Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cheddar and Kale Quiche

This past Tuesday was the first anniversary of my blog.  It seems impossible that I’ve been blogging for an entire year.  To be quite honest, when I started greenhorn gourmande, I kind of assumed that it would fall by the wayside like so many other hobbies. Example: I just finished crocheting a scarf I started FIVE years ago...yeah...

Anyway, I’m really glad that I stuck with it.  This blog has served me well: as a creative outlet, a handy recipe guide for all of my favorites, and a way to share my passion for cooking.  As of today I can say that we are:

OVER 9,000! (page views)

 I apologize for nerding out... I think I’d better move on to today’s recipe:

Cheddar and Kale Quiche

This was my third attempt at a quiche.  The first time was over two years ago when I was just starting to tentatively dip my toes into the shallow end of cooking.  Looking back I realize that it was an incredibly ambitious recipe, although the end result was tasty (if somewhat liquidy), the overall experience was incredibly frustrating.

The second attempt was only a few months ago, but I ran into the same problem- the damn thing would not set!  Liquidy quiche once again reared it’s watery head.  This time around I fully knew what I was up against, and I managed to taste the sweet taste of success vis à vis a fully set quiche.

The cheddar kale combo is definitely a winner, and the crust is so easy to make.  The kale really shines in this dish, particularly the crisp bits on top which are essentially kale chips. This cheesy pie comes together in a little less than an hour, making this quiche a feasible weeknight treat.

Cheddar and Kale Quiche
Adapted from Eat.Drink.Love.

3/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp garlic powder
3 tbsp butter
1.25 cups 2% milk
4 large eggs
1 tbsp olive oil
3.25 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups kale, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tsp kosher salt
more salt and pepper to taste
pinch of curry powder

1.  Preheat oven to 400F.  To make the crust, put the oats, flour, salt, and garlic powder in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add in the butter and pulse until you get a pebbly-like texture. Add a quarter cup of the milk and pulse a few more times to combine. Form the mixture into a ball and place it between 2 large pieces of waxed paper. Roll out into a circle about 10 inches in diameter.  Butter a nine inch pie pan press crust into the dish. Bake for about 7-9 minutes and set aside.
2.To make the filling, heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan. Add the garlic and saut until fragrant. Add the kale and cook until wilted seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

3.Reduce the oven heat to 350F. In a large bowl or measuring cup beat the eggs and add the, milk, cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.  Spread the kale evenly along the bottom of the crust and top with the egg mixture. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Roasted Celeriac Soup

Fall, let me count the reasons I love thee...

1.  The weather is perfect!  Sweaters (preferably of the grandpa variety) and sunshine for all!!

2.  Pumpkins are back at the farmer's market!

3.  Hearty soups finally make sense again!

Seriously though, fall is my absolute favorite season.  The cooler days mean that I don't get sweaty on my way to work (or the subway, or the kitchen, or... you get the picture), and the cold nights just beg you to turn on the oven and roast some vegetables (a.k.a the best kind of veggie).
This week I roasted a vegetable that I've been dying to try:



This gnarled rood vegetable is a celery root, or celeriac if you're feeling fancy ;)  Don't be disturbed by it's appearance, this guy has lots of inner beauty.  I roasted him up with some garlic cloves and blended it into a velvety soup.  Recipe at the end of the post!

Other exciting things have been going on for me this week.  Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of this blog.  It's hard to believe that it has been an entire year of food blogging already.  I've learned a lot about cooking and blogging since then, and I hope to carry on for the foreseeable future.  Hopefully this weekend I'll ring in this anniversary with a more appropriately celebratory post.

Anyway, enough of my rambling.  Let's get on to the heart of this post with WIAW!


Breakfast this past Sunday consisted of two buttermilk biscuits topped with sauteed radish greens, a fried egg, and two of the best bacon strips ever. Trader Joe's fiends, you have to try their uncured, nitrate free bacon.  It is leaner and far tastier than any other commercial bacon I've ever had.


Sadly I didn't manage to snap a picture of my picnic lunch.  It included some more buttermilk biscuits, rosemary ham, Gruyere cheese, figs, kale, and some Trilogy kombucha.  A tasty combo I shared with Mr. greenhorn at the Brooklyn Bridge Park. 


The one downside of fall... no natural light for dinner = ugly,  poorly lit pictures.

I was a little apprehensive about trying this vegetable, but my fears were completely misplaced.  Perhaps celeriac is a different beast when prepared another way, but I absolutely loved it roasted.  The celery taste is there, but not in an overwhelming or offensive way.  The sweet richness of the  caramelized onions and roasted garlic balance perfectly with the fresh and slightly bitter celery root in this warm and creamy soup.

Roasted Celeriac Soup


1 celery root, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
6 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large potato, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp butter
2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
2 cups water
a pinch of cayenne
2 tbsp sour cream (or to taste)
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 
chives (for garnish)


1.  Preheat the oven to 400F.  On a large foil lined baking sheet toss the celeriac and garlic cloves with 1 tbsp of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.  Roast for 35-45 minutes until celeriac is easily pierced with a fork, stirring half way through cook time to prevent burning.
2.  While celeriac is in the oven, heat remaining olive oil and butter in a large pot over medium high heat.  Add the onions and caramelize (about 30 minutes).  Once onions are caramelized, add the potatoes and toss to combine, lightly seasoning with salt and pepper. 
3.  Add the water, chicken stock, celeriac and garlic to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer, covered, for another 10-15 minutes until potatoes are tender.  
4.  Remove pot from heat and allow to cool slightly.  Blend with an immersion blender (or regular blender) and season to taste with salt, pepper, cayenne, and sour cream.  Serve garnished with chives.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Chickpea and Crimini Soup

Fall brings weather that naturally welcomes one of my favorite foods- soup!  Although yesterday was pretty humid, the gloomy weather made it a perfect day for soup.  See the soup and recipe at the end of this post!

This WIAW started on a pretty average note:

Old Fashioned Oats with Banana, Peanut Butter, and Honey accompanied by a cup of coffee.  While tasty and satisfying, I found myself wishing I still had a couple of these guys around:

I made these over the weekend, and let me tell you, the breakfast burrito has got some competition.  Click here for the recipe.

Luckily lunch involved less wishful thinking.  It was (as per usual) leftovers from the night before:

Roasted Beet and Carrot Curry.  This one is definitely a keeper!  The carrots and beets are absolutely delicious in the creamy spicy coconutty broth!  It's an unusual curry, but it definitely works.  The green bits are  raw shredded beet greens, mostly there to make the picture pretty.  Recipe coming soon!

Through out the day at work I also snacked on a pear, laughing cow swiss wedge, and some cut up carrots, celery and radishes.  Also more coffee.  Always, always, more coffee :)

Now finally on to the soup!

Chickpea and Crimini Soup

This soup is relatively simple, but incredibly deep in flavor thanks to the sauteed mushrooms and onions.   The blended chickpeas add body, and make this a very substantial soup.  This hearty vegan recipe will keep you cosy on chilly fall evenings. Recipe is slightly adapted from here.


2 cups cooked chickpeas
About 4 cups liquid from cooked chickpeas, or water, or vegetable stock
1 tbsp olive oil
1 extra large onion, chopped (about 2.5 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 ounces mushrooms, chopped
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 vegetable bouillon cube
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne


1.  In a large pot heat the oil and cook the onions until translucent and slightly brown around the edges. Add the garlic and cook another minute or so until fragrant.  Deglaze the pan with some water and add the mushrooms and fresh thyme leaves.  Season with salt and pepper and cook for 7-8 minutes until mushrooms have lost moisture and are tender.
2.  Add the chickpeas, bouillon, bay leaf, and enough liquid to completely cover the mix.  Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer and let cook another 10 minutes.
3.  Remove pot from the heat and the bay leaf from the pot.  Allow to cool slightly and then blend to desired consistency with an immersion blender.  I left some whole chickpeas and mushroom pieces in mine for texture.  Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste.

I hope you enjoyed my eats of the day.  Be sure to hop over to Peas and Crayons to see how everyone else is Fall-ing into!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Breakfast Egg Rolls

As much as I love hunting down and executing new recipes, I must admit that my absolute favorite thing to do in the kitchen is to forge my own creative path to make a meal with whatever I have on hand.  Inspiration usually strikes in the way of leftover ingredients, and this past weekend I happened to have some leftover egg roll wrappers.


I had used half of the package the night before for some delicious, albeit ugly, jalapeno popper things.  The next morning feeling half defeated by the damned egg roll wrappers, but determined not to let
them best me, I decided to give them another go.


Since these were not intended for late night snackage, I approached the wrappers this time with a morning classic in mind- the breakfast burrito.

Breakfast Egg Rolls

These cute little bundles of yum are fun, delicious, and vaguely nutritious.  I mean they have egg and something green in them, right? The crunchy wrapper is the perfect foil for the creamy egg and potato filling.


3 eggs
1 small potato, small diced
1.5 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
4 cups raw radish greens, washed and chopped
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 tsp bacon grease (or other oil)
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 pinch curry powder
9 egg roll wrappers
1 tbsp canola oil


1.  In a non-stick frying pan heat up the bacon grease.  Add the onions and saute until soft and slightly browned around the edges.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so, until fragrant.
2.  Add the potato and mix with the onions and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add a little water or chicken stock to the pan (enough to coat the bottom of the pan) and cover with a lid.  Let simmer for 5-6 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
3.  Remove the lid and let the remaining liquid cook off.  Add the radish greens and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.  Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a cup and season with salt, pepper, and the pinch of curry powder.  Pour the egg mixture into the pan and stir to combine.  Cook the eggs until done to your liking, turn off the heat, and stir in the crumbled bacon and cheese.
4.  Preheat the oven to 425F (or whatever your egg roll package recommends for baking).  Fill and wrap the egg rolls and place on a greased baking sheet.  Brush the tops of the rolls with canola oil and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Crimini and Kale Casserole

This weekend I turned twenty three.  For some reason, I find that twenty three almost sounds older than twenty four, which I know makes absolutely no sense.  I blame it on that creepy Jim Carrey movie I saw a few years ago The Number 23.  (I do not recommend this film, as I recall, it was pretty terrible.)

Anyway this weekend was spent relaxing and catching up with some friends.  In fact this weekend was so relaxing, I didn't manage to snap any pictures of my eats.

Since I've failed as a photographer and this recipe falls into this month's theme so well, I thought I would share a dish I promised y'all a couple of weeks ago.

Crimini and Kale Casserole

To me casseroles are the equivalent of a warm sweater on a cool Autumn evening.  Easy and comforting, this casserole is loaded with sauteed kale, crimini mushrooms, and caramelized onions.  It is very satisfying in a hearty way, but still seems light enough to be appropriate for our not quite fall weather.


16 ounces 4% cottage cheese
1.5 large yellow onions, thinly sliced into half circles
3.5 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 sprigs fresh thyme
salt & pepper
pinch of cayenne to taste
12 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced thinly sliced
8 cups kale, cleaned, trimmed, and chopped into ribbons
16 ounces whole wheat shell pasta
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
chicken stock (optional)


1.  In a large sauce pan melt the olive oil and 1.5 tbsp of the butter.  Once hot, add the onions and cook until caramelized (about 45 minutes).  Add the fresh thyme leaves, and salt and pepper to taste.  Remove from the pan and set aside.  Deglaze the pan with a little water or chicken stock.
2.  Next melt the remaining 2 tbsp of butter, and saute the mushrooms in batches, until most of the water has been cooked out of them.  Remove from the pan and set in a separate bowl from the onions.

3.  Deglaze the pan once again and add the kale, cooking until softened but still bright green, about 3 minutes.
4.  In a food processor combine the cottage cheese, caramelized onions, and cayenne, pureeing until completely smooth.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5.  In a large pot of boiling water,  cook and drain the pasta, leaving it slightly under done.  
6.  Preheat the oven to 350F.  Combine all of the ingredients (except the cheddar) and spread into a large baking dish (I used one approx. 9x17inches).  Sprinkle with the cheddar and bake for 15-20 minutes until casserole is heated through, and the top has lightly browned.

Be sure to check out all the fun over at Peas and Crayons!

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