RSS Feed

Tag Archives: kale

Thai Chili Tofu with Kale & Quinoa

Posted on

A clean, healthy, and nutritious dinner seasoned with a Thai-inspired sauce. Vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and guilt free!

Thai-Chili-Tofu-Kale-Quinoa-Front

To be honest, I don’t know a lot about cooking with tofu. I only have a handful of tofu recipes, most of which my sister has sent me and (no offense, sis) have been difficult to successfully make gluten free. Back in January, when I did a Daniel Fast, I started playing around with tofu a bit more, and found this delicious recipe from VeganYumYum. It was so good, I’ve made it over and over again since then, even after the Daniel Fast was done.

Thai-Chili-Tofu-Quinoa-Kale-Kale

As I made this recipe over and over, I was never actually truly following the recipe. The original recipe calls for collard greens, but I had kale on hand, so I just used that. Rather than season the kale with lime juice I just sauteed it with a little garlic and crushed red pepper (my go-to kale seasoning). As for the quinoa, well, I just skipped the seasonings all together. I’m sure they would be delicious, but cardamom is just too expensive for me! I made a couple of minor changes to the tofu part of the recipe, also. I’m sure the original version is delicious (even though I’ve never actually tried it)! This version is, too!

Thai-Chili-Tofu-Quinoa-Kale-chopsticks

The invaluable lesson I learned from making Tofu dish over and over is the technique of dry-frying tofu. I was used to this soft, squishy, falling-apart tofu, and honestly, that isn’t incredibly appetizing. Now, dry-fried tofu, that is something totally different. Tofu prepared in this way has a texture very close to chicken. Because of it’s nature, it still basically functions like a little sponge that absorbs up flavor. The best of both worlds: great texture and great flavor! As I’m typing this I’m wondering “why do I not use dry fried tofu in more recipes”.

Thai-Chili-Tofu-Quinoa-Kale-Close

Another benefit of tofu? It’s cheap. At least here, a pound of tofu is nearly half the price as a pound of chicken or beef.

Thai-Chili-Tofu-Quinoa-Kale-Over

What makes this meal is not so much the tofu though, but the sauce. It’s so simple – just 5 ingredients you probably have in your pantry/fridge. When the sauce is mixed, and poured over the cooked tofu it soaks in a bit a forms a sort of glaze. The tofu + glaze is wonderful on it’s own, but to get the best result mix it with the kale and quinoa. It all blends perfectly, and is one of the best vegan meals I’ve ever had!

And for what it’s worth, my meat-loving spouse enjoys this dinner just as much as I do. It’s that good!

Thai-Chili-Tofu-Quinoa-Kale-Square

Thai Chili Tofu with Kale & Quinoa

Serves 2 – 3 adults.
 
Ingredients
  • 2/3 c quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 1/3 c water
  • 1 lb extra firm tofu
  • 4 c kale, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp Sweet Leaf Stevia blend (or use 1 Tbs sugar)
  • 1 1/4 tsp garlic powder (divided)
  • 3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (divided)
  • 3 T soy sauce (I use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos)
  • 2 T lime juice (approx. juice from 1 lime)
  • 1 Tbs olive oil or coconut oil
Directions
  1. Add the quinoa and water to saucepan. Heat to boiling, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer. (The quinoa will likely finish before the tofu and kale is done. Feel free to start the quinoa closer to the serving time if you’d like. If your quinoa finishes early, no worries. Just turn the burner off, but leave it covered, in the pan and it will stay nice and warm.)
  2. In a small prep bowl mix the stevia, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, soy sauce, and lime juice.
  3. Cut the tofu into bite sized pieces, and lay it in a single layer in a non-stick skillet.
  4. Turn the burner to medium high. As the tofu cooks, press it gently with a spatula, periodically. This releases some of the water in the tofu. Check the bottom side of the tofu, and when it is browned a bit flip all of the pieces. Repeat the same gentle pressing on this side, cooking until the bottoms have also browned. This whole procedure takes about 15 minutes give or take a few minutes.
  5. When both sides of the tofu have cooked, add the sauce into the pan and stir to coat the tofu with the sauce. Keep cooking, stirring, until the sauce has thicken and formed a glaze on the tofu, about 5 minutes.Remove the tofu from the pan.
  6. Add the oil to the same skillet, followed by the kale. Toss the kale with the oil, and cook, stirring constantly until the kale has softened and wilted some. Cook shorter for crisper kale and long for softer kale (I taste test mine to gauge when it is done). Stir in the remaining 1/4 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes and 1/4 tsp of garlic powder.
  7. To serve, spread quinoa on each plate, and top with some of the kale and tofu.

PGF: Pesto Chicken & Lemon Kale Sandwiches

Posted on

n-Lemon-Kale-Sandwiches-1

Pesto Chicken & Lemon Kale sandwiches make a quick and healthy meal. These warm, toasted sandwiches can be made with GF or wheat bread. Perfect for a group of people who have differing dietary needs. The lemon and pesto combination is irresistable. Whether you are eating GF or not you will love this sandwich!

I really enjoy eating soup. There’s nothing else like a tomato soup and grilled cheese, and any time I feel sick with anything I make Avgolemono Soup. I have a whole pinterest board just for soups I want to try!

Soup is a cold weather food. The last thing you want to do on a hot day is eat a big bowl of steaming soup. Hot days are the majority here, so as summer approaches I’ve been trying to get my fill of soups.

A few weeks ago, when the temperature starting getting into the 70s, I kind of freaked out about all the soup recipes I wanted to try and hadn’t had the chance yet! There was one soup in particular that I was anxious to try so I planned to make it that very night. I needed something a little more substantial to go with the soup so I invented these sandwiches out of ingredients from my refrigerator.

Pesto-Chicken-Lemon-Kale-Sandwiches-2

The soup, sadly, wasn’t that great but the sandwiches were awesome! The lemon flavored kale and pesto go together strikingly well. As someone who usually eats all of my foods separated I was honestly a little worried, but the sandwich was 100% enjoyable. The tastes and textures all blended together perfectly. Even the GF bread was perfect. It browned and crisped up so much better than the sandwiches I made on wheat bread for Steve.

Pesto-Chicken-Lemon-Kale-Sandwiches-3

Before actually putting together these sandwiches you’ll need to cook some chicken and saute some kale. It sounds like a lot of work for a sandwich, I know. First, I will tell you that it’s worth it! I’ll do a little extra work for a healthy, delicious meal that everyone in the family likes! Second, these two steps take about 20 minutes total and can be done ahead of time. These sandwiches are a great use of leftovers if you happen to have some extra cooked chicken laying around!

Pesto-Chicken-Lemon-Kale-Sandwiches-Words

Pesto Chicken & Lemon Kale Sandwiches

Steps 1 – 3 can be done ahead of time. Store the cooked chicken and kale in the refrigerator until ready to use.
 
Ingredients
  • 8 slices of bread (GF, wheat, or combination of both)
  • 8 tsp pesto
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 bunch kale, roughly chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
Directions
  1. Fill a saucepan with water. Bring to a boil and add the chicken breast. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 12-15 minutes.
  2. While the chicken in cooking, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. Add the kale and saute for about 5 minutes. The kale will turn to a brighter green color and then soften and wilt. Add the lemon juice to the pan and cook, continuing to stir, until there is no more liquid remaining on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat.
  3. When the chicken has finished cooking shred it using two fork (or cut into bite sized pieces).
  4. Heat a skillet (the same one you cooked the kale in is fine) over medium heat. Prepare the GF bread by spreading a tsp of pesto sauce on one side of each piece of bread. Spray the other side of the bread with cooking spray, and place that side of the bread down on the baking pan. Put about 1/4 of the chicken on one slice of bread, topped with 1 tbs of cheese. On the other slice, spread out some of the lemon kale and top with another tbs of mozzarella.
  5. Cover the skillet with a lid and let cook until the cheese is mostly melted. Remove the two bread slices from the skillet and carefully put them together. Press down on the top of the sandwiches with a spatula to help keep the sandwich together.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 with the reaming bread. Be sure to cook all of the GF sandwiches before cooking any sandwiches using wheat bread.

Curry Lentils with an Egg

Posted on

I found a recipe for Spiced Lentils with Eggs on theKitchn a while back. I loved the idea, but when I tried the recipe I wasn’t a fan of the garam masala taste. I add garam masala to flavor plenty of foods, but it’s not something I love as a main flavor (that’s just me – if you enjoy give the original recipe a try). I added some curry powder to my next batch and this time I did love the flavor!

Curry Lentils with an Egg 1

While my curry flavored lentils with an egg were delicious, I knew that as a meal it was really lacking in the vegetable department.  Adding an onion and some leafy greens made me feel a lot better about the vegetable content of this as a meal.  I’ve used both spinach and kale successfully – delicious either way!

Curry Lentils with an Egg 2

This meal is cooked in two steps. First, the lentils, spices, and vegetables are combined and cooked. The second step is to bake the lentil mixture, topped with an egg. You can bake the lentils in 4 or 5 ramakins right after preparing the lentil mixture on the stove or store the mixture in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake it. Since I eat this one serving at a time I tend to store a big container of the lentils in the refrigerator. When I’m need a lunch I scoop some into a ramakin, microwave it for 2 minutes to warm up the lentils, crack the egg on top, and then bake. I know it sounds weird to microwave something before baking it, but I’ve found that this method really works the best when using refrigerated lentils. Otherwise, the baking time ends up being much longer.

Curry Lentils with an Egg 3

This has quickly become one of my favorite lunches. The curry lentils are so good on their own, and even better with an egg. It’s something about the smoothness of the egg against the spices and slight firmness of the split peas. I find myself fishing through my eggs looking for the largest ones each time I’m making this, just so I get more to eat!

Curry Lentils with an Egg 4

Curry Lentils with an Egg

modified from The Kitchn.
See post for modifications for baking one serving at a time.
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 c red lentils
  • 1 c green split peas
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (or a minced garlic clove)
  • 1 1/2 Tbs curry powder
  • 4 c chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 c chopped spinach or kale
  • 1/3 c chopped cilantro
  • 4 eggs
  • salt and pepper for seasoning (optional)
Directions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium/large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, stir, and cook a few minutes until the onion is softened.
  2. Add the lentils, split peas, broth and stir. Stir in the garam masala, garlic powder, and curry powder. Bring to a boil. Cook for about 30-45 minutes. The red lentils will cook down into a mush and the split peas will be the texture of al dente pasta.
  3. Stir in the spinach/kale and cilantro.
  4. Preheat oven to 350.
  5. Grease 4 small ramekins or glass dishes and scoop lentil mixture into each. Crack and egg on the top of the lentils, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  6. Bake for about 20 – 30 minutes, or until the egg is opaque and mostly set. Let sit for a few minutes before eating to let the egg finish cooking.

P.S. I’m going to use this recipe for my submission to this week’s Gluten Free Wednesday at Gluten Free Homemaker. Thanks to Linda for organizing the event! Check out the event; there are lots of great recipes and meal ideas there!

Buffalo Chicken and Kale Crepes

Posted on

Last week I posted about the amazingness of making buffalo chicken in the crockpot. It is literally effortless, delicious, and super versatile. These crepes are just one of many ways to dress up the simple crockpot buffalo chicken into something a bit more fancy!

Buffalo Chicken & Kale Crepes 1

I love these crepes because they are indulgent, yet healthy. They have the taste of chicken wings, with none of the fat and oil from frying. Wings are one of the foods I’ve really missed since I’ve been eating GF, but a buffalo chicken crepe will satisfy that craving for me. The healthiness is just a fun bonus.

Buffalo Chicken & Kale Crepes 3

The addition of kale takes this meal from “it’s not bad for you” to “it has healthy stuff in it”. And, although I do love kale, I promise that this really doesn’t have much of the taste or texture of kale. The chopped kale is stirred into the buffalo chicken once it has been cooked and shredded. It wilts down quickly and just becomes a green speck in the midst of a the juicy, saucey chicken. When you bite into one of these crepes all you will be tasting that buffalo chicken. You could add more than the 3 cups of kale the recipe calls for and still not get much crunch or kale flavor.

Buffalo Chicken & Kale Crepes 2

If you’re not trying to trick yourself or your kids into eating veggies and WANT the kale crunch and flavor, add some chopped kale on top of the buffalo chicken when you are cooking the crepe. It will wilt some from the heat, but will not be so overwhelmed flavor-wise from the sauce and you’ll still have some crunch.

Buffalo Chicken & Kale Crepes 4

Buffalo Chicken and Kale Crepes

Click here for step by step directions on making crockpot buffalo chicken.
 
Ingredients
  • 1 recipe Buckwheat crepes
  • 1 lb chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1/2 bottle hot sauce (this is an approximate measurement – see directions for details)
  • 3 c chopped kale
  • 1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Place chicken into the crockpot. Pour the hot sauce over the chicken until it is covered (this will require about half a bottle of hot sauce, but base how much you use on the all of the chicken being coated in sauce, NOT on a measurement).
  2. Cook for 3 -4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
  3. Shred chicken with a fork and return to crock pot. Stir in chopped kale and cook for another 10 – 15 minutes, until kale is wilted.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is warm, lay one crepe on the bottom on the skillet. Spread about 3 tablespoons of the chicken/kale mixture onto one quarter of the crepe (imagine the crepe was was a pie cut into four slices. I’ve found that putting the chicken on the bottom – left “pie slice” is easier). Spinkle a tablespoon of the cheese on top of the chicken/kale mixture.
  5. Fold the empty right side of the crepe on top of the left, then the top over the bottom. You should end up with a wedge shape in the picture above.
  6. Press the top of the crepe with a spatula and then flip it over. Cook for a few minutes on the second side, until you can see that the cheese has melted. Remove the crepe from the pan and place on a plate.
  7. Repeat the cooking process with the remaining crepes and chicken mixture.
%d bloggers like this: