Wednesday, March 18, 2009

St. Patrick's Day Kale

(Photo: Arbor Brewing Company's Vegetarian Stew with Kale)

We got home from vacation Monday night and went out for dinner at Arbor Brewing Co., our favorite local brewery, knowing it might be a little 'crazy' if people were starting to celebrate St. Patrick's Day a wee bit early. Fortunately, it seemed just like a typical low-key Monday night, so we had plenty of time to peruse their menu (made of local ingredients as much as possible) plus chat with the greeter and our server. ABC's chef Nicole had come up with a vegetarian St. Patrick's Day Stew of potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and onions topped with steamed cabbage and KALE (!!) plus some Irish soda bread that actually looked like it might have been made with whole wheat flour. It was a scrumptious supper, perfectly complemented with one of their own beers. The portion served was large enough that I ate only half in the restaurant, taking the rest home for lunch the next day. So the photo above is just the half portion I ate at home on Tuesday.

For our supper on St. Patrick's Day, we bought a tiny piece of corned beef, potatoes, cabbage, and kale, and following the suggestion of one this blog's readers, we mixed the kale in with the potatoes to make green mashed potatoes. We steamed the kale separately from the potatoes, cut the kale into small pieces in the food processor after steaming, and then mixed it in when mashing the potatoes (we add a tiny bit of homemade unflavored yogurt, olive oil, finely chopped fresh onion and fresh garlic to make our mashed potatoes). Yum, yum, yum! I forgot to mention that our home meal was also complemented by a home-brewed beer made by my husband; this glass was called "Mom's Phyto-porter".

(Photo: Green Mashed Potatoes, close-up)

Life doesn't get much better than this, either at Arbor Brewing Co. or our own home cooking and brewing. Green potatoes are perfect for St. Patrick's Day, but don't reserve this unusual combination for just one day per year. This recipe can be enjoyed anytime during the year.

Happy St Patrick's Day (one day late), where kale is a wee bit more than just decoration on my plate!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

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