Sweet Winter Kale Power Salad

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I have been making this yummy salad for lunch and I love it! Instead of beans, I also use rotisserie chicken breast. This salad is filling and hearty just like a salad should be. I love this because it is so clean, healthy, and every bite is packed with anti-oxidants. You can add your favorite salad toppers to this so there is no wrong way to make this. I also add feta or blue cheese to this occasionally for even more of a perfect salad!

Ingredients:
1 package of cut kale; pre-washed, ribs removed (about 5 cups)
2 tsp + 1 tsp olive oil
1 lemon
1/4 cup raisins
1 shallot; finely chopped
1/4 of your favorite nut mix (I used pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, and walnuts)
1 can of kidney beans
1 can of corn; drained
1 cucumber; peeled, seeds removed, and chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Steps:
1. Place kale in a large bowl. Squeeze the juice of one lemon and add 2 tsp of olive oil. Massage kale )with your hands)  with olive oil and lemon until it feels tender. This is extremely important because it softens the kale so it is easier to eat. The color of the kale will also turn bright green and look very fresh. Continue to massage for about 3-5 minutes.

2. Bring a frying pan to medium heat. Add 1 tsp of olive oil and shallots. Sauté for 2 minutes and then add raisins. Sauté for another 2 minutes until shallots look cooked and raisins look plump. Pour mixture over kale and stir until combined.

3. Add your favorite nut mixture, beans, corn, cucumbers, cranberries, and season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

****Another great alternative for a salad topper instead of beans, is rotisserie chicken.
*****This is great for make-ahead lunches, the longer the kale sits; the better!
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One Pot Kale & Quinoa Minestrone Soup

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Fall is finally in the air and my favorite meals start with a nice pot of homemade soup. Have you ever gone to the grocery store and just randomly threw whatever produce sounded good to you in your basket–not knowing what to make with it? Well, that’s what I did and that’s what gave me the great idea into making this heart-filling soup. This savory soup isn’t like the original minestrone soup..this has pieces of chunky Tuscan kale, veggies, and instead of pasta, I used quinoa for more fiber. The great thing is you can use just about any of your favorite seaonal vegetables for this and you can freeze the soup into batches..they make perfect late night dinners. This soup is packed with a TON of vitamins and nutrients so eat up!

Ingredients:
1 medium yellow onion; diced
3 medium carrots; diced
3 stalks of celery; diced
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium zuchini; diced
1 red bell pepper
3 cloves garlic; chopped
1 cup green beans; cut into 1 inch pieces
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp dried rosemary; pinched
1 tsp droed thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 can garbonzo beans
1 can cannelini beans
6 cups of beef broth
2 cups of chicken broth
2 cups of fresh kale; chopped with ribs removed
Fresh grated parmesan cheese
Croutons

Steps:
1. In a large stockpoton medium, heat olive oil with onions, carrots, and celery. Stiring constancly so it doesn’t burn and everything will carmalize perfectly. Saute for about 5 minutes. Then add in zuchini, bell peppers, garlic, green beans, and saute for another 5-10 minutes or until softened.

2. Add in chicken broth, vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes, water, parsley, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper to taste and bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and allow soup to gently boil, uncovered for about 20 minutes

3. Add in dry quinoa then cover and cook 15 – 20 minutes longer.

4. Add cannellini beans, chick peas, kale and cook, uncovered, until kale has wilted, about 5 minutes. Serve warm garnished with parmesan cheese and croutons (optional).
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Baby Kale & Zucchini Frittata

imageThere is just something so comforting about a hearty and nutritious breakfast. Frittata’s are so easy to make and you can add any of your favorite seasonal vegetables. If you are unfamiliar with what a frittata is..it’s a Italian omelette, similar to a crustless quiche combined with other ingredients. I like to add a splash of almond milk or milk because I find it makes the frittata more fluffy and when its more fluffy it becomes more irresistible to eat. If I make this for brunch or lunch, I like to add a slice of frittata in-between 2 slices of lightly buttered toast and make a frittata sandwich…delicious! What will you add in your homemade frittata?

Ingredients:
4 whole eggs
1 egg white
2 Tbsp almond milk (or you can use regular milk)
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove; finely chopped
3 cups baby kale
1 shredded zucchini
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 Tbsp parmesan cheese

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a medium frying pan on medium heat, sauté olive oil and garlic for 1 minute. Add in kale and zucchini and sauté for 5 minutes until veggies are wilted. Be sure to season with salt, pepper, and onion powder and stir.

2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and almond milk. Add in sautéed kale and zucchini and stir until combined evenly. Lightly grease a baking dish and pour egg mixture. Sprinkle parmesan cheese all over frittata and bake for 35-40 minutes until eggs are firm but fluffy when lightly touching it with your finger, or a toothpick. Let cool for 10 minutes and enjoy a nice slice with a piece of toast…or fruit 🙂
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Kale & Mushroom Frittata with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

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I don’t know about you but I love frittatas! My breakfast lately has been consisting of yogurt, almonds, and fruit…and I think I just about had enough of it (for now). I had a bunch of eggs that I needed to get rid of in my fridge along with a open bag of kale that was going to go bad soon. I decided to put the two together and make a frittata and I  can make this my new breakfast until I get tired of it. You can really add anything to this…. You can eat this for breakfast, brunch, or even dinner and if you are trying to use up veggies that are going to go bad soon, make sure to add it to this! This is easy, cheap, healthy, and quick…all you gotta do in the morning is heat it up and done!

Yield: 4-6

Ingredients:
1 ½ tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch of kale; chopped (about 3 cups
1 basket of mushrooms (white button or crimini); sliced or chopped (about 2 cups)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
6 eggs
2 Tbsp milk

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes:
1 basket of cherry tomatoes cut in hald
1 1 tsp olive oil
Sprinkle of sea salt and pepper

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place cherry tomatoes on baking dish lined with either parchment paper or a silicon mat and add olive oil, salt and pepper. With your hands or a spatula, mix until cherrys are covered with olive oil. Continue until step 2 until finished then bake for 30 minutes (Place in oven at the same time as the fritita, they will cook at the same exact time).
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2. In a medium frying pan on medium heat, drizzle olive oil and let it get warm for about 1-2 minutes. Add in kale and mushroom and let saute  for about 5 minutes until kale is wilted and mushrooms are golden brown. Add in salt, pepper, and garlic powder and let saute for another minute.

3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. With a wooden spoon mix in the kale and mushrooms until combined.

4. Lightly grease a baking dish (I used a 9×9 square baking dish) with either olive oil or cooking spray and pour in egg mixture. Bake for 30 minutes or until frittata is gold brown with a firm middle. Enjoy this frittata with roasted cherry tomatoes on top!
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Lemon Kale Gem Salad

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I have been wanting to make this since the beginning of the year. My fiance and I went to San Francisco for New Years with some friends and we stopped at this little cafe on the way there. Everything they had looked delicious and so fresh, I just knew it was going to be great. I ordered their zesty kale salad and I couldn’t believe the powerful flavor it had. It was just a salad so I wasn’t expecting it to be anything special or anything..but I was wrong!  I couldn’t figure out how they made their dressing and how to make the kale leaves tender. Luckily I did some research, and added my own flare to this salad. Another healthy tip to remember is..the more color you eat, the better. Taste the rainbow!

Ingredients:
4 cups chopped kale; remove ribs
2 lemons
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup dried apricots; chopped
2 Tbsp dried cranberries
1/4 cup roasted almonds
1 cup bell peppers; chopped
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes; cut in half
1/4 cup feta cheese

Steps:
1. In a large bowl add kale, and squeeze the juice from 2 lemons (watch out for the seeds), then drizzle olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator for 2 hours. This will make the kale leaves softer and easier to eat…it also adds in all the zesty flavor!

2. Once the salad is ready to be topped, just start sprinkling your toppings! This can be fun, use your imagination and use the fresh ingredients you love. That’s why I called it a “gem” salad because I used all my favorite salad toppings. The possibilities are endless so be creative!