On Kale

In my early 20s, I ate a lot of kale. It was a pretty trendy vegetable at the time, but I ate it predominantly because I was vegan. Kale is a superfood that is a good source of vitamins A, C, and K. Also, even though it’s a vegetable, it contains a relatively high amount of calcium!

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Fast-forward to my mid-twenties, and I still love kale even though I no longer rely on it as an important source of calcium. I eat it at least a few times a week! Here are some of my favorite ways to eat it:

1) Sautéed 

I sauté thoroughly washed and dried kale with olive oil and garlic on medium to medium-high heat for several minutes. I add sea salt and red pepper flakes to taste and squeeze a lemon over it for some brightness. I got this “recipe” from eco-chef Louisa Shafia, whose book Lucid Food is pretty wonderful. (She has a great vegan pad thai recipe in there!)

2) Baked

There are kale chip recipes that call for temperatures as low as 200 F and as high as 400 F. In my experience, kale burns at 400 F, so I like to make kale chips at 300-350 F. I drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. I watch them pretty closely because they can burn so fast! I take them out of the oven when most of them are crisp, which usually takes about 10-15 minutes. I love to put nutritional yeast on these. Esin has been putting garlic powder on hers lately, and that’s pretty good too!

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3) Raw 

This is my absolute favorite kale salad recipe. The dressing is delicious, but I think it’s optional because you’re already using EVOO and lemon juice while massaging the kale. Anyways, Sarah Britton of My New Roots also has another recipe for a kale salad that is wonderful; it has roasted butternut squash and fresh pomegranate in it—yum!

Saribudak-style Menemen

Menemen     I have so many fond memories of my dad making menemen for our family on weekend mornings. Menemen is a common Turkish “street food,” although I’ve actually never eaten it anywhere but home. When I would go out for breakfast in Turkey, it was always the more traditional, elaborate breakfast: hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes & cucumbers with EVOO, olives, white cheeses, sausages, and fresh bread.

     Anyways, menemen is essentially scrambled eggs, but there are a few ingredients that are fairly necessary: onions, tomatoes, and peppers.

     For this menemen, we used:

  • A knob of butter & a drizzle of olive oil (Apparently the higher smoke point of regular olive oil keeps butter from burning!)
  • 4 eggs (Free range > cage free)
  • 2 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 large tomato (peeled if you like) 
  • 1/3 cup green bell pepper (I think it’s more traditional to use these long, thin green peppers that have more heat, but we used both garlic and black pepper, so there was a decent amount of spice.)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup onions (red or white)

 


 

Here are some steps because steps are helpful:

1) Mince garlic and chop/dice onions, peppers, and tomato. 

2) Heat butter and olive oil in a medium-sized non-stick pan over medium heat. 

3) Cook the garlic, onion, and green bell peppers with a covered lid, and occasionally mix with a spatula to keep anything from burning.

4) Add tomatoes and cook for another few minutes.

5) Crack eggs, whisk vigorously, and add to the pan. Lower the heat a bit. 

6) Scramble the eggs with spatula every few minutes until the mixture looks fairly well-cooked. Season with salt and black pepper.

We would often have menemen with a dish of black olives (with EVOO, a squeeze of lemon, and minced garlic) and also slices of baguette. You could also use most of the same ingredients and use drained and crumbled tofu to make this vegan!