Sirloin Steak in a Cast Iron Skillet (with Kale and Mushrooms in a White Wine Cream Sauce)

Cooking Steak in a Cast Iron Skillet by Natalie Paramore

So this is one of those posts that I have been sitting on for while. Mainly because of the holidays and this didn’t seem to quite fit into the holiday buzz. I got caught up and distracted with the fun and bustle this season. Although, to be completely honest this year was a bit scattered for me. My typical family gatherings were all different this year and most took place before the actual day, so I wound up spending a good chunk of my Christmas Day alone. I didn’t feel the magic and giddiness of the holidays like I used to. I say used to because last year (2013) I was a down right grinch. I blame that mostly on some questionable dating decisions I made earlier that fall. I really wasn’t feeling it last year.  I didn’t even help put up the tree which is one of my most looked forward to days of the year. Typically, January is my least favorite month of the year. I get the post-holiday blues, it’s usually gray out and blah… I always feel like all the fun just left. This year is different though. I am feeling refreshed, work couldn’t be busier (which I love) and I have some exciting life changes on the horizon. More on those in another post. My whole point of this is that even when I was feeling down, I forced myself to do a little cooking. Which always makes me happy and feel more centered. I decided to try something new when I could have called for take-out or done something I am used to. And what happened when I tried something new was deliciousness. Deliciousness happened. It is funny how life works out, just when you feel like doing something the least is probably when you need to do it the most.

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Kale and Eggs

Maybe I should just call this breakfast week. Or maybe not because tomorrow I’ll want something different than breakfast. Truth is, I got in a terrible habit of not eating breakfast. Terrible terrible, I know. So this this week I’ve been making an effort to start good habits like making my bed, walking my dog in the morning instead of just letting her out in the backyard… and most importantly: eating breakfast!

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Oh yeah, I threw some sriracha on there too!

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You’ll need:
2 cups fresh kale
1 egg
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic salt
Black pepper to taste

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Sauté kale and olive oil over medium heat for 3-4 minutes.

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Add the egg. I scrambled it in with kale. Make it how you like it.

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And that’s it y’all. Another super easy and quick power breakfast!

What’s your favorite power breakfast?

Tomato Soup with Vegetables and Spicy Meatballs

All the rainy, cold weather last week had me craving a big hearty (and healthy!) soup. When I started to think about how I was going to make this, I wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to go out about it. In true Natalie fashion I totally winged it. I grabbed a few cans of chicken broth, some tomato paste and whatever vegetables I had in the fridge. I am happy to report that it tasted great! Experimenting in the kitchen is one of my favorite things to do.

Great thing about this recipe is that it can easily be made vegan! Just substitute vegetable broth and no meatballs. Easy peasy.

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 For this soup, you’ll need:

4 (14.5 ounce) cans of chicken broth

6 ounces of tomato paste

3 cups of chopped fresh kale

1 lb of spicy sausage

1/2 cup of chopped white onion

1/2 cup of chopped celery

1/2 cup of sliced mushrooms

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 tablespoon of minced ginger

1 tablespoon of minced garlic

1 tablespoon kosher salt

Fresh cilantro leaves and lime wedges for garnish

 

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 Roll the sausage into golf ball sized balls and bake at 350 degrees on a parchment lined baking sheet for 20 minutes or until cooked thoroughly. I didn’t do anything special for these meatballs, just rolled them up!

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 Begin by bringing the chicken broth plus 3/4 a can of water to a boil. Then add in the chopped onions, celery and kale.

In a separate pan, sauté the tomato paste with the mushrooms, olive oil, salt, ginger and garlic for about one minute over medium high heat. Then transfer that into the large pot with the broth. Bring to a rolling boil for about 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables have softened a little.

 

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 Next add the meatballs to the soup. I garnished mine with squeezed limes and some cilantro leaves.

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 This soup is packed with veggies and is filling enough for a meal.

Enjoy!