Cooking is one of my favorite creative outlets. My recipes reflect my cooking style, which is very improvisational. If you need a recipe that looks like a math equation, look elsewhere.
So without further ado, my first blog-worthy recipe:
Garlicky White Bean and Kale Fettuccini
I made this for lunch today and I’m still dreaming about it. The inspiration came from the leftover fettuccini from last night’s dinner, plus some veggies that were sitting in my fridge.
There is a big nutritional punch in this meal. Kale, of course, is the super famous superfood of two years ago. It’s got loads of Vitamins A, C, and K, plus iron, calcium, and about a million other nutrients. Because of this it has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Don’t know what that means? It means you should probably eat more kale. Unless you don’t like it, then may I suggest spinach or chard as a wonderful alternative?
To best get the benefit of the calcium in kale, it should be eaten with ample vitamin C, that’s where the lovely tomato comes in. Oh also, tomatoes and pasta go together.
Garlic. Aside from being absolutely incredible, is also incredibly good for you. For one, it has cardiovascular benefits. So if you have high blood pressure start stuffing yourself with garlic. Also, it keeps away mosquitos and vampires. More garlic.
The protein in this meal comes from beans. Which are just delicious all the time.
I get all my nutrition info from http://www.whfoods.com
In all honesty, I hate the preliminary wordy bits of food blogs and always skip over them, so let’s get to the recipe, shall we?
- 1 Tomato
- A few leaves of Kale
- ½ Onion
- 1-5 cloves Garlic
- A few mushrooms
- ½ cup white beans (I used great northern because that is what was in the cabinet)
- some fresh basil
- a splash of olive oil (mine was basil infused and tastes AMAZING)
- white wine vinegar
- pinch of paprika
- dash of sea salt
When beginning to cook I like to have EVERYTHING prepared before I ever turn on the stove. This way I never rush around getting stuff together and accidentally burn what is already in the pan.
First up, preparing the ingredients.
If you’re using cloves of garlic, crush them or chop them up into little bits. Take the onion and chop it up into chunks, try to make them evenly sized.
Next, I cut the tomato into 4 quarters. You could just throw entire tomatoes in the pan if it made you happy.
Slice up the mushrooms into thick slices, maybe ½ inch thick.
Rip up the kale into large chunks. I like to remove the leaves from the stems because I think the stems can be a bit chewy, even after they are cooked.
If using canned beans, strain and rinse them. Portion out however many you want to eat, and put the rest in the fridge.
Rip up the basil leaves, or chop them, and leave a few for the garnish at the end if you’re into that kinda thing.
Alright all your ingredients are prepped and ready to go, now at this point please do yourself a favor and make sure you have the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and paprika all sitting on the counter next to your stove. I know it may seem like overkill but it really makes life so much easier in the long run.
Now the really fun part! Cooking!
First, heat up a splash of oil on the stove. Once it moves around the pan easily like a thin, watery liquid, it means the pan is hot enough. Throw on the garlic, listen to it sizzle for a bit. Push it around so it doesn’t burn. Probably turn the heat down to medium at this point.
Add in the onions, toss them around a bit to coat them in garlicky oil. After a bit you should notice the onions starting to get soft, starting to maybe change color. Add the paprika. It doesn’t have so much spicy flavor, but it adds a tiny kick and more importantly, turns everything a really nice color.
Cook the onions for another minute, maybe two, until they really start to shrink up and turn golden. You want to keep moving them around the pan constantly though so that they don’t burn. Throw in some basil, but not all of it.
Then add the tomato and kale. It should look like you added way too much kale. Don’t worry. It’ll shrink down. Also, you can save the tomato until later if you don’t want to completely cook away the tomato.
Once the kale has started to cook down a bit, add some vinegar, and maybe some more basil. I like to throw on basil and vinegar intermittently and according to my own personal taste preferences from this point on.
Throw on the mushrooms. They are going to release a bit of liquid as they cook down. Thats okay. Once they’ve gotten a bit smaller and nice and brown and yummy smelling you can add the salt and the beans.
The beans just need to heat up and then you are good to go! Dump all this yumminess on top of your fettuccini and add another splash of olive oil just for good measure. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and maybe some shredded cheese. May I suggest parmesan? Asiago? Pecorino Romano? All three.
On your mark, get set, devour.