Tag Archives: recipe of the week

{recipe} potato, white bean, and kale soup with mascarpone.

sometimes you just need a little bacon in your life, can i get an amen? anyone who knows me, knows i love bacon…almost as much as i love baseball. (in case you haven’t guessed, this is k). this soup/stew/bowl of amazingness that was created saturday night was something i needed to write about. to be honest, i can’t take much credit for this. in fact, i can’t take any credit. all i can say is that with every bite of this, i fall in love with it more and more. is it the bacon? is it the potatoes? is it the mascarpone cheese? for those wondering, i classify this soup as healthy, since it has kale in it. anything with kale is healthy, right? right.

let’s be real for a minute here. i can really only describe this as a party of flavor in my mouth. how everything plays together is so incredible, it’s hard to even describe it. if this were the last soup on earth, you had better believe i would be the one licking the bowl at the end. yes, that’s how i feel about this soup. as we like to say in our house, h really #nailedit. we’ll be seeing a lot more of this in our future.


-few tablespoons canola oil
-4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped into 1-inch pieces
-1 yellow onion, diced
-3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
-3 russet potatoes (we used 2 russets + a handful of purple fingerlings)
-2 15-oz. cans of cannellini beans, drained
-a few handfuls of kale, washed and chopped
-3-4 cups vegetable broth
-4 oz. mascarpone cheese
-salt, pepper, cayenne to taste

1. heat a few tablespoons of canola oil in a large pot. once hot, place bacon slices in the pot and fry until they reach your desired crispiness. remove bacon from pot and set aside, but reserve grease in pot.

2. meanwhile, par-cook your potatoes so that your soup will cook faster. i do this by slicing the potatoes into bite-size pieces, placing in a single layer on a plate, and microwaving for 3-5 minutes, or until they start to become soft-ish when poked with a knife.

3. place onions and garlic into pot with bacon grease and cook for a few minutes, until onions start to become translucent and fragrant. then, add sliced par-cooked potatoes, 2 cans of drained white beans, and about 3 cups of vegetable broth. give everything a good stir. bring soup back up to a boil, then turn heat down to a simmer at medium-low until potatoes are cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.

4. after potatoes are cooked mostly through, add chopped kale to the pot and use your judgment to determine whether additional vegetable broth is needed. i liked having this be a thicker soup, but still added another 1/2 cup after putting in the kale. totally up to you. continue cooking soup until kale starts to wilt, about 5 minutes.

5. remove soup from heat and stir in 4 oz. mascarpone cheese and the bacon pieces you set aside earlier. add salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste. serve with crusty broiled bread. bon appetit!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

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{recipe of the week} thin crust pizza with potatoes, kale & pesto.

we make pizzas of some sort at least once a week around here, usually on pita or naan breads or whole wheat tortillas, and occasionally on homemade dough. although i’d love to someday find the perfect thin crust dough recipe and cooking technique, it hasn’t happened yet, which is why we tend to stick with pita / tortillas. last week while at the grocery store, though, we found some pre-made whole wheat thin crusts that had a relatively short list of ingredients! SCORE.

i was a little skeptical that these crusts could actually turn into delicious, perfectly thin-crust pizzas, but sure enough, after just 10 minutes in a 425 F oven, they were just what we’d been looking for. these come out perfectly crispy and are a nice, light, flatbread-esque version of pizza, perfect for a quick weeknight meal. (or 3 weeknight meals in a row, if you’re us last week). we made some version of the potato, kale & pesto pizza 3 times last week and as usual, it was more a product of what was hanging out in our fridge than an actual planned meal. but once in awhile these random combinations turn out better than normal, which was the case here, so i figured i’d share the “recipe.”
ingredients (serves 2-3):
-1 pre-made thin whole wheat pizza crust (ours were from hy-vee, but I noticed target’s market pantry brand makes one too)
-tomato-based pizza sauce (this williams-sonoma san marzano one is delicious)
-store-bought or homemade pesto
-1 medium potato, sliced and par-cooked (zap in the microwave for 2-3 minutes)
-a couple handfuls of curly kale, washed and torn into small pieces
-about 1 cup tomatoes (a cherry or grape variety works best)
-parmesan cheese

preheat oven to 425 F.
assemble pizza in this order: pizza sauce, pesto, parmesan, potato slices,  kale, tomatoes, more parmesan, salt.
bake on a pizza stone or (greased) large cookie sheet for about 10 minutes or until desired crispyness and melted-cheesiness are reached.

happy pizza making!

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{recipe of the week} strawberry-rhubarb crisps.

it’s rhubarb season! rhubarb is one of those things you pretty much have to cook, but thankfully it tastes delicious in all sorts of baked goods, like these strawberry-rhubarb crisps we’ve been making recently. they are super easy and pretty much foolproof, and even though they do have a little bit of butter and sugar, the main part of the dessert is the fruit so overall they are still pretty healthy!

to make, just add sliced rhubarb and sliced strawberries to two oven-safe ramekins, prepare and add the oat topping, and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes. that’s it! hope you try this out and love this simple, summer dessert as much as we do!

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{recipe of the week} heirloom tomato + kale bruschetta

we eat at geriatric dinner hour over here for the most part. as in, 90% of the time kevin is totally off the hook for preparing any part of dinner because usually by the time he comes home around 5, i either have something in the oven or, more often, already plated on the coffee table with a beer open and netflix cued up. yes, my feminist self is cringing, too, and yes, we watch tv while we eat dinner nine times out of ten because we don’t have room for a proper dining room table. #dormlife

even though we eat “dinner” early, it’s usually not normally what i would consider a full meal. over the last couple years, we’ve pretty much adapted to the 5-6 small meals versus 3 normal-size meals style of eating, so dinner is usually more like a glorified snack. i’ve grown to prefer it this way because if we want to hit up a happy hour later, or get dessert, or have a midnight snack, i don’t feel quite as guilty. so, that said, we usually end up eating something else later in the evening – sometimes just a greek yogurt or a piece of fruit, or chips and salsa. but yesterday, i had just gone to the grocery store and filled our fridge with lots of yummy things so we decided to make ourselves something a little more exciting and substantial for our 8 o’clock snack: bruschetta!

if there are any hardcore italians out there reading this, you might be screaming at me in a couple minutes because i don’t really know what technically qualifies bruschetta as bruschetta,  but in my mind, it’s just anything you choose to put on toasted, delicious bread. i didn’t rub this with fresh garlic like you’re supposed to because, well, we were hungry, yo! ain’t nobody got time for that! and with the buttery-ness of the bread, crispy-ness of the kale, sweetness of the tomatoes, and tangyness and saltiness of the cheese, this was chock full of flavor and didn’t miss the garlic one bit (though you could definitely add it).

we devoured this pretty quickly last night, and it’s definitely going to be a new staple snack and light dinner for us around here, especially since the farmer’s markets are staring back up in omaha this week (moment of silence for all of the non-local, pesticide-ridden vegetables we’ve had to consume over the past 6 months) and fresh tomatoes and greens will soon abound. this would be the perfect summer dinner party appetizer, along with some grilled shrimp as an entree and a good bottle of cava.

ingredients (makes 4 slices, serves 2):
-four big slices of crusty bread, such as ciabatta
-1 tbsp butter or vegan margarine
-1 large handful of kale, stems removed and coarsely chopped
-1 large handful of heirloom or cherry tomatoes, chopped
-feta cheese (or any other cheese)
-aged cheddar cheese (or any other cheese)
-salt & pepper to taste

1. preheat oven to 400 degrees. place kale and tomatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet, and drizzle or spray with olive oil. season with salt and pepper. bake in the preheated oven for about 8-10 minutes, until tomatoes are a little juicy and kale starts to crisp up.
2. while the vegetables cook, prepare the bread. cut four slices of your chosen bread, and spread a thin layer of butter or margarine on each slice.
3. remove vegetables from oven and turn your broiler on. remove the foil from the baking sheet so you can use the same sheet to build your bruschetta. grease the baking sheet with cooking spray, then place bread slices on the tray. first add kale, then tomatoes, and then top each slice with a little bit of cheese (we did feta on two, and aged cheddar on two, but you can obviously use all one cheese, or two cheeses on all your slices, or even no cheese at all).
4. place in the broiler for about 2 minutes, but keep a close eye on it – some broilers are faster/hotter than others. remove from oven, season with additional salt and pepper if desired, and enjoy immediately!

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{recipe of the week} grilled coriander-cumin shrimp + balsamic broccoli.

i love grilling season. we got a grill from some of k’s family for our wedding, and interestingly, it was the thing that made me feel most “adult.” the first meal we cooked together as a married couple was on that grill, and we used it countless times throughout our final year in tucson. sadly, it didn’t make the trip to omaha with us because we didn’t think we’d have the space to set one up and/or store one. recently, k’s mom gave us a little smokey joe charcoal grill that they weren’t using, and last weekend, we FINALLY had good enough weather to pull it out and give it a shot. turns out this grill is small but impressively mighty. we grilled both salmon and shrimp over the weekend, as well as lots of different vegetables and baguette, and everything turned out great!

i really didn’t intend for this to actually be a recipe of the week, but kevin was outside cleaning up the grilling stuff after bringing the food inside and i decided i’d snap a few photos just because. but since the photos turned out alright (for it being nighttime and me kind of stinking at nighttime photography) and the food was amazing, i thought it was worth sharing.

i don’t know if i can really call these recipes. honestly, i just threw together different ingredients into each dish and hoped they’d turn out ok. these are both extremely simple, but that’s what i like. occasionally i do spend time cooking a more complex recipe from a cookbook or meticulously experimenting with ingredients, but i feel mostly drawn to really simple dishes that don’t require too many ingredients and where multiple foods can easily be substituted. the marinade for the shrimp could easily be used on practically any other seafood, and probably chicken, too; the spicing on the broccoli would translate well to your favorite vegetable or whatever needs to get used in your fridge. it’s really the grilled flavor that shines through in these dishes; the other ingredients are really just there as compliments.

coriander-cumin shrimp (serves 2):
-2 servings of raw shrimp, tails removed if you like (about 8oz)
-1/2 tbsp cold butter, cut in small pieces
-1/2 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
-1 teaspoon cumin
-1 teaspoon coriander seed, crushed (put it into a ziploc bag and hit it with a hammer to break it up)
-juice of 1/2 lemon plus a few lemon slices

place shrimp in the center of a large piece of aluminum foil. add all ingredients on top of the shrimp, and mix together to marinate.* close foil to make a rectangular pouch. place on the grill and cook for approximately 10 minutes or until shrimp are opaque.

balsamic broccoli (serves 2):
-1 small head of broccoli, trunk removed and chopped into florets
-1/2 tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces
-drizzle of olive oil
-drizzle of balsamic vinegar
-pinch of garlic salt
-pinch of crushed red pepper

place broccoli in the center of a large piece of foil. add all ingredients on top of the broccoli, and mix together to marinate.* close foil to make a rectangular pouch. place on the grill and cook for approximately 10 minutes or until broccoli reaches desired tenderness. 

*if i would have been thinking ahead, both of these would have worked great as actual marinades for a couple of hours in the refrigerator in a ziploc bag. if you have the extra time, i’d recommend doing this to really bring out more flavor, but mixing them up on the spot worked just fine too.

do you guys have any go-to grilling recipes? after our successes this weekend, i pretty much want to grill every night. on the docket for this week are grilled naan pizzas and maybe even some grapefuit!

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