Superfood: Kale

kale dipKale is one of the world’s healthiest foods.  It’s known as the “queen of greens.” However, I will admit, I hadn’t had it purposefully until last weekend.  In fact, I wasn’t even sure if I would like it.  I fully believe that you can get anyone to like anything if you prepare it right or pair it with something yummy so that is what I intended to do!

For my first experience with Kale, I decided to play it safe with a dip.  I found this dip recipe on Pinterest (where all the best things are found) and followed it pretty closely because of my unfamiliarity with Kale.  Click here for the original recipe but I share my version below:

Kale Dip Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch green kale
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Directions: Discard the stems and thick ribs of the Kale and break the leaves into small pieces.  Heat the Kale, garlic and water in a saucepan for about 10 minutes until the kale is tender.  Stir occasionally.  Transfer to a food processor or blender (processor works much better!  I broke the one I was using half way through!! Oops!).  Let cool.  Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth.

Serve with baked tostitos, pita chips or veggies.  I also think this pairs great with wine… what doesn’t… 🙂

I must say this turned out so yummy and was very easy!  I will definitely share and make again!

Do you have any good Kale recipes worth sharing?  Please leave a comment with your fav recipe.

Learn more about Kale here: All Hail Kale!

Skinny Chocolate Lasagna

choco lasagna2Skinny.Chocolate.Lasagna. 3 words that don’t go together in the English language, right?!  Well I’m defying the odds… Let me introduce you to this skinny (yes, skinny!) chocolate layered dessert inspired by the all-so-popular Chocolate Lasagna recipe.

I love challenging myself with new recipes, especially ones that require me to get creative with healthier substitutes.  Even though the original recipe says it’s “light,” it really only tastes light, but is loaded with calories.   This variation is not slim on the flavor, just the ingredients!

Skinny Chocolate Lasagna Ingredients

  • 1 package reduced fat Oreos
  • 4 tbsp yogurt butter, melted
  • 8 oz plain greek yogurt
  • 12 oz fat free cool whip (divided 4 oz and 8 oz)
  • 2 packages of fat free sugar free chocolate fudge pudding
  • 3 cups milk
  • dark chocolate bar for topping

Crush Oreos until finely chopped.  Mix in with melted yogurt butter and press firmly into a 13×9 inch baking dish.  If you don’t have yogurt butter, try using light butter or unsalted butter. 

Mix 8 oz (2 single serving containers) of greek yogurt, 4 oz cool whip and 1 tbsp milk until combined.  Spread over Oreos.  (Note: the other 8 oz will be used for the top layer)

choco lasagna4

Whisk 2 packages of chocolate pudding and 3 cups milk.   Let the pudding set for a few minutes until thick. Spread over yogurt layer.  Before proceeding to the next step, let the pudding and yogurt set.  I put it in the fridge for about 10 minutes… and had a little taste!

choco lasagna3

Spread the remaining 8 oz of cool whip over the pudding.  Top with grated dark chocolate (Antioxidants, please?!?) and keep refrigerated.  I bought a bar of Ghiradelli Intense Dark Chocolate.  I’m so glad I didn’t open this until I was ready to top the lasagna!  I am a HUGE fan of dark chocolate.  Dark Chocolate + Red Wine = Perfect Match

choco lasagna5

This dessert is amazing!  Instead of making in a 13 x 9 inch dish, I think I would try this in clear plastic cups to divide into servings because I always want more!!  This would make a great healthy dessert for a kids party (dirt cups – remember those!!) or just a whenever kind of day when you need a little chocolate.  Or just everyday for me!

  choco lasagna

After 2 days in the fridge, the greek yogurt began to separate a little (you know, like it does when you buy the tub).  It didn’t change the taste at all, but I would recommend serving the same day to keep the lovely layered lasagna look!  My dad just got a hold of this dessert so it WILL NOT last another 2 days!

choco lasagna1

On a different note: The Katie Ride is in 13 Days!!! (yikes)  I did cycle class on Friday and Saturday and did circuit training today.  My goal is to cycle 5 or 6 times this week and test out the new padded butt diaper cycle shorts!  Interested to see how that goes!  The rest of my weekend consistented of the beach, the pool x 2 days, tropical smoothie, church and a whole lot of driving around!  I must say, I’m so thankful and blessed to live in Florida with the most amazing weather!  (someone please remind me of this statement when I’m dreading the heat of summer!)

Bon Appetite!

A not-your-typical-lasagna pesto lasagna

pesto lasagna3I love LOVE pasta of all types.  Italian is probably my favorite food type.Ever.  I could eat pizza, pasta and bread everyday.Seriously.  Me in Italy would probably be like a kid in a candy store.  The problem downside less-than-perfect-issue with Italian food is that it’s so heavy.  There’s always a ton of heavy sauces (that are yummy), juicy meats (that are tasty) and carbs that could will make you go into a carb coma.

Naturally, I love lasagna.  I love meat lasagna, veggie lasagna and now I love pesto lasagna!  This recipe comes from Bethenny Frankel with a few tweaks of my own.  Click here for her recipe. 🙂

The thing I like most about this recipe is that there is NO MEAT SAUCE!  After a long week of not working out, I wanted to make a yummy complete meal that wasn’t super heavy.  And voila… pesto lasagna with pine nuts!

pesto lasagna4

Mix 15 oz part skim ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup pine nuts, 1/4 cup basil and 1/4 cup parsley in a medium bowl. 

pesto lasagna5

Cook 9 whole wheat lasagna noodles according to the package.  In a 9×13 dish, spread two spoonfuls of pesto spread on the bottom.  Place 3 cooked noodles on the bottom of the pan.  Spread half of the ricotta mixture over the noodles.  Sprinkle with a small layer of mozzarella cheese.

pesto lasagna

Layer with 3 more noodles.  Spread 2 spoonfuls of pesto on the noodles and remaining ricotta mixture.  Top with 3 more noodles, pesto spread and 1 cup  part skim mozzarella cheese.

pesto lasagna1

Bake covered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes until cheese is bubbly.

pesto lasagna2

I must be honest.  This is better served for a girls’ night dish.  I’ve tested this on 3 guys in the family and they seem to think meat, sauce and thick cheese when it comes to lasagna.  I appreciate the lighter, flavorful options!! 

If you give this recipe a try, please let me know how it goes!  Do you have any healthy Italian dishes?

Bon Appetite!