Kale Pesto

Kale Pesto

This Kale pesto is an extremely healthy and a delicious version of a traditional green herb pesto.

What is a pesto exactly?

Pesto is simply a puree of greens that is emulsified with olive oil. It can be great with some pasta or as a sauce with roasted veggies. I’ve even been know to eat this Kale pesto as a dip with some veggie sticks or crackers.

And, as with all my recipes – It’s simple and quick and don’t forget to taste as you go!

This recipe uses the puree technique of emulsifying.

As with all of me recipes, this is a guideline and should be adjusted to your liking. Feel free to play as you go and ALWAYS cook with your senses!

If you like this kale pesto recipe, you should also try my Arugula Parsley Pesto Puree as well

Kale Pesto
Kale Pesto
Print Recipe
This Kale pesto is an extremely healthy and a delicious version of a traditional green herb pesto. Pesto is simply a puree of greens that is emulsified with olive oil. It can be great with some pasta or as a sauce with roasted veggies. I've even been know to eat this Kale pesto as a dip with some veggie sticks or crackers.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Kale Pesto
Kale Pesto
Print Recipe
This Kale pesto is an extremely healthy and a delicious version of a traditional green herb pesto. Pesto is simply a puree of greens that is emulsified with olive oil. It can be great with some pasta or as a sauce with roasted veggies. I've even been know to eat this Kale pesto as a dip with some veggie sticks or crackers.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Clean Kale by removing leaves from the stem.
  2. Add all ingredients, except Olive Oil into your food processor. (If it doesn't fit, add it to a bowl and them process it in 2 parts.)
  3. Start the food processor and add the oil slowly until the pesto is a thick consistency. Then add a bit more oil, all while blending.
  4. Season with a good amount of salt and pepper and buzz once more to incorporate.
  5. You can serve over pasta or as a sauce with chicken or roasted veggies.
Recipe Notes

Ingredients to prep ahead: EVERYTHING! This is great made and then can be frozen in portions to use on a chaotic day! Pro Tip:

  • This Kale pesto recipe is great with the optional ingredients, but is still delicious if you don’t have them on hand.  You can also swap the sunflower seeds for a nut. (walnuts, pecans, almonds etc)
  • This pesto is great with pasta, added to chicken or steak, or even just with some crackers.
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Winter Squash Soup

Winter squash Soup

Getting a variety of Winter squash in the Fall months is my favorite! Winter squash keep outside the fridge for what seems like ever and are so great for adding some depth and warmth to any dish.

This Winter squash soup is very simple and fast AND like so many of The Connected Chef recipes, can be batch made and frozen for another week’s meal. I love working smarter, not harder. 🙂

This recipe uses Butternut Squash, but feel free to swap that out for any other Winter squash you have available. (Kabocha, Acorn, Carnival, Pumpkin, ect.)

As with all of my recipes, measurements are NOT important. I always urge you to taste as you go and use your instincts.  You know what you like!

Check out some of our other One Pot Meals too!

Winter squash Soup

Winter Squash Soup

Print Recipe

This Winter squash soup is very simple and fast AND like so many of The Connected Chef recipes, can be batch made and frozen for another weeks meal. I love working smarter, not harder. 🙂

This recipe uses Butternut Squash, but feel free to swap that out for any other Winter squash you have available. (Kabocha, Acorn, Carnival, Pumpkin, ect.)

Servings Prep Time
6 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes

Servings Prep Time
6 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes

Winter squash Soup

Winter Squash Soup

Print Recipe

This Winter squash soup is very simple and fast AND like so many of The Connected Chef recipes, can be batch made and frozen for another weeks meal. I love working smarter, not harder. 🙂

This recipe uses Butternut Squash, but feel free to swap that out for any other Winter squash you have available. (Kabocha, Acorn, Carnival, Pumpkin, ect.)

Servings Prep Time
6 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes

Servings Prep Time
6 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes

Ingredients


Servings: people

Instructions
  1. Rough chop onions & garlic & set aside

  2. Rough chop squash & set aside

  3. Brown 1 stick of butter at the bottom of a stock/soup pot

  4. One butter is browned, add onions & garlic and season with salt & pepper. Let brown lightly.

  5. Add squash, sage, thyme & maple syrup and stir. Reseason.

  6. Let vegetables cook and soften slightly.
    Then, add your liquid (chicken/veggie stock or water).

  7. Allow the soup to simmer as the squash softens, about 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

  8. Add milk and let cook for 5 minutes more.

  9. Blend soup in blender or food processor. Fee free to add more stock at this point if the soup is too thick.
    Once blended the soup can be strained through a fine mesh strainer if you'd like.

  10. Re-season & enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Ingredients to prep ahead: 

  • All vegetables can be prepped ahead of time
  • When storing precut veggies, be sure to store them in an airtight container. You can also store them together based on the stages that they are used in the recipes. (i.e. onions/garlic in 1 container, squash/herbs in a separate container)
  • Brown Butter can also be done ahead and stored in a mason jar or other air tight container - I actually love making a giant batch of brown butter and storing it in my fridge. It's a great flavor boost in so many recipes.

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Vegetable Dumplings

dumplings

These Vegetable Dumplings are by far one of the favorites in our kid’s cooking classes. The children love to make and stuff the dumplings and they ALWAYS eat them up like crazy.

This recipe adds cabbage and other shredded vegetables, but you can also brown off some meat, cook some shrimp or change up the vegetables to make any flavor dumplings you’d like.

You can also lay your dumplings on a sheet tray and freeze them. Once they are frozen, you can combine them together in a ziplock bag or airtight container.

If you are looking for a sauce to perfectly compliment you dumplings, check out our Ponzu Sauce!

dumplings
Vegetable Dumplings
Print Recipe
This recipe adds cabbage and other shredded vegetables, but you can also brown off some meat, cook some shrimp or change up the vegetables to make any flavor dumplings you'd like.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
dumplings
Vegetable Dumplings
Print Recipe
This recipe adds cabbage and other shredded vegetables, but you can also brown off some meat, cook some shrimp or change up the vegetables to make any flavor dumplings you'd like.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Shred cabbage, carrots & beets using a box grater.
  2. Small chop red pepper.
  3. Saute Garlic, Ginger, Scallions in a little olive oil and season with salt & pepper.
  4. Add chopped veggies & season again. Cook until soft.
  5. Add a splash of soy sauce & let cool.
  6. Place a small amount of veggie mix in the center of a wonton wrapper.
  7. With the tip of your finger, wet the edges of the wrapper all the way around.
  8. Fold the wonton wrapper in half and press down on the edges to seal. Be sure not to use too much filling.
  9. Fry dumplings in a pan with a liberal amount of olive oil.
  10. When browned, take out and place on a linen or paper towel and season with salt.
Recipe Notes

Items that can be prepped ahead: 

  • Make the mix ahead and store in an air tight container.
  • The mix can also be made in a double batch and kept frozen for later use!
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Veggie ragout with creamy cheese polenta

ragout

This Veggie Ragout & creamy polenta makes me feel SO warm and cozy as the weather gets colder.

By building flavors and adding ingredients in layers, you will find that this Ragout will give you both depth of flavor and a bright surprise at the end with the addition of some vinegar.

Make a double batch and freeze half to keep for another day. It will always make you happy when you are scrambling to figure out dinner and you remember you have a delicious homemade meal in the freezer waiting for you.

As for leftovers – I ALWAYS eat any extra polenta with my eggs in the morning. YUM!

The Polenta can be made with vegetable stock and no cheese to make this a yummy vegan dish as well.

As with all of my recipes, measurements are NOT important. I always urge you to taste as you go and use your instincts.  If you don’t like an ingredient or want to swap for another vegetable – Go for it! You know what you like!

Check out some of our other One Pot Meals too!

ragout
Veggie Ragout & Cheese Polenta
Print Recipe
This Veggie Ragout makes me feel SO warm and cozy as the weather gets colder. By building flavors and adding ingredients in layers, you will find that this Ragout will give you both depth of flavor and a bright surprise at the end with the addition of some vinegar. As with all of my recipes, measurements are NOT important. I always urge you to taste as you go and use your instincts.  If you don't like an ingredient or want to swap for another vegetable - Go for it! You know what you like! Check out some of our other One Pot Meals too!
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
ragout
Veggie Ragout & Cheese Polenta
Print Recipe
This Veggie Ragout makes me feel SO warm and cozy as the weather gets colder. By building flavors and adding ingredients in layers, you will find that this Ragout will give you both depth of flavor and a bright surprise at the end with the addition of some vinegar. As with all of my recipes, measurements are NOT important. I always urge you to taste as you go and use your instincts.  If you don't like an ingredient or want to swap for another vegetable - Go for it! You know what you like! Check out some of our other One Pot Meals too!
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
Ragout
  1. Chop all your vegetables to the same size and set aside Keep onion & garlic separate from other veggies
  2. Heat a pan to with olive oil using low heat. Add onion, garlic with salt & pepper. Cook until soft.
  3. Add all other veggies (except spinach & parsley)
  4. Season with paprika, gr. coriander, salt & pepper & cook for about 3-5 min. until the veggies begin to soften.
  5. Add red wine to deglaze the pan and cook down for another 3-5 min.
  6. Add canned tomato and crush tomato with spoon or hands (I like to use my hands :)) Let cook for another 3-5 min.
  7. Add bay leaf & chick peas and re-season with spices and salt & pepper to taste.
  8. Cook down at a simmer (uncovered) for about 20min. You want the vegetables to be soft, but not mushy. The ragout sauce should be a bit thick & have a deep flavor, similar to that of a stew.
  9. Finish with chopped spinach & parsley
Cheese Polenta
  1. Add 3 cups of milk & 2 cups of water & stick of butter to a medium sauce pan and warm.
  2. Once liquid is warm, season with salt to taste & add polenta
  3. Allow to cook on medium heat for 20 minutes, while stirring occasionally. As the polenta thickens and cooks you will need to stir more often.
  4. As the polenta cooks, it will likely need more liquid before it is completely cooked through. Add more milk as necessary throughout the cooking process.
  5. Taste the polenta as you go and it will begin to soften. Once cooked, add cheese. *The cheese will thicken the polenta more, so if you need to add a bit of milk to it to thin it out a bit, go right ahead!
  6. Re-season with salt & black pepper and enjoy Your final polenta should be smooth and creamy.
Recipe Notes

Items that can be prepared ahead:

  • chop vegetables
  • polenta

*Essentially, this is a great meal to make a few days ahead and the flavors will just get better as it sits.

To make this dish vegan - use vegetable stock instead of milk & leave out the butter. If you like coconut flavor, you can finish the polenta with some coconut butter (not oil).

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Lemon Chicken

  • Using the BRAISING method, this is the perfect one pot meal.

It requires minimal prep and cooks without needing much attention. That means it’s great for a week night or a busy day with your kids. It’s also a meal that can be adjusted to be made in a Crockpot or Instapot.

I used to make this recipe for family meal when I worked for David Burke in his UES restaurants. It was always a hit and a welcomed variation from the mundane, slapped together meals we were used to scarfing down as busy cooks.

This recipe was nicknamed “Long Island Chicken” because it’s a riff off of  the Lemon Chicken my grandma used to make me as a kid. I don’t have many childhood dishes, but this is definitely one of them.

As with all of my recipes, measurements are NOT important. I always urge you to taste as you go and use your instincts.  You know what you like!

Check out some of our other One Pot Meals too!

Lemon Chicken
Print Recipe
Using the method BRAISING, it's this is the perfect one pot meal. This dish requires minimal prep and cooks without needing much attention, which means it's great for a week night or a busy day with your kids. It's also a meal that can be adjusted to be made in a Crockpot or Instapot. 
Servings Prep Time
6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes 45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes 45 minutes
Lemon Chicken
Print Recipe
Using the method BRAISING, it's this is the perfect one pot meal. This dish requires minimal prep and cooks without needing much attention, which means it's great for a week night or a busy day with your kids. It's also a meal that can be adjusted to be made in a Crockpot or Instapot. 
Servings Prep Time
6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes 45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes 45 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Coat chicken in Paprika, salt & pepper
  2. Sear off in a hot pan to brown (Remember that you need high heat to sear. You can turn it down once the chicken goes in the pan. Spices will brown quickly, but don't worry about burning.)
  3. Removed seared chicken & set aside.
  4. Add onion, garlic, pepper, thyme & cook until lightly browned. Feel free to add a little oil if you need to.
  5. Add lemons, juice and halves pieces. Throw it all in there! 🙂
  6. Add chicken back into pot & add stock until ¾ of the way up the chicken
  7. Add butter & simmer on low until chicken is cooked through
  8. Finish with Kale and chopped parsley at the very end and cook 3-4 minutes.
Recipe Notes

Items that can be prepped ahead:

  • Cut veggies and herbs
  • half and juice lemons

Pro Tip: When storing prepped veggies, store them based on the stage that they are added in the recipe. If you are adding a bunch of veggies together in 1 step, they can be stored together.

  • store onion/garlic/peppers/thyme together
  • halve and squeeze you lemons into a container and save for cook time. Then you just need to dump and move on.

 

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Chili

This simple chili recipe is the easiest, most forgiving and delicious you will eat. Make 3 times the amount so that you can freeze batches of it for a rainy day!

Chili
Print Recipe
This is the easiest, most forgiving and delicious chili you will eat. Make 3 times the amount so that you can freeze batches of it for a rainy day!
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 30 minutes
Chili
Print Recipe
This is the easiest, most forgiving and delicious chili you will eat. Make 3 times the amount so that you can freeze batches of it for a rainy day!
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. If you are using protein, you will coat the protein with spices and sear off first. For shrimp & chicken, remove the protein from the pot & set aside after searing. For ground beef, just continue to the next step.
  2. Add chopped onion & garlic first and sweat for a few minutes. Be sure to season with salt & pepper during this step.
  3. Add the rest of your veggies of choice & spices and cook off a bit. Be sure to season with salt/pepper again.
  4. Add more if necessary spices & stir and cook another couple minutes.
  5. Add beer and let reduce for 3 minutes.
  6. Add canned tomato, cooked beans & if you want it a bit spicy you can chop some chilis (jalapeño, serano, etc.) & add that, too.
  7. Add chopped Kale & re-season to taste with salt/pepper. Simmer for 20 more minutes.
  8. Enjoy! Great served with pico de gallo, sour cream and lime as well!
Recipe Notes

As with all of our recipes, this one s meat to be cooked with your senses. The ingredient portions are forgiving and you can feel free to swap out ingredients for what you like best or have available.

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Thai Marinated Chicken with Coconut Rice & Thai-Inspired Slaw

The marinade for this Thai chicken allows you to get a little creative in the kitchen, and the accompanying slaw is the same!

Use the proportions of the marinade ingredients below according to how much chicken you should make, and think about the final flavor of the dish; since this is both a marinade as well as the sauce the chicken cooks in, you have some room to wiggle a little with amounts and measurements.

Try to remember the balance of acidity (lime juice), salt (soy sauce) and sweetness (honey), with just enough fresh cilantro to open up the flavor and zingy ginger and garlic to add bite.  As with all Connected Chef recipes, we encourage you to use all your senses as you cook!

The coconut rice that goes with the Thai marinated chicken and slaw is also easier than it looks, especially when you think about the process of rice cooking. Cooking the rice in coconut milk gives it a creamy flavor that’s hard to beat, and it rounds out the entire dish nicely.

Toss the slaw together using whatever crispy, fresh vegetables you have on hand. Each of the different textures of the different vegetables will work well together, especially when you tie them together with a garlicky vinegar dressing.

This Thai marinated chicken and sides is one of my favorite recipes to teach in my classes, since it covers so many different aspects of the kitchen and requires you to use each of your senses throughout the entire process. It’s a great recipe to get kids cooking along with you!

Marinated Chicken, Coconut Rice & Thai Slaw
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This will be you GO TO dinner meal. Every client tells me how much this meal changed their life. Enjoy!
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
15 min
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
15 min
Marinated Chicken, Coconut Rice & Thai Slaw
Print Recipe
This will be you GO TO dinner meal. Every client tells me how much this meal changed their life. Enjoy!
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
15 min
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
Coconut Rice
Thai Slaw
Servings: people
Instructions
Thai Marinade
  1. Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl and whisk: Start with soy sauce as the base, and then add each ingredient one at a time, tasting as you go.
  2. Add chicken to the marinade and set aside for at least 20-30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the meal.
  3. When chicken is ready to be cooked, sear in batches with marinade & season with salt & pepper
Coconut Rice
  1. Fine chop garlic, onion, ginger & sauté in pan with a heavy amount of oil.
  2. Add rice & toast (make sure there is enough oil to coat the rice)
  3. Once rice is toasted brown, add coconut milk & water
  4. Season heavily with salt & some pepper
  5. Once boiling, stir & bring down heat
  6. Stir occasionally until cooked through.
  7. **Be sure to be tasting rice as it cooks and adjusting seasoning. You can always add a bit of water if you need more liquid throughout the cooking process.
Thai Slaw
  1. Julienne all veggies (cut into thin strips).
  2. Pick herbs from stem & tear into slaw
  3. Dress with some lime juice, salt & pepper to taste.
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Zucchini Galette

Your Zucchini Galette is the most deliciously light, Spring recipe. It can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Your kids will love making it AND eating it.

What makes this recipe even better — You can always use store bought dough 😉

These are also great made ahead & individually wrapped for reheating. (or just eat it cold!)

Zucchini Galette
Print Recipe
This is the most delicious recipe and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Your kids will love making it AND eating it. PS. You can always use store bought dough 😉 These are also great made ahead & individually wrapped for reheating. (or just eat it cold!)
Servings
6 people
Servings
6 people
Zucchini Galette
Print Recipe
This is the most delicious recipe and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Your kids will love making it AND eating it. PS. You can always use store bought dough 😉 These are also great made ahead & individually wrapped for reheating. (or just eat it cold!)
Servings
6 people
Servings
6 people
Ingredients
Dough
Ricotta Filling
Servings: people
Instructions
Dough
  1. Mix salt & water and keep very cold until used
  2. Pulse VERY COLD butter (I actually freeze mine) and flour in food processor until it forms large clumps. If doing by hand, use 2 forks to “cut” the butter into the flour.
  3. Add salt water until dough has formed, but not smooth. The dough should pull off the sides of the food processor & resemble a ball.
  4. Pull from machine onto a floured surface and shape into a ball. Cover with plastic and let rest for 2 hours or overnight.
Ricotta Filling
  1. Mix all ingredients together and season with salt & pepper to taste.
  2. Please note that all ingredients are measured to taste, so feel free to trust your instincts & adjust how you like.
Building Galette
  1. Slice zucchini thinly in circles. (about ¼ inch thick)
  2. Cut Tart Dough into 4 pieces and work with one at a time.
  3. Roll out Tart Dough with flour on your cutting board. (You can do 2 large galettes or multiple small ones)
  4. Smear Ricotta Filling on the bottom of the dough, leaving about an inch of space around all edges
  5. Layer the sliced Zucchini on top of the cheese
  6. Fold up edges of dough onto your zucchini
  7. Bake at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes or until brown
Recipe Notes

Also feel free to use store bought pie dough & jump to just building and eating. No judgement!

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