Pasta With Creamy Kale

kalepasta

Creamy kale! It’s so good. It was today’s dish. I made it with elbow pasta because I haven’t made a pasta recipe in awhile. I do love pasta, but try to control how much I eat of it. My pasta with creamy kale is a pesto like recipe. Traditional pesto uses basil, which is divine. These days you can make pesto using whatever you like. This is also a creamy kind of dish. The creaminess not only comes from the cheeses that I used, but also from cannelini beans, or white beans that have been blended in with the kale. This is a hearty recipe, that makes a great family meal, and fills you up with all the fiber in the kale and beans, so it won’t feel so bad eating pasta when you have kale and beans in the recipe! Hope you like it…
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Ingredients

1 pound of kale
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, plus more when serving
4 ounces Neufchatel cheese, plus more for extra richness
1/4 to 1/2 cup low fat half and half
1 can cannelini beans ,drained and rinsed
1/2 pound Barilla elbow pasta
1/4 cup water
salt and pepper to taste

Directions for Kale

Heat a large pot and add your olive oil, and washed kale. Let the kale wilt a little, just a few minutes. Next add your water, half and half, and Parmesan cheese. Cook on medium for 15- 20 minutes. Next, add your cannelini beans, and Neufchatel cheese. Cook for another 15 minutes or so. With your immersion blender, blend your kale until it resembles pesto. You may add water here, or if you want more creaminess half and half, plus more cheese. Set aside when blended, but keep warm.

For your pasta, boil a large pot of salted water, add pasta, and follow suggested cooking time on box.

To put it altogether, pour creamy kale on top of pasta in pot. Mix well, add more Parmesan cheese, or Neufchatel if you wish, I did! Makes enough for 6 people. Pour a glass of vino and enjoy!

The Leibster Award

liebster

I’m so excited that the sweet Lindsay of

OFFICIALLY GLUTEN FREE

has nominated my blog for the Liebster Award! What a wonderful surprise!!

This award is designed to be passed around to spread blog love and draw attention to blogs that don’t have a lot of followers. I am so happy that I was nominated by Lindsay!

This award means I get to answer some fun questions AND pass on the love to other awesome and deserving blogs/bloggers!

Rules:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Answer the questions you were given.
3. Nominate other blogs with less than 500 followers.
4. Post questions for your selected nominees to answer.
5. Tag and link the nominees and post a comment to let them know you have nominated them and appreciate their hard work.

Ok, here it goes… my answers from Lindsay!

What is your favorite thing about Blogging?

“Sharing my fun recipes, and connecting with awesome bloggers!

What is one thing you never leave the house without?

Of course my cell!

What was the last thing that you Googled?

Cancun vacations, can’t wait!

What is your favorite snack?

Chips and salsa

Can you speak any other languages?

 un poquito de Espanol

If you could eat one thing all the time without gaining weight, what would it be?

Pasta! Pasta! Pasta!

What is your least favorite food?

I don’t have many, but tofu would be it

What/Who is your all time favorite band of musician?

I’m an 80’s gal, so Duran Duran all the way!

What other hobbies do you have aside from blogging?

Playing with my son Julian…xo

Ok here are my nominees!

Easy Italian Cuisine

Julie’s Family Kitchen

Lovely Delight Bite

Sweet Green Kitchen

The Colourful Kitchen

Here are the questions that you need to answer if you choose to accept this award:

What is your favorite food or drink you like to make?

What is your dream job?

If you won the lottery what would you do first?

What’s your favorite Holiday and why?

What food do you crave most?

What’s your favorite all time movie?

What makes you the happiest?

Hot cocoa or hot coffee?

Chocolate Pecan Heath Bananas

chocban
So today, I was craving chocolate, but didn’t want to be sooo bad, but it ended up that way anyway! I made chocolate pecan heath bananas. When you have heath bar chips, and chocolate on hand it’s dangerous. I did opt to use bananas as a healthy addition to my afternoon craving though ;o) This is something I couldn’t share with my baby, because of the pecans..he was asleep as I made them! Good boy! This recipe is for one, but can definitely be shared with two other people because the chocolate layer is thick with the heath, and pecans, it’s just enough for a sweet craving. If you’ve never had chocolate with bananas your missing out. Try it, and you will see…

Ingredients

1 medium banana, cut in thirds
1/4 cup chocolate chips melted, any kind you like
2 tablespoons chopped pecans
2 tablespoons heath bar crunch
fun straws or wooden pop sticks

Directions

In your double boiler melt your chocolate. Set aside. Next slice your banana into 3 pieces. Place a straw, or wooden pop stick into your banana piece half way. Next in a small bowl, mix your pecans and heath bar bits. Take your banana on a stick and dip into chocolate as much as you like. Quickly roll your banana into your pecans and heath. Set aside on a flat dish. Repeat with next two pieces. Place in a container in your freezer until chocolate hardens. When ready to eat, go right ahead! Don’t wait, just do it! Enjoy!!

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Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

oatmealcookies

Oatmeal cookies are so good! I love oatmeal for breakfast, but much more in chewy cookie form! Oatmeal is very healthy, and keeps you full. It’s definitely a part of my breakfast when I want a break from egg whites. Today was national oatmeal cookie day, who knew! so I figured I’d go along with it, and make a chewy oatmeal cookie that isn’t too sweet, but not bland either. These were just perfect, and my family really gobbled them up too! I figured they would. I enjoyed a couple myself, after all I made them! Check out the recipe below, you’ll love it.

oatmealcookies1

Ingredients

1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, Softened
1 cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
1 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 whole Eggs, beaten
3/4 cup All-purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 1/2 cups Old Fashioned Oats
1 teaspoon Cinnamon

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350 F. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and brown sugar until fluffy with a hand mixer. Add in vanilla next. Follow with your eggs, one at a time. In another bowl, mix the flour, salt, cinnamon and baking soda, set aside. Add it into the creamed mixture in 2 to 3 batches, mixing it until just combined. Mix in the oats until just combined. Use your preferred size cookie scoop (or a regular spoon) to drop portions of dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet, spacing them a couple inches apart. Bake for 12-13 minutes or until dark and chewy. If you’d like a crispier cookie, just cook a little longer! Let them cool slight on the pan after removing from the oven, then transfer the cookies onto a plate for serving. This batch makes approximately 30 cookies using a tablespoon. Enjoy!

oatmealcookies3

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Multigrain Marshmallow Treats

marsh5

Trying to get more creative in the kitchen with treats. Saw a site that used multi grain cheerios in a marshmallow treat instead of traditional rice crispy treats. I thought, I have multi grain cheerios, it’s what my baby munches on as a snack every day! Growing up, my mom rarely made rice crispy treats, but when she did, they went fast! Instead she made olive oil cookies! They are really good, and I will post them one day soon.

Back to my recipe…For the multi grain marshmallow treats I am making today I did add less butter, just four tablespoons, which made them crispier and crunchier then usual, but still very good. The original recipe calls for one stick of butter. If you like them a little bit more moist, add a full stick. I am definitely going to try this with other types of cereals, and next time add some nuts and cranberries to the recipe. It’s easy enough where you can add different ingredients and have a really tasty quick snack for breakfast, or anytime of the day really. Kids love ’em too! That’s a plus ;o)


Ingredients

24 ounces multigrain cheerios

4 tablespoons butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 package large marshmallows

Makes 12 or more depending how big you cut them

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Directions

In a large pot add your butter, allow to melt. Next add your vanilla and marshmallows. Melt your marshmallows until they get soft and plump. Don’t melt them all the way. I left mine a little big so that my cereal treats would have big chinks of marshmallow. Add your cereal to marshmallows and turn off heat. Stir until well combined. Next butter a 9 x 9 baking dish. Pour cereal treats into pan and flatten until even on all sides. Let cool, slice up and enjoy!

You can also cut them all up, and individually wrap them up in wax paper, then store them in Tupperware.

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Sesame Chicken With Brown Rice

sesame chicken

Felt like sesame chicken tonight, but to be honest there aren’t any Chinese restaurants by my house that I absolutely have been impressed with. Then I thought, it’s easy, much cheaper, and much healthier to make my own sesame chicken right at home. I love Asian flavors, they are the perfect blend of sweet and savory, and that’s exactly how I like my sesame chicken. I did some researching online and found an easy, quick recipe from Marcus Samuelson. I’ve seen him a lot on Food Network, so how bad can the recipe be. I did lessen the amount of some ingredients, but will leave the original link to his recipe below. With my sesame chicken I will make some healthy brown rice as a bed for my chicken, and dinner will be set. Feel free to make a green salad or healthy side dish like my french green beans with olive oil, parmesan and cashews to go along with your sesame chicken and brown rice!

Ingredients

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
1 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon fresh, ground ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Brown Rice

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup brown rice
2 cups water
1 clove garlic minced
salt to taste

Directions For Brown Rice

In a large pan add olive oil, and garlic. Next add your rinsed brown rice and water. Add a dash of salt. Cover with a lid and let come to a boil. Once it does, cook on low to simmer at least 20-25 minutes until light and fluffy.

Directions

Cut your cleaned chicken breasts into bite size pieces. Heat large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, add one teaspoon olive oil. Add chicken and cook for about 6-8 minutes, until each piece is thoroughly cooked through (no longer pink). As the chicken is cooking, mix honey, soy sauce, water, cornstarch, ginger, and garlic. Whisk until there are no cornstarch lumps. Pour sauce into skillet with chicken and cook until sauce thickens slightly. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until chicken starts soaking up the sauce.

To put it altogether, place a scoop of brown rice on your plate, and top with delicious sesame chicken. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro if you like. Enjoy!

Original Recipe from Marcus Samuelson
http://www.marcussamuelsson.com/recipe/sesame-chicken-recipe

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Spring Salad With Avocado Cream Dressing

springsalad2
Spring is almost here! Yay! Just seven more days to go, and it’s official. It’s been a very long Winter here in New York, we are ready for longer days, birds chirping and lots of warmth! Today was a great day, the temperature was warm enough that I took the baby out to play. He was so happy to be outside…and so was I. It was a perfect day to make a healthy, light Spring salad for lunch too. A Spring salad with fruits and avocado as a dressing to be exact. I love the combination of fruit in my salads. I also love creamy dressings, but I didn’t want my dressing to be full of unhealthy ingredients. I opted to make an avocado cream dressing because I’ve seen people make them before and was curious as to how it would turn out in a dressing. Well, it’s really good! I knew an avocado would be a great addition to my salad giving it the creamy richness in a dressing that I like. I hope you can try this easy, healthy salad recipe. This can serve 2 people.

avocado cream dressing

Ingredients

3 cups mesclun salad
1/4 low fat feta cheese
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup blackberries
1/4 cup green grapes, sliced in half
1/4 cup strawberries, sliced in half

For the Avocado Cream Dressing

1/2 avocado mashed
1-2 tablespoons low fat sour cream
Juice of a small lime
2-4 tablespoons olive oil
dash of salt and pepper
1 small garlic clove minced

Directions

For Your Salad

Wash your mesclun mix well in a colander or salad spinner. Set aside. Rinse your fruits and slice your strawberries, and grapes in half. Add all fruits to a bowl. Place your mesclun on a serving plate, and top with fruits.

Avocado Cream Dressing

In your mini food processor, blender, or by hand, mix your avocado, sour cream, olive oil, minced garlic, lime juice, salt and pepper until you achieve a creamy consistency. Pour over your mesclun and fruit. Enjoy this salad with some crackers, it’s really really good!

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