Meatless Monday: Impromptu Supper, Roasted Kale
The holiday season tends to throw me off schedule, and just like clockwork, there she was, leaving me at the curb to figure out how to get back to January normal. As a result, grocery shopping duties took a back seat to merrymaking over the weekend, and this week’s meatless feature is admittedly unplanned and on the fly, using what was in the Casa Appetite fridge.
Here in Seattle, the skies were steely gray on Sunday, and the air cold enough to allow snow to fall, she reports, wincing. (The city government has been under great scrutiny for its no-salt policy during last month’s batch of snow storms that left the city paralyzed.) It was around seven when Mister MA and I emerged from our respective corners of the house and met in the kitchen.
As we poked around the fridge and in the pantry, we uncovered a delicata squash, a bunch of lacinato kale and a package of tempeh. Using bits and pieces from various recipes over the fall, dinner would come together in no time.
First, we cut the squash into rings, lathered it up with olive oil and roasted it at 400 degrees like we did a few months ago. While Mister MA trimmed the kale and removed its tough stems, I put together the fixins for a tempeh marinade that goes something like this:
Marinated Crispy Tempeh
1 8-ounce package tempeh, cut into ½-inch strips
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Juice of ½ lemon or lime
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
Neutral oil for frying
In a shallow bowl, combine soy sauce, vinegar, mustard and hot sauce, and blend. Add tempeh, making sure it’s coated evenly by marinade. Let tempeh sit in marinade at room temperature, for about 20 minutes.
Remove tempeh from marinade and gently pat with paper towels to minimize splattering when frying in hot oil. Pour oil to a depth of ¼ inch into a wide skillet and warm up over medium heat. Oil is hot enough when it surrounds tempeh with bubbles. Gently add tempeh and turn with tongs or a fork, until golden brown on as many sides as possible, about three minutes. Add more oil as necessary and allow to heat up before adding more tempeh. Transfer tempeh to paper towels to drain. Salt immediately.
The result is a batch of savory, sausage-y morsels that crisp up beautifully and you really can taste the mustard even after a short stint in the marinade. I could eat the entire batch by my lonesome. (Recipe details for Kim's pasta dish with tempeh, goat cheese and shallots.)
With prepped kale in hand, we lathered it up with a small amount of olive oil, then seasoned it with garlic, salt and red pepper flakes. A quick toss of tongs, and the kale goes into the hot oven, for just under 10 minutes. Over the years, I’ve tried many varieties of kale using this method, and I’ve concluded that the dark green ruffly llacinato (aka dinosaur) kale works like a charm.
In about 50 minutes, all three components were ready, plus a last-minute pot of rice for good measure. Not making plans never tasted so good. And since you’ve been asking, here are the recipe details for roasted kale.
Got an unplanned dinner mash up to share? Enlighten us in the comments area.
1 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed
Approximately 2 teaspoons olive oil
½-1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place kale in an oven-proof baking dish. Add oil gradually, and with tongs, toss to coat kale, until thoroughly coated. Add salt, garlic and pepper flakes, tossing to coat.
Place in oven and roast until tender and just slightly crispy, 8-10 minutes. Serve immediately.
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