breakfast BLT plate.

mmmmm. breakfast.

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this was totally a clean-out-the-fridge style brekky that we made one weekend, but it was so scrumptious and satisfying that i made it again.

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and it’s really just a BLT on a plate!

or a BLAT, but i don’t like saying that.

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also, health, because sautéing like 4 giant leaves of kale in a pan quickly becomes a tiny pile of kale. but all that green superfood goodness is all still present!

if you’re a sunny side up hater, then leave more room between the kale and center of pan to flip the eggs over, or just scramble them.

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you have to be sure to get a piece of each component into each bite! all the savory flavors really jive.

whomever first placed a slice of bacon next to a slice of tomato and a piece of lettuce was a got dang genius. amiriiiiite?

BLT. meant 2 be.

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Breakfast BLT Plate

Time: 20 minutes

Serves 1, easily multiplied

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 large purple kale leaves, washed, dried and removed from stems

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2-4 slices of bacon (save a little bacon grease in pan to sauté the kale in)

  • 1/2 a large avocado, sliced

  • handful of grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

  • goat cheese

  • salt, pepper, red chili flakes

  • bread or toast, optional

Instructions:

In a large pan or skillet, cook the bacon as desired. Save just a bit of the bacon grease in the pan, discard the remainder in an old can or jar to harden. Place the bacon on a paper towel to remove excess grease.

Heat the pan with the bacon grease to medium, tear the kale and toss it into the pan and sprinkle with a pinch of salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Toss with a spatula to tenderize, about 2 minutes.

Once the kale is tender, scoot it out to the edges of the pan, leaving a hole in the center to crack the eggs in. Crack 2 eggs into the center and sprinkle with black pepper if desired. Cover the pan and allow the eggs to cook about 2-3 minutes, or just until you see a film starting to form on the yolks. Remove from heat immediately. If you don’t like runny yolks, cook until the yolks are hardened, about 2 more minutes.

Carefully transfer the kale and eggs to a large plate. Add the bacon, sliced avocado, halved cherry tomatoes, and goat cheese crumbles. Add an extra sprinkle of red chili flakes if desired.

Serve with bread or toast if you like!

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easy butternut squash & goat cheese spread.

after having looked at the word ‘squash’ for the last 10 minutes…..whoa. that’s a weird one.

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oh, you butternut squash and your versatile ways.

i love eating all kinds of squash during the fall - in sooo many forms! you can roast a whole butternut squash and continue to use it in all kinds of different recipes all week long.

this week on the squash-for-dinner front: pete and i had stuffed acorn squash with arugula, sausage & goat cheese one night, butternut squash in a big salad the next night, spaghetti squash with pesto the next night, and spaghetti squash crisped up with pulled pork, corn & salsa the next night.

and the shirt i’m wearing right now is squash colored. I AM SQUASH.

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this dip/spread is so simple and you only really need 2 or 3 ingredients, but you can spruce it up with some other fun stuff like lemon, green onion, sunflower seeds or pepitas for texture!

if you prefer feta cheese over goat cheese, that would be a great substitute.

serving this warm and fresh on toasty bread is quite cozy & delightful. it also goes great with different veggies for dipping!

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Easy Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Spread

Yields 2-3 cups

Total Time: 45 minutes, Active Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 a medium/large butternut squash, seeded and roasted

  • 5 oz. soft goat cheese

  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt

  • lemon juice or 1 tsp. white vinegar (optional, for acidity)

  • green onion (optional topping)

  • pepitas (optional topping)

  • sunflower seeds (optional topping)

Instructions-

To roast the squash, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Carefully cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove all the seeds. Lightly oil the skin of the squash and poke all over with a fork. Place in a rimmed baking pan skin side up and fill the pan with a little bit of water to create steam and prevent the bottom of the squash from burning. Roast for about 30 minutes, until the squash is fork tender.

Allow the squash to cool for a few minutes and scoop the flesh out of the skin and into a large food processor. Pulse until smooth. Add about 1/4 cup of water to help smooth it out if necessary. Half of a butternut squash will yield about 2 cups of squash purée.

Add the softened goat cheese and salt to the food processor and run/pulse until very smooth.

If you’d like your dip/spread to taste a little more bright, add a squeeze of lemon or a teaspoon or vinegar to wake it up.

Serve warm with toasted baguette, pita or bread of choice & vegetables! Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

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i am one with the squash.

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enjoy!

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cabbage chicken pad thai.

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it’s technically like a no-noodle chicken cabbage pad thai curry, but i didn’t wanna throw you off with a weird long title.

also - super almost vegan (just remove chicken & use alt fish sauce) and super customizable in the veggie or protein department!

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AND… best news ever:

i finally figured out the missing flavor in homemade thai dishes that i’ve been searching for FOR-EV-ER.

i have made thai curries at home over and over and over, adding one new ingredient at a time that i always think will be THE ONE missing link, but it’s never been quite right…

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until now.

i have found it. this is the one.

LIME LEAVES, PEOPLE.

lime leaves.

i should have freakin known. there’s a whole thing in that movie no reservations with catherine zeta jones where she’s a chef and she hauls her chef boyfriend all over town looking for her signature secret ingredient - which ended up being kaffir lime leaves.

i knew it somewhere deep in my head.

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i was actually buying thai basil at the store and admiring these edible flowers. i noticed the box of “lime leaves,” took one sniff and i knew that was the flavor i’ve been searching for.

i pretty much ran home and made this right away. i was so excited to discover how much flavor lime leaves give off when you steep them in coconut milk. it’s such a specific taste and it really makes your homemade thai dishes extra legit.

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this is kind of a “curry” recipe because it has the base of a thai curry - then you add a TON of freshly shredded cabbage which soaks up all the coconut milk and all the salty curry flavors to become noodley! and then voila, it is a cabbage pad thai with ALL the right flavors.

at thai restaurants, pete & i usually order panang curry & chicken pad thai - and i always end up mixing them together a bit, so this recipe is kinda like that idea!

the tenderized cabbage actually does a pretty good impression of noodles in this form. i was so pleasantly surprised! just don’t over cook them so they keep a little bit of that al dente crunch & chewy factor.

plz don’t be intimidated by the ingredients list - you can do itttttt. and once you buy all the thai flavors/spices/jars of various things (fish sauce & red curry paste are just staples around here now!), you’ll be making thai food for daaaays.

think of them as a homemade thai food investment.

No-Noodle Cabbage Chicken Pad Thai

Serves 2-4

Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 large chicken breast, thawed & filleted

  • red chili flakes, salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil.

  • 2 cloves or 1 TB garlic, minced

  • 2 TB fresh ginger, minced (or Gourmet Garden Ginger paste)

  • 1 TB Gourmet Garden Lemongrass paste, optional

  • 2 tsp. tamarind concentrate

  • 1 TB fish sauce

  • 1 1/2 TB. Thai red curry paste

  • 6-8 lime leaves, whole or ripped in half

  • 1 can (14 oz) coconut milk

  • 2 heaping cups green cabbage, thinly shredded with mandoline

  • 2 heaping cups purple cabbage, thinly shredded with mandoline

  • 1/2 a red bell pepper, seeded & sliced

  • 1/2 a green bell pepper, seeded & sliced

  • 1/2 cup broccoli florets, optional

  • mung bean sprouts

  • fresh Thai basil, lots!

  • 1/4 cup peanuts, chopped

  • 1 lime

  • fresh mint or cilantro, optional

Instructions -

Using a mandoline, shred the green & purple cabbage until you have at least 2 heaping cups of each. It should be about half a head of each cabbage. Shred or cut it to about the thickness of noodles (not too thin or the cabbage might get soggy).

In a large pan, cook the chicken breast in 1 TB olive oil and garlic on medium heat, seasoning with salt, pepper, and red chili flakes for spice. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and allow it to rest on a cutting board before slicing.

In the same pan with the chicken & garlic remnants, add the sliced chicken back into the pan with fresh ginger, lemongrass paste (optional), tamarind concentrate, and red curry paste. Toss well to coat. (***Note: If you’re making this recipe using real noodles instead, cut down the salts by half [salt & fish sauce]. There’s extra sodium here to compensate for the large quantity of raw cabbage.)

Add 1 whole can of coconut milk to the pan and stir. Drop in all the lime leaves and some Thai basil to steep as it simmers on medium/low.

Prepare & slice the remaining veggies, herbs, and toppings.

Toss half of the green & purple cabbage in the coconut milk to coat. The liquid should thicken and become almost gravy-like. Add the remaining cabbage, bell peppers, and broccoli, if using. Toss everything to coat using tongs until the cabbage has tenderized and resembles the consistency of noodles. The liquid from the pan should mostly be soaked up into the cabbage “noodles” when it is ready to eat. You may remove the lime leaves before eating if desired - they are pretty tough to chew.

Divide into servings and top with lots of fresh Thai basil, mung bean sprouts, lime wedges & chopped peanuts. Optional: fresh mint, cilantro, or edible flowers for garnish.

Serve immediately and enjoy leftovers within 1-2 days.

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