Writing about what feeds me.

Please arrest me, Officer – I’m a sucker for that Kale bait.

*womp, womp*

Yup, I’ve been slightly obsessed with KALE lately and coming in at a close second is the oft-mispronounced grain-like crop, QUINOA.

Kale is not only healthy, but it’s heartier and sturdier than spinach (which, of course, I also enjoy – who doesn’t?  Wait…  don’t answer that.).  So far I’ve only messed around with it a few times, usually stripping the ribs and stems entirely, making anything from chips to pilaf.

Quinoa is just fun, full of texture and sometimes quite colorful.  I was delighted to find a mixed white/red combo at the local Adonis grocery.  It’s pricier than rice, but eh, you can mix it in with some lentils and brown rice if you’re cheap (or just want some variety!).

Well, once again, I did the usual recipe search, aka plug-in-some-ingredients-into-Google-and-see-what-it-spits-back.  This time: Kale, Sweet Potato, Mushrooms… and Voila!

I found this recipe as well, which is sans ‘shrooms, but it reminded me of how easily curry powder livens up all dishes.  I opted to do the kale, sweet potato and mushrooms per the former recipe, but try the curried version of the quinoa in the latter.

These were my slight modifications:

– used approx. one cup of quinoa and therefore 2 cups of water (in lieu of broth)
– since I was not using broth, I added more salt to taste
– skipped turmeric since I had none, but used less than Tbl of minced ginger instead of powdered kind
– after the quinoa was done cooking, I decided last minute to add  about 3/4 tsp of cumin for added flavor

Kale, Sweet Potato, Mushroom “hash”:
– used about 6 or 7 crimini mushrooms cause that is all I had
– along with the garlic, tossed in less than Tbl minced ginger and half of
(what I believe is a) cherry bomb pepper, minced
– only cut off the stems (ends) of each kale stalk and then chopped into 1.5/2 inch pieces
– seasoned with S&P to taste, i.e. did not use measurements indicated in recipe
– omitted parmesan cheese

A really fulfilling vegetarian meal indeed!  Mind you, a second helping will be necessary – if not immediately after the first, then probably some time later.  I’m still trying to figure out how to get the quinoa just right: all liquid absorbed, but not over cooked.  For now I’m going to blame it on the temperamental  nature of our electric stove (few people have gas stoves here in Canada apparently).  The seasoning of the quinoa was just right.  Since I used water instead of broth, my addition of salt was on point!  The hash was honestly nothing special in terms of flavor.  I suppose adding the parmesan may have helped (and de-vegan-ized it), but I can’t imagine it would have done much.  I’m pretty sure dried chili flakes could have worked just as well as the minced cherry bomb pepper.  I do enjoy fresh pepper though. =)

And now suggestions for the future…
* cook the sweet potato much longer or even separate from everything else, as suggested  by the other recipe.  Mushrooms could then possibly be added at the same time as the Kale (?).
* 3/4 cup of white wine was too much in my opinion.  Given the fact it was not reduced and put in right with the kale,  it left the entire dish way too soggy in the end.
* Cheryl tried the dish and liked the consistency/crunchiness of the kale, but I would have liked to see it more colorful and green still.  The rib from the stems that were left in definitely contributed to the enjoyable crunch of the hash (quite necessary especially if the sweet potato is cooked longer and therefore allowed to be softer).
* try the curry powder in the hash as well next time!



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This entry was posted on February 16, 2012 by in Culinary, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , .
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