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Food & Recipes

Sweet and Salty Roasted Kalettes

September 24, 2015

If I had to choose my favorite vegetable, I would have a seriously difficult time deciding between kale and Brussels sprouts. I know, I know, how chilché and expected, right? But here’s the thing about food trends: most of the time foods become trendy because they’re actually really delicious, so I’ll sing the praises of trendy veggies for as long as I live.

Why all this talk about kale and Brussels sprouts? Well, I recently tried Kalettes, a kale-Brussels sprout hybrid, for the first time while eating at the Lunds & Byerly’s salad bar in Edina and have been hooked ever since. They require zero prep before cooking (something I can’t say about kale OR Brussels sprouts) and have a fun taste and texture that really is a good cross between the two veggies. A crisp-tender base with leafy, tender, kale-like tops.

Since I am all about the sweet-salty combinations, I turned these little Kalettes into an Asian-inspired side dish. They’re crispy and caramelized around the edges thanks to a bit of brown sugar but have plenty of salt to balance out the sweet. My personal favorite way to serve this dish is on top of brown rice (the kind that cooks in the microwave in 3 minutes!) for an easy, healthy lunch or dinner. If you’re looking to add a little bit more protein, you could always scramble the brown rice with an egg for a quick fried rice as well!



Asian Roasted Kalettes
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 servings
  • 1 bag (xx oz) Kalettes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Thai Red Curry Paste
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • Hot-cooked brown rice for serving (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 425F. Toss the Kalettes with the 1 tablespoon olive oil and place in a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Roast 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the fish sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, curry paste and ginger.
  3. Drizzle mixture over Kalettes after 10 minutes of cooking and toss to coat evenly. Roast 5 to 10 minutes more or until edges of Kalettes are crispy and caramelized and they become tender. Serve immediately over hot-cooked brown rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.

*This post is sponsored by Kalettes. All opinions are my own. 


Tuscan Kale Salad with Feta

September 11, 2013


Let’s take a little break from talking about all things travel and talk a bit about food. Since, you know, this is supposed to be a food blog. I think I mentioned that I was heavily influenced by the food we enjoyed while in Tuscany, right? Well in case you missed that tidbit, I was totally enamored with the food we ate in this amazing region of Italy. Actually, I was really surprised at how different the food was as we traveled throughout the country. I naively believed that the cuisine would be very similar everywhere we went. And while there are a lot of similarities from region to region, each place we visited was very distinct.

Joe and I both agreed that the hearty, earthy and complex flavors we tasted in Tuscany were our favorite. I fell head-over-heels for ribolita (a bread, bean and vegetable stew) and the heavy use of spices like rosemary and thyme. While we were at our wine class we learned that many times the types of cuisine present in an are were influenced by the types of wine native to that area. The rich, earthy flavors found in Tuscan cooking perfectly compliment the Chianti and Brunello wines grown in the region. Those Italians know what they’re doing!

Ever since I returned home, I’ve been pulled to earthier flavor profiles and simple, yet tasty dishes that are heavy on the crusty bread. I can’t get enough of that stuff! After returning from Italy, I also had a renewed commitment to cooking with high quality ingredients. Maybe that’s why I shopped entirely at Whole Foods for our groceries this week? Good thing I did because I was able to pick up two bunches of this beautiful Tuscan kale for only $4!


Prior to my trip to Whole Foods I had been unable to find Tuscan kale (also known as lacinato kale) at the local grocery stores. The leaves of this type of kale are flat rather than ruffled. I really love that there are fewer ribs in this type of kale, meaning you only have to remove the center rib in the kale before cooking. If you can get your hands on this variety, I would highly recommend it.

As for this salad, it’s about as simple as you can get. The kale is seasoned and sauteed in a skillet, then tossed with toasted bread cubes drizzled in olive oil and topped with feta cheese. It’s not directly inspired by any dish we ate while on vacation, but the flavor profile is heavily influenced by our trip, and the dish is ultra satisfying. I’ve enjoyed it for dinner twice already this week!

Tuscan Kale Salad with Feta
Makes 1 meal-sized serving
2 1/2 cups Tuscan kale (aka lacinato kale, which I got at Whole Foods), ribs removed and chopped roughly
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of dried thyme and rosemary
1 thick slice whole grain crusty bread, toasted and cut into cubes
1 oz feta cheese, crumbled

In large skillet over medium heat, combine the kale and 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil, the salt and thyme and rosemary. Use your hands to work the oil into the kale to coat completely. Cook, stirring frequently, 4 to 6 minutes or until kale is softened and slightly crunchy around the edges. Remove from heat.

Drizzle remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil over bread cubes. Add bread cubes to skillet and toss to combine. Transfer to bowl. Top with the cheese. Serve immediately.

Happy Cooking!

Garlic Kale Chips

January 19, 2012

Truth be told, I’ve always been more of a ‘quantity over quality’ girl when it comes to snacks and mealtime. I would rather find a way to stretch my morning protein pancake with a little canned pumpkin, even if it means sacrificing texture, just so I can have more to eat in the morning. And I will gladly eat an entire head of steamed broccoli over a small portion of broccoli with cheese 90% of the time. Can anyone relate?

Joey and I rarely have chips or other junk food on hand except for those few boxes of Girl Scout cookies right now. So when I get a craving for something crunchy and salty, I typically have to improvise with what we have on hand.  And while I may be a little late to the game with these crispy baked Garlic Kale Chips, if you are late to the game like me, I would highly recommend you making them asap. Not only are they crunchy, salty and entirely addictive, they also deliver all the vitamin-packed goodness of kale.

My first attempt at Kale chips was anything but a success. I made the mistake of leaving the tough stems in the center of the kale intact. If you’re into that sort of stringy texture, then feel free to leave the stems going through the center of the leaves. But if you’re anything like me, I would recommend cutting the ruffled leaves of the kale off the stem and discarding the rest.

I ate the entire batch in one serving. But if you’re slightly less greedy than I am with your kale, it could easily be a side dish for two or three people.

Garlic Kale Chips
*3 to 4 cups kale leaves, cut into pieces with stems removed and discarded
*1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
*2 tsp. Garlic Gold or 1 clove of fresh garlic, minced
*2 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast
*Salt and pepper to taste

*Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil; set aside.
*In a small bowl, combine the olive oil and Garlic Gold. Spread kale in an even layer on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil mixture and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and the salt and pepper.
*Bake for 11 to 15 minutes, or until kale is crunchy and has a slightly charred appearance, tossing once halfway through baking. Remove from oven and enjoy!

Happy Cooking!

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