Ingredient Challenge Monday – Lemony Kale with Raisins and Pecans Over Grits

The Christmas trees are put away! The wreaths are all taken down! No more Christmas music, champagne or cookies! At least let’s hope so…well all except the champagne part 😉 

After all that indulging, partying and baking (except me – I’m not a baker) it always feels good to kinda detox.  I’m not a dieter, but I do like to keep a good balance in the food I eat – and that’s pretty easy for me because there’s not many things I don’t like to eat. 

As part of the ingredient challenge this week including Nutritionella, And Love It Too! and Marci Gilbert  using kale, I came up with a healthy dish that’s packed with fiber and protein, low in fat, but screams comfort food.  Especially if you like lemon, this is just a big ol’ bowl of yum.

Lemony Kale with Raisins and Pecans Over Grits

1 bunch Kale, washed, dried and coarsely chopped

1 lemon, juiced

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup cornmeal or grits

1/4 cup shredded parmesan

2 1/2 cups chicken broth, divided

Olive oil

In a large saute pan over medium heat, drizzle about a tbsp of olive oil and add pecans.  Stir around for a few minutes until they just start to brown and you start to smell them. 

Remove from heat and set aside.  Add 1/2 cup chicken broth to the pan and turn the heat up to medium-high.  Add the kale, and cook until almost completely wilted, turning with tongs to cook evenly. 

While the kale is cooking, add 2 cups of chicken broth and the cornmeal to a sauce pan on high.  When it just starts to boil, cover and turn the heat down to low.  Simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened, about 5-8 minutes.  ← Watch it though, this cooks fast and can scald very easily.   Remove from heat, then stir in the parmesan.  Salt and pepper to taste.

To the kale add the raisins, nuts and lemon juice.  Toss with tongs, and simmer until all liquid is absorbed – about 10-15 minutes. 

Ladle some grits in a serving bowl, and top off with the kale mixture.

 Now go see what the other challengers made with kale and be sure to let us know what you think-

Marci Gilbert

Nutritionella

And Love It Too!

Happy Monday!

~Dixie Chik~

PrintFriendly and PDF

Ingredient Challenge Monday!

Today we are announcing the ingredient that will be used in Ingredient Challenge Monday!  This is our second Ingredient Challenge, and we have added another challenger!  

This weekend there will be four of us creating recipes from one ingredient; Nutritionella, Marci Gilbert, And Love It Too!, and Yours Truly ;).  Now onto the ingredient…..

Kale!

Just some interesting little tidbits about Kale….in case you were wondering. 

♦Kale is loaded with beta carotene which is important for our vision (7 times of that in broccoli!).

♦Kale is high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Vitamin B6.

♦Sulforaphane (? never heard of that, even in nursing school) is produced when you chew vegetables like kale, which actually are thought to be detoxifying chemicals that protect against cancer. 

So, now I can’t wait to find out what everybody comes up with for this recipe challenge –  Check back on Monday to see our dishes and have a safe and Happy New Year!

~Dixie Chik~

PrintFriendly and PDF

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Browned Butter Sage Sauce

I hate that I haven’t posted in a few days… but with the holidays, the job hunt, etc., it’s been hard to find the time to sit down and post.  I am, however, glad to have the Christmas tree put away and the house looking back to normal.  Now all I have to do is hope the next 3-4 months fly by…..I’m waayyyy over this cold weather and ready for the pool and highs in the 90’s 😉  Anyway – onto the food.

Rarely is there a time that my husband actually requests I make something.  He’s not picky and typically eats whatever I decide to make.  I made this about two weeks ago (of course I didn’t take any pictures) and he said it was “one of the best things he’s ever tasted”.  So yesterday he asked me if I would make it again.  Let’s hope this time turned out as good!

Mise En Place

1 1-lb butternut squash

1 package wonton wrappers

1 1/2 stick butter, divided

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

1 tsp seasoned salt

2 tbsp fresh sage leaves, chopped

1 pinch nutmeg

1 cup chicken broth

1 tsp cornstarch whisked in 1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 400°.  Slice the butternut squash horizontally.  Place on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sea salt.  Roast in the oven for about 30-45 minutes, until fork tender throughout.  Scoop the squash into a large bowl and combine with 1/2 stick of butter, seasoned salt and parmesan.  Mix on low until combined.

Heat a sauce pan over medium heat.  Add 1 stick of butter and cook, stirring, until slightly brown.  Turn the heat down a little and add the sage, nutmeg, chicken broth and cornstarch mixture.  Simmer for a couple of minutes, whisking, until slightly thickened.  Cover and set aside.

Using a pastry brush, carefully line the edges of one wonton skin.  Add about a teaspoon of the butternut squash mixture in the very center.  Add another wonton skin on the top, sealing the edges. 

Continue with remaining ingredients, but keep them covered loosely with a paper towel until you’re finished.  Heat a large pot of water over high heat until boiling.  Add the “ravioli” about 5-6 at a time.  Boil for about 3-5 minutes, stirring a few times to keep them separated.  You will know when they’re done – they start to turn a bit translucent.  Remove with a slotted spoon to a serving plate.  Drizzle with the butter sage sauce and serve.

~Enjoy~

Dixie Chik

PrintFriendly and PDF

Addition to Ingredient Challenge Monday!

I had a reader that wanted to participate in our Ingredient Challenge, but she ended up falling under the weather this past weekend.  She sent me her recipe this morning and I couldn’t wait to share it.  I love this challenge – it has given me so many great ideas! 

Sunny, over at And I Love It Too! came up with an amazing looking Fruit Sweetened Jalapeño Pomegranate Jam.  I thought it was very creative and looks great.  I’ve already thought of a bunch of uses for it.  And I Love It Too! is a gluten-free, dairy-free food blog with tons of family-friendly recipes.  She has some great advice and tips for living gluten and dairy free.  One recipe that really caught my eye was Velvety Mac and Cheese using her own homemade “processed” cheese! 

If you missed the initial post from last week about our new challenge here’s a recap:

We decided on one ingredient this time to be used in a dish – Pomegranate.

Nutritionella came up with these delicious little Pomegranate & Mint Spring Rolls with Pomegranate Cranberry Chili Sauce.

My recipe was Roasted Pork Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Pomegranate Arils.

And I Love It Too! came up with Fruit Sweetened Jalapeño Pomegranate Jam.

Definitely visit both of these ladies’ blogs.  I can’t wait for the next ingredient challenge!  Don’t forget – our readers can “rate” our recipes.  Check back with us on Friday, December 31st (yep, New Year’s Eve) when all of us will be announcing the ingredient(s) we will be using for our recipes that will be posted on Monday January 3rd! 

~Dixie Chik~

PrintFriendly and PDF

Ingredient Challenge Monday – Announcing the First Ingredient and Additional Challenger!

And the first ingredient is……

 Pomegranate

I love them!  If you missed my last post, which was Pomegranate Pico de Gallo, then go see it.  The whole batch I made was gone in one afternoon; we scooped it up with sea salt pita chips, cinnamon and sugar pita chips, Fritos, and even put it on our turkey burgers that we made for dinner that night.  The stuff is good.

So, that’s the one ingredient we are going to be using to create Monday’s challenge recipe.  Also, we have a new blogger that decided to join us (yay!), Marci Gilbert at www.marcigilbert.com will be our third challenger.  Anyone else is welcome – just let one of us know! 

Please bookmark our sites so you can keep up with the challenge recipe results and ingredients.  Remember, we want feedback from our readers! It’s not meant to be a real competition, but a fun way to challenge eachother’s creativity. 

Happy Cooking!

~Dixie Chik~

PrintFriendly and PDF