Monday, January 17, 2011

Processed Greens...

Great title right?  Well I didn't cook processed greens per se, but really I made two awesome dishes in which I used my food processor to process the veggies.  Both these dishes were super delicious AND healthy.  They were also really quick to make and utilized another of my favorite kitchen gadgets- The Food Processor!!!

On Saturday night I made Scallops with Pea Puree.  Peas are Dave's favorite vegetable! And I've never cooked scallops by themselves so I was excited to try out this recipe from Fine Cooking. 
PS- Can you believe Peas are Dave's favorite vegetable?  I mean I like them, but favorite?!?!  He loves them! Check out this beauty!  Sauteed Scallops on a bed of delicious pea puree. And no Alex didn't take my pea puree and I know this is Top Chef not Top Scallop!!
 Scallops in Pea Puree
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp. minced garlic
1 package frozen peas
1 cup chicken stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

pinch of red pepper flakes
3 slices bacon, cooked until crunchy
1-1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
12 medium all-natural “dry” sea scallops
1 Tbs. unsalted butter

Cook shallots and garlic over medium-low heat until the shallots are soft and fragrant but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the peas and the broth and season with a pinch of salt and pepper and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and then reduce the heat to medium low. Cover the pan and cook until the peas are tender, 5 to 8 minutes for fresh peas, 3 to 4 minutes for frozen. Transfer the contents of the pan to a blender or food processor and purée to a smooth consistency, adding a little water if needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Return the purée to the saucepan, cover, and set aside on the stovetop to keep warm.  Pat the scallops dry and season them generously with salt and pepper. 
Heat the butter and the remaining 1 Tbs. oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add the scallops and cook, flipping once, until golden brown on both sides and almost firm to the touch, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Portion the warm pea purée on plates. Arrange the scallops on the purée, add lemon zest and crumble the bacon on top.
I really think this entire dish took me twenty minutes.  Seriously, super easy and delicious!

And today I made one of the most amazing dishes I've ever ever tasted.  Most of you know I'm pretty obsessed with Kale.  I have no idea where I got the idea but I had a ton of Kale left from last week so I thought to make Kale Pesto.  Then I googled it and found an awesome NY Times recipe.  I also decided I wanted to try Brown Rice Pasta that I saw on Emily's blog. It was easy to find at the grocery store and tasted exactly the same as pasta!  I really don't think I'll make any other pesto ever again.  This was so perfect!
Brown Rice Pasta with Kale Pesto & Chicken Sausage
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 small bunch (about 1/2 pound) kale, center ribs removed
8 ounces brown rice pasta
2 links of chicken sausage cooked and taken out of their casings
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped OR 1 tablespoon (spoonful) of pre-minced garlic (I cheat)
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese   
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; have ready a bowl of ice water. Drop kale into boiling water and cook for 45 seconds. 
Use tongs or slotted spoon to transfer kale to ice water. Bring water in pot back to a boil, adding more if necessary so there is enough to cook pasta. Drain kale well, then wrap tightly in a dry kitchen towel and squeeze thoroughly to remove any excess moisture.When water in pot comes back to a boil, cook pasta according to package directions. In a food processor, pulse together kale, nuts, garlic, salt and lemon zest until mixture is smooth and salt has dissolved. 
With motor running, slowly drizzle in the oil until fully incorporated. Taste and add more salt dissolved in a little lemon juice, if necessary.(I think this is necessary!) I also added pepper and a shake or two of red pepper flakes.
Drain pasta, reserving a little cooking water. (I ended up using chicken stock, maybe 1/8 of a cup instead of water) Toss pasta with kale pesto and some pasta cooking water if necessary to help it coat pasta. Add cheese, cooked chicken sausage, lemon juice and salt to taste.

 This was another quick recipe that just had so much flavor.  I cannot say enough about it!

So before I head out for the Boston Blogger Launch Party, let me recap my Workouts for the Week.
Monday 1/10: 
15 min eliptical, 12 crossramp, 10 incline, 1 minute hard, 1 minute easy
Lifted arms for 30 minutes
15 minutes Big Step
7 minutes running backwards at an incline of 15, 1 minute on, 1 minute off
Tuesday 1/11:
AM Workout: 15 min eliptical, easy the whole time
1/2 hour lifting, 15 minutes of abs
PM Workout: 49 minutes, 5 miles of Intervals at Equinox
Wednesday 1/12: 
No Workout, Snow Day, Celtics!
Thursday 1/13:
Lunch Workout: 4.5 miles, 43:20, Speed Workout 1200, 1000, 800, 600, 400, 200
Friday 1/14
10 min eliptical
Lifted Legs- 4x10 Walking Lunges with 10lb weights, 3x10 Single Leg Squat, 2x10 each side of standing leg hip flexation, 3x10 cable hip extension, 3x10 weighted step up, 3x10 calf machine
Saturday 1/15
Rest Day
Sunday 1/16
10 Miles outside, 1:36, 9:36 pace
9:37, 9:23, 9:24, 9:22, 9:32, 9:46, 10:03, 9:53, 10, 9:03

Oh and I'm down 3lbs this week for Biggest Loser and 1.5% Body Fat. 

What did you cook this weekend? How was your week of workouts?


  1. I love peas! I'm definitely making that. Thanks!

  2. Using kale to make a pesto-like sauce for pasta is so smart! I tried it with broccoli and spinach once and really liked it. I just got a food processor recently but love it - it is so useful! Way to be creative with veggies, and incorporate your husbands favorite :)
    I've been trying to stay positive about running so much on the treadmill - it's just so cold out there! Today went well - I used new songs to motivated myself.
    Congrats on your weight loss progress! You seem so motivated which is awesome.

  3. hahaha, this is top chef not top scallop. love it. the kale pesto pasta looks fabulous! can't wait to try this one lizzy!!

  4. Nice workouts! Sounds like you're rocking that contest :) I heart scallops - what a delicious recipe. I cooked a huge batch of lentils, rice and veggies for the week. mmmm.

  5. Both recipes look fab! My boyfriend always asks me to make scallops, so I'll definitely have to give that one a try soon.

    Congrats on your Biggest Loser success! I love the motivation.

  6. The pea puree looks really good... and pea puree always makes me think of Top Chef!

  7. That is a whole lot of green veggies being made over at your place! I love it.

    I'm a HUGE pea fan, but I like em just fine. Kale pesto? Definitely more my style. That pasta sounds amazing!

  8. top scallop and you stole alex's pea puree!! what is going on?! No really, your scallops look great, so glad you made them.

  9. Haha I love Daisy's comment! I've never made pea puree but now I want to try my hand at it. Your looks very pretty actually. And I love anything pesto!

  10. I love anything with greens pine nuts and lots of garlic! This looks amazing!
    This weekend I made some fish, sweet potato biscuits and those carrot dishes.

  11. Love the kale pesto idea, need to try this!

  12. I just got an eleven cup food processor from my mother as a gift- upping from the mini one. I will have to try these both!

    And, Great workouts this week! One of my goals postpregnancy is to get stronger without running.

  13. What a great idea, to puree veggies and make sauces!
    I've never ate kale before, what does it taste like?

  14. Woah, kale pesto is genius!! It's also like spinach pesto. You can pack so many veggies in without even realizing. So glad you liked the rice pasta!

  15. Man, your workouts intimidate me. How do you run backwards on a treadmill?