Kale Soup for All Kinds of Comfort

It's ridiculously cold here. Twenty something degrees! And the thing is, it's only December. I fear January. And I'm terrified of March. (February has always been one of those easy peasy months in my mind because it's so nice and short.) Besides the hectic pace of the holiday season (interwoven with little reminders like "stop the madness and smell the roses," which is totally easier said than done), we have been struck down by some unkind stomach virus chez moi. I have two things to say on the matter: first, I'm incredibly grateful that it was only the 24 hour variety. And second, I'm so fortunate to have a babysitter who is loving and patient, good spirited and also amazing with sick kids. She didn't blink an eye when my son lost his lunch all over her. Seriously. #Feelingblessed. 

Naturally, after a bout with any kind of stomach thing, bland and basic is always best. So for my son, it was all toast and oatmeal. But the grownups need to eat too. I threw together this soup and it hit the spot. It was hearty and comforting after an exhausting day. It was warm and filling after facing the bitter cold. And it was delicious, thanks to simple ingredients. 

Simple ingredients for Kale Soup

Simple ingredients for Kale Soup

Kale Soup

4 ounces of bacon
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 bunch of green leafy kale, chopped
8 cups of water
1 can of navy beans (or white beans)
1 bay leaf
1 rind of parmesan
dash of cayenne pepper or red chili flakes
salt to taste

Fry the bacon in a soup pot for several minutes until the edges begin to brown. Turn off the heat, remove the bacon and drain on a paper towel. Leave the bacon fat in the pot. When the bacon has cooled, chop into smaller pieces and add back to the pot. Turn the heat to medium and add garlic and kale and stir. After about 2 minutes, add water, beans, bay leaf and parmesan leaf. Simmer with lid on for about 40 minutes (or longer). Add cayenne pepper and salt if desired. Enjoy! 
*Note: for a richer soup, use chicken broth instead of water and feel free to add grated parmesan when you serve soup. 

My other favorites for cold weather: 

Winter Root Vegetable Soup

Best Cold and Flu Fighter Soup

Rainy Day Carrot Soup

Easiest Black Beans



LaLa Lunchbox Teams Up with Applegate!

We are so excited to feature Applegate on the newest version of LaLa Lunchbox!

Applegate products now available in the LaLa Lunchbox Food Library!

Applegate products now available in the LaLa Lunchbox Food Library!

As a person with life threatening food allergies, I've always been a label reader. My mom is a cookbook author and food writer so food played an enormous part of my childhood. While I would never call myself a picky eater (I have enough restrictions because of my allergies!), I learned early about being picky when it comes to certain ingredients and meat was one of them.  
At some point in my adult life, the food world opened up to me in a whole new, magical way. I became more aware of what grows where, which nutrients help the body and in what way, what's potentially harmful and how to pay attention to my body's signals and pursue the foods that made me feel good. As they say, knowledge is power. I like to know about what I'm eating and now as a mom, I'm deeply invested in what I'm feeding my children. 

Along the way, I made the conscious decision to choose meats that are high quality, organic and humanely raised whenever possible. I believe in sound, safe, hygienic farming practices, respect for animals and the earth. For us, these choices are not a diet or a fad. These are issues that we have prioritized in our family. I reserve no judgement for the choices of others on this matter. But because of the choices that we've made for our family, we have long been fans of Applegate products

Applegate produces delicious, high quality natural and organic meats, sausages and cheeses that are free of antibiotics, artificial ingredients and chemical nitrates. I support this wholeheartedly. This is why I'm so excited to team up with Applegate and feature their meats and cheeses by name in our LaLa Lunchbox Food Library. Now you and your hungry little monsters have Applegate's delicious products available right at your fingertips and they can be easily added to your grocery list!

For those of you who already have LaLa Lunchbox, simply update the app and the items will appear in your Food Library - along with the 12 new adorable LaLa Monsters! For those of you who are new to the LaLa family, welcome!