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Kale Salad with Fried Artichokes, Pickled Celery & Roasted Asparagus

 

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Here’s another one of those recipes I came across that I somehow just  N E E D E D to try. Then, I read the ingredients and I was surprised at the combination, but it still sounded super good and I was into it. So, I thought the perfect time to make it would be for Easter Sunday since I needed to contribute to the meal! Everyone really enjoyed it and it’ll definitely be happening again!

R  E  C  I  P  E

For the Pickled Celery:

  • 1 cup white distilled vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped or sliced

For the Asparagus:

  • 1/2 bunch asparagus, tough ends removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper

For the Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 small bunch chives, minced, (about 1 big tablespoon)
  • 1/2 cup grated good quality parmesan cheese, such as Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the Artichokes:

  • 1 12 ounce bag frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted (I used jarred artichokes in water, worked the same and didn’t need to defrost)
  • olive oil, for frying
  • salt

For the Salad:

  • 1 bunch kale, any variety, tough stems removed and roughly chopped*
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • pinch of salt and pepper to taste

. I  N  S  T  R  U  C  T  I  O  N  S.

 

PICKLE THE CELERY

  • Combine the vinegar, salt and sugar in a small saucepan and bring up to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Add the celery to a bowl and pour the liquid over top. Let sit in the refrigerator while you prepare the other ingredients.

MAKE THE ASPARAGUS

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast for about 15 minutes, or until browned and tender, but still al dente. Alternatively, you can grill the asparagus instead. Allow to cool to room temperature, then chop into 1 inch pieces and set aside.

MAKE THE DRESSING

  • Add mayonnaise, lemon juice and zest, garlic, chives and parmesan cheese to a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

FRY THE ARTICHOKES

  • Drain the artichokes in a colander, then spread out on towels and pat very dry. You may need to squeeze them and press down to remove as much liquid as possible. ((This is an important step, as any excess liquid going into the hot oil will cause dangerous splatters.)) Heat about 1 inch of olive oil in a heavy bottomed skillet or saucepan with big sides until very hot (about 375 degrees). Add the artichokes in batches and fry until golden brown on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, and season with salt while they’re still piping hot.

ASSEMBLE THE SALAD

  • Place the kale in large salad bowl, drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Use your hands to aggressively massage the kale to break it down into softer pieces, about 2 minutes. Drain the celery well and use some paper towels to pat off any excess pickling liquid – too much will make the salad too tangy. Add the celery to the kale along with the asparagus and half of the artichoke hearts. Toss the salad with enough dressing to coat. Arrange on a platter or individual plates and top with the remaining artichokes. Serve immediately.

N O T E S

  • *You can substitute a container of baby kale, but skip the step of drizzling with olive oil and massaging.
  • **For a VEGAN variation of this salad, simply omit the parmesan and use vegan mayonnaise.

Go ahead and give this recipe a try for your next meal, party or get-together! It’s DELISH!

[Recipe from Coley Cooks]

xx, Coco


Simple and Fresh Tomato Sauce with Burrata

 

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For the Pasta:

1 package of any kind of pasta you prefer (I used the Gluten Free Egg Fettuccine noodles from Trader Joe’s and they were UNREAL!)

For the Sauce:

2 packages of baby tomatoes, any kind you like

About a tablespoon of fresh chopped basil or a teaspoon of dried basil

Olive Oil

½ -1 teaspoon salt

½-1 teaspoon pepper (or lemon pepper)

1 tablespoon or 2 cloves of fresh garlic

A dash or more (to taste) red chili flakes

A dash of dried Oregano

For the topping: (up to you!)

Fresh Burrata cheese

Fresh basil

Red chili flakes

Start with a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan, add garlic and cook for about 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

Add tomatoes (do not slice or cut in half before, KEEP WHOLE)

Cook for about 10 minutes on medium- low heat until they start to soften, during that time add salt and pepper, basil, oregano, and red chili flakes

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil for pasta, cook pasta and save about ¼ cup of pasta water for tomato sauce

After about 10 minutes when the tomatoes have softened, start to gently smash each tomato. This creates more of a sauce but still chunky and fresh.

Keep cooking on low until pasta is cooked and ready.

Add ¼ cup pasta water to tomatoes

Drain pasta and add to tomato sauce.

Top with any of the toppings you prefer, the Burrata was a game changer, and ENJOY!

 

This recipe is SUPER easy, like it says in the name! It’s obviously not something I created because it’s just a tomato sauce, however, this recipe is mine. I usually just throw all this stuff together when I’m craving pasta so I decided to officially type it up for you guys! Pairing this sauce with the fresh egg fettuccine was everything and more.. AND they were gluten free! Didn’t even taste like it. I highly recommend!

Make this for your family, date night, a quick weeknight meal or whenever you’re craving a delicious pasta dish!

xx, Coco


EGGPLANT SALAD

This is another one of those recipes I saw, tried and  L O V E D. It’s by far a new staple and it’s SO easy. It’s warm eggplant mixed with fresh herbs, a tangy but subtly sweet vinegar sauce and crunchy almonds. It’s a perfect side dish or you could even add some protein to it and make a meal out of it! – Also can be served warm or cold! –

R E C I P E:

  • 4 cups cubed eggplant
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds halved
  • 1/2 red onion finely sliced
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh mint
  • salt and pepper
  1. Heat the 2 tbsp olive oil in a skillet, sprinkle the cubed eggplant with salt and cook over medium heat for approximately 8 minutes
  2. While the eggplant is cooking, in a bowl whisk together the cumin, sweetener, vinegar, lemon juice, crushed garlic and olive oil.
  3. Once the eggplant has begun to soften, pour the liquid overtop and cook for another minute before removing from the heat. Make sure that you do not overcook the eggplant, it should be tender but not mushy and still hold its shape.
  4. Transfer the eggplant along with all of the remaining liquid in the pan to a serving bowl or platter. Add in the almonds, red onion, parsley and mint and stir until well mixed, season with salt and pepper before serving.

Recipe from Every Last Bite

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xx, Coco

 

CILANTRO PESTO

This is my personal recipe that I’ve made up over the years after having cilantro pesto at a restaurant years ago! So it’s essentially the same as basil pesto, but instead of basil, you use cilantro. 

The cool thing about pesto is that it can be made with just about anything! As long as you have a base of olive oil, parmesan, and garlic.. you’re set! 

 

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R E C I P E:

  • a bunch of Cilantro (like a handful or more) – about 5 cups
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic or about 2-3 TBSP of minced garlic (depends on your taste)
  • s + p (to taste)
  • about a cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • dash of red chili flakes 
  • about 1/4 of a cup of toasted almonds (or any nut of your choice)
  • 1 1/2 cups of good olive oil
  • couple squeezes of lemon juice

First you want to toast the nuts in a pan for a few min. This brings out the flavor and gives the pesto a nice touch. Next, add the cilantro, garlic, s+p, cheese, chili flakes, lemon, and nuts to your food processor. Pulse a couple times and then slowly add the olive oil in to the mixture until you have your desired consistency. Some people enjoy a smooth texture, while others like it a little chunkier. Don’t over pulse on the food processor because you can’t undo it. Just take it slow! I usually always ball park my recipes, so I use taste as a way to tell if I need more of anything. Taste your pesto when it’s done and decide if you need to add more s+p or garlic or whatever!

Use the pesto on pasta, chicken, sandwiches, spaghetti squash and more!

Here are some other fun and unique pesto combinations to try:

  • Basil – Walnut
  • Cilantro – Pepita
  • Carrot Tops – Pine Nuts
  • Cilantro or Basil – Pistachio 

Try mine or any of them out and let me know!

xx, Coco

 



CRANBERRY SALSA DIP

BY FAR my most asked about recipe! Unfortunately I can’t claim this recipe as my own, however, I did discover it and bring it into my little world of people and IT WAS A GAME CHANGER! It’s from Pinterest, but it’s hands down, the best dip.. especially around Christmas time because of the festive colors! 

R E C I P E   B E L O W: (with my personal modifications)

  • 12 oz (1 bag) of fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup green onion
  • 1-2 jalapeños (I keep the seeds from one of them to use in dip)
  • 2 TBSP cilantro (can never have enough in my book!)
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1/8 TSP salt
  • 16 oz cream cheese (whipped)

Recipe from Sparrows and Lily

Chop up cranberries, green onions, jalapeños and cilantro. At first I used to hand chop it all, but to save time I use a food processor and it’s the same, but easier! Next, add the sugar, lemon juice and salt. MIX altogether and put in fridge overnight or for at least 5-6 hours. Once ready to use, drain excess juice (my personal tip) and add on top of the spread out cream cheese. I tend to serve this dip in a pie plate. I like the way it looks and it’s easier to scoop up!

Serve with any crackers you prefer.. Ritz Crackers have been our favorite choice!

 

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E N J O Y!

xx, Coco