Always in search of new ways to enjoy good and healthy meals in a fun an innovative way, I decided to bring back a much forgotten vegetable into my kitchen - kale. In Germany kale is eaten quite often as a side to hearty meat dishes, however, my eating experience of kale here was mostly a squishy slop of green tasteless mush. It was not until a few years ago that I decided to bring this superfood into my kitchen and experiment with it.
Flavor combination means a lot and I often enjoy putting together ingredients that might seem unusual at first, but often these ingredient combinations complement each other so well, bringing out a new harmony of aromas. I was glad that I gave this incredible leafy vegetable a go in my kitchen, since then we're enjoying it in several new and exciting ways. By no means in the form of tasteless slop we might see at certain dining places.
This particular dish is one of our favorite kale recipes, which we enjoy simply with steaming bowls of rice. However, it also makes a great side to fish or meat dishes too.
I have fused flavors from the Middle Eastern and Persian cuisine giving a unforgettable blend of tangy and herby aromas. Lime really puckers up the entire dish, while the Aleppo pepper adds a robust kick.
Giving the whole dish a lovely body are the addition of kidney beans, which provides a good source of protein and fibre, not to mention texture. Finally dried curry leaves and dill rounds up the kale and beans for a delicious bite.
This dish epitomizes everything cooking means to me. It's a balance of flavors and combinations. It's also about thinking out of the box and trying ingredients that are not always paired together, about bringing back forgotten items and creating a new dish and finally about eating healthy.
We enjoyed this with a equally flavorful garlic tomato rice, which is so easy to prepare you might think I am pulling your leg. But I am not!
Returning from my break I was greeted with some great news. For most of you it's already old news and I thank you for leaving your best wishes and congratulations in the comments of this post. However, if anyone does not know by now - Times Online honored the top 50 best food blogs worldwide and What's For Lunch, Honey? was selected as one of the 50! I am in great company and many of the blogs on the list are not only a source of inspiration for me but have become my blogging friends over the past 3 years of blogging. I thank Manisha, Deeba, Jeanne and Tanna, who all sent me excited mails informing me about the achievement. I also thank Nick W. and Andrea P. for including What's For Lunch, Honey? as part of this extremely talented group of bloggers. But most of all I thank you, my readers, for keeping me motivated and inspiring me everyday. Without you this blog would be half as good and half as much of fun. So, I share the honor with you.
Recipe: Lime Kale with Beans and Dill
Printable version of recipe here.
200g canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained
500g Kale, washed, drained and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1-2 teaspoons Aleppo chili powder - substitute with cayenne pepper
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
15-20 dried curry leaves
8 tablespoons dill, finely chopped
6 tablespoon natural yogurt
2 limes, 1 zested and both juiced
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoon canola oil
- Heat the oil in a wok to medium-high. Add the cumin and mustard seeds and sauté. As soon as they begin to pop add the garlic and curry leaves. Stir.
- Add the kale and dill to the wok and stir-fry until the liquid (if any) from the kale has evaporated.
- Stir in the yogurt and continue to stir until it has incorporated well with all the other ingredients. Reduce the heat to low, then add approx. 300 - 350 ml water, Aleppo chili and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well.
- Pour the juice and the zest of the limes. I also threw in the whole squeezed limes into the wok and it gives it a fantastic aroma.
- Add the kidney beans and stir well. Allow the mixture to come to a gentle boil, then cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- If you prefer this a little dryer by all means add less water.
- We enjoy this mostly with rice, however if you are making this dryer then it would be perfect with flat breads like whole wheat pitas or whole wheat tortillas.
This is not your usual way of preparing rice, but it's easy and can be made quickly used up leftover rice. However, I personally love this rice dish so much that I always prepare the rice fresh. The rice is cooked/steamed as you normally prepare your rice, then it is mixed with garlic, tomato paste and a bit more liquid and finally baked in the oven.
Recipe: Garlic Tomato Rice
Printable version of recipe here.
400-500g Jasmine rice, steamed
1 tablespoon tomato purée
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic
Drizzle of canola oil
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
- Place the rice in a bowl and add about 250 ml hot water, mixing with a wooden spoon. Using the wooden spoon gently press the rice on the side of the bowl.
- Add the garlic, tomato paste and salt to taste, stirring to incorporate the ingredients.
- Rub an 20x23 cm oven-proof dish with oil and add the rice mixture. Using the spoon or your hands press the rice evenly into the form. Bake for approx 15 minutes.
Many of the most loved dishes are simple down-to-earth food, prepared at home. Kale might not be a loved vegetable but trust me if you give it a go, especially if it is prepared like this, you will definitely fall in love with it. Soeren loves the dish because of it tangy flavor, he really scoops up spoonfuls mixed with the garlicky rice, savoring each bite. Tom as always is skeptical, he does not trust grünkohl (kale in German) as it brings back memories of smelly school cafeteria food for him. However, after enjoying it this way he has learned to love kale in a whole new way.
The Healthy Family Dinners roundup is up over at What's Cooking. Check out the grand 50 entries we had. A page to bookmark for future reference for sure!
This month's Monthly Mingle is back home and we are going to be grooving down to the Caribbean Islands for a bit of Caribbean Cooking this session. Hope you will join me and win yourself a fantastic cookbook. Check out all the details!
You might like these legumes creations from WFLH:
|Mum's Creamy Black Lentils - Kaali Maa Di Dal||Spicy Chicken Legumes with Pinto Beans and Chickpeas||Pea and Lettuce Salad|
Kale from around the blogs:
- Sweet Potato and Kale Enchiladas - We Heart Food
- Creamy Fall Fettuccini with Butternut Squash and Kale - The Wind Attack
- Kale Smoothie - It's Ripe
Daily Tiffin Reading Tip:
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