In Which We Yo-Yo Healthy Eat

The voting is still going on for the picture the Boy took – it will get sold on and represent our baby design company, Panda & Pangolin, if it wins! You do have to sign up to vote, but it’s free and you can unsubscribe from any e-mails right afterwards (plus, they have really cute stationary). Click the link at right…woo hoo!
Every so often, the Boy and I decide we’re going to clean up our act. We’re going to do it – get more sleep, exercise, eat healthy, the works. For me, exercise is the first to drop (normally in the name of sleep, which we’re pretty good at), followed by food when some particularly yummy treat shows up at work. However, the first couple meals usually stay on track…which is where this comes in.
We’ve all been hearing and reading about the wonders of kale for some time now. So, in the interest of taking the healthy route, why not try a kale and grain salad? We probably made it a little less healthy by swapping out wheat berries for a Trader Joe’s grain mix, but we cooked it just the same:
Grains cooking with onion and thyme.

We then, per the Bon Appetit recipe, sauteed up some onions.

Onions a’cookin.

Then you cook the kale…

Kale cooking – same pan. Excellent.

And then it all gets tossed together with some lemon, salt, and pepper. Our version has a nubby, pasta-y feel, but you still feel all “I’m-eating-kale” virtuous. Nice, right? We think so.

Grain & Kale Salad! Woo!

Harvest Grains with Charred Onions and Kale
Adapted from recipe by Oliver Strand for Bon Appetit
The grains we swapped in do give this a slightly softer, more pasta-like consistency than I imagine the wheat berries would, but it’s still pretty healthy, simple, and yummy. I imagine you could swap in any similar grain – quinoa, couscous, whatever – and have your own variation. So try it with your favorite! As long as you still get that kale…

Yield: 6 Servings

2 medium onions, halved, divided
5 sprigs thyme
1 tablespoon kosher salt plus more
8 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch kale, stemmed, leaves torn into 2-inch pieces (about 8 packed cups)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Combine grains, 1 onion half, thyme sprigs, and 1 tbsp. salt in a large saucepan; add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer until grains are just tender but still firm to the bite. Drain; discard onion and thyme. Place grains in a large bowl; let cool.
Cut remaining 3 onion halves crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium-high heat; add onions. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are charred in spots, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl with grains. Add 1 tbsp. oil to same skillet. Working in 3 batches, add kale and cook, tossing occasionally, sprinkling with salt and pepper, and adding oil as needed between batches, until charred in spots, about 1 minute per batch. Add to bowl. Drizzle with lemon juice and any remaining oil; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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