A good friend of mine gifted me with a free local produce box from Greenling. Greenling is an Austin based company that now also operates in the Dallas, San Antonio and Houston areas. They make organic, local produce more easily accessible and do a great job of it. They even delivered my box to my front door, and we live way out in the burbs. In my lovely local box was a bunch of kale and 3 huge beets, along with some other treasures. I immediately knew what would become of the kale and beets.
I loved this salad. We ate it as a side dish the night I made it and I ate it for lunch the next three days in a row. Kale holds up so well that it was delicious every time, not soggy and droopy like salads can get after being dressed and stored overnight. It was probably better after a night in the fridge, so you can always make it ahead of time. Maybe leave out the almonds so they stay crunchy, and leave out the feta if you don’t want it to be pink!
The beets provide great color and earthiness, but if you don’t like beets add in some shredded carrots, chopped apples or pear. Use golden raisins in place of the cranberries, toasted walnuts or pine nuts instead of the almonds. I like to play around with the dressing also, different kinds of vinegar, honey instead of agave, orange juice instead of lemon. Just start with a big bunch of kale and add in what you like and what you have on hand! Enjoy!
Kale Salad with Roasted Beets, Cranberries, Almonds and Feta
2 large beets
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
kosher salt and pepper
1 bunch of kale, stalks removed and leaves roughly chopped
1/4 to 1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 to 1/2 cup roasted almonds, roughly chopped
4 ounces of feta cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 garlic clove, grated on a microplane or very finely chopped
kosher salt and pepper
Roast the Beets: Preheat oven to 400°F. Peel the beets and cut them into 1 inch chunks. Spread them onto a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme and toss to coat. Roast for 40 minutes, turning twice, until they are fork tender. Remove from the oven and let cool. You can do this ahead of time and store the beets in a container in the fridge for a day or two.
Make the dressing: Combine all ingredients and whisk well, season with salt and pepper and taste, adjust to your liking.
Combine kale with half of the dressing and toss well (your clean hands work well for this!) Add more dressing if it seems dry, but be careful not to overdress.
Add in cranberries, beets, feta and almonds. Toss gently so you don’t break up the feta too much.
Serve immediately or let sit in the fridge for a few hours to let flavors marry and allow the kale to soften a bit.
Breakfast for me is almost always a piece of fruit and a bowl of cereal, unless my sweet man has suggested going to pick up donuts or breakfast tacos. When I scramble eggs for Carson I will sometimes scramble some for myself and toast up a piece of bread. Scrambled is really the only way I like my eggs. I cannot stand a runny yolk. I wish I could because I want so badly to order eggs benedict simply because I find it to be a beautiful dish. Alas, I am stuck with boring (and rather unattractive) scrambled eggs. Eggs are good for you. They are full of protein, and you can cook them quickly. They can be a really wonderful way to start your day. And there are ways to dress them up and make your eggs more interesting.
My mom would make us cheesy eggs as kids. The more cheese the better, specially if some of it got slightly crunchy on the edges of the pan. It’s kinda like fricco! You can’t go wrong stirring some salsa, cheese and crunched up tortilla chips into scrambled eggs for some cheater migas. I remember once my sister made scrambled eggs for the family with feta cheese and fresh dill. When I took out the carton of eggs a few weeks ago I saw the feta cheese and decided I’d add some to my eggs. Then I remembered that I had some spinach that needed to get used up or else I’d have to toss it, so I took that out as well. I wound up with quite a tasty breakfast and a nice change of pace from cold cereal.
This will serve one person, so adjust as needed for more servings. I use one whole egg and one egg white. Once upon a time I was scared of the yolk because that’s where that fat is! Then I wised up and realized that not only did I need fat in my diet, but a little yolk makes scrambled eggs much tastier. I tried making these eggs the first time by adding the raw spinach in with the eggs, but I didn’t like the way the eggs cooked. So the next time I sauteed the spinach in a teeny bit of olive oil, took it out of the pan and let it drain a little on a paper towel, scrambled my eggs, then added the spinach back in near the end of cooking along with the feta. I found this to be a much better method.
Spinach cooks down to practically nothing. So be very generous with the amount of raw spinach you cook. Better to have extra than to find yourself wishing you’d cooked more of it. As far as the feta goes, you don’t need much. It’s a very flavorful cheese, so a little goes a long way. The feta is also pretty salty. Use extra salt sparingly.
This is a great savory breakfast and a tasty way to eat more vegetables, something I am working on in my meals. Adding some fresh herbs in with the spinach would be lovely. Goat cheese would be a nice cheese to try instead of the feta. And there are other veggies you can add as well, cherry tomatoes, sauteed zucchini or peppers. Lots of options. Let me know if you come up with a spectacular combination! Enjoy.
Scrambled Eggs with Spinach & Feta
a generous handful of baby spinach
salt and pepper
Heat a medium sized skillet over medium heat. Drizzle a tiny bit of oil in the pan, then add your spinach. Sprinkle with a little salt and cook, stirring until spinach has just wilted. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain off some of the liquid.
In a small bowl whisk the eggs (or one whole egg and one egg white) until they are combined and a little foamy. I like to use a tiny whisk or a fork. A big whisk and such a small amount of liquid doesn’t really work well.
Spray your pan with non-stick spray. Add the eggs and scramble as you like. My mom scrambles them into small pieces. I like them a bit bigger, so I let them cook for a little bit right when I add them to the pan, then I stir gently and infrequently until they just about done, a little undercooked. Add the spinach and feta to the pan and stir to combine. Season with pepper if desired and salt if needed.
These little guys come together easily with very little cooking, making them a quick, easy and tasty weeknight meal.
All you need is a rotisserie chicken, a can of black beans, a can of corn, tortillas, feta cheese, avocado, tomatoes, pickled jalapenos, limes and fresh cilantro.
You can change anything about this meal to make it fit your family, the amount of time you have and the time of year. Use flour or corn tortillas, different cheeses, cook your own black beans, use fresh corn and roast it on the grill (yum), cook your own chicken the way you like it, and you can even leave out the chicken altogether for a vegetarian taco dinner.
I found a Honey Jalapeno rotisserie chicken at HEB and it was really tasty with just the right amount of spicy kick and sweetness. I shredded half the chicken and that made 8 generously sized tacos. I used the rest of the chicken throughout the week for lunches.
Prep everything before beginning to assemble the tacos. This just makes life easier, and is necessary if people are going to assemble their own.
You can use room temperature tortillas, but heating them makes the tacos much tastier. Here are some ways you can warm tortillas.
Wrap as many as 12 tortillas in paper towels that have been lightly splashed with water.
Microwave on high for 15 to 30 seconds.
Turn over stack of tortillas. Microwave 15 to 30 seconds longer or until heated thoroughly.
Wrap as many as 12 tortillas in aluminum foil.
Heat in 325°F oven for 20 minutes or until heated thoroughly.
This is my favorite because you can get a perfect crunchy edge if you want it. Don’t let them get too crunchy or they will crack when you try to wrap the taco.
Heat a heavy pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat.
Warm tortillas for 15 seconds on each side or until heated thoroughly.
After heating, keep wrapped in a clean dishtowel while you warm the rest.
Chicken, Black Bean, Corn and Feta Tacos
Shredded chicken, about 2 cups
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained
salt, pepper and cumin to taste
1/2 cup (or more) crumbled feta cheese
1/2 avocado, sliced or cubed
2 limes, cut into wedges
fresh cilantro, chopped
6-8 tortillas, flour or corn, warmed
Combine black beans and corn in a small saucepan with 1-2 tablespoons of water. Warm over low heat and season with salt, pepper and cumin if desired, stirring occasionally until warmed through, about 5 minutes.
Warm tortillas and keep warm while prepping the rest of your ingredients.
Assemble tacos: In the center of the tortilla layer chicken, then bean and corn mixture, cheese then the vegetables of your choice. Squeeze a lime wedge over the taco if desired.
With the mound of shredded zucchini I could have made 3 batches (6 loaves) of zucchini bread. I could have done this and frozen loves, or given them to friends. But lets face it, I just don’t have that many friends and my freezer just couldn’t take the load!
If I would have been thinking more clearly I would have shredded half of the ginormous squash and then sliced the rest and grilled them or sauteed them to serve with the leftover mac and cheese. We cannot change the past, so I decided to make zucchini fritters. I looked at a few recipes. All used shredded zucchini, at least one egg, flour, and salt and pepper. From that base I found that the possibilities are endless. Some recipes used Parmesan or other cheeses in the mix, some used panko or some type of bread crumbs, some used onions (scallions or red), and the seasonings that were used ranged from simple S&P to 6 different herbs in one recipe. I mixed and matched based on what I had at home.