Disclaimer: I received free Blake’s products and a stipend to purchase ingredients for this recipe. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I’m so excited to share this dish with you. A: Because it’s freaking delicious. Seriously, I was eating this kale straight out of the pan with my hands. And B: Because it highlights a company I am incredibly proud to work with. Comfort food that’s made with good ingredients and already prepared for you? Sign me up!
I’ll be sharing the kale recipe in a second (it’s seriously super simple), but first I wanted to talk a little bit about Blake’s. (They’re not asking me to do this, but I want to help spread the word about their company and their products.)
Blake’s All Natural Meals is a family owned company in New Hampshire that makes quality frozen meals from good ingredients that taste delicious. I’ve eaten their meals for a while now (we discovered them at Whole Foods), but it wasn’t until I read more about the company that I started to really understand the true quality of their food and the huge commitment it is for them to make their food the right way.
Frozen meals have a bad reputation because of the crazy unnatural ingredients they can contain. But frozen meals don’t have to be bad. Yes these meals contain fat and salt and calories, but that’s because they’re made with real ingredients. (And the nutrition info is pretty good when you consider these are comfort foods. I don’t know about you, but when I’m portioning out chicken and dumplings myself, I’m eating way more than 320 calories worth.)
Their site has an FAQ section that does a great job of explaining their products. Here are some of the questions and answers I’ve pulled from there.
What does made from scratch really mean?
Is your facility certified organic?
Are your meals organic?
Our line of organic meals contain at least 70% organic ingredients and our White Meat Chicken Pie and Harvest Vegetable Pie are 100% organic. (It’s also important to note that all their meals are all-natural, with none of their animal products containing antibiotics, hormones, or animal by-products. Their chicken is all white meat, there are no trans fats in their meals, their cheese is rGBH-free, and their products are free of preservatives.
Do you have any vegetarian or vegan meals?
Yes, our Harvest Vegetable Pie is vegan and vegetarian and contains no animal-based ingredients. Our Homestyle Mac & Cheese, Farmhouse Mac & Cheese and Mac & Cheese with Veggies are all vegetarian items (It’s also important to note that they have gluten-free and dairy-free meals as well. The vegetarian options were just more important to me when considering Josh).
Where can I purchase Blake’s meals?
We sell our meals in stores all over the country. Go to our store locator and enter your zip code to find a store near you that carries Blake’s. If you can’t find our products nearby you can shop for them online (I get mine from Whole Foods and Target).
Okay, now that I’ve gotten to talk about how awesome the company is, let’s get back to the food!
Wilted Balsamic Kale Salad
Makes 4 servings
- 2 bunches of kale
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Parmesan or other hard Italian cheese
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Remove the ribs from the kale and tear into large chunks
- In a large saucepan (the larger the better), combine the onion, garlic, and olive oil and cook over medium heat until the onion is translucent and soft (about 5 minutes)
- Add the kale and season with salt and pepper
- Stir frequently until the kale turns bright green and begins to soften, but doesn’t completely wilt
- Pour in the balsamic vinegar and stir until the kale is thoroughly coated
- Remove from heat and transfer to a serving dish
- Grate cheese over the salad when you serve it
When kale is cooked properly, it is sweet and delicious. If you’ve only experienced bitter kale before, please try this recipe. It’s soo good. We picked ours up at a local farmer’s market (Omaha has four!) and were really happy with how fresh and tasty it was.
Blake’s asked me to create a salad that pairs well with one of their meals. (Hence the #BlakesPairing) This kale salad was the perfect accompaniment to their chicken and dumplings meal. I loved sticking a forkful of chicken and dumplings onto a piece of kale and eating it that way. Soo good.
I love chicken and dumplings, but hadn’t it in a long time since I’m pretty sure I would typically consume at least 1,000 calories in a sitting. This chicken and dumplings tasted homemade and was perfectly portioned so I could eat it without guilt. It’s great to pop in the oven after a busy day of work. And the kale is so easy to make you can start it a ten minutes before the chicken and dumplings are done and be sitting down to a filling, nutritious, delicious dinner before you know it.
Question of the Day: Have you tried Blake’s meals? Are you a chicken and dumpling fan? How do you feel about frozen meals?