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.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Hello, My Love

Look at her sitting there in all her verdant glory! My favorite way to start the day. This is like Yoga in a recycled glass -- then I proceeded logically to actual yoga, courtesy of my friend, Liat. Ahhhh!

Wynne is working on noticing the way different foods make her feel, and is choosing accordingly. She's a pasta girl, but she is broadening her outlook and including more whole foods, and enjoying the noticeable holistic changes.

Here's a recent compromise which provided us all plenty of delicious wholeness:

Clockwise from top left, we have amaranth with sauteed onion, pasta with vegan artichoke alfredo sauce (from a jar, made mostly from cashews) topped with fresh tomato, Chinese longbeans sauteed in olive oil. This food was a hit -- what's not to love?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Here's a recent harvest from my garden, for which I am grateful, neglected as it's been this year. Look at those furry, knobby little carrots! There are also onions and yards of Chinese longbeans. Together these made a lovely veggie dish.

Ordinarily I'd have been all over these carrot greens, which dwarf the carrots themselves, but they were too strong in flavor, probably because it has been so hot here lately. I passed on the greens this time, but  they are making a nice contribution to the compost.

Here is the finished product. It was a little tricky as I started cooking before driving Wynne to band practice, came back while she was there, worked on it some more and then left it on the warm burner as I went to pick her up. I didn't throw the smallest, tenderest beans in until the end. The veggies were simply sauteed in olive oil and seasoned with a tiny pinch of salt and curry powder. Wynne LOVED these veggies. Score!

She said, "These are really good, what are the orange things?"
When I told her, she said, I've never tasted carrots like these before, this is really, really good!"  :)

I had a hankering for a pot-o-lentils, so I made some to go with the harvest. Here's the recipe:

French Lentils

1 C dry lentils
2 medium yellow onions, diced
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
2 C water
1 Tbsp Shoyu or Tamari
2 Tbsp Dry Sherry
1 Tsp. dry thyme or 5-6 stems of fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste 

Saute the onions on medium heat until they become fragrant and almost transluscent. Stir periodically to  prevent burning. After rinsing lentils, add them to the pot along with the water and Shoyu or Tamari and thyme. If you have fresh thyme, you can put the whole woody stems in, then remove them later. The dry herbs are stronger in flavor than the fresh thyme. It would be fine to add more fresh thyme than I have here if you like the flavor, but be careful with the dry herbs. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer 25 minutes, covered. 3-4 minutes before the end of cooking, add the sherry, stir and simmer until lentils are tender but still hold their shape. Season to taste. Don't forget to remove the thyme stems before serving.

These lentils aren't really French. They were born in the USA. I just call them that since I was inspired by some wonderful flavors I tasted while driving across the French countryside in the winter, so very many moons ago. Good stuff!