Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl

So…I’ve been chastising myself lately for my diet.  Between crazy work schedules, travel, and being on crutches, I’ve just been a bit too reliant on Uber Eats and definitely lacking in fruits and veggies.  It’s kind of amazing I don’t have scurvy.

Then this morning as I was working I decided to finally get around to watching “What The Health?” on Netflix, which talks through a lot of the things wrong with our diets and how that’s impacting our health, and the medical establishments and lobby groups that are set on keeping it that way.

Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl with Maple Tahini Sauce | Finding Time for Cooking

Its basic conclusion is that we’re meant to eat plant-based diets, and that anything else is unhealthy.  It’s definitely an interesting watch, and while I don’t completely agree that meat is the devil—I grew up on a family-run cow farm, after all, and I also believe that God designed us to eat some meat—I 100% agree that we’ve totally screwed up our food chain in so many ways and that a heavier plant diet is a good thing, and overall it guilted me REAL HARD into really putting on my adult pants today.

Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl with Maple Tahini Sauce | Finding Time for Cooking

So I did some digging on plant-based diets and found some recipes that I want to try to rotate into my everyday routine.  This was the first one I came across that made me go “Hmm!”  The flavor combos are awesome, it’s easy to make, I’m a sucker for a good tahini sauce, and I’m hoping it’ll make an awesome lunch for a couple days this week as well.  For a non-pasta vegetarian meal, I’m totally on board with this one!

[Read more…]


Brussels Sprout & Kale Slaw with Maple-Cider Vinaigrette

My thirst for brussels sprouts shall never be quenched!

Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad with Maple-Cider Vinaigrette

This salad is surprisingly hearty, with the crunchy and chewy sprouts and given a boost from the walnuts. I will say that I was a little nervous about this salad, since to me brussels sprouts are one of those things that always need cooked in order to be eaten. But overall it was delicious, filling, and super healthy! [Read more…]

Kale & Feta Breakfast Casserole

Every Friday morning our department eats breakfast together. We wander in at different times, sit down, heap up a plate, and talk about our weekend plans, Betsy’s newest crazy celebrity gossip, and (in the fall, since you can’t get away from it) what SEC teams are playing that weekend. It’s a lovely, longstanding tradition, and part of it is that every week it’s someone’s turn to provide the food. We all take turns, and usually I try to cook something for the crew.

Spinach, Kale, & Feta Egg Casserole

Now, if it were up to me, I’d make pancakes or a coffee cake and call it a day. But my co-workers tend to prefer things a little more on the savory side. Since I don’t eat ham or pig bacon or sausage, it narrows my options a little. I’ve done a few breakfast casseroles, though most breakfast casseroles take a million ingredients, have way too many steps, and are EXPENSIVE!

But last time I was super pressed for time and had to figure out something the night before, then found this recipe. I loved that it only took a few ingredients, and the idea of feta in the casserole. I decided to give it a try and was surprised by how good it was. It got scarfed, and it’s definitely going into the regular Friday breakfast rotation! [Read more…]

Heirloom Tomato Risotto

Heirloom tomatoes in season are seriously one of my favorite foods. In fact, I got to have a fancy dinner last night and there was an heirloom tomato and burrata salad that I could have eaten gallons of. I was in paradise.

heirloom tomato risotto tomatoes & basil

So last week at the farmer’s market when I saw these gorgeous big lumpy heirloom tomatoes, I had to get my paws on them immediately. Thoughts of juicy chunks of tomato swimming in creamy, salty ricotta and tossed with al dente pasta danced through my head. I had plans.

Heirloom Tomato Risotto

Then plans changed, and I had friends coming over that night, last-minute. Since they’re gluten-, dairy-, and egg-free, I had to make some adjustments to my master plan.

Heirloom Tomato Risotto finished

I racked my brain to find something that they’d be able to eat and would still do these beautiful tomatoes justice. I landed upon a simple risotto, with a few adjustments to accommodate their health challenges (namely, I left out the butter and parmesan—sad, but necessary). I was worried it wouldn’t be nearly creamy enough, but it was still totally delicious.

heirloom tomato risotto tomato

My love of risotto is legendary, and I’ve never understood why people are so scared to make it. Yes, it’s time consuming and takes a little TLC, but it’s also very straightforward, not difficult at all. It’s the perfect dish to put on the stove when you already have people over and want to just stand there and drink wine and chat and stir constantly. Or heck, make your guests stir and drink wine and chat while you put the rest of the meal together. This version lets the tomatoes be the star, with a supporting cast of fresh basil and balsamic vinegar to add just a little extra. [Read more…]

Creamy Sweet Potato Pasta with Crispy Kale

The CSA box I got a couple weeks ago was—much like the rest of us here in Georgia—stuck between summer and winter. There were some delightful strawberries and spring-y butter lettuce, but a couple of sweet potatoes as well. I don’t give sweet potatoes much thought, generally, but the timing seemed perfect since I’d just pinned this recipe.

Creamy Sweet Potato Pasta with Crispy Kale

I’ve been really trying to focus on cooking and eating healthy when I’m at home (minus a few Chinese food-palooza Satuday nights), particularly since I’ve had a rash of delicious but indulgent lunches and dinners for work.

This recipe seemed to balance my need for comfort food that (especially chilly) day, but the presence of whole wheat pasta and adding creamy sweet potato to the sauce upped the healthy quotient.

creamy sweet potato pasta with crispy kale shallot garlic

Shallots, amirite?!

Creamy Sweet Potato Pasta with Crispy Kale finished

The sauce also has deeeelicious sauteed garlic and shallots to make a super flavorful base. I had a little trouble with the crispy kale (left it in the oven too long…yikes!) but overall this was simple and awesome and totally satisfying. [Read more…]

Mac & Cheese with Roasted Butternut Squash, Kale, & Chicken Sausage

As the whole country knows, Atlanta has had some winter weather troubles lately. A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough not to get stuck in the 24-hour city-wide traffic jam—only took me an hour and a half to get home. I hadn’t had the foresight to check the weather ahead of time, so I ended up being stuck at home for a few days with only the food I had stocked up in my pantry and fridge. (I did have wine this time…a few years ago I got snowed/iced in for five days without wine. #neveragain)

Mac & Cheese with Butternut Squash, Kale, & Sausage

I started poking around to see what I could make. I was craving comfort food but knew I needed to eat somewhat healthy. Unfortunately I hadn’t bought many fruits and veggies, but I found a butternut squash in the fridge and had some wilted kale, so I figured I could make something work. This is a true McGyver meal, but I think it came out pretty darn good. It was creamy and warm, with the salty sausage and the kale adding different textures.

Mac & Cheese with Butternut Squash, Kale, & Sausage baked

Can you tell I’ve been craving comfort food? Seriously, I could have chosen to make a quinoa casserole or something, but instead I ended up with a steamy, creamy mac & cheese. [Read more…]

Baked Pasta with Broccolini, Kale, & Sausage

Mercy! It’s been over a month since I posted a real, honest-to-goodness main dish recipe here. I’ve had sweets and breads and pancakes, but nothing that’ll really stick to your bones.

Baked Pasta with Broccolini Kale & Chicken Sausage

I feel like I’ve been saying it all year, but it’s been utter madness lately. Work’s crazy, some travel, add in Thanksgiving, all the extra food and drinks around the holidays, and trying to finish everything up for the year. That means I’ve been keeping long hours and not eating remotely normally. Pretty much no fruits and veggies, and I don’t remember the last time I cooked a real meal. But last weekend it was so cold and dreary and I really wanted to get back to real life.

baked pasta with broccolini kale & chicken sausage baked

I wanted comfort food, but healthy, and this dish fit the bill. It’s got greens and crunch, tossed with golden sausage and firm pasta, all in the warm hug of creamy, garlicky bechamel and dots of gooey fresh mozzarella. Basically, it’s perfect.

baked pasta with broccolini kale & chicken sausage baked closeup

And fairly simple, all things considered. I was able to saute up the sausage and kale while the water boiled, then get everything else ready while the pasta and broccolini cooked, then stir everything together and pour it into the pan. Twenty minutes later, I had a big, golden, slightly crunchy masterpiece on my hands.

Baked Pasta with Broccolini Kale & Chicken Sausage closeup

The original recipe from Smitten Kitchen calls for broccoli rabe, which I couldn’t locate at my grocery store. I used broccolini instead (which isn’t quite the same, but can do in a pinch) and added some sauteed kale for some extra health and texture. Everything else was just right! [Read more…]

Omelette with Caramelized Onions, Kale, Tomatoes, & Goat Cheese

Sometimes it’s the little things, ya know??

Omelette with Caramlelized Onions Kale Goat Cheese

This recipe was an accidental brainchild, a dish born out of necessity. My dad was in town a couple weeks ago and I invited a friend over to spend time with us. He chose brunch, so I decided to make my whole grain Belgian waffles.

Omelette with Caramlelized Onions Kale & Goat Cheese

Things were pretty rushed that morning since my dad was helping me install gas logs in my fireplace and we had run into some snags (we took 5—count ’em, 5—trips to Home Depot that weekend). I knew I needed to provide some eggs with my waffles, but couldn’t bring myself to do boring old scrambled. My next thought was omelettes, which is my go-to egg dish when serving less than 5 people (any more, and you need to upgrade to a casserole or something). I rooted around in my fridge and came up with what I thought was the perfect combination. I had a half of a yellow onion left from dinner the night before, so I sliced it up in strips and caramelized it. Then I sauteed up a little kale, chopped up some tomatoes and goat cheese, and threw it all in an omelette.

omelette with caramlized onions kale goat cheese ingredients

I figured it’d be pretty good and would more than satisfy these two dudes’ palates. But wow, was I surprised at how good it was! This one is definitely a keeper. Add a little shaved parmesan as garnish, and we’re in business.  Omelettes are a fairly regular part of my dietary rotation, my go-to egg dish with company. I’ll make them with whatever I have on-hand—garlic, peppers, tomatoes, various cheese, herbs, whatever. But these were kind of a revelation. The kale gave it some chew, the tomatoes and caramelized onions provided a sweetness, and the goat cheese melted into this creamy pool of awesomeness. It was the perfect combination of flavors. [Read more…]

Cavatappi with Goat Cheese, Tomatoes, Kale, & Grilled Zucchini

I’ve got another “kitchen sink” pasta coming your way, and BOY is this one a goodie!

cavatappi goat cheese zucchini finished2

It was borne of necessity, and in the weirdest way imaginable. As I mentioned a few posts ago, I had surgery towards the end of July, and it actually happened quite fast. Typically it takes about 6-8 weeks to get a spot on the surgery list, but they had a cancellation two weeks out that I was able to grab. But that meant I had to get a million things done in a really short amount of time—calling insurance companies, booking hotels (the surgery was out of state), figuring out what equipment I’d need for recovery, etc.

cavatappi goat cheese zucchini grilled closeup

I also had to get into my regular doctor for a pre-surgery check-up. I got in, they did some bloodwork and such, and then the next day got a call that my blood clotting was the teensiest, tiniest bit below normal. Not a surprise to me, I bleed like a stuck pig, but she wanted to re-do the bloodwork after the weekend and if it wasn’t normal possibly have me see a hematologist. So naturally, I’m freaking out, because I don’t have time for complications, and I really needed the surgery to go on as scheduled.

cavatappi goat cheese zucchini & tomatoes

What does that have to do with pasta, you ask? Well, as I said, I was freaking out a little (okay, a fair amount), so I did a bunch of research on foods that help your blood clot, and foods that prevent blood clots. Unfortunately, I learned that ALL THE GOOD FOODS keep your blood from clotting—wine, coffee, balsamic vinegar, soy, strawberries, tomatoes, basically every spice. And only a few thicken the blood. I avoided coffee and wine (yes, it was a sad weekend) and wracked my brain for what I could make for dinner Sunday night before the bloodwork Monday morning. Veggies high in vitamin K were the first place to start, like kale, brussels sprouts, and okra, so I totally loaded up on those.  I put kale and zucchini in the pasta, roasted some okra, and also had steak, goat cheese, and anything else I could find that was higher in saturated fat. I did go ahead and throw some tomatoes into the pasta, but largely avoided them when I ate it that night, just in case.

cavatappi goat cheese zucchini finished

The good news is that it worked—my blood clotting came out in the normal range and the surgery went on as scheduled. It was a weekend full of worrying, but at least I was able to find a solution. And I got a delicious, super easy pasta recipe out of the bargain. So without further ado… [Read more…]

Kohlrabi Two Ways—Baked Kohlrabi Fries & Sauteed Greens

Today we’ve got a weird one. Several weeks ago my CSA box had all sorts of randomness, including radishes (which I roasted but didn’t love—will have to try again) and kohlrabi. I’d never even heard of kohlrabi, that was a new one…

Kohlrabi Raw

All the pictures I’ve Googled of kohlrabi (which literally means “cabbage turnip” in German) show pale green roots (that really do look like a cabbage turnip), but mine were intensely fuschia and kind of spiky. The inside was still beige, though, and had a consistency somewhat like a parsnip or turnip. It’s a member of the cabbage family, along the lines of kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower. Like all of those things, it’s highly nutritious and full of awesome phytochemicals.

kohlrabi greens & stems whole

Also like many of its brethren, the entire thing is edible. The root makes fries, mash, pie, etc., while the stems and greens can be sauteed, added to soups, or used the same way you’d use turnip greens or kale. [Read more…]

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