The first blog post of 2015 has arrived! Last year I had a personal goal of trying to post an average of once a week and in the end I was pretty darn close with 42 blog posts published in 2014. 2015 is going to be even bigger and better, as you’ll continue to find my take on great Chicago spots, recipes, and culinary products. Thanks for your continued readership and get excited for 2015!
Over my version of “winter break” (oh for the days of 3 week long winter breaks!) Taste Tester #1 and I traveled to Los Angeles for a few days and got into the great habit of eating fresh, healthy So-Cal food. This included lots of produce such as kale and we wanted to incorporate more of it into our diet at home. I found this kale-heavy recipe from epicurious and adapted it with the foods that I already had in my cupboard. Adapting a recipe’s ingredients to incorporate what is already in your pantry is a great way to create a unique recipe and also save money. Feel free to substitute similar ingredients with what you have in your own home!
- 2 medium acorn squash, halved down the middle, seeds removed
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 8 ounces Trader Joes Sweet Apple chicken sausage
- 1 large leek, white and light green parts only, halved and sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 4 cups tightly packed torn kale
- 1/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup chopped honey roasted peanuts
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
Pre-Heat the oven to 375°. Cut a thin slice off the round side of each squash half to create a stable base. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; coat with cooking spray. Place squash flesh side down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil; bake until golden and tender, 30 minutes. Remove from oven; flip squash and set aside. Heat broiler. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 1 teaspoon oil. Chop and add sausage; cook, breaking into coarse pieces, until brown, 6 minutes; transfer to a bowl. Using the same skillet, add remaining 2 teaspoons oil and leek; cook until leek is soft, 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook, 30 seconds. Add kale and toss; add broth. Cover and cook until kale is tender, 5 minutes; stir in sausage. Divide kale-sausage filling among squash. In a bowl, combine peanuts, Parmesan and panko; sprinkle evenly over squash bowls and coat with cooking spray. Broil until panko is golden, 2 minutes.
Recipe adapted from Epicurious Acorn Squash with Kale and Sausage