Locavore Encounters A Kale Storm


Like nearly every other vegetarian, I had jumped on the kale bandwagon (“Hail, Kale!”) a

few years ago. I wondered if I could grow it myself in my tiny garden plot, before the

caterpillars, beetles, slugs, and ground hogs beat me to the lunch. I bought a little 4-pack

last spring, and I’m still chopping!

Normally I am insecure about my paltry instinctive cooking talents. Recipe cards have

followed me all the way from childhood. My original Moosewood Cookbook is still

hanging in there, by a few binding threads. However, improvisation is now a key

ingredient of my kitchen repertoire: I have discovered the magical pairing of kale

and quinoa.

This dynamic duo can be added to with whatever is available, or left on its own--tarted up

to perfection with a healthy splash of olive oil and an even healthier splash of vinegar.

After that you can add other cooked veggies, dried fruits, seeds and/or nuts, chopped

tomatoes, herbs and spices, etc. according to your whim, or what’s in season.

Basic Kale and Quinoa Salad with Sweet Red Peppers (serves 4-6).

Ingredients:

· Olive oil

· 2 garlic cloves

· 1/2 onion

· Sea salt

· Peppers if you have them

· Herbs

· Kale

· 1 cup quinoa

· 2 cups veggie broth

· Vinegar (the good stuff--not what you clean windows with)

Instructions:

1. Heat 2-3 tsp olive oil in a pan or pot on low-to-medium heat. Add garlic, onion,

and chopped kale--as much as you want. (Make sure the base of the stem is

removed first or you will be chewing for a while. I just slice the tough part out

and save the leaves).

2. Shake sea salt in to taste.

3. Add chopped peppers.

4. Add fresh oregano and/or thyme if you have it. Herbs help this dish to twinkle.

Bring the heat up a bit but watch and stir so nothing scorches. Add a little bit of

broth or water if it seems too dry. Meanwhile, you can make the quinoa.

5. Rinse quinoa in a mesh strainer. Bring to a boil. Add veggie broth or water, then

lower to a slow simmer with lid cracked. This should take about 20 minutes until

liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork. Set aside.

6. Add the sauté kale-veggie mix to the quinoa. Stir.

7. Add 1/4 cup each of olive oil and vinegar (more or less, depending how juicy you

want it). Salt and pepper to taste.

8. I always splash more vinegar every time I dish it out. It brightens the taste. You

can serve on mesclun, as a side dish or a full meal. For an Indian slant, add curry,

golden raisins, and a bit of coconut milk.

I’ve come a long way from my childhood staple of iceberg lettuce, Russian dressing, and

Bac~Os. And I have kale and quinoa to thank!

Sharon Watts is a seasoned contributing artist and writer to YogaCityNYC. See her work at Sharon Watts Creative and www.sharonwattswrites.com.

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