Monday, June 22, 2015

Lightened Up Chicken Piccata with Kale


Oh hey guys. Here I am. I'm still cooking and eating. I swear. I'm just so busy, as you can imagine. Work has been busy, Brian did an Iron Man, wedding is like 1 month away. Too much, too much.

I've been trying to make quick and easy recipes lately because that's really all I've got time for. This recipe reminds me of college because one of my friends used to make us Chicken Piccata all the time. I love it. The lemon and the capers gets me every time. But since I'm in wedding prep mode, I needed a good substitute for the pasta it's usually served with. I opted for kale. It's sturdy and delicious.


Chicken Piccata with Kale
makes 2 servings

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/2 cup flour
garlic powder
salt and pepper
olive oil

for the sauce
2 tbsp shallots (diced)
1 clove garlic (minced)
1/2 lemon (thinly sliced)
2 tbsp capers
3/4 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper
1 tbsp unsalted butter

for the kale
1 bunch kale (stems removed, rough chop)
1 tbsp shallots (diced)
1 clove garlic (minced)
salt and pepper
olive oil

Start by pre-heating the oven to 225 degrees.  Let's start with the chicken. Cut your chicken into thin pieces and then pound them out so that they're only about 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder/granulated garlic. 

Next, put the flour in a shallow bowl. Coat both sides of the chicken in flour, patting off excess.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add olive oil.  Drop the chicken in in batches. You should be able to fit about 3 pieces per batch. Let one side crisp up for 5 minutes. Flip and cook other side for 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Repeat this step until all chicken has been fried in oil. Make sure to add more oil with each batch.

Once all chicken is on the baking sheet in the oven, lower heat to medium. Add olive oil and shallots. Let cook for 4 minutes. Next add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Now add chicken broth, lemon slices, capers and some salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Let thicken and simmer for about 10 minutes. 

Cook the kale at the same time as you start making the sauce. Heat saute pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and shallots. Let cook for 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Now add kale, salt and pepper. Let cook for 5-7 minutes. Kale should be tender but not completely wilted. 

After sauce has been simmering for 10 minutes, turn off heat and add butter. Mix until melted. Remove chicken from oven.

Place a pile of kale on a plate. Top with 2 pieces of chicken and pour a good amount of sauce over top of both.



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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Medina Wedding Shower


My sisters and Mom are the best. These ladies threw me a sweet wedding shower in my hometown, Medina, Ohio, last weekend. It was a fun little group of family and friends from both my family and Brian's. They hosted it in the Medina Square at a restaurant called Main Street Cafe. It's kind of a Medina staple. I'm pretty sure I went on some pre- prom/homecoming dinner dates at Main Street. 



It's a weird thing having a shower. All these people are there to celebrate you and watch you open gifts. I loved it though! We had some mimosa and delicious food, and shared a few laughs at the games my sisters put together. Love you girls for doing that!

2 months to go! Next stop, bachelorette party in Chicago and Saugatuk, Michigan!





 






Oh, and we also had a little bit more fun while I was home cheering on the Cavs to victory and enjoying some pretty summer weather on Memorial Day Weekend!







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Monday, June 1, 2015

Kale Pesto Baked Shrimp


It's back. One of my all time favorites. This Kale Pesto recipe is just so good. It got a lot of love from Food52.com here, here and here, so you guys really should try it. I was looking for an easy and healthy recipe last night and a tupperware of this pesto was staring at me from my freezer along with a bag of frozen shrimp. 

I'm trying to be super healthy lately, watching my processed carb intake, not eating a lot of dairy and cutting back on sweets. I've got 2 months until the wedding so I want to feel as healthy and fit as possible! This recipe is a filling and good way to stay on track for me. The pesto recipe makes more than double what you'll need, so be sure to freeze the rest!



Kale Pesto Baked Shrimp
makes 2-3 servings

1 lb. frozen or fresh shrimp (peeled and deveined)
for the kale pesto:
2 bunches lacinato kale (stems removed, rough chop)
1 yellow onion (diced)
5 cloves garlic (rough chop)
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp white distilled vinegar
1 cup parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
1/2 lemon (juice)
kosher salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp olive oil, onion, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Let cook down for 5 minutes. Add kale and 2 tbsp Dijon mustard. Cover and let steam and cook for 8 minutes, until kale is soft. 
In a food processor, add parmesan cheese, lemon juice, white vinegar, kale mixture, and a dash of salt and pepper. Pulse about 8 times. Now turn on the processor and stream in 3/4 cup olive oil slowly. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as necessary.
 
Now slather 1/2 cup - 3/4 cup of the pesto and an extra dash of salt and pepper over the raw shrimp in a mixing bowl. Mix to make sure all the shrimp are coated. 

Turn the mixture out onto a foil lined baking sheet and pop into the over for 10 minutes. Enjoy!


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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Spicy Brussels Sprout and Broccoli Bake


This recipe just screams summer, right? Okay no. Not at all. That's okay. It was delicious and summer in San Francisco basically means winter anyways. It's a simple, one pot meal that yielded tons of leftovers for me.

If you're not a spicy fan, you could just use mild Italian sausage to chill it out. A good weeknight meal for all y'all out there looking for something simple! It's almost the weekend! Woot!

Spicy Brussels Sprout and Broccoli Bake
makes 4 servings

3/4 lb spicy Italian sausage (casing removed)
1 yellow onion (diced)
5 - 6 cloves garlic (minced)
1 tsp dried oregano
15 - 20 Brussels sprouts (halved or quartered)
2 crowns broccoli (about 2 cups of florets)
1 15 oz. can cannellini beans (drained)
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
salt and pepper
olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Start by heating a Dutch oven or large pan with high sides over medium high heat. Add just a little bit of olive oil and drop in the Italian sausage (already removed from casing). Break up into small pieces with a wooden spoon and cook for about 8 minutes. Remove from heat with a slotted spoon to a bowl or plate.

Turn heat down just a bit. Add the onions, oregano, salt and pepper. Let cook for 5 minutes in the fat left over from the sausage. I didn't need to add any additional olive oil at this step, but if there isn't enough, add some. Add the garlic and let cook for 2 minutes.

Next add the Brussels sprouts with a dash of salt and pepper. Let cook for 5 minutes to get a little brown. Deglaze the bottom of the pot with the chicken broth. 

Now add the sausage and all the juices back in. Add broccoli and cannellini beans with another dash of salt and pepper. Stir to combine everything. 

Cover and pop into the oven for 15 minutes. Remove lid and let back for another 10 minutes.


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