We were thrilled to hear about HuffPost Green's Week of Eating In project and instantly wanted to help the cause anyway we could. As founder and chief hostess of The Dish's Dish, a weekly home chef service in LA and NYC, I've built my business around a passion for helping busy people eat better.
Eating in is not only better for the environment and your pocket book, it's also proven to be good for your waistline. Studies show that people who cook the majority of their own meals are more likely to be a healthy weight.
Sitting around the dinner table with your family is also proven to strengthen communication and boost your children's self esteem. You didn't know your kitchen could be such a powerful place, did you?
To help you stay on track this week, here are a few delicious, healthy and easy recipes courtesy of our Culinistas® (my word for fabulous personal chef). Try 'em out and let us know what you think. To learn how to prepare more great dishes like these, check out our Culinista Kitchen DVD series. Have fun eating in!
Amanda's Kale, Sweet Potato and Goat Cheese Quesadillas
1 bunch kale
2 sweet potatoes
1 log goat cheese
6 whole wheat tortillas
3 tbsp. olive oil
Salt, as needed
• Bring two pots of well-salted water to a boil.
• Cut and clean kale by stripping the middle vein out of the leaf then roll up and cut into long strips and set aside for cleaning. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into large dice. Blanch the kale and sweet potatoes in separate pots of water, then shock in a bowl of ice water. Set aside to fully cool.
• Arrange tortillas on a flat surface. Spread tortillas first with goat cheese, then with sweet potatoes - mashing them as you go - and lastly the kale. Fold tortillas in half.
• Heat pan with olive oil and sear each side of the quesadilla. Cut in half and serve.
Josie's Lemon Oregano Farro Salad
1 C. farro (barley, wild rice or wheat berries also work well)
3 C. boiling water
½ C. chives or scallion, chopped
1 C. fresh corn, shaved from cob
6 oz. ricotta salata, cubed
1 lemon, zested and juiced
¼ C. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
4 oz. baby arugula
Salt and pepper, to taste
• In a saucepan, add farro to boiling water. Let simmer for 40 minutes. Drain.
• When farro is nearly cooled to room temperature, add lemon zest and juice, olive oil and chopped oregano.
• Shave corn from cob, chop chives and cheese.
• Toss in cheese, corn and chives.
• Season with salt and pepper.
• Toss in baby arugula just before serving.
Andrea's Chicken Sausage & Bean Casserole
½ baguette, torn into pieces
¼ C. olive oil
1 tbsp. canola oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 handful of sun-dried tomatoes
1 lb. fresh chicken sausage, casings removed
Chicken broth, as needed
3 19-oz. cans cannellini beans, drained
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
• In a food processor, pulse bread and sun-dried tomatoes until very coarse crumbs form (you should have about 3 cups). Add oil and pulse briefly to moisten. Season with salt and pepper. Set breadcrumbs aside.
• Over medium heat, add the sausage and chicken broth to a pan. Break up sausage with a wooden spoon until cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes.
• Stir in beans and cook until beans are tender and creamy, about 5 minutes. Mash half the beans with a fork or potato masher. Season with salt and pepper.
• Transfer sausage and bean mixture to a shallow 4-quart baking dish. Scatter breadcrumbs over top (reserve half for reheating).
• Place dish on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until topping is golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
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