(Kale Apple Smoothie from RealSimple)
One of my “intentions” this year was to cook more. We’ve been getting food from the CSA and it’s been interesting. I almost wanted to start it in the winter because the abundance of familiar items are gone and in place of those are green leafy things. Buying local / organically has changed my perspective on food a lot. I hated cooking for a long time. There was no draw for me. I heated something up or followed a recipe with store bought ingredients that had no flavor or texture. Then I started frequenting the farmer’s market and became familiar with a lot of ingredients that I only saw on Food Network. I got big into watching FN for a long time and the creativity that these cooks and chefs have is amazing. I don’t have that. Even to this day with how far I’ve come in cooking, I spend an hour in the kitchen staring at my pantry and fridge trying to figure out how I can put all this together. So I played around with a lot and took risks at restaurants that had great, creative chefs. I trusted their menus and decided to go for it. That really opened up my palette.
This week I’ve challenged myself to play around with a few ingredients I’m unfamiliar with. I ordered kale from my CSA and my intention was to make kale chips and use it in smoothies. Kale is packed with nutrients and is flavorless so it’s the perfect add in to any smoothie. I was excited when I found the recipe above for a Kale Apple Smoothie. I’ll be making that sometime this week. I also made the kale chips yesterday and they turned out fantastic.
One challenge I had when planning the menu for this week was finding fast, healthy meals. We are starting our new gym routine Monday so we won’t have too much time after that to spend in the kitchen if we want to eat at a decent time. Here are a few things I’ll be making this week with ingredients from CSA and others I found in the pantry that I’ve been meaning to use:
For this recipe, we will be using spaghetti instead of bucatini, since that’s what we have in our pantry, and probably some other type of meat. Neither JZ or I can do much spicy so we might go with a milder turkey sausage or something else altogether. I was thinking chicken would be good. I’ll be adding arugula from the CSA, also.
Crystal and another friend, Katie, are coming over for a girls night at my house this week. This will be the second of hopefully many dinner nights that the three of us do. In November, Katie invited us over to her place for dinner and to catch up. It had been a little while since we had seen each other because of my wedding and Katie traveling for work. I suggested we try to do this monthly so I offered to host this month. For my menu I chose this gingered carrot soup. It’s vegetarian and vegan. Some other recipes I found called for heavy cream and/or chicken broth. All three of us are trying to eat healthier so I figured this would be a good option. My sister and I had one over Christmas break that had a consistency of potato soup. I’m anxious to make sure this one comes out very velvety!
What healthy meals will you be making this week?