Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sweet Potato w White Beans & Kale

Ok, this barley qualifies as a "recipe" by any stretch of the imagination, but I am trying to incorporate more vegan meals into our routine and this was a SUPER easy lunch I made that Logan and I totally loved. I've also never posted about the amazingness of kale chips before so that made it worthy of a post on it's own.

Here's what you will need
Serves 4

2 sweet potatoes, scrubbed
1 15oz can white beans, drained & rinsed
Kale, finely chopped- stems removed
Olive oil

This was for lunch, with a 2 year old, feel free to oven bake the sweet potatoes when you make this- I didn't have time!
I punctured both potatoes & microwaved them on 70% power for about 7 minutes- until cooked through- split them in half, sit to cool.
Preheat oven (or toaster oven!) to 350
Cover a baking sheet with foil. Place a layer of the chopped kale on the sheet.
Spray or drizzle with olive oil and lightly salt w sea salt.
Bake for about 7-10 minutes until crispy but not dark brown, watch it- you want it to still be green!!
I chopped the kale super fine because I wanted to add texture to the dish, so we called them kale "microchips", then Logan called them "crunchies" when he asked for MORE, THREE TIMES, so now that's what they are.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Cheeseburger Casserole

This has been a go-to comfort food for me forever! It used to involve a certain box of shells and a silver packet full of yellow goo that could out live a hamster called "cheese". I promise you this will not be that much more time consuming, and you will feel SO much better knowing what's in it. Don't get me wrong- short cuts and shelf-life have a time & place, and I am aware that cream cheese counts as a processed food- but it's also a cheese product that requires refrigeration, so I feel better about it. Period.

Here's what you'll need (FYI this makes a GIANT skillet of food- we had this over about 3-4 nights for dinner and 2 lunches)

1 lb ground beef
1 small yellow onion finely chopped
1 bag elbow macaroni (16oz, Trader Joe's, 99cents!)
1 6oz can tomato paste
1 15oz can diced tomatoes, no sodium added, drained
4 big handfuls shredded cheddar cheese (get a big block and shred it, melts better, less preservatives you'll be glad you did)
8 oz cream cheese, cubed
2 carrots finely shredded w the cheese grater (sometimes I use carrots, I used to do finely chopped red bell pepper, but Logan is not down with that. You can also do sweet potato or add mushrooms- or ALL of that, get those veggies in there so you don't have to make a side dish!)

In a giant skillet cook the ground beef (about 7-10 minutes add onions when beef is nearly cooked, then sautee another 5 minutes or so. Add a bit of salt & pepper to taste. Drain on a plate covered in paper towels.
In a large sauce pot, cook the noodles according to package- & drain. Put the skillet back on the stove on low heat, pour the noodles in, add the beef and onions and slowly stir in remaining ingredients- carefully- this will be one FULL skillet. 
Once all ingredients are stirred in, heat on low and stir for another 5-10 minutes to get the cheese all melty and delicious. Add salt & pepper to taste. 
We topped this with fresh heirloom tomatoes & chives from the garden for some next-level yumminess.
A fun upgrade to a childhood comfort-food classic. You're welcome.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Spinach & Mushroom Pasta

I think I make this at least every 6 weeks, different variations, but the theme is the same- veggies, carbs, protein, one bowl- dinner for more than one night, boom.

Here is what you will need
Noddles ( I used a little more than half a package of Trader Joe's fusili)
Raw baby spinach finely chopped, several handfuls
1 large portabella mushroom, chopped
about 7 shiitake mushrooms, chopped
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/2 a yellow onion, chopped
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
Salt to taste
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

In a skillet, melt the butter, add olive oil, heat on medium about a minute- add onions and sautee about 5 minutes, add rosemary- reduce heat to low, cover 5 more minutes.
Remove cover- add mushrooms- stir, cook about 5 minutes. Turn off heat- cover.
Meanwhile cook pasta to al dente according to package directions- drain.
Put the chopped spinach in a large bowl, dump the super hot pasta on top of the spinach immediately after you drain it, let sit for a few minutes, then (remove rosemary sprigs from skillet) add mushroom/onion mix to the bowl.
Top with yogurt and Parmesan, stir until all are incorporated.
I served this with Trader Joe's meatless meatballs, and got a "so tasty!" from the two year old- so guess we'll do it again leftovers, tomorrow night ;)