Well this went over super well at Chez Sanford. I adapted this recipe which is called “Kale Mac ‘n Cheese” but I didn’t call it that because my kiddo would expect something like the boxed stuff and this is soooo much better.
Cheesy Kale ‘n Pasta
- 1 pound pasta (penne, elbow macaroni or shells)
- 1 large bunch of kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups 2% milk
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- kosher or sea salt, to taste
- fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
- In large pot, boil water and cook pasta to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Heat the same pot on medium heat, melt butter and add onion. Saute onions until soft, then add flour. Stir the flour quickly to combine the flour and onion roux mixture. Add milk and chicken broth and keep stirring.
- Allow mixture to come to a gentle boil as the sauce thickens. Return heat to low and add cheeses. Continue stirring cheese is melted.
- Add the kale and pasta to the pot. Stir together until the pasta is heated through and kale is tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
**Originally written for publication in 7/12/15 Peninsula Daily News** Goodness this HEAT! Add in that stint of wildfire smoke wafting down from Canada and I, for one, have not been interested in cooking much. The snap peas and bok choi from our CSA share last week as well as some left over bits and bobs from the fridge inspired me to try my hand at a homemade Buddha Bowl (or Sushi Bowl or Asian Bowl or Power Bowl or whatever you want to call it.) Essentially just a salad bar with a noodle base, Power Bowls offer plenty of options for each diner to customize their meal and not too much time cooking over a hot stove or oven. The possibilities are pretty limitless with this idea, just chop up a bunch of goodies, heat some noodles, and make a sauce. Done. I set it all up in a row on the counter in the kitchen and let each dinner guest build their own bowl. My ten year old was happy with just noodles, chicken and mango. My bowl included all of the options AND the spicy hoisin sauce. Everyone was happy, especially this mama-chef who avoided hot ovens and too much time in the kitchen. Stay cool out there, friends!
Chez Sanford Power Noodle Bowl aka: Buddha Bowl, Sushi Bowl, Asian Bowl Our version of a Power Bowl includes what we normally put in a fresh spring roll, but without the added hassle of trying to roll it all up.
Sauté garlic (scapes if you have any or just chopped cloves), chopped onion and your protein of choice (we used chicken, but anything would be great in this). Add greens when the protein is nearly done (bok choi, chard, spinach, or kale are all good choices) and cook until the protein is cooked through and greens are just wilted.
Meanwhile, soak bean threads in boiling water following the directions on the package (we get ours at McPhee’s on 8th and Race in Port Angeles).
Chop up piles of raw ingredients. Ideas include: grated carrot, cilantro sprigs, mung bean sprouts, fresh pea pods sliced, mango chunks, avocado.
Make your bowl: Pile some noodles in, top with hot protein and greens, top with your raw ingredients and drizzle sauce (recipe below) on top. Yum!
Spicy Hoisin Sauce 1 tablespoons soy sauce 1 tablespoon apple juice (I omit and add extra water) 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1/4 cup vegetable stock 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce 1 1/2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar 1 teaspoon sesame oil Mix in a bowl! Incidentally, if you add 2 tsp of corn starch to this and heat it up, it is a wonderful stir-fry sauce.
If you’re looking for something a little different to do with your radishes and greens, check out two options below. The pan searing method would be great with any of your greens.
Sometimes it’s the simplest meals that hit the spot. It was late, I was hungry and boom. This was done in less than 20 minutes and in my belly faster than you can imagine.
Simple Chard and Egg on Toast
In a cast iron skillet, sauté chopped garlic scapes and chard leaves. Mix in red sauce (I used my favorite jarred marinara), sprinkle a wack of feta on top, crack some eggs on top and bake at 350* until eggs are done. Serve on toast with salt and pepper. Quick, fresh, local and Delish!
Throwback to September 2012. Brain food. She ate that WHOLE bowl!
I’ve shared lots of ways to cook kale before, but thought I’d update the whole kale chip idea. Here’s a recipe I shared in a recent cropsheet for the CSA. I like the seasoning in it, but I find I have better luck by roasting my kale low and slow.
Basic Kale Chips
Preheat the oven to 300*
Make sure your kale is clean and DRY.
Tear into bite sized pieces
Toss with a very little amount of olive oil (a whole head of kale should only need 1-2 Tablespoons of oil)
Add flavoring (I like salt and nutritional yeast)
Put on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat baking mat (don’t skip this)
Do NOT crowd or overlap the kale. Use more than one baking sheet if you need to.
Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate and bake an additional 10 minutes, checking.
The oil will make it look like they are still moist, so take one out and eat it to see if it’s crispy. If you need to, pull the done chips out and let the others keep cooking. Soggy kale chips and burned kale chips are equally icky!
My pickling mentor, Betsy Wharton says that it is NEVER too early in the season for pickling! So, though I love chard stems chopped up in stir fries and salad, here’s a simple and fun way to use up those stems and get your pickle on!
Spicy Fridge Chard Stem Pickles
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Makes two 8-ounce jars or one 16-ounce jar
• Cleaned stems from one large bunch of rainbow chard stems, cut to fit into mason jar, about 3/4 inch from the lip
• 1 cup distilled white vinegar
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
• 1-1/2 tablespoons sriracha
• 1/4 teaspoon celery seed, divided
• 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, divided
• 1/2 an onion, thinly sliced
• 2 cloves garlic, divided
Add each half of the celery seed, peppercorns, onions, and garlic to each jar. (If just making one jar, this can all go together.) Pack chard stems tightly into jars. Bring vinegar, sugar, salt, and siracha to a boil, in a small saucepan until sugar and salt is dissolved. Then pour over chard stems. Let sit until cool, then put lids on and refrigerate. Wait a few days before opening for the flavors to mingle. Will last about a month in refrigerator. You can keep adding stems to the brine too! Yum.
Alrighty, it’s time to get serious about eating up all of these delicious greens! We likely won’t get cabbage for a few more weeks (or even a month), but since we’re having a weenie roast at our house this weekend, a slaw to slap on the dogs is in order. Bok Choi is a great crunchy substitute for green cabbage here, but don’t be afraid to mix and match your greens.
Bok Choi Slaw
Adapted from Vegetarian Times
3 cups thinly sliced bok choi
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup thinly sliced purple cabbage
1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and diced
handful of radishes, thinly sliced
1 small jalapeño chile, seeded and finely chopped
½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
2 Tbs. lime juice
1 Tbs. honey
2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 tsp. low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
½ cup smoked almonds, chopped
Combine bok choi, carrot, cabbage, mango, radish, jalapeño, and cilantro in large bowl. Add lime juice, honey, sesame oil, and tamari; toss to combine. Garnish with smoked almonds.
Serve on top of your dogs, or on the side of a big ‘ol batch of ribs, or grilled tofu. Whatever your pleasure, treasure!