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Winter Cooking: Kale and Black Bean Mole Enchiladas

Kale and Black Bean Mole Enchiladas

Cold wintery weather calls for something with melted cheese and bubbling sauce, right? Yeah, that’s what I thought too. And it’s really hard to go wrong with Mole Enchiladas. And when you make them a little lighter with kale and black beans instead of chicken, it’s a dinner that’ll find its way into your rotation on a regular basis–maybe even for a Meatless Monday!

For this recipe, I specify an amount of mole sauce to use. Because here’s a confession–the handful of times I’ve made mole from scratch, it’s been um, okay. That’s a lot of work for something that I’ve never been that thrilled with when I attempt to make it myself. So, if you have a homemade mole recipe you love, by all means, use that! If you have a jarred version that you always buy, go for it. You could even swap the mole for a regular enchilada sauce if you’d like (but you’d be missing out a little bit because the rich and peppery mole is definitely fantastic!).

Personally, I’ve had good success with this Black Mole Paste by Juquilita and even the Dona Maria brand that you can most likely find . . . → Read More: Winter Cooking: Kale and Black Bean Mole Enchiladas

Grilled Salmon with Chard, Bacon, & Udon Noodles

Grilled Salmon with Chard, Bacon, & Udon Noodles

One of my most favorite restaurants on the Oregon Coast is Local Ocean in Newport*. And whenever we go there, even though I know I should order something new, I get the Grilled Halibut with Swiss chard, edamame, bacon, udon noodles, ponzu sauce – because it’s so good that I just can’t bring myself to order anything else.

Recently, I recreated it at home, using salmon instead of halibut and I think it turned out great. The thing with salmon is that you can get a nice crispy skin that just adds to the deliciousness of this plate.

Timing can be a little tricky, but if you’re up for it, after you cook the bacon, just get three burners going on the stove at once and you can get it all done about the same time. Or just set the noodles, chard, ponzu, and edamame aside with some foil while you cook the salmon. That works fine too!

Grilled Salmon with Chard, Bacon, & Udon Noodles

Grilled Salmon with Chard, Bacon, & Udon Noodles

Grilled Salmon with <span style= . . . → Read More: Grilled Salmon with Chard, Bacon, & Udon Noodles

FFwD: Dressy Whole Wheat Pasta-Kale “Risotto”

FFwD: Dressy Whole Wheat Pasta Kale Risotto

Everyone seems to have loved this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe and I was no exception. Although, as someone who kind of feels like they over-indulged a bit during the holidays, I was not super enthusiastic about making a pasta dish filled with cream, cheese, and well…pasta. So, I changed it a bit.

The easiest swap was wheat pasta for the regular (a substitution that I make a lot), the second was skipping the cream – and not just because I was too lazy to go to the store. There’s already marscapone cheese in there, so I thought that, along with the Parmesan would be enough to make it creamy. Not to mention that this pasta dish is cooked kind of like a risotto (hence the name) and the liquid is not drained, so the starchy pasta broth would help it all bind together as well.

I also added some chopped kale and a bit more cheese (hey! because I skipped the cream!) and I think it turned out fairly well. It’s still extremely creamy, cheesy, and satisfying, if a little less French, I guess.

Here’s a link to everyone’s Dressy Pasta Risotto . . . → Read More: FFwD: Dressy Whole Wheat Pasta-Kale “Risotto”

National Kale Day: Chicken Kale Pasta (Casserole) with Apple & Bacon

Chicken Kale Pasta with Apple & Bacon

Kale, like brussels sprouts, fish sauce, and swiss chard, is an ingredient that I discovered that I liked later rather than sooner. I don’t even think I started with the now ubiquitous kale chips — I think it was maybe braised kale at a restaurant, and only about three years ago.

Did you know October 2nd is (possibly) National Kale Day? I think that it’s not quite an official thing yet, so let’s all try to make it happen! Until then, I’m just going to pretend that Wednesday IS National Kale Day and celebrate with this kale post.

This casserole is hearty and comforting, just want you want on a cold, windy day that we’ve been having a lot of here in Portland lately. jwa thought it needed a bit more spice, but I thought it worked nicely just as is – creamy, a little bacony-y, and of course, kale-y. People who think it needs some extra spicy heat can always add their own hot sauce.

This would also be extremely easy to make vegetarian — just omit the chicken and bacon. But then, you probably could have figured that out on . . . → Read More: National Kale Day: Chicken Kale Pasta (Casserole) with Apple & Bacon

Quinoa Polenta with Sautéed Greens, Parmesan & Apricot Vinegar

Quinoa Polenta with Sauteed Greens, Parmesan & Apricot Vinegar

Oh my god, I love polenta. Creamy polenta, sautéed polenta — doesn’t matter. I just wish corn was healthier than it is, especially when I could probably eat polenta multiple times per week. I think I have found a solution! Polenta that is half traditional polenta and half quinoa! Because quinoa is good for you, it all works out.

I wish I could take credit for the idea, but I actually saw it at the store. You know those little tubes of pre-made polenta you can buy? Well, that polenta isn’t that great compared to homemade, but they also now make a quinoa polenta version. I saw it the other day and I couldn’t believe what a great idea it was. So, I made my own at home.

I had also recently just made some apricot vinegar and although we had been using it in wonderful salad dressings all week, this dish seemed like a great use for it as well. I love making polenta with sautéed greens, so I just stuck to that theme here. I used some rainbow chard and used the same cooking technique as I did . . . → Read More: Quinoa Polenta with Sautéed Greens, Parmesan & Apricot Vinegar