 tablespoons whole wheat flour
– 1 egg
– 1 tsp. paprika
– 1 tsp. garlic powder
– 2 tbspns dijon mustard
– kosher salt & freshly ground pepper

1. In a saucepan, heat EVOO over medium-high heat. Add shallots and green onions, heat until wilted. 

2. Add tiny cubes of sweet potatoes, saute until soft. These can take a little while, so just let them cook while you arrange the mixing ingredients for the chicken.

3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine egg, paprika, mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

You can see me in this picture! My red shirt was a giveaway.

4. When sweet potato is fairly soft, chop up the kale, add to the sweet potato/shallot/green onion mixture, turn heat down to medium low, and combine until wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.

5. Add ground chicken to the mixing bowl with the egg/paprika/mustard/garlic powder/salt/pepper. Combine with your hands, then add kale/sweet potato/shallot/onion mixture. Add flour one tablespoon at a time. This will be kind of sticky, but should start to pull together after a bit.

6. In a large skillet, heat approx. 1/4 inch olive oil over medium-high heat.

7. Form mixture into patties.

8. One at a time, add patties to heated olive oil, and cook through, approx. 5 minutes on each side. 

9. Check to make sure patties are cooked all the way through, then drain on paper towels and serve with a side salad.