Kale

I’m Bringing Pumpkin Back. Yeah!

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I thought we’d talk a little bit about pumpkin. And seriously, in the season of dry skin, what else is there to discuss as the temperature drops around us. I’m serious, these days my skin looks like I have a serious problem. No lie, I literally Googled ‘itchy arms’ today and went through a slide show titled, ‘The Ten Most Common Skin Rashes’ on WebMD. The good news: I am 95% sure I do not have ring worm. Fingers crossed. PS – when did googled become a verb?

Let’s get back to pumpkin. Boasting ~50 calories per cup (cubed), this little wonder should be a fall/winter staple in your kitchen. While it’s low in calories and fat, it also contains an ample, almost excessive, amount of vitamin A – a key nutrient in maintaining healthy skin, teeth, bone, retina and soft tissue. It is found in vegetables and fruits in the form of pro-vitamin A, beta carotene. If you did not know, beta carotene is an antioxidant crucial in protecting cells from damage.

For more benefits of the beautiful of pumpkin, click here.

In the meantime, here is one mean pumpkin recipe sure to provide you with warm comfort food during the week or please your Thanksgiving Day (Vegetarian) crowd.

Kale, Pumpkin and Chickpea Skillet

Serves 4-6 (entree)

1 bunch of kale, chopped
2 cups chopped fresh pumpkin
1 can chickpeas, partially drained
1 small jalapeño, minced*
3 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons fresh grated parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
Olive oil
Juice from 1/2 Lemon

Heat a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat, add chickpeas and simmer for ~10 minutes until liquid is mostly absorbed. Add minced jalapano and continue to sautee until liquid is gone and pepper is slightly cooked.

Image by Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LRN

Image by Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LRN

Meanwhile, in a duct oven, heat 2 tsp olive oil over medium heat. Add pumpkin and continue sauté for ~15 minutes until pumpkin is fork tender.

Image by Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Image by Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Stir in kale and garlic cook for another 3 minutes until kale has wilted and garlic is fragrant, but not browned.

Image by Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Image by Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Remove from heat. Fold in chickpeas, walnut, parmesan and lemon juice.

Image by Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Image by Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Plate and serve!

Recipe Notes:

Jalapeño – I kept 1/2 the seeds from the pepper, feel free to adjust seed amount. The more seeds, the hotter this dish.

Kale and Quinoa Patties

It’s time for THR’s highly anticipated quinoa blend recipe! This one does not disappoint, but then again, when do they? These little patties got rave reviews from my test kitchen rats. Five stars across the board and the prep was a breeze. Enjoy!

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Kale and Quinoa Patties

Serves: 6 (2 patties per serving)
*See recipe notes below

Ingredients:
½ cup dry tri-blend quinoa (I use Ancient Harvest’s Quinoa Harmony)
1 cup water
1 cup steamed kale*
3 eggs, beaten
2 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
Salt/Pepper (to taste)
Olive oil

Rinse quinoa and place in a medium size sauce pan with water. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for ~20 minutes until the quinoa is cooked through and the liquid has been absorbed.

Mix together steamed kale, cooked quinoa, garlic, green onions, eggs, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Mixture should be moist, but not runny. Form into  12 patties and set aside.

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Heat 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook 4-6 patties (depending on the size of the pan) at one time. Cook for 8-10 minutes per side or until browned. Remove cooked patties from pan and finish remaining batches.

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Serving Recommendation

Feel free to eat these patties atop mixed greens or a roasted vegetable. I chose to get a little fancier when I made them the first time around with a mixed toasted+raw kale salad, homemade Parmesan Lemon Dressing and a runny poached egg. See below for all the pretentious details!

Kale and Quinoa Patties with Toasted Kale Salad and Poached Egg

Serves 2

Ingredients:
2 Kale and Quinoa Patties
4 poached eggs
4 cups chopped, fresh kale
Cooking spray

Parmesan Lemon Dressing:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 1/2 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese
1-2 teaspoons honey
Salt/Pepper

Whisk together Parmesan Lemon Dressing ingredients*. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place 2 cups chopped, fresh kale on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Spray with cooking spray, toss. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 10-15 minutes until crispy.

In a large bowl, combine remaining raw and toasted kale with the Parmesan Lemon dressing. Divide between 2 plates, top with quinoa patty and a poached egg. Finish with some fresh cracked black pepper and Parmesan cheese. Happy eating!

Recipe Notes:
Dressing: the dressing was thrown together by myself a little haphazardly. Take that as a warning, but the measurements are close. Feel free to play around with it!

Steamed Kale: I placed a steaming basket in a large saucepan, filled it with water to just below steaming basket. Place kale in steaming basket, bring water to a boil and steam until kale is tender; about 10-15 minutes.

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

(Money Shot)

Recipe adapted from Yummy Supper

 

Kale & Walnut Pesto

Kale has been labeled a super food by the media for a while now, so here is me jumping on the kale-frenzy bandwagon. This recipe was really only born from the fact that there was an actively expiring box of basil in my refrigerator. In an effort to salvage the dying herb, I picked up some kale and made this beautiful, nutrient-rich pesto from ingredients already in my kitchen.

Kale is loaded with vitamin K, A, and C. When consumed whole, kale also offers plenty of fiber. Sneaking it into salads, turkey meatballs and stir-fry are often my go-to moves with this lovely vegetable. Kale chips are another easy dinner side for nights when your time isn’t as dispensable.

What can you do with pesto besides the tired pasta sauce? You can put it in sandwiches for an extra level of flavor or fold into regular humus and dip veggies in it until your heart is content. I also enjoy spreading pesto onto homemade pizza. Try mixing it into scrambled eggs or sneak it as a layer into your lasagna – seriously, the list goes on and on.

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada

Kale & Walnut Pesto

Ingredients:

1 bunch of basil (optional)

4 cups of chopped kale

Zest of 1 lemon

1 TBS lemon juice

1/4 cup walnuts, toasted

3 cloves garlic

Salt, pepper

1/4 – 1/2 cup olive oil

In a food processor, combine basil through garlic and blend. Season with salt and pepper.  With food processor running, drizzle in olive oil until desire consistency is achieved. Feel free to add some parmesan cheese if you so desire.

I also recommend freezing the pesto in ice-cube trays. Once frozen, pop them out and store in a zip lock bag in the freezer. The cubes defrost in no time and are just as delicious.

Enjoy!