Category Archives: kale

Detox: Pomegranate and Kale Orzo Salad

During this period between Thanksgiving and Christmas a lot of our lives revolve around food.  First, there is the giant Thanksgiving dinner- and we’re all very full.  And in the last couple of weeks a number of our friends have had birthdays- which means more food!  (Don’t worry friends- I will gladly try new restaurants with you!)  And I know many people reach for a salad to give their stomach a break.

I think this salad is a great alternative!  It’s got a light pasta- orzo, a fruit- pomegranate, vegetables- kale, pearl onions, and a great dressing.  And the hardest thing to do (for me) was peeling out the pomegranate seeds.  Don’t worry- in most stores you can buy the peeled seeds.

We took this salad to work almost all week for lunch, and it had the perfect level of lightness, but filling enough that our stomachs weren’t growing an hour after.  It was a great little detox salad from all of the big dinners!

I’m truly a fan of pomegranate.  The texture is fantastic- soft at first, but firm when you bit into it.  Plus it’s not overly sweet.  Around the holidays I like to add it to a lot of salads or dishes, since it does add a festive feel to it with the beautiful red color.

Adding the kale to the salad gave it that earthy taste.  If you’re not a fan of kale, I think spinach or arugula would be a great substitution.   That small change can actually make the dish even lighter, and have a spring or summer feel to it.  Very versatile.  I’d love to hear of any additions or substitutions any you might have!

Pomegranate and Kale Orzo Salad
Adapted from: Happyolks
Servings: 6-8 lunch salads

1 pinch & 1 tsp of salt
2 cups of pearl onions
1 tsp & 1/4 cup of olive oil
2 1/2 cups of orzo
2 pomegranates
1-2 bunches of kale, chopped
juice of 1 orange
1 tbsp honey

In a large pot, add water and cook it.  Once the water is boiling, add a pinch of salt.  Then add the pearl onions.  Cook them for about 10 minutes.  Once they are cooked through, use a strainer to take all of the pearl onions out of the pot.  Leave the water in the pot.  Set the cooked pearl onions aside in a bowl.

In the pot with the boiling water, add the orzo.  Add 1 tsp of olive oil and cook the orzo for about 8-10 minutes, or until the orzo is cooked through.  When the orzo is ready, drain and rinse with cold water.  Add to it to a large bowl.

While the pearl onions and orzo are cooking, break open the pomegranates.  I tend to cut the fruit into 4 pieces, and then begin to take out the seeds. Meanwhile, pick out and throw out the white fibrous bits.  Add all of the seeds to the bowl with the orzo.

Once the pearl onions are cooled, trim off one end (just a tiny piece).  Squeeze out the rest of the onion from its skins.  Once I removed the skins I roughly chopped the onions (but feel free to keep them whole).  Toss them into the large bowl with the other ingredients.

Then, toss in the chopped kale into the bowl.  Mix all of the ingredients well.

In a separate bowl whisk together: 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1 tsp salt, juice of an orange and honey.  Once it’s all mixed together, pour over the salad.  Toss the pasta salad once more to mix all of the ingredients thoroughly.

Kale Lasagna

Sometimes during the weekends we like to make a dish that will last us several days.  When I saw a recipe for kale lasagna (without ricotta) I added it to our list.

As I’ve mentioned before, ricotta and I do not have a wonderful relationship.  Therefore, I try to find ways to substitute it.  Last time we made lasagna, we used tofu as the substitute- check it out here!  This time the substitute was cottage cheese.  I feel like I should have thought of that long ago, yet I didn’t.

Now, if you’re not a fan of kale- feel free to use spinach or any other greens.  Personally, I do not like meat in my lasagna.  I feel like it’s an already heavy dish- and by adding meat, it’ll give me a stronger food-coma.  Since all recipes can have some tweaking- this one is the same.  If you’re a meat lasagna fan, definitely add a layer of it somewhere in there.

This is the pre-bake picture.  I loved the contrast between the green kale, red tomatoes and white cottage cheese.  Yum!

Kale Lasagna
Adapted from: Kalyn’s Kitchen

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
10 oz crimini mushrooms, chopped
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
28oz chopped tomatoes
6 cups of kale, roughly chopped
2 cups of cottage cheese
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, shredded
box of lasagna noodles
2 cups of mozzarella cheese, grated

In a large pan, heat up olive oil.  Add onions and saute for about 3 minutes, or until they are soft.  Then add garlic, mushrooms, basil, oregano and red pepper flakes.  Saute all of the ingredients for about 5 minutes.  Finally, add the tomatoes.  Simmer the sauce for about 5 minutes.  Once the sauce has cooled, pour into a food processor.  Puree the sauce, depending on how smooth or chunky you would like your sauce to be.

The next step is to blanch kale.  Take a large pot and boil water.  Add the chopped kale into the boiling water for about 3 minutes.  Have a bowl of cold water ready, and once the kale is cooked add it to the cold water.  Keep the kale in the cold water for about 3 minutes, and then drain the kale.

In a separate bowl, mix together cottage cheese, beaten eggs and grated Parmesan.  Finally, add the drained kale.  Mix all of the ingredients.

Spray a 9×12 inch baking dish with nonstick spray.  Lay lasagna noodles at the bottom of the pan.  Pour a layer of the sauce onto the lasagna noodles.  Then put down a layer of the cottage cheese-kale mixture.  Finally, sprinkle 1/2 of a cup of mozzarella cheese.  Continue putting the layers until you have used up all of the ingredients.  The top layer will be lasagna noodles covered with a layer of mozzarella cheese.

Preheat the over to 375°F.  Cover the dish with aluminum foil, and bake for 60 minutes.  Then, take off the aluminum foil and bake for another 20 minutes.  Let the lasagna cool for about 5-10 minutes before cutting it and serving.

Kale, White Bean & Potato Soup

 Soups are great in the winter- keep you warm and are very filling.  They are also amazing when you need to use up what is left over in your fridge.  As long as you have some vegetables left over and beans- a soup can be made within minutes. 

 Kale, White Bean & Potato Soup

2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups veggie broth
2 cups water
1 tbsp red wine
salt & pepper to taste
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
1 can (14 oz) white beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups carrots, diced
5 baby red potatoes, diced
4 cups kale
4 lemon wedges
Parmesan cheese, shredded (optional)

Heat olive oil in large saucepan, and saute onion and garlic for about 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent.  Add veggie broth, water, wine, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes.  Bring mixture to a boil, then add beans, potatoes, carrots and kale.  Return to boil and then reduce to medium heat, cook for 25 minutes until veggies are cooked.  Squeeze lemon juice from each lemon wedge into each soup bowl, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.