Tag Archives: kale

Hello, it’s me again.

I’m baaack!!  Well, kind of.  Life has once again gifted me with a crazy twist of fate.  I’ve been traveling for work; so much so that my only free time is now on the weekends.  I’m also relocating.  The when, however, is very much up in the air.  All of this is completely my doing, kind of.  I could have stayed where I am, content, but teetering on “what if”.  I’m someone who craves change, like shake-up-your-snow-globe change.  If I were not standing on the cusp of a brand new growing season, my bags would be packed and a POD would be in-route.  But I blame my gardens and the state of nirvana which they provide.  Dirt therapy grounds me and I enjoy my sanity!

So, with that being said I can finally admit that am sooooo far behind with this year’s gardens.  My tiller remains in the shop, I killed a third of my cold-weather transplants, and my warm-weather seedlings still have their cotyledons!  So yeah, you could say I’m freaking out… in an overly calm, Danielle kinda way.  I think the only thing that has kept me from losing my shit is the fact that I’ve been harvesting carrots, mustard greens, radishes, lettuce, and kale since early March; that, and my kitchen looks like fermentation nation! 🙂

I haven’t done much “new” weekend cooking, it’s all been quick and dirty.  I’ve been focused on using my stock-pile of frozen veggies for one-pot curry meals, and lots of last winter’s canned bean, veggie, and pea soups.  Although, several weeks ago I managed to whip up a quick preserved lemon couscous.  Unfortunately, it has taken me almost 3 weeks to share!  Looking on the bright side, if any of my readers decided to preserve some of their own citrus fruit, you only have to wait another 10 days or so to give this recipe a whirl! 😉

Salt-Preserved Lemon Couscous

4 salt-preserved lemon wedges, diced (I used my Fancy Schmancy ones.)

1 cup couscous

1-1/4 cups water

1/2 cup toasted nuts, chopped (I used walnuts)

lots of kale, de-ribbed and cut into ribbons

lots of mustard greens, cut into ribbons

1 onion, chopped

2 cups napa cabbage petioles, chopped

2 cups carrots, cut into sticks

1 red pepper, diced

Bring water to a boil, add couscous and stir; remove from heat, add salted lemons and cover.  Heat a small cast-iron pan over medium heat, add nuts and toast until fragrant, about 3 minutes; transfer nuts to a bowl and set aside.  Place a touch of oil in a large wok and sauté carrots and onion over medium heat for approximately 3 minutes.  Add cabbage petioles and red pepper and cook an additional 3 minutes.  Wilt mustard greens and kale over crisp-tender veggies and season with a bit of pepper.

Place a bed of lemon-salted couscous on a plate, add your veggie medley and top with a sprinkling of toasted nuts. Enjoy!

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Vegan

Wordless Wednesday: Spring Growth Edition

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge.

4 Comments

Filed under Micro-farming, Wordless Wednesday

Food Feature – Kale

Kale is a variety of cabbage that parallels traits found more commonly in wild species, as opposed to the domesticated tight-head varieties seen at most farmers’ markets and food stores.  It is also called Borocle, which is thought to have originated from the Dutch boerenkool, meaning “farmer’s cabbage”.

Kale is a member of the Brassicaceae family, and also known as a Cruciferous Vegetable.  I’m just going to link rather than attempt to explain the ins and outs of biological classification.  By the way, that was me being kind of lazy; it doesn’t happen often, but I’m sure most of my readers don’t care about taxonomic rank.  If you happen to be one who does, I’d be glad to suggest further reading.  I’m sure I’ve worn out my welcome on those books at the library anyway.

Notice the cross like formation of the flower petals?  The word Cruciferae is Neo-Latin for cross-bearing.

Flowering kales, sold as ornamental cabbage, are edible as well.  Their rosette can be found in brilliant shades of pink, lavender, white, blue, violet, and red.  Growing up we always had the pink and purple shades.  I do believe flowering kale may make its way into this Fall’s edible landscaping!

{via}

Why kale is so incredibly good for you:

1. When steamed, the fiber-related components bind easier to bile acids in your digestive track, which allows for easier excretion, thus lowering your cholesterol.

2. The Isothiocyanates (ITCs) in kale lower your risk for breast, ovary, colon, bladder, and prostate cancers.

3. ITCs play an integral role in assisting with the detoxification system.  I can surely attest to this!  I’ve eaten an obnoxious amount of kale over the last few days.  My over-wintered plants are beginning to bolt, so I wanted to eat them before the leaves turn bitter.  Have you ever been standing next to someone who has recently eaten a lot of garlic?  They seem to be surrounded by a strange aroma.  Yeah, well, kale apparently does that to me and I don’t think my coworkers are very happy about it!  Guess I’ll have to bring in a soy candle to burn when it’s a heavy kale consumption day, because I’m sure not going to stop eating this cruciferous veggie!

4.  With over 45 identified flavonoids, kale’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits are unsurpassed.  Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation are risk-factors associated with cancer.

Curried Kale

large colander packed full of kale

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 tbsp panang curry paste

1 tbsp sriracha

6 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

1 tbsp sun-dried tomato oil

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 large onion, diced

3 med-large red potatoes, cubed (I don’t peel mine)

2 cups water

Sautee onions over med heat with olive oil until they begin to brown, about 6 minutes.  While the onions are cooking, in a small bowl, whisk together garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, sun-dried tomato oil, curry paste, sugar, and sriracha, then add it to the onions.  Cook for about 2 minutes, then add potatoes and water; mix well.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.  While potatoes are cooking wash kale and remove large stems and midribs; slice into strips.  Add kale, cover, and continue cooking for an additional 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

For more delicious kale recipes check out the following posts: Kale Chips and Garlic, Kale and Chickpea Soup.

2 Comments

Filed under Food Feature, Vegan, Vegetarian

Hide and Seek

When I was little I loved the Where’s Waldo books; unfortunately, they always ended up being in places that I would have rather not been, like the doctor’s office.  As an adult, I still find myself scanning the kids’ books looking for Waldo while I sit and wait.

Now, I bet you’re wondering why I’m rambling on about a fictional character who wears a little striped hat.  Well dear readers, today we are going to play the garden version of that game, entitled Where’s Borecole…aka Kale (I needed a two-syllable word cause I’m a geek like that)

Pictured below is my (temporary) kale bed.  When I transplanted those vitamin-packed Brassica earlier this year, I forgot about the super invasive violets that show up mid April.  This image contains 7 baby kale plants, can you locate them?

  Have you given up yet?  If so, scroll to the bottom of the post to see their whereabouts! 🙂

Later this month I will be transplanting the kale into my front-side garden bed, once the ivy has been removed, and judging by the tangled root system that task may take years! haha

Last week, I’ve received an email from a reader thanking me for posting the Garlic, Kale & Chickpea soup.  She mentioned wanting to incorporate more odd vegetables into her diet and was willing to give this soup a try.  AWESOME!! 🙂  While I personally don’t think of kale as an odd or strange veggie, I also have to remember not everyone is a veg-fanatic like myself.  This email sent my hamster spinning on its wheel; I’ve decided to begin “featured veggie” postings where I will be sharing recipes and nutritional information about various vegetables.  Initially I wanted it to be something like a Friday’s Feature (there I go again with my alliteration nonsense), but I don’t want to stress myself out with mandatory weekly postings, especially once the growing and canning season is in full swing!  My first feature will be on, you guessed it, Kale.  So be sure to stay tuned for that!

And now I leave you with some pictures of Polonius, who decided to see for himself what all the fuss is about regarding kale!  I tell ya, if it’s not the wild critters, it’s the domesticated ones!

 

 “Why hello there little green plant, I’m going to eat you!”

 Did you find all 7?

Leave a comment

Filed under Micro-farming, The Critters

Garlic, Kale and Chickpea Soup

My overwintered kale is growing like crazy and that makes me a very happy girl!  Here is another tasty way to use that vitamin-packed leafy green!

Garlic, Kale and Chickpea Soup adapted from Eco Chic

2 tablespoons olive oil

5 garlic cloves, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

5 cups vegetable stock

5 red potatoes, peeled and diced

2 cups chickpeas, rehydrated

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 cup half & half

1/4 cup milk

2 tablespoons tahini

kale, shredded

cayenne pepper

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a large soup pot heat olive oil over medium heat, saute onion for 3-4 minutes, add garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes.  Add cumin and coriander, stir to incorporate.  Add stock and potatoes, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add chickpeas, simmer for 5 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.  Mix cornstarch, tahini, half & half, and milk and add it to the soup along with the kale.  Season with cayenne, salt, and pepper; bring back to a boil and simmer for an additional 2 minutes.  Enjoy!

2 Comments

Filed under Vegetarian

Kale Chips

Yesterday we were gifted a lovely, sunny day with temps reaching the mid 80’s. Today it’s raining and slowly the temperature is falling back into the 50’s. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted; Mother Nature is such a tease!

Wanting to take advantage of the nice weather I decided to harvest some of my overwintered Russian Red Kale. I love kale and I think more people would too, if they just knew what to do with it! In addition to being served as a side or added to soup, you can also make chips with it. Yes, you read that right! Light, crispy, good-for-you chips. This happens to be my FAVORITE way to eat this tasty cruciferous veggie and I’m willing to bet it will be yours too!

Kale Chips

1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and torn into bite-sized pieces (any variety will do)

2 Tbsp Olive Oil, I used some of my rosemary infused oil

Sea Salt

Pepper, I used the peppercorn medley currently in my pepper mill.

Wash kale, gently pat dry, and tear into bite sized pieces. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a cookie sheet and bake (in a preheated 350°F oven) for 15 minutes, or until crisp. Enjoy!

3 Comments

Filed under Vegan, Vegetarian