Creamy Kale and Zucchini Slaw

Creamy Kale & Zucchini Slaw

Believe it or not, this recipe was one of my first forays into the world of kale.

It’s a recipe I created way back in 2011, when kale was just starting to become a “thing”.

At first, I was totally weirded out about eating kale raw. I had previously only used it in soups or sautes, where it cooked down and became nice and tender.

But raw?? In a salad? My 2011 mind was blown.

So, instead of going full bore into the world of kale salad, I dipped my toe in.

First issue – texture. 

I was really worried that curly kale would be tough & unpleasant to chew.

Solution?

Thinly slicing it so it was easy to chew, and mixing it with spinach, to keep the salad light and tender.

Second issue – flavor. 

I used to think raw kale was a little in-your-face with it’s cruciferous flavor, so again, I mellowed it out with spinach and a bunch of veggies like zucchini and tomato, and slathered it in a creamy lemon-garlic dressing.

So basically, I made a slaw, more than a salad.

Chock full of shredded veggies and heavy on the dressing.

But mmmm, it’s good! I still had the recipe saved from back in the day, so today I decided to shoot it for the blog. This would be a great simple side to a backyard pool party, to serve alongside some grilled meats and ice cold watermelon.

Hope you love it!

Creamy Kale & Zucchini Slaw

 

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Creamy Kale & Zucchini Slaw
Prep Time
20 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 
Servings: 6
Ingredients
  • 1/2 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves thinly sliced cross-wise
  • 3 cups thinly sliced spinach
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered, depending on size
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 small zucchini)
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
For the dressing:
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Add the kale, spinach, tomatoes, zucchini, and cheese to a large bowl. 

  2. Whisk the olive oil, sour cream, red wine vinegar, and water in a small bowl. Stir in the lemon zest, garlic, and salt and pepper until completely combined. 

  3. Add the dressing to the slaw, toss until evenly coated, and serve!

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Miso Soba Noodles with Buttery Pan Seared Shrimp

Miso Soba Noodles with Buttery Pan Seared Shrimp

It takes a lot for me to turn on my oven in the middle of the summer…

But I’ll do it for this delicious soba noodle dish with oven roasted tomatoes and quick pan seared shrimp 😛

Miso Soba Noodles with Buttery Pan Seared Shrimp - by Erica Julson

I’m obsessed with light summer meals like this one.

Quick cooking buckwheat noodles are tossed with a gingery miso dressing, oven roasted tomatoes, green onion, and sesame, and topped off with buttery pan seared shrimp.

The result is a light meal that tastes out of this world, but doesn’t leave you feeling uncomfortably full like richer pasta dishes sometimes can.

Plus, I love that this recipe includes miso.

If you’re not familiar with this fermented soy paste, it’s time to get acquainted.

Miso is probably most well known from the complimentary miso soup often served at sushi restaurants, but it can be used in so many more ways.

There are 3 common types of miso:

  1. White miso – This is the lightest tasting of all the varieties & commonly used raw, like in quick sauces or dressings. It is typically fermented with rice, so it has a light yellow color & tends to be naturally gluten free (but read the labels just in case).
  2. Yellow miso – This is probably the most popular variety. Despite the name, it actually has a light brown coloring. It still has a nice salty umami taste, but is subtle enough to not overtake a dish. This is the type of miso usually used in miso soup, and my favorite variety to have on hand in the fridge. It is usually fermented with barley, so read labels carefully if you are gluten-free.
  3. Red miso – This darker reddish brown paste is the strongest of the 3 common varieties. It isn’t used as much in soup, since it would turn the broth a darker color, but is often used in glazes or braised dishes where you want a nice punch of flavor.

For this recipe, you just want a light hit of miso flavor, so I recommend using a white or yellow variety.

And just to make sure the flavor is infused in the dish, it’s used both in the dressing AND on the roasted tomatoes. Yum!

Top this quick salad with buttery pan seared shrimp (they literally cook in 6 minutes flat) and you’re good to go.

Miso Soba Noodles with Buttery Pan Seared Shrimp - a deliciously easy weeknight meal!

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Miso Soba Noodles with Buttery Pan Seared Shrimp
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 
Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons yellow or white miso (gluten-free variety if needed)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 8 ounces soba noodles (100% buckwheat preferred)
  • 5 green onions, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 24 large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. 

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, rice vinegar, sesame oil, honey, miso, garlic, ginger, lime zest, and lime juice. Season with a pinch of kosher salt and ground black pepper.

  3. Spread the cherry tomatoes out on a large rimmed baking dish. Pour 1/4 cup of the dressing onto the tomatoes and toss to coat. Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes are tender and just starting to burst.

  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the soba noodles and cook according to package directions (usually no more than 5 minutes). Drain well and place in a large bowl. Pour the remaining dressing over the noodles and toss to combine. Set aside until everything else is done.

  5. When the tomatoes are done roasting, add them & any accumulated pan juices to the bowl with the soba noodles. Add the green onion and sesame seeds, then toss again to combine.

  6. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Season the shrimp with kosher salt and ground black pepper, then add to the skillet, taking care to spread them out evenly. Avoid over crowding the pan. You can cook them in 2 batches if they do not fit in your pan in one layer.

  7. Let the shrimp cook for about 3 minutes on each side, then immediately remove from the pan and onto a plate. Drizzle with fresh lemon juice. 

  8. Scoop portions of the soba noodles into individual serving bowls, and top each portion with 6 shrimp. Sprinkle with extra sesame seeds if desired, and serve right away.

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Chicken Breasts with Balsamic Mushrooms

Pan Seared Chicken Breasts with Balsamic Mushrooms

It’s been awhile since I’ve added a new chicken recipe to my dinner repertoire.

But chicken is such an easy weeknight choice.

I always keep a few pounds of frozen chicken in the freezer for dinner emergencies.

It can be baked from frozen, or defrosted and quickly added to curries, stir fries, pasta dishes, or anything, really! You can even plop frozen chicken breasts in a pot of boiling water, cook until no longer pink, and then shred the meat for easy salad mix-ins or protein for wraps.

Chicken Breasts with Balsamic Mushrooms

For this recipe, you better bet I utilized my frozen chicken stash.

Once the chicken is defrosted, this meal comes together in just 45 minutes.

Simply dredge the chicken in flour, pan sear until golden, toss in some mushrooms and garlic, then balsamic, broth, and herbs. Cook down into a sauce & finish with a pat of butter.

Easy. Delicious. Yummy.

This meal is comfort food in one pan.

Pan Seared Chicken Breasts with Balsamic Mushrooms - by dietitian Erica Julson

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Pan Seared Chicken Breasts with Balsamic Mushrooms
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 
Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 medium boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 12 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Instructions
  1. Season the chicken breasts on both sides with a sprinkle of kosher salt and pepper.

  2. Spread the flour out on a large plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper. One at a time, dip the chicken breasts in the flour, turning to coat. Shake lightly to remove any excess, then set the chicken breast aside on a clean plate. Repeat with all 4 chicken breasts.

  3. Add the oil to a large nonstick skillet and warm over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts to the pan, and cook on one side for about 6 minutes, until nicely golden brown. 

  4. Turn the chicken breasts over and add the garlic cloves and mushrooms to the pan. Cook for another 3 or 4 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to redistribute the mushrooms and garlic while they cook.

  5. Add the balsamic vinegar, chicken stock, bay leaf, and thyme to the pan. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pan, and continue to cook for 10 minutes, turning the chicken breasts halfway through. 

  6. Uncover the pan and remove the chicken breasts to a plate. You can lightly tent them with foil to keep them warm.

  7. Let the balsamic-mushroom sauce continue to cook, uncovered, for another 5 minutes or so, until reduced to a sauce consistency. Stir in the butter and cook for another 2 minutes or so until melted and combined with the rest of the sauce. 

  8. Remove the bay leaf, then plate each chicken breast and spoon the mushroom sauce over the top. Enjoy!

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