Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

pasta puttanesca
The economy has gotten so bad, according to ABC’s Nightline, that Nevada’s brothels are seeing a rise in applications. Things are getting so bad, a girl can’t even compete in the world’s oldest profession. While we contemplate the current state of affairs, join me in cooking up an easy dish of Pasta Puttanesca, also known as Harlot’s Pasta. Bold in flavor, it’s a tasty dish for someone on the run. Think Duece Bigelow in a hurry. There’s really no trick to it. So, let’s whip some up and hope for better days ahead.

Pasta Puttanesca

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic pressed
1/2 onion chopped
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoon capers
1/3 cup pitted black olives, coarsely chopped
4 anchovy fillets chopped
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 box pasta, your choice

Over medium heat, saute onions and garlic in olive oil in the onions are translucent. Add the anchovies and stir, allowing the anchovies to break apart. Add the remaining ingredients, and simmer, 5-10 minutes until warmed. Toss with pasta and serve.

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kale, fall greens goodness

kale, fall greens goodness

Fall seems to be flying by and eating locally in a northern climate doesn’t come easily.  Basically, all my fave veggies get here on a big truck.  But, there are some cold weather lovin’ veggies.  Some greens actually prefer cooler temperatures, (and thanks to greenhouses, local growers are able to extend growing seasons.)  So the other day, my husband, (who does most of our grocery shopping) picked up some kale at our local co-op.   Huge bunches and decently priced, because it’s in season.

I know what you’re thinking, kale is that purple-y leaved stuff you put in a window boxes or container gardens on the front step.  That’s right, kale is pretty.  But, it’s also highly nutritious and fairly yummy stuff.  There are a few secrets to cooking with kale.

tip #1. Don’t eat it raw.  Well you can, but it’s won’t taste good.

tip #2. Cook it down pretty well.  (See #1.)  It’s actually more nutritious if you cook it.   I usually blanche greens when I cook with them, meaning I steam them very briefly until wilt.  Fall greens, like collard greens and kale need a little more heat to break down their nutritional structure.  Cooking over medium-high heat, watch the color go to bright green and cook them over low heat 5-10 minutes longer, until the leaves shrink a bit and look limp.

tip# 3. Shop for bunches of kale with smaller leaves.  Larger leaves will have a bitter taste, so the smaller the leaf, the better the flavor.

So, you’re kids eat this stuff you’re asking me.  Yes, they do and they asked for more!  Which leads me to…

tip #4. Mix kale into main dish recipes.  The flavors of other recipes will blend well with the kale, increasing the yum factor.

Here’s a recipe my son decided should be named Pollato.   Who am I to argue with a child willing to eat kale?


pollato, kale with beef

1/2 onion chopped

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup red wine

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4-1/2 chicken broth

1 bunch kale chopped into approximately pieces slightly smaller than a deck of cards.  The size of the bunch will vary, so prepare enough to fill at least 2/3 of a large frying pan.  It will seem like a lot, but remember it shrinks.

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

salt and pepper to taste

2-3 bay leaves

1 lb. ground beef (bison also works well)

1 can diced tomatoes

1 clove garlic

shredded hard cheese such as parmesan, romano, manchego for topping

Start by sauteing the chooped onion in olive oil over medium heat until they become translucent.  Add red wine, orange juice, and chicken stock to create the sauce.  (It may be necessary to add the red wine when sauteing the onion to keep it from sticking.)  Add the kale, keeping the heat on medium, stir the kale in the pan until all the leaves have been coated with the broth.  When the kale turns bright green, lower the heat and add the fennel seeds, salt and pepper, and bayleaves.

In a separate pan, cook the ground beef with the clove of garlic.  I usually put the garlic through a press, but if you prefer a more subtle garlic flavor, cut the clove in half and rub it around the pan before you set it on the stove.  Cook the beef thoroughly and drain.  And the can of diced tomatoes, including the juice.  Stir until warmed.  Add the beef mixture to the kale mixture and top with shredded cheese.  Serve with bread, rice, polenta, etc.  Enjoy!

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Rich in antioxidants and fiber, black beans are definitely nutritious.  But will kids eat ’em?  Well, my two girls raved about them and barely left enough for me and their dad.  On the other hand my son was not a fan.  He did eat a few without complaining too much.   Don’t listen to him though.  After all, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

Cilantro is gives the beans a nice fresh flavor and adds a little color.  It’s also used to treat nausea and intestinal gas.  (who knew?) I wonder if that’s why we’re not gassy after eating all those beans!  With the economy the way it is, beans are cheap and filling, so we’ll be eating a lot of them.  This time I made them with fresh herbs, because I had them on hand.  They are definitely better with fresh cilantro and parsley, but I’ve made them with dried herbs (coriander and parlsey) and they are still pretty yummy.

black beans with cilantro recipe

One can of black beans

1 Tbsp. butter

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup chicken broth

1 small handful of fresh cilantro

1 small handful of fresh parsley

Put all ingredient in a saucepan and cook on medium low.  Stir occasionally until butter melts and onions appear translucent.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream (if you want to make it pretty) and enjoy!

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