KALE is Comfort Food

Creamed Kale

Creamed Kale & Spinach

Anything spinach, I’ll eat.  Spinach in anything I’ll eat.  Discovering creamed spinach has been a double-edged discovery since so much of its delicious-ness is derived from its creaminess and basically creaminess amounts to high calorie.

However, now that I know how to make it, I have control over the ingredient content!  Yay!

I only recently investigated what actually goes into making creamed spinach and realized that it is not a hard-to-master scientific experiment in the least.  It incorporates a sauce that is made using the béchamel sauce-making technique!  While I chose not to use this technique which includes adding flour as a thickener, I thought that the combination of milk and cheeses I would use would create a thick enough sauce. And it did.

I adapted a recipe from Martha Stewart who uses cream cheese and no flour.

And, since I like to combine spinach with kale and have a number of different ways in which I use kale, I thought that it could also do well in this recipe.

So, there you go, kale and spinach really is comfort food!  Enjoy!

Note 1:  For this recipe I didn’t go out of my way to substitute lower calorie ingredients in particular as I used regular cream cheese.  When I make it again, I will use a lower fat version.  I will also use less butter and continue to use low-fat milk.

Creamed Kale & Spinach

Yield = 5 cups

Ingredients

2 cups fresh organic Baby Spinach
2 1/2 cups fresh organic Kale

Sauce Ingredients

1 Onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 T Canola
Dash of red pepper flakes
Dash Salt
Dash Pepper
3 T Butter
1/2 cup milk
3 T Cream cheese
1/4 cup Gruyere

Process:  wash, cut and blanch kale and spinach; after they are cooled, squeeze all liquid from them and chop.  To make the cream sauce:  saute onion in canola oil until translucent; add garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and butter and cook for another 3 minutes; add milk and when heated add Gruyere and cream cheese; stir and cook until cheese is melted; let cool then process in a blender; return to pan and add kale and spinach and cook for another 5 minutes.

Creamed Kale

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Easy Rustic Tarts

While the ground is frozen, my oven stays warm.

I’ve been perfecting my pie dough crust.  Okay, I haven’t been actually making pies I guess you can say I’ve been taking the easy route with these super easy rustic (and so delish) tarts.

Since I couldn’t decide whether to go sweet or savory, and while I have made many sweet tarts or crostatas or galettes, I was uncertain about the ingredients to use in a savory tart.  (Why so many names?  Crostata is Italian and galette is French.)

I looked for some recipes starring my all-time favorite vegetable, leafy green spinach and got some ideas from those.  I prepared the spinach using very similar ingredients that I would use when not including in a pastry dough – with sautéed onions and garlic for great flavor and I added grated gruyere cheese then added to the dough.  Pretty simple, right?  You got it!

You give it a try and let me know whether you agree or not.

Savory
Spinach Gruyere Tart

SpinachTart

SpinachTart

 

Easy Rustic Tarts Recipe

Pastry Dough for Tart
Ingredients

2 C flour
1 ½ t salt
1 t baking powder
6 T butter, cold
4 T vegetable shortening
½ C (or less) ice water

Process:  mix flour, salt, baking powder together; add the butter and shortening using a cheese grater (or your preferred method); combine until mixture is the texture of small peas; add ice water a little at a time; roll out onto a floured surface and make 2 small discs; wrap in plastic and refrigerate until filling is ready.

Spinach Gruyere Tart
Ingredients

6-7 C organic spinach
½ C Gruyere cheese, grated
2 T olive oil
1 onion
4 cloves of garlic, minced
½ t salt
½ t thyme
dash pepper

Process:  Sautee onion in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until golden; add garlic and cook until fragrant, careful not to burn; remove from pan and add remaining olive oil; add spinach, salt, thyme and pepper; cover with lid and cook for 3 minutes; let cool.  Squeeze all liquid from the cooled spinach then combine with the cheese; add this mixture to the tart dough and wrap the edges over the filling to enclose; bake at 400 F degrees for about 20-25 minutes until crust is golden brown.

 

Sweet
Red Grape Tart

GrapeTart

GrapeTart

GrapeTart

Red Grape Tart
Ingredients

1 C red grapes, thoroughly washed
1 t potato starch
½ C water
1 T sugar (adjust here according to natural sweetness of fruit used)
1 t lemon juice
½ t lemon zest
pinch of salt

Process:  cook grapes in the 1/2 cup of water; bring to a boil.  In a separate bowl mix the potato starch, lemon juice, sugar, zest and salt; add this mixture to the boiling grapes and stir constantly; let simmer for about 2 minutes and remove from heat; let cool.  Add this mixture to the chilled and rolled out dough.  Fold up the edges to “hug” the red grape mixture; bake in a preheated oven at 400 F degrees for about 25 minutes until crust is golden.  Let cool before serving.