K68: Kale and Kumquat

My big kick this week at the Farmers Market was seeing kumquats all over the place. How odd it seemed as the Spanish speaking farmer stressed in faltering English and hand signals that I must not peel away the rind. Wow, the rind is sweeter than the sour fruit. It is really counter intuitive for someone like me who only knows Florida and California oranges. I love these little guys. I grew up eating a lemon a day, so sour is definitely okay by me.

I’d hoped for kohlrabi, but it is too early for these. So, I stuck with the tried and true kale. I simmered the a few leaves of kale with the beets beet greens and green onion I had leftover from last week’s trip.I had stock left from fixing black eyed peas and several more cups of liquid from cooking garbanzo beans (for hummus). I cooked the brown rice in this the day before which I added with sheep’s cheese. The latter was a real splurge for me at the Farmer’s Market. I always pass up the Middle Easter booth because the prices are too high to justify when I can make the things myself. But, he brought this sheep’s cheese for the first time. I love it. I also bought a few pea pods.

Did I mention that this dish fed me several meals and I loved it. I think that the liquid from the beans and the sheep’s cheese is what made it sing.

At Sunday’s market the egg and potato farmer is a real sweetheart. I was asking him about making chits for potatoes like Melinda at Elements in Time wrote about this last week. The farmer said that I could just cut the little purple Peruvians and fingerlings I was holding and put them directly in the ground. He said they really prefer sand or sandy soil. He and another couple of farmers were good to talk to Sunday. I asked them all if they would consider coming over to our community garden some time and giving us advice. I figure it couldn’t hurt and it is yet another way to create community. I am so grateful these farmers get up early and come to us each week.

In January I wrote about cabbage being one of the cleansing foods. I want to make a point of saying how much healthier I feel than I did in January. It isn’t that I am surprised about this; I just don’t want to forget to celebrate the fact – frequently. According to nutritional analysis, Kale is a superfood. It’s a member of the Brassica family of vegetables, which include cabbage and Brussels sprouts.
And kale is loaded with the organosulfur compounds that may lessen the occurrence of some cancers. Studies suggest that the phytonutrients in kale and other Brassicas may actually help the liver neutralize potentially cancerous substances.
Kale is loaded with nutrients and compounds that aid in warding off other diseases and ailments as well. For example, kale is packed with beta-carotene, an important nutrient for good vision. Several studies link an increase in vitamin A and beta-carotene in one’s diet with a decrease in developing cataracts. Kale is also an excellent source of vitamin C, which is good for cold prevention, as well as a reduced risk of colon cancer. Finally, kale is rich in minerals, such as iron, manganese, calcium and potassium.
How do you prepare this superfood? Aside from being rich in phytochemicals, kale is versatile.
That is my seque to my other use for Kale this week. I confess I had the hummus made already and I didn’t have any sundried tomatoes. Lastly, I utilize the whole leaf of what I think I have here, Dinosaur Kale. But this recipe from VeganYumYum is a good one to have on hand.
Kale and Sundried Tomato Hummus
Makes approx. 1 1/2 cups
1 Can Chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 Tbs Tahini
1/2 tsp Salt
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Sundried Tomatoes (about 5)
1 Small Head Kale, de-veined and steamed
Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
Fresh herbs (Optional, I used oregano)
Rinse chickpeas and place into food processor. Add salt, tahini, water, oil and blend until very smooth.
Remove and discard tough stems from kale with scissors. Steam until tender and bright green, shock under cool water, then squeeze as much water out as possible (see photo to the left). Break kale ball apart and place in processor with sundried tomatoes. Gently pulse until ingredients are well combined, but you can still see chunks of kale and tomatoes. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

And though this post grows longer and longer, I want to add one more versatile kale recipe from VeganYumYum because it contains foods I keep on hand. A really fine source of protein in one bowl.

Kale Soup
I can imagine people who aren’t used to kale, quinoa, and tahini might need some easing into this one, but here you are nevertheless. Here’s the version I made:
Creamy Kale Soup
Serves 2-3 dinner sized portions
1/2 Cup Green Lentils
1/2 Cup Quinoa (I like to use half-and-half)
1/2 Medium Onion, finely chopped
4 Tbs Olive Oil
1 Small Bunch Kale
5 cups water
1 tsp Cumin, heaping
1/2 tsp Curry Powder
1 Veg Bullion Cube
3 Tbs Tahini
2-3 Tbs Tamari or Soy Sauce
Wash and de-stem kale (I use kitchen scissors to cut along the sides of the stems), tear the leaves into smallish pieces. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat, and add quinoa and lentils. Sautee for a few minutes, add spices and kale. Mix well. Add water and bullion cube and bring to a boil. Cover and turn down heat to low. Simmer for 35-40 minutes.
Carefully blend the hot soup in a food processor or blender and return to pot. You can skip this step or blend only half of the soup if you want some texture, but I think it’s nicest smooth. Add tahini and tamari to taste.
To garnish, mix 1-2 Tbs of tahini with a small amount of water until it becomes smooth and bright. Drizzle on top of the soup and serve.

I think I will just use water I have cooked vegetables in or miso since I don’t buy vegetable bullion cubes.

Gorgeous photos and recipes from VeganYumYum


Chile said...

We've been getting kale for a while now through the CSA. My new favorite is Tucson kale. And I have yet to try a kumquat. The closest I've gotten is a limequat and it was pretty darn good.

Enjoy your delicious foods!

katecontinued said...

Thanks chile, I appreciate you dropping by and wish I could hand you a kumquat this morning. I gave one to my son yesterday - who had never had one despite all of his culinary background. I wish I had a video of his face puckering up. Despite it being sour he said he liked it.