1
Kale Potato Bread Stuffing
2
Mexican Vegetarian Lasagna
3
Cheesy Broccoli Quiche With Kale Crust (No Pie Crust Needed!)
4
Simple Homemade Kale Crackers
5
Melted Kale Arugula Cheese Sandwich
6
Potatoes and Kale
7
Greens and Radishes Salad with Lime Dressing – Bon Appétit Pizza Party!
8
Spicy Bok Choy Mushroom Noodles
9
Baked Kale Meatballs and Is it Spring? Are you sure?
10
Chinese Vegetable Noodle Soup
11
Hearty Harvest Chicken Vegetable Soup
12
White Bean and Kale Pesto Soup
13
Easy Kale Pesto
14
Kale Turkey Meatball Sub
15
Preserving Strawberries, Kale and Basil
16
Kale Turkey Meatballs

Kale Potato Bread Stuffing

This Kale Potato Bread Stuffing is a comforting side dish that goes perfect with a chicken, pork chop or steak dinner.  You’ll love how the top is slightly crispy too! 

I love stuffing.  I’ve shared my Amish Potato Stuffing and Cheesy Broccoli Stuffing Casserole before but wanted to share with you my current favorite side dish, Kale Potato Bread Stuffing!   This recipe uses my Amish Potato Stuffing as a base but I threw in kale to add some greens.  Since the dish has a whopping 4 cups of kale in it, you don’t even need to make a extra vegetable to serve at dinner. 

This Kale Potato Bread Stuffing is a comforting side dish that goes perfect with a chicken, pork chop or steak dinner. You'll love how the top is slightly crispy too!

This is the perfect side dish to a chicken, pork chop or steak dinner.  It’s also a great dish to serve for large potluck parties (think of the upcoming Big Game!) as a small serving of it goes a long way in hunger and taste.  
This Kale Potato Bread Stuffing is a comforting side dish that goes perfect with a chicken, pork chop or steak dinner. You'll love how the top is slightly crispy too!

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Mexican Vegetarian Lasagna


Mexican Vegetarian Lasagna recipe that is filled with veggies, ricotta and mozzarella cheese!  Taco seasoning gives it a delicious Mexican flavor!  This is easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time for a quick weeknight meal!

We are loving this dish right now in our house because it’s easy to make and filled with garden fresh veggies and comforting cheese.   Many times I’ll  prepare this lasagna earlier in the day so all I have to do is turn on the oven and throw it in when it’s dinner time.   Whenever I make this I text Matthew a photo of the lasagna and he’ll text back hearts and swoony faces.    Back-to- school season is one of the busiest times of the year, and families are on the lookout for easy meals that deliver big on flavor.  This is a lasagna that the family will fall in love with.

Mexican Vegetarian Lasagna recipe that is filled with veggies, ricotta and mozzarella cheese! Taco seasoning gives it a delicious Mexican flavor! This is easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time for a quick weeknight meal!

This lasagna is filled with veggies that go perfect with the “Mexican” flavor.   Most vegetarian lasagna recipes use eggplant and zucchini but I don’t .  Why?  That’s easy.  We don’t grow those vegetables, hah.  Case closed.  Instead I use the veggies that are grown in our garden to make this as fresh as possible.  There’s kale, tomatoes, green pepper, jalapeno pepper, onion and black beans stacked inside 3 layers of lasagna noodles, alongside ricotta and mozzarella cheese.

Mexican Vegetarian Lasagna recipe that is filled with veggies, ricotta and mozzarella cheese! Taco seasoning gives it a delicious Mexican flavor! This is easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time for a quick weeknight meal!

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Cheesy Broccoli Quiche With Kale Crust (No Pie Crust Needed!)

This Cheesy Broccoli Quiche is a easy to make dinner recipe!  Instead of the traditional pie crust, we’re using kale to line the bottom of the casserole dish.  It’s the perfect balance of cheesy and vegetables!

“This is one of the best meals you ever made” said my husband Matthew eating this quiche while eyeing up the last piece in the casserole dish.  I thought I’d post this first because if my meat loving husband can fall in love with this Broccoli Quiche made on top of kale leaves, then I think that’s the only review I need!

This Cheesy Broccoli Quiche is a easy to make dinner recipe! Instead of the traditional pie crust, we're using kale to line the bottom of the casserole dish. It's the perfect balance of cheesy and vegetables!

This quiche is filled with broccoli and kale.  The broccoli is the main contents of the quiche while the kale acts as the pie crust.   I was really craving a quiche but I didn’t have any pie crust and I wasn’t in the mood to make a homemade one so the sudden idea of using kale leaves to lie in the bottom of the casserole dish as a crust popped into my mind.  I have to say this might be one of my most genius kitchen ideas to date because it worked beautifully. The kale turns a bit crusty while holding in all the contents of the quiche.    I was worried that the wet ingredients would fall through the kale leaves but this quiche is not wet or soggy at all.  The eggs bake perfectly. The cheese melts perfectly.  When cutting it into slices it all holds together perfectly just like if you used a pie crust, but you didn’t and you saved yourself some calories.

This Cheesy Broccoli Quiche is a easy to make dinner recipe! Instead of the traditional pie crust, we're using kale to line the bottom of the casserole dish. It's the perfect balance of cheesy and vegetables!

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Simple Homemade Kale Crackers

These homemade crackers are made by combining a bunch of kale and flour.   They are sprinkled with salt to make a delicious snack or appetizer.  You’re going to love these healthy crackers! 

Yup, it’s kale time in the garden which means I have a list of new kale recipes.  Earlier this week I gave you my current favorite lunch sandwich, but now it’s all about snacks.   At around 4PM every afternoon I snack.  I can’t help it! I’m a afternoon snacker while my husband is a late night snacker, but either way is ok because you won’t regret eating these homemade kale crackers.   The crackers are easy to make and I bet that you have all the ingredients already in your pantry.   It’s the perfect way to use a entire bunch of kale!   These crackers are perfect for snacking, serving as a appetizer (especially sprinkled with Parmesan or a thin slice of Sharp cheese), or alongside eggs at breakfast.    

Simple Homemade Kale Crackers. These homemade crackers are made by combining a bunch of kale and flour. They are sprinkled with salt to make a delicious snack or appetizer. You're going to love these healthy crackers!

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Melted Kale Arugula Cheese Sandwich

Healthy Kale Arugula Sandwich with Melted Cheese that is only 250 calories! This delicious open faced sandwich is perfect for lunch or a meatless dinner. 

With so much kale growing in the garden right now, we’ve been picking pounds worth every weekend to bring back to the city and wonder the frequently asked Summer question “What are we going to make with it?”.   Kale pesto is a favorite, as is Potatoes and Kale, but I wanted to start to bring the kale into my lunch so I quickly created this Melted Kale Arugula Cheese Sandwich.  I say quickly because it took me less than 15 minutes to make the sandwich, photograph it and eat it.  Since you’ll only have to worry about Step 1 and Step 3,  this sandwich will take you 5 minutes.

Healthy Kale Arugula Sandwich with Melted Cheese that is only 250 calories! This delicious open faced sandwich is perfect for lunch or a meatless dinner.

First, start out with some delicious kale and arugula.  Our kale comes straight from our very green at the moment garden.
Healthy Kale Arugula Sandwich with Melted Cheese that is only 250 calories! This delicious open faced sandwich is perfect for lunch or a meatless dinner.

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Potatoes and Kale

Easy recipe for Potatoes and Kale, a filling healthy vegetarian meal.  The ingredients are simple: potatoes, kale, olive oil and salt and pepper.  

We have 4 heads of kale growing in the garden right now.  They are hearty plants so they can hold up with Winter temperatures and a dusting of snow that might fall on their pretty little heads.
Easy recipe for Potatoes and Kale, a filling healthy vegetarian meal.  The ingredients are simple: potatoes, kale, olive oil and salt and pepper.

But I’m going to tell you something that might make me a bad gardener.  Please don’t hate me.  Kale isn’t a favorite food of mine.  In fact if someone offers me a kale chip, I will take one because I’m nice, but in the back of my head I’m thinking “Oh, gee, a fake potato chip, great”.   Now don’t get me wrong, kale chips can be good, but I don’t trust anyone who is going to pick a kale chip over a delicious kettle potato chip.   You know those people who tell you they’d prefer a green kale smoothie instead of a chocolate milkshake? Yeah, never trust them.  

So here’s my predicament.  We grow kale because the plants themselves rule.  They grow big and they always produce.  Now comes the hard part.  It’s usually hard for me to find something to do with kale that knocks our socks off in the kitchen.  Out of the hundreds of recipes on this blog, there’s less than 10 that feature kale (and you can find them here).  These are our favorite kale recipes, but you can tell the majority of them use kale in a way of “hiding” it (for example, kale meatballs are one of our favorites, but it gets the help of the meat and spices).    There’s nothing wrong with that, I mean who cares how you get your greens in, right?  But I feel like those recipes don’t give kale the respect it deserves.  I need to respect the kale more.  Kale does a awesome job in the garden and here I am not making it a star.  While all the other plants end their garden season, kale stands out there in the freezing temperatures to keep growing for us.  Gosh, I feel like a horrible garden mom now.  I’M SORRY KALE.  I WILL LEARN TO LOVE YOU MORE!  I WILL LEARN TO EAT YOU MORE!

Say hello to “Potatoes and Kale”.  A basic, easy recipe that taught me to respect the kale, love the kale, eat more of the kale.  I can’t believe I’m saying this but I’m in love with this simple meal.  I super can’t believe I’m saying this but I ask for kale for dinner now.  Matthew is all “What should we have for dinner tonight?” and I’m all like “Kale! Kale! Kale!”.   This little dish changed my feelings towards kale.    Also I should give credit where it’s due, thank you Matthew, because this is his recipe. He’s the chef behind Potatoes and Kale.  After asking this for the 3rd night in a week I got him to write out the recipe which I’m sharing here.

Easy recipe for Potatoes and Kale, a filling healthy vegetarian meal.  The ingredients are simple: potatoes, kale, olive oil and salt and pepper.

The ingredients are simple.  Potatoes.  Kale. Olive Oil. Salt + Pepper.  That’s it.     Eat it as a side dish or throw it on a little bed of  noodles and call it dinner (that’s what we do).   Not only is the meal delicious and easy, but it makes you feel like a all-star afterwards because you just ate a healthy meal and you loved it!

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Greens and Radishes Salad with Lime Dressing – Bon Appétit Pizza Party!

Do you know what I think we all need? Pizza Night!
How many times do you have pizza night? For how much we love pizza,  we don’t have it nearly enough.  Homemade pizza is the best, especially since Matthew is a pizza crust making master. 

But unfortunately homemade pizza takes time to make, and we don’t always have those extra minutes to let the dough rise and roll it out.  That’s how I fell in love with a new frozen pizza, made a salad straight from our garden and started to declare it pizza night in our house once a week!
Bon Appetit Pizza_2

Greens and Radishes Salad with Lime Dressing_4

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Spicy Bok Choy Mushroom Noodles

Easy 15 minute Asian dish recipe for Spicy Bok Choy Noodles.  These Spicy Noodles include Bok Choy, Kale and Mushrooms making them a vegetable lover’s dream!

Lately I have really been in the mood for a big bowl of Chinese noodles full of vegetables so I cooked this up one night and now it’s a official staple for dinner. I love that I can use both fresh bok choy and kale from the garden making this a happy harvest meal too.   The red pepper flakes and ginger add a little spice that goes a long way for flavor.  These noodles are not soupy as the broth will boil off and the rice noodles will soak them up.    Just thinking about this dish is making my mouth water!

Oriental Spicy Bok Choy NoodlesOriental Spicy Bok Choy Noodles_1
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Easy 15 minute Asian dish recipe for Spicy Bok Choy Noodles. These Spicy Noodles include Bok Choy, Kale and Mushrooms making them a vegetable lover’s dream!

Easy 15 minute Asian dish recipe for Spicy Bok Choy Noodles. These Spicy Noodles include Bok Choy, Kale and Mushrooms making them a vegetable lover’s dream!

Easy 15 minute Asian dish recipe for Spicy Bok Choy Noodles. These Spicy Noodles include Bok Choy, Kale and Mushrooms making them a vegetable lover’s dream!

Oriental Spicy Bok Choy Noodles
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  3. 1 teaspoon ginger
  4. 1 large head bok choy - chopped
  5. 1/2 cup kale - chopped
  6. 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  7. 4 cups chicken broth
  8. 12 oz rice noodles
  9. salt + pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a pot heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add red pepper flakes, ginger, bok choy, kale and mushrooms. Stir to combine them while cooking for 2-3 minutes until the greens wilt.
  2. In a large pot bring chicken broth to a boil. Once boiling add rice noodles, cooking as instructed on noodle package. When the noodles have 4 minutes left, add vegetables and stir.
  3. Season with salt + pepper if needed.
  4. Enjoy!
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

Easy 15 minute Asian dish recipe for Spicy Bok Choy Noodles. These Spicy Noodles include Bok Choy, Kale and Mushrooms making them a vegetable lover’s dream!

Baked Kale Meatballs and Is it Spring? Are you sure?

It’s Spring, right?  Are you sure?  I mean snow and sleet storms happen when it was just 75 degrees a few days ago, right?  Wait.  What is going on?

Spring was here.  The sunshine was blasting.  I had my sunglasses on and short sleeves.  I was planning picnics in the park.  I was ready to get the tomatoes outside.  I was excited for walks for ice cream.  I took my mittens out of my bookbag.  Winter coat? No way, that was packed away.

Then Tuesday night came.  We were on our way home from the last regular season home Brooklyn Nets game (note: The Knicks killed us, but who cares, we’re going to the playoffs unlike you Knicks) when suddenly it just started sleeting and snowing.  We’re talking sleet that comes down and cuts you in the face.  We’re talking a storm where you get home and you have to throw your clothes right in the washer because you’re soaked.  We’re talking weather where there’s no way of not looking like a wet dog (note: I do not look cute like a dog does.  I look like a monster).  This all happened…. in Mid April!

So immediately worries set in for the garden.  Broccoli, Cauliflower, Bok Choy, Lettuce, Peas, Carrots, Radishes, Kale, Onions and more were already planted.   We were historically set to not go below freezing again and we were definitely set for not having snow again until Winter.  Then Mother Nature had to go out and have a bad day…

There’s not  much you can do to protect a garden in mid storm.  Yes, you can brave the sleet while getting soaked to throw on some fabric to protect them from the freezing temperatures (which is what we did), but there comes a time where you just have to hope the plants are going to be ok and just leave them be.    The wait is the worst feeling.    During the next morning we ventured to the roof to find our peas in snow, with more fabric being pressed into the plants due to snow weight on top.  

garden

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The kale didn’t look good.  The lettuce didn’t look great.  The sugar snap peas looked frozen.  The onions were knocked over.. but it was too early to tell as they still needed some afternoon sun to bounce back.
Kale, Sleet Snow Storm April 2014

Kale, Sleet Snow Storm April 2014_2

One thing was certain though, the kale had to be picked. If you guys remember, this kale was planted last Summer (!) and it somehow survived Winter (!) so in terms of how long it’s been planted, it was a real true survivor.  I was a bit bummed that this freak storm was the one to finally destroy it, but time was not on it’s side. Kale, Sleet Snow Storm April 2014_1

Kale, Sleet Snow Storm April 2014_4

So with my winter coat on with a somber heart (I’m so dramatic, I know) I picked all 6 kale plants.  These kale plants really grew fantastically and even though they were destroyed by the weather, it was close to time to pick them anyways as they were starting to flower.   I got pounds of kale off these plants and my entire bottom shelf of the refrigerator is now full of kale. 
Kale, Sleet Snow Storm April 2014_3

But first I had to take a dramatic photo of me with my baby kale and title it “Kale Mother” to post on Instagram.  I love my friend Avery’s comment: PAMALEESI: MOTHER OF KALES
“Kale Mother”, the story of a mother losing her kale plants in a freak sleet snow storm during Spring of 2014 when it was 70 degrees a few days ago.  #kale #rip #mother #artphotography #art #documentary #gardenchat #bluehair #manicpanic  #rooftop #NYC #Br

 

How did the other plants do after they thawed out? We think everything is ok.  A few leaves got burned by the frost, but the lettuce bounced back beautifully and the peas are still standing tall (alongside the onions).    Let’s take a collective sigh of relief as it could have been a real disaster with months of seedling planning ruined.   I guess we had a little luck saved! 

So now with a ton of kale.. what are we going to do?  I wanted to make something right away so I could use up a few full cups of kale, as I get a little stressed with too much kale!  We love our kale turkey meatballs, especially on a hoagie,  so I decided to make a double batch and put a spin on this recipe with mixing the meats.  This was the perfect solution because I got 1 dinner that night out of it, and 2-3 extra dinners to freeze.  Lately we’ve been craving meatballs with pasta but we’re too lazy to make them when hunger hits, so now they’re all ready to be eaten (after being defrosted!)

So let’s make some meatballs! First the kale was picked.  But first I had to weigh in. This year I’m going to keep track of how much we grow to see.  I’ve been telling myself to do this every year but this year I’m going to do it! (I hope..)
Kale, Sleet Snow Storm April 2014_6

 In my other meatballs recipe I usually pan fry them but I didn’t feel like babysitting them so I decided to bake them instead.   I loaded 2 cookie sheets full of meatballs!
Baked Kale Meatballs

These meatballs turned out beautifully! They were crisp on the outside, moist in the inside and full of flavor.    These might be some of the best meatballs I ever made so I was happy to see them made alongside our garden kale.  Having a bit of homegrown in every meal always makes it better, right?    Also these are going to make your home smell great.  When someone walked in our front door about 2 hours after baking they said “It smells so good in here!”.  It totally did.

Baked Kale Meatballs _1

Baked Kale Meatballs _2

Baked Kale Meatballs _4

Baked Kale Meatballs _3

 To freeze them, I separate them into meals and put in a freezer bag.  When it’s time to enjoy them, I’ll let them sit out for a bit to defrost, then warm them up to eat, or throw in a pot to cook alongside the pasta sauce.

Baked Kale Meatballs

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Baked Kale Meatballs
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Ingredients
  1. 4 cups uncooked chopped fresh kale
  2. 1 pound ground turkey
  3. 1 pound ground beef
  4. 2 pinches each of dried rosemary, parsley and oregano
  5. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  6. 6 cloves garlic
  7. 2 eggs
Instructions
  1. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a pan over medium high heat. Add kale and spices. Cook until your kale is wilted.
  2. Put kale mixture and garlic into a food processor and chop it up. Add your turkey and egg and pulse until it's combined. Depending on food processor size you might have to do 2 batches.
  3. Form this mixture into 1-2 inch balls.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Line 2 cookie sheets with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray.
  6. Put meatballs on foil and cook 35-40 minutes or until the internal temperature is 160 degrees.
  7. Enjoy right away, or freeze for later.
Notes
  1. Makes 30 meatballs.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
Have a great weekend everyone!
How’s the weather where you are?  Is it finally Spring?

Chinese Vegetable Noodle Soup

Lately I’m obsessed with Chinese Vegetable Noodle Soup.  Every time I go to my favorite Chinese Restaurant (which is Kum Kau in Brooklyn) I always get the vegetable shrimp soup and stuff myself on noodles and broth.   But I don’t want Takeout Chinese weekly, even if it’s only soup, I want to be able to make it myself.  So I came up with this recipe and I couldn’t be happier with the results.  If you’re a fan of Chinese Noodle dishes, you will love this soup!
Chinese Noodle Soup_8

This soup is very brothy so if love broth, you will be swimming in soup heaven.  Also, this soup asks for a squirt of Sriracha sauce (chili-garlic sauce), you can add or subtract if you want more or less heat, but I definitely think if possible you should add a bit, it gives the soup a real nice kick but isn’t whelming in spice. Chinese Noodle Soup_6

Because I always want to add vegetables to every meal, there’s a bunch of kale and carrots in this soup.  I always love the way kale looks and tastes in a brothy soup.    Along with the vegetables there’s garlic and the real star: ginger.  I always think using ginger in dishes really gives it that true Chinese taste.  If you cook a Chinese dish without ginger and with,  it’s always the ginger dish that wins – always!    But don’t worry if you don’t have fresh ginger or fresh garlic, because I have something that is going to help you in cooking year round.  Do you know about frozen herb cubes? They are the best.  I’ve bee using them for years and they have been saving me from the issue of making a dish and then realizing halfway I don’t have fresh cilantro, ginger, parsley etc on hand.  I just open up the freezer, pop out a few cubes and I have fresh herbs.   And don’t stop at soups, I love using the frozen cilantro for salsas in the winter time.  And frozen dill cubes are perfect for adding in Sour Pickles!
Chinese Noodle Soup_2Chinese Noodle Soup_3

The fine folks at Dorot sent me a few packages of their frozen garlic and herbs to try out and I have to say – Dorot is totally the brand to pick.   As soon as I opened up the frozen cubes of ginger the smell hit me.  The ginger smelled and tasted so fresh I was amazed that this came from a frozen package.    As soon as I had garlic and ginger in the soup pot, Matthew even complimented across the room how great the soup smelled.   A little more about Dorot, the company was established in 1992 and is fully owned by Kibbutz Dorot in the southern part of Israel.  The kibbutz has more than 3,500 acres of field crops – garlic & herbs – which are picked, and then immediately chopped, packaged and frozen in a unique fast freeze process, maintaining their taste, freshness and nutritive value.  And bonus, their products are all natural, non-GMO and gluten-free.   Dorot can be bought in most grocery stores, while you can find them under Pop & Cook at most Walmarts. Each packaging will tell you the frozen equivalent measurement. For ginger, 1 cube is 1 teaspoon.  For garlic, 1 cube is a clove.   I’m in  love with these frozen cubes.  11487576353_1939aa9f0c_b

So now that we have our easy to use fresh herbs, let’s get soup making! In this recipe you can use lo mein or chow mein noodles, but I prefer lo mein noodles myself.  They don’t take very long to cook, 5 minutes max.
Chinese Noodle Soup

And in not much time, you’ll have a big pot of delicious Chinese Vegetable Noodle Soup ready for dinner. Chinese Noodle Soup_5

And if you have any left over (it’s hard to do), it even tastes great heated up the next day.  Enjoy! Chinese Noodle Soup_7

Chinese Noodle Vegetable Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  2. 1 pound ground turkey
  3. 2 cloves of garlic - minced
  4. 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
  5. 6 cups chicken broth
  6. 2 cups cut up kale
  7. 1 cup chopped carrots
  8. 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  9. 1 tablespoon rice cooking wine
  10. 1 squirt of sriracha sauce
  11. 8 ounces lo mein noodles (uncooked)
Instructions
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add ground turkey, garlic and ginger and cook until meat is fully cooked. Remove from pot and set aside.
  3. In the same pot, add broth, kale, carrots, soy sauce, cooking wine, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, sriracha sauce and noodles.
  4. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes until the noodles are tender.
  5. Add in turkey mixture and stir until combined.
  6. Serve and enjoy.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

Hearty Harvest Chicken Vegetable Soup

Hi lovelies,

I have a bunch of different things to tell you so I thought I would do it by the numbers.

I made 4 different kind of cookies this past weekend.  

Next week will officially be “COOKIE WEEK” here on Brooklyn Farm Girl.  All cookies, all the time, wear those stretch jeans if you have them.

There’s 16 days until Christmas.  

I’ve told myself that we need to buy a tree at least 3 times a day for the past week, but it’s been busy.

We’re busy working on a holiday project which consists of very large props.    

The amount of times I’ve washed my hand of paint is near 100 times this week while painting these props.

The amount of times I’ve told myself to wash the paint stained clothing that lays on the bedroom floor is many. But guess what – it’s in the washing machine now.  Go me.

The amount of times I check the washing machine for a cat before it starts is approximately 6.  They love the washing machine.  Usually Xanadu rides it on top until it’s done.

The amount of times I’ve worked out in the past week is 4, not bad.

The amount of episodes of Scandal I watched is the whole first season and half of the second season. I just started watching, usually while working out, and it’s an amazing show!

The amount of times I’ve fallen in love with the President on Scandal is every single time he’s on the screen.

The amount of bananas I eat in any given week is many.  This follows my Google searching of “How many bananas can I eat a day?”

The amount of tacos I ate the past week: 6.

The amount of times I’ve gotten acupuncture in the last 2 weeks: 5.  Maybe I will do a post about it, it’s working wonders.

The amount of times I watch the Brooklyn Nets lose and think about how expensive those season tickets we got were are too depressing to even count.

The amount of times I ate soup this past week: 4.

So that’s the numbers..  Hoping your week is full of tacos, soup and President Fitzgerald Grant as well.

Now on to this soup (of course).  This delicious Hearty Harvest Chicken Vegetable Soup.     Do you know when you got a hit for a soup? When your dining companions spoon this soup in and out and tell you how good it is. You pat your mouth, wink at them and shake your head.  After all, you know how good it is.    You should be feeling good about yourself right now.

This soup is delicious because it’s full of vegetables to fill you up and keep you warm during the winter months.    It’s also incredibly easy and quick to make.    At the end we throw in some instant potatoes to thicken up the soup to make it a bit more creamy then brothy.   Instant potatoes are my new favorite thickener for soups, I love using them this way.  

And then there’s kale in this soup, my dear kale.   Do you know we’re still growing kale? Yup, under the green house there are multiple kale plants all big and strong that are providing me bags full of  this hearty green vegetable in the refrigerator.  

The last week I’ve been using kale in soups and pastas  frequently which really makes me happy.   I love kale in soup as it really turns into a soft green vegetable in a few minutes of broth,  that also packs a great punch of nutrition.  I just run up to the garden, get the green house off,  and fill up my basket.  All with a winter coat and mittens on of course.

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And then I run back down and start my soup.  This soup has so much harvest happiness happening, there’s kale, carrots, potatoes and many dried herbs.  I threw in some chicken to make it more hearty, but if you want to go the vegetarian route, feel free to leave out the chicken and add more vegetables or use tofu or pasta instead.  

What I do hope is you give this soup a try, I think it will really warm your heart and taste buds!Hearty Harvest Chicken Vegetable Soup_1

Hearty Harvest Chicken Vegetable Soup_2

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Hearty Harvest Chicken Vegetable Soup

Hearty Harvest Chicken Vegetable Soup_4

Hearty Harvest Chicken Vegetable Soup
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 large carrots - peeled and cut up into bite size pieces
  2. 1 extra large potato - cut up into bite size pieces
  3. 1 cup kale - ripped up into small pieces
  4. 1/2 pound shredded cooked chicken breast
  5. 2 cloves garlic - minced
  6. 4 cups chicken broth
  7. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  8. 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  9. 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  10. 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  11. 1 teaspoon salt
  12. pinch of black pepper
  13. 1/2 cup instant potatoes
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients except instant potatoes in a pot over medium high heat.
  2. Bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Add instant potatoes and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring so everything is mixed.
  4. Serve and enjoy!
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

White Bean and Kale Pesto Soup

I am loving this soup.  I am loving this weather.  I am loving this soup in this weather. 

Reasons why I love this White Bean and Kale Pesto Soup:
It’s quick.
It’s easy.
It has white white beans which I love.
It has kale pesto which I love, but you can use any type of pesto.
It uses roasted peppers which I’m officially in love with and can’t stop thinking about.  
It’s perfect on a chilly night.  
It’s healthy!
It will make you happy!

I was a bit worried how this soup would turn out, it was a new soup adventure but I was so happy with the results.  There were leftovers I kept warm for Matthew to eat after he came home later and he kept exclaiming how great this soup was as usually if there is no meat involved  it’s not always a favorite, but this was a homerun out of the soup ballpark.

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White Bean and Kale Pesto Soup
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 Tablespoons Kale Pesto (Or any type of pesto you prefer).
  2. 2.5 cups Chicken Broth
  3. 2 15oz cans of Great Northern Beans
  4. 3/4 cup of Roasted Peppers
  5. 2 Tablespoons Parmesan (grated)
  6. pinch of black pepper
To roast the peppers
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 and wash 3-4 medium size bell peppers (any color you want). Leave the stems on. Place the peppers on a aluminum foil covered cookie sheet. Place the sheet in the oven. Every 20 minutes turn the peppers using the stems you left on until 1 hour is up. At this time you should see that all your pepper skins have wrinkled and turned blackish. Take peppers out and cool them for 20 minutes so you can touch them. Once cool peel the peppers so the skin comes off easily. Make sure all seeds are removed from the peppers and disregard them. You should have now have slippery beautiful peppers. Cut them up into small pieces to have 3/4 cup for this recipe.
Directions
  1. Pour your chicken stock into a pot at medium-high heat.
  2. Add beans and bring to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and add your pesto, roasted peppers and pinch of black pepper. Simmer for 5 more minutes.
  4. Add Parmesan cheese and stir soup.
  5. Serve in bowls. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. You can substitute Vegetable Broth for Chicken Broth instead.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
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Hi,  my name is Pamela and I am in love with Roasted Peppers.  Oh goodness  I just love them! Don’t they just smell amazing?

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Here’s the slimy peppers with their skin off.  I then cut them up into bite size pieces.

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Here’s the main ingredients which you probably already have in your pantry.  Here’s my kale pesto recipe if you’d like to use it, or use another pesto if you’d like!

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This soup is done so quick.  If you have the roasted peppers done ahead of time, even better!  I’m going to freeze a bunch up so I can make this all winter long for quick dinners!

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I just love seeing the specks of the pesto.. yum!

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The roasted peppers really make this special too!  


This is totally going to be my Fall soup, I’m already planning on making it again soon! 

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I hope you enjoy this with a blanket on your lap!  Relax and enjoy!

 

Easy Kale Pesto

Happy Thursday everyone! 
How’s the weather where you are?  Let me tell you yesterday was not pretty! And by not pretty I mean melting hot in the mid to high 90’s!  The good news is that after today there is nothing in the 10 day forecast above 80 degrees!  That means the air conditioning can shut off while we sleep!  I need the hum of something while I sleep so if the air conditioner is not on, the fan is, and last week we had 2 chilly nights where we slept with the fan on and I got some deep sleeps! I hardly woke up, slept in and overall was a great sleep.  Who doesn’t love a deep sleep?  

Also who doesn’t love waking up to a cat under the blanket on your belly, a cat on top of your pillow curled into your head, and a cat sleeping next to the bed so it can be the first one to rub against your ankles?   I love my babies.. but that’s another post!   Note to self: Start making more cat posts.  They are necessary for a healthy life! 

Can I tell you something about this kale pesto below?  It’s delicious.  Can I tell you something else?  I didn’t know what pesto was until I was in my 20’s.  Noone back at home in the hills of the Appalachian Mountains every muttered the word “pesto”.  We  never had it n my house, friends parents never made it when I was over at their house, it was never offered at the deli counter to dip your crackers in.  So you can imagine how amazed I was to find many years later what pesto was and how good it was.  That is my excuse for the amount of pesto I eat, to catch up on all those years lost!  And I can eat pesto! I can eat it all day!

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Kale Turkey Meatball Sub

Who doesn’t like a good meatball sub?  It’s quick, it’s hearty, it’s sloppy, you get to eat it with your fingers.  It’s meat, cheese and tomato sauce – how can you go wrong? But with this one we’re going to mix it up a little bit and add some kale.  I’m kale obsessed right now, I have kale on my brain all the time.  All my recipes I want to make have kale involved somehow. We are planting 4 more kale plants so I have more kale in the Fall.  Kale insanity, 2013.

This meatball sub is based on my kale meatballs recipe which I first made last summer and fell in love with.  These meatballs are great over spaghetti, yummy grilled as a finger food on a stick, but they are delicious on a sub roll! 

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(Don’t judge me, Crocs are great garden shoes.  Especially with ghost and cat add-ons.)

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Kale Turkey Meatball Sub
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups uncooked chopped fresh kale
  2. 1 pound ground turkey
  3. Pinch of dried rosemary, parsley, oregano, thyme
  4. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  5. 3 cloves garlic
  6. 1 egg
  7. 2 sub rolls
  8. shredded mozzarella cheese to cover
  9. tomato sauce to cover
Instructions
  1. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a pan over medium high heat. Add kale and spices. Cook until your kale is wilted.
  2. Put kale mixture and garlic into a food processor to mince. Add your turkey and egg and pulse until it’s all combined.
  3. Form this mixture into 2 inch balls.
  4. Use your same pan (its already greased) and heat to medium high.
  5. Add your meatballs and cook until browned on all sides (make sure to flip them).
For the sub
  1. Cut your sub roll down the middle.
  2. Add meatballs on sub roll to fit.
  3. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top. Melt cheese in microwave or toaster oven if needed.
  4. Spoon tomato sauce on top.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
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Here’s your kale and garlic after you used your food processor. Can you believe this is 2 cups of kale?  

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I like to roll them into 2 inch balls,  feel free to change sizes depending on your dish or sub roll.

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When browned on all sides, put the meatballs on your sub roll.  Be careful, these meatballs are hot, hot, hot!

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Then add your mozzarella cheese.   If it needs to be melted, throw it in the microwave for 30 seconds or in the toaster oven quickly.

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Then add your tomato sauce!  Use as much as you need!  We used homemade garden fresh tomato sauce that has chopped up green peppers in it, it’s my favorite! (recipe coming soon!)

I hope you enjoy your meatball sub!

Also something completely random about this post.  I cook alot at night (for dinner), around 9 or 10PM and it’s already dark out.  I always want to make dinner posts but the light is horrible and I don’t want my kitchen to turn into a photoshoot with light stands.   But while I was making these subs, I looked over at a surface next to our growing lights for our seedlings.  It was ok, the light seemed bright enough that I could handhold the camera, and voila!  Pictures happened!  I don’t think they are as pretty as natural light, but now I feel better about taking pictures of food at night.  Just wanted to tell you!

Preserving Strawberries, Kale and Basil

As the garden season takes off, I will be doing a series of posts on how to preserve everything you grow so you can enjoy them now and many months later.   We won’t let any of our hard work that went into planting and caring for these plants go to waste here!

I often say “I garden because I cook”.    My love for being in the kitchen goes hand in hand with getting my nails dirty pushing down seeds.    My fulltime job is being an artist with my partner Matthew, and I would say our “day job” couldn’t be farther away from gardening and cooking.   Did you ever go from shooting a pair of shoes that cost close to your monthly rent, to sprinkling manure over your soil?    But it’s amazing because away from the stressful world of advertising, fashion and due dates, there is the kitchen and garden.    These are the stress-free zones for me.  Sure, there comes stress like weather that can destroy crops, oven temperatures that can burn cookie bottoms – but those are all you, noone is judging.  It’s just you with your apron or garden raincoat on, singing along to a rap tune, cats at your feet, enjoying your time.   One hour we can be in our home, sending over files to complete a job.  But wait, the creative director didn’t like that change, so now redo those last 8 hours you spent cutting it together.  Take a deep breath.  Eat a cookie.  Then go up to the garden.  None of this stress exists there.  You can just sit in your garden, with NYC surrounding you, listen to the hum of police sirens (it turns into a hum after you’ve lived here for a while) and forget about everything else.  I love it.

Here are other reasons why I love bringing these worlds of gardening and cooking together:

-You learn where everything comes from.  Did you know Brussels Sprouts grow the way they do? I didn’t either!    By gardening you see the process from seed to harvest, it often surprises you!
-You respect everything you grow.   Those pumpkins that I grew? They came from me pollinating them for a week straight at 5:30AM in the morning.   Those tomatoes that are beautiful red and perfect?   They stayed alive because you ran out into the pouring rain to make sure their windblocker fabric was up and everything was secure.    Those sugar snap peas?  Do you know how long they take to pick? Oh my!
-You try new vegetables.   I hated lettuce before we had our garden, now I’m like a rabbit where Matthew has to shoo me away.    I never tried radishes before, now I eat them whole.  
-This results into trying new dishes in the kitchen.  Pesto? Never made before, except now I have about 10 different recipes for it with every different plant.   I scour websites and cookbooks looking for new ways to use tomatoes, broccoli, carrots.  Dinner, Lunch, Desserts – I try it all!    The most important part is starting with a base you love.  So grow what you like!  
-Preserve! Preserve! Preserve!   This is the big one for me.  There are a few weeks in July and August that I am spending many hours every single day preserving our tomatoes to last us (forever).  So you just grew those kale plants – but did you have any idea how much kale grows on a plant? Or those edamame plants that I grew last year – did I know that I would get 20 pounds of edamame, all at once?  What are you going to do?  Well you just spent so much time and energy and love on these plants to grow great vegetables so now we’re not going to let it go to waste! Oh no we aren’t!  We are going to preserve it!    Did you know I had to buy my first can of diced tomatoes earlier this month because I had enough saved from last summer’s harvest?  Do you know how awesome of a feeling that is to have fresh vegetables you grew in your freezer all winter long?  Oh it’s snowing out and 3 degrees, let me just grab a extra fresh pack of frozen green beans that I grew a few months back.  *High 5’s*

 I spend quite a bit of time preserving everything we grow, and figuring out new ways to try.  One year I went as crazy as literally not wasting any of the broccoli plants, by finding ways to use the leaves and chop up the stems.    I blanch, I freeze whole, I puree,  I turn into sauces, I chop, I husk, I dry.  I do whatever it takes to preserve everything.   This post will be dedicated to strawberries, kale and basil.    Sometimes in future posts, I will give you another idea for the same vegetable.  There are many ways to preserve each plant, so I want to share some options for whatever is best for you in your kitchen. 🙂

Strawberries
Who doesn’t love strawberries?  And is there anything better than a sweet strawberry picked right off the vine and plopped straight into your mouth?  Oh yum!  But what happens when you are are harvesting pounds of strawberries?  Or what happens when you go the grocery store and find out that they are selling pints of strawberries for 89 cents.  Buy a bunch, we can keep your strawberry love stocked up for months!

We are going to freeze strawberries.   Strawberries keep in a freezer for a long time, I’m talking  a year.  Amazing, right?

What can we do with frozen strawberries? Well I’m glad you asked.
Smoothies!  My favorite.  Throw frozen strawberries in your blender and continue as usual in creating your favorite smoothie.
-Throw them into pies.
-Strawberry jelly!
-Strawberry sauce! Blend them up and pour over ice cream, cakes and waffles.
-Strawberry butter.  Yup,  you heard me right!
-Make strawberry bread.
-Strawberry salad.

Here are your beautiful strawberries.  
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Seriously, aren’t they the most loveliest things in the world?   I hope one day I can be at least 1% cool and classy as strawberries.
Now you want to wash them, wash them real good.
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Then once they are washed, you want to hull them.  Basically you want to rip off their green tops and cores.  You can do this a variety of ways with special tools, or just a knife.  Personally I just use my finger nails to get in there.   Then lay them on a cookie sheet and let freeze.    Once they are frozen, put them into freezer bags.  
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Then when you need some strawberries, take them out of your freezer and bask in the glory of them!  Use them however you want.  I will be making myself one happy strawberry smoothie. 🙂
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Kale
Kale, the winner of everything cool in 2013. Do you hear all the buzz about kale?  What a popular guy.    It seems to be the king of greens!  One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6, 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K.  It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.  Can we say it’s healthy?  


So what to do with kale?  When you’ve eaten your share of fresh raw kale, let’s figure out ways to preserve it, so you can be eating this vegetable powerhouse for months to come!
I like to make kale cubes, which is basically kale all chopped up, frozen into cubes.  It’s all kale, nothing else added in. 

What you can do with those frozen kale cubes?
-Smoothies! Again!  Want a real pick me up?  Throw a kale cube into your next smoothie.  
-Defrost and mix into pasta.  Warm through.  
-Throw a cube or two into any soup or stew.   Just a little bit of frozen kale goes a long way in getting your vitamins in!
-Defrost and mix with meats to make delicious ravioli.
-Defrost and mix with meats to make delicious meatballs!

Kale!  You hearty animal you (not really a animal). 
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I destem it.  I do this with my hands too, I just rip it off.  Maybe I’m the animal here.  Then I rip it into pieces to fit it into my food processor.preserveIMG_2401
A few pulses later and your once entire food process cup hardly has any kale in it.  Kale likes to shrink.  preserveIMG_2403
Then spoon it out and throw in some ice cube trays.
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Fill them up to the top.    A entire bushel of kale filled up one ice cube tray, so pack it down.  Now put into the freezer.
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Once they’re frozen, poke them out with a fork.    I find it works best to let them sit on your counter for a few minutes, then poke them out.  They defrost pretty quickly for you to grab one out of the tray.  From here you can keep them in the tray and use as you want, or throw them in freezer bags.
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Because you packed them in, they stay in cube form nicely.preserveIMG_2475

 

Basil
Who else loves the smell of basil?  I love picking fresh basil and putting it in pasta, and especially on pizza! A slice of margarita pizza with basil is the key to my pizza loving heart.   But what do you do when you have pounds of basil and you can’t eat 8 pizzas a nights (don’t try this, just believe me).  You can dry it!
I love dried herbs.  Almost 80% of the time if a recipe calls for fresh herbs, I will ignore it and use dried herbs.  Why? Because I know the dried herbs are ones I grew, loved and they will taste just as good in the dish!  
What can you do with dried basil?
-Any dish call for fresh basil? You can substitute with dried basil.
-Use in any tomato pasta.
-Sprinkle over each lasagna layer.
-Sprinkle over pizza.
-Use in rices.
-Use in a varieties of stews and soups for extra seasoning.
-Use in pasta salad.
-Sprinkle on garlic bread.

So let’s pick your basil!  What you want to do is wash it, then let dry.  I do this by putting it on paper towel sheets and then help blotting excess water on top.  Let dry completely.
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Then find a space of your home that you want to smell like basil for the next few weeks.  Grab a rubber band and hang on something.  We have screws in the top of our loft that we drilled in just for drying herbs.  This is at the very front entrance of our loft, so as soon as you walk in… it’s fresh city USA.preserveIMG_2412
Then just let dry until they are completely brittle.  If the basil seems “fresh” and flexible they aren’t dry enough.  You basically want them to the point of if you touched a leaf, it would crack.  You can see in the top right of this picture I have some dried oregano ready to go.  
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Then pick the leaves off the plant (do this over a bowl, the leaves are going to fall apart beautifully).  Throw in your food processor and you’re done.  If you don’t have a food processor, just crumble with your fingers.  Now you have dried basil ready for whenever you want!preserveIMG_2467

 

Kale Turkey Meatballs

Our kale in the garden is out of hand, it’s basically taking over. So last night I decided to pick some to make kale meatballs!  Not only are the ingredients easy, but the directions are as well.  While eating dinner Matthew proclaimed “This is the best spaghetti meal I ever had in my life”.   Good job kale! 🙂

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Kale Turkey Meatballs
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups uncooked chopped fresh kale
  2. 1 pound ground turkey
  3. Pinch of dried rosemary, parsley, oregano
  4. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  5. 3 cloves garlic
  6. 1 egg
Instructions
  1. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a pan over medium high heat. Add kale and spices. Cook until your kale is wilted.
  2. Put kale mixture and garlic into a food processor and chop it up. Add your turkey and egg and pulse until it’s all combined.
  3. Form this mixture into 1 inch balls.
  4. Add one more tablespoon of olive oil into your previous pan, turn to medium-high heat and then add your meatballs. Cook until browned on both sides (make sure to flip them).
  5. Serve with some spaghetti, sauce, cheese on top..and some bread on the side!
Notes
  1. These work great on the grill too.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

Update: 

We put these meatballs on the grill and boy were they delicious! So if you are grilling this summer, try this recipe. I like adding sticks inside them once they’re  done, makes eating fun!
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