Monday, October 14, 2013

The Week of Kale

For lunch Tuesday at work, I took the lazy route and ate a quick, cupboard meal - a wild rice bowl I'd picked up at Target.  As could probably have been expected, the lunch bowl turned out to be incredibly underwhelming, but it did inspire me to add more wild rice into my diet.  So I decided to get started that very evening by whipping up an experimental meal using wild rice. 
When I got home from work I headed out to the grocery store (now conveniently located across the street).  While walking out with my new purchases, I snapped this quick photo of the gorgeous sunset in the parking lot.  Fall has the best sunsets :) 
My random wild rice meal turned out so great that Josh and I ended up eating it twice in one week, plus we officially added it to our repertoir by putting it into my Paprika iPad app.  It was so simple but really delicious. 
Fall Rice Salad
1 sweet potato, skinned, chopped, and sauteed in olive oil with salt and pepper
1 red onion, sliced and caramelized in Earth Balance with sugar
Wild rice, cooked according to package
Bunch of kale, added to rice pot to steam in the last few minutes of rice cooking
Mix everything together and enjoy! 
Unfortunately, my new delicious creation required me to buy kale when the store was out of it.  To get out of this predicament, I opted to buy the pre-washed and cut, bagged version.  But in case you can't tell from this picture, that bag is four pounds of kale!!!  Also known as, more kale than anyone should ever need ever.  And since I hate wasting food, this also meant that we needed to eat kale at every single meal for the rest of the week before this stuff went bad. 
So, without further ado, I present ... the week of kale!
(Wednesday I ate leftover fall rice salad for lunch, and we actually ate horrible Chinese food for dinner after climbing, so no exciting recipes to report there.) 
Thursday for lunch I made myself a spicy kale salad by sauteeing kale in olive oil, then tossing with red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, salt, and pepper.  An oldy but goody. 
For dinner Thursday night I made another warm kale salad using Israeli couscous, kale (of course), mushrooms, and grape tomatoes.  This one was a lot quicker to prepare than the fall rice salad, but probably not quite as good either.  

Friday night I made essentially the same spicy salad I'd made for lunch Thursday, but topped it with pomegranate seeds for extra zing.  Turns out, even using the water trick it's incredibly annoying to seed a pomegranate.  That alone will keep this recipe from becoming a regular.  Otherwise it was interesting - and definitely different - but not exactly stellar.  Still, we ended up eating it again for dinner Sunday night.  (Gotta use up those pomegranate seeds and the kale!) 

Saturday night it was back to the fall kale salad again (remember I said we ate it twice?). It's the most complicated of our week-o-kale recipes, but probably our favorite of the bunch. 

And tonight we finally used up the last of the kale!  I mixed up pasta, kale, sauteed mushrooms, and grape tomatoes (similar to the Israeli couscous dish).  The mushroom-tomato-kale-grain combo is definitely a good one. 

And you know what's funny after a week of eating kale at almost every meal?  We're not even sick of it!  Though there were a lot of similarities, the week's recipes were varied enough that it wasn't the same thing all the time.  And there were enough other ingredients thrown into the mix that it didn't seem like we were eating nothing but kale. 

Will I buy another 4 pound bag of kale again?  Not if I can help it.  But at least I know now that if I find myself with one again, we'll be just fine.  

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