Kale, Cookies, Battlestar Galactica.

5 May

As i departed work on this gloomy, rainy Montreal evening, it dawned on me that tonight would be the perfect night to fill my cozy apartment with the warm smell of chocolate chip cookies, stuff my face with said cookies, curl up on my couch and lose myself in Season 3 of my new obsession du jour; Battlestar Galactica.

However, not one to eat sweets before a proper meal, i decided to whip up a batch of one of my favorite “Mommy makes it better” dishes; spaghetti with rapini. Every time i have tried to make this dish, my efforts have always ended in me calling The Suze, whining that my rapini was too soggy, or that my pasta was too hard. I could never get the timing right. Tonight, i was determined to master this simple dish, a dish one might say has been the bane of my culinary existence for 5+ years. As i scoured the vegetable aisles of my local fruit market, all i could see was kale. Rows and rows of kale took up the place where rapini should have been. Now i am no stranger to kale. I have sauteed and chipped kale with the best of them. (I live for kale chips. No joke, i actually do…) In a moment of inspiration, it dawned on me; why not use kale instead of rapini? The flavor is milder, the cooking time might potentially match that of pasta, and the texture is sublime!

What can i say, my experiment in substitution turned out a million times better than any spaghetti and rapini dish i have ever tried to make. While kale does not have the same bitter taste i adore from rapini, it has a chewy, leafy texture that rapini does not. It also takes well to being boiled, while rapini sometimes tends to fall apart in the boiling process. Kale is super good for you; it’s packed with loads of anti-oxidants, AND it’s anti-inflammatory!

Next time you see a beautiful, lush bunch of kale at the grocery store, pick it up and try this recipe!

Spaghetti with Kale

You will need:

1 bunch of kale, the stems cut off, washed

Enough spaghetti for 2 people – or enough for one supper and one lunch for you, if you live alone like me!

1 lemon

3 fresh tomatoes, cut into chunks

2 cloves of garlic

A pinch of red pepper flakes

Directions:

Fill a LARGE pot with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, throw in a pinch of salt, the spaghetti and the kale. Keep the heat on high, and boil, stirring VERY frequently.

While the spaghetti is cooking, cook the tomatoes. In a frying pan, heat oil over med-high heat. Add garlic, minced, and stir for a minute or 2. Once the garlic is aromatic, add the tomatoes, and lower heat to medium. cook for a few minutes, stirring. Once you see the tomatoes getting a little mushy, lower the heat and add the juice of 1 lemon and the chili flakes. You want your tomatoes to get really mushy, and you want the juices to come out to create the “sauce” for the pasta. Let the tomatoes cook on med-low heat until the pasta is ready.

Once the pasta is to your desired texture, turn off heat, strain the pasta and kale, and return it to the large soup pot. Throw in your tomato mixture, and toss to coat all the spaghetti and kale. Add pepper and enjoy!

I realize not everyone shares my love and pure excitement for all things vegetable, though i don’t understand why. I’d pick a head of kale over a chocolate chip cookie anyday, but for all those who would go the chocolate chip cookie route, please get in your kitchens and make the following chocolate chip cookie recipe NOW. This recipe kicks all other CC (that’s chocolate chip, for you amateurs) recipes to the curb. It’s chunky, it’s sweet, it’s got oats and cinamon, and it oozes chocolate. What more could you ever want from a cookie?

This recipe comes from Jae Steele’s awesome cookbook “Get It Ripe”. Jae Steele is a Canadian vegan cookbook author who has published 2 excellent books i would highly recommend. “Get It Ripe” was somewhat of my introduction to vegan cooking, and was a sort of Bible for me througout my introduction to veganism. Jae Steele always favors natural sugars and sweeteners, and is very health conscious when it comes to desserts. Her recipes are easy to follow, and her approach is very user-friendly. I recommend her cookbooks to beginner and professional vegans, and carnivores alike, just because she’s awesome!

Cowgrrrl Cookies (Get it Ripe, p. 225)

You will need:

2 cups spelt flour (Trust you me, it’s better for you than all-purpose!!)

2 cups rolled oats (not the quick cooking kind)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

11/4 cup non-dairy chocolate chips (make sure to read the ingredients and choose the kind with no dairy!)

1/2 cup nuts (i used peanuts, but walnuts are delicious)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 scant cup of sunflower oil (i used canola, but sunflower is better for you…)

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup room temp applesauce

1 tsp pure vanilla extract (artificial = gross, pure = YUM!)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pour flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Mix well. Add chocolate, nuts and cinnamon and mix throughly. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, blend oil and sugar until throughly combined. Add applesauce and extract and blend. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and stir until all flour is absorbed. Form into tablespoon sized balls in your hands and drop on a cookie sheet. (I always line my cookie sheets with parchement paper, it makes for less clean-up!) Flatten balls a little with your fingers, making sure there is ample room between each cookie. I usually cook 6 cookies at a time, to be on the safe side. Bake in the oven for 13 minutes.

Once the cookies are ready, take the cookie sheet out of the oven, and let the cookies cool on the sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Eat. Share. Give to friends. Spread the cookie love.

20110504-081340.jpg

(Food porn…)

To all you lucky cats who are scoring yourselves a bag of these babies tomorrow, i hope you love them. And for all you bakers who feel like the recipe makes way too many cookies for your own good, you can freeze the cookies in an airtight baggie, and pull them out to thaw when you get a craving. Which is exactly what i’m doing for my awesome man B’s visit this weekend.

Now, enough about food, the Cylons await…

So say we all.

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7 Responses to “Kale, Cookies, Battlestar Galactica.”

  1. Maria Notarangelo May 5, 2011 at 2:05 am #

    Woohoo! Another soul on this plane that loves kale!!! Ah KALE CHIPS RULE!!!! I could eat and eat and eat and eat more!! And as far as cooked kale goes, it also rocks the vegetable world. Have you ever tried ‘red kale’? Just purchased a batch today at my local organic market. It is divine!

    Now, since I don’t bake, I would love to have one of your chocolate cookies right about now!!!

    Love to you for posting such beautiful recipes and for writing words that just play and dance on the page!

    • compassionateglutton May 5, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

      Aunty Mary, have you tried sprinkling cayenne on kale before throwing in the oven? Spicy kale chips are great! I think Mom used to make red kale, i remember loving it!

  2. Christina May 5, 2011 at 6:51 am #

    Another lovely post, especially since it includes nods to BSG. Dude.

    Isn’t that funny that one of my favourite meals is pasta with rapini as well? Ha! When my mom makes it, I just about lose it. I don’t have it with spaghetti, because, for some reason, spaghetti offends me, so it’s usually with rotini or penne. Then–get this–I melt mozzarella Daiya in it, add truffle oil and a bit of spicy oil, and mmmmmmm. I tend to complicate things; the original recipe is probably best, but if you get your hands on Daiya, try this way, too.

    I’d like to cozy up to some kale chips (*whispers* I’ve never had them!).

  3. Christina May 5, 2011 at 7:16 am #

    P.S. I added you to my blogroll 🙂
    P.P.S. The time is *now* if you’d like to apply to be Montreal’s Vegan Food Examiner. I informed my “supervisor” that I’d be stepping down and know someone who is interested. She said for me to send you her way! I’ll write to you on Facebook with her e-mail address, if you’re still interested.

    • compassionateglutton May 5, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

      Awww, Vani, i added you to my blogroll too! ❤
      Also, i want to apply! I am still interested! Send me the info!

      I will totally try the Daiya on rapini pasta next time, it sounds delish.
      I hope you are eating well in Italia. I found an ice cream shop that sells soy ice cream by the cone, when you get back, we should make a pilgrimage and go stuff our faces together!

  4. Leila May 10, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    Wow, so I googled “Battlestar Galactica cookies” (I own a cookie bakery), and ran across your site. I’m making this spaghetti with kale tonight!! Yum yum!

    Those chocolate chip cookies look pretty tasty as well. I’m working on a vegan version of my cookies that will be as tasty as the regular ones. It’s a work in progress.

    Here’s a link to my BSG cookies, if you want to see them. Thanks for the recipes – I’ll def be coming back for more. 🙂
    http://sweetcreaturesbakeshop.com/content/battlestar-galactica

    Best –
    Leila

    • compassionateglutton May 11, 2011 at 7:26 pm #

      Hi Leila!
      I went to your website and checked out the cookies – They look fantastic! What a great idea! Where are you based? Where can i buy? Do you deliver to Canada? I’ve been thinking of making BSG-inspired cupcakes for some time now, but haven’t gotten around to doing it.

      I hope your kale dinner turned out yummy!
      Talk soon!

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