I passed my one year anniversary since I started my vegan eating lifestyle this January and I feel like I’m finally starting to feel more comfortable with preparing my food and eating right – like a real vegan!
I’ve been doing LOTS of great cooking. Got some new vegan cookbooks for Christmas and also got to have a visit with my friend Brittanie (the mother of soon to be 3, who cooks vegan/raw for her whole family..amazing!). I’ve been wrestling with trying to eat less soy, and convenience vegan products. I tried to cut them all out for a few weeks but I ended up just eating poorly because when I was too tired or busy to cook a proper meal I wasn’t eating anything but carbs/bread. So I have frozen happy planet soups, tofu, daiya cheese, veganaise, tofutti sour cream etc back in the fridge! Still trying to eat mostly home cooked veggies but I just feel more secure knowing I could make some vegan pizza with melted daiya cheese in a pinch!
One of the new books I got is Bake and Destroy which I am loving. Such fun recipes. Lots of comfort foods. I’ve been making a few of them and posting them to my instagram account @denisebutlett. Used a new ingredient, Jackfruit, which is pretty neat and the book uses it as a substitute for pulled pork! All the fun cooking is making me feel better about the intense rain we’ve been having in Vancouver – apparently we’ve already filled our entire quota for January and we’re only half way through. I hope my life dries out soon. In the mean time I’ll keep cooking and eating.
Okay so back to the point of this post. My sister texted me (from summery tomorrowland Australia) and told me she was channeling me and bought a big bunch of kale, got it home, and didn’t know what to do with it. I got so excited while telling her my favourite uses for kale, I wanted to share it with everyone!
1. Kale Smoothies: Kale smoothies are basically my go to breaky in a pinch. I like them with banana, pineapple, berries, chia seeds, citrus fruits, coconut water and the occasional half pack of soft tofu. I’ve used other fruits in a pinch too…and carrot juice or just water as liquid! I’ve been meaning to get some spirulina and get that algae in there for extra health boots but have not yet done so.
2. Kale Pesto: This is a most amazing sauce that is delicious on a variety of salads, tossed on roasted root veg, spread on pizza as sauce, tossed into pasta, rice or other grain! Nom! It is sauteed garlic and kale – basically just saute until the kale becomes that rich green colour and the garlic is just a little golden (I just smash whole cloves and put them in the pan with the kale without any chopping). Okay then you take your sauteed kale and garlic, put them in a blender with walnuts, salt, a bit of lemon juice and enough water to change the consistency to match whatever it is you want to do with the pesto. Blend. Fini!
3. Kale Chips: Mmmm I like this with a “cheese” cashew sauce (there are a variety of recipes out there for this kind of sauce mine has soaked cashews, onions, red pepper, nutritional yeast, mustard, a little bragg (or soy) sauce, and some liquid (water, almond milk …ugh whatever is in my fridge) but I have seen just a salt and pepper or salt and vinegar style which is probably easier (but must be less tastey). For mine, you make the “cheese” sauce first and make sure to keep it quite thick – it needs to coat the kale. Then you make sure your kale is very DRY, then rip it into chip sizes…or you can just cut out the rib and keep it whole to break later. Coat the kale in sauce, put it in the oven at a very low heat until it is very dry and crispy (the best way to do this is actually to put it in a dehydrator for a good chunk of your life but I can’t afford a new dehydrator so that’s that). When they’re done they will be the best nacho cheese kale chips and they won’t really last long enough (while you scarf them) but they’ll be so good…so worth it!
4. Kale Slaw: I like a raw kale salad any time, but this salad is expecially tastey…and easy! I do a very fine chiffonade of the kale (long skinny slices), slice red cabbage and carrots on my mandolin slicer (love my mandolin slicer) to make them very thin. I presume this would be easily done in a food processor too but won’t look as long and beautiful! Toss them all in a vinaigrette sauce (with lots of grainy mustard) and top with sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds or some other tastey seed. I also just like to add fresh herbs to any of my salads because someone once told me that they are high in vitamin K (good for heart health!) and they taste amazing of course. I’m a little obsessed with cilantro. I even bought cilantro lip balm. Obsessed.
Eat your greens! Happy kale consumtion!