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Hail to the Kale

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Hail to the Kale

Amen Beyonce, Amen!  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  I LOVE kale. 

Kale is extremely fibrous.  Why is this important?  Well first, the obvious, fiber is awesome!  Fibrous foods take longer to digest and therefore keep you fuller longer.  Second, kale can be massaged (think kale at a spa) ahead of time, which makes for the perfect make-ahead meal.
 
Massaging kale helps to break down its tough cellulose structure, making kale more palatable, less bitter, and easy to digest.  My preferred massage method?  Give the kale a good rubdown with your salad dressing.  Combining two steps into one.
 
Below is a super simple salad vinaigrette that will help break down the kale.  If you’re not a huge kale fan, I highly recommend you try out this technique!

Kale Salad Vinaigrette

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsbp dijon mustard
1 tsbp sherry vinegar
salt and black pepper to taste

  1. Whisk all ingredients together
  2. Pour vinaigrette onto kale and massage together for a few minutes

 
 

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Fall Harvest Hash

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Fall Harvest Hash

“What grows together goes together.”  It’s an easy enough motto to pretty much guarantee a wonderful and complex flavor profile. 

I know what you’re thinking…but peanut butter and chocolate don’t grow together? This may not work across the board and trust me; no one is denying the beauty of chocolate and peanut butter.  However, this is generally a good rule of thumb when it comes to fruits and vegetables.

Seasonal and regional produce, generally pair very well together.   Fall fruits and vegetables are no exception.  This is the season of squashes, pumpkins, apples, and stone fruit.  Whether you’re in the mood for a sweet or savory dish there are delicious ways of combining multiple items from this fall produce list. 

Take this recipe for example.  It combines butternut squash and apples and can actually be used as a sweet or savory item.  I topped this “hash” with a sunny side up egg for a savory entrée, but you could just as easily spread this on toast and have a sweet squash toast breakfast.

This is extremely versatile, healthy, and flavorful.  Sure to satisfy your sweet or savory tooth.  Enjoy!

 

Fall Harvest Hash

½ Butternut Squash, peeled, cored and cut into small cubes (or one package of pre-cut butternut squash)

2 Apples Chopped (try to make uniform size to the butternut squash)

1 Large Onion Chopped

Olive Oil

Salt

Pepper

Cinnamon

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Place the butternut squash on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt and cinnamon
  3. In a sauté pan, add the apples, onion, olive oil, salt and pepper
  4. Sauté until onions become translucent, approximately 10 minutes
  5. Remove the butternut squash from the oven.  Add the apple and onion mixture to the butternut squash
  6. Return the mixture to the oven until slightly apples and squash are slightly browned, approximately 20 minutes.

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Lemon Roasted Asparagus

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Lemon Roasted Asparagus

If you want to do the Whole30 Challenge successfully, you better learn to love your vegetables!  Asparagus may not be the “sexiest” vegetable (then again, what is?) or the trendiest item on the menu, but they’re packed with nutrients. 

Asparagus is a very good source of fiber, folate, and vitamins, A, C, E and K.  While you can eat asparagus raw, which is great chopped up in a salad, I prefer it best roasted.  

The beauty of this recipe, and asparagus in general, is it really doesn’t require much effort to make it extremely flavorful.  Ina Garten, my chef idol and wannabe best friend, has a perfectly simple asparagus recipe, only calling for a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper.  She doesn’t even use “high quality” butter, which for Ina is rare, maybe even unheard of. 

Not to toot my own horn, and one up Ina, but I added one simple ingredient and it’s now become my favorite asparagus recipe, vegetable and side dish.  If you haven’t already guessed, seeing as its in the title of the recipe, it’s LEMON.  Lemon adds a fresh burst of flavor.  I use both the zest and the juice to really make this vegetable sing. 

Ever since, asparagus has been making a regular appearance at my dinner table.

 

Lemon Roasted Asparagus

1 Bunch Asparagus

2 Tbspn Olive Oil

1 Lemon

Salt

Pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cut off the bottom ends of the Asparagus (the flat white tips).  These are tough and therefore not ideal for eating/cooking
  3. Lay the asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Using a lemon zester, zest the outside of the lemon over the asparagus.  Try to sprinkle the zest evenly but don’t worry too much as you’ll be tossing the asparagus to coat evenly.
  5. Once zested, roll the lemon to release the juices. 
  6. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the lemon juice over the asparagus.
  7. Give the asparagus a light toss to ensure they are evenly coated.
  8. Place the asparagus in the oven and cook for 40 minutes or until lightly brown and tips are slightly charred and crispy. 

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Balsamic Glazed Brussel Sprouts

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Balsamic Glazed Brussel Sprouts

Hi my name is Sarah and I’m a brussel sprouts-aholic.  As a member of Brussel Sprouts Anonymous, I can admit that I am a little, well obsessed.  Come fall, I start making brussel sprouts for practically every meal.   They’re tender and yet perfectly charred on the outside, adding a crunchy textural component.

Just when my boyfriend started to get a little sick of this brussel sprouts phase, I came up with this recipe to keep him hooked.  He loves balsamic.  Balsamic in cereal?  He might actually consider.  So balsamic glazed brussel sprouts was the perfect vegetable concoction to keep him as hooked as I am.

The secret to getting the brussel sprouts to the perfect consistency is to actually steam them, while roasting and finish them by broiling for a few minutes.  It sounds complicated and confusing but I promise it’s easy.  Check out the recipe below!


Balsamic Glazed Brussel Sprouts

1 lb Brussel Sprouts trimmed with core remove

2 Tbspn Olive Oil

2 Tbspn Water

2 Tsbpn Balsamic Vinegar

Salt

Pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Trim and core the brussel sprouts by cutting in half lengthwise and removing the white core on the bottom.
  3. Place the brussel sprouts in a large piece of tin foil on top of a baking sheet. 
  4. Drizzle the brussel sprouts with olive oil, water, salt and pepper. 
  5. Close the tin foil, forming a large ball.  Leave a small hole on top so the tin foil is not sealed completely.  Combined with the water in the tin foil ball, this will allow the brussel sprouts to steam, while roasting in the oven.
  6. After 30 minutes remove the brussel sprouts from the oven and turn the oven up to Broil.
  7. Return the brussel sprouts to the oven and broil for 5-10 minutes.  This will depend on how hot your oven gets on Broil, so check them frequently.  They should get charred on top but not burnt all over.
  8. Remove the brussel sprouts from the oven and drizzle with Balsamic Vinegar (or glaze if available).

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