Serves 6 as a side, 4 as a main dish
2 to 3 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutralflavored oil
2 medium onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large bunch kale
3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 baguette, at least one day old, cubed
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
3 sprigs fresh thyme
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are soft and translucent.
Remove the tough lower stalks from the kale. Wilt the kale, either by blanching it in boiling water or, preferably, sautéing it over medium-high heat in 1 tablespoon of oil. Allow to cool and roughly chop into small pieces. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 300˚F.
Heat the stock until just boiling. Place a layer of the onion mixture on the bottom of a medium-sized casserole dish. Add a layer of bread, a layer of kale, and a layer of cheese. Add another layer of onions, kale, and cheese, and top with a layer of bread. Add a little bit of salt and pepper for seasoning as you build each layer. Pour the stock over the layers until it comes 3⁄4 of the way to the top of the dish. Lay the thyme sprigs on top, cover the dish, and bake for 11⁄2
hours. Allow to cool for a few minutes and serve.
TD&N Nutrient Analysis (based on 6 servings): Calories: 296; Total Fat: 12 g; Saturated Fat: 5 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 3 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g; Cholesterol: 17 mg; Sodium: 442 mg; Carbohydrates: 33 g; Fiber: 2 g; Protein: 13 g
Serves 4 to 6
1 medium onion, minced
31⁄2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutralflavored oil, divided
21⁄4 cups milk, divided
1⁄2 cup unflavored bread crumbs
2 pounds lean ground beef
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons flour
Pinch of nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 325˚F.
In a medium skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion in 11⁄2 tablespoons of oil until soft and translucent. Allow to cool.
In a small bowl, combine the 1⁄4 cup of milk and the bread crumbs and allow the bread crumbs to absorb all the liquid.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the beef, onion, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and egg. Mix thoroughly, form into meatballs about 1 inch in diameter, and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat and add the meatballs in a single layer, working in batches if necessary, cooking and turning the meatballs until brown.
When all the meatballs are browned, sprinkle the flour into the pan and stir, combining the flour with remaining oil in the pan, being careful not to let the flour burn. Pour in remaining milk and stir, cooking until thickened. Add the nutmeg and season the mixture with salt and pepper.
Place the meatballs in a large casserole dish, pour the milk mixture over them, cover, and bake for 20 minutes.
TD&N Nutrient Analysis (based on 6 servings): Calories: 402; Total Fat: 20 g; Saturated Fat: 6 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 6 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 6 g; Cholesterol: 138 mg; Sodium: 219 mg; Carbohydrates: 15 g; Fiber: 1 g; Protein: 38 g
Polenta With Mushroom Ragout
4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1 cup stoneground polenta or coarse cornmeal
2 tablespoons olive oil (plus more if needed)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 slice bacon, cut into small pieces
2 pounds mushrooms, any variety, sliced thick
1 cup red wine
One 32-ounce can tomatoes, drained and broken up into small chunks
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1⁄2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or more depending on taste)
1 tablespoon butter
Bring water to a boil in an ovenproof saucepan. Add salt. Add polenta or cornmeal about 1⁄4 cup at a time, stirring briskly with a whisk until incorporated. Bring the mixture just to a boil (be careful of splashbacks), cover, and place in a preheated oven for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and bacon and cook for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms; if needed, use additional olive oil to prevent the mushrooms from sticking. Cook the mushrooms until they begin to brown, about 5 minutes.
When the mushrooms have begun shrinking, add the red wine and cook until only 1⁄4 cup of the wine remains. Add the tomatoes and thyme, stirring to combine. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 20 to 25 minutes. Adjust the seasoning as needed.
When ready to serve, stir cheese and butter into the polenta or cornmeal. Taste, and adjust seasoning. Serve topped with mushroom mixture.
TD&N Nutrient Analysis: Calories: 412 Total Fat: 16 g; Saturated Fat: 5 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 6 g; Cholesterol: 19 mg; Sodium: 1,423 mg; Carbohydrates: 40 g; Fiber: 6 g; Protein: 18 g