Kale: 3 Ways

Kale is a form of cabbage, green or purple, in which the central leaves do not form a head. It is considered to be closer to wild cabbage than most domesticated forms, and is related broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, and brussels sprouts.

Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, and reasonably rich in calcium. As with broccoli and other brassicas, kale contains sulforaphane (particularly when chopped or minced), a chemical with potent anti-cancer properties. Boiling decreases the level of sulforaphane; however, steaming, microwaving, or stir frying do not result in significant loss. Along with other brassica vegetables, kale is also a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells.

Until the end of the Middle Ages, kale was one of the most common green vegetables in all of Europe. Curly leafed varieties of cabbage already existed along with flat leafed varieties in Greece in the fourth century BC.

Kale freezes well and actually tastes sweeter and more flavorful after being exposed to a frost.

Here are three of my favorite kale recipes from the hautemealz.com recipe box…Bon appétit!

-Chef Perry

Wilted Garlic Kale
Yield: Serves 2 Active Time: 10 Total Time: 5

1 lb of kale
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Rinse and dry the kale and remove from stem. Tear it up into roughly 3inch squares.

In a skillet, heat your oil to medium and roast your shallot, followed by your garlic.

Once shallots have softened, toss in your kale and drizzle with vinegar.

Cover and let wilt – about 5 minutes.

Toss, and serve immediately.

Kale “Chips”
Total Time: 45 min Prep: 25 min Cook: 20 min
Yield: 4 serving

1 head kale, washed and thoroughly dried
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

Remove the ribs from the kale and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces.

Lay on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and salt.

Bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, about 20 minutes.

Serve as finger food.

Kielbasa, Cannellini, Kale and Cheese Tortellini Soup
Yield: 2 servings Active Time: 10 min. Total Time: 30 min.

1 tsp. olive oil
4 oz. fully smoked kielbasa sausage, thinly sliced
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/3 cup chopped fresh fennel bulb
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
1/8 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups chopped kale
1/2 can (15-oz.) cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained
1/3 package (9-oz.) cheese tortellini
1/3 cup grated Asiago cheese

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add next 6 ingredients and saute until vegetables are soft and kielbasa is brown, about 12 minutes.

Add broth and bring to boil. Stir in kale and cannellini. Reduce heat to low and simmer until kale is wilted, about 4 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead.

Cool slightly; cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before continuing.)

Add tortellini to soup. Simmer until pasta is just tender but still firm to bite, about 5 minutes.

Ladle soup into bowls. Serve, passing cheese separately.

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BBQ Class at My Father’s House Community Shelter


MY KITCHEN Outreach had a fantastic time this week, teaching our “Basics of BBQ & Grilling” for the folks at My Father’s House Community Shelter in Gresham, Oregon!

My Father’s House is a non-profit shelter ministry that opened to meet the needs of homeless families.  The men, women and children in homeless families often sleep in their cars, crash on friends’ couches, or go from home to home just to survive. Many of these families have no idea of how to obtain or keep a job. Some need professional counseling.

All of them need HOPE.

FullSizeRender - Copy

We had about fourteen students, ranging from seniors to kids, and everyone participated in learning the basics of bbq and grilling, and cooking their own burgers, perfect hot-dogs, and bbq chicken thighs.

MY KITCHEN Outreach BBQ Class

Nobody left hungry, that’s for sure!

Looking forward to returning and teaching 4-week basic cooking sessions this fall!

Chef Perry

MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy the way, if you’re enjoying this post, please subscribe to our free newsletter!

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Taylor’s Pork Roll Breakfast Biscuit

Taylor Pork Roll Breakfast Biscuit

Taylor’s Pork roll (regionally known as Taylor Ham)is a pork-based processed meat originating and commonly available in New Jersey and parts of Pennsylvania and Maryland. It was developed in 1856 by John Taylor of Trenton, New Jersey, and sold as “Taylor Ham”.

Other producers entered the market, and subsequent food labeling regulations required Taylor to designate it as a “pork roll” alongside their competitors. Taylor's Pork Roll

Taylor’s Pork Roll Breakfast Biscuit

Serves 2

4 thin slices Taylor’s Pork Roll

2 Buttermilk Biscuits, split

4 Tbsp. Marion-berry Jam

Warm biscuits in a 250F oven. Fry slices of pork roll in hot oil until golden and crisp. Add pork roll to biscuits, add jam, and serve immediately.      

MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy the way, if you’re enjoying this recipe, please subscribe to our free newsletter! We’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each Friday.

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“Le Couteaux Trois” Our first MY KITCHEN Pop-Up Restaurant!

Le Couteaux Trois_2

7/28/15 UPDATE

Okay, so apparently there has been some confusion. :)

Our September pop-up dinner is NOT a black-tie event (God forbid…)

While we would prefer to avoid jeans, shorts, or tennis shoes, a nice business-casual attire will do nicely.

In short, just wear something your mother would be proud of.

…which means I need to go shopping…

-Chef Perry


07/14/15 UPDATE: We are now taking reservations! Here’s the link to reserve your general seats, Chef Table seats, or to reserve tables.http://www.gofundme.com/MYKITCHENOutreach

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Our first BIG fund-raising dinner for our MY KITCHEN Program, this September 12th. Our one-night only pop-up restaurant, “Le Couteaux Trois”, will be at an undisclosed (for now) location in the Portland/Metro area.

The evening will include a 15-course gourmet tapas dinner, music, a silent raffle auction, and perhaps even a little dancing if the spirit moves us.

This will be a “dress up” event (Guy’s – extra points if your wear a tie, lol), with limited seating. Tickets will be a minimum donation of $45.00 per seat, purchased in advance.

There will be 10 seats available at the Chef’s Table, which will come with a few nice “extras” and lots of witty and urbane conversation with Chef Chris and Chef Terry (and I’ll be there, too.)

Only 50 seats will be available for general seating.

Chef’s Table seats will be reserved for the first nine donations of $100.00 or more.

Seats remaining: (updated daily)
General seating: 14
Chef’s Table: 5

Reserve your seats, here.

MY KITCHEN Pop Up Restaurant

This will be a fund-raising event, with all proceeds will go to the MY KITCHEN Outreach, to feed hungry children, and teach important shopping, cooking, and nutrition skills to at-risk kids.

Look forward to an amazing evening.

Chefs Perry, Terry, and Chris
Le Couteaux Trois



What is a Mirepoix?


A mirepoix (meer-PWAH) is, most typically, a combination of celery, onions, and carrots. There are a lot of regional mirepoix variations, and it can also  include additional spices.

Mirepoix, either raw, roasted or sautéed with butter or olive oil, is the flavor base for a wide number of dishes, such as stocks, soups, stews and sauces (as well as my mama’s turkey stuffing). The three ingredients are commonly referred to as aromatics.

Similar combinations of vegetables are known as the holy trinity in Creole cooking, refogado in Portuguese, soffritto in Italian, sofrito in Spanish,

Though the cooking technique is probably older, the term mirepoix dates from the 18th century and derives, as do many other appellations in French cuisine,from the aristocratic employer of the cook credited with establishing and stabilizing it: in this case, Charles-Pierre-Gaston François de Lévis, duc de Lévis-Mirepoix (1699–1757), French field marshal and ambassador. According to Pierre Larousse (quoted in the Oxford Companion to Food), the unfortunate Duke of Mirepoix was “an incompetent and mediocre individual. . . who owed his vast fortune to the affection Louis XV felt toward his wife and who had but one claim to fame: he gave his name to a sauce made of vegetables and a variety of seasonings”

One of my favorite recipes using a mirepoix is our Italian Sausage Potato Soup.

Italian Sausage Potato Soup

Traditionally, the weight ratio for mirepoix is 2:1:1 of onions, celery, and carrots; the ratio for bones to mirepoix for stock is 10:1. When making a white stock, or fond blanc, parsnips are used instead of carrots to maintain the pale color.


Chef Perry

MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy the way, if you’re enjoying this recipe, please subscribe to our free newsletter! We’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each Friday. Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids.




Choosing an online meal plan: 7 features to look for & 7 pitfalls to avoid

 Tips for choosing a meal plan


“Failing to Plan, is Planning to Fail.”

While we hope, of course, that you’ll choose SimplySmartDinnerPlans to help you prepare the healthy and delicious dinners your family deserves, but we also know that not ever meal-planning service is right for every home cook. This guide is designed to help you, the consumer, evaluate ANY meal-planning service, and understand what the options and features mean for you, BEFORE you subscribe.

Read this consumer guide, from beginning to end, then grab a pen and paper, and re-read it, making notes as to what features YOUR family needs in a meal plan.

This might look like:

4 servings
3-5 nights per week
dinners only

Now you have a simple guideline to compare the feature you need with those being offered by each service you research.

7 features to look for & 7 pitfalls to avoid

Again, no single service (that we’ve found) is perfect for everyone. Many families are dealing with nutritionally restrictive issues like diabetes or gluten intolerance, and need meal plans designed specifically to those needs. Some customers want complete meal plans for breakfast, lunch and dinner; other find this too restrictive to their lifestyle, and want dinners only (perhaps with the option of left-overs for lunch the next day)…and those are all great options; the key is knowing what YOUR family needs and wants.

Grocery shopping tips

Also, are the recipes seasonal? Are you going to be able to find the fresh ingredients and, if so, are they going to be at “out of season” prices, or a significant loss of quality when out of season? Are they asking you to grill in January? (I grill year round, lol, but many don’t); are they featuring soups and stews in August?

Take a look at the recipes and make sure that you are familiar with MOST of the ingredients and techniques. Again, this is a gray area, as it never hurts to learn and try a few new things, as long as it’s not overwhelming. If no more than two of the meals in a week contain ingredients or steps that are going to stretch your kitchen skills, then you’re looking at a plan that will save you time and effort, but still have enough challenges to comfortably expand your cooking boundaries.

First of all, is the shopping list divided into the same sections you would typically find at the grocery store? I.E: produce, meat & seafood, deli, bakery, dairy, etc.?

If not, throw it a way, it’s going to be way more trouble than it’s worth.

Also, does the list give you quantities for each recipes, as well as the total amount of the ingredient needed for the week? The shopping list is a key item in any successful meal plan.

Secondly, let’s face it, even on  great week, most of us don’t eat at home every single night.

Other issues, like allergies, dislikes of certain foods, religious or personal restrictions, etc., can effect the number of meals you’ll be preparing from you meal plan each week, as well. Make sure that you plan provides a shopping list that is easy to use REGARDLESS of the number of meals you’re shopping for.

The last thing you want to do is have to re-write your grocery list just because you’re not going to be home one night this week.

Free Tip: Regardless of whether you get a shopping list from a meal-planning service, or write your own from scratch, the first thing you should do, on completion, is take the list and “shop” your own pantry and fridge. You will be amazed at how many item you forgot you had, or that you can use to creatively replace something similar on your list. This can be a BIG budget (and waste) saver!

People who take pride in their work, and have a passion for what they’re doing, WANT to help others do the same.

A good meal planning service will offer unlimited customer support, and have a same-day response time. Call or email a service you’re considering and see what kind of response you get…is it a form-letter reply, is it a thinly disguised sales pitch, or is somebody there taking the time to ensure that every customer, and potential customer, is getting the best help possible?

By the way, if you have any questions regarding this consumer guide, your personal meal-planning needs, or meal-planning services in general, please don’t hesitate to contact us at: mykitchenoutreach@gmail.com or on our Facebook Page.

Shopping on a budget

Again, there is no right or wrong on this one.

Some people just have a higher grocery budget than others, that’s life. Take a look at the recipes and shopping list – are there a lot of high-ticket items like steak, salmon, shrimp, etc.?

Are those items withing your weekly budget, or do you typically restrict those purchases to holidays or special occasions?

MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy the way, if you’re enjoying this recipe, please subscribe to our free newsletter!

We’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each Friday. Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids.



It’s hard to believe, in this age of smart phone cameras, that any service would offer recipes without at least a photo of the finished dish. Typically, this indicates that the recipes haven’t been personally tested, and are probably just a “cut on paste” from The Google.

Crazy lists of 20+ ingredients are going to take a LOT of shopping time, a LOT of prep time, and a LOT of wasted space in your cabinets.There’s nothing wrong with going gonzo on an all-day gourmet dinner (in fact, it’s one of the great joys of cooking) but unless you’re getting paid to do it, that kind of project more than once or twice a week is going to drive your burned-out carcass right back to the drive-thru window.

Keep an idea out for recipes that suggest you “Serve with” a variety of salads, sauces, and side dishes that aren’t included in the recipe or shopping list. (Which kinda defeats the whole point, right?) It’s a great (and very deceptive) way to create a short and tidy LOOKING grocery list, that is actually going to turn into a bloated, expensive hassle.

An example: One of the “Box Store” recipes lists “Garnish: Salsa or shredded cheese ($.50-$1)” – so they’re giving you a “per serving” price on ingredients that aren’t being used the rest of the week. At box stores, specifically, these two items alone could easily add $10-$15 to your shopping.

This is a common marketing ploy!

Remember, you’re paying for the whole package…if you only use half, then it’s twice as expensive as the “per-serving” price. Avoiding processed food

Avoid recipes with lots of packaged or processed foods on the ingredients list  – we call these “Hamburger Helper Plans.”  Not only are they terrible for you, but they keep you under the thumb of the corporate food industry. Cook free or die, baby.

A lack of continuity between recipes means that there are lots of ingredients that your only going to use a portion of in just one or two recipes. This leads to an excess expense, excess leftover ingredients, and a to waste each week.

This means food…and money, in the garbage can. Bad for your wallet and bad for the planet.

In short, does the service maximize your food dollars, and minimize your food waste?

Let’s face it, we’re all busy. If you have three hours of free time to prep, cook, and serve a meal…you probably wouldn’t be looking for a meal planning service, right?

There’s no reason you can’t prepare delicious, healthy, “real food” recipes in twenty minutes or less.

I get skeptical whenever any meal plan makes ANY cost promises, as there are so many factors that effect price, like location, season, personal preferences (like organic or free-range products) and store  idiosyncrasies (especially Costco, lol). A good plan should save you money if you keep your normal shopping routine, but to promise an amount is unreasonable, and likely a bait and switch.


We’ve found it’s VERY easy to throw together random recipes and shopping lists, and there are a lot of “niche” sites now doing just that…it’s a lot more work to create meal plans that encourage healthy, affordable, maintainable, and socially-responsible cooking.

Good luck!

Chef Perry
MY KITCHEN Outreach Program


The 4th of July Awesome Dog

Although I prefer to grill or smoke my meals nearly every day of the year, there are a few days that live-fire cooking is a non-negotiable part of the celebration.

This, is one of those days.

This year, with my almost-eight-year-old daughter begging for hotdogs, I decided if I was gonna do ’em, I was gonna do ’em big…I give you the 4th of July Awesome Dog!

Note: To get an awesome dog, you must use awesome ingredients. In this case it’s Nathan’s hot dogs (Hebrew National is another good one), and, of course Cabot Creamery cheese. In this case, their Seriously Sharp Cheddar.

Looking forward to repeating this recipe with both Cabot’s Hot Habanero, and their Horseradish cheddars, as well!

Bacon wrapped cheese stuffed hotdog

4th of July Awesome Dog

Note: I made these in my Traeger, set at 325, but any grill, with a multi-zone heat source would work too.

Nathan's bacon cheese hotdog recipe

8 natural, all beef hot dogs
8 large match-sticks of Cabot Cheese (I used Seriously Sharp Cheddar)
8 thin slices of natural apple-smoked bacon
1 cup of your favorite bbq sauce (I like our Dirty Little Secret sauce, at the bottom of this post).
8 potato bread hotdog buns

Cut hot dogs lengthwise, not quite all the way through, and insert 1-2 matchsticks of cheese in each cut.

Cheese and bacon hotdog recipe

Wrap each dog with a slice of bacon.

Bacon Cheese Hotdog recipe

Secure the bacon on the side of a hot dog with wet toothpicks. (Note: I didn’t do this, but, in retrospect, a recommend it. Makes turning easier.

Cabot Cheese Hotdog recipe

Grill using Indirect Heat (or bake) at about 350°F for about 30 to 45 minutes, or until the bacon is fully cooked.

Bacon wrapped Cheese Hotdog recipe

When bacon is almost done to your liking, roll each hotdog in bbq sauce (I prefer dipping to brushes, but do whatever floats your boat.)

BBQ Bacon Hotdog recipe

Return to grill and cook a few more minutes, turning often, until the sauce sets up into a glaze. Let cool for about 10 minutes and then take out the toothpicks.

BBQ Bacon Hotdog recipe

Serve with a heapin’ helpin’ of our Kale-Bacon Slaw Recipe


-Chef Perry
MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy the way, if you’re enjoying this recipe, please subscribe to our free newsletter! We’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each Friday.

Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids.




A public apology to Chef Chris

Apologizing and admitting I’m wrong is not something I like to do.

I’m not good at it.

You might say…it’s not my “gift.”

However, when I am proven wrong, which fortunately seldom happens (okay…admitting that I was proven wrong seldom happens, that first one happens all the time…) I step up.

A few years back, we had the great honor of taking part in the Amy Roloff Charity Foundation’s “Starry Night Auction and Fundraiser” at Roloff Farms. It turned out to be the first in what’s now a long list of great events and great memories where our MY KITCHEN Outreach has joined up with our amazing pals, Amy Roloff and Lisa Dixon.

At this event, we set up an area to bbq, and cooked and served our pulled pork sliders to the guests as they arrived and checked out the auction tables. It was hot outside, and under our tent, with two huge grills going, it hovered somewhere between oh-my-lord, and the-Devil’s-armpit hot.

It was hot.

We worked hard, sweated a lot, served a lot of great food, and just generally had a heck of a good time.

(Here comes the part where I have to admit I was wrong…enjoy it…)

Watching the episode a couple of months later on TV, I noticed that, if you were super fast with the pause button…we actually made it on the show!

That's us! (it helps if you squint)

So, I thought this was pretty cool. Then caught THIS glimpse…

IMG_4149 (800x450)

Yes…the horror…Chef Chris caught red-handed, sauntering out of the event tent with a cold beer, while Chef Terry and I are left sweating like pigs in a hot-tub, serving pulled pork, and perishing of thirst.

Shocking…truly shocking.

So, I have, with all self-righteousness and moral high-ground, given my dear friend and faithful business partner no end of merciless grief, at every opportunity, in the years since over this gross betrayal on his part.

Fast forward to this afternoon…

I’m re-watching the episode on my phone and, as usual, grumble as I catch the moment of Chef Chris’s selfish betrayal…and then something caught my eye.

Something terrible.

Something I didn’t want to see.

I freeze-framed back through the scene, and sure enough…

IMG_4147 (800x450)

Yup, to my everlasting shame…that is me, beer in hand, leading the way.

I humbly beg forgiveness. I was wrong…I am pond-scum…no, I am worse than pond-scum…I’m a McRib Sandwich.


If you look carefully (and believe me I have) you will note that NEITHER of us rat-bastages are carrying a SECOND beer for poor Chef Terry, who we have obviously and heartlessly abandoned to work in the hell-tent alone, while we selfishly made a run.

We should both be horse-whipped, or live on nothing but Buster’s BBQ for a month. (Personally, I’ll take the horse-whipping, thanks…)


Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go throw up.


Chef Perry

MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy the way, if you’re enjoying this recipe, please subscribe to our free newsletter! We’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each Friday.

Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids.




Freakshow recipes from the 60’s & 70’s

My old pal Tristen sent me this Buzzfeed link today.

The post has pictures and (some) recipes for “21 Truly Upsetting Vintage Recipes”…I think he was expecting more horror on my part.

Chef Frank L. PerkinsSeveral of these were things that they were teaching students in culinary school when my dad went in the late sixties (and forever considered a complete waste of his time, lol…)

I remember things similar to Frosted Ribbon Loaf, and Shrimp Sandwich Roll.

They were very into covering everything in pastels back then. I blame it on the LSD.

Anyway, these were the good, the bad, and the ugly that caught my eye…

Igloo Meat Loaf

Family Circle / Via rochellesvintagerecipes.blogspot.com

Actually Pretty Awesome: Igloo Meat Loaf (above), Glazed Potato Salad, Jellied Tomato Refresher. I think those three would make a great dinner!

Ham and Bananas Hollandaise

McCall’s / Via vintagerecipecards.com

Might need to try: Super Salad Loaf, Shrimp Sandwich Roll, Baked Stuffed Salmon, Ham and Bananas Hollandaise.

The Atora Steak Puddings – which I think is really only off-putting to us because of the use of the British term, “Pudding.”.

#21 – which I’m going to guess is a canned salmon mousse with an avocado glaze (our refrigerator and oven were that EXACT shade of green!)

Not so sure: Perfection Salad, Liver Sausage Pineapple (this is a presentation issue, it probably tastes great).

Spam ‘n’ Limas (again, I like the ingredients, just seems like a stretch to call it a “recipe”)

Perfection Salad

McCall’s / Via vintagerecipecards.com










Dear God No: Lime Cheese Salad (they lost me at lime jello and onions, but I love that they call canned chunk tuna with mayo and diced celery a “seafood salad”, lol.

Lime Cheese Salad
The “Banana Candle” is, of course, on the “No Way” list. I actually have seen these before on one of my favorite BBC food shows, “The Supersizer’s Go”, it was the 60’s episode and this was a very popular recipe at “swingers parties.” Eww…and, um…EWW!

 So, for me it’s a mixed bag, so of these are strangely familar, some leave me curious, and some I’d like to acid-wash from my brain (though I’ve probably served my daughter just as strange…)

Any of these I really need to make and post?

Chef Perry

MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy the way, if you’re enjoying this recipe, please subscribe to our free newsletter! We’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each Friday.

Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids.