Greek Kale Salad

One of my dear friends from college came all the way from Boston to shoot engagement photos of my fiancé and me. She brought her dashing boyfriend with her, and they are the dream team of photographers.

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Katie used my camera to take photos, while he used hers, and I finally have the itch to really understand this camera. It’s intimidating. It’s big and it has a lot of buttons and features and words that I have no idea what they mean. However, it takes a mean and beautiful photo, so I am excited to give it a try.

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I’ve dabbled with auto focus and have had success, but the time has come for me to graduate to manual. I can do this. I can do this. Katie is an unbelievable inspiration with her photography, between taking photos of landscapes, people, and food. She also makes a mean mojito.

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So, with my inspiration shining bright, I decided to plunge back into blogging. I cooked for the fiancé, wrote down the recipe, and snapped a few pictures. I’m quite proud of myself, actually. Goal: two posts a week. What do ya say?

This greek kale salad is pretty amazing. If you’ve never massaged kale, you’ve clearly never lived. Raw kale is crunchy and tough and predominantly unappetizing. However, massaged kale is soft, tasty, and full of whatever flavor you rub into it. Add it to some tangy feta, salty kalamata olives, and juicy edamame, and you have a summer salad at its finest.

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Greek Kale Salad
Adapted slightly from Jeanette’s Healthy Living

4 stems of kale, leaves ripped off and washed
1/8 tsp garlic pepper
1/8 tsp lemon pepper
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1/3 c kalamata olives, rinsed and sliced into thirds
1/3 c crumbled feta
1/4 c olives oil
1/4 c raw apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1. In a medium sized bowl, massage 1 tbsp olive oil, garlic pepper, and lemon pepper into kale leaves until leaves turn dark and softer.
2. Add zucchini, kalamata olives, and feta to the bowl of massaged kale.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together 3 tbsp olive oil, 1/4 c apple cider vinegar, thyme, and oregano. Pour over kale salad and top with fresh parsley.



Lemon Ricotta Mushroom and Kale Pasta

So listen. This is delicious. But I have to say the pictures are a little lacking.


Since we are being real, can I also say that I used to be way more witty than I am now? I guess because I used to read food blogs all the time, I was inspired by other bloggers’ wittiness. Maybe in 2015 I can gain my wittiness back and spare some time between studying for Medical Nutrition Therapy and Vitamins & Minerals to read some blogs.

I got a new camera for Christmas, a Canon Rebel, so I am hoping to really take this blog to the next level and blog at least once a week. Oh. And I have something to tell you. Don’t freak out. Seriously. Don’t. Um… I am doing a 30- {or 31-day since there are 31 days in January} -day challenge this January with no gluten and no dairy. I KNOW I know. You probably think it’s some ‘get fit quick’ or ‘new year’s resolution’ thing but I have been struggling with stomach issues for over a year. Actually, a year and a half. All I will say is DON’T TAKE NAPROXEN LONG-TERM. It is the second leading cause of gastric ulcers. Apparently. Thanks, neurologist, for letting me know before I was on it for 2+ months. Hence, gastric ulcer. THE POINT is that I had an ulcer but also have a lot of other problems and I am fed up. I am ready to see if it’s related to dairy or gluten. I don’t have celiac, confirmed by 3 tests, but I could maybe have a slight sensitivity? And did you know you can have symptoms ranging from 30 minutes to THREE DAYS after eating gluten? How the heck are you supposed to know if it’s from gluten??  Continue reading

Kale and Ravioli Soup

So my friends and I did four Operation Christmas Child boxes a few weeks ago. And it was perfect.

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I used Ariel paper, because obviously Disney princess wrapping paper is the greatest thing ever invented. And I am TOTALLY excited for the holidays now. Full swing. Christmas tree up, presents under the tree, Christmas music blaring, you name it.

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Anyway, despite the warm weather, here’s some soup for you. What the heck, December? I mean, isn’t it supposed to be COLD? Not 60-70°F?? So, turn up your AC real high, close the blinds, and pretend it’s cold. Okay?

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This soup is from the potluck my friends and I did during our Operation Christmas Child weekend. One person brought salad, one person brought Greek cornbread, and I made soup. And we talked about boys and life and ghosts and God all night and it was perfect.

Kale and Tortellini Soup
Adapted slightly from A Busy Nest

1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 quart vegetable broth
4-5 large kale leaves
1 15oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 15oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 red pepper flakes
2 c cheese ravioli

1. In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until the onions are translucent.
2. In a food processor, blend the fire roasted tomatoes, then add to the pot. Add the other tomatoes, vegetable broth, kale, basil, oregano, and pepper flakes. Bring to a boil and then allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Bring the temperature back up to medium-high and add the tortellini. Cook until the tortellini have thawed.

Sauteed Kale, Squash and Zucchini with Goat Cheese

New album obsession.

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The Goo Goo Dolls never cease to amaze me. ‘Iris’ makes me nostalgic, ‘Black Balloon’ brings me right back to high school, ‘Stay With You’ empowers me, and ‘Sympathy’ takes me right back to riding around with the windows down during the summer.

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But their new CD? The Yeah, I did. You use that phrase, too. You know you do. Or at least, you will after you listen to their new album. Seriously. So freaking good. ‘Rebel Beat’ cheers me up, while ‘Slow It Down’ is a fabulous love song. Gives me goosebumps. New fav song alert.

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Let’s belt some Goo Goo Dolls’ music and eat some veggies. Maybe drink some wine? We need to celebrate our fresh vegetables, the summer time, and the upcoming celebration of our country. We are keeping the red, white + blue recipes at bay, but they are coming. Stay tuned.

Sauteed Kale, Squash & Zucchini with Goat Cheese

1 yellow squash, sliced
1 zucchini, sliced
1 cup kale, roughly chopped
1 tsp olive oil + balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tbsp goat cheese

1. In a saute pan, saute garlic over medium-low heat in olive oil/balsamic vinegar combination for a couple minutes, until garlic is fragrant and slightly cooked.
2. Add zucchini and squash, sautéing for 4-6 minutes, until cooked but still slightly crunchy.
3. Add kale and saute until wilted.
4. Mix into goat cheese until melted. Add more goat cheese if desired.

Lemony Pesto and Kale Tortellini

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could major in something awesome?

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Like, “Hi, my name is Kaylie and I majored in Food with concentrations in Baking, Cooking, and Wine.” Or “I majored in Yoga with minors in Bartending and Island Hopping.” Or “I majored in Crafting with minors in Reading and Piano.”

But no, we have to major in things like Business and Political Science and Chemistry in order to get a job. And then sometimes you still don’t get a job. Tough luck, this world.

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Despite the fact that I majored in Exercise Science and minored in Spanish, I’m going to pretend with my blog alter ego that I majored in Food with concentrations in Baking, Cooking, and Wine. I excelled in Cooking and slid by in Baking and Wine. But that’s okay.

So, with my Bachelor of Science in Food, I am sharing this fabulously delicious recipe with you. Consider yourself lucky and well-fed. My boyfriend has these amazing friends who share food with me sometimes. Homegrown kale to me is like candy to a child.

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did find a worm in the kale, but I got past it and stuck some yummy kale in this perfect marriage of citrus and pesto and pasta.

Lemony Pesto & Kale Tortellini

1 package Biutoni 3-cheese tortellini
2 cups kale, torn
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
2-3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
3-4 tbsp pesto

1. Cook pasta according to directions.
2. In a bowl, combine kale and parsley.
3. Drain pasta and add to bowl.
4. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, and pesto.