A week ago at the farmers' market near my house on the Northside, I bought three heads of kale for $5. The woman had to give me a large trash bag to hold the giant heads. Once home, I had to clean out the fridge to fit all the kale.
When my husband got home and wondered why we had a trash bag taking up the whole fridge, I told him I'd just bought kale. He peered into the full bag and said, "There's no way you can eat all that before it goes bad." The challenge was on!
For the past week I've eaten kale for every lunch and dinner. Mostly I've simply steamed it and made sauces or gravies to go with it. There are a bunch of great gravies in the new Happy Herbivore cookbook that's coming out that I was lucky enough to recipe test for. So I've been making Miso Gravy (my favorite), Chickpea Gravy, and Mushroom Gravy, ladling it over the kale, and topping it with baked tofu or seitan and some brown rice or quinoa. I know gravy doesn't scream "summer," but hey, these simple meals are delicious, easy, and cost next to nothing.
I also bought the Vegan Yum Yum cookbook and made a few great recipes with kale. The first was Tahini Lemon Rice and Beans with Kale and Seitan. For this recipe, I made seitan for the first time. Seitan is, basically, dough balls made from vital wheat gluten and boiled in veg broth. I know, it doesn't sound very good. But it is!
The first time I made it I used the Appetite for Reduction recipe, which has wheat gluten, veg broth, soy sauce, lemon juice, and garlic. It was so good, I couldn't help eating it right out of the pot.The Tahini Lemon Rice & Beans was absolutely amazing. It may be one of my all-time favorite recipes. The sauce is lemony without being overpowering, and the tahini makes it rich and buttery. Black beans, rice, kale, and seitan all taste delicious with the sauce.
I also made Lime Peanut Noodles with Seitan, Kale, and Carrots from Vegan Yum Yum. This too was amazing. The lime juice gives the peanut sauce a little something different. For this recipe, I made seitan from Veganomicon. It was good, but I didn't like it as much.Today I'm going back to the farmers' market. Though I ate kale out the wazoo, I still have some left, so I'll try to refrain from buying a bunch more, but I'm not making any promises. I love kale too much!