Monday, November 4, 2013

Yucca, Brazilian Braised Kale, Chickpea Artichoke Salad

While deciding what to make for dinner, I decided to make a couple recipes out of the billions of cookbooks I have.  I found the chickpea artichoke salad from the Vegan Yum Yum cookbook, which I love.    The other recipe I got out of one of my many cookbooks was the braised kale, which came out of Viva Vegan.  I have made several of the recipes out of that cookbook, some successful and some not.  It's a beautiful collection of recipes, but I also have my Dominican Hubby here to give me ideas first-hand into traditional Spanish food.  The good thing about getting recipes/ideas from him is that his recipes are all meat-based.  (Hubbs is not vegan or vegetarian at all.)  This does force me to be a little more creative, yes, however, it makes me understand the food a little more and the flavors I am trying to mimic and create.  I am always asking him about new ideas he has for food his mom used to make for him back home, and he has been giving me great feedback lately.  So I have a lot more ideas for tasty Spanish food coming up.  Until then, I have Viva Vegan and a lot more time to experiment and test!  

Yucca, Brazilian Braised Kale, Chickpea Artichoke Salad:

So much delicious food!

2 medium yucca, waxy outer layer peeled, sliced in half lengthwise and cit into 2-3" lengths

Simple Salad:
romaine lettuce
scallions, chopped
carrots, peeled and julienned
lime vinaigrette or preferred dressing

Brazilian Braised Kale:
1/2 bunch large kale, chiffonnaded  (leaves rolled into cigar shape and thinly sliced)
2 tablespoons refined coconut oil (you can use whatever kind of oil you want)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, small diced, about 3/4 cup
1/4 cup filtered water
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
3/4 teaspoon vegetable boullion powder
pinch black pepper

Chickpea Artichoke Salad:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups cooked chickpeas
4 cloves garlic, minced
7 artichoke hearts, squeezed of excess moisture and cut in half
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or additional, as desired
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1.  Prepare the yucca first.  Place yucca in a medium pot over medium-high heat and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and cook until yucca can be easily pierced with a fork.  Drain and return to pot, cover with lid and keep warm.
2.  While the yucca is cooking, prepare the Chickpea Artichoke Salad: in a large pan add the olive oil over medium heat and allow to become hot.  Once the oil is hot, add the chickpeas and cook for about 10 minutes, or until very browned and crispy, stirring periodically.  Add 1 teaspoon more of the oil and add the minced garlic.  Cook for a couple minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant.  Remove the pan from the heat and add the remaining ingredients:  the artichokes, toasted almonds, lemon juice, sea salt and parsley.  Stir to coat the chickpeas and season to taste. 
3.  Prepare the braised kale.  In a medium pot over medium-high heat, add the coconut oil and allow it to melt.  Once it melts, add the chopped onions and cook for several minutes, or until fragrant and lightly golden in color.  Add the minced garlic and cook for several minutes, or until fragrant.  Working in batches, add the chiffonaded kale to the pot, stirring constantly until it wilts and you can add more to the pot.  Continue until all of the kale fits in the pot and it has all wilted.
4.  Add the water to the kale and stir to coat.  Add the seasonings: the liquid smoke, boullion and black pepper, stirring to coat.  Season to taste. 
5.  Prepare the simple salad as desired.
6.  To serve, place a serving of each of the items on the plate: the cooked yucca, braised kale, chickpea artichoke salad and the simple salad.  Eat!  Yum!  (Keep in mind that once the kale is refrigerated, it will harden because of the coconut oil.  So, don't try to eat it cold out of the refrigerator like I sometimes do  - make sure to heat the kale thoroughly before eating, so that the coconut oil melts sufficiently.)



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