Saturday, April 20, 2013

Never Enough Kale + Odds-n-Ends

I created something fabulous to eat recently -- one of those recipes that continues to call to me from its shelf in the 'fridge. The good news is there was very little guilt associated with succumbing to its pull. Here's the recipe:

Spring Puttanesca

1 bag of brown rice pasta, prepared (I used Tinkyada spirals)

1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
6-8 leaves of kale, roughly chopped, tough stems removed
1 pint of mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped if large
1-2 plum tomatoes, diced
1 can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
2-3 Tbsp. capers
2 Tbsp. Shoyu or Tamari
3 Tbsp. Olive oil, plus more to finish
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, quickly cook onions and garlic in olive oil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium and add mushrooms, tomatoes and chick peas, stir and cover for about 3-4 minutes. Stir a couple of times so the veggies don't burn. Turn the heat back up to medium-high and quickly add the kale and the shoyu, and a little water if the mixture seems dry enough to burn. Stir, cover and steam for 2 minutes, then stir in the cooked pasta, turn down the heat and simmer until warmed through. Remove from heat and stir in capers and additional olive oil to make the pasta unsticky. Don't add too much oil. Season with salt and pepper and stir.

This makes GREAT leftovers, but this post is called "Never Enough Kale" because no matter how much kale I prepare, once it cooks down I want more!

I cannot imagine ever thinking to myself, "Oh, I just ate too much kale," --the idea is laughable.

So, with each reheating the kale/other ratio increases, and the capers increase too. I don't heat the capers because I like them sharp in flavor and firm, but that's my preference. Obviously, the quantities needn't be precise in this dish. There's a lot of room for creativity with a puttanesca, which features antipasto flavors like capers or olives or marinated artichoke hearts -- you get the idea. Just choose your favorites!

And now for the "odds-n-ends" portion of the post, which is really just a lightening-round, stream-of-consciousness report on various and sundry items which have caught my attention over the last week.
This is a roasted cabbage "steak" as I've seen here and there on vegan menus. It is simply a 1/2" slice of cabbage, dipped in oil, salt and pepper and roasted at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. It's supposed to be an "impressive presentation". At my house, I was the only one impressed with the presentation, but upon sampling the "steak" I became unimpressed. It was dry and devoid of flavor. I sprinkled more salt, some dill and nutritional yeast --still unimpressed. Instead, I craved juicy, quick-sauteed slivered cabbage and onions with olive oil and earth balance, still green and fresh then brightened with a squirt of lemon {LOVE}. This "steak" (calling it that was actually the first turnoff) was a waste of a good cabbage, in my book. We only learn what we love by trying a myriad of diverse approaches, so I'll chalk this up to a learning experience.

Here are some recent indulgences I've enjoyed. The espresso grinds in the almond butter impart a gentle kick, and the Ginger and Orange Marmalade reminds me of something my Mom, the francophile, used to serve. The bitter candied orange rind elevates this one to a grown-up treat. There are worse lapses, of course, but I've still got to deal with that sugar monkey on my back again.

Speaking of detox, as my final odds-n-ends tidbit for today, I want to feature my old tried and true friend:
The Eziekiel English Muffin -- to my palate, king of the Eziekiel kingdom! My husband, the carnivore, asked me yesterday morning about the muffins. I told him I loved them, but since he doesn't care for most of my fabulous food, I couldn't predict whether he would or not. I was blasted back in memory, oh so many moons ago, to when my doctor, the late, great Christine Gustafson, MD, (RIP Christy) prescribed a cleanse to find any food sensitivities. The list of allowed foods for the cleanse was miniscule, and I remember asking her, "would Eziekiel bread be on my list?"

She nodded and said, "You can have sprouts,"

"That's what Eziekiel bread is?" I countered, incredulous.

"That's what it is!" she answered.

My carnivore loves the Eziekiel! It's going to change his world!


  1. Since I am gluten free I guess I could have the sprouted muffin...yay! Just have to check that out. Thanks for the post.

    PS Did you know that in order to comment one has to type in those squiggly words and numbers? I bet you would get more comments without that.

    1. Thanks for letting me know, Karen. I'll mess around with the settings for comments to see what I can change. I don't like those squiggly things either. If you try this recipe, you can use Tamari instead of the Shoyu for gluten-free. The brown rice pasta is gluten free too!

  2. I've made the roasted cabbage steaks and none of us liked it. I agree, sauteed is the way to go!

    1. Hi Sara -- Yeah, I guess there's not as much moisture in a cabbage as in some other veggies which are so good roasted.