Category Archives: Kale

Soup and Salad From Thug Kitchen

This week, I checked out Thug Kitchen 101 from the library. This is a vegan cookbook written in an interesting style. F-bombs throughout, I had to read it in small doses as the “thug” language was rather jarring! Once I got over the liberal use of swear words, I was able to read the recipes and found several good ones that I must try over the 3 week loan period. I started with these two – Southwestern Salad and Turmeric and Sweet Potato Soup.

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Southwestern Salad

Dressing:

1 avocado

1/4 cup chopped green onions, white part

1/2 cup corn kernels

3 tbsps. fresh lime juice

2 tbsps. rice vinegar (original recipe calls for 3 tbsps.)

2 tbsps. olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp chili powder

Salad:

2+ cups short pasta, cooked

1 1/2 cups cooked black beans

1 cup corn kernels

1 medium carrot, shredded

1/2 cup chopped green onion

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1 tomato, chopped (original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups mixed into salad)

(original recipe calls for 1-2 jalapenos)

Place all the dressing ingredients in the blender and blend for 5 minutes until very smooth. Combine cooked pasta, black beans, corn, carrot, onion in a large bowl. Pour in about 2/3’s of the dressing and toss. Fold in cilantro. Chill in fridge for 30 minutes. At serving time, add the chopped tomatoes to the salad.

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Turmeric and Sweet Potato Soup

(See notes below the recipe for the adaptations I made).

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1 small onion, diced

1 yam, diced

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional)

2 tsps. ground turmeric

1 1/2 tsps. dried basil

1 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp. tamari or Braggs

5 cups vegetable broth

1 can diced tomatoes

1 cup small pasta

1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas

2 cups kale

2 tbsps. lemon juice

Water saute onion for about 4 minutes over medium high. Add yam, pepper and jalapeno (if using) and cook for another 4 minutes, adding a tbsp. of water at a time to prevent sticking. Add turmeric, basil, paprika, ginger, cinnamon and tamari and stir for about 1 minute, allowing the vegetables to be coated in the spices. Add the broth and tomatoes and simmer for 8 minutes until yam is tender. Add the pasta, chickpeas and kale and simmer until pasta is cooked and kale is soft and wilted. Stir in lemon juice just before serving and warm through.

Notes:

  • I had a little bit of leftover chickpea and kale curry so I stirred this into the soup

  • I omitted the chickpeas (because there were chickpeas in the leftover curry I added)

  • I used 2 fresh, whole tomatoes, skinned, instead of the canned tomatoes

  • I omitted the pasta and used 1/3 cup red lentils instead which helped to thicken the soup nicely and provided some good nutrition

  • I used 1/2 of a yam plus 4 small, new potatoes, diced, instead of a whole yam

  • I omitted the red bell pepper

  • I omitted the basil and paprika because I didn’t want to change the flavour profile provided by the leftover chickpea curry

  • I reduced the broth to 4 cups

  • I subbed 3 large handfuls of spinach, coarsely chopped, for the kale, because I didn’t have any kale, but had lots of lovely, fresh spinach!

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The New Sensation! Broccoli Leaf Chips!

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So, you’ve probably heard of kale chips … that crispy snack made by tossing some kale leaves in oil and baking for a few minutes. Simple, easy, somewhat nutritious. Well, kale chips have had their day in the sun. I’m here to tell you about BROCCOLI LEAF CHIPS! Yep, you heard it right … crispy chips made out of the highly nutritious leaves of the broccoli plant.

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Probably the reason this snack has not made it into the ovens of vegie eaters is because you can’t buy broccoli leaves in the grocery store. You could probably buy some from your local farmers market, but you’d have to make special arrangements because who every heard of eating the leaves instead of (or as well as) the broccoli flower.

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Well, I heard about the nutritional powerhouse-ness of broccoli leaves from my brother years ago when he was a hippie living in Sooke, BC, growing organic vegetables in great, bountiful quantities. When he entered a nursing program in Vancouver he tried to convince his nutrition instructor that there was more to broccoli than just leaves, but I don’t think this went over too well! Fast forward to yesterday when “Tom” and I were harvesting in our little community garden plot. Our broccoli was ready for picking and “Tom” asked if the leaves were edible. Well, I knew the answer to that one, so we collected several leaves from the plants and took them home. We tried steaming them up along with the fresh broccoli heads, but the leaves were kind of leathery and not very pleasant to chew (although the flavour was fine). Then, today, when I was preparing supper, I decided to make a batch of kale chips, but it turned out there weren’t enough kale leaves to make it worth while. I glanced at the full bag of broccoli leaves and thought, “Why not!” I prepared both kale and broccoli leaves the same way and, voila! Delicious, crispy, light chips! I was so thrilled about this culinary discovery, I had to share it immediately. (Thus the rather sub-par pictures)!

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And now here’s how you can make them too:

Kale and Broccoli Leaf Chips

several leaves of kale and/or broccoli (I used about 6 to 8 leaves)

olive oil

coarse salt

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Prepare the leaves by cutting out the stems then cutting or tearing the leaves into 2 inch squares. Put the leaves into a bowl and drizzle a bit of oil in. Toss and lightly massage the oil into the leaves so that most of the surface of the leaves is covered. Add a bit more oil if you need. Sprinkle in a bit of coarse salt and toss again. Lay out the leaves on a baking pan (no need to oil the pan) and bake for 8 minutes. Pull the pan out, gently move the leave around a bit, then bake for another 2 minutes. Eat and enjoy!

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