Lemon Kale Pasta

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Sometimes I really don't feel like cooking anything. Or it's a few days until payday and we don't have much to eat. Either way, eating is pretty important so I still have to whip something up. On days like that I go to my go-to meal:

It's super easy you can add whatever you have on hand.

You'll need:

  • Pasta
  • Kale
  • Lemon
  • Lemon zest
  • Olive Oil 
  • Garlic 
  • Red Pepper Flakes (if you want it spicy) 

You can also add a whole bunch of other things like:

...you get the idea.

Before We Get Started: I know my recipes aren't very accurate and don't have measurements. That's not how I usually work. Cooking, for the most part, is very accommodating and the best way to see if something works is to just GO FOR IT.

But there are some general things you should be aware of whether you have a recipe or not.

  • Always watch your food! Especially if you're making a new recipe. Just because they didn't tell you turn off the heat at Step 3 doesn't mean you shouldn't even though you see your food is burning. 
  • If you are allergic to lemon or something in the recipe it doesn't automatically mean you can't use at least some basics from it. If you want to use gluten free pasta instead, be my guest, BUT the texture, amounts, or directions may have to be adjusted. 
  • You can add any other things to most recipes. You love rosemary? Go ahead, add it. Hate red pepper? It's okay, leave it out.

For this specific recipe: Kale, when cooked, will wilt and shrink in size considerably. When cooking it, make sure you have more than you think is enough and once you're done cooking it, it will probably be the right amount. 

I don't have a zester so instead I just peel the yellow skin from the lemon (using a vegetable peeler) making sure that I don't get the white bits underneath it. This leaves me with big chunks of the lemon rind. 

The rind gives the oil flavor but it's not great to eat so if you do it this way you'll have to pick out the lemon bits before you add the pasta. If you actually have a zester and therefore smaller lemon bits, you don't have to worry about picking them out.

Now that you have everything you can get started.

  1. Cook the pasta according to the packaged directions.  
  2. In a pan over medium heat add the oil, garlic, red pepper, and lemon zest. Let this mix in with the oil for a few minutes. Keep it moving and lower the heat if you have to because you don't want the garlic to burn. 
  3. Add the kale to the pan making sure that the garlic/lemon/pepper oil gets mixed and coated on every leaf. The kale doesn't take very long to wilt and cook down. Be sure to watch your food, if you need to turn it off, DO SO! 
  4. If you've peeled your lemon, now is the time to take the rinds out. 
  5. Once your pasta is done, drain it and add it to the kale and oil. Turn off the heat (if you haven't done so already) and mix everything together. Once everything is incorporated squeeze the lemon you zested over the top. 
  6. Done! 

The dish is light and filling and even easier if you cook a bunch of pasta at once and then just leave it in the fridge.

I added hotdogs to the one pictured above (which I didn't like and ended up picking out and giving to Noah) and the cheese on top is called Oaxaca cheese. It's a melty white cheese used in Mexican dishes.

But I seriously eat this like once a week because kale is so cheap and it only takes about 10 minutes to make.

Hope you enjoy!

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