How to make kale taste nice

hmmm kale… not something you hear often right?

I’ve been trying to make vegetables just as nice to me as carbs and sugar are. I’ve had varying levels of success, but I’m determined to make it all work for me. Not one to back down from a challenge, I decided to try and make kale a thing and I think it might have worked! (this time)

You don’t have to use the exact same seasoning ingredients, but what was key in helping to cut the bitterness of the kale in this dish was the addition of lemon juice, so I’d keep that in as a staple.

Be warned – I sometimes cook with a lot of pepper, and my version of this dish has three kinds in it so if you want something milder please adjust the ingredients to suit your taste. Happy cooking!

What you need:

a bag of kale from the supermarket

two red onions, sliced

one shallot, sliced

a small handful seasoning peppers (a sort of mild chilli), chopped

three cloves of garlic, crushed/minced

a handful of fresh coriander, chopped

two teaspoons of turmeric powder

a strong pinch of cayenne pepper powder

a strong pinch of ground black pepper

a small teaspoon of scotch bonnet pepper sauce (or a hot chilli sauce) or alternatively a quarter of a scotch bonnet pepper finely chopped (use gloves)

a strong pinch of general all seasoning powder

a generous sprinkle of dried mixed herbs

lemon juice from half a lemon

Method:

Wash and drain the kale in a colander and set aside.

Pour roughly half a tablespoon of a cooking oil of your choice into a large pot and melt on a medium heat.

Add all the ingredients except for the kale and lemon juice. Stir until the onions and shallot have softened a bit.

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Add kale and cook until stalks have softened slightly – you want to retain some crunch. Drizzle lemon juice all over kale and continually stir around pot over a higher heat for a few minutes. Be sure to watch the colour of the kale. Once it turns bright green it doesn’t have long to go and you don’t want to overcook it so it turns kinda dark and mushy.

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Turn off heat and you’re ready to go.

Until next time,

V

 

 

 

 

spicy vegetarian sort of salsa wraps (with crunchy nuggets!)

I cut up two chillis for this… and I’m still unsure if it was a good idea.

Hey there

This is just something I sort of made up as I went along using what I already had in the kitchen. Enjoy!

From the fridge:

A generous handful of spinach leaves

One onion

Roughly 10 Cherry tomatoes

Two chilli peppers

One Avocado

Half a palmful of chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)

One lemon (you’ll only need half really)

From the freezer:

Quorn nuggets

From the bread bin/cupboard:

2 whole wheat sandwich wraps

A big pinch of cayenne pepper powder

A pinch black pepper

A big pinch of mixed dried herbs

A pinch of garlic powder

Put the Quorn nuggets in the oven as per the instructions on the packet. They take about 18 minutes to cook. While the nuggets are in the oven, wash and cut up all the veg (leave the spinach leaves whole and set aside along with the avocado for now). Be careful with the number of chillis you use, as there will also be black pepper and cayenne pepper in addition to the chillis. I cut up two chillis for this… and I’m still unsure if it was a good idea. (I ended up sipping on almond milk to calm things down – still ate and enjoyed the wraps though).

Put the chopped ingredients into a bowl, and add the coriander, cayenne pepper, black pepper, garlic powder and herbs. Squeeze half a lemon over the mixture and stir all together. This is kind of like a chunky salsa of sorts – not a very authentic one, but still full of flavour and very good in the wrap.

Once you’ve stirred up the tomato and chilli mix, set that aside and put your wraps in the oven (just place them directly on an empty shelf) for a couple of minutes on both sides. You want to watch them closely as you want them to remain flexible when folding them into the wraps. While the wraps are in the oven, slice open the avocado and chop into chunks.

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When the wraps are ready, take them out of the oven (also the nuggets should be done by now so take them out too) and lay them on a plate.

Make sure the spinach leaves are well drained from the washing, and layer them on top of the wrap as in the photo. Spoon some of the tomato and chilli mixture on top of the spinach leaves in the centre of the wrap.

Add to this, the avocado chunks and chopped up Quorn nuggets. Now your wraps are ready for eating! **warning** they will be very spicy, so you can adjust the amount of pepper and chilli in the recipe to taste.

simple all in one veggie roast

So one day I was swanning about the house in my PJs after coming home from work, and I knew I needed to make myself a good lunch for the next couple of days but I was feeling rather tired. I didn’t want to end up buying lunch while at the office so I thought up something simple but very healthy, low carb and tasty with the vegetables I already had in the fridge. I also had some Quorn sausages in the freezer so I thought I’d throw them in too. Behold, the birth of my all in one veggie roast.

Having looked in the fridge to see what was what, I saw that I had:

Cherry tomatoes

Mini Portobello mushrooms

Cucumber

Radishes

Shallots

Red onions

Garlic

From the freezer:

Quorn Premium Sausages – wild garlic flavour

From the cupboard:

Cayenne pepper powder

Powdered garlic

Black pepper

Mixed dried Italian herbs

Himalayan pink salt (optional)

Olive oil

You don’t have to use the same veggies or seasonings as I did, it’s really up to you and about using what you have, but the essential thing to help with the cooking of this dish is the olive oil and a decent array of herbs/spices for flavour. I also have purposely not specified amounts because again, it depends on what you want and what you have available. This is a very free and easy dish and it could come out differently every time!

Before you start prepping the vegetables, ensure you preheat your oven to around gas mark 5 or 6 (that’s 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius).

Now for the prep:

Get a chopping board and a big sharp knife, and peel, wash and slice all of the vegetables (except for the garlic cloves). When I was making it, I cut the radish and the cucumber into strips because I wanted them to caramelise and brown while in the oven. The onion, shallot and mushrooms I sliced into chunky rings and I quartered the tomatoes. You can cut the vegetables however which way you prefer and depending on what they are and how they’ll cook.

Take a large-ish (depending on the amount of vegetable) pyrex oven dish (a deep metal baking tray will also work) and drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil into it and swirl/rub it around inside the dish.

Arrange the vegetables in the dish. I enjoyed putting them into little ‘areas’ in the dish. I’m weird that way.

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Just before going in the oven…

Crush the garlic cloves (I used a crusher) and sprinkle them over the vegetables in the dish and drizzle a little more olive oil on top. Then add the rest of the seasonings – the peppers and the garlic powder (just a little) and the herbs (or whatever seasonings you’ve chosen). You can definitely experiment with this. If I’d had some, I would have grated some raw ginger on top and sprinkled a little fresh lemon juice as well I maybe would’ve used some chilli instead of cayenne pepper. Just put whatever you fancy.

Put the Quorn sausages in one corner of the dish and rub them with a little olive oil. Sprinkle them with the crushed garlic and seasonings.

Put the dish in the oven and bake until the vegetables have softened and browned slightly. Check and turn them as well as the sausages (the sausages will take a little while to brown).

You should end up with slightly caramelised, sweet and very flavoursome vegetables with very juicy well-seasoned sausages. The vegetables will have produced a lot of liquid at the bottom of the dish which would be great as a base for a sauce or gravy :).

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The end result