Well, it’s safe to say that I have completely dropped the ball and have been MIA since September. In a blink of the eye, Fall made a brief appearance and just like that, Chicago’s cold and grey season has officially kicked in for the next six months. The fur blankets have come out of hiding and the hibernation has set in. Shorter days and longer nights set the tone for a more grounding and relaxing time.
What Chicago lacks in weather is made up in seasonal cooking. Rich aroma’s of sweet yet savory is key as well as being hearty and comforting. Root veggies and dark leafy greens add texture and color while also providing endless possibilities. However, unless you are super into meal prepping, cooking with these ingredients definitely takes time and planning. Not always ideal for a quick mid-week meal or side dish.
Yet, I have found a simple and yummy solution that is packed full of protein and super easy to make!
- One bundle or one bag of kale ( I have been using Tuscan kale but any will do!)
- 1/3 cup of pine nuts
- 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
- 1 lemon
- 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon of Grey Poupon
- 1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
- Salt & pepper
- Place 1/3 of pine nuts in a small pan over medium-low heat. Roast until golden brown.
- Thoroughly wash and prep kale leaves. I always make sure to remove the hearty stem along the middle of each leaf.
- Pat down and dry leaves before chopping them into bite-size pieces.
Dressing: (this is a good go-to dressing for most salads. Ingredients can be added or subtracted depending on taste)
- Combine extra virgin olive oil, half of lemon, Grey Poupon, balsamic vinegar, garlic and a dash of salt and pepper.
- Shake well
In a big bowl, combine kale, toasted pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, a squeeze of the other half of lemon and dressing. Give it a good toss and enjoy!