Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Kale Salad and Unaired Elephants

It's easy to talk about the little stuff.

The creep from OkCupid who I was all set to go out with until he texted me the swoon-worthy question, "What's your dress size?"

The Bar Covell outing where I told the bearded bloke sitting next to me that his beer reminded me of "elves frolicking in the forest." (I was not inebriated at the time.)

Or my newly discovered obsession with Sumo Citrus that could end up rivaling my obsession for quinoa. (Not really.)

But the big stuff, the ooey gooey serious stuff, is harder to say out write. Harder to air in a place that lends it any kind of permanency -- especially a place cloaked and bordered by the color pink. I can't possibly open up a sore for someone other than my mom and close friends to see here. This is supposed to be all quinoa all the time, with a few dashes of bad dates, unattainable crushes and awkward party behavior splashed in for good measure.

So I'm not going to talk about the thing -- the elephant in my room that I'm ignoring until it goes away. Not just because I'm terrified for an audience to see him (he's not very attractive), but because I have every confidence that he will vacate the premises soon. He doesn't deserve words. He doesn't deserve my panic or worry. He doesn't deserve a place in this space.

Today, I'm talking about the thing I've been hoarding to myself for the past three weeks. A kale salad from, yes, Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day yet again. I've been gorging on it in this and other iterations in emphatic succession, one day with coconut, the next with shiitake mushrooms, the next, topped with a fried egg. It's an elephant worth sharing. And an elephant I have no plans on forcing out of the room anytime soon.

Kale Salad with Toasted Coconut & Sesame Oil
Adapted from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day
Serves 2

Adaptations: I played around with the quantities of the dressing - increasing the proportions of sesame oil and soy sauce and reducing the amount of olive oil. I also added tempeh and increased the amount of kale, while reducing the amount of coconut chips. Other iterations I've tried (and loved) include shiitake mushrooms in place of the coconut, and when a touch of sweetness is desired, I'm gaga for the kale/coconut/sesame combination with little cubes of sweet potato. In the latter version, a fried egg is the perfect top hat for the mixture. Sweet, savory, salty - a proper excuse to fuse dinner and breakfast together.

1 1/2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
1teaspoon sesame oil
11/2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 cups lightly packed cups of chopped kale, ribs and stems removed
1/4 cup unsweetened large-flake coconut (or 1 cup shiitake mushroom slices)
5 ounces tempeh, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2/3 cup farro, rinsed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine olive oil, sesame oil and soy sauce in a small bowl. Whisk together until well-combined.

Spread kale, coconut and tempeh out on a baking sheet. Drizzle oil/soy mixture over the top and toss until evenly distributed. Roast, stirring once or twice, until the coconut is golden brown and the kale is crisp, but not burned. (Approximately 18 minutes.)

Meanwhile, bring 1 1/3 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the farro, reduce heat, and cover. Simmer for 20-25 minutes until farro is tender but still toothsome. Divide farro between two plates and top with the toasted kale, coconut and tempeh.


Banana Wonder said...

Hhmm they vegan cafe on campus at PSU often serves kale with toasted coconut and some grains... it is delicious. Good work here, D. Now you got me wondering about this OKcupid thing??

LetMeEatCake Eat With Me! said...

love kale love sesame oil, sold! and the ok cupid thing, seriously! who is this guy yuck!