Another Throwback and Tomato Mysteries

The first time I ever really noticed the role texture plays in a meal was when I made this Kale with Red Potatoes, Avocado, and Feta. The kale and potatoes were hot and soft, the avocado was creamy, and the feta was crumbly and melty all at the same time. It seemed like those ingredients shouldn’t work together – and yet they did. I’ve since shared the recipe with many people who have all loved it.

Last week, our CSA delivered a bunch of kale and a bag of red potatoes and there was a lone avocado left in the bowl on the counter.

But these days I don’t keep much cheese in the house. Just making the dish without feta seemed a bit like eating a banana sans peanut butter – doable, tasty, healthy, but just not quite the same.

So I got crackin’ in the kitchen, and came up with a veganized version of the dish that lives up to its cheesy predecessor.

Kale and Red Potatoes with Avocado and Pumpkin Seeds
Adapted from Vegetarian Times
Serves 4

  • 2 lbs. red potatoes cut into chunks
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced into rounds
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 4 tablespoons pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 4 teaspoons nutritional yeast, divided
  • Garlic salt and pepper to taste
  1. In deep skillet, arrange potato chunks on top chopped kale. Add 1 cup of water and cover. Simmer until kale and potatoes are soft, 20 – 25 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a second skillet. Add sliced squash and sprinkle with salt. Sear one side for 3 – 4 minutes. Flip and sear the other side. Add two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar; it should bubble up and coat the squash. Cook 2 – 3 more minutes.
  3. When kale and potatoes are done, toss with remaining vinegar. Add more to taste if necessary. Sprinkle with garlic salt and a generous serving of black pepper.
  4. Combine squash, kale and potatoes and divide into four bowls. Top each bowl with 1 tablespoon pepitas, 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast, and ¼ avocado.

This dish takes a bit longer than the original preparation because of the squash, but you can still start it and have it finished in a half an hour if you can chop potatoes and kale quickly. In this version, the pepitas add the textural element and a crunch that’s completely absent from the original version. Lately, I’ve been really into crunchy foods (actual crunchy, not like “hippie crunchy” which I’m pretty much always into) so this fit the bill nicely!

Looks like I’m on a roll recreating favorites – I wonder what old recipe I’ll bust out next!

In other news, I’m growing two tomato plants and one of them is doing so much better than the other, although the little one does have the bigger tomato! Any ideas on why one is flourishing and one looks so sad?

 

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