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Kale, artichoke dip and minestrone soup

November 15, 2014

So about a week or so ago one of my bosses (bosses son, so I guess he’s my manager? The lines are a little blurry) gave me two huge heads of kale. I was SO excited. He always grows veggies in his back yard to try them out but then can never eat them all. Most of his lettuce goes to the swans and bunnies that we have at work, but I got to the kale before he divvied it up.

More times than not I can never use it all fast enough, but this time I made a point to use it all.

The first thing I did was make kale and artichoke dip. I was heading to a friends house for dinner and was bringing the before-dinner snack. It was delicious, but of course I don’t have a photo.

This is the recipe I used:

Kale and Artichoke Dip

1 (14oz) can artichokes, drained and chopped coarsely
4 oz cream cheese, softened
6 oz greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tsp garlic salt
6 oz kale (8-10) cups

Chips or crackers of your choice.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine artichokes, cream cheese, yogurt, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, garlic salt and kale until completely mixed. Pour into a 1 1/2 qt baking dish or pie plate and cover. It definitely will not look cheesy enough but the kale will cook down. I was worried for a while but if you stir the dip a few times while in the oven you will see it change. Bake 2o mins. Give a good stir (or a few) and bake for another 10 mins.  Top with another 1/2 cup of mozzarella and bake uncovered for 5 mins.

It was a hit… so much that we got a non-kale eater to finish it off. We didn’t really tell him that it wasn’t spinach that he was eating.

Next thing I did was split the second head of kale in half. One half got cleaned, chopped and put in the freezer for some future winter recipe. Points for me!

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The other half was put into my minestrone soup. This soup recipe was kind of made up by me but also loosely based on other recipes. Usually thats how I cook, I read recipes to find out the gist, then I wing it depending on what I have or what I like to eat.

I think I make this soup at least once a week when the weather starts to get chilly.

Ingredients:
4 slices of bacon
1 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic

4 medium carrots (I have used parsnips in place of the carrots also)
3-4 celery stalks
2 russet potatoes (I have used red potatoes too)
1 14oz can of diced tomatoes (roasted or garlic flavor, whichever you prefer)
1 14oz can of white beans

1 quart of water (4 cups)
2 cups of beef broth
4 cups of kale or swiss chard

Instructions:
I start with 4 slices of bacon. Sliced into small pieces and browned in the bottom of my ceramic soup pot. Once the bacon is crispy remove and drain on paper towels. Then in the bacon fat I sauté the chopped garlic and onions, chopped carrots and celery. Add in chopped tomatoes (small, bite size pieces so that they cook quickly). Drain beans and drop them into the pot along with the entire can of undrained tomatoes. Salt and pepper to taste. Add broth and water. Let boil until potatoes are soft and then add in chopped greens. Stir and let simmer for 5 minutes.

I always top with grated parmesan cheese and I have also poured the soup over elbow noodles in the past as well. Im not a fan of cooking noodles in soup because I prefer my pasta on the al dente side.

Heres a photo of all of the chopped up veggies. I dropped the ball on more photos though. I love this soup.

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I hope someone tries my recipes. : ) If you do, let me know.

 

Yogurt and yoga

November 2, 2014

I love yogurt. Especially Chobani. The cups just aren’t big enough! I used to go through phases with yogurt.. I’d be in the mood, buy a bunch, and then they would go bad in the fridge. I especially never liked chunky yogurt. Ever.

But then something happened when I moved into my own house. I started shopping totally for myself and decided one day that I was in one of those rare yogurty moods. I grabbed a Chobani Flip and couldn’t stop obsessing.

Now every time I go to the grocery store I buy handfuls of Chobani. Handful was an understatement.. I can’t usually carry the amount that I buy. Breakfast, snack, dessert… I really cant stop.

My go-to is coconut (I buy those in 4-packs), the flips are usually eaten before bed (I especially like the chocolate, almond, coconut one) and the banana, dark chocolate Indulgent, yeah those are gone in seconds.

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I even cook with it! The other day I made kale and artichoke dip with Chobani’s plain greek yogurt. Oh so good.

Today I had one of the Limited Batch Apple Cinnamon. So yummy and festive. Pumpkin is delicious too. I hope that they come out with another Limited Batch for Christmas. Maybe something else to do with cinnamon.. or cranberry?

For the record this wasn’t a sponsored ad. I just love the stuff.

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I also just realized that my yoga book made a cameo in that photo. Didn’t notice it at first. Ive been trying to slowly work myself into yoga. I love the idea of it and envy yogis for their strength and grace. I’ve never taken an actual class and Im wondering if thats why I don’t really feel like I can say, “I do yoga”.

But I have a pretty mat!

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It fascinates me though. I follow yoga instructors on Instagram and my cousin is also an instructor and sent me the book in the photo a while back when I first told her I was interested. Too bad she lives in Wisconsin or I would have my own personal instructor.

There wasn’t much point to this post.. other than expressing my love for two somewhat random things. I think Im going to go do some sun salutations now… At least Im motivated today!

 

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