Saturday, February 18, 2012

Recipe: Kale with a bit of this and a bit of that!

Still cross-posting the kale recipes from my dianadyer blog, this one posted up on 12.14.2008, woo-hoo complete with photos this time (you might be saying finally! - that's ok, so am I!) I think the formatting of this post may not be clean because I am transferring photos with text - sorry about that.


This recipe could also be called cleaning out the frig, freezer, or just downright "fast food". It starts by needing to eat quickly, having stuff in the frig, freezer, or pantry available to use, and not being afraid to throw things together without "needing" a recipe.

Here is what is in our meal:
(1) A whole grain starch/carbohydrate - bulgur wheat fits that bill, and quickly, too as it can cook up in a short amount of time compared to brown rice. So does 100% whole wheat bread I had made a few weeks ago, cut sections into manageable sizes and put into the freezer.

(2) Garbanzo beans for a healthy vegetarian protein source plus lots of fiber and multiple additional health-promoting phytochemicals. These are easy to keep on your pantry shelf already pre-cooked. I buy them dried in bulk and then cook them all before freezing in 1 or 2 cup portions, ready to make my own hummus or throw into a dish like this.

(3) One 15 oz. can of organic diced tomatoes (yes I do have a few canned tomatoes on my pantry shelf in addition to our home-made canned tomatoes).
(4) Fresh kale (of course!) - just wash, chop, and add to the stewed tomatoes to cook.
(5) A bit of freshly grated Parmesan cheese for flavor
(6) Top with some crunch, using our own roasted squash seeds (now that we are doing that, which is so easy!, I don't think we'll ever compost those seeds again.)
(7) Seasonings of your choice - curry, smoked paprika (I am now hooked on this - thanks, Graham B!), powdered garlic and/or onion, etc. 

Instructions are easy.
• Start bulgur cooking - basically I add 2 cups of boiling water to 1 cup of bulgur, let sit for 20 minutes, if all water is not absorbed, put into a colander and drain.
• Wash, remove the tough stems, and chop a "bunch of kale" - which is 3-4 cups
• In a 3 quart saucepan, combine tomatoes, garbanzo beans, kale, seasonings and heat through until kale is wilted but still bright green.

Layer as follows:
Bulgur
Tomato mixture
Cheese
Squash seeds

I served this with whole grain bread, olive oil for dipping, and homemade applesauce (not pictured).

This easily serves 2 people with plenty left over for a lunch or two later during the week.

Yum, yum, yum - quick, too - our own fast food with a little bit of pre-cooking. This recipes shows the advantages of cooking "extra" or cooking ahead whenever possible. In this case, any extra bulgur will be frozen ready to use at another meal, the garbanzos easily came out of the freezer to be added, the squash seeds were cooked after a previous meal while the oven was still warm, the tomatoes and applesauce were made last fall, etc, etc, you get the idea!

No recipe, at least no cookbook!, required for this meal. Be creative - try your own hand at creating a healthy recipe or meal from "this and that"!

Where kale is more than decoration on my plate!
Diana Dyer, MS, RD

1 comment:

'Becca said...

We make this basic recipe, too! In fact, it's what we had for dinner last night. Fast food, indeed: We often make it with kale that we shredded and froze in small bags; it's very convenient because it thaws so quickly, you don't have to plan ahead! We usually add nutritional yeast flakes instead of cheese. Here is my basic recipe and here is an Asian-style variation.