Braised Kale with Bacon

Braised Kale with Bacon

Braised Kale with Bacon served in a shallow white bowl resting on a wooden trivel and blue checkered kitchen towel.

Braised Kale with Bacon

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Bacon has its own food group for a reason, it makes people actually want to eat Kale, LOL! At least in my world it does, and autumn is the perfect season to enjoy plenty of robust braised greens. While this recipe has been made with kale, other greens like Swiss chard, beet greens or collards will work very well also. Braised Kale with Bacon is a great side dish with roasted meats, and if by chance you have any leftovers, it’s perfect to add to a frittata, baked pasta or simply topped with a runny egg. The latter being my personal favourite because I’m a firm believer that a runny egg makes the world a tastier place and the bacon is already included, so it’s a win-win scenario.

Ingredients for Braised Kale with Bacon nestled in a shallow white tray.
Sauteed onions in an off white dutch oven in preparation of Braised Kale with Bacon.

Eating kale doesn’t have to mean you’re on a diet. The ratio of bacon and parmesan cheese in this recipe tips the healthy scale a little, but it’s also the reason it’s so tasty. Don’t be skimpy on the cheese my friends. Enjoy!

Can’t eat kale, even with bacon? Here’s a few more veggie sides to choose from.

Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli

Garlicky Buttered Beans

Honey Garlic Carrots and Parsnips

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Braised Kale with Bacon

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 1/2 cup servings

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces kale about 6 ounces trimmed
  • 4 ounces bacon, 3-4 slices, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 medium juice of 1/2 a lemon

Instructions

  • Trim kale of ribs and stems and tear them into bite-size pieces.
  • Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add chopped bacon and cook until rendered and crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Add enough olive oil to the remaining bacon fat to equal 2 tbsp (you may not need it).
  • Add sliced onions and cook over medium heat until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add sliced garlic and chili flakes and continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Toss in trimmed kale and salt and pepper and cook, stirring often until kale is starting to wilt 3-5 minutes.
  • Pour in broth and water, cover and cook for 12-15 minutes, stirring once or twice until kale is soft. Remove lid and continue to cook for 3-5 minutes until most of the liquid has cooked out.
  • Add parmesan cheese and bacon and toss to combine. Add a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Serve immediately.

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Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins

Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins

A shallow wooden serving bowl stacked with freshly baked Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins.

Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins

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Cheesy and spicy with crispy, golden edges make these tender Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins one of my favourites. I have made them more times than I can remember because I like them that much. They are the perfect accompaniment to chili, stew, tomato soup or green salad and so good about ten minutes out of the oven. Just long enough for them to cool down enough to handle but are still warm on the inside and crispy on the outside.

Baking ingredients being prepared for Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins with a muffin tin in the background.

This lovely recipe originates with one of my favourite food bloggers, Joy the Baker. Joy notes that you can bake these muffins with liners in the muffin tins. You certainly can, but trust me, you do not want to! I find it is best to generously butter non-stick muffin tins to achieve a wonderfully golden muffin bottom that is crispy and chewy when eaten while still slightly warm. They will pop right out of the muffin tins too. When using liners, the muffins need to cool completely before peeling away the liner, otherwise, they will stick and you’ll miss out on the best part. In a nutshell, it’s lots of butter, no liners!!

Freshly baked Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins on a wire rack..

Do not be skimpy on the cheese!! It will seem like a lot, and the batter will be thick with an abundance of cheese, but the result is a gloriously cheesy muffin. It is also important not to over mix the batter. This is a quick bread and does not require gluten development, so only mix the wet and dry ingredients until they are combined. The batter won’t be completely smooth and that’s okay. The cheese needs to be folded in last so it doesn’t clog up the whisk and make everything gummy. It’s a quick and easy recipe that freezes well too. Simply store cooled muffins in an airtight container or bag for up to a month. Allow to thaw and warm gently in the oven or microwave. They don’t retain their crisp exterior, but they’re still delicious. Enjoy!

Freshly baked Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins on a wooden serving board garnished with a pickled jalapeño.

Freshly baked Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins on a wooden serving board garnished with a pickled jalapeño.
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Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted plus more for pan
  • 3 cups grated cheddar cheese about 8 ounces
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped drained pickled jalapeños plus more for garnishing

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and generously butter a 12 cup non-stick muffin tin.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Set aside.
  • Whisk the egg, add the milk and melted butter and continue to whisk to fully combine. Stir in jalapeños.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet stirring until just combined. Fold in cheese until evenly distributed in the batter.
  • Scoop batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan. Gently loosen the muffin tops if any have slightly stuck and pluck out the muffins placing them on a wire rack to cool further.

Notes

-these muffins are best served slightly warm out of the oven.
-use a non-stick muffin tin for this recipe and be sure to butter generously. The butter not only helps the muffins not to stick but ensures a crisp and golden bottom. 
-you can use muffin liners but the muffins will need to cool completely before trying to peel off the liner.
 

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Roasted Gremolata Cauliflower

Roasted Gremolata Cauliflower

Cauliflower is boring!

But it doesn’t have to be with a good roasting and the addition of a vibrant Gremolata.  Roasted Gremolata Cauliflower is anything but boring with its caramelized edges, fresh garlic, parsley and a good dose of lemon zest.  The Gremolata is a game changer for plain, boring cauliflower, transforming it into a flavourful and zesty side dish.

What is Gremolata?

Gremolata is an Italian condiment/accompaniment that is made with Italian flat leaf parsley, lemon zest, fresh garlic, olive oil and salt. It’s vibrant and fresh with a slight bitter note from the parsley and flavour punch from the garlic. If you have parsley, lemon and garlic, you’ve got a simple sauce that will spruce up so many things. It’s a classic accompaniment for the Italian dish Ossobuco but also great with fish, lamb and of course vegetables. 

Roasted Gremolata Cauliflower
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    5-6 people 20 minutes
    Cook Time
    30 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    5-6 people 20 minutes
    Cook Time
    30 minutes
    Roasted Gremolata Cauliflower
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      5-6 people 20 minutes
      Cook Time
      30 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      5-6 people 20 minutes
      Cook Time
      30 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: people
      Instructions
      1. Preheat oven to 400℉
      2. In a large bowl stir together parsley, lemon zest, garlic, salt and 3 tbsp of olive oil. Set aside.
      3. Remove outer leaves from cauliflower and cut the head into quarters. Easily core the cauliflower by cutting it out of each quarter, allowing any remaining leaves and stem to come away with it.
      4. Break or cut the cauliflower into large bite-size pieces. Toss cauliflower with remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil and a few grinds of a pepper mill. Spread out evenly on a large baking tray.
      5. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, turning once, allowing the bottom edges to become golden and caramelized.
      6. Remove from oven and add to the bowl of Gremolata along with the parmesan cheese. Toss to coat evenly and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
      Recipe Notes

      -make as a vegan option by omitting the parmesan cheese or using your favourite alternative cheese.

      Affiliate Disclosure

      I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
      Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls

      Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls

      Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls bake up perfectly soft and speckled with fresh rosemary.  This makes them absolutely perfect along side your baked ham or golden roasted turkey.  There’s almost nothing better than freshly baked bread, filling the kitchen with an amazing aroma.  The kind that sparks a memory and elicits a feeling of comfort. 

      These lovely rolls are easier than you think, requiring no fancy equipment and use everyday ingredients. When making bread, it’s important to distribute the yeast evenly, whether you’re using fresh yeast or dry yeast.  Because I’m using dry yeast, I bloom it with the liquids and sugar prior to mixing. This not only ensures the yeast will be evenly dissolved and distributed but also gives it a head start in the production of carbon dioxide which helps the bread rise. 

      You won’t be disappointed, and neither will your guests.  Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls are delicious and simple and will make your holiday table the best it can be.  Enjoy!

      Author:  Compelled To Cook

      Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        12 rolls 30 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        18-20 minutes 105 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        12 rolls 30 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        18-20 minutes 105 minutes
        Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          12 rolls 30 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          18-20 minutes 105 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          12 rolls 30 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          18-20 minutes 105 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: rolls
          Instructions
          1. Whisk together buttermilk and 1/4 cup water. Warm to 95℉-110℉ in the microwave using 30 second intervals.
          2. Combine warmed liquids, sugar and yeast in a stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook (see note). Allow yeast to bloom for 10 minutes
          3. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of flour, rosemary and salt. Start kneading and add the butter chunks a few at a time, along with additional flour until the butter has been incorporated and the dough is starting to pull away from the sides. Continue to add flour by the tablespoon until the dough is smooth and no longer sticks to the side of the bowl, about 8 minutes.
          4. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or kitchen towel. Allow dough to rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, approximately 60 minutes.
          5. Preheat oven to 400℉. Remove dough from bowl to a clean work surface. Knead two or three times by hand to remove the air. Divide dough into 12 equal portions of 55-58 grams each. Roll into balls and place on a parchment lined baking tray 1/4" apart. Cover with oiled plastic wrap or kitchen towel and allow to rise for 45 minutes.
          6. Whisk egg and 1 tbsp of water with a fork and brush evenly onto rolls. Bake in preheated oven for 18-20, rotating tray half way through baking time. Remove from oven and slide onto a cooling rack, removing the parchment paper. Allow rolls to cool to slightly warm or room temperature for serving.
          Recipe Notes

          -If kneading by hand, bloom yeast as instructed and stir in the first portion of flour, rosemary and salt.  Turn the wet dough onto a work surface and add a few chunks of butter and 1/4 cup additional flour.  Knead by hand, adding remaining butter and flour by the tablespoon until dough is smooth and no longer sticks excessively to the work surface. Proceed as the recipe indicates.

          -Spacing buns 1/4" apart will result in tray style rolls that you have to pull apart.  For more individual rolls,  increase spacing to 1 1/2" between rolls.

          Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli

          Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli

          With the holidays fast approaching, it’s time to sift through old recipes, ponder new ones and somehow come up with a foolproof menu.  Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli is the perfect side dish for all your entertaining needs.  Not only because it has the perfect balance of savoury, crunchy and sweet, but because it roasts up in the same amount of time that it takes to rest a roast or turkey.  Meaning, you don’t need to worry about oven space or soggy vegetables.  

          Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli cooks up al dente with golden roasted edges.  Crunchy almonds and chewy, sweet cranberries add a wonderful dimension of texture and flavour that signifies the holidays. Quick and easy with little fuss and holds up well.   Enjoy!

          Recipe source for Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli:  Compelled To Cook

          Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            6-8 people 15 minutes
            Cook Time
            20 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            6-8 people 15 minutes
            Cook Time
            20 minutes
            Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              6-8 people 15 minutes
              Cook Time
              20 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              6-8 people 15 minutes
              Cook Time
              20 minutes
              Ingredients
              Servings: people
              Instructions
              1. Preheat oven to 400℉.
              2. Split broccoli spears into large bite-size pieces. Place broccoli and garlic on a large baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat evenly. Spread out in a single layer.
              3. Roast for 7 minutes. Add almonds and turn broccoli. Continue to roast for another 7 minutes. Add dried cranberries and toss to combine. Return to oven for 5-6 minutes until broccoli is tender and almonds are golden. Serve immediately.