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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No Bake, Nut Free Granola Bars

These no bake, nut free Granola Bars are super easy and will last you forever – or at least until you eat them all!

They are also PERFECT for making with your kiddos because you really can’t mess them up. As long as all the things stick together – you’re good to go!

For more easy snacks on the go, check out our Hummus Recipe too!

Granola Bars

Print Recipe

These no bake, nut free Granola Bars are super easy and will last you forever - or at least until you eat them all!

They are also PERFECT for making with your kiddos because you really can't mess them up. As long as all the things stick together - you're good to go!

Servings Prep Time
12 pieces 15 minutes
Passive Time
20 minutes

Servings Prep Time
12 pieces 15 minutes
Passive Time
20 minutes

Granola Bars

Print Recipe

These no bake, nut free Granola Bars are super easy and will last you forever - or at least until you eat them all!

They are also PERFECT for making with your kiddos because you really can't mess them up. As long as all the things stick together - you're good to go!

Servings Prep Time
12 pieces 15 minutes
Passive Time
20 minutes

Servings Prep Time
12 pieces 15 minutes
Passive Time
20 minutes

Ingredients
Granola Base

Added Ingredients (these are suggestions and you can add anything you love)


Servings: pieces

Instructions
  1. First combine date paste and oats. Use your hands to seriously smoosh the ingredients together and make sure they are totally incorporated.

    When you break the mixture in half you should see oats laced throughout the date paste.

  2. Add the honey & coconut oil and mix thoroughly. These ingredients will smooth out our base and get it ready for the flavorful ingredients

  3. Once you have mixed the base, add your other seeds/nuts/dried fruit and combine.

    If your ingredients are not sticking, then you need more date paste. Feel free to add as needed.

    If your mixture is too filled with date past and not balanced - ass more oats and seeds.

  4. Once mixture is done, line a baking sheet with parchment paper & press the mixture in the pan.

    Cover with parchment and press more.

  5. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes before cutting into bars.

    Kids also like to make their own shapes or balls. Simply use parchment to help shape and prevent sticking.

Recipe Notes

Pro Storage Tips:

  1. Making these granola balls in large quantities and packing them to go has saved us all on so many occasions. I love to individually wrap them in wax paper and store them in an airtight container to grab and go.
  2. Since all ingredients are dried, you can store them wrapped in your cabinet for weeks to come!

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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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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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Turkey Brine – Orange Coriander

turkey brine

This Orange Coriander Brine will leave you with a moist turkey and brighten it’s flavor through the use of citrus. Your Thanksgiving turkey this year will be the best you’ve ever had.

What is a brine?  A brine is a salty solution that will add moisture to any lean meat.

If you like this flavor combo, you can also check out our Orange Coriander Marinade to try on veggies or other meats throughout the year.

As with all Connected Chef recipes, let your kitchen and instincts guide you as you cook. The ingredient amount below are used as a starting off point; taste as you go and reseason as needed!

turkey brine
Orange Coriander Turkey Brine
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This Orange Coriander Brine add not only moisture to your Turkey, but brightens it's flavor through the use of citrus. Your Thanksgiving turkey this year will be the best you've ever had. This recipe will give you enough brine for a 12-20 lbs turkey.
Prep Time
15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 24-48 Hours
Prep Time
15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 24-48 Hours
turkey brine
Orange Coriander Turkey Brine
Print Recipe
This Orange Coriander Brine add not only moisture to your Turkey, but brightens it's flavor through the use of citrus. Your Thanksgiving turkey this year will be the best you've ever had. This recipe will give you enough brine for a 12-20 lbs turkey.
Prep Time
15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 24-48 Hours
Prep Time
15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 24-48 Hours
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients except water to a large stock pot *be sure to add the whole citrus and juice in with the liquid Bring to a boil and stir Pour in ice water & let cool Once cooled, add turkey and let sit for 24-48 hours. Be sure to turn turkey every 12 hours if not fully submerged.
  2. Bring all items to a boil.
  3. Add ice water and cool
  4. Add turkey to the brine and let soak for 24-48 hours
Recipe Notes

Pro Tip: If your turkey is too big for a stock pot, use a cooler or clean 5 gallon paint bucket to keep the turkey/brine in.

If there is no room in your fridge, you can keep it outside in the cold. Be sure to keep the liquid iced & keep the top locked in some way by putting something heavy on top.

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Ponzu Sauce

Ponzu sauce is a tangy, salty sauce that is great with items like spring rolls, sushi or poke.

With only a few ingredients, this sauce can be made in large batches and kept in the fridge for (ever?) months. The soy sauce & citrus preserves the aromatics and you never really need to worry about it going bad.

*Transformation tip: add some to fried rice for extra flavor!

As with all Connected Chef recipes, let your kitchen and instincts guide you as you cook. The ingredient amount below are used as a starting off point; taste as you go and reseason as needed!

Ponzu Sauce
Print Recipe
Ponzu sauce is a tangy, salty sauce that is great with items like spring rolls, sushi or poke. With only a few ingredients, this sauce can be made in large batches and kept in the fridge for (ever?) months. The soy sauce & citrus preserves the aromatics and you never really need to worry about it going bad.
Prep Time
10 minutes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Ponzu Sauce
Print Recipe
Ponzu sauce is a tangy, salty sauce that is great with items like spring rolls, sushi or poke. With only a few ingredients, this sauce can be made in large batches and kept in the fridge for (ever?) months. The soy sauce & citrus preserves the aromatics and you never really need to worry about it going bad.
Prep Time
10 minutes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients in an air tight container & shake
Recipe Notes

Remember: taste as you go and look for balanced flavors.

When tasting you should get an even amount of ginger & garlic. The honey should balance the saltiness of the soy & the citrus should be in the forefront, but not overwhelming.

If your sauce is too salty, balance with more honey and citrus juice. If it's too citrusy, add a bit more soy and drop of honey.

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Mediterranean Summer Tabouli

Tabouli is a great snack to pack for picnics or bring for your next pot luck. It’s super simple and quick to make.

Typically Tabouli is made with bulgar wheat, but this version utilizes QUINOA to make it gluten free and protein packed.

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!

For some more ideas on how to utilize Quinoa – check out this Marinaded Veggie Recipe.

Tabouli
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Enjoy this simple, finely chopped salad with tons of parsley. Serve with lettuce wraps or crackers for a snack or as a side dish to some grilled meats. To achieve the right tabouli texture, you will need to chop the vegetables as finely as possible. (Be sure to use firm tomatoes!)
Servings Prep Time
8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 0 minutes
Tabouli
Print Recipe
Enjoy this simple, finely chopped salad with tons of parsley. Serve with lettuce wraps or crackers for a snack or as a side dish to some grilled meats. To achieve the right tabouli texture, you will need to chop the vegetables as finely as possible. (Be sure to use firm tomatoes!)
Servings Prep Time
8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 0 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Boil quinoa in salted water until tender. Strain well & let cool
  2. Finely chop mint, parsley and scallion. Use the whole scallion (greens and white)
  3. Very small dice cucumbers and tomato
  4. Mix all ingredients with lime juice & olive oil. Season well with salt & pepper
  5. Serve with lettuce wraps or crackers for a snack or as a side dish to some grilled meats.
Recipe Notes

Pro Tips:

  1. Be sure not to use too much Quinoa when you mix up the salad.  The idea is to have a little quinoa with the salad, not a little salad with your quinoa.
  2. If you are making ahead and have the time - strain your tomatoes to separate eliminate the seeds and juice. This will keep your tabouli dry and not too wet as it sits.

 

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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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Red Wine Vinaigrette

This red wine vinaigrette dressing is super simple, yet surprisingly delicious! I recommend making 3 big jars so you can always have it some on hand in the fridge. It’s a great vinaigrette for vegetables, salads, sandwiches – you name it!

Like most of my recipes, I really recommend you start with the base here and then play around. Once you’ve got the 1:3 ratio of red wine vinegar to olive oil, you can toss in some herbs, add some lemon, whatever you’ve got!

This is a great vinaigrette to serve on a plate of roasted veggies with something hearty on the side, like Roasted Chicken

Red Wine Vinaigrette
Print Recipe
This is the most simple, yet surprisingly delicious vinaigrette dressing. You will want to make 3 big jars and just leave it in your fridge to have on hand.
Red Wine Vinaigrette
Print Recipe
This is the most simple, yet surprisingly delicious vinaigrette dressing. You will want to make 3 big jars and just leave it in your fridge to have on hand.
Instructions
  1. Starting with a 1:3 ratio of vinegar : oil, combine all ingredients in a mason jar & shake.
  2. If you like your dressing a bit more acidic, add a bit more vinegar.
  3. To take away the acid bite a bit, add a touch of water.
  4. The longer the dressing sits in the fridge, the better it gets!
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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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