Trying to find meatless meals that my whole family will enjoy is not easy, the younger of the two is slightly easier since most of what i make are still new tastes/flavors to him, plus he really likes to help in the kitchen. The older one, well you know...he has a few dislikes. I came across this recipe while looking through my Whole Foods Recipes app, I have a tendency to browse food apps during various down times. But I looked at the ingredients and there are a couple that my husband doesn't care for, but oh well. I know he likes (or at least doesn't mind) the main ingredients so I thought I would give it a go. (Needless to say, he isn't overly excited to try it.) I mean come on, it a kugel, a baked pasta what is not to like. So for those who don't know, a kugel is a Jewish casserole that is traditionally made with egg noodles, it can also be made with potatoes or other vegetables, served as a side dish or like in my case the main dish with a salad or other vegetable.
This weekend my son and I went to our first farmers market of the season, and he made sure to sample everyone's strawberries and snap peas. There were a lot of people selling greens, so I picked up a really nice bunch of kale from one of the local farmers. (I also made some kale chips, but that is a whole other story.) I must admit that even though I added this recipe to my "favorites" is wasn't until I saw the kale that I decided that I would actually make this, that and the mushrooms looked good at the store. (We also bought the strawberries that were used in the Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream that I posted earlier.)
I didn't stray from the original recipe much other than halving it, since I didn't want to get stuck eating kugel for the next week because the boys didn't like it. I did add parmesan cheese and a little pit of panko breading on the top. I put this together the night before so my husband could just put it in the oven when he got home, I would think you could probably even make it ahead and freeze (if you aren't weird about freezing dairy, I know some people are.) Anyway here it is...
Mushroom Kale Noodle Kugel
(adapted from Whole Foods)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 (16 oz) package wide egg noodles
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 pound white or cremini mushrooms, sliced (I used some of both)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 bunch kale, stemmed and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
4 eggs, beaten
1-1/4 cups cottage cheese
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 x 13 inch dish; set aside. Cook noodles in boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain, rinse and drain again; transfer to a large bowl. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook stirring occasionally, until golden, 8-10 minutes. Add mushrooms, pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of salt; cook until mushrooms are very tender, 8-10 minutes. Stir in kale and cook until wilted, 2-3 minutes; add thyme. Add to noodles, toss and set aside. Whisk together eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream, remaining salt and parmesan cheese. Fold into noodles. Transfer to prepared dish, press down gently, cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake until lightly browned, about 10 more minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
*This would be really good with spinach also, next time I would make sure to use small curd cottage cheese and I think I would even add one more egg. I could have eaten the whole dish, my son ate most of the noodles, he wasn't too sure of the kale. My husband, well if he was my son he wouldn't get any ice cream.