Friday, August 16, 2013

Sweet Potato Cream Pasta with Crispy Kale + Update

I came upon this recipe while spending totally not too much time on Pinterest. Oh boy, this stuff. YUM. My boyfriend says it is his new favorite pasta dish. I'm alright with that because a) it's delicious and b) it's easy.
I was a little skeptical at first. Crispy kale in a creamy pasta dish? Aw, what the heck, why not?
It freakin' made this dish. And I plan on making the kale just to have as a snack in the future. The key is baking it in the oven with toasted sesame oil. Goodness, the aroma!
There isn't really much to say about the preparation of this recipe, except to be sure to season it enough with salt and pepper, or it will taste too bland since sweet potato is not an especially strong flavor. I also used 2% milk instead of skim
I found this wonderful recipe here. Enjoy!

Update! I know it's been forever. I beg forgiveness. Life is, I will be taking a small hiatus during September/beginning of October, as I am relocating with my job to Salt Lake City! I'm very excited to explore a new town and to have a fresh start. I've done some research and their farmers' market there seems pretty awesome, so I'm excited to post some recipes featuring fresh, local ingredients after I get there! So, with that said, stick with me a little while longer, and I will be back with a vengeance if all goes well!

Sweet Potato Cream Pasta with Crispy Kale 
serves 2-4
1 large sweet potato, cooked and mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 shallot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon flour
1 1/2 cups 2% milk
1/2 cup freshly grated romano cheese + 2 tablespoons
1/2 pound whole wheat pasta (preferably noodles)
1 head of kale, leaves torn from stems
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, add kale, sesame oil, 2 tablespoons romano cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss to coat with your hands and massage kale for 1-2 minutes, until flavors are distributed. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes, tossing 1-2 times while cooking, until crispy. Remove and set aside.
Bring pasta water to a boil and prepare pasta according to directions.
While kale is cooking, heat olive oil and butter oven medium-low heat in a large skillet. Add in shallots and garlic with a pinch of salt, cooking for 4-5 minutes until soft and translucent. Increase heat to medium and add in flour, whisking constantly to create somewhat of a roux. Once the roux has turned golden, add in mashed sweet potato and milk, whisking to combine. It will take a few minutes of whisking to bring the mixture together, and it’s okay if a few small bits of potato remain. Let the mixture come to a simmer in order for it to thicken a bit, but be careful because it thickens quickly. If it becomes too thick, simply add a little milk to thin it out. Reduce heat to low and stir in romano, remaining salt and pepper.
Once pasta is finished cooking, add noodles directly into the sweet potato sauce. Let sit for a few minutes, then transfer everything to a large bowl. Top with crispy kale and toss to distribute.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Chicken Avocado Salad

I love chicken salad, but I always felt kind of guilty because it is usually made with a lot of mayonnaise or cream, which isn't exactly the healthiest. But then I found this delightfully tasty and healthy recipe, and I may have gotten just a tinsy bit excited.
The salad still has a small amount of mayonnaise in it, just to help with flavor and consistency, but the major awesome healthy ingredient is avocado. I LOVE avocado, it's so versatile. You can even make healthy instant chocolate pudding with them! The avocado lends a great creaminess and flavor to the chicken and of course, it's super healthy.
The other thing I liked about this recipe is that is does not have celery in it. I have never like celery, but especially in chicken salad. Of course, you can feel free to add it to this recipe if you'd like!
I bought some delicious croissants from a bakery down the street from where I live, and toasted them very lightly under the broiler. French, Italian, whole wheat, white, rye..pretty much any bread would be fine with this.
This is hands down the best chicken salad sandwich I have personally ever had, and I will probably make this quite often, as it is a cheap (I figured out about $3 or so per sandwich), healthy, quick and very tasty meal that is great for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
This recipe did not have measurements, so I just tell you the approximate measurements that I used (enough for 2 sandwiches).

Chicken Avocado Salad
(Adapted from Becoming Betty)

4 chicken tenderloins, cooked and shredded
1 medium avocado, mashed or blended until smooth
1 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 green onions, thinly sliced
a tiny handful of cilantro, chopped (or more if you desire)
salt and pepper to taste
about 1/2 -1 Tbsp lime juice, or to taste

Mix all of the ingredients together, changing measurements to your taste. Serve on desired toasted bread. (Very good on croissants!)