Tag Archives: kale

Freezer-friendly Tofu/Kale Wraps

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Looking for a second idea for our Mother’s Day bunch, my brother-in-law and I chanced upon this one. At a first glance it looked boring and bland. But our wives are suckers for healthy food and this one had Kale AND Tofu! So, we decided to make it (link to recipe here).

The recipe IS bland. However, when eaten with a nice salsa (here is one idea), it tastes pretty good. Second, use real cheese if you are not vegan. It significantly cuts down time and you don’t have to go hunting down nutritional yeast.

 

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A Cranberry Almond Kale Salad with a Lemon Vinaigrette

Kale Cranberry Almond Salad with a Lemon Vinaigrette

Kale Cranberry Almond Salad with a Lemon Vinaigrette

Whole Foods Market is my go-to place for cheese. A few weeks back, I was at my local Whole Foods to get some mozzarella for pizza when a sample station caught my eye. There was a lady giving out samples of a kale salad with almonds and cranberries in some kind of a citrus vinaigrette. It was fabulous. The lady also had a coupon for a $1 off the salad. It was close to lunchtime and I am cheap, so I bought some salad (with the coupon, of course) and had it for lunch with some bread. It was a very satisfying meal.

For those of you who haven’t heard, kale is in fashion among foodies these days. A leafy green vegetable, it is part of the cabbage family and has high levels of beta carotene, Vitamin C and K and Calcium. It is considered a superfood and people add it to everything from smoothies to salads to stews. Kale chips (see here) are a pretty good healthy alternative to potato chips.

Kale can be bitter. The first time I used it, I put it in a veggie burger like I would lettuce or spinach and my kids weren’t happy. I have learned over time that you can massage the bitterness out of it by something acidic, like a vinegar, mask the bitterness by blending it with fruits and veggies, or just cook it.

Fast forward a few weeks and the kids were with their grandparents. I decided to cook a meal for my wife. Since it is summer where we live, I decided on a menu of cold peas soup with basil, stuffed tomatoes with brown rice and feta and the aforementioned kale salad. I got the recipes for the first two from Saveur and improvised the last one. This post is about the salad.

INGREDIENTS

Kale – washed and cut into small bite sized chunks. Get rid of the stalk or keep it if you like.

Cranberries – whole dried or craisins, you pick

Almonds – cut into slivers and dry roasted on a pan

Lemon Vinaigrette – Olive Oil, Vinegar, Garlic, Salt, Pepper, Lemon Juice – steps below.

STEPS

1. Make the vinaigrette. The standard recipe is 1 portion of acid (vinegar) for 3 of oil (Extra Virgin Olive Oil). To this I added a minced clove of garlic, salt and pepper to taste and some lemon juice. Shook it all up in a glass jar (with the lid closed, of course) for it to emulsify. Then I put it in the fridge for an hour or so.

2. In a salad bowl massage the vinaigrette into the kale leaves. Use as much or as little vinaigrette.

3. Top with cranberries and toasted almonds.

4. Toss and enjoy.

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Sweet Potato Burgers with Lentils and Kale – A Lukas Volger recipe

Sweet Potato Burgers with Lentils and Kale

Sweet Potato Burgers with Lentils and Kale

I love burgers. And since I don’t eat meat, i get to experiment with veggie burgers all the time. IMO, veggie burgers are more flavorful and have more variety than the meat variation – which even though meat tastes good (I used to be a carnivore) are very monochromatic in flavor. Forever in quest for a good veggie burger recipe, I had bought this book by Lukas Volger – “Veggie Burger Every Which Way” a while back and had been trying different recipes from it. They have been good experiments. This one though, while it was good, was definitely not a favorite. It tasted like something that would taste good as a falafel rather than a veggie burger. Hmm. That’s an idea. Note to self.

Anyway, here goes. Enjoy.

NOTE: I served the burger with a yogurt based sauce made with Greek style yogurt, cilantro, lime juice, Sambar powder, coriander powder, salt, red chili powder and honey (the recipe was inspired by Lukas Vogel’s recipe albeit in different proportions). The sauce was a hit. Since I winged it though, not sure I can completely replicate it again.

INGREDIENTS (for 6 burger patties)

3/4 cup Green lentils – soaked, cooked and drained

1 bunch kale – stems removed

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces

1/2 medium onion – diced

1 ½ tsp garam masala

1 ½ tsp sambar masala (the recipe called for curry powder)

1/4 tsp red chili powder

2 garlic cloves – minced

1 egg

3 Tbsp chopped cilantro

Salt to taste

Squeeze of fresh lime juice

3/4 cup toasted bread crumbs

1/4 cup almond meal (I found this at Whole Foods)

STEPS

1. Steam the kale. 5-8 minutes. Cool. Squeeze out as much water as you can and set aside. You’d be surprised how much water there is in a bunch of kale. See the picture below. My bunch of kale was reduced to the size of a lime after steaming and squeezing water out.

Steamed Kale

Steamed Kale

2. Steam the sweet potato for 8-10 minutes till it is tender.

3. In a saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil and add onion and the spices (garam masala, sambar powder, red chili powder) and cook until onion is translucent.

4. Add kale and garlic and cook for 2 mins.

5. In a large bowl mash the lentils and sweet potato.

6. Add the kale-onion mixture, egg, cilantro, lime juice and salt (to taste).

7. Shape into patties (about 2.5 to 3 inches in diameter).

8. Pan fry the patties till they brown on each side and transfer to a cookie sheet.

9. Stick the patties in a preheated oven at 375F for 15 minutes and you are done. Serve with your favorite fixins’

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Kale Chips Rock!

Kale Chips

Kale. What do you do with it? I am sure we have all heard paeans sung exhorting the virtues of this green but what does one do with it? One of my friends just throws a bunch in a smoothie and essentially masks its taste with other sweeter fruits. That is certainly one approach but there had got to be more ways to eat kale that highlight its flavor instead of hiding it.

On a recent visit to the McKinney Farmer’s Market I picked up a bunch. The vendor assured me that it is packed with nutrients and is good for me (which I believe) and that it tastes good raw(which I don’t believe now).

Anyway, I am a sucker for trying new stuff and so I first used the kale as I would use lettuce in a sandwich. Bad idea. The kale was bitter and not very tasty. I then tried it in a stir fry with better results. Finally a friend suggested making kale chips. Not being a big fan of deep frying, I decided to bake them instead. And guess what, kale chips are absolutely awesome. I used this recipe (click here). Instead of drizzling the kale with oil, I tossed it with oil and sea salt. In fact I liked them so much, I got myself a “Eat More Kale” T-Shirt from here. 🙂

If you haven’t already, try it. They make a very nice alternative to French Fries. It’s not very often that things that are good for you taste this good.

NOTE: In case you are wondering why my kale chips look brown, it is because they are the third batch I made. The first couple of batches were made when the kale was nice, fresh and green. This batch was a week later. Tasted good, looked better, I think, with the variation in color.

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