Kale and Bacon

So I tried to jump on the kale bandwagon, but failed miserably.  I liked it, but I didn’t love it.  I tried it in place of lettuce in a salad…..annnnnnd I’d rather just eat lettuce in my salad.  Anyone else agree?  Or am I alone?

Sooooo…I asked my cousin (yeah, we talk about food a lot) how else she makes kale and she said to just saute’ it with bacon!  Sounded easy enough!  I waited until Joe was away on business (because I knew he wouldn’t eat it) and my girls were already fed and in bed and started on this recipe…that I was kinda dreading, but wanted to try!   I was pleasantly surprised.   I don’t think I’ll make it again any time soon, but it wasn’t horrible……it was very flavorful and very simple!   Maybe for a side dish…..or if I’m feeling healthy (but not too healthy….since I love bacon!)

I didn’t have an actual recipe. Here’s what I did:

Kale and Bacon

olive oil

2 cloves of garlic

4 slices of bacon — chopped

1 bag of kale (I used almost the whole thing…it shrinks down A LOT!

fresh lemon juice

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In a pan saute’ oil and garlic.

Add chopped bacon and cook for about 5-10 minutes, until bacon is cooked and a bit crispy.

Add kale and cook for another 5 minutes or so, until it’s cooked thru and tender.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Squeeze fresh lemon on top.

Enjoy!

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~gianna~

Lentil Soup

I got this recipe from my cousin, Rachele when I was looking for a yummy soup recipe!  I had a feeling my kids nor Joe would like it (and I was right) BUT I LOVED it!  Lentils are something my Mom and Nana used to make often and something I always looked forward to eating.  I’ve also made them before for my family and my girls used to eat them….but not like this, because of the spinach.   It was OK..more for me!  🙂 This recipe was very good and I highly recommend it!  I like my lentils a little more on the mushy side so I cooked them awhile longer than the recipe told me to!  I also like my lentils with grated parmesan cheese……the recipe and my cousin called for a dollop of plain yogurt.  I tried it both ways, but liked the cheese better!  OBVIOUSLY!

Lentil Soup

2 carrots

2 celery stalks

1 large vidalia onion

2 cloves of garlic

1  3/4 quarts chicken broth

olive oil

piece of ginger root (approx 2 inches) — peeled and sliced

grape or cherry tomatoes (halved)

2 cups lentils

5 cups fresh spinach

 salt and pepper

1 cup plain yogurt

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Peel slice the carrots.

Slice the celery.

Peel and chop onions.

Peel and slice and garlic.

Heat oil in a large pot on medium heat.

Add all vegetables and garlic to pot.

Cook until  vegetables are soft, but not mushy.

Peel and finely slice the ginger. 

Add broth to pan with lentils, ginger and tomatoes, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer  (with the lid on),  until the lentils are cooked…approx 20 minutes.

Add  spinach and  cook for another minute or two.

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Top with a dollop of plain yogurt or sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese (YUM).

ENJOY!

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~gianna~

Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers are one of my most favorite foods.  It has every component for a complete meal too and uses ingredients I always have on hand!  My family doesn’t love them as much as I do…but they will eat them.  The girls like the filling, so it works!  They are very, very simple and so delicious.  I LOVE red peppers and don’t love green….so I usually opt for the red, but will use green too.  It’s really just a personal preference!

This is one recipe, I have other recipes too for stuffed peppers….stay tuned for more!

Stuffed Peppers

4 large red or green peppers (cut tops off and clean inside seeds out)

2 cups of rice (cooked)

1 lb. ground turkey

Diced Vadalia Onion (about 1/2 c)

2 gloves of garlic (minced)

Oil

1 can diced tomatoes

1 small can of tomato sauce 

Breadcrumbs

Shredded Cheese — I used cheddar but you can use anything.

8×8 (or 9×9) Baking dish

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In a large pan heat oil and add garlic. Cook for 30 seconds. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add turkey and cook until browned. Add drained can of tomoatoes and cook for about 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and cook for about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and add to the mixture. Add handful of cheese and mix well. Stuff the peppers with mixture.  You can either half the peppers (like I did this time) or keep them whole and standing in the pan.  

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Top the peppers with a little more cheese and breadcrumbs.

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Cook for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.

Enjoy!

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~gianna~

Balsamic Glazed Carrots

An old faithful…..this recipe is one I have made many times….many, many times because baby carrots are something I always have on hand!  So it’s such an easy side dish to make….my girls and I LOVE them…Joe on the other hand does not.  As I’ve said before, Joe’s “allergic” to carrots……I think it’s a mental allergy, but he promises it’s real!    This recipe works perfect as a side dish to really anything!    It’s super simple, uses very little ingredients and takes hardly any time!

Balsamic Glazed Carrots 

3 cups baby carrots

1 TBSP olive oil

1 ½ TBSP balsamic vinegar

1 TBSP brown sugar

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Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté carrots in oil for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Stir in balsamic vinegar and brown sugar, mix to coat and serve. 

EASY PEASY….and YUMMY!!!

carrots

~gianna~

Roasted Cauliflower

I know my kids and my husband pretty well and cauliflower isn’t on the “LIKE” list for any of them!    I knew my cousin, Amanda,  was coming for dinner before our weekly dodgeball game and she was eating here….so I shot her a text asking if she liked cauliflower, she said yes….and it worked out beautifully!

The recipe I received was from Lisa and it’s Roasted Cauliflower  (from Simply Recipes) and it was delicious!  I followed the recipe exactly (only omitted the salt and pepper — I never use it) because I hardly make cauliflower and I didn’t want to mess it up!
Ava was eating raw cauliflower dipped in ranch dressing as I was cutting the cauliflower up!  So much for thinking my kids don’t eat it!  ((SHRUG))

Everyone tried it and BOTH of my girls ate it.  Joe tried 1 piece and thought it was OK……but that’s to be expected since he doesn’t love veggies!  My cousin Amanda thought it was delicious, and we had a surprise dinner guest (my best friend who came over to get ready for dodgeball) and she thought it was delicious too!   It’s a keeper in this house!!!  Thanks Lisa!!!  Because it was a dodgeball night I had to make something quick and easy so  I made chicken cutlets and biscuits with it!

cauliflower

Roasted Cauliflower 

Ingredients

1 head of cauliflower

2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and coarsely minced

Lemon juice from half a lemon

Olive oil

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Parmesan cheese

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Preheat oven to 400°F.

Cut cauliflower into florets and put in a single layer in an oven-proof baking dish.

Toss in the garlic.

Sprinkle lemon juice over cauliflower and drizzle each piece with olive oil.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

If the oven hasn’t reached 400°F yet, set aside until it has. 

Place casserole in the hot oven, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is lightly brown.

Test with a fork for desired doneness.

Fork should be able to easily pierce the cauliflower.

Remove from oven and sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
ENJOY!

~gianna~

Spinach Pizza Bread

There are many ways to make pizza breads I already shared my pepperoni one HERE.  But I make other versions as well.  I’ve done a chicken parm one….which is filled with breaded chicken cutlets, mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce.  I’ve also done it with sausage, peppers and onions and I’ve done my favorite which is filled with spinach and provolone cheese.  YUMMY!  I like to have a variety of flavors when I make things like this because not everyone likes pepperoni and not everyone likes spinach.  In my family alone, Joe and Olivia go for the pepperoni one, while Ava and I like the spinach one.  So those are the 2 I make most often.  The worst part of this recipe is squeezing the water from the spinach…it’s the worst, I get annoyed and it’s messy…if anyone has an easier way to remove water from spinach PLEASE share!   Obviously I’m being a bit dramatic because I still make it often, but it still annoys me!

Spinach Pizza Bread

2 packages of frozen CHOPPED spinach (make sure you get chopped)

Garlic (minced)

Olive Oil

1 pound of pizza dough

Sliced provolone cheese  (you can use shredded too)

Preheat oven to 375°

Defrost all spinach and remove water (by squeezing to your heart’s content and then draining a bit longer on paper towels).  You want most of the water removed.  This will give your hands a good workout!  You will lose some spinach down the drain, don’t panic…it happens.  

Once water is removed from spinach, saute with garlic and oil in a pan until flavors incorporate and spinach is cooked thru.   I LOVE garlic so I use a lot, but go by your taste.  I didn’t include measurements.  Let Cool.

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Roll out your dough into an oval.  Remember you are going to be folding it all over…so make sure it’s big enough, but not too big that it won’t fit on a baking sheet.

Cover the rolled dough with cheese and then with spinach.  

Fold up sides and ends.

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Oil the bottom of the baking sheet with a thin layer of olive oil.

Place bread on baking sheet

Brush the entire bread with an egg white (beat).

 Bake for approx. 20 minutes or until brown on top and crispy.  

Slice and enjoy!

chicken parm

**this is a picture of the chicken parm one…I don’t have a finished spinach bread one!**

~gianna~

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