I tend to be skeptical about health food. Spending my childhood in the Pacific Northwest and in Hawaii, I was always around glowingly healthy hippies who claimed that some ridiculously healthy thing they had taken to eating was “delicious”. You can’t fool children, and there are only so many times you can feed them sprouts and unfortunate vegetable juices before they develop a life long distrust of the food recommendations made by the lithe and ageless. Despite this bias, I do actually enjoy many foods that happen to be quite healthy. I love Coconut Chia Seed Pudding and eat it almost every morning for breakfast. Pressure Steamed Root Vegetables with Umeboshi Vinegar and Avocado taste better than they would drenched in butter. I enjoy hearty raw vegetable salads such as Ruby Salad with Feta and Spicy Pepitas, Cool Kid Kale Salad, Crunchy and Colorful Green Bean Salad and SO many slaws. I eat tons of Indian food, which is quite healthful if you cook it for your self. I eat at least one serving of cooked greens a day (usually swiss chard, but sometimes collards, amaranth, mustard or spinach). Most notably though, I have managed to totally eliminate gluten from my diet for the last 7 years (even though I loved to bake) because it made me really, really sick.
So, I hope that you will trust me when I say that the meal that I present here is both healthful and delicious. I will not claim that it is low-fat. It is in fact quite a bit more fatty than the recipe that inspired it. But the fat is from coconut milk, and who could argue with the wholesomeness of coconut? We are talking about a nut that god and nature have conspired to make capable of floating in the ocean for hundreds of miles in order to deliver fatty goodness to needy creatures on the next far-flung island. How can such a wonderous thing be bad? It just can’t.This recipe for crispy kale and coconut came to me from Joy the Baker, by way of Shutterbean, who got it from Super Natural Everyday by Heidi Swanson. Despite my mistrust of healthy cooking, Super Natural Everyday is on my list of cookbooks to purchase. I enjoy Heidi Swanson’s excellent (and healthy) food blog 101 Cookbooks very much.
I decided to serve the Crispy Kale and Coconut with my sister’s recipe for coconut quinoa with a bit of curry powder thrown in. The recipes that I was looking at served the crispy kale and coconut on Farro (which I am allergic to) and brown rice (which I don’t like). These grains were dressed in some more of the tamari, sesame oil and Siracha dressing that is used to season the kale and coconut. I love this seasoning on the kale and coconut, but do not care for tamari enough to douse a bowl of grain in it, so that’s where the curried coconut milk came in.
In addition to being healthy and delicious, this is a really quick and easy dinner. It can be made and eaten in less than half an hour! I have not had much time to cook lately, because I have been very busy making a puppet show for this wonderful and crazy project.SIMPLE CURRIED QUINOA WITH A CRUNCHY KALE AND COCONUT TOPPING adapted from Super Natural Everyday, by way of Shutterbean, by way of Joy the Baker and from my sister’s recipe for coconut quinoa
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cups water
- 1-14 oz. can coconut milk
- about 1/2 tablespoon of Madras Curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 bunch of dinosaur kale, washed, stemmed and cut into bite size pieces (about 5 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce (I use tamari, which is wheat-free)
- 1/4 teaspoon Siracha (or more to taste!)
- 2 or 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup unsweetened large flake coconut
- Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the quinoa, coconut milk, curry powder and salt. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 17 to 20 minute, until quinoa is cooked (not tough to bite, and the little white ring that surrounds each grain will be starting to fall off). Meanwhile make the kale and coconut.
- Move a wrack to the middle of the oven and preheat it to 350. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the chopped kale and coconut across it in a single layer.
- Combine the sesame oil, tamari, siracha and olive oil in a small jar and shake to combine.
- Pour the dressing over the kale and coconut and toss it to make sure that everything is covered. Spread it all out in a single layer again and bake it for 12-18 minutes or until it is crisp.
- Serve the quinoa in bowls topped with generous amounts of the crunchy kale and coconut.
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