My mom is decidedly NOT a vegetarian, but she's still pretty cool and she bought a subscription to Vegetarian Times and has been sharing them with me. To be clear, I'm not a vegetarian either, as I consume a hefty amount of fish, seafood, and some occasional poultry. But I sure do love me some vegetarian foods, so I enjoy this magazine.
The January/February 2011 issue had a whole section on kale!! Can you imagine how happy I was to see this? Kale is awesome. I blog about it way too often. I often want to eat a whole bowl of kale for a meal because it tastes so good, is filling, and makes me feel so virtuous for eating it. Yay kale!
A Kale Haiku
Nutrient rich, taste delight.
Eating you is joy.
Instead of my usual sauteed kale with onion and balsamic vinegar, I had to step out of my comfort zone and try one of the recipes in the VT magazine. This one called for stir-frying the kale with carrots at high heat and seasoning it with soy sauce, sugar, garlic, and ginger. It was a breeze to make, and so flavorful that I'll definitely be making it again.
I had some firm tofu that I simply coated in a light dusting of cornstarch, salt, and pepper, and pan fried in a bit of canola oil. The crispy tofu paired quite perfectly with the kale.
Stir-Fried Kale and Carrots with Tofu, adapted from Vegetarian Times
1 package firm tofu, drained, liquid pressed out, and patted dry
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp canola oil, divided (or other light colored oil - NOT olive oil)
1 bundle dinosaur kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and julienned
1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp soy sauce or tamari
1/2 cup chopped toasted nuts (I used cashews, but peanuts or almonds would work)
Notes: I wrapped my tofu in a kitchen towel and pressed it under my heavy Le Creuset pot for an hour to get all the moisture out. The key to getting a good crust on your tofu is having it very dry, at room temperature, using a non-stick or cast iron skillet, neutral super hot oil, and a thin coating of cornstarch.
Slice your dry tofu into desired-sized pieces. Add a light coating of cornstarch and salt and pepper. Set aside for now.
In a wok or large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp neutral oil over high heat until it shimmers. Add kale an carrot and stir for 3 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook 15 seconds. Add tamari and sugar and cook another 15 seconds. Remove from heat and add chopped toasted nuts.
In a non-stick or cast iron skillet, heat 1 Tbsp neutral oil over high heat until it shimmers. Add cornstarch coated tofu and cook until you can see a golden crust creeping up the sides, about 6-7 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side about 4 minutes, or until golden.
Serve tofu over stir-fried kale and carrots.
ONE YEAR AGO: Roasted Vegetable Tart
TWO YEARS AGO: Spicy Asian Dressing