Easy Weekday Dinner: Spicy Kale with Turkey Kielbasa

I started working out again about a month ago to try and shed a few pounds packed on in the last six months. I’m not a big fan of working out but it’s a necessary evil if you love to eat like me! Actually, its the gyms and treadmills that I don’t like and prefer any outdoor activities. Also my trip to Argentina and Chile is fast approaching so that’s even more motivation to get in shape! Yes, I’m taking a trip soon so let me know if there are any great food places to try in Buenos Aires, or in the Santiago, Chile area.

So part of the plan is to make more low or no-carb dishes for dinner. Low carb meals are so much better for your digestive system if you’re going to eat late. Try to have heavier meals during the day so you’ll have the rest of the day to use those carbs for energy. Besides, who wants to go to bed feeling full and bloated anyway?

I made this spicy kale dish with turkey kielbasa because I knew it was quick and easy to make. I’m usually starving after a good workout so anything I can make under 30 minutes is fine by me. This dish may not look like much but its so filling. Kale is a hearty, leafy green that’s got a nice crunch even when cooked down a bit and the kielbasa will add the much needed protein after a tough workout.

Kale and Kielbasa

The kielbasa gives this kale a nice smokey flavor similar to what ham-hocks do for collard greens but this is a little healthier with the turkey kielbasa.

Kale and kielbasa in broth

The extra added spices will help boost your metabolism as well which is another benefit of spicy foods. This dish is healthy, gluten free and the kale provides disease fighting antioxidants too. Kale also packs a healthy dose of fiber, vitamin A, calcium and beta-carotene, it’s up there with broccoli as one of the super foods!! If you’ve never had it before give it a try with this easy dish.

spicy kale and kielbasa in a bowl

Spicy Kale and Turkey Kielbasa

1/2 lb of Kale, or half of 16oz bag
1 link of kielbasa, sliced thick
2 cherry chile peppers, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp chile pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 cup chicken stock

1. Add washed and rinsed kale to an enamel pot and turn heat up to medium. Let kale sweat for a couple of minutes.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Let kielbasa and kale cook for about 10-15 minutes.

You can serve this as a side dish as well, just serve a little less. Enjoy!

Easy Sunday Dinner: Grilled Chicken and Spicy Mexican Corn on the Cob

Here’s an easy Sunday dinner for you, perfect for when you want simple, flavorful foods without having to spend the whole day in the kitchen. This took me about 20-30 minutes to make, seriously. It’s healthy, gluten free, low fat and the leafy greens are low in calories and high on vitamins. Oh, and the spicy corn on the cob, the kind you find at Mexican fairs, balances this dish on flavor. In Mexico they use crema but I didn’t have any so I used sour cream instead which is very similar. If you never had this spicy corn you have to try it. Simply out of this world!

Happy Sunday and enjoy this glorious day!!

Grilled Chicken with Spicy Mexican Corn on Cob

chicken breasts
corn on the cob
escarole bunch
seasoned chile salt
sour cream
Tajin (or your favorite chile pepper powder)
1 garlic clove, minced
1-2 tbsp butter

1. Season the chicken with with a mixture of chili salt. Grill the chicken until cooked all the way through.

2. Grill corn with or without husk. Grilling with husk makes it much more plump and juicy, just make sure to get rid of all the silk. Slather on the sour cream and sprinkle as much Tajin as you like.

3. Saute the escarole in butter and garlic with a little chili salt until wilted on medium heat. Remove from heat.

Enjoy your Sunday dinner!

Easy Sunday Dinner: Spicy Chicken Meatballs with Spaghetti

The last thing I want to do on a Sunday is prepare an elaborate meal, unless there’s a special holiday coming up which is what I’ll be doing next week Sunday for Easter. During those times I don’t mind since I love the times spent with family but most of the time, I just want to chill out on a Sunday. Get up, walk the dog, make breakfast with some strong Bustelo coffee, watch the Sunday news and kick back. I might make plans to go into the city to check out an artsy or foodie event but if I stay in I want to make easy meals. Sometimes I’ll make large quantities so I can have some for dinner or lunch during the week and this is one of those dishes! The all too familiar spaghetti and meatballs but kicked up with a little heat and made with ground chicken…for an easy Sunday dinner.

I usually have beef meatballs but wanted to try chicken instead for a much healthier version….AND with all the pink slime talk I’ve kind of been turned off by ground beef again. I don’t know why people are flipping out because it really isn’t new news but guess with of all the attention it’s getting it’s fresh on everyone’s mind. Ever since that book came out, Fast Food Nation, I’ve been eating less red meat and processed foods in general. It’s all about moderation and buying foods from stores and butchers you trust so I say, eat what you like, just make informed choices. OK, so back to the meatballs…

After you make your meatballs, refrigerate them since you’ll need to make your sauce next and it will need to simmer it for at least 30 minutes. OR you can start your sauce first and then make your meatballs while sauce is simmering. Basically you want the flavors to blend well together. Place the lid on while simmering.

Place the meatballs into the sauce carefully, you don’t want them to break apart. Ladle the sauce over each meatball so they’re covered and cook for another 30 minutes.

I always thought meatballs were so complicated but just look how simple it is. I’d say the most difficult part or laborious part, since it wasn’t difficult at all, was rolling each meatball…and really, who can’t do that?

Serve it family style, with a salad, some crusty Italian bread, and a nice bottle of wine and just chill out and enjoy your Sunday evening.

Serrano Chile Chicken Meatballs and Spaghetti
1 lb ground chicken
1/2 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 serrano chile pepper, diced
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric

In a bowl add the ground chicken, onion, garlic, chile pepper, and bread crumbs and mix well. In a separate bowl beat the egg then add the salt, black pepper, cumin and turmeric and mix well. Add the egg mixture to the meat and mix well.

Make the meatballs by spooning meat into hand and rolling. You should have about 12 golf ball sized meatballs.

After you make the sauce and it has simmered for 30 minutes, add the meat balls to the spicy tomato sauce and simmer for another 30 minutes.

Make spaghetti according to directions on the box, drain and spoon the meatballs over it.

Spicy Tomato Sauce
1 30 oz can tomato sauce
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 onion, diced
2 jalapenos, sliced
4 basil leaves, ripped apart
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil

In a large pot (large enough to hold all meatballs), heat up oil on high heat. Add onion and let cook until translucent. Stir in jalapenos then add the tomato sauce and the diced tomatoes. Mix well then add the garlic, basil leaves, salt, sugar, and black pepper. Turn heat down to low, cover pot and let sauce simmer on low heat for about 1/2 hour.

You can make it spicier by adding extra jalapenos and serrano chiles but I really like this heat level, you can taste all the ingredients in the meatballs and the sauce.

Serve with spaghetti or make meatball hoagies, either way its a great meal!