Thursday, October 10, 2013

Let's Eat Pesto, Kale Style

Yes, my husband is a Sous Chef.
No, he definitely does not cook gourmet meals for us 7 days a week.

He works ... a lot. Even more now that we decided I would be home with the littles. So my gourmet tasting menus are far and few between. Oh but when they come, I am in a state of pure bliss. I have absolutely no problem admitting that he's a better cook than I am :)

But for the most part, I wear the cook hat in home & I try to bust out yummy, semi-healthy, balanced dishes of what we like to eat. I try to cook enough so we have leftovers so I'm not cooking all - the - time. I like cooking, sometimes. But knowing that I must absolutely do it for our kiddies to enjoy a home cooked meal, I do it ... gladly. Thankfully, both of them are not super picky - we give them what we give them and that's that. We do not run a restaurant, we are not short order cooks - this is what is on the menu for today & this is what we are having. Small modifications fine (lol) & you must at least try it, once - that's always been the rule ... if you don't like it, that's okay - we all have our favourites & preferences, right?

Some friends on Instagram have asked me to share recipes of the food I post, so this "let's eat" series will be dedicated to what I feed our little family! I definitely suck at taking photos along the way though - whoops. But I'll try to keep at it! I've never really documented my cooking or followed recipes to a tee (but I do for baking, I know what happens when you try and wing it ... a whole lot of sadness in the trash). I see things I like (usually via Pinterest), mix and match different recipes & sometimes consult Ryan for his expert opinion (lol). & then after "studying" ... I just go for it. I taste along the way & really hope for the best. The dishes that work out, I make again ... those that turn out questionable, I bust out the mac & cheese. I try not to get discouraged with the failures & feel really good when Aiden and Sadie gobble it up! Aiden asked me to make this one twice in a row this week, so that definitely boosted my confidence, LOL.

Let's Eat - Kale Pesto

I was inspired to make kale pesto after seeing a friend post her dinner on IG. You can definitely make this dish with any pasta and any protein you have on hand. When combining pesto with pasta, I tend to use pasta that have little homes (rottini, bowties, penne, shells) so the pesto can "live" within the homes. I find the saltiness of the sausage pairs well with the bitterness of the kale. (I used PC Original Smokies - not the blue menu ones, just the original ones). But I'm sure a chopped chicken breast or sauteed shrimp would be lovely too! Cook your pasta and your protein to your liking. I was taught to toss the cooked pasta into the pan you cooked the protein in. This lets the pasta soak up all of those rendered flavours! Add in the kale pesto (a tbsp at a time, you'll have leftovers I'm sure) and roasted chick peas and toss away! I served this warm, but I think it could work as a pasta salad too! 

Kale Pesto
1/4 cup raw almonds
1 clove of garlic
1/3 cup of parm cheese
1 bunch of kale, maybe 3 cups worth
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

-Combine almonds and garlic in a food processor. Pulse under well combined
-Add in parm cheese, kale, salt and pepper, pulse until combined
-With the food processor running low, slowly add in olive oil until you reach your desired consistency
-Adjust seasoning to your taste
-Left overs will keep for 3-4 days refrigerated

Roasted Chick Peas
1 can of chick peas, rinsed & drained
kosher salt
red chilli flakes
extra virgin olive oil

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees
-Rinse and drain chick peas. Gently remove the "skins" of each chick pea
-Lay out on some paper towels to help soak up the moisture. Try to get them as dry as possible
-Toss chick peas with salt, pepper, red chilli flakes and olive oil
-Lay evenly on a lined baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 30-40 mins   


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