What better way to end a nice weekend than with a tasty dinner? Okay, maybe "nice" is a bit of an overstatement, but it ended on a high note, which is what counts, right? My "recession day" off Friday and Saturday were fairly uneventful: some personal care with waxing and a manicure and pedicure; some apartment care with cleaning; some working out; and some time out at a Thai restaurant with Erin W.
Today was a much more positive day. Nothing special, but relaxing. I left the car at home and walked to church and decided to follow with a visit to the National Building Museum. It was a toddler-filled day. Apparently, there was some "Kids in Engineering" day, which you'd think would attract the 4-10 set, but I'd say the average age of the children there was 2 or 3. When I left, I noticed the commotion by Chinatown: the belated Chinese New Year celebration. I couldn't see much, but caught part of a dance with a big tiger head. I then went to the gym for another work out and some sauna time--my favorite!
But, to the main point here: dinner! I made a kale and sausage creation. Here is a photo of me about to dig into it:
It was based on this recipefrom Shape Magazine that I found online. To cut to the chase, I steamed a pound of kale (the prewashed and precut type in a bag...easier) in a few cups of water for about 20 min. In the meantime, I sauteed some chopped onion and chicken sausage in a few teaspoons of olive oil until the sausage was mostly cooked and brown. I then removed the sausage and added 2 crushed garlic cloves, 3 chopped carrots, a chopped red bell pepper, a can of diced tomatoes, about a half a can of chicken broth, and the steamed kale in a skillet with about a quarter teaspoon of red pepper flakes and a teaspoon of dried oregano. I cooked this on medium high heat about 10 min. I then added the sausage back in and cooked a few more minutes. After removing from the heat, I added the zest of 1 lemon, and about a quarter of the juice (this is estimated!).
I boiled up some angel hair pasta and mixed this creation into it. To make it even more delectable, I added a dollop of part skim ricotta. YUM!
Now, to answer something my mom asked me: "Isn't kale bitter?" Not really, if it's cooked properly. I have added kale to soup at the last minute, thinking it would shrink up and cook quickly like spinach, but kale requires more cooking time. When I did that, it was a tad bitter. Though, worse than bitter, it was just weirdly chewy. Also, adding in acidic ingredients like the lemon juice and tomatoes helps. Also, the tomatoes, carrots, and peppers added a bit of sweetness. This was nothing short of delectable! Maybe I'll save some for mom for when she visits this week to prove how good kale can be...or maybe I'll eat it all myself!