Thai coconut shrimp & kale soup

coconutthaisoupthaicoconutsoupI haven’t been convinced that I love kale at this point in my life until my husband grabbed the largest bag of baby kales from Costco last week and I was forced glad to use handfuls of the stuff in my recipes every day this week.  It so happens baby kales are much more tender and appealing to me because of their ease of use–no chopping required, and they taste really great with eggs, stir frys and soups.  This recipe had to be my favorite this week plus you can add a ton of kale to a soup because it softens up very nicely and soaks up the flavors a bit.  My husband said he liked this recipe equal to my turkey and greens recipe so that made me very happy.

I was inspired by an all Thai soup but made my own variations with it.

Ingredients: 2 Tbs freshly grated ginger, 2 Tbs lemongrass paste, 1 Tbs red curry paste

4 cups chicken broth, 3 Tbs fish sauce, 1 Tbs brown sugar

2 cans lite organic coconut milk, 1.5 cups shitakke mushrooms

1 pound frozen, precooked shrimp (I imagine this recipe would be even better with fresh shrimp)

fresh limes, cilantro and basil for garnishing

Prep plus cook Time: 40 minutes

1//Cook the first 3 ingredients in a large pot with heated coconut oil for a minute or so.

2//Pour in the broth, fish sauce and sugar and bring to a simmer for 10-12 minutes.

3//Stir in the coconut milk and mushrooms, cook for 5 minutes.

4//Add the shrimp and cook for 5 minutes.

5//Squeeze fresh limes (to your taste) and garnish with the cilantro and basil.  The limes add a really nice tang so don’t skimp! I used half a lime for each serving and a handful of the fresh herbs. I just love the taste of the cooked greens with the fresh herbs, amazing.

Basil Pesto Salmon

pesto salmonDoesn’t this salmon look delicious! It’s because it was:) And I didn’t even make it. Yeah, I bought it at Coscto and I’m REALLY impressed! We’ve been members for a few years because it saves us money on our dog and cat food but have been increasingly happy about the quality items we find there; everything from books, pajamas and outerwear, to produce, tortilla chips and peanut butter.  It really is worth shopping there. Anyways, I usually buy the frozen fish and make it myself but this looked so good I had to try it. Even the Mr. ate all his up and he’s only so-so happy about eating salmon.  I thought that the basil-pesto butter on top was a perfect complement to the fish so here’s a recipe:

1 salmon fillet// basil pesto sauce (try this recipe or this other recipe)// Bake salmon for 15 minutes at 400.

So good and good for you too.  Enjoy, Jess.

Mussels in wine

I am in love with this tasty little shellfish that I had for the first time at my bachellerette party in June.  This is my very first attempt at cooking them myself because I felt a bit intimidated at the prospect of cleaning them, fishing out the bad ones and simply not getting sick.  I happily found it to be the easiest recipe and just about the best thing I’ve eaten!  Not to mention how fun is it to eat your food out of little shells!  Here’s how I made it:

1.5 C white wine (I used an inexpensive chardonnay), 1 pound mussles, 4 chopped garlic cloves, 1/2 onion, 1 tomato, 1/c mushrooms,  olive oil, rosemary, thyme.  1.  Pull off mussel’s beards aka those stringy bits they attached themselves with to grow.  If you have trouble try pulling the other direction and pull hard!  2. Soak Mussels in water, add pinch of flour. This step helps remove any sand-crunchy! 3. Chop the garlic, tomato, onion and sauté in oil until it smells delicious about 5 min. (add garlic about halfway through so it doesn’t burn) Add rosemary and thyme  4. Add white wine to pot with onions and garlic mixture  5. Drain Mussels and add to pot once boiling  6.  Steam Mussels in covered pot 8-9 minutes until they are opened up  7. Spoon out your Mussels including the broth and serve with bread for soaking up the broth.  8. Throw out any Mussels that haven’t opened up  9.. No you haven’t died, it is heaven though (ugh, that was bad! haha!) 10. Drink leftover wine with Mussels.

Look here for Mussels Round 2 soon!

Mushroom Egg Pizza

Pizza is our go-to meal when I’m not in the mood to cook or think about food.  I always have a thin crust cheese pizza in the freezer so I can add some fresh veggies in a quick minute and done!  I got the idea from my Real Simple mag (egg and mushroom pizza) to fry eggs on the pizza and I thought this would be fun to do.  I sauteed 5 or so large shrooms in EVOO and garlic, threw in a some chopped zucchini and squash for color and popped the pie in the oven for 9 minutes then cracked the eggs and cooked for 6 or so more minutes.  It was Goooourmet yumminess! The hubby loved it too which always makes me really happy;)    (I know the in the picture it looks kinda funky cuz my egg ran off the crust but trust me, this is one pizza you want to try!