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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Carnitas Street Tacos

Carnitas Street Tacos at Home!

It’s taco night every night up in this house.

Whenever we have leftover roasted pork or packages of ground beef or turkey tucked away in the freezer, my go-to is TACOS!

And sometimes simple street tacos are what hit the spot.

No need for fancy schmancy toppings.

The savory carnitas take center stage, simply highlighted with salsa verde, white onion, fresh cilantro, and a pop of lime.

Carnitas Street Tacos

The key to perfect tacos at home is lightly pan-frying the tortillas.

DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, under any circumstances, serve the tortillas raw. Blech!

You’ll end up with chalky bland tortillas that crack and break into pieces as you try to eat.

Instead, take a few minutes to warm the tortillas in a pan with a little oil. They’ll get slightly crisp, and take on a beautiful golden color. Instead of tearing, they’ll remain nice and tender and perfect for stuffing with carnitas.

Carnitas Street Tacos by Registered Dietitian Erica Julson

You can totally customize this recipe to serve even more people.

Just estimate roughly 1 hour of slow-cooking in the oven per pound of meat.

These tacos are the perfect Sunday football party fare!

 

5 from 3 votes
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Carnitas Street Tacos
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
4 hr 30 mins
Total Time
4 hr 45 mins
 
Servings: 16 tacos
Ingredients
  • 4 pounds bone-in skin-on pork shoulder
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil or other high heat oil, divided, plus additional for cooking the tortillas
  • 1 package of organic corn tortillas (30 count)
  • Favorite verde salsa - homemade or store bought
  • 1 white onion, minced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, minced
  • 6 limes, quartered
Instructions
  1. Pat the pork shoulder dry with paper towels, then sprinkle with a liberal amount of salt and pepper on all sides, including the skin side.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the pork shoulder sit at room temperature while the oven preheats.

  3. When the oven is preheated, place a heavy bottomed lidded pot (I used my enameled cast iron dutch oven) on the stove top. Add 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil and warm over high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the pork shoulder, fat side down, and cook on that side until nicely golden brown. Rotate the pork to the next side, and continue, until all the sides and end pieces are nicely browned.

  4. When the pork is browned all over, rotate the pork so the skin side is facing up, and place the lid on the pot. Put the dutch oven inside the oven, and let cook without moving for about 4 hours, until the outside of the pork is deeply browned, and the meat is fall apart tender. If the skin is not yet dark brown and crispy, increase the heat to 500 degrees and let cook with the lid off the pan, until it is crispy.

  5. Remove from the oven, and let the pork rest for 30 minutes. Remove the crispy skin and set aside. Then, use two large forks or your fingers to pull the pork apart into pieces and then shred into bite-sized pieces. Chop the crispy skin into small pieces and toss into the shredded meat as well.

  6. Next, add 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil to a large skillet and warm over high heat. Add the shredded pork & let it cook for a few minutes without stirring until some of the pieces get nice and crispy. Remove from the skillet into a serving bowl.

  7. Next, in a small skillet, pour enough grapeseed oil to form a thin layer in the pan. Warm over high heat. Using tongs, add one corn tortilla to the pan. Let it cook briefly on one side until the tortilla starts to puff up. Flip over and cook briefly on the other side until lightly golden but still pliable. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and continue with the desired number of tortillas (16 or 20 should be perfect). Continue to add oil as needed to keep a light coating in the pan.

  8. When the tortillas are done, you're ready to assemble the tacos! Place some of the pork carnitas in the center of a tortilla, spoon some salsa verde over the top, and sprinkle with minced onion and cilantro. Squeeze fresh lime over the top 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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