Grain Free Collard Green Burritos

burritos-wrapped

I’ve been trying to make some changes in regards to what I eat this summer. As more and more amazing fruits and vegetables are available and super fresh, I am trying to consume fewer processed foods. While I do that, I am also trying to cut back on some processed grains, easing up on my intake of wheat and rice products. I feel better, have more energy and feel good about what I am eating. No worries, I still indulge a bit. Just making sure that what I put in my body is quality.

A recent vegetable share included these massive collard greens. I’ve never cooked with collard greens before. Many of the recipes I saw online and heard about from friends was all about simple sautes. I knew that I wanted to do something different with these wonderful greens, but wasn’t quite sure what.

collards

As I glanced at these ginormous leaves, I thought about using it as a wrap of sorts. Why not use it in place of a tortilla.

I quickly gathered up a few veggies, along with a can of black beans, and sautéed them up in a pan along with some spices.

While the veggies were sautéing, I washed, trimmed and steamed the collard green leaves.

I let the leaves cool for a couple minutes and then I laid them on a cutting board, added some of the bean mixture, and wrapped the leaves up like a burritos.

burritowrapping

It worked out perfectly. Will definitely be making these again.

 

Grain Free Collard Green Burritos
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Collard Green Leaves (1 per burrito)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
Instructions
  1. Wash and trim the stems off of the collard green leaves.
  2. Bring some salted water to a boil in a small saucepan and add the washed and trimmed leaves to the pot. Steam the leaves for just a few minutes.
  3. Heat up the olive oil in a large saute pan.
  4. Add the onions and garlic and saute for a few minutes.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook another 5-7 minutes. The veggies should be soft.
  6. Lay a collard green leaf on a flat surface.
  7. Place around three tablespoons of filling in the center of a leaf.
  8. Wrap the collard green around the filling, like a burrito. Folding the sides in first and then rolling up.
  9. Serve with a salad.
  10. Enjoy!

Grain Free Collard Green Burritos

Kale and Mushroom Frittata

kale-and-mushroom-frittata

Have I ever told you how much I love the summer’s bounty of fresh greens? Between my CSA and my local farmer’s market, I am able to get some amazing fresh and local goodies. It really pushes me to do more with what I have on hand. It also prevents me from reaching for easy and quick processed foods. I love finding new ways to cook with fresh ingredients. I’ve been having some great results.

My mom taught me about frittatas on a visit when I first became a mother. She showed me how a frittata could be the answer to a fast and easy dinner. It comes together quickly and it’s a pretty forgiving dish – allowing you flexibility with ingredients.

I picked up some amazingly fresh kale at the market and I knew I wanted it to be used for a main dish. I didn’t want it relegated for a simple roasted side dish. I settled on this frittata which did not disappoint.

I chopped up some shallots and garlic and sautéed in olive oil along with some salt, red pepper flakes and fresh ground pepper. I then added some kale and cooked for another few minutes.

Kale and Mushroom Frittata

Next, I added some cut up baby bella mushrooms to the pan and sauteed a few more minutes.

Kale and Mushroom Frittata

I didn’t want to cook the greens and mushrooms too much. I wanted there to be some bite in the finished dish. I beat some eggs with some milk, salt and pepper in a small bowl and then added it to the pan.

kale-with-eggs

I let the eggs set a little bit and then added spoons of goat cheese around the pan.

Kale and Mushroom Frittata

I then transferred the pan to the oven and broiled for a few minutes until set.

I served the frittata with a simple green salad. Delicious! This is perfect for any meal of the day!

frittata-sliced

Kale and Mushroom Frittata
 
Author:
Recipe type: Brunch, Main Dish
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 cups chopped kale
  • 8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, quartered
  • 6 eggs
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper
  • 4 tbsp. goat cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large, oven-proof saute pan
  2. Saute the garlic and shallots for a few minutes
  3. Add in the chopped kale and cook for a few minutes.
  4. Add in the mushrooms and cook another 2 minutes.
  5. Mix up the eggs with the milk in a small bowl. Add in the spices.
  6. Pour the egg mixture in to the kale mixture and let set a bit.
  7. Spoon in the goat cheese around the frittata.
  8. Transfer the pan to the oven and broil for about 4-5 minutes, until completely set and the edges have browned a bit.
  9. Slice in to wedges and serve. Enjoy!

 

Creamy Vegan Dill Salad Dressing

vegandilldressing

With my bounty of amazing salad greens from my CSA, I’ve been making salads most nights for the next day’s lunch. The other night, I had run out of vinaigrette, and was trying to decide what kind of dressing to make next.

I had just received a a huge amount of dill in that week’s veggie share. I was still wondering what I should do with it. It then occurred to me to use a small amount of it in to a salad dressing. I remember having a great creamy dill dressing. I wanted to recreate it in some way, but I didn’t want it to be the same gloopy dressing. I just wanted some of that flavor.

I’ve noticed that many creamy salad dressings tend to include either a sour cream or buttermilk on the dairy side. On the non-dairy side, I am always seeing mayonaisse in dressings. I didn’t want either of those things.

I wanted something vegan.

I thought about the cashew sauce I made for pasta this winter. The cashew cream brought so much creaminess to the dish. I wondered if I could do something similar with a salad dressing.

I quickly grabbed some cashews out of the freezer and began soaking. I let them soak for about an hour and prepped the other ingredients.

After about an hour, I drained the cashews and placed in my Cuisinart Food Processor along with some shallots, garlic, dill, salt, pepper and water.  With the machine running, I then slowly added some olive oil to the mix.  This dressing would also work well in a high-powered blender.

I transferred the dressing to a jar. Of course I tried a bit before placing in the fridge to chill for the next day. Delicious! I am definitely going to use cashews more often to add creaminess to dressings!

 

Creamy Vegan Dill Salad Dressing
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Salad Dressing
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • ½ cup cashews
  • water for soaking
  • ½ cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • additional salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Soak the cashews in water to cover for at least an hour.
  2. Drain and rinse the cashews.
  3. Place all of the ingredients except for the olive oil in a blender or food processor.
  4. Process the dressing. Slowly add in the olive oil with the processor or blender going.
  5. Transfer the dressing to a bottle.
  6. Store in refrigerator.
  7. Enjoy!

vegandilldressing

Chilled Pea and Basil Soup

chilled-pea-soup

This month’s Kosher Connection link-up features chilled soups.  It’s June, and the weather is heating up. Always happy to have a cool treat.

I love challenges like this. I never really make cold soup. I do love a good gazpacho every so often, but chilled soups don’t really happen in this kitchen. If I made hot chicken soup every week in the summer, nobody would complain. We’re just a warm soup kind of family and a little heat doesn’t usually stop me. Myself excluded that is. I’m not in to warm soups on a hot day.

This challenge got me thinking about different flavors that I love. I wasn’t going to do a gazpacho. That’s been done. I have several friends that love chilled fruit soups, but that’s just not me.  I thought about the various herbs that I have growing on my deck and then looked to the beautiful early summer veggies I’ve been seeing at the farmer’s markets. I knew I had to focus on some seasonal vegetables and herbs. At the market today, I came upon some beautiful peas. Yum! These English peas were amazing and so sweet. I then turned to my favorite herb  – my basil plant. I had to turn these two in to soup.

I began by sauteeing up some shallots and garlic in a bit of butter and olive oil. I then added the peas and the chopped basil. After they cook for a few minutes, I added in some vegetable broth and let the soup cook a bit.

peasoupbroth

Once the peas were sufficiently cooked, I pureed the soup with my immersion blender and added some Greek yogurt to the soup.

peasoup-immersion-blender

I removed the soup from the heat and then began to cool it down. If you’d like, you can transfer the soup to a bowl and then sit it over a larger bowl of ice for a quick chill down.

I served the soup chilled with some additional Greek yogurt stirred in. Love the flavor. The sweetness of the peas combined with the basil really work well together. Will definitely make this again.

chilled-pea-soup

Chilled Pea and Basil Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Summer Soups
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • ¾ pound English peas (or use frozen petite peas)
  • 1 cup chopped basil
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp. Greek yogurt or sour cream (plus extra for garnishing)
  • additional salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat up the butter and olive oil in a medium-size pot.
  2. Add in the garlic and shallot and saute until soft.
  3. Stir in the salt and pepper.
  4. Stir in the peas and the basil. Saute or a minute or two.
  5. Add in the vegetable broth.
  6. Let the mixture come to a boil. Cover the pot and turn down the heat.
  7. Cook for about 7 minutes.
  8. After about 7 minutes, the peas should be cooked enough.
  9. Use a standard blender or an immersion blender to puree the soup.
  10. Stir in some Greek yogurt.
  11. Taste the soup a bit. Add additional salt and pepper as needed.
  12. Serve the soup garnished with additional basil and yogurt.
  13. Enjoy!

 

Don’t forget to check out some of the other great cold soups as part of the Kosher Connection link-up!

 


Italian Sausage and Lentils with Spinach and Mushrooms

I need to begin by telling you something. I just have to get it off my chest. This recipe came about by accident. It was a happy accident.

It was one of those nights where all of my well thought-out dinner plans were tossed out the window due to unforeseen circumstances. A rain storm, some traffic, a dying fridge. Everything contributed. Somehow though, things fell in to place.

I often keep some precooked protein as a starting block on hand. Be it tofu, seitan or some cooked beans. I had a few cups of cooked French Green Lentils. Further back on the fridge shelf, I noticed a package of Italian Sausage flavored Tofurky. Double score! I was doing better than I thought.

It being a chilly and rainy day, my older daughter had a special request for some lentil soup. While I patiently explained that I didn’t have time for soup making, I assured her that the lentils would work well for dinner and that dinner could be on the table in less than a half hour.

I began by sauteeing some onions and garlic in olive oil. I then added the faux sausage to brown. After, I added some sliced Baby Bella mushrooms along with the lentils and some herbs. It started to smell pretty good in my kitchen.

sausage-and-lentil-mixture

I then added some canned, diced tomatoes to the mix along with the spinach, and I was just about ready to serve.

My kids ate this over some mini-penne pasta, while I had it as-is. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did.

Lentils and Sausage over Pasta

 

Italian Sausage and Lentils with Spinach and Mushrooms
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main Course
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 package of Italian Sausage Tofurky or 1 pound of your favorite Italian Sausage, sliced
  • 8 oz. Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups cooked French green lentils
  • 8 oz. baby spinach
  • 2 tbsp basil, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. oregano, chopped
  • ½ tbsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (I liked the kind flavored with garlic and basil)
  • additional salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat up the saute pan for a few minutes. Add in the olive oil.
  2. Add in the onions and garlic and saute for a few minutes.
  3. Add in the sliced sausage and cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add in the mushrooms and cooked lentils. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring until mushrooms have softened.
  5. Add in the canned diced tomatoes and the spices. Cook for two minutes.
  6. Stir in the spinach until wilted.
  7. Taste the mixture.
  8. Add in additional salt and pepper as needed.
  9. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Roasted Chicken Wrapped in Ramps

Our fridge died this past week. It happened to give its final burst of cold air on a 90+ degree day. My kind of luck, right? So with that fridge, out went lots of food.

Somehow, the fridge and food mess happened at the right time. Things like these rarely do. It just worked out that we were able to find and buy a new fridge pretty quickly, thanks to the fine people at the Sears outlet. Just six or so hours after the fridge was delivered, I also had a brand new Fresh Direct order delivered to my door. It’s those little big things that happen, that can make your week look a little less bleak.

This was the first time I ordered through Fresh Direct, the fabulous online grocery delivery service. I am thrilled they have begun to deliver to my neighborhood. I was very impressed with their selection and prices.

So it happened, that I found myself looking at the most beautiful bunch of fresh and local ramps. Have you tried ramps? Ramps are a variety of wild leeks. They have a short season – usually found in my area in the Spring time. They are wildly popular. It seems that as soon as you see them at the farmer’s market, you must grab them fast, or they will be gone before you know it. So this season, every time I have seen them, I have been sure to grab them so that I don’t miss out.

I really love the way ramps look when cooked whole. I find them both pretty and tasty. Their dark green leaves add so much to the look of a dish. They taste fantastic too!

For a recent Shabbat dinner, I chose to wrap some chicken drumsticks in the ramps and glaze them with a sauce, then roast them in the oven. I loved the way these looked, both raw and cooked. They tasted even better.

I began my liberally sprinkling the chicken with salt and fresh ground pepper. I trimmed and washed the ramps and then wrapped them whole around each drumstick. I then brushed each chicken leg with the sauce I prepared and poured the rest of the glaze over the chicken. I then baked the chicken at 375 for about an hour. Everyone enjoyed this chicken. It was served up with some fresh roasted asparagus and roasted sunchokes.

 

You really can’t go wrong with this chicken dish. Enjoy!

ramp-wrapped-chicken

Roasted Chicken Wrapped in Ramps
 
Author:
Recipe type: Poultry, Main Course
Ingredients
  • 1 package chicken pieces (I used drumsticks)
  • salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1 bunch of wraps (1 ramp per chicken piece)
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1.5 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. garlic paste
  • 2 tsp. ginger paste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Wash and dry your chicken pieces.
  3. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.
  4. Wrap each piece of chicken in a ramp and place in baking dish.
  5. In a small bowl, mix up the maple syrups, Dijon mustard, olive oil, garlic, and ginger.
  6. Brush the glaze mixture on to chicken. Pour any remaining mixture over the chicken.
  7. Sprinkle additional salt and pepper oven the chicken.
  8. Bake in the oven at 375 for about an hour. Check the chicken for doneness.
  9. Enjoy!

 

Lemon Oregano Baked Salmon

My husband went to the farmer’s market, where I had given him specific instructions along with a shopping list. Of course, once he got there, he improvised. He got what was on the list, and also what appealed to him. Which is totally fine. Happy to have a variety of fruits and veggies on hand – as long as we eat them.

Oregano
The list included some fresh thyme. I love fresh herbs, and until my garden is ready, I have to make do with store-bought.

As I unpacked the grocery bags though, I didn’t see any thyme. In place of the thyme was some fresh Oregano. I don’t cook with oregano too often. I decided to make the best of it and come up with some recipes that would work with the oregano.

I had planned on salmon for dinner anyways. This Lemon Oregano Salmon just makes sense. It’s very flavorful, was easy to make and everyone was happy.

 

Lemon Oregano Baked Salmon
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2½ Lemons
  • 6 Sprigs Fresh Oregano
  • 8 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 lb. Salmon Filet
  • 1.5 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Slice on of the lemons in rounds and lay in a 9x13 baking pan.
  2. Lay three of the oregano sprigs over the lemon slices. Sprinkle half of the garlic over the oregano and lemon.
  3. Wash and dry the salmon and place the salmon over the lemon and oregano.
  4. Sprinkle the salmon with salt and pepper.
  5. Squeeze the juice of of one lemon over the salmon. Pour over the olive oil.
  6. Chop up the remaining leaves of oregano and sprinkle over the salmon, along with the garlic.
  7. Cover the salmon and let marinate for at least 20 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to broil.
  9. Broil the salmon for around 15 minutes. Fish should be done by then.
  10. Serve over rice with a salad on the side.
  11. Enjoy!

SalmoninMarinade

 

 

CookedLemonOreganoSalmon

 

Lemon-Oregano-Salmon

Creamy Roasted Garlic and Potato Soup & Zucchini Ribbon Pasta with Veggies and Cream Sauce

This year, Passover falls out very early in the calendar year. Most years, I am pretty put together with my Passover plans, but this year, I have put off a lot of my menu planning. The opportunity to write some recipes featuring Temp Tee cream cheese for JoyofKosher essentially got me to wake me up.  Passover is right around the corner.

My seder menus are pretty easy to plan. The menu has been pretty much the same since my childhood. It’s those days in between that really get you. I usually work during the intermediate days of Passover, so just like any other day, I need to come up with a fast and easy dinner. Because it’s still March and we are still feeling bits of winter, we are still eating nice and warm foods right now.  My Creamy Roasted Garlic & Potato Soup and my Zucchini Ribbons with Veggies and Cream Sauce are the perfect dairy dishes for weeknight dinners or lunch.

souptemptee

The Creamy Roasted Garlic & Potato Soup comes together easily and pretty fast. The toughest part is having to wait for the garlic to roast, which takes about a half hour. Once you have that done, it’s smooth sailing. I always have vegetable broth on hand to make soups like this. The combination of the use of the immersion blender while adding the cream cheese, gives this soup an amazing creamy texture and flavor. Check out the recipe over at JoyofKosher.com.

Zucchini-Strips

The Zucchini Ribbons with Veggies and Cream Sauce is my answer to lack of good pasta on Passover. Nobody in my house will eat the packaged Passover potato pasta, so we improvise. Instead of making a noodle out of eggs, we look to our veggies for that texture. By using a peeler or cheese slicer, you can easily get a thin ribbon of zucchini. If you have a julienne peeler, you can achieve more of a spaghetti look and feel. I paired this dish up with whatever veggies I had on hand. The dish is easily adapted. In the past, I’ve simply sautéed the squash in olive oil and herbs. I wanted something richer this time around, and the Temp Tee cream cheese was the perfect addition. The cream sauce really turned this vegetable from a side dish to a dinner meal. You can check out the recipe here.

Creamy Roasted Garlic & Potato Soup               Zucchini Ribbons with Veggies & Cream Sauce

Meatless Monday: Garlic Scapes and Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

I love this time of year. Wandering around – there is so much more color to be found at the vegetable market. While wandering HMart, I was excited to see bundles of garlic scapes. In the past, I have chopped them up and added them to stir fries, sauteed veggies, and salads. I decided to make a pesto out of it this time. I thought that it would go well with some sun dried tomatoes I had that needed to be used up. This pesto comes together fast with the help of a food processor.

IMG_1401

Garlic Scapes and Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
Ingredients:

1 small bunch of garlic scapes (about 6 or 7)
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
1/2 cup parsley or basil
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
3/4 olive oil
kosher salt
ground pepper

Cut up the scapes in to manageable pieces and place in the bowl of your food processor.

IMG_1402

Add in the sun dried tomatoes, basil, lemon juice and pine nuts.

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Pulse a few times.

Add in the parmesan cheese.

With the food processor at a low-medium speed, pour in the olive oil.

Taste a bit.

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Add in some salt and pepper to taste.

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For dinner tonight, I served the pesto with some white beans and broccoli over pasta. Delightful dinner.

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Gnocchi with Basil Cream Sauce

I came across some gnocchi the other day, and I decided that I must have them…I just needed to make them for a dinner. I have eaten gnocchi maybe twice in my life. When made the right way, it is really good. When made wrong, it can me a heavy, lumpy, pasty mess. Gnocchi are essentially potato/wheat dumplings. They are a heavy meal, so you don’t need much to fill you up. I am determined to make my own one day. I fondly remember one Saturday afternoon with my dad in Minneapolis, watching Lidia Bastianich and her family making gnocchi. They make it look so simple. Lovely Lidia had her miniscule grandchildren working hard on the gnocchi. I wonder if I can get that sort of child labor into my kitchen. They can even pronounce gnocchi properly!

Anyhow, I decided to make the gnocchi with a basil cream sauce. I chose the basil cream sauce mainly because I scored some beautiful fresh basil at the store when I was picking up the gnocchi. The spouse is not as fond as pesto as I am…so basil cream sauce is some sort of middle ground. One day I will share the great pesto story.

Basil Cream Sauce
Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons flour
salt
pepper
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup milk (I used skim)
1/4 cup grated parmesean
1/2 cup baby peas
1/3 cup pesto (I whipped some up in the food processor for this, you could use store-bought)

In a sauce pan, melt the butter. Add in the olive oil. Add in the garlic and onion and saute a few minutes. Add in some salt and pepper. Stir. Stir in the flour. Whisk in the milk and cream. Keep whisking. Add in the parmsesean. Do not stop whisking! Add in the pesto and the peas. Stir, stir, stir. Turn the heat to low. Let’s move on to the dumplings.

Gnocchi cooks up very quick. Do not cook until you are ready to serve. For a pound of gnocchi, heat up 4 quarts of salted water until boiling. Throw the gnocchi into the hot water. When the gnocchi floats to the top, it means they are done. Drain the gnocchi.

Plate up your dinner. Garnish with some pine nuts, basil leaves, and a good healthy dose of parmesean cheese.

Enjoy!
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