Monday, February 15, 2010

more kale please!

This was the haul out of the garden today: a bunch of dino kale, a half bunch of red russian kale, a few side shoots of broccoli, one leek (lots left in the ground), and three oranges. Dinner tonight was brown rice, ginger-steamed carrots, and amazing sauteed tofu and kale with leeks. I just love having kale readily available. I don't remember when I discovered kale; most certainly I'd never heard of it at Sam's age, and I know it took time and cooking experience for me to realize what an amazing food kale can be. Honestly I could have eaten all this kale myself in one meal, that's just how good it is.

I remember hearing a story from a friend about her friend's twin toddler boys who were served kale, ate every bite, and then called out, "more kale please!" At that moment it became my goal as a parent to have my child ask for more kale. Silly, right? You can't make a kid eat anything, and I honestly believe that genetics plays the biggest role in the taste preferences of little ones. Still, I'm happy to report that Sam--not just tonight but regularly when I serve kale--eats it up and asks for more.

This recipe is so simple and is such a staple for us that it almost feels unnecessary to post it here. Then again, this--or versions of this--is what we eat and love, so it definitely belongs.

Tofu and Kale with Leeks
1 bunch kale, finely chopped
1 leek, finely chopped
1 package tofu, cubed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 T canola or olive oil
balsamic vinegar
maple syrup
red pepper flakes
nutritional yeast
Saute kale and leeks in oil over medium heat until softened and bright green. Add several T water and cover, cooking until about half-wilted, about 10-15 minutes (add more water if it starts to stick). Stir in tofu, a dash of red pepper flakes (to taste), small splash each of balsamic and maple syrup, garlic, and a few T tamari. Continue to cook until kale is very soft and flavors combine, about 10 more minutes. Add about 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (plus water if no liquid remains) and stir well. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve over brown rice or whole grain of your choice.

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