Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Roasted Broccoli, Kale, and Chickpeas with Ricotta

Kale has been one of those iffy veggies for me. I have mentioned that I was really nervous to try kale, since the very first time that I was ever exposed to it was preparing food for animals at the Bronx Zoo. Meat eaters would surly turn their noses away from the ground beef and horse mixture that we fed to the lions, and I felt the same way about the food I was used to feeding to gorillas and gazelles. To me, kale was animal food, not human food.

Kale has been getting pretty popular recently, and I finally took the plunge and tried it. I didn't fall head over heals for it, but I did love adding another dark leafy green into my diet. When you cut out meat from your diet, adding a variety of veggies is the spice of life.

I have been eager to find kale recipes. It took a lot of effort for me not to swap kale for spinach (my favorite dark leafy green), but I found a winning recipe that is my new favorite way to eat kale!

Recipe from Sunday Suppers

What you need:


1 Bunch of kale, stemmed and chopped
2-3 Heads of broccoli, cut into small florets
2 Cans of chickpeas
3-4 Tablespoons of lemon juice
4 Tablespoons of EVOO
2-3 Cloves of garlic, chopped
15 oz Container of ricotta cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes to taste

What to do:
Preheat the broiler.
Toss the kale, broccoli, chickpeas, and garlic in the olive oil.
Lay out the veggies on a greased and lined baking sheet.
Sprinkle the salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes on top.
Broil for 5 minutes, tossing halfway through, until the kale is crispy, broccoli is tender, and the veggies are just getting a char, but are still bright green.
Drizzle the lemon juice on top.
Serve with a dollop of ricotta cheese.







This was so garlicky and so delicious. I loved the flavor and crisp of the chard kale. The chickpeas had almost a meaty flavor, which went well with the veggie flavor of the broccoli, plus they added an element of protein. The lemon juice was a nice addition of tartness. There was just the right amount of heat from the red pepper to give it a little kick. And the contrast of hot veggies with the cold ricotta took this to the next level. The mild and soft cheese was almost like a cream sauce, it was the perfect way to top this dish.

What is your favorite way to make kale? Will this roasted kale dish be on your menu next?

Bye from the Veggie Side!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Sweet Potato Tacos

You guys must think I'm a big liar. I start off by saying how much I hate Mexican food, yet I am constantly making it! I feel like I can't break out of the habit saying that I don't like it, because I still wont go out to a Mexican restaurant. I used to really dislike beans and corn, but I am slowly starting to like them. As long as I determine what goes into my Mexican meal, I guess I can say I like Mexican food.

I was looking for something a little different to cook. Lately I have been feeling like I'm in a cooking funk. I have been making a lot of the same foods around here, and I thought it was time for a change. I spotted a recipe for sweet potato tacos, and I went ahead and gave it a try!


What you need:


3 Medium sweet potatoes, pealed and diced
1 Can of corn
1 Can of black beans
1 Pack of taco seasoning
16 10-inch tortillas
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 Cloves of garlic, diced
3 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp lime juice
Cheddar cheese to sprinkle on top
Salt and pepper

What do to:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with foil and arrange the sweet potatoes on the sheet.
Drizzle to coat the potatoes in olive oil.
Sprinkle the salt, pepper, and taco seasoning on top.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are soft, tossing a few times as they cook.
While the potatoes are baking, begin sauteing the garlic in an oil coated pan over medium heat.
Add in the corn, black beans, honey, and lime juice until heated.
Toss in the sweet potatoes and cilantro.
Pile on warmed tortillas and sprinkle with cheese.





The sweet potatoes, corn, and honey definitely added a lot of sweetness to the dish. The cheese was the perfect contrast so to cut the sweetness and I loved the sharpness of the cheddar. It had just a hint of heat, with some Mexican flavors. I wouldn't call this super authentic, but the beans had a nice bite, adding  protein to make it a complete meal.

I thought this was a great creation. Another Mexican meal to add to the list!

Will you try out these sweet potato tacos? What is your favorite take on a Mexican classic?

Bye from the Veggie Side!


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