Kale Pesto

I realize I have posted quite a few recipes in my short time blogging featuring kale. I didn’t realize I love it so much, but I guess its so versatile that this veggie is like a gift that just keeps on giving!

A few nights ago I wanted to make a pasta but do something fun with it so I decided to make kale pesto for the sauce. It came out so delicious! Instead of pine nuts I used cashews which totally worked well to make the sauce creamy, and the addition of lemon really adds a nice summery flavor. This is super quick to whip up and I bet it would be great to store. Next time I might make more so I can do that.

We paired our pesto with penne and added some slightly cooked grape tomatoes and a little bit of mozzarella cheese on top. This is on the list of go-to sauces to make again and again!

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Sticky Rice with Mango

I am not sure when we first discovered the Thai dessert “Sticky Rice with Mango”, but it was within the past 5 years and it was definitely love at first taste for me. I couldn’t believe I had been going to Thai restaurants for ages before this and had never had it!

A friend of ours brought over some mangoes and although I like mangoes, it is definitely not my go-to fruit (I am a nectarine and berry gal all the way).  I decided to use the mango and try to re-create our favorite Thai dessert! It was nearly impossible to find the glutinous, sticky rice that you need for this dish at a grocery store near me, so I ended up ordering a big bag off Amazon.

This dish is really easy to make, so pretty with the mango in the middle, and tastes a lot like Kheer (an Indian rice pudding that I love).

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Grilled Cauliflower “Steaks” and Semi-Homemade Pesto Sauce

My husband is a WAY better cook than me. In fact, he jokingly refers to me as his “sous chef” which is mildly funny because my nickname is “sue” (haha) and also mildly annoying because it means he is usually yelling orders at me to get things out of the fridge. But yes, he really is a great cook – he really understands flavors and takes the time in the kitchen that I often don’t. So from time to time I am going to showcase his culinary talents. Today’s recipe is a simple one that he made which came out so good.

We were randomly talking about making cauliflower “steaks” over the weekend and then lo and behold, Guy Fieri made them on his show on Sunday morning! It was definitely a sign. My husband adapted this recipe significantly, especially the sauce because neither of us like olive tapenade very much. I love, love, love this dish!

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Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcakes

Happy Mother’s Day! I think these cupcakes are a perfect mother’s day post because they bring back memories of the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches my mom used to make for me most days to take to school when I was a kid. I don’t miss grade school very much, but I do get nostalgic about those bagged lunches that were always waiting for me as I ran out the door to catch the bus.

These white cupcakes have a strawberry preserve filling and are topped with peanut butter frosting. They really did remind me of eating a super delicious PB&J sandwich. I loved the strawberry flavor but my husband recommends using grape jelly for the filling so that it tastes more like the PB&J sandwiches of his childhood. Whichever filling you choose, you can’t go wrong!

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Spicy Fajita Marinade

Last night we made fajitas which I love, especially at Mexican restaurants when the skillet comes out with the vegetables all sizzling and smoking. To make fajita’s at home, we used to buy fajita marinade in a jar from the grocery store which made it a really quick go-to meal because you just had to cut up the veggies you wanted and add the sauce. But I either haven’t looked for that jar on recent grocery trips or I can’t find it anymore, so I decided to whip up my own marinade. Its tangy and spicy and worked really well on the tofu/onion/green peppers mixture that was the filling for our fajitas! It also really wasn’t hard to make, and I think it may be worth me making a batch and storing for anytime a fajita craving hits (which is all the time).

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Cauliflower (Gobi) Manchurian

We had a big head of cauliflower in the fridge and I was debating what to do with it last night when I decided that trying my hand at the delicious Indian-Chinese dish “Gobi Manchurian” would be fun (gobi is what cauliflower is called in Hindi). This is not a dish you find at traditional Chinese restaurants (its clearly not authentic Chinese), but it is an adaptation of Chinese food that you see all over India. I am not sure how to best describe it so if you are wondering if its more Chinese or Indian in it’s flavor profile, I can’t answer that!

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Kale Salad with Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette

My lunch yesterday is in homage to my husband and I’s favorite salad at one of our go-to restaurants: Houston’s. We started going to Houston’s in NYC when we heard it had one of the world’s best veggie burgers. It is totally true. The veggie burger there rocks (but I do not love the waitress who told me that the amount of calories in it is practically equivalent to one of the steaks on the menu – she does NOT rock). Lucky for us since moving out of NY, we have found restaurants part of the Houston’s group in every city we have lived in (Hillstone in Boston and The Woodmont Grill in Bethesda).

Our most recent trip to Woodmont Grill had us splitting a veggie burger for lunch and a kale salad. Best. Kale. Salad. Ever. It was drenched in this amazing peanut dressing and I devoured it faster than the veggie burger (which is like superhero fast because have I mentioned how much I love their veggie burger?). My husband was convinced we could remake this salad at home pretty easily so after googling a million peanut dressing recipes, I am pretty happy with this version. Its very different than Houston’s in the end, but its pretty darn tasty! Its what I had for lunch yesterday and I have enough leftovers for another heaping serving today (yay!).

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