Recipe: Parmesan-roasted baby kale & cheddar quesadilla (kale-sadilla?)

A quick post tonight since I promised I’d publish the cheesy dipper (or should that be Cheesy Dipper? it does sound quite proper) pictured with yesterday’s Curried Carrot Soup. This is really more a method than anything else. And a great way to sneak a little green into an otherwise guilty pleasure and still please both kids and picky husbands (or wives), alike. (Side note: sneaking healthy stuff into our future behbeh’s food might be motivation enough to start popping those little guys out. I can’t wait for our kids’ technicolor appetites. They will love Brussel sprouts.) Parmesan-Roasted Baby Kale & Cheddar Quesadilla Cook time: 10 mins (plus roasting time, see below) | Serves: 2 Note: Yes, this has more kale than cheese. Which is why you can eat two. Ingredients: 1 batch Parmesan-roasted kale (recipe, below) 3-4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, thinly sliced 2 large (burrito sized) tortillas Instructions Lay tortillas in a large skillet or griddle and top half of each tortilla with cheese. (My little tip? I cook two quesadillas at once by putting them side by side in a square skillet and letting the open halves hang over the edge until I fold them together, just … Read More

Recipe: Curried carrot soup w/ Greek yogurt & toasted walnuts

It seems we’ve been on a soup streak here lately, and that is A-ok with me. I love soup — to the point that I don’t even discriminate against the canned stuff. I know it’s a sodium bomb and full of all sorts of processed crap, but on a cold day with crusty hunk of sourdough or a drippy grilled cheese, I’m not super picky. If given the choice, however, a velvety, seasonal soup like this one — which can still be made start to finish in less than an hour — is an easy winner. Sweet, subtly spicy and surprisingly balanced in the health department, this one will keep you coming back meal after meal. Which is perfect, because leftovers are stupendous. Paired with an earthy, gooey Roasted Kale and Sharp Cheddar Quesadilla (recipe to come! just look at that crunchy cheese bit escaping the tort in the pic below…), you might even forget than you’re on the wagon. The Fatty McFatFat food wagon. Curried Carrot Soup with Greek Yogurt & Toasted Walnuts By Emily Stoffel Cook time: 45 mins | Serves: 4-5 Note: This is one of those recipes that actually gives you an excuse to bust out the … Read More

Recipe: Black bean, kale & farro soup with smoked olive oil (no bacon! whaaaat?)

Here’s a recipe that’ll knock your socks off. It’s a soup — no biggie — chocked full of veggies — no biggie — that would be excellent kicked off with a little rendered bacon — duh. Few soups wouldn’t benefit from getting things started with a little smoky, salty, fat. Except for I’m out of bacon. And, as you can read more about in a post I’m hoping to get to tomorrow, we’re kind of trying to limit bacon intake in this house, among other things, at least for a little while. Something to do with wanting to live a long and healthy life. Psh. I know what you’re thinking, and yes, I guarantee you that pigs somewhere are flying. Or maybe they’re ice skating in hell. Anyway, I hope you’ll stay with me while this blog takes a slight turn toward healthier eating, which in all honesty I’m approximating will last about a week, because I manage to crank out some pretty legit eats without involving any smoked pig at all. Case in point: this soup. Hearty, wintry, filling and not at all bland, boring or “green” tasting. Yes, it’d be awesome with bacon, but I read recently that … Read More

Recipe: Roasted kale pesto

It’s been a bit of a hectic Saturday around here, but I’ve been somewhat lacking on the posts lately, so amidst errand running, actual running, baby showering (which we are running late to as I write this — sorry Em!) and mountain biking expeditions, here is a quick post of one of the recipes I created for Full Circle Farms’ Good Food Life blog a few weeks ago. (By the way, we’re still still receiving our Full Circle shipments, and they continue to impress. This week’s delivery: kale, zucchini, carrots, apples, and pears  — all beautiful and all organic.) Make this simple and hearty kale dish for supper tonight — but first, get out there and make the most of this beautiful day! (Speaking for Northern Californians, here…if you are elsewhere and the weather is not so pleasant, please accept my apologies and my sincerest invitation to get yo butt to CA!) Roasted Kale Pesto with Almonds and Cranberries Cooking time: 20 mins | Serves: 2-3 (great for doubling!) Note: This recipe is the epitome of simple. Ten minutes in the oven is all the time it takes for the kale to take on a robust, nutty flavor that’s a … Read More

The more the merrier…or the joy of the Solo Supper (with recipe)

When Chris and I were in Costa Rica, group activity was the name of the game. I’m not sure I’ve discussed it here, but we went not for the romantic getaway most couples seek from a tropical paradise but to spend time with friends at the summer residence of my college roommate’s family. Mornings weren’t early but were bustling with the sounds of three showers running, eggs popping on the stove and the clapping of shoes crusted with mud from the previous day’s adventures. Between me and Chris, Miriam and her boyfriend Brian, our good friend Alex, his generous parents — and at times a cousin or two — cars were always filled to capacity, and then some. Lunches were lovingly arranged affairs. And dinners were a true group production lasting well into the night. Well maybe not that late. It just gets dark extra early, thereby leading you to believe you are a Real Party Animal when really it’s 8:30pm. Sigh.       Costa Rica = all my best peeps, everywhere, all the time Regardless, for eight days, I enjoyed the constant company of at least six other people. We rafted together, ziplined together, rappelled down waterfalls and bunked together. You … Read More

Recipe: Restaurant-style, oven-baked potato rounds

Do you ever have one of those nights when the only thing you can possibly fathom for dinner is a life raft of french fries, preferably with a bucket of bloomin’ onion sauce on the side? I’ll pretend you said Yes so we can close the chapter on commiserating and get on with the good stuff: these de-fricking-licious potato rounds. Ok, so they’re not fries, but they ARE a very close, crispy, seasoned approximation, eerily similar to the thick-cut potato wedges you see at fine dining establishments across America. You know the ones — red and white awnings, 2-for-1 Double Downs, the uuje. But are you ready for the kicker? The bonus factor that made me feel completely justified in eating, oh, a whole crap-ton of these things? They’re virtually FAT-FREE. Uh, boom? Restaurant-Style Oven-Baked Potato Rounds By Emily Stoffel Cooking time: 35 minutes | Serves: uhhh, lets go with 2? Notes: Despite what might seem like a boatload of spices, the recipe below actually results in relatively lightly seasoned potato rounds. If you’re really feeling that fast food flavor, double the spices and skip the extra salt at the end. Bloomin’ onion sauce optional (although The Brown Eyed Baker … Read More

Recipe: Soft-scrambled tofu with oyster sauce, Thai basil and egg

When Chris is out of the house for mealtime, a couple of things happen: 1) I catch up on DVR’d episodes of Real Housewives of ____________ and 2) I whip up a two big portions of a simple, unfussy meal full of comforting flavors — and then eat them both. Tonight was no exception. Tofu is one of those things I always have in the fridge. With sweet and salty oyster sauce and fresh, aromatic basil, this is tofu at its dressed-down best. Soft-scrambled Tofu with Oyster Sauce, Thai Basil and Egg By Emily Stoffel Cooking time: 10 minutes | Serves: 2 Note: While extra firm tofu is great for stir-frys, opt for firm (at the firmest) in this recipe. When warmed through, it becomes silky and smooth while still retaining a bit of structure. Ingredients: 1 T toasted sesame oil 1 small onion, diced 1 container firm tofu, drained 2 T oyster sauce, or more to taste sriracha to taste 1 small bunch Thai basil, torn or roughly chopped 2 eggs toasted sesame seeds hot cooked rice Instructions Heat oil in a med-high saute pan or wok until hot. Add diced onion and stir-fry until translucent and lusciously onion-smelling … Read More

Recipe: Zucchini “fritters” with chard and poached eggs

This afternoon at about 5:45, I called my husband at work. It was the usual: how are things going, when are you headed home, and then — in simulcast — what do you want to do for dinner? My answer: Jinx, you owe me a Coke! His answer: Should we do something with all those veggies in the fridge? You mean, besides just letting them decorate the crisper drawer? Like, yeah, I guesso. So that’s what I did. On the drive home, I mentally inventoried our booty of garden fare and tried to think of a way to cram as much veg as possible into a dish that was slightly more exciting than a wok full of stir-fry. My first thought was a savory zucchini bread, inspired by this griddled gem that has been taunting me ever since I saw it on Food Gal a few days ago. But I wanted to challenge myself to use not just a scant cup or so of zucchini but ALL my zucchini, in one dish that would be consumed in one sitting — without becoming a squash version of Violet Beauregarde in the process. Waffle maker to the rescue. I don’t know if all … Read More

Recipe: Eggs marinara on crostini

This recipe goes out to my dear friend Emily, who, in addition to having an excellent name, has an excellent palate and is one of my most frequent dining companions. At Emily’s request, we made up some of these eggs for a quick breakfast before heading into the office yesterday, but they’re just as much of a treat for dinner or brunch. I believe Rachael Ray would, in fact, call this a BLAD recipe, which is supposed to stand for “Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner” but instead seems like onomatopoeia for a plain ol’ BAD recipe, so I’ll scrap the acronym and call this dish what it really is: fast, cheap and damn tasty. (I do feel I should make the quick disclaimer that this recipe is hardly original. Eggs marinara are (is?) nothing new, and there are countless ways to dress them (it?) up with cheeses, truffle oil, fresh herbs and inventive, homemade sauces. So view this as a method, more than anything. Ok? Ok.) Eggs Marinara on Crostini By Emily Stoffel Cooking time: 10 minutes | Serves: 2 Notes: I like to keep things moving along quickly by toasting my two lil’ slices of bread in a toaster oven. If you’d … Read More

Recipe: Cucumber carpaccio with red chili & fennel

For this post in particular, I’m going to have to get this disclaimer over with right away: I am not a photographer. So until I really rally my crap and get our snazzy Nikon together, these pics are going range from eh to bleh. Not a great trait for a food blog, I know. I promise attempted improvement over time. Now, having said that, please don’t let the crummy picture here dissuade you from trying this super simple, slightly spicy summer salad. (Say that five times fast without being accused of speaking Parseltongue. I dare you.) Cucumber Carpaccio with Red Chili & Fennel By Emily Stoffel Cooking time: <5 mins | Serves: 1-2 Note: Try this recipe with almost ANY summer veggie, or a combination of veggies: zuchs, steamed beets, fresh corn, creamy slabs of boiled or roasted Yukon Golds — whatever. Even kale gets its good on with this treatment. Oh, and bust out the butteriest, grassiest, spiciest olive oil you’ve got stashed away for this. It’ll be worth it. Ingredients: 2 lemon cucumbers, thinly sliced (or other veggies — see note) good olive oil fresh lemon juice crushed chili flakes lightly crushed fennel seed smoked sea salt (coarse) Instructions Arrange … Read More