I've said it before, and I'll say it again... being a blogger has it's perks. I love getting offers to try new and interesting products, and I get really excited when I get to try out something that is both quick and healthy.I was fortunate enough to be selected to try out Cookin' Greens, which you may have noticed in your local supermarket lately.
Cookin' Greens is a small frozen food company out of Toronto, and right now they produce 5 different types of green products and all of them are farm to freezer in six hours or less. Probably the best thing about Cookin' Greens though, is that the greens are ready to use... you don't need to thaw them, they are washed, chopped and are individual quick frozen (IQF), not the big clump that I think of when I hear frozen greens... meaning you can use as much or as little as you need, then put the bag back in the freezer.
I picked up a bag of the Chopped Kale at the Superstore in the natural foods section. While I normally love using kale in soups, as you all know (if you've heard me whine all month) it is too bloody hot for soup in these parts. I found this recipe on Cooking Light and thought I would give it a spin... it's quick and delicious, just like the Cookin' Greens kale.
Shells with Kale, Bacon & Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Adapted from Cooking Light
8 oz uncooked shell pasta
5 cups bagged prewashed kale (I used just over half a bag of Cookin' Greens Chopped Kale)
2 slices bacon
1/4 cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped roughly
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (I crushed one peperoncino)
3 large garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3/8 tsp salt
1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese, shaved
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (original calls for 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, but I was out of lemons!)
In a large pot, cook pasta in salted boiling water for about 8 minutes, then add kale and cook for 2 more minutes. Reserve half a cup of the cooking liquid and drain the rest.
While the pasta is cooking, cook the bacon until crisp in a large skillet, remove to a paper towel. Add the red pepper flakes, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes to the bacon drippings and cook for 1 or 2 minutes. Toss in the pasta, kale, reserved water and vinegar, season with salt and pepper then top with the shaved Parmesan and crumbled bacon.
Disclosure: I receive a free product coupon to try a Cookin' Greens product and give my honest thoughts after trying it in a recipe. As always, opinions are all mine.