kale & apple soup

I know what you’re thinking…kale AND apples…as soup? I thought the same thing, but I couldn’t help but being intrigued. After seeing the pinterest post I sent it to Ellyn to get more thoughts. Categorized as a weeknight dinner on the Kitchn, we took a Sunday night stab at this recipe. Seeing as E eats only veggies, it’s adopted for herbivores ;) Here we go, you will need:

  • 1 large bunch kale (about 10 ounces)
  • 1/8 cup almonds 
  • 1/8 cup pine nuts
  • 4 cups warmed vegetable stock, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 whole yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium apple, cored and chopped
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese (crème fraîche or plain yogurt would be nice as well)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 french baguette
  • 1 Tbsp butter (room temperature)
  • 1/4 lb. cheddar cheese (sliced for cheese toast)

nuts roasting     pre blender

blended     pre toast

Wash the kale and remove the bottom inch of stem. Chop roughly into 1-inch pieces (or use the pre cut bags from Trader Joe’s).

In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the nuts in olive oil for 1 minute or until just barely showing color. *Note: this can be subbed for bacon or pancetta* Add the kale and stir to coat with olive oil. Saute kale 5 minutes until it begins to wilt.  Add 2 cups vegetable stock, lower heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.

Transfer the kale, nut, stock mixture into a blender (or use an immersion blender). Be careful using warm liquids in the blender–hold the top with a dish towel in case some of the mixture escapes. Puree mixture until smooth. Pour into a large bowl and set aside.

Take a few minutes to preheat the oven to 350 and slice your baguette for toast. Lightly butter the sliced bread and top with cheddar cheese. Bake in oven for 5 minutes or until cheese begins to bubble. I had a few tomatoes that needed to be eaten, so we sliced one up for the toast as well..recommended if your pantry allows…mmm.

apples & onions     blending

mixing     done

Using the same skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and saute onions with salt until onions just barely show color. Stir for about 3 minutes while they cook. Add the chopped apples to the mixture and let cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The apples should be soft and onions translucent. Add the remaining broth. Transfer the mixture to the blender and puree until smooth.

Combine the pureed apple and onion mixture with the kale mixture in the same skillet over low heat–whisk to combine. If soup seems too thick, add more stock or water until it reaches the desired consistency. Serve garnished with a dollop of mascarpone cheese and a few grinds of black pepper.  And dinner on the table by 6:15–E, are we turning into grown ups? This would be an early weeknight meal, but with 40 minutes from start to finish time, it’s definitely doable after work. Enjoy aside cheese toasts for a warm and healthy soup supper :)

yum

homemade pasta with pumpkin & sage sauce

A few days ago I mentioned a pasta making night to a friend. Within hours of this idea, E found a beautiful fall recipe and the evening was planned. Sunday, pasta making & pumpkin sauce. If you don’t have a pasta maker, don’t fret, this recipe will still be delicious with any noodle. If you won’t be making your own noodles, skip down to the sauce portion found from twohealthybuns–their recipe inspired this whole Sunday afternoon to evening activity.  If you are planning to make the pasta yourself,  allow 1-1/2 to 2 hours for the whole process. Don’t start making it when you’re hungry, you’ll dislike pasta making foreverrrr! Luckily, these ladies & gent were good (& patient) kitchen crew.

pano

Pasta recipe from Sur la Table (four servings):

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • rice flour for dusting

Pour flour and eggs into standing mixer. Using blade attachment and whisk ingredients until doughy texture is formed. Once you have an initial doughy ball, place it on a floured surface and begin kneading the dough. Knead the dough for 4-5 minutes until it becomes mostly smooth and not too tacky. If the dough is too sticky, dust with rice flour to keep the dough from sticking to your surface. Form a ball and wrap dough tightly with cling wrap then place into the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes. This stage is perfect for prepping your sauce, pouring a glass of wine, or catching up on one of your recorded weeknight shows :)

dough     doughy ball

Next, remove dough and cut into two halves. Leave one half in the cling wrap so it will not harden. Take the other portion and cut into 3 equally sized pieces. Take the first third and shape into a square. Using your pasta maker, push the dough through on level 1. Fold the dough in half, then repeat level 1. Do this step three times. Dust the dough with rice flour as needed (after level 1 and level 5 seemed to be my magic numbers). For levels 2-8, roll the dough through the maker one time on each level. Once you have rolled through level 8, the sheet will be very thin…concentration is needed at this point, see below ;) Place pasta sheet on parchment paper and dust with flour. Repeat this with the rest of your dough.

long noodle     pasta sheets

fettucine     pasta nests

Once pasta sheets are made, let sit another 10 minutes so dough can dry out slightly. Bring a pot of water to boil and salt heavily while the pasta sheets are drying.  Begin to cut the pasta sheets into fettucine noodles using the kitchen aid attachment. After the noodles are cut, dust with flour (add as much flour as needed so dough does not stick together) and make “pasta nests” with each sheet, eventually mixing all together. Pasta makes the most beautiful nests I’ve ever seen <3

Pumpkin Sage sauce recipe from twohealthybuns:

  • 1 c pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 c coconut milk
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • sage leaves
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil
  • dash of sea salt

Heat oil in pan on medium and lightly pan fry sage till aromatic. Remove and drain on paper towel. To the same oil, add garlic till fragrant. Add pumpkin purée and milk. Mix and bring to boil. Reduce and simmer for a few mins. Add salt to taste. While mixture is simmering, toss noodles into boiling water and let cook for 2 minutes then drain. Add drained noodles to pumpkin mixture, garnish with sage, and ENJOY. I highly recommend the pasta maker and fresh noodles…I also highly recommend doing it with a team of friends, wine, and a weekend. xo

mmm

butternut squash & sausage tart

I feels like half of the people I know are New Years babies. I didn’t make the connection until I realized that I’ve celebrated at least one birthday a week for the past month! So pardon my tardiness with this post. To celebrate one of my favorite fall birthday babes, I made this tart. The initial recipe is found in the Williams & Sonoma Farmer’s Market cookbook. After my first attempt at the recipe Dane shared it was his favorite thing I’ve ever made. Naturally, I noted the praise in my cookbook with other helpful tips–date, time of year & ease. After a few times making this warm fall dish I had it committed to memory. Butternut squash screams fall, so bring this into your kitchen and join me in the fall spirit! Here’s an preview of the finished tart to get your mouth watering…

baked

Ingredients:

  • phillo pastry dough
  • 1/2 lb sausage (chorizo sausage is an excellent pairing)
  • 1 butternut squash (chopped–I’ll admit, I prefer the Trader Joe’s precut packages, but if you have patience and nice knives go for the real deal)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp rosemary
  • 1/2 Tbsp garlic salt (regular salt is fine too)
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 1/8 c. heavy cream
  • 1/2 c. shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1 Tbsp melted butter

First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss butternut squash, oil, rosemary, salt, and paprika in a medium mixing bowl. Pour onto a flat pan and roast for 10-15 minutes until squash is almost tender. Next, heat the remaining Tbsp olive oil in frying pan. Add sausage and sauté for 3-5 minutes until lightly browned. Scoop the sausage onto paper towels leaving the grease in the pan. Next, sauté onion and garlic until they appear tender ( 5 -7minutes). Add 1/8 c. heavy cream if you’d like a thicker mixture. Allow mixture to come to a light boil, let simmer for 3-4 minutes until mixture thickens. It looks a little eggy in the picture, but I promises it’s a yummy onion/garlic combo… Then, let ingredients cool.

squash     cooked squash

onions     onion mixture

Place dough sheets onto pan forming a rectangular shape. Spread melted butter throughout the layers to adhere the layers together. Pour onion mixture evenly over prepared dough leaving a 1-1/2 inch border. Spoon butternut squash and sausage onto dough  and sprinkle with cheese. If your dough allows, fold borders over to create a crust. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes, until crust is browned. If it’s a small party, what you can’t finish makes for great leftovers…this made for a tasty lunch for me and Dane ;)

into oven     leftovers

butternut squash & asparagus pasta alfredo (gf)

This valentines day, my boyfriend and I went out for a nice dinner out the night before the heart filled 14th of the month. So after indulging in Murphy’s Thursday, I tried to think of something special for us to enjoy (at home) on Valentines. For this, you will need:

1 lb bag of butternut squash pre chopped (until last night I tried to avoid purchasing the bags of precut squash, but to not deal with peeling and cutting the oddly shaped vegetable was ideal)

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, chopped

1 bunch of asparagus

1/2 pound of pasta (I used this  brown rice gf pasta also from Trader Joe‘s)

1 tsp red pepper flakes

First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Toss chopped butternut squash in 2 Tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Set timer for 45 minutes and begin to prepare the rest of the dish.

onions and apsparagus

Next, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil on medium high heat. Then, chop your onion and garlic and add to hot pan. While those are simmering, wash and prepare asparagus for pasta. I recently learned that if you bend the base of the asparagus it will break evenly where the best part to eat is. They have to be very firm (and you end up tossing more), but I think it tastes much better this way.

squash & asparagus

Once the squash is done cooking, let it cool. Sauté the asparagus with the onions for 5-10 minutes, until tender.  After squash has cooled, add to vegetable pan on the stove top. Stir. On a low heat sauté above ingredients together while you make the cheese sauce.

cheese sauce

Cheese sauce (above):

2 Tbsp butter

1/2 c grated sharp cheese (I used a gruyere cheddar mix)

2 c milk (divided)

1/4 c parmesan cheese

2-5 Tbsp flour to thicken mixture (a gf one worked just fine with this recipe)

1 Tbsp basil

Add all ingredients to medium sized pot and heat over low heat (save 1 cup of milk to add in later). Slowly bring mixture to a low boil. Allow mix to simmer and add remaining cup of milk in 1/2 c increments, whisking consistently. Add basil and continue to whisk until desired thickness. (It hadn’t quite boiled here)

cheese sauce

If your mixture is still too thin for a pasta sauce, begin to whisk in flour in 1 Tbsp increments until you reach the consistency you like. Once mixture has thickened, combine with veggies and pasta over a low heat.

butternut squash& asparagus pasta

Serve (with more parmesan if you’re a cheese lover) and enjoy <3