Sunday, April 29, 2012

super easy kale pesto (and the many meals it became)

I am a huge fan of anything I can throw into the Cuisinart that results in a delicious meal in minutes. Lately, I have been making a lot of pestos. But not just any old pestos. These bad boys are filled with the nutritious goodness of my Superfood du jour: kale (and heck, walnuts aren't too far behind). Here's one of my latest and greatest kale pesto recipes:

Kale Pesto
(makes 6 servings + plenty leftover to use different ways throughout the week, or to freeze)

3/4 -1 lb kale (fresh, tough stem removed, or frozen)
1/2 cup raw walnuts
5-6 cloves of garlic
1 cup olive oil
zest of 1-2 lemon(s)
salt & pepper to taste

Pulse all ingredients in a Cuisinart until pureed. I served this over our favorite pasta on night one.

Then I blended part of the batch with a can of chickpeas to make a protein-rich hummus, which I served in cucumber cups at a mom's night out...

And last, but certainly not least: toasted pieces of hearty bread were smothered in the pesto, topped with a blend of mozzarella and Parmesan and popped under the broiler to become another quick meal. (I am pretty sure I served it for both a breakfast and a quick dinner that week...)

Pestos also freeze beautifully, so go ahead and make a big batch. What's your favorite combination of pesto ingredients? I'd love to hear!                                                
Hope your family enjoys this recipe as much as mine! - Eila

Thursday, April 19, 2012

my :30 seconds - look who made Forbes!

It's one thing to have someone stop you in the supermarket aisle to tell you how much they loved a recipe they found here on the blog. That, of course, makes my day. And it's just as-- maybe even more-- exciting to find out my enchilada video is featured on Forbes! How cool is that? Oh, and those other lifestyle edits Samantha Ettus shared to make tomorrow easier, I am totally going to try the other 7.

the (super easy) kale salad that makes me swoon

I love this kale salad. In fact, I love it so much that we had fresh batch after fresh batch night after night over spring break. It's just so simple, so healthy, and so delicious. And my kids love it, which is a bonus.

The Kale Salad That Makes Me Swoon

8 oz kale, chopped*
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (preferably unsweetened)
1 T toasted sesame oil
4 T sesame seeds
salt & pepper, to taste

Toss everything in a big bowl with your hands, massaging the dressing into the kale. This will make it a little bit more tender. Ideally, let the salad sit for about 30 minutes to let the flavors meld....though I have been known to just dig in.

*Out at my parents' home in Idaho, we can get organic kale pre-chopped, ready to go at their supermarket. This is a luxury, and probably the reason why I initially became so enamored by this salad. The prepped kale by them is curly kale + a few shredded carrots and a bit of shredded red cabbage. I think the curly kale I get out there is a lot more tender than the curly kale I find in our local supermarkets, here in CT. So, if I'm prepping it myself, I like to buy the dark green, wide leafed variety, which is called lacanito, dinosaur or Tuscan kale, depending upon your produce section. All you have to do, if it's not pre-chopped, is remove the though center vein and then either tear the kale by hand or rough chop it into bite-sized pieces. Hope you and your family enjoy this simple salad as much as we do!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

peek at Easter weekend 2012

fabulous weekend together, full of fresh air, adventures and homemade food...

kale/broccoli/spinach frittata + fruit salad + blanched green beans with a simple mustard vinaigrette and slivered almonds + homemade sweet/fingerling potato hash... and a variety of treats + mimosas with friends + a gorgeous weekend to boot
oh, a quick reminder that you have until 3pm (EDT) Monday, April 9th to enter the give-away for 4 (super cute) sectioned plates!

Friday, April 6, 2012

hooray! sectioned plate give-away

Last Sunday's post about how I feed my children the same foods we're having, but sometimes plate them differently struck a happy chord with many of you parent readers out there. It's such a simple concept, right? Well, I think it's high time one of you got a set of your own sectioned plates so you can try this around your dinner table. I have 4 of these fun bicycle-themed sectioned plates that I am more than happy to send to one lucky reader (in the U.S.). To be entered to win, leave a comment (here, on this post) letting me know your favorite spring-oriented family-friendly recipe from the full plate blog. And, if it's something that you've either tried (or want to try) but are hesitant to b/c you need a tip or two to make it more family-friendly, feel free to let me know that and I'll do my best to help you out!

The fine print: comments will be entered in the drawing until Monday afternoon, April 9th at 3pm (Eastern time). Readers with a U.S. mailing address are eligible to win. (Sorry, intl postage is out of my budget at this time...and I don't want to wait in a looooong post office line to deal with customs forms....) If you are also a subscriber to the full plate blog, you get not one, but TWO chances to win. I will use to choose the winner, using some way more complicated than it needs to be method of assigning numbers to all of you, that I'll let my 5 and 9-year-old come up with.... I am paying for this give-away out of my own pocket, so I think those are all of the nitty gritty details/rules we need to have!

Tip off for loyal full plate readers and subscribers: I plan to do a second sectioned plate give-away over on full plate/meals in a snap's Facebook page this week! So.... I encourage you to go on over there and like that page too, for the details when I post 'em + another chance to win!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

(more) lunchbox inspiration

It's mid-week, and you've hit a lunch-packing slump. Have no fear....more colorful lunchbox ideas are here!
lots of fruit (honeydew, cantaloupe, strawberries) + cheese pizza on whole wheat crust + a carrot stick + puffed rice cereal + cucumber "coins"
dried fruit + Animal crackers as a special treat + cucumbers and carrots + cream cheese and jam on whole wheat pitas
Bell and Evans gluten-free chicken nuggets + yogurt + bell pepper "swords" + ketchup + fruit salad
carrot sticks + Chobani Greek yogurt + quesadilla (whole wheat tortilla + black beans + cheddar) + apples two ways (slices and sauce)
carrot "coins" + honeydew melon + strawberries + bell pepper "swords" + grilled chicken
squeeze applesauce + cheese ravioli (without sauce-- easy to pick up and munch) + cucumber "coins" + carrots + melon (again...we seem to eat a lot of melon, don't we?!!)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

making an "adult dinner" child-friendly

Last week, I told you we had this amazing salad for dinner. That post generated a few emails from friends who asked "if my kids really ate that for dinner?". In its' original iteration, it's a loaded Chinese chicken salad. But even that original recipe had too many ingredients for me, so I simplified it a bit. And while the ingredients themselves might be child-friendly, I don't know many kids who relish arriving to the dinner table to find a big entree salad served up. So....

voila! Here's the secret to how I get my kids to eat what we might all consider "adult" meals. I don't do any extra prep for them, I simply dish the ingredients out separately for them as I am tossing our salad ingredients into a big bowl.