Asparagus and Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Spinach Pistachio Pesto

Asparagus and Zucchini Noodles with Spinach Pesto

Asparagus and Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Spinach Pistachio Pesto

June is zoodle mania in our house. There’s something about the start of summer that gets my spiralizer hummin’! This salad is a play on a old favorite of mine: this roasted corn and spiralized zucchini noodle salad with cherry tomatoes. I ate the heck out of that salad in 2014.

I love this recipe because it’s veggie on veggie on veggie. Could it be healthier? I think not. The first level of veggie is the spinach pesto. I threw some baby spinach, parsley, pistachios, miso paste, and a little Parmesan cheese into the food processor. I blended that up to create this beautiful creamy pesto that I tossed with the spiralized zucchini noodles, which are the second level of veggies. Then I tossed the zoodles with sauteed asparagus and chopped cherry tomatoes, the third level of veggies.

Asparagus and Zucchini Noodles with Spinach Pistachio Pesto

This zoodle salad is truly satisfying and super tasty. Why is it so satisfying? Well for one, between the spinach and the veggies, it’s packed with fiber. I also didn’t skimp on the fat. I used pistachios, olive oil and a bit of Parmesan cheese in my pesto. I could have just eaten my spiralized zucchini with some marinara sauce, that would have been quick and easy. But it likely wouldn’t have been as satisfying for the long haul. You have to add some fat and a bit of protein to make a truly satisfying meal.

Asparagus and Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Spinach Pesto

For some people, this is definitely not enough to keep them full. I totally get that! This would be a side dish for my husband (and it was!). He would need a protein and another carb on the side to feel “done.” He grilled up some steak and had a small sweet potato with this salad. I was actually okay with it as is. Keep in mind I had 2.5 times the serving he did. My dinner strategy is to get full off more veggies. It works!

Asparagus and Zucchini Noodles with Spinach Pesto

However you need to make your veggie noodles work for you, I say get it done. Whether as a side dish or a main meal, spiralizing your veggies is a great way to eat more of what does a body good — especially this time of year when we have tasty tomatoes, fresh corn and tons of zucchini to look forward to!

Need a little more inspiration? Below are a few more recipes:

Sauteed Asparagus with Zucchini Noodles & Spinach Pesto

Yield: 2-3 servings

Sauteed Asparagus with Zucchini Noodles & Spinach Pesto

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 zucchinis, spiralized
  • 1-2 Tbsp veggie broth
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • sea salt
  • For the Pesto:
  • 2 big handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 handful chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp miso paste
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Instructions

  1. Snap the asparagus by the ends and chop into bite sized pieces. Heat a saute pan with 1 tsp olive oil and add asparagus, let saute for 1 minute. Add broth and cook until broth evaporates and asparagus are cooked, but still a bit crunchy (you don't want mushy asparagus).
  2. Spiralize zucchini and set aside. Slice the tomatoes. In a food processor, add all the pesto ingredients, except the oil. Process while slowly adding oil through the top. Keep pulsing until well combined, scraping down sides, if needed.
  3. Toss zoodles with some of the pesto and place in a serving bowl. Top with asparagus and cherry tomatoes. Serve immediately.
http://foodconfidence.com/2016/06/02/spiralized-zucchini-noodles-spinach-pesto/

zoodlesandasparagus

Miso kale caesar with sprouted bread croutons

Miso Kale Caesar

Salad month continues with my Miso Kale Caesar recipe. It’s a healthed-up version of an iconic salad. It deliciously delivers all that is great about this beloved menu mainstay: lettuce, cheese, and bread. Does it get any better than that?

I remember in high school I went on a Caesar salad kick. I decided that whenever I ate out, that’s all I would order: a fully dressed Caesar salad. No dressing on the side business. No fish or protein on it, either.  It was pretty easy to do, most menus offer a Caesar salad of some sort. I’m not sure why I did this or how long my Caesar salad kick lasted, but I bet I enjoyed it!

kale caesar salad

My taste buds have grown up a bit since then and now I tend to go for the Caesar when it’s doing a little something special. Like my Miso Kale Caesar with homemade croutons. There’s little not to love about this healthy bowl of creamy greens topped with toasted bread! 

kale Caesar salad

The Miso Caesar dressing is a delicious mix of Parmesan cheese, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, miso paste, garlic, and Dijon mustard. I tend not to over-dress my salads, which is great because a little goes a long way with this flavorful dressing.

Kale Miso Caesar Salad with homemade croutons

I massaged the miso caesar dressing into the curly kale and let it sit in the fridge while I made the croutons. I brushed some olive oil on two slices of whole grain sprouted bread, seasoned them with Herbamare seasoning (Italian blend) and then just popped them into the toaster oven.

Miso kale caesar with sprouted bread croutons

Once the toast was ready, I added a few slivers of Parmesan cheese and this salad was ready for eating! I love serving it topped with the warm croutons.

If you’re a Caesar salad fan, I hope you’ll give my version a try!

Miso Kale Caesar

Miso Kale Caesar

Ingredients

  • 1 head curly kale, de-stemmed
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tsp miso paste
  • 3-4 Tablespoons cold water
  • 2 slices whole grain bread
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • Parmesan shavings, as garnish

Instructions

  1. In a blender, combine the grated Parmesan cheese, miso paste, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil and mustard. Blend until mixed and then add water as needed to thin down dressing. Remove kale from stems and place in large bowl. Add dressing and massage into kale with both hands until kale wilts and shrinks down. Brush olive oil onto bread slices and season with salt and pepper (or seasoning salt). Toast bread and then slice into squares. Add salad to bowls and top with croutons and Parmesan shavings.
http://foodconfidence.com/2016/05/19/miso-kale-caesar/

misokalecaesar

12 delicious and healthy ways to cook frozen kale for easy weeknight meals.

12 Delicious Ways To Cook With Frozen Kale

Got kale? I do. Frozen kale, that is.

12 delicious and healthy ways to cook frozen kale for easy weeknight meals. Kale is one of those greens that can be substituted in a recipe that calls for any green, spinach, collards, Swiss chard, etc. I love using frozen kale because it’s a hearty green and I always have it on hand. It’s also ready to go, already cleaned and chopped up, so it’s super easy to work with when I’m in a rush.

Last year I asked my pretty amazing and one-of-a-kind Confident Kitchen newsletter subscribers what they wanted to learn more about on this blog. They gave me some wonderful feedback. They asked for info on how to eat for energy, how to sub out ingredients, recipes for simple meals using simple ingredients, how to freeze food, and making meals for two. I think this post about how to use up frozen kale combines a few of these topics, so hopefully it’s useful.

If you’re wondering whether frozen kale is as healthy as the fresh stuff, it totally is. It has all of the same nutrients that fresh kale has, and sometimes even more, depending on how “fresh” your fresh kale really is. We’ve all seen a few wilty excuses for fresh kale at the grocery store, right? Frozen kale is also a great way to eat kale year round, when it’s not available locally.

I buy my frozen kale mostly at Trader Joe’s, but I know they sell it at Whole Foods and other large chain grocery stores. In the spirit of keeping things simple (which is my way of cooking) I’ve compiled a few great ways you can use your frozen kale starting today!

12 Ways to Cook Frozen Kale

  1. add frozen kale to your green smoothie like this kale apple smoothie
  2. stir frozen kale into any soup, chili, or stew (this vegetable chili with kale is a great idea)
  3. toss your favorite pasta dish with kale like I did in my lemon kale pasta with dried cherries
  4. add kale to these vegan enchiladas, these bean burritos, or sprinkle it onto open-faced tacos
  5. give your frozen kale a quick sauté with some olive oil, a clove or two of garlic, and some salt (stir in some frozen shrimp for protein and you’ve got a quick dinner meal straight from your freezer)
  6. stir kale into your scrambled eggs or add to an omelette 
  7. top your favorite pizza with frozen kale
  8. toss this cheesy kale pesto with spaghetti
  9. stir frozen kale into your homemade mac & cheese
  10. add frozen kale to a quiche or other type of pie like this crustless quiche or sub out the spinach for kale in my mom’s famous spinach pie 
  11. add kale to your fried rice like this (yum)
  12. make a grown-up grilled cheese with kale, caramelized onions, cheddar, and sourdough bread

12 delicious recipes for cooking up quick and easy weeknight meals using frozen kale.