(Fore)play with your food

For years, I thought people were full of shit when they proclaimed their love of kale. I ate it because it’s supposedly good for me, but the gastronomic experience was always bearable, at best. Kale is tough and bitter, how could anyone possibly enjoy eating it?

My opinion changed for the better after trying the “All Hail Kale” salad at Veggie Grill. They somehow managed to make the taste and texture of kale pleasurable. However, my excitement turned to frustration after several failed attempts to recreate the salad at home.

While browsing some seedy websites, I learned that kale requires a bit of foreplay. You need to oil her up and rub her down before she can pleasure your palate (it also to remove a few of her ribs). You see, it turns out that key to good kale is a deep massage that softens its texture and tempers its bitterness.


IMG_3689.JPG

Massaged Kale Salad

1 bunch kale (any variety), ribs removed and cut into thin ribbons
juice of 2 lemons (or 1 orange), divided
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 mango, diced
1 avocado, diced
1 medium tomato, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced (optional, if you like it hot)
1/2 small onion, minced
1-1/2 cups cooked quinoa

In a large bowl, combine kale, juice of 1 lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper. Massage kale until wilted, about 3 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients. Toss and serve.

Advertisements

Grilled Avocado Sammy

This week has been insanely busy at work so I haven’t been spending much time in the kitchen.  Fortunately, I have a repertoire of quick and easy dishes that I can rely to keep my tummy happy when my brain is going crazy.  A grilled avocado sandwich is one of my go-to meals when I get home after a long day at work.  I often prepare this sammy caprese style with tomato and basil, but I didn’t have any tomatoes at home today.

Grilled Avocado Sammy:

2 slices sourdough bread
1/2 avocado, sliced
Earth Balance
Salt

Preheat skillet or panini press to medium-high heat

Spread Earth Balance on outside of each slice of bread

Spread avocado between slices of bread, sprinkle salt to taste

Grill until golden brown on each side

Vegan MoFo: Friday Fridge Cleanup



In anticipation of our massive Thanksgiving grocery run, I wanted to prepare a dinner that would use most of the produce in the crisper drawers. Here’s what I had to work with:

Leeks
Kale
Beets
Carrots
Celery
Avocado

I also had open packages of smoked tofu and silken tofu that I wanted to finish.

The result of my self-imposed culinary challenge was quite tasty and very filling. The smoked tofu and avocado went into a sandwich on a sprouted grain bagel (from French Meadow) with some cashew cheese spread and olive tapenade. The beet roots made a lovely batch of chips. The beet greens and kale were wilted in olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. Everything else went into a stock pot to make a soup.


Creamy Leek Soup Recipe

3 tbsp olive oil
3 leeks, white parts only, sliced and washed
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup white wine
8 cups vegetable broth
salt, pepper, cayenne to taste
1 cup silken tofu

In a stock pot, saute vegetables in olive oil over medium high until brown. This will take about 15 minutes.

Deglaze pot with wine. Add broth and spices. Bring soup to boil, reduce heat and cover for 30 minutes.

Add tofu and puree soup with an immersion blender or transfer to regular blender or food processor. Be very careful when handling the hot liquid!