Thursday, January 6, 2011

Sauteed Winter Veggies

I make this dish often, and usually call it "pesto kale" but it works with pretty much any green, including broccoli crowns. I usually make it vegetarian since there's plenty of protein in the nuts and cheese used in making the pesto but sometimes add chicken sausage or in this case turkey bacon. I must admit, the added smokey meat makes an already delicious dish even more delicious. I cooked this up two nights ago with a ton of kale, chard and broccoli greens and had a broccoli crown flowering yesterday so cooked the same meal again, this time with Annie's mac and cheese underneath (yes, this does not sound like the diet meal i should be cooking for my 'i gained 3-5 pounds over the holidays' self, but the husband was hungry and i was willing to eat more delicious food than i needed to, hehe).

A very easy weeknight meal, yet super delicious and decadent tasting. All you need are some greens from the garden (you can pick off broccoli leaves while waiting for the crowns to get to the size you want) and some pesto out of the freezer from the Summer before. You can of course make this all fresh in the Summer with spinach or any other veggie you may like! I usually serve this totally solo for a low carb, healthy dinner - but you could also serve it over  noodles or rice. It was pretty darned rockin' along with the mac and cheese. Yummmmmmm.

Ingredients suggestions:
  • Broccoli greens, broccoli crowns, kale, chard, spinach, etc
  • Pesto - about 4 ice cubes per batch (serves 2 heartily)
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Chicken stock, optional
  • Jalapenos or serranos
  • Tomatoes
  • Optional meat - sausage, bacon, etc
  • Spices: salt, pepper, smoked paprika
Saute the onions, garlic, and peppers with the spices and optional meat until the onions are caramelizing. I like to get a bit of char on the onions and bacon so i let it cook a little too much on higher heat, then add some water and chicken stock, stir, and cover to continue cooking and lift the flavors off the pan. Add the tomatoes and the thicker portions of your greens and cook for a few minutes, covered. Finally, add the rest of your greens and the pesto with perhaps a splash of water, cover and steam until finished to your liking. Mix it all together and you get a super delicious, healthy, nutrient packed mush of amazing!

Voila - serves two just fine and could go much further if mixed with rice or pasta or even a baked potato. Look at that steam! Give it to me! Again! I make as many batches of pesto i can each Summer JUST to make this meal, it's that good.

 Do you ever find yourself making something so tasty you just have to make it again the next night?

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