Hail for Kale
Kale & Yam Hash with Two Sunny Side Up Eggs
Yams, kale and sunny side-up eggs? I seem to have come over all American with my lingo. Well since I’m spending some time in California at the moment (San Francisco) to be precise I thought it would be great to blog a recipe inspired by the amazing produce over here.
There is a farmers market to be found here on nearly every day of the week – with fresh produce like I’ve never seen before. I know we love our farmer’s markets back in London (huge fan of Borough and Brockley – but wow to the range, size, colour and quality of the organic veggies available here. Oh to have a year round climate like this…
Yam & Cavolo Nero
I selected yams for this recipe, because I’d not cooked or tried them them before. However it turns out that in North America they are basically just like sweet potatoes! The African yam is a different vegetable though (confused?)
I then chose kale for my second vegetable (always good to get at least two veggies in at breakfast time) because Californian’s (and me now clearly) seem to have an obsession with it. Kale can be found on just about every health conscious, vegetarian, locavore, organic, grass-fed, farm-table, pasture-raised menu going. Local’s are well aware of this obsession and joke freely about it – I even saw someone walk down the street last week with a university style t-shirt saying KALE (instead of the university YALE). For variety I selected cavolo nero – but if you can’t find that any kale (or beet greens, chard) would work just as well.
Since yams – just like sweet potatoes – are high in carbohydrates this would make a great post-workout meal. Grating them means they will cook quickly – pretty important if you’re muscles are starving after a 90 minute strenuous yoga session.
Ingredients (serves 1)
- Coconut oil (or ghee)
- 1/4 onion, finely diced
- 1 medium yam, peeled and grated (roughly 1.5 cups after grating)
- tsp cumin
- 6 kale leaves, chiffonade (see notes)
- Salt and pepper
- 2 eggs
- Parsley to dress (optional)
- Heat a tsp of coconut oil at a low heat in a pan. Add the onion and saute until softened. Don’t allow the onion to brown.
- When sufficiently softened add the grated yam, and cook, for approx 4 mins. Keep the yam moving over the pan so it doesn’t stick. Add cumin, then add the kale. Cook for a further 2-3 mins. Once the kale has wilted, season, remove the mix from the pan and set aside.
- Return the pan to the hob, adding extra oil if it has dried out. Fry the 2 eggs, till the whites are cooked, but the yolks still runny.
- Plate up with the hash on the bottom topping with the 2 eggs and a sprinkling of parsley.
Chiffonade is a slicing technique used for cutting herbs and flat leaf vegetables (like kale) into thin strips or ribbons. To chiffonade the kale, carefully remove the tough stems by slicing them out, then stack around 3 leaves on top of each other. Roll up like a cigar then slice across the cigar (at perpendicular to the cigar) with your knife to produce ribbons.
Pesto Girl Returns
Kale & Almond Pesto
The first week at university the vast majority of the people in my halls of residence were given nicknames by my flat. Oddly enough most were food related, no doubt due to meals we’d each cooked up that first week. There was Flapjack Boy and Chip Boy for starters. Many of the others escape me, except for mine. I was Pesto Girl.
Pesto pasta was the first dish I made in my halls kitchen. Crispy bacon which set the kitchen into a haze of smoke, combined with jarred pesto a dollop of natural yoghurt and a portion of white pasta. It was my signature (and at that point only) dish. There probably wasn’t any Parmesan on top. I doubt my student purse could afford it.
Kale & Almond Pesto
My love affair with pesto has continued through the years (this is the fourth recipe on the blog), though never in this time have I considered the etymology of pesto. What exactly does it mean? This week I looked it up and discovered that pesto actually comes from the Italian word pestare, which means to pound / crush. The original Ligurian basil version is made by pounding the ingredients together with a pestle and mortar. I think kale might be a bit too tough to pound in this way – so a modern interpretation with food processor is absolutely allowed.
This kale and almond version is quite different to the original but equally delicious. The toasted almonds give a wonderful nutty aroma, plus this is a great way to get the nutrient dense dark green vegetable kale into your system. There is so much you can do with pesto beyond stirring it through pasta. Heaping it on a roasted chicken breast was my idea of choice on this occasion.
Kale & Almond Pesto on a Chicken Breast, with Courgette Spaghetti and Cherry Tomatoes
I’ve used home-made garlic infused olive oil (though M&S do a good one too) for a low-fodmap version – however if you’re good to go on fodmaps use a pure extra virgin oil with a couple of cloves of garlic instead. My recipe is adapted from Elana’s Pantry.
Ingredients (makes 1 small pot, enough to serve 3-4 on a main dish)
- 125g curly kale leaves (the stalks can remain since you will blend them)
- 50g almonds
- 1 tsp celtic salt
- 3 Tablespoons of garlic infused olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
- Blanch the curly kale in a large saucepan of boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove, drain and plunge straight into a bowl of ice-cold water. This helps the kale to ‘set’ its bright green colour.
- Meanwhile toast the almonds in a dry frying pan until they colour. Set aside.
- Drain and pat the kale dry. Pulse in a food processor till finely chopped. Add the toasted almonds, salt, olive oil and lemon juice and pulse into a paste. You can adapt the quantity of oil, lemon and seasoning until you get the texture you desire.
- Pesto now ready to use in any way you desire. With salads, grilled meats, fish, with eggs – get creative!
- If you’re keeping the pesto in the fridge you may need to cover with a little olive oil to stop discolouration (as you would with regular pesto). Will keep for a couple of days.
A Fiery Food Fiesta
Chicken, Chorizo & Kale Stew
It is cold and snowy in London today and I don’t have a fire. I shall have to make one in my tummy instead..
I’ve just returned from a couple of days away for my day job and due to various not-in-my-favour weather systems was much later home today than I’d hoped. Definitely too late to make a slow-cooker stew for this evening’s dinner. This may please those of you who don’t yet (get one please!) have a slow cooker since I’ve become a bit too obsessed with it recently.
Instead I whipped up a tasty warming almost one-pot paleo dinner, ready in just 40 mins from start to finish. I have been rather fancying doing my paleo take on the classic chicken, chorizo & chickpea stew since I found a brand of ‘clean’ Chorizo that I really like last year – Alejandro. In today’s variation I added peppers for some extra depth in flavour and a touch of kale for that all important leafy green veg component to a balanced healthy meal. Spicy enough to warm me up, but not too spicy to make your eyes water.
The 25 minute simmer on the hob will leave you just about enough time to do the washing up and un-pack while the stew is bubbling away (or just faff about on the internet). One pot stews are great for tupperware work lunches or hey presto dinners – my version of a ready meal. I’ll be eating up my leftovers when I’m too busy to cook fresh in the coming weeks.
Ingredients (Serves 3)
- Olive oil
- 500g chicken thighs, diced into bite-sized pieces
- 100g chorizo, chopped (see my chorizo post for brand info)
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- Pinch dried chilli flakes
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 red & 1 yellow bell pepper (capiscum), sliced
- 1 x 390g carton organic chopped tomatoes
- 200ml boiling water
- 100g curly Kale, shredded
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Handful chopped fresh parsley to serve
- Heat a little olive oil in a large saucepan, Add the diced chicken thighs and fry, turning frequently, until lightly browned. Set aside.
- At the same time in a small frying pan, heat the chorizo and fry till crispy on both sides (2-3 mins) seat aside.
- If necessary add a little more oil to the large saucepan, add the onion, garlic, carrots, and chilli, paprika and oregano and cook till they begin to soften, stirring frequently. Add the peppers for another few mins.
- Next add the chopped tomatoes to the saucepan, along with 200mls of water. Bring to the boil.
- Now you can add the browned chicken and the crisp chorizo. Turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally Add the kale, and continue to simmer for a final 10 minutes.
- Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Serve up in bowls and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
I’m definitely warmed up now!
Is is a breakfast, light lunch or speedy dinner?
This is a fantastic way to use up any leftover ingredients in your fridge, or a glut of eggs. You can pretty much put anything you like into a frittata and take the flavour to a destination of choice.
-Add basil, tomatoes, oregano – you’re in Italy.
-Add chorizo, paprika – you’re in Spain.
I love the nutritional powerhouse that is kale, so I decided to use it as the star ingredient in my dish. Grated courgettes are a great addition to a frittata since they help to hold the texture together. I learnt this courgette tip from my Australian born friend who’s Mum has been making this dish and variations of it for years. The original dish – Zucchini slice (Aussie’s use the zucchini name for a courgette for some unbeknown reason) came from an Aussie Women’s Weekly mag.
I initially ate a slice of this frittata for dinner, then cold for lunch the next day, and the remaining quarters cold for breakfasts the rest of the week. Such a versatile dish which saved me heaps of cooking time. Think of it like a quiche with no crust. It also happened to be delicious – there was something amazing about the way the garlic soaked into all the kale… I threw the sumac in for a bit of a ‘see what happens’ experiment – I liked its addition. In my opinion sumac goes really well with eggs and I’m particularly liking a pink dusting of it a- top of runny scrambled eggs at the moment.
What’s your favourite way of making a frittata?
Ingredients (serves 4)
- coconut/olive oil to saute
- 2 large cloves garlic, finely diced
- half a bunch of kale shredded
- 1 courgette, grated
- 1 cooked salmon fillet (left over from a previous day’s cooking)
- 1 tsp Sumac
- 10 eggs
- 3 tomatoes, sliced
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg C (Fan).
- Take a large frying pan and sauté the garlic in a little oil, when softened add the kale and courgette and cook for a few minutes. Make sure the ingredients are evenly spread throughout the pan. Flake in the cooked salmon fillet, sprinkle with the sumac.
- Whisk together the eggs in a bowl and season. Pour into the pan, and cook over a low heat until the eggs come away from the sides of the pan with a spatula. Place the sliced tomatoes on top of the egg mix, sprinkle with paprika and transfer the frying pan to the oven. Cook for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes the frittata should be cooked through, remove the frying pan from the oven, cut out a slice and serve. If you’ve used a non-stick pan this should come away nicely. Serve with a few springs of fresh mint or parsley on top.
Kale. mmm. I love kale. I love steaming it stir -frying it and now baking it! Lots of lucky people with dehydrators can make kale chips in their fancy machines, but since I haven’t got one (yet…) the oven will have to do (for now). The trick with kale chips is to have the oven low enough so that the kale does’t burn, but hot enough so it goes crispy. Tricky. I’ve had many attempts at kale chips in the past (some more successful than others mind), and this time I tried doing something a little different and included some grated parsnip and courgette. I had high hopes for the parsnip, hoping it would compliment the kale in terms of texture and flavour – it totally did! The toasted almonds, gave a further crunch to the dish.
I initially had this warm served up with 3 Sausages (currently loving these from Debbie and Andrews), and had the same combo as cold left-overs the next day. The kale dish works equally well warm and cold, so I’m thinking could be an excellent side dish for a dinner party as well as a picnic or BBQ!
(serves 2 as part of a main meal, more if served alongside additional side dishes!)
- 1 parsnip, peeled
- 1 courgette,
- 150g Curly Kale
- 4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Tablespoon dried mixed herbs
- Black pepper
- Good sprinkling of Himalayan Salt
- 2 tablespoons of flaked almonds
- Pre-heat oven to 150 degrees C.
- Grate (or use the shredder on a food processor) the parsnip and courgette.
- Place the kale in a mixing bowl with the shredded parsnip and courgette and stir in the olive oil and herbs ensuring the mixture is well covered.
- Spread out on 2 baking trays, cover with a good sprinkling of salt, and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, stirring half way through cooking. Keep an eye on the kale, you want it to resemble crips not burnt leaves!
- Meanwhile toast the flaked almonds until they catch colour.
- When the Kale mix is done, stir in the toasted almonds and serve.
Easy peasy, yummy yummy!