Thursday, September 19, 2013

Miso-Bean Creamed Kale

I never tire of eating kale in any form, but it's still fun to experiment with different ways to incorporate the superfood into our diets. I came up with this idea the other day and made a big pile of it, visions of leftovers dancing in my head.  But it was so good that I went back and polished it off a couple of hours after eating the first bowlful. I'm going to make another batch to share with the family tonight.

Miso Creamed Kale

1 large bunch of kale, torn from the stems into small pieces
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. Miso paste
1/4 c. filtered water
1 can cannellini or navy beans, rinsed well and drained
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast, or to taste
1 tsp. tamari or to taste

Over medium-high heat, saute the onion until transluscent, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, dilute the miso in the water -- mixing with a fork until liquified, set aside. Add the beans and the tamari to the pan, stirring periodically to be sure they don't burn. The beans will fall apart a little bit, and crisp up here and there. You'll want about 1/3 of the beans to fall apart, so if you happen to have a can of firmer beans, smash a few of them with the back of a wooden spoon as they cook, for about 3 minutes. Add the kale and stir quickly, to be sure it all gets to the heat before the next step. Add the miso liquid, stir completely to deglaze any stuck food, then immediately cover the pan and take it off the burner. Let steam for about 2 minutes, off the heat. With the original burner off, put the pan back on the still-warm burner, take the lid off, add the yeast and garlic powder and stir it all together for a couple of minutes, warming everything as the sauce thickens slightly.

You don't want to cook the miso at too high a heat. That's why I take the hot pan off the burner when the steam starts. The beneficial enzymes will die if they get too hot, but it'll all still taste good. If you want the full nutritional benefit, use a couple of tablespoons of water instead of the miso to steam the kale, then add the miso later to the warm pan. The resulting sauce will be runnier of course, but will thicken upon standing.

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