Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Ginger-garlic kale

Serves: 2-4 as a side dish (one if you're starving and desiring a large, leafy snack)
Time: about 15-20 minutes

This is a really simple, quick side that you can make after endless days of cheese on carb type lunch and dinners (oh but its so good). It goes well with brown rice and a can a chickpeas mixed in. I ate it for my later lunch and stunk up the whole apartment, but those kids like me for my body, not my cooking smells.
Kale is cheap, great for you, chock full of iron, vitamin C, and fiber (every [former] grad student's friend. You can stir fry it, you can crisp it in the oven (like chips), you can boil it to a mushy death (OK, it's not that bad), put it in curries, etc. Versatile but if you haven't tried it yet, I highly recommend. I tried to woo the Fella early in our relationship by serving him my version of a North African style soup with kale from FatFree Vegan Kitchen.

(this was very fresh on Saturday)

2-4 cloves garlic (minced)
bunch of kale (pick crisp and bright green leaves, with no wilting or soggy bits)
1" gingerroot, minced
soy sauce (about 1 Tbs)
sesame oil (about 1 Tbs)
olive oil
lemon juice (optional)
toasted almonds (optional)
sesame seeds (optional)
pepper (cayenne or black) also optional

(sometimes my ginger root dies a slow death in our fridge)

Wash and break kale into bite sized pieces. They recommend that you remove the ribs, but I am too lazy to do that well. Since the leave if curly, I suggest that you wash it in a big pan first to get the dirt to sink to the bottom and then transfer to the colander.

Add about 2" of water to a large pot. Set to high heat until it simmers, lower heat, and add kale. Cover and cook about 5 minutes, and then drain.
While this is cooking, add olive oil to a large pan over medium heat, add garlic and ginger and let brown. When this is sufficiently fragrant, add the partially cooked kale and stir over the ginger and garlic. Add soy sauce and sesame oil, stirring to coat the leaves. Taste and add more as per you preference. Season with pepper and lemon juice (if you want some acidity, but I didn't use it this time). Spring sesame seeds or almond slivers on top. Serve, eat, and feel redemption for your many nutritional errors.

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