Thursday, February 11, 2010

Kale with Raisins and Toasted Pine Nuts

I am on retreat at The Academy for Spiritual Formation and teaching about greens this week and shared this fabulous recipe with my fellow retreatees at Camp Sumatanga. It was a hit--even to those who "don't like greens." Hope it's a winner at your house, too!

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
3/4 pound kale (about 6 cups or one bunch, washed and chopped)
2 cups water
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup raisins
salt & pepper to taste

To toast pine nuts, place them on a pie tin or cookie sheet and back at 325 F for 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Watch them carefully, because they can burn easily. Set aside.

Bring water to a boil in a 10- or 12- inch skillet with a tight fitting lid. Add the kale and cook, covered, over high heat, stirring frequently to cook evenly, until tender, but still bright green (around 5 minutes). Remove and drain.

Rinse and dry out the skillet, then use it to heat the olive oil over medium heat, lifting and tilting the pan to coat. Add garlic and saute 15 seconds. Add raisins and saute for 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent browning or burning. Raisins should be glossy and slightly puffed.

Add greens and stir to combine. Season with salt & pepper to taste and cover for a minute until greens are heated through. Serve hot, garnished with the toasted pine nuts.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Amaranth for Breakfast

I have been working on intentionally changing up food a little bit when I'm on duty for cooking, so I decided on Amaranth for breakfast this morning, just to give oatmeal a rest. It's a great grain that's full of protein, and it contains calcium (two time more than milk), iron, potassium, fiber (three times as much as wheat), vitamins A and C, and iron (five times as much as wheat). It's also easy to prepare. Here's what I did for breakfast:

1 cup Amaranth
3 cups water

Put everything in a pot, cover it, and bring it to a boil. Turn it off, stir to be sure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot, and let it sit overnight. In the morning, warm up the grain, and serve with maple syrup, raisins, and walnuts (or pecans). Serves 4 (nice size portions).

KID APPROVED: I have a 13 year old in my breakfast care these days, and he won't eat oatmeal or brown rice porridge. He ate the Amaranth cereal this morning and said he liked it--yippee!