Many apologies for the delay. Things here have been chaotic and wonderful, especially since I’ve gotten a huge jump on many of those goals I mentioned in my “How It All Vegan” first post. For one, I left my job and am now dedicating myself full time to animal rights. HECK YES. This means interning, interviewing, networking, and basically finding my way in this wonderful world of animal rights and vegan awesomeness. And I have lots of fun updates on this front. In a few days, I will formally announce my internship (hint: it’s awesome) and the cool perks for you that go along with it! I will also be here next week for the final phase of a very long, but rewarding interview process. The job is cool as heck, allows me to stay in Chicago, and well, I hope it all works out! Please keep your fingers crossed!
All in all, leaving my job has required simplifying my life bigtime, but that ain’t bad and I’m really enjoying myself. For one, I get to cook more and that is something that I truly love. With Banjo at my feet, we’ve (well, me really…don’t want dog hair in the cookies – No offense, pal) been whipping up some seriously tasty stuff. In addition to being hella rewarding, cooking in is economical and generally a lot healthier. Plus, there is something very creatively satisfying about looking in your cupboards and figuring out a way to make errant and random ingredients sing.
There’s been a lot of buzz about kale for, well, forever now. People are actually calling it “the new bacon,” and “sexy.” I couldn’t agree more. Kale is versatile, delicious, and packs a serious nutritional punch. And if you hit up your local farmer’s market, you can get some seriously good deals on big, bright, colorful, fresh kale, which makes it a penny-pinching hit. Since it’s summer and I’d rather you all be outside enjoying the sun and breeze (preferably with a canine pal) instead of reading miles long blog posts (sorry about those…), I wanted to share my very favorite kale recipe. It’s dead easy, tasty, pretty, and makes a great lunch, side dish, or snack (yes, you can have a heaping portion of kale as a snack).
GARLICKY KALE WITH WALNUTS & ROASTED TOMATO TAHINI SAUCE
Yes, that’s a mouthful of a name. You could just call it “Tasty as Fuck Kale” and that would be more than sufficient. Call it what you will, you will gobble this up. Being an improvisational cook (I do much better off book and prefer to develop/experiment with my own recipes), I will do my best to give ya decent measurements.
What you’ll need:
For the Kale:
- 1 bunch of fresh kale, coarsely chopped; or 2/3 bag of chopped (from Trader Joe’s)
- 2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
- handful of raw walnuts
- Teency spray of olive oil (like, one spray or a dime’s worth of the actual oil)
For the Sauce:
- 1 cup of oven-roasted tomatoes (fresh and home-roasted in the oven, or canned with juice drained)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of Tahini paste
- 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 clove of roasted garlic
- A few leaves of fresh basil (to taste)
- A few dashes of smoky paprika, cumin, sea salt, freshly ground pepper to taste
In a large wok or skillet put the garlic, olive oil, and walnuts together and begin to sauté on high heat. After 30 seconds, add in the kale. The kale may overflow the skillet and you’ll worry that it won’t fit. Don’t you panic, duckling – the kale will wilt and reduce a bit, and all will be well. After another minute, begin stirring the garlic and walnuts in with the kale (being careful to ensure those little walnuts do not get black) – this will feel and be awkward, but the main gist is to move stuff around so it (1) doesn’t burn and (2) flavors the kale. Push down on kale with your spatula occasionally. This whole process of cooking the kale should only take about 5 minutes max. If the kale gets a little crisped on the ends, no worries. Once your kale turns from its dark green to a vivid, glossy kelly green, you are ready to plate and serve. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. I also really love a bit of smoked paprika directly on the kale
Now, for the sauce, and for most things that I cook, I use the Magic Bullet because it’s the most magical creation and handiest kitchen appliance ever (IMHO). I literally take all of the sauce ingredients, throw ‘em in a Magic Bullet cup, and blend until creamy smooth. I drizzle a bit on the cooked kale and eat. This sauce recipe will make more than you’ll actually need for your kale, but it keeps well in the fridge in an air-tight glass container for a week or two. You can use it as a salad dressing (awesome on spinach salad), a tofu marinade, heated over some pasta, for more kale, or to drink straight from the container (hey, sometimes a sauce is so good that it happens).
I make this as a side dish a lot, and because kale is magical and walnuts are rich and tasty, it complements everything it touches very well. Eat and enjoy!
Do you have any favorite vegan kale recipes? Share them in the comments or send them my way and I’ll post ‘em! Sharing is caring.