Mar 6, 2012

An adventure in Seitan and Kale

Tonight I decided to be adventurous and let my Door to Door Organics delivery determine what I would make for dinner.  By adventurous, I do mean being as adventurous as one can be while being relegated to complete rest for at least a week.  Since I am baking chicken and noodles for Mike, once I opened the D2DO box and saw what was inside I knew exactly what to make for myself: greens Italian Style with seitan and kale chips for snacking later.

The greens I am using are kale and rainbow chard, two of my absolute favorite.  Throw in some spinach and I am in heaven.  I use these three leafy veggies at every single meal.  Yes.  Every.  Mm-hm, breakfast included.  And here is what is really going to make you go 'hmmmm"...  I add them to my breakfast smoothie, often with Chocolate Shakeology.  Yumm-o!

Rainbow Swiss Chard

Inspiration struck when I saw the two large bundles sitting proudly atop the organic bounty at my doorstep.  I love Italian dishes centered around veggies with pasta as a side-kick. I also love leafy greens.  When the opportunity arises to combine the two I jump at it.

Kale and Swiss Chard are both powerhouse veggies packing tons of vitamins for very few calories. Chard has an added benefit; the phytonutrient antioxidants in chard act as anti-inflammatory agents. Sometimes they lower risk of chronic, unwanted inflammation which  has repeatedly been shown to increase our risk of obesity, atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and several forms of arthritis. Ew.  

Seitan (vital wheat gluten or wheat gluten) is a great replacement for animal proteins if you are not gluten intolerant and prefer to abstain from consuming copious amounts of soy. 

I happened to have on hand some Italian style canned tomatoes and some Italian style seitan, as well as some odds and ends of veggies that must be consumed pretty quickly else they would find themselves populating my composter come mid-week.  My next adventure will be to make my own seitan, but for now I will happily consume the prepared versions.

On to the recipes!

Verdi stile italiano con Seitan
(Greens Italian Style with Seitan)
You must pardon me - I literally make these up as I cook and never really measure anything too specifically. I believe in cooking from the heart and cooking from the pallet. I think of recipes as guidelines unless it is a more scientific food such as souffles or baked goods. So take inspiration from these recipes and do what will work for your kitchen, your family, and your pallet. 

  • 1/2 bunch Swiss Chard
  • 1/2 bunch Kale
  • 2 cans of Italian style tomatoes plus any additional tomatoes laying around
  • 5 large Mushrooms (baby portabella)
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion
  • Coconut oil (or any other vegetable oil)
  • Italian style seitan (I used Upton's)
  • Past or Rice of choice
Cook pasta or rice per directions.  :-)

In a saute pan  heat the coconut oil and then toss in all the vegetables except the canned tomatoes and greens.  Saute until the onions are translucent then  add in the seitan.  Stir to heat through then add the greens and stir to coat.  Lastly add in both cans of tomatoes and heat through.    

Once fully heated serve over rice or pasta. 

Kale Chips To Live For
I am stealing the roasting temp and time from my friend Jaye - Every time that I have made kale chips before they have fallen flat to my expectations: wilted and soggy or burnt... or wilted, soggy AND burnt.   The key here is roasting them at the right temp for the right time. Thank you Jaye! 
  • Roasting pan or cookie sheet
  • Kale very roughly chopped in to 2-3" sections
  • Sea salt (I used Celtic sea salt since it has trace minerals) or you can use any seasoning you like - barbecue or garlic would also be very good. 
  • Oil (I actually used grapeseed oil since I was out of olive oil)
Pre-heat your oven to 350*.  Mix in a bowl the rough chopped kale and oil.  Lay out on pan to roast, sprinkle with seasoning or sea salt.   Roast for ~25 or so minutes.  

Be careful when you take out of the oven as they are pretty irresistible!  

Mmmmm indeed. 

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