playing with greens

a few weeks ago i made the list of all the recipes i’ve posted here on my little bloggy, and i realized two things.

1. i write about baking much more than cooking, though i actually cook more often than bake.
2. i talk about kale constantly and have no recipes for it here on BM.

so, here are some easy recipes that highlight my favorite green goddess of the brassica olaraeca family, the golden child of the ANDI list, and princess vegetable of our kitchen…   basically, my everyday, always-on-my-plate, goes with everything veggie- my darling kale!

kale really is an all-purpose vegetable, and for me the taste is mild enough to tag along with mexican, pasta, japanese, chinese or any other type of cooking you might undertake.  i think one reason people THINK they don’t like greens is because they are usually cooked to death.  no fear- these directions will give you tender-crisp, vibrant green goodness to add to all your meals.

easiest ways to eat kale:

to blanch: wash well, then tear or chop the kale into smaller pieces, then toss into boiling water until it turns a bright green.  remove with tongs and drain in a colander or on some paper towel, then add to your plate.

to steam: after washing/tearing, place in either a steamer basket or in a metal colander, and place over a pan with boiling water; watch closely and take it off the heat as soon as that green appears.

pan-tossed sweet greens:

kale with currants and mac nuts. the lighting was weird in my kitchen that day, making the kale look terribly shiny....

if you are heating up the cast iron pan for other things, this is quicker than steaming or blanching cause your pan is ready to go.  wash, tear, and shake the kale dry.  add a teaspoon of oil (coconut or peanut is the best) to your pan, then toss in some raisins and some coarsely chopped walnuts, cook for just under a minute, then add the kale, and toss constantly until wilted and bright green.  this is good alone or with a splash of shoyu.

lemon & mac nut kale: like above, toss the kale in the hot pan until bright green, then cover with a sprinkle of ground macadamia nuts, a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and a teaspoon of soy sauce.  enjoy immediately because the lemon will wilt the kale.

miso-sweet green slaw:

using cabbage and kale as the base you can pick and choose your mixed veggies based on what’s overabundant in your fridge! it’s very quick, easy and healthy (and it’s raw).  get the biggest bowl you have and get choppin! this was excellent on the second day as well.

kale, carrots, fennel, golden beets, and pumpkin seeds

quarter head of cabbage, very thinly sliced
3-5 leaves of kale, stems removed, sliced thinly or chiffonade
1/4 cup very thinly sliced onion (optional)
1/2 cup chopped herbs (dill, parsley, basil and/or cilantro)
1/2- 1 cup sliced crunchy veggies (carrots, beets, fennel, kohlrabi or others)
1/4 cup nuts or seeds (toasted almond, pumpkin, sunflower, etc)

dressing:
2 tbsp liquid coconut oil
2 tbsp miso, mixed with 1 tbsp lemon juice or water
1 tsp agave
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup sesame seeds
dashes of salt and pepper
blend all ingredients in your food processor until combined, then toss over salad.

smokey kale & tempeh stir-fry

about 8 leaves of kale, washed and torn
1 pack fakin’ bacon (smoked tempeh strips) or regular tempeh, sliced thinly
3 small red potatoes, sliced thinly
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tbsp dark miso, mixed with 1/4 cup warm water
1 tbsp earth balance or butter
cracks of fresh pepper

using a bit of oil in a big saute pan, cook the potatoes until lightly browned, then add the onions and cook until soft. push the potatoes and add the tempeh strips to the side of the pan and cook tempeh until lightly browned. add the miso/water mixture and the earth balance and mix together. add the kale to the top, cover and cook for two minutes or until kale is wilted.  serve immediately!

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