At our house, when it is your birthday, you get to choose what we have for breakfast, dinner, and dessert. It is your special day. Our oldest child turns 8 years old on Sunday (how she grew so fast I don’t know), so I asked her what she wanted for her birthday meals. Breakfast was banana-blueberry pancakes and bacon. Dinner was smoked salmon (with an alternative of hot dogs for those who don’t like smoked salmon) and lays chips. So far so good, this is all easily manageable. Then we got to dessert. Her request was baked oatmeal with toffee sauce. The kind that goes on the Christmas Crack candy. “Umm. You’re sure that’s what you want, hon? You don’t want cake, or ice cream, or cookies?” Nope, this was what she wanted. Continue reading
If you are looking for a new way to enjoy kale, you have GOT to try this spicy, Indian-inspired kale recipe!
**This post contains affiliate links. See full disclosure statement at bottom.**
If you’ve read my post on How to Have a Fit Pregnancy you know that I’m trying to eat healthier and especially that kale is a big deal while pregnant (dark leafy greens are packed with pregnancy-friendly nutrients). The thing is, this baby in me LOVES spicy food. I could eat spicy food at every single meal of the day, and routinely do. I have also found that I feel my best when I get veggies in at breakfast, so this spicy kale is the best breakfast dish ever for me. Combine it with some roasted yams for a quick-energy carb and some scrambled eggs to add in protein and you’ve got a completely balanced meal.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 bunch kale
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green parts separated)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 cup diced apple (about 1/2 a medium apple)
- 1/4 teaspoon garam Masala
- 1/4 teaspoon mirchi (Indian chili powder)*
- 3 tablespoons pomegranate juice, divided**
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup broth
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Pull kale leaves off of thick spine.
- Rinse kale leaves and dry in towels. Give these a good squeeze as you are drying them. Not only will it help get out the excess water, it will tenderize the kale a bit.
- Tear kale into bite-sized pieces.
- Melt coconut oil in a large Sauté pan (be sure you have a lid, or something you can cover it with to work as a lid).
- Sauté kale in coconut oil for a 2-3 minutes until it is slightly wilted. Use tongs to toss it around as it sautés so the kale gets coated with the coconut oil.***
- Turn heat down to medium.
- Add green onions (white parts only), ginger, and garlic, and sauté for another minute or so, until it is fragrant.
- Add diced apples to pan and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Sprinkle garam masala and mirchi (chili powder) over pan and stir well, sautéing for about one minute.
- Add 2 tablespoons of pomegranate juice and stir until liquid mostly evaporates. About 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Toss raisins in the pan and stir to combine.
- Pour chicken broth over kale, cover with lid, and let kale simmer/steam for 2-3 minutes. Keep an eye on it to ensure you don't burn it (I plead the fifth on this one, lol).
- Return heat to medium-high. Remove lid, add remaining tablespoon of pomegranate juice and green parts of green onions. Stir frequently and cook until all liquid is absorbed. About 4-5 minutes.
- Turn off heat and add salt.
- Makes four 1/2 cup servings
*Mirchi is an Indian chili powder. It is not quite the same thing as the standard chili powder you see in America. I found it at my Asian grocery store, and you can also find it here on Amazon. If you absolutely can’t get your hands on it, my research shows that the closest substitute would be half cayenne pepper and half paprika. I haven’t tried it myself, but the bulk of the sites I found said this was the closest substitute. Seriously, though, just get some mirchi. You can use it in a bunch of stuff and it has a great kick.
**Don’t get pomegranate ‘drinks’ pr ‘juice blends’ for this. You want 100% pomegranate juice. I was trying to research to see what vinegar is most commonly used in Indian cooking. What I found is that vinegar is not what is typically used to provide the acid/tangy component of recipes. Pomegranate juice is usually used instead of the vinegar that other cultures utilize.
***Keep the oil in this recipe, even if you are trying to watch what you eat. Kale is a good source of vitamin K, and vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin. This means that without some fat for cooking or dressing, your body can’t make good use of this vital nutrient that kale provides. If you’d like to learn more, check out The Veggie Book- How to Pick, Prepare, and Plate. It is a great resource for finding out the tastiest, healthiest ways to prepare veggies of all sorts.
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Over the last 3-4 months I have had several friends begin to realize they need to go gluten-free. Since I have been gluten-free for over a decade now, they have all asked me questions at some point in the process. Great! It’s always good to seek advice from someone in the ‘been there, done that’ camp. I began to realize, though, that there were two key issues going on. First, they were getting a LOT of misinformation from people. Second, they needed more than I could explain in a quick couple of minutes after church or MOPs. They needed a crash-course in gluten-free living! After a lot of thinking and praying, I felt like God was calling me to offer this up for anyone interested. So, this morning I taught my first ever Gluten-Free 101 class!
As I was preparing for the class and planning out the menu of things to taste and cook I checked with my guests about other food allergies and intolerances so I could ensure they could all happily eat (because what’s the fun in food sampling if you can’t sample it, right). Two of the ladies couldn’t handle cow’s milk. Since I was planning on making breakfast pizza, that could have easily interfered with my plans for a creamy Alfredo sauce. Thanks to my stubborn nature not wanting to change my plans, I decided I would just make a dairy-free Alfredo sauce. I mean, people who can’t handle cow’s milk like cream sauces, too! And so my quest for gluten-free, dairy-free Alfredo sauce began. My key problems were going to be that flour is used in a roux to thicken cream sauces, and, well, CREAM is used in cream sauces. Flour and cream were going to be a big NO since this needed to be gluten-free and dairy-free I knew it needed to be soy-free as well, because another guest couldn’t eat soy. Hmm, this was getting tricky. Thanks to The Chew I knew that a roux just needed to be equal parts fat and flour, so I just decided to substitute Better Batter Gluten-Free Flour for regular flour. For the fat? Well, you don’t get much tastier than bacon fat, and since I needed to cook up bacon pieces to use for a pizza topping anyway, I could just use the rendered fat for the roux.
Now the trickiest part, what to use for the for the cream? I could use milk, but it’s not as thick as cream. That makes it hard to get a good, thick, CREAMY sauce. Normally I would use the lactose-free half and half by Organic Valley, but that isn’t free of cow’s milk. As I wandered through New Seasons I stumbled upon this creamer.
Perfect! So Delicious Coconut Creamer is gluten-free, dairy-free, AND soy-free! BINGO! Once I had that I had everything I needed to make some rockin’ sauce. If you’re thinking to yourself, “but I don’t like coconut”, have no fear. This doesn’t taste like coconut at all. I HATE coconut. Like, really, truly, deeply dislike it and I loved this sauce. I couldn’t taste the coconut at all. Since you have been kind enough to read through my ramblings, now you get to have the recipe, too!
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free Alfredo Sauce
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (liquid) bacon grease, divided
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup gluten-free all purpose flour (I use Better Batter)
- 1 quart coconut creamer (be sure to get original flavor, vanilla Alfredo would be weird)
- Cook up bacon pieces so that you have bacon fat to use for this. Enjoy your bacon in/on whatever you please and save the bacon fat!
- Heat 2 tablespoons of (liquid) bacon grease on medium-high in a large sauce pot.
- Add chopped onion and sauté until onions are soft and beginning to get some color.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika and stir to evenly distribute. The smoked paprika serves to a) give it a wonderful earthiness and b) help balance out the slightly sweet nature of coconut milk.
- Add minced garlic and cook for about a minute.
- Pour onions and garlic into a bowl and set aside.
- Heat 1/4 cup (liquid) bacon grease in the sauce pan.
- When bacon grease is hot, add 1/4 cup gluten-free flour. Whisk continuously until roux (that is the fat-flour mixture in your pan) takes on a light brown color. You don’t want this white, but you also don’t want it dark brown.
- Add the full quart of coconut creamer, whisking continuously as you pour. This will sizzle.
- Add the other 1 teaspoon of salt.
- Keep stirring your sauce until it begins to thicken. It’s going to take several minutes, so be patient.
- When your sauce begins to thicken, add the onion-garlic mixture back to the pan and stir it in.
- Once your sauce begins to simmer turn the heat down a little to keep it right at the edge of simmering and keep stirring to prevent scalding.
- Cook sauce until it has reduced by about 1/3 and can coat the back of a spoon. You’ll know it’s done when you can run your finger through the sauce on the back of a spoon and the line stays there.