Monday, December 31, 2012

Kale Salad with Dates and Parmigiano Reggiano

Remember that kale salad recipe I promised? It's here! So simple, so tasty, even my brother-in-law loved it. Best of all, I had all the ingredients on-hand, including the kale straight from my garden!

Kale Salad with Dates, Pepitas and Parmigiano Reggiano

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
4 ounces kale
8 large, pitted Medjool dates
1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds), lightly toasted
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Whisk mustard, honey, olive oil and salt and pepper in a large bowl, then add kale. Toss to combine and let sit 10-15 minutes. This softens the kale making it less tough and more tasty!

Meanwhile, chop the dates into bite-sized pieces. Add dates, pepitas and Parmigiano Reggiano to kale and toss to combine. Serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Hope your holidays are wonderful! We enjoyed several days in San Antonio with Luke's family and are excited to head out to Houston tomorrow to spend some time with mine. Twice the Christmas = twice the fun! In the between time, Luke's brother Travis came to spend a few days with us (he hadn't seen our house yet!). Since we'd be driving back on Christmas day after having been out of town, I wanted to be able to make a tasty meal that wouldn't require a trip to the store. This mac and cheese was born, and it was SO good. 

Paired it with a simple salad starring kale from our garden for a fresh side. Recipe to come :)

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

3 cups peeled butternut squash, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
12 ounces whole wheat elbow macaroni
2 ounces pancetta, diced (optional)
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
4 cups milk (I used 1%) at room temperature
4-5 cups sharp white cheddar cheese, freshly grated
3 ounces cream cheese (optional - I was cleaning out my cheese drawer!)
1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated
1/2 cup panko 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread butternut squash on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast 30 minutes, stirring once or twice, until cooked through. Set aside. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 pan and set aside.

Meanwhile, Place a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta to al dente. Drain and set aside.

Next, if including pancetta, crisp it up in a skillet, then remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate.

In a large sauce pan, melt butter on medium heat. Whisk in flour and let cook about a minute, stirring constantly. Whisk in milk and let cook until thickened, stirring often, about 10-12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and stir in cheddar and cream cheese, if using.

In a large bowl, combine butternut squash, pasta, pancetta and milk/cheese mixture. Stir well. Pour into 9 x 13 pan. In a small bowl combine panko and Parmigiano Reggiano. Sprinkle evenly over mac and cheese, then bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Let it rest 5-10 minutes before digging in (if you can!).

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Fish Tacos with Avocado Satsuma Salsa

Monday nights are always hectic at our house. I have a longstanding date with my favorite workout class, Body Jam, at 7 p.m. Now that Luke and I live much further north than we used to, getting home, playing with Benji, making dinner and eating it with enough time to digest before class is a challenge (and waiting til after just wouldn't work for me). That's why I usually plan meals that I can largely prep on Sunday or can put together in 20 minutes or less. This one probably takes 10 minutes max and is full of flavor. And, it's a tasty way to use in-season citrus.

Fish Tacos with Avocado Satsuma Salsa

1 pound tilapia
2 teaspoons ground coriander
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 satsumas, peeled
1 large avocado, peeled and diced
Juice from one lime
1 tablespoon olive oil
Cilantro (optional)
Flour tortillas
Sour cream (optional, for garnish)

Preheat a large skillet on medium heat. Season tilapia on both sides with coriander, salt and pepper. Add oil to pan and let warm. Cook tilapia 3 minutes, then flip and cook another 3 minutes, until cooked through.

Meanwhile, separate satsuma segments and cut in half horizontally. Add to a bowl with avocado pieces, lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and cilantro, if using.

Warm tortillas (I place mine on the pancake cook top in the center of my stove. You could also do it in a dry pan or on a baking sheet in the oven if you have a lot). Spread with sour cream, if using, then top with some fish and salsa. Enjoy!

(Pardeon the iPhone photo, husband and camera were MIA!)