Crispy Kale & Maple Roasted Chicken Sliders

Kale and Roasted Chicken

KALE. (Not Beyonce’s sweatshirt, we’re talking vegetables here). To be honest, I don’t love kale, and the feeling has been mutual.  That is, until I did some travelling and enjoyed some kale as a side dish to crunchy maple waffles and fried chicken. Life. Changed.  The salty-soy earthy crunch from the kale was (surprisingly) an amazing flavor pair to the also crunchy very sweet maple wafles and savory chicken – it was a forkfull of deliciousness.  I knew right away I was going to make a sandwich out of it.  After all, why go through the tedious process of cutting the chicken, waffle, and kale into eatable pieces then stack them all onto a fork in perfect proportion THEN devour? Leaves too much time to decide not to eat the kale…no thanks.

Now, I didn’t use fresh kale, but think twice before you start knocking me for using frozen steam-ready kale…not only did I not have to look for a fresh bunch, but I also didn’t have to wash, de-stem, potentially blanch, and cut the kale before I used it. I did us all a favor here. Kale gets such a bad rep to begin with…so why not boost our confidence in it with a fun recipe? We’re breaking stigmas here, people. Let’s eat some KALE!

Kale Appetizer

Ingredients:
– 1 package frozen chopped kale
– 1 chicken breast, cooked
– 2T olive oil
– fresh, toasted cibatta rolls
– ½ T reduced sodium soy
– a few drops of Worchestershire sauce
– a few sprinkles of garlic powder
– 4t unsalted butter, room temperature (very soft – but not microwaved, please!)
– 1T pure maple syrup

Steamed Kale

Instructions:
Steam the kale according to package directions. While the kale is steaming, mix the maple syrup and butter together until completely combined, form into a log using plastic wrap, or keep it in the original bowl, cover, and refrigerate. (This can be done way in advance, and kept in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the sandwiches, or until you need a topper for your chocolate chip pancakes…). Remove the kale from the package, set aside in a bowl to let it cool.

Crispy Kale recipe

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat – add 2T of olive oil, and when the kale is no longer scorching hot, add that in too. Be sure to mix it all around so the kale is covered in the oil and is spaced out in the pan. We want crispy kale, so don’t be afraid if it gets a little darker than usual – in total, you will sautee the kale anywhere from 12-15 minutes. About 8 minutes in, add in the soy, garlic, and Worchestershire – stir, and keep crisping! When you’ve reached a good texture, turn off the heat, and get ready to prep those sammies!

How to cook Kale

I toasted mini ciabatta rolls from the store as my roll, and I found this worked great. I also used a rotisserie cooked chicken breast from my local grocery store, which ended up being a huge success – what a time saver, and the roasted chicken flavor was exactly what I was going for.

Maple Butter Roasted Chicken

To assemble, spread some maple butter on each side of the bread, add some kale, then chicken, then kale, and then the top of the roll. I sliced mine in half again to make them super bite sized, and because I also wanted to see what it looked like… :)

Kale recipes

I’d say THAT was a success! Ever have a dish at a restaurant that you want to personalize and recreate? Or an ingredient that you just can’t figure out? Let us know on instagram, @whattodowithlemons or send us an email!  Oh yea, and EAT YOUR KALE!

Fried Kale Sandwich

 

 

Your Favorite Posts: Spring 2015

A few months ago we started a seasonal post series to recap our most popular posts throughout each season. We started out with the top 5 posts of Winter 2015. I can hardly believe a whole season has flown by since then, but guess what! It’s already time to share the top 5 posts of Spring!

#5) Upcycling Old Greeting Cards

DIY greeting card bookmarks
Waste not, want not. In April we shared a cute way to recycle all those greeting cards you’ve been stashing away, by crafting personalized gift tags and bookmarks!

#4) Pan Seared Citrus Scallops with Mango Quinoa

Citrus Scallops Lime Cilantro
No surprise that Katie’s incredible scallop recipe made the favorites list! My boyfriend and I copied her recipe and absolutely loved it! Who knew that mango and quinoa would play SO well together? Yum.

#3) DIY Running Stitch Throw Pillow

DIY running stitch pillow

I’ve been all about tassels this season, and I shared a fun DIY for a hand-stitched throw pillow to liven up your living space. It sits on my favorite pink chair and I’m still loving it! Glad many of you did too!

#2) Lighter Brunch Quiche

Healthy Breakfast Quiche
Using an easy Wholly Wholesome pre-made pie crust, Katie showed a great way to opt for a lighter morning meal with this killer mushroom and veggie quiche!

#1) Earth Day Project: Seed Bombs for Bumblebees

earth day seed balls
I was SO happy to see that our most viewed post this Spring was the project we shared for Earth Day: seed bombs to support bumblebees and other pollinators. Bee conservation is a cause that is very near and dear to my heart, so I was thrilled to do my part to support! I hope you’ll toss some in your neck of the woods.

To all of you reading, we LOVE you! Tell us your favorite posts, make suggestions, or just say hi!

Sweet and Spicy Beef in Endive Cups with Toasted Sesame Seeds

Toasted Sesame Spicy Beef Asian Endive

Remember the meat party that I attended last year?  (Hint: Browned Butter Bourbon Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies & Mini-Meatloaf Cupcakes)   Well, this year’s celebration marked the 5th Annual B.Y.O.M(eat) cookout, which means it was time for a new MEAT recipe!  I know that I cook with a lot with ingredients that “true” carnivores might not consider meat (i.e. chicken, turkey, eggs, fish…chocolate…), so here’s to you, meat lovers!  A sweet and spicy BEEF recipe comin’ your way!  I did break the rules a little bit…there are some non-meat vegetables in here – but it turns out there were some party guests with food alergies, and this was right up their ally!  Beggers can’t be choosers here, people…but I will say, these endive cups were enjoyed by all guests, myself included.  Fun, fancy, and of course, simple and delicious – did I mention I made the dish start to finish a half hour before the party, after a 4 hour NYC bootcamp morning adventure? What ELSE could you possibly need? MAKE THEM.
Endive Appetizer Easy

 

 Ingredients:

-1 lb ground beef (I used an 85/15 blend)

-3 large carrots

-3 large celery sticks

-3-4 smaller heads of endive – you dont’ want them to be too leafy

-5 oz mushrooms

-2T butter, unsalted

-1t garlic powder

-about ⅓ of a container of your favorite sesame dressing

-sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

-pepper to taste

-1T sesame seeds

Stir Fry in Endive Leaves

 

Instructions:
Clean, peel, and dice your vegetables – not the endive – and set aside.  In a frying pan, heat 2T of butter over medium heat, and add in the carrots. Sautee for about 3-5 minutes, then add the celery.  After another 3 minutes, add the mushrooms, and sautee another 5 minutes.  Turn the heat down to low, add in the garlic powder and pepper, stir, and continue to sautee until the vegetables are tender but not mush, which will be about another 3 minutes.  While the vegetables are cooking, fully cook the ground beef over medium heat (in a separate pan).  When the beef is completely cooked, add in the vegetables and the dressing, and reduced to a simmer.  Let the beef simmer for 5 minutes, add in the red pepper flakes, then simmer for another 3 minutes.  When done, turn the heat off and remove the beef from the stove – we’ll need it to cool for a few minutes before we add it to our endive leaves, so that it isn’t too messy.  While you wait, toast up about 1T of sesame seeds in a dry pan, moving the seeds around in the pan over medium heat for 5 minutes.  This would also be a good time to wash and separate your endive leaves, and get out a platter or tray to put them on.

PF Changs lettuce wrap copy cat

 

If you’re not going to serve this right away, no problem! Don’t assemble the leaves, and refridgerate the meat and endive until you’re ready.  Or, if you want this to be more interactive,  serve the meat in a bowl with the endive leaves on a platter, and let your guests serve themselves!  This can be served warm or room temperature, so it’s a great dish for a cocktail party (or B.Y.O.Meat party).

 

Endive Appetizer

 I was serving mine for a big crowd in a more casual setting, so I chose to assemble the leaves myself.  I added a heaping tablespoon (the type you use for coffee, not for measuring ingredients) of the mix to each leaf, and sprinkeled the toasted sesame seeds overtop.  Seriously, so simple, and so good. Like little asian tacos! Or PF Chang (beef) lettuce wrap copy-cats?!  What appetizers are you serving up for your BBQs this summer? Need ideas? Have something you’d like us to try? Let us know on instagram @Whattodowithlemons or email us whattodowithlemons @ gmail.com – our tastebuds will be waiting :) 
Sweet and Spicy Beef Appetizer

Try This: Fabric Covered Flower Pots

fabric covered flower pots
Potted plants are an awesome way to liven up any room. They also make a great hostess gift. Bonus points for both if your plants live in pretty, brightly colored pots!

Painted pots are so last year, so why not try covering some in fabric! There’s no end to the pattern possibilities or color combinations, and the texture adds a lot of interest. It’s an easy summer craft project that you can whip up in practically no time at all!

cloth covered flower pots
With just a few supplies, this is also a very inexpensive project. You might even have some of these supplies at home already.

scrap fabric covered planters
You will need: A small terra cotta flower pot, some patterned fabric (1/4 yard is plenty), a sponge brush, scissors, and some Mod Podge. I used the hard coat variety of Mod Podge because it’s what I had on hand, but any kind should do. If you don’t have Mod Podge you can even use Elmers Glue mixed with water.
how to wrap a flowerpot
Step 1: Cut out a piece of fabric that will fit around your pot, leaving about a one inch overhang for the top and bottom edges. You will end up with a curved shaped piece as shown above. The easiest way to do this is to lay your pot sideways on the fabric, hold a pencil against the edge, and roll it. Then cut one inch above and below the curved lines you’ve just created.
mod podge fabric pots
Step 2: Working a small section at a time, paint Mod Podge onto the pot and press the fabric on top, smoothing with your fingers as you go. Make sure to press firmly into the crease under the top lip of the pot. Once you’ve gone all the way around, leave about a half inch overlap and trim off any excess.
mod podge scrap fabric pot
Step 3: Cut the overhanging fabric into one inch tabs all the way around the top of the pot. Glue them down one by one, overlapping them as you go. Then do the same on the bottom of the pot.
diy fabric flower pot
Step 4: Paint a layer of Mod Podge over the fabric, covering the outside of the pot. This will seal and smooth everything down.
patterned mod podge flower pot
All done! Now go pick out a cute plant to live in your masterpiece while you wait for the glue to dry!
cloth covered pots
Try making a few in coordinating colors to plant a mini kitchen herb garden! Or make extra and bring a potted herb or succulent as a hostess gift to your next summer party. Be sure to share your summer projects with us on Instagram! Just use #WTDWLemons.
fabric wrapped plant pots

Brownie Batter Hummus

Dessert Hummus

 

May, what a whirlwind.  I traveled out of the country, I traveled accross the country, and I was sick – more than sick…ill – for about three weeks.  And considering my diet consisted mostly of saltines and white toast and my energy level was 0, I didn’t have many interesting things to share with you all! Consider this bowl of chocolatey goodness our little celebration – I’m back!

Healthy Chocolate Dessert Fruit Dip

 

There are a ton of recipes out there for cookie dough hummus, and let me tell you, they don’t disappoint.  And as much as I love that raw-dough taste, I’m a sucker for brownie batter.  I’ve definitely made brownies just so that I could lick the spoon, and I know I’m not alone in that indulgence.  This brownie batter hummus is the least time consuming recipe that I’ve ever made, and is so ridiculously delectably delicious (and nutritious!) that I think it’s going to be a part of my weekly grocery haul.

Chickpea Dip for Dessert

Ingredients:

-1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

-½ cup water

-2T sugar, or more to taste  (I used 1T sugar and 1T coconut nectar, but agave would work too!)

-5T unsweetened cocoa powder

-2t vanilla extract

-chocolate chips, nuts, or any other mix-ins

 

Instructions:

Put all of the ingredients – except the mix-ins – in a food processor, or high powered blender, and blend until smooth – about 2 minutes.  Fold in the mix-ins, and eat!

Healthy Chocolate Chickpea Dessert

“S” for sharable superfood snack…but I’m probably not sharing…

 

Chickpea Brownie Dip

I let mine chill for a few hours in the fridge to let the flavors come together – it took every bone in my body – but you don’t have to!  This dip is good on fruit, bagels, toast, yogurt, ice cream…you name it.  I’d love to pair it with some cinnamon sugar crispy pita chips for that mexican-spiced hot chocolate flavor, or even add some marshmallows and dip in good ol’ grahams!