Friday, November 25, 2011

A Very Veggie Breakfast

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I'm still in my "I want to eat veggies. Lots of veggies. Lots and lots of veggies. Especially green veggies..." stage and I've been making sautes and stir-fries for breakfast because the idea of sweet breakfast turns my stomach a little. In particular, I've been making some variation of this for breakfast almost daily, either using kale, chard, collards, or cabbage, depending on what I have in my refrigerator (aka, depending on what I got cheap at the growers market or the grocery store).

This is nice for breakfast because it's simple. I can start it after I walk the dog, even on days I'm feeling somewhat more rushed than I'd like in the mornings. I can steep my coffee (French press) while my food caramelizes, perhaps get my lunch ready to go on my weekdays, and even turn on my computer to check email and other things, all the while, giving my food an occasional quick stir so it doesn't burn.

As a post-Thanksgiving day breakfast, this is fun, light, and doesn't involve leftovers--which there will be plenty of, for many people, in the coming days (and weeks! So glad that's not me this year.). Plus, if you pair it with a piece of whole grain toast or other whole grain, then you will have plenty of stamina for shopping, cleaning, decorating, or whatever it is you do with your Black Friday. Usually, I would make tamales. This year, I work. But as I said, I've been eating this, or some variation of this, for several weeks and I find it a lovely way to start my day in a veggie-intense way that doesn't involve a smoothie (kinda cool for that this time of year, and the blender noise is obnoxious first thing in the morning).

In the variation of this depicted by the picture, I'm using Lacinato kale, which (apparently) has a long tradition in Italian cuisine. I'll have to remember that next time I buy some -- I definitely want something with tomatoes and Italian flavoring soon, probably also for breakfast. Lacinato kale is the same thing as dinosaur kale (my personal favorite name for it), Tuscan kale, and black kale among many other names. This is simply the kale that's looked best at both the growers market and the grocery store.

Sometimes I add mushrooms, because I really like them. I don't always want mushrooms though and so I'm not including it in the list of ingredients. When I do add mushrooms, I usually add 4-6 sliced (depending on the size) a couple of minutes after I add the onions, but before I add my greens. They add a lot of extra flavor though, so if you like mushrooms and have them on hand, I highly encourage you to use them.

This makes a great main dish breakfast for one or two, or could be used as a side dish for several. You could also use it for lunch or dinner, if you're so inclined (and I've been doing some of that too, just changing up what specifically I add).

I've also been craving, recently, baked beans on toast with stewed tomatoes. Maybe all these British shows E and I have been watching are rubbing off. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I don't usually have baked beans or stewed tomatoes on hand. Maybe though, I'll make that happen.

It's Good to Be Green (and orange!) Breakfast (or dinner)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 carrot, sliced in coins, or 1/4 cup chopped sweet potato
1 bunch kale, chopped
Salt (I use about 1/4 teaspoon, at most)
Red pepper flakes (I use about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon)
Red wine vinegar (if you don't have this on hand, use lemon juice)

One or more of the following:
1/4 cup raisins, optional
1 teaspoon curry powder, optional
2 tablespoons chopped or slivered, toasted almonds
2-4 tablespoons goat cheese
1/2 thinly sliced, firm apple such as Arkansas black or pink pearl 

Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add ginger, onion, garlic, and carrot. Stir to coat with oil and then only stir occasionally (every 2-3 minutes, perhaps) until the onions and carrots just begin to caramelize (about 7-10 minutes total, depending on your pan).

Add the kale (or cabbage), salt, and red pepper flakes. Saute until the kale begins to wilt and then add the red wine vinegar.

Remove from heat when the kale is mostly wilted and stir in the raisins, curry powder, almonds, goat cheese, or apple (I wouldn't recommend using all of these at once--but perhaps two or three, with a specific flavor-idea in mind as you're doing it), if using. Serve hot.

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